Stop Going At It Alone.

The beauty of Instagram can be seen superficially from curated feeds. But the real beauty comes from the tribes we find. It still seems amazing the number of women I connect with from being a member of this community. I've found a small tribe of women whose posts resonate with me and help me realize my own truths. All it takes is using our power to fill our feed with inspiration and joy instead of making it a place where we fall into the scrolling comparison trap.

My dear friend Jenna has the best way with words. An example? This post from a few months ago...one which still rings true for me today.

Hey you! Stop going at it alone. You weren't made to be an island. It's time you join others in your dream chasing pursuits and open yourself up. Sure, you're awkward, you're worried you'll say all the wrong things, and that you'll never measure up. But here's the thing: you have this incredible gift to offer the world, there is a way you can serve others, and the more you go it alone, the more you forget that simple fact.

Dream chasing can leave us feeling alone, but I've been there and done that. I don't want you to make the same mistakes I did or fall into the same "I'm not enough" traps that held me captive for way too long. In fact, I won't let that happen to you because I care about you. Our paths crossed for a reason, okay?

And isn't it true?

It is necessary to stop and remember the amazing people who are ready to give their support. Each day I continually find inspiration and happiness through blogs and through Instagram. It is helping me to realize I don't have to go at it alone. We are all worthy of finding our tribe. We are all worthy of working through the process of learning who we are.

I'm still working to find 'my place' with blogging. And that is okay.

Putting stress on it only has the power to take it away from me. I need to put in time working on me, on finding why, at times, my creativity feels completely blocked. It hasn't been easy, but I'm ready for the challenge.

When the days unfold where I doubt myself and think blogging isn't for me, I find strength in other bloggers. They share content with inspiration and stories to fall in love with and help you realize you are not alone. They are going through similar struggles.

No one is 'perfect' in this world; bloggers still are humans who have tough days and life struggles.

So thank you.

Thank you for your support. Not just for me, but for all of us bloggers.

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10 Reasons Why I Chose Rest.

REST.

I've spent years thinking I needed to do it all. 2016 came, and I made the decision to honor more rest. I'm happy to report there has been more rest and taking necessary downtime for myself. Currently, I'm in the midst of a month-long break, and embracing every moment.

Little did I know, towards the end of 2015, I was in full burnout. So it has been my goal to restore myself back to someone who appreciates living in the moment every day. I am working to remove the idea of getting caught up in the past or stressing about the future.

If you are finding yourself in the midst of crazy, which is becoming more important in our hyper-connected lives, here is some insight on why I chose to rest, and why you may need to as well.

1 / I felt the warning signs.

After finding this last month, I knew I made the right choice. Being able to nod my head at each sign was a clear indicator of being on an unhealthy path for my emotional and mental health. The biggest red flag for me was feeling lethargic - each day seemed to drag on and the fact I couldn't help but fall asleep in the living room almost every night showed itself loud and clear. My body was in a constant state of soreness, a level I knew wasn't normal.

2 / To focus on unplugging more.

By not jam-packing my schedule, I have found more downtime at home. I am starting to savor this feeling more and more. On top of that, I am being more intentional about unplugging, even if just for the evening. I used to have a constant state of stress in my mind of tasks to be done. Where once my planner was used to make obscene to-do lists, it is now a place to be more intentional; sometimes, I even take a step back to see if it is something worth writing down, or if I would be better off just doing it.

3 / My eating had gone out the window.

And not in the junk food way you may be thinking. I was only craving sweets and simple carbs, which is an indicator to me of being in a prolonged, stressed state. Since starting on a path of intuitive eating, I was doing my body right by honoring those cravings. I also knew I needed to find the trigger on why only cookies sounded good for dinner. As I started accepting more time for rest days, my body began craving better meals. I found motivation to make new dinners and was back in a place of more than just sweets and simple carbs.

4 / I had less gratitude.

The mind funk was heavy, and I found myself focusing on the positive less and less. All of the energy put into positivity was starting to get dominated by negativity and the littlest annoyances. The resolution? Setting a phone reminder to write down five things at the end of each day I am grateful for. Even after a tough day, doing this before bed lets me reflect on the good in the day. This is a habit I've made from January 1, and I can't wait to be able to look back on this at the end of 2016.

5 / Happiness was low.

Don't get me wrong, there was happiness in most days. But there were also days where I let stress take over, and happiness was pushed aside. After that lightbulb moment, I knew putting a focus on what made me happy was exactly what I needed. Finding what makes us happy again after feeling like it has been lost means going to the core of ourselves to find those simple moments of happiness, which went hand-in-hand with more gratitude.

