Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rest for the Weary

"Give yourself credit. You've got a big heart, you've made it through this far, and you are always, always, always stronger than you think." - Brendon Burchard
I broke mentally this past week.

And honestly, I knew it was coming, but I pretended it wasn't happening as my task list is so long, I didn't have time to acknowledge a mental break in my life.

But that's the funny thing about our minds. It doesn't give a rat's ass if you ignore it or not. It's going to take a break if it's reached the point where it can no longer take your shit. And that, my friends, is where I landed Thursday evening.

At first, I did my best to not acknowledge what was happening, but as the night wore on and I became more and more withdrawn, I had to stop and figure out what was happening. Even then, I battled it, refusing to give in and continuing to push myself to the max.

You see, the past two months I've been on a determined and focused journey, pushing against my own limits and defying them, rising up this monstrosity of a mountain. I've had my Rise And Conquer project going full steam ahead, pressing forward with my writing projects, and working non-stop at my day job as a Buyer. Not to mention everything that's needed to keep myself healthy, along with taking care of my family and home.

I've loved every minute of it and riding on cloud nine has been my viewpoint for the majority of these past two months. And quite frankly, when my mind was having its "fuck you" moment, I was doing the same to it, as I didn't want to stop the ride that I was flying on.

Until it started to affect the ones around me.

I paused.

And shifted.

Really diving into WHY I was experiencing this downfall. And when I woke this morning, I knew. I had literally shoved myself off the edge and my mind was exhausted. It was why I couldn't think clearly the past few days. It was why I felt twisted into a knot, overwhelmed by all my sudden responsibilities.

I had become so consumed by the end goal, that I forgot about the journey. My meditations had been lacking, I was less present during my workouts and overall life, my writing was suddenly difficult to put onto paper, and my family was seeing it, even though I was determined to deny it.

I was forgetting that I have a relationship with my body and in order for us to work well together, I deserve to honor all the boundaries, including my own.

Today I rested. I meditated. Soaked in a hot bath. Listened to some gentle music. Pulled out my Shaman drum and connected with my source. And although I still feel low, my soul is calm. And I'm stronger. Tomorrow I'll rise up again, ready to take on my tasks, goals, and dreams with a reminder to honor myself and the body that houses me.

For those of you who are reading this, what do you do in those times where you are mentally falling? Do you remember to stop? Or does it take some time to grasp onto your circumstances?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rise And Conquer Project - Months 5 & 6

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
I'm still at it, despite my lack of blogging these past two months. My project hasn't flitted from my mind for more than a day, here and there and I've continued to work on myself, even though the exhaustion from my long days of working and being a mother, partner, chauffeur, cook and writer have nearly convinced me to quit.  I've persevered, despite my failures, which was one of the many reasons I began this journey.

September was a bit of a joke 😏  I had every intention to work on "Communication" as my goal that month, but I didn't focus as much as I needed.  Because of my failure for most of the month, I decided to make it a two month project and after all my work, I think my coworkers and family are delighted I did!  Maybe... hopefully...

The end of September and the entire month of October, I made it a point to communicate clearly and purposefully, giving power to my voice and to those around me.

If you read my last blog post, you would know that my intention, at that time, was to be less reactive.  And I believe I conquered that goal, even through the month of September.  It was tough and I definitely had to remind myself that it was better to take a lot of deep breaths, then sputter obscene replies that I would've regretted once I'd cooled off.

I chose to change my emotions in the moment.  It might seem impossible, as I used to think, but when I paused, took a few deep breaths, I was able to shift the energy and internally change the way I was feeling.  It's a work in process, but every day that I'm able to control my emotions, instead of the other way around, is a day of victory in my life.

Listening was another part of my communication goals.  I have a habit of listening with the intent of responding, instead of just hearing what others have to say.  Sitting back and hearing their words, watching their expressions and digesting their entire message, I was able to see others in a new light.  It's amazing how easily it becomes to love others, as they are, when you truly stop to see them for the soul they possess inside.

