Community · Community Giving · Dreams · Giving Back · Living with Intention · Networking · Paying It Forward · Self Realization · Uncategorized · Women Empowerment

Be a Crown Fixer 👑

I. Love. This. Saying. I’ve said it for years, and when I heard it again recently, I knew it was time to talk about it a little more here, with all of you 👑

Last night I had the true honor of attending the Athena Awards, which are locally held by the Women’s Business Council here where I live in Pennsylvania. To tell you I left with my heart feeling so inspired and my cup completely full would be an understatement. All of the amazing women honored, their stories of strength and power, bravery and wisdom… each one, one after another, serving as a true testament to the strength we have as women, alone, and most importantly, together.

We talked about being a champion for other women, encouraging and echoing their ideas and strengths, and helping them in ways behind the scenes when they need it, without having to point out to others that you’ve done so. Being a sister to a another women in need, OR to simply lift her up, can have life changing impacts for her and for you. My eyes were open in a way I needed, and I’m so grateful to have been in the room.

I had the honor of writing on behalf of my friend and fellow community supporter, Meg, as she was crowned the Young Professional Athena, and I just couldn’t have been more proud. Because Meg won… I won… all her nominators won… every single female in the room won. That perspective reminder was exactly what my soul needed 🤎 We all win when one of us wins- every. single. time.

Another topic we discussed, which I plan to write more about soon, is imposter syndrome. Phewwwww hearing that a room full of women I admire have suffered and sometimes DO suffer from this self talk, reminded me I’m not alone and that we all doubt ourselves sometimes. The reminder was to think about all the negative things you’re saying to yourself, actually saying them aloud and specifically telling yourself why they’re not true. When you do this, you reframe your negative self talk, turning it into the real, positive reminders you need, especially in moments of full on imposter syndrome mode.

How do I have a seat here? I don’t belong in this room. Everyone here is so much more accomplished than me. What if they find out I’m not as great as they think I am?

Imposter Syndrome is a biotch, and she cannot sit with us. *snaps fingers*

Another take away for me from the Athena Awards, was doing things out of your comfort zone. This is another page from a book I haven’t taken off the shelf in awhile. But this morning when I woke up, and thought more about the evening, I grabbed the book from the shelf and began wiping some of the dust off it. This is something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, and it felt right that it resonated with me during the fireside chat portion of the night.

If I’m being 100% honest with you, which I know I can be, we’re all friends here, ♥️ I almost left the event last night after the first 5 minutes. I know, I know, I know. I just got done telling you how incredible the night was, so thank God I stayed, but let me explain.

Somewhere around 5:05, my imposter syndrome kicked in…HARD. For a few moments, I felt like I didn’t belong there, or maybe even deserve to be there. In a room with these incredible, distinguished woman, all who had groups of people they were with, people they felt they belonged with, and for a moment, I felt out of my comfort zone. No colleagues, no BFF to cling to, it was just me and I felt out of my element. (This was also before the amazing imposture syndrome pep-talk Meg gave us all- go figure! haha). But in the midst of those feelings, I took a deep breathe, didn’t leave and decided to embrace this amazing night ahead. I started meeting new women and engaging in some really great conversations and guess what, the room where I didn’t belong, or didn’t know anyone… was filled with women I’ve looked up to for years, have called on as mentors and have done community work with for over a decade. * Waves goooooodbyyeeeeee to imposter syndrome*

Stepping out of our comfort zones as a WHOLE has an entirely new meaning coming out of Covid times, so I’m giving myself a little time and grace as I get back into the groove of things. If you’re struggling with this too, whether socially or professionally, you are not alone. So join me and give yourself some time and grace and say a big-ol sayonara 👋 to imposter syndrome! You are amazing, you are worthy and you belong right in the space you are in 👑💕

To straightening crowns, lifting each other up, telling imposter syndrome to take a hike and stepping one foot outside our comfort zones, we got this ladies.

From One Queen to Another, Cheers ✨

Xo Aurora

Appreciation · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Wearing Gratitude Glasses

Having a gratitude filled perspective isn’t something many of us learn in life. If you have grown up this way, you’re ahead of a lot of us, and I’m jealous of you! If you’re like the many of us who need to work at this, or even have to realize the need to work on it, this is for you!

As someone who is primarily a positive person, I get asked sometimes how I do it. If I could answer this question and give away some kind of magic secret in a 2 minute conversation, I would, but that’s not the reality of seeing your world through a grateful lens. Or as I call it, seeing the world through your Gratitude Glasses.

