Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Little Dose of Inspiration for Your Day

Junior year of college I rekindled the love I had for the show Grey's Anatomy in the worst way possible. It was nearly Thanksgiving break, so that meant that the semester was coming to an end, and there were assignments and studying to be done NONSTOP. I specifically remember frantically trying to complete my script for my screenwriting class, desperately trying to understand basic principles of biology, and assuming the hunchback position poring over numerous articles for my psychology term paper (did I cite that last reference correctly in APA format?!). Needless to say, 'twas a busy, busy time.

And that's when I rented a bunch of DVDs from our school library. A bunch of Grey's Anatomy season disc sets. Yup. That happened. Probably the worst. timing. ever. My friends encouraged me not to get hooked, but after watching all nine episodes of Season 1 - free on Hulu, I got the DVDs and went. to. work. This isn't a post about making "poor" academic decisions or anything heavy like that. I just wanted to give you all a bit of background as to what I stumbled upon next --

When you want to quickly relive scenes, you go to YouTube and hope they have it. So, I ventured to YouTube to try and find this quote Meredith Grey said about finding moments of clarity. To this day, I can't remember the exact quote or scene (and, quite honestly, it may have even been my own interpretation and not actually in the show), but I know it was from Season 4. I never uncovered the scene I was looking for, but what I found was equally - if not more - profound. In the comments of one of those YouTube clips I looked through was the following quote:
"Always we hope someone else has the answer. Some other place will be better, some other time it will all turn out. This is it. No one else has the answer. No other place will be better, and it has already turned out." 
- Lao Tzu
At times when I find myself showing signs of obsessive comparison disorder or being fidgety about where I am in my journey of life, this quote comes to mind. In a way, it's like a breath of fresh air. To think that you have everything you need right now, and everything you need is enough, is a truly calming feeling. Just thought I'd share one of my stop-and-take-a-deep-breath mantras!

Monday, November 19, 2012

On Academic Decisions

Have you ever had the feeling that you went to the wrong school or chose the wrong major? If you answered "yes" to either or both of these questions, I think it's safe to say that you are not alone. Lots of people have felt this way at one point or another. Except for those precious few who have never had a single academic doubt ever (no offense, of course, more power to them). For the rest of us, I think this apprehension is a natural. Especially, when you're navigating through these vague twenties or in between schooling.

So, in the spirit of "we're all in this together" (hey, I wasn't that obsessed with High School Musical, but this song is awesome!), I wanted to dispense a bit of advice as I continue to tread this path and conjure up various "far-fetched" plans as pertains to my future.

Re-evaluate: Where Am I and How Did I Get Here? 
It is so important to take moments in your life to simply stop: quiet your mind and assess where you are presently and consider the routes that led you to that point. That's for any life circumstance, good or bad. If you don't want to end up at that point again, you will know what pitfalls to avoid. If you like the way things are going, you will continue to look for similarly opportunities.

Rebuild: Add to Your Swag
When you're "in between", you can take that time to build on skills or do something you haven't yet been able to do. Take courses you might need in the next step - wherever that may be. Take up an interesting class if you can - like a dance class or something! I see it as adding building blocks to your personality and skill set, giving yourself some substance, some swag. (hahaha! sorry, if you know me, you KNOW how hilarious it is for me to try to be cool and use this word. But, regardless, you get the point.)

Rediscover: Again, what are YOU passionate about?
I can't stress this point enough in my posts these days. It's truly valuable to consider your passions as they evolve and to ensure that you're at least trying to connect with them in as many ways as you possibly can.The first step is to remind (or inform) yourself of what these passions are. Once you've done that, pursue your passions. Figure out what that looks like for you and do that.

And, let me say, I highly recommend Jenny Blake's Life After College book and blog for useful exercises and inspiration to keep on truckin'. Check it out even if you're still in college or years into life after college!

As always, hope this helps someone, anyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Embrace Your "Crazy" Idea!

Okay, so this post comes as sort of a public service announcement. I want to encourage all of you : embrace your crazy ideas! You know, those spur-of-the-moment ideas that are just so far-fetched but just might work.

In the spirit of dreaming big, as inspired by the previously mentioned Jenny Blake Acorn Project, I had a radical idea this morning. And, the point of this post isn't to go into detail about the actual idea itself, but instead to inspire you to embrace your own ideas when you, too, experience a stroke of inspiration.

I'm emphasizing taking a moment to embrace them because oftentimes when we're planning exciting things, we start to experience the doubts as to why they aren't feasible. So, before you write off your idea, take some time to truly enjoy it. For example, after I decided that my thought was a great idea, I shut the computer off, went to the gym, did some household chores, and of course had a jammin' dance party of one in my room - all operating on the belief that my far-fetched plan was going to work out.

Of course, now, I have to figure out the logistics and accept whatever reality introduces into the equation, but for a couple of hours today, my crazy idea worked. And, it felt great! So, embrace your crazy ideas every now and then before you write them off! It's well worth the positive vibes! And, besides, you never know - they just might work! =)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Do You Value?

