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

Casting Your Insecurities On Someone Else

I could really take this post so many routes, but I’ll stick with the title: Casting Your Insecurities On Someone Else. What does this quote me?

Blowing out someone else’s candle won’t make yours shine any brighter.

I’ve seen this thought so many times and always look to it as one of my favorites. How many times have we, or someone we know, put down something about others because it’s meant to downplay an insecurity that we or another have.

I’ve had a lot of examples in my own life lately that bring me back to this quote. I’ve seen people I’m close with put down a thought or an action of someone we know, because (in reality) it’s making them feel better about a shortcoming or insecurity that they have about themselves.

I guess when I think about this, my conclusion is, before we tear someone down or judge them, take a second to think inward. Nine times out of 10, critiques and negativity toward others stem from our own insecurities and things we want to change (or don’t like) about ourselves.

Can’t you think about a time where you blew out someone’s candle to make yours shine brighter? I bet you can.

To blowing out less candles,

-Aurora

Children · Dreams · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Motivation · New Year · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Traveling Before Kids

After my husband and I got married over a year and a half ago, we said we’d enjoy some married time together and then move on to making a family. We unofficially began making a “bucket list” of things we wanted to do before we {God willing}, began having kids.

Now don’t get me wrong- anything on our list {hitting financial goals, buying a house, raising a puppy, taking a tropical vacation, going to Disney etc} aren’t hard stops for us. If at any point we were blessed with or wanted to begin having babies, we would. These are things we talked about, however, that we wouldn’t mind doing before the children brigade begins.

First thing that both of us put on our unofficial list after buying a house and getting our puppy:

DISNEY!

Yup… we both wanted to visit the Happiest Place on Earth and experience it as adults before hopefully taking our kiddos along in a few years.

As I write this post from our bed at the Walt Disney World resorts, I can tell you that this trip has been incredible so far! As a first time Disney World visitor, I’ve had zero complaints during this experience.

Everyone here is so nice!

And while we are here with a bunch of great friends, what I love the most about trips like this with my husband, is that it creates lasting memories for us and continues to strengthen our married relationship.

I think that’s the part we both wanted out of spending this time together before expanding our family- we’re getting to know each other as Life-Long partners and friends inside of the lovey-dovey marriage experience. Does that make sense?

To my amazing readers, I’ll leave here is:

GO ON THE TRIPS!

While we are trying to be financially savvy, my husband and I also work our butts off year round, so we can enjoy some trips like this! If you have a good job, do good work and put the time in- take some time to have fun! Book the trip, go to that place, have that experience and ENJOY. A year ago, Disney was on the list, and now we’re here. We of course have motivation that helps guide our decisions to say “Yes” and jump in, so even if yours is different- Do it!

Traveling is fun, but getting to continue building this relationship with my husband means more than anything. I know that one day when we’re traveling with our kiddos and making new memories that these moments will also be ones that I cherish- The times where we were able to be two young newlyweds, experiencing life a building a strong foundation for a family.

The last thing I’ll throw out there is the saying many of us have heard: man plans and God laughs. That being said, the believer in me knows, if his plans are different, they’ll supersede ours- but in the meantime, you can find us at Cinderella’s Castle. 💖

To the travel bugs out there- do it!

Cheers,

Aurora

PS: Disney favorites so far: AVATAR, The Fireworks Display @ Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Dinosaurs, Escaping Everest, Rainforest Cafe, Animal Safari in Animal Kingdom. Up next: Epcot, Drink Around The World, Ohana Restaurant, Rockin Roller Coaster, Frozen, the Tower of Terror and much more! Have any recommendations? Comment below!!

Uncategorized

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

Counseling · Dreams · Faith · Friendship · Motivation · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized

Eliminating The Negative In Your Life

Let go of everything that negatively effects your life. The people, the places, ALL of it.

I have talked about this topic before… because you all know how much I love to preach the positive lifestyle, but I let some negativity in recently, and I have to tell you, the reminder to STOP and take a step back helped me so much. So much so, that I wondered how often it is that we find ourselves going down the rabbit hole and before we know it, we’re body deep, and are struggling to regain our footing.

So what happened? We all have those few people in our lives that bring us anxiety or stress, OR they serve as triggers to specific instances in our lives that brought stress, anxiety, negativity, pain, etc etc etc. When I was in the presence of one of these people recently, they did the same thing they always dothey minimized and put down something positive and exciting that I shared, to justify their opposite, negative view. UGH.

So I went down the rabbit hole…

I spent the next hour thinking: WHAT A JERK!!!!!!!!!! SOME PEOPLE NEVER CHANGE!! (Of course this was inside my head– I’ve learned to keep thoughts like that to myself, esp. in an initial response).

