Is It Worth The Risk?

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin

I grew up watching the TV show, Saved By The Bell. On the show, there was a shy, nerdy female high-school character named Violet Bickerstaff. In one episode, the high-school choir heard her sing, and they discovered that she had a beautiful voice. They encouraged her to use her talent so that they could win the choir competition. To this request, she quietly replied, “My goal in life is to blend in.”

When I was in fourth grade, a friend came up to me one day and said, “Wow, Tiffany, you actually talk now. I barely heard you speak one word in second grade.” Like Violet from Saved By the Bell, when I was younger, I just wanted to blend in. I didn’t want to stand out because I never knew what to say and I was scared of embarrassing myself.

In junior high, I remember sitting in front of a cute, sweet boy in Language Arts class. I liked him a lot and will always remember the seventh grade dance when he asked me to be his “girlfriend” and we danced to “Don’t Speak” by Gwen Stefani. Even though I liked him so much, I was so terrified of being the center of attention that I pretended to be sick for a couple of days after the dance so that I wouldn’t have to deal with people gossiping about us. Two days later, I broke up with the poor boy because I felt like people wouldn’t stop talking about us or looking at us. As I write this post, and start to think about various memories of childhood, I can feel sweat start to formulate on my back and my armpits!

I am happy to report that I have changed since then. I don’t feel such a strong need to blend into a crowd anymore. Why? I realized that when I hid myself from the world, it was almost impossible for anyone to know who I really was. Life feels lonely when you don’t feel like anyone knows you or understands you. Also, I now believe that no one was made to just blend in.

You may not have grown up with social anxiety like I did, but you may be living a less-than-stellar life due to fear. You may be playing it safe because you are scared of rejection, failure, getting hurt, or something else. The truth is that life is full of risks. I believe that playing it safe comes with a risk as well—you risk missing out on a life full of adventure and joy.

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Ten Essential Oils For Your Medicine Cabinet

When I discovered essential oils in 2018, I was so excited to use plant medicine—the last piece of the puzzle on my Natural Living journey! Are you searching for natural solutions that will help to eliminate the root causes of your signs and symptoms? Scroll down to read about ten oils that you should have in your medicine cabinet!

1. Lemon

Lemon oil is wonderful for cleansing the body and the house. One to two drops of lemon in water or tea will support the body’s detoxification process. It also has a great taste.

Feeling down? Lemon and other citrus oils can help uplift your mood!

2. Frankincense

The “King of Oils” is an amazing oil that can support all the cells of your body. Frankincense helps to restore the skin and promote feelings of peace. I use it on my baby’s irritated skin and in my night cream. I also take frankincense internally for extra support.

3. Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Melaleuca is effective at cleaning my house, my skin and my nails.

15 drops of lemon oil, 15 drops of melaleuca, 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of vinegar makes an effective, all-purpose cleaner!

4. Lavender

The “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils is calming for the skin and the emotions. I used it on my children when they had hives and I currently rub it on my baby’s jawline when he is teething. To help my toddler wind down after a long day, I rub lavender on the back of her neck and on the bottoms of her feet.

5. Oregano

Oregano is a powerful oil that I take internally when I need a boost for my immune system. When my children are not feeling well, I also rub this potent oil on their feet.

6. Protective Blend

The Protective blend is another oil that can support your immune system. I take this oil internally and apply this topically on my children. This blend has an inviting aroma that is very pleasant to diffuse.

7. Respiratory Blend

When I need extra respiratory support, I rub this potent blend on my nose, chest or feet. At night, I like to diffuse this blend with frankincense—it’s a refreshing blend for easy breathing.

8. Digestive Blend

To be honest, the smell of this oil used to make me nauseous. Eventually, it became my “hero oil.” Whenever we have any kind of tummy trouble, this blend provides relief within seconds!

9. Peppermint

The smell of peppermint makes me want to get up and go! I like to rub peppermint oil on my neck for an instant cooling sensation. Peppermint can also be used for stomach upset and head tension. It has also been known to repel insects.

10. Soothing Blend

This blend provides relief and comfort. I like to rub this cooling blend on my forehead, neck, and wrists after a long day. After my husband’s CrossFit work-out, I rub this blend on his back and knee.

What’s your favorite essential oil?

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The RESET Button

You know that big red button that says RESET on it? Don’t you wish that you could hit that button whenever you mess up? Guess what? That button does exist! It exists in your mind. Here’s how it works for me.

When I am unfairly harsh with my daughter, I can choose to feel shame that affects my whole day, or I can apologize to her, hit the RESET button, and go on with my day.

Because of my skin issues, I am careful to take good care of my body. When I have trouble keeping up with my health routine and my skin starts to bother me again, I can choose to feel helpless or I can hit the RESET button and start tightening up my routine again.

When I am not as consistent with my business activities, I can get overly discouraged or hit the RESET button and decide to increase my activity for the next week.

If I don’t meet my goals, I can choose to believe that I will never achieve them, or I can hit the RESET button and figure out what needs to change in my life so that I can meet my goals next time.

After I make any kind of mistake—big or small—I can choose to let it ruin my day, or I can hit the RESET button, give myself grace, and learn from the mistake.

Do you need to hit the RESET button? You will be more successful in life if you choose to hit the RESET button sooner, rather than later!

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The Good Ol’ Days Are Happening Right Now

I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.

Andy Bernard from The Office

About eight years ago, I was having lunch with some friends and I told them that I don’t want to look back on the past and realize that I didn’t appreciate what I had. The “Good Ol’ Days” are happening right now, and here’s why.

The grass is not greener on the other side—it’s actually brown.

