Pull Your Shoulders Back & Your Head Up

The other day, I was getting ready for work and wasn't exactly thrilled with the way my body looked. Then it dawned on me....I was slumped over.

Not from fatigue necessarily, but from stress, day to day dealings, worrying about the future, and ok yes, some fatigue.

In simply pulling my shoulders back and lifting my head, I looked different, more confident. I felt better about myself and how the world would be viewing me, but more importantly, how I'd be viewing myself.

I truly didn't realize how much I had let my mind and my emotions drop weight on my shoulders. It's as if I had just sat in a chair and let someone continually put weights on either side until I ultimately had to lean forward to bear the stress of it all.

The re-establishment of posture, the focusing on the inner strength of your gut/core to support your body and your soul, the open chested stance that projects strength and confidence; this is how we should all start the day.

Check yourself in the mirror. First thing in the morning, throughout the day and last thing at night. If you're slouched, remind yourself that you're strong enough to carry anything. You were built that way.

Now, get out there and take on the world.

Turning a New Leaf

Those that know me know that Fall is absolutely my favorite season. The brisk air, football, the smell of fireplaces and the pending holidays that are so family focused.

The other thing I love about Fall is the change that you see all around you.

Not in a morbid way because I'm celebrating the fact that plants are wilting away and leaves are falling all around, but more so in the visual metaphor for change; just as Spring shows the rebirth and growth.

It's in this metaphor that I connect it to the inventory of life I usually take around this time of my life: What's good? What's working? What does my snapshot of happiness look like?

Most importantly: What's holding me back from bliss?

Be it people, work, day to day routine, self doubts or whatever the factor may be, it's time to take note of those things that are holding you back. 

Take the time to sit quietly and take inventory. You MUST be honest with yourself. Take me for example: my self doubt in the creative space has literally caused me to delay a couple of projects this year to the point where they haven't come to fruition....simply because I've talked myself out of them.

That's an inventory item that's got to go. 

We all deserve to be happy and live a life that is fulfilling and joyous, but we're the only ones that can determine that. Your choices, good or bad, influence the end game and you owe it to yourself to be in the best position possible for happiness.

Time to get out the rake and lawn bag and get rid of those things that need to go and plant the seeds that need to live on.


My Why

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it." - Simon Sinek

A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet the author of a transformational book called Start With Why. Simon Sinek was a very unassuming, down to earth nice guy who was on fire. He took the one thing that we should all be doing but most times forget to do: have a "Why" and act on it.

It comes back to the core of why you do what you do. It got me thinking about the path I had started to take at the time to create positive messages and posts. To hopefully inspire, lift and celebrate those who were fighting, struggling and praying for something good to grasp onto.

As this journey has taken shape (and who knows where it'll go) it's always came back to wanting to be that spark in someone's day to help push them over that hump and get back on the right track. I was getting amazing feedback, I built my pages and started to really feel engaged in this approach.

Then I got an email from a very VERY honest friend.

"Cut the crap. You can't be positive like that ALL the time. Quit blowing sunshine."

I smiled when I read it (mostly for who it came from; I adore her, but she frightens me sometimes) but it also made me think: is that how I come off? Mr. All-Day Sunshine?

So I decided to pull back the curtain for you all. To shed a little light on the core of "My Why."

99% of the time, I need to hear the message I'm putting out there. Publicizing it holds me accountable. I can't post something positive and then spend my day acting like a sulky jackass.

I encourage because I wasn't always encouraged. I was talked down to, bullied at times. I've also seen and heard hundreds of stories of negativity and abuse. You can either use your words as support or acid.

My messages contain strong elements of confidence, never cockiness. I wasn't always confident and still struggle with it like anyone else does.

I post pictures of my running and workouts a lot. Not for vanity's sake, but more to show that anyone can do it. Anyone who knows me knows I lost over 100 lbs and have kept it off for over 15 years now. Most of the time you see a picture of me doing it, you didn't see me groaning about getting started. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept myself accountable. I do this in the hopes that I'm encouraging someone else to take that journey that I did. It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done for myself.

I've learned through my life that surrounding yourself with positivity always brings a great energy to your day. It's the energy suckers, the ones that will always take more than they give, that leave you drained. I've dealt with my fair share of them.

I've seen the dark of the dark, it's awful. I choose not to look in that direction anymore and by posting/owning positivity, I ensure myself of a one way ticket in the other direction.

I could go on and on, but this will give you a bit of insight into the fact that I'm not always Mr. Sunshine and things aren't always perfect.

That's why I do what I do. 

I was blessed with an abundance of love, positive energy, insight, and empathy. I can't explain it, but it's been with me since I was a kid.

I would be cheating myself and would be selfish to others if I didn't share and do all I could to EnRich the days of others.

Cheers to not blowing sunshine!