Choose your Environment
I took this beautiful magnolia blossom from its tree a couple of days ago. I placed it in a jar of water. The next day, it opened up; it’s beauty and fragrance filled my room. This brought me so much joy. I woke up the next morning, and it was completely withered and brown. Reluctantly, I placed it in the trash.
Moments later, I realized what I did - selfishly, I took something that was flourishing in its natural environment and placed it where I knew I could not provide the nutrition it needed (all for my own short term gain). I knew I could not invest the time nor energy that its tree provided which allowed it to become what it was the day I found it: beautiful, strong, healthy and vibrant. Instead, the environment I provided drained the life out of it and caused it to die. The magnolia had no choice. I clipped it, and it had no means of getting reattached to its tree.
We, however, have a choice. When circumstances place you in an environment that is unwilling to provide or invest what you need to grow, be the beautiful person you are, and flourish in doing so, remember what happened to my flower. Remove yourself. If it doesn’t bring you life, let it go. Walk away. Don’t allow it to clip you from your tree. And if you thought it was a better environment, leave as soon as you notice it isn’t. Don’t stay once you know it is sucking the life from you… the longer you wait, you might not be able to be reattached to your tree.
A little less than three years ago, I bought a dog from a rescue shelter. I knew that I could provide what she needed to blossom and grow. I was willing to make the investment to provide what she needed. The handler said, "Ma'am, this dog is very challenging... If you are unable to manage her, then just bring her back. She requires a lot of patience." The lady handed me a card and Sunny (my dog) stood beside her shaking so confused. At that moment, she did not have a home. Her current environment was not providing what she needed, and she heard the words of discouragement this lady was feeding to her new mother. Imagine what she was going through not knowing what the next day or moment will bring - not knowing if her new environment was going to bring happiness or pain. That day I made the choice. I committed to the investment and sacrifice to provide a better environment for her. Today, that once difficult and scared 5-month old puppy who hid under my dining room table for two days now runs my household. She has blossomed. She is my heart and my best friend. Again, she did not have a choice, but she was provided an environment of growth and love where she trusts that her owner mom will continue to provide the best for her.
These two examples provide some valuable lessons. I was the investor in both situations. For the magnolia flower, I knew I could not provide what it needed. For Sunny, I made the investment. One thrived and one died.
Here's what you need to ask yourself before making a choice to change your environment:
1) Will that environment invest in you more or comparably to what you have invested in yourself?
2) Will you be in a place to grow and blossom?
3) Over time, will the environment sustain a healthy level of growth and development?
Remember, most of the time, it is your choice. Choose wisely and if you make the wrong choice, be willing to walk away!
Be Blessed! ~ Hugs, Carla
No Where to Now Here
I’ve been tried to the ten thousandth degree recently and retreated to complaining mode (asking Why is this happening? Why I’m going through this? Why all my efforts seem to exacerbate the situation?) There was no peace to be found there.
The situation kept pressing, and yes, the feeling of helplessness was slowly tearing me down. I needed to be there, because I needed to see how I was focusing on the external. I reached out instead of reaching in! In that particular area, I forgot about what God has done in every other area of my life. For several days, I wanted so badly to fix it, claim the victory, and move on that I was putting band aids on battle wounds! Me, of all people whom God has carried through many storms before forgot to give this one over to Him! I slipped up.I’m always telling others that “God’s got it”! And when I reached a mountain, I forgot to remind myself of that! The time I wasted trying to climb the mountain by myself is time I will never get back!
Well, I definitely remember now!!! God moves mountains so there ain’t no reason to waste energy on a climb! He got me! I’m not helpless! I am strong! I’m not weak! My Faith is powerful! I’m not weary! I am blessed!
Today, I ask for His Forgiveness for my hesitation in turning this over to Him. Today, I’m thankful for the reminder that every situation is covered by things bigger than me. And today, I am most grateful for that humbling moment when the sun rays began to shine through the clouds again. I AM NOW HERE☀️💫♥️🙏🏾👑 #waymaker
Stand while I work
MY STANDING DESK
When I made the transition to working online 13 years ago, I was very concerned about the amount of time I would spend being seated during my day. Working at home has many benefits, but without a plan, it can take a toll on your health. With meetings and work demands, you may spend hours at a time sitting if you are not aware. I hope this post is helpful for those who are working at home because of the pandemic.
