Are you taking risks for your happiness?

Dear Happiness Seekers,

The quest for happiness can be an unfulfilling life-long journey until you realize you have to find happiness within yourself first. This morning, I came across the post “10 Risks Happy People Take Every Day” (thanks to my favorite new news app Zite–which I highly recommend because I love it and not because they even know who I am or are offering me any type of compensation) and figured I’d share it with you all because I loved it and I haven’t shared anything in a lonnnnng time!

Here are a few of my favorite snippets from the post in case you don’t have time to check it out:

“You must accept the end of something in order to begin to build something new.  So close some old doors today.  Not because of pride, inability or egotism, but simply because you’ve entered each one of them in the past and realize that they lead to nowhere.”

“It is only possible to live happily ever after on a daily basis.  Laziness and procrastination may appear attractive, but action leads to happiness.  Great challenges make life interesting; overcoming them makes life meaningful.”

“Happiness is never constant.  Surrendering to your sadness, or whatever negative emotion is trying to come to the surface, does not make you a bad person.  But remember, if you aren’t sincerely thankful for every smile, don’t be totally shocked by every tear. ”

Check out the post and let me know what you think!

xoxo

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What will you do differently in 2013?

Dear Resolvers,

I’m assuming that’s what you call one who makes a resolution…or several. It’s that time of year when we start making changes to our resolutions. It’s kind of ironic considering just 4 days ago, you know before the new year came, we were so sure we were going to finally make some changes in our lives. I figured I’d write a quick short post to say: DON’T QUIT!!! Don’t adjust. Whatever you resolved to do in 2013 is still attainable, but if you resolve to settle for less than you will not attain it. 

My new year’s resolutions are:

Health (body):
1. Try 2 new (vegetarian) recipes a month.
2. No more rationalizing buying fast food because it’s “fast.” Fruits and veggies can be acquired and eaten much quicker.
3. Do ab workout (six inches, planks, table top crunches) for 10-15min as soon as I wake up in the morning 5x/week. (this is to make sure my fake me out six-pack never leaves…it’s almost back now! lol)
4. Cardio/yoga/pilates for 45min 4x/week.
 
Health (spirit/mind):
1. Be grateful!!!
2. Meditate at least three times a week.
3. Read daily affirmations.
4. Believe that even my outlandish dreams are attainable if I put in enough work.
 
Relationships (family/friends/booski):
1. Love and be loved. 
2. Get over commitment phobia (this means: no more being shady, complaining about nice things, etc) 
3. Make sure all of my loved ones know I appreciate them.
 
Finances:
1. Find a sponsor. jk…maybe lol
2. Save at least 10% of income for incidentals.
3. Use money that would have been spent on fast food for vacations. (Wells Fargo blew my mind when they told me how much I spent on fast food and eating out!!!)
 
I must admit that yesterday I considered pushing off my morning ab workout or doubling it up tomorrow, but then I said to myself “there is no time like the present.” So I got down and did them. AND I felt great after. So whatever your resolutions are, stick to them make that one of the main things you do differently in 2013. 
 
xoxo
 
P.S. Perhaps I should add “blog weekly” to my list.

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Learning from the past…? 24 Lessons from 21yo me

Dear Reader,

It’s been a lonnng time. One day, I’ll figure this whole timing thing out and write while I’m immensely busy. While packing up my apartment a couple days ago, I came across a list of 24 “life lessons” that I wrote in my journal when I was 21. So I figured I’d share them with you. It’s interesting for me to look at them, because a few directly pertained to things I was going through at the time but had forgotten about. Most are kind of still applicable to me today. Enjoy!

