Give It A Rest 

This topic came up briefly in a conversation this week, and I thought it would make a good blog post especially as we are entering the new year with our plethora of resolutions. 
On our grand journey of life, amidst all of our goals and in between the ups and downs we have, I believe it is vital to learn the difference between resting and quitting. It’s okay if life exhausts us mentally and physically! That is bound to happen at some point and time  but what isn’t okay is rolling over and playing dead as life pasts you by.

Take a breather.

Rest, regroup, and refocus then get back on the horse.

Giving up can lead to poor self-esteem, it can cripple you and create a mentality that you are incapable of following thru with anything, that you will never succeed; that you are a failure. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each of us is capable of accomplishing our goals, we may stumble a little more than the average person at times BUT that’s doesn’t mean that we are incapable.

If we have a heartbeat we are capable. If we have a desire we are already on our way, we just need to implement action. And when we implement action we need to recognize that if we to rest, regroup, or refocus it doesn’t mean that we’ve quit.

Sometimes our rest may need to be a little longer BUT that’s okay! So long as you pull up your socks and keep moving forward. Remember, progress not perfection.

Don’t get caught up in negative self talk- labeling yourself as a failure if there is a standstill on your journey. You are not a failure. You are human. Taking a rest is not failing. And that is a distinction you need to be aware of. Once you can distinguish that you are still on track to meet your goal even though you’ve rested, the goal will not seem as overwhelming  because you will realize you don’t have to “start over” every time there is a slight hiccup.

Allow me to make an analogy.

If you hike a mountain it is not uncommon to rest. Now, may I point out that just because you rest it does not mean that you’ve quit. If we looked at every time you rested while hiking a mountain as quitting (meaning you had no choice but to turn around and hike back down the mountain). You would be backtracking non-stop! At that rate you would never reach your goal of getting to the top. You would most likely be exhausted physically and mentally and reach a point where you didn’t even want to step foot on the mountain. No body hikes like that! And for good reason.

Look at your goals with that mentality, permit yourself to rest without backtracking all the way to the beginning. Pick up where you left off and move forward. Remind yourself that you are trying and that is what counts.

Trying is HUGE! Do not dismiss your efforts with so little value. No one ever accomplished anything without trying first. So, try, try and try again.
This is an exciting time of year where goals are ablaze, be excited, don’t be discouraged. Recognize that 2018 is going to be your year, and it is going to have ups and downs and standstills and that is perfectly okay – it will not take away from it being any less your year, and an amazing one at that. 
– Steph

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Choose Happy

It’s that time of year again – when it’s a new year.

I love New Years, it’s a time of reflection and anticipation. What a sublime mix!

So much has happened in the year 2017, I’d say mostly good but undoubtably there were some challenges along the way. I feel excited to see what 2018 brings. There have been so many new beginnings for me recently so New Years seems fitting and right on schedule.

I love the simple illustration above, 1 year = 365 opportunities. How great is that?!

We are about to embark on a new 365 day adventure.

And what would New Years be without goals?? I’m all about goals, I believe they should be set beyond the New Years hype but if New Years gets people into a goal oriented mindset so be it. My “2018″ goal is to work on my balance. I want to be a modern renaissance woman. I want improve my intellect, spirituality and physicality. I want my knowledge, enlightenment and action to all increase.

It’s exciting to think I have an entire year to measure my progress. From where I was at the beginning of 2017 to where I am now. Life changing. I’ve had so many profound experiences that have shaped me. I think I’ve managed to become better from my experiences – not bitter. And now I get to bring my new package into 2018.

I recently bought some wall hangings for my new apartment one says “This is the good life” and the other says “choose happy”. I get a kick out of both. I live with bipolar, I live a life that no one would wish on anyone but at this point in my life I know I’m living the good life – bipolar and all. And secondly, choose happy, sometimes my mood is not my choice. This is why I chose this wall hanging. I used to resent when people would say “just choose to be happy” but now my perception has changed and I bought this wall hanging to remind myself that beyond the scope of my health their is a choice with how I choose to live. Regardless to my lows and highs. I still can choose me. And I choose happy.

If I feel nothing – I still choose happy.

If I’m crying for hours – I still choose happy.

If I have to fight with myself for days or weeks – I still choose happy.

It’s worth fighting for, it’s the life I want, the person I want to be – happy. We may not get to feel happy but the twist is that we can still choose happy. And at the end of the dark tunnel, that is the light that I see and hold on to.

Think of 2018 and all that it has to offer. Think of where you want to be in life and make it happen, you have 365 days to try and I guarantee you will become better day by day.

Look for positivity, radiate positivity and do not settle for anything less.

There is no need to justify negativity in your life whatever form it may be. 2018 is your year.

