The Art of Appreciation, Self Love and Self Respect

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In this post, we’re going to look at the art of appreciation, self love and self respect.

APPRECIATION

It’s all too easy to focus on the negatives in life and so many of us take the good stuff for granted!

Think about how many green stop lights you notice compared to the red ones.  With a red stop light, particularly if you’re late and rushing to get somewhere important, you’ll get frustrated, tense and agitated to the point you really feel that red traffic light.  Meanwhile, all the green lights barely go noticed.

The same can be said for life.  Think about how easily we take for granted simple functions such as being able to walk, talk, see, and drive a car.  It’s all too easy to take the good stuff for granted, in that we fail to appreciate the positive stuff, until it’s taken away.

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone that you took for granted, or lived in an amazing country like Australia, but not truly appreciated what you have, until it’s taken away from you?

Today, so many people walk around with their heads down, with such negative mindsets, that the good in life passes them by.  In part, this could be an issue with self love and perhaps a place for the compassion project to step-in but it all just comes down to perspective.

Consider how stressed people get about money.  You’ll often hear people saying how “broke” they are, yet, in reality they are probably way up in the wealthier percentile of earth’s society.  Unfortunately, we often compare ourselves to people who are wealthier, slimmer, more intelligent, more attractive and so on – meaning we suffer unnecessarily, as this perspective of negative contrast impacts our self-esteem and causes us to feel not ‘good enough’.

Whereas, when you shift your perspective to one of appreciation, you can flip that contrast around and realise that there are some people without a home, without a car, or even access to safe drinking water.  This, of course, isn’t a game of one upmanship or feeling better at others expense – it’s just a matter of gaining perspective and living in a state of appreciation for what you do have rather than for what you don’t have.

When you live in a mental state of appreciation, according to Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book “The Secret” you attract more of the good stuff into your life.  There’s a saying within the book that says “what we think about we bring about” and “thoughts become things”.

Just like there’s a universal law of attraction there’s also a law of momentum.  Essentially, it’s a slippery slope in that the more you focus on how bad something is the more bad stuff you attract, and things start spiralling downhill due to the domino effect.  Similarly, when you focus on how good something is and really appreciate it (whether that’s falling in love with Sydney again or falling back in love with your partner) this creates an upward spiral where things get better and better.

Now that we’ve defined the importance of appreciation and being in a state of gratitude, let’s move onto a topic equally as important; self love and self acceptance.

SELF LOVE

In some ways, you could view self-love to be the same as self-esteem, however, self-esteem tends to be more about how competent we feel we are in terms of tangible output and how much we value the impact and contribution we make.  Self love, on the other hand, is more about self-acceptance and loving ourselves just the way we are.

Louise Hay, who is one of the world’s leading experts in this area of self-love states:  “Self love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.”

She goes on to explain that, many of us make self love conditional by creating unnecessary rules, such as that we will love ourselves WHEN we lose weight, get a better job, or drive a better car… meaning, it’s constantly being put off until tomorrow.  We put external conditions on our internal sense of self-worth, which is what creates unhappiness, as it’s like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey’s nose… it’s always just slightly out of reach.

Self love is an unconditional sense of love and acceptance for who you are, where you’ve been, what you have and where you’re heading.  It’s a sense of emotional security that allows you to recognise that you are good enough as you are!

SELF RESPECT

The last principle is that of self respect.  

A lot of the time, when someone treats us without respect (e.g. by cheating on you) we take it extremely personally; as if their behaviour is a direct reflection of our value.  Indeed, when we are treated without value by a person close to us we can feel like we have no value.  This is why so many people struggle with break-ups.

It’s understandable and normal to feel this way, but there are two points here – firstly their behavior reflects who they are, not who you are, or what you deserve… and secondly, in order for people to treat you with respect, dignity and consideration – you need to respect yourself.  Unfortunately, without even meaning to, people will treat you without respect and consideration; the popular term “they’ll walk all over you if you let them” comes to mind. That’s not to say you have to be militant in the enforcement of your boundaries; it’s more that you must have a healthy level of self-respect in order for people to treat you with respect.  

Remember, life has a mirror like quality to it, in that it reflects back to us what we feel on the inside.  If you don’t respect yourself – expect others to reflect this back to you. Similarly, as soon as you start treating yourself with respect the people in your life will either adapt their behaviour to this or leave your life and make way for someone that can treat you with the respect, consideration and dignity you deserve.

