been there, done that

Hey guys!

The world is in a weird place right now to say least.
Who would have thought in 2020 humans would be encouraged to stay indoors while penguins at the aquarium are roaming freely!

Whilst participating in social distancing I have done a lot of thinking…

I need to prioritize myself.
I have to be my own biggest fan.
Practice what I preach!

I’ve decided to use this irregular period of ‘open’ time to further invest in myself.

Give all the thoughts I’ve scribbled on pieces of paper and shoved in notebooks space to expand.

I’m a go-getter. I’m ambitious.
All that good stuff that creates a somebody.

However, with positives come negatives.

I have a very difficult time relaxing. Chilling out — doing nothing.

Previously I felt that time spent resting, reading, watching YouTube videos, or doing “non-productive” tasks was wasteful.
I could be working to make money, brainstorming blog topics, or building other skills!

Not doing things that allow your mind to take a break and rest, ladies and gentlemen, is how you burn yourself out. 🙂

I didn’t quite realize I was guilty of this until I listened to THIS Self-Made CEO episode.

This podcast created by, entrepreneur and life-coach, Adrienne Finch has changed my life.

No joke.

I fell out of routine with listening to it and totally noticed a shift in my mood and productivity.
Not for the better, haha.

Over the past month I have actively been working mindfulness, meditation, and gratitude practices into my daily routine.

Although life around me has been crazy, I’ve felt stable (for the most part) internally.

This may all sound like bullshit. 

I get it — I was skeptical too!

But taking the time to introspectively evaluate yourself; who you are is so beneficial.

You are able to heal yourself.

You do not need anyone or anything to complete you.

You are whole.

Once you’re able to become your best self, you are able to give your best self to others. 

I encourage you all to find one positive aspect of whatever you’re experiencing.

I know we are all experiencing change on a large scale, however, I hope after reading this you’re able to find at least one light in the darkness!

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller stresses the importance of signaling change when beginning a journey of growth.

The world is signaling change.
Begin your journey.

I’m a firm believer that everything will be okay in the end. 

We have all gone through challenges and struggles before. 
The first time is always the hardest.
Everything after comes easily.

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

loner

I like doing things alone better.

I am an only child so that may make more sense… maybe?

Whatever the case may be I’ve never disliked being alone.

However, this is not the case for all.

Rather than asking why others dislike solitude, I thought about why I enjoy being alone!

‘ME TIME’

Don’t get me wrong — I like being social!

But I also enjoy spending time by myself.

Recharge yourself. It’s necessary.

I AM AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

There is a certain satisfaction in doing something outside of the norm.

We all know it.

Being alone in public tends to be one of those taboo things.

So yeah, if I go to a happy hour alone to journal it is okay to feel confident in your difference!

Just follow through with what feels good for you.

You’ll be amazed by how awesome happiness feels!

APPRECIATE YOURSELF

Something I have learned overtime is that no will be will able to give you love you’re “looking for”.

You have to love yourself.
That’s the only way.
All that good (cliche) bullsh*t.

Hey, I don’t make the rules!

Think about all the joys of solitude, such as no one else to account for or answer to.

It is freeing!

Do you guys like having alone time?
Let me know in the comments below!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

one for me

This post was inspired by THIS song.
Great listen. I would highly recommend.

A day can make a whole world of difference in life.

Imagine a day something incredibly impactful happened to you.

Those few seconds of processing the information made a difference.

Now scale that to a year!
Time changes a lot of things, as I’m sure we are all well aware.

On Valentines Day I crafted an Instagram feed post and stories sponsored by Saxbys. This is something I could have never envisioned myself doing!

Saturday marked one year since I moved in with my aunt.

Tuesday I attended the media party opening of the new Dim Sum House in Rittenhouse Square hosted by the public relations company I used to work for.

Although these things may not sound incredibly crazy or important, they are huge milestones for me.

I’m not one to be sensitive but while reflecting on challenges I faced in 2019 I’ve been nostalgic! I am incredibly proud of the woman I have and continue to become, the emotional and mental progress I have made, and the professional growth I have achieved.

