Living Simple

a happy & healthy way of life

Archive for the category “The Simple Life”

Mission Statement for Life

I am a born list maker and planner.  Making lists and plans help me stay on track and I honestly don’t understand people who just float along in life without some sort of plan.  Trust me, I have tried to be a fly by the seat of pants kind of girl but I have realized that it just is not me.  I have embraced the fact that I always have some idea where I am headed in life and what I am really working for.  I admit my plans have not always played out perfectly and I have changed my plans along the way.  I have found this to be normal because we all grow and change with time.  What may have been really important to me at 21-years-old is not quite as important now.  I have been listening to an audiobook recently that recommends writing a mission statement for your life.  This statement should include all the important goals you want to accomplish for yourself.

My current mission statement is pretty short and sweet because I am all about trying to simplify my life lately. I start with the ones everyone should include like saving money and paying off debt.  I also want to finish my degree while keeping my full-time job.  Then eventually I hope to get a job associated with my degree that has great benefits and some travel opportunities.  I also have buying a new car and a trip to Hawaii in my personal mission statement.  There are few other things thrown in the mix that would complete my life’s mission but for the most part my goals are pretty basic.  

Some days when I am having a particularly rough day at work it is nice to be able to remember my mission in life.  When someone asks me who I work for I tell them that I work for myself.  I may work at a certain place of business but in the end I earn that paycheck strictly for myself and no one else. I know with each class I take I am a step closer to finishing my degree and with each article I write I am getting better at my craft.  I believe earning a living doing something you love is the real American dream.

A person without goals, a mission or plan…whatever you want to call it, is simply lost.  Everyone has a journey in life but no journey is possible without a destination.  Each paycheck should have a specific plan, to pay bills, to provide the necessities to live and to save towards something.  That something can be retirement, a new car or a trip. but if you don’t have plans for your money you are going to spend it.  Unfortunately, you probably will not even remember when, where or why you spent it either.  Having a plan and working toward a goal with your money should be your number one mission.

You should also take every opportunity to invest in yourself.  Treat yourself as an asset, if you have a chance to go back to school you should take it.  If putting in the extra hours or taking on some special training for your job will pay off in some way, by all means go for it.  If you are passing up opportunities just because you are comfortable where you are in life that is almost like giving up.  The moment you stop trying to better yourself you have stopped living.

Every day should be about learning something new and working towards something you want in life.  There are many tools to keep you motivated towards whatever you may be working for, like vision boards, keeping a journal and even a simple to-do list would be a start.  Every now and then you will need to re-evaluate your goals and maybe even mark a few off your list.  When you have accomplished something from your mission statement that is always a good time to revise and make a new plan. 

Focus in on your journey and think about where you are headed in life.  What is your ultimate destination within the next year or five years?  Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?  What is your mission statement for life?


Crazy Love

I find myself in relationship conversations with my girlfriends weekly. Some situations are easy to figure out and others are a bit more complicated. A few years ago I read the book “He’s Not That In To You” and also watched the movie. It is easy for women to over-analyze situations but when do we go beyond being reasonable and cross over to crazy?

I have heard both guys and girls talk about crazy situations from snooping through cell phones to Facebook stalking. The part in the movie where she is making up an excuse of returning a promotional ink pen just to see a guy reminds me of a recent incident with a friend of mine. The truth is, if a guy hasn’t called, text, emailed or messaged you in one of the hundred ways possible then he is really NOT interested. If you feel the need to come up with some crazy excuse to contact an old flame, like returning an old picture or t-shirt, after 2 years of not speaking, then he is going to figure it out. He is going to know immediately that you are still hung up on him and why in the world would you give him the satisfaction? There are just too many fish in the sea!

Some good advice was given to me by a guy friend years ago. He said, the moment you stop wanting it and thinking about it and just enjoy yourself the real deal will come along. I found that advice to be so true. Life is so much easier if you just enjoy the moment and take life as it comes and stop trying to force things. There are so many ifs, ands or buts in the beginning of dating but what about once you think you found the one?

