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How to Live Intentionally

Living with Intention. As I wrote in my last post, I love a new year. I fall in the category as many others do- I believe it’s a fresh start, a chance to make changes to your life that you’ve been wanting to make and using this clean slate as the opportunity to do it. So as I got to thinking more about 2019, and my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year, one word came to mind over and over again- Intention. I wanted to kick off the new year living each day intentionally and define for myself what exactly that meant for me personally, before the new year kicked off. What does intention and living intentionally mean?

Intention = Awareness.

Intention is to be aware of your daily actions, behaviors and words spoken to yourself and others, and what outcomes they are creating in your life. When realizing these outcomes, it’s important to ask yourself: Are these outcomes aligning with how I ideally want to live my life? And if the answer is NO, do you have the courage to make the changes necessary for this to happen? Living with intention means to also be present in your daily actions/thoughts, which will help you make changes where needed. Living intentionally helps you to declutter the things in your life that are stopping you from living your truest, BEST life.

For example, let’s say you have an intention/goal to become more healthy, and feel going to the gym will help you achieve this. You know your nights are busy, so you intend to go to the gym in the morning before heading to work or school. You may set your alarm, but hit the snooze button a few times, and wake up too late to work out. This becomes a pattern, and eventually going to the gym in the morning simply isn’t happening. Something in your plan of working out in the morning is not aligning with what you’re able to make work, so therefor your intention of getting some work outs in, is not becoming a reality. If you really want this to happen, living with intention means you’re willing to look this problem in the face and make changes needed to make it work. It means you’re going to work through the obstacles and rework your plan to achieve the goal you’ve set for yourself.

Why do I, Aurora, want to live Intentionally? It’s simple(ish)- I want to choose how I spend each day and night, where I spend my time and with whom, and where I pour my energy, knowing it’s contributing to my own happiness and fulfillment in life. That may sound like the more deep response, but ask yourself: Do you like where you currently are in life? Are you happy with your current circumstances? Remember how in my last post I said I was waking up some mornings feeling like, “UGH,” and had to shake that feeling each morning before beginning my day? WELL, living intentionally made me ask myself:

‘WHY AM I WAKING UP EACH MORNING SAYING ‘UGH?’

What is draining my energy, not making  me feel more positive in the morning and robbing me of starting each day with a grateful heart and kick-ass attitude? I realized a lot of this stemmed from giving too much of myself and my time to others, putting myself on the back burner, spreading myself thin with commitments, not allowing for me-time, no longer giving as much time to my creative outlets that make me happiest, etc. The list honestly was long. BUT, through asking myself these questions (thank you Simple and Soul) I was able to begin climbing out of the hole I didn’t even realize I was digging myself into:

  1. What are the top three priorities in my life?
  2. Does my current lifestyle match those three priorities in the proper order?
  3. How would I relive today differently if given the chance?
  4. What would a life bordered by your priorities look like (imagine your ideal life what do you feel, what do you do)?
  5. What do you need to make your ideal life your actual life?

 

I’ll leave you with this, the watered down version of how you can begin living an intentional life: try being present in choosing the things that are BEST for you, not the EASIEST, set boundaries for yourself with people/things that demand time you may need for yourself and your own goals and lastly, the hardest one for me (TRUST ME), learn to say NO.

The topic of living intentionally is not over with this post for me. I plan on threading it through future posts as a theme over the next year as I try to master incorporating it into my life. I challenge you to do the same… we can do this! In a future read I’ll talk through more personal things that lead me to wanting to live intentionally, but for now, I wanted to share how I began.

If you’ve been successful at this, or have any tips/thoughts/suggestions, please leave them below for other readers and myself!

Happy Sunday Fridays!

-Aurora

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Sunday’s Are Hard…

Maybe if we all sit extremely still Monday won’t be able to see us.”

HAS. ANYONE. ELSE. SEEN. THIS. AND. THOUGHT. OMG. THIS. IS. ME?!?! Ugh! 🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️🙋‍♀️

I have this thing that I call Sunday night before we getting into Monday… want to know what it’s called?

Yes… The Smonday feeling is real over here! But here are some things I do to try and not let my last bit of weekend end in the negative…

1️⃣ Prep your week! What’s coming up? Do you need to food shop/food prep/pack clothes. Do it!

