Some Ways to Practice Self-Care & Self-Love

With everything that is going on in the world right now, it’s extremely important that we take care of ourselves and practice ways to love ourselves even more. Here are some ways I try to practice self-care and self-love.

Better Sleeping Habits:

I’ve always been someone who doesn’t sleep well at all. Ever since I was a child I was a light sleeper. I wake up easily, and it is extremely hard for me to fall asleep. In the past I typically average about 4 hours of sleep a night (crazy, I know!). Everyone used to ask how I am able to function. I think we all require different amounts of sleep, and that amount changes as we grow up. As I’m not getting any younger, I now try to make sleep a priority. I make sure that I am getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Sleep has a big role in your temperament and affects your mood and overall health and wellness.

Meditation:

Meditation contributes to self-care and self-love. The purpose of meditation is just to sit in your body and be in your body, feeling your breath, and even feeling the discomfort and pain. I’ve been having some discomfort in my knee, and to be able to just focus on my breathing helps me push through it. I just stop everything and just allow myself to be with myself. I know I’ve spoke about meditation multiple times, however there are many different types of meditation that I practice. Shower meditation, sleeping meditation, and crystal meditation. 

A Day Off from Everything to do Nothing:

Sometimes we get in our head that we have to always be productive and accomplish something otherwise the day is wasted. This is not the case, and having time to spend on doing nothing is good once in a while for healing. For me this means just sitting around, lounging, and doing nothing. In actuality you have to have a rest day to recharge and not clean the house, go to work, etc. 

Taking Better Care of My Skin:

Since I’ve still been trying to get my eczema under control, this means I am constantly making an effort to take better care of my skin. I have been trying to follow my eczema diet by not consuming dairy products, eggs, or gluten. It has been hard and 3 days out of the week I tend to slip up, but I am now consciously making more of an effort than I have ever done before. I avoid long hot showers and make sure to moisturize my skin right after I jump out of the shower (literally!). 

I’d love to hear what are some ways that you practice self-care and self-love? There are so many ways to practice self-care and self-love, these are just some of the simple ways that I practice mine. We really don’t realize the positive effects it can have on our lives by just doing some of these practical things.

Xoxo

Welcome to the Dark Side and the Importance of Shadow Work

Whether you’re trying to battle your inner-demons or have a dark shadow that seems to follow you wherever you go, the reality is we all have them. Some of us more than others. We all have a dark side somewhere deep inside of ourselves. 

If you let your “dark side”/”shadow” run wild your life can seem uncontrolled and chaotic. Classic shadow signs are anger, blame, and laziness, but it can also be expressed as insecurity, co-dependency, or even independence. These signs can manifest issues with mental health, addictions, negativity, and low self-worth; and left unchecked, these issues will begin to effect the overall quality of your life.

Disclaimer: The purpose here is to help and heal others.

Before delving further, I just wanted to include the disclaimer that I am not a mental health expert nor do I have a degree in psychology. I have read many books over the years to help me deal with some of the trauma that I have experienced in my life, and these books were on topics such as self-help, psychology, and spirituality. All of my readings have touched on the topic of dark sides, shadow work, and how it all goes together. I thought I would share more about what I have read and learned along the way so that I can help others who might be of need. 

The idea of “Shadow” was popularized and studied by Carl Jung who is a 20th Century psychologist from Switzerland. According to him, “Shadow” refers to the hidden parts of our being. These are parts of ourselves that we may try to repress because they make us feel sad or vulnerable. This is a side we often do not show others. It can also indicate how we internally perceive ourselves as “being weak,” therefore we feel the need to hide certain parts of ourselves. Jung believed in the acknowledging our full self, including the shadow side, so that we can live in a balanced way.

Learning How to Confront Your Shadow:

My shadow is the fear of being vulnerable. I often avoid certain situations whether it is in the past or present; knowing that a situation may cause me to be placed in a vulnerable position, I would do anything in my power to avoid it at all cost. I think a part of it has to do with my upbringing and how I was raised. Although I’m not placing any blame on anyone in my family or those who have raised me, I was always taught that I have to be “good” all the time and showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness. I’m thankful that I am aware of my shadows because knowing the struggles and battles we had to fight in order to succeed makes our victories all the more meaningful. As crazy as it may sound, the pain and suffering we see in the world around us are often mirrored by our internal pain and suffering. It is only in facing our difficulties that true change can be made, and the hope of peace can prevail, inside and out. 

