What Are You Loyal To?

I’ve had the opportunity to stroll down memory lane this past week. Both in terms of old relationships and my health.

It’s unbelievable how far I’ve come in both regards. How different I am.

I am different, and there is nothing and no one in this world that could convince me to revert back to my old ways or days. The past is the past for a reason. You learn and grow and move on from it. I haven’t put all this work into myself to stay the same, or be in the same situations as I was in before.

Don’t get caught up in your past. If you do my chance stroll thru memory lane, do just that – stroll. Don’t stay.

Your past and the things that have happened in your life don’t deserve your undying loyalty. What and who are presently in your life do. Your present day determines where you will be going in the future. Be loyal to that. Be loyal to a better future.

Don’t let your past distract you from where you are going.

Just a little reminder for you and me. Think about where you are going and remember it’s going to be more than your past could have ever offered you.

The only thing that remembering your past offers is thr knowledge not to repeat it. Progress requires change.

This isn’t to say everyone has an unpleasant past but the fact of the matter is you can’t grow if you are stuck on the “glory days” or “better days” or the “worst days” of your life. Whatever the past was for you, it no longer serves a purpose other than growing from it and moving on.

Reflect on your past- because how else can you grow BUT be loyal to your future, that is where you are going. Don’t jeapordize your progress by getting stuck on who you were before.

Enjoy your now and remind yourself that you will have a better tomorrow. Each day is an opportunity. Take it and run with it.

– Steph

How Tuff Are You?

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In society I think there is a misconception about what it truly means to be “tuff minded”. Tuff is not relentlessly going through life, guarding yourself against other people who cross your path, getting them before they get you. That is not the makings of a tuff mind. Rather I believe a tuff mind evaluates situations, developing the best approach that builds people up along the way.

Caring for others, in a world that screams competition; now that’s a tuff mind.

I watched a documentary and it made an interesting point that we are conditioned to compete from the get-go (there are some cultures that do not follow this approach). Firstly when we are placed in school where there is ample competition with peers, then entering into university MAJOR competitioand and lastly entering into the work force. All our peers are considered competition; standing in the way of us recieving potential awards, raises or promotions… competition, competition, competition. In order to succeed we have to pull away from the rest, leave them in the dust, step on a few small people to get to where we need to be. Casualties are inevitable right? Wrong.

This misguided belief, suggests there is no winning as a collective group. Instead we must strive to stand alone making our mark above the rest. But truth be told people get lonely standing apart from everyone, because we are not meant to be alone. It’s not in our nature. What one person can do alone is weak compared to the potential strength a group of people offers.

People are not tuff based on their “individual successes”. What truly makes someone tuff? Reaching the top while bringing others up with you, especially as people tell you it’s a waste of time and energy. That takes true strength and requires a tender heart. When you succeed and share your knowledge, you create a fulfilling life ultimatly yielding greater success. And when I refer to success I’m not solely referring to monitory value. I’m referring to life as a whole, living and feeling alive with purpose, now that is success.

*** Side note: I’m not condemning all competition because I myself am a very competitive person BUT the difference is as I compete with myself to be a better version of me I DO NOT put others down in the process (at least that is NEVER my intention). Putting others down is never necessary in order to achieve our personal goals. Winning and losing is a part of life and doesn’t singularly determine and define our value OR the value of someone else.

Put your tuff mind and a tender heart to good use, grow and inspire and lift others up along the way.

– Steph

Tick Tock

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Goodness Gracious! My apologies for the inconsistent posts lately. This past weekend I was away camping and boy oh boy! Was it ever fun!!

I haven’t been camping in years, and this past weekend I had to scratch my head and ask myself why not?!

We had a family reunion and it was incredibly fun & interesting to see all of my cousins. Especially since we are all adults now and not little kids running around…. although there we still our moments ran when we ran around. It was also so interesting to see an abundance of children running around on our behalf since most of my cousins and sisters have kids of their own now.

Sometimes it just really hits home how fast time flys. I feel like this past year has gone by in the blink of an eye. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but it’s definitely made me question how I choose to spend my time and who I choose to spend it with.

You never get time back. It’s the most precious commodity we have in this life. It’s currency never expires and it’s value never decreases. It’s precious and it’s important that we give it to others wisely and spend it on ourselves wisely.

After my family reunion finished we packed our tents and my youngest sister, her husband and I drove to another city to attend a heritage day festival. This festival was filled with pavilions of different countries showcasing history, dancing, music, and FOOD! It was so much fun, and worth the drive to create those memories with one another.

This week looks like it’s going to be busy, and I’m excited to see what unfolds and what I create throughout it. I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend or if it was just a regular weekend… I hope you still enjoyed it.

