Dream Big

Thoughts

My brain is on the verge of exploding with ideas for my life lately. I think the approaching year-long displacement to the North has given me reason to think of all the other opportunities available to me in the rest of my life. I am so thankful to be going up to a different part of the country and experience a different lifestyle for a year. It’s just the start of my adventures.

I came up with a list of things I want to do! Here it is:

  1. See the following shows live: Ellen, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan
  2. Intern for the aforementioned shows, and get to meet these 3 brilliant comedians
  3. See a broadway production in New York
  4. Intern or volunteer at a film festival
  5. See the following people in concert: Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, The Lumineers (seen them twice already, but will for sure again), City and Colour (seen once), Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Cake, Muse, The Gypsy Kings, Ellie Goulding, Ray LaMontage (seen once)… I’m sure there’s more but there’s a start on the bigs I want to see live
  6. Go to Coachella, Sasquatch and Squamish music festivals and the New Orleans Jazz Festival
  7. Own a Honda Del Sol before I have kids and need something bigger than a two-seater
  8. Be an extra in a movie
  9. Get an article (preferably an interview with celeb) published in Rolling Stone
  10. Get a photograph from my travels published in National Geographic
  11. Publish a book
  12. Dye my hair pink
  13. Run in another marathon somewhere fun, maybe in Cali or Hawaii (see my first marathon experience here)
  14. Complete a Tough Mudder, a triathalon, and an Ironman
  15. Write & record 10 songs (I recent;y recorded a cover and loved the process!)

What’s on your bucket list? Think BIG!

♪ MJ: Stop Everything You’re Doin Now & Smile – MOD SUN ♪

Music, Thoughts

Midweek Jam for y’all!

“if you could only see right now
that you got all you need right now and smile”

Mod Sun’s “hippy hop” music is really jiving with my bones right now. MissMeghanMakeup did a great video on Positivity last July. This video pointed me to research the law of attraction and Mod Sun’s book “Did I Ever Wake Up?” I ordered the book and read it in a day and it did change my outlook.

I’m in the process of making some positive changes in my life. Taking control, taking charge of my mood and attitude. There are so many things that can bring us down. I don’t want that anymore. I am really excited about changing my life for the better and putting myself as a priority, taking care of myself physically and emotionally.

In the past couple days Meghan made another video about positivity. I watched The Secret after that, a documentary kind presentation of the book titled the same about the law of attraction. I did read Mod Sun’s book, but I didn’t really listen to much of his music, so that’s what I’ve started doing and I thought I would share one with you. I wouldn’t say it’s all young-ear-friendly (swear words and weed culture and such)… but I quite enjoy the sounds and the vibes. Seems like he’s got a great attitude as a performer and is really down to earth and relatable in his book.

 

✮ MM: Let a bad mood fuel a great day✮

Thoughts, Uncategorized

Welcome to another Monday Motivation post!

A lesson I have learned over an over again is this: when I am in a bad mood, or feel sorry for myself, the quickest way for me to snap out of that poor attitude is to do something for someone else. When you shift your focus away from yourself, away from self-pity and the accompanying feelings of entitlement to happiness and fairness in life, you realize you are in control of your own happiness. This week’s challenge is to:

LET A BAD MOOD (OR A ROUGH MORNING) FUEL A GREAT DAY.

Let hard feelings fuel productivity. Often when I am upset I find cooking/cleaning and good deed doing very therapeutic. Whether you only have time for a small or silly gesture that will cheer someone else up, or you can tackle a larger project– getting up off your butt will help. I promise! I’ve made a video version of my list, so you can read or watch or both!

Here are my top 5 ways to turn a bad day into a good one, and shift your attitude away from negativity.

1. Do something for someone else. 

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After a grumpy morning, I decided to make soup for my boyfriend and I for dinner. The process of cooking throughout the day and cleaning up after myself took my mind off of the negative thoughts I had when I got up in the morning. It gave me an opportunity to show appreciation and love to someone I care greatly for instead of remaining in the self-centred mindset I began the day with.

2. Eat something nutritious and drink enough water. 

I am a firm believer that if you eat crap, you will feel like crap. I know I do. I’m not anti-junk food, I definitely indulge in things that I know are full of awful ingredients… but if you are struggling with regulating your mood, food is definitely a great way to start the balancing process.

