3.24.2014

Small Acts, Big Outcome

It's easy to take people for granted- half the time, we are too caught up in our own shit to realize that the people who we are surrounded by every day, those closest to us and even strangers that we pass on the street, might just need to be hugged 5 seconds longer, a note to cheer them up, a smile, a door held- something so small and insignificant to you, yet- it could change the outlook of their day. Give up that road rage--I mean damn, let the person with their blinker on in front of you over into your lane, because it's definitely not going to make you 5 minutes late to your meeting, even though it feels that way. Be k i n d.


kind·ness
ˈkīn(d)nis/
noun
noun: kindness
1. the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. 



I've written briefly about this before- because it's so important to me & something that can easily turn into an effortless habit; a way of being that you spread to othersBeing kind to the people who are in your life, loving you every single day. Being kind to those who cross your path. Being kind to strangers. Putting your phone down, looking UP & noticing your surroundings. These are all things that we are capable of. Why? Because we have choice.

The way that you treat other people also shines a little light on how you treat yourself. We can all be a little kinder in those regards.

I'll share a story. I was on my way to work last week- in a bit of a rush, as I usually am when I have the entire morning to cross things off my to-do list, go figure. I was sweating.. if I'm not 10 minutes early then in my mind, I'm late. There was a decent amount of traffic and I was hitting every red light imaginable. Did I mention that I HATE being late??

At one of the many red lights, I spotted books on top of the car's trunk in front of me. It looked like there was an elderly woman driving, who must have forgotten to grab the books before driving away. I went back & forth in my cluttered mind-- "Do I jump out, grab them and hand them to her? Will I freak her out? Will I make it in time? What if the light turns green and I'm not back in my car? Will the car behind me honk their horn--oh my gosh there is nothing that drives me crazier than loud horn honking"--Oh yes, all of those thoughts ran through my mind. I had no choice but to shut those voices off. Of course the woman would want the books to be in her possession versus scattered all over Pico Blvd. And the voice inside my head was only wasting time. I quickly jumped out of my car, grabbed the books and handed them to the woman in the front seat, letting her know that those books were sitting on her trunk & I ran back to my car. She said absolutely nothing to me--and that's okay, she didn't have to. Did it change her life? Definitely not. But who knows where those books came from or the trouble that it would have caused her to purchase them again or even remember where she put them in the first place. Let's face it, we've all had those forgetful moments. It's even worse when it's coffee on the top of your car.

The point is, is that she got her belongings back. And that's all that mattered to me.

When I hear stories of kindness, I'm always inspired to do the same. How amazing would our world be if we all committed to one random act of kindness every day?? Please share your stories with me & let's make this world a better place.




xo, 
Alex 

2.24.2014

Light Up


Just when you think you’re invisible.. and you can get away with heading straight to your room that hasn’t been touched in weeks, not make or return phone calls, live strictly inside your head-- BAM, you’re caught! Well, I was caught. Deep down, I knew that was not who I am, who I aspire to be or who I want to be known as.

It has come to my attention that I haven’t been showing up as myself to the people that I love and care about the most. Isn't this always the case though? You know from past experiences that your family and true friends will love and accept you even when you're the ugliest version of yourself. Still, that doesn’t make it fair to them, no matter what’s going on upstairs. 

It was so obvious to those people around me & now that I can look back, the time that I wanted for myself lingered a little bit too long. I needed to be told that I wasn’t being “me”. "Time's up! Look at what you're doing! I feel like I don't even know you anymore."  My sister & my roommate specifically are great about being honest with me—God love them. Talk about disappointing others. I never ever want to hear my sister say that she feels like she doesn't know me, or feels like she can't reach out to me- ever again. I want to be the one that she calls at 2am when she has something that she needs to get off her chest & she knows that I'll listen, even if I'm in a deep sleep and have to wake up at 5am. I am that sister. I am that friend. But I wasn't being her.

 
And the light bulb went off, yet again. Every single day, people are counting on you.

People look to you for the light.

You do matter.

Your presence, your energy, your laughter- just, you. You bring so much to the table and you don't even realize it.

You give people hope. Even when you think no one notices you.

Every single day. People do care.

You are not alone.

We are all in this t o g e t h e r. Figuring it out. One day at a time. 

Show up the way that you want others to show up for you.

I'm working on modeling the behavior that I also want to see out of others.. 





 
Xo, 


Alex

2.10.2014

Mercury Is Retrograde


The past couple of weeks have been a serious time of reflection for me—and when I found out that mercury has been retrograde these past 4 days and will continue to be until the end of the month, I had an aha moment! No wonder! Turns out to be a perfect month for me to reflect on how I’ve been showing up, what I’m doing with my life (maybe this is a lifelong question for all of us) and who I want to be right now in this very moment. Mercury in retrograde can mean many things- and in this instance, for me personally, it means going back to the drawing board.



