Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Power of Imagination

When someone says imagination, what do you immediately think of? A castle with fire breathing demons and fairies flocking to the skies? Perhaps the word imagination is nothing more than a term you've coined as a fictional tale that inhabits our mind. A figment of our dreams that seems to make their way to our conscious once we awake in the morning but dissolves by lunch.

But what if this word, this concept of imagination, followed you outside the confines of your front door and lead you into your daily routine... Not instead of the logical, for this logic is necessary to perform tasks that make us functional beings, of course. Tasks like figuring out how to be on time, watching for traffic when crossing the street, budgeting our funds to support our lifestyles.

No... Imagination doesn't have to mean conjuring up a thought of distant and unreachable realities. Take a step into the minds of some of the best imagineers...

An engineer imagined a place where we could escape to so we may revive the inner child we house inside our hearts. He imagined a mouse... or rather, a sense of tangible magic that we could share in order to make our lives more connected in whimsical spirit. He imagined, and so he did...

A man imagined a world of peace and acceptance. He dreamed of equality, happiness, and a world of diminished hatred. He stood up in front of our nation, he stood up in front of the world... and shared his dreams to the masses. He imagined, and so he did...

An author worked in a coffee shop, imagining a world of witches and wizards. This world in her mind made its way to paper in order to teach us "muggles" of our own struggles between good and evil- hatred succumbing to the power of love and friendship. She imagined, and so she did...

Imagination doesn't have to be a concept of fairytales, wishes, and dreams. We, as humans, have been given the mechanics within our minds to create a world among our own in order to teach, inspire, and share. And what a waste it would be to let this power that lies in each and every one of us fade away to the dismal logistics of our conforming world. Imagine a world where imagination lead the way to our future... What is on your mind this morning? What are you imagining for tomorrow?

Oh how colorful the horizon could be if we only utilized the paints of our heart. May we never forget the power of imagination...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Quick workouts that really WORK

If you don't know me... then one thing you should learn real quick is that I love running and staying fit.

But sometimes with the rapid pace of the adult world, we always can't find the time to hang out at the gym or run for any more than twenty minutes. Too short for a workout, right?

Thanks to Pinterest, that statement is WRONG! When you have a 10 hour work day, followed by the need to run errands, Christmas shop, AND maintain sanity... a 20 minute workout can be all too accessible. My personal favorites are below. Short, sweet, and sure to make you sore the next morning... in a good way of course!

Remember to mix up cardio and weightlifting/cross training throughout your week. Just like our minds, our bodies can sometimes grow comfortable in one certain exercise if we do it over and over again... and this means less calories burned, less muscle built, and therefore less results! Pick one of these workouts and try it today. I dare you! I know I will be finishing one of these tonight, so you should too!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Momma Knows Best

A simple saying as we go into the Thanksgiving Holiday...

My mom sat down with me tonight before heading to bed and cupped my hands in her lap. I felt like a toddler on the verge of crying over spilt milk in the kindergarten lunch room. I saw her through tear-stained eyes as she said this...

"Your job is just your job. But your life is your life. Make sure you know which matters more and you'll find everything else falls into place."

Isn't it crazy, how no matter how old you get- your momma always knows best.

Getting lost in the craziness of my quarter-life-crisis seems to be all too apparent lately. But one thing is for sure... it's the holiday season which means it's time to evaluate the past and prepare for your future. But most importantly, relish in all you have in the present and give thanks to the grace of God for getting you here.

I miss my best friend who is in El Salvador- she will not be present at our annual Turkey Trot tradition for the first time in 6 years. I miss her so much, my heart hurts. I just got word that other plans I had for the future are no more, and that the significance I previously held in what I thought were priorities are now merely dissolving options... My heart is heavy, but that must mean it's full.

I need to remember... a job is just a job. A bad day is just a bad day. But this life is my life. It keeps going, and we make it all the way until the end. Better make it the best it can be while we can...

Monday, November 25, 2013

No Place Like Home

There is no place like home, especially when the weather turns cold and harsh. It's the best feeling knowing no matter how chaotic things can get in this big world, there's always a place to call home in your heart where people bring warmth and memories bring comfort.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Taking out the mind-garbage

Today is Monday, and that means the start to another week of work. But, luckily for this girl- My work week will be cut short by the start of Thanksgiving festivities and Maryland traditions. I can NOT wait until I hit the road mid-week to see my family back in the Mason Dixon state.

The thing I love most about going home is that it bring so much happiness, relief, and peace. I get to immerse myself in time with my family members (and I mean- ALL OF THEM) and this blessing is one I still cherish every single time I see that yellow, red, and black sign on the interstate welcoming me home.