It is recommended that every hour you spend 45 - 55 minutes seated at the computer and 5-15 minutes of moving around. Well, I've tried that for years. I tried it with a timer. I've tried it with an app. Regardless, I end up spending 2-3 hours sitting and working at a time. I've heard about standing desks and treadmill desks for a while now. Well, the treadmill desk was not an option - imagine the complaints I would get from my clients hearing the heavy breathing LOL. Five years ago, the price range for standing desks was $250 - $400. Now, the prices are finally coming down. Today is my first day working at my new desk and I love it. I'm excited about burning the extra 24 calories per hour that standing uses compared to sitting. I'm also excited about the improved circulation in my legs and being able to do a few squats while waiting for the voicemails to pick up. I think this new office design is really going to improve my health and quality of work. So from now on, I will be standing and not whistling while I work.
What once was will never be
"2020" We may never ever need to say that again. In a few days, we will be starting a new year. I'm so looking forward to it, but I hope I'm not the only one who can say that despite the challenges of 2020, I experienced the most growth both personally and emotionally than I have ever done throughout my 46 years. Let's dive right into it!
Maintaining what works - In the absence of being physically present, you can show and interact with love ones by answering when they need you, using Facetime, and reaching out through cards or texts. I remember when my son and I were doing a walkthrough of a house I was thinking about buying. He and I included my daughter by having her on Facetime. She was able to see what we saw and hear our thoughts about the house in real time. She also asked questions to the realtor. She was in a sense there. Yes, it was different, but it worked.
Promoting Self Love -I've had a lot of time to reflect during 2020. So many things happened that were beyond my control that I had to rediscover what at the end of the day makes me happy. Sitting down to a movie with a glass of wine, studying a different language, reading a book, treating myself to a bubble bath in the middle of the day, enjoying a walk on the beach, or even having a quiet moment of meditation were all ways I showed myself self love. When you try, you can make something beautiful from very little. For example, I began to mix lavender oil and shea butter with cane sugar, honey, and coconut oil to create an all-natural scrub. Along with warm water, my bath tub became an oasis for refreshing my soul and exfoliating my skin.
Say What No Assembly Service
My Garage GYM Is Growing
I totally get doing things yourself, but I like my stuff put together already. I don't mind paying a little extra. With the current pandemic, I find that with many companies, assembly service is not available. They just want to leave it on the curb! Sometimes they won't even ring the doorbell to let you know your package was delivered. I had to pull out the tools and with a little help from my dog, we did it. Ok, I may have also had a few glasses of wine too. LOL
So what did I buy?
I love working out. I walk almost every day but some times the weather does not cooperate. I know that my leg strength is important for keeping my knees strong to carry my curvy figure. Squats is one way to help build and protect my leg muscles, but I find doing them challenging - the whole no-leaning thing. Well, I feel like I cannot master doing a squat correctly no matter how hard I try. But wait... this tiny machine is perfect. It guides you down for the perfect squat. All you do is push with the legs. You can make it a full body workout to by pulling with the arms. There are also resistance bands to allow you to build your strength gradually. I am in love with the range of motion of this machine!
Two Month Update
This post was long overdue. I purchased my squat machine in July and I have to say that it has been an awesome experience. I feel stronger, more confident, and motivated to get on it. I use it about 3-4 times per week combined with a simple cardio dance routine.
When you find something that works, embrace it and share it. I no longer feel like squats are difficult. The guided assistance of this machine makes doing squats literally as easy as pie!
Comment below if you are interested in getting one. And remember... Keep your chin up, show yourself love, and do those squats correctly. Hugs, Carla
Create Your Space
your environment matters
I've spent my whole life thinking of others and mostly, putting others' needs before my own. It was part of my upbringing, the culture of what I was learned to do. Don't get me wrong, taking care of others is not a curse; it is, in fact, rewarding on many levels. It is still instilled in me, but that priority has changed.
In 2016, I started my metamorphosis. It was not on purpose. I've always desired to own my own business, but I knew I could not afford to support my family if I quit my main job. Instead, I started growing my business on weekends and late nights. Many people will call it a "side hustle"; I now call it my expansion period. Having the ability to change your work habits to gain what you need in order to grow is HUGE!