Choose happy, and remind yourself that it’s your life and you are living the good life. And if you aren’t then change things until you can say you are. Be in control of your life because it’s yours and yours alone.

Own 2018.

Happy New Years everyone!

– Steph

Just Live A Little


Life.

My oh my. 

I’m currently working on making the most of my life. Recently I had someone walk into my life, mind you I showed them the exit… BUT for the brief time they were in my life they caused me to re-evaluate how I was living it. I am the most stable I’ve ever been – this is a fact. But there is more than just being stable. More than just holding the status quo.

I’ve done things in my life, but I haven’t all at the same time. Living was such a struggle for so many years I feel like my life was a bit of a write-off. Perhaps I haven’t completely escaped the mentality of just surviving. 

But I’m here. I’m alive and I want my life to reflect that.

I was asked about my bucket list and I only had 2 things to list off. On top of that the two ideas weren’t even that creative! 

That just won’t do.

Over the course of two weeks I developed a bucket list. Or rather “lists”. One list outlines things I would like to do over the course of 2017/2018, and the other lists things I’d like to do in a lifetime. I’m trying to step outside of my box, escape the mundane routine I’ve created. Add a little bedazzle. Spice things up. You get the idea.

I’m really proud of my list, it took quite a bit of effort to create it. 

It’s so easy to get into a routine, routine is good don’t get me wrong BUT there should be more. More to life. Where did my exploratory nature go? Where is my sense of adventure?

I was going thru a bit of depression the past while, feeling trapped. But I realized I was the one putting myself in the cage or like I referred to it earlier – a box. I was the one restricting myself, no one else.

When you feel trapped you are the only one who can free yourself, whatever that situation may be.

Escaping our box is a choice, and most often it requires that we put in effort and feel a bit uncomfortable. And why must we feel uncomfortable? Because my dear friends, we are stepping outside of our norm and its the price we must pay.

And when I say I want to live life I don’t mean I need to climb Mount Everest or backpack thru Europe, not saying I’d turn down the opportunity.  What I’m talking about is reading books, going to museums and art galleries, taking guitar lessons, joining a choir, going to a paint night (which I just did … my painting was terrible! But I had fun making it, and that’s what it’s all about), simple yet impactful things that will add dimension to my life. 

Dimension that’s my objective. I want to have something to talk about, things to look forward to. I want to meet people, enrich my life with perspective. Expand my way of looking at life and take advantage of the life I’ve been blessed with.

I want to be an actively engaged in my life rather than passively letting it pass me by.

I feel so passionately about this new outlook on life, I feel alive and excited for what is to going to happen because of me making it happen. 

Ask yourself if you are trapped in routine, feeling like life is escaping you – then make a list. Make a list of things outside of your box and start doing them.

It’s been a big year for me. Lots of new chapters with school ending, me getting my dream job, a couple of toads crossing my path. I feel like in my life’s story is picking up its pace and it’s only going to get better! 

Stop thinking about all the things you’d like to do. Take action and do them. Liberate yourself from the box you live in and add dimension to your life. Stay stable but add a little bedazzle. 

– Steph

Sparkle Baby

Why don’t those weekly pill boxes come bedazzled??! Quick! Someone take that idea and run with it, I guarantee you’ll make a fortune. Seriously who doesn’t like some sparkle? 

Until that day comes I’ll be using my plain pill box … well …mine is pink so that’s not completely plain… and i do love pink. Honestly though, pre counting my pills has changed my life *dramatic pause* alright it hasn’t really BUT it’s so convenient, I highly recommend doing it.

Moving on … 

This summer hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. I thought I was going to be a blogging diva and write a bunch of witty uplifting posts… yah. That hasn’t happened. I honestly just haven’t felt inspired… these past few months and when I say few … I mean like 6 months …lifes mojo has been challenging. 

Getting the weight off that I gained from taking seroquel has been a struggle… I’ve felt like I have been beating my head against a wall. I’ve gone 4 weeks sugar free, gluten free and starch free (don’t ask me how I’ve survived I still don’t know)… I haven’t gained weight but I haven’t noticed a difference. Mind you in those 4 weeks I took a break from the gym…YES I was going before my 4 week break, it’s just I’ve just been so disheartened by putting in all those hours sweating and i have literally nothing to show for it. 

Tomorrow I will be going to the the gym. That is my word and I’ll make good on it in my next post. 

I have a trip planned for either winter break or at the end of the school year in April and I want nothing more than to feel confident in a swim suit and confident when I have my photo taken. This is going to be the trip of my dreams, I’m going to my father’s home country of Nicaragua. I’ve always wanted go and it’s finally happening. I need to:

1. Look sexy to attract all the handsome latin men.

2.Practice my spanish so I can speak to all the handsome latin men 

3.Practice my dancing so that I can dance with the handsome latin men.

