Tag Archive | beautiful

What Are You Afraid Of?

I used to be afraid at night. Afraid of the dark. Afraid that just beyond the point my eyesight allowed me to see that there was something lurking. Afraid that the darkness itself would somehow surround me and swallow me up…as if darkness were anything more than simply the absence of light.

I used to be afraid of tomorrow. Afraid that who I was would continually dictate who I am, and that who I would be might be someone who I didn’t like very much at all…as though there was no such thing as being made new.

I used to be afraid of opinions. Afraid that though words would not break my bones, they certainly would shatter my dreams…as though I started doing this for the approval of many, rather than the glory of One.

I used to be afraid of failure. Afraid of losing. Afraid of falling. Afraid of being wrong, creating busts, and looking absolutely stupid, because who am I to think that I could ever actually make a difference? As if those setbacks were anything more than the laying down of stepping stones on the path to success.

I used to be afraid.  Used to.

But then I did a little research.  And by that, I mean I re-searched, and I re-searched, and I re-searched, over and over again, and through all of my re-searching, I kept coming up with the same exact question:

What room does fear have?

What room does fear have when I cling to TRUST? What room does fear have when I lean on HOPE? What room does fear have when I search for something more, when I discover and realize what’s good, and when I stand in AWE? When I run with PERSEVERANCE, when I walk by FAITH, and when I rest in COMFORT. What room does fear have when I sing with PRAISE, when I take hold of INSPIRATION, explore the POSSIBILITIES, and step into FREEDOM? What room does fear have when I discover STRENGTH, EMBRACE COURAGE, REMEMBER PEACE, DECLARE TRUTH, CHOOSE JOY, EXPERIENCE LIFE and CONQUER DEATH? What room does fear have when I find perfection in the one place I never thought to look? In weakness, when I’m saved by the most unlikely of heroes. By grace, when I’m invited into a relationship more loving and intimate than I could ever imagine, as a child of God.

I’ll ask you again: what room does fear have when I step out of the darkness, and I bask in the light? When I let the past be the past and the future has no limit. When they can talk all they want, but their opinion doesn’t matter! And when failure is nothing more and nothing less than the road by which I walk my path to success.

I’ll ask you one last time: what room does fear have when in His Word, He tells me three hundred and sixty-five times DO. NOT. BE. AFRAID. As if I needed to hear that every single day. And as if that’s how many times I needed to hear it before I finally believed it.

What room does fear have when I make room for LOVE?

What are you afraid of? 

 

-Jon Jorgenson

 

Here is the video if you want to watch him speak it.

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Catch-22

I’m an English nerd and I love the novel Catch-22… if you haven’t read it, you should…

In the event you are unaware, a “catch-22” is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.

For example: To apply for this job, you would have to be insane; but if you are insane, you are unacceptable for the job.

Crappy situation, right!?

The term is introduced by the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch-22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanityhoping to be found not sane enough to fly, and thereby escape dangerous missionsdemonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

It’s really an interesting read and makes a lot of social statements.

So, I’ve realized that women are in a Catch-22 situation!

Women are scrutinized if they are too fat or too thin! And then, finally, when they are normal… there is still something wrong with them! The interesting thing is – this does not happen to men nearly as much as women!! We hear all about the body shaming of women, but far less about it of men (not that it doesn’t happen, because it does). Why? We live in a culture where the sexualization of women is prominent and a person is made into a object for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making. Advertisement and entertainment media play a large role in the way women are portrayed, and the results have not been good (That’s a blog for another day).

If you’re too fat – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re too thin – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re normal, but athletic or strong, you get scrutiny for being too masculine.

It almost seems like there is no perfect place for a woman to be.

Tina Fey explains the female dilemma quite well in her book Bossypants:

“Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.”

A recent example of this: Rhonda Rousey

ronda RR

This woman is amazing! She just defended her championship UFC title knocking out her opponent in 34 seconds (she knocked out another one in 17 seconds). She is a healthy woman who said she actively chose to gain 15 pounds for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Photo shoot because she feels the most beautiful at 150, not her fighting weight of 135.

That photo shoot:

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After winning her fight, she posted a picture of herself (below) enjoying time with her family at a soccer game in Rio de Janeiro and was blasted by the media for being “too masculine.” So… a woman who is 135lbs with an athletic build, who is obviously fit, is also not good enough. So now, any muscle tone means “too masculine.” What about the men who have no muscle tone out there? Are they “too feminine”? Her response was great – she basically said, “screw you, I don’t care what you think!”