Having a heart full of gratitude helps you see your cup as half full! When you start going down Complaint Road and Woe Is Me Lane, it’s easy to snowball and get to a place where nothing feels good enough. This is where negativity lies, self doubt lives and the feelings of “why doesn’t anything go my way,” overwhelm you.
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The truth is, it’s a practice to have a grateful heart; you have to work on it and it takes time. When the negative thoughts start creeping in, you need to actively remind yourself of the blessings that surround you, and the cup that’s currently half empty slowly shifts to becoming half full.

Mental Exercise time 💡💪: Doing this helps me remain present and reminded of the blessings in my life- when you wake up each morning, say 3 things to yourself that you’re grateful for. It only takes moments, but it starts your day off on the right foot and with a grateful heart ♥️

I’ll start: I’m grateful for 1️⃣ The health Baby Brunovsky has and the positive visits we keep having about her 2️⃣ My relationship with my husband and how in sync we are 3️⃣ That today is the last day of work until 1/4/21! Wooo! ✨✨

Now it’s your turn! What 3 things are you grateful for today? Can you try to start each morning this week with this exercise? It’ll start your day off with reminders of how blessed you are, even if in a tough season, and give you the opportunity to proceed into the day wearing your Gratitude Glasses.

Cheers to living the glass half full life!

Xo Aurora

Uncategorized

Reminder: Stop Comparing Your Journey to Others

We all grow at different rates, and that’s okay.

We spend so much time comparing our journey to others- am I right? I wonder how much more happiness we’d personally feel if we regularly reminded ourselves that only WE take part in our personal journey, and the differences we see when looking at others is O-K-A-Y.

I have found personally, that over the last few months, I have felt a lot of anxiety, sadness, frustration (enter other synonyms to these), etc. when looking at others seasons of life and comparing my current one to them. The amount of time I would spend (especially on social media) looking at others realities and thinking mine was falling short makes me sad to realize/ think about. It’s so easy to want something in our own lives so badly, that we become hyper-aware of others who have what we want and to be honest, throw ourselves a pity party. If you’ve ever thrown yourself a dramatic pity party, raise your hand!! (Pheww, I was worried it was just me).

Here is the good news, however, my friends:

You can rise up from anything. You can completely recreate yourself. Nothing is permanent. You’re not stuck. You have choices. You can think new thoughts. You can learn something new. You can create new habits. All that matters is that you decide today and never look back.

If the thing you are looking for or want isn’t right in front of you right now, you can work toward it- do everything you can to achieve it– OR (depending on the situation) remind yourself that nothing, including the present moment, is permanent.

Work as hard as you can to be present and to appreciate your current season.

So if you need it, here is your reminder: Comparing your current season to someone else’s is NOT going to change yours. Celebrate where you are right now, because it’s this path that’s taking you to exactly where you should be.

To our own journey,

Aurora

Counseling · Living with Intention · Self Realization · Uncategorized

8 Types of Self-Care

I’m so grateful to BlessingManifesting.com for this visual! Self-care has become a huge conversation in the last few months and I’m so glad it has!

These 8 different Types of Self-care perfectly illustrate how self-care is not a “one size fits all,” but rather something you need to explore for yourself and find what works best for you!

As for me, I feel like depending on what’s going on in my life, I dabble in each of these as needed! Anyone else like that? Regardless what kind of self-care you choose, it’s important to practice it for balance in your life. I know that when I don’t make time for self-care, it shows so many ways!

To putting yourSELF first with self-care,

-Aurora

Counseling · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Not Taking Others Words & Actions Personally = Freedom

“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” – The Scarlet Letter

Ah….. I know I always start my blogs this way when something really hits me, but, WOW!!!!! This perfectly sums up how I’ve been feeling lately- like this huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders- yet, I had no idea how heavy the weight was until it was gone. It literally feels like I’m viewing my life differently and in a more positive light than even a few weeks ago. My mood feels different, my energy has shifted. I mean, I feel… happy.

I feel free.

Don’t get me wrong, I try to approach life and others in a positive light as much as anyone else might, but something shifted a few months (maybe even a year back), and I was experiencing all this negative self talk. I touched on this a few postings ago in, Let’s Talk Self Talk and I really feel like this blog was the tip of the Positivity Iceberg  that I was about to meet.