  1. ImageJust because someone’s genetically related to you doesn’t mean they are always looking out for your best interests. Some family members may try to hurt you, accept it and move on.
  2. People don’t change, they grow. Some grow into better people, some into worse. Either way it’s growth.
  3. True friends will inspire you to be better than what you are.
  4. Complacency will get you nowhere, so will running away from your problems.
  5. People who wish they were in your position will subconsciously and consciously try to bring you down to their level.
  6. Never settle for anything less than what you want. If you can’t get what you want, then work hard and persevere until you can.
  7. Never forget number 4.
  8. Forgive those who betray you, life’s too short and priceless to hold grudges.
  9. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, unless they have a logical reason.
  10. You will spend your entire life with yourself so protect your best interests.
  11. Everyone goes through things, but not everyone talks about it when they do.
  12. No material possession is worth your life. Go back and read this again.
  13. Someone will always be financially worse/better off than you so don’t worry about other people’s finances unless you’re trying to help those who are worse off.
  14. Surround yourself with people who make you smile and laugh.
  15. One good friend beats ten associates any day.
  16. Always return phone calls (texts, emails, letters) even if it seems pointless to you. The sender may be having a horrible day and want news from you so they can make it through the day.
  17. Make your life more valuable than your attire.
  18. Surround yourself with people who will pick you up when you fall and hold you up until you’re ready to stand again (figuratively and literally).
  19. Conflict is a necessary part of relationships, deal with it as soon as it occurs because time can ruin your relationships.
  20. You can only help someone grow into a better person when they realize that the person they are today isn’t someone they should be tomorrow.
  21. Don’t hold onto people who deliberately try to hurt you, go read #10.
  22. Your friends are a reflection of you, so surround yourself with positive people.
  23. Take chances. The worst that can happen is you won’t win or get whatever you were aiming for, but if you never took the chance you wouldn’t have won it either.
  24. Think about the consequences of your actions, you have a conscience for a reason. Negative acts lead to negative consequences, just because it doesn’t happen today doesn’t mean it won’t come back to you tomorrow.

P.S. I’m challenging myself to one post a week for the remainder of summer 🙂

P.P.S. I despise the new posting format for WordPress…

xoxo

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Why do women always claim they’re in love when they’re sad over a break-up?

Dear Love Experts,

Maybe I missed the memo when I first started dating during my teenage years that I was supposed to say I was in love with former boyfriends because we broke up. It seems as though 99.9% of women have developed and annoyingly perfected this trait. Leaving me wondering if I’m missing out on the ability to fall head over heels with every guy I go out with or if these women are living in some sort of fantasy world. I’m not saying I’ve never been sad over a break-up, that’s completely natural. But it doesn’t mean I was “in love” with any of them.

These days it seems as though people just throw around the L word to throw it around—stripping it of it’s meaning. There is a difference between lust, loving someone and being in love with someone. As Sanaa Lathan said in Brown Sugar, it’s like the difference between rap and hip-hop—rap is just a word. Being in love is a state. And you do not enter the state because you caught Derek cheating on you. You’re just upset over the break-up and that Derek wasn’t all you thought he would be. You may be heartbroken, but trying to rationalize your sporadic emotions by claiming you were in love with him makes you sound like a fool.

Especially because when you meet someone new you’re going to talk about how you thought you were in love with Derek but John is all you’ve ever really wanted in a man. It’s 2012, and if you’re over the age of 22 (I’ll give you time for ridiculousness in college), there’s no reason you should be running around claiming to be in love with Tom, Dick, and Harry—especially after they dump you. At least try to make yourself and your ability to fall in love seem somewhat special. Otherwise, you’re just making “in love” another word (technically phrase, but you get my drift). Thoughts?

xoxo

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Do we have to protect the male ego?

Dear Ladies,

I find the male ego quite fascinating. Men are taught to be “strong” as a child. Yes taught. I’m not sold on the idea that men are inherently strong. After all, the Disney fairytales all tell us men are heroes and have to save women from dragons and wake them up from sleeping spells (Sidenote: I’ll leave the whole damsel in distress ideology for another day.). Now I won’t get into gender stereotypes, but I will get into how women are supposed to feed into the male ego.

Image

When a guy asks a woman out, it’s like we aren’t allowed to just say “no.” Women have to say “I’m seeing someone,” “I’m not looking to date right now,” or in cases where men are really persistent, “I like women.” Don’t forget we’re supposed to preface all of these statements with “I’m sorry, but….” Heaven forbid we don’t say, “I’m sorry” first. Why do we have to say we’re sorry when we aren’t interested in someone? Is it because we don’t want to come off rude or is it because we have to protect the male ego from rejection?

