The Liebster Award

Hello my fellow bloggers!  The blogging community sure is very motivating and generous.  What an honor it is to have been nominated for The Liebster Award!  I was nominated by the lovely and talented Jirah at http://writingsbyjm.com, she is great and writes about so many different topics, you never know what will be posted next!  Thank you Jirah for your nomination and for sharing your great work with us!

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Rules:

  1. Thank the person that nominated you and put a link to their blog
  2. Answer the questions given to you
  3. Nominate 2-6 bloggers and notify them of their nomination
  4. Create 11 new questions, or use the same ones below

Questions I was Asked:

  1. How would you describe your blogging journey in three words? Exciting, joyful, and motivating.
  2. What do you love most about blogging? I love to share my life lessons and experiences in hopes to help others.
  3. How long does it take you to compose a blog post? I actually write out all of my blog post drafts by hand, then I type them up on my laptop.  From start to finish, depending on the topic, and including editing, it typically takes me about 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Imagine visiting your 7-10 year old self, what would be his/her advice/message to your current self? Be yourself and go with the flow.
  5. What is one thing that you learned during this time of quarantine? That things could always be worse.  I am reminded how precious life is and how fast it can change.
  6. Coffee or tea? I love both, but I am definitely not a daily drinker, I drink them as a treat.  I adore iced coffee so much, or even a hot cup during the winter months and I am in love with black tea and also bubble tea.
  7. What are three things that you are grateful for today? God’s blessings, my life, and my loved ones.
  8. When you are feeling down, what do you do to cheer yourself up? I go for a walk in nature, take a hot bath, go for a drive, and have some chocolate!
  9. What’s one habit you want to break and why? My habit of worrying so much and being anxious, it really gets you nowhere!  I wish that I could be more relaxed.
  10. What is your dream destination? Barbados!  I am in love with the beauty of this pear-shaped island!
  11. What language would you like to learn? I already know Spanish, but I would like to learn it fluently, it is a beautiful language.

My Nominees:

Questions for Nominees (Used Originals):

  1. How would you describe your blogging journey in three words?
  2. What do you love most about blogging?
  3. How long does it take you to compose a blog post?
  4. Imagine visiting your 7-10 year old self, what would be his/her advice/message to your current self?
  5. What is one thing that you learned during this time of quarantine?
  6. Coffee or tea?
  7. What are three things you are grateful for today?
  8. When you are feeling down, what do you do to cheer yourself up?
  9. What’s one habit you want to break and why?
  10. What is your dream destination?
  11. What language would you like to learn?

Please don’t feel obligated to participate, it’s only if you would like to, just know that I admire your work!  Thank you again Jirah for this lovely nomination.  Let’s keep spreading love and motivation to our blogging community!

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A Blessing and a Curse

Some of you may have heard of a trait that some people have, it’s known as HSP (Highly Sensitive Person.) I have this trait and have had it for most of my life and I can tell you one thing, it is for sure both a blessing and a curse. In some ways being an HSP helps in life and in other ways it makes life a lot more challenging.

I remember being a very sensitive person pretty much my entire life. I am not really sure how I got this way and I never really understood it until I was in college many years ago in a Psychology class and we took a fun quiz on empaths. I remember this day so clearly because I had scored the max possible points, which put me in the category of an HSP. I was the only one in the class that had an empath score so high. The quiz was almost like a personality test. I remember my professor encouraging me to research this topic further…and I did just that. It was then that I understood this trait that had been with me my entire life.

HSP’s have several distinct qualities that can help one recognize being an HSP in themselves, or others. People with the HSP trait are highly in tune with their surroundings. They pick up energy from their environment and from other people. HSP tend to be very deep thinkers and they feel emotions and thoughts very strongly, even sensing them from other people. These individuals require a lot of alone time and down time as they feel like they are always “on.”

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The positives of being an HSP is that it really helps you relate to others. Often HSP’s can know how someone is feeling before they even say anything. Another positive is that it really helps you take in each experience and experience life as a whole, life seems to take on a deeper purpose and meaning. Being an HSP can also facilitate communication as they tend to pick up on what is and what is not being said, they absorb many non-verbal ques from others.

There are definitely downsides to being a Highly Sensitive Person. We often require down time and a quiet environment because being an HSP drains a lot of energy. HSP’s become overwhelmed easily and do not typically do well with a lot going on at one time. Having this trait makes you worry about other’s feelings and analyze more, it also means you feel emotions deeper, both good and bad.

For me, though there are positives, being an HSP is quite exhausting. I often feel overstimulated and exhausted. I wish that I was not so sensitive, it is a battlefield of the mind and heart, but it is part of who I am and I will embrace it. We all have traits about ourselves that we like and don’t particularly like, but we are who we are for a reason and the best solution is to work with what you have and just live the best life that you possibly can!

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Left Unsaid

Communication is the basis of all human relationships and human interactions in general. When we communicate with others, we do so verbally and non-verbally. Sometimes it’s the non-verbal cues that give more meaning than what is actually being said. We have the choice to say as much, or as little as we want to, but sometimes leaving the important things left unsaid has the potential to create many problems.