The biggest thing that came up for me: I need to focus on myself. I am my own priority. I need to do things for me and no one else. My roommate Christina has been calling me out left and right- in a wonderful, loving way, might I add. The other night, I made the comment of not knowing how to open a bottle of wine & how I should probably learn how to do that one day in case I invite a friend of the opposite sex over for a glass and she totally nailed me—“You should probably just learn that because you will need to open one when you’re by yourself”. Did I seriously say that out loud?! I did. How embarrassing. And she was there to bring me back down to earth. We all need people like that in our lives.




I need those call outs in order to be the person that I want to be. We can't possibly see everything-- our perception of ourselves is sometimes the farthest thing from what other people see. I’ve also realized that life is a constant practice. In order to shift, I need to give myself time to focus on what I want and need.


I want to be a better writer. Well, that’s easy. I will only become a better writer if I write more. Write posts, write in my personal journal, write music.



I want to be confident with who I am and what I believe in. I will only become more confident when I put myself in situations that make me feel uncomfortable, like I want to crawl out of my own skin uncomfortable. I want to show up in every situation the same. I want to be me in every facet.  Not only when I’m around people that I’m related with.



I want to cook. A lot. And bake delicious treats for everyone who comes over! I want to be the housewife without the house, husband & kids (for now) and live in a space that everyone wants to be in when they think of a get together. That won’t happen just by me dreaming about it.



I want to be more creative in how I express myself. In my work, in my personal life, in my actual apartment. I need creative souls in my life… I crave it. Hell, it’s one of the reasons why I moved out here. A part of how I felt like I was expanding my creativity was through my blog and I’ve even lost touch of that the past few months. I also want to get behind a camera more, just for fun. And oh yeah, I want to dance. Full on express myself through my body. 



I want to put myself out there more. My feelings, my thoughts, my photos, my love. I’m tired of letting that little voice from my past stop me from doing exactly what I feel in that exact moment that has never existed before.



I want to continue to take adventures & discover new places. Preferably the spontaneous ones that open my eyes and make me feel even more alive than I ever thought possible.



I’m not just going to be all of these things that I want to be because I want them, I need to work on them ((..and not expect change to happen immediately)). Less thinking, more doing.



All of these things require me to be in tuned with my body and my feelings and be in practice every single day. And with this practice also comes patience, which I admittedly don’t have. I had the mindset of wanting things when I wanted them- with my apartment for example, I wanted to bite the bullet and purchase everything within the first month, just so I could feel settled and at ease. I didn't want to trust that I would eventually find everything that I needed. A mental shift was necessary. 

So, I asked myself this morning: “What are you doing today to practice what you want to achieve?” Today I am writing, cooking, expressing and trusting in the process.




Thank you, universe. 





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12.09.2013

My Ship Is Sailing

It has been months. Months since I've posted anything. During this time, I've been going through a lot of personal-life changes. Some that I've been afraid to write about because I wasn't sure what they even meant to me, and the thought of talking out my feelings with whoever happened to come across this page scared the shit out of me. Well, it's time to get vulnerable again and share a little piece of me to get this blog back in action! "Going through change" should be more of a reason to share, not one to hold me back. Enough with the excuses already..

I decided to leave my family (again), move across the country and BE. Just live and see where life takes me. You may be wondering.. well, why did you want to move out west? To put it simply, it's always been something that I've wanted and it's what I picture for myself in my vision. The culture, the lifestyle, the natural environment, the people-  I wanted the chance to soak it ALL in and let it inspire me every single day. The tough part was that my answer wasn't good enough for some people. They wanted facts, they wanted a plan, they wanted more of an explanation-- of course they ultimately wanted me to be happy, but be a little bit more strategic about what I was doing. I realized that me being happy is making these decisions based off my gut feelings & my instincts. No one can feel those but me.  I've made 3 very big life decisions based off of that "feeling" and it has lead me to some amazing things, people and most importantly, the self-discovery that I've been craving. I can't even imagine not being where I am today. It makes me believe in myself a little bit more, which is something that I am constantly working on.



My brother actually inspired me to write this post today. I was simply going to avoid writing until the New Year, when I was planning on re-vamping the look and the content of the blog, since I wanted to shift the direction a little bit-- but what for? Well, for my calculated mind and for the perfectionist in me. Yes, perfection... where you're afraid to put anything out there to the world that could be imperfect because you are afraid of being judged. In order to overcome this, I needed to practice self-compassion and embrace my imperfections. Which will always be a practice for me.