6 / There was no time.

When you wake up in the morning and feel like you rush through the day until your head hits the pillow again, but don't feel like you've had a moment to breathe and do something for you...that's when I really knew. I had to find what mattered most at my core, and focus on only that. First and foremost, it was me; if I couldn't do that, there was no way to connect with the people who mean the most in my life. Self-care can be severely underrated in a society where always being busy is praised and applauded in most cases.

7 / Society made me believe it was okay.

Unless we bring more awareness into our lives, we can blindly live each moment in the eyes of society. Instead of doing what we want and what we crave, we fall into society's trap. What I saw around me was people doing it all, getting little sleep and saying "I'm busy" all the time. My mind was tricked into believing it was all okay. But it wasn't. And it won't ever be okay. I know now how bad it is to rely on 4.5 hours of sleep, how exhausting scheduling out each moment can be. After dropping society's pressure, I found people who weren't living this life. And that was what I wanted for myself.

8 / I needed to give myself permission.

Permission to rest, to miss a workout here and there, to honor my cravings, to enjoy doing nothing. My close friend Julianna covered it all perfectly. I had let guilt get the best of me when it came to resting, and I needed to start giving myself permission for what my mind needed. Giving the okay to myself to take a month off was difficult initially, but the days to follow were filled with multiple points of confirmation I was doing what was right for me.

9 / My sense of self was foggy.

My mind still has a light fog over it, but nothing compares to what I was feeling at the start of 2016. If anything, an extended amount of rest and more focus on self-care is helping to lift this fog. The fact I can get back into blogging and wake up with a strong pull to do the simple things to bring me happiness has helped immensely. Even taking the opportunities to hold and work through each emotion has removed so much of this fog.

10 / Because my gut said so.

We can all read through the above reasons, and push past if rest is needed. But when your gut is saying rest? You should listen. I pushed past for a good month before using my power to finally honor this rest for myself.

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As I continue to live through this season of rest, I realized it has been a harder journey than I had anticipated. Choosing self-care and rest is tougher than I realized, and has required a different level of dedication to make these changes.

The bonus?

I get to learn more about myself each and every day as I make the choices to make me happy.

 

Giving Myself a Little Rest.

Last Monday, I committed to taking a full month off from CrossFit. While it almost felt like the hardest and scariest decision in one moment, it really wasn't. It made sense and it had been on my mind for a few weeks. Right now, it still seems kind of hard to describe why and also how I'm feeling. In short, it just feels right. It feels so needed in every part of my mind, my body, and my soul.

Right now:

My mind feels clear. A weight has left my shoulders. The time I need for me is there. Little changes I've thought about for months are finally happening. More emotions are coming in and out of my body. I'm looking into myself and learning more about me.

I'm finding more confidence in every decision I make. I am worrying less and less about the opinions of others. My gut and intuition are getting the best of my attention. I finally starting a meditation practice. My heart feels good.

It feels like so much has happened. Four days has felt like two weeks, and excitement for how much transformation and clarity will come in a month. The emotions come and go on whether I made the 'right' decision. But that's just it. In this life, it is hard to imagine we can only categorize decisions between right and wrong. In a matter of a day, one simple decision can waver in your mind as being right, and then pendulum back with the thought of being wrong. It truly comes down to what you know is right in your gut and supporting yourself through all of the emotions.

Each day, there has been confirmation I made the right decision for me. I found an article I pulled out of a magazine about a year ago about overtraining, and needing to take rest. I've had conversations with multiple friends who are being 100% supportive. My friend Madison shared this blog post with me, and it brought tears to my eyes. That's how real this has all been. That's how much this was needed.

Going into what I took away from her post, listening to my gut was the biggest indicator for this time of rest. I just had a feeling it was something I needed to do because what I currently was doing didn't feel right for me. For something with a creative mind, I had nothing in me to create. Since embracing rest, my mind is filling up with ideas and finding inspiration every day.

I knew my gut was onto something.

It came down to figuring out my feelings. As scary as this is to type, before taking this break, I wasn't feeling anything. Because my mind was caught up in waking up early, making sure I got enough sleep and keeping the rest of 'life' together, my feelings weren't getting the attention they desperately needed. In the past few days, I've felt joy and happiness, but I've also been able to let feelings come as they choose. The most random of things in my life have brought tears to my eyes, and I'm embracing it to it's fullest.

