New blog coming this week.

If you haven’t had the chance, get out and read Feck Perfuction by James Victore. I’ll be posting a blog about it later this week.

Reflectionships Episode Six Show Notes

Check out Aalia here on her website: http://relationshipsunsugarcoated.com/ where you can pick up a copy of her book.

Also available via Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle.

Follow Aalia on Instagram @aalia_unsugarcoated

If you are a woman who is a victim of domestic abuse, please click through to these links for resources to help you escape your situation.

Canada: https://crcvc.ca/links/
United States: https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/get-help/state-resources

Reflectionships Epsiode 3 & 4 Show Notes

These are totally late, but I don’t have much to add. If you haven’t listened to episodes 3 & 4 of the podcast, you can check them out here on iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, and Spotify.

While episode three rounded out the story of how Gaspare and I met, episode four got pretty intense as we started to look into some of our negative core belief structures. Chantalle takes you on a journey to identify your core beliefs by looking back into subconscious thoughts and memories.

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem, listen to episode four of the podcast and take a look at this worksheet that will help you chronicle and begin to challenge some of your beliefs.

Books that I can recommend for dealing with depression and anxiety include:

The Generalized Anxiety Disorder Workbook – This pal saved my life and gave me a lot of great tools that I use regularly to combat anxiety and chronic worry. Definitely worth a look.

Mind Over Mood – This is a workbook as well, and I just started going through it. It’s geared mostly towards those who suffer with depression, but it’s a really great course that focuses on positive core beliefs and being mindful of how we structure our criticism.

Also, don’t forget to watch this excellent Tedtalk by BrunĂ© Brown about the importance of vulnerability in our lives, and how sharing our feelings is a strength rather then a weakness.

 

#ResetSaturday – Reclaiming Your Mental Health

As someone who has been fighting with depression and anxiety for the vast majority of their adult life, I fought with self-improvement for a long time. It seemed like so much “self-help” that I grew up with found deep roots in criticism. Criticism is deeply triggering for me, and often leaves me feeling exhausted and morose.

It staggers me when I see people who can take it in stride and swiftly implement changes. I am not one of those people.

When I began to realize that my fear of criticism was leaving me in arrested development, I knew I needed to approach it in a way that was self-driven and motivational. So, for the past few months, I’ve been trying something a little different.

#ResetSaturday.

What does that mean to me? It means doing whatever I need to do to reestablish my truth – to motivate me back into my optimum head-space so that I can lay out another productive week.

But I don’t fill myself with empty promises, or structure myself with rewards. I don’t go to the spa, or treat myself lavishly. I don’t treat myself to junk-food, or subdue my anxious mind with a few glasses of wine.

#ResetSaturday is not about taking it easy and patting myself on the back. It’s a period of serious reflection where I ask myself a bunch of tough questions to refocus my determination.

Here’s a list of questions for you to take some time and ask yourself today to reflect back on your week and readjust for the week ahead.

  1. What were my successes?
  2. Did I fail to achieve to the standard I hold myself to?
  3. Do these standards need to change, or does my work ethic need to change?
  4. Was I at all disappointed with my hustle this week?
  5. Did I express joy in my work?
  6. Did I give people enough of my time this week? Who needs more from me? Who needs less?
  7. What did I say “Yes” to that I should have said “No” to? What did I say “No” to when I should have said “Yes”?
  8. Have I forgiven myself for where I went wrong this week?
  9. Have I expressed self-respect for all the things I did right?
  10. Am I expressing gratitude for all of the incredible things I have done and are capable of doing?
  11. Am I procrastinating/hesitating around hurdles in my work? Do I have someone in my life who can help/teach me?

The most important aspect of #ResetSaturday is that it comes from a place of self-love. I don’t ask myself these questions because I’m a disappointment who is looking to point at my failures.

I am taking this time to reestablish discipline because being productive makes me feel strong.

I am taking this time to recalibrate my direction because I can only continue my journey if I know where I’m going.

I am taking this time to reinvigorate my spirit because my body and mind can not do the work if my heart and my soul can not answer the call.

#ResetSaturdays ensures to me that next Saturday, I will be stronger than I am today and gives me pause to measure that growth.

How do you “Reset” for the new week?

What is this, and why am I doing it?

