Counseling · Expectations · Journaling · Living with Intention · Relationships · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Balancing Other People’s Expectations

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Talk about a visual!

Lately I’ve been realizing how much of my own happiness/disappointments within myself are based around pleasing others or living up to their expectations of me. I find myself feeling stressed over what someone might think, how they took this or that, whether or not they think that is good enough, etc etc etc.

Sounds exhausting, right?

This is where my “SO WHAT” mantra comes in. So what if you’re not living up to others expectations of you, does that matter? Are their expectations realistic and do they match what’s important to you?

What actually matters is whether or not you are (or are becoming) the version of yourself that you went to be!! It only matters if you are living up to your own expectations. And guess what? If you’re not, you have the power, every-single-day, to change that. Remember that what others expect of us isn’t always about us- it’s can be about a fear, or an insecurity of theirs that they’re projecting on you or needing from you. Others expectations often have nothing to do with us specifically. And just how others do it to us, it’s important to remember that sometimes we can be doing that to others as well. It’s not easy to be mindful of, but if you are, you’re ahead of the curve!

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On the flip side, what’s even crazier to think, is that majority of the time, the expectations we think others have about us, don’t even exist! We are subconsciously making things “heavier” than they need to be! Somewhere along the line in our relationship other people, we may have developed a feeling of what they expect from us as friends, siblings, co-workers, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, etc etc etc. Most of the time, however, you’ll find, the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.

Again for those who need to read this again:

…the things people love and value in you are a lot less complicated than what you think you have to live up to.

Being honest, I read that for myself again, too.

To overthinking a little less, letting go of the heavy feelings, giving ourselves more grace and sharing that grace with others too…

Cheers,

-Aurora

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Faith · Family · Friendship · Home · Housekeeping · Living with Intention · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Our Heat Pump Broke… And I’m Happy It Did!

Life Quote: Remember, most of the stress in your life comes from the way you respond, not the way life is. Adjust your attitude, and all that stress will disappear.

I sound crazy right? Our heat pump in our home, BROKE, and I am happy that it did. And if you asked me how I felt about our heat going out (in the middle of winter, mind you) 2 weeks ago, I was not feeling the way I do now.

As a matter of fact, I was worried, stressing out over cost and feeling a strain in our home that normally isn’t there. Yes, I know…

“Welcome to being a homeowner…”

Honestly, if one more person said that to me that first week of dealing with this, I may have burst. The stress and anxiety that came with this situation wasn’t because we didn’t understand things like this happen as homeowners, it was deeper than that. It was the tension felt over our current financial situation, the worried/panic filled initial response and honestly, bad communication.

So why in the HELL am I happy this happened?

41 Motivational And Inspirational Quotes You're Going To Love

I am a huge believer in seeing the silver lining to all situations. No… not in the second they happen… we’re all entitled to having a moment of freaking out, but after the fact, I like to take a look back and reflect on situations like this. What if anything could I have done differently, what did I learn, what am I proud of, etc.

There are 3 main reasons I am grateful our heat pump broke and the lessons I learned because of it:

  • Faith, Family and Friends.
    • Time and time again, our family and friends show up when we need them most. I will never take for granted the amazing people in our lives who offered electric heaters, words of encouragement, connections to HVAC businesses and amazing advice about a topic we knew little about. Tough times show you who shows up FOR you. It’s a refreshing reminder of how much people care about you. Due to all of this assistance, #2 happened!
  • Remembering it’s okay to ask questions.
    • I put out on FB that we needed some help, and my friend’s mom reached out to me immediately. Turns out her husband has owned Indoor Comfort Specialists Inc. here in the Lehigh Valley for over 30 years. He came over the next morning and looked at our unit, offered advice on whether or not to fix or replace all together, then asked a few questions about our warranty and why the parts weren’t covered. This conversation lead me to call the manufacturer back, not accept the first answer I received, asked more questions, and ultimately, the company found an error in our warranty and was able to get the parts fixed. FOR FREEEEEE. GUYS!… this is probably the biggest lesson of all-  if something doesn’t feel right, or if you have questions, ASK THEM. The road to getting our parts for free had a lot of twists and turns, but if I never asked the questions, and accepted the original “your warranty is expired,” we wouldn’t have saved the thousands of dollars that we have!
      • Lehigh Valley peeps– if we had to replace everything, we would have gone to Indoor Comfort Specialists because they’re AMAZING! Great customer service, locally built successful business and the nicest, most genuine owner/employees on the planet. Definitely give them your business.
  • Better Communication in our relationship.
    • Yikes did this one put my husband and I to the tesssssssssssssst! As a couple that rarely gets into arguments, this situation definitely had us both stressed out and communicating like shit poorly to one another. I learned through this experience the importance of understanding that we all react differently to stress and communicate in our own way when under stress. I needed to jump right in and go into problem solving mode, wanted to talk it through, etc. while my husband needed time to process, think of different solutions and kept more to himself. Our different responses to what was going on made us feel tension, some frustration and ultimately, alone. Looking at it from this end, I realize that not having many arguments (while wonderful), lead to us not knowing how different our responses would be, and what that meant. In the days following all of this, my husband and I had a nice long talk about what went down and how we communicated to each other and why. This not only makes me love my husband even more (I love life convos with him, and that he likes them, too), but I know it’s a healthy conversation that will help in the future when the next stressor arises.

Thankful for being blessed with good friends

So, I am happy our heat pump broke. I’m happy because it reminded me of so many positive relationships in my life, gave me a lot of life lessons I know will help in the future and ultimately, strengthened my relationship.

To the universe– I think I have gained what I need from this lesson, if you could chill with the home ownership issues for a bit, I’d appreciate it 😊

To always learning and growing… ♥

-Aurora

Counseling · Dreams · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · New Year · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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

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 · 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!!