Tag Archives: Choices

Dancing Through Life

If you live anywhere on the east coast, lately you’ve experienced crazy thunderstorms complete with heavy rain, bright strikes of lightening and overall miserable conditions. It’s hard when it’s gloomy out to keep a positive attitude, much like it’s hard to be happy when life throws you curve balls. How do you keep moving forward when life drags you down?

Recently, I saw a quote that read, “Happiness is a choice, choice it.” Even when life downright sucks and nothing is going right, we all have the ability to choose to be happy. We can make the decision to see the glimmers of hope instead of being negative. I can attest that it is extremely difficult to stay positive, to look at the glass half full. I’ve been trying hard lately to stay positive through some challenging family situations that I could allow to affect my happiness. But what good does that do for anyone involved if I’m miserable?

When things don’t go right, absolutely allow yourself the momentary second (or more) to grieve, be angry, cry or feel bad for yourself. All of those emotions are probably valid and totally normal. But don’t get stuck there! Despite your hard situation, it could always be much worse. The situation that provides the most discomfort will be the one that teaches you the most.

You might have seen my post about Zumba and how it’s changed my life. Dancing and music have amazing benefits to both people’s physical and mental health. Next time life brings you down, find your favorite song and dance it out. You might need a couple of songs to cheer you up but I promise it will. I also suggest singing at the top of your lungs while dancing.

Below is a song from the musical Wicked titled Dancing Through Life. All of the characters face different obstacles but the song, sung by the charming Fiyero, proclaims “It’s just life, so keep dancing through.” Sometimes bad things happens that shake us to our core, but that’s no reason to stop dancing! No one said it would be easy, but it will be worth it.

Paula’s Past Shapes Her Future

Language and communication impact our lives every day, in both positive and negative ways. The words we use shape our personal brand as well as our relationships. There is no better example this statement then Paula Deen. Within the last month, Deen has gone from Food Network icon to a racist tyrant who demeans her employees. How did this star fall from grace so quickly?

It started when Deen told a prosecutor that she had used the “N” word before. Since she was under oath, one would assume that she was telling the truth. The firestorm then began, with people researching exactly when Deen used the derogatory term throughout her lifetime. A couple of suspected instances from her past came up and quickly she was labeled as a racist. Endorsements disappeared and The Food Network cancelled her show, despite her pleading video apologies to fans and a tearful appearance on The Today Show. Paula Deen’s career as she knows it, is over.

No one should use derogatory terms, regardless of their status as a celebrity or otherwise. Paula Deen is no exception to this statement. However, it appears that this woman’s past is being brought up and her entire reputation is being dragged through the mud. The word she used sounds like it is being taken out of context. Now, let me make this clear: I am not condoning her use of the word or using the word at all. But, in the situation she was in, being held at gunpoint, could anyone blame her for using the word?

We all can sit and speculate if Paula Deen has used the “N” word or other offensive terms in her lifetime. But, she told the truth on the stand that day. She deserves some credit for that. Now, her entire career and life have completed changed, for one alleged mistake that happened 30 years ago. If your life was examined, would you be proud of every word choice you’ve made?

Regardless of what Paula Deen has said or done, the bottom line is your past can come back to haunt you. As a young adult, the actions I take today can and will affect me tomorrow. That is the lesson we all should learn from Paula Deen’s current situation. The words and language we use to communicate whether professionally or in joking around will be judged by others. Words you find inoffensive can potentially bother someone else. If using such a word is questionable in your mind, then just don’t say it.

Unfortunately, Paula Deen learned this lesson the hard way. But, for the rest of us, it is a shining example of how the way we choice to communicate can impact us in the future. Below is Deen’s interview from The Today Show. Do you think she is telling the truth?

Motivation Mondays: Being Intentional

Have you ever playing solitaire on your computer or cell phone? Do you notice what the game keeps score of after you’ve finished? You’ll see your score, the time it took you to complete the game and how many times you when through the card desk. In essence, it keeps track of how many times we drew each card. So, your time and score aren’t the only things that matter. How many times you choose a new card also factor in to your score.