2️⃣ Do something you enjoy today! Sunday is still the weekend and you deserve spending (even if only a little) part enjoying it! (Wash the car, go window shopping, order something off AMAZON or TARGET!

3️⃣ Take a breather. Watch your favorite movie, clean if you like cleaning, do some laundry- just make sure it’s something you can relax doing and breathe.

4️⃣ Have a moment of gratitude. Sometimes when I’m feeling down or negative, I think about the things that I’m grateful for giving thanks for them. Unhappy times doesn’t have to mean an unhappy life.

5️⃣ Lay your clothes out for tomorrow. I don’t do this half as much as I should, but when I don’t have to pick an outfit in the morning, it makes my morning start off a little easier.

Happy Smonday my friends! It’s officially 7:52pm here in Pennsylvania, so the Monday blues could be settling in… but instead, I’m gonna relax with the husb and watch our new favorite show on Netflix.

To realizing that Sunday’s aren’t so hard..

✨✨Aurora

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

Happy News in the Media

Every once in awhile, I come across some really amazing and heartwarming stories on the internet. Below are a bunch I’ve posted on The Weekly Sparkle Facebook Page that have touched a lot of my followers. If you need a pick me up today, here is your dose of Positivity and human to human kindness going on around us ✨✨

Truck Drivers Save a Suicidal Man’s Life

Two Men From Different Walks of Life Enjoy an Impromptu Basketball Game

Lehigh Valley Couple Creates Give Back Tournament to Help Local Non-Profits Each Year- 2018 Benefactor Announced

Women Can Hear For The First Time And Gets Proposed To

Man Gets a Surprise Thank You From Children He Saved During the Holocaust

Will Smith Talks About Who You Surround Yourself With- Who is Fanning Your Flames?

Please send more videos my way in the comments if I should add them to a future post!!

✨✨- Aurora

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If You Can’t Be Kind, Be Quiet.

Being rude is easy. It does not take any effort and is a sign of weakness and insecurity. Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem. Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people. Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom. Choose to be kind over being right and you’ll be right every time because kindness is a sign of STRENGTH.

This week I came across a few instances and reminders of how important it is to be KIND. Most importantly, I was reminded how important it is to be kind, even when someone isn’t being kind to you or has done something hurtful or rude to you. YIKES is that a hard one or what? You know me, and my likelihood of being a positivity promoter, but how can you do that when someone is rude or mean to you?

It isn’t easy!

There is someone in my life, whom I care a lot about, that sometimes falls in the category I mentioned above. Every once in awhile, they cross that line of no return: they say something that is mean, rude or insensitive, and it leaves me wondering:

what the heck did I do do deserve that?

So when I tell you that I KNOW being kind to a rude person is not easy, I mean it. How can you turn the cheek when it’s someone close to you and also, how do you turn the cheek when it’s someone NOT close to you (maybe a boss, co-worker, person on the street, acquaintance, social media troll etc). I’ll touch on both of these topics:

  1. Someone close to you. I just paused and sighed as I wrote that. This is probably the worst. I am a firm believer in that if you allow someone to continuously treat you a certain way {good or bad}, that they will continue to do so, because it’s a learned, established behavior. In my adult life, I’ve never had a problem with confrontation, nor do I view tough conversations as negative, because I believe they’re important to reach a positive outcome. I expect, that if we’re having a mature conversation, that two adults should be able to come to a resolution, even if not right away, {or if there’s some screaming and yelling}, because they both should have the same desired outcome- a resolution. If the other person isn’t on this same page, or isn’t open to mature discussion (right away or ever), the Road Less Traveled here, is Kindness. I think this is most applicable with people who might not be being anywhere (family, bosses, co-workers etc). People do not have to be on the same page as you for you to be kind to them. By being kind, you’re respecting that they aren’t where you’re at and whatever position it is that they have in your life. My advice, you remain calm and kind to these people. Be the example of how they should act, and remember, being kind always puts you in right.

2. Someone NOT close to you. These people ALWAYS get 1 of 2 things from me: a quick witted (but KIND, sometimes sarcastic) response OR a smile and no response at all.

Because sometimes, being KIND also means keeping your mouth shut.

