Daphne

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Introducing my newest little member of my family…

Daphne.

Daphne is a miniture pinscher and chihuahua mix. She weighs somewhere between 8-12 pounds. She is 10 years old and the sweetest little woman. She barely barks, gets along with everyone, sleeps like a teenager, and loves to snuggle.

I adopted her from the most precious rescue down in San Francisco, called Muttville. It is a senior dog rescue (meaning they only recuse dogs 7 years and older). They are the friendliest people. The process of adopting her wasn’t that fast of an experience. It required a lot of thought and research. I grew up with animals and so I knew the commitment and effort that they require. I did not make the decision to take on that responsibility lightly.

Eventually I began to feel stressed about it all and I felt like the Lord told me that He had “the perfect one for me.” I chose to trust Him and that same day, this dog seemed to fall into my lap. She was uploaded to Muttville’s website. Her breed, size, and gender were all things that I really wanted. And, that tongue was officially what sold me. There were so many other parts of this adoption that made it perfect. Everything seemed to confirm that this precious girl was meant to be mine.

After receiving her, I felt like The Lord has told me that she is going to teach me many things.

Well, let me tell you…He did not lie! I have had her for a total of five days and I have already been stretched so much. It hasn’t been the multiple walks a day or the other required responsibilities. The thing that has been so stretching is it has required patience for myself.

As soon as I got her I felt so much pressure to feel a certain way about Daphne. I felt like I had to love her completely instantaneously. And if I am being completely honest, that has taken time. This whole process has brought up a lot of fear, too. What if I can’t do this? What if she dies? Is she throwing up? Is she about to pee? What if she runs away? Is this food okay? Is she happy? I’ve been so afraid. And all of that fear has kept love at a distance. As I began to realize that I was fixed on the fear, not on the love, I have gotten some clarity:

this is just taking me time.

I need time to get used to being a dog owner. I need time to get used to Daphne’s personality. I need time to learn our new routine. I need time. But, yet, I have just been adding more and more pressure. (disclaimer: on day 5, I am head over heels for Daphne. But all this fear has made it all difficult)

Yesterday I was talking to a friend. He proceeded to quote 1 Corinthians 13 saying that “love is patient, love is kind…” and as soon as he said that I realized that I have needed new levels of patience for myself in this whole dog process. I have needed to give myself the time and grace required to fall in love with this new friend. I have needed to be allowed to take time and I have needed to give my grace when the fears come up, or when I spend money on food she doesn’t like, or when I go to work.

I am growing. I am learning. I deserve patience.

So, I have begun the process of changing my perspective and incorporating a new aspect of self love: patience. This process begins by simply keeping this new truth at the front of my mind: I deserve to have patience with myself. I keep thinking about that concept and I keep repeating the truth. The next step is to actively act on this new truth. I must have patience with myself.

How do you have patience with yourself? Give ya girl some tips below! PS: make sure you’re subscribing to my blog! (on the right hand side) By subscribing, all new blog posts will be sent directly to your email!

Sending you all the love…

XO,

M

Y E S .

Blog Post

Recently life has felt a bit mundane. It feels like I have fallen into a rut of doing the motions of what is required from me…wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat. How boring. I absolutely do not want to live my life in a boring and mundane way. I want to live with vibrancy, excitement, and enthusiasm.

One of the things that has felt particularly important this season is the word YES. Every time I say “yes” I feel this extra level of responsibility. I feel this extra level of importance behind each of my agreements. I have been feeling like I really need to say “yes” more.

I have talked to a friend or two about their life and they have had a similar feeling of mundane. (Have you been feeling that, too?)

So…what to do with all this information?

I have decided to be a bit more intentional with my “yes.” (I use the word “intentional” quite a bit. So, I thought I would explain. I use the word “intentional” to mean actively pursuing or going after with ferocity.) By this, I mean that I am searching for moments to say “yes” and I am embracing them as they come. I am eagerly saying “yes” to most of the things that have come my way. And with each of those opportunities, I am sacrificing.

I am sacrificing my original plan. I am sacrificing my normal. I am sacrificing in order to embrace the new “yes.”

I am learning a ton.

What if I did not plan every moment of every day? What if I said “yes” to fun as opposed to “yes” to plans? What if I embraced my opportunities each and every day?

