19 October 2015

The Greatest Lessons from my 20s {part 3}

This post is part of a five-week series, The Biggest Lessons from my 20s. During the five weeks leading up to my 29th birthday, I'll be discussing the greatest lessons this decade has taught me. Read the most recent post, which is To Believe this is Not an Economy of Scarcity here.  

Last week, I sent my discipleship group back to school for the year. We wrapped up our summer together with dinner at my house, talking about the year ahead - what they were excited about, nervous for and most ready to do.

The evening got me thinking about how, without them having been assigned to my group, I'm not sure I ever would have met them. They're seven+ years my junior and in completely different walks of life than me. But, we connected deeply and quickly - proving to ourselves that age and background don't necessarily mean as much as we might think when it comes to friendships.

I've reflected a lot on friendships this year and have especially focused on growing deeper in them this summer. I have a tendency to hold on tightly to every relationship I create. In college, I yearned for my high school friendships to stay the same. After college, I did my best to keep every friendship in tact - vowing that time and distance wouldn't force us to grow apart, but instead, closer together.

As I've gotten older, though, I've begun to finally understand that relationships change. And it's OK. This has been, easily, one of the greatest lessons of my 20s.

I have finally begun to understand that it's OK when friendships change and the best thing we can do is let go of the ones that aren't good for us and hold on tightly to the ones that are. 

Only we can control who is in our lives. If people are toxic or, sometimes harder to recognize, just not the type of person that brings joy to your life, it's OK to allow them to lift out. We spend a lot of time and energy cultivating our relationships and it's important that we are selecting to invest in things that are life giving.

If a relationship zaps your energy, constantly frustrates you or brings you hurt in any way, let it go. If it energizes you, brings you joy and is life giving, hold on to it with all your might. 

Only you can control who you let into your life. Give yourself permission to seek, give and live good love. In the end, it's the the most important investment we make.

24 August 2015

The Greatest Lessons from My 20s {part 4}

This post is part of a five-week series, The Biggest Lessons from my 20s. During the five weeks leading up to my 29th birthday, I'll be discussing the greatest lessons this decade has taught me. Read the most recent post, which is To Invest in Good, Loving Relationships here.  

I recently started practicing yoga at Core Power, which opened in Atlanta this summer. Last week, we ended class with Happy Baby pose and the instructor said it's one of his favorites, because it invites us to be larger and take up more space on our mats.

I thought about that sentiment for a while. I think the idea that we should use up more space on this earth is really foreign to us - especially as women. Aside from the obvious, which is that we're constantly applauded for being thinner, firmer and tighter, there's also a sentiment, I think, that we should be smaller emotionally and mentally too. To be dainty and agreeable. To be emotionally confined and handled. To be smaller in our needs, our thoughts and our feelings is often something we're taught and encouraged to be.

Throughout my 20s, I've begun to understand, that we aren't meant to be smaller. We are meant to be the fullest, most lively versions of ourselves. For some of us, that means we are quiet; but it's not a trying-to-contain-myself quiet. It's that we are naturally inclined to be that way. For others of us, we are more talkative or, heck, our voices just carry more. And that's OK, too.

I think it's important that we, as women, stop apologizing for being ourselves and for taking up space on this earth. We are meant to be here right now and to make the most of this time. Having bold opinions, emotional needs or strong reactions to things isn't something we should be ashamed of, but instead, something we should be proud of.

As I've gotten older, I've become more comfortable with the fact that I have needs and I've stopped trying to diminish them. I have stopped trying to pretend I'm OK when I'm not. I have stopped trying to pretend I agree with something when I don't or apologize if something frustrates me. I have begun to stand taller - confident in my 5'10 height.

I've become more sure of the fact that I am meant to be here, today, on this earth. I understand now that being less of who I am diminishes my purpose and my ability to connect with others. And there are few things greater than living out our purposes while we're here and connecting deeply with those we love.

21 August 2015

What Kind of Blog Reader are You?

Happy FRIDAY friends!

I cannot believe I've already posted 11 weeks worth of Five Facts from a Guy. Holy moly this summer has flown!

I've had the best time doing this series. It has given me the chance to hear from so many of the men in my life - from siblings to friends' fiances and everything in between. It has made me so happy to see how good the men around me are and how well loved my friends are! Nothing feels better than knowing the women you love are with good, thoughtful and kind men who remember to put the toilet seat down and tell them they're beautiful with or without makeup.

But, I already know I enjoy these posts. The question is, do you? I'd love for you to take my quick three-question quiz below to tell me what you think. As I continue to grow my blog, I would love to know what direction you want it to go. So, tell me: what type of blog reader are you?

19 August 2015

how i'm feeling today

Loving: This mermaid braid tutorial from Cup of Jo. I normally dislike hair tutorials because they position themselves as simple and are then way hard (for me), but this one is my jam! It was so easy and who doesn't want an Elsa braid? It's perfect for days when I don't want to wash my hair, but still want to look pulled together.

To prove how easy it was, I tried the braid and documented it for you. Although you can't really tell that this is a double braid from my pic, I promise it is. And it took about 30 seconds. Baddabing!

Eating: At the recommendation of my brothers, I switched my overnight oats to steel cut instead of rolled. Holy moly! They're so much better! They taste like grape nuts. Here's how I make them:

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Cinnamon to taste
2 tablespoons collagen (optional and will not impact taste)

To make:
1. Mix all four ingredients in a glass jar.
2. Stir well.
3. Store overnight, covered in fridge

The next day, I top mine with Sun Butter and blueberries. And voila!

Thinking about: This Elite Daily read: How Your Personality Type Predicts What Your Dream Job Will Be. I'm a huge fan of Myers-Briggs. I'm an ENFJ and mine was spot on! Dream on, dreamers.

Inspired by: Another Elite Daily read (I swear they aren't paying me for this!): 50 I Don’ts You Should Agree On Before You Say ‘I Do’. I don't agree with everything they say, but I love the idea behind it.

Intrigued by: The  Iron You's Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese. I haven't had a grilled cheese in a minute! I'll be sure to report back in November when I'm craving comfort food. I reckon this will be making an appearance.

Happy Wednesday amigos!