If you feel distracted/hyper/irritable/anxious… get some root vegetables into you (potatoes, radishes, onions, turnips, peanuts, carrots, beets, garlic). These are grounding foods and can help you feel calmer and balanced.

If you feel depressed/stuck/down/unhappy/lethargic… get some fruit into you. Apples, grapes, oranges, and bananas are my top picks. Fresh fruit juice (that you press yourself) is also a great option for a quick pick-me-up.

Water is obviously mentioned a lot in the health community… people say “Stay hydrated!” What does that mean? What does water really do? Every water particle has an oxygen atom. So on top of acting as an internal cleanser, lubricant, and toxin eliminator, water carries oxygen to your brain and your whole body. It helps everything function better and helps you to feel better.

3. Tidy or deep clean something. 

Any activity which keeps your hands busy is beneficial when trying to overcome a bad mood.

Think of your bad attitude as a habit you are trying to kick. Smokers need to keep busy and often take up new hobbies to replace the time and find new things for their hands to do apart from holding a cigarette. Furthermore, the attention to detail required when tidying and cleaning will definitely distract you from your bad mood. At the end of it, you’ll also have gotten something done, and that will give you a boost in mood, having accomplished something you may have been putting off or dreading.

4. Do something for yourself. 

Before writing this blog post, I put on a dress and did my makeup. Do I have anywhere to go tonight? Nope. But it makes me feel good to get gussied up. I’m listening to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on audiobook. I ate toast with Nutella (remember it’s okay to indulge sometimes) on it. Now I’m writing, which I find very therapeutic.

All these small things which make me feel good, add up to a change in attitude. I don’t need the approval of others to feel good. If you know yourself, you know what you like and what will cheer yourself up. Why wait for someone to do it for you? Be proactive and do those little things that make you happy. Paint your nails, doodle on an envelope, take a bath with candles, put on some perfume, go for a hike, take yourself out for coffee, read a good book, call up a friend, watch some stand-up. Whatever YOU find enjoyable, do it.

Know that you are in control of your own happiness. It isn’t anyone else’s job in the world to make you happy. (You could argue that it is, indeed, a comedian’s job to make you happy… but I think you get my point)

5. Appreciate nature. 

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Look outside. What do you see? Trees? The ocean? Mountains? Fields? The sky? A busy street? Snow? Rain? Sun?

Whatever is out there, it may help to remember that there is so much out there beyond yourself. So much beauty, pain, struggle and victory beyond what you experience each day. I in no way wish to discredit your pain or what you are going through… this is more for those who know they are just feeling stuck or struggling with self-defeating attitudes or self-pity.

* * *

The main point I am trying to make in this post is to see the bigger picture. Remember that there are millions of other people in the world. Those who are better off and worse off than you. Realize that today will end, and tomorrow will come. Think about what is lovely, what has inspired you, who has been there for you… rather than what is going wrong. Sometimes you have to face your problems and sometimes the problem is you and you need to work really hard to change your own attitude and habits in order to grow. It isn’t easy, but it is possible!

PS. Check out THIS amazing story of a girl who chose happiness instead of giving up.

♪ Midweek Jams: MAGIC! Rude ♪

Music, Thoughts

cannotchange

Our choices are incredibly powerful! We don’t get to choose the family we are born into, but we get to choose our friends, and who we love. Are the people around you positive? Are they uplifting you? Do they support you? Are you in mutually beneficial relationships that involve give and take, compromise and appreciation?

This song caught my attention on the radio, and I recently looked up the music video and fell in love even more.

Choosing who you love and who you let into your life can have huge implications on who you become. They say you are the average of the 5 people you hang out with most. You need people who support you, who aren’t afraid to give you some constructive criticism and disagree with you, people to have fun with, people to grow with. You may not find all of these things in every relationship. However, there are a ton of people in the world; you don’t need to waste your time being dragged down by those who constantly put you down, pressure you to be someone you are not, or look for ways to sabotage you.

“I’m gonna marry her anyway..”

There’s something about this song that I just love. The video makes me really happy, the way the guy dances. But I love that he knows what he wants, and he isn’t letting the disapproval of the dad change what he’s made up his mind to do. I don’t see it as an issue of disrespect of that coveted parental blessing, but rather as an act of freedom and love and choosing who you want in your life. I think it is beautiful.

