I’m not sure who needs these reminders today, but I did. Sharing the inspo that pulled me up and I hope they do the same for you 🤎
Love y’all! Let me know which one is your fave!
Where Thinking Positive and Giving Back Is Always In Style
Love y’all! Let me know which one is your fave!
Happy Sunday everyone! Lots of reflection this last week, and as I sit here sipping some coffee and hanging with my little girl, I wanted to share some of it! ☕️
So let me start by saying thank you for spending some of your Sunday With Me, I appreciate you being here, even if it’s not Sunday and you stumbled here another day of the week!
I’ve talked about Sundays With Me before, but let me share a little bit more about exactly what it is and what it means to me 🙂
10 years ago when I first started dating Joe, (my now husband), he knew I liked to write. Whether it was quotes, inspiration or unofficial blog posts (helllllo Xanga & MySpace 😆), I loved putting my thoughts out there and seeing who could relate. So, I told him I wanted to start a blog that was a little more professional, with hopes I could reach more people and have a welcoming space for them to visit regularly!
For our one year anniversary he gifted me my current blog site with all of the framework and behind-the-scenes information I needed to look and feel like a “real blog.” I have to put “real blog” in quotes, because Xanga wasn’t exactly the cream of the crop or anything. IYKYK
Originally, because he wasn’t sure what I would want to title it, he named it “Sundays With Me,” and said this was because it was his favorite day to spend time with me and to relax, because we always had the best time together on Sundays.
What a sweet sentiment, right? I thought that at the time and all these years later it’s one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received 🙂
As I began to play with the blog and what I was trying to share with people who came across it, I came up with the name of The Weekly Sparkle. Sparkle to me is the happiness, positivity and kindness you put into your own life and the world around you. I love it ✨… but Sundays With Me has always stuck with me.
I think Sundays in general have always been meant to be days of rest, time spent with people you love, and a day that’s meant to recharge your batteries and fuel your soul from a hard week that’s passed and get ready for a week ahead.
‘Sundays With Me’ have looked different through the years: As a kid growing up, Sundays usually included a large Italian family dinner, some time at church, playing with the neighborhood kids, then eventually, Sundays With Me were filled with presentations and college work, then spent getting ready for my big girl job and the new work week ahead, and transitioned to times where I can spend time with girlfriends, go to a winery, and enjoy Sunday Funday!
Currently, Sundays typically look a little different (although I love a good Sunday Funday)!! Sundays With Me now usually include watching some Sesame Street with my daughter, enjoying a cup of coffee while watching her play, spending time with family and loved ones and focusing on gratitude. I think at this point in my life I’m realizing that Sundays With Me are really more about the Sundays I get to spend with the people who fill my heart, and how lucky I am to have a full life and to receive love in all the ways that I do. Maybe that’s what Joe meant at the time too!… I’ll have to ask him ♥️
After some downtime being sick this past week, I felt the reflections of a typical Sunday spill into the week. So much of our life and our mood depends on how we perceive it and what we choose to focus on.
On this Sunday With Me, I want to remind you to take a second and just breathe today. You always deserve to do this, but why not make Sunday your day to do it? Note 5 people or things in your life that you’re grateful for, take a long, deep breath and do something big or small that fills your soul.
Thanks for spending some of your Sundays With Me 🙂 I plan to share shorter, quick inspo in future posts, but wanted to give a little backstory to my Sundays and why I just love them so much. I hope you come back soon & see what’s twirling around in this head of mine! 💋
Happy Sunday Friends! Let’s have a great day & week ahead. Grateful for you all!
Hello Sparkle Fam! HAPPY 2022!!!
Ahhhhhh I’ve missed you guys! It feels absolutely WEIRD to be excitedly typing in the way I am right now (legit have a smile on my face)! It’s been too long and I am so excited to be EXCITED to write here again. It’s a new year, and I’ve gotten some new fire in me to write and share my heart with everyone again.
If you recall, 10 months ago, I became a first time mama! EEEK! What an amazing, exciting, overwhelming, scary and fantastic journey it’s been so far. Ms. Oakley Gray is the light of my life and truly such an incredible blessing. Ok Ok, here is a pic, because AHHHH she’s the best:
Becoming a mom, to no ones surprise, created such a perspective shift for me. Once you get your head back on straight (can takes weeks or even months), it’s eye-opening to see how much your mind changes- what’s important, what takes your time, what you worry about, what you’re excited for, it all shifts. Feeling a little more in tune with who I am as a mama, I got to thinking a lot about the things and people in my life that make me happy and deserve the limited time I have, outside of being Oak’s mama. One thing I’ve always loved is connecting with all of you, around the world, and seeing the commonalities we all have, even if across the country or in an entirely different one.
