Comfortable in my own skin (and it only took me 30 years to do it)

A few years ago I used to co-facilitate a  workshop for pre adolescent girls. The themes of  the workshop  focused on body image, and increasing self-esteem. Bi weekly my co-facilitator and I would have sessions with these girls to assist them with  becoming comfortable with themselves, and learning how to see themselves as beautiful both inside and out. During one of our sessions we began the group by handing each of the girls a mirror and, asked them to look into the mirror while telling themselves that they were beautiful.  None of the girls were able to do this task. They were not able to say “I am beautiful”. The girls told me if they said that then they would sound conceited, and they didn’t want to come off as conceited. I gave them permission to be as conceited  as they wanted. They continued to struggle. We were in a room with nine girls aged 11-13, not one of them were able to stand up, look in a mirror, and tell themselves that they were beautiful.

When is it acceptable for us to be comfortable in our own skin?

Now that I am 30, I can safely say to myself that I Am Beautiful. I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and think to myself, hey I look pretty cute. Am I being conceited? Some people might think so. But honestly, I don’t even care. As long as I am happy with me, my whole self, inside and out, what other people think is a secondary notion that spends little time in my mind.

Now that I am 30, I am at peace with myself. To be comfortable with myself goes far beyond the way I look in the mirror. I am a girl, so some days I will have my “fat days”, or my “I look like a hot mess” days, but even on those days I will be comfortable with who I am. This is only possible because I have found a sense of inner peace. I have calmed down from over thinking what everyone else expects of me, and what everyone else wants me to be. What is the sense of working so hard to please everyone else, when I am not putting any energy into pleasing myself? I have chosen to please myself first. If others do not agree, then its a great thing that this is my life. I can only be affected by those things that I allow to affect me. If it is positive then bring it on! If it is negative, well then it can stay far far away from me.

Now that I am 30, I choose to be in control.  I am in control of what happens in my life. At 30 I am at the most mentally, physically, and spiritually stable point in my life. I know how to control my moods, I am aware of my body’s emotional regulation so I do  not feel like a crazy person. I can run faster and longer than ever before, exercise has become a daily fixture in my life, and my body has the strength to overcome many physical challenges because of its constant conditioning. I am doing things that I have never done before, like actually sign up for races (who knew I would be doing that at 30?). I look forward to physical challenges, sweat is great, and exercise pain is my new best friend.  I am spiritually ready for what God has in store for me. Years ago I was far from ready for what God had planned for me. God knows exactly what he is doing, walking by faith, I will let him take the lead. With God and balance I will continue to be just fine.

Now that I am 30, I just like being me. I will always say it, I am a little bit different. I am slightly to the left, I am clumsy, I hesitate to wear white because I know something will spill on it. I hate getting my hair and nails done because I think it takes too long to finish, and I dislike shopping because I hate waiting in lines. Some days I never know if I’m coming or going, and I work best when I can just wing it. That is me. I laugh at my own jokes, and I can easily laugh at myself for doing something silly. I have a ton of faults, and I love them all. I am a consistent marcher to the beat of my own drum, and my beat sure does sound damn good (well in my head). I can only be me. And finally, I have fallen so deep in love with me!

So hopefully now it is acceptable for me to be comfortable in my own skin. Because if not, I don’t have another 30 years to waste on being someone else.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

 

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29 and counting….wow 30 is almost here

Less than two months away from turning 30! We are down to the final stretch, and enter panic mode. Well I guess that is what is supposed to happen. I have been contemplating what I should actually do for my 30th birthday. How do you celebrate the Big 3-0, what should I do to kick off this new decade of life? I want the next 10 years of life to be my best 10 years of  life, how can I make that happen? Sure, I am possibly over thinking this turning 30 thing a little bit too much. There is nothing I can do to stop it from happening, it will happen no matter how much I kick, scream, and cry. Its life. You get older, live with it, the end.

I recently thought that I would like to have a blow out party, that would deter me from having my very own pity party. If I have a semi real party, with actual people, maybe that will ease the torment of thinking about what life is actually like at 30. I want to still have fun at 30. I actually want to have more fun than ever before. So in my mind an awesome 30th birthday would be something that includes throwing a major party at Tao in Las Vegas, with streamers, a huge cake, and a well known DJ. It would be something like umm, Kim Kardashian’s 30th birthday. Ok, I know I am not Kim Kardashian, and I do not have anywhere near Kardashian money so a club party in Vegas will not be an option. Well at least not for this year, maybe next year we can shoot for that option.