Okay, disclaimer: I had a test yesterday and am currently scrambling to study for one I have tomorrow, so this is a rather rushed post, but I just had to share this with you!

In the midst of studying around the clock, I have also embarked upon Jenny Blake's Acorn Project, and it's been awesome so far! It would take me an entire other post to explain how much of an awesome inspiration author, speaker, life coach, yogi (read: phenomenal woman!) Jenny Blake is! Her blog, book and general persona have definitely been encouraging to me ever since my good friend told me about them! So, definitely props to her!

But, quickly, let me share with you one of the steps from the exercises I completed with this project. In this exercise we were to identify our values and uniquely label them with an explanation as to why we value them. So, here are mine (written instinctively without over-analyzing, so pardon if the grammar is not up to par...):

Value #1: Letting Your Soul Shine Bright: letting your natural spirit radiate brightly from your face and heart and sharing that light with others. This means sharing your love, passions, and positivity with other people in the way that deems necessary for that situation and person. 

Value #2: Writing: in whatever form - let it be blogging or writing in a journal or writing scripts. I feel as if sometimes I must pin the thoughts in my head down to paper (/computer screen). 

Value #3: Igniting Passion Within Myself: I actively seek sources of inspiration to motivate me to knock the cobwebs off of my own personal passions. 

Value #4: Laughter: This is the very essence of my being because it is the one thing I absolutely love to do the most. 

Value #5: The Ability to Mentally and Physically Do: If I want to run a mile, I am so appreciative of being able to do so. If I think I can rock climb high, I will try to do that. I feel as if you don't use it, you'll lose it. We must use our legs and arms in every way we wish while we can.

What's your values? It's worth thinking about it! And, while you're at it, take a peek at another post I wrote on the Healthy Lifestyle Balance blog to identify your passions. Yes, there may be overlap here, but that's the beauty of being you!

Scattered and rushed, but sincerely from me - I hope this post is as uplifting to read as it was to write!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Your Spine, the "backbone" of your wellness and other related thoughts

I've had a few visits to the chiropractor lately, and as a result I've gained an amazing insight on how much the health of your spine affects your overall health and wellness. I won't get into the nitty-gritty details of why this is true - after all, I'm no chiropractor - but, I can share my perspective based on my own experience.

Have you ever been so stressed out that you feel stiff in your neck and shoulders? I know; that's like me asking, "Is the sky blue?". OF COURSE at some point or another you may have experienced this unfortunate side effect of stress. And, do you also sometimes aggravate that tension by setting yourself in a hunched position as you pore over notes in preparation for a test or surf internship opportunities on the internet? I've been there...actually, I am there...and, I'm just thinking the cycle of stress to tension and tension to stress is going to continue unless I make a sure effort to halt it.

So, without getting too technical here, I think the following quick tips are worth trying if you're looking to relieve mental stress and physical tension in your own mind and body, as well.

Educate yourself 
Courtesy of Google Image Search
Talking to different chiropractors and massage therapists and reviewing my old Gray's Anatomy flashcards has really illuminated the importance of taking care of my spine (meaning back and shoulder and neck, etc.). When you look at it, all our nerves and muscles extend from and attach to this uniquely curved structure. It's like the source of mobility and sensation. It should not be ignored, but rather nurtured often. Be kind to your spine. Articles on the internet, books and especially health practitioners are a good source of information for ways to do this.

Stretch and Massage
It's probably a good idea to take time out of everyday to just stretch out all of your muscles. Think about it. On a day when you're not warming up, working out, and cooling down, you may easily forget to stretch. But, even if you're just sitting in class or just "doing nothing" all day, it's still important to stretch to give those muscles some attention rather than abandoning them to build up tension. (See what I did there? Or, what I tried to do...)

And, of course, if you can get a professional massage ever so often, that would be great, too! But, odds are you can't simply enjoy this luxury as much as you may desire (or even require, really). So, instead, why not just take time to massage yourself? You can massage your temples, massage your neck, and even your legs! Maybe it won't be as great as when a massage therapist does it, but any attention you give those tension points in your body would be better than none, in my opinion. (But, my main vote is to try and see the professional if you can!)

Take breaks and Sleep
In this culture, we often work very hard towards our goals, whatever they may be. In my experience, I've seen this admirable work ethic turn into a restless race towards those goals. Who hasn't pulled all-nighters and chugged chai lattes (I don't really drink coffee, so I can't relate to that, but chai is still caffeine!) in efforts to get ahead of a self-imposed deadline? It's okay to step away from the laptop and take a few moments to simply breathe. Even if you do nothing else in those few moments but just breathe, I can't see how that doesn't help you in some way.  And, on that note of resting, I wrote a post about the importance of sleep in the other blog I contribute to, and my opinion remains the same: good sleep can be so rejuvenating.

A Final Word
I'm finding that the sooner you realize how interconnected everything pertaining to your mind and body is, the better you are able to improve your overall wellness. Think better, do better, feel better, and cycle through it all over again. After all, it's your well-being, so own it.