The last portion deserves its own space for thought. What it came down to was feeling weak at my core. For me, this meant not letting myself decide what was essential for me in life. Right now, nothing is more important than taking the time to recover my body fully and to make other loves, like blogging, a higher priority. It is hard to explain how much I wanted to be writing, but could never manage to make it essential. My core needs to build upon its essentials to put strength back into my life. Life felt like this:

You see, if we say YES to something that we aren’t really wanting to do, but we feel obligated to do it because of whatever reason, that means in a round-about way that you are saying NO to something much more important to you.

That is what it came down to. I was at a point where my mind felt foggy with everything. I was craving clarity. With where things were at, I just couldn't seem to find it for myself.

And because I decided to give myself a just a little grace (and a whole lot of love), I'm coming out each day stronger. As I said to my dear friend Mary, it feels like I'm standing in and stepping into my own power by doing this. By really truly listening; not only to my body, but my mind & soul as well.

peonies - from roses

Moving Positively Forward.

Have a mind that is open to everything, and attached to nothing

(Tilopa)

Coming from a perfectionist planner mindset, and someone who used to be hyper organized with everything, a quote like this has helped bring in the perspective of being open to what comes up in my life, and also not being so anxious about everything. Learning to be able to detach from negative moments in my life is something I have been striving to work through the past month. While it isn't always easy, it pays off when little steps of progress are able to be made.

When you fully look at our lives each day, you have to decide what will matter in the next year, or in the next five years. We all have those moments where we get a little bent out of shape from what might have gone on that day. Sometimes, we even let it affect us for the days following. But you can consciously ask yourself "Will this day/event/situation be a big deal in the next year?", most of the time we can answer no. And not to say all bad  things aren't worth having hard days over - we need those days as well. Those are the days that will help us grow into who we will be for the next five years. Even looking back on my own life and my own hard times, I would never go back to change them.

Why?

Because they had to have happened for a reason. They had to have happened because the Universe knew it would help to shape me into the person I am today. And that is how I am pushing myself positively forward. I found I don't like who I am as a negative person, and don't like when I find myself complaining, or picking out the negatives in life. It isn't worth it.

Life is worth living, and making the most of whatever may come our way.

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We Don't Have to be Superwomen.

It's been awhile.  And while my first instinct is to apologize and say 'I'm sorry', I'm trying to get better about not apologizing about everything in life. On a journey of trying to focu on happiness and joy, a crucial part for me has been to stop apologizing when not necessary. So bear with me as I struggled to find the worlds to catch you up, to bring us closer together.

I've truly missed my little corner of the internet during my hiatus, but taking a step back for my mental health was far more important during the start of the year. I had intentions of sharing my word for 2016 on the blog straight away in January...but here we are in the middle of our third month of the year. The turquoise lining? I actually have evidence of how spot on I was on picking my word this year:

REST.

I will confess I had a tendency of filling up my plate, of taking on too much. Come to think of it, I was striving to be a superwoman, which I think many women can agree with. I thought I could handle it -- in a way, I thought it was what I "needed" to do. It served me pretty well throughout my 3.5 years in college, and it only felt natural to keep it going after graduating; I didn't really know anything different. And you know, it went okay for a few years. I felt this was how I was suppose to be living my life.

But then the burnout started to hit. And when it hit, it hit hard. I finally realized I needed to step back from some commitment in life. I needed to take the time to honor the rest my body was craving so so badly.

Our bodies are not designed to live through a constant state of stress and exhaustion.

And it has been, by far, my best decision of this year.

I know so many of us out there are trying to do it all. Some of it comes from the society surrounding us, while the rest seems to come from within. In my own life, I know I was just trying to put everything that made me happy into my life. And it wasn't sustainable. There may have been points where I thought I 'had it', but looking back - I didn't. When I thought everything was amazing, there were inevitably parts of life suffering. I reached a point in 2015 where I was in a severe burnout. The only thing I could muster up with my remaining energy when I came home from work was dinner before I would crash in the living room every night. As that pattern wore on, I knew I had to make a change.

It wasn't how I wanted to be living my life. As crazy and beautiful as all our lives are, there needs to be a balance to where you are still able to enjoy the small moments.

This is me telling you that you don't have to be superwoman, you don't have to do it all. There is a way to step back and simplify down your life. And you deserve it. You deserve to relish in a Sunday afternoon getting caught up in a book, in taking the time to be outside -- in doing what brings you the most joy.