You can see I’m excited to see the country … jokes aside I’m excited to see where my dad grew up and the handsome latin men are a bonus. 

Back to the topic of weight… this summer my cousin got married and I was asked to be a bridesmaid… honestly I almost told her no because I felt so self conscious about being in photos. But I pushed past my discomfort to share a special day with her. 

I’ve been so unhappy with my weight and it’s shown in my confidence which isnt sexy. I honestly don’t feel like me when I look at me. It’s been a challenge, but I accept the challenge because I’m going to defeat it. I may cry a lot in the process but I will be triumphant.

Hopefully with the gym involved again and eating without sugar, gluten and starch I’ll see the weight melt off. If not … I honestly don’t know what I’ll do BUT I’ll worry about that later if it comes to that.

I know that I’ve come too far with my health to give up now. I want to be both mentally healthy and physically healthy. And I will have both. I’m turning 25 this year and this will be my year with no strings attached. 

I’m hoping to keep my posts more consistent I’ll most likely try to track my weightloss journey as it happens and who knows maybe we can do it together. 

– Steph 

Drawing Strength From the Little Heartbeats

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“Mommy? You know…Tia is the strongest girl.”

“Tia” is the Spanish word for Aunt.

This charming little quote belongs to my 4 yr old nephew. My sister sent it to me this morning; additionally she wanted to clarify that my nephew did not pose this as a question rather it was a statement.

This literally melted my heart. My nephews never cease to amaze me with their thoughtful little words. It’s incredible how much they pay attention.

(We attended a Sweet 16 for my cousin this past weekend, again my 4 year old nephew with great concern asked me “Tia why are you not in the princess dress?? You need to be in a princess dress!”… I told him that one day I would be in a white princess dress; that made him very happy)

I have no children of my own, would I love some? YES! But alas, I have no ring on my finger … let alone a man in my life.

Gratefully, I have 7 nephews ranging from 5 years – 3 months. It’s fair to say I get my baby fix. And honestly, as much as I want my own children I know for a fact I’m not ready. I’m not confident enough in my health, by all means I’m pleased with my progress… but having literally just experienced almost 6 weeks of me barely functioning… I don’t think it would be in the best interest for myself or a child if I’m a mom – just yet.

Having a little life growing inside of you is an incredible honor and responsibility.  I want to make sure it’s a happy experience for the both of us. I want to be in more control; it’s funny to think that I even asked myself if being in more control was even possible (this clearly was when I felt invincible… Umm YES!!! IT’S VERY POSSIBLE!

Maybe it’s a wives tale BUT I firmly believe that little darling babies in the womb can feel a mother’s emotions whether they be for better or worse. So I would like to have a firm grip on my emotions.

Frankly, the idea of having babies worries me … I’ve read so many negative articles about women with Bipolar having children or going thru a  pregnancy that was deemed a nightmare… I’d like to think the women who experienced amazing pregnancies were just too busy to post anything … haha yes… we will go with that thought…

Anyways, I’m worried BUT at the same time that worry motivates me. It motivates me to get into the best health possible for myself and my future family. I want to know that when the time comes I will have a healthy pregnancy AND will be prepared to be a healthy mother afterwards.

It won’t be perfect. But nothing in this life is BUT it will be planned and prepared and that brings me comfort. (Yes… I am that girl who reads baby articles, advice about raising children and multiple pinterest boards pertaining to my future babies and kids)

This post kind of went all over the place. But I figured I’d try to record some of my swirling thoughts… it’s been awhile.

One day I will make sure that I am a bipolar mother, or mother-to-be who writes positive and encouraging articles. Happiness is not for a select few, it’s for everyone.

– Steph

Seize the Day!

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This quote is blunt, but that’s why I like it. Sometimes bluntness is exactly what we need, whether it be for ourselves or dare I say… directed at others! (Oh yeaahh…I said it)

There are times when I admit the day runs me and when it does, I feel exhausted mentally & physically entrapped in a feeling of defeat. On these days I generally feel like I’m behind on everything and there is no way on earth I’ll ever manage to regain control of my life!! It’s over!! I’m doomed! There’s no hope!! Goodness gracious… how utterly depressing to think like that. BUT at times I do think like that, it’s a reality of my life. (It’s also called distorted thinking)

On days that mirror the above description my secret anitodte for survival is…. breathing. Who knew right??  I breathe and if I’m exceptionally lucky sometimes I manage to successfully remind myself that there is hope, and that day by day I’ll live my life to the best of my ability on that day. It is my life; Stephanie’s. It’s not my Bipolar’s life, or my anxiety’s life or my ocd’s life. It’s mine. So on the days that feel like they are running the show instead if vice versa… I try to remeber they are my days. (Sometimes that’s all the comfort I need)

Attitude plays a huge role in what we accomplish and how we accomplish it. Yes, we may finish a grandeur task but if we do it begrudgingly we will most likely take nothing away from it, aside from a check mark on our To Do List.

