Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Housekeeping · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Paying It Forward · Sandy Hook · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Pause & Be Grateful

The last few months I have been researching gratitude and prayer journals because I knew my life had been:

Go Go GO

… and I wanted to slow it down. I’ll be the first to say I know I have a blessed life, so stopping and being grateful for the goodness around me is something I wanted to make a priority. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, just a few pages where I could visit each day and jot down what I was most grateful for. The other thing I wanted to be more intentional about, was my relationship with God & taking a few moments each day to write out what I was praying for, focus on a verse that stood out to me and lastly, write out what I’d like God to help me learn/work on in my life.

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

These journals serve as both my person gratitude check and check in with God… & um, they’re GORG!!!! 😻

They’re perfect! I plan on using them both starting tomorrow morning as a way I want to start my day. Beginning each morning with a grateful heart and open conversation with God is something I know will start my day off on the right, positive note. If you’re looking to increase the happiness in your life, you can start by looking at all the blessings you already have!!

The Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal & My Prayer Journal are two great (and inexpensive!) ways to begin your daily gratitude journey! Do you already practice doing daily gratitude? If you don’t and you’ve been thinking about it, here’s a nice way to get started:

I think it’s so easy to fall into negative patterns and lead a life that feels pessimistic and like there’s a rain cloud constantly over your head. Sometimes I find myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of negativity, self doubt and gossip. I believe that when you have a grateful heart, put God first and are open about your struggles/needs/imperfections, you can truly begin to see a change in yourself. This is my hope anyway, since this is going to be a practice I start today in search of that!

Don’t have a relationship with God (or any higher power)? That’s okay– if it’s for the simple fact that you don’t know where to start, I’d say this journal is a great beginning mark. I also downloaded This Bible App, because it’s free, offers daily verses and inspiration and sends you daily notifications to remind you it’s time to get your God Time in! ☑️ Honestly, it’s great.

I know we’re all on a journey to better ourselves (I’m sure that’s how you made your way to my page), so gratitude is where I want to focus next. It’s all a part of my wanting to Live Intentionally and form a life of gratitude, reflection, growth and living my best life.

I’d love to hear if you use a gratitude journal or practice gratitude in your own way in the comments! I’ll be sure to write a follow up on how the journaling is going…

To being grateful for (and aware of!) life’s blessings,

Aurora ✨

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

Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

Happy Sunday friends! I went along with the other couple million on social media and completed the #10YearChallenge a few days ago. If you have been hiding under a rock don’t know what I’m talking about- the concept is simple: you find a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and one that is current, and you post the side by side views.

WOW

The intention of this challenge was to show how different we all look after 10 years. At 31 however, I found myself looking at the girl on the left, and thinking: “WOW, if I could talk to this girl, the things I would tell her about her life to come.”

So I posted this photo on My Instagram (Click to follow) and I wrote the caption:

What would I tell Aurora Boo 10 years ago if future me had a chance to speak to her? YOU LOOK AMAZING, STOP THINKING YOU AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH AND THAT YOU NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Oh, and THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE IS ON HIS WAY, HANG TIGHT GIRLFRIEND❤️ {& keep your signature picture pose- it’s gonna be a hit later down the road}! I can’t believe the #10YearChallenge just inspired my next blog post! See you all on Sunday! 😘

So here we are…

THINK about this, where were you 10 years ago and what did you think of yourself? Were you in school? Were you in a relationship? Did things feel awful? Did things feel perfect? Now I ask… how different does it look than you thought it would?

Did you think you’d be married? Did you think you’d have kids? No kids? Did you think you’d be advanced in your career? Or are you in a career you never thought you’d be in? Did you think you’d be retired already? My friends….

This is called, LIFE!… & growing up/ growing old

BUT!…. I have to laugh when I think back to myself at 21. Didn’t we all think we’d have kids in a few years and consider our 30’s being OLD? I certainly did. Never did I think that at 31 years old, I wouldn’t have at least 2-3 kids. Why did I think that? Because my parents had me and my siblings when my mom was in her 20’s… and we’re supposed to be following the footsteps of our parents, right? Man, I’m literally sitting her smirking thinking about what I thought life would be like and how it is.

I truly, wholeheartedly, love my life. Every aspect of it: the people in it, my marriage, my relationship with God, my career, my accomplishments, the life lessons (difficult and positive), and where my life is headed. It just looks so different than how the girl on the left thought it would look.

So, what would I tell the girl on the left at 21, that I know now at 31?

I would pat her on the back and tell her she’s doing a great job, even though sometimes she doesn’t feel good enough or that she’s on the right track. I would tell her that it’s okay to challenge people you love, even though you worry it’ll be perceived as disrespectful and that growing up comes with forming your own beliefs, non-negotiables and boundaries… but that kindness is imperative. I’d tell her that one day the people she’s challenging will actually appreciate her for that, and thank her for helping teach them a thing or two along the way. I’d tell her that it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident that your current relationship is the forever relationship, and that what you’re feeling in the relationship is valid, and should be heard. I’d tell her she can have more than one deep love in life and that her soul mate is out there. I’d also tell her that she’ll find him soon and to go with her gut. Lastly, I’d tell her it’s okay to say NO sometimes.

