Thoughts become reality

So, you know how I always write about staying positive and manifesting/visualizing your life, going after what you want..bla bla bla?  Well, I have an apology to give to you.  I have not been following my own advice lately.  What a hypocrite, I am very sorry.  See? Even us bubbly pooping rainbows kind of people have their days.

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It has been a challenging year at work filled with pressure, negativity and drama.   My Marathon training did not have the awesome start I was hoping.  Planning a wedding filled with constant negative stress around me did not help either.   But, after doing some reading and reflecting these last few weeks, I realize the reason all of these things were happening this way…because I lost control and LET THEM HAPPEN.   I let myself feel stressed and fall into a negative environment at work,  I told myself there was no way I could get everything done everyday, I told myself I was not cut out to be a leader or to manage people and I told myself there is no way I can turn the negative environment around… and guess what?  My thoughts became my reality, like they always do. 

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From the beginning of marathon training, I felt defeated. How can I get to where I was last year?  What if I fail again?  I can’t do this.  Guess how many failed runs I had with that mindset?  A LOT.  Of course I did.   Not to mention the fact that I have been in 3 car accidents in a matter of  months.  How is that for negative energy slamming back in your face?  Sorry about that, old yellow.

Our thoughts become our reality.  I KNOW this.  I PREACH this.  I LIVE by this. I have SEEN it happen time and time again.  But I became lost and forgot how easy it can be to turn around.

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Everything I have been blessed with these last several years came to be because I visualized it and I believed it.  All came out of nowhere, when I least expected it.  Even when it didn’t make sense for it to happen…it still happened.  I did not seek opportunity, opportunity literally came knocking at my door yelling “LOOK AT ME JILL!!”.  And it was because I was on this happy train of positivity and taking life by the horns.  When you are on that happy train, awesome things just keep happening.  Somewhere somehow, I fell off that train and started riding on a different one.  This new train is filled with ” I can’t control this” and “sometimes life sucks but I am going to accept it” kind of attitude, I want off NOW.

Just in the last week alone I have felt revitalized at work  and had some awesome workouts.  Coincidence?  I think not.  We have to constantly keep ourselves in check and REMIND ourselves WE are in control of our destiny, WE can have the life we want.

Yes, the mind is indeed a battlefield.  But the crazy part?  We control the war.  It is so simple, yet so easy to forget. Stay blessed in the mess 🙂

 

Honesty.

One of the biggest mistakes we make with ourselves and with others,  is not being honest.  This makes sense though, being honest is hard.  It means you have to come to some serious self realizations that you may be uncomfortable with.  It mean you may have to leave your excuses at the door.  You may even have to say things that hurt other people’s feelings…maybe it will cause conflict and nobody likes conflict.  But conflict is how we grow.   There IS a way to be honest with one another without being disrespectful.  But often our honesty comes with anger, which of course is not going to get the result we want or need.  The truth does hurt sometimes, so it is best delivered in a respectful and kind way so as to help and construct…not to tear down.

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Are you being 100% honest with yourself or are you faking it?  Do you REALLY love your job?  Do you REALLY enjoy the person you are with?  Do you REALLY believe you are doing what you are supposed to right now? Are you honest with others about your feelings?  Maybe you are, or maybe you are not.   Many of us are just trying to get through the day, not realizing that by “faking it” we are pushing ourselves farther and father away from our potential and creating more conflict for others and for ourselves.  Especially internal conflict.

 

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You see, it is really this vicious cycle that can relate to all aspects of life.  For example, not being honest with others:  You are not honest with another co- worker/friend/family member about something that really upset you, so you let it go.  That person does it again, you start to build resentment.  All the while, this person has no clue that what they are doing is upsetting you but you are mad that they have not figured it out.

The resentment and anger builds.   Maybe it blows up one day or maybe you just bottle it up and never say a word.  It’s not healthy for you to do that and it’s not good for the other person to NOT know what they are doing wrong.  So, maybe instead you talk about it with everybody else.  That makes sense right?  Let’s just tell everybody else why this person is pissing you off, but don’t actually approach the situation itself to correct it.  So now there are assumptions made about this person by others who do not even know both sides of what is going on which results in more non-honest conversation and more hurt feelings.  Chaos.  These are the kinds of things that rip teams, staff members, relationships and families apart.

Why do we let this go on?

Somebody once told me something about conflict and hard conversations that was so very true.  “The hard conversations are never as hard as you make them out to be in your head.”    This goes for conversations with yourself has well.  Have the talk, come forth with your thoughts.  I truly believe that we would all be in a better place if we were just more open to honest and respectful conversation.  We would work better together, we would have better relationships and life would be more enjoyable.

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I am not telling you to go and tell everybody you dislike how you really feel and how that outfit actually looks terrible and OMG why are you wearing your hair like that and could you chew your gum ANY LOUDER…easy tiger.