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In an interview with Cosmopolitan Rousey stated, “I grew up thinking that because my body type was common [i.e., athletic], it was a bad thing,” she said in the interview. “Now that I’m older, I’ve really begun to realize that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at. It took a lot of time to develop a healthier relationship with food and with my weight. My mind was backward. I thought I wanted my body to look a certain way so I could be happy. But it got to the point where I didn’t feel I looked good at 135 pounds, the weight that qualifies me for the weight class that I fight in.”

Ronda Rousey is so correct! We have to get to a point where we realize that our bodies are not made to just be looked at. Sure, that can be part of it. I’m now at the point where I can put on an outfit and say, “damn, my butt looks awesome!” but that’s not what it’s here to do. My body is here for many more things. My body is here to move me from point A to point B, to hug my friends, to worship God, to teach a classroom full of students, to love my family, to run races, to sit on a beach, and to find infinite new things that are exciting. My body is just a vessel that holds the true person that I really am, but It’s the vessel that allows me to be the person that I want to be. And, because I am the person I want to be, I enjoy what I see in that vessel and feel good going what I do.

This is why we should put down the magazines, get off social media, stop looking at models and start appreciating our bodies for the strength they have. Taking off our clothes and flaunting our bodies (Miley Cyrus…ahem…) does not “take back our bodies and take back the power,” in fact, it probably makes it worse (That’s also another blog for another day).

So, to further my point…. Here is a short list of some pretty awesome people – who are pretty normal – who are apparently all “fat”…

… and they were told they would never make it in their field because of it.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence – Award winning actress – She was “too fat” to play Katniss in The Hunger Games, her “womanly” body just wasn’t the right size. They said she didn’t look like the starving character she was supposed to portray. It’s okay to roll your eyes.

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  1. Misty Copeland – First African-American Principal Dancer – She was “too fat” and “too athletic” for many dance companies. She was criticized for not having the right body, for having a bust, and how she is the most acclaimed dancer in history.

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  1. Ronda Rousey – Defending UFC Champion – She was told she was “too masculine” even though her weight wasn’t the issue. So, we can be “just right” and still have something wrong according to the standards of the media.

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  1. Kesha – Pop Star – She was told she was “too fat” and needed to drop weight to stay mainstream. This advice from her manager led her down the path of an eating disorder.

Kesha

  1. Lady Gaga – Singer – She was criticized for gaining weight after overcoming her battles with eating disorders. She started a movement of body acceptance and compassion.

GAGA

  1. Adele – Singer – She may not be the fittest, but she makes the list. The director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, gave Adele one hell of a backhanded compliment, saying that, while she had a beautiful face and voice, she was a “little too fat.” It wasn’t the first time Adele was criticized for her weight in public, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a size 00 to win Grammys — Adele has 10.

Adele

  1. Tyra Banks – Model – She used to walk the runway and was told to lose weight when she started her career. She refused and still made it. Long after her career was over, she was criticized for being “fat” when her body changed (as we all do). I’m sure the writer who commented on her weight was “totally fit” when he wrote that about her! And, I’m sure he won’t criticize her “fat” bank account.

Tyra

  1. Christina Aguilera – Pop Star – The fantastically sexist website AskMen wrote an entire article on how terrible it is that Aguilera has gotten curvier since her “Genie In A Bottle Days” — you know, back when she was a teenager, before she had children! Remind her to care when she’s not dominating pop music.

Christina

  1. Kate Winslet – Actress – She was told she was “too fat” for roles and was passed over. She nailed it in Titanic and has been a sensation for positive body image for women. Too bad those people never gave her a chance, because maybe their shows/movies could have won some Oscars too.

Kate

  1. Rebel Wilson – Actress – The Pitch Perfect star may have been “Fat Amy” in the film, but she’s less thrilled with name calling in actual life. She called out her haters by saying that she’s actually not the concerned with how hot she is — just how entertaining. Amen. She probably has more of a personality than most people doing the name calling.

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  1. Demi Lovato – Singer – once she let go of the pressures of staying thin, she went into rehab for her mental illness and got healthy from her eating disorder. Her healthy body was criticized as “fat” and she has been a body image pioneer since she started her journey toward health.