We tend to be fearful that we are missing out on something better, but we don’t actually know that something else is better. For example, rich, talented, and gorgeous celebrity couples claim that they are the happiest that they have ever been—and then, one month later, they file for divorce. Exhaustion, depression, and abuse are common in our culture. Do you really believe that the life of Mr. and Mrs. Jones is as perfect as they make it look like it is on social media?

The difficult days will be over soon.

I heard someone say that everyone is either going into a trial, going through a trial right now, or coming out of a trial. When I was feeling really down, my co-worker told me that life never stays the same. This won’t last forever. I didn’t believe her at the time, but she was right. And when I look back at the “Bad Ol’ Days”, I am grateful for them because those days made me stronger.

If we believe that these are the Good Ol’ Days, then they will be.

Take one small step to change your circumstances. Reach out to someone for help. We don’t have a magic wand that will change our circumstances, but the mind is a very powerful thing. If you cannot change your circumstances, you can change your perspective. Every morning when you wake up, think of twenty things that you are thankful for. If you feel like you need to reflect on something negative, go ahead and do it, but only do it for a few minutes. Start the timer. When the timer goes off, force your mind to think of something good and go do something else. Repeat this until your good thoughts far outnumber the bad thoughts.

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Stop Living on Auto-Pilot Mode and Live with More Joy and Purpose

I recently lost someone dear to me which has made me think about how short life is. Everyone says that life is short–we all know this–but does this knowledge help us to change the way we live? The death of my loved one has made me realize even more that I don’t want to waste time. I don’t want to live on Auto Pilot mode–spending the little free time that I have on my phone or watching Netflix. (Did you know that the average person checks their phone 80 times per day?) I want to live a life full of joy and purpose. If that’s what you want as well, then these ideas might help you!

Always Have Gratitude

I try to think about 20 things that I am thankful for everyday and whenever I am feeling down. Thinking about the good things helps me to be content with my situation and it helps me to generate more joy and energy.

Know Your Purpose, Goals, and Dreams

My purpose revolves around my faith and passions. What is your purpose in life? What are your goals and dreams? When you are on your deathbed, what will make you feel like you lived the life that you were meant to live? Years ago, I found this great article by Bronnie Ware–a woman that worked in palliative care for several years. Here are five regrets that people have on their deathbeds. If you were to die today, would you have some of these regrets?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Constantly Remind Yourself of Your Purpose, Goals, and Dreams

I read a great book called High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. Burchard says that highly successful people are constantly evaluating themselves, and they are consistently thinking about how to reach their goals. He recommends setting an alarm on your phone that will trigger you to think about certain things to keep you on track. For instance, when my alarm goes off, I think about a Bible verse (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), the top five regrets that I don’t want to have on my deathbed, and the word Kind (I am trying to be more intentional about being kinder to my kids and husband).

If you don’t want to set an alarm, you could hang Post-It notes on your refrigerator or create a digital reminder and post it on your phone and computer. Vision boards can also remind you of your goals. You could buy a tack board and put pictures on it that remind you what your purpose, goals, and dreams are. Instead of a vision board, I have a digital notebook in my phone that has pictures of past successes and hopeful future successes. When I am feeling down, I look at the pictures and listen to a song that gives me motivation.

Make A Detailed Schedule

I love to read and have been reading self-improvement books since I was a kid. A lot of the books recommend making a schedule for maximum productivity. This is something that I resisted for so long–making a detailed schedule just seemed so cumbersome and oppressive to me. But, to my benefit, a couple of months ago, I finally made a detailed schedule of my week. I used Google sheets to plan out my week from the time I wake up ’til the time I go to sleep. It helped me to see that I needed to cut certain things out of my life, and it helps me to see when I am available for business calls. It helps a lot!

Maximize Your Free Time

When I have free time, it is tempting to go on Auto Pilot mode–automatically checking my email and phone throughout the day. I have found that this is not a good use of my time because whenever I pick up my phone, I see another notification or click on something that distracts me. So, instead of spending one minute checking my email, that one minute inevitably turns into 15 minutes or longer. If I continue to pick up my phone throughout the day, that eventually adds up to a whole lot of wasted time! So, instead of mindlessly picking up my phone, I have started to intentionally click into my schedule or think about the most productive thing–or the most enjoyable thing that does not involve my phone–that I can do next.

When Spending Time with Loved Ones, Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

I know that I am harping on about the phone a lot, but when you are with the people that you love, put down your phone and devices. When you are on your deathbed, you are not going to wish that you were more engaged with your phone while you were alive. Loved ones that are right in front of you are more important than digital “friends” on your newsfeed. Spending quality time with loved ones and decreasing screen time will increase the amount of joy in your life. Also, Burchard mentions that multi-tasking is not very effective, and it stresses us out. So there’s another reason to put down your devices when you are with your loved ones–the multi-tasking will suck some of the enjoyment out of those few moments with your loved ones.

Rest

Burchard recommends a resting time after each major daily task. He calls it Release Tension–Set Intention. Here’s an example. When you are done with the grocery shopping and you are about to go inside to see your kids, stop for 1-3 minutes and do this.

  1. Release Tension: Close your eyes for 1-3 minutes. Breathe deeply in and out, releasing physical tension and negative thoughts. Say the word Release over and over again.
  2. Set Intention: Think about what you want the next activity to look like. Think about smiling when you get in the door and spending some quality time with the kids before you have to start dinner.

Closing your eyes gives your visual cortex and mind a rest. This exercise will help you to feel more energized and it will help you to enjoy your next activity or help you to be more productive during your next task.

In addition to this, I believe that every person needs at least one day of rest per week–one day when you can take a break from working. If this is not possible for you, I hope that you can find at least a few hours of rest from work.

What are your tips for living a life full of joy and purpose?

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