Shadow work may seem counter-intuitive on the outside because you will have to face your pain instead of running away from it. The process works by allowing yourself to feel and understand the painful aspects of yourself, so they become fully integrated. I’ve learned that it takes courage, time, and an open heart to face your pain, but these tools learned along the way help in almost every other aspect of your life as well.

Shadow work is an introspective psychological practice that anyone can do and helps lead to a more fulfilling life. When working with your shadow, you may have a moment of spiritual awakening that lead to greater authenticity, creativity, and emotional freedom. 

Some of the benefits that I have noticed in some areas of my life included: improved relationships through understanding yourself and accepting others, overall enhanced state of well-being and mood, better communication with others, ability to set boundaries in every aspect of life, and cease the cycle of self-destruction. 

I wish that you all find your shadow and learn to work with it so we can all live a more balanced and more fulfilling life.  

Xoxo,

Tawny V

 

serene sunday

Serenity Sunday = Mediation Work

 

 

Transformation Tuesday

Good morning everyone and happy Tuesday!

This morning I woke up, made a delicious coconut and dragon-fruit smoothie after doing some meditation, and thought to myself what better way to start the day than to write down my thoughts before I head to work.

I know I have talked about toxic relationships in the past, however today I will be discussing about the toxic relationships we have with ourselves and the ones that I have had with myself. I don’t know of anyone that has a 100% healthy relationship with themselves, especially around my age. I think it’s because we’ve been trained and conditioned for so long not to. It’s very easy to fall into negative behaviors especially in how we talk to ourselves and what we think about ourselves. 

I definitely had a toxic relationship with myself. I notice that it is getting a lot better: I have so much more compassion and love for myself this year than last year. What I have noticed about myself was that I tend to hold a lot of guilt when it comes to everything. I constantly felt bad and feel everything. I have a lot of empathy for everything. For a long time I was holding those feelings in, and I would punish myself for some things that weren’t even a big deal. For instance, I would worry if I offended someone or feel guilty if I cancelled plans with someone when I felt tired or just didn’t feel up for it anymore. In the grand scheme of life it doesn’t matter, but I would hold on to that guilt and punish myself internally by sitting around and sulking in my guilt. My entire day would be ruined because of it.

Because this was a toxic trait that I recognized in myself, I forced myself to practice self- love, compassion, and grounding to remind myself of who I am and what I want. What really helped me was meditation. I know I spoke about it a few times already, but I have been able to maintain my emotional state right now. I know that meditation has helped me with cultivating and maintaining those positive emotions. Some of you have also said that I seem happier nowadays, and I could cry just thinking about the ways that I have changed my relationship with myself for the better. I’m not going to sit here and say that I am not hard on myself anymore because I still am, but now I am just more aware of it. The goal now is to correct that type of thinking, whereas before I was just on autopilot: going through the motions and unaware of my own role in the cycle. 

I have read a few great self-help books to get me through the tougher times last year. I can list and talk about some of them in another post if anyone is interested. These self-help books made me aware of how I saw and treated myself. I was beginning to see how others see themselves. Sometimes when I go to events, whether personal or for work, I sometimes feel others’ emotional energies and they’d drain me. I felt the need to protect myself and my energy because I was starting to see that it wasn’t coming from me but from those around me. I was just absorbing all of the negative energy, and I hated it. I found myself not wanting be around anyone anymore because I was afraid of their emotional and negative energy and the way it would affect me. That might sound selfish and might be selfish, but I cannot be of service to anyone if I am in need of help. I have been protecting my happiness and working hard on myself, and I am not going to risk undoing all the progress I’ve made. People who love me and support me will understand and see where I am coming from. 