A few years into a relationship other issues begin to crop up. The ups and downs and phases seem to go in a circle. One week the guy may seem jealous and paranoid of everything you do or say for no particular reason. You find yourself confused but also a little bit confident because if he is getting jealous then he obviously still cares…right? Then your mind goes to the next what-if…maybe he is acting jealous and paranoid because he is doing something he shouldn’t be! So then the tables turn and you end up the paranoid, jealous one. Why do we do this stupid dance with one another? Do the little doubts ever completely go away and if so does that mean we just don’t care anymore?

I had a conversation with a guy friend a few weeks ago and he talked to me about cheating on his wife years ago. We got on the subject of basic animal instincts and how men don’t really pay attention to quality but more about quantity. The male in any species just wants to spread his seed as much as humanly possible because the more offspring the better. Females however, are more into quality than quantity because they are only going to get so many chances to reproduce. We look for good-looking, strong guys who have their shit together and can protect and provide. Even if we are not looking to reproduce that basic instinct still stands true. Guys like to puff out their feathers like a peacock and strut their stuff to impress and once they get a hot chick on their arm they like to strut her around as well. Have you ever seen a guy out by himself and thought, oh he is average. Then a month later he shows up with a beautiful woman and all of sudden he seems more attractive. You many wonder to yourself, what am I missing? It is much more common for a really nerdy guy to be seen with a beautiful woman than for a really fugly girl to be seen with a hot guy. Why is that? Because if a man is going to commit he wants someone he can be proud to show off but if he is just in for the hook-up it doesn’t really matter.

This brings me to a joke I once heard…A guy can be married to a beautiful woman who has it all, lets say she is the filet mignon of women. However, night after night of filet mignon over many years and eventually, one day, that guy is going to look across the room and think…oooo a Ritz cracker! This may be just a joke but is there a part of it that is painfully true?

When I hear my friends say…oh I don’t care if my man is talking to her because she is doesn’t compare to me in the looks department, I immediately think of that joke. Looks are not everything! Is it really possible to keep the love alive with one person for years and years? I think so. My parents have been married for 49 years and I know it was not always easy but anything worth having in life is never easy.

We have all done some crazy things for love. What is the craziest thing you have done?


Every day we are all put in situations that require us to make a choice.  Some choices may be very simple and we may not even think before we respond.  However, how we react or respond to certain comments or situations on a daily basis can determine our character.  The moral or ethical quality of a person can be strengthened with each choice made.  It can be as simple as holding the door for someone or saying thank you.  Then there are harder situations where strong emotions can cause us to respond or react before thinking. 

Recently I feel I have been tested and I am not sure for what reason.  In the past week I have been confronted with people who have made ugly remarks and it has left me a little raw.  I chose not to respond emotionally by defending myself but instead swallow my pride and move on with my day.  Unfortunately this has not changed the fact that it upsets me and I feel confused why each of these people would choose to be hateful or complicated.  Each incident being completely separate from the other but all occurring in the same week makes me think of something I have read many times…  When you make steps to stay positive, beware because negativity will try its best to derail you.  However, if you keep your faith and rise above the negativity then good things will come.

I will keep reminding myself of these good things to come and do my best to let the negativity go.  I will go as far as trying to remain pleasant and forgive these people because maybe they were just having a bad day.  It is easier to forgive when I remember that we are all human and nobody is perfect.  With each situation that I find myself taking the higher road I know that I am building better moral character.  I have the wonderful support of family and friends who always listen when I have a bad day and that is enough for me to let it go. 

We should all be conscious of every moment and how we respond to the world around us.  What we put out into the world will come back to us.  My Mom has always been right when she said, treat others how you want to be treated.  I choose to remain positive and not give power to the negativity.

My Body on Yoga

There is nothing like the feel of a good stretch!  I was doing yoga regularly at one point in my life and then I stopped.  Recently I found myself really missing it and with all the new aches and pains I have been having I can tell my body is missing it too!  I decided to start back with a once a week yoga class and after my first session I realized how out of shape I have become.  I find myself asking how is it possible to take so long to get your body in better shape but it can so quickly fall back out of shape??

