This summer I took a cruise from Finland to Sweden with the two favorite boys in my life, my dad and husband. It was a memorable moment. We went onto the deck to admire the Finnish archipelago. The midnight sun was there. The air was warm but brought some much appreciated coolness after the scorching hot, endless summer days. After that we descended down to the restaurant and enjoyed a yummy dinner overlooking the sea.
Taking the cruise was a dream I had had. It was one of my summer vacation goals. I planned it, reserved it and lived every moment of it. This is comparable to many situations in life. First you need to define what you want. This can be amazingly tricky since there are many things that can be worthy of your time, yet you cannot do them all. Focusing carefully is the key. Once your goal is set, you have to find out how to get there. You make a plan. Break it into precise steps. Don’t underestimate the importance of detail. And then you go for it. It may take time and effort but in the end you will be contented.
What is the one goal you want to achieve this fall? What is “your cruise”?
Summer is an excellent time for dreaming. We have space for taking it easy, wandering in parks, forests and waterfronts. What if you consciously focused on dreaming dreams that will give you the boost and motivation for the winter to come? You know, like stocking up on nuts and other goodies for the needy day, just like squirrels do.
What if you looked at your life and did a status report, an audit of where you are now and most importantly, where you still wish to go. Great heroes of history didn’t wait for things to fall upon them, they made things move with their own actions. You can be blessed and guided by God, I choose to believe you are, but you still need to do your part. You need to ensure that you are the best version of yourself.
So, let’s take some time to set our goals for the upcoming year. How do I wish my work-life to be? What about my English studying goals? How about my other goals such as fitness and mental wellbeing? Write a list down in a cute notebook, on your phone or anywhere that works for you. Make it simple. Make it clear. Then take a deep breath – and feel the motivation take you over, little by little, day by day. Practice, and you’ll shine.
Today I want to talk about finding your sparkle thru learning. I make my living with teaching English. Yet I really think that I do so much more than just teach the grammar and vocabulary of the language of Shakespeare. As we continue to meet with my clients, week after week, we end up creating a link. We share our thoughts and opinions. We open up questions that need answers and we find the lost or hiding sparkle.
When you decide to learn something new, you decide to open your mind and heart to new ideas and opportunities. You take a brave step into something unknown. Sometimes the stakes aren’t that high. If you don’t like it, you can move onto other adventures. Other times you invest a lot of time, energy and money, and you definitely want your investment’s worth. I see clients who start to open up as you encounters progress. They grow more confident in their English, express themselves better and suggest ways for us to progress together. Amazingly, changes can also be seen in other areas of my clients’ life. Self-confidence comes from repeated experiences of being succesful. Sparkle invites more sparkle.
If you succeed in learning English, why couldn’t you take on other challenging things as well?
I recently got asked how I figured out a way to body love. I used to pick on myself. I didn’t like the way I looked. There were favorite body parts, like my abs, that I especially focused on. I was constantly trying to loose weight. I wanted to maintain a weight lower than what was commonly recommended for my height. Then one day came a moment when I did some serious soul-searching. I wrote down my true values. None of them turned around bodily measurements. I also recognized that when I was in contact with others, I never paid attention on their weight. I wanted to see them as they really were, a person with interesting things inside. So, I figured that I needed to apply my core values to my life as well.
I decided to stop the fight between my weight loss wanting mind and the actual needs of my living body. Trying to maintain a lower than normal weight led me to controlled and inflexible behavior. Keeping things where they naturally aren’t supposed to be is hard work. Some people spend their lives fighting with the scale, deciding that they’ll never go over a certain number, come what may. But in the meantime they are limiting how much they really experience this life. There were times when I’d stay at home just because I didn’t want to eat more and thus didn’t have the needed energy to go out and enjoy other’s company. Or maybe I’d go but only be a shadow of myself because I was exhausted. These are rather extreme examples but you get the picture.
I decided to allow myself the amount of energy, nutritious food, that it needed to fully function. Slowly I incorporated all foods back into my life. I had forbidden foods like nuts, chips, pizza or chocolate from myself. I now go by the 80-20 principle. I try to eat 80% clean, just because I know it makes me feel my best, and 20% indulgence. I’ll have that chocolate chip cookie if I want to. I do physical activity every day. I do it because it helps me to feel good in my body and also boosts my mood. I know that I have to be mindful of maintaining my happy spark alive. I also know that I have to be proactive. I take myself out for a walk or do some yoga before I feel too sad.
I have recently focused more on health magazines and social media in comparison to the fashion magazines that I used to read. I still like fashion and read the glossies I subscribe to, but I pay attention on not getting any negative body vibes from them. If my day’s good and I’m feeling great in my skin, then there’s no problem in looking at a young girl with a very thin (and probably photo shopped) frame. But if I’m already feeling self critical so then maybe that day I need to entertain myself with other things.
I continue to look for articles, social media influencers and messages that support my quest for body love. I’ve found a group on Facebook where women support each other’s sports and health goals. That has been a very positive experience. That is why I was inspired to start my own Happy Place fitness community here in Quebec City.
So, what’s the secret to body love and peace within? Deciding to want it more than anything else and then doing all you can to get it. There’s beauty in putting yourself out there and giving encouragement to others. That’s why I wrote this post.
Here we are Leesa and I, rocking some funky yoga poses. There’s no limit to how this So-oo Cali gal is precious to my heart. Leesa is full of life. She always comes out of trials as a winner. Leesa radiates generosity. She creates a home full of cupcakey stuff – a place where I would want to stay for brunch… or other, forever.
What is Leesa’s secret? I’d have to ask her to be sure but I think that she always looks forward. She is interested in what life has to offer at that particular moment. She gets sweetly lost in her current projects. To me Leesa embodies a person who refuses to get old – in that yucky, stuffy way. She stays young inside and out. That is something I strive for in life, too.
In my thirties I find it uber important to be trendy and sexy. When I jog by and heads turn, I smile. I still have what it takes. We all can “have it“. It starts in our thoughts. The attitude that we adopt towards life.
Why do I follow trends? It is a game. A pungent past time, to begin with. A project that I long to embark. That said, I do aim for Susu styled sexy trendy. The key to me is in having enough self-assurance to choose which hype I hop on, and when it is time to let go and live – with what you have in your wardrobe.
My friend Leesa has a lot of self-esteem and wisdom. She goes to places with that positive glow about her. If we expect good things to happen, so shall they. Seeing the best possible outcome will take us farther.
I haven’t plunged into fall fashions yet, but now I’m getting the tickles. I longed to relish summer since the fashion world seems so awfully hurried these days. That and the lack of smile – not the tendencies I want to pursue. What I do want – trends that make me feel bubbly and glamorous, clothes that boost me into being even more energetic.
Bedo dress, Sirens flats