This is Exactly What I’m Working On

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I have to do this reblog. I can let so many things either bother me or roll right off into the land that I don’t need burden myself with. Over analyzing is a girl thing but it needs to be kept in check. Healthy and holistic living starts from within and happiness really does make a person beautiful.

Complaining is so easily done in everyday life but it has such a damaging effect because in participating, we let the negative energies we put forth determine our mood and health not just for the now but for the future.

Working on not complaining about things but rather being grateful for the wonderful things in my life is already improving my overall happiness and quality of life. I plan on continuing to block out the negativity and toxicity, whether it be little or big decisions, things, or people. Being a healthy woman begins at the core with letting go of everything we can’t control and embracing love and happiness for ourselves.

It’s a daily effort, a daily struggle to attain bliss of the mind and body and today I choose to follow the path towards my happiness as I want to everyday.

Despite my attitude and mood, I want to make that daily choice for myself to be my best me and this is exactly where it starts and progresses. Healthy and clean eating follows our minds and emotional states. Let’s all send our positivity into the universe:

“Bear with me here for a second. You know when you’re driving to an unfamiliar place, blasting music while simultaneously watching your GPS spit out directions?

Then you get to that one part of the route that’s beyond confusing, so you lower the music even though that has absolutely no impact on the way you read the directions?

That is your life. That music you need to drown out to concentrate? That’s the bullsh*t in your life.

Turning down the music in the car offers you clarity when you are at your most confusing moment. You don’t really know how or why this makes such a huge difference, but it does.

Here are the 18 other ways to turn down the music to enhance your life:

1. Caring about what other people think
If you want to do something, then do it. Don’t waste any of your valuable time entertaining other people’s opinions on a situation. If there is something you want to do that makes you happy, then that is all that should matter to you.

People’s views are irrelevant when it comes to your happiness. Unfortunately, too many people fail to realize this and end up with a life of regrets, instead of meaningful experiences.

2. Overanalyzing situations that haven’t even happened
It’s human nature to stress about things that have yet to happen, but when you think about it rationally, what’s the point? You can’t predict the future, and you certainly can’t change something that has not even happened yet.

Deal with the situation as it comes, and react accordingly. It’s the only way to mold the experience to your benefit.

3. Worrying about your appearance to the point of exhaustion
I get it. You want to look your best. Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if you wear your hair curly or straight. There’s no reason to try on every single outfit in your closet before going out.

Think about it: You bought these items for a reason… put something on, smile at yourself in the mirror and be on your way. You have better things to concern yourself with, or at least you should.

4. Not living in the moment
This goes hand-in-hand with overanalyzing situations that have yet to happen, but this includes your past mistakes and situations that have already come and gone as well.

The only thing you can gain from the past are the lessons it taught you. No good can come from replaying situations you cannot hope to fix. Make peace with them and move on… because who you were then is definitely not who you are now.

5. Taking on other people’s problems
There’s a reason you put the oxygen mask on yourself before attempt to help others. You have your own issues and dilemmas that you must take care of before you can even think of helping someone else.

Sure, this may sound cynical and harsh, but, at the end of the day, you need to handle your life — and if that means keeping others’ negativity out of it, so be it.

6. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t make you happy
Why people still hang around others out of obligation is utterly beyond me. Learn to accept that, sometimes, people from your past serve little to no role in your present. In actuality, they bring stress and drama into your life because you feel as if it is your responsibility to deal with their issues.

Their problems are their own, and as you grow up, this is something that becomes more and more apparent.

7. Focusing on what you don’t have instead of what you do have
Do you know how many people would be over the moon with their lives if they had what you had? I’m not talking about material things either — although they do fit in this category.

Surrounding yourself with great friends who care about you and a family who loves you are two of the most amazing things to have in your life. So stop worrying if you have the latest trendy item and appreciate the intangible items all around you.

8. Staying at a job that you see no future with
Of course, everyone, at one point or another, takes on a job just to pay the bills. But it’s so important to remember that, in the long run, a paycheck isn’t going to bring you the happy life a great career can.

Money will only take you so far, your lifestyle is what is going to lead you to true happiness.

9. Taking on more than you can handle
Everyone has a breaking point, and this is a line you want to draw sooner than later. Don’t take on too many tasks simultaneously because all you will do is drive yourself to the brink of insanity.