Image

When you turn down a man with a huge ego, he’ll immediately try to downplay the situation by claiming his asking you out was a misunderstanding (i.e., “I was just joking”, “I just want to be your friend,” or even “You’re not that cute anyway”). And women are supposed to play along and give an obligatory laugh so the situation stays amicable. We can’t let the man know that his pick-up line was corny, he’s poorly dressed, has halitosis, and/or just not someone we find attractive. It’s like we can’t let the man know that it’s him we’re not attracted to.

Well, I decided that I really don’t care about the male ego anymore. In fact, I decided I’m no longer giving excuses as to why I do not want to start dating someone I’m not interested in. From here on out, I’m just saying “no.”

xoxo

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Your relationship is over, now what? (5 Tips to Move On)

Dear Newly Single,

So it happened. The one that you were so sure you’d spend the rest of your life with suddenly isn’t in your life anymore. Whether the break-up was mutual, he/she decided to end things or you did, moving on is often the hardest part of breaking up. A lot of times people stay in bad relationships out of fear for the “relationship afterlife.” They think… “will I meet someone better?,” “I don’t want to be single for _________(insert holiday, birthday, or life event),” or “this is just a rough patch, it’ll get better.” All the while knowing that they’ve reached a dealbreaker in their relationship and something has got to give—sadly in some cases it’s their long-term happiness. So how can you ease this process (without gaining 15lbs and/or a drinking problem)?

  1. You have to decide how you’ll frame the finished relationship for your future—hopefully you’ll do so in a positive light. Will that person be “that *sshole that cheated on me” or “the one who taught me to acknowledge and value my self-worth.” Both of those people could have cheated on you, but how you frame it affects how you’ll move on and view your future relationships. Being scorned in a relationship is awful, but it’s even worse to make the next person you date feel the wrath of your anger from “that *sshole that cheated on me.” It’ll be really hard not to call him “that *sshole,” but when a relationship dies, look for the silver lining. It may be hard to see, but it’s there.
  2. Realize it’s okay to grieve. We all do this in our own way, but the grieving process is necessary to say goodbye. You’re losing someone you (once) care(d) very deeply for so it’s completely normal to feel pain. So if you need to pull out the Ben & Jerry’s, run 5 miles, have a bad romantic comedy marathon with a bottle (or two) of Pinot, over-indulge in that 2 for 1 happy hour drink special, make a playlist of “I hate you” songs, or however you decide to grieve, DO IT!
  3. Realize you are the only pursuer of your own happiness. People come and go in our lives. Some stay longer than others, but the only person who will be there with you for the course of your life is the person who stares back at you when you look in the mirror. You have control over how you let the actions of others affect you. Remember that saying: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? It’s true. Don’t give someone else the power over your happiness. It’s yours, own it!
  4. Pick a date to “officially” move on. The grieving period is perfectly normal, but having an extended one is not. There is that old adage saying it takes half as long as the length of the relationship to get over the person, well life’s too short to spend that much time mourning a prior relationship. If you dated someone for 5 years, I don’t think you need to spend 2.5 yrs getting over them, but to each his own. Personally, I give a day for each month I spent with the person. At the end of the day you know yourself better than everyone else in your life who views you through their own lens. It is your life and if you feel you have numerous months (and years) to pine over a dead relationship, go right ahead. But if you want to move on with your life, pick a realistic timeframe to grieve, mark it on your calendar and commit to “officially” moving on when that day comes.
  5. Celebrate the day you “officially” move on. I’m not saying you have to plan a divorce party or anything like that. As a matter of fact, your friends and family don’t even have to know that it’s your special “officially moving on” day. All that matters is that you know. So when that day you marked on your calendar comes, treat yourself to that new outfit, dinner at that restaurant you always wanted to try, iPod, or whatever you’ve been thinking about buying. If you want to go out to the club or brunch do it. Whatever you decide to do, do it with the mindset of a free man/woman not carrying around the baggage of prior relationships gone sour.

Do you have your own post-breakup ritual? What helps you move on?

xoxo

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