All posts filed under: be beautiful

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when life gets prickly, starve it of water

Today we are going to talk about handling stress. Because stress is one of the leading killers in Americans, one of the leading reasons for heart problems, and we really can do something about it. Mostly this is a topic of retraining the brain. Creating a new web of thinking that involves rewiring what we see as priorities. When we live to work, we live to be stressed. Why not just work to live, and once work is finished for the day – stop working. Of course, it’s never that simple. But there are ways to reduce stress, one baby step at a time.When we retrain our brain to think of jobs, chores, activities as positive aspects of life then we are already beginning to reduce stress – because how can we be stressed when we are loving what we do? But that takes practice. It’s hard to jump into these routines with a huge smile and a dedication to tackle everything with joy. Right, who can do that every day? So here are my …

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Why I Gave Up Face Wash

I won’t blame any of you who may have already judged me, just a little, on the basis of this post’s title. So let me please begin by assuring you that while I am guilty of being a little bit of a hippie, I am certainly not of the dirty variety! To prevent you from backing away from your computer screens any further, allow me to clarify my opening statement a little. True, I have given up on face wash, but I haven’t given up on washing my face. You see, 10 months ago I adopted a natural, plant-based lifestyle. It began with boycotting the farming industry and eating plant foods only, but as I gradually became more educated on what I was allowing into my body, it led to an intense questioning of what I was putting on to it as well. I was beginning to feel the myriad benefits of nourishing my body and cells with organic, nutrient-rich whole foods: no more additives, preservatives or chemical nasties. It felt only natural to extend the …

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Four Ways to Be A Nicer Person

Do you ever catch yourself in a situation when perhaps a thought creeps into your mind that you know if you said it out loud you would look like a total b-word? But hey, wait! I’m a nice person! I promise…. that internal monologue gets the best of you. The truth is, we always have room for improvement. I was reading Real Simple last month and came across an article about a woman and her therapy dog. They visit a hospice care facility and her dog brings such joy and peace to the folks living there, without any words passing between them. Why is that? Because that dog gave uninterrupted attention. I had tears in my eyes when I finished the story, and there was a specific sentence that really resonated with me. Attention is a gift. How accurate is that, right? Think about the last time you carried a conversation with someone when you or the other person didn’t have a cellphone in hand, checking something else at the same time. Why is it …

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6 reasons gratitude will change your life

I was reading Real Simple this month and came across a great article about gratitude. There is a lot more to being thankful than just saying thank you. I know we tend to focus more on the ideas of giving and feeling grateful as we inch closer to Thanksgiving, but I found this article to be really insightful and helpful for embracing the effects of practicing gratitude daily. Here are six reasons: 1 \\ You’ll feel happier . Just jotting down something you’re grateful for each day will encourage you to start looking at life from a different angle. You’ll notice when you feel grateful, when you feel happy, and you’ll document it. Practice writing it down physically to help you remember it mentally. 2 \\ You’ll boost your energy. You will learn to appreciate each day in life as something special, rather than just some drudgery and routine. In fact, even the most routine things will become something you work hard at as  you feel a heightened sense of vitality. This reminds me of …

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be beautiful: how to be happy

Let’s get philosophical today for the next installment in the Be Beautiful series. You may be wondering what profound thing I might have to say about the topic of happiness. Does it have to be profound? Does it have to be original to be worthy of reading? Does it have to be something new to be worth your time in understanding or absorbing? Perhaps I would just like to share what I have learned and maybe you can learn something from me. Perhaps we can learn something from each other. What does the cake have to do with it. Nothing to you, perhaps. To me, it’s happiness. I love to eat, I love to bake. I cultivate solitude in baking. I could have chosen a yogic photo too, as I find just as much solitude in my daily practice. But today, it’s cake. How does cake bring me happiness? How does anything bring me happiness? IT doesn’t. IT does not bring me anything. Those things are just things. Those activities are just such things. Happiness …

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be beautiful: how to find peace with yourself

Let’s start off the week with some deep thoughts.When was the last time you took a minute to check in with yourself and make sure you’re on the right track – the track of a healthy, happy you. Often times we let our own mental and physical health take the back burner while we focus on progressing in work, school or social networks. I find myself snapping so many photos thinking about Instagram when I walk to the beach, instead of just doing what I went there to do: relax and get away. Get away from my own busy mind. That busy mind that often times keeps me up at night, just spinning and running with thoughts so coherent I wonder why I can’t just be productive while sleeping too? Then I wake up drained and tired. Does this sound like you too? Then you definitely need to take a minute and find some peace with yourself. This is the easiest for me to do with yoga. In a restorative class, I am able to …

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be beautiful: soul searching part two

We left you guys in the dark a bit, we know. Sorry about that. But part of our devotional series agreement was that it was a stress free idea, meaning if you couldn’t meet the deadlines, no problem. So yeah, I didn’t meet the deadline for January, but I wanted to share my musings now. Better late than never ! This month, I made a little beach meditation video for you. Designed to help take your mind off stress, and just enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean and the lovely sounds of John Butler. This beach is right down the road from my house, and directly adjacent to the spot that Evan proposed to me in December. It holds a lot of significance and is my first place to run to for relaxation. I’m on Chapter 3 of the Your Beautiful Purpose. This chapter asked me to dig into why I do or do not wait on God. Waiting on God means listening with your heart to what He is calling you to do, …

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be beautiful: how to stay active

Staying active is a huge part of my life – for my health and fitness, but also for my mind. I’ve noticed when I don’t engage my body in some kind of activity, I feel lethargic throughout the day, and tend to eat and snack on things that aren’t good for me. Does this happen to you too? I wanted to share some ways that I stay active, perhaps it might provide just the right amount of motivation you seek to get going! First, I was not built athletic – I’m a petite frame and just like any other woman, I have problem areas that I can never seem to tame (hello thighs). But when I took my focus off of concentrating on “fixing” a problem, and rather on just working my core as a whole, I realized I was much more motivated to continue staying active. | CHANGE IT UP |  I found that a routine is NOT the way to go for me. I need change, and I need to make my body …

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be beautiful: your beautiful purpose devotional part one

Amongst all the busy, crazy, stressful times of the past couple weeks, I did manage to sit down and devote some quiet time to my own thoughts, prayers and soul searching. I hope that you recall this post where I introduced you to a new series that Meghan and I will be working through for the next two months? Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson is a devotional that we hoped you might would join us as we unravel some of the mystery behind what each of our purposes truly is here on earth. I’ve always had an idea of what mine is, but was just never quite so sure about it…. this book has already helped me address some fears, concerns and insecurities. Let me tell how… I don’t want to approach this sharing by walking you through each chapter and discussing the main points. Instead, I’d like to just share some of what I discovered about myself. I read the first two chapters in Section 1, which focused on bringing to your realization …

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be beautiful: search your soul, with e.l.m

A completely new spin in the “be beautiful” series on the blog — this is a soul beautifier! Meghan from Eat.Live.Make and myself are partnering up for the next three months to read a special devotional that we felt would really speak to our hearts at our respective stages in life. Meghan and I have been “blog buddies” for some time now – and I’m constantly inspired and enlightened by her. I approached her to see if she would be interested in taking part in a little devotional and then sharing our thoughts with each other through blogging. She loved the idea and even took it a step further and suggested we let our readers know we’re doing this, and invite all of you to take the journey with us. So, consider this a special invitation to join Meghan and me as we work through Your Beautiful Purpose by Susie Larson! I’ve always struggled with the “knowing” of what my purpose is in life. I’m not the only one, right? I have put my faith …