Going back to September, it wasn't a complete lost cause.  I did have the opportunity to attend the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado City and witness an overabundance of love, compassion and comradeship.  These women and men, who serve our cities and towns, are filled with a love for humanity and I'm grateful to have been able to see the unity of so many strangers from across the United States and Canada.

As well, I attended the SoulSpark seminar at Thanksgiving Point in Utah.  It was a blessing to be near so many powerful and fierce women, who are determined to rise in love, unity and strength.  Being among them awoke a spiritual passion inside me that has assisted in spiraling me upwards, towards my goals and dreams, reminding me that I am a beautiful, passionate, inspiring, loving, woman of light.

Thank you for sharing in my journey.  It's cheesy at times, but I hope I can give inspiration to anyone who will listen, as they choose to break through the boundaries and confinements of our rigid society.  My goal for November is already in full swing and I plan on documenting it better than I have for the last few months.  I'll return soon.  Until then, cheers 😘

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Choosing To Be Less Reactive

πŸ’‹ Deep Breaths πŸ’‹

It's kind of my thing. If you know me in person, you've probably heard me say this to myself, to you, or to someone else in our vicinity. Especially recently, as I've been working on being less reactive towards the people around me. My kids are familiar with my tactics to calm their storms and this is by far the most effective.

Whether it's in person, in an email, or on a text, I've failed on a multitude of occasions to correctly interpret what is being said. There are times, after I've reacted, that I've reread an email or text and groaned from my ah-fuck moment. It wasn't them, it was me!

One of my goals this year, is to learn how to be less reactive and more patient. I have my Rise and Conquer project in overdrive, as I careen up and down these slopes, encouraging myself to take "DEEP BREATHS" and they have made all the difference! Sometimes it's all I need to clear my head and realize how close I was to making a complete and utter fool of myself πŸ˜‚

Not everything I interpret is correct. My perception is mine alone, and when I don't take the time to properly understand what is being said, I create a conflict that was unnecessary and unwarranted. Sometimes, it really is best to ignore what is being said, take the deep breaths and greet the issue with silent and internal introspection. Not everything requires my response, especially if it only creates more havoc and toxic energy in my immediate surroundings. I'm learning to love myself enough to realize, I'm better than this and I won't allow myself to dim my light just so I can be right.

It's a positive energy high when I choose to turn the other cheek and move on with my life, without allowing others to yank me down to their level. Let that be their karma. Let them bathe in the sorrows of their choices. But don't join them. This is your journey, your life, your choices, and it is far more thrilling the higher a person rises, then staying stuck in the filthy muck of life.

I chose "Rise and Conquer" as my motto, because every day I want to push myself to continue to rise, even when I'm surrounded by failure. Rising doesn't exclude those moments, as long as I take them as lessons learned and not for reasons to give up. I conquer not only my goals and my day, but I conquer myself. Every single day I choose to be better than I was the day before.

So, take the deep breaths. Rise to new and more exciting levels. And conquer the person you were yesterday, in order to create a better you.

Give my blog a follow. Join in my journey to Rise and Conquer and I will see you on the next level of life πŸ˜

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rise And Conquer Project - Months 2-4

What a summer! Right?!?

Where has the time gone and why have I not been blogging?

Honestly, it's been a whirlwind these past three months and I'm thrilled to say, I've accomplished so much!  My first month of this Rise and Conquer project was all about me.  I spent the entire month soaking in and absorbing self-love, and it went beautifully.

June was Completing Unfinished Projects and July was Working on Relationships.  Did I succeed?  Not entirely. So, August was all three of the past 3 months.

I continued to bath in self-love, while connecting more with the people in my life and working on the dozens of projects I have started.  Like I said, it's been a whirlwind!

Completing Unfinished Projects
- Finished and published Damon's story in the Theia's Moons series.
- Nearly finished painting all the doors, door frames, and trim in my house.
- Moved my older son into his own room.
- Cleaned and organized the laundry room.
- Finished Wicked Heart, which will be appearing in the Anti-Valentine Anthology.

I have a few other projects that I didn't have the chance to start, but cross your fingers and toes they will be finished before the end of 2017.