Especially when you know it won’t help make the situation better. In my career, it’s not uncommon for me to have hard conversations with employees, and every once in awhile, a rude, unnecessary comment gets directed toward me. Sometimes it’s public, sometimes it’s behind closed doors, but it does happen. I would say 99.9% of the time, it has nothing to do with me, and more about the issue at hand, so I always try to remember that. This might be an occasion where I smile and not say much, or I respond kindly and try to understand their view. This is also where I practice keeping my mouth shut. Is there someone in your workplace bothering you? Can you try harder to keep a smile, and focus on yourself? It’s not easy people, but I’m telling you- It’s Worth IT!

I think another place we see this is in our own communities and day-to-day interactions with strangers. It is SO important to remember Kindness, even when we are in a rush or having a bad day. Why? Because of the ripple-effect not being kind can have. Imagine the impact you can make in someones day by going out of your way to be Kind, rather than the opposite effect of what being rude, mean or frustrated can create.

I’m going to leave you with inspiration I’ve gained over the last week. I began following Real Talk Kim on Twitter and think she is one of the realest, most genuine people on there! She’s all about keeping it real, while also promoting positivity, faith and being Kind. I also listen weekly to the Podcast of my favorite Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe  and her guests this week, Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson, are the creators of the Kind Campaign. This campaign focuses on girl on girl bullying, and it’s lasting effects, while also taking a preventative measure, focusing on forgiveness and KINDness. It’s truly remarkable, and I encourage you to check it out. I’m passing along the inspiration I received from them, so help keep the chain going!

What a difference we could all make if we chose to treat one another with Kindness, even, and especially when, it isn’t easy.

And remember…

Now go spread some Kindess!

Cheers,

-Aurora

Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Housekeeping · Motivation · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Think 3 Happy Thoughts

This Weeks Challenge:

 

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Why you ask? Because it feels better than beginning the day with negativity, anxiety, stress or an ungrateful heart.

My challenge to you is that you TRY YOUR HARDEST to take a moment and reflect on 3 things you are grateful for EVERY morning!.. and project your gratitude on the day ahead of you.

Did you know…

 

That 98% of the things we worry about DON’T EVEN HAPPEN? It’s true!! So why not start your morning on the best foot possible and make the most of your morning and day. Here are my 3 gratitude reflections:

I am grateful for…

  1. My supportive husband
  2. My job, where I feel supported, respected and appreciated more than ever
  3. That my dog didn’t lay ontop of me the entire next last night (like this whole past week!), so I could get a full nights rest!

What are you grateful for?

Cheers,

-Aurora

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

Why you can Begin, Again

I’ve thought about these 2 words, almost obsessively, for the last month and a half. Begin Again. Aurora, you can BEGIN.AGAIN. 

It’s funny, a new year starts and all of a sudden you’re given this feeling that everything can start fresh. 11:59 changing to 12:00 on January 1st sparks something that gives you the feeling that you can do anything this upcoming year. For all of the social media posts that I see stating things like “New Year, New Me,” Or “This Year is My Year,” I also see the ones telling us that we don’t need a new year to start something new. That we don’t need a new year to wipe the slate clean, start over, get a new job, leave that lousy relationship, lose the weight, begin the hobby etc. I always fell in the category of the first group of people, because the new year, to me, felt like an auto-delete of anything you’ve been unhappy with, and provides the (whether you like it or not) birth of something new.  It’s a fresh start.

This new year was different for me though- I didn’t make many changes I was hoping to, to jump start 2018. I began the year sick, had a sudden loss of someone close to my family and found that after all of this died down, I wanted to rest. Rather than propel myself into my “New Year New Me” attitude, I wanted to take a breather.

And the above, really got me thinking.

What are the things I want to change this year? Why do I want to change them and what’s the motivation to do so? Why did I have to start January 1st, and why can’t I start anytime? While the excitement of a new year has always been something to motivate me, the reasons WHY I want to make these changes should be enough to motivate me to get going. To begin, again.

So starting with the publishing of this post, I’m giving myself permission to BEGIN again. It’s not 1/1/18, nor did the clock turning to midnight last night mean anything spectacular… it just meant it’s my day to be ready to press play. What am I pressing play on?

