Tag Archives: Motivational

Learn how to be happy even when life sucks….

When I first heard this statement, I thought, what? and how?   Buddhist philosophy teaches you to be compassionate, to have empathy and to live your life in a virtuous, kind way, only wishing and bestowing the best on others.  I’m sure at the root of most religions the true lesson is the same. However, Buddhism also teaches us to detach from results and have no expectations.  So, if you are like me, this is a very hard lesson to learn.  How do you balance caring for someone but not being affected by them when you feel like they have let you down.   This has probably been my hardest challenge.Vanilla Clouds

It’s certainly not an easy thing to do.  The other day, I was reading a story about a very well known actor who said he suffers from depression.  He said his issue is that he has a lot of empathy for others and finds himself immersed unwittingly in their issues and feels overwhelmed by their sadness. How awful 🙁 He said he over analyzes everything and this mentally wares him down.  Sound familiar?  Similar to my last blog post, the quote I heard a few weeks ago helped me put this whole scenario in a bit of perspective.  This is no easy task especially for someone who suffers from clinical depression but every little bit helps.  Post this sticky someplace where you can see it!

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” Learn to separate the mind from the difficulty that surrounds it” .

This is something I have to practice every day so that I can stay focused and determined.  I love how there are hidden answers (or maybe not so hidden) to our concerns and issues all around us, we only need to be present and aware and find that motivation to be better. xoVanilla Clouds

Vanilla CloudsAbove are some images I took this past weekend at St. Augustine beach while my bf was playing in a volleyball tournament.  Thanks to my anonymous models 🙂 xo

 

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I pray that I never forget how good it makes me feel to champion others.

Planted goodness is the only thing that you can take with you wherever you go.  No one can take the good deeds you do away from your heart.  Let them enrich you.

The other day while I was in this Barre Toning class that I recently became obsessed with, I remember feeling out of sorts.  Working out is one of  my favorite stress releases and unfortunately, the weather has kept me trapped inside as my only mode of transportation to the gym I belong to, is my bike at the moment.  And my golden rule is, when the temperature drops below 45 degrees, it’s officially too cold for this lady to ride her bike!  Actually, it’s not even the temperature that is the issue, it’s really the wind against my face that becomes intolerable.Vanilla Clouds Note Card

Anyhow,…I digress.  The new studio I enrolled in just for these classes, happens to be about 50 feet from my apartment, so, it’s quite convenient.

I actually haven’t taken a class in while.  I am ok doing free style dance moves but when you ask me to count and move and step at the same time, something in my body goes wrong.  So, as usual,  my uncoordinated butt was having a hard time following the routines and to boot, I’m blessed with the sweat gene, meaning I sweat more than anyone in the class within the first 5 minutes of even starting. Lovely!Vanilla Clouds The Fall NC

Despite what seems like me complaining, I actually really enjoyed the class and it certainly kicked my butt.  I kept to myself since I really didn’t know anyone and as I walked out, this older woman who was way more coordinated than I was, tapped my shoulder and said, your hair looks so beautiful, I couldn’t help but stare at it since I was sitting behind you.  Meanwhile, my hair was in a bun but the Buddhist teacher I listen to says, never deny a compliment, you do yourself a disservice.  So, compliment registered, check.Vanilla CloudsTransform Adversities NC

Now I know you’re thinking, that that little compliment doesn’t seem like a big deal but the thing is, even the strongest person has bad days and although they shield it with a smile or a grimace, many people are suffering inside.  I’m certainly not the strongest, actually, I’m a wimp and sometimes, I need a little boost just like everyone else who doesn’t like to admit it does.  This simple moment just reminded me that sometimes all it takes is a kind gesture to make someone’s day. It may require you to leave your comfort zone for a bit but it’s such an honorable thing to do.  So this blog post is about kindness.

I pray that I never forget how good it makes me feel to champion others.  I pray that I always remember how it pleases my heart to know that I made someone’s day just a little bit better.

Post cards above can be found here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/VanillaClouds?section_id=16512533&ref=shopsection_leftnav_7

 

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Why sappy lyrics move me….