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Seven Ways To Change Your Style For Spring

We are embarking on a brand new season and with that comes a change in the weather and how we feel. There is something about brighter mornings and longer days that actually makes you feel great inside and out. Of course, as the weather starts to warm up, we have to start saying goodbye to some of the items of clothing we have grown accustomed to these last few months. The skinny jeans and oversized knit combination. Boots of all types for all kinds of weather. Big coats, fluffy hats and scarves, and even maybe getting into our pyjamas at 5pm just because the light is fading outside.

Spring has sprung and with that comes some fresh inspiration and changes for our wardrobe and style. New trends and collection have been released, and it is your chance to try some new items of clothing and put a little more focus on your appearance. But if you find yourself in a real style rut,how do you break it? I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can change your style for spring. I hope it gives you the inspiration you need.

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Change your hair

One of the first things you could consider doing would be to change your hair. A seasons change gives you the perfect excuse to try something different. Maybe you have had the same style or even the same hair colour for a while and you like the idea of trying something new. Going online to do a bit of research will help you find some great styles to choose from. The options are endless but sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new can end up giving you a real boost in confidence that could be expelled in other areas of your life.

Try new makeup

Makeup is another way to help you change the overall look of your appearance. People can often stick with the same products and makeup style, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be a little more adventurous and try out a new lip colour or a smokey eye. Makeup is one of those things that unless you are confident in the application, you stick with methods that you know. Websites like YouTube are full of video tutorials that can really inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and try some new makeup styles. It may even encourage you to try new products in terms of your skincare as well as your makeup application.

Add different accessories

Maybe you want to transform an outfit but you aren’t sure how you can do it. I am here to tell you that accesories is one of the easiest ways to help make your outfit appear differently or even dress something up or make it appear more casual. It might be unique jewelry like statement necklaces from websites like Animal Kingdom Jewelry or it could be adding a jhat or a pair of shades to your overall look. Accessories can be in all different forms. It could even be the bag you choose, the scarf you put on, or added elements like belts, for example. Accessories can really be your easy ticket to transforming your style ready for spring.

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Incorporate colour into your wardrobe

One of the most instant ways to change your style for spring is to consider colour. You may love colour, but do you really wear it? Many of us find brightly coloured clothing difficult to wear, but actually incorporating colour into your wardrobe choices can really help transform the way you look. You can try and ease into it by choosing pastel shades and this is actually quite a big trend for Spring. It might be in a top or even in terms of nail polish colour. Youcan slowly start to insportate it into your style and you will slowly see how it will start to transform the way you look and even the way you feel in terms of confidence.

Prepare yourself

Winter is the time of year that we cover up in jeans and oversized knits, and often, that means that personal self-care such as taking care of our feet and defuzzing our legs become less of a priority. But now that spring has sprung why not take some time out to get yourself ready for the action. Have an at home pedicure and paint your nails in a brightly coloured polish. Defuzz your legs so that you are not afraid to put on a skirt and show off some skin. Doing these things can help you to feel better about yourself and feel ready to take on the spring style.

Create capsule wardrobe

If you are little worried about styling outfits for spring then why not simplify matters and create a capsule wardrobe? This is essentially minimising your wardrobe so that you have key pieces that work well together and can be coordinated to create different outfits. It is also a great way to experiment in terms of mixing patterns and colours, as well as trying out new styles. Limiting yourself can actually make you much more creative.

Step out of your comfort zone

Finally, stepping out of your comfort zone in terms of what you wear can actually be a great way to transform your style. We mentioned a capsule wardrobe limits you, but don’t be afraid to be adventurous in terms of patterns, textures and colours. This is where you can truly identify what makes you feel good in terms of your clothes and perhaps what makes you feel less confident. It might even be having the guts to wear something you wouldn’t normally wear,. For example, if you love jeans why not try a skirt instead, you could even stick with a denim option if you love the style. Maybe try a maxi dress instead of something tight fitting perhaps. The options are endless. Step out of your comfort zone and embrace what makes you happy.

I hope that these tips help you to change your style for the Spring.

Finding Balance In Your Chaotic Life

Do you feel like your life is pretty chaotic right now, and you’re unsure of what you should do about it? You’re not alone. Many people feel a little unstable on their feet, with no idea of how to change things so they feel more confident and comfortable in how they are living day to day.

If you know you could use a little help finding that balance, read on for some pointers you can begin to use:

Identify What’s Truly Important To You

The reason you may be feeling life is too chaotic for you, is that you haven’t identified what is truly important to you. When you know what’s really important, you can focus on these things and spend less time worrying about what isn’t important to you. You can’t fit everything into your life. We can accomplish a lot, sure, but you can’t give your all to absolutely everything; work, socialising, creative hobbies, pursuing other goals, kids, family – you’re going to need to make some difficult choices. Honestly, what is important to you and how can you make time for it? For example, you could cut back on socialising to pursue your creative hobbies more. In the long run, this will likely make you happier. However, it all depends on the person.