✮ MM: Find a Focus ✮

dreams, Thoughts

This week’s motivation was inspired by an infographic that Anna Akana mentioned in her latest video. I had heard the data before, but it was a great reminder. The number might seem overwhelming, but it’s also motivating and helpful to know exactly how much work it takes to become a master or an expert (the best of the best) in any given field/industry. It takes 10,000 hours. In light of this number, the challenge this week is to:

FIND A FOCUS.

10thousandhours

(click to enlarge the infographic)

No matter what you want to do, if you put in that amount of deliberate practice, you will be an expert. Even if you know nothing about it now. This is especially powerful if you are around 20(or younger). Imagine being the best in the world at something by the time you are 30. Just putting in 20 hours a week, you can become the very best in under 10 years. If you want to chase your dream more aggressively, putting in 40 hours a week will get it done in less than 5.

If you can find a focus and start working towards becoming the best, imagine what you could accomplish! You may change your plans/ reroute along the way, but starting along the path is the most important thing. Just like saving up money early on can have a huge snowball effect with interest, so do all the hours of work that you clock pay off.

Here are a few of my ideas to get started once you’ve found a focus:

  • CREATE A SYLLABUS: Maybe you’re already going to school for what you want to get good at. Regardless of whether you are or not, you can create your own syllabus for learning. Do some research and create a document for yourself listing the best books, teaching tools, teachers/coaches/experts, and free resources(online podcasts/tutorials/e-courses) available to you. You can make up your own projects, goals, desired learning outcomes and due dates and just start plugging away!
  • SCHEDULE: This is one I definitely need to work on. You can use the 10,000 hours as a long term goal, but that’s an overwhelming number to face each morning. Break it down and make time in your day for your practice. More frequent, shorter chunks are more effective normally than longer, infrequent chunks of time (though it depends on what you’re practicing). If you don’t commit to a time and plan ahead, excuses and reasons to flake out on yourself will inevitably come up.
  • CREATE A VISION BOARD: I’ve made a post about this before, but a vision board is such a fun and useful thing to do for goal setting… It’s like Pinterest in real life (you could just use Pinterest, but I like a physical copy for my wall).
  • SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY: Yes, everyone at the top met opposition along the way. That is not to say you must suffer more than necessary along your journey. Find like-minded individuals who share in your vision, who support you in your goals, who will tell you to keep going when you run out of steam. These are the people you want with you when you achieve your goals. People who had patience with you, were honest with you, who believed in everything you have worked towards.
  • BE INSPIRED: When you’re excited about what you’re working on it’s easy to forget or shut out what’s going on in the real world. Don’t become so isolated that you miss out on the changes and news in your industry/area of interest. Allow yourself to not only observe others who are doing things that you’d like to do, but be inspired by them, engage with their work, discuss it, seek it out actively, critique it.

The Top

dreams, Thoughts

Anything you achieve has the potential to make you happy or make you miserable.

The determination comes in the process, the journey you took to get to that place of success.

Did you step on others to get to the top? Are you surrounded by everything you wanted, but feel alone?

Or did you inspire others with humility as you fought for your dreams? Do you have the support and love of those around you even now that things are different?

Does your status make you feel superior, or does it compel you to help others?

Just some thoughts I had while reading Mod Sun’s “Did I Ever Wake Up?”

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Shifting Focus

dreams, Thoughts

Dear Searchers, Seekers, and World Wanderers, 

You may or may not have noticed the change in my tagline. I have removed a couple things, and added dreams.

I realized that what I really wanted to share and talk about apart from film and music is how to live your best life. I’d like to share my journey of transitioning to a more positive, minimalist, fulfilling life. I want to talk about reaching your goals. About making the mindful choice to live every day like you want to. I want to talk about finding empowerment to be in control of your life.

[Just a quick note, all images in this post can be clicked on to enlarge them]

DSC_9101

The past few days I have started making my second vision board. Pictured above is my first vision board which is now in my “closet office.” It has a lot of words, lyrics, clippings and pictures which I find inspiring and motivating.

A vision board will look different for everyone. You may have a few meaningful words and pictures, or you may have a big messy collage. It is essentially making a representation of your dreams, goals, and the life you want. Maybe you have a mission statement you want to put in the middle, or your favourite quote or a few words of affirmation, a mantra.

