5 Ways to Make Your 30s Flirty & Thriving

So I feel the need to preface this post by saying, that I really haven’t figured that much out just yet.  I simply know that I am loving being in my thirties and I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned thus far.  So without further ado, I give you…

5 Ways for Making Your 30s

1. Age Gracefully

And by that I mean don’t act your age. Just be yourself, whatever age that feels like.

Personally, I choose about 12.

Also, I’m pretty sure “gracefully” includes, flamingoes.

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2. Invest in Friendships

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Like the good kinds.  The friendships that let you be yourself, crazy and all.  Friendships that are not only fun but also challenging. Surround yourself with people you want to be like and that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.  Don’t hang out with people just because you want them to like you. Go for quality over quantity.

3. Stop waiting around. Go after your dreams.

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Remember all those days in High School when you would sit around, stare at the clouds and day-dream of all the amazing things you would do and see someday? Guess what?

Someday is NOW.

You’re never going to be 100% ready but at some point  you just need to go for it.  There’s no time like the present.

4. Adventure

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Don’t buy into the lie that your best years are behind you. NO WAY! There are so many new adventures out in front of you.  If you can’t see them then make them happen. Go on a trip. Take a class. Make a new friend. Learn a new dance (I recommend the dinosaur dance pictured above…it’s not for beginners though)

5. SPARKLE BABY SPARKLE

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Don’t be afraid to BE YOURSELF.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quotes a million times, but they’re true.  There’s no one else like you!

The world needs your unique sparkle.

Don’t waste time trying to be like anyone else.  Work hard to find out who you are and then don’t let go of that. You’ve got something special!

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All photos provided courtesy of Erica Baker Photography

REPOST: Are you beautiful?

I came across this post entitled “Are you beautiful? I asked 100 men what ‘physical beauty’ is and the results shocked me” earlier this week and found myself drawn to the title and perhaps this photo of Marilyn Monroe looking incredibly…normal.

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I was a bit incredulous as I began to read, but quickly saw that the author, a truly AMAZING young woman named Rozanne, had hit on a nerve with many, many women.

“I’ve travelled around the world and met women from every continent, and every woman I have met– no matter how attractive she is – is battling the same battle and asking the same question: “Am I beautiful?”

I’ve met girls from India who bleach their skin to be lighter. Their mothers tell them: “You will never find a man to marry you if you are too dark.”

I’ve met girls from South Korea who have their eyes made bigger, their jawlines shaved, and bridges put in their noses. The competition to be ‘the most beautiful’ in Korea is so fierce that plastic surgery is a common Sweet 16th gift from parents to their daughters.

I’ve met girls in bathrooms throwing up their food in an attempt to lose weight.

I’ve met women who have had breast implants, butt implants, lypo suction, face lifts, botox, tummy-tucks, knee implants, plastic surgery on their legs, spray tans, and more…

Now, I’m not judging. In fact, these options are very tempting (I even went for a spray tan once… DISASTER) and I understand why we go to these extremes. But because I wanted to get to the bottom of why we feel the need to do this to ourselves, I’ve asked every one of them (and myself):

Me: “Why?”

Them: “Because it (that part of their body) needed to be fixed.”

Me: “Why did it need to be fixed?”

Them: “Because it wasn’t beautiful.”

Me: “Why do you need to feel beautiful?”

Them: “Because I want to feel confident and secure in myself.”

Me: “Why do you need to feel confident and secure?”

Them: “To be happy.

Me: “How will that make you happy?”

Them: “Because people will like/love me.”

Me: “Which people?

Them: “Men.”

***(simplified conversation sample)

To be loved.

Loved by a significant other.

So THAT is what our need to be beautiful comes down to: To to be ‘good enough’ for love.

Intrigued, I set out to find out FROM MEN what they consider to be PHYSICALLY beautiful. I asked them informally during conversations, I conducted surveys, and I asked on social media.

I asked single men, married men, young men, old men, straight men, gay men, and men from various religious and cultural backgrounds – from all over the world.

THE RESULTS SHOCKED ME. “

They shocked me as well… I think you should head on over to her blog and finish reading her post (and all her other posts because she’s got some good stuff on there).

Spoiler alert: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! No one else gets to define your beauty. You do. What’s more, you’re worthy of love because YOU ARE and not because you look a certain way.

Beauty is: loving yourself.
It looks like: taking care of yourself.
It has an attitude of: Confidence in your own uniqueness rather than vanity/arrogance.”

So today, I hope that you recognize that you, just as you are, are enough. You are beautiful. You are more than enough. Not just more than enough for someone to fall in love with you but more than enough to tackle the wonderful, amazing, adventurous life that is out in front of you.  You’ve got what it takes!

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Thank you Rozanne for taking time to highlight an issue that clearly means so much to so many of us. You are truly beautiful inside and out!

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This post contains content reposted from Life is Rozie authored by Rozanne Leigh.  Please go check out her blog for more great posts.

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING : 5 Steps to Turn Your “I Can’t” into “I Can”

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Ah the new year! So fresh with possibilities and newness. Is it just me or does the air smell different on January 1?  There’s so much possibility in each breath. It’s amazing how in one stroke of the clock I become convinced that I can leap small buildings in a single step and suddenly love leafy greens with a burning passion.  Somewhere in about that second week of January, however, that burning love affair with broccoli starts to wane. I don’t know about you, but right about now, I start getting hit with two little words.

I CAN’T

They barrage my subconscious until I’m pretty much ready to call it a day and curl up with my favorite blanket, a box of wine (swirly straw sold separately) and every Netflix marathon ever made. All my wonderfully laid plans start to unravel. I realize that I’m still me with all my hang ups, insecurities and inadequacies AND I’m still not a fan of broccoli.

