It is no secret that I love Instagram (aka IG, Insta, The Gram). It is my absolute favorite social media platform. I have noticed, however, that I do a lot of my reflection in the mornings while getting ready for work. Little teeny nuggets of inspiration / thoughts / a challenge or goal for myself for that particular day that I end up sharing quick on Instagram.
Well hello, Miss Julia, not everyone has an Instagram account! So, I decided that at the end of each month I will post an In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) Insta Recap of all of my noteworthy morning/afternoon/evening reflections. I hope you enjoy! Xx
10.30.2019 [[ Julia, how can you be so positive and grateful all the time? ]] This is me currently: watermelon/frog smile and everything. 🐸 🍉 I just ate six starbursts out of the pumpkin shaped candy bowl I have on my desk and I’m a little chilly because I’m pretty sure the air conditioning is on in my office. I’ve got like 1.5 more hours at work because I have bi-weekly meetings with one of my groups of student leaders. ✨ But, I am grateful. And today, one of my students asked me how I can be so grateful all the time when it is so easy to be negative. [[ the question made me THINK. ]] But I have an answer now, so I figured I would share. 👇🏼
I *was not* always this grateful and positive (fact) and that I am *currently not* always positive and grateful (fact). What has changed for me is my << awareness >> of my negativity, and the *power* of my positivity. I shifted from someone who admittedly would connect with people on a basis on commiserating, to someone who tries to identify the positive perspectives in most situations. In fact, it was after listening to an audiobook authored by the incomparable @brenebrown that has beautiful reflections on this idea of “hot wiring connection through negativity and commiserating” that I became fully aware of that behavior. With this heightened awareness I have been able to consciously flip my internal dialogue from negative to positive. But listen, I try my best to remain in a positive perspective without diminishing the pain/struggle/challenge that a negative situation can bring to the human experience. Positivity is not simply sugar coating, it’s an opportunity to see a different perspective.So where does gratitude come in? I’m going to liken gratitude as a second layer of this awareness. The first layer is having the cognitive awareness that I am doing/saying/thinking/feeling negatively. The second is the humility of knowing that nothing in life is guaranteed.
10.29.2019 [a thought on self-worth and value] Currently looking through my photos to try to find one that captures my morning reflections and I came across this one. This lovely little scene from The Elms Mansion in Newport, RI on our trip we took in September. Stepping out of the shadows into the light. 🌳🌞 While prancing around this gorgeous estate we were surrounded by the most opulent representations of financial wealth. And this morning, I started thinking about all the forms of wealth and value, *not* related to monies or assets. 🤔 Most days it feels like those in the world tie ALL forms of value and wealth to the financial, forgetting about the value of time, the value of health, the value of love, the value of kindness and care (seriously, stay with me here — I know I’m getting Hallmark-y). Keep reading 😏
It is SO easy to allow financial wealth (whether you have it or not) to cast a shadow on ALL other forms of value that you << have >> in this world AND that you <<bring >> to this world. My challenge to you today [which I am playing along with this challenge because I have been struggling with this also]: step out of that shadow and into light. Restructure your hierarchy of values for yourself, in your own world. And lastly, know that value is found in everything, and everyone. You have value.
1. When I typed “prancing” all I could think of was this emoji 🦌
2. Seriously wasn’t this the best choice of photo?!
3. Happy Tuesday my friends.💕
10.22.2019 •[ A quick thought on gratitude vs. guilt.]• I could not get out of bed this morning. I’ve been staying up later [weird, I know — I’m usually passed out by 9:30 pm 👵🏻] and in turn I have been having a super difficult time waking up. While I was laying there this morning trying to convince myself that I HAD to get outta bed to stay on schedule, I had a thought of super deep gratitude.✨
Ready for it? I thought to myself how thankful I am to have the strong, resilient, *working* body and mind that I do. The body pictured above that sometimes I don’t fully love because I compare myself to past versions of me; or other ladies. The body that fluctuates in weight and sometimes is stubborn to get out of bed. The mind that sometimes gets taken over by anxious thinking or irrational thoughts. But I am able bodied, in tune with my well-being, and I am grateful. I don’t feel guilty that I feel tired and overwhelmed sometimes or that other family and friends don’t have this same privilege. I don’t feel guilty; I feel so unbelievably grateful for what I do have. For my body. For my mind. That’s what made my feet touch the cold ground next to my bed this morning.🦶🏼
Ask yourself this morning: what is one thing you can reframe your thinking on and choose gratitude instead of the alternative?
10.18.2019 Let’s talk about support systems, shall we? 🗣 In my professional life, I often speak with college students about building a strong support system that will aid in their personal, academic and professional development. 🧠 Without sounding too nerdy, one of my favorite theories that guides a lot of my professional [and personal] practice is Sanford’s Theory of Challenge and Support: growth = challenge + support. Simply put, the theory explains that it is only when we have equal parts of challenge and support can growth truly occur. 🧐 Well, I present to you, my girl gang support system. These beautiful, talented, intelligent, resilient, and ass-kickin’ ladies have provided me unwavering support, inspiration, and love for as long as I can remember. They have been the support during my challenging times and have been an integral part in my overall growth.
My challenge for you this weekend is to think about who is a part of your support system? Family? Friends? Colleagues? Mentors? Counselors? How can you better rely on your support system? And how can you reciprocate that support and show up for them?
9.27.2019 [l o n g • p o s t • a l e r t] The moment when you realize the leaves are starting to change into their brightest, most colorful version, and so are you.🍁Like many, I find the fall to be the most beautifully transformative season.✨ But especially *this* fall. I am settling into a brand new part of my identify, uncharted territory, in a few different areas in life. 🗺 I have no idea what to expect, yet, it feels like I am exactly where I am supposed to be. However, a handful of people I talk with say they don’t like fall because they know what’s coming next (don’t get me wrong, I agree that winter months can be difficult for many, many reasons), but let’s instead look at these next six months with two things in mind: transformation and reflection. 🔍 I have a hunch that the spare time people have is what creates such anxiety. Many are left indoors, alone with their thoughts, which can easily result in that downward spiral. ➡️ I challenge you to begin now and use these next two seasons to do some self-work. Start embracing the transformation and use your time productively to reflect on:
<< where you used to be >>
<< where you are now >>
<< where you are heading. >>
The most drastic change for me? Exploring the new title of wife and what that means to me as an individual and us as a couple (while also embracing my new name — so weird still and I have NO idea about this new signature 🖊 haha)
Now that wedding planning is complete, I will have more time to focus on embracing my new leadership role at work, continuing the self-work of finding my voice and becoming a more confident decision maker. 💪🏼 And finally, of course, embracing my role as a blogger. 🗣 Ideas have been pouring out of me and I cannot wait to begin creating more content to share with you all.