March 17, 2016

My Future Self

Good morning.

Sitting down with a very strong cup of arabica and my dogs cuddled up to me, I decided to turn on a YouTube video for some mental inspiration. I enjoy watching videos that are more focused on positivity and growth so I decided to check in to see what I could find. I came across a video where a young lady by the name of MarissaLace discussed ending toxic relationships, and even though that is relevant to me as well, what captured my attention was when she asked her viewers to think about our future selves and picture what it would look like if we were living the life that we truly desired for ourselves. She asked questions like, "Who would you be surrounded by? What would you be doing? How would you be feeling?"..and so forth. That made me think, what would my future life look like if I was living it the way I truly wanted to? Who would be in my circle and what experiences would I be having? I was inspired to jot down these things in a journal but was instantly compelled to type a blog post about it instead and hopefully inspire someone else to do this. So here we are, caffeinated and ready to share.

What would my future self be eating?

In the future I picture myself eating a plant-based diet. I have always been into health but I also loved chicken, beef and cheese like no other. After being inspired to eat a plant-based diet by my volunteer at the local park conservancy and doing research on the many negative effects of eating meat and dairy, its only natural that I find my future self sticking to a vegan diet. Besides, there are so many vegan substitutes out there that are just as delicious as any meat or dairy product.

Who would my future self be surrounded by?

When I think about friends and family, I want to be surrounded by those who love me for me and those I don't have to try to please. I want to feel free in my relationships. Family gives me that for the most part but when it comes to friends, in the future I really want to be conscious of those I bring into my life. Not everyone is a good friend and not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. Cleaning up this aspect of my life has been hard but necessary. I can't surround myself with people who I don't mesh with or those whose vibes I can't connect with. I'm learning that I enjoy spending my time with people who have positive intentions with their lives and want to make the world truly a better place. That's how I see my future self.

What experiences would my future self be experiencing?

In the future I definitely would like to travel more. I'm finding now that I love exploring and going to new places. I want to continue this and not let fear discourage me from getting out there and seeing what the world has to offer.

What job would my future self have?

I see my future self in a leadership role. I've always felt it in my heart that I was a leader but I was always insecure with myself and my abilities. Five years from now I want to be able to manage others and help them achieve their goals. We've all started somewhere and I have definitely had my share of setbacks. I want those I am leading to know that we are all imperfect but what makes us great is our ability to persevere and believe that we CAN do anything. Focus and determination are everything and I want to be in a place where I can help someone see their potential as I have recently.

What would my future self do to maintain good health?

I am a true nature girl at heart and love being outside. My future self will be out in nature when it comes to working out. Hiking, running, walking and enjoying the fresh air and scenery. That's where I see myself.

Where would my future self live?

I am not too picky about what I live in (home/apartment) but I am picky about what I live by. Again, I have to be surrounded by nature. It is my happy place and where I recharge. So living either near a beach, nature trail, forrest, open land or anything like that is where I see my future self.

What thoughts would my future self think?

My future self will have positive thoughts and a positive outlook on life. I will be at peace with my mind and negative thoughts will not affect me for very long. I will be more forgiving, more loving and have the ability to let things go a lot easier. Adversity will always come my way but the way I perceive them will be based on how God asks me to view them and not based on internalizing it and letting it bring me down.

These are just a few of the things that came to mind when thinking about the future and what I want in life. I think it would be nice to picture ourselves 5 years from now and really consider where we would like to be. I encourage you as well to jot down these questions and answers or more if you have them, and focus on being true to your authentic self. This is Q&A should reflect who you want to be at your core. I wish you the best on your life journey and hopefully we can come back in 5 years and see where we were able to go. Have a blessed day :)

February 23, 2016

Daily Bread: How The Word Of God Is Transforming Me

I stay hungry.

Over the past year the word of God has been helping me get through my most trying times. It's what gets me out of bed every morning and what keeps me going even when I am not in the best emotional, psychological or physical place in my life. I've gone through some things that have tested my faith. I have been heartbroken, I've failed financially, I've had jobs taken away from me, and I've had people defame my character. The enemy wanted me to let go of my faith. He wanted to control me and make me believe God didn't have my back. He must have forgot who he was dealing with.

At the beginning of the year when the world was making their New Year's resolutions, I too had my own...but I made a promise to myself that these would be different than any other that I had made before. I was determined to make them stick and not just be a fad or something that I would stop doing after February came around.