(Positivity Iceberg, noun: a made up term I just created to define the beginning of feeing positive, and so much more is to come underneath it) 🙂

So what was this shift?

Let me start by telling you why the shift needed to happen. The feeling of letting others “stuff” effect your mood, actions and thoughts- this can be a killer. These feelings have been something weighing me down, making me second guess myself, keeping me up some nights and overall killing my positive way of thinking. When people would say something negative to me, or even about others, or make a “dig” to me or a side comment, it would really effect me. When did I start worrying so much about what others thought? Especially the negative things, and why did I start putting blame on myself and putting so much thought into their thoughts over my own truth? 

After overanalyzing too many situations and nearing a breaking point, I said enough. It is EXHAUSTING to think in the ways I just described. Right? I’m sure many of you reading this are probably like,”Wow… Aurora that’s rough.” While others are thinking, “WOW, I thought I was alone in this.” This blog is for both of you.

About a month and a half ago, I began doing the work to figure out why I’ve felt this way, and how to stop it. Sometimes you need to walk through the tough things to figure them out, rather than avoid and suppress them, so that’s what I did- I began walking.

 Friends, it’s every semi-corny quote you’ve ever read… it’s the ones you read and think, “that is so cheesy...” or “yeah great point but doesn’t apply to me.” And here they are:

“What people think of you is none of your business.”

“Nothing other people do is because of you, it is because of themselves.”

“You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”

“A wise man once said nothing.”

“Most people barely know themselves, so what does it matter what they think of you”

GUYSSSS…. these cheesy quotes are not BS! They’re actually true… and I think talking through how I was feeling and applying them to my own life and circumstances caused some kind of light bulb to go off… It does not matter what people think of you, especially the bad things they are projecting onto you from you own experiencing. We all have our “stuff” : Our history, the way we were raised, the beliefs hardwired into us, our insecurities and judgements. Every single person has this “stuff” that they are possibly able to project onto you. Fitting you into THEIR narrative.

THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.

I’m gonna say it louder for the people in the back…

THIS DOES NOT MAKE IT A REALITY.

And until you believe that, to your core, you won’t be able to move beyond these thoughts. When I’m telling you I literally feel lighter, and happier, I mean it. The thoughts I felt were suffocating me at times I now see were projections onto me of others “stuff,” not necessarily truths that I have to over analyze within myself. Understanding this has changed my self talk, and has made me feel so happy and positive approaching each new day. It’s CRAZY!!!! I get teary eyed even thinking about it.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t times where you need to own making mistakes or accept the invite to an argument you should attend… I’m not talking about those things. More than I believe in self-love and acceptance, I also believe in owning your crap and apologizing/ talking through difficult things with people who matter to you. So in these instances, I think it’s important to remember it could matter what people think of you and that it’s right to discuss what needs working through. I also think it’s important to remember when we’re projecting our own “stuff” onto others. We all do it. All of us. But being aware of it is the first step to not projecting onto others when we feel the need to.

The other piece of this is that it’s okay to feel the words and actions of others, even if they sting, but the important piece is to remind yourself that those words and actions may be more about them. Will I find myself dwelling on these things in the future, sure, but I feel more confident and feeling them and letting them go, rather than holding onto them like I used to.

All in all, friends, this feeling is amazing. And if I didn’t take the time to pause, think and talk through it all, I don’t think I’d be here. It’s only more validating when I hear close friends say they notice a lightness in me- if that’s not proof, I don’t know what is. If you feel like you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to send me a message. I’m happy to share more in detail about my path to help you maybe get on your own.

Ah, I feel free. Absolute FREEDOM from the exhausting and overwhelming feelings I’ve had. And most of all, I feel proud that I took the steps to arrive here.

To feeling F-R-E-E,

-Aurora

Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Home · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Uncategorized

Let’s Talk Self Talk

Pep Talks // illustration by Mari Andrew via Cup of Jo

Let’s Talk SELF TALK. Anyone else read the above and think… WOW… that IS how I talk to those people in my life! And now stop for a second, and ask yourself, “Do I always talk to myself this way?…” with understanding, excitement, happiness, patience etc etc etc. The answer is a hard NO in my book. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to internal thoughts and self talk.

