Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

How to Start… Now.

“Whether you think you’re ready or not, start right now. There is magic in action.”

Ahhhh, this. What I love about this thought is that it’s applicable to almost any goal, dream or action you want to take in your life. If you want to re-enroll in school, start working out, get back on the dating scene, try that new hobby… there is always tomorrow,  but why not start RIGHT NOW… if because you can!

I’m going to get a little more personal here, because that’s what this blog has always been about- being open and honest about my own feelings and sharing what I think will be helpful for others who may be thinking or experiencing similar situations in their own life. In order to explain fully, we need to take a quick step back to tie this all together.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve been enjoying everything that being a newly wed has to offer, from moving in together (no, we did not live together beforehand… no crazy reason why, we just thought it would be fun to wait to move in- feel free to ask more about this if interested), spending a lot of quality time together, to adopting our beautiful rescue, Luna, and lastly, buying a new home!  It’s been a fun (at times, crazy/difficult/stressful) year, but it has been nothing short of incredible when spending it with my person- my husband, Joe. And while we’ve learned a lot over the last year and have had some amazing times, in our discussions lately, we realized something was missing (no, not a baby (yet), slow down). In the midst of binge-watching our favorite shows, going out to eat all the time and enjoying life to the fullest, we began letting our fitness and health take a back seat.

Who is Maxx Fitness and why is he hitting my bank account each month?

Image result for gym meme

Friends in a relationship, let me tell you- when your partner (or even a good friend) JOIN YOU in your fitness journey, life is SO MUCH EASIER than if you did it alone. As an extroverted person, I am motivated by others and the environment around me, so going to the gym, and with a partner, are key to me sticking with any program or routine I want to start. Beginning this week, my husband and I have began eating a little bit better and headed back to the gym (What’s up, Maxx!) This is exciting to me, because I obviously want to feel healthy for myself, but I also want to feel good and take all the positivity that a healthy lifestyle can bring, into my marriage. If you’re not in a relationship or don’t have have a close friend to join you on your journey, YOU HAVE ONE in me! Send me a message and I’d be happy to chat and share motivation with you!

So this is my journey on “Starting Now” and putting action into something I want. What’s your journey leading you toward? Here are 5 Steps I’ve created on how to start anything you want in your life, NOW.


Listen, my own worst enemy and the voice that talks me out of things I want to do is my own mind and negative self talk. Have you tried before and failed? Do you lack self-confidence? Has someone told you you’re unable to reach your goal? SO WHAT. This is not the first time I’ve run down this list of ways… and I’m positive I will have to run through it numerous times until I feel that I’ve made it to where I want to go.

So take it from someone who is beginning now… you can too. Whatever your goal is, whatever you want in life, the only one truly holding you back, is you. What is it in your life that you can start now? I’d love to know!

To starting NOW….♥

With love and sparkle, Aurora

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Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes

The Reel is not Real

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel 

I’m going to start this post with a hashtag that I’ve created: #TheReelisNotReal 

How many of us become insecure because of something we see on the internet? Ladies, have you ever looked at another woman’s post and thought: “I wish I looked like that.” Have you ever seen someone’s relationship posts and thought: “I wish I was that happy in my relationship.” To the gents out there, ever see abs you wish you had or the perfect woman with the perfect guy and wish that was you? Ever see someone with the perfect job you wish you had? Welcome to Instagram and most of social media my friends. 

BUT LISTEN UP:::::::: 

The Highlight Reel of peoples lives that you see online is not their life, I would gamble, 90% of the time! The loving relationship, perfectly fit body, amazing career, perfect hair… these are all things we want, but comparing your whole life situation to one persons post, is causing more issues and insecurity because you believe that what you’re seeing is someone’s 100% life. It ISN’T

I do believe that majority of people who post their Highlight Reel aren’t trying to make anyone feel bad, insecure or less than them- they’re posting the things that make them feel good, proud, pretty, lucky etc. We all do that! BUT this is about our responses to the Reel. You can’t be critical of yourself over perfection you see on the internet. The perfection that most likely took:

  •  25 takes
  • The perfect lighting
  • Face Tune
  • Do-overs
  • Photoshop
  • etc etc etc etc etc