Anyone who knows me, will probably attest to the fact that a song will come into my head and I will sing it and play it until you either love it as much as I do, or hate it ferociously.  I am positive that I made my friend Melanie hate the cd Monster Ballads 1999 because I played it every time we took a ride in my truck the summer we worked together as camp counselors.  Leaving the camp was our escape, however for poor Melanie, there was a  rite of passage each time she entered my car and we left those gates. I also exhausted the highly addictive More Than Words track by Extreme because I was desperately trying to learn how to play it on my new guitar.  Poor Melanie again 🙁SONY DSC

Either way, I’m a total lyric and harmony person and I love ballads. Some people hate ballads because they tend to be sad but I feel the opposite way when I hear ballads. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Ballads remind you that you’re not alone.  They are the words that keep you company when you feel ashamed to admit what you’re feeling around others. You feel like crap, sometimes you know what you’re feeling makes no sense, but you feel it and you don’t want to appear weak.  Ballads have a way of pulling the emotion out of you and spelling it out in words, so that you can finally release the pain.

I remember the comforting feeling that I felt when I heard the song Cry, by Faith Hill.

…. Could you cry a little
Lie just a little
Pretend that you’re feeling a little more pain
I gave, now I ‘m wanting
Something in return
So cry just a little for me

When I heard these lyrics, I thought, yes…yes, .. I need him to cry a little, lie,..just something to tell me that what I thought we had wasn’t an illusion. Please give me a sign that tells me he feels some pain too. Only then, for some strange reason could all this be tolerable.SONY DSC SONY DSC

and sometimes, it’s just a lyric, one line in the song that gets to you. Ahem…for example, I just love that song by Bon Jovi, Thank you for Loving Me, and it’s probably that one line that gets to me but I find myself singing this verse a lot.

Thank you for loving me
For being my eyes
When I couldn’t see
For parting my lips
When I couldn’t breathe
Thank you for loving me

It’s something that you hope one day, you get to say to someone. Not that you should be grateful that someone finally loved a sappy soul like you, but because it’s just a beautiful thing to humbly say to someone,…that you think so highly of them, and that you are so appreciative that you get to hang with them.  I won’t even get into my serious Sarah Mclachlan phase or coming into my sexy self, John Mayer phase.  Songs kind of carry you through a portion of your life, they motivate you when you need that “power song” as my ipod calls it when I’m trying to get through my last mile.  It helps you fall asleep sometimes.  Keeps you company on a bumpy plane ride or boring train ride.  Young gals are so lucky to have Taylor Swift these days, because I certainly would have rocked out or cried to a few of her tunes way back when.  Music rocks!SONY DSC SONY DSC
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So, fast forward to my obsession this month.  This song by the Irish Rock Pop band, The Script, called  It’s Not Right For You.  It makes me want to hold a “boom box” up in the air and blast this, for me, for you, for everyone to hear!  and in this case, it’s the entire song that I connect with, rather than one line, or a verse.

My head, my head is full of things I should’ve done
My heart, my heart is heavy, here it sinks like a stone
She said, is this the life you’ve been dreaming of
Spinning half through the way from the things you love

It’s not too late, to do something new
She said, it’s not enough trying to live your life
But not following your dreams makes you dead inside
If you don’t love what you do

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

My hands, my hands are scarred by things I should’ve done
My feet, my feet are weary from all the miles that I’ve run
She said, open your mind take a look within

Are you happy with the world that you’re living in

If not, you gotta change what you do
She said, and lately I don’t see you smiling love
Are you happy here with me and the things we’ve got
If you can’t say that it’s true

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

If we don’t do something now then
We’ll never know
If we stay here too long then we’ll, we’ll never grown old
So before it’s too late and it’s killing you yeah
We’ve only one life to live
So love what you do

It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you even have to think about it
It’s not right, it’s not right for you
If you really have to think about it
You got one life, got much to do

I’m sure if you think about it, there is that special song that when you hear it, takes you to another place, another moment.    Images in this pictorial are of a day trip to Savannah, GA.  If you haven’t been, you must go check it out. There is a lot of rich history there and the streets are lined with tons of beautiful colonial homes.  Definitely wear comfy shoes though, because you will be walking a lot! xo

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New Vanilla Clouds items on my Etsy site!