  • I’ll never be good enough
  • I don’t look the way I should
  • I hate my body
  • I didn’t do as well as others expect me to
  • There is no coming back from that mistake
  • I’m not strong enough
  • I’m not enough
  • I can’t control my stress
  • I’m not lovable
  • I’ll be alone forever
  • I’ll never be as good as them
  • I’m not perfect
  • I need to be perfect

How many more things could you add to the list if I left it open ended? I guarantee by the time I proofread this 2-3x I will have added a few more to the list. It’s SO EASY for us to have these self-defeating thoughts, because the world (now more than ever) always has reminders of how we can be better. How to be a better mom or dad, a better employee, how to get bigger boobs or that you need a flat stomach- everywhere you turn (ESPECIALLY social media), we are surrounded by others Highlight Reels of what “perfect” or “ideal” looks like. I talk about this in a past blog called: The Reel is not Real.

So in a world that is always showing us how we can be better, how do we keep our minds in check to what living a good life looks like to us personally?

Master your mind, create your dreams. . . . #Repost @thedailyguru ・・・ Shitty things, people & experiences will happen! It’s going to be a part of life you won’t escape it.... the same as negative thoughts you feel you can’t escape.... .  Learn to make your thoughts & self talk encouraging, strong & positive & just watch how much faster you bounce back from the shitty situations in life 🖤 #lifesajourney .

We have to flip the script.

Yes, the script in your mind, the years of experiences that have molded you and your thoughts- it’s time to flip the script and remind yourself that you are a human and capable of amazing things, even if you’re not perfect, have made mistakes, don’t look this way or act this way, have this job, achieved this or that… IT DOES NOT MATTER. These things do not define your life and dwelling on them only robs you of living your BEST, happiest and fulfilled life.

You all know me, when I write, the topic usually has to do with something that is close to my heart and something either I or someone I know has or is going through. I think this is one topic I can say, ALL of us struggle with. We all have our own thoughts and preconceived notions of ourselves and what others expect of us. Lately, I’ve been in my own head with negative self talk; comparing myself to others success, doubting my growth and path in my exercise journey… honestly have thought, “why am I even doing this?”

YOU GUYS—- WHY do we do this? Not the “this” I’m talking about above, but THIS… as in what this entire blog is about. This self-defeating discussion with ourselves.

WHY do we do this?

Well friends, I’m committing to breaking the habit and here’s why: I am tired of suffocating moments of joy and successes by shining a light on my worries and insecurities. The truth is 99% of the things we over analyze, beat ourselves up over or stay up at night worrying about, don’t happen. This is a fact. So why not work on putting things in place to shake these thoughts as they start approaching and work toward more positive self talk all together?

Here are some tips on how to get started:

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I’m starting with the above, and one tip I’d like to add is: If you’re having a moment of overwhelming negative self talk and you need to kick it, phone a friend! There are a handful of people I know I can turn to when my self talk is all out of wack! These are the people who speak to you the way you would normally speak to others: patiently, kindly, lovingly, etc and they’re also your reminder of how much you are a rock star at life! Tap into these people- because the people we trust the most outside of ourselves is our tribe.

All in all, I want to work on challenging my negative self talk, figuring out where it’s coming from, and shifting my perspective to more positive thoughts and feelings. But just like with anything, in order to get better at it, you need to practice it daily, so I plan on doing just that!

Here is what I need to know you!

  1. What struggles do you have with Self Talk?

  2. Do you have an effective way of talking yourself out of Negative Self Talk?

  3. Do you like helpful checklists like the above to reference in the future?

Thanks for the read, friends! Let’s try talking to ourselves the way we talk to others: with love, support, patience and excitement! We really do deserve it.

Cheers,

-Aurora✨✨

Counseling · Dreams · Entrepreneur · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goal Digger · Goals · Home · Journaling · Living with Intention · Motivation · Networking · Self Realization · Uncategorized

Becoming Yourself Again

“Keep Taking Time For Yourself Until You’re You Again”

YOWZZAAAA

Did this hit me like a ton of bricks or what? WARNING: Lots of honesty in this post. Over the last few months, I haven’t been feeling much like myself. And when I say like myself, I mean, the person whom I thought I was; the person people tell me I am: happy, cheerful, positive, go-getting, someone who starts each day with a bright perspective etc. I know I’ve talked about it here before, but I couldn’t 100% put my finger on what it was that felt different. All I knew for certain was that I wanted a change, because something just didn’t feel right. So these last few weeks, I began asking myself:

“When was the last time you felt most like you and what were the things in your life that were making you happy?”