I started reading “Take Back Your Time” by Christy Wright, recently (LOVE HER) and it’s really put into perspective where I spend my time, and focusing on the important things in my life. All that said, YOU guys, and The Weekly Sparkle, absolutely make that list for me. I hope you’ll visit here weekly or my Weekly Sparkle Facebook Page for some pops of inspo and a little escape to either get inspired or realize you’re not alone in the crazy, happy, sad, insane times! SO HAPPY 👏you 👏are 👏here!
So Let’s KICK OFF 2022 in the right way shall we?
P O S I T I V E – V I B E S – ONLYYYY!!
Next Topic to come: Imposter Syndrome
Happy to be back,
Hey friends! New Mom life going on over here, so I’ve been a little quiet lately. I shared some inspo on my Instagram today so I wanted to share here as well! Feel free to take and share what you need ❤️ Sending you lots of love!
Having a gratitude filled perspective isn’t something many of us learn in life. If you have grown up this way, you’re ahead of a lot of us, and I’m jealous of you! If you’re like the many of us who need to work at this, or even have to realize the need to work on it, this is for you!
As someone who is primarily a positive person, I get asked sometimes how I do it. If I could answer this question and give away some kind of magic secret in a 2 minute conversation, I would, but that’s not the reality of seeing your world through a grateful lens. Or as I call it, seeing the world through your Gratitude Glasses.
Having a heart full of gratitude helps you see your cup as half full! When you start going down Complaint Road and Woe Is Me Lane, it’s easy to snowball and get to a place where nothing feels good enough. This is where negativity lies, self doubt lives and the feelings of “why doesn’t anything go my way,” overwhelm you.
The truth is, it’s a practice to have a grateful heart; you have to work on it and it takes time. When the negative thoughts start creeping in, you need to actively remind yourself of the blessings that surround you, and the cup that’s currently half empty slowly shifts to becoming half full.
Mental Exercise time 💡💪: Doing this helps me remain present and reminded of the blessings in my life- when you wake up each morning, say 3 things to yourself that you’re grateful for. It only takes moments, but it starts your day off on the right foot and with a grateful heart ♥️
I’ll start: I’m grateful for 1️⃣ The health Baby Brunovsky has and the positive visits we keep having about her 2️⃣ My relationship with my husband and how in sync we are 3️⃣ That today is the last day of work until 1/4/21! Wooo! ✨✨
Now it’s your turn! What 3 things are you grateful for today? Can you try to start each morning this week with this exercise? It’ll start your day off with reminders of how blessed you are, even if in a tough season, and give you the opportunity to proceed into the day wearing your Gratitude Glasses.
Cheers to living the glass half full life!
I don’t know about you guys, but we’re well into six weeks of quarantine and I have definitely hit that mark where sometimes I’m feeling a little stressed out and not as positive as normal.
While of course coronavirus itself scares me, most of my family/friends and I have been lucky enough to remain at home and #StayHome. I am in a career however, where COVID-19 has doubled my workload at times. There’s been a few 12 and 13 hour days, and pairing that with a pandemic, can do a number on anyone. The last few days I’ve been feeling very stressed out and rather than letting negativity and anxiety takeover, I began writing out a list of things I can do to put my mind at ease and to promote a more positive mindset.
A huge part of why I like sharing some details of my life on social media, as well as in this blog, is because there have been plenty of obstacles I’ve gone through or life lessons I’ve learned that make me think:
If I’m going through this, I’m sure somebody else has or will too… and if I can share something that resonates with them, Why not put it out there?
That’s where this post comes in: I want to share some things that have helped me during quarantine that maybe you haven’t considered doing or haven’t thought of to get your mind, body and spirit on the same page while we’re all going a little Corona crazy. If there’s something not on this list that you have found to be helpful during the pandemic, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it to the list!
The last thought I’d like to leave off on is this: we are responsible for our own attitudes, mindsets and how we allow situations/ people/ setbacks/ frustrations impact us. Every morning we can choose how to start the day and as obstacles pop up we have the choice to go over, under, around, or through it. I use some of these things below when trying to power through it:
16 Ways to Shift Your Attitude During Stressful Times
Go for a walk/run or get physical– Exercise helps manage stress! Ever have a rough day and workout afterword? It always turns my mood around! If you take a stroll outside, try and be present when you’re out in nature. Listen to the birds, feel the breeze, notice the colors of the leaves- putting yourself in the moment while taking in what’s around you can immediately calm you down.