About three years ago I was doing yoga 2 or 3 days a week and felt pretty good.  This one class made me sore in muscles I forgot I had!  Am I really getting that old and out of shape?  I must admit I am not a very flexible person.  I have struggled with very tight hamstrings my whole life and I realized any progress I had made 3 years ago was lost.  So here I am kind of starting all over again…

Yoga makes me feel longer, leaner and more at peace in my daily life.  I am not sure why I ever stopped the classes, but I think it had something to do with believing I am disciplined enough to keep it up on my own at home(obviously a mistake).  I am not an habitual person, I couldn’t even become a smoker when I thought it was cool!  So anyway, here I am sitting at my desk trying to sit up straight and thinking that my upper body hurts like hell AND… if she makes me do downward dog and plank 500 times again next week my arms may fall off!  Am I really paying for this punishment??

I am pretty motivated because if my body is sore then it must be doing some good. I need more muscle in my upper body considering I don’t have any.  When my 11-year-old jiggles my underarms and giggles I realize that something must be done!  I guess lifting the fork full of potato’s and the 12 ounce beer cans to my face isn’t enough of an upper body workout. I was thinking my motivational blog about starting a new habit every month has really been causing me a pain in the ass.  Today, however, I really do have a pain in my ass and I am actually grateful that I have a desk job since walking makes me look like I have a corn cob shoved up my arse!

I love the whole idea of yoga and medication…I mean meditation.  Obviously my arms are asking for some ibuprofen as I type this.  Yoga works the entire body and it can help relax or stimulate your body depending on what kind of class you take.  Yoga includes all ages and people from all over the world.  My yoga instructor is in her fifties and makes me feel old at 34!  My meditation skills are not the greatest.  Usually my mind is humming along with my list of things to do and if I happen to quiet my mind for a minute or two I end up falling asleep.

I stay motivated because I know Jennifer Aniston is big on yoga and if my body ends up looking like hers I will be so stoked!  So every time I walk with the corn cob jive or cry with pain as I brush my teeth I will remind myself that my Jennifer Aniston body is on its way!  When I sit patiently in silence meditating I set my intention to have a Jennifer Aniston body.  As I contort my body into unlawful positions following Jennifer’s yoga instructor, Mandy Ingber (Yogalosophy), I picture myself getting longer and leaner!

My body on yoga may start out feeling old and decrepit but I know in time I will be feeling great and looking long,  lean and sexy…look out Jennifer Aniston!   

The Book Shelf

I think the most vital part of my home is my books shelf.  Not only does each book or magazine hold its own stories but the collection of all of them together on a book shelf can tell a lot about the person who owns them.  I am an avid reader and cannot turn down many magazine subscriptions either!  So it is safe to say that I have an over-flowing book shelf with a wide variety of subjects.  I like to think this makes me a well-rounded individual, however it could also mean I have a short attention span and easily jump from one subject to another. Either way I feel that my stacks of books and magazines are probably some of my most valued possessions.

So what can you most commonly find on my book shelf?  Well, first I have a love of history and ghost stories(Troy Taylor), Horror (Stephen King), along with a few mysteries like Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles mysteries & James Patterson’s Womens Murder Club series.  The occasional love story (Nicholas Sparks & Nora Roberts). Then we have the new age (Eckhart Tolle) and self-help books (Jillian Michael’s) mixed in.  When I want to laugh I read the  Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich and they really do make me laugh out loud!  I also have many books on natural health and healing, aromatherapy, yoga, ayurveda, herbs and massage.  I have a couple of books on candle and soap making & cooking that I need to stop looking at the pictures and actually try!  Finally, my shelf has a Bible and quite a few Joel Osteen & Joyce Myers books.  Okay, think you know me a little better yet??

