Emotions aren’t the boss

IMG_1767-2WE CAN CHOOSE.
Yep, we can choose the way we feel by analyzing the thoughts we have. Emotions and the thoughts that create them are a physical aspect of our bodies, not untamed territory. Something I like to discuss in my yoga classes is that we don’t have to feel what our body is telling us to feel. Our emotions don’t control what we think. WE CONTROL WHAT WE THINK.

Tony Robbins is one of my favorite life coaches because he explains this concept in a very simple way: the thoughts we have are ours alone and sometimes… they may be inaccurate. This word is what fuels this blog today: inaccurate.

If you are easily angered, or having constant thoughts of negativity, then maybe it’s time to step back and think logically about why you are experiencing these certain emotions.

Many times, we can break down our thoughts into sections, or causes and effects to determine how we want to move forward. Changing the thought patterns you’ve developed over the years can help set you on a completely different emotional path. For instance choosing NOT to fight with your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend for a week. Try this: intentionally choose to shut off the quick-to-snap reactions or habits you’ve nurtured and watch your day to day experience change. Watch your relationship improve! Rather than let loose and remove all intention behind your thoughts, set boundaries. Thoughts manifest themselves into action/lack of action and become reality -don’t let your emotional habits determine in what direction your day will go.

 

Hold tight to your thoughts and you will begin to understand the control you truly have. Be intentional and monitor your thoughts like you’re studying for a college final exam. You’re the experiment, not the victim.

 

Questions to ask yourself: 

1. How do I feel right now? Be very specific.
2. What caused me to feel this way? Don’t simply blame it on something or someone external.
3. How long do I want to feel this way for? It’s important to allow yourself to soak up the emotion, just don’t let it overtake you.
4. What is it that I’m forgetting to be grateful for in this moment? Gratitude heals the heart and gives us the power of perspective.
5. Will I laugh about this later? Laughter cures anger better than almost everything.

 

Last Tony quote I’ll leave you with: “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you communicate what happens to yourself.” 

T.

 

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Tips for traveling alone

What if we love travel,  but we wouldn’t dare to leave home by ourselves? It can be daunting to even think of going somewhere you’ve never been without a friend or family member with you. All I ever read in travel blogs are ‘must-dos’ before you settle down, and they often include a bullet for traveling alone. So why is that no one seems to do it?

Here are five tips to build up the courage to travel alone and to make it worth while.

1. Start your adventure in your own town.

Be a tourist in your hometown for a day. Take yourself on a date, don’t go to your typical spots and walk around without looking at your phone. See your hometown as if you’ve never been there before. Remember though, don’t look at your phone while you walk… take a look around and see how it feels to wander by yourself.

2. Find a place you’ve wanted to go for a long time.

There’s got to be somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Pick out a place that you would feel safe if you were there alone. For some, it’s Charleston, South Carolina, for others it’s Dubai. Don’t put limits on yourself!

3. Plan specific places to go.

Once you’ve chosen a destination, find some of the best spots to hit while you’re there. Whether it be certain beaches, museums, restaurants or hikes, find them and write them down. Don’t stop there though, investigate and document all the intricate ways to get there. Keep the directions in a journal so you can take it with you. (Use pictures and maps as well!)

4. Plan for problems.

Bringing extra money with you while you travel alone will help you relax in tense situations. If you lose your train ticket, you need a late night bite in a decent area, or you want to upgrade to a better hotel room to feel comfortable, allow yourself that luxury. Traveling alone can be stressful enough, so keep yourself packed with financial support. (Not with cash, but money in credit cards.)

5. Don’t be afraid to make friends when you get there.

Yes, being safe when meeting strangers is imperative. But there are so many incredible people who embrace lone travelers as if they were family. Find a cafe that matches your style, bring your laptop and get some work done. I’ve found that working in a bustling place encourages new friends to inquire about what you do. From there, you’re able to share who you really are with them and potentially create new relationships that could last a lifetime. Or – perhaps sit at a wine bar before the dinner crowd arrives and befriend the bartender. Bartenders seem to know all the ins and outs of a town. Start there!

Traveling alone is definitely for the brave. Luckily, you’re brave… so don’t wait for someone else to find interest in places you’ve always wanted to visit. Get out there and make life what you want it to be.

Preparation meets opportunity

“Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

This was what my mom used to tell me growing up. I always believed her, but I couldn’t rely on luck, so I chose to pave my own path anyway. I spent my childhood fighting to be the most well-rounded kid I could be. I was athletic; I was a dedicated theater performer; I was passionate about my education; I nurtured my relationships; I ate healthily; I learned lessons the first time; I tried to always make my family proud. Each day, I set an intention to remain happy, patient and always respect myself. This was how I was going to make my life exactly what I wanted it to be.

Despite my efforts, there were times when I would question my specific decisions, when I thought I needed to have more fun and stop trying so hard. People would often tell me not to take life so seriously. It wasn’t until others commented about it that I thought I was living a heavy, high-pressure lifestyle. It made me worry that I was wasn’t focused on the right elements of life. Watching all those other kids have a blast and not worry about their futures made me nervous that I was watching my life pass by.

But today is different. I spoke to my mom this morning about how each step I’ve taken up until today has led to this minute. I knew I had big dreams, HUGE dreams when I was young, but to think I’d actually accomplish them rarely crossed my mind. My focus
was on the path to getting there and enjoying that first… then maybe if that luck rolled around I’d catch my dream job. Well…sitting here today, thinking back on all of the frustrating piano lessons, dense theater classes, long study nights, impossible exams and tough moments of defeat, I can now say that everything was worth it. I can’t believe I get to say that! I get to say it because a few weeks ago, I landed got my dream job. I get to pack up everything I own, jump on a plane, hurl myself into the unknown with a really great friend of mine and get paid to do it!

My dream job is quite different than what most people picture. I hoped to blend everything I love into one particular position. But I was told that job doesn’t exist, so I was about to settle for second best. What is unexpected, is that this new job was carefully crafted to work out. Everything I did in my life up until today has led to it. The position isn’t even a job, it is an adventure. I couldn’t have created a job more perfectly aligned with who I am. A job that involves health, wellness, travel, cooking, meeting other people and television is all wrapped up into a perfect bow. Luck? Sure. But most importantly: preparation.

All the questions I lived with for so many years, about whether or not I’m doing the right things, have been answered. I am so grateful!

-T.

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