Working On Relationships
- Less reaction and more patience
- Meditating to clear my mind of frustrations
- Speak kindly to others, even when I'm irritated
- Listen to concerns about myself without being defensive

This one was difficult for me, but each day I worked on it more and more, and although I know I still have more work, I believe I've come leaps and bounds since July began.  And I really hope that my friends and family have noticed a positive shift in how I speak with and love them.

I'm moving into September and I've accomplished more than I thought I would, but now I have to pick my next month's project.  Stay tuned for what that is 😏

One thing I have taken away from all this, is patience with myself.  I have pushed my body and mind to their max and some days I've beat myself up for not being able to do better, but last night as I was getting ready for bed, I pulled out my tarot cards and said a silent prayer to my spirit guide or guardian angel. I believe in an after life, but my vision is very different from most religious people. Tarot cards are a guide or answer to prayers and last night I believe I received my answer.  I pulled this card:

It was given to me in the Challenger position and this is what it means...
The Well Watcher comes to let you know that you've run out of steam. Self-will alone isn't enough to make things happen.  All cannot be yours at this time.  If you feel you're going nowhere, it's because you're meant to stay put.  Willfulness can lead to your becoming like the bull in a china shop, creating havoc as you push forward.

Remember the sacred, creative Source of the water in the well.  Drink some, be still, and contemplate the true origin of power.  It isn't you.  So drink deeply of the Wisdom of the Divine, and listen to the beautiful music playing through you life.  When you've made conscious contact with your higher power you can move forward again, replenished and renewed.
Yesterday I felt stuck and frustrated, because I wanted to accomplish more than I possibly could, in a short amount of time.  I sat in front of my computer, wanting to write my stories, but my imagination was not connecting to my fingers.  Everything I began working on, wasn't going as planned and when I read that card, I knew they were right.  I was forcing myself to keep going, even though my mind and body needed to relax and connect with my Source.  So, that's what I did.

This morning I woke feeling different.  And when I sat down to write, the words that had been so difficult to write yesterday and most of this past week, flowed without restraint.

I don't always receive such a direct answer, so I'm grateful when I do and I'm happy to know there is some kind of energy or source out there, that is willing to still guide us arrogant and ungrateful humans 😁😈 Peace out, until next time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

He Loves Me

Dear Diary ~

I was three when the universe ripped him away from me. A child, innocent, ignorant, and heartbroken. How could a God take my favorite person away from me. And on Christmas day of all days. That’s a cruel deity, if you ask me.

The dream… it brought me comfort, and has never been erased from my mind, but to this day I miss him. He was my calm, my solace, and my best friend. He bounced me on his knee and then snuggled and kissed me afterwards, making me feel safe and loved in a family where I was so often forgotten.

I think of the dream the angels sent me… or was that him, coming to me in a way I would understand? Lava? Why would he allow himself to sink into lava right before my eyes? He did say that he loves me… But then he was gone and I was left petrified in place, clutching the doorknob and knowing I couldn’t save him. Those three words continue to tear at my heart, over and over again, year after year.

He loves me.

Then why did he leave me alone.

I was only three. And even now, so many years later, I still don’t understand. And to the day, I miss his laughter that rang happily into my ears and his gigantic smile, lighting up my world. He was my protector, my angel before death…

He was my grandpa. And I will never forget.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wild Dreams

Who else has the most wild dreams???

Some mornings I wake, shaking my head at the universe and think, am I ever going to receive a well rested night again? Nearly every night my mind goes on an adventure, but in the morning I rarely can recall what happened. However, I always remember the feeling of my dreams.

This morning I was all out of sorts. Not in the, "woke on the wrong side of the bed" sorts, but more that I felt unraveled. The pieces of my life were refusing to fit back into their tidy little spots and I know it had something to do with my dreams. If only the memories would stop eluding me.

What message is the universe attempting to deliver to me this time?!?!

I've had several people lately, out of the blue, tell me it's important to listen to the messages in my dreams. I write them down when I can recall them, but how do I remember the ones that seem to flit off with the morning sun, abandoning me with the residual feelings of my forgotten adventure??

Who else has unknown messages from the universe, dancing through your dreams?