Well, that covers the books on my shelf but we haven’t even touched on the vast array of magazines that have left the shelf and ended up on my bedside table or in the bathroom…(giggle)!  I have Women’s Health, Shape, Fitness, Yoga Journal, Country Living, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart Living, Natural Health…just to name a few…(giggle again)!  However, I must make a side note about one of the most recent magazines added to my collection and probably one of my favorites!  573 magazine is this awesome collection of stories on all the areas covered in the 573 area code of Missouri.  I recently picked up this magazine and couldn’t put it down!  I read this magazine cover to cover and I was completely absorbed… the photography is amazing!

My love of reading goes along with my love of writing…I have kept a journal since I was 13 and I have all of those stored away in my grandma’s cedar chest.  When I read through my thoughts as a young girl I also find myself laughing out loud!  I was such dramatic teenager, but I guess we all are.  As my 11-year-old daughter starts her own book shelf I see her own personality and interests forming.  You can see her love of animals and geography along with books on the human body.  She has a collection of Scooby Doo comics & kids National Geographic that are stacked neatly next to her collection of ghost stories by Mary Downing Hahn…(I steal those and read them when she goes to her Dads).

As she starts her own journal this year I know that I have passed on a valuable tradition that will benefit her for a lifetime.  I can’t help but smile as I watch her book shelf grow along with her.

Finding Your Independence

At the beginning of the year I wrote about a friendship break-up.  After approximately 6 weeks of not speaking to one of my girlfriends she sent me a text and we ended up talking again(we will call her Ms Dependent).  I have mixed feelings about the reasons why I decided to let her back into my life. At this point I have learned to not let her venting effect me the way it use to but she still frustrates me.  It really isn’t just her venting but how she seems to want others to feel sorry for her.  She tells her problems to any sympathetic ear and will even go as far as to ask for advice but unfortunately she never takes it.  Her problems range from dealing with her boyfriend and kids, stress at work, and all the different ailments she seems to have mounting…I understand everyone has their issues but she can be exhausting.

When I considered all the things she would tell me about I felt sorry for her.  I took her side when she would tell me situations with her boyfriend or the kids but now I find myself thinking…stop with the negativity & complaining and do something about it!  I guess as I write this I realize that accepting her back into my life was probably a mistake.  I tried to set guidelines to the friendship but of course those have been crossed too many times to count by now.  As much as I hate to admit it she just seems to have a negative effect on me.

I have worked hard to be a more positive person and establish healthy routines in my life.  I want to surround myself with friends who really listen, learn and want to better themselves.  I can look at other friends and see where they have removed themselves from jobs that make them unhappy or relationships that are unhealthy.  These women are not afraid to make decisions for themselves in order to find happiness.  They are not afraid to take action and take risks even if it means times may be hard for a while.   Then I look at Ms Dependent and I see a woman who is scared of change or taking a risk.  Ms Dependent is just that… too dependent on her current lifestyle.  So instead of doing something to find her happiness she just complains endlessly about her current situation.

There was a time when I completely related to her because I was in the same boat.  I kept wishing someone would come along and make it all better. Finally, one day I realized that the only person that can make things better is me.  At one time I had issues with my job, my relationship and my health just like her… I wasn’t happy.  After the first big step of getting a divorce I steadily began proving to myself that I was capable of taking care of myself.

At this point I have accomplished so many things, like taking continuing education courses that have made me more valuable in my career.  I kept putting off surgery that I needed because I didn’t have health insurance but I did my research and ended up paying for it on my own.  I have saved money and  now I have health insurance and I even set up a Roth IRA and life insurance policy. I have received support along the way but at this point I have paid my debts and can honestly say that I can fully support myself.

With each passing year I add to my education and stability a little bit more. It isn’t always easy to sacrifice and sometimes I let my wants outweigh my needs. My goal is to surround myself with happy, successful people who are on the same path of self fulfillment.  What is it they say…Birds of a feather flock together.  Unfortunately, after all this time, I do not see Ms. Dependent doing any of these things and yet again I realize how much I have outgrown my friendship with her.