Meditate/ Pray- I love doing the below exercise! My favorite part about it? You can do it anywhere, in any setting, at any moment!
Get good sleep– Seriously- is anyone else on a really funky sleep routine due to Covid-19?? That’s a hard yes for me! My goal has been to get at least 7 hours a night.
Download an app like Headspace – Headspace walks you through mindful meditations day or night to help you relax and center yourself. I use this app usually when going to sleep and the breathing techniques are amazing and have me out in minutes!
Start your day with gratitude– this is my morning GO TO- before your feet hit the floor, note 3 things you’re thankful for for that day!
Take a break– many of us are at home right now. It’s okay to take a break from your work space (just like you might when in the office). Go for a walk, stop by your “break room” aka kitchen and change the scenery every once in awhile. If your screen is doing a number to your eyes, you can also purchase my favorite blue light glasses from Amazon by visiting my Aurora Loves Page.
Unplug from electronics– Leave your phone in another room, shut off the Tv, time how long you’re allowed to scroll, whatever it is you need to do, breaking away from your electronics is A-OK in my book!
Put a feel good playlist together! I made The Weekly Sparkle Quarnatine Playlist specifically for you that you can download instantly on Apple Music of Spotify!
Find ways to Give Back– helping others immediately makes you feel good and so many people can use the support right now! Look up your local Volunteer Center to see who needs what!
Clean up a small area– I love tidying up a space that could use the love. This might have been a weekend task in the past, but since we’re home now, I may take 15 minutes and cleanup a space I may not typically think to. It’s proven- when you’re in a cleaner environment, your stress reduces significantly.
Start a new show! Hiiii Netflix!!!
Start a new hobby or pick up an old one– I plan on doing some arts and crafts this week to flex my creative muscle! Why not do some of the things during this time that make you happy/excited? You can catch me making some jewelry this weekend!
Journal– there is no right or wrong way to write down what’s in your head! Grab a pen and paper and get your thoughts out- sometimes it helps to de-clutter your brain and let your emotions out. I call this “brain-dumping” and use it to organize my thoughts!
Read a new book– I just got Love Does by Bob Goff and I can’t wait to read it! Bob is truly inspirational!!
TAKE A NAP– this one is for your Nap Queen over here. Naps reset mindsets/allow you to shut your brain off.
Take a Breather and Give Yourself Grace– You’re allowed to have a bad day, you’re allowed to have a moment you wish you handled better, you’re allowed to feel crazy right now! FEEL everything you’re feeling. None of us have gone through this before, so you’re feeling is 100% okay and allowed. The important part of feeling stress, however, is that we don’t allow it to completely take over and lead us down a negative path.
I hope there’s something you can grab off this list and try! Let me know what you’ve done and if it’s not here I’ll add it for others to see too!
We are in this together everyone!!!
-Stay Well (And Stay Home!!!)
Good morning friends!
I’ve had this thought in mind to share for quite some time, because I think it’s so important to remember. We spend so much time worrying about the past and planning for the future, that now more than ever, living in and appreciating the NOW is fleeting.
Anyone else struggle to remain present? 🙋♀️
Lately I’ve been thinking about how personally I’ve been so laser focused on the future and what’s next that enjoying the journey is getting lost. We’re currently living in “the good old days” and I don’t want this time to pass without truly enjoying it.
Any Office fans out there? (Haha I know, there’s literally a billion of us)! One of my favorite scenes in the enter series is this one: Good Old Days- Andy Bernard He says:
“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the Good Old Days, before you actually left them.”
As he says this he flashes back to good times with his coworkers and moments that at the time didn’t seem very important, but he now realizes that those moments were in fact “the good old days.”
Ahhh… this is literally what I’m talking about here!!! I think in our current world where our heads are buried in our phones and we’re always on the go, leaping to “what’s next,” it’s so easy to let the important moments pass by unnoticed. In thinking about this, I’ve decided to do a few things to get back to being more present, and I hope some of these tips can help you too!
Things I’m going to do to be more present:
PHEW- That’s a lot 😅
What is list screams to me is: Put your phone down, lift your head up, open your ears, be where you are, focus on what’s in front of you, worry less about what’s ahead and my favorite and the most important piece- count your blessings
I’d love to hear what some of you do to remain present! If you have something that works well for you, please drop it in the comments!
