My Life

10 Things I’ve Changed to Improve my Happiness

Happiness is created from your own thoughts, words, and actions. It does not mean everything in life is perfect, it means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections. It is more than just a state of mind; it is a choice you make.

This year I have been focusing on my personal growth. I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to the endless opportunities life has to offer. Lately, I’ve been feeling AMAZING and I am loving every second of it. I feel so strong and filled with positive energy. I wanted to share 10 things I’ve done that have improved my self-worth and increased my own happiness in hopes it will inspire you to explore yourself and find more joy in your life. Enjoy!



1. Forgive & Let Go

We have all been hurt before in one way or another. Shit does in fact hit the fan for each of us every now and then; but don’t get stuck hanging there. Learn from the past, but also leave it there. It does not define the person you chose to be today. Let go of all that doesn’t suit you and forgive those who have damaged you. There is no reason to hold onto to something that is gone. Life only moves in one direction. (which is forward)

What I did for myself: It meant letting go of the person who I think people perceive me as. (sounds confusing) I get so caught up in the negative aspects on my journey of life. I think of that time I made that one bad choice or the embarrassing mistake. I used to worry about those single incidents and the impressions they left on those around me. But in all reality, you can never let one day or choice define who you are. you can’t control (or know) what other people are thinking, saying, or doing. I decided to let go of all the judgements I was creating of myself and others. There is no point to get caught up in what other people think of me, it serves zero purpose in defining who I am.

2. Stop Limiting Yourself

Stop living in fear and saying, “I can’t”. Easier said than done, but remember that life has SOOO much to offer. How are you ever going to experience it all if you don’t step out of your comfort zone or take the chance on something different? The possibilities are endless! Create your own path and don’t follow the crowd. If there is something you are passionate about, you have every right to go for it.

What I did for myself: “I can’t” was always my go to statement whenever my comfort level was challenged. I used to think that I wasn’t capable of achieving anything great, but I was very wrong. It all starts with clearing the mental block that holds you back. One day, when you choose to say “I can”, the barrier breaks down and doors begin to open. The feeling of trying something is so much more rewarding than refusing to step outside the box. I am constantly working towards changing the limitations I mentally create for myself. I can do whatever my heart desires if I work hard.

 

3. Sing & Dance It Out

Music heals the soul, gives the body a tingle sensation, and increases joy in many people. But why are people so shy and timid when it comes to feeling the beat in every day settings? It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune or dance like a professional; music is meant to run through the body so just let it.

What I did for myself: I know I suck at singing, and I know I get the words wrong. I know my dance moves are not up to par, but I don’t ever let that stop me from surrendering myself to the music. I used to get embarrassed and not sing in front of people. I used to get secondhand embarrassment for those types of people who just break out in dance in public. But now I am one of those people and let me tell you it feels amazing to just vibe out to your favorite jam whenever the hell you want too. Let it happen people, I know we all want to live our lives like a musical.

4. Create A Mantra

Mantras are an amazing tool for reminding yourself that you are capable of anything. Creating a statement to mentally refer back too in times of doubt, stress, fear, and anger does in fact make a difference in the way you think during those weak moments. It’s not selfish to remind yourself that you are an amazing person who deserves nothing but love and happiness.

What I did for myself: I freaking love my mantra. I tell myself it all the time, even when I am feeling like a bad ass. My mantra is, “I AM ENOUGH”. This statement ignites a fire in my soul and makes me feel worthy of all the great things life has to offer. It’s my “go to” reminder that mentally eliminates the pressure I put on myself. My mantra reminds me that I don’t always need to do more in order to be happy.

 

5. Get A Little Sweaty

Release what ever is holding you back not only mentally but physically. The human body works best  when you take care of all aspects of it. (mind, body, soul). Surrender your emotions to whatever activity you enjoy. Let the toxins physically sweat out, let fresh oxygen flow through the body, and push yourself a little further. The after benefits of “getting sweaty” leaves you feeling refreshed!