I’ve been creating blogs since the dawn of the social internet, and let me tell you, there’s been a bunch of them: personal blogs, comic book blogs – hell, I even ran a gonzo journalism based blog while I was in college. Thing is, I never really stuck with them. I was young and became easily disenfranchised about what it meant to be successful or even just good at something. No one was reading, and so why was I writing? It’s really easy to look around the social internet and see a bunch of people reaching even MORE people. That’s what I wanted, but the idea of building an audience (or tribe, as we now refer to it in the social space) seemed daunting and impossible.
My feelings were a very strange combination of egotism (“I think I’m thoughtful and amazing and everyone should listen to me!”) and an extreme lack of outward confidence (“Why doesn’t anyone want to listen to me? Am I not as thoughtful and amazing as I thought?”). If I was so cool, if my ideas were worth listening to, if my art was beautiful, and if there were SO MANY people in this internet sphere, where were they? Why weren’t they listening to me?
And most importantly: Why did I need their validation?
The adage: ‘if you build it, they will come’ was sounding more an more like bullshit every day, and suddenly I could feel myself giving up. Before I realized it, it had been years before I had started anything new and it was deeply depressing. I was always starting little projects and granted, they never went anywhere, but I was happier having started them then I was when I wasn’t working on anything.
So, I decided that I wanted to invest my time, energy and yes, even some money, into starting a project and actually seeing it through. But what would it be? If it was going to be a personal project, then it should probably be something that speaks to me and works with who I am as a person.
Earlier this year, I started painting. I began producing abstract work, and started actually getting some attention for it. I sold a few pieces, and I began to feel even better – not just because I was making money (though that was nice), but rather because I felt validated in my interests and passions, and began to feel like maybe, just maybe, if I put in the work then I could make an impact after all.
That’s all we want in life, isn’t it? We want to feel like we’ve lived a meaningful life – that we’ve had an impact on others.
But I wasn’t a painter or an artist, or certainly that wasn’t ALL I was. I wanted to be more. I wanted to be a lifeline for others. I wanted to make people laugh. I wanted to help people through the hard parts of their lives. I wanted to help people learn. I wanted to see more people achieve this feeling of personal validation.
It’s hard to do that with just abstract art, but as I sat and compiled my skill set, I realized that I could do a whole lot more if I was willing to put in the work.
I didn’t even really know what I was doing until my a good friend of mine watched as I gave a garbled explanation of my project to a mutual friend of ours. in an effort to save me, she said:
“She’s starting a ‘Lifestyle Brand’.”
Such clarity!
I suppose I was. I mean, after all I did have these big ideas and plans that covered a bunch of different topics on several different platforms. So, that’s what I’ve decided to do!
It’s going to look a little different then most of the other “lifestyle brands” you see out there. I’m not going to sell you anything, or take pictures of the ocean with my laptop in the foreground. I’m not going to take pictures of cups of coffee on marble counters, to tell you about my favourite beauty brands. There’s plenty of that out there, and I’ll leave to to those who have a more cooler aesthetic then I do.
I want you and I to be friends. I want you to get to know me and I want to get to know you. If you think I suck, well that’s OK! Move along and have a great day. But, I get real joy for helping others to not take things so seriously, and to really get as much as they can out of life. If I can help you do that, even for just one day: Mission Accomplished!
Along with this blog (that will be updated regularly), I’ve started making videos, which are focused on self-care, mental well-being, sharing inspiration and motivation to enjoy life and be happy – think of it as going on my adventures with me! I’m also starting a few different podcasts focused on building relationships, whether they be professional, romantic, or deep friendships. Essentially, I want to create an online space and community which focuses on optimism, inclusion, expression, relationships, self-acceptance and positivity as a philosophy.
I want YOU to join ME as we work together to improve our lives and the lives of those who surround us. I want us to explore the aspects of our lives that are difficult and work hard with an emphasis on kindness (to ourselves and to others), to reach our desired outcomes.
Think of all this as my love letter to life! Come with me as we figure out business, fitness, nutrition, mental betterment, positive mindsets, creativity, relationships, and lets laugh our butts off while we do it.
I’d love it if you keep close tabs of this blog my adding it to your bookmarks or following me on my social platforms (all the links are in the upper right hand corner for your browser window). You’ll be seeing a lot more in the coming weeks as we get started.