Identify The Things That Are Draining You

You must know the things that are draining you so you can eliminate them. What do you have in your life that you know isn’t great for you, but you’re not doing anything about it? Do you have toxic people? Perhaps you’re going out socialising every weekend to wind down from a busy week, only to waste the whole weekend and feel worse for it. Going to alcohol rehab can help some, but it isn’t for everyone – you can simply make a promise to yourself that you’re going to work on your goals more often. Ask yourself when something comes up, ‘is this going to help me get to where I want to be? How is this going to make me feel, really?’ and you should have your answer.

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Know What Your Goals Are For The Coming Years

Have a set list of goals for the coming years, and actually take steps to work towards them. Goals give us more purpose in our lives. They help us to build confidence, and in some cases, they can open up a whole new world full of opportunities. Do you want to learn a new language? Play an instrument? Start a business? Write out these goals, the steps you can take to work towards them, and perhaps consider giving yourself a time limit for certain goals. You can manage your time better this way. The time will pass anyway!

Get Into A Routine That You Enjoy

Finally, getting into a routine you enjoy is a must. If you’re a parent, a business owner, or a freelancer, this can be especially hard as you don’t usually have anybody telling you when to do certain things. Get into your own routine. Get up at the same time, go to bed at the same time, have times for your meals, and make sure you enjoy what you do!

The 3 Biggest Lies You’ve Been Told About Healthy Eating!

Ask any medical professional what they key to staying healthy is, and they’ll tell you it starts with a good diet. Healthy eating is an essential part of life, and the sooner you get into the swing of things, the better your health will be.

It sounds easy, right? All you have to do is eat healthy foods, and that will be that! However, a healthy diet is made a lot harder by all the lies and myths surrounding the food industry. Loads of people will claim they know ‘super diets’ that help you lose weight fast or get super healthy. There are foods that people say you should/shouldn’t eat, and it all gets very confusing. As a result, people end up eating things they think are good for them but really aren’t.

Bearing that in mind, I thought I’d clear things up by showing you the big lies you’ve been told about healthy eating.

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It’s Bad To Eat Foods High In Fat

Fat always has bad connotations, doesn’t it? We always think of it as a bad thing that should be avoided. As such, many people tell you to avoid eating things that are high in fat. So, you have a look at the label on some food products, and almost have a heart attack when you see the fat content. You avoid them, thinking you’re doing your body a load of good when really, you’re depriving it of an essential thing.

You see, the mistake is that people put fat into one category as though it’s one thing. But, there are good fats and bad fats. Things like avocado, cooking oils, and nuts are all high in unsaturated fats. These are great for your body as they contain essential fatty acids and things like omega-3, which help lower cholesterol and bring good things to your internal system. The bad fats are saturated fats which lead to heart disease and all sorts of things. It’s bad to eat them, but not bad to eat unsaturated fats. In fact, many people don’t get enough of the good fats, which is why there are brands like KetoMCT that offer supplements you can take freely. Personally, I think supplements are a good idea if you’re one of the people that struggles to eat the recommended daily intake of good fats. You might not like foods that contain good fats, so a supplement helps you out. Otherwise, just alter your diet and eat more unsaturated fats!

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Carbs Are The Enemy

If you’ve ever been on a fad diet, then the chances are you probably stopped consuming carbs. For years, people were told carbs were bad for you, and the cause of weight gain. If you eat carbs, you’ll get fat – that’s what we all believed! Well, it turns out, this isn’t strictly true. Again, there’s a difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs come in the form of things like vegetables, whole grains, and things full of fiber. Bad cards are things like white bread, white rice, crisps, and sugary products.

Why do we need good carbs? Because they provide us with energy and keep us feeling fuller for longer. If you have a nice breakfast packed full of good carbs, then you have less need to eat between meals, which prevents you from consuming too many calories every day. The problem most people have is they eat bad carbs, which provides them with an energy spike, but doesn’t satisfy their appetite. So, they eat more and more, packing on the calories, which ultimately leads to weight gain. Not to mention that good carbs also often contain good nutrients like fiber, which help maintain a healthy digestive system. If you’ve been told to avoid carbs, then ignore whoever told you this! Carbs are a key part of your healthy diet, but only in their good form!

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You Have To Eat Salads Every Day

When you think about it, why don’t more people eat healthily? Why do we have such a big problem with obesity and people eating badly? It’s because everyone thinks eating healthy foods is boring. They think you have to eat plain salads every day or just eat things you don’t like. This is easily the biggest lie you’ve been told about healthy eating. In fact, I seriously question the brain power of whoever told you this!