I let my mind wonder, doubted myself and allowed for this persons comments to make me think negatively toward myself. “Do they have a point? Why do I think this is so great? Do other people think this way?” Self doubt, self doubt, self doubt. Exactly. What. They. Wanted. See, here is the thing: I know this person typically has a glass half empty attitude, and puts others down when feeling envious, or even, jealous. So part of me is correct… this person hasn’t changed. What CAN CHANGE however, is the way I let it affect me… the way I let it go. So, after this hour passed, I literally said to myself:

This has nothing to do with you. Any negative comments or energy from that person is THEIRS- there is no need for me to take it on as mine.

So here I am… some time after this happened, and while I’m proud I was able to talk myself through it, I thought it was important to share. Negative people, places and instances are all around us. Our biggest, strongest weapon against negativity in our lives is our own ability to look it in the face and see it for what it is. And when you can do that, and you no longer feed it, you can let it go. All of it.

It’s certainly a work in progress, but I’m committed to letting go of and eliminating as much negative from my day to day as possible. When you let the negative in, you decrease the room for light, happiness, growth and my favorite (you already know), positivity.

What negativity are you trying to let go of in your life? Are they people, places, both? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To kicking it Positive,

Aurora

Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Be Soft.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

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I love this saying! In a world where everyone takes everything so personal and has their negative input against this or that, how amazing of a reminder it is to see that it’s okay for us to still feel positive about where we are. I constantly find myself in this internal conflict of whether or not to be consumed by those who are negative, as opposed to staying where I want to be- the positive side. Help me out here, but how many of you can think of one or two people in your life who are always negative? Whether they complain about every day things, gossip about others or tear others down or give their viewpoint about something, but it always seems to have a rain cloud over it. Isn’t it draining?? I interact with people like this at random, and those moments with them (and usually moments following) I feel so overwhelmed and drained. How can someone feel like that all the time? I imagine it’s difficult, and viewing the world where it’s always raining has to steam from more pain than I’m aware of. I just hate the effect I down times allow it to have on me. 

A friend of mine from high school wrote on his senior picture to me “Aurora, don’t let the world change who you are.” And this has always stuck with me as I navigate negative situations as they arise. It’s so important to remain who you are, even when faced with something you feel it’s easy to fall into. 

The world is a beautiful place… and my little itty bitty blog will always serve as the constant reminder of that. We all are entitled to our bad days (trust me… I’ve had a dozen or two), but I think it’s always important to remember life is good. Being alive is good… and the only person who impacts that viewpoint is you.

xo

Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Knowing Your Happy Place

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It has been exactly three weeks since I’ve posted here. This is interesting for me to talk about, since I’ve posted pretty regularly (usually once a week), since the beginning of the new year. To be honest, I began to worry about when I would post and what it would be about when I reached the two week point and hadn’t been inspired to talk about anything specific. That’s the thing about my site; I won’t ever post about anything I’m not passionate about or things that I believe won’t add value to the people around me. It took until this morning for me to realize that it was okay I hadn’t posted anything in awhile, and to reflect on why I hadn’t done so, and move forward.

The truth is, the last few weeks, I began feeling like I didn’t know who I was. I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself (my beliefs, values etc), was acting differently, and even began treating the people around me differently than I normally would. The part that was shocking to me, was that I recognized it the whole way through but felt like I couldn’t bounce back. I felt powerless in my own thoughts.

Has this ever happened to you?

As someone who typically is aware of who they are and how they treat others, the last few weeks really threw me for a loop as I began trying to understand what was going on with me. And while I thought about a lot- my relationships, certain situations, good things, bad things (and everything in between), I finally reached the point where I told myself to calm down and relax.

The last few days, I went on a trip with friends to Florida and had the opportunity to clear my head. I had no idea how much I would appreciate this time away, until I was there and had an overwhelming feeling of relief. As I lay under the palms trees and the warm sun on the beach, I can tell you that I literally did not have a care in the world. I was in my happy place, and nothing before those moments or the future moments to come mattered. And I think this is what it all comes down to. In the times where you need to be reminded of who you are, who you want to be and what’s important to you, can you recognize what your “happy place” (or people, memories, values) are and know yourself well enough to go there?

I was reminded today and in writing this now that my website is one of my happy places and that I’m grateful I have it as a way to connect with so many of you. Not a day goes by where I don’t interact with someone about something they saw on the site, or hear how it has inspired them in one way or another.

What these last three weeks have taught me is to recognize my happy places regularly, go to them when needed and be appreciative for what they provide. What are your happy places? And when was the last time you went there?

Go to your place and get some air,

Xo Aurora

Motivation · Uncategorized

The Two Wolves Within Us

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I’ve held on to this quote for a long time now, because every time I read it, I’m able to relate different parts of my life to it and it reminds me that all of us are human. Each one of us has the capability of allowing different sides of ourselves to surface at different points, occasions, situations etc. To elaborate, I apply this quote to my own life currently. What are the things that I’m happy with and proud of, and what areas of my life am I currently not happy with? Depending on how I personally feel about these things, will indicate how I react to them, thus, “feeding” that side.