My first commitment was to pray every day, both morning and night. If I do nothing else each day, I need to give God my time and energy. I need to communicate with Him. With the many conflicts I had going on in my day-to-day that included stressful relationships, job difficulties, bosses being rude to me, and dealing with finances I knew that in order to get me through I needed God and I needed Him more than anything. So I devoted this ritual to Him. I didn't know that by me seeking His help and approval in my decisions that I would be transformed. He noticed my heavy heart and He rejoiced in my seeking Him. He listened to me when I couldn't share my deepest hurts or the desires of my heart to anyone else. Praying allowed He and I to build our relationship and I learn more and more about my heavenly father as the days go by.

My second commitment was to feed on the word of God daily. I utilize podcasts (specifically Daily Hope with Pastor Rick Warren..he is AMAZINGGG) and watch sermons in the morning while I have a cup of coffee, make breakfast or get dressed for work. My favorite pastors to watch are Joseph Prince ministries, Joyce Meyer ministries, and The Potters Touch with Pastor T.D. Jakes. These encouraging words of faith and biblical references remind me every day what God has to say about life and how to live it, so I do not look at outside sources for approval. I can't boast enough about how adding the word of God to my life has helped me see the positive and not dwell so heavily on the negatives I had and have going on. Hearing the truth from the bible itself gives me direction and purpose, even when I don't understand why certain things turned out they way they did.

In addition to these, I love reading daily devotionals. My mom was so kind to gift me one, which is now my favorite. It is called Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young. It provides devotions for every day of the year and I have to say it is spot on with speaking to my current situation and provides so much encouragement. I highly recommend reading a daily devotional of your choice because they give so much hope to any situation in your life or current season.

I'm so proud of myself for making these resolutions for my life. It's more than just a year for me, these are attainable and are things I wake up every morning and go to bed every night excited about. Who wouldn't want to have constant reminders of God's goodness each day?! There is nothing more fulfilling to me than that.

February 18, 2016

Trust God and Do Good

There have been many twists and turns in my life since I last wrote. Relationships ended, jobs changed and I moved into a place all my own. Though life has had many losses, I remind myself daily to trust God and do good.

It's easy to get down on yourself when everything is going wrong, so you think. But everything in life that happens both good and bad leads you closer to your destiny. With this being a new year, I decided to start living my life based on integrity and doing right unto God. This has been my main source of strength. Every morning I wake up and I devote time to listening to God's word and I pray and ask Him to show me where I should go or what I should do for the day. I believe that success in life comes from being close to God and having Him be your guide.

I once told a good friend of mine that in order to have a fulfilling life, your motives have to be good. You have to have positive intentions if you want to be blessed. I believe this and have seen this really transform my life. There will be new posts detailing this but I just wanted to come on and remind you to always trust God and do good no matter what. Even if you do not see instant changes in your situation, being consistent with God's will will eventually catch up to you and He will supply the desires of your heart. I hope you continue to stay blessed. XoXo

November 08, 2015

Figuring Out What's Truly Important to Me

Right now I'm on a break.

Every day God gives me signs for the direction he wants me to go in life. He guides me and reveals new things to me all the time. He reminds me that I am not here on earth to conform but to live each day to please Him. I feel his dedication to me and I cant help but feel the same towards him in return. Twenty-five is an age where most people are conforming. We live in a digital age where everyone wants to be better and appear better, you're trying to find yourself but at the same time trying to fit in. This is all okay for some, but for me there's something in-genuine about it. I recognize that I can't live that way and be happy at the same time. So I won't. In reality I just want to be closer to my destiny, and that may mean leaving behind what society thinks I should be doing. For now I'm just trying to figure out what's truly important to me.

Most recently, I've been feeling like I need to get back to my old self again. Lately I've been run down, defeated with self-pity. All this is unhealthy and I owe it to myself to rise above the lies my mind tries to tell me. My authenticity is too special for me to let such nonsense take over my being. 

For awhile I was consuming things that weren't helping my situation or state of mind. From the TV shows I watched to the food I ate, I wasn't realizing that my mental and physical health were at stake. I was spiraling downward. I realized that the first way to get back on the right path would be to change what I was consuming. We live in a society where we are bombarded with images that tell us that we need to have certain things and live certain lifestyles in order to be successful. Is this all really true? The answer is None of these "conformities" are going to make you healthy on the inside. Sure they offer instant gratification but I don't want to be happy for just a little while. I want to exude something beyond that, something deeper and more impactful. For two weeks now I have deleted all the TV shows I watched that were just plain garbage, I got rid of all the junk food I was consuming to help myself feel better after a long day, and I went back to the basics. In a way, I feel propelled to start living a holistic lifestyle. One that is whole and respectful to God. This is something I'm focusing on right now.