What I did for myself: I make time to get “sweaty” weekly because I know I am an emotional person and sometimes it’s a lot easier to work through whatever is going through my head in the physical form then to just sit around and let it gather up mentally. I love the natural high I receive from an intense circuit, hot yoga, and even a neighborhood jog. Something about just creating a space to work hard and take care of my physical body makes me feel like a warrior. I feel like physical activity helps me strengthen my mental health.

6. Eat The Right Foods

Like I’ve said in previous posts, what you put into your body reflects what comes out. It is crucial to fuel your body with Whole Foods like fruits and veggies! It’s really important to limit your sugar and artificial food fillers intake. Now a days, there are endless resources to find foods that are better for your body. I’ve learned that small changes make a huge difference and that everything is okay in moderation. Eating right shouldn’t be stressful because it is a lot easier than you think. You just need to put the time in at first and the body adjusts so quickly! You don’t realize how shitty some foods make you feel until you cut them out and start feeling better.

What I did for myself: I recently have been limiting my processed food intake. (I’ve even been eating less lucky charms!) I also have elimited dairy from my diet, which has made a huge difference! I bloat less, have more energy, and just feel lighter. I also try to only eat out once a week. This way I am forced to prepare meals and take them on the go. My next step is to create more vegan friendly meals to increase my vegetable intake in yummy and creative ways.

 

7. Spend Time Alone

You can still be a “people” person and spend time alone. Spending time alone is actually a very relaxing activity that makes you a stronger person. Spending time alone doesn’t mean sitting in silence staring at the wall. It can be driving with the music off, reading a book in the corner of the coffee shop, folding your laundry with your bedroom door closed. Alone time is when you create a space to get lost in thought, where you let yourself become creative. Taking the time for sit in quietness all alone is very powerful. It can be difficult sometimes, but once you let go of wanting to control the situation you find peace and quite very easily.

What I did for myself: When I spend time with myself, the craziness in my thoughts calm down because I block everyone else out and just focus in on me. It’s not a selfish thing to do, but it is so important for my sanity. My favorite alone time is when I am in my room with my essential oil diffuser on and the lights dim. Another way I enjoy my alone time is when I’m out in public alone. I can almost do everything and anything by myself; I love going shopping alone, to the pool alone, and even to the local Starbucks alone. It took time to find my alone time when I am constantly surrounded by others, but it’s possible to achieve the feeling even when you aren’t physically alone. Sometimes I want the alone time in my room and other days I just want to spend the day doing the things I love alone. It really makes me feel strong and independent.

8. Get Lost In A Book

Reading isn’t everyone’s favorite thing (including mine) but it is an outlet for discovery, freedom, knowledge, and fun. The possibilities within a book are endless and there is sometime out there for everyone to enjoy. Reading grants each of the chance to expose ourselves to whole new worlds and ideas. It shouldn’t be something millennials like myself should ignore and look over. It is truly more satisfying than watching endless hours of Netflix. (In my opinion of course)

What I did for myself: I actually picked up a book for the first time in years and began to read for fun. To be honest I never read things for school that I am supposed too, so to read by choice was a huge stepping stone in my self growth journey. Since picking up that book at the start of this summer, I’ve read three more. What I’ve learned is that reading is so much more rewarding when you choose things that interest you. (I guess that’s why reading hit series and best-selling novels never worked out for me because I enjoy nonfiction more!)

 

9. De-clutter Your Assets

You don’t need that. It’s not necessary. Today our worlds are filled with so many products and promotions that make it so easy to stock up on things not needed. In order to be happy, you don’t need so many physical things. Go through your belongings; there are so many things each of us have that clutter our lives. Donate it, sell it, recycle it. There are many possibilities when it comes to clearing out your closest.

