Balancing Act

Blog Post

Recently I have had kind of a bit of a rough time. We are two month in to 2018 and this year has been a challenge. I think, to sum up the year in one word so far would be balance. I have been learning to have balance at work, my personal life, my emotions, and basically everything else you could have to learn to balance.

Unfortunately, finding balance isn’t easy. But the lack of balance is even harder.

My process in searching for balance has looked a lot like me learning where I end and where my surroundings begin. My surroundings have been raging. There have been a dozen different things in my surroundings that have begged for my attention. The bummer thing is that I have given my attention, time, and energy to my surroundings. And, when I list out the things that have taken my attention externally, I understand why I have done what I’ve done. My friends, family, work, and adulting responsibilities are valid things to give my time to. But I think my problem is that I have given the best of my attention, time, and energy to these things and have given myself the left overs of my attention, time, and energy. THAT is my problem.

In January, I was really struggling with overthinking. I needed balance between the things I loved and my responsibilities. I was really caught up in my performance as opposed to celebrating who I was. I was searching for places and moments of failure. I was always looking for my boss, friends, and boyfriend to be disappointed in me. It sucked. And I felt consumed by the emotion of it all. I was crying often and became consumed with fear. But then I finally got my head out of the ground and realized that there was sunshine in the sky. I had forgotten the necessary balance needed between my innate value and my desire to grow. It took me way too long to remember that I am worthy, simply because I Am. I had forgotten that it isn’t about performance or what I can accomplish, but it is about enjoying my life and celebrating my growth. But I also had to remember to respect and honor everyone else’s responsibility to communicate with me if there was a problem. The only thing I can do is be the best version of my self– which includes asking questions for more clarity, being honest and vulnerable with my feelings and fears, and, lastly, allowing myself space to blossom to my full capacity.

And then came February and I really began to recognize the amount of distractions surrounding me. I watched myself get caught up with these nonsense things. I saw myself go from activity to activity and they all required me to pour out. I was pouring out my time and energy and I would return home with nothing left to give to my own heart. I had lost the balance of getting filled up and pouring out. I had lost my balance of valuing myself. I felt disconnected from myself and I felt a bit numb. But I realized what I was doing. I realized that my heart had not been given the time to express or breathe.

So where is balance and how do I find it?

One of the biggest keys is giving the best of my time and attention to the things that should have my best. For me, that means taking time to sit and connect with my heart and connect with The Lord. Then– my close relationships should get my time. And then comes all my other responsibilities. It is too common to give your best time and your best amounts of attention to work, yet work isn’t the most important thing that we have in our lives.

I think another thing that is super important is writing out your priorities. For me, this looked like writing out that my priority was to be the best version of myself and to strive for growth but not be consumed by it. It, also, looked like me writing out which relationships are most positive towards my heart and well being. In my moments of lack, I prioritize the relationships that fill me up.

Lastly, as weird as it might seem, I allowed my heart space to breathe. I verbalized (yes, out loud) that my heart was free to feel, free to need, and free to speak. I gave my heart space to be true to itself–which is actually allowing true Maranda to have space.

Doing these three things really helped me to find my balance (or at least move towards balance). It is allowing me space and time

Have you been feeling meh? What has 2018 been like for you so far? I would love to hear in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

XO,

M

PS: What are your thoughts on the new design?! Let me know!

#BodyLove

Blog Post

Happy February! The month of love! This month I have challenged myself to be a bit more active in my relationship with myself. I want to be more intentional about the love I am extending to me.

To start this month off, I wanted to write about the power of loving your body (yiiikes).

#BodyLove

As someone that has struggled with body image issues my entire life, I know that some of you will not want to read this post. I wouldn’t have, but I promise it is worth it! No Shame Allowed.

Why should we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

Our relationship with our bodies affect everything. It affects our quality of life, our confidence, our perception of the world, our adventures, and our relationships. It affects our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Our bodies are a representation of ourselves. Our bodies are the first thing we share with the world. Our bodies is what takes up space in this world (a space that each of us deeply deserve).

The beauty standards of our society (at least in America) are impossible. Did you hear that? I M P O S S I B L E. Jes Baker, in her book Things No One Tells Fat Girls, states that for 95% of women it is completely impossible for their bodies to achieve the current beauty standard of America. In order for a man to achieve the current beauty standard of America, that man would have to dedicate his entire day, everyday, to achieve that body. To me, these statements make the beauty standard null and void (but does not diminish the pressure to achieve those standards).

Lastly, if we added more acceptance, more love, and more positive attitudes towards our bodies, we would change the world. The world is filled with comparison, anger, anxiety, and filled with people that believe they are worthless. If we all began to accept our bodies, allowing ourselves to take up space in this world, we would fill the world with more life. The world would become a fuller and more beautiful place.

How do we pursue a positive attitude towards our bodies?

I think it begins by making the powerful choice to fight. You must decide to face the monster of body-hate and instead, actively pursue more acceptance and more love towards your body.

After you’ve made the brave choice to fight, you have to be gracious to yourself. For me, I have about eighteen years of bad habits towards my body…I need to recognize that I won’t solve those in a day or two. It I going to take time. It takes time to change those patterns. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days. I have bad body days and so does the next body positive advocate. So, be kind to yourself and recognize that body-love is not just a switch of a flip…but taking a step forward each day.

I think the act of body-love looks like acceptance. It looks like you stop fighting against your body and instead fight for your body. Instead of hiding who you are, boldly share who you are with the world and yourself. Acceptance is a journey, but each day you are presented with small opportunities to accept your body.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, flood your life with truth. This looks like being educated on topics about bodies, and specifically your body. This looks like surrounding yourself with people that are fighting this battle for body acceptance, too. This looks like drowning your thoughts and talk with truths. This looks like declarations (declaring what you want, higher truths, and positive things). I read this book once, Love Yourself: Like your Life Depends on it by Kamal Ravikant, about a man that hated his life and wanted to die. After spending one month consistently telling himself “I love myself” his perspective about himself and life completely changed. ONE MONTH. Declarations change things!

Body love isn’t an easy thing to talk about, face, or pursue. But, as a woman that has fought hard for the love she has towards her body…it is  w o r t h  it! If you are just beginning to give your body the attention and love it deserves, don’t worry! You aren’t alone and welcome to the #BodyLove club!

I want to leave you with this quote from Jes Baker (from her book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls)…

“We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.”

To all you lovely men and women, YOU deserve some body love, too! I would LOVE to continue this conversation down below. Leave your comments, questions below. Also, tell me how you are loving your body boldly today!

XO,

M