So what is a good way to bring in your 30th birthday! I want to do something that matches my personality. I am 30 and the world is my playground. I live in the boundaries of very few limitations. I see myself on a path to extraordinary. What type of event expresses that notion? Do I go for a grown and sexy vibe, or do I go for a young and free vibe? Honestly, I really wish I had someone to plan a party and I just show up. I am not a party planner. I have a new idea for my life everyday, so obviously I will have a new idea everyday on ways to celebrate this overdramatized  milestone of my 30th birthday. I am not the first person in the world to turn 30 but, it is the first and only time turning 30 will happen to me. I owe it to myself to make it a memorable experience, who knows when the next memorable experience will happen to me.

I have less than two months to enjoy my last days in my twenties. Some people want to be married by the time they are 30. If I was one of those people then I would have to hurry up and find a husband real quick. But I am not. I never really thought of what it was going to be like when I turned 30, well not until I turned 29. Then 30 was hitting me in the head hard, I was forced to create an image of what life is like at 30. Soon enough I will find out for real. So what should I do to celebrate my 30th birthday? Should I go over the way of full on party, or low key and relaxed? Whatever I do, I sure hope it is fun.

Any ideas on how to celebrate the big 3-0?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive ideas, positive experiences

We all have a story, what’s yours?

We all have a story to tell, whats yours?

The only way you can really know a person is to actually know their story. Know their history, know where they came from, how they got to their current situation. It is easy to pass judgments on others, to make assumptions about their present lives because we do not know, or put little effort into caring about their back story. The story that has made them who they are, the story is what has created the person who you see in front of you.

One thing I have learned through my career is that everyone has a story. Though some stories may look the same, they are all very different, the differences make us all unique, the stories create inspiration for others. Hawaii has a large homeless population. Each of my homeless clients has a very unique story. To look at an individual homeless person, it is easy to pass judgment. To assume they have caused their own situation. However, they also have a  story of survival, a story of hope, of story of love, a story with an ending that is yet to be written.

Recently I saw a man living in a box. I wondered what is story was. I also thought that no matter what life I lead today, it is also very possible that I could end up living in a box. Life is not to be taken for granted. To many of the homeless in Hawaii, Hawaii is not paradise. Hawaii is a living hell. Some feel stuck, some feel empty, some feel that everyday is the same, no movement. The ocean waves become torture, the daily sunshine enhances one’s own personal misery. Depending on the way you view their story, it could be one of sadness, or a story that inspires change in your own life.

Since everyone has a story that is unique, start by taking the the time to stop and pay attention. To listen or to watch, to allow ourselves into the world of someone else because they may hold the key for that change that we need for our own lives. In 2012, make it a year where we view the world through the eyes of others. Expanding our lives by allowing an understanding of the story of others.

Tell your own story without fear.  Keep telling it. Your story can create change, can inspire, you can make the difference. For the new year, try something different for others. Allow others to know you, to understand where you come from. Stay positive, decrease assumptions, and live without judgments.  Be open. Inspire.

What’s your story?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

5 reasons why I would make a horrible military wife

In the next few weeks many of our troops will be returning home from the war in Iraq. In Hawaii many military wives are anxiously waiting the return of their beloved husbands. What a great feeling it is to have those who so proudly serve our country return home to their families.

Before moving to Hawaii, I had never dated anyone in the military. In Hawaii all I seem to meet are men that are in one branch of the military are another. At least 8 out of every 10 single men are either in the military or have been in the military at some point in their life. During my time here I have had a lot of experience dating men in the military, and I have come to the conclusion that I would make a really crappy military wife. That lifestyle is just not for me. For the women who are military wives, I commend them. They are strong women. Women who have to be able to deal with a lot on a daily basis. A military wife is no ordinary wife, a military wife takes on a lot more. Military wives take the duties of a wife to a whole new level. A level that I don’t think I will ever be ready for. Not only is she married to her husband, she is also married to the military.

I have thought about it long and hard. I have pondered over what type of wife I would be. I think I would be a pretty good wife actually. But I know I would be a horrible military wife. And here is why:

5 reasons why I am not military wife material

1. I hate sleeping alone at night: One guy I dated told me that he had trouble finding a girlfriend because he is never around long enough. He said that he would have to be with someone who is ok with him not being available. Due to deployments, or trainings, your husband is likely to be gone a lot of the time. I don’t intend to get married to sleep alone at night. So the idea of my husband going on a year long deployment…not only would I have anxiety over his safety, it just gets lonely after a while. Who gets married to be by themselves? Not for me.