Photo artist Unknown.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Leave An Imprint

Today I needed to run. I've only done my usual run about a dozen times this year, just because my right knee and hip flexor have been bothering me. But today despite the physical pain, I needed a healthy outlet for my raw feelings. Some people come into this life to show you how to be a better person... too often I forget the value and frailty of life.

I run my feelings. I also write my feelings. It's how I deal with them. And sometimes you all get to be a part of my words and thoughts πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ You're welcome 😘

That being said, life is too short. Hold your head high and take those leaps of faith. Go on those vacations and adventures, love and cherish your relationships, quit those unhappy and unhealthy jobs, brave the winds of defeat and failure and rise each day to fight again, share those selfies, the groupies, the crazy and wild moments, the victories, and even the losses. Don't be afraid of what others think, because too quickly this life is over and what you did share, what you did DO, is what will be left behind. Rise and conquer every single day. Some days, the conquering might just be that you rose, but you can do it.

And read those amazing books. I don't just say that because I write, but because this woman who authored these books was a phenomenal writer. Her words hold a strength, a fragile rawness and I feel compelled to share her with all of you. She was one of the twelve authors of the "Shattered Time" anthology and I have enjoyed and loved everything I have read of hers.

Unfortunately, I never met her in person, but the bubbly happiness she brought into my online life will be unforgettable. So, be silly. Be batshit passionate. Be ridiculously awesome. And when you leave this life someday, know that you have left an imprint on so many others hearts.

Grace, may you rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rise And Conquer Project - Month One

Have you ever looked at yourself in a mirror and quivered with indignation? Self-loathing thoughts tumble through your mind, spiraling you down the tunnel of self-hatred? I know that feeling. I’m sure most people have experienced varied degrees some time throughout their lives. But how do we pick ourselves up and love ourselves once again?

This past month I went on a self-love journey. I didn’t hate or loath myself beforehand, but I was stuck in a ditch, with two shattered legs, clawing my way through the muck and mud. It was a period of time where I felt like I was drowning in this sludge and I was in desperate need of some comfort. I also really wanted to feel joy again, on a more consistent basis.

We’ve all heard that joy comes from within. Or at least I know I’ve heard it thousands of times from life coaches, self-empowerment speakers and mentors, and people I consider on a higher enlightenment tier, like Dr. Wayne Dyer or Mahatma Ghandi or Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela. You catch my drift. It’s spoken about on regular basis and the ones who have listened are well aware that you cannot find joy outside ourselves. At least, not true joy.

Despite my low, the beginning of April began well for me. I went on a family vacation to a California beach and I was able to enjoy some moments of calm serenity. It was the therapy I deserved to mend my broken soul and I bathed in the tranquility. But as usual, all good things must come to an end. I missed home, work, and my regular routine, but the thought of diving back into the madness of reality really struck me hard. I didn’t know where it was coming from or why I felt so down, but I knew I needed to face the darkness before it sucked me into oblivion.

I rose, not like a lion, but as a wounded deer skittish and fearful, desperately determined to escape the beast. And I might have felt weak and defeated, but I was committed to this new journey. I was going to heal my soul.

April showers, brings May flowers.

That was my mindset. No matter how broken I felt over the past year, I was going to rise anyway and breathe in a new mindset, lifestyle, and connection with my source. It was time for me to evolve and move onto the next level of my life journey.

The first week was easy. I meditated, worked out, ate well, counted to ten, instead of erupting in anger, and spoke to myself with kindness, determined to not commit any self-destructive crimes. I also met with a Reiki Practitioner, who spent ninety minutes straightening out my chakras and guiding me to self-healing. It was a good week.

Week two wasn’t awful. In fact, I stepped up my game. I spent more time meditating, took on more of the HIIT workouts, kept calm at work and at home, and I continued to shower myself with love. I was rising and on that Friday I woke up feeling the best I had felt in months. I had finally broken back through and was on my way up.

But then Saturday arrived. Everything went well for most of the day, when suddenly there was contention swirling around me, striking me from the most obscure areas. And unfortunately this unease and contention trailed into my Sunday, making my Mother’s day the hardest one I’ve ever had. By the time my head hit the pillow, I was heartbroken, confused and hurt. And I didn’t know how I was going to rise again. Monday arrived with a punch in the gut, and even though no one really did anything to me, I felt lost, upset and frustrated by most everyone in my life.