So as my independence grows I know in my heart that I am moving on.  I will do my best to accept her and not judge.  I know eventually our paths will only take us further apart. The best word to describe my feelings is frustration. I  had hoped she would be a person I could grow with because we were once in the same place in life and both so eager to find our independence. I know that God puts people in our lives for a reason and she was my closest friend at that time in my life.  She was going through the same thing and it was nice to be able to relate to someone but I am no longer that person.  Sadly, she seems to be stuck in that same place. I have learned many lessons and taken advice and I am happier and healthier than ever. I can no longer wait for her to move forward with me, I must move forward even if that means leaving her behind.

Falling In Love All Over Again…

I met my boyfriend in the summer of 2007. I was recently divorced and not looking for anything serious. I had spent the past 7 months in a small apartment learning how to be on my own for the first time in my life. I had never really dated or lived out my wild college days and I was making up for lost time. I turned 29 during the time I was moving out of my 7 year marriage and into the single life. So in my mind I would allow myself the one last year of my 20s to be wild and free before settling into my more serious 30s.  When I first met him I didn’t think much about it because I was focused on meeting another guy.  That “other guy” was seriously all wrong for me and eventually we were to meet up again. He approached me showing confidence and a bit of a flirty side that immediately intrigued me. I admit I gave him a hard time at first because after 7 months of going out and partying I was starting to get burned out. I didn’t want another fling, I had decided I was going to just learn to be alone for a while, but he was persistent. After some time I found myself in an unexpected situation…I didn’t want to be in a relationship because I had a plan to be alone for a while…but I was falling for this guy. 

I tried to end things one night but after a few tears I finally admitted that I loved him and couldn’t really even explain why. A few months later we moved in together. It all seemed to be happening fast and the first couple of years were not always easy. We still had a lot to learn about each other and there were times when I know we both questioned if we wanted to stay in it.  Last year, around the 4 year mark, he blind sided me with his reasons for possibly never wanting to get married again….he has been married twice before. I am a girl who values a full commitment, I want the full package and that includes marriage.  So needless to say I was hurt but I have stayed anyway.  After much debate in my mind I decided I love him more than the idea of  marriage. I have went through some struggles of self-doubt because I want the man I love to want to marry me but I know he loves me. We have a stronger relationship than some married couples I know.

So here we are starting the 5th year together and I can’t help but think how much I love this man. I am so thankful for all that he is and all that does for me and my daughter.  We may not always agree on everything and we have some different hobbies and interests but that is what keeps the relationship interesting. We have fun together and we have learned a lot from each other but most importantly we respect each other.  When I think of the years I have spent with him and where we are now I know I am right where I need to be.   I no longer complicate things by trying to make plans or push to do what everyone else thinks we should do. We are moving at our own pace and letting our love mature like a fine wine.  As I become comfortable with where our relationship is right now, instead of  worrying about where it’s going, I find myself relaxing and really enjoying myself. 

You only live this life once so you must make it good. Learn something new everyday! Learn from your mistakes, learn from other people, learn to live in the moment and learn to love.  On this day I find myself thinking of him while he is away….thoughts of what I have learned in our time together and simply falling in love with him all over again.

Living with Intention

I love yoga and meditating! I meditate daily and attempt yoga weekly in order to keep myself balanced. At the end of each yoga class I create an intention and meditate on it. I love this part of meditation and it keeps my eye on the prize. When choosing an intention you must choose your words wisely. Keeping it realistic and believable for yourself is key but you must also be positive.

Intentions are kind of like goals but more like mantra’s. I have had a lot of fun creating suitable intentions for my life. I recommend everyone have three or four intentions they focus on weekly. For me, it helps me keep my priorities straight. “I am easily and gracefully experiencing financial prosperity.” That is an intention I stole from a friend and I use it often.  “I am easily and joyfully maintaining my ideal body weight”, is another intention that fits me.  “I am successful and enthusiastic in my career” and “I am happy in my harmonious relationship with my boyfriend”. I have been meditating on these four intentions on a regular basis and I have really noticed a difference.