There are many who will take advantage of kindhearted and happier spirits. When you have a positive aura, people will naturally gravitate towards you, even people who don’t have that same aura or intentions. They just want to take it for themselves and drain you. Most of the time they aren’t even aware of it. I feel I am a naturally kindhearted person inside, and if I sense someone is troubled I just want to help them anyway I can, even if it will hurt me in the end. I know that what it’s like to be in their shoes because I’ve been in that emotional state. I know what it feels like so I want to help people, but some people don’t want your help. I had to recognize and learn that the hard way. That brings me back to the question of “How can you help anyone when you yourself are so emotionally sensitive and fragile?” That is what I am working on, and I have come a long way but the journey goes on. 

I wish you all love and light. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and concerns. If anyone has any good book suggestions, whether it’s a novel or self-help book, please feel free to send me a message or comment!

Let us all continue to be self-aware and love ourselves a little more each day so that we can continue to love one another. 

XO,

Tawny V.

Let’s Talk About Spirituality

I have always been a spiritual person, however the stresses of the pandemic, work, and life drove me be more in tune with my spirituality. 

It’s a common misconception that you have to be a religious person in order to be spiritual.  I think that there’s no single way to be a spiritual person and that spirituality is deeply personal. It’s in the moments when you are quiet, reflective, and intentional that you become your own teacher and guide. And it is in those moments that you commune with your own higher power and answers become clear. 

You may be asking, “How can one become more spiritual?” Below are several ways you can start living your best spiritual life.

By Helping Others

We are all here on earth to help each other. Help others whenever you can. Extend a helping hand, smile at people, open up your heart!

Journaling and Manifesting

This life should include self-love, compassion, self-gratitude, and appreciation. Think about the energy of desires, hopes, happiness, dreams, and feel-good intentions. Put these thoughts and wishes down in a journal or diary, and will them into existence!

Meditation

When I was younger I loved to mediate and would attend meditation classes with my mom every Sunday at the temple. Unfortunately meditation went out the door as life happens. Many years later I would try to meditate, but I could not stay focused. My mind was everywhere! Recently however, I was able to mediate again during the quarantine months, and even now my morning ritual includes mediation. So I thank the quarantine for this. Meditation and prayer helps us to stay centered. For beginners, I would advise you to set aside at least 5 minutes of your day to meditate with the specific intention of connecting to what’s really in your heart and just focus on your breathing.   

Learn to Forgive

Forgiveness is crucial for spiritual growth, whether it is forgiving yourself or someone else. Whether we realize it or not, we hold onto so much trauma and heartbreak from our past that it affects our present if we cannot learn to forgive and move on. Decide to forgive whatever and whoever it is that is holding you back. Only you hold the key and have the power to do so. 

Patience Takes Practice

Although I am into crystals and believe in their healing properties, you don’t need to go out and start a collection to become more spiritual. It’s more about taking advantage of the opportunities all around you. For instance, you’ve ordered a coffee at Starbucks and the barista gets your order wrong. Forgive them! Be patient. Things happen in life that we cannot control. These are just the little ways you can commit to being more patient.  These small steps everyday can lighten your spirit and create more inner peace. 

Focus on Gratitude

Life isn’t always fair and we are not all dealt with the same cards and that is just reality. Sometimes that guy in your math class who never attends class somehow manages to do better than you when you studied your ass off. It happens! Or there are some women who get pregnant so easily when others cannot. Life isn’t fair. But we can’t focus on just the unfairness. What we focus on is what we will manifest. Keep being bitter and things will and can only get worse. Focus on being grateful for all of the things that ARE going well in your life. 

Listen to Your Instincts

You have to learn to be in tune with your gut feeling sometimes to make informed and intuitive decisions. Our gut feeling is often always right. Sometimes you just get a feeling that you should stay away from someone! But most often times we ignore it and ask our brain to make that decision for us instead. Take opportunities and listen deeply to what is inside of you. 

Laugh Often

Laughing is one of life’s greatest medicine. Laughing carries an energy of joy, playfulness, and happiness. I’ve always noticed that the people who live a long life often laugh more and are happier. 

