I’ve lived through many emotions. Experienced loss all over the spectrum. Managed pain, heartbreak, grief, depression, anxiety, obesity and more. I know what it means to not have the energy to show up. I can relate to out of character insensitivity due to drowning in personal stresses. However, I will always hold myself accountable to communicate.
Tending to my own problems doesn’t have to mean creating problems for someone else. If I’m feeling like I might not be able to show up to plans, I make sure to vocalize that. Give the other party all the information so they have the opportunity to make their own decisions around those possibilities. Have backup plans or reschedule entirely, because that’s what is fair. If I’m running late, I’ll say so. I apologize for inconveniencing someone if my own life interfered with theirs. It is my duty to respect the time and energy of those around me when I am involved. The least I can do is communicate.
I don’t expect perfection from anyone. Mistakes or slip-ups are part of being human. Give me some credit! I excuse mental health. I forgive errors in judgement. I understand life is hard. My focus is on intentions. Why did what happened happen? Will it happen again? Do you understand how your actions affected others?
I have boundaries. I don’t give out unlimited mess ups. I don’t allow anyone to walk all over me, but I have a heart. I can forgive. I am a big believer in second chances. We’re all learning. We should all be given the opportunity to improve ourselves. To prove progress. Just as I believe cancel culture prohibits people from growing, I encourage positive change from those who have proven to need it.
Communication is the way we connect. The way we can understand each other. Explain and forgive. Providing barriers for pain. Communicate your intentions so your actions don’t hurt others. Acknowledge and take responsibility for your mistakes and apologize when apologies are due. Reflect on the effects your actions have on others and move forward with new ways of preventing that hurt. While you may take all the time you need to work on yourself, communication is one simple way to keep that time from hurting those around you. A simple measure to acknowledge their time is also of value. If you do anything during your not so fine moments, make sure it is honest communication.
I never did understand how being a good catch while also being single remains such a mystery. Aren’t the fish in the sea that seem to be “a good catch” harder to reel in? There are so many reasons why people are single these days. There have been so many reasons for even just why I’ve been single.
Pre- “prized catch” days, I looked at dating as a luxury I couldn’t afford. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I felt worthless. If I didn’t want myself, why would anyone else want me?
Then, I got my freedom. Falling in love with my goals and my growth, daily. I wasn’t ready to share and quite honestly, I wasn’t sure I would ever want to.
Fast forward to today, I know what I’m worth. What I have to offer. Just how “good” of a catch I really am. And I know what I want. What I would need in a man to be willing to make the compromises to share my life with him. I won’t be taking bait from just anyone.
I recently responded to this “why are you still single” question with that exact fact. I explained how I know what I’m looking for and I won’t settle for less. This person then asked if I had an actual list to advise him on his quest to impress me. It was sweet. The flattery and care was enough to impress me already. I didn’t have a list then, but I made one.
Wants to be better everyday.
I am an open book. You never have to wonder what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling. I am true through the entire process of my emotions. Sorting my thoughts outside my own head. I know most people aren’t wired this way. However, when someone can’t open up to me, I feel uninterested. I enjoy the deepness of life, and I wouldn’t be able to have a partner who didn’t. When I am left wondering what you are thinking or how you are feeling, I feel uneasy and rejected. I need a man who can communicate. Who knows how to self-reflect or can be vulnerable through that process. I need a man who seeks progress within his own character. Open to growth and excited about opportunities to do so.
Cares about others.
Prioritizes giving back.
Like I’ve said throughout my blog posts, and most frequently over the past 4 years, politics IS personal. Morals are everything to me. My entire being pulls in the direction of helping others. Whether that means being a reliable, genuine friend to the people I’ve already chosen to be in my life, or lending a hand to a stranger. I focus everyday on making a difference in the world by making a difference in the lives of those I can reach. I can’t see sharing my life with someone who doesn’t align with these values.
Likes to try new things.