Meditating on an intention is a lot like praying. After reading many books like: The Power of Now, A New Earth, The Power, The Secret and Unlimited: How to Build and Exceptional Life, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the power of positive thinking.  If you want it then you must imagine it, when you imagine it you must really see it and feel it, when you finally see it and feel it you must really believe it and when you truly believe it you start to live it and once your living it then you have accomplished your intention. Sounds easier said than done, trust me, but if you honestly give it a try it can be really fun.

I have created my intentions on “vision boards”, meditated on phrases like those above and I have even wrote out every detail of my idea of the perfect life for myself.  The clearer you are in your intentions for yourself the more likely they are to happen and the quicker the results. I have read over and over that if you want to live a certain life just start acting like you are already living that life.

For example, a bubbly, sexy supermodel type with glowing skin and shiny hair is going to eat healthy fruit and yogurt for breakfast, salad for lunch and a light dinner of baked, skinless chicken with steamed veggies. She will drink lots of water,  get plenty of sleep and exercise daily.  She will carry herself in a confident way and be friendly and outgoing with tons of energy.  So if you want to be that girl then you must act like her.

You can’t skip breakfast, eat a bag of Doritos & a do-nut for lunch and then stay out until 2AM drinking with friends.  You will wake up a bitchy old hag with no time to fix your hair… so you throw it in a ponytail and go to the office drinking Red Bull and Cokes to stay awake.  You keep going on this schedule and you will end up with bad skin, dull hair, an extra 15 pounds on your ass and your attitude will be anything but bubbly!

Much of life boils down to common sense. Everyone knows if you want to be healthy and fit you have to eat right and exercise.  If you want to be financially secure you have to save money and invest wisely. Setting positive intentions and creating vision boards are simple tools to help you focus on the life you really want. Each day you wake-up with a fresh new start to be exactly who you want to be and if you keep it up eventually your will become that person. It will happen naturally and without effort if you just make the right choices, taking it one day at a time.

From the moment you choose to eat that banana for breakfast instead of skipping breakfast to the moment you choose to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes in the evening instead of watching TV; these are simple but life changing steps. It all adds up and it all makes us who we are at the end of the day. So have fun,  set your intentions and then live the life you want!

Anger Management

I must admit there have been some seriously upsetting revelations recently in my life. The eye-opening information has left me a bit upset to say the least. I have always believed that emotions are healthy but in the past few years I have really tried to focus more on the positive. I think the more you give your attention to the negative the more negativity you bring into your life. With that being said I have to admit that letting out your negative feelings is definitely better than holding it in.  It cannot be healthy to go around pretending everything is hunky-dory when it isn’t.  I mean if someone has wronged you and you have something to say about it, isn’t it better to get it off your chest?

I have been really tired lately, like I need a gallon of Red Bull kind of tired. I believe my can’t drag my ass out of bed attitude is because I have something seriously eating at me.  I have really tried to let it go but I can’t.  I ended a friendship recently because it had become very negative. I started to feel guilty and considered reaching out to this friend after a month had went by. Then her boyfriend mentions how wonderful their relationship has been since we haven’t been talking.  The way he said it made it obvious that he was blaming me for all their relationship problems.

At first I thought when he said thank you for not talking to her anymore that maybe he knew her negativity was a problem.  That when I ended the friendship she finally realized how bad it had become so she changed her ways in fear of losing all those close to her.  But as I sat there at my desk it dawned on me that he truly felt I was an instigator and the cause of their problems. I began to wonder, just what the hell she was telling him each time she got off the phone with me?

She often called to vent about something he said or did to upset her and I would listen and give my opinion. Usually I would start with supportive advice but she would continue to say awful things about him…”he is a snake, I can’t trust him, he is a liar”…so finally I would tell her if she is so miserable and unhappy she should just leave.  To this day I stand behind all the advice I have given her.  However, I can’t help but have the sneaky suspicion she twisted it when she would talk to him.  His recent comment seems to confirm this.