I had fallen again, and this time I felt like a complete and absolute failure. Why did it feel like I was forever destined to swim in the muck of life?

I survived that Monday. Barely. That night I meditated and aligned my thoughts with clear intentions. I wasn’t giving up that easily. I slept well and woke up to a new and better day. I felt stronger already, and I was determined to make my Tuesday successful. And it worked. Tuesday was amazing and the rest of the week I continued on with my goals and plans, arriving to the end of week three feeling satisfied and proud of myself. I kept going, even when it felt easier to give up. Who wants easy anyway?

Week four, I was busy. My step-daughter graduated high school and my daughter was graduating the next week.  Plus, work, house, writing, working out, and just life in general was piling up at my doorstep. I dove in and worked hard, determined to arrive at the end of May feeling accomplished, inspired, and on a self-love high.

The moral of my experience is this... Life has its ups and downs. Sometimes those downs are so low and so long, you wonder why you’re even here. And sometimes those ups are so amazing and such a rush, that when you hit the low again, you wonder what awful sin you committed to deserve this hellish punishment.

I think back to my early years and recall how easy, breezy school was for me. I rarely had to work hard for those A’s and B’s and I honestly believed I was just plain gifted. Until I arrived to college. All of a sudden, school was difficult and I fell flat on my face. I had no idea how to work hard for those grades. In fact, I got a crash course on hard work and I was failing miserably.

The ones who have it easy and glide through life will most likely fall deep the moment “difficult” enters into their lives. Like I did, they will feel victimized, unjustly served, and depression will yank them down to a pit of despair. Or a vicious pity party. One way or the other, the universe is going to give us the lessons we need to learn in life. And that’s okay. It might not feel okay, but it is (within reason, that is—abuse of any kind, bullying, rape, narcissism is never okay). It’s in these moments when we can decide, are we going to remain in the dark and allow life to have its way with us or are we going to rise up and take back our rightful power.

Self-love is the answer to our woes. 

When you find love within yourself and stop looking for it outside of you, the lows will still come, but you’ll know to honor those moments as they are and rise higher the next time you claw your way out. Each life battle is won by focusing, taking a deep breath and acting when the time is right. Reaction only makes it worse, but strategic action will bring you satisfaction, growth and evolved thinking. And as nice as it would be, life is not easy. Yes, some have it WAY better than others, but we all have our problems, trials and varied degrees of anguish. In those moments, remembering your value, your strength, and your love for yourself, will be your saving grace. You are your number one advocate and you’re always whole, even when you feel broken.

I meditated nearly every day in the month of May. I worked out and I hurdled back into Yoga. I chose to honor my body and listen to what it had to say. The deep breaths kept my blood pressure low and my anxiety attacks at bay. I decluttered my mind, along with my surroundings (still working on a few areas, but I’m almost done) and because of all this, I smile more. I recognize the light within. I feel the love surrounding me, from my source, my partner, my family and my friends. My life has shifted and I knew it would. I just had to do the work to remember who I am.

This is my Rise and Conquer Project. Each month I will pick something in my life to work on. Something that needs love, care, and attention. You can join in, watch my steps and then join in, or do your own thing. Or ignore me all together. But I’ll still be here, doing my thing, regardless of the naysayers 😘 Watch my journey and then create one of your own. I’ve gone down similar paths in the past, but each time I learn more, evolve to a higher state of being, and eventually rise to a whole new level in life. This time I’m stepping it up. I’m pushing myself to be my best and I hope I can inspire others to do the same.

These are the goals I laid out for myself for May:

1. Declutter my house.

    -creates peace within

    -a feeling of accomplishment

    -a house is a sanctuary

2. Do some form of exercise every day.

3. Cut back on sugar and carbohydrates.

4. Connect w/ my source EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.



    -stay focused

    -tarot readings


5. Continue to write books and blogs – set time away every day.

6. Honor my body, mind, and spirit.

    -go to counseling, talk through my troubles

    -massage, reiki

    -eat well

    -stay active

    -stay connected spiritually

My month of June will be a whole new experience, with a different goal. However, I plan on continuing to shower myself in self-love and strive to be better in all areas of my personal life. Exercise, eating well, writing, and connecting with my higher self, along with my source, will continue to be my focus.