Some of you might be thinking…”Well, that’s a great concept Maranda…prove you’re doing it.” Well, about a week ago I got asked to attend a concert three hours away. They needed an answer pretty immediately and I had about 30 minutes to think about it. A prayer and a good song later, I was committed.

Two days later and I was in the car and on my way.

The concert was great, but the friends were even better. We heard great music, got out of town, and laughed the entire trip. I am so happy that I went. But, in order to embrace that experience…I had to sacrifice my time, sleep, and money in order to go.

Now, this is a great example that makes the sacrifices completely seem worth it. But, sometimes the sacrifices aren’t as easy to make. Sometimes, they create some discomfort. And sometimes, the “yes” was not worth it in the end. But, better to try than to question what if.

So, I write this blog post to urge you to embrace life a bit more. Say “yes” to the scary things. Say “yes” to the dreams. Say “yes” to the new adventures (even if that just looks like taking yourself out to coffee!!).

Your life is what you make it.

What is your newest (and most exciting) “yes”? What are you embracing in your life? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

XO,

M

Black Panther (Guest Post: Ra Mcbride)

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Can you believe that March is almost done?! 2018 is flying by. March has been such an interesting month. A big part of my job involved working for a school program. So, our graduation is quickly approaching and so things around work quite a bit busy. But, things are going well (but I am sure that a deeper update will be headed our way soon!)

Anyways, this week I have another special gift for my beloved readers! This week, I have a guest post for you by a powerful man. Have you ever met someone that was just made for the spotlight? Like, they were just created to be seen and actually have the capabilities to be seen by the world? That is this man.

Ra Mcbride.D985342F-3038-48B2-9E04-A7D9BA7B4E44

I had to narrow it down to describe Ra with one would it would be overcomer. He has fought to overcome the things that he has been faced with in life. One day, I will ask him to write a post about his story but today, I asked him to write a commentary on the newest movie Black Panther.

When I watched this movie I was amazed! I was absolutely shocked at the radical statements that this movie was making. Being a white woman in 2018, I felt like I only scratched the surface of understanding the severity of this movie. Ra and I both have seen this movie multiple times. I, have recognized this being one of those cultural momentous moments. While Ra, has recognized this being a moment of understanding and acceptance of his race, culture, and his future.

Let this post challenge you, regardless of your race. Fight to change your perspective. Fight to change societies perspective. Acceptance needs to happen to an even greater degree.

Thanks for checking out this blog post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Ps: Have you seen Black Panther? Go see it.

XO

M

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Black Panther is a must see. It easily transcended being “a good black” movie, or “a good superhero” movie.

This film was a cultural statement.

I personally think some of the points hit were not even intentional. I think it was just art evolving into something more, the way good art tends to do.

See this movie. And if you’re black, really see this movie.Why it it a must see for BLACK people? All around, films that represent us well, are few. This movie has an all star, all black, leading cast and they did an amazing job. I feel they touch on the overall social issue of oppression of the black community, without making the movie a political statement itself.

To watch a film where the black nation was the royalty, creatives, innovators, strategists, and were credited as such, is something black people need to see.

To see these very dark skinned people that are beautiful and natural, without them having to change anything about themselves (like their hair, attire, or speech) in order to fit a culture dominated by a white perspective, was affirming and soooo empowering. They executed all this without demeaning anyone else’s culture. This movie has the capacity to push my people to have conversation (and execution) of greater self expectation, value, and unity with all people.

 

Now to be clear to my lovely white family,

Often when pro-black media/culture is released people tend to think it’s instantly AGAINST something else (namely, white media/culture). While, yes, sometimes that is the case, that cannot be a blanket expectation for black art. I personally think it stems from fear of either, “changing history” or “seeming racist” and that’s not the intention.

The celebration of one thing doesn’t have to mean the persecution of another.

We can ALL win.

The way to respond to celebration is celebration.

If you don’t understand, ask questions. In the words of T’Challa, “The wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.” I feel like the Unity conversation is a WHOLE other topic, but if we can peacefully and loving dialogue, we can move forward together.

Wakanda Forever,

Ra

Rise Up

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This is for the ones that are struggling,

the ones that need support.