Multi-tasking, which may appear more efficient, often results in putting the minimum effort into multiple projects. Spreading yourself too thin rarely has favorable outcomes.

10. Cluttering your life
Whether this is physically or mentally, you need to cut the bullsh*t out of your life. Is someone bringing you unnecessary aggravation? Cut that person out. Are you living in a city that only makes you miserable? Make the change.

11. Holding on to grudges and anger
You know who suffers from holding on to anger? You do.

When people hold on to bitterness and grudges, they falsely believe that they are making the other person suffer. In reality, the object of your anger disregarded your feelings in the first place, and isn’t losing sleep over your lingering distaste.

What makes you think this person is dwelling on the situation? Even if someone has not given you the apology you rightfully deserve, just let it go.

The sooner you stop caring, the better off you will be.

12. Living too much in your past
Your past is… your past. It happened. Learn from it and let it be. There is nothing you can do to change it, so the sooner you accept it for what it was, the quicker you will be able to make peace with it.

Stop holding people to standards that you created in your mind years ago. Take people for who they are and what they have to offer now. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how much people can change and mature over the years.

13. Complaining about things that can’t be changed
You had a fight with a friend and said some things you wish you hadn’t… stop complaining. You lost a promotion to a coworker who rightfully deserved it… stop complaining.

You didn’t get asked on a second date… stop complaining.

An unfortunate truth in life is that some things just happen. You need to accept them for what they are. Complaining isn’t going to change anything except the tolerance levels of the people you surround yourself with.

14. …Actually, just complaining
Can everyone just stop complaining altogether? How much more positive would your life be if you stopped looking at the world as a glass half empty?

The only thing that complaining does is bring negative energy into your life, and, honestly, who the hell wants a life full of that?

15. Having poor eating and dieting habits
Not feeling comfortable in your own skin is probably one of the worst — if not the worst — feelings a person can experience.

Unfortunately, instead of making the changes to alter this predicament, people sadly accept it and think that’s just the way their lives have to be.

The sooner you realize this does not have to be your lifestyle, the happier and more comfortable you will be.

16. Living through other people’s lives
Whether it’s reality television or social media, living your life through other people’s experiences is nothing to be desired. Instead of lounging around, longing for a life of fun and travel, go out there and make this reality your own.

That is, unless your favorite reality TV family is the Kardashians… don’t go out and emulate that lifestyle for the sake of humanity.

17. Focusing only on your insecurities, not your attractive qualities
You know who notices the negatives more than the positives? You. You know who doesn’t? Everyone else.

Sure, maybe you don’t look like Megan Fox (Honestly, who does?); maybe you don’t have the brains of Steve Jobs, but you have unique qualities that set you apart from everyone else.

Live your life by your own set of standards and be a good person; this will shine through more than any potential insecurity.

18. Trying hard to be someone else instead of embracing your actual self
Instead of focusing your time, effort and attention on other people’s lives, take that time and focus on your own. Concentrate on making yourself better instead of comparing yourself to someone else.

You will never be that person, no matter how hard you try. Reflect on your life and your decisions and figure out a way to be the best possible version of yourself you can be.”

Source:

elitedaily.com

http://worldtruth.tv/18-toxic-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-if-you-want-to-live-a-stress-free-life/

Model courtesy of Suzana

25 Things Every Woman Should Have By The Time She Turns 25 | Thought Catalog

Approaching the age of 25 sounds much scarier now but this is a great list for all of us women on either side of the 20-something spectrum or beyond. I wanted to post it not just for the purpose of sharing it but as a reminder for myself, especially #11 and #15.

25 Things Every Woman Should Have By The Time She Turns 25
Brianna Wiest
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1. Enough confidence to no longer feel the need to justify what she eats, who she dates or what she wears, not only to other people, but to herself.

2. The goal of a bank account with a few months’ living expenses in it, if she doesn’t have that already. Just in case.

3. Only the phone numbers, Facebook friends, weekend plans, and roommates she actually wants.

4. A best friend who is like a sister.

5. A space of her own.

6. A good idea of what she needs in a romantic relationship, not just what she wants, or what she thinks she needs, and the willingness to explore different people and other ideas to find what exactly that is.

7. A closet of what she considers to be her “staples,” and among these things, something to wear to an interview, funeral, wedding, impromptu Friday night drink at a casual bar and dream date if ever someone were to call out of the blue.