With that being said, I wish to re-enter Maryland with a clean mind and tidy thoughts. So here is my mind garbage... get it out of my head and onto a page... and leave it here:

*. Is it ok to break your "Healthy Eating" habits to eat half a cup container of peppermint bark muddy buddy's? Guilty... so guilty..

*. Pink glitter phase is in full swing. Glitter on my eyes, glitter on my toes, glitter on my fingernails. Where has this girly-girl been hiding all of my life and why is she deciding to park herself here when bows and glitter are almost unacceptable accessories at the age of 23?

*. I should take out the (literal) trash this morning. But it's just finished raining... and I don't want to carry it all the way over to the dumpster with the 2% chance I could slip and fall and break my body.

*. Why am I listening to Sugar Ray right now?

*. Carrot Cake is a vegetable.... right?

*. Jessica Day is my new super hero. Take that as you will and don't judge.

*. It's only 7am on Monday and I have already listened to 2 songs by Ke$ha... dang it.

*. Heels. A love-hate relationship I am still trying to find my healthy balance with. I love to hate them or.... do I hate that I love them...


Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Letter to Me at 18- The finale of the 4

Dear 18 year old me...

You thought this final letter would never come, I bet! Well, here it is- the grand finale, the final chapter of the quartet. While this letter serves with no theme, no overall idea to take with you into the office or out on a date, it is still a very important message in which I hope you take to heart. Short and sweet, here are my final words of advice that I hope you'll take with a grain of salt and a pinch of sugar-

Take leaps of faith, the bigger the better. The landing may be rougher after some dismounts than others, but you will not fall on your face as long as you keep your head high and your heart open to new experiences.

Learn to enjoy being alone. Learn to enjoy days without breaks from human interaction. Time is time and whether you are sharing it with your closest friends, mere acquaintances, or alone, it is time that is to be savored and soaked up by simply being alive.

Enjoy your body, please. Don't compare it to magazines, Victoria's Secret catalogues, TV actresses, and even your friends on Facebook. Instead of focusing on what it looks like, work it to enable you to do amazing things. You've already built up amazing strength to jump over 5 feet, 4 inches in the high jump. You will go on to run over a couple thousand miles with the short and long runs accumulated throughout your late teens and early twenties.

Eat right, fuel a motivated and active spirit. Don't dwell on the fact that you are either pear shaped, apple shaped, strait shaped, etc... "Confident" is the best body type, and the best thing about that is the fact you get to choose that body type- so choose it and move on.

Don't ever shy away from an opportunity to strike up a conversation. Even if it's with the man sitting next to you on the plane, the girl waiting behind you in the coffee shop line, or the family browsing the supermarket aisle beside you. Human interaction is a complex, beautiful, strange, and bemusing thing. We'll never understand why, but just complimenting her hair or their children's smiles brings immense joy in many forms to you and the ones on the receiving end.

Laugh. Everyday. Notice how it makes you feel. Now, go out and make sure that you can make at least one person experience that happiness just by being in your presence. If you can make someone laugh and encourage happiness, you are doing a great service to humanity.

Learn to enjoy children. You will want them some day (don't worry- not at 23, but you will later I'm sure). Plus, they know what's going on. Their spunk, enthusiasm, perspectives, and joy are the key ingredient to a young soul- keep this young spirit within yourself. Our bodies may grow old, but you can choose to always be young at heart.

And finally- don't take life so seriously. I know this is a hard concept to grasp (I know because I am still trying to conquer this myself). But every single person on this earth is on the same team just trying to make it in this chaotic arena we call Earth. Thank God every day for your blessings, laugh off negativity, and just be you- you're the only You this planet will ever have so make your presence light, lasting, and full of life.

Until you're here sitting behind your computer, typing letters to your ghost of the past, remember you are well on your way to the rest of your life. Every step counts, every word matters, and your thoughts define you. Make them beautiful, and make them yours.

Love always-

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An Elephant You'll Love-to-Plate

As part of our Monday routine, a small group of amazingly beautiful lady friends and myself gathered around steaming mugs of chamomile tea and gabbed about the recent headlines in our week.

While chatting as the temperatures grew steadily colder outside the windows, we also took on a creative feat to design pottery with sharpies and paint. Once you add the design that's bursting from your fingertips, heat the oven to 350 degrees, place the pottery on the middle rack, and bake for 30 minutes. The design is set for life and will not fade with wash or wear.

Because of the holidays slowly approaching, I decided to prepare mine as a gift for my grandmother. Her earlier travels to Africa are always ever-so-present in her discussions and will always serve as a capstone to her 85 years on this planet. That's how Eli, the plate surfing elephant, crystalized and materialized onto porcelain.

Here's to hoping Eli finds a great home with my Meemaw come Christmas day.

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