It is proven that depression rates have gone up in our country among children and adults because of what they compare themselves to online posts. It’s. So. Sad. But it’s also a reality. So how do you stop this? How do you feel more secure with yourself and not compare yourself to ideals you see online? I haven’t mastered this yet, but I tell myself that anyone or anything I admire on the internet, 9 times out of 10, has their own issues, too. The seemingly perfect couples gets into drag out fights, the girl with a perfect body took a half hour picking a filter and whitening her teeth with FaceTune (although I do love that app), the person who lost 100lbs (GO THEM), feels like they haven’t lost enough… it’s in all of us!  And what better way to help dig yourself out of your thoughts than to realize you’re not alone? ♡

The internet is a tricky place. Especially social media. How do you fall in line with posting positive things & not airing your dirty laundry? The truth to that, I think, is being an authentic post-er. I thought about this after following an amazing initiative #Realstagram through Raw Beauty Talks and how they’re empowering instagrammers and social media gurus to be themselves online, while still posting or promoting what they are all about or trying to sell. How…? By posting a makeup-free selfie or writing the truth behind the perfect picture you just posted (*not seen: my dog bitting a hole through my favorite shoe as I capture my perfectly puckered kissy face*).  I love this. 

In closing, friends- try and be nice to yourself. And while you’re at it- remember that the entire internet who posts away each day feels the exact same way you do– just a tad bit insecure. But just as they share that with you, remember their posts are mainly their Highlight Reel and not their Behind The Scenes. We all have that, too. ♡

To appreciating the genuine you ★ ☆ ✰

-Aurora 

Community Giving · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

The Results of Giving Back 

This number is incredible... and it’s a huge example of what can happen when people come together to make a difference! When my husband and I created the Give Back Lehigh Valley Softball Tournament we never knew how big it would get and that we’d also have amazing friends who could MATCH our raised dollars!! As someone who has planned a lot of fundraisers, I’m more than happy to help anyone looking for ways to raise money for your cause!! 

We raised over 5K for both of our organizations: Nam Knights and Logan’s Heroes! It was an amazing day and I can’t begin to express my gratitude for everyone who made the event what it was! If you want to get involved next year, please let me know!!! 

To giving back to our community… ❤️

-Aurora

Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Why You Should Give Back- The Power of Small Acts

Tonight is the eve of our annual Give Back Lehigh Valley Softball Tournament and I am SO EXCITED… and a little antsy! My (now) husband and I created this event back when we were dating… we got engaged there and now are married. It’s been 4 years and I can’t believe how quickly the time to passed and how this event has evolved. 

What does not amaze me, is how awesome it feels to have created such an amazing give-back event that continues to get bigger and bigger as the years go by!!! GIVING BACK IS EASY… and it doesn’t have to be something big or something that grows… it can be small acts that make a difference in the life of another.  

We began our Give Back Event to help me fundraise for our local Cystic Fibrosis chapter a few years back when I was named a Lehigh Valley Finest Under 40 honoree. That was with 4 teams, a few donations and some cool T-shirts. The event tomorrow is anticipated to have anywhere from 150-200 people and over 100 participants. 😳 IT’S amazing!… but truly, it also takes a village. 

Each year, I use the all social media outlets to plug the event, solicit sponsorship and to shed the light on how YOU can give back and together, all of our small efforts make a BIG impact. For example, this year alone, strangers have reached out to me to become a part of this and volunteer; friends from grade school that I haven’t spoken to personally or seen in years have donated product for the event; and some incredible Lehigh Valley businesses stepped up to be big name sponsors of the event. I know this has built over the years, but it doesn’t change the pure awe that I feel when I see so many people coming together. I can tell you, that as our 4th Annual event, we became completely sponsored by businesses and individuals who want to give back, right here where we live. Years ago- a lot of what made the event came out of our own pockets… which was something we were prepared for, but appreciate now that it’s changed. It’s a beautiful thing to see so many wanting to drive change and to be a positive force in the community. 