At work especially, it is important to be cordial and put petty things like that aside.  I am talking about productive honesty here.   I will confess that if I personally do not like someone…they will probably never know in their lifetime that I do not like them.  What good comes of me telling somebody that I despise being in the same room as them?  No good at all.  But if that relationship needs to be productive, I  SHOULD be able to say:  “It has upset me the way you have acted toward me lately, did I do something wrong?”  I might then find out that the particular person is going through a rough time in their life, and had no idea they were projecting that kind of energy.   And then who knows, maybe I might think differently of them as a whole now that I understand them.  Everyone is human.  Everyone you meet is fighting a battle, never forget that.  But even if I am fighting a hard battle internally, I WANT to know if I am hurting other people or coming across in a negative way.   Because I would not want that, EVER.  So I would hope others are honest with me in that regard, no matter how hard it would be to hear.

Be honest with yourself and with others, especially on things that matter.  It will only make your relationships and life better.

Stay blessed in the mess 😉

 

28.

I am writing to you today as an old lady of 28 years,  wooooo! I am gaining on you, 30!  This past Sunday was my Birthday and it was quite the fabulous weekend of celebrating.  Friday night I took the train into the city to see my best friend, as her birthday was Friday.  We almost always celebrate our birthdays together.  I absolutely love that she lives in the city now, because it gives me an excuse to go experience Chicago more often.  I just adore Bridget and Mike so much, they always take me to fun places.  We hung out at the Millennium Park bar  until Mike got off work and I proceeded to have way too much alcohol before 6pm (2 cocktails and a beer is way past my tolerance, I was a little too excited for the weekend).   Thankfully we headed out to a place called Chophouse right afterwards for some really good food and then just called it a somewhat early night.

2014 pics 306Bridge and I had planned on doing a long run in the morning but it was raining SO hard so we wussed out and instead we hit up some thrift shops, SO FUN!  We found so much fun jewelry, I got a Columbia running jacket and Bridge got this beautiful formal dress.  Thrifting is seriously my new favorite hobby.

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Later in the afternoon was my little brothers graduation party, which was great to see some family and friends who I have not caught up with in a while and to celebrate this awesome new chapter for Justin.  I am so pumped to see where he goes in life and all the big things he will accomplish!

Later that night, Shain dropped me off at the Aurora train station so I could pick up my truck and take it home.  While going home,  a raccoon ran out in front of me and despite Shain’s voice in my head saying “don’t swerve for animals, that is how people die!” I swerved.  Because it was still rainy out,  my truck completely hydroplaned and spun out twice before hitting the guardrail.   I was going somewhere around 40-50MPH so in those few seconds I literally thought I was going to total my truck and get really badly hurt or maybe not even make it out at all (your mind gets dramatic when you are spinning out apparently).  But once I hit the guardrail…my airbags did not go off and I was fine.  I got out to look at my truck and just my bumper was damaged.  I probably could have cried and freaked out,  (don’t get me wrong I was upset) but the first thing that came to my mind was: “Holy CRAP that’s it?”.  So,  despite what a rough year my truck has seen and how embarrassed I am that this is the 3rd incident in 6 months (not all were my fault I swear!), I feel nothing but lucky.  I think somebody likes me upstairs.   I hope you have a long and meaningful life Mr. raccoon, you are welcome.

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Needless to say, I was happy to wake up and see my 28 birthday on Sunday and spend time with the people I love, eat lots of good food and too many sweets.  Life is too short..and things happen.  Just gotta keep counting your blessings 😉

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Resolution check-in

Man, the week after the fourth of July holiday is ROUGH,  eh?  I hope you all had as much fun this past weekend as I did, it has always been one of my most favorite holidays for many reasons.  It does not involve spending money on gifts- it just involves being outside, eating good food and hanging out with people you love.  We definitely did all of that.

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I got to do a workout with an old friend who I have not seen in forever, Shain and I spent hours at the pool, I had a successful long run that didn’t feel like death, we grilled out, took a canoeing trip, hit up a flea market and ended the weekend with some awesome music.  Success.  Yay, America!

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It is usually at this point in the year I also start to reflect a little bit on how my resolutions/goals are going.  What? You have given up on your resolutions already?!  Never fear, it is not too late!  Don’t let yourself fall into the majority who don’t make it. You still have time to conquer your 2014 goals.  Not to mention, who says you can’t make some more goals while you are at it or maybe tweak your current ones.  No better time to start than now.   This year I set some pretty straightforward and simple goals for myself, here is the progress on some of them:

Avoid talking negative at all costs about anybody/any situation:

I had no idea when I made this goal, how challenging of a year this would be, so this was incredibly appropriate to keep me in check.  I of course am not going through anything traumatic or terrible other than your every day stupid stress- I realize how blessed I am in my own mess (see what I did there?)- but I have had a hard time staying on track these past months with this specific goal.  I would be lying to you if I said I have been doing a good job not getting caught up in negative BS.  It literally has felt like it is EVERYWHERE lately.  No excuses though, I must get back on my positive train and not fall into the negative banter in my head or amongst others.  In order to create positivity and change in others, you have to be it and BREATHE IT.  Bottom line.