This is for the ones that are having a hard time.

This is for the ones in battle,

the ones that need someone.

This is for the weak.

This is for the broken.

This is for the sad…

you

are

worth

more

You are more than the things that you are facing.

You are more than the scabs and scars found upon your arms.

You are more than the weapons in your hands.

You are more than the thorns around your ankles.

You are more than the weakness of your knees and your bloody knuckles.

You are more than the dark nights of lonely tears.

I am here to tell you that YOU ARE MORE.

This is your call to action.

This is your sign that you deserve more.

If you are settling for anything that doesn’t push you to your greatness or

if you are content eating the crumbs of life.

If you are surrounded by poison or

trapped by societal expectation.

If you are held down by fear.

If you are held captive by insecurity…

say “No.”

Say “no” to the things that are holding you down.

Say “no” to the people that are critiquing you.

Say “no” to the people and places that are feeding you crumbs.

Say “no” to fear, insecurity, anxiety, and comparison.

And say “yes”to your magic.

Say “yes” to your inner power and capability.

Say “yes” to the greater things

Say “yes” to a better tomorrow.

Say “yes” to more laughter.

Say “yes” to fullness.

I do not care what it is that you are facing or what your reasoning for living less than, it is a lie.

It is a lie that you cannot overcome everything that gets in your way.

Imagine the possibilities if you would only believe in your inner power and capabilities.

Imagine if you took responsibility of your life and fought for the deep desires inside your heart.

So, Rise up.

Make life the way you want it.

Embrace every pain.

Love every curve.

Kiss every day.

Be brave.

Stand tall.

Buy the dress.

Eat the cupcake.

Sing louder.

Speak your truth.

Rise up.

Missed Opportunities

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Hello Lovely Humans,

I want to start by saying thank you for reading this post (& for checking out my blog!) It is such an honor to have each view, like, and comment I get. MarandaTaylor is a dream come true.

I have mentioned it before and will mention it again (somehow it comes out within each blog post I have)…the topic of

Self-Love.

Self-love is a subject that has many opposing views. Ultimately, to me, self-love is the intentional act of accepting oneself, fighting for one’s desires, and expressing love towards oneself. Self-love is not thinking that you are better than everyone else, but it is treating yourself with the same kindness you treat others with. Self-love is being gentle, gracious, and forgiving towards your being, actions, and body. Self-love is brave. Self-love is wild. Self-love is complicated.

Self-love has become one of my all time favorite topics. I believe that self-love is a journey, one we never arrive to a destination with. We are always learning new ways to love ourselves. And we are always presented with new opportunities to practice our new ways of self-love.

Now, I know that society hasn’t easily accepted self-love as a common practice, despite the strong efforts of men & women that are fighting to create a culture of self-love. Growing up, I didn’t know anything about self-love. I did not realize it ought to be a priority in everyone’s life. I never heard that my self deserved love.

If that is you, this is me telling you that your self deserves love.

Because society isn’t sharing about self-love enough…I want to. I want to share everything I learn about self-love and I want to constantly encourage those around me to love bigger and accept more.

Recently, I have been recognizing that there are so many opportunities for me to practice my self-love. Everyday I wake up and I get a chance to love myself more. But recently, I have been settling for convenience more than I have been choosing love. I choose convenience in my actions and choices. (For example, it is convenient to get some greasy food to-go as opposed to cook something healthy at home. Or it is convenient to not make my bed as opposed to take the time to create a clean atmosphere of a made bed.) I became convicted at the opportunities that I was missing.

I don’t want to look back on my life and see missed opportunities. So, I have been challenging myself to embrace the moments that each day has. This means infiltrating my life with things that make me feel loved. I want to decorate my life with things that bring me joy.

Have you ever spent quiet time with yourself to really discover what brings you joy? Have you ever spent time to ask your heart, what makes you feel alive? Well, I did that this past weekend and these are a few of the things that I have come up with…

a fridge full of fresh food,

essential oils diffusing through out my house,

sleep at a decent time,

long phone calls with old friends,

baths with a good book,

a clean and tidy home,

fresh flowers,

open windows at any chance I can get (in my house, my car, my office),

tween fiction novels,

face-timing my nieces,

slowing down for sunshine,

and journaling anything and everything that happens in my life.