I’ve been feeling a little inspired lately…and you know what they say, strike when the iron is hot!  So, here are a few new items I have added to my Etsy site.

I kind of jumped on the Frozen bandwagon, albeit, a little late…but here are a set of children’s recipe or invitations inspired by the Frozen colors.  The files uploaded a bit distorted and these colors are not exact representations of the actual card colors.  Click on this link, if you would like a closer more precise look:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/215226535/childrens-recipe-or-invitation-cards10?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Cupcake 2 Pattern v2 Cupcake 1 pattern v3

These are very unconventional Thank you note cards.  There is a unique message on the back.   Photographs were taken on St. Simons Island, GA.  Click on the link to my Etsy site if you would like to take a closer look!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/215338239/thank-you-cards-set5?ref=shop_home_active_1

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“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.” Rumi

Recently, when I turned 40, I had come to a pivotal point in my life.  I realized that no one else was going to fight for that little girl inside of me, but me.  This took years of reckoning.  All the while, I was accepting mediocre treatment in relationships, whether they were with friends or lovers. It included that utter feeling of inadequecy when I would attend interviews.  I would sit there and feel like I was being judged by this person who knew nothing about me except for the energy that I was exuding in the interview.  I don’t blame them, I blame myself because it was me who wasn’t believing in my potential.  These thoughts were formed from years of feeling like I had to blend in, because who I really was, wasn’t good enough to stand out.  All of these misconceptions that I had developed in my mind were what I based all of my decisions and feelings on.propertyofvanillaclouds

Generally speaking, I figure, by the time you are in your late teens and after you experience your first real heartbreak, you probably have formed your core character, demons and all.  That said, I was 23 when I had my first devastating heartbreak, so, according to my calculations, it has taken me 17 whole years to figure out that there is no one in this world that is responsible for validating my self worth but me.  It has also taken me this long to figure out that there is no one who will fight for me, but me.PropofVanillaClouds

Interestingly enough, I was speaking with a friend of mine, who admitted that she hadn’t figured this out until her mid-50’s.  I asked myself, what is it that allows some of us to come to terms with why and what is holding us back in life before others.  What is it that allows some of us to embrace the issues, accept them and seek to fix the misconceptions we based our decisions on-our entire lives before this point.  According to this article I read a few weeks ago, the answer is partially humility.

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Humility: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people : the quality or state of being humble.  Humility is not just about being the opposite of a cocky person, it’s actually admitting to yourself that you don’t know it all.  Allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  Telling yourself that you don’t have all the answers and that perhaps you could benefit from some insight regardless of where it came from. And that this is all ok.

I think when we are really genuine with ourselves, and choose to face the truth head on, we can un-do the damage that was done to us when we were innocent children.PropofVanillaClouds

True freedom comes when ego goes.

In our early forming years, we are tested so many times and even as an adult, I found myself challenged with fitting into various types of social settings.  If we can admit that doing drugs is not our thing and that the whole concept of fitting into a scene you don’t even like is bullshit… When we can acknowledge that getting drunk to the point of disaster is not what cool kids or adults do and even if it was, maybe we don’t want to be that kind of cool because sometimes it just doesn’t bring out the best in us.  If we can admit that very often after drinking, we hate the way it makes us feel on many levels and that we are embarrassed and have let ourselves down.  If we can believe in ourselves enough to not need the attention of every guy or girl in the room, or if we can just admit that we aren’t into designer clothes that everyone wears,..or if we can give up the need to compete with our knowledge on whatever topic because that’s how we validate our inteligence,..I mean the list goes on, and on.PropofVanillaClouds

Quoting this article I read from Tricycle magazine…I misplaced the author’s name: Spiritual change is precisely a process that is bigger than you.  You don’t control it.  You surrender to it.  You don’t reinvent yourself, you face yourself, and then you must let go of everything you find.

Once you do this, what you attract afterwards,  will surprise you and may even change your life for the better. xo

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