Why am I talking about solitaire this morning? Because when I was playing the game, I thought about just tapping the next card to see if it belonged anywhere. You forget the game keeps track of that. In the same way, sometimes we say or do things just because without actually understanding why we did them. We do these things unconsciously and do not understand the implications of these actions. We aren’t being intentional with our choices.

Think about the last special thing someone important did you for you. You cherished it because it was special and solely for you, right? What if everyone person you passed on the street said “I love you?” Those three words would completely lose their meaning. When you act with intention, those actions become more meaningful, not only for those impacted by them but also for you. Acting with intention also makes you consider your decisions rather than coasting through life, going through the motions.

Everyone gets one shot have making their life all it can be. The choices we make shape our journeys. These choices should be made with intention and reason, just because someone else wants us to. I’m not saying don’t be spontaneous, but live for yourself. When faced with a choice, think about the decision that will make you most happy, that is best for you at that moment. Don’t just tap the card in the solitaire game. Don’t just randomly pick a path. Live with intention.

 

Motivation Mondays: One Day You Will

I don’t like gray area. Either it’s right or wrong, no ambiguity, no in betweens. I guess you can say I am an extremist. I go one way at 100 miles per hour. When I pick a route, I become overly dedicated to it and usually don’t factor in changing paths or directions. You could see how this mindset might present a few problems.

Life has a way of making other plans, throwing curveballs into my perfectly defined path. For a while, those curveballs would send me into a tailspin. I was (and still sometimes am) inflexible and became very irritated when things didn’t go the way I planned. That deal sort of worked in high school, but for college, it wouldn’t do. It became especially true when I started my job as a Resident Assistant in one of Temple’s residence halls. Plans would be changed constantly, schedules would have to be flexible and so on. Thanks to this experience, I started embracing the gray area that filled my life.

For me, trying not to live in any shade was the hardest part. The choice shouldn’t be black, white or gray. It was just a choice I had to make. Some were small, others were more important. I focused so much time on defining how extreme my choice was that I didn’t actually focus on the positive aspects of the decision I was making. Gray area means uncertainty and that scares me. But, every choice comes with some level of uncertainty. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable with uncertainty since sometimes, it leads to great experiences.

I am a huge country music fan (sorry!) and look to music to motivate me. Thanks to a good friend, I came across a Lady Antebellum song that helped me embrace the gray area in my life. One Day You Will brings a message of hope for the future and that every decision has a silver lining. Enjoy the song below and share your thoughts with me! Happy Monday!

This Is My Now

Happy 2013! I apologize for the brief hiatus but the holidays got the better of me and I slacked off. Like most everyone else, I am jumping on the bandwagon and writing a post about what I want in 2013. So here it goes.

I have written down New Year’s resolutions since I was a child. My parents believe in setting goals and achieving them throughout the year. So it makes sense that I am the same way. Every year, there is a lofty list of things I want to accomplish, places I want to see and certain memories I want to create. It’s not a bad idea but this year will be different. This year is about a mindset.

I’ve done some pretty amazing things in my life so far. From jumping off a 30 foot bridge in Spain to meeting my favorite Major League Baseball player, I have lived out every bit of my 22 years. While I do make a conscious effort to live life to the fullest, I don’t always necessarily live life for myself. I’d like to think I am a selfless person, always willing to do for others, especially people I care about. I am proud of this part of my personality and truthfully, there’s nothing I enjoy more than making people happy. I don’t want to ever change that but 2013 is going to be more about balance.

While in California, I heard Jullien Gordon speak. He is known as the International Innerview and spoke about making intentional choices. He described life as a vehicle that only you can drive; you are the creator of your own destiny and the only one in charge of your happiness. I am currently reading Jullien’s book so expect an update post about that. Anyway, his core message of intentionality and purposeful decisions really stuck with me. My goal for 2013 is to put myself first and have a meaningful reason behind every small or grand decision I make.

I know I sound a bit selfish, but I need to choose a path that will make me happy, not others around me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all must make decisions that benefit others more than ourselves. However, in 2013 and hopefully in many years to come, Alex is going first. I want to live this concept out in all areas of my life and hope those most important to me understand my shift in attitude. By making meaningful choices, I really do believe I will be happier and will live a more satisfying life. Expect updates about my new perspective for 2013 and please share with me your thoughts on my resolution.

Below is the song that inspired the title of this post.

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