Vieques, Puerto Rico

Recently a few friends and I visited Vieques Puerto Rico! I am fortunate enough to have a family member who has a house there, and she was nice enough to let us use the house! This was my second time to Vieques, so I knew my way around. My friends that traveled with me are friends from high school. My high school friends and I still get together regularly, it’s nice to know they’re always there! City life can get a little lonely from time to time, people are just so busy! This trip was just what I needed to get out of the city life rut! Below are some pictures from our trip!

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Mantras

So I haven’t posted in a while. Life… you know. So I’ve been struggling with finding light and positivity lately. I had an amazing trip to Puerto Rico, which was full of light, good food, and sunshine. But the anxiety leading up to it and the sluggishness that followed has really bogged me down. I’ve been reading a book called You are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. It’s a good easy read that is humorous and thought provoking. Early on in the book there is a chapter about mantras. Honestly mantras were never really my thing. I’m more of a gratitude journal type of girl. But as I kept reading she goes on to talk about all of the negativity in the world that comes to us in so many ways: television, movies, news, magazine, and now even Facebook has horrifying images and videos on it! She talks about how tuning that out and accessing your highest energy is so important for a positive and awesome life. So I went back to the chapter on mantras to read some of her advice and suggestions. The examples didn’t seem to speak to me, a lot of the mantras were too long or not applicable. So I wanted to think of something simple that I can think of when negative energy is taking up too much space in my life. I decided on “love and be loved”. It’s simple enough and reminds me to do everything with love even if I don’t want to. Receiving love is really dependent on giving love. Jen Sincero suggests writing your mantra over and over, saying it out loud, saying to yourself in the mirror, and putting it on post-it notes around your house. What mantras do you use? What speaks to you? Leave a comment below! 

Set backs…

I wanted to write a little bit about set backs. I’ve had some lately and have been really trying hard to not to spin my wheels over my mistakes or challenges. As a social worker it’s my job to find the strengths in others and highlight those instead of their challenges. So why is it so hard to do it for myself? I have clients who are behind academically, socially and developmentally, but I still have a huge place in my heart for all of them. Even the kids who are sometimes dangerous to be around I think about, even after they leave from my agency. 

It’s so important to put yourself first and lift yourself up. It’s a skill that is easier said than done. So when it comes to criticism, unprofessional behavior by others, or what ever other challengers you face, take a minute to recognize your strengths. Don’t let the comments of others get you down, step back and find out what you can learn from it. It may be hard, but sometimes we need to humble ourselves and ask ourselves those tough questions. Is what they are saying true or somewhat true? Can we make improvements in certain areas? What areas are we strong in?  What kind of steps do we need to take to make improvements? If I were an outsider looking in, how would I see this situation? 

It’s hard to question ourselves, but it’s better than allowing criticism to knock us down. Instead take criticism constructively, even if it didn’t feel constructive when we heard it. Often people say things in a way that they didn’t mean or didn’t realize how their tone came off. The best way I deal with tough situations is talking it out with a friend. And ask what their opinion is. A true friend will support you with honesty and a strength based perspective. You wouldn’t want someone who feels like they need to lie to you, as to not upset you.
We also need to face the fact that in order to make improvements we need to do things out of our comfort zone, try things we’ve never done and work hard at it. Trust in yourself and you can do great things!

Sunny Saturday 

Today was crazy warm for February! Although global warming is very real, it was nice to enjoy the sunshine. Today Toby and I went to Singing Beach in the north shore. The beach got its name from the sand that “sings” when you walk on it. It sounds like track pants swishing together or squeaky boots, but Squeaky Boots Beach doesn’t sound as good as Singing Beach. Toby has never seen the ocean and I was so excited to bring him; the beach is my favorite place, thus my pet should also have the same level of enthusiasm for it. Luckily there were tons of people there with their dogs. There was a meet up group of pet owners and their dogs and locals with their dogs visiting the beach. Toby loved running around and playing with all of the dogs. There must have been between 40 and 60 dogs at the beach! We ran and played for a few hours and then he finally let me sit and read on my beach blanket and laid down next to me. I wish I could bring him to the beach year round! Hopefully there will be more good weather days before the regular beach season starts so we can run and play some more. Toby is very tired today and is  out cold tonight!

Love yourself: inside and out

Recently I found a book titled Love your Body by Talia Fuhrman. I love reading self help books, especially when it comes to health, mental and physical. This book is a great combination of both! Talia focuses on fueling your body with natural ingredients, surrounding yourself with positive people, and letting go of body hang-ups. I highly recommend this book to people who are looking for a good and easy read about health that has a positive and realistic approach. Within the reading are recipes throughout. After cardio barre class tonight I tried the “Dream it, Believe it, Avocolada Gratitude Smoothie”. It was filling and refreshing, just what I needed after class.

A letter to a broken heart

As we are approaching Valentines Day, I am thinking about love; love come, love gone, love found and love lost. About two years ago on Valentines Day my boyfriend at the time told me he had been cheating on me. I was devastated. He and I had been together for two and a half years, I loved him, wanted to marry him, and start a family with him. I could delve into the months of heart ache and tears, but what I want my readers to take from this post is the strength I found after experiencing this loss.

I found that I was strong enough to be on my own, try new things, and start to see myself as a capable, strong, and talented woman. I made a lot of changes after my breakup; I moved to Boston, took a new job, bought a new car, made new friends, and started new hobbies. I am still trying new things, even two years later. I am constantly growing and starting new chapters in my life. It wasn’t an easy change, and it didn’t happen over night. But now, I can look back and say “THANK GOD” because I am stronger, more accomplished, and have taken more risks because of that breakup.

I encourage anyone in need of change, whether it be due to a breakup, loss of a job, family member, or otherwise to go out and see what you are capable of, because I’m sure you can accomplish more than you’ve ever imagined.

“Everyone wants to get rich writing a blog…”

These are the words of my first supervisor in my first “real” job, surprisingly pessimistic for a social worker. Recently I’ve begun to allow myself to do the things I really want to do; giving myself permission to do the things others say can’t or shouldn’t be done. One of those things is writing a blog. I’ve heard people bash blogs and their authors, and I’ve also had my own internal thoughts “who will read this? what will others say about my writing?”. But something about today pushed me to start this blog… again. I started this blog a while back, and deleted everything on it because I was afraid of who might find it and judge my writing.

I hope that this will be a place where I can document the goals I set, achievements I make, and even failures I have. I’ve been inspired by so many wonderful women in the past few years, and hope to continue to be inspired, and even inspire someone as well!

Enjoy!
Jeannette