Things I would want to tell her, but I wouldn’t, because they gave her the best life experience and growth: Don’t take out more student loans than you need- future Aurora will thank you. Drop the friends that make you feel bad about yourself, or cause too much drama in your life- they’re using you for your energy, and this will eventually burn you out.

It’s amazing how this fun internet challenge really inspired me to think a little more inward. What I gained by looking back is something I will take with me looking forward: Things that are paining me now, or keep me up at night, will all iron themselves out over time, and stressing about them now, and feeling negative about them, won’t make them go away- they’ll just continue giving me stress and worry. So, looking into my next 10 years, I will try harder to shake the things that worry me, and instead focus on and LOVE the heck out of the things/people in my life that bring me joy.

Did you complete the 10 Year Challenge? If so, what would you tell yourself 10 years ago if you knew what you knew now? Would love to hear it in the comments!

Love,

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

Counseling · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Tribes · Uncategorized

Starting with your SELF

Self-love, self-respect, self-worth… There is a reason they all start with “self“. You cannot find them in anyone else.

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. How much of the way we view and accept ourselves relies on the way that other people view and accept us? Are you only your BEST self if others view you as such? And lastly, how much weight do we put on how others perceive us, vs what we perceive ourselves to be?

It’s cliché, and my writing it won’t let it sink in immediately for you, but it all starts on the inside. If you love, respect and deem yourself as worthy of happiness (and everything else!), then that is all you need.

The perception and viewpoint of others about you doesn’t define who you are and what you’re capable of. I don’t have great advice on how you can begin to see that, other than that you can start with baby steps any time you want.

For me, I notice when I begin going down the rabbit hole, that I literally need to close my eyes and ask God to help me through the moment and to let it pass. Of course, you don’t need God to help with you that, but I prefer having his support. It’s like my internal therapist.

So that’s a baby step I take to make sure my own self talk doesn’t lead me to continue negative thought or emotion. Of course, any aspect of your life could use a little more “self-_______” in it at any given point, but the goal is the remember that it all starts, and ends, within you.

You can’t expect anyone else to fulfill what you need on the inside to feel whole.

To working on the inside, first.

-Aurora

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

Celebrating YOU on your Birthday

I love Birthdays. I’ve said this before on this blog and I will say it again.

Your birthday is like a personal New Year.

It’s an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and to look forward to things you want to accomplish. I spoke about this idea 2 years ago in my blog titled, The Importance of Birthdays, where I talk about why I feel we need to take the day (or week or month) and celebrate YOUR life. At that point in my life, I was about to turn 29 and reflected on how far I’ve taken this website and where I want to go. This time around, I’m taking a look back at all of the amazing things year 30 brought me (new home, new job, amazing times with family a friends, a new niece, Godmother-hood and so much more), and thinking about my hopes and dreams for what 31 has in store.

31…

I’m going to be married with a few kids and be well into my career…

LOL… how many of us thought that?! When I was 15, the thought of being in my 30’s meant I was OLD and obviously living life as a mom with a million and one kids. I would say that my generation however, is the first to show that this isn’t the norm anymore. Yes, many of my family and friends began a family in their 20’s, {which is great}, but it’s socially acceptable to not start a family now until you are in your 30’s, where before it was looked down upon. While age is “only a number,” history has taught us that certain things need to happen in certain years, and that idea has faded quite a bit. For me, I’m enjoying every single year and appreciating the things I’m learning, the paths life has put me on, the people I’ve met and the difference I’m making in the lives of those around me.

Since today is my birthday, I’m feeling extra reflective about where the last year has taken me, but am even more excited to see what the year ahead has in store. The one thing that I know I’m looking for to is the constant and ever changing project of bettering myself.

What good is a New Year if you don’t have resolutions, right?

In year 31, I’m going to be more forgiving of others and project more positivity and warmth to those around me than I ever have before. I want to work on the inside so it reflects even brighter on the outside.

What are your feelings on birthdays? Do you like celebrating them? Do you need to show yourself a little more love on your birthday? If my vote counts, I say you go all in and celebrate that amazing life of yours! Whether your 15, 18, 25, 37, 52, 60, 71 or 100, every new year offers us the opportunity to do things we want, say what needs to be said, travel, change, date, get married, start a hobby…

W H A T E V E R   W E   W A N T

Use your birthday as the launching pad to the life you want to live.. even if it’s for this year only!

Happy birthday to you, and happy birthday to me!

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:

 

4d3ec6ebf91b935a403d5ea267d3b94d.jpg

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

Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Sorry Doesn’t Make It Okay

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground.
-Ok, Done.
Did it break?
-Yes.
Now say sorry to it.
-Sorry.
Did it go back to the way it was before?
-No
Do you understand?