I actually used to have on my dating profile, “no picky eaters.” Food is something I love for myself, but also something I love sharing with others. Someone who is willing to try new foods or just enjoy food with me is a priority of mine no matter how selective, or picky, that may be. But I don’t just need someone to be adventurous when it comes to food, I need someone who finds joy from adventure, period. Someone who wants to explore. Travel and experience. I dream of living in a van. Waking up in a new place every morning. As unfortunate as this world can be, I don’t feel safe doing this alone. Hopefully, my future partner is someone who can appreciate and accept this dream for himself too.
Because I’m so independent, it really won’t take much work to be my “other half.” I am extremely low-maintenance and take care of myself pretty flawlessly. While I may not need anyone to take care of me, it is always nice to feel appreciated. I would love to find someone who understands my love language. Who can navigate showing me love in the simple ways that I adore. Thoughtfulness goes a long way. It’s the little things that count to me.
The truth is, I am perfectly happy on my own. I don’t have expectations for my future when it comes to marriage, and I know I don’t want children. Making this list isn’t stopping me from allowing those things to happen. Being picky most likely isn’t doing any more harm than good. I am always open to adapting my list. Making adjustments, adding or eliminating demands. At the end of the day, “what I’m looking for” is someone I don’t want to live without that feels the same about me.
To me, life’s rewards come from growth in any way. New ideas, new strength, new goals, new accomplishments, new friends, new loves. If I take the steps to eliminate what blocks those paths, I will spend less energy having to create my ideal lifestyle. Preconceived notions, harmful self-talk, limited imagination, judgments and expectations are just some of the road blocks to the journey I aim to take.
In my opinion, the greatest humans are those who show humility. Who understand how much there is to learn and never give up on that lust. When has anyone ever impressed you with their closed mind or unwavering arrogance? Isn’t it a turn-on when someone actually wants to learn from you? Believes that there is more to life than just their own thoughts? So when someone shares something with me I may not agree with, instead of pushing my own beliefs back, I listen and I ask questions. This keeps my mind open to new ideas.
Mental and physical strength are key to my feeling healthy. My weight loss journey built both. My most prominent takeaway from the experience was watching myself get physically stronger every day, and catching my mental strength toughen without even realizing. Things that once bothered me no longer scratch my surface. Watching my Pilates form improve and my ability to do more reps and new exercises daily is a treat only I could award myself. The power that comes with that self-improvement is unstoppable. Proving my capabilities to myself provides motivation moving forward. Reminds me why I should never give up. No matter how weak or unworthy I may feel at times, I can always rebuild my strength.
Relationships are another monumental piece of a person’s wellbeing. Therefore, how easily we get along with others determines how much energy is expended into finding and nurturing those relationships. If we are too hung up with our own opinions as fact, it is hard to connect with others in a way that feels rewarding. I try to empathize with the love languages of the people in my life or even the new people I meet. Ask myself where they are coming from when a social encounter feels difficult. I work on finding a balance between pleasing others and setting boundaries that please myself. I am a big supporter of letting people and things go that do not serve my best life. But I know I need to be patient with my judgments. Allow room in my heart and not just my mind.
By focusing on ways to stay open to these paths of growth, I find confidence in my wellbeing. Even if I may not be getting what I want in the moment, I know the future is full of endless opportunities. I feel best when I know I am open and accepting of good. While I love a challenge, some things can be shifted to make it all easier.
I saw something recently on Instagram that said, “Things that excite you are not random. They are connected to your purpose. Follow them.” - @yngnsxy. This is POWERFUL. Not only with the things that excite me, but in general, the energy I feel is not random.
I spend a lot of time wondering if I should be acting a different way. Whether it be conflict resolution, how much I share with strangers, doing more with my career, eating differently, exercising more or sometimes even less. I worry about my own worrying. Overthinking a situation or questioning if my own thoughts should be listened to or ignored. My mind is overloaded and in need of a cleanse. Instead of wondering the depth of my overthinking, drowning in an endless cycle of worry, why not trust my thinking in the first place? Validation for my thoughts. Understanding my feelings are not random.