What I did for myself: To be completely honest, I am an organized hoarder. I keep everything. Now that I am preparing to move, I feel overwhelmed by the number of things I have. As I start to box of my memories from the past, I’m learning that I have so much more than I need. Getting rid of things that I’ve been holding on too “just in case” makes me feel so much lighter. I don’t need my second grade cursive handwriting book, or every participation trophy, or even all the pairs of leggings. Why have all the stuff sit around? Someone else can find use for it, or it can be recycled to something new. Clearing things from my room has been a challenge, but I’m realizing I don’t need all that crap in my life. I can hold onto to those things in my heart and mind. The empty space feels nice too.

10. Appreciate And Thank Your Tribe

 Not everyone who comes into your life will hold a special meaning. But when you come across someone who supports your goals and guides you in the right direction, hold onto them. Appreciate their generosity, kindness, and love. It’s so rare to find people who genuinely care about you. You’ll know you’ve found a good friend when you find one, and you’ll realize that it’s about the quality of people you have in your life not the quantity. Don’t ever forgot to thank the ones who are on your mind at the end of each day. Everyone deserves recognition for what they do.

What I did for myself: I am so blessed to have such a strong and loving family who I can count on for everything and anything. They are the rocks that keep me grounded. I am lucky that found my own good vibe tribe who I adore more than anything. (You know who you are) These people constantly remind me of my worth. I am always thanking them for their friendship and loving every moment we spend together. My tribe are the people I can go weeks without seeing but can call in pinch when I need support and guidance. These people lift me up, and I know I do the same for them.

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What I did for myself may be so different from what you need to do for yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If you put the time and effort into taking care of yourself, you will see a positive change. 

-Kasey Elizabeth

**all photos from my Pinterest Board Inspiration**
Health & Fitness, My Life

The Universe Has My Back!

Where do I begin?! My body is fueled with a whole new energy, my soul is on fire and filled with passion and possibility, and my mind has endless thoughts of love and gratitude.

I truly feel like I am carrying myself in a whole new light, feeling a way I have never felt before. I am growing every day and becoming a stronger, happier, smarter, and caring young woman. WHICH IS CRAZY TO BELIEVE!! Whether you know me well or not, my mindset and outlook on life has changed drastically in the past few years.

Life has thrown various obstacles in my direction and I used to feel defeated, angry, and annoyed. I always used to ask myself, “Why is this happening to me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”, “When will I catch a break?”.  Little did I know that a shift in my perception and outlook on my situations and surroundings can transform the way I look at all aspects in my life, good and bad.

Though I am early on my journey, working towards a bigger goal and something greater than myself, I am experiencing a time of change. I have started to read more, explore new ideas, and just open my heart to all the great resources around me. I have begun to collaborate with others, share my interests, and express my thoughts.

A powerful and inspiring book, The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein really sparked the light inside me.  This book unlocks a whole new world of thought. Whether you consider yourself a spiritual person or not, the tools in this book (when you surrender yourself to the possibilities and commit to the experience) unlock treasures of the mind, body and soul. A book filled with advice, meditations, and prayers that remind each of us that we are loved and we are worthy of success.

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I have read this book back to front twice in the past month; taking notes on things that speak to me and practicing the mindful exercises.  I do not want to spoil the reading experience for anyone. But, I do want to share my biggest take-a-ways from the incredible and inspiring words written by Gabrielle Bernstein.

“I take responsibility for the world I create by making love a habit and I nurture the connections on a daily basis.”

This quote written in the first couple pages of the book really hit me hard. Through working with ivivva by lululemon, I have been taught to practice personal responsibility to lead myself and others in a more valuable way.

Personal responsibility has been a leadership practice I have grown strong in. To open a book f(or like the first time in years) and have it talk about personal responsibility for every thought, word, and action in our lives had me hooked. Gabby introduces the simple, but challenging concept of leaning towards love in every aspect of life. It is her way of saying, “everything after “I am”, creates.”

“This is my mission: to guide you to choose love no matter what so you can turn all obstacles into opportunities for spiritual growth.”

Choosing to love in every situation in life is a difficult, but possible thing to do. Gabrielle makes such a great point saying that each of us need to let go of all outcomes. When we focus on the outcomes and what “should” happen, we get caught up in a mentality that is controlling and manipulative.

This spoke to me because I am such a huge planner. I like to schedule my days, even to the hour sometimes. By focusing so much on what I “should” do, I lose all opportunities to live and enjoy the moment I am in. The mission stated above really reminds to be open-minded throughout my day and to not get so caught up in the outcomes. I can only control the here and now.

Committing to your faith statement followed by the mantra, “I trust in my connection to the universe and I have faith I’m being guided.”

There is a chapter in this book where Gabrielle invites the reader to create a faith statement. She challenges us to write whatever comes to our mind at first and not to over think it.  A faith statement is a simple statement of your beliefs. You recite your faith statement to yourself in your moments of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. It guides you back to living through love.

My faith statement:

“I believe in all possibilities through love. When my mind, body, and soul are connected to the universe anything is possible. I live in the moment, seek positivity, and explore freely. I am in charge of who I am and what I want out of life. I live in love, through love, and as love. I believe in myself and I know that I am enough.”

“We are made to feel “less than” without this or that possession. We use judgement to avoid the feeling of our own inadequacy, insecurities, and lack of self-worth. It can feel easier to make fun of someone for a perceived weakness than to look at own sense of lack.”

When judgement is discussed throughout the book I found myself tense. I struggle with judgement of others and myself. Today, we are surrounded by the values of status, look, and material wealth. We all fall trap to pointing out what separates us from one another.

I found myself returning the sections on judgement repeatedly, and reflecting on the choices I have made. Judgement creates a lot of problems for myself. It limits me, fills me with fear, and crumbles my confidence.

The key to overcoming judgement is shifting your perception to compassion and understanding. Compassion and understanding unify, connect, and make us feel whole. It is all about connecting to our oneness. Oneness leaves us with no feelings of better than or less than; it is our true nature. It aligns us back to living through love and trusting in the universal energy that lays deep inside us.

“We should be grateful for all situations that make us uncomfortable, because without them we would not know there is something unhealed in us.”

Gabrielle words in this section raised goosebumps all throughout my body. My senses were tingling as she discussed her feelings of trying to battle between her ego and humility. Through discomfort, we are lead back to the truth. We have two paths to choose in all situations; follow the ego or follow humility.

When we surrender ourselves to the path of humility, we fall into the hands of the universe. It allows us to embrace our inner power and the great magnitude inside us that allows us to live truthfully.  It brings us back to the purpose of life; be love and spread love.


The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein is a book I recommend to everyone to read no matter what point of your life you are in. We all have mental blockage that prevents us from being the best version of us.

We all have fallen trapped to living in fear over love. This book works with you to shift your thoughts, words, and actions to a more joyful life experience. When you surrounded yourself to the love deep inside you and all around you, life offers you so much more. I have seen a total shift in myself and I believe that every one is capable of achieving the same feeling.

Give this book a read and I promise you, you’ll see that the universe does have your back. Thanks Gabby for helping me become a #spiritjunkie

Gabrielle Bernstein Instagram

Gabrielle Bernstein Website

My Life

Take A Deep Breath

Lately, I have been all over the place. In my thoughts, my actions, my goals, and just overall my daily living. My mind has been shooting in every direction and at the speed of light. Life has been full of so many twists and turns that it’s been hard to keep up.

Right now, I feel like I have strayed away from my intended path, but I am realizing that’s okay. At one point or another, each of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the responsibilities and opportunities life brings to us. Sometimes it becomes stressful, overwhelming, and just straight up confusing.

I have been doing so many different things recently. Life is changing and transitioning for me. I feel like there are parts of my life that I need to move on from but can’t. I feel like there are things I should dig deeper into but don’t. I honestly feel like a mess. I need to stop aiming for perfection and just start living with an open mind.

I am writing to clear my thoughts, center my mind, and ground my soul to the universe. I need to rally off words in my head, document them, and commit to changing my perspective.

 It is time to just take a deep breath, stop stressing, and remind myself that everything will fall into its correct place. 

There is no need to break a sweat over the small stuff. There is always going to be hardships and obstacles to overcome, but If I just carry myself each day with a positive attitude and continue to do what I love, I can conquer the world.

Take a deep breath. Everything doesn’t need to be figured out right here, right now. Stop getting so caught up in things that don’t matter. Embrace each moment, be present mentally, physically, and emotionally. It is OKAY to not quite know what is going to happen next. Don’t let the fear drag you down, use the unknown possibilities to fuel your personal greatness.

I don’t know about you, but for me that expressing my racing thoughts helps calm my mind and body. It is nice to have something to look back on, to re-read when needed, and to have a reminder that everything will be okay.

I recommend to anyone out there that feels overwhelmed, confused, stress, or overall uncertainty to just start writing. Put the thoughts down and keep going until they stop. Take a deep breath. It will help you see the world around you a little clearer.

 

-Kasey Elizabeth-

My Life, photojournalism

For the LOVE of Wanderlust

♥For the LOVE of Wanderlust♥

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This past weekend I attended my first Wanderlust event in Chicago. It was the most inspiring and self-empowering health and fitness event I have ever been too. To be surrounded by 3,000 people who share the same passion for self-love and personal growth was truly remarkable.

If you are unfamiliar with Wanderlust, it a company that motivates each and every one of us to reach our full potential through events and experiences. When one exposes themselves to the magic that Wanderlust offers, transformation begins in the mind, body, and soul. It is an eye opening and rewarding experience.

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The festival I took part in was called Wanderlust 108, which partners with Adidas and No Kid Hungry. It is called “108” because $1.08 of every ticket sold gets donated to help end child hunger. Wanderlust 108 events happen all over the world at various destination sites. Wanderlust 108 Chicago took place at the beautiful Grant Park in the heart of Downtown. We had perfect weather for the event; sunny, warm, and a view of Lake Michigan.

Wanderlust 108 is considered the world’s only mindful triathlon featuring a 5k, a 90-minute yoga session, and a 30-minute mediation. It is not some race where you show up, do your thing, and leave. From the moment, you enter the festival grounds you are connected to those around you, grounded in the moment, and filled with a sense of love and joy

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Wanderlust provides an opportunity to form new friendships and create new connections with people. It is an opportunity to engulf yourself into a community that works together to lift one another up. It is an opportunity to see and support people who are following their dreams and crushing their goals. It is so much more than just a mind-body workout.

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♥Personal Journey♥

My first Wanderlust experience has me feeling truly grateful. Grateful for who I am, what I offer to this world, and what I am capable of.  Grateful for where I am, how I got here, and where I am going.

Major gratitude for the path of life I am on!

I attended this event with one of my best friends who is currently at the same time of her life as me. We are both college students who are at a moment of transition, we both struggle with a healthy work-life balance, and we both have a fire for learning about life and the greatness that comes along with it.

Now my friend and I, we are not serious runners, we are not super flexible yogis, and we don’t mediate regularity. On the other hand, we are fortunate enough to work for a company that inspired us at our young age to explore within our ourselves and adventure through the world.

We both usually just stick to our regular schedules of work, school, and some form of physical activities. We decided to attended Wanderlust one evening while working together. We impulsively bought tickets in a moment of “my life is so boring.” Little did we know that our lives were already filled with so much that make it exciting and something to love.

Wanderlust 108 taught us that who we are and what we are doing in each of our lives is important. That we are who we are meant to be and we are loved for just being true to ourselves.

Sometimes you just have just have to jump out of your comfort zone and step into a place of interest to be guided to something greater.

That is what I feel liked happened to me.

Wanderlust 108 has inspired me to keep expanding my knowledge; to keep growing in every aspect of my life. To learn to accept the moment I am in and to work towards where I want to be.

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♥Photos & Fun♥

To try to explain everything Wanderlust has to offer wouldn’t do it justice. So, I decided to take a bunch of photos to share with a little explanation just to give you a little insight on all the magic it has to offer.

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The Entrance to the festival. No better way to be welcomed than with the city in the background.
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When I got my race gear!! Super pumped. It included a bandana, a ticket to check my bag to keep my things safe, and a ticket for a WanderBowl for lunch! It was vegan friendly that fueled me and filled me up. 
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This is my friend and I post run and before yoga. #Wanderlust108 #Cometogether #Wanderlust2017 #AdidasWanderlust
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The woman who painted this is on a mission to paint 10,000 buddha paintings throughout the world. Check out her work through the hashtag #10000buddhas on instagram!
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Centering my thoughts before I begin my practice. My outfit features: lululemon, spiritual gangster, boho band, and of course I accessorize with my fitbit and swell water bottle. 
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Snapchat selfie after we got our warrior face paint on.
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My favorite, Kombucha. I swear by this stuff. Fermented tea that is 100% raw and organic, vegan, and gluten-free. Kombucha nourishes the body, delights your taste buds, bolsters your immunity, and makes your spirits fly.

 

Here are a few more photos I took during the event. They include some of the awesome vendors, views, and fun activities offered once you complete the triathlon. (and of course my beautiful friend who I appreciate so dearly!)

Find what inspires you and pursue it.

Don’t ever hold back.

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Click the link below to visit the Wanderlust website for yourself and join the experience that will change your life!

Wanderlust Website

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-Kasey Elizabeth-

My Life

Quality Over Quantity

One of the hardest, yet most rewarding experiences I have gone through in my twenty years of life is forming authentic, real, and genuine friendships.

It is not something that happens overnight. It is not something you can go looking for. It one of those things that happen when you stay true to who you are and share with the world around you all the good (and bad) you have to offer.

It really is just a feeling that arises when you connect and develop a strong relationship with a select few people in your life.  It is hard for me to put into words, but I can compare it to the feeling a person gets when they bite into a fresh, warm, soft chocolate chip cookie. It is pure delight that you want to savor.

Many people come and go throughout life, and that is totally okay! Sometimes it is on bad terms and other times not; regardless of the reason not everyone you meet is meant to be your best friend, lifelong soul mate, and even an everyday acquaintance.

For YEARS, and I mean YEARS I used to get so caught up in wanting to have “lots of friends.” I wanted to please everyone I met and I wanted to make sure everyone liked me. It used to stress me out if I didn’t have enough time to hang out with the numbers and numbers of people I really wanted to be friends with. I was constantly overwhelmed and caught up in all the wrong things; I thought quantity was more important than quality.

Reflecting, I now realize how unhappy I was. What the hell was I thinking?! I wasted so much time and energy to please people who I wasn’t important too and they weren’t important to me.

I am NOT writing to bash the people in my past I’ve had fun times and good memories with. Those relationships and friendships are a part of growing up and learning about yourself. But I am here to THANK those who have shown me what it is like to have a true, loving, and supportive friend.

For the first time, I feel like I am doing friendship right.

I don’t even need to see these people everyday. I don’t need to speak to them even weekly. These people are the ones I can go weeks or months without interaction with. We understand and respect our different schedules, responsibilities, and time.

At the end of the day, I  never question whether I trust them or not. I always know that these people are going to be there for me through thick and thin.

These are the people who I can call in any situation. These are the people who support me in my aspirations and push me to be my best. These are the people I want to surprise and show compassion for. These are the people that I can sit in silence with and still appreciate our time together. These are people that I have had the best conversations, memories, and experiences with.

When you find that good, lifelong friend, you’ll know it in your heart. You’ll feel it every time you interact (like phone call, text, dinner, anything). You’ll laugh, cry, and yell together. No matter what obstacles each of you go through during life, in the end you’ll still love and care for each other.

I really feel that each one of us get so caught up in life that we forget to thank the ones we appreciate so dearly.

So, to my quality “people”, thank you. Thank you for being you, the you that I love. You are truly amazing and beautiful people that are a blessing in my life.

-Kasey Elizabeth