Some things are better left unsaid, this includes anything that someone might take offense to, anything unkind, or hurtful should not be said. There are other instances where speaking up and saying what is on your mind and in your heart is vital and could make or break relationships that you have with other people.

I have gotten better with time, but I am guilty of not always sharing what I should be. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely stand up for myself, maybe a little too much sometimes, but I do struggle with sharing what’s on my mind with others and I have ended up in some bad situations because of it. Communication really is key and is highly valuable and important. Every situation where we feel like we have not done all that we could have, or we feel that we could have approached the issue in a better way, helps us grow and learn.

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We may be afraid to say certain things to others for many reasons. We might be afraid of judgement, rejection, hurting people’s feelings, we may fear losing someone, when in actuality we may lose them to not communicating our needs and wants effectively. Not speaking from your heart and trying to cover up, or ignore issues only leads to resentment and relationships can quickly spiral down from there.

When we say what is bothering us, or what is on our minds, we free ourselves. It is a heavy weight to carry something unsaid around with you, it weighs on your mind and heart. So many of life’s issues and situations can be solved with effective communication.

Like I mentioned before, some things are better left unsaid, but others are not. If there is something weighing on you, something you can’t get out of your mind, something that has put distance between you and a loved one, it’s never too late to try to mend, or make a relationship better. Don’t leave anything important to you left…unsaid.

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Ways to Be There for a Friend

One of life’s greatest treasures is that of a true and loyal friend. They are few and far between, we are truly blessed when we do come across genuine friendship. These true friendships are rare and priceless and we should do whatever is in our power to grow and maintain them.

Friendships, like any relationship, take a lot of work to keep them going. Life throws many things at us and when a friend of ours is in need, that is where we can step in and help. There are many ways to be there for a friend, or any loved one for that matter:

Communicate – Reach out to your friend and ask them questions to let them know that you are interested in knowing how they are doing and what they are going through. A simple “Hello, how are you?,” or “I am thinking of you,” can mean the world to someone.

Listen – The act of just being there for someone and listening to what they have to say makes others feel valued and cared for. Let them do most of the talking unless they ask for advice etc. Just providing a listening ear works wonders in helping someone talk out their feelings.

Humor – Depending on the situation, using your sense of humor may, or may not be appropriate. If it is, bring up some old funny memories, send some funny memes, or jokes, keep your friend smiling and laughing. It’s a mood booster for everyone!

Explore – Get out in nature, or go explore the town with your friend. Being in a new environment and having distractions can be very helpful, also being in the sun and fresh air are definite mood boosters. Grab lunch, or coffee and just take a stroll and admire nature’s beauty.

Gifts – This doesn’t have to be anything big, a simple card, flowers, box of chocolate, something that the other person enjoys is bound to bring a smile to their face. Just the act of giving and surprising someone can make them feel valued and loved. It is the small things in life that have the biggest meaning.

Touch – Human touch is unbelievably powerful and can truly counteract some very devastating emotions. Some people don’t like others in their personal space, so be mindful of this, but if they are comfortable with you, reach out and give them a warm hug, hold their hand, put your arm around them. Touch is very comforting.

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As you get to know your friend more and more, you will be able to judge what is the best plan of action to take should they need a pick-me-up. It is important to remember that people cope with emotions and life in different ways and different stages, sometimes someone may need to have time alone before they are accepting of help and love from others. I have learned that the hard way a few times, it’s hard not to take it personally when you are trying to be there for someone and they are not very accepting of it. Feel out the other person’s mood and use that as a guide.

As you can see, there are many ways to be there for a friend. When friendship is balanced, they will also in turn be there for you! The beauty of true friendship is knowing that you both will always be there for each other.

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Going with the Flow

I have a little pocket calendar that I use to keep track of important dates, events, appointments, etc.  I look at it often to see what is going on for the week, I don’t typically rely on a calendar so much, but during these times with so many changes and things going on, I can’t keep my mind straight!  What has surprised me, especially in the last few months, is how many changes I have made to my calendar…this led me to write about an important topic.

Over the last few months ever since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, I have found myself erasing many plans out of my pocket calendar, not only that, I have found myself needing to add unexpected events to my calendar as well.  This happens of course in general, because life is ever-changing, however even more so in the last several months.  I think we all realize how much life changes, but having the “proof” right there in front of you is very eye-opening.

I have always been the kind of person that loves to have a routine and to have things planned out.  I know that some people are very go with the flow and they like adventure and spontaneity, and while I enjoy these things occasionally, if I don’t have a stable routine and plans laid out, I become very unsettled and anxious.

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One thing that I have learned is that we can plan all we want, but life is going to unfold as it should regardless of the plans that we make.  Life can change for us in a matter of seconds, hours, days, it is always evolving and although we have control over many aspects of our lives, we don’t for others.  I suppose this constant change makes life interesting, keeps us on our toes, and helps us grow as a human being.

One thing for sure, one good and very helpful quality to have is being able to just take it easy and go with the flow.  When things don’t work out as planned, I still tend to get anxious and disappointed by it, but I am learning to be more patient and to remind myself that if something does, or does not happen, that it was just meant to be that way.  It’s not easy, but try just going with the flow and see how that can bring peace to your life.

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