I do a pretty decent job in celebrating my successes. Feeling pride when pride is deserved. I keep tabs on my accomplishments in order to revisit them when I’m feeling unworthy. So if I’m feeling uneasy about the effects of my actions, my energy must be telling me to try again.
While my feelings aren’t facts, my feelings can certainly be hints. Clues to redirecting my purpose. A guideline to whether I’m “hot” or “cold” in effectively navigating through life. The good news, my actions are in my control and so is my mind.
When I’m feeling excited, I pay attention to my surroundings and my actions. Creating mental notes on what uplifts my energy. But I must do the same when I’m feeling anxious, sad, or worried. Pinpoint the root of this emotion and brainstorm a solution. Rework coping methods and form real life resolution until those unwanted feelings settle and relief is found.
We’re not left to this crazy world without any tools to survive. I choose to cultivate each and every opportunity to be better. Of course there will be bumps in the road, but we can either stand hopeless and give up or use what we can to continue on. Our feelings must be welcomed. Our energy must be recognized. We all exist for a reason, but that reason needs work to unlock. Listen to your thoughts, heal your wounds, love your whole being and project onto the world the positive energy that comes from it all.
We all stumble into darkness at one point or another. Through loss, heartbreak, change or boredom, there is no shortage of ways we can lose our way. Feeling stuck or broken. Hindered from moving. Lost and unmotivated, fearful to find our way out. Darkness is merely the absence of light.
Resilience is a commitment to carrying that light. To finding the switch, no matter what obstacles are in the way. I might stub my toe or trip a few times on the journey, but light can always be turned back on. One foot in front of the other. Brave enough to get a few bumps when it means carrying on. My mind is my strongest quality and it will pull me through anything. Navigate around any obstacles blocking my path. Sometimes my mind gets cluttered, clouding my confidence. But the promising thing about the kind of light that guides me out of darkness, it always remains within me.
Some darkness feels like a tunnel. Aware of the lingering exit but too overwhelmed to act, we sometimes remain in place, defeated. While other darkness feels pitch black. Impossible to survive. Not all darkness has the same feeling of uncertainty, but all darkness can be navigated through with the same tool. Like I said before, darkness is defeated with light. I wear light for protection. We all do. It’s about learning how to use our light that provides trust in its existence.
Greet your light. Introduce your worries and allow your light to seep into your soul. The more you open up, the more light has an opportunity to shine through. Be vulnerable with yourself. Give your light attention. Practice finding it. Get comfortable seeing through it. Protect your light by nurturing your energy. Exercise, healthy eating and sufficient rest will keep light glowing. Participating in enjoyable activities, whether creating, relaxing or moving, as well as healthy, fulfilling relationships keep our light bright. It takes practice and time getting to know ourselves to maintain higher levels of illumination.
Just knowing light is in my possession, in my control, takes away my fear of the dark. I have it ready at the first signs of dimming. I can battle darkness whenever I choose to. Why sit and waste time in the dark when I have the power to illuminate my path? I project limitless potential for my journey. Sometimes, light through darkness can cast shadows. But my shadow only lingers when I stand in the way of letting my light shine.
Light is what helps us see clearly. What gives us energy and quite literally produces the air we breathe. Just as the sun sets to rise again, I never go a day without letting my light shine. And I’ll never be stuck in the dark when I have my light to guide me through.
It’s saddening to watch others struggle with anything, let alone the will to live. In a truly positive turn of events in my own life, I am now actually losing sight of what that felt like for me. Feeling less attached to a lack of motivation and more sorrowful for others being stuck there. While my transformation was triggered by the realization of my medicine’s depressive side effects, most people don’t get as direct a jumpstart into their new life. So what can I suggest to someone struggling and stuck feeling unmotivated? The will to live isn’t something you find, it is something you choose.
