Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chapter 26: Strength, Courage, and Wisdom

Over the past several years my prayer has always been that God should use my life as a testimony. I prayed this fervently, having no idea that it would mean that I'd be stretched and pulled into discomfort and transformed completely. 

I'd be lying if I said I knew I would joyfully and gracefully enter into 26. Towards the end of last year I felt lifeless and my vision stifled. Moving back home after spending 2 years in a different country completely shifted my perspective especially as many of my relationships with friends, family, and a significant other left me broken and confused. 

I'd be lying if I told you that I thought I'd be here today rejoicing, with a huge, goofy, and extremely joyful smile on my face [and in my heart] simply because I'm still here, my vision is clearer, and because I am alive and well. My experiences, friends, and family have watered me continuously until this very moment. And because of it all, I am now in full bloom.

I fully expect 26 to give me a testimony that is greater, with pains and gains that will elevate my position and glorify my God. I'm grateful for the pulling and the stretching. My scars are nothing if not reminders of my strength, courage, and wisdom. I've come this far and have no choice but to keep pressing forward until I reach the very sweet and perfect place that God has intended. I live for the sweet moments I hear Him whisper and tell me I am "almost there and doing just fine."

Photography by Melissa C. Olguin


Sunday, February 5, 2017

How to be a Bada$$ (When you already have what it takes)

This year has already given me a long list of lessons and it's only February.... A lesson that resonates with me in this very moment is the realization that I have what it takes. Meaning, I have what it takes to be successful, extraordinary, to feel, to heal, and lead a joyful life. We all have what it takes but sometimes fail to realize it. We're too busy internalizing what one person said to us ages ago; too focused on that lie we once heard saying we're "not good enough"; or too invested in following the lives of others on social media we forget that we are only competing with our own -ever evolving- selves.

Newsflash. You already have what it takes to live the kind of life that will give you the most joy (without the permission of external factors).

Here are 5 seamless steps to channel your inner bad a$$ and get in formation.

1. Love what can't change. Start by making a list of things you know you can't change (about yourself). Your flaws, your college degree, your siblings (tehe...but I actually love my siblings). Sometimes, it's worth accepting that not everything is in your control. Be realistic about what you can live with, and what you can live without. 

2. Change what you don't love (but can change).  In that same breath, if you're unhappy about your current circumstance, get ready to act. Get creative. Get serious. Seek help. Change your environment and speak out.
Remember, you are in control of your own happiness. Avoid allowing your circumstance to dictate your destiny. 

**If the lines between 1 and 2 are blurred, here are examples of things you can and can't change: You can't change your boyfriend's personality...but you can change your boyfriend (lol). 

3. Fight fear. I'll be the first to admit that sometimes I get scared absolutely silly when I think of my dreams. Unwelcome thoughts of rejection, failure, and embarrassment float into my head. I quickly (okay let's be real...I very s l o w l y) combat them with prayer, affirmations, and meditation on a stream of positive thoughts. Embrace rejection, failure, and the possibility of having embarrassing social encounters... but don't let the fear of doing so hinder your progress.

4. Don't go with the flow. Be the flow. (lol). But in all seriousness, you have what it takes to be in control. Rather than letting people or negative circumstances determine your emotions or your reactions, remind yourself that you are strong, capable, and in control. 

5. Get up. Okay let's be real. Sometimes it takes everything to just get up (and out of bed). I know lately my mornings have been a struggle. Trust me, once you muster up the energy (and bravado) to just rise in the morning and place your feet on the ground, you're already halfway there and you've proven that you have what it takes (to rise).

Outfit Details:

Black Jacket: H&M (shop this look here)
Collared Button-up: Forever 21
Gold-rimmed Sunnies: Aldo
Lace up Oxfords: Nine West (shop this look here)

Photography by: Melissa C. Olguin, @melcolguin
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