Posts tagged new blog
Making Peace with Mornings

For years my method for waking was hitting the snooze button until the very last possible minute. Rolling out of bed and throwing on the nearest clothes and rushing out the door with the philosophy that I can get anywhere in Flagstaff in five minutes from my house, no problem. It was never true and I was almost always late, edgy from not eating and drinking only coffee. I didn’t plan lunch, so I’d get cranky and shaky until I’d finally rush to Subway or Taco Bell, or go home and make an American cheese and mayonnaise pickle sandwich. Mornings aren’t my favorite time of day.

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5 Keys to Developing Healthy Habits

Be honest about where you are currently at. What is holding you back from developing this habit? Don’t pretend to be better at it than you currently are. Lying to yourself will only delay the development of the habit. Often times, we judge ourselves on our intent to do something. We give ourselves credit for wanting to change, but we never actually take the steps to change. This can hold us back from actually developing the healthy habits we want to make a regular part of our lives. Give up the excuses. Recognize you alone are responsible for the outcome. You can’t control every circumstance in your life, but you can control how you respond to those circumstances.

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How Not to Become a Creature of Habit

There’s that age-old phrase about being a “creature of habit.” We all know someone who gets into one routine—one way of thinking, one way of doing—and neglects trying new things. Whether it’s trying spaghetti squash for the first time in place of noodles or spending every night the same as the last, it’s easy to leave forward-thinking behind and keep from trying something different. But when you break out from your usual mold and try things that aren’t familiar to you, you’ll find your life and entire being will be better for it. The key to happiness is finding the things that excite you most. If you’re stuck in your ways and unwilling to try anything new, you may spend your entire life missing out on the one thing you were meant to do.

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A Better Life, One Day at a Time

This is my year of habit changes. I decided I wouldn't start a new diet or begin journaling again. Instead, I would change my habits, trusting these new behaviors would snowball into a better quality of life. Though it may not work for everyone, I like to give myself timeframes. A month is usually a perfect amount of time to stop or start a habit. You also get that rush of renewal that comes from new beginnings, and I need any inspiration I can get. I don't look beyond that month. I don't let myself get in over my head. I just dedicate myself to the decided time. I've grown too comfortable in my bad habits, and I am flush with hope they can be changed. 

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Series Introduction: Habits

We are creatures of habit. Routines are unavoidable as we are naturally drawn to repetition and the familiar. It’s comfortable, predictable and safe. Have you ever considered just how odd it truly is for us to find belonging and purpose in the rhythm of routine? What cadence carries you through your day to day? Is it slow and harmonious, or frantic and high-strung? At times, perhaps it’s both. I would hope if you’re in a constant “go, go go” state of mind, you find moments to decompress. If not, that’s a whole different topic we can cover later this month. Since the beginning on this year, no… not even… let’s just say, lately, I’ve been really into the power of a routine and how the ebb and flow of a day can transform our ability to live fully.

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The Miracle that Changed Everything: A Car Wreck Survival Story

“I distinctly remember my hands turning the wheel to the right and my car was resisting and still going straight. Next thing I knew, my car was over a cliff and the last thing I saw was a stream of water below me before I tightly closed my eyes.” Have you ever lived through an experience you cannot find the words to explain? Born and raised Montana girl, Chaeney Latimer survived this deadly car wreck of 2010 completely unscathed — a miracle merely unexplainable. Despite the ways this accident defied all laws of gravity and science, one thing remains true: Chaeney’s life was not destined to end that day. After finishing her sophomore year of college, Chaeney packed all of her belongings into her red Toyota Cobalt and set her sights on home.

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5 Steps to Lowering the Volume in Your Life

Silence is deafening to me. In fact, it’s one of my biggest fears. I find it terrifying because, to me, it means something is being forgotten: maybe it’s an errand, maybe it’s plans I made weeks ago and forgot to write down…maybe it’s me. The thing is, silence could—and for most, does—mean peace of mind. It could mean it’s time to relax or stand for fulfillment, or be the gateway to the best sleep I’ll ever have. For now, that kind of silence is unfamiliar. Whether it comes to work, side projects or even bettering myself personally, it’s undeniable that I’m a busy bee. There is so much buzzing that my silence could very well not be silence at all, so I’m taking steps to lower the volume—and, in case you’re like me, or on your way to be—I wanted to share exactly what those steps are.

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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To the Girl Who Can't Love Herself... [An Audio Letter]

At what point in your life did you first feel uncomfortable in your own body? Do you remember the very first moment you were embarrassed with yourself? Or, when did you first feel the pressure to look and be like everyone else? How about that first moment you looked into the mirror, like you’d always done before, but instantly everything changed? When you entered this world, you felt no shame, no fear, and there was certainly no judgment. Your itty-bitty frame, delicate and soft, was absolute perfection. The way you arrived into existence was a bonafide miracle, and that’s damn right beautiful. So, what happened to her?

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Love Yourself First: How to be Your Own Biggest Supporter

February is all about love. It's the month of course when we celebrate Valentine's Day and can be a very special time for couples, but you might be dreading it just a bit if you're single. Or perhaps you're in a relationship but never understood why you had to rush out and buy all the bouquets of flowers, chocolate candies and giant teddy bears you can find (not to mention the fact that many Valentine's Day displays seem to go up in stores right after Christmas)! If you're not so into the holiday or even if you are, maybe it's just a good time to shower yourself with some love and TLC — a reminder to take time for yourself. In that case, here's some tips from me to you. Self love for me is two parts — actually loving and appreciating yourself internally and secondly, the outward actions you do to keep yourself happy, healthy and full of love.  

