Thank You 2014 + Hello 2015

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Dear 2014,

Thank you.

I thank you for your extreme highs and devastating lows.

I thank you for the moments when I wanted to give up and give in…and end it all.

Those moments gave me strengthening scars and emotional muscles.

Those moments forced me to confront scary demons, uncover stinky fears and unravel tangled beliefs.

Those moments broke me into a million tiny pieces so that He could rebuild me stronger.

I most thank you, 2014, for the scars, the scrapes and the pieces of me that I lost when I was shattered. The pieces I’ll gain in the future will fit me much better.

Those pieces will truly make me whole, even if they don’t exactly fit the spaces I’ve left for them.

2014, you have been 365 kinds of friend.

A ride or die chick with me during the good and the bad.

A fickle frenemy who helped me discover my own poor judgement.

A casual acquaintance I didn’t take the time to know.

A neglected friend who gave everything but went unappreciated.

2014, you have been them all, and I thank you for that.

I honor you and don’t begrudge our time together.

I lift up your presence, your lessons and your significant contributions to my life as I say goodbye to you.

I send my love to you, 2014, as I say hello to 2015.

Hello, my new friend…

Here’s to a positive relationship with time, mistakes, pain, challenges and this new year.

Happy New Year!

xo,

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Experiment #4 : No Negative Music

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You are what you eat. The idea that I need to limit my consumption of negativity isn’t something new. I’m always listening to my body when it tells me both how to identify negativity in my space, but also how the negativity is affecting my body.

One area of my life where I’m not so good at eliminating negativity is when it comes to the type of music I listen to.

Listening to the following lyrics every day while working out and cleaning up my house does not inspire the purest of thoughts:

“…I been drinkin’. I get filthy when that liquor get into me.”

to

“…This s—- is not a love song. It’s a ‘f— a stripper on a mink rug’ song…”

to

“…guhl…I know you want this d—.”

And with action starting in the mind, my propensity for ratchet music can only lead to ratchet actions eventually.

So here’s the game plan for experiment #4:

No negative or sexual music.

I don’t need to hear Eminem rap about tying chicks up or Beyonce sing about the activities she participates in while traveling in a limo. I should probably ban the word Rihanna from my vocabulary for this week and forsake my love of all things YMCMB.

This experiment has two purposes:

1. For me to constantly be aware of the type of content I’m allowing into my brain subconsciously while playing it as background music.

2. The more obvious purpose: more positivity. Less negativity and music that promotes things that I don’t need to be thinking about all day.

That’s not to say I’ll have my Christian Hip Hop and Christian Rock Pandora stations playing all day either. Sitting in silence works well for me too, but maybe I’ll put on some Colbie Caillat or music from one of my church’s albums. Or I’ll turn on an audible book to listen to.

The point is to be aware of what media I’m consuming as often as possible and not just consume media because I need background noise. Because, actually, there’s an app for that if I just want background noise —> Ambiance.

So that’s Experiment #4 and it starts tomorrow.

If you want to join me in this latest experiment, please do. Or maybe you want to create your own way of limiting the types of messages you hear often.

You’re welcome to tag me on Twitter, Instagram or via my Facebook Page, use #pursuitofme or #mylifeexperiment in your posts and please share your experiment with others who might like it.

Here’s to being conscious about the messages we allow in our space and striving to consume more positive media daily.

Evaluate often, improve frequently and keep experimenting.

Xo,

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Things I Love: The Circle, Spirit Junkie and the Mindy Project on Hulu Plus.

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We all have different forms of escapism. Back in college, I’d come home from a long day and immediately turn the TV to The Disney Channel. I needed some feel-good and funny programming to help me shake off the stress of the day. I needed to slip away from work and into some That’s so Raven.

Over the years, my forms of escapism have change subtly, but I still enjoy things that make me laugh, make me think or just give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Here are three forms of “entertainment” I’m currently enjoying this week.

1. The Circle on Audiobook

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I’m a semi-geek when it comes to techie, internet things. While watching The Social Network, I was intrigued by the hack-a-thons and the progression of Facebook from one campus to many. Reading a book like The Circle by Dave Eggers seemed like a no-brainer for me. Despite my love of social media, the technology of convenience and transparency, I’m enjoying this book for the way it highlights the issues of privacy, knowledge, etc. in a suspenseful, girl-don’t-open-that-door way.

The audiobook narrated by Dion Graham {the voice of The First 48} is crazy entertaining.

Here’s a summary of the book:

“When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.”

I also recently downloaded Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon and plan to listen to that once I’m done with The Circle.

Other audiobooks I recently enjoyed:

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs.

2. Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

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Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein is the book I read in the morning after my morning Bible reading. It’s fabulous. I recommend it to anyone who has every struggled with addiction, self-confidence, forgiveness or negativity.

Gabrielle’s story is inspiring and her teachings are powerful.

I’m also currently reading MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom by Tony Robbins in Hardcover. I mentioned this book in my “Don’t Feed The Fears” post, but I’m still reading it. The book is almost 700 pages long and it’s about finance, so I expect I’ll be reading it for a while.

3. The Mindy Project on Hulu Plus

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While I don’t watch a lot of TV and I thoroughly enjoyed my week of being TV-free, I do occasionally enjoy Hulu Plus or Netflix. Not only can I watch episodes of ABC, NBC & Fox shows the day after they air with Hulu Plus, I can watch movies and Netflix originals whenever I want. House of Cards with Kevin Spacey, anyone? {Instant gratification, much?}

Right now the show I’m most enjoying on Hulu Plus is the Mindy Project.

I’d previously abandoned the series after halfway through the first episode. I’m a pilot episode snob. {Yes, that’s a real thing} If I don’t like the pilot. I give up on the show. But a dear friend assured me I would love this show and she was right.

Currently caught up to season 3, I absolutely love The Mindy Project. It has me cracking up one minute and cringing with empathetic embarrassment the next. I’m always drawn to shows with strong, but awkward female characters. {Shedding a tear for Ugly Betty} I instinctively get them. And, besides that, Mindy Kaling is a freakin’ comedy genius.

If you’ve never tried Hulu Plus, you can sign up for 2-weeks free to try it out.

So that’s what I’m currently enjoying. How about you? What things are currently engaging and entertaining you?

Haven’t found the right thing yet? Well, keep experimenting.

Xo,

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