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  1. Kate Upton – Model – First of all, she’s beautiful. She’s been criticized for becoming so mainstream and not being stick thin. People have been quoted saying, “How DARE she be a bikini model, when she doesn’t have a bikini body!” She was called a “fat cow” by models after she appeared in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show which prompted an outrage and discussion of what body image really is. And, let’s be honest… she’s hot!

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So, what’s the lesson here? Define your own beauty. Rousey says it so well – our bodies are for more than just looking at! The easiest way to begin defining your beauty is to get off the internet, close the magazines and close down social media because they are breeding grounds for comparison. In high school I wanted so badly to be a fast sprinter, but I didn’t realize that my body was built to run the difficult middle distance races. Pulling away from everything that breeds comparison allows you to drop expectations and define who you are. When you can finally appreciate your strengths, you can learn to accept your flaws and love who you are.

Beach Bodies

I should be doing school work, or going out for a run in prep for a 10 miler coming up, but instead I felt the need to write about summer beach bodies! 🙂

I’m going on vacation to Aruba this Sunday and I couldn’t care less what I look like in my bathing suit because I’ll be reading some books on the beach in between my sangrias and dips in the ocean. I’ve come to accept my athletic build as part of who I am, but that hasn’t come easy. It came with many sessions of my therapist screaming in my face gently reminding me that body mass index, or BMI, is bogus and that it isn’t a real measure of how healthy a person really is.

She may have talked to me two, three, four, ten, twelve times and it may have looked like this by the end:

screaming

Let’s be honest, people! We don’t hear the crap they say the first time they say it!!! 🙂

Just kidding (but she probably looked like that on the inside). BMI did come up a lot, and I’m sure it was exhausting to repeat before it sank in and I could finally “hear” it. I finally had to do my own research and I talked a lot about BMI and how bogus it is in a previous post here.

After many rounds at the doctors, I realized that I will probably always be tipping the scales close to, or in the overweight category simply because I have a strong athletic build. I’ve had my fair share of doctors tell me that my glutes are strong and well developed and that my hamstrings and quads are as well (hence why they are always tight and I have issues). Oh the life of a field hockey player with strong legs and glutes!!

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OK – Back to our beach bodies!

I came across this image about beach bodies and BMI.

beach body

The illustrations were created from scans of six people in New York, who were all 5 feet 9 inches tall and 172 pounds. This means that though their bodies look very different, they all have exactly the same BMI. At 25.4, technically each of them could be considered overweight. (By the most common definition people with a BMI over 25 are overweight and those with a BMI over 30 are considered obese.)

How is it possible, you say? The simple explanation is that muscle and bone are denser than fat and some people carry more or less weight in their torso or legs.

BMI only considers height and weight, so it won’t consider the athletic guy’s muscle mass sitting on the beach next to the guy with the beer belly weighing the same, who is secretly chugging that beer from a soda can.

Alas, research is starting to catch up! A really boring research article that’s tough to read came out! You can read it here if you have all the time in the world to figure out what all the numbers mean! It is basically suggesting that body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. DUH! It also means that burning calories and losing weight for a beach body isn’t the answer, and that building muscle is also part of a healthy body. woo hoo – I’m on track for health! 🙂

So, as I lay on the beach in my healthy body, wearing my SPF 100 (so I don’t burn), I’ll appreciate that I don’t give a crap about BMI, and that I just laugh in my doctor’s face each time they try to tell me that I’m overweight. I’m still eating my ice cream, doc!

And when they finally do away with BMI, I’ll be the one laughing considering I have done away with it long before! 🙂

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And because everyone needs a laugh mid-week…. this will be me on the beach…. for real!

irish girlThe sad part is, I’m not even kidding… that’s why I buy SPF 100! 🙂 But with that SPF 100, I’ll be gettin’ my tan peach on!

Faith In Your Body

misty

In our society today, body confidence can sometimes be hard to find. Any person would be a liar if they said they had confidence all the time with absolutely no problems. Body confidence is something we can have, but sadly seems like something we have to work for.

Misty Copeland is a pioneer in the field of body confidence and a woman whom I love! Maybe I love her because my body looks like hers. I grew up as a dancer and struggled to make sense of my athletic build in the mirror, whereas Misty has embraced it and has made a movement and danced all the way to become the very first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Academy.