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Gratitude of the Past / January 2012

After a weekend to relax, I am feeling much better after the chaos of last week. I'm not certain what it was, but it was no fun at all. My mind felt like mush all week, and I was just glad to make it through without a breakdown or a bout of insomnia. As usual, once the evening started to hit on Sunday, I realized weekends are just too short and we should all start to embrace the 32-hour work week. I may be dreaming, but it isn't a half bad idea, right? As we/I try to simplify down our apartment, once again, there might be a few fun additions to my little corner of the blog world. Little snippets of life I still want to have documented somewhere, but don't necessarily feel I need to have around me physically. Take a couple of years ago as an example, when I was pretty good at keeping a gratitude journal. I'd make sure to write in it each night, and it did wonders for helping me change to a more optimistic and positive mindset. Three years later, and this is back on my goal list to begin in September (mostly because I love the idea of a notebook starting on Day One of a month).

And to this day, I'm still trying to make changes for a more optimistic and positive life. I give so much credit to that little gratitude journal for helping me head down the path I am now in regards to positivity. Right now, that means paring down on 'stuff' in the apartment and minimizing what I have. So instead of lugging around that little pink notebook for the rest of my life, why not archive it here?

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Let's travel back to January of 2012...

1.8.12

  1. My wonderful mother, who is always there for me.
  2. Being able to have resources to make a sore throat feel better.
  3. Having the best mattress I've ever slept on.

1.9.12

  1. Having the financial means to buy two dresses, instead of having to choose.
  2. A good breakfast, like waffles + OJ.
  3. Being able to mini-vacation with a great group of friends for just one night.

1.10.12

  1. That we were looked out for last night.
  2. Matt was able to sleep with me for the evening.
  3. Amazing people in this world.

1.11.12

  1. Having the means to eat a wonderful meal away from home at Duluth Grill.
  2. Relaxing movie nights with Matthew.
  3. A wonderful mattress.

1.12.12

  1. My sister & Brooklynn, and the fact that they are so close.
  2. Dinner nights with Matt's family.
  3. A little tea to make you feel better.

1.13.12

  1. A job that I enjoy working at.
  2. Meeting many people who contribute to the happiness in my life.
  3. Laundry day!

1.14.12

  1. The feeling of warm laundry.
  2. The fresh smell of clean sheets and blankets.
  3. Late night sleep cuddles with Matthew.

1.15.12

  1. Everything about my Matt.
  2. The help of financial aid so I have no worries.
  3. A strong body to work out with.

1.16.12

  1. The world of Cabaret I was able to be a part of.
  2. Having Jennifer Madill Hagen in my life.
  3. Meeting many lovely souls during a summer to always remember and never forget.

1.17.12

  1. My wonderful education.
  2. Having a silent & sweet breakfast with Matt.
  3. Having clothes and a home to keep me warm when the Duluth weather is freezing.

1.18.12

  1. A humidifier to make sleep come easy.
  2. Being able to work with wonderful kids at the studio.
  3. The DTA.

1.19.12

  1. The nights where Matt falls asleep by my side, and the mornings I am able to open my eyes and see him next to me.
  2. Having amazing co-workers.
  3. How I Met Your Mother. <3

1.20.12

  1. The nights that Matt and I spend together.
  2. Having the pleasure to watch great documentaries.
  3. Hot chocolate with marshmallows!

1.21.12

  1. Being able to have the means to gift items to Matt.
  2. Cold Stone tip money.
  3. Mornings when Matt wakes with me & spends the morning cuddling with me.

1.22.12

  1. Meeting Al & Lyndsey =)
  2. Fruit snacks.
  3. New music.

1.23.12

  1. The gorgeous Duluth snowfalls.
  2. Not having to always shower.
  3. The lift I vicariously live through on Gossip Girl.

1.24.12

  1. The girls I am able to meet through Attitudes.
  2. Becoming a TA for Paula. =)
  3. Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal with plain soy milk.

1.25.12

  1. A good iced coffee.
  2. Being able to reconnect with my dad to strengthen our relationship.
  3. Financial means to start Body by Vi (lol), and having a father that will support me through it.

1.26.12

  1. My mom.
  2. A rewarding Jillian Michaels workout.
  3. Clif Kid Z Bar, iced oatmeal cookie.

1.27.12

  1. My Fridays off from class.
  2. Conversations with Jade that make me feel normal and sane.
  3. My MacBook Pro.

1.28.12

  1. Having amazing friends to talk to.
  2. My books.
  3. Simple snow flurries.

1.29.12

  1. My days with Matthew.
  2. My sister and Brooklynn, and the time I was able to spend with them.
  3. Pizza & pop with M as a midnight snack.