8. The tact and grace to ask for a raise, a promotion, a change in a relationship or a date with someone she’s into.

9. The faith that she deserves those things.

10. A favorite coffee order, go-to restaurant for when friends visit from out of town, hairstyle that takes less than five minutes in the morning, “thank you” cards in her desk drawer, the print copy of her favorite book, and bedding that she is proud to show off.

11. A hobby that has nothing to do with drinking, shopping or somebody else.

12. The recipes for a number of easy meals memorized.

13. The desire and discipline to actually cook for herself. (Just herself.)

14. A trip she tells awesome stories about and a trip she has awesome plans for.

15. A sense that she’s let go of resenting other women for what they do or don’t have over her.

16. Enough of a healthy relationship with her body that her contentment no longer hinges on comparison, or what her partner would think.

17. At least one date in her memory with the kind of partner who wouldn’t care about those things anyway.

18. Forgiveness if she’s dated men who haven’t quite matured as quickly as women tend to in their early 20s.

19. The knowledge of what she wants in bed and the confidence to ask for it without feeling uncomfortable.

20. A drill, a non-stick pan, a credit card line nobody else has access to, a bra that she was measured for at the store and working knowledge of how to change a tire, unclog a pipe, make an investment and find shoes on the extra 40% rack.

21. A relationship with her mother, even if it’s the decision that their relationship will be at least functioning, if not familial.

22. A passport, a sturdy piece of luggage, and the ability to pack the essentials at a moment’s notice should she be offered the chance to get away for a weekend, a week, or a whole new life.

23. The following emergency kit: Tylenol/Advil, eyedrops, a tampon, hand sanitizer, a fresh pair of underwear, a travel sized toothbrush, hydrocolloid bandages for blisters, $20 cash, a condom, and Plan B.

24. Forgiveness for who she was.

25. An idea of who she wants to be. TC mark

http://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2014/06/25-things-every-woman-should-have-by-the-time-she-turns-25/

Things My Mother Taught Me That I Now Appreciate

First off, side note: this song has been my absolute favorite recently and I really think it’s a great song for my life. There is a YouTube link at the bottom of this post if Spotify isn’t your thing.

I’ve always been a sensitive soul and I owe it to the way my mother raised me. She raised my sister and I to be sensitive to our surroundings which makes it all the more important for us to surround ourselves with positive and non-toxic people. Our environment can affect us more than we realize. As a young girl I always questioned her methods and thought she was a little strict and maybe a little ridiculous at times but now that I’m an adult looking to take care of myself and future children I look back on every little thing she did in the best interest of her girls and couldn’t be happier to apply those things in my grown up life. She didn’t sugar coat things for us and always put our feelings and security above her own. She didn’t give my sister and I every little thing we wanted and she didn’t appease our every whim but she did so much to make sure we would grow up with healthy immune systems and a love for treating our bodies and souls well. She and our Dad taught us to grow and nurture things in the garden and to cry a little while over something then move onto things that made us happy again. They made us play outside more than on the computer and helped us build things. With this nurturing I developed quite the caring and sensitive nature and I am unequivocally grateful for my Dad’s and especially her genuine concern and devotion to her children that blossomed into two women willing and able to take on the evils of this world the way we were taught by doing everything in love. 

1). When my sister and I would say something mean or negative to one another Mom would make us say THREE positive things to make up for the ONE non-uplifting thing we said. I always hated this especially when I was mad at my sister and in the moment that last thing I wanted to say was something nice about her, let alone something nice to her. But this built character in us and helped us grow up and own up to our hurtful words pretty quickly and now it has helped me to try to watch my own negativity in life because nothing is more damaging than wallowing in negative thoughts and emotions. The Thumper rule from Bambi was well established. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” When we broke it by saying something unkind rather than holding silence we were forced to outweigh the bad with the good. 

2). She would never let us go swimming outside and minimized our time spent outside entirely during the hottest hours of the day. As a kid this was torture in the summer to have to wait until later in the afternoon to spend hours upon hours outside under that golden, warm sun but it protected our skin and spared us many sunburns, freckles, and maybe even skin cancer. 