To the Good Old Days,
Talk about a visual!
Lately I’ve been realizing how much of my own happiness/disappointments within myself are based around pleasing others or living up to their expectations of me. I find myself feeling stressed over what someone might think, how they took this or that, whether or not they think that is good enough, etc etc etc.
Sounds exhausting, right?
This is where my “SO WHAT” mantra comes in. So what if you’re not living up to others expectations of you, does that matter? Are their expectations realistic and do they match what’s important to you?
What actually matters is whether or not you are (or are becoming) the version of yourself that you went to be!! It only matters if you are living up to your own expectations. And guess what? If you’re not, you have the power, every-single-day, to change that. Remember that what others expect of us isn’t always about us- it’s can be about a fear, or an insecurity of theirs that they’re projecting on you or needing from you. Others expectations often have nothing to do with us specifically. And just how others do it to us, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can be doing that to others as well. It’s not easy to be mindful of, but if you are, you’re ahead of the curve!
On the flip side, what’s even crazier to think, is that majority of the time, the expectations we think others have about us, don’t even exist! We are subconsciously making things “heavier” than they need to be! Somewhere along the line in our relationship other people, we may have developed a feeling of what they expect from us as friends, siblings, co-workers, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, etc etc etc. Most of the time, however, you’ll find, the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Again for those who need to read this again:
…the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.
Being honest, I read that for myself again, too.
To overthinking a little less, letting go of the heavy feelings, giving ourselves more grace and sharing that grace with others too…
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” – The Scarlet Letter
Ah….. I know I always start my blogs this way when something really hits me, but, WOW!!!!! This perfectly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately- like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders- yet, I had no idea how heavy the weight was until it was gone. It literally feels like I’m viewing my life differently and in a more positive light than even a few weeks ago. My mood feels different, my energy has shifted. I mean, I feel… happy.
I feel free.
Don’t get me wrong, I try to approach life and others in a positive light as much as anyone else might, but something shifted a few months (maybe even a year back), and I was experiencing all this negative self talk. I touched on this a few postings ago in, Let’s Talk Self Talk and I really feel like this blog was the tip of the Positivity Iceberg that I was about to meet.
(Positivity Iceberg, noun: a made up term I just created to define the beginning of feeing positive, and so much more is to come underneath it) 🙂
Let me start by telling you why the shift needed to happen. The feeling of letting others “stuff” effect your mood, actions and thoughts- this can be a killer. These feelings have been something weighing me down, making me second guess myself, keeping me up some nights and overall killing my positive way of thinking. When people would say something negative to me, or even about others, or make a “dig” to me or a side comment, it would really effect me. When did I start worrying so much about what others thought? Especially the negative things, and why did I start putting blame on myself and putting so much thought into their thoughts over my own truth?
After overanalyzing too many situations and nearing a breaking point, I said enough. It is EXHAUSTING to think in the ways I just described. Right? I’m sure many of you reading this are probably like,”Wow… Aurora that’s rough.” While others are thinking, “WOW, I thought I was alone in this.” This blog is for both of you.
About a month and a half ago, I began doing the work to figure out why I’ve felt this way, and how to stop it. Sometimes you need to walk through the tough things to figure them out, rather than avoid and suppress them, so that’s what I did- I began walking.
Friends, it’s every semi-corny quote you’ve ever read… it’s the ones you read and think, “that is so cheesy...” or “yeah great point but doesn’t apply to me.” And here they are:
“What people think of you is none of your business.”
“Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves.”
“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
“A wise man once said nothing.”
“Most people barely know themselves, so what does it matter what they think of you”
GUYSSSS…. these cheesy quotes are not BS! They’re actually true… and I think talking through how I was feeling and applying them to my own life and circumstances caused some kind of light bulb to go off… It does not matter what people think of you, especially the bad things they are projecting onto you from you own experiencing. We all have our “stuff” : Our history, the way we were raised, the beliefs hardwired into us, our insecurities and judgements. Every single person has this “stuff” that they are possibly able to project onto you. Fitting you into THEIR narrative.
THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.
I’m gonna say it louder for the people in the back…
THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.