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Why Applause Doesn’t Make You Somebody

In a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, talked about the impact winning had on his life. He said, “I walked onto that stage a nobody and left it as somebody.”  The crowd erupted in applause, and the judges nodded in agreement — but my heart broke. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell Mr. Potts he was a somebody long before he walked on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. Perhaps, he was not well known. Maybe he wasn’t asked to sing for the queen or to perform all over the world. Likely, only a handful of people knew he could sing and appreciated the gift he had been given. But, he was not a nobody.

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Learn to Say ‘No’ and Put Yourself First

This year, I have made one resolution: put myself first more often. Sometimes self-love is easier said than done. I would love to get a biweekly mani/pedi or read more books but finding the time to do these things can be hard when you have commitments to your loved ones and your job. This last year, I found myself more stressed than I had ever been before due to the fact that I wasn’t taking enough time to decompress and enjoy my time off. We’re almost a month into the new year and although it’s been difficult to change my ways, I’m learning to take more time to gather my thoughts and do the things I love.

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Series Introduction: Self-Love

When I look back at the girl I was in high school — no let’s be real, sixth grade — my heart breaks for her. She had absolutely no love for herself. Eventually, I grew up and found room in my heart for the woman God created in me. Now that I’ve gotten to know her, I’m never letting her go. I admit, I still find imperfections in menial things, but nevertheless, my cup overflows with self-love.  As we step into February, a month dedicated to overly romantic acts of love, I feel it’s important to remember to shower ourselves with affirmations — and, while we’re at it, chocolates and flowers too.

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4 Success Tips for Dream Chasing

I would say I have always been a highly determined gal — except for those lost teen years where all I cared about were boys and how my hair looked. Sure, motivation could very well be an innate trait the good Lord blessed me with, but as far as ambition is concerned, I developed that. After a rough breakup at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, I slowly began the search for myself and my identity — as I had lost it all in him and the joke that was our relationship. It felt as if a forgotten switch was finally turned on, never to be turned off again — not for anyone or anything. Let me tell you, girl... I never felt more alive or more me than the moment I realized I was better on my own. 

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Why Ambition is Stealing My Joy

It felt as if all of my ambition fell down the stairs with me that night, never to walk again. Well, nothing’s broken… so, I’ll walk again but you know what I mean. The much longed for solitude in which I create the best was destroyed in the careless slip of a step. Since falling almost two weeks ago, I’ve had to rely on my incredible loved ones and support system. Gosh, am I a lucky girl to have them. But, oh my goodness do I miss being me. I miss my get-up-and-go-ambition. I miss the strength of a well-abled body. Despite the breakdowns and moments of weakness, I’ve had the feeling the Lord is using this injury to teach me something.

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The Fine Line Between Ambition and Obsession

Ambition is a word that has been tripping me up quite a bit lately. Standing at a complicated crossroads of sorts, I have had a lot of time to think about my own ambitions, the things that are important to me and the kind of woman I am still striving to become. Caught between others’ expectations of me, pressures from my job, and the need to finally strike out on my own, these thoughts have found a home in my brain over the past year. How does ambition shape our lives and how do differing interests and motivations affect the way we go after our dreams?

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Does Ambition Lead to Success?

I grew up believing ambition led to success. In school, if I studied and did the work, I would get an A. In sports, if I practiced hard, I was rewarded with more playing time. When I worked my first job, hard work equaled higher pay, more hours, and the admiration of my boss and coworkers. My achiever personality thrives in that environment! I can finish a project in record speed. When I set a goal, I don’t stop until that goal is completed. I love making lists and checking things off. (I’m one of those crazy people who writes something I just did on the list, just so I can cross it off…don’t laugh, I’m know I’m not the only one!)

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Passionately Ambitious With No Regrets

After a variety of internships at a magazine, two television shows, a radio show and a stint at the university TV station, I  was ready to back up my journalism work experience academically with a master's degree.  What followed was an accelerated year and a half strenuous program that allowed me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to report at the London Olympic Games, and I've never looked back on my career choice since. That doesn't mean there weren't stumbles along the way. A year after graduate school, my radio news job wasn't able to offer me more than a part-time schedule and I simply needed to be able to pay my bills, so I made the difficult decision to leave and accept a full-time position with a marketing start-up.

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Driven by Heavenly Thinking

I used to buy into my own lies that if I wanted a particular path in life too much, I would become too focused on myself and my desires to be a participant in the highs and lows of the lives of the people I cared about. I told myself in order to pursue my dreams of being a fashion designer in the buzzing hub of New York City, I would certainly have to give up friendships and family ties and my fantasy of being a mother to babies with chub rolls galore. I thought, in order to make it big, I had no choice but to toss out every other element that fueled the joy in my life in order to collect enough stored up energy to put nothing short of 100% of me into my life’s work.

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Leaving Apathy Behind

Getting caught up on the stress of life produces a wide range of terrible emotions. I get scared I'll never catch up. I get sad that I might never feel like I'm enough. But I think the worst thing I often feel in those moments is nothing. Apathy is a frequent opponent of joy. It's also one of my favorite modes of survival. Just a few days ago, I noticed I get frustrated a lot less than I used to. I used to cry when my son woke me up at 3 a.m. for the third night in a row. I used to contemplate the meaning of my life and get a little snippy with God. At face value, the level of calm I've managed to reach seems like a positive change. However, after a few minutes of thought, I realized I hadn't matured in my ability to process.

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