A strategic plan out shines reaction. It can be difficult to arm myself against the negativity of the world, but as long as I have a design and stay focused, I believe I can rise to the next level. Stay tuned for month two and I hope to see you all setting your own goals and shifting into a higher state of consciousness. And if you have any questions, thoughts, and/or concerns, comment below and let’s chat.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nourish and Honor Your Body

If you feel like you are losing control of your health and you don’t have the money or time to put a lot of effort into changes, I have one recipe that could help you out.  Everything can be purchased at the grocery store and won’t cost you much money.

****Disclaimer**** I’m NOT an expert in the nutritional or personal care field and I’ve only found what has worked for me, BUT that’s the point. These have worked and I’m willing to share in hopes they’ll give someone else a better life.  I’m not asking for you to sign up for anything or give me money to teach you how to live a healthier life.  I’m just giving it to you straight and letting you take the reins from there.

Over the past decade, I’ve researched and implemented several different ways to nourish and honor my body, inside and out.  And it has definitely been a trial and error kind of task, but I think at forty I’ve finally settled on a few basic ways to keep myself healthy and strong.

For years, I’ve had a morning ritual of drinking hot, lemon water, with about 1/8 teaspoon of honey.  It started over five years ago, when I had a bad winter of colds and I needed to find a way to gain more vitamins to keep me healthy.  Since then, I’ve drank this hot water nearly every morning.

About six months ago, I decided to start adding Apple Cider Vinegar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.  I wasn’t consistent at first, but the past few months, I’ve had this drink nearly every single day and the few changes I’ve noticed are this:

  1. My stomach isn’t bloated.
  2. My muscles aren’t as cramped after workouts.
  3. My energy levels have increased significantly.

Those three issues are reason enough for me to continue.  Although, I still have my off days, they have decreased significantly since beginning down this road.  Here’s my recipe:

1 Whole Lemon
10 oz Hot Water
1/8 tsp Honey
¼ tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbls Apple Cider Vinegar

Tweak it to your liking, which is what I did after looking up ideas.  I drink it with a straw and keep mixing it while I drink.  Not everyone has the tolerance for these ingredients, so if it’s too much, just decrease the amount or keep out the Cayenne Pepper. They all have health benefits, so if you can tolerate them all, keep it up and let me know how you feel in a few months!

I also eat two eggs, every single morning.  On rare occasions I have something else, but this is generally my breakfast.  I’ve done it for so long, I can’t even tell you when I started.  I change them up here and there, but I usually have two scrambled eggs, with a small amount of cheese mixed in.  From this, I get my protein and calcium, and when I add the lemon water, it’s plenty to get me through until lunch or a small snack.

The last advice I can give on nutrition, is to drink a lot of water.  I know the experts have been saying that for decades, but I can’t stress enough how 80 ounces of water a day can change your life.  Five years ago, I was drinking 88 ounces of Dr. Pepper a day and maybe 40 ounces of water.  My anxiety was out of control, my chest hurt every single day, my hands, feet, and face were constantly numb, and I had heart palpitations on a regular basis.  I was literally killing myself.  Once I began drinking 80+ ounces of water a day, and gave up soda for the most part, my life changed.  I wrote more about it in an earlier post, but my point is—water keeps us alive.  Trust that.  I bought me a 40 ounce Hydroflask, and I fill it up twice a day and drink all of it. 