When I write for all of you, I’m happy, excited, passionate and thrilled to know so many of you read this and tell me how it helped you/ made you think. In the beginning of my website, I was worried. I wondered who would read The Weekly Sparkle?; Will people like it?; Will they take something positive from it?; etc. I fed my insecurities. I filled my head with negativity and almost allowed it to scare me into not doing this. With encouragement from Joe (yup, that amazing guy who started all of this for me), my family and positive self talk, I began to feed the part that wanted to spread positivity and make a difference in the world. I fed the good.

What do YOU feed?

It’s important to consider this question, because there are literally 100’s of decisions we make each day and depending on how we speak to ourselves (getting back to positive and negative self talk from a few posts ago), we steer the direction of how we answer these questions. Ultimately, these little decisions can snowball into some of the larger decisions of our lives, making a bigger impact than what we realize.

Had I fed the negativity and insecurities I felt with The Weekly Sparkle in the beginning, I would have never been able to interact with all of you amazing people and connect at a level I hoped to one day achieve. Do not allow someone or temporary situations to dictate the feelings you feed. Temporary feelings, arguments, jobs, relationships, anger etc. are just that, temporary. We are all human, so at times we will accidentally feed the wolf that deserved to starve in certain situations, but the key, as always, is recognizing which wolf we fed, why, and adjusting the feeding cycle the next time a similar event occurs.

Think before you feed 🙂

Aurora

Motivation · Uncategorized

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

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Respect. This word is specifically important to me this week, as I’ve seen examples of it all around me and witnessed situations where I saw great respect and places where I wished I saw more respect. It’s amazing, because like many things, I feel respect is something we learn as we grow up. What do our parents, teachers, role models, heroes teach us about how we should give/take respect? Whether it’s respecting ourselves, others, our job, our relationships, our property, our hearts, etc. we’ve learned what we give and what we accept from somewhere.

Growing up I was taught to always respect myself and others will respect me. This came from my family and my karate academy, which taught me how to carry myself and how to put positivity forward. Of course, you can’t control others and their upbringing, but if you emulate that you accept nothing but respect, others will only give that to you.

When you experience disrespect, that’s where you need to step back and evaluate where that person or situation stands in your life. Meaning, is this something worth salvaging, or am I showing this person/job/relationship that I’m accepting of their actions and think I’m deserving of them. We all have someone in our lives who may have shown disrespect, but they’re deserving of our understanding and discussion to make things better– I’m not talking about these people. This would mean we’re all perfect, and I know we’re not (as a 25 year old, I still get the respect speech from a parent every so often).

I think what I want to focus on mainly, are the people/relationships/job/situations where we are continually not getting the respect we deserve and are putting up with it. We’re displaying the message I WILL TAKE WHATEVER YOU THROW AT ME and leaving these moments feeling less than what we deserve. I have so many places in my life where I feel respected so much, that it’s easy for me to spot when I’m not feeling that in a specific situation or moment. Not all of us are in this boat, but nonetheless YOU deserve to look into these areas of your life and demand better.

We all deserve healthy environments where we feel respected, and furthermore, where we DEMAND respect, by the way we treat ourselves and encourage others to treat us. Are you strong enough to let go of the disrespect in your life? And can you identify it? You can!.. And you owe it to yourself to do so.

Respect yourself, and each other.

Aurora

Community Giving · Motivation · Uncategorized

Attitude of Gratitude

I feel like a major theme of a lot of things I discuss is strongly focused around the subject of gratitude. Meaning, overall attitude; is it thankful, appreciative, is there acknowledgment of the good things going on in our lives, or the things given to us? Do we take a second and be thankful for all the things going right, or can we only focus on what we don’t have or wish we had (more of)?

It is always easy to see and complain about what it is that we don’t have. Right?

I read the quote a long time ago, and each time it pops up in my life, I feel like its for a reason…

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How spot on is this in many of our lives? It’s so easy to complain about how we don’t have enough of what we want, or aren’t happy with aspects of our lives. The challenging piece is recognizing it in the moment and changing our thoughts. We can control what we have and don’t have, but it’s socially acceptable and normal to voice what you’re unhappy with, rather than praise all the good things going on.

I feel like this is particularly hitting home for me now, because I have so much to be grateful for yet I find myself focusing on the things I want to change in my life, and areas where I feel like I’m not good enough. The truth is, I am good enough. And I know this, but it’s the negativity and stress of everyday life that makes us all question ourselves, what we know we’re good at, our intentions, our capabilities, and so on and so on and so on.

So I’ll end by saying that I’m grateful for my relationships. All of them. I’m gracious that I am related to some of the most supportive, amazing people I’ve ever met. In addition to my family, I’ve formed friendships and bonds with other people in my life that lift me up and motivate me to become a better person. They say, you are who you surround yourself with, and if that’s not enough to make me grateful, then I don’t know what is.

Sparkle on, you!

Xo Aurora