So back to my brother. I woke up to a text where he shared how much he loved me and thanked me for always looking to him as a brother and not a "step-brother". He ended it with "chase your dreams, because I know you will achieve them". My heart melted & my eyes swelled up with tears. My little brother who has never fully expressed his feelings to me just shared something that I have never heard from him before.  It completely set the tone for my day. I felt supported, loved and it gave me the push that I needed to write this. How easy is it to tell someone that we support them, we love them and we are behind them? SO easy. And SO powerful. Not only did he inspire me to tell a small portion of my story, but also share with some people in my life who are going though some changes that I believe in them and support them. If I can spread that love, it will make all the difference. If you take anything away from this post, I hope it's that.

Spread the love & chase your dreams…

8.29.2013

Prevent Regret


This summer has been a time of deep exploration for me, both literally in my travels and figuratively through asking myself those tough life questions. What ARE my non-negotiables for me to live my best life and be my best self??

I have actually been dreading writing a new post since I've gotten so far away from it these past 2 months and I didn't want to be forced to write my feelings out in a public setting as I was still sorting through them. As much as I hope that I touch someone with things that I've realized and thought out, this really is a space for me to finally get it alllll out there and share (well, some of it).

Past regrets. These are things that I don't have and quite frankly don't believe in- and I'll tell you why. Every single situation that I've put myself in, good or bad, I've learned SO much from and can take something away from it and apply it to what I'm currently going though. The best thing that I could have done for myself even though it scared the shit out of me was to go to a college in New York City where I knew not one soul, besides the guys who friended me on myspace.. Oh yeah, I was one of those & I don't think I ever deleted that profile(...scary thought). Anyways, I remember the night before we took the 12 hour drive to Wagner College.. It feels like it was yesterday.. I never cried so hard in my life-based off of fear, not my sadness. I was leaving my family, my best friends, my comfort zone.. all to explore the absolute unknown. I knew that I wanted change and I'm so glad that I listened to my gut feeling & didn't bail out. I am 100% the person that I am today because I forced myself to be uncomfortable and go after what I wanted: New York accents, bright lights, a challenge, a different perspective on life & to live out my dreams.  Oh, and that guy that broke my heart over and over (and over) again- did it hurt? Hell yeah it hurt. Was it worth every single tear? At the time I definitely didn't think so and now I can say 'absolutely'. I learned so much about myself in the process.. & am continuing to do so. That is why I never regret what I choose to do, since this is what life is all about--learning & growing.

What I do regret, however,  are the things that I don't do & the chances that I don't take. I do believe in regret when I choose not to push myself, because I know that I gain so much when I do. I promise you I am getting to something here.. The past year I have been blessed with so much love, family, comfort & familiarity. Those were the things that I was looking for and I'm so happy that I had the chance to fill all of those needs, find my passions again, get back on the right track and now I can truly say that because I listened to what I needed, I am in a much better place and completely ready to start this next chapter of my life, knowing who I am, what I value & what I need to live my best life.

Things I will not compromise on: living a life filled with adventure & travel, surrounding myself with positive people who hold me accountable, honest relationships, creativity, yoga/meditation, quiet 'me' time, the water/mountains/sunshine on my face, FUN (in all shapes & sizes), being passionate in every aspect of my life, living a healthy/active lifestyle & feeling inspired by my surroundings.

As far as in a relationship.. that's an entirely different story and deserves it's own post. 

Stay tuned as my next adventure is still to be determined.. & in the works!!

Next stop, London with my bestest friends! T-one week!!


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7.08.2013

Motivational Monday: For The First Time


I shouldn't even have to think twice about this quote, however, I've been sitting here racking my brain for a solid 5 minutes (which feels like an eternity when you're sitting in complete silence). Have I completely lost my sense of spontaneity so far this summer? With my schedule being crazy as it is, I love a mapped out routine and I'm just now realizing that maybe sticking to my routine isn't really doing me any huge favors. Sure, it's great to feel organized.. & what I'm trying to figure out now is how can I be organized and expand my horizons on a whim all at the same time? Any tips??

I'll be working on changing my outlook this month. I am going to accomplish many firsts, so stay tuned. Something that I too need to remember is that when we are pushing our limits and boundaries, we find out what we are truly capable of and so much confidence is gained in those moments.

When was the last time that you had a new experience? No experience is too big or small. I personally don't feel that I can count jumping into my pool for the first time this summer since it really didn't mean that much to me...but who's to say that didn't mean something more to you?

Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! 

Here's to more firsts in our lives :) 

Alex 



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6.26.2013

Got Wood?

So I have this furniture obsession: Reclaimed wood.

When I eventually move into my own place, my goal is to try and find as many reclaimed pieces as possible. Purchasing or making furniture out of reclaimed wood is not only helping preserve our natural resources & freeing up space in our landfills, but it's a special piece of furniture that is unique to you- no two pieces can be identical. Sounds like something worth investing in if you ask me. Until then, I'm going to keep saving since I'm going to need it :)

And dreaming...









If only I had the skill (okay, let's be honest.. patience) to build these things myself!


Alex