By all means checkmarks are great BUT that little check mark doesn’t necessarily signify that we’ve taken charge of our life. Of our day.

We have bad days and for some of us those bad days literally last days or weeks… it’s part of the package deal we took ownership of in this life (regardless to the fact we didn’t ask for it). But eventually  (it may seem like forever) those days pass and we will have good days in their stead. On those days we need to take back our full ability to choose. Choose to run the day. Don’t let it run you. PLEASE, PLEASE do not let the day run you when you have the complete choice and ability at hand.

This isn’t suggesting that on our off days we roll over and die until the off days cease. No, we fight. We are fighters and we do our best to run the off day just as we would any other day. BUT we recognize that if by chance this day or days are getting the best of us we are not failures, we merely need to recuperate so that we can get up and fight again for our days to literally be our days to the best and fullest every other day.

Life is a challange, Life is also an opportunity to grow because of the very nature of its challange. Cease the day, to the best of your ability. Rise to recognize all that you have to offer and all that you have to gain.

– Steph

What is Beautiful?

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It’s a beautiful Saturday, I woke up this morning and finished watching the BBC film Jane Eyre. I was in the mood for a tragic love story last night BUT my meds kicked in before I could finish it… go figure. So this morning as I ate my cereal, I had tears in my eyes and my heart full of love. The character Jane Eyre… holy guacamole! Words do not adequately express the strength of that young woman.  (I’ve yet to read the actual book… I really should. It’s fictional which I’ve generally strayed from BUT ohhh the substanace of Jane Eyre is completely applicable to how we can choose to rise above our unfortunate  circumstances, I imagine I could take a few notes)

I was supposed to meet a dear friend of mine for lunch today. (in a city 1.5 hrs away, she also drives 1.5 hrs and we meet in the middle) However, I was not feeling up for the drive… I’ve had headaches nearly every day this week and I never get headaches so the drive seemed quite daunting. Gratefully my friend understood and we made plans to see each other at a later date. So all is well, no one died. And I got to breathe a little easier. (I’m pretty sure my headaches are a consequence of my anxiety being a little higher this week… so fun. No…not really)

So, my Saturday has been spent in isolation by my own doing. (My parents are also away visiting my eldest sister H) And I’m happy with the choice to be on my own today… the inner nerd broke completely free and I have unexpectedly spent over 5 hrs (& still counting) studying my spanish. Who knew it could be so captivating??!

I remember when I was taking spanish in school… it was so bothersome, and yet here I am years later trying again… and I can’t seem to to get enough. I think mindset is critical when it comes to learning anything. If you look at the potential impact, application, or relavence I guarantee your interest will go up a few notches. (this is a goal I have in action with a plan!)

I love school, I’m not the best student… BUT I’m not too shabby (that was me self conciously trying not putting myself down… because as humans we do that a lot when it comes to our talents or skills. Own it, if you’ve got it. That’s not being conceited, it’s being proud of what you’ve worked for)

Anywho, when I’m not in school I still like to study and learn on a variety of topics. If someone mentions something I do not know, I look it up. I LOVE Google! I have a firm belief that continuous learning is imperative to living a full life as you discover passions and talents you otherwise would have missed out on. Does that mean I need to memorize the periodic table? … no … I could watch tutorials on making fondant cakes and give it a whirl (which i’ve done and adore doing now) or  read about our emotional EQ, study interior design, practice instruments or singing, try my hand at art… anything that engages your mind and asks you to think in a different way.. or perhaps offers a new perspective.

I am not the best student, but I am a good student AND I attribute that to being hungry. Hungry for knowledge; knowledge that I can apply and turn into wisdom.

Some people are primarily attracted to physical features… yes I fall into that category but only for a brief moment. As soon as someone opens their mouth… thats what seals the deal for my interwst. Intellect that’s what gets me every time regardless to him being a 10/10 or not. And in all honesty, YES I want to be considered beautiful by my partner BUT beyond that I want them to think my mind is beautiful. My thoughts and ideas, everything I have been learning about and bettering myself with. I want them to think that is a timeless beauty that I have.

Beauty starts from the inside. Loving ourself and building ourselves. Knowing we have no limits aside from the ones we place on ourselves. Be strong and learn. Love learning and you will set a a fire within you that will go on forever whether in isolation or in the companionship of others. Learning is timeless. And it’s fun. It doesn’t have to be boring, it can be exciting and engaging.

A beautiful women or a beautiful man, with a brain and a compassionate heart… that’s a lethal combination.

Happy Learning.

– Steph