 

Now, it might not seem like much but as I have been pressing in to this list of things that I love, I have been enjoying my days in a more fuller way. At the end of the day, I couldn’t tell you why I have had such good days but I think it is for pressing in to these things. I believe that it is these simple acts that elevate our lives from mundane to sensational. I believe that our lives can be full of vibrancy, but we have to actively choose that.

This topic of self-love is a big one, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Each day, you can practically love yourself. What is unique to you? More than just answering the question “how do you practice self-love?” I want you to feel inspired to put action behind your list of joy things.

It is people like y o u  &  m e that will create a society, a culture, of more love. So, start with yourself…you are stuck with you forever, anyways (;

Let me know in the comments what you did to spread more love today! (PS: Make sure you subscribe to my blog!)

XO,

M

A Little Word about Fear (Car accident story)

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So a couple of nights ago I was driving on the highway and it was raining. Rain isn’t very new in Humboldt County (where I live). The rain started to pick up and I started to slow down my speed. I then hit this wall of weather. The weather turned into a hail, snow mixture. I lost traction. I spun and watched as the median wall came at me. It was crazy that I could do nothing but watch as I ran into the median wall. It was terrifying. My sweet boyfriend, Christian, was driving behind me and we were on the phone; he saw the whole thing. We got to a semi-safe place on the road and stopped. The hail kept pounding and the tears were streaming. Christian got out, checked on me and the car, and then talked to me on the phone the whole way home. I made it home safe. Thankfully, I was not hurt and my car was drivable.

(disclaimer: I know that it could have been sooooo much worse and I am not trying to come across as insensitive to someone in a similar situation & it has been so much worse.)

As I drove home that night I was, obviously, a mess and was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that it could have been so much worse. I was this mix of trembling fear and breathtaking thankfulness.

I feel like this experience was a great example of what fear can do.

Driving home after the accident was horrible. I was trembling the entire time, my breathing was sporadic, and the tears never stopped. I got home and lost it. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Christian just kept repeating, “you’re safe. You’re safe. You’re safe.” The days that followed were really robotic. I was in a fog of fear. I tried to avoid driving, making excuses that made sense in my head. And I called my parents. Thankfully, everyone in my life kindly pushed me to get behind the wheel again. I was scared. Fear was overwhelming and it controlled me. But I had a choice: partner with the fear or respond do it in bravery.

Fear is crippling. Fear is controlling. Fear is a monster. You cannot partner with fear. It will ruin your life.

I decided to face the road again & to feel every emotion that came with it. Over the next few days I cried a lot, randomly. Every time I passed the spot it happened, I would hold my breath and then the tears would flow again. Or when I would see the damage done to my car & more tears. Or I would think about how lucky I am to be alive and I would have more emotion. I refused to stuff any of the feelings down and instead, embraced them all. I, also, had to do a lot of positive self-talk as I faced the fears of driving.

I, now, have to deal with the consequences of the situation: decide to file a claim or not,  get the car fixed, get new tires, etc. I have to watch as my bank account gets smaller and smaller. I have to trust in myself and God, that this is going to work out financially. Every time I think about my finances I feel the anxiety rising. But, again, I will respond to this fear instead of sit in it.

I am facing this fear head on. I am exploring my options financially. I am talking to people that know these situations better than me. I am thankful for the money I do have and the money that is headed my way. I am sacrificing my time, energy, and focus in order to connect with peace, bravery, and love.

As I end this post, I don’t know if I have tips for you on facing fear, but! I can provide you with encouragement that you are not alone. Fear is a liar, killer, and thief. Fear is a sticky mess that pops up in the worst times. Fear does not deserve your time and attention. So, as you face fear (no matter how big or how small) know that you aren’t alone in this bravery. I am fighting fear, too. And I believe that with the help of a companion, anything is possible!

One last thing, facing fear does not have to look big like sky diving. Sometimes, it is just getting out of bed in the morning. Or, eating that day. Sometimes facing fear looks like letting the tears flow. So don’t think you have to move a mountain to call yourself brave.

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear how YOU are being brave these days! Comment below!