20130904-122653.jpg

Wow. My cousin sent this to me as its been a topic that she and I have discussed a lot over the last few years. I think it’s a harsh reality that many of us have to face every now and then when the friendship we broke, or a friend broke with us, just cannot simply be repaired.

You try and go back to where it was before, and that place just doesn’t exist anymore. What makes it a harsh reality is that whether or not both parties want to go back to that place, the friendship is forever changed. One or both of you saw a side of that other person that you didn’t know existed… Or better yet, never existed towards you.

I speak from experience in knowing what it is to be on both ends: the breaker and the breakee. I’ve always prided myself on being a good friend and doing what I think is right toward all people. Unfortunately there have been a few times that I can look back on and wish I had made better decisions based on the needs/expectations of my friends and what the situations called for. While hindsight is always 20/20 and everything is clear now, at this point you need to accept that things won’t be as they once were, and adapt to the way they are now and will be.

The other end of this that I have been on is where you have been hurt by a friend, and whether you want it to go back to how it was or not, it’s simply not an option you can let yourself get to. I have wanted to go back to normal with a friend a few times now, but there are limits to what we can consciously allow ourselves to do. Call it what you want, but when someone burns you, or doesn’t think enough about you before hurting you, sometimes our hearts just won’t allow us to go back— which is okay. It’s the harsh reality.

My advice for this however, is that we try our hardest to never let our friendships get to this point. Sounds easier said than done you say? Well, it’s not. It all comes back to the golden rule and a little extra thinking. You treat people the exact way you want them to treat you, and beyond that, think about how the other person feels and how they will react if you hurt them. We can’t be perfect, but it is possible to be pure and genuine in thought.

To the friendships that sparkle in your life…

♡ Aurora Beani

20140621-090746-32866685.jpg

Community Giving · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

The Impact of Connections and Life Choices.

20130806-010112.jpg

Connections.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wanted to post the last few weeks and I think I am finally able to put into words my thoughts. Have you ever taken a second to think about the people in your life and how they got there? Even your family… While they’ve always been there and will always be there, sometimes your closer with some members than others… But why? Where are these relationships cultivated and what does it all mean? This has been something on my mind a lot lately, as I’ve been so thankful for some of the people in my life, and it made me wonder how I got so lucky, and where my relationships with these people began.

I received a Facebook message from a dear friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to in a little while, reaching out about The Weekly Sparkle, his appreciation for my positive outlook, and offering his own insight on relation to the site and things with his life. It completely made my week. It got me thinking about how I know him and how lucky I am to have someone I hardly have to speak with, but can still feel an impact by their words and our relationship. We met one summer in LA when my best friend and I decided we wanted to experience California. Once I was hired for the job at UCLA {that I found out about one night during drinks with a friend-connection}, I had no idea about the great people I would meet, and how they would become lifelong friends, no matter where in the country they lived.

This is just one occurrence, among many lately that have me taking a step back and realizing how each decision, conversations, moments etc all impact our lives and where we are right now. Even my current relationship, I wouldn’t be in it if I hadn’t decided to take my Target job almost 8 years ago, not knowing 6 years later I’d begin dating one of the best guys I’ve ever known. And in the subject of that, all of the friendships, connections and opportunities I had stemming from my decision to work at Target {and stay there} is mind blowing. I had two offers on the table and went with the one I felt best about… What if I chose the other?

Think about an important decision you made in your life. {Really… Think of one for a second}. Was it a move? The acceptance of a job? Was it a break-up? A proposal? A split decision that would have an immediate consequence? Now… Think about the person(s) who helped you make that decision. Where did you meet them and how they did they get in your life? What if you hadn’t met them and didn’t receive the same advice/counsel and it changed your decision? What pieces of your life would be missing or different because you didn’t make the decision? It’s so amazing how all these tiny details mold our bigger picture.

This is a strong support as to why I don’t believe in having regrets. Each and every decision we make, relationships we build, and doors we open, lead to paths in our lives that we have to walk… Whether we continue the path, change directions, or begin a new path that we were lead to through another connection at one point… It all has to begin somewhere.

And so, I stand proud and humbled to see where many of my decisions and relationships have lead me in my life, and I appreciate the incredible support and unconditional love I receive everyday from people I’m close with and connected to. I can only hope that I am as big of a support to them as they are to me. It’s amazing to even see the connections your able to make with people that you hardly ever see, maybe only speak with through social networks, yet know the bond you have with them has impacted yours and their life.

Someone I have admired for years and follow regularly is author and public speaker, Brene Brown, who wrote the quote that I used above. I believe in it full heartedly. It is the connection we build with others and the impact we make in one another’s lives that make life worth living. I believe it’s the choices and directions we take that makes life more exciting and fun to look back on, rather than the things we don’t do and later question what may be different had we done the unknown.

So I say, we appreciate and enjoy the connections we made, the great relationships in our lives, and take a look back every once in a while to remind yourself how it all came to be, and that you’re currently exactly where you should be, because it’s already molding your tomorrow.

Sparkle On ♡

-Aurora