Another change I’ve made over the past few years, is how I treat my skin.  I rarely tan, and if I do allow my skin outside without sunscreen, it’s only for twenty-ish minutes.  And then either the sunscreen is slathered on, the hat is placed on to protect my face, or I go back inside.  After years of tanning, I decided to embrace my pale skin and stop damaging what remained of youthfulness in my skin.  This is a picture of me today, clean face, no make-up and zero tan.  Maybe I look my age now, but when I turn fifty, I plan on still looking forty.  Cheers to my goals πŸ˜‰

After I clean my face, I have another ritual of lotions and potions that make my skin feel refreshed and soft.  I always start with a toner.  Right now, I’m using a DoTerra toner, which I really like.  I follow up with Oil of Olay under eye lotion, and then face lotion, mixed with about ¼ teaspoon coconut or grapeseed oil.  Living in Utah, and having extremely dry skin, makes the skin on my face feel constantly dry.  After I began following this regimen, I haven’t had any acne breakouts, dry patches, and my skin looks the best it has in years.  Yes, I have wrinkles and fine lines, but I’ve never used botox and I live in a dry climate.  Not to mention, I once believed I would be forever young, and didn’t realize all the damage I was doing to my skin until it was too late.  The earlier you start loving the skin you’re in, the better you will look at forty 😁

The picture shows three different face lotions that I use.  I love them all, and actually have one more, but I ran out of it and didn't have the jar for the picture. The St. Ives is probably my favorite and already contains Safflower Seed Oil. 

 Simple and easy.  I’ve been spending this month, really focusing on taking care of me, and I realized when I pay it forward and pass on information, my heart is happy.  So, take this for what is worth.  I’m not an expert, but I’ve done the research, while using various methods until I came up with ones that worked. 

Listen to your body and honor what it says.  As you figure out what works for you, pass on the information and let others know, they're not alone.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What Eliminating Soda and Sugar From My Diet Did For My Body

Five years ago, I began this blog Create.Be.Imagine, to write about my goals and progress over a one year period. It was a quest to better myself and my life, and what a ride it has been!

For my first month, I had decided to honor my body by eliminating soda, sugar, and processed food from my diet. Before I began this journey, I was consuming two 44-oz Dr. Peppers every day. Two. Here is my blog post that I wrote after I completed month one.

Beginning of Month Two

I was on fire after that month was over and here's a list of the top ten changes I noticed in my body:
  1. My skin was clear of all blemishes.
  2. A wound on my foot that had still not completely healed after six months, disappeared.
  3. I had more energy.
  4. My daily headaches had been long forgotten.
  5. I slept all night long and woke up feeling refreshed.
  6. My anxiety attacks were nearly non-existent.
  7. My joints no longer ached.
  8. I was happier.
  9. The numbness in my face, hands, and feet disappeared.
  10. My brain fog lifted, most of the way. 
  11. (One more for good measureπŸ˜‰) ALL my clothes fit better!
I was so close to being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, by my doctor and I really believed I was in for a lifetime of managing this disease. When my symptoms began to disappear and I finally felt free of its chains, I realized that I never had a "disease". It was all diet based issues and problems, and if I could rise from it, so could others.

Loving myself begins from the inside out. Not only does it require a more positive mindset, but my body deserves to be honored and loved as well. Sometimes I still fall back into the rut of eating horridly, but more and more it is becoming easier to climb back out and shift myself into a loving mental and physical state.

Maybe that's what they mean by evolving and rising above. I'm not going to be perfect, but I'm getting better at being healthier and more loving towards myself and my body. I want others to know, it IS possible. Five years ago, I was losing so much, including my health. Instead of melting in defeat, I chose to stand and push through my achy joints and body, my exhausted mind, and my heart broken life, and become a stronger person. I will always be a better person for the trials I went through back then, and I'm grateful to now have the tools to keep me readjusting to a higher and more fulfilling life.

As someone said to me the other day, "It might not be that you are failing, but that you have finished with this level of your life and it's now time to rise to the next one."

So, here I am. Rising.

Are you ready to join me?

Let's get this party started πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sculpting Your Book

“To write a book you need a lantern to light the way, a shovel to dig deep and a big, brave heart to make it to the end.” – Joanne Fedler
Recently, I've been stalking a friends sculpting progression, and luckily he’s been making it easy by posting his development on social media for everyone to witness, as he molds it into his final masterpiece. My quick glances at his work changed the other day, when I took a few moments to shuffle through the pictures and was instantly inspired by all the work and love he’s giving his current project. He truly loves what he does.