XO,

M

PS: This wonderful photo was captured by a dear woman in my life : Jess Anne Lehman.

The Power of Me (Guest Post: Destiny Story)

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One thing I want to use this social platform for is to promote and celebrate the people around me. I am someone that searches for lessons & inspiration from those around me and I want to share those stunning people with you all!

This first guest post is by a woman that is dear to my heart. She has been in my life for almost two years and I am deeply blessed by her:

Destiny Story EFC06971-A31D-486D-A638-69E09A6FAE27.JPG

When I think about who Destiny is I think of one word: brave. She is a woman that looks at life, her challenges, her fears, her dreams and responds to them bravely. Destiny has bravely stood in the wilderness of life and come out to the other side. She has stood, alone and scared, and yet she has not turned away.

Destiny Story is a brave woman.

In this post she has written, she shares about some of her wilderness. She shares about a process that I’ve had the privilege to watch her walk through. And as a witness to this time in her life, I can safely say that she has a lot of wisdom & inspiration on the things she shares. So, let her sweet words inspire you!

XO,

M

Ps: You can check out D’s blog here: https://destinystoryblog.wordpress.com

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My whole life I’ve felt like I wasn’t enough, or honestly, that I was just too much. I’ve felt not skinny enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not good enough. I’ve felt too loud, too tall, too fat, too opinionated, too passive, too emotional, too sensitive, too different.

I’ve always felt like I was different and I’ve spent most of my life just trying to decide if what made me different was good or bad. But I think somewhere around 7th grade I subconsciously decided that it was a bad thing, a really bad thing, that would forever keep me separated from those around me. I thought I would never be able to connect with people because it felt as if people never wanted to connect to me (my parents and friends) or that I was always “too much, not enough” for the people around me to connect with. I felt creative but was never shown it was okay to be creative in ways that didn’t quite make sense and I was never shown it was okay for it not to be perfect. I buried myself in perfectionism because it seemed all the amazing people were, and the sad part was that people around me wouldn’t have known because it was all in my internal world! It revealed itself in my self talk and my constant attempts to “fix” myself that only led to me feeling suicidal.

Even after I became a Christian, it only intensified. Except this time thankfully I was healed enough to not feel suicidal, but I did feel like the weight and the pressure of always doing things perfectly would eventually break me. I had somewhere, along my journey in life, picked up this idea that the real me was too messy and would never be good enough so I needed to make up for it with perfect actions. Ha! Funny, huh? I mean this was definitely not something I would consciously know I was doing! It would look like me trying really hard, being praised for my actions, and then making a mistake and beating myself up for it for days and thinking “what else could I have done? I’m doing everything I can and it’s still not enough!” and then eventually trying to make up for it by pretending like it didn’t happen and continue doing more things that would look perfect.

But the problem with this is that I had equated being “enough” to things that were unattainable, like never making a mistake or never hurting anyone’s feelings. Anybody ever been through something like this? Ever try to perform for love? I’m guessing that I’m probably not alone in this. I’ve noticed as a human race, generally we have more grace for others than we do ourselves.

But sometime last year I decided this thing that made me different may not have actually ever been a bad thing! What if my imperfections made me beautiful? What if my emotions made things fun and are natural? What if my sensitivity wasn’t a weakness, but a strength? What if my chubby body could be enough for me and eventually someone else? What if making mistakes only made me human? Could I still be loved if someone saw them? If I were fully me, mistakes and all, would I be enough?

These were the questions running through my head and I made the decision that I was going to try being seen. I decided to show people that I was different. I decided to try allowing myself to be loved through my mistakes. Because when I try to be “perfect” I still don’t feel like I’m enough, and I never get to be truly authentic. And that life wasn’t working for me.

I went to Oregon last year on a missions trip and after days of barely sleeping and not being able to control a single thing, I could feel my emotions starting to rise. And as they got closer to the surface I could feel them starting to bubble over into my actions. I was short with people and I was crying uncontrollably. I felt embarrassed but free. I knew that these people doing life with me would see a side of me I was afraid of showing to people that hadn’t been in my life for an extended period of time. But I couldn’t care anymore. I decided to take a risk and be vulnerable and see how they responded.

And to my freaking surprise they still loved me!