There are a million and more excuses to avoid joy and linger on negativity. Glued to trauma and self-disdain. Overwhelmed by school, work or general frustration with the madness of the world. If we work through these issues convinced unhappiness is inevitable, the choice to feel fulfilled has been rejected. However, if we consider the work itself to be rewarding, appreciate each moment and take from it what we can, the goal to find joy is attainable right now.
While it might take years to understand the immediate gratification that begins with a positive attitude, it takes one moment to practice gratitude and find joy from any circumstance. There is nothing more persuasive than trusting the power we have over our own mentality. No spouse, dog, body, job, home, car, etc. will bring you the will to live if you’re unwilling to commit to a positive attitude.
I’m sure it feels like a long road ahead. Maybe working with therapists, diving into personal traumas, readjusting daily scheduling to provide a better sense of relief. But the one thing I can guarantee, once the work has been truly started, the pressure of if it “will stick” will feel less weighted. The pressure of “a long road ahead” will dwindle and “working” towards a fulfilling life will feel more like a hobby. Confidence will be gained in self ability to transform any mood. Want to be happy? Want to feel healthier? Need a break from stress? These skills will be built when the choice to take action has been made.
Choosing health and self-growth means accepting your dreams into reality. It’s why I tell anyone who comes to me looking for guidance that they’re already halfway there. A vision is set into motion as soon as it is manifested. Sometimes sparked by a new friendship, a dream for the future, an experience or a place that inspires a different kind of hope. But what does it take to have a fulfilling life? Wanting one. Choosing one everyday. Trusting the simplicity of reworking self-thoughts to provide an environment that is sustainable. An environment that feels exciting to live in.
Do you ever stop to think about how cool it is that we have the potential to strengthen our mind and body no matter what tore us down in our past? How we have the ability to build strength and carry more weight, mentally and physically.
How someone can go through 20+ years crippled by an addiction and one day start a completely new life. Celebrating years of sobriety and renewed health and hope. How someone else could survive a horrific accident and through physical and cognitive therapy, restore their muscles and transform, if not enlighten, their mentality on living.
I lived 15 years of my life suicidal and obese. My attitude was that nothing would ever change. I thought my only way out was death. But as soon as I had the freedom and realization I could live the life I wanted for myself, transformation of my mind, body and soul was the fun part.
I literally watched my body transform as I added more activity, weights, and healthy foods into my lifestyle. With consistency, commitment and determination, I watched as I could do more, lift more, and feel stronger each and every day.
Just as I choose what exercise and eating habits I participate in, I also choose what nurtures my mind and soul. What type of media I digest and what kinds of people I surround myself with. My openness to learn and my willingness to educate myself. The power to feel and do good is in my control and as soon as I grabbed on, I lifted off.
Psychologists David Lykken and Auke Tellegen estimate a person’s well-being is between 44 percent and 52 percent genetically composed. While basically half of our “set point” well-being is based on genetics alone, before even factoring in circumstance, it’s easy to feel discouraged and stuck in a place of discontent. But according to many philosophers, satisfaction is what we have divided by what we want. As the Dalai Lama stated, “We need to learn how to want what we have, not to have what we want, in order to get steady and stable happiness.”
As I’ve grown up and met many different people from many different backgrounds, I have listened to stories that punch my gut and break my heart. Stories of abuse and neglect, people who have experienced accidents leaving them paralyzed or otherwise disabled, people without support systems and lacking the skills and motivation to turn their lives around. Circumstances that could easily hinder a person’s ability to see a successful life for themselves.
Feeling grateful is something each and every one of us can attach to. There is always something, whether it be the sun shining through the sky, a cup of coffee in the morning, the way a certain song can make us feel, that we can find beauty in. If we’re stuck comparing ourselves to others and what they have, we will never be truly satisfied. However, if we take advantage of our power, our choice in what we focus on, who we surround ourselves with, our purpose and our faith, we have an equation to live a fulfilling and progressive life. A life with no limits on the satisfaction we can achieve.