At this point last year I was in the process of expanding my world.
Previously the lens through which I viewed life was incredibly distorted. I believed I was fighting all of my battles alone. Everyone and everything was against me.

I didn’t realize it at the time but I was a baby bird with broken wings.

At the start of 2019, I was still enrolled at Drexel University and the new quarter was about to begin.

I took Introduction to Western Philosophy which I accredit largely to enlightening me on the larger picture of life. I forget the professor’s name but he was cool as hell.

Many of the belief systems and norms of Western cultures I was introduced to intrigued me. I was a great student for this course.
I did most of the readings, participated in class, thoroughly completed the homework. I really enjoyed the course!

I was already familiar with the concept of self-reflection, or introspective thinking, but this class piqued my interest further.

Mindfulness, a state of awareness or consciousness, can be achieved through enough reflection and practice. This is a state of mind in which you’re able to truly think clearly.

It’s not a one and done kinda thing sadly.
You have to learn about various methods and see which work best for you.

If you would have told me a year ago I would be preaching about the importance of mindfulness through meditation and self-reflection I would not believe you.

But ya know,
🎶 What a difference a day makes… 🎶

We must experience discomfort to grow.

My Pattern, an astrology app which I follow as religiously as Co-Star Astrology, has been telling me that I attract wild experiences.

I have indeed had some crazy life experiences thrown my way but to say I draw them to me is insane. However, sis isn’t usually wrong…

So I’ve been working on my methods of leadership to be able to control my life!

I cannot control what happens to me but I can control how I react to it.

Thanks Aunt Leen for saying that to me repeatedly until it eventually made sense!

Here’s to 2020! A year full of positivity, love, and growth for all!

Think about where you came from.
Embrace where you are now.

Talk soon,
Alex

eliminating negativity

This week I asked on an Instagram poll what topic you would rather me ramble about: Eliminating Negativity or Imposter Syndrome.
Y’all spoke and I listened. Here I am delivering.
If you’re reading this on the day it is posted — Happy Turkey Day!


With the change of the seasons, the sun setting in the early afternoon, and obligatory family time creeping up, it becomes easier to fall into less productive habits and mindsets. Succumbing to these obstructive behaviors may feel more comfortable in the moment, but they are digressions along the path. These small defeats you allow yourself, like napping when you planned to work out or scrolling on Instagram when you should be finishing an assignment, maybe easier, but that doesn’t make them the right choice.

Eliminating negativity from my life has aided me in choosing the most advantageous options available to me, even when it is not the easiest or most appealing. Something a mentor has instilled within me, along with a wildly sarcastic sense of humor, is the truth that “you cannot control the situation, you can only control your reaction.” Although you may not be able to control the types of energy being directed at you, you are able to convert that energy once it is received. Imagine… You’re at work; your boss is in a mood and takes it out in microaggressions towards you.

The cause of your boss’ disgruntled attitude was most likely caused by an external force. Maybe a traffic jam on the commute into the office or an incorrect coffee order — nonetheless, he/she is allowing something other than themselves to dictate their emotions. More importantly, he/she is being overpowered by a failure outside of their control.

Now the question is — how do you avoid falling into the same negative feedback loop? **

I have found that eliminating any negativity I was allowing into my life has helped me to better focus on my goals and make the choices to work towards them.

** The “negative feedback loop” is a concept which Adrienne Finch discusses often in her podcast, Self-Made CEO. The idea essentially says we are responsible for the energy we attract into our lives. If we fail something and allow that failure to build the believe we truly cannot overcome a challenge, we fall victim to more opportunities that highlight our shortcomings. Thank you so much to Adrienne who took the time to reply to my DM and further define this concept!!

– WITHDRAWAL FROM TOXICITY –

This requires being very honest with yourself. Evaluate what you are devoting your energy to (x), then think about how it makes you feel to have spent time doing x. If you do not feel good about having spent your time doing it, don’t do it anymore. Time is the most valuable thing a person is able to offer, which is why I make a point to thank each of you for reading my posts each week. None of you have to be reading this right now, however, you are and I appreciate it. Anyhow, you should only spend your time doing things which make you happy. This may feel selfish at first, but just remember society has ingrained in us that being selfish is bad.