Books are no different. A manuscripts progress is usually not seen, or purposely shown for that matter, but a writer spends days, months, sometimes years molding their imagination into its final perfection.

I think back to when I first published, Eyes Wide Shut, and in retrospect I realize it wasn’t complete when I hit that submit button and tossed it out to the world to judge. I was a novice writer, still learning the tricks and trades and was anxious to have my words read. I was even more anxious to receive feedback.

For the first month or so, it was crickets in the wind. Nothing was said. And no one seemed to notice the anguish writhing through my stomach, waiting desperately for some kind of shining news. It didn’t come. In fact, the first bit of feedback was that it had its good parts, but it also contained its unpleasant sections. I had to close my eyes, take a few deep breaths and calm the storm raging through my heart. All that hard work and it was just… okay.

I had spent four years shaping this book. Yes, there were months that I didn’t touch it, because life happens and I still had no idea what I was doing. It was just a story at that point. But when I decided to push forward and finish the work, I leapt before I looked. And the crash landing was detrimental to my ego, to say the least.

If there is one piece of advice I could give an aspiring author, it would be, TAKE YOUR TIME. Especially for that first one. Create it, mold it, change it, breathe it in, and LOVE it. Give it your time and love, and then hand it over to an editor and let them do their magic. Yes, it costs money, but they’re worth every single penny. I learned that the hard way.

After a year of suffering through the rejection, I decided to really take a good, hard look at my book and fix it. So, between writing Enyo’s Warrior and all my other daily life tasks, I found the time to rework Eyes Wide Shut. It wasn’t easy and there were times I thought I was losing my mind, but I did it. I finally finished sculpting this book and I’m glad I chose to do so. I slapped a new cover on it, courtesy of Brandon Burgon, resubmitted it for publication and began finding more and more readers over the next year.

Since that time, I published Enyo’s Warrior and Protectors of the Stars, along with a short story in the Shattered Time Anthology. I took the time to mold and sculpt my later books, giving them a huge amount of love, admiration and time, and because I decided not to quit in the face of defeat, I’ve made a name for myself.

Now, my books might not be known everywhere, and people still don’t usually connect my face with my name and writing, but I’ve had my moments of recognition. And let me tell you, when it comes from someone who truly enjoys your writing, it’s a marvelous feeling.

Moral of the story... take your time, love your work, and sculpt your writing into a masterpiece. You will thank yourself for giving your passion the time it deserves.

And if you do fail, don’t be so rough on yourself. I’ve had to learn this the hard way, as well. Instead, take a step back, allow yourself to breathe through the heartache, redirect your path, and start again. Because in ten years, you will look back and pat yourself on the back for not giving up.

Cheers, my inspiring friendsπŸ₯‚

Sunday, May 7, 2017


His eyes seared into me like scorching knives. I wanted to escape, but I couldn’t tear myself away from his emerald irises. Stepping forward, the fear wormed its way up from my stomach and halted in my throat, making it difficult to breathe as it squeezed at my esophagus. I cringed when his lips twitched with a devilish grin, and he beckoned for me to come closer.

“No.” The word was barely a whisper, floating uselessly over my trembling lips.

He nodded and winked, knowing I couldn’t resist. Another step forward. My mind was screaming at me to run away, and my heart was beating a temporary tattoo against my chest, while my gut wretched from the terror that held my throat hostage.

Why am I so weak? The thought pounded inside my head, just as a single tear tumbled down my crimson cheek.

A deep laugh rumbled from his mouth, his eyes darkening from the desire swirling in the dense air between us. My foot moved another step forward, but my hands desperately searched for anything to pull me away. Grasping onto a chair, I shrieked when it tumbled to its side, my wide eyes still glued to the cryptic monster only a few steps away.

“You never had a choice,” he called out to me, his voice carrying a strength that slid heavily over my flushed body.

My breath caught in my throat, once again, and a thunderous train of goosebumps traveled up my arms, shooting across my neck. Another step. My hands flung out again, probing for a barrier or some kind of weapon. Grasping only empty air, sweat trickled down my spine, knowing I was meeting my end. He would destroy my life.

© Niki Liv 2017