Eliminate Envy

Being envious is the worst thing you can do to yourself. However, if one had said they have never experienced envy they would not be human! Spirituality and selfishness do not go together. Work on being happy for others instead of envious of their success. 

Learn to Love Yourself

We are all living beings on this earth with different beliefs, personalities, and values. We have to first learn to love ourselves before we can love another. Forgive yourself sometimes, own your quirks, and love yourself a little more each day.

 

“Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing the darkness,

but it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.

– @Messages.from.beyond, Instagram  

 

Quick Life Update!

Hi Guys and Gals!

It’s been a while since I’ve last had a chance to last blog. Well, I was able to go back to work this past month. The industry has taken a major hit, but we are back to work and just trying to pick up the pieces while staying safe. 

Our company made sure that we were all tested for COVID-19, and thank goodness I tested negative! I wasn’t surprised because I am naturally a hermit. Even with the reopening of the nail salons and malls I have surprisingly managed to stay away! I am definitely surprised and proud of myself that I have just been working and saving money as I continue to do my own nails at home. Not much has changed for me since the quarantine aside from returning to work. 

I haven’t seen my friends in a while either, but those that I am close to understand and know how I am anyway. I still do not feel safe going places, especially when there are tons of people out here with no regard for others and refuse to wear masks! I really hope that everyone continues to stay safe while living your best life so that this can all be over soon and life can continue the way it was before. 

 

 

 

 

Pandemic Stress Update: Thoughts and Concerns

valf

If  I’m not watching the news about the pandemic, I’m reading  about it. There are new developments and concerns every day regarding the Coronavirus, and it seems to be getting worse and scarier as the days, weeks, and months pass by.

I have hope that things will get better. I stay inside all of the time and only head out once a week to go food shopping with the exception of ordering something to be delivered once in awhile (hey, we have to support our local businesses during these tough times!). When I do head out to go grocery shopping I wear my DIY mask. I don’t know if it helps, but I like to believe that it is better than nothing. 

diy mask

(My Thai warrior DIY mask! Made with a T shirt and hair tie. Thanks, YouTube!) 

What is effecting me and giving me anxiety is knowing that so many people around the world are dying alone and not able to say goodbye to their families and how those who are working the front lines, our health care providers, the first-responders, are being infected and also losing their lives from this as well. It truly breaks my heart. 

I just wanted to say that I feel like it is OK to feel helpless, sad, and anxious during these difficult times. We all cope with things differently. And the pressure to be happy and positive all of the time is not necessary. I am hopeful; I try to fill my time with DIY projects, spa time, and cleaning, but some days I am not as productive and not as hopeful about the situation. I am still battling with issues and feelings I had to deal with prior to the Coronavirus and going into quarantine. We don’t heal wounds by saying this isn’t effecting us or that it doesn’t hurt because it does. Some days I allow myself to achieve, while some days I allow myself just to just exist. And I am completely OK with that. 

To those that are sacrificing so much to save so many, thank you. Also thank you to our farmers, truck drivers, grocery store employees, postal workers, bank tellers, and everyone else who are considered our essential workers and still working during these difficult times. And for everyone else I that I might have forgotten to mention, thank you too! 

To everyone else who is taking their time and reading my blog, I hope that you are well. And please continue to do your part by staying home and staying safe. 

Xo,

kitty

 

 

 

 

The Ugly Truth – Why I Stopped Blogging/Getting Personal/ What I Was Going Through

Ever since I was a child I suffered from bad eczema. For those of you who are unaware of what eczema is, it a condition that causes the skin to become inflamed, itch, and causes skin to have rough patches, become cracked, and blistering ooze can also occur. 

Over the years my mom spent countless dollars and hours to send me to the best dermatologists money could buy to try and cure my eczema. After many tears shed, a round of shots, and steroid creams I was finally cured after ten years! (Well, we thought!)

As the years went on I  was able to live life normally again. No longer did I have to make up a silly excuse time after time to friends that I couldn’t attend a beach outing or hide my skin in the summer under big loose sweatshirts and sweatpants! Those days were gone, and I never wanted to look back. EVER.