And not only that, they complemented me! They asked me what I needed, they encouraged me, and they loved me through it. And not just once, but repetitively. I was UNDONE. This was not a way of life that I was familiar with! But I knew I could never turn back.

I’m coming up on a year since that trip and as I reflect I see that my journey of accepting myself and being vulnerably me, has not been a fun or pretty journey. I have hid, I have made some of the most painful mistakes I’ve ever made this past year and I’ve been the most myself I’ve ever been in my whole life. I’ve never been as open with those close to me quiet like I have in this past year. I’m loving who Destiny is more than I thought possible and I know there’s only so much more!

You see, perfectionism tells you that until you do everything right, you aren’t enough. But a life of freedom looks like vulnerability. It looks like showing the world who you truly are and not wavering in the truth that,

you are enough. No questions asked.

A life of freedom consists of making mistakes and allowing the people who are close to you into them because you do not deserve to be alone during it. A life of freedom looks like you being confident in what you enjoy doing and wearing. A life of freedom looks like creating without comparison.

Being vulnerably you will set you free from perfectionism or performance. There’s nothing quiet like when you allow yourself to be who you’ve always been in the inside. And I promise dear friends, there are people who are dying to love you as you. All your unique characteristics, all the things you’ve thought were too much, all of the parts of you that you thought weren’t enough, they are worthy of love. Because we all have them, let’s be honest. None of us have it all together. But none of us have to pretend like we do anymore. I’m starting to see that the people I admire the most are people who are unashamedly them. Unwavering to the opinions of others, they stand tall in who they are and they let themselves show. This is strength. This is vulnerability. Vulnerability is strength. And this is who I want to be. I am deciding that I will no longer look at people on social media, the models on tv or Pinterest, or even the people around me and think “I wish I were like them”, but instead I will say

“I’m thankful that I am ME. Because no one can be ME.”

So dear ones, will you join me in living a life of being vulnerably us? Will you join me in leaving perfectionism and comparison behind?? Let us celebrate who we are and what we create and what we do well, because we were always designed to do it the way only we can do it.

Xoxo

Destiny Story

#MoreSelfLove

Lessons Love has Taught Me

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Happy Valentines Day!

Well, due to the fact today is the day of love…I feel a beautiful obligation to post something along the lines of romance. Now, as a young woman in her first serious relationship, I am far from a relationship expert. BUT, I have learned waaaayyyy more than ever expected within these last 18 or so months. I have decided to share some of these lessons that I have learned.

Now, I am aware that some of you, beautiful readers, might not be in a romantic relationship, or even might be in a disaster of a romantic relationship, or that maybe you do not want to ever be in a romantic relationship. These lessons I have learned are true for any relationship (romantic or not). So, regardless of your Facebook relationship status, I do encourage you to read on. (Ps: if you are in a disaster of romance…honor and respect what you truly deserve. Which is all the good things the world has to offer)

#1. Forgiveness is key.

Something that I learned very early on within my relationship is that forgiveness is key to a successful relationship. Forgiveness allows a healing of shortcomings, wrong doings, and disappointment. Forgiveness allows a relationship to restore the connection back to before the hurt took place. Forgiveness allows you to continue to develop a pure (untainted) relationship. Forgiveness has allowed my relationship to blossom without any sort of hindrance in my heart, or his.

#2. Your partner is human, too.

When I dreamt about my future relationship, I pictured me and all the things of me but I never pictured him and all of his things. I never pictured things like his strengths, quirks, or insecurities. I did not imagine that my partner would have an overwhelming amount of grace or that he would have an obsession with movies. I did not imagine the required time to learn someone. I did not imagine the required space to allow someone the space to fully express themselves, the good and bad. I appreciate who he is, all of him, and I have learned to allow him the space needed. This lesson has translated into non-romantic relationships, too. The ability to allow someone to be is incredible.

#3. Communication is the most beautiful gift.

Being a communications major, I truly see the glory of communication. I recognize that communication is pivotal to creating the life you want to live. But, I have learned a new depth to my love for communication by being in a romantic relationship, The experience getting to communicate, share, and open up with all of my deep insecurities, needs, and desires is an extremely humbling experience. It is absolutely terrifying to share your inner thoughts and feelings, but communication allows us to create a mutual intimacy. Communication is liberating. It allows me to know my partner more and allows him to know me. It is one of the most beautiful aspects of a relationship. So, be brave in your communicating. Be brave in your expression, even if your voice shakes.

