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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

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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!!

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

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

Of All The Things That Happened, What Didn’t?

C7C2C468-050D-4046-B613-FDA41CB94E98Sometimes you need to thank God for what didn’t happen. Thank Him for the things He’s stopped that you knew nothing about.

How deep is this? Trust me, I know. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially as we head into the time of year thinking about things we are thankful for, spending time with loved ones, exchanging gifts etc. We all have the scenarios in our lives that we wish played out differently. Maybe it’s a lost relationship, a negative situation or argument or even that one job you wanted to get that never worked out. God’s plan is so much bigger than ours that we can’t begin to fathom it’s greatness and complexity.

And let’s talk about gratitude- It’s so much easier to be thankful for something when you wanted it and now appreciate having it. How about the things we never had to endure or go through because God stopped them from happening? There are very few times in our life where we can see something almost happened and didn’t (and we become grateful), but what about the things we can’t see? I’ll tell you what- these thoughts alone are enough to make me grateful.

To know that God has had my back my whole life and continues to do so, regardless of my continued praise and appreciation that I may forget to show sometimes. How amazing it is to have the ultimate spiritual, mental, emotional and physical bodyguard, even if you forget to say thanks every once in awhile.

Thank you for all the things that didn’t happen.

-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

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

How to Start… Now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

To starting NOW….♥

With love and sparkle, Aurora

Friendship · Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Viewing Battles as Blessings

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

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

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

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

THE GOOD THING IS THOUGH…

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

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

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

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

To the battles that help us appreciate the blessings,

Aurora

Goals · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

2017- The Year of What Is

 

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

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

*THIS WAS SUCH A HUGE MOMENT FOR ME*

Are you following me here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Xo

Aurora

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

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