And until you believe that, to your core, you won’t be able to move beyond these thoughts. When I’m telling you I literally feel lighter, and happier, I mean it. The thoughts I felt were suffocating me at times I now see were projections onto me of others “stuff,” not necessarily truths that I have to over analyze within myself. Understanding this has changed my self talk, and has made me feel so happy and positive approaching each new day. It’s CRAZY!!!! I get teary eyed even thinking about it.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t times where you need to own making mistakes or accept the invite to an argument you should attend… I’m not talking about those things. More than I believe in self-love and acceptance, I also believe in owning your crap and apologizing/ talking through difficult things with people who matter to you. So in these instances, I think it’s important to remember it could matter what people think of you and that it’s right to discuss what needs working through. I also think it’s important to remember when we’re projecting our own “stuff” onto others. We all do it. All of us. But being aware of it is the first step to not projecting onto others when we feel the need to.
The other piece of this is that it’s okay to feel the words and actions of others, even if they sting, but the important piece is to remind yourself that those words and actions may be more about them. Will I find myself dwelling on these things in the future, sure, but I feel more confident and feeling them and letting them go, rather than holding onto them like I used to.
All in all, friends, this feeling is amazing. And if I didn’t take the time to pause, think and talk through it all, I don’t think I’d be here. It’s only more validating when I hear close friends say they notice a lightness in me- if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. If you feel like you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’m happy to share more in detail about my path to help you maybe get on your own.
Ah, I feel free. Absolute FREEDOM from the exhausting and overwhelming feelings I’ve had. And most of all, I feel proud that I took the steps to arrive here.
To feeling F-R-E-E,
Let’s Talk SELF TALK. Anyone else read the above and think… WOW… that IS how I talk to those people in my life! And now stop for a second, and ask yourself, “Do I always talk to myself this way?…” with understanding, excitement, happiness, patience etc etc etc. The answer is a hard NO in my book. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to internal thoughts and self talk.
How many more things could you add to the list if I left it open ended? I guarantee by the time I proofread this 2-3x I will have added a few more to the list. It’s SO EASY for us to have these self-defeating thoughts, because the world (now more than ever) always has reminders of how we can be better. How to be a better mom or dad, a better employee, how to get bigger boobs or that you need a flat stomach- everywhere you turn (ESPECIALLY social media), we are surrounded by others Highlight Reels of what “perfect” or “ideal” looks like. I talk about this in a past blog called: The Reel is not Real.
So in a world that is always showing us how we can be better, how do we keep our minds in check to what living a good life looks like to us personally?
We have to flip the script.
Yes, the script in your mind, the years of experiences that have molded you and your thoughts- it’s time to flip the script and remind yourself that you are a human and capable of amazing things, even if you’re not perfect, have made mistakes, don’t look this way or act this way, have this job, achieved this or that… IT DOES NOT MATTER. These things do not define your life and dwelling on them only robs you of living your BEST, happiest and fulfilled life.
You all know me, when I write, the topic usually has to do with something that is close to my heart and something either I or someone I know has or is going through. I think this is one topic I can say, ALL of us struggle with. We all have our own thoughts and preconceived notions of ourselves and what others expect of us. Lately, I’ve been in my own head with negative self talk; comparing myself to others success, doubting my growth and path in my exercise journey… honestly have thought, “why am I even doing this?”
WHY do we do this?
Well friends, I’m committing to breaking the habit and here’s why: I am tired of suffocating moments of joy and successes by shining a light on my worries and insecurities. The truth is 99% of the things we over analyze, beat ourselves up over or stay up at night worrying about, don’t happen. This is a fact. So why not work on putting things in place to shake these thoughts as they start approaching and work toward more positive self talk all together?
I’m starting with the above, and one tip I’d like to add is: If you’re having a moment of overwhelming negative self talk and you need to kick it, phone a friend! There are a handful of people I know I can turn to when my self talk is all out of wack! These are the people who speak to you the way you would normally speak to others: patiently, kindly, lovingly, etc and they’re also your reminder of how much you are a rock star at life! Tap into these people- because the people we trust the most outside of ourselves is our tribe.
All in all, I want to work on challenging my negative self talk, figuring out where it’s coming from, and shifting my perspective to more positive thoughts and feelings. But just like with anything, in order to get better at it, you need to practice it daily, so I plan on doing just that!
Here is what I need to know you!
What struggles do you have with Self Talk?
Do you have an effective way of talking yourself out of Negative Self Talk?
Do you like helpful checklists like the above to reference in the future?
Thanks for the read, friends! Let’s try talking to ourselves the way we talk to others: with love, support, patience and excitement! We really do deserve it.