I’ve always been the type of girl who saw things through rose colored glasses, however sometimes in life we are faced with different challenges and have to go through things that crush your spirit and break your heart. Unfortunately I went through just that this past year, and what followed me during the dark times? That’s right: several major cases of hives, along with the return of eczema. 

As if dealing with personal matters weren’t bad enough, talk about adding salt to the wound! After months of crying and feeling hopeless and heartbroken I decided that I can no longer allow myself to become depressed about anything in my life anymore and this was one of them. It was time to see a dermatologist and allergist and hope for the best. It turned out that my diet and stress/trauma was causing my hives and eczema to flare up. I was given a big list of foods that I should avoid, and that list consists of gluten, dairy, wheat, eggs, and citrus fruits. For those of you who know me in real life, you know that I absolutely love and eat each of those items on a daily basis and would never follow those rules lol! 

Even after coming back from the derm and getting my pills, shots, and steroid creams, I know that I will never be fully cured and the harsh reality was if I didn’t change my mind set and diet I am going to go downhill again. This is a battle that I will constantly have but now it is time to fight. And I think after everything that I have gone through over these past few months, it’s time I start learning to love and find myself all over again.

Although healing is a process that will take time, I’m happy to report that I am in a much better head space these days and can finally start to blog again. I still have my sad moments and memories, but I am hopeful for the sunshine at the end of the rainbow. 

bdayme(1)

This picture was taken on my trip to beautiful Lake Arrow Head to celebrate my birthday Pre-Covid-19 Scare/Quarantine. Just thankful that I was able to celebrate. (Pisces baby!) 

I’m not perfect with my new eczema diet yet, and I still slip up and eat things I know I shouldn’t, but that’s OK. My life is a work in progress, and I’m just happy to be in the right mindset to be able to accept the things that aren’t perfect. We can’t control somethings that happen to us in life, but I can continue to work on my life and myself and that is all that I can do really. 

Xoxo

Livin’ the Quarantined Life

Spring has sprung and we are now all forced to live in self-isolation. Not to worry, for someone who’s lifestyle consists of mostly being “quarantined” allow me to suggest some ideas!

MCQuarantine

Learn Something New:

Yes, sure you can binge watch all of your favorite shows on Netflix during your time in quarantine, and believe me I have had my share of Unusual Suspects marathons. But you can also use this time to learn something new. Nothing like being productive and doing something that can be beneficial towards life after the quarantine is up, right? What I did was try to learn how to cook! I am guilty of being lazy and always ordering food from restaurants via DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates! You name it, I have ordered it. I took this time to really improve myself. I found my new project, ordered my measuring cups via Amazon, and got to browsing simple recipes that I could try that catered to my budget and my taste buds. I will post some of the new simple recipes I have learned for those interested.

Rearrange/Organize Your Space:

If you are starting to feel anxious or depressed get lost in reorganizing your closet. Although my closet is pretty unorganized and hectic most days, this is the perfect chance I have to reorganize and rearrange my clothes. I even forgot about some of the clothes I had! I gathered up some clothes that I can no longer wear (damn holiday weight) and set them aside for friends I know would love them, some I can donate, and some to sell via the Poshmark app. I might even add a link of my Poshmark here if anyone wants to  shop great deals from my closet! 

Meditation:

I used to mediate often when I was younger, when I didn’t have to face any real life problems or heartaches. As I got older, I found it so hard to just close my eyes and breathe. Dealing with a lot of anxiety can really mess with your mind, so before bed, or whenever you can find 10 – 15 minutes in your day, try to close your eyes and just focus on your breathing. I like to hold my crystals and focus on my breathing while I listen to relaxing spa-like music when I am trying to meditate. Not only is mediation relaxing, it is also great for your mental health. If I am sad, anxious or need answers to things I try to meditate, and afterwards I find that I have am more calm, have more clarity, and my thoughts come together a little bit better. 

Although things seem scary and uncertain right now, don’t let it get in the way you enjoy and live your life right now when trying the tips above! How has the Coronavirus affected you? What have you been doing to stay occupied? I would love to hear new ideas and suggestions from you!