This is not necessarily true when it comes to the 24-hours we each have in a day. Every minute of those hours we allot to something. These are the literal moments that make us. It’s important to spend a good amount of them doing things which make us happy, in order to allow ourselves to be fulfilled — enlightening us to reach our full potentials.

Removing the toxic people, or things, in your life does not have to be permanent. Once you feel you are better equipped to deal with those things, you can integrate them back into life. However, for now, it’s most beneficial to distance yourself from negativity so you are able to grow stronger. This may be a very difficult task, especially when the people feeding you negative energy are your family members or close friends. However, I have found communication is a very powerful tool. Explain to them you are working on you (as cliche as they may sound), which for you, means prioritizing more alone time.

They will either respect your mature decision to better yourself and allow you to distance without being hurt, OR they’ll think you’re a weirdo and begin distancing themselves from you. The end result is the same — more time for you. 🙂

– IMPLEMENT POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY – 

The idea is to focus on building your strengths rather than fixing your flaws. “Resilience is the ability to bounce back in spite of adversity.” Overcoming limitations are the situations that strengthen the courage, conviction and other personality traits of impactful leaders.

I have been fortunate enough to find forms of de-stressing and mental relaxation which work for me relatively easily. Unfortunately, each method does not work for everyone and you may need to experiment with a few different techniques.

I have found podcasts to be incredible for my mental health. There are quite a few meditation / intention setting focused ones on Spotify. I really enjoy Sleep Cove and Mindful in Minutes: Mindful Morning! I have also rediscovered my love for reading. My excuse was “I don’t have the time.” But guess what, an extra hour isn’t just going to appear. If I really want to read more, I have to make the time. And so I did. Then between reading more frequently and blogging, I realized how much I love writing. I’m actually taking an advanced writing course in the spring, which I’m super pumped about! 🤓

As mentioned above, I began to withdrawal from toxic people I was allowing in my life and started to focus on what really makes me happy, then pursuing it (reading, writing, thinking creatively, sleeping, etc.) Find what you enjoy, that makes you feel good and is along the path towards your goals. Then do it.

– MAKE YOUR BED –

Seriously, listen to me: If you do not already, be sure to make your bed each morning.
You will leave your house and go about your day knowing you have accomplished something. You will be coming home to a neat bed, rather than a disheveled mess of blankets and pillows. It feels so good, believe me. Especially after a long day. This trick ties in with implementing positive psychology, as well. You are praising small victories, which builds and reinforces self-efficacy and confidence.

– BE GRATEFUL –

giphy

This is pretty straightforward, but take time each day to remember what you are grateful for. There is always something. Be specific in what you’re reflecting on, which will instill the habit of looking for small things. You can take this time whenever you’d like (morning, afternoon, evening), but try to do it around the same time each day to better build the habit.

I take time in the morning while I am preparing my cup of coffee. The smell of coffee grounds is one of my favorite morning scents, along with bacon. Once my coffee is brewing I will spend the time thinking about how lucky I am to be alive — some people did not wake up. Although this may sounds incredibly lame, it is true. As humans, we must realize our mortality in order to embrace life. That’s just my way of doing it. I also reflect on the specific small wins of the day before, then prioritize my goals for the current day. This is an amazing way for me to organize my thoughts while my mind is getting set up, which helps to solidify ideas. Or so I’ve found. ☺️

Okay, I think this post is long enough. If you’re interested in knowing more about anything I mentioned, feel free to reach out to me! Once again, thank you for spending the time reading my work.

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

Sources:
Brendtro, L. K., Brokenleg, M., & Steve, V. B. (2005). The circle of courage and positive psychology. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 14(3), 130-136. Retrieved from http://libproxy.temple.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.libproxy.temple.edu/docview/214193531?accountid=14270