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The Secret To Change

Need a pick me up to brighten your day? Click through to see the series Quick Inspiration on the Blog. The personal growth series includes some of my favorite quotes!

Change is never easy; it’s in our nature to resist it, and that’s ok.  We are hard wired to seek comfort–to want to keep things the same so we don’t have to feel stretched beyond our limits.

But change is so good for us.  It helps us see how things can be different.  The key is to focus on what’s ahead rather than on what we’re leaving behind, yes?

Love, Steph

 

 

 

Click here for more Quick Inspiration

The Secret To Change2018-03-29T20:23:07-04:00

The Big Move + Link Love

Lately Around here

Well, well, well.  I moved into our new house! I can’t tell you how happy I am to be on the other side of this weekend, because although it was an exciting time,  it was also a trying one.  The waves of emotions were overwhelming at times (still are) but I know it’s just part of the process when you move.

It was really cool though, too.  We’ve been pouring our hearts into getting the house ready to live in ( it’s not a fixer upper, thank GOD) and it’s nice to actually be in the space, even though it’s not completely done.  I can feel the shift of energy,  from living in one place compared to another–it’s like shedding an old coat and putting on a new one.  I’m really, really excited for my new coat.

If there’s one thing I realized throughout this process, is that it’s important to recognize change as you go through it.  The transitions are such an important part of who we are, why are we always rushing through them?  Probably because it can be scary and overwhelming and no one likes to feel those things.  But change can also be fun and hopeful.  And recognizing your own growth, your own expansion, can be so liberating and strengthening!  So I’m going to try to look at any kind of transition through that lens from  now on–it makes getting to the other side much easier.

Here are a few snaps of the weekend:

One last shot in my old apartment–It was bittersweet to leave but I’m excited for what’s next.

moving selfie

Here’s a peek at the garage after moving to the new house (and some of the mountains of boxes).

garage mess

We got the couch set up in the den, but yep, the kitchen is still a disaster.

Den

The Living Room is coming together.  We still need a rug and some other accents…

Living Room

And after the long day of moving, Chris’s expression says it all.

chris on couch

 I know once we’re unpacked and settled in, it’s going to be great.

Link Love

Some of my favorite links around the web this week:

The Big Move + Link Love2018-03-29T20:23:16-04:00

The Beauty of Rituals. {How a Bridal Shower Opened My Heart.}

 

Rituals are a part of most growth moments. Click through to read how I had my own moment at a bridal shower and how it's changed my view of them forever.

 

What’s the first word you think of when you hear you’re invited to a bridal shower? The ones that come to my mind usually are: ‘ugh’, ‘boring’ and ‘I hope they’re serving wine’.  But I have to admit–I was caught off guard at a recent shower.  It was inspiring and moving in ways I didn’t anticipate.

It got me thinking about rituals and the purpose they serve in our lives. I was raised a strict catholic, so I am no stranger to rites and rituals–I can say pretty much the whole catholic mass verbatim (the old version, anyway), so I was ready for the onslaught of typical shower events.  But this shower was different;  It wasn’t so much about the pomp +circumstance (it was a display shower! How cool is that?!), but it was more about blending families and having fun.

It reminded me that rituals are actually pretty cool.  They’re about the progression of life–being present as we shed the old and embrace the new.  With a ritual, we share our transition and move forward to a new phase of our lives; It’s presence + love + growth in action.  

Because rituals are the markers we use to recognize our growth; it’s how we distinguish one life event from the next. And the tribe we share it with, helps us through that transition. They support us as we say, I’m changing and I want you to see how.

From this experience, I realized my view of showers had been a tad immature: from the outside, these events often felt a little boring and repetitive. But maybe it was just me; because if I was paying attention, I would have seen past the gifts + cake + games. I would have appreciated the day for what it was: a gathering of a tribe.

It got me thinking about my own personal milestones and the people who have carried me through them: family, friends and even strangers helping me to that next step of life.  I have been blessed by gentle souls ushering me through my own journey and yet I often took it for granted.  Now I understand why my mom was so adamant about a sweet 16 party for me (when I could care less); she wanted to move me along to adulthood and  wanted the people in my life to support that growth, too.

At the end of the shower, I was a little sad to leave the happy bubble. Maybe it was just the sparkle of the sun or me enjoying my new perspective, but I carried that warmth with me for the next couple of days. That’s the great thing about rituals–the things you look at can change in an instant, all you have to do is be open to seeing them differently.

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The Beauty of Rituals. {How a Bridal Shower Opened My Heart.}2018-03-29T20:23:17-04:00

Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}

How do you handle change? Click through to hear about how a common experience helped me to handle change as an adult and how it may help you, too.

I can remember my first day of kindergarten quite vividly–I wore a navy jumper and was rockin’ a Dorothy Hamill bowl cut.  I had been working myself into a tizzy for months; that summer I got up everyday and practiced packing my bag for school.  (Yes, I actually did this.)  I am the third of four kids, so I’m not sure who was more excited–me or my parents, but their calm and encouraging attitude fueled my glee.

Little me

Little me going to kindegarten.

Fast forward to the Fall of 1991, my parents were sending me out into the big world again, but this time it was college.  When they dropped me off at the residence hall, I was choking back the tears because I wasn’t ready for that change; I was still in high school mode and used to having my childhood friends close at hand.  (I learned years later that my mom wasn’t ready for the change either–she cried the whole way home.)   But at the time, we each put on a brave face and marched toward the next phase of life.

