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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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boring

Change It UP!

When our routines become overly familiar, life can feel painfully monotonous; bland, like a meal lacking some serious seasoning and a little bit of jalapeño pepper, (I like it spicy).

We can add a dash of flare to our day to day grind by making small changes that can lead to big discoveries and new experiences.

I always walk the same route when going to the gym, for instance. Yesterday, by spontaneity, I decided to turn right just one street before I normally do. I’ve never walked down that block before. As I’m walking down this new path, waving my head back and forth to the funky beat of some dubstep, I suddenly see a colorful sign that reads “fresh smoothies.” I FREAKING LOVE SMOOTHIES! I’ve lived in the area for a little over 2 years and did not know that down this block there existed a lovely little smoothie store that offers freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies! This small change in my routine allowed me to discover this cute spot that I can now buy delicious drinks from. I couldn’t be more excited. I walked into the smoothie store after my productive workout and purchased a refreshing, freshly squeezed beet, carrot, apple, and ginger juice! It was great! I walked home with a foot sized smile painted across my face as I joyfully slurped my juice.

This is what I’m talking about! Small changes in your every day routine that may bring you opportunities and experiences to shake up the old and birth the new.

I challenge you to take a new route!
I challenge you to wear your hair in a different style! I challenge you to wear a bold color you’d normally not wear! I challenge you to walk into a random restaurant and order something from the menu! I challenge you to start a conversation with a stranger!
I challenge you to make at least one small change in your routine!

Change it up! You’ll be amazed at how little changes can make your day, and ultimately your life, so much more exciting.

Have fun!

The Extraordinary Ordinary

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in?” – Unknown

Much of our life is made up of ordinary moments. Eating, brushing our teeth, walking, cleaning, sleeping, bathing, running errands, taking out the trash, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, driving the kids to school, doing homework, and on and on and on.
The bigger, less ordinary, moments in life like getting married, reaching the top of your career, graduating college, moving across country, buying your dream home, among other grand achievements, happen with less frequency. When we live our entire life neglecting ordinary moments because our mind is too busy chasing after peak moments, we fail to enjoy the entirety of our life experience. Like a hamster running on a wheel, we fervently chase, chase, chase the next moment because right now, just as we are, is not quite enough.

All too often I catch myself feeling frustrated because right now my apartment is too small. Right now, I have debt to still take care of. Right now, I am not at the top of my career. Right now, I am not exactly where I wish I were. So what do I do? I spend time neglecting my ordinary moments chasing after the next moment. I beat myself up and don’t feel good in the here and now. This state of mind blocks me from seeing the beauty in the ordinary. It inhibits me from realizing that although I am not yet experiencing the bigger, more defining moments of my life, it does not mean that my life isn’t already big and momentous in and of itself in the present.

Each day, I realize more clearly how important it is to my wellbeing to simply enjoy the journey without getting worked up about the destination. Life is not about chasing moments, though it’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of chasing. It is easy to get stuck in not feeling enough because right now you are just not there yet. The funny thing is, there is no there – there is only, always, here and now. It is always in the now moment that we will experience anything, ever. To live a happy and satisfied life, we must carry happiness and satisfaction with us in both the everyday standard moments as well as the bigger more rewarding moments. If we place our happiness on any future desire then most of our days will be gloomy because we will always have more average days than peak days. We will always be waiting for happiness to happen in some future time while our present suffers. It is in the here and now that we have to find our joy. It is in the ordinary that we have to see the extraordinary. It is in taking out the trash, washing the dishes, walking the dog, driving the kids to school, brushing our teeth, washing our hands, doing the laundry, walking to work, and all the other little things that we have to participate in with joy. The joy we experience in the extraordinary is the same joy we can carry with us when experience the ordinary. Life will be joyous not just because of the great things you will achieve, but it will be joyous because YOU in and of yourself are great and joyous. Feel it! 🙂

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