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This new vision board I decided to make on a bulletin board so that I could easily add and remove and rearrange if necessary. I have mostly printed out images from Pinterest and also typed out a few words and phrases. I used double sided tape to attach the images, though pins would work just as well.

Below, I will run through the areas that I have started to work on to give you ideas and inspiration for if you are interested in making your own vision board.

Material

DSC_9096

The idea behind this section is that if I want something (a physical possession), but cannot afford it, it will go on the vision board. Somewhat of a wish list. When I have my own place I want to have a turntable. I don’t have room for it now. I want to get a bike, buy my first car, and eventually upgrade to the latest iPhone.

Personal/Appearance 

DSC_9097

This one will vary greatly depending on the person. On my first vision board, I have values/character traits scattered over the poster. In this one I probably will add some words like “Joy, Honesty, Hard Work, Self-love.”

There is the tattoo I am going to get after I run my marathon in Florida next January, someone with long blonde hair because I am growing my hair out and transitioning to my natural colour, and someone smiling with a nose ring- which I want to get. Maybe yours might include a good habit you want to cultivate, your goal weight or other inspiration related to being/looking your best.

Diet

DSC_9095

 

My boyfriend and I are doing a challenge for the month of September. No meat! I want to eat more fresh foods and protein smoothies. These two simple pictures remind me of what I want to put in my body. Maybe you have a food weakness, like chocolate or carbs. You could put some pictures of healthy things to eat instead to inspire you to make better choices.

Fitness

DSC_9094

  • People competing in Tough Mudder
  • A finisher medal for the Walt Disney World Marathon
  • Triathalon & Ironman
  • A woman with a strong toned body
  • A runner
  • Someone doing yoga in the woods
  • A representation of getting faster all the time

Whatever your fitness goals- improved health, recovery from an injury/ailment, weight-loss, completion of an event or involvement in a sport, it’s easy to find pictures to represent them. My main goal right now is training for my marathon, but I like to have all my future fitness goals there too, so I am reminded that my marathon is not the end, I will go on to complete even greater things!

Quotes/Philosophy

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I think that quotes belong in the middle. That’s just me, but I find it to be more focused, and as my very centre quote is about believing in yourself, it kind of relates to everything that is found around it on the board.

“She believed she could, so she did.” This is a great quote to summarize the purpose behind making a vision board. It’s about choosing to believe you can achieve what you set your mind to. By creating a visual reminder of all the things you are working towards, it can be very motivating and help to solidify in your subconscious that these things are/will be part of your life.

“Turn I wish into I will.” Another great quote which I find very empowering because when I read it I think, yes, I will take action now. I will not get what I want out of life by sitting around dreaming. Dreaming is the first step, but after that you have to find the drive to work hard and stay focused as you take action.

Career

DSC_9093

This section could include jobs you want to have, companies you want to work for, financial goals (desired salary or savings), etc. I have a picture of a clean office space, YouTube and Etsy (two online ventures I plan on at least dipping my toes in), and two magazines I want to be published in one day. I plan on adding 1, 3 and 5 year financial goals.

Travel/Bucket list

DSC_9091

Those places you want to visit? The things you want to do? You can put them all here. I want to spend a new years eve in Times Square, see the Eiffel Tower again, visit Greece, vacation in Cali again, bungee jump and go to a drive-in movie. This section will be much fuller when I’m done with it! So many adventures I want to go on.

Don’t be shy to put up a picture of Mt. Everest, or sky diving, or Hollywood because you want to be in a movie! Dream big!

 

My list of sections is by no means exhaustive. There is no wrong way to do a vision board, but I believe it should be positive and growth focused. Don’t make lists of things that are wrong with you that need to be fixed. Or a list of things you want to change in your life. Your board should show what you want- like a glimpse into your ideal future. Keep it forward focused, positive, ambitious, and organize it so that you like how it looks.

You should look at it daily; I look at mine in the morning and before bed while I am brushing my teeth for two minutes. Just the short time investment has had a huge impact on how motivated I feel throughout the day.

Carrie Green, of the Female Entrepreneur Association has a great video on vision boards that I watched recently. I had already made one, but she has some great ideas for alternatives to vision boards, and talks more about why making a vision board is important. You can watch that here.