Change can often feel like both of these extremes–exciting and fun or nerve-wracking and dreadful–it depends on how you approach it.

It’s natural for us to dig our heels in and want the comfort and security of what we know; but without these constant revisions, we become stagnant and bored.  Change is a necessary part of our growth.

Transitions create an emotional shift in our otherwise routine life; they challenge us to try new experiences, even when we’re not quite ready for them.  Could it be because we know a door is closing, in order to make room for what is next?

I try to remember these thoughts when those jittery feelings creep up:

  • Change is good.  All progress and movements forward happen because of change.  Without these adjustments, we become lifeless.
  • Everyone gets nervous about change.  It’s a normal reaction to be nervous, even when the change is great and it’s something we’ve been waiting for.  Transitions can bring butterflies to even the steeliest of bellies.
  • Being brave with the small changes will help prepare us for the big ones.  Testing the waters and finding our limits helps us be brave enough to move through the big and small transitions.  The more we know ourselves, the better we can prepare for change (and the smoother it will be).
  • Ride the wave.  Easy transitions are a lot about preparation.  And even when there’s not a lot of time to prepare, we can still mentally walk through the process to figure out where we may need extra support.  Once we’ve done the work, it’s important to embrace our choice and ride the wave into the next phase; half-committing to a decision doesn’t usually turn out very well.
  • Honor yourself.  Change can wreak havoc on the body and mind.  Checking in with ourselves about our needs and asking for help can be the difference between a smooth transition and a train wreck.  A talk with a trusted friend, a massage or a round at the boxing gym can do wonders for managing the stress and emotions that come up with change.  We each need to find our outlet.

The next time you face a change in your life, think about how you want to feel after it’s over.  Focusing on the after of change can often be the push you need to get through it.

When I’m confronted with a new opportunity to change, I try to remember that sweet kindergartner that still lives inside of me and how excited she was for her first day of school.  It reminds me that with an open heart and a willing attitude, transitions can be pretty amazing.

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Change Is Inevitable. {How You Deal With It Is Optional.}2018-03-29T20:23:21-04:00

Simple Steps To Get Out Of A Rut

You don't have to suffer if you're in a rut! Click through for some simple steps to take to get you out of your funk + moving forward in your life again.

Feeling like you’re in a rut is the worst, isn’t it?  I can remember certain times in my life where I felt like things would never change.  Of course I was wrong, but that didn’t make how I felt any less horrible!

How do you handle things when you feel like you can’t seem to get out of a rut? Feeling like you’re unable to move forward can be paralyzing. Whether it’s creatively, personally or professionally, ruts can grab hold and squash your mojo really easily. *Ugh*  The good news is, there are ways to get out of it and they’re pretty simple.

Here are few things that you can do next time you’re having that stuck in a rut feeling:

  • Identify the source of feeling stuck.  Is it a crappy job?  Or a relationship that isn’t working anymore? Being honest with yourself about why you feel stuck in a rut will at least make it clear what you need to do to improve the situation or move on.  Don’t get me wrong–owning up to what isn’t working isn’t easy, but at least you’ll be more clear about why you’re feeling this way + that will make room for change when you’re ready.
  • Make a list of options.  Do a brain dump and get down on paper all of the ways you can get out of the rut.  Don’t think too hard when you’re doing this, just let your mind wander + write down everything that comes up, no matter how far fetched it may seem.  Sometimes you need to start with big thoughts to get down to the actionable pieces.  When I do this, I’m always amazed what my subconscious comes up with.
  • Go back to the basics. Think about a time in your life when you felt absolutely fantastic. What were you doing?  What was different? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel–when you’re feeling stuck, it’s always good to go back to things that have worked for you in the past and build from there.
  • Check in with yourself + make sure you are practicing self care: eat right, move your body, connect with others + do something that brings you joy.  These practices have a cumulative effect so even if you don’t feel like it, get your body moving in the right direction and your brain will catch up with you later.
  • Give yourself a time limit.  Being in a rut can quickly transition to feeling depressed.  By giving yourself a time limit to wallow in your stuck-ness, you are more likely to get out of it sooner.  Set a time limit that you need to take action by in order to avoid sliding backwards–even if that means faking it a little to get you moving.
  • Ask for help.  Tell your close friends + family how you’re feeling.  Ask them for support and perhaps even for some help to get moving forward.  They love you and want to help, so let them!  This trick alone has saved me countless times when I was stuck.
  • Allow room for adjustments.  Bouncing back after being down can sometimes feel like you’re taking two steps forward, one step back.  Be gentle with yourself during this time as you make changes, it may not go as smoothly as you want but any progress is good.  Transitions take time + patience, so celebrate the small victories along the way!

Try to remember–feeling stuck can be a gift, too.  I’ve had times of total frustration in my life when I wasn’t where I wanted to be and I felt totally lost.  Recognizing this + using some of these tools to get out of that rut brought me to a whole new phase of my life.  Looking back, I realize those difficult times helped me transition + grow.  I hope these tricks help you, too.

Love, Steph

 

 

 

Simple Steps To Get Out Of A Rut2018-03-29T20:23:25-04:00
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