The thing that keeps me most excited about life, pushing me forward through all the challenges and hardships, is my confidence in my ability to grow. Gaining strength and expanding my mind is an ability I’m grateful to be in tune with. If I’m going to be searching for more, it will be more lessons, more strength and more success. Redefining my definition of success to align with goals that are within my control. How I respond to adversity, and how I thrive from opportunity. Welcoming change, adaptation and adjustments, but leaving behind expectations. Healing from acceptance and strengthening through my commitment to myself balanced by soaking in those morning coffees. Belting out the song that pumps energy into my soul. Because while I have the opportunity to be better each day, I also have the opportunity to see all that exists right now.
My dog is not even 2 years old yet and he has taught me so many valuable lessons. Enthusiasm for the simple things keeps positivity alive. How much more enjoyable life is when we know how to forgive. How stress free being yourself can be, without worry of what others think. Ignorance is bliss. And love can last forever. The type of unconditional love that is felt as a parent, whether to a fur baby or a human baby, can mold the guidelines to other working relationships in our lives.
As much as it feels like I love my dog more than words could ever describe, I pride myself on my communication skills and I’m gonna give it a go. I’ve felt love before. To and from my family, my friends, the boy I gave my heart to, but I have never seen it like I do when I look at my dog.
For all of you pet owners out there, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say I look at my dog, and my heart melts. My entire body warms as chills roll through my veins. Heart skips a beat, eyes lost gazing at him. My train of thought completely taken over by a feeling of pure compassion. Innocent, untainted love. Nothing he could ever do will diminish the way I feel.
This type of love comes purely from appreciation. Gratefulness without a “but...” No surprise opinions or mean spirited outbursts that could make me lose respect. Pleasing him is simple, just food, adventures, and love. I sacrifice for him and expect nothing in return. I trust the intentions that motivate his behavior. Believe in his innocence. Unwavering confidence that our relationship is until death do us part.
While the relationship with my dog might be unmatched by anything else, it provides meaning to what pure love means to me. Patience, understanding, giving the benefit of the doubt. Commitment, focus, appreciation. Simple thoughts, simple actions. No unnecessary overthinking. I don’t know what he’s thinking and that doesn’t bother me. I allow him to communicate in his own way. To let me know when he needs my guidance and to respect his being as he is.
There’s a sense of trust when you raise a puppy. Knowing all they’ve been through in life. But having any kind of dog, adopting or raising from their start, is a guaranteed lifelong relationship. I don’t worry I’ll fall out of love with him. I don’t worry he’ll grow up and not need me anymore. The commitment made when getting a dog is their entire life. It is a choice to love them first, and a blessing later.
I think I get confused by what role love takes in relationships. As if it’s an uncontrollable feeling that takes over our mind and our actions. Love is a choice. It takes work, responsibility and commitment. Just as I chose to love my dog forever when I went to pick him up on August 20th, 2018, you must continuously choose love for it to stay strong. If love is chosen, it takes showing up, sacrifice, loyalty, and nurturing to keep alive.
The bond between a dog and its owner is multi-beneficial. Whether having a dog motivates more physical activity, more responsibility, or just more love, everyone gets something out of it. Show up for those you love, and appreciate the actions it takes to hold onto. In the end, love doesn’t choose us, we must choose love.
Just as a song can pump up our energy, all our senses have the ability to enlighten our spirit. The switch between a dull or vibrant lifestyle. Most of us have five senses, but all we need is one. One connection between us and the world.
Listening opens our hearts. Welcoming a variety of waves, whether it be insight from a stranger, advice from a friend, an educational podcast, or a new hit on the radio. A good song can make you want to get up and dance while a good conversation can inspire achievement. Listening has the power to mutually inspire. As a listener, support and sympathy are offered while our minds expand and new material is collected.