The fact is, salads are healthy because they contain lots of veg and good things. But, eating salads alone won’t help you live a healthy life. The key is balance. You need to eat a balanced diet that provides you with enough protein, carbs, good fats, vitamins, and sugar. While at the same time, it shouldn’t give you too much sugar, salt, or unsaturated fats. This means you can still eat things like chicken, beef, pasta; and a lot more of your favorite foods too. In fact, you can even eat classic fast food things like burgers and pizza. The key is making them yourself, so you know the nutritional value of them, and can make them healthier! For example, make the burgers out of low-fat, high-quality, beef mince. Grill them instead of frying them in loads of oil, and put them in a wholemeal bun. There’s nothing unhealthy about a meal like this! So, if you believe eating healthy is boring and means a life full of salads, then you’re wrong!

Obviously, there are other lies out there about healthy eating. However, in my experience, these are the biggest and most common ones. I guess you can say that there’s a main theme with most healthy eating lies; there are good and bad versions of almost everything. Fats as a whole aren’t bad because you have good, unsaturated ones. The same goes for carbs; you have to ensure you’re eating the good versions and avoiding the bad ones. Lastly, as I touched upon in the last lie; balance is key. Too much of a good thing will make it a bad thing! Always make sure you eat within the guideline daily amounts, and you’ll have a healthy diet on your hands.

How Raleigh NC Can Make You An InstaStar

If you’ve been looking for a way to grow your audience successfully on Instagram, you probably know that it takes more than a good picture to attract the reach out to a new public. You need an exciting story that fits in the casual and everyday motto that Instagram has developed. You need to prove that you find the extraordinary in life at the most ordinary of moments, and that is a skill that a lot of Insta posters still have to develop. Sure, you can share all your OTT moments, but ultimately people want to follow somehow who inspire them to find joy in the routine of the everyday life. If your feed consists only of glitter and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, it’s likely that your followers will grow a little bored of watching without ever being able to join in. What you need is a trip to a location that offers the perfect environment to experiment with your photo style and to find what makes your followers tick. What you need is a weekend in Raleigh, NC.

Change your feeds from dull to Insta sensation!

A busy town full of knowledge and people

Raleigh is not just any town; it’s the capital city of North Carolina. Needless to say, you will find plenty of exciting subjects to capture just by walking in the streets. If you haven’t yet tried this candid approach to Instagram, you need to take a bold jump and share in your feeds photos that aren’t posed or planned. A vibrant city such as Raleigh can offer you a variety of angles, from the university areas to the entertainment districts, without mentioning the fashion and attitude of its inhabitants. There’s a richness that you find only in big towns to it, but there is a hint of North Carolina in everyone in there. It’s up to you to capture it and expose the difference between the Raleigh and the NYC style.

Amazing areas to relax

You can train your eye for wildlife pictures too, by stopping in the Days Inn Raleigh Glenwood-Crabtree not far from the Pullen Park. This gives you the perfect base to take frame the trees and water in the park. If you want to give a rustic feel to your Instafeed, stay by the 1911 Gustave A. Dentzel Menagerie Carousel, where you can capture the timeless amusement of children. Perfect for black and white shots if you don’t want to give a clear date to the photo.

Food pictures everybody will love

Finally, if you’ve been trying to grow your food picture portfolio, and are getting sick of tacos, burgers, and pizze, you might want to drop by the Mandolin in town. This little restaurant offers fantastic brunch and drinks with an exquisite decor – and you might even get to take your drink to the garden. There is an attractive mixture of colors and textures at the Mandolin that will give every shot a timeless quality. Besides, their presentation is out of this world, so you can be sure you’ll get a fantastic image every single time!

Growing your Instafeed demands time and dedication. You need to understand what your followers react to. Therefore a trip to a colorful and exciting place like Raleigh is the perfect solution to tackle your photo block!

What’s That Stomach Pain?

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I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this has had a stomach pain at some point in their lives – they’re pretty common. They’re also pretty benign most of the time (although it doesn’t always feel that way). However, it is important that whenever you have a stomach pain, you treat it seriously because it could be the symptom of something more serious like appendicitis or gallbladder disease.

In a bid to make it easier for you to work out why your stomach is hurting, here are some of the most common causes of stomach pains (and a few less common ones) and their symptoms:

Indigestion

Indigestion is a very common cause of stomach pain, other symptoms of which include acid reflux, bloating and nausea, as well as an acidic taste in the mouth, Usually, this is caused by eating certain foods, and if you can identify a pattern, you can eliminate the cause completely. If not, there are medications that will help.