At the beginning of this week I encourage you to take a look at where you are investing your time. Ask yourself if it’s worthwhile? Are you getting a return on your investment? Does it profit and enrich your own life? Does it offer as much as it takes?

It’s a fresh week; learn and let go from last week, move on with intention this week, make new memories, live, laugh and love.

– Steph

Your Scars. Your Strengths

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This has to be one of my all time favourite quotes! Alrighttt … alrighttt… I say that about every quote BUT this is seriously one of my favourites … and the imagery that it’s placed on … my oh my, just beautiful.

Scars don’t have to be physically seen in order to be classified as a scar or to earn merit… that may seem like a pointless fact to state BUT I want to make sure it’s clear and that you remember it.

Scars on the heart & the mind… those are the scars that can often do the most damage. I’m not taking away from the severity of physical scars because all are important to recognize. And the reality is whenever there are physical scars, emotional scars are also. All in all, once we accept these scars as a testament to our resiliency we can find and build new strengths we never imagined.

How many times have you thought “I can’t do this! I can’t take this anymore!” I’ve done that on numerous accounts, yet here I am writing this blog. I am alive, I survived. And there you are, reading this blog, you are alive and you survived.

We are so much stronger than we think. We go thru trials and hardships and yet we survive them even when we feel down and out. The fighter in you, the strength in you it’s unyielding. And all those scars, they remind us that we chose to live.

We live with errors of decisions, consequences, taunts from others, mental illness, physical illness, loss of loved ones, failed ventures… we live. We learn and we become stronger. You and I are so much stronger that we realize.

Our past is nothing to be ashamed of, it happened it’s over and we can learn and move on from it. The scars we bear do not make us less than. They show and manifest our resiliency our triumph over adversity. They open your eyes and heart up to new perspective.

Never be ashamed of your scars. Because they show that you are stronger than whatever it is that tried to hurt you. Even when that battle is with your self (which is often the hardest battle). You are strong, you will crawl if you can’t walk BUT you will rise up and when you do your example will lift others up who may be experiencing such pain as you once had.

You act as a beacon of hope for life itself. And for that reason embrace your scars. Hold your head up high, and know you are strong.

– Steph

All You Need To Do Is Breathe

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Today is a work free day.

And sometimes we need to take days like today. No To Do Lists, No micro managing time, No appointments, No engagements to attend, No people to host, No expectations for being productive, No spending money… etcetera etcetera

Literally a day where all we are obligated to do is breathe. Isn’t that a scary nice thought. These days may be few and far in between BUT I think it’s important that when they occur we embrace them.

I read an article once about people who are literally addicted to “being busy”. Addicted … and what are the symptoms that illustrate such an addiction? Sadness and inadequacy… individuals who thrive off being busy, feel like they are a let down if every minute of every day isn’t filled with a task. “Me Time” is a waste of time. A waste of productivity.

Honestly, I think there are times when I get caught up and take my schedule to an unhealthy place (as mentioned above)… where the feeling is … that if I’m not doing something I’m a let down and lazy. BUT the reality is – I’m not.

I’ve read a lot of books about self- improvement and success and there is always a common recommendedation between all authors… and it’s “Me Time” at least an hour a day dedicated to oneself. Aside from the authors suggesting it, my doctors have also reiterated to me. Self care and that means learning to breathe, learning that things don’t have to be going 100 miles/min to show we are capable of life. Learning that our value is not based on our timetable. That’s how we burn out. How we raise anxiety. And just miss out on life in general. Life can’t be micro-planned & managed ….because life happens.

Obviously everyday can’t be a vacation, but you should give yourself a day every now and then. Just to breathe. For instance my cleaning will be done tomorrow, it could get done today BUT heck to the heazy NO! Today is just a breathe in and breathe out go with the flow day… I’ll schedule it in tomorrow.

I’ve been laying in my hammock writing this post enjoying the warm weather and listening to the water fountain in the lake behind my house. It’s peaceful and beautiful and my only responsibility is to enjoy it without looking at my watch.

Happy Wednesday,
Take In & Let Out a deep breath for me 🙂

– Steph

Live a Life of Learning

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I absolutely adore this quote! Knowledge is POWER muahahaha… just kidding no evil laugh. But on a real note, attaining knowledge is a wonderful gift each of us is entitled to (that’s right, every single one of us) Learning new things or relearning and bettering ourselves based on things we already know …. doesn’t that just excite the living day lights out of you???!!