Touch brings focus to existence. We’re not alone. Surrounded, always, by something. Whether it’s human interaction, a fuzzy blanket, or even the texture of a leaf in the woods, all of these physical feelings bond to us. Grounded by the simple idea that we can connect so effortlessly. A small reach can open many doors.
Scent is like time travel or teleportation. Bringing pieces from the past or from a distance to present time. Mimicking impossible or unrealistic desires and allowing them into our life. A healthy way to hold on to lost moments. A collection of memories stored in a single sniff. I am a huge fan of candles. Choosing a scent to be with, based on my mood. Sometimes nature inspired, fall leaves, lavender or pine wood. Sometimes inspired by a whole season, with the scent of pumpkin or hot chocolate. Fresh baked cookies always makes a sweet filling to a room. It amazes me how a scent can bring me back to a moment. Perhaps I’m baking cookies that spark a memory from a previous time I was surrounded by that smell, or a whiff of an old perfume brings me back to that middle school dance with my three best friends. Scent is a powerful tool that can encompass large amounts of time. A comfort to carry with us forever.
Taste takes care of our bodies. Helping decide what we eat. When used efficiently, its purpose can enlighten our nutritional experience. If you’re like me and enjoy food, taste can be extremely satisfying. A source of joy. Taste also guides us to experience different cultures. Trying new things, exploring a glimpse of someone else’s lifestyle.
That leaves one last sense. Sight. Sight opens our minds. Enhances our imagination and brings to light the magic that exists in our reality. It is a choice to look at the clouds blocking the sun, or to look at the way they reflect so beautifully on the ocean. Sight is our controller into finding beauty or seeking darkness. My company is named See Sparkly Lifestyle because I believe a fulfilling life begins with the ability to see one.
Whenever life feels dull, exhausted or worn out, I use my senses to my advantage. Feeling too tired to get moving? I’ll play a song I know brings me to life. Disconnected? I’ll take a barefoot walk in the sand. Missing someone? I’ll light a candle that reminds me of them. The senses available to us are our greatest gifts. I am so grateful for my health and access to each of mine. I can rely on them with ease to guide me back to an uplifted attitude and a vibrant life.
Do you ever feel unhappy and consider attitude adjustment but it just feels too exhausting? I do. Like being sad in this moment without exerting any energy is a choice I’d rather make. How lazy is that?! I’m sure if I put in the energy to feel good, I would be glad I did. It would feel worthy, but I’m just too tired.
Where do I draw the line between letting myself be sad and working myself to a better place? Sometimes I feel the kind of sad where I’m ready to prove myself capable. A sad that feels so temporary, I’m already ready to shape it into a positive. Other times, my sad feels deep. Numbing and fuel-less. Like a car stuck in the woods with no gas. I can’t stay stuck in the woods forever. I’ll need to walk to a gas station and carry back fuel. That walk is the extra distance between me and a good mood. The interesting thing though, before I get there, the walk revives me. The journey and “work” to revitalize my spirit is the thing that motivates me the most. So all I have to do when I’m feeling that darker, lost in the woods type of sadness is get out of the car. Reunite with fresh air.
It’s right there. A door I can reach. A door that’s mine. I’m not trapped. The unlock button is right beside me. I am the one in control of letting myself out. Already sitting, just need to change direction and drop my feet to the ground. Remember that feeling. Grounded. How easy it is to walk. One foot in front of the other. It’s all I need to get to the gas station. All I need to refuel.
Sometimes it’s writing that encourages me to open that door. Sometimes it’s music. It could be words from a loved one or a simple smile from my dog. Whatever it takes to remember that pressure, the “effort” it must take to pull me out, is overdramatized. What once felt like a fight will fade into gratification. Rewarding and fulfilling time spent enjoyed, releasing tension, relaxed with confidence. This feeling of “stuck” and “lost” is actually the beginning of an adventure. An adventure I walk through stronger and enlightened because of. All I have to do is open the door. I’m not too lazy to do that.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.