#4. Sacrifice is an honor.

One thing that I didn’t fully recognize until this relationship was the power of sacrifice. I knew that you had to sacrifice for things you love and that anything you say “yes” to requires you to say “no” to other things. but, I did not really realize that I could absolutely find joy within sacrifice. I truly find joy to sacrifice for my partner. I find joy in getting to say “yes” to him everyday and, in turn, say “no” to other things.

#5. Do not overthink it.

One thing that I completely failed at in the beginning of our relationship was that I got caught up with my worries way more than I reveled in the wonder. There is something so special about a new crush and a fresh relationship, but I was so paranoid by what others might be thinking or if I was making a mistake. When I think about my relationship, I get sad by the fact that I let worry steal some of my wonder. I let worry rob me of the gift set before me. Now, with a deep desire to have learned my lesson, I refuse to allow doubt to steal my wonder, excitement, or joy anymore. (I think I will write more on this one day, but if you are in a similar spot I would LOVE to talk more about this. Reach out!)

#6. Find your “perfect” relationship.

Going in to my first serious relationship, I kind of expected things to look like they do in the movies and the tv shows. I expected to constantly gaze into each others eyes, never worry about the amount of coffee drank, and always be in the best outfits (that never had any fashion disasters). What I quickly realized was that those relationships depicted in television are not true relationships. My partner and I had to find the things that work well for him and I. It isn’t about a “supposed to” but finding what works for me and my partner. So, don’t be consumed with supposed to but instead figure out what makes your heart come alive and share that with your partner. Find out what makes their heart alive and celebrate that with them. I now spend my time watching movies, going to music stores, and I drag him with me to explore the aisles of grocery stores.

#7. Love is always worth it.

No matter what you are facing, I promise to you…love is worth the risk. Love is a risky experience. It requires humility, vulnerability, and facing fears head on. Regardless of the difficult things my partner and I have had to face together…experiencing the love we have built and chosen is worth every fear and insecurity and difficulty.

 

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Recent photo with the boyfriend. ❤

 

 

Thanks so much for reading. I hope that, today, you would be surrounded by love (regardless of what that looks like for you). Let me know your V-day plans in the comments below!! ❤

XO,

M

#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

January 2018

Blog Post

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Latte steaming scents

of wicked adrenaline,

and false peace.

Words dripping from my finger tips,

exciting my senses.

My inner winds juxtaposed

by the worlds crumbling.

Life rising between your floorboards,

providing breath to this deathly cage.

Noises circling my inner world,

the city lights lighting my eyes,

just one in a crowd.

— Lydia’s on Ludlow ( 1. 4. 2018)

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Billowing fog, covering your feet

trees rising up, springing life in

every single twitch of toes.

Streams of twinkle tears

pour down each crinkle

of your time.

Towering high, high above. Up

in the skies. A tower of so much

more than your great hope.

Birds circle you. Calling

our your majesties. Mysteries

imbedded within your core.

My constant one, ever

increasing and always growing.

You’ll never leave me.

You are my North Star

and my House of Life.

You are my companion and

my saving grace.

I dare to climb. Pieces of you

collected and crumbled in my hands.

You lift me higher than my

inner clouds could ever go. you

show me the sunshine and

shadow. I am overshadowed,

never alone but wrapped up

in your collection

— My mountain top experience (1. 14. 2018)

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I am a trier.

I try really hard.

No matter what is

at hand, I try.

I try too much,

losing my innate

value and only

seeing worth based

on how good I’ve tried.

I try at everything,

nothing coming easily

and always trying.

I try by the clothes

I wear, trying to

communicate an

effortless ease.

I try by my eating,

only consuming

things that make me

try harder.

I try by my voice,

speaking words that

try to sway your eyes

to see the good try

I’ve given. I try really

hard to be the girl

you’ve always wanted.

I tried too hard and

I can’t keep up with

all my trys.  I’ve decided

I might try something

else instead.

-Tried (1. 18. 18)

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