For anyone who has no idea what this means… it’s kind of a big freaking deal! J In the past, Misty had often been rejected due to her outer appearance and body proportions. In an interview Misty said, “As an adult, I was told that I didn’t have the right skin color. I was too muscular. I was too curvy. My breasts were too big. I was too short.” In a world where your body is your tool, and often scrutinized, this is hard to hear, but she didn’t stop.

Misty told NPR in September that breaking into ballet as an African-American is immensely difficult due a combination of racism and reluctance to change a traditional art form. “I think it’s just something maybe that I will never escape from those people who are narrow-minded,” Misty told NPR. “But my mission, my voice, my story, my message is not for them. And I think it’s more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.”

I’ll give the quick reasons why Misty making principal ballerina is SO important :

  • Misty came from a very tough background
  • Misty only started dancing when she was 13, far past the age when dancers start (I started at 6)
  • Misty is an African American woman in a world of ballerinas dominated by white women
  • Misty is curvy and has an awesome athletic build
  • Misty has a bust which is highly uncommon for ballerinas

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We all know what the common ballerina looks like and Misty is not that. When you see her dance, she proves that she is just as good, if not better than any other ballerina out there. This video speaks for itself. It goes to show that there is no mold for beauty and the traditional standards are being broken. If we stand in confidence of our bodies, there will be a shift in what is expected. Misty has started that revolution in the ballet community just as many others have in other communities. The more we work at loving ourselves the less power the world has at telling us we shouldn’t. Her unchartered rise to greatness shows that faith in your body can take you places that you never imagined! Imagine what you could do!

Super Soul Sunday: Ballerina Misty Copeland [Original Short] from Zachary D. Perlinski on Vimeo.

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#No Thigh Gap

Somewhat recently, the words “thigh gap” have had a tremendous impact on the Internet and the body image of women everywhere. Since it first surfaced, the term has been nothing but damaging. It has sparked “thinspiration” images on social media and has prompted retailers who Photoshop their models’ legs in order to make their proportions seem disturbingly (and disgustingly) thinner. Some retailers even went to the point of actually getting mannequins with legs that are too thin with the thigh gap! Here is a girl who is a healthy size 4 standing by a mannequin!

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Let’s not forget the awful production from Target showing the model who was butchered at the start of last year’s bathing suit season! She lost a good portion of her vagina and cervix in order to achieve the Thigh Gap. I don’t know if she made it through that experience … RIP, poor soul!

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Sadly, the backlash from people who “fight the thigh gap” have unintentionally made some of those who are naturally skinny feel shamed by body they are in, so this “war” affects both sides.

Recently, and thankfully, there was a lull in the “thigh gap” debate. But the term has emerged with an empowering message that raises awareness about body positivity, and it’s all thanks Lena Dunham. The actress shared a close-up photo of her leg in a pair of shorts with the hashtag #NoThighGap on Instagram, and her simple act has started a revolution!

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Women have begun sharing their own photos on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter, and have turned the #NoThighGap hashtag into a body positive movement. The hashtag has become a hub of love and pride for our bodies (as we all should have).

The movement is by no means saying that your legs are not beautiful if you have a thigh gap, but it’s there to celebrate the diversity in bodies that are not typically celebrated by the media. In fact, there are many people who just cannot physically obtain the thigh gap based on their physiological structure. Our muscle/fat/pelvis size all play a role in whether a person can have a thigh gap. I had the thigh gap once… when I was so sick I was almost dead.  I didn’t realize the complexity of it all (the thigh gap) until I stumbled across this blog post which breaks down the information very well: (if you read the article – I’m the athletic Mesomorph – it’s nearly impossible for me to obtain the thigh gap – and I accept that). Let’s all be totally honest – most of the world does not have a thigh gap! Most of the healthy world will always have thighs that touch! We are built to have fat on our legs and that is healthy and okay. The percentage of people who naturally have a thigh gap is so low that it doesn’t even matter to me in this blog post 🙂

It’s important we remember that a thigh gap is not a measure of health (or even skinniness). We’re all built and shaped differently — and that’s an absolutely wonderful thing!! What’s “right” or healthy for one body isn’t going to be what’s right for every body. If hashtags like #NoThighGap can help us to recognize that, then maybe they will also help us to foster an acceptance of ALL body types and encourage a more open-minded perspective of what “healthy” looks like. “Healthy” is a large variety and looks very different for every person. My “healthy” is very different from your “healthy”.