So here we are, a few hours out from the big day beginning, and I’m so excited I can’t sleep. This event is our little piece of what we’re able to put out into the world, and it feels amazing. If this day inspires a few people to give a little more than they do, then we’ve done our job. At the very least, we can provide some assistance for our local charities and organizations, and provide a positive, fun day for the community. In our last 3 tournaments we’ve raised $25,000 and hope to add another 10k to that number tomorrow for Nam Knights of the LV and Logan’s Heroes Animal Recue! 🐾🇺🇸⚾️

If you want to see more about our event, please visit GiveBackSoftball.com & please comment below if you need any inspo or help creating a Give Back event!

To helping those in your community… ❤️

-Aurora 

Community Giving · Counseling · Dreams · Faith · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Why You Should Choose Wisely on Who Surrounds You

Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters, the game shakers. They’ll challenge you, break you open, uplift and expand you. They don’t play small with your life. These heartbeats are your people. These people are your tribe

Ohhhhhhh the feels this saying gives me!! I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile, as I usually do when I come across some good quotes. If it jumps out at me for one reason or another, I save it, diguest it and decide if I want to pick it apart a little bit with you guys. 

So there’s two parts here that I want to address: the people you surround yourself with and the impact they have on you, and also whether or not you’re exuding your best qualities, wanting others to be surrounded by you. 

1. Who you surround yourself with. This is SO important for so many reasons. When we talk about “light bringers” and “magic makers” did you have someone pop in to your mind?? KEEP THAT PERSON AROUND! Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not booting all friends and acquaintances out of circle if we’re not describing them as magical, uplifting, game changers etc. What is most important in my point here is that you have those people or circles you’re involved with that feed your soul, purpose, direction you want to go, goals you want to reach etc. If you’re looking around your regular circles and not liking how you feel/what you see/ what’s being discussed/done etc etc etc by all means, change your scenery. Move. You’re not a tree. (I blogged about this idea once too…) 

For me, I have a ton of fun, adventurous and goofy friends that are great to hang out with. Then I also have some key inspirational people in my life that I trust for advice, look to for personal and professional growth, people I look up to, etc. It’s great to have multiple circles you’re in, but I can’t express enough that having these game shakers in your corner are amazing. These people can help you while you discover your own potential, make and reach goals and be a positive presence in your life. Have you ever heard the saying: you’re only as good as the company you keep. If you’re always surrounded by people who aren’t helping you grow and become a better person, I recommend changing some of your circles. It’s not easy, but the pay off will be worth it. And you’ll FEEL better! Negative people can suck the life out of you, rob you of happy moments and removing as much of this as possible is bound to bring nothing but positive effects into your life. 

2. Do people view you as their magic maker, game shaker, light bringer, motivator etc? I hope they do! Just how you will THRIVE with these people in your corner, how amazing would it be to be that for someone else? This life will always reward those who make it their mission to help others... I firmly believe that. Where in your life can you be the light and motivation someone needs?

I try and do this through the many organizations and groups I’ve become a part of in the Lehigh Valley where I live. I get to network with young professionals and invite them to become a part of an amazing philanthropic professional group that helps them to give Back locally, meet top local business owners and CEOs as well as build great relationships within their peer group. I personally reach out to individuals I meet that I think would be a great part of the group and help them determine if it’s a good fit! Other times, I’m inspiring others to become a part of  committees I’m involved in, volunteer opportunities I’m organizing or involved in and lastly I ALWAYS use my professional expertise to help my friends/ old co-workers / sometimes even acquaintances. As an HR, I’m often asked to write recommendations, Linked In testimonys, review resumes, practice interviewing skills etc. Its an honor people as me for my help, but it’s also so humbling to know that for these people, I’m the motivator, the light bringer, whatever you want to call it- I’m that for these people. 

If you have something you can do to bring your magic to  others, do it! 
Here’s my other favorite quote that I’ve used before but LOVE Bc it’s all about surrounding yourself with the right people! 
Watch who you surround yourself with, and be someone that others want to be surrounded by! 

Be someone’s light ✨

-Aurora 

Community Giving · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

GIVE BACK FRIDAY

We are gearing up for our 4th Annual Give Back Softball Tournament on July 29th and I wanna bring the positive vibes to life!!!!! Today, and every Friday for the next 6 weeks, in bringing the feel good, Give Back vibes to life! 