Happy Dreaming!

Follow Your Heart

Music, Thoughts

Dear Indecisive, Torn or Otherwise Confused Readers, 

When I am going through a tough time, this is my go-to song. Against the Grain by City & Colour evokes the melancholic nature of decision making in the most important areas of your life.

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It provides words of assurance that you do not need to “fix” your life. Something that so frequently occupies my mind and my time.

There is a quote I love, “Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished.” by Lao Tzu. I feel Dallas Green is giving a similar message.

To allow the natural progression of events in your life to direct you to a certain point, to act out of instinct and the deepness of your heart’s longings.

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In this song Dallas Green’s connecting point throughout is that you have to make your own way through these dark tunnels and confusing times. Even as you do, you can be your own biggest obstacle. Your resistance to change, or your past pain.

This song has been so relevant to my life in many different seasons. It is sad, but comforting at the same time.

[Photos above from when I saw City & Colour in concert at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle, January 2012]

You need not to climb mountaintops,
You need not to cross the sea,
You need not to find a cure for everything that makes you weak.
You need not to reach for the stars when life becomes so dark,
And when the wind does blow against the grain,
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

When all your friends have come and gone,
And the sun no longer shines,
And the happiness for which you long is washed away like an ocean’s tide,
When all the hard times outweigh the good,
And all your words are misunderstood,
When the day seems lost from the start
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

If you feel you’ve paid the price,
And your wounds should cease to heal
And everything you love in life spins like a winding wheel.
If you should wake to find you’re abandoned,
And the road you’ve traveled leads to a dead-end
When death creeps in to play it’s part,
You must follow your heart,
You must follow your heart.

Coming Attractions

Thoughts

Dear Neglected [but probably didn’t notice I left] Readers,

I have news.

I have contracted an infection. 

It occupies a lot of my time, it’s on my mind while I’m at work, and when I am going about my day.

Now, in light of Withdrawal, you might be thinking this bug I speak of, is the grammer bug….[begin rabbit trail] By the way, I have my phone back again. Somehow over a month after having lost it, a fellow student at my school tracked me down on Facebook and I was able to get my phone back and not have to replace it! I have been Instagramming to no end (delicious foods, pretty flowers and selfies of course), though that is not the point of this post, and this is not the thing which infects me. [end rabbit trail]

Creativity.

My impulse to create, my urge to bring newness into existence, to build upon what exists and to ask questions about what’s around me that no one else is asking. My desire to form and fabricate a life of beauty and meaning, to appreciate the aesthetic of simple things, to celebrate performing arts, to find new ways to love.

It has been overwhelming. It is like an infection, which itches, burns, screams for attention. It does not settle until it gets this attention.

So what to do? In reading a post on Gala Darling’s blog titled “Blog On, Babe: Get Organised!” I knew what I had to do. All the disorder of my mind had to be shaped into a plan. All the ideas had to be compiled and ordered, given a number in the line of the endless projects I wish to accomplish.

She suggested making a calendar out of a large post-it and writing down what day you will do what. It just so happens I have giant post-its, so this morning I let go of all excuses and sat down and made this 7 week calendar of blog posts and YouTube videos I will be making.

Also, in a book I am reading by Michelle Goodman, The Anti 9-5 Guide, she suggests carving out time several times a week to commit to your pet project on the side. Time to do the creative things you wish you were doing while you are sitting in your cube(or other less than thrilling day job location).

SO I DID IT. 

Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 1.11.24 PMThis took a good couple hours to make, what with the additional research and detail hunting. But it was worth every minute. I am so excited to follow this plan and be more consistent on my blog here(3-4 posts a week coming up!), and also finally start my YouTube channel.

So what’s coming up?

FILM: Reviews, actor and director features, my YouTube channel
ART: Artist features, gallery visits, my drawings, crafting
MUSIC: Favourite bands, artists, songs, covers on my YouTube channel
STYLE: Outfit of the day(OOTD), decor, DIY
LOVE: What I’ve learned about loving myself, things I love(& you should too), relationship talk

First up is a music post, and that’ll be coming up on my birthday! Check back this Saturday, June 8th! 

Peace & love kids,

-jessi hannah jay. 

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @jessihannahjay