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Don’t buy anything new- secondhand stores only:

Okay, so I have to admit.  This goal has NOT been hard, it has been downright FUN.  I have cheated on this twice, once for a workout tank and the other with some gift cards I had while we were on our honeymoon- but in my mind gift cards don’t count since I am not using my money right?!  Other than that, I have not really had the desire to buy anything brand new and to be honest, I am not sure I ever will again.  I have been striking GOLD at Goodwill/Clothes Mentor/Platos Closet.  Just the other day,  I brought in a bunch of clothes to donate to Clothes Mentor and I used the money I got back in the store on these bad boys below- Tory Burch Flats.

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THEY WERE FIFTEEN DOLLARS.  What the WHAT?! GOLD I TELL YOU!  Technically I spent nothing on them- since I had a $22 credit, BOOM.  There are lots of brands I have always thought seemed nice to have, you know for people who can afford it/are willing to drop money….AKA not me.   But, my mind has been changed.  Look at me wearing clothes from White House Black Market, J-Crew,  Sperry boat shoes and Tory Burch Flats!   Maybe one day I will be somebody who can spend hundreds of dollars on a single pair of shoes and then donate them once they have a scuff on them.   Actually… I don’t think I will ever do that, so instead I will continue to be the girl that shops at the thrift stores in those rich neighborhoods, I am cool with that.

Have more FUN:

Last year I was really hard on myself and did not allow for too much “play” and when I did, I was guilty about it for days.  As stated my my previous post, eating clean is a necessity for me, it is my way of life and always will be.   BUT this year I made a pact to let go a little.  If I have a rest day the next day, I shouldn’t feel bad about enjoying a few drinks.  If I worked hard on the track/trail/gym that day, it is okay to have a treat.  As you know, my problem is turning one small treat in to an entire bag of sour patch kids, which is my reason for cutting sweets out entirely.  I am working on that, little by little.

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All in all, I need a reset button and summer is a good time to do that.  I am going to do some re-reading of The Secret, get back in my journaling routine and really spend time reflecting my goals moving forward.  I encourage you to do the same, stay blessed in the MESS! 🙂

Just keep showing up

You know that huge goal I had last year?  The goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon?  Remember how I missed that goal by 3 minutes?  And then AGAIN a month later by two minutes?  Yeah, that was awesome.

So here I am,  well over a month into 2014 marathon training…AGAIN.  I will not lie to you friends, it has not been going so hot.   I don’t know if I am just burnt out on this marathon business or if I am scared of failing again, or if the stress of life lately has affected me- maybe it is a little bit of everything.

Just this past weekend, I had to call Shain in tears to come pick me up on mile 13 of a 15 miler, because I literally let my battlefield of a head work me into a full blown anxiety attack that went like this:  “I really hate running, I should not have had those two beers last night, I wish I could just quit running and do Crossfit only,  it is really hot,  I can’t do this, I am so sick of running, I will never qualify, I have missed my chance, I can’t breathe, my legs feel like lead, my head is pounding, I quit”

I wish I was exaggerating, this is actually a typical conversation in my head during a tough workout/run.   I  have to constantly talk my self off a ledge.  That day I did not succeed, it happens.

 

2014 pics 296Giving Wyatt a swim break during a hot run

I wish I could be that person who could stay out late, eat whatever I want  etc. and still perform at close to my best.  But unfortunately, I am not nor have I ever been that person.  I think that is what makes training for this so hard, I have to sacrifice a lot of fun events,  I have to be more lame than I already am and get to bed early, I can’t binge too much on bad food- otherwise running 15-20 miles at PACE, in the humidity, is a disaster.

I have thought about throwing in the towel many times in this last month alone-but I have not.  I just keep showing up.  I show up to the gym despite my strength being way down (due to all the running), I show up to the track… and I show up to the running path and force myself through (most) of those long runs.  Sometimes all we can do is just keep showing up, it might not be our best, but we will fall far more behind if we just didn’t show up at all.   We will be ahead of those who stayed in bed, laid on the couch, didn’t feel like doing it- we will be that much closer to our goal.

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The days where we feel energized and ready to rock and roll are the easy ones, I certainly have had plenty of really good runs/workouts these past few weeks that leave me saying “Heck yes I can DO this!”.  I even hit a huge 5k PR a few weeks ago that boosted my confidence very much, but the tough days have outweighed the good.  However, it is THOSE days that we don’t want to get up, we just don’t feel like it or there are other plans that sound WAY more fun- those are the days that prove  true dedication.  To running, to work, to whatever it is you are going after.  If it was easy, everybody would do it.

When in doubt, just keep showing up.

 

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