Our worth should not be determined based on the space between our thighs, however wide or nonexistent that space may be. Whether or not any of us has a thigh gap, we should appreciate our bodies for what they are capable of doing, rather than how they look and if they adhere to a very narrow idea of what is acceptable and beautiful. This is something that I’m trying hard to do, and succeeding at more and more each day! Our bodies were made to do some pretty amazing things and the more we focus on what it can do, the less we will focus on what we think it should be or look like. This isn’t something that is easy to do, but it is well worth the struggle to achieve it! Body positivity and appreciation is something that amazing and freeing when you finally find it!

So… for the movement… let’s look at some of the #NoThighGap posts!

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The Storm

In a session long ago, my psychologist once said that something has to be broken before it can be healed. It’s true. We can’t be healed, or whole, until something in us breaks, or we are willing to come apart.

“The beauty of being shattered is how the shards become our character and our marks of distinction. This is how we are refined by our pain. When the storm rips you to pieces, you get to decide how to put yourself back together again. The storm gives us the gift of our defining choices. You will be a different person after the storm, because the storm will heal you from your perfection. People who stay perfect and unblemished never really get to live fully or deeply. You will not be the same after the storms of life; you will be stronger, wiser and more alive than ever before!”

  • Bryant McGill

I have found that as I walk through recovery I get to choose and define the person I become. I get to choose how I live each day. I no longer live under the rules of the eating disorder and the unhappiness that comes with it.  I get to choose what I like and dislike and I frequently step back and see the person I’ve become. I see the wisdom and strength I’ve grown into, and the beauty in my soul that I have saved.

It’s true, you know… I’ve been given the opportunity to save myself. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. I have been given the opportunity to decide to be willing and able to come to my own defense and save my self and nurture my soul. I’ve been given the opportunity to be healthy and happy, to restore my faith and trust in people and God and more importantly, myself.

There are times when I look at this process and I think about how long it (recovery) takes. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative of it all. It’s easy to see how I’m not finished and I’m not fully “recovered,” and that I still have to monitor my eating and exercise habits… but it’s also just as easy to look back and see that I’m no longer sick. It’s easy to see that I’m no longer in medical danger, on exercise restrictions, on strict meal plans, in intensive programs, controlled by the eating disorder etc. It’s also just as easy to look back and see how far I’ve come as it is to look ahead and see how much there is to go.

“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.  However the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present. Gratefully. ” Maya Angelou

I had an amazing breakthrough last week while I was driving. I finally accepted that the eating disorder thoughts may never go away completely…. and that’s okay! For so long I was the person in treatment who said, “I will NEVER have ANY eating disorder thoughts in my life when this is over!” I’m not sure this is always possible being a woman in our society today. Many women have the same thoughts I have, but it’s just not a dangerous situation for them. My fleeting eating disorder thoughts are important to acknowledge as they are red flags for how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life. They are a signal for stress. The same negative body image thought in my head, for many other women in the world, could be something harmless, but for me it’s a sign that something larger is going on that I need to figure out and address. Accepting this is HUGE (pun intended) and a turning point in recovery allowing me to move forward. These thoughts are NORMAL for women in our society and it would be NORMAL for me to have them if I didn’t have an eating disorder… I just need to know that these thoughts are my “stress signal” much like another person would get muscle tension, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, nausea etc.

Each journey will take however long it’s supposed to take. I always hear people say in church, “you are where you are supposed to be right now.” It’s true. I remember begging doctors to slow down the process when I was treatment, and then I found myself begging them to speed it up when I got out. I’m learning to accept the here and now, and attempting to do it as gracefully as possible (currently…. I’m tripping and falling on my face with that one! I’ve got some work to do on that!).

