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

Pause & Be Grateful

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

Go Go GO

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

Guys- I found the jackpot!!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aurora ✨

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

Me… 10 Years Ago Vs Now #10YearChallenge

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

WOW

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

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

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

So here we are…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love,

Aurora ✨✨

Community Giving · Goals · Motivation · Uncategorized

Spilled Milk

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A few weeks ago an old classmate of mine at Penn State contacted me via Facebook and asked me to read and review her book that was coming out soon on Amazon. After seeing current updates of her new baby, and reading about her happy marriage updates, life events etc, I was very interested and happy to hear she had a book coming out.

I by no means am an avid book reader, but the idea that someone I knew put out a book, immediately sparked my interest and I wanted to support if I could. While I told myself I would make sure to try and have the book read within two weeks, I was shocked to find that I couldn’t put my iPad down, and read the entire thing within three sleepless nights. I’d tell myself, “only one more chapter, then you have to sleep,” not once noticing the hours fly by each night.

Spilled Milk is about a young girl and her struggle to discover what real family life is, after growing up in a household where the norm was distorted and abusive. Brooke, the main character in the book, plays the role of mom majority of her life, and at night becomes a slave to her father’s sexual abuse for as long as she can remember. Even when times seemed the hardest for Brooke and her siblings, she would never tell of her abuse at home, because she believed she would be destroying her family, or putting her other siblings at risk of receiving the same treatment from her father.

Spilled Milk is a story about resilience. The strength of the human mind and will power to live a better life, is what makes Brooke such an amazing character in this book, and makes the reader cheer for her along the way. Once she discovers that her life at home isn’t normal, she finds the courage to take a stand against her father and to get help that she and her family deserve.

I firmly believe that Spilled Milk was written for a purpose. As you read the book, you will find that a strong supporter of Brooke, Midge, saw all along that she was meant for greater things in life. I know that this book is a testament to that belief, as I feel like it could really inspire those in a similar situation to Brooke’s. Some of the outlets and resources Brooke used to face her abuse are some that others could use as well in their local communities. Spilled Milk is proof that there are plenty of lifelines and people out there who are able to help at any moment if you or someone you know is being abused.

This book would prove to be highly beneficial to those studying in the mental health field, guidance counselors or educators working with children, summer camp workers, or even parents looking for knowledge surrounding the thought process of children being abused. The key to all of this, is knowing what the signs look like, with hopes that abuse like this can be prevented, or stopped sooner than it had for Brooke and her family. Brooke was a star cheerleader in high school. She was beautiful, at the top of her class academically, and would appear to have everything going for her. None of the “signs” that many of us would assume pointed to someone as perfect as Brooke Nolan. Not one.

I’m humbled, and proud to know someone as strong as Brooke, as I would never have guessed she had been through such hardship in her life before I had even met her in college. I strongly encourage you to download this book on Amazon today. For $4.99, it’s a must read that you won’t want to put down.

Brooke, this weeks Sparkle is dedicated to you. You did it!

Xo
-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