Their relationship started out on the wrong foot from day one but I have remained a friend to her until this year. I still care about her but we agreed to go our separate ways after I told her I couldn’t take the negativity anymore.  Now I am really beginning to realize that everything really does happen for a reason.  How can they blame me for all their relationship problems?  I am not such a powerful person that simply by talking on the phone to her I have kept their relationship in turmoil for 5 years!  So this is where the anger starts to set in.

It has been a little over a week since he made his comment and I still can’t let it go. I want to confront him and her both and set the record straight but then I worry that I may just invite more negativity into my life. I went to my friends and oh so wise boyfriend for advice and most of them advised that I should just let sleeping dogs lie.  I must manage my anger and keep with my original goal, focus on the positive. 

So after a week of stewing over being accused of something I know is not my fault I am going to let it go. I am not going to attempt to confront him or her because I know it will not do any good. Past experience has already proved that giving her advice is pointless and telling him all that she said would only make me the bad guy for real. I know I am not an instigator and I was a good friend to her but I no longer feel guilty for ending the friendship.  I gave good advice to her and in turn I have received good advice from my friends on this situation.  What comes around really does go around and that rule applies to all of us.

So one month or six months from now when their relationship is on the rocks again I won’t be around to blame. I will keep my opinions and advice to myself and I will not go out of my way to set the record straight and defend myself. I will move forward and focus on the positive. As I focus on the positive in my life I will manage that bit of anger by taking comfort in the sweet revenge of karma and let time prove my point for me. The only action I plan to take is to move forward staying positive and no longer feeling a bit angry…but simply a bit wiser.

There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot. Plato


Without a doubt a smile is the number one way to create beauty.  Everyone knows at least one person that has a radiant way about them…when they are around you just feel their happiness. When they laugh it is contagious and when they smile they light up a room. My daughter is one of these people and she swears she gets it from me. I hope she is right!

I haven’t always been positive in my life.  When I look back now I realize when I was in my early twenties my attitude attracted negativity.  After living a little I know now that attitude is everything and it is my own choice what attitude to have.  I no longer let those around me dictate how I feel. This since of freedom to choose is powerful and leads to a life of beauty.  To be able to create the exact kind of day, week, month or year you want to have by just choosing to make it a great day.

Yes, this is much easier said than done and some days it is much harder than others.  However, with much practice and staying aware of the moment you are in, it can completely change your life.  I have found a few methods that really work for creating a positive attitude and I will share them with you.

First of all I wake up each morning and list all the things in my life that I am thankful for…from the hot water in my shower to the car that takes me to my office and so on.  It is the first basic principle of happiness, you must be thankful for what you have before you can ask for more.

Second, appreciate what you have by speaking positive words and avoiding negative words.  If you and your boyfriend have an argument don’t list off all the reasons he made you mad with your girlfriends the next day at lunch.  Instead choose to list all the wonderful things about him and before long you will forget why you even had the argument.  Speak only positive and do not give credit to the negative and in turn you will have more positive in your life, this brings me to number three…

Treat others how you want to be treated.  This is a tried and true lesson that our Moms taught us from school age.  It is one of the best lessons anyone can learn in any relationship.  If you wouldn’t like it said or done to you then do not say or do it to others. It is a lesson that if learned early will make life so much easier.

Method number five, live in the moment! Stop worrying about the past or the future and simply focus on this very moment.  Life can be wasted away with regrets and guilt of mistakes made and opportunities missed in the past and the what ifs of the future. It really is not worth it!  The only thing you can really control is what happens to you in this very moment so make every minute count and make it good!

The final method I practice to keep my life positive will be different for everyone.  It is something special and unique to each of us as individuals who all create special parts of one big unit in our world.  Find something, or maybe more than one thing, that you are truly passionate about and do it every day. I have a whole list of things I love and I make sure I do something on that list every day.  Letting yourself be absorbed by something you truly love will give your life a positive outlet, keeping the mind, body and soul happy.

Honestly, I have found the more I do the things I love, the more I appreciate the simpler things in life….and to me…simple is beautiful!  

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