Gallstones

If you experience serious stomach pain, which is massively painful to the point, it’s hard to handle, and if that pain also reaches your back, causes fever and vomiting, gas or bloating, there is a good chance that you have gallstones and that they are of the serious variety that will require medical attention. You’ll probably need some strong painkillers to get you through gallbladder attacks until you can have it removed, so a visit to the hospital is essential.

Food Poisoning

I think we all know the symptoms of food poisoning fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, cramps etc., and it’s usually pretty evident when food poisoning has struck, but do bear in mind that it could also be gastroenteritis you’re suffering from. Either way, you’re probably just going to have to ride it out.

Pancreatitis

An inflamed pancreas typically causes pain in the middle or upper abdomen areas, but it has been known to cause shooting pains that affect the back too. If you suspect pancreatitis, try leaning forwards or backwards, and you may find that it takes a little of the pain away, but this should only be a temporary measure while you seek medical attention. You are more likely to suffer from pancreatitis if you drink a lot (which is true of gallstones actually too), so that’s something to be aware of.

GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is really very common and can cause upper stomach and lower chest pain, usually in the form of what we would know best as heartburn. Antacids are your best friend if you suffer from GERD, as is eating a healthier diet that’s low in fat, but don’t make it too low because that can cause gallstones. Taking good care of the abdomen area can be so tough!

Appendicitis

Appendicitis usually occurs when the organ becomes inflamed, it is usually characterized by a sudden and severe pain at the appendix location, and you should definitely take yourself off to the emergency room if you experience it. Children are much more likely to suffer from appendicitis than adults, but it can happen to anyone at any time, and one way of checking if you have it is to bend your leg on the appendix side – if that causes more pain – it’s probably appendicitis because the muscle that you use to bend your leg is near the appendix.

Lactose Intolerance

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If your stomach often becomes bloated and gassy and you start to experience pain that can be anywhere on the spectrum from mild to severe, it could be that you have an intolerance to lactose. The obvious way of working this out is by keeping a food diary and watching for when the symptoms occur, but lactose allergies are pretty common, especially in the Asian population, so it could be the cause.

Medication

If you are on medication, then it’s worth checking whether stomach pain could be one of the side effects, Even if that isn’t the case, some medications when taken by some people on an empty stomach can cause inflammation which can cause mild to moderate pain and swelling in the stomach area. Antibiotics and pain medications are particularly bad for this, but it’s worth checking any medication you’re taking or consult your doctor if you’re worried.

Diverticulitis

Another common suspect in the stomach pain department id diverticulitis. This caused by inflammation of the intestinal lining known as diverticula. They tend to get inflamed when you are constipated, and your poop gets into them (they’re basically holes) or when you swallow a foreign object. Common symptoms of this particular illness include lower abdomen cramps, but if you have a serious inflammation, you may get bleeding in the stool or severe stomach pains, and you should see a doctor if that happens! A good way to protect against diverticulitis is by increasing your fiber intake. Eating healthily, in general, will actually help with a lot of the more common stomach pains.

Endometriosis

If you’re a woman, and you experience a lot of tummy cramping and severe pain, alongside irregular bleeding, it could be that you are suffering from endometriosis – condition affecting the lining of the uterus. If you think that’s possible, you should see a doctor as a matter of urgency because not only can it spread and get worse, but it can cause infertility, the sooner you catch it and confine it, the better it will be.

Disclaimer: Although I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible in collating this information, you should in no way use it as a substitute for medical advice and intervention. It should be used only as a helpful way of working out potential causes of your stomach pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and when something is wrong, you see a medical professional. Period.

That being said, I hope I have helped you to get to know a bit about the stomach, and abdominal area of your body and the signs that you should be looking out for that something is wrong. The more you know, the better you can take care of your health. Look after yourself.

Pink Sugar Crystals

Christina, owner of Pink Sugar Crystals, knows her way around sparkle, bling, and shine. Her business specializes in personalized decor and accessories, all adorned with Swarovski Crystals.

She creates jewelry, beauty accessories, pet items, home decor, phone cases (like the one she created for me), and more!

She also creates the cutest baby couture items, and has created for baby Chanel Nicole!

The time, craft, and detail she puts into each piece shows how much she cares for her customers and her business.

Pink Sugar Crystals is perfect for bridal parties, any birthday or holiday gift, or just for yourself.

I love the colors and details she used to created this beautiful iPhone case for me. I love how it is sophisticated, but fun, and very sparkly! Plus, you all know how much I love the leopard print accents.

Please check out her items, give her page a LIKE and let her create a piece for you!