1.30.12

  1. Oreos + milk.
  2. Good study habits.
  3. Naps.

1.31.12

  1. The immense help of iced coffee to stay awake in a 3-hour lecture.
  2. Late night toast.
  3. New fun. =)

 

+ Have you ever kept a gratitude journal?

+ In this moment, tell me three parts of life you are grateful for today...

You.

You are kind.

You build others up, never knocking them down.

You remain positive.

You always choose joy.

You know what you need during tough moments.

You, above all else, have the ability to find inner peace.

Sometimes you just need a little affirmation in your life when the day seems tougher than the last. And the best way I break out of those moments is to right down the truths in my life. To put my focus on the positive and remain forever optimistic. No one can argue about not ever having bad days. It all depends on how you work through those hard moments.

A Silver Lining.

Sometimes you need a fresh start. And that's okay.

Welcome to A Turquoise Lining, my new corner of the internet.

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As I have attempted to simplify my life and fill each day with positivity and joy, I felt myself growing away from Ramblings of Change. I had a strong desire to start fresh. I wanted to remake my place in this community to what I have always dreamed it of being. RoC continually felt like the foundation was cracking. As much as I tried to fix the cracks, it just never felt...right.

But this does. And honestly, it has been a long process.

At the start of 2015, I wanted a new blog. RoC honestly didn't feel like me in any way. And that meant I had little to no motivation to post on it. It wasn't because I had writer's block, or no ideas; it felt like I wasn't holding true to why I had started RoC.

When I found the blogging world, healthy living blogs drew me in, and I'll always be grateful for that. They helped me heal from disordered eating and opened my mind to a new kind of healthy. I was convinced RoC was my 'forever' place in the blogging world - talking about workouts, what I was eating and all other random thoughts about healthy living. This is still a huge part of my life, but it isn't all that matters. So yes, I'll talk about CrossFit here and there, as well as my journey on finding the right way to fuel my body. But that won't be everything. This is only the beginning.

My heart is so grateful I have an opportunity to start fresh; that A Turquoise Lining can be my fresh start.

Why the name?

Silver Linings Playbook changed my way of thinking. I know it sounds a little kooky, but it helped me find a way of living with anxiety & depression. I never knew it could be as simple as finding the silver lining, or as Bradley Cooper would say, reaching the place of excelsior in life. It hit home, and still does. I could watch SLP every day and still wouldn't get sick of it.

And why the turquoise?

If you didn't know already, teal is my jam (no really, I have custom Nano's that are 95% teal). As I was brainstorming names with my best, Laura, I liked the idea of something about a silver lining...but I just couldn't get the wording right. When she suggested switching out silver with turquoise - I knew that was it. I was immediately in love. It had a ring of simplicity, yet it was still unique to me; turquoise felt more elegant than teal, and I loved that. Most importantly, it allowed me to blog about anything -- because there is always a turquoise lining, even on the darkest of days.

So thank you. I'm so excited for the journey ahead!

Oh, hi.

I'm Kelsey. A twenty-something living in Duluth MN, who wouldn't be sane without CrossFit and living a life where all she wants to do is inspire others. Oh, and I just chopped off about 4 inches of my hair. #inspiredbyjlaw #soIstartedanewblog IMG_7308

Remember Ramblings of Change? I'll get to that (eventually).

And if you don't, no worries; you'll hear the story soon enough.

I'm finding it weird while I always seem to have posts in mind, and things to say to your beautiful faces, writing the first post is hard. It is hard to put into a few hundred words who you are and why you are here; why you want a place in this amazing blogging community. The first blogs I read, I couldn't believe this world existed. I wondered why it had taken so long to find it. This blog world we live in changed me, and continues to change me  every day. I learn so much about the human race from simple blog posts, and learn a little more about who I am.

And for that - I am grateful. I'm overjoyed that I can take a huge jump and start anew. So why A Turquoise Lining?

I'm a big believer in positivity and finding joy in the smallest things in life. I'm one to take the hard times and try to find the meaning they hold, or why they will end up making me stronger. I believe everything happens to us because it helps us become the best ( and better) version of our past self. Our past builds the foundation to our present and future selves--something we aren't always that grateful for.

While you may know them as Silver Linings, I find mine Turquoise - because we all have unique journeys through this life and I see mine through shades of turquoise, teal and mint (obviously indecisive about my favorite color).

We are given paths in this beautiful life that we have to make the best of. And ultimately, they mold us into who we've always imagined ourselves as becoming.

So why not plaster a little color along the way?