Today, I’m giving back to all of you! Have a coffee on me!… yes really!!!! Thanks for always being so supportive and spreading the love. Find me on FB and IG @TheWeeklySparkle


And remember… At the end of the day, it’s not about who YOU are, what your job is, what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve failed at… LIFE is about who you’ve lifted up, impacted and took along for the ride! LIFE is about what you’ve given back! 


Wanna get involved with Give Back Softball? Click the tab on top of the page!

❤️-Aurora 

Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Viewing Battles as Blessings

“If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting”

Have you ever gone through a rough patch? My guess is that your answer is probably “yes,” since if you’re reading this you’re most likely human and that comes with the territory. Life is not always easy– which I know I am not the first to tell you this, but sometimes the going truly gets tough… and your response to these moments are pretty important. Take it from me- about 3 months ago I was at a point that felt pretty low: I was miserable in my job, I was being forced to move out of my rental and my loving, amazing Grandmother passed away.

The “Everything Happens in Threes” saying completely applied to my life, and I thought that if a 4th thing occurred, I would break.

As a positive-minded person, of course I knew things would get better; As a person full of faith, I knew God had bigger, better plans for me and was with me; As a person with an amazing husband, family and friends, I knew there were people that would not let me fall and that would have my back along the way. This doesn’t make the rough time any more bearable, nor does it make the pain/sadness/worry/insecurity pass any faster- because you don’t know at the time how good life can be in the future. You’re stuck in the “now.” But hindsight, as they say, is always 20/20. Would it have made any of the feelings I had at the time better if I could see the future? Maybe not, but maybe if I knew life would be amazing now, back then, the anxiety over the unforeseen future would be gone. Which for me personally, was the biggest part.

THE GOOD THING IS THOUGH…

when you finally reach the light at the end of the dark tunnel, only then can you understand why the battle was worth it.

Every decision, every road block, any negativity or sadness you faced- it lead you here. Now that I’ve reached the end of my tunnel, I can tell you that the blessings have been worth the battle, even though it was hard to see when the light at the end of the tunnel was only a speck. So if you’re going through the battle now, I can tell you IT GETS BETTER, and although it’s easier to read than believe, everything you are looking for is through the tunnel. To reach the blessings you need to go through the battle.

I recently began my dream job (Seriously… I’m so grateful!), am moving into my new home with my husband (that we LOVE!!) and I have extreme peace with my Grandmothers passing and know that she is with me always and that I’m a better person for knowing her.

If the battle is huge, the blessings are BIGGER!!!! If you’re in the dark, keep going!! If you’ve reached the end of your tunnel, good!

To the battles that help us appreciate the blessings,

Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

2017- The Year of What Is

 

I am officially calling 2017 The Year of What Is. So, what does this mean exactly? Think of the saying: “It Is What It Is.” For years, I didn’t like this saying because I thought it was a way of sweeping things under the rug. I thought it was a shrug of the shoulders and the allowing of something to pass by that maybe should be addressed, understood or discussed. I found that friends, family, people I look up to- would all use the phrase when they felt like something was out of their control or couldn’t be fixed, changed etc. When I think deeper about this now, I think the reason I didn’t like the saying stems from my own inability to believe that some things are just what they are.  You cannot change them. Whether it was something that happened to you, a relationship with someone in your life or an outcome to something you wish had been different. It’s not what you want it to be- It is what it is. 

In a recent conversation with a friend, we got to talking about certain situations in our own lives currently that rather than trying to understand and fight, that we needed to accept and understand that these things can’t be what we want them to be. They are going to be what they are. 

*THIS WAS SUCH A HUGE MOMENT FOR ME*

Are you following me here?

I don’t know why or how, but in that moment the saying meant more to me than it ever had. “It Is What It Is,” is not a shrugging of the shoulders, rather, it’s the acceptance that something cannot become what you want it to be just because you want it to be that way or because you want to understand it. In a relationship that means a lot to you, in circumstances at work/home, something you really want for yourself, the lose of a loved one, the pain of a past experience- it is WHAT IS. However- the thing we are able to control in this experience, is our reaction to it. How we proceed with our feelings and the way we view it (the friendship, job, argument, relationship, shortcoming, failure, pain), is up to us. You can’t always change “it,” but you can change the way you feel about it. 