3). Her obsessive us of aloe was almost embarrassing. She made us drink aloe and cranberry juice, real cranberry juice, not just the cocktail stuff. This was to keep our skin, kidneys, and wonderful lady parts healthy and refreshed from toxins or excess bad sugars or whatever else terrible that could have been residing in us. It cleared up infections quickly for us and promoted overall good health. She would also put pure aloe gel on our skin to protect us from sun burns in the first place and to help them heal quickly when we hadn’t heeded her reminders to wear hats to protect our face from harsh sun rays or other warnings. I will always love aloe and it’s healing properties. 

4). She MADE us drink water all the time. Soda was a treat once in awhile and never just a normal thing to drink whenever we were thirsty. When we were thirsty she made us drink water first then some chocolate milk or juice but even those things were monitored for their sugar content. I’m sure it was a drag trying to get whiny kids to have a little bit of water first but today that helps me drink water so much more. First thing in the morning she would hand us a glass of water and she made sure each of us had a glass of water sitting by our bedside at night to drink if we woke up thirsty. I still take a giant glass of water to bed with me and have been trying more and more to always carry a water bottle with me all day. She also insisted we always filter our water. 

5). Breakfast was required. She didn’t care if we only had a banana or toast with peanut butter as long as we ate something before our days started. And no, she didn’t let us eat sugar cereals or fake syrup. If we had cereal it was Cheerios (just the plain ones) or Life with fresh fruit to add for our sweet tooth. She would make us oatmeal if we really wanted something different and only allowed pancakes and french toast with 100% real maple syrup or honey. Also, we weren’t allowed white bread all the time so whole wheat bread was thrown in more often than not. 

6). Snacks were important and always available. Fresh fruits and vegetables were always her first choice then we could make toast with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, frozen yogurt with peanut butter or something from the garden; no processed foods or junk. Dessert was never a normal, regular thing and her and my dad made us food a lot of the time from garden food. We were fed real food and going out to eat was an occasional thing. We even made our own ice cream and popsicles a lot and she dehydrated fruit us and made us homemade fruit leather and it was always delicious. We definitely didn’t miss out on anything. 

7). Mom always told us not to hate anyone even if we really didn’t like them. She would always tell us that we don’t have to like everyone and not everyone will like us but we always have to treat everyone with kindness and act out of love. The Golden Rule is overlooked so much and Mom insisted that we always treat others how we want to be treated even if they don’t do the same because as long as our hearts are guarded and not filled with anger and hatred towards other people we will be protected from bitterness and grudges. She would always remind us to focus on the good and let go of the bad otherwise the bad might control us. This was heavy stuff for us kids and at the time we didn’t understand it all but I hold these things so close now that I am all grown up and am proud to say my mama instilled good things in my sister and I.

http://youtu.be/KDPW_g2AhAU

14 Amazing Cover Songs You Need To Hear Immediately

Dani Bliss:

These just made my night.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Some of these covers you may be familiar with, but hopefully you’ll find a few new versions of songs you enjoy. The best is when you come across a cover to a song you absolutely hate and the new version of it makes you secretly love it forever. I’m looking at you, Justin Bieber’s “Baby”.

1. Tonight Alive – Little Lion Man (Mumford and Sons Cover)

2. MO – Say You’ll Be There (Spice Girls Cover)

3. Twenty One Pilots – Mad World (Tears For Fears Cover)

4. Boyce Avenue – Stay (Rihanna Cover)

5. Ellie Goulding – High For This (The Weeknd Cover)

6. Jessie J – We Found Love (Rihanna Cover)

7. Our Last Night – Dark Horse (Katy Perry Cover)

8. James Morrison – Gangsta’s Paradise (Coolio Cover)

9. Arctic Monkeys – Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake Cover)

10. Young The…

View original 40 more words

Suzana

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While my man was out of town for work this weekend, I decided to occupy myself with some photo shoots. I set up our studio lights and everything right in our living room and it was so wonderful being able to turn our home into my own little studio for this session. My beautiful friend’s stunningly gorgeous Ukrainian features really explode in front of a camera. It was fun to do this studio session with her too because she is a fellow photographer and it was a joy to work with someone in the field. We were going for a little bit of a dramatic, edgy type feel and ended up doing some hair flips just for the heck of it. I’m looking forward to finish editing the rest of these shots. I am hoping this shows Keaton that I do really pay attention and learn what he teaches me as a photographer. I’m anxious for another session now.