I’ve always had a passion for learning. Call me a nerd, but I can’t pass up researching something I don’t know when it’s brought to my attention … for instance a friend of mine injured his hand/wrist. Beyond saying “that’s too bad” I asked what exactly his injury consisted of… hairline fracture, ligaments and two of his 2 carpals… I didn’t know where the carpals where located – so I Googled it and I can now tell you where they are…. although I don’t recall their exact names…. (I think I’d like to refresh and restudy the human anatomy…I once knew the medical terms but without application I forgot them)

In all honestly I l used to read the dictionary when I was in elementary/Jr. High … true story. I have a love of words and the proper application of them (although I am by no means perfect – but I try) I have a dictionary app on my phone and when I’m waiting … I’ll randomly read definitions (I don’t play games on my phone like my sisters do unless they are word/factual games … or brain power apps like “elevate” I highly recommend it… anywho that’s just my nerdy preference)

Trying to apply your knowledge is what makes you wise. Merely knowing is not enough. Sharing … that’s a form of application. Literally “doing it” is a form of application. And how great is the feeling when you do both learn and apply. Even if you fail! Failing is the perfect opportunity to learn even more!… like one of my previous posts “I never lose, I either win or I learn.

We are never too old to learn, self doubt and procrastination are our only enemy. I was inspired to write this post because I finally bit the bullet and committed to some formal learning I’ve been wanting to pursue…. drum roll please….. I registered to take a certification course for interior design! I’ve always had a passion and I’ve done my own readings on this topic, but I’m taking it to the next level. Ecstatic is an understatement for how I feel right now.

Additionally, I purchased a HUMUNGO package for learning Spanish. I’ve been meaning to do so for awhile… but I  was seemingly bit by the procrastination bug... no worries I squashed it (just like you can do) And now I am getting ready to refresh and apply what I know and embrace the imformation that I don’t. I always told myself I’d be fluent spekaing by the age of 25…. I’ve got 1 year and around 4 months left SO I better get crackin’.

What we can learn in this lifetime is infinite if we put the effort in. Learning to write in beautiful artistic fonts is achievable for people with chicken scratch writing (like myself) with patience and practice. A new talent can be developed by learning and practice and a willingness to fail BUT try again.

Don’t miss out on the beauty of learning, one step that’s all it takes to begin on an incredible adventure. Fuel your brain, fuel your passions, and you’ll fuel your soul.

– Steph

Something Small & Something Simple

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How many times have you heard the phrase “it’s the small and simple things that matter most”?

I’ve heard it numerous times, and when it comes down to it- it’s true.

Yesterday, when I arrived at work one of the girls had sweets for everyone with individualized compliments attached. When I received her kind and simple gesture – it was incredibly heart warming.

Something literally so small, had a huge impact on how I felt. And that my dear friends is the power of “small and simple.”

Whenever I receive something tangible or intangible, it’s the genuine thought behind the gift that matters most NOT the fiscal value. Part of my mother’s birthday gift this year was a poem I wrote. As I was writing this particular poem I cried like a baby, I was swept away with emotions of love that words do not adequately express. When my mother read her poem, I witnessed tears fill up her eyes as her heart was filled with love – and that moment was priceless. (And of course I cried some more)

When it comes to relationships regarding friends/family or your significant other, I completely believe it’s the small things that matter most. The simple gestures that indicate you care, that you pay attention, or that their happiness means something to you. These simple gestures are the glue to keeping that love and relationship alive.

Now, moving quickly onto the topic of health. Small and simple things = success. The building blocks to sustain a healthy (and ideally happy) life are achieved by simple things. My doctor is always kind enough to reiterate them to me –  adequate sleep, eating consistently (and ideally healthy foods),  exercise, taking appropriate medication as prescribed, positive affirmations of self love and worth and getting outside to get some fresh air and sunshine. These are simple things (and perhaps obvious) that have a SIGNIFICANT impact on your day to day life.

Take a moment and just think of what you could do for someone else. It could be as simple as giving someone a smile, a hug, a delicious McFlurry  (I adore McFlurrys) or maybe 5 mins of your undivided attention so you can hear how they are doing. Maybe it’s watching a football game even though you don’t like football, or buying a single rose…. there are infinite small and simple gestures that we can do for those around us… heck even if they are strangers. I guarantee that you will not only touch their hearts, but yours as well. It’s a win-win on the journey to happily ever after.

Here’s a quick analogy because I like using anaologies….when your building a brick house it doesnt automatically appear like BOOM – I snapper my fingers it’s all done. You build the house brick by brick … one small & simple brick added onto another until you have sturdy, safe and beautiful house.

Placing one brick on the ground can’t build a house. Just like giving only one thoughtful gesture per decade can’t build or sustain beautiful meaningful relationship. Allow love to fill your heart and start strengthening your relationships one small and simple gesture at a time.

– Steph