The “process” and I have a love/hate relationship. I respect it, but we are not on “hugging” terms. I will do what has to be done to continue the process, but I will certainly voice how much I’m not liking/loving/enjoying/appreciating the process. I like what comes out of the process, but I don’t like the process. I’m not sure I’ll really ever “like” or “embrace” the process… but I’ll keep doing it because it works. But I’ll also keep saying that I don’t like it. Because I don’t. 🙂

The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new – Socrates

After your storm is over, keep building the new, no matter how long it takes… in the end, it’s glorious. 🙂

25 Truths About Life We All Need to Remember

1. You need to love and accept yourself unconditionally.

Unconditional self-love gives you the courage to go after your dreams, because you’ve got insurance — you know that no matter what the outcome, you love yourself deeply.

2. The busier life gets, the more you need stillness.

Slow down. Take a deep breath. Spend one minute doing nothing. Meditate. Tap into your inner stillness and it will bring a sense of peace, calm and flow to everything you do.

3. Everyone is fighting their own battle.

Judging or criticizing others is a waste of energy. Show understanding for their point of view, compassion for their situation, acceptance of who they are and above all, love.

4. The world is a reflection of your dominant thoughts.

If you believe the world is a hostile place, it will be. If you believe the world is a friendly, loving and abundant place, it will be.

5. Start before you feel ready.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment — you have to jump and build your parachute on the way down. As the Zen proverb goes, “Leap and the net will appear.

6. Your capacity to love is unlimited.

Love is like a flame. You can light one person’s candle, or you can light 100 — your flame will continue to burn brightly. And the world looks more beautiful the more candles you help to light up.

7. Life is overflowing with beauty and blessings.

Unfortunately we too often fail to see them, distracted by our circling thoughts or preoccupied with what we don’t have (instead of what we do).

8. Success does not bring happiness, happiness brings success.

Decide to be happy now, and everything you desire will become easier to obtain.

9. Make time for your friends and loved ones.

When life is busy, keeping in touch is often one of the first things we give up on. Yet as Buddha once said, friendships are not half, but all of the spiritual life.

10. We are all pieces of the one Universe.

I am you, you are me, we are the ocean, we are the sky, the birds and the moon. It’s all made of the same energy. We should stop seeing ourselves as separate.

11. Enjoy the journey because the journey is all there is.

While it’s important to have dreams, the present moment is the only moment we can truly experience. So fully embrace and enjoy living today while you’re working towards your goals.

12. Your intention is what matters most.

A heartfelt note or flower is worth more than a million dollar gift given without any thought, love or best wishes.

13. The more you give thanks, the more good things flow to you.

Gratitude is like a magnet for positive energy, serendipity and abundance. By giving thanks you are affirming the presence of good things in your life and signaling to the Universe you are ready for more.

14. You are inherently worthwhile.

Your worth is not dependent on whether you have a career, partner, beautiful figure or home. You are a child of the Universe and your soul is inherently valuable.

15. Fear is the one-sided fence.

If you have the courage to get through the situation you fear, you will look back and realize there was nothing to be afraid of — it was all an illusion.

16. You need to replenish your soul.

Take time to simply be. Lay in the grass. Watch the clouds move across the sky. Read a book. Play in the waves at the beach.

17. Most worrying is a waste of energy.

When you worry about what might go wrong, you’re creating your own personal hell in an otherwise peaceful and beautiful present moment.

18. When you want something, the Universe conspires on your behalf.

Intentions and desires are powerful. Tell the Universe you’re ready, act as if the thing you want is already yours, and the Universe will arrange people, circumstances and opportunities to bring it to you.

19. Be wary of projecting your past onto your present.

We react to things today because of our beliefs from our past experiences, including childhood. Forgive your past, and open yourself up to what is really happening today.

20. Most people are capable of far greater things than they realize.

We imprison ourselves with our self-limiting beliefs. Remember you are an infinite being for whom all things are possible.

21. So much can happen in a day.

Wake up every morning excited about what might happen today. No two days are the same and life can change dramatically in a single moment.

22. When you follow your heart, life is effortless.

When you live in alignment with your soul, everything feels easy. The right ideas and solutions come to you and everything flows.

23. Deep breathing is underrated.

Take a few deep breaths in the morning, and every time you feel flustered or consumed by negative emotions throughout the day.

24. Comparison is the death of joy.

Life would be pretty dull if every restaurant was the same, every summer was the same, every partner was the same. Enjoy things for what they are, not what they’re not.

25. Happiness is a choice.

Your happiness is within your control. Understand this and it will transform your life.

This article was posted by Elyse Gorman who is a writer and happiness teacher at NotesOnBliss.com.