It’s not a fun revelation. The temptation to crawl back under the covers and go back to la la land indefinitely is almost too much to bear. Here’s the thing though, even in the midst of my finest sulks, there’s this pesky little verse that I learned as a child that keeps coming back to me. Gah!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” – Philippians 4:13 

Thanks to Mr. Donut Man I will never be able to forget this verse. Follow this link for a trip into my childhood. You’re welcome!

While there may be any number of things that you (and I) feel inadequate to tackle, the truth is you were never intended to face them on your own. The key in that verse is the “through Christ” part.  When you invite him into your life He actually takes you up on the offer.  He moves in and starts helping you tackle even the hardest obstacles.  Why you might ask? Because He’s God and He’s cool like that.

So in the midst of all my spectacular spirals over the years, God has shown me a few things that have helped change my can’t into a can.

Here’s 5 quick (please note I didn’t say EASY) steps:

1. Take a personal survey

Ask yourself, “What am I listening to?”.  Is the voice that tells you that you can’t louder than the voice that says you can? Are you spending more time thinking about the negative what ifs instead of the positive what ifs?  I’m not talking about living in a dream world, but I’m talking about facts.  It’s been proven that what you think about over and over effects what you become. In Hebrews 4, we have the example of Abraham who they say recognized (HE RECOGNIZED SON) that his body was as good as dead BUT (I like big BUTS and I cannot lie) He believed that HE who had promised is faithful. He believed that he would have a son at like bazillion years old. Spoiler alert: He got one!

So all I’m saying here is make sure you’re feeding the voice that says you can. Spend time with the one who put the dream in your heart to begin with. He’s got a plan to unfold it too.

Want to hear more about this point? Check out this great message, entitled ‘The Struggle is Real” from one of my pastors.

2. Set realistic goals

Awesome, so you’re telling me you already set AND broke all your New Year’s Resolutions.  Well done you! You’re not alone. Here’s a thought, how about you go set some more. I wrote a post about setting SMART goals last year and it still applies.  Make sure the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related.  Here’s the kicker though, DO IT ON A TUESDAY AFTERNOON. Don’t wait until the new year or even a Monday. Do it now!

3. Take Baby Steps

Recognize and celebrate the little wins. Baby steps are still steps. You don’t have to be perfect. In fact, there’s no way you will be. You were born human. You will die human. You are not perfect. The end.

4. Make Friends

This relates to point numero uno, surround yourself with people who say (and believe) that you can. Give those people air time. Your time is valuable. Don’t give people time who fill your space with negativity.  Even if they’re not telling you that you can’t, if all they do is talk negatively, I want you to take two simple steps. Step one: Slam the door. Step two: Yell “BYE FELICIA!” Done and done.

5. Take a break (DANCE PARTY!)

Lastly, give yourself a break.  Figuratively AND literally.  Close the laptop. Put away the checkbook.  Get off the elliptical. Take a break.  Preferably a DANCE PARTY break. Dust off your best dance moves and go to town. Whether you realize it or not, you are actually doing it. You’re pursuing that dream. You’re kicking those goals in the face, baby step by baby step.  That deserves to be celebrated.1527076_10102838762678684_1832303073579197706_n

Might I suggest this song? Miss Iggy and the God of the entire universe agree on this point…

IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!

Bring it on 2015!
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Don’t Give Up!

There are days that the urge to give up is overwhelming. Throwing in the towel and quitting seem like the only logical option.  It can feel like taking the next breath or the next step is just too much to handle. Problems loom and seem to block out the light of hope. It can feel like everything in life has joined forces with the express purpose of ensuring you never succeed…ever.

Those days suck.

Like for reals, they are the worst.

I unfortunately am not immune to those days.  They happen more frequently than I would like but over the years there’s a couple of things I’ve realized and have to remind myself of frequently.

1.  Those days are just…days.  Even though sometimes they string together and feel like a never-ending trial.  The truth is they will end.  There will be a better day.  You will succeed.  The sun will shine again. (cue: Annie)

2. You have what it takes.  You have to believe it. Even if you don’t feel like it. You have what it takes. Tell yourself that…in the mirror…out loud…every day.  It will help.

3. Baby steps are still steps. Just keep moving.  They may feel like the smallest improvements, but every step counts.

4. You’re not alone. That’s it.  You’re not. Ever.

5. The urge to quit is usually the greatest right before you are about to succeed.  Things are about to change.  Don’t give up too soon.  So many people miss out because they stop too soon.  Hang on just a little longer. (click on the link for one of my favorite songs)don't quit

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So today, if you feel like quitting, I hope this helps.  Please know that I’m praying for you.  You’re not the only one that feels this way. I’ve been there many times (as recently as last week). Things will get better.  If it feels like the urge is intensifying, know that change is around the corner. There is so much good in your future.

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Today

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Today is a new day.  Today has never before happened.  It’s fresh. It holds possibilities.

Your history doesn’t have to define today. Just because you did something before doesn’t mean you have to do it today. Just because you never could do something before doesn’t mean you can’t today.

Just because something was too hard before doesn’t mean that today you can’t do it.

You can do hard things.

You can face the fear.

You can put on your big girl panties.

You can silence the lies.

You can overcome the obstacles.

You can have the conversation.

You can stand up for yourself.

You can fight the battle.

You can set your boundaries.

You can defend your worth.

You can be the boss.

You can decide.

You can go for it.

You can do it.

Today is a new day.

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