I pulled out my handy note-book where I do my “brain dumps,” and began jotting things down. When I felt the most like me, I was:

  • Getting in some kind of physical activity multiple times a week (going for walks, going to the gym, karate etc).
  • Spending time each day talking to God and feeling a stronger connection with him.
  • Getting sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. My GOSH this is a big one!! My normal bedtime these days is anytime after 11:00pm. Even on school work nights! This is partially because I like spending time with my husband and catching up on our day, but it’s also partially because I have a hard time falling sleep. 
  • Blogging regularly/connecting with readers.
  • Volunteering and giving back to my local community as often as I could
  • Eating/Drinking well. Less fast food, more fruits and veggies, less adult beverages, more Crystal Lite (hah, you expected me to say water?? NOPE)!
  • When I felt most like me I was Confident
  • And lastly, spending time with people who inspire, motivate, challenge and excite me when I’m around them!

PHEW, what a list huh? Did any of those resonate with you too? I don’t feel like I have lost any of these completely, but they were all part of my normal routine and contributed to my overall happiness… my overall ME. So in the last few weeks, and especially this week, I’m starting to feel like I’m getting some of the old me back. It’s all of the above and making the time for them- not making excuses as to why they’re not a part of my life at the moment. 

Fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself - Words of Wisdom

So I have to ask, when was the last time you felt like YOU? If the answer isn’t right now, I challenge you to have the courage to stop what you’re doing, and dig a little bit as to where you have been, and how to get yourself back.

My process began right before my last post, When You’re Tired, Rest. and is continuing each and every day. If there are things you need to pump the brakes on in your life to find you and your happiness again, do it. Break the plans, say “No” to things that get in the way of your path, have courage when thrusting yourself back into something that might no longer feel comfortable and r e l a x. It won’t all happen overnight, so remember to have patience with yourself. And if you need someone to help you figure out how, I’m only a few key strokes away. 

To finding ourselves again,

-Aurora 

This is the beginning of loving yourself. Welcome home. #selfdevelopment #sarahfreedom #sarah #freedom - Sarah Freedom Self Development - #beginning #Development #freedom #home #Loving #Sarah #sarahfreedom #selfdevelopment

Dreams · Faith · Family · Friendship · Goals · Living with Intention · Motivation · New Year · Self Realization · Tribes · Uncategorized · Valentine’s Day

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Week friends!

Ahhh I love, love. Valentine’s Day is always one of my favorite holidays because we’re taking the time to acknowledge the love in our life in a way that’s more than we typically would. I am one of those people who believe we should ALWAYS celebrate the love in our life, but I also love the day that’s devoted to it– Valentine’s Day! ❤️

There is something though, that I know many people can relate to, and feel this time of year, and that’s being alone on Valentine’s Day.

So how do you celebrate a holiday that’s focused on love, when you’re not in it?

I think an alternative to throwing a SICK Anti-Valentine’s Day Party is that you can also celebrate the love you feel in your life and the love you have for yourself. I know, not as fun and less of a party- BUT the day itself celebrates love, so why not celebrate the love you have for others (even if not romantic), and the self love you have (or need to work on) for yourself?

I think it’s so important to ALWAYS practice self-love, whether you’re in a relationship or not, so why not use the day as a treat-yo-self, love yourself, remind yourselfday that you’re worthy of love?

So to my single friends and readers, Happy Valentine’s Day- I hope you spend the day remembering that the day is about LOVE and not necessarily about being in it. I think it’s important to remember that this day is going to change meaning throughout all of our lives, so while you’re waiting for your person to enter your life, love yourself a little bit extra and remember that love surrounds you always.

To my friends and readers in relationships– I echo the above message 10 fold, and also want to remind you to use this day and appreciate, love on and reflect on the love in your life. Love is magic, and all too often, we don’t treat it each day like we do on Valentine’s Day.

On a personal note…

I’ve seen the meaning of Valentine’s Day evolve over the years in my own life. And year after year, I become more and more grateful for the love I have with my husband, our incredible family and the love we receive from close friends and people in our lives. I’ve had this day pass where I didn’t feel much love at all, and days where my heart is bursting. So this year, I’m tearing a page from all the above and just appreciating all the love I feel in my life. I know I’m surrounded by it, so that’s what I’ll celebrate this year.

My dear friends, Happy Valentine’s Day. If it makes a difference, I LOVE YOU and am sending it to you no matter where you are.

To you & your Valentines… ❤️

-Aurora

 

PS, Xerox also has these addddorrrrabblleeeeeee FREE card print outs if you want any for your friends or loves!!!