Appreciation and Insecurity

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When I’m having a bad day I like to do something about it before it spills over into negativity towards myself and others. This photo that we took of me, in our own living room, is a representation of how I dealt with insecurity last week. It took me forever to get ready and I still hated my hair but Keaton took the opportunity of our shoot to remind me to appreciate myself through his lens. I didn’t even want to share this photo at first because I’m shy and embarrassed but Keaton encouraged me to and I’m grateful for that. I don’t need to be ashamed or embarrassed. Insecurity doesn’t have to win and a little self appreciation sure helped to cancel it out. Confidence is classy. Confidence is sexy.

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1. I like to be spontaneous. I know this is cliche but I actually enjoy new things. I love expanding my knowledge of everything because knowledge truly is powerful and the more you know the more you can separate yourself from the stupid, toxic people in your life. The more I allow my plans to change at a moment’s notice the more I better myself.
2. I don’t take the fun out of responsibility. I know how to take care of myself and plan for the future but I also don’t let the future consume me because, really, I never know how much time I have. It’s important to include little happy things in life so responsibility doesn’t become an unbearable burden.
3. I jump into life head first. The best way to learn is to just do. Sometimes, more often than not, it can be a fun challenge to push yourself out of your comfort zone and just experience something without being afraid.
4. I am not a morning person–at all. I hate having to be out of bed doing anything before 10 am. I am such a night owl and I will always prefer the evening. I love a good sunset over a sunrise even though my middle name is Dawn.
5. I have a serious cheese addiction. It’s real and I hate going a full day without any cheese. It’s even better when accompanied by wine. In fact I prefer that.
6. I love my family more than anything in the world and yes, that includes my cat. Our family black lab/pitbull is the sweetest dog ever. My sister is one of my best friends in the world and I will always value my family as my best blessing anyone could ask for.
7. I am a firm believer in being the person I would want my children to grow up to be. Instead of teaching my one day darlings to be the best they can be, I want to show them how to be and that it’s ok to make mistakes to learn and grow from but it is never ok to use people for your own interests. I will always, always encourage them to be the better person no matter how hard it might be or how much it may hurt in the moment.
8. I believe in magic. Things in this life can be wonderful and magnificent and I believe all things happen for a reason. I hate manipulative people that only care about getting their way. These people are a waste of my time and I enjoy ‘killing them with kindness’. Anyone that is consistently negative just disappear from my spectrum. Focusing on the positive is a daily thing but it truly makes everything so much better. Miracles happen and life is beautiful and should be treated as such.
9. I am a true independent. I don’t need the praise of others to succeed. I love to prove people wrong by doing my best in everything and if that isn’t good enough for them, then maybe they don’t deserve to be involved in intimate aspects of my life. I keep to myself a lot, probably more than I should. I insist on trying things my own way and learning things for myself.
10. I am absolutely, inexplicably and completely in love with my wonderful, truly amazing, perfect boyfriend, Keaton Foley. I am so happy and proud to call him my significant other. He is my friend, the best roommate, my support system, and my lover. Every day I have with him is a true blessing.

Healthy Means, Happy Ends

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This photograph by Keaton Foley Photography (https://www.facebook.com/keatonfoleyphotography) is a simple yet self inspiring photo, as I was unprepared for my picture to be taken with no makeup done.

While everyone is going on about “New year, new me” rants and glory stories I’m trying to brainstorm ideas on how to take one step forward after set backs and discouragement upon set backs and discouragement. I’ve gotten so caught up in trying to get somewhere that I’ve forgotten where it is I want to go. Having been teased and tossed every which way my sense of direction has been thrown off and I’m about to explode from the dizziness. I needed these set backs, I needed to be here to reground myself and question what the hell it is I am doing. So yes, with this coming new year, it is time for some new me.
Some opportunities arose that seemed really promising and beneficial at the time but now looking back on them, they really weren’t the best ones to help me along my way towards my end goal and only led to discouragement instead of bringing me closer to what I want to be. I’m now learning that it’s important to keep my end in sight and not get so caught up in the means towards my end that it gets so skewed from my foresight I can’t see clearly what it was in the first place.
Of course ends change and vary a little but what I want to practice doing is remembering perfectly my end goal and challenging each and every aspect of my life to evaluate if it is in fact helping me in the grand scheme of things instead of just seeming so and only being beneficial for the now. I want to get uncaught up in chasing something here and something there. I want to be swept away in the direction my heart desires and passions yearn to thrive. Failure doesn’t always equate to something done wrong, it can be a challenge to refocus and establish things perhaps missed before.