2. When the military tells you, you pick up and move: I really don’t like people telling me where I have to live. Yes I am a free spirit. I love to travel. Obviously,  I have no problem moving where I know virtually no one.  However, I like to do things by choice. I don’t appreciate when people force me to do something or go somewhere. So because I am such a free spirit, I think I will only be happy moving to destinations where I choose I want to live.

3. Those damn secrets: The stuff you don’t know because of security measures. Yeah I know national security blah blah blah. I hate secretes and I need to know what is going on. It’s not that I wouldn’t trust my husband,  I like to know what is going on in his life. Lets talk and share information.

4. The family toll on deployments: I want my children to know their father, and I want their father to know his children. Deployments are hard on children. I work with children. If one parent is in and out of their lives, it can be disruptive to the family unit. When it is broken apart, you have to then spend time putting it back together. I want to have a consistent household. I want a husband who is part of every minute of his child’s life as possible. From walking, talking, to the first day of school.

5. Your supposed to connect to other military wives: I dont’ want to make false friends with other military wives. What if I don’t like them, am I just free not to like them?

 

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

 

You are powerful beyond measure, now just believe it

Marriane Williamson states : “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

Those words are inspiring, yet so scary. To think “I AM POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE.” What a frightening thought. I write this as I enter into a new stage of life. One that will require some creative risks, but also one that can lead me on a path to a better concept of my success. However, when I think of what I am able to accomplish I hesitate to move forward. I doubt my own abilities. I become too stuck to try, and fear the mistakes along the way. Then I say, what’s the point of living if you’re not going to make mistakes. Without those mistakes there is no room to grow. I told myself a long time ago that I want to live. I want to live my life, my best life. Currently I am standing in my own way.

“Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I find myself reciting that sentence in my head throughout each second of the day. It is a constant reminder that God has a plan that is so much greater than the plan I have for myself. I am gifted, I am talented. I fear my own talents. With fear I am not living.

To grow you must  leap, to live you must not be afraid to fly. The saying “To fail is not to try”, also comes to me. My light shines bright, my task: follow it and become that powerful being that is my purpose.

 

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences

 

29 and counting…part 3 Getting over the defeat

5 months, 3 days away from turning 30

A few weeks ago I was feeling really defeated. I just wanted to quit. I wanted to quit everything. I was done. I felt tired of trying and not getting any results. What was I trying to do? Well now that I’m over my feeling of defeat, I am re-examining exactly what it is that I want to do. I start to ask myself, What am I really looking for?

At the end of my twenties, I feel like I followed the path of life that I supposed to go on. At least the plan that my parents may have had for me. I graduated from high school, went to college, graduated from college, even graduated from grad school at NYU! I started working for employers in my field, made a career for myself, moved to the other side of the world, survived in Hawaii, and now I wonder: What’s supposed to come next!

Cover of
Cover via Amazon

What is my next move, and how do I start to make it. I feel like the person in the Robert Frost poem, The Road not taken. I am at a crossroads of two diverging roads, so obviously I should take the road less traveled by. The problem is I don’t even have a sense of which road has been less traveled.

In actuality I always have taken the road less traveled. My life is a representation of taking that chance to make the difference. However, today as I move closer to 30 it appears that life has hit me with uncertainty. Uncertainty about if  that road that few go down is really the right road. I wonder about my career. I love my job, but do I want to do this forever. Should I get a Ph.D. to excel in my career, or do I just want a Ph. D. so people can call me Doctor. I can’t let my ego make life decisions for me, in the end I will just end up in a never-ending battle with my own self.  When I have accomplished everything that was on my “to do” list, what am I really supposed to do next.  Make a new list possibly? Okay, what do I put on it.  The plan that I had at 19 once seemed that it would last  for the rest of my life. At 29 I wonder how long my next plan will last. I really don’t want this feeling again at 39.

There are days when I want to hide, I want to disappear, so I don’t have to make decisions for my own life. I tell myself “WAKE UP!” this is adulthood, accept responsibility for your own life. I wonder if I should try a new career, but what would I do? Would I even like it? I guess I won’t know until I make an attempt. I wonder if I should move to a new city, but will I be happy there?  I need to stop wondering and just do something, anything.  So here it goes, I will set out again on that road less traveled by. I’m going to enter 30 with at new plan, a new outlook, complete bigger and better accomplishments. To fight the feeling of uncertainty I will remember: My best days are ahead of me, and I just have to live for today.

 Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences