A different kind of me

So, it’s January 26th (I think?) and today I’m writing about my new year’s resolution.

My journal for the year, the personal one, the one that is filled with inspirations, doubts, dreams, broken promises and resolutions is sitting near me. On the first page it simply states “I figure, if a girl wants to be a legend, she should go ahead and be one”. Calamity Jane everyone. A legend.

Every year I take some time to refocus, give myself a word or two to focus on for that year and then write some goals around those. What does my relationship with God, my health, my career, my family, friends and love life look like in context of all this.

This year my words were simple and interlocking. They’re my words, but they all came with an overarching question over them.

Is what I choose today going to affect what I want tomorrow? Will my today negatively or positively impact what I want long-term?

I am blessed. I have people around me who love me. I know that sounds cheesy or maybe even prideful, but these people who love me, why I consider myself most blessed, is that they challenge me. They challenge me to be a better woman, person, friend, daughter, employee, worker, ME.

One of the best questions I was ever asked was why I allow myself to do things, or allow things to happen to me, which will inhibit the woman I am becoming, the person I want to be.

That struck my heart…probably at that moment mainly because they were asking me about relationships and my apparent inability to trust men. Fabulous right? Not so much.

Anyway, that question stuck with me and has slowly, over the past year buried itself deep and began to blossom into what has now become my 2015.

There is nothing particularly spiritual about this post, though it does affect that part of my life. There is no major scientific studies around what I am doing. It is simply a question…

Is what you are choosing now going to affect your future positively or negatively? 

It’s in every decision, every action, every mood or feeling.

If I choose to go to work out or not.

If I choose to sleep because I am tired or not.

If I choose to date that guy…or not.

If I choose to have coffee with that person or not.

You see, rather than spend the moments, the money, the time, the resources, I have chosen to invest them (thanks Andreas).

I am never going to be a help to anyone if I am not the person I am supposed to be. My daily decisions, your daily decisions should be ones which you and others will get a return from.

So, ask yourself this…

What choice am I making?

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A new year…

So, around February last year I started this blog up again. Since then it’s been growing and growing.

I’ve decided to re-do the site and make a couple of manageable changes. These are meant to help me give you a better blog and to ensure I’m keeping all my commitments.

I’m going to be working with the lovely Kory to redesign the blog, which I’m super excited about!

I’ve also decided that I’ll be posting on Thursday from now on. This way I keep up my schedule and you will always know when a new post is coming.

Occasionally I’ll add something important on other days but until then check back next Thursday for a new blog.

Before you go, many of you know I also write for So Worth Loving and it happens that today you can pop over here and see my new blog post.

Hope you enjoy!

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xx michelle

It’s Back to the Basics

I went to a party last night and since it’s customary to take your shoes off when you go into a home here in Sweden I did…and my immediate reaction was “I’m so sorry my feet look terrible and unkept” (sorry mom…)

It’s not that I am a princess who must get manicures and pedicures all the time but quite honestly there are a few things in life that I enjoy doing to make my somewhat hectic life more centred. Admittedly some of these things are very first-world and I could get some flack for calling them basics. So here is your warning: these may not all be basics for everyone but hear my heart and know that life is definitely not “all about me”…

You know those moments where you just want to go crawl into bed and hide for days? Or maybe it is the days that nothing you put on fits right or feels good? Maybe yesterday every time someone even tried to say hello you got overly frustrated and irritated? Maybe just because your boyfriend didn’t call, you cried? Or when the baby just would not fall asleep at 3am, for  2 hours and you felt like you don’t even know why you decided to become a mother or a father. Maybe you feel like your wife hasn’t stopped nagging you for days? Or has your roommate NEVER cleaned up?

These are just a few of what I feel like are evidence of a mind and body that is not taking care of itself. Let’s face it, most of the time when things are not going right around us it’s because of what is happening IN us. I have an amazing friend who often gets my rants when any of the applicable above have happened to me. She is one of the people I have allowed to speak completely freely into my life…and knows everything about me. My favourite reminder from her is always her first question after I have finished my rant, “Chelles, so are you keeping up the basics?”

And…after a momentary pause and a quick evaluation the answer is usually a quite, soft “no”.

When we think of the basics we usually think food and water. Yes, these are the very basics but everyone has their own basics which need to be sorted in order to live a full and healthy life. I have figured out what mine are…some of them are must-must basics and others are every few weeks rather than weekly (like manicures/pedicures) or even hourly but these things in my life mean that I can be the best I can be and fulfil the purpose I have here for others.

So here are mine…and in no particularly order of importance…all have their own place

  • read my bible, listen to worship music, pray: connect to God constantly
  • exercise regularly
  • get a lot of fresh air
  • coffee
  • drink lots and lots of water
  • limit the amount of sugar I ingest (which is almost zero now)
  • eat regularly and unprocessed
  • get my nails and hair done
  • keep warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot (this affects me)
  • get enough, proper sleep (so it doesn’t just mean time but I always make sure my bed is clean, with lots of pillows and blankets. It’s my oasis)
  • talk to my friends regularly
  • connect with my family regularly

These are my basics…you’ll have your own (although a lot of these will overlap). We’re all different and I encourage you to find out your strengths and weaknesses (for example; I’m an extrovert, so I get energy from being around people, HOWEVER, I am also an only child and very much know my limitations when it comes to how much alone time I need (it’s more than most think))

Take some time and remember that you need to be the best you can be so it’s okay to understand how you tick. You’ll be better off to your friends, roommates, husbands, wives, kids, boss…we want to live strong and excellent lives so please, invest in the basics.

And if you need a few suggestions for a busy season I found this blog which will give you 55 ways to maintain your sanity…

xxM

 

A Whole New World

 

My business/PR mentor and friend Peter offered some advice on his website’s blog that got me thinking. Whilst I may be quoting him incorrectly, and I hope I’m not, he basically said that having a business and personal identity, particularly on Twitter was not on. No matter what, your information will be found out and therefore trying to create two separate identities is futile.

I thought about this in light of who I am in all spheres of my life; in work, at church, at the gym or at home. In all areas of life I am Michelle and I can’t be any one but me. I may choose to not share all information with everyone, and in business situations choose my words and my actions to suit the situation, but inherently I cannot be any one but me. I put my own twist on who I am.

I think often, especially as Christians, we can try and cover up one side of who we are when we’re not in church or around our friends who share similar beliefs. But like the fact that I cannot hide my sunkissed skin after I get back from holidays I cannot hide the light of Christ that shines (hopefully) through me.

So with that in mind I am (as hinted in my last post) changing it up a bit. Michelle, the Christian, the daughter, the friend, the PR girl, the writer, the singer, the soon-to-be-Masters student and expat again will all be found in one place. I’ll be changing my Twitter; combining my accounts, and making this blog  more structured. I’ll also be introducing my website and blog for my business (which is more of a place to find my business than to find out about me).

Hopefully you’ll come along on all of the journey but watch out for the following:

Mondays will be all about my life in Stockholm as a post-grad student and freelancer…

Wednesdays will focus on what’s going on spiritually, what I have learned and lessons to share…

Fridays, please join me as I train for the Stockholm marathon and reach my fitness goals of a journey that started years ago.

 

So here goes nothing…

Because everyone needs a bit of Disney

 

xxx michelle

I only want to be strong

I may not look like that right now but I can hang like that…

I was 16 years old and I laid in bed with tears falling. They were tears of sadness mixed with tears of determination. I chose that moment to stop being weak.

You see, I was in high school and very close to a size 26 (US sizes). I wasn’t unhappy, depressed or sad. However, I had just been to South Africa and for the first time ever in my life I struggled to close the seat belt. I remember sitting on that plane, at the beginning of a one month trip across the world, wondering if the tiny planes I would have to eventually sit in, would be too small.

I knew I would be going off to university in two years and I didn’t just want to be the “fun and bubbly” Michelle. I didn’t so much care how I looked but that I could pick whatever clothes I wanted and most of all that I would be strong one day.

So the journey began…

I stopped eating sugar, cut out soda and just started being that much more active. I don’t believe in quick fixes, pills or surgery (until you really need it). Although it’s taken me many years and I have plateaued through the years I have learned many valuable lessons along the way. Now, today I have gone down 14 dress sizes and this week at the gym I was able to do a whole lot of pull ups on the frame. I’m stronger and slimmer and healthier than I have ever been. Best feeling ever when the gym junkies stare at you and their jaws drop! I have even ran a half marathon and considering doing a full one next year. Oh! And air plane seat belts? Loose…

I don’t write this because I want to brag about what I have done. Trust me, I have still a ways to go and I know that I’ll get there. I write this because to each of you reading this that has a goal; I encourage you to start today. Whether that means you need to lose weight, or eat healthier. Whether it means getting out of that abusive relationship or studying really hard to get into the school you want. It may be that you just simply want to save the money and travel around the world for a year…you can do it. I’m living proof that when you put your mind to something you can and will see results and accomplish what you started. Like me, it may take you longer than you wanted but I personally have learned so much along the way. I have zero regrets.

Recently, in the middle of feeling broken hearted, I looked back and remembered crossing the finish line after running 21k and with that thought in mind, got up and went…sure my heart hurts now but it will get stronger again. With determination, self-control and a lot of passion you will do anything you want…

so, what’s stopping you?

 

I’ve still got about 3-4 dress sizes to go but I’m getting there…