  1. Lent begins tomorrow. That means, for Catholics, preparing for the death and resurrection of Jesus. AKA I’m gonna continue attending church weekly and being more mindful of prayer and the big G!
  2. I need to get my work out on!  I know when I’m stressed or feeling low, that a good work out can boost my energy and help me feel more productive throughout the day. This means, 3+ more gym visits a week and minding my diet. I also think this will include runs with my pup… because she loves that!
  3. Reading my mountain of books at home before buying more. I’ve been averaging 1 every 2 weeks, so, so far so good.
  4. Reestablishing connections with the family and friends in my life that I haven’t spoken with as much as I’d like to. Sometimes you have to be the one to initiate, and it’s better to help build than to wait. My brother is doing this one too, so having that reminder helps too!
  5. Get more sleep. There is no explanation needed here.
  6. Lastly, I’m going to put my positivity and inspirational attitude to the test. I’ve always been proud of the way I carry myself and engage others with my warmth and excitedness for life. Some things in my life have gotten me to feeling a little unlike myself, so I’m going to work harder to put my best attributes forward.

Is there anything you need to Begin Again?

I encourage you and pray that you do it… because you owe it to yourself to!

To beginning again, cheers.

-Aurora

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Happy New Year!

This is the best thing about a new year… it’s a chance to start new!… a fresh clean slate! The best thing about the past year… it’s gone! It’s amazing- one single day can make such a huge difference when you think about where you’ve been and where you want to go. The new year is a chance (and fuel) to kick of something you really want to do or reach for a goal you really want to obtain.

Let tomorrow be your chance to kick off the new year in a way you’ve been wanting to! Don’t want to start any changes or resolutions tomorrow? Then don’t!… the same energy of the new year can be there once you’re ready! One of the biggest failures of resolutions is starting when you’re not ready! The holidays can make it hard to set your goals in stone, so take your time!

As an optimistic person, the line that caught me here is the final one, and I believe this to be true: only the best is yet to come. 🖤

Happy New Year xo< em>-Aurora

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Smiling at Strangers

Let’s talk impact of small gestures:

Smile at strangers. We’re in this together.

Is there any smaller act that can go further? As someone who is always told “You’re always smiling,” I can tell you, it really does have an effect on people. Of course, being a Human Resources professional, I always like to display a positive demeanor and smiling is the easiest way to do that. I also think I’m a happy person for the most part, so it does come naturally.

How about you? Are you someone who looks down at their phone as they walk? Or not make eye contact with the person who held the door for you? Or that you held the door for? These are the moments where human connection is often missed, but could be the most effective. But listen- I get it. Do you need to walk around with a big cheesy grin on your face all day? No. Are you someone who struggles with RBF (I’ll say Resting Bored Face… but I’m sure you know what I mean). RBF is a REAL thing… some of the nicest people I know look like they’re not nice at all when they are resting their face or unaware that people are looking at them. Haha- so it may not come as natural for all of us, but if the intention and the presence in the moment is there- why not smile at a couple of strangers?

It’s a little thing that can go a looooooooooooooong way. Will you do something for me? After reading this, and you go back into your day and life, take some time to smile at people. You interact with more people than you know and without saying a single word, you say so much with a smile.

Without saying a single word, you say so much with a smile.

To being in this together,

-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

Target Sparkles in the Lehigh Valley

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Over the last few years, I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences with Target and their commitment for being Best in Community through volunteerism and donations. As one of their local Community Captains, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of our community partners in the Lehigh Valley, and watch as our partnerships change lives in our surrounding community.

From volunteering at our local food bank (New Bethany Ministries) in Bethlehem, donating food to the Northampton Food Bank, helping rebuild the brand new library at Calypso Elementary to raising over $30,000 in 3 years through our United Way program (from our team members alone), I can easily say I’ve witnessed first hand just what our Target team has contributed and how their presence has been felt by the community.

And we’re at it again!!!! We have some money to spend, and it needs to be done quickly, but must be given to those in the community who can really use it. In the budget for 2012, we still have some donations to give and want to make sure they reach nonprofit and social service organizations in the Lehigh Valley!

Donations are given in the form of gift cards to use in Target Stores (or online) and typically range from $20-$25. These are not the funds we use to help rebuild libraries, but rather something to aid in cutting costs for a benefit or fund raisers for non-profits, school program support, support for a police function, etc.

What organization are you from and how can you use a donation? For each donation we will need either a 501c3 number or a tax ID number for proof of your organization and for processing.

Target is here for the Lehigh Valley, and we’re ready to keep making a difference! Post your information below or click the link to contact me personally! Donations will be evaluated and considered by the order in which they are received. All organizations must be located in the Lehigh Valley!

Keep Sparkling 🙂

Aurora

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