I’ve always been one of those people who tried to help change others, if I felt like they needed “fixing.” Whether it was an old boyfriend, troubled friend, a coworker- the therapist in me was always at work trying my best to be there for that person and often offered 2nd, 3rd, 4th chances in the pursuit of trying to understand them and help them become a better person. Some might say I was doing that to feed some of my own ego, and that while I was trying to help them, there was some gain I was trying to obtain for myself. I won’t argue that- I know it has felt good to know you would have contributed to someones happiness or self-discovery, so I won’t say this is too far off track. But I can say, that “fixing” others, or helping them change for what you think is best, is exhausting. This is why accepting WHAT IS is so important. Even with the best intentions, putting so much energy into trying to help, understand, or change someone else or situations only depletes the energy you’re giving back to yourself… and I am finally beginning to understand that.

Self-love is paramount. (via @mindbodygreen):

So I am saying 2017 is the Year of What Is, but I plan on moving forward with the idea that I can’t always control or understand things, but than I can control how I view them and how I allow them to effect me. As someone who has a strong faith and often turns to prayer for solace, comfort and direction, I think this is a strong tool to help these feelings and understanding that you won’t always be able to control the outcome.

I hope this makes sense– maybe it even enlightened some of your thoughts too! If so, please let me know in the comments and I will reply shortly after.

Happy 2017 to all of you!.. best wishes for a healthy new year and accepting what is. 

Xo

Aurora

Photo cred: I took this photo of the beautiful “Liberty Bell Church” on Hamilton St, Allentown Pennsylvania from my office.

Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Getting ready for 2017!

If you want 2017 to be your year: Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to be early. Wake up early. Be fierce. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave 

I LOVE this!! How many of us say that the upcoming New Year is going to be their year? Well, I think majority of us have said at some point (around 12:00am on Dec 31st whether 20xx or 19xx),”THIS IS going to be my year!” I will admit… I think I say something similar to this each year, but often pointed around something specific, like “this year I’m going to get in shape”… or …” this year I am going to plan that trip I’ve been wanting to go on”… etc etc etc. I think New Years Resolutions are like any goal you set, you have to be committed and really want it for it to happen.  The calendar change to an entire new year, and saying goodbye to another, is certainly the push to help motivate change, but you still need to have your mind set to it and put in effort. 

While we still have 10 days until we begin the 10 second countdown, maybe take the time to consider what (if anything) you really want to achieve, do, accomplish, get rid of, in the next year! A brand new year truly offers the opportunity to make a change you’re looking for. Have a list of things? Write them out! Look over your list closely and take the time to decide what you really want and what you can put some motivation into! Saying you want to sign up for grad school, or join a new workout class is not going to work if you haven’t done school research or hate working out in public. To give yourself the opportunity to achieve your resolution, you need to be realistic about what you want to achieve. 


My plan for 2017 is above! I vote for Positivity in 2017 and my first step is to say YES to being happy! If you are with me and like this idea too, write it out below!!! 

Happy New Year! ❤

Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Making Decisions 


DECIDE.

So do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide. -Meredith Grey

I absolutely love this. Not only because it’s a Grey’s Anatomy quote, but because it’s so bold and to the point. Is there something you want to change about yourself? Something you’re not happy with or want to change to feel better about yourself, your life, your current situation? DECIDE you want to change it, and push down on the gas- never lifting your foot until you’ve reached the destination you want to reach.

Personally, the last few months of my life have been so hectic and scattered. If you’ve read my previous blog, you’ve seen I recently got married- and in the time where everything is focused around YOU and YOU are supposed to be first- I lost myself at times. I decided that I was full steam ahead in wedding mode, and put some other things on the back burner that I want to pick back up now. 

I always want to share the things I’m personally feeling to not only be transparent, but to give an example of what I talk about in each post, with hopes it will help you reflect too. I’ve decided, I want to feel healthy again. The wedding and honeymoon were absolutely fantastic!.. but I’ve deciding to get to the point where I LOVE how I feel about MYSELF and that I can feel stronger.

What is the thing you need to decide to do, and what is the propelling motion you need to make that happen?
Decide.

★Aurora