seek light

on emotional ditches

hi friends, i was digging through my wordpress drafts and discovered this blog post i wrote on july 22, 2013. i never shared it because i was too scared or too nervous or too confused about what state my life was actually in. re-reading it to myself over six months later almost brought me to tears. while i definitely don’t feel this way all the time and it certainly has been happening less and less lately, i sometimes still struggle with feeling insecure and down. it was an important reminder for me to shift back to truth; to thankfulness, to love, to constantly and even desperately seek light in life. thanks for reading! i’m so glad this blog is a place i can share the happy and sometimes not-so-happy moments of my life {even when it’s half a year later…!}

confession time: i absolutely hate admitting to having a bad day. i’m really bad at it. i hate making my problems and insecurities other peoples’ problems and prefer to enjoy my day as usual and then go into my room and soak up the bad day-ness. one lesson i’m learning as i’m getting older is how supported and loved i am by so many people – people who want to hear about my bad days and the things that stress me out and scare me and make me cry. i’m so very thankful for those people so thank you if you are one of them!

i know this blog is where i share daily doses of inspiration, encouragement and most of all, positivity and thankfulness, but can i share with you guys where i’ve been lately? i hope that’s okay. i’ve caught myself lately not so much having big bad terrible days, but just hours and minutes that are full of fear and negativity. it’s been far too easy to fall down the slippery slope of insecurity, doubt and self-hate. here’s what i mean by this slippery slope: one thing happens or bums me out {even things that aren’t a big deal} and my mind spirals and asks questions and shifts from positive and thankful to negative and ashamed. my mind will process what happened and then the negative self-talk comes in: “well this probably happened because [of past mistakes i've made, i need to lose fifteen pounds, i'm not a good enough friend, no one likes me for who i am, the list of ridiculousness things goes on and on...]. one thing happens and i turn it into 35 things. i’m ready to reverse directions and shift back to thankfulness, optimism and self-love.

one of the people i’m so thankful for is my mom and i’ve been repeating her advice over and over: you can’t progress and move forward on your life path if you’re wallowing in the {emotional} ditch. 

my life was created to be moving forward, not sitting and stalling in an unhealthy ditch full of self-pity and shame. my inner dialogue is usually upbeat, loving and thankful and on those not-so-fabulous days when it dives into an emotional ditch, i’m learning to address it head-on. i would never say things to people that i love that i say to myself and every day i have to set the ‘refresh’ button on what my mind focuses on.

this week, i’m not curling up into a ball and feeling bad for myself. i’m appreciating and spending time with people who love me for me. i’m pulling up my big-girl panties {i really hate that word…} and tackling the day and whatever comes with it with grace, ease and love. i’m remembering that only i have the power to walk myself out of the emotional ditch and seek light.


inspiring women, part 11

Hi friends! Happy Monday! If anyone finds the cure to why weekends fly back and weekdays seem to drag on, please let me know. Anyway, I am so excited to continue my Inspiring Women series today and feature my lovely friend Stephanie! Stephanie is a Twitter-friend-turned-real-life-friend who is full of curiosity and optimism. I remember talking to her on the phone over two years ago on a Saturday afternoon and she was talking about how she wanted to find a new job and more importantly, move to New York City. Fast forward to now and she’s been living in NYC for two years, has a new job that she loves {at my same company!} and is completely in love with her new life. She’s a real life example of how important it is to step out into the unknown and try new things. I’m super thankful for her and hope you are inspired by her words today. Follow her adventures on Twitter @stephanieflo. xo!

What story is your life telling right now, today?

My current life story has been very family focused around weddings. I say that because my brother and sister were recently each married six weeks apart! Plane rides home to Chicago, events, dresses and even playing videographer for one has consumed my life. I am so excited for the new adventure each of my siblings has begun because I know they have both chosen the perfect partner in crime. Throughout the planning process and during the events, many people asked when I’d be taking that walk down the aisle (just another six weeks, right?). Rather than panic at my single status, what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to be on a different life path. And that path has brought me to New York City where I feel constantly challenged and more alive than I ever thought possible.

What woman inspires you and why?

My mom inspires me. She has been teaching kindergarten for more than 30 years (at the grammar school she attended!). She’s gone on to teach the children of former students and everyone (even, grown men) call her “Mrs. Kathy.” She’s a fixture in the community and I admire her patience and dedication to impacting so many lives with the gift of education.

What are three things you’re thankful for?

Every night I take a quick look outside my window at the Woolworth Building (one of the oldest in the U.S.) and think how thankful I am that I get to wake up, again, in New York City.

I’m thankful to be a 20-something contributor to the 40:20 Vision. This is a blog where I read new perspectives daily. In this community 40-somethings share their advice and what they wish they’d known with still learning 20-somethings. From professional aspirations to relationship woes and everything in between the 40:20 Vision is relatable and motivating for readers of any age.

More than anything I’m thankful for the support of my family and friends – the ones nearby and the ones states away. When I said I wanted to move to New York City people didn’t believe me – after all, I was homesick while living two hours away during college. Those closest to me soon realized I meant business and offered their complete support. Their phone calls, letters, emails and visits keep me totally connected.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned that you can share with Polish My Crown readers?

Face your fears head on. For 25 years I had never lived outside the state of Illinois. I had big dreams, but was so afraid of them that I was practically decorating the walls of my comfort zone – because I thought that’s all I would ever know. After moving to New York City I am a more determined person who knows fears do not define you.


how to love yourself

a really good weekend {and all of the time} reminder. how do you show yourself love?

Oat Works

On-the-go healthy snacks: January Bestowed Box

I am always excited when I see the bright orange Bestowed box in my mailbox each month. It’s always a pleasant surprise to discover new healthy snacks, most of them being gluten-free and vegan. This particular box arrived on a day when we were STARVING so we opened it and immediately snacked on the bean and rice chips and the Cooggies cookies. Needless to say, this box was a hit.

In this month’s box:
Oatworks Smoothie - YUM. No other words.
Beanfield’s Bean and Rice Chips – vegan and gluten-free. perfect with hummus or salsa!
Cooggies Oatmeal Raisin/Double Chocolate Cookies – veggie-vased cookies {carrot, cauliflowe, broccoli}. we polished the bag of these VERY quickly. yum!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Balance Bar – only 180 calories, but boasts 13 grams of protein, which is something I’m always looking for since I don’t eat meat!
EBOOST Natural Energy Booster – way better for you than chugging coffee OR a 5 Hour Energy {obviously} packed with vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium and magnesium.
Rainbow Light Counter Attack – pure, natural supplement that eases sinus trouble and is designed for when you first start to feel seasonal discomfort. Definitely will be keeping this in my travel bag, as I always seem to feel sick when I travel for extended periods of time!

I’m already excited to try more snacks in February and to receive my next Bestowed box! Get your first Bestowed box for only TEN DOLLARS using the code HELLOYUM77. Order here! Seriously, if you add up the cost of 6-10 healthy snacks from the grocery store, it’s at least double the cost. Plus, I like learning more about new products and using Bestowed to help influence future purchases.

Looking for more healthy snack ideas? Check out my previous Bestowed blog posts {1, 2, 3, 4} for inspiration. You’ll definitely want to pick up some of these items next time you go grocery shopping!