Spirituality is something that is so important to me.I ask God all the time to help me become the woman he has created me to be. I'm giving myself time to figure out Erynn's path. I'm taking time to get rid of all the things that I feel do not add to my situation but take from me instead.  One of my biggest goals is to gain clarity and understanding of who God really is. I gave myself permission to pick up my bible and start reading about God and his word. I was always someone who would hear or read quotes from other people about the bible and the word of God but I needed to read it and experience it for myself. What is there to be afraid of? It's His word. There is no excuse for me to not actively read the word of God. Though just under the 10th chapter, reading about my Lord and savior has meant more to me than anything and I am so proud of myself for making the decision to commit to a better understanding. 

Thoughts about my social life have changed as well. I am now focusing on quality and not quantity when it comes to relationships both friendships and intimate. These relationships must be deeper than surface. The people with whom I share my time with need to be on the same wavelength. I need to surround myself with thinkers, believers, dreamers. People who are kind and compassionate, strong and intelligent, selfless and sincere. I also expect these same qualities for myself. I believe that in order to attract a certain kind of friend, you must be that type of friend first. That is important to me.

These are just a few of my current thoughts and resolutions. I hope this gives you insights as to my whereabouts and how I am focusing inward and upward. I pray that you find the same resolutions in your life.

September 20, 2015

Erynn's Story: Struggles & New Beginnings

It was my choice.

On a weekday in March at the kitchen table I was depressed. I had just been let go from a job that I was so passionately confident about. Anxiety filled my mind as I applied to positions on my Macbook. "What am I going to do?," I said to myself, "No one is ever going to hire me, it's been so hard finding the right fit."

The night before, my mom and I had one of the worst arguments we had in a long time."Should I just leave? Am I not wanted here?," I thought as I hung up the phone after another scolding. I was defeated. "I can't handle this, I have to just go and get away from all this." It was 2pm when I began packing my belongings. "I don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do but I have to get out of here." I lugged my stuff into my PT Cruiser and by 2:30 I was ready and determined to leave. Hearing my dog's whimpers at the back door made it even harder, but I had to do it. "All of this is too much. I'm depressed and no one understands. I can't take it anymore."

Three and a half hours later I was pulling up to his house, tears in my eyes and no idea what was ahead of me. "Maybe this is how it's supposed to be? Maybe this will give us a chance to live the life we've always wanted. Right now, he's all I have." With a puzzled yet excited look on his face, he embraced me. He told me that he couldn't believe I had made such a huge commitment. "This is what you wanted right?," I said excitedly. "Of course it is! I just didn't expect it to be this soon!", he said as he sat on his couch, "I just can't believe you left your family."

It seemed perfect. "This is our fairytale", I thought as I smiled and gazed into his bright blue eyes. I felt peace and comfort. I felt like nothing could break us and I was at an all time high. Our apartment was set up, we were making midnight trips to the store and staying up late to make sure our apartment had all the essentials it needed for our new life together. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world," I thought as I watched him awkwardly yet adorably assemble the furniture.

The alcohol flowed like waterfalls and we were having so much fun. His sister and I were meeting up for lunches and his family seemed to be on our bandwagon for the first time in a long time. Mornings were filled with laughter and delicious home cooking, afternoons consisted of me taking a ride with him in his massive work truck and singing along to whatever was on the radio, and nights were filled with more wine, dine and alone time.

The phone rings and its an interview. I've just been asked to come in for what I assumed was my dream job. "This is it," I thought, "I've always wanted to be in this industry, its seriously a dream come true!" The interview goes well and i'm asked to come back. "Wow," I thought, "what did I do to deserve such good luck?"

Within a couple weeks the honeymoon phase is over and we're arguing like crazy. Every day started to feel like a new form of hell. "Why am I the bad one here?" I would say. "All I want is to be able to be myself. I want to go out and see more things! I want to explore."  The fights worsened and I became angrier and angrier with myself and him.

The best way I could describe myself was a crippled butterfly. "Erynn, you deserve so much better."my mom would say to me over the phone. "You had everything you needed right here at home and you chose this lifestyle. You aren't going to get anywhere."

The nights become harder to face at home and I'm unable to share my enthusiasm about my new job. Conversations become more and more about him and his aggravation drives him further to drink. "It will get better," I would tell him,"Just hang in there, everything's going to be alright. Just do your best."

The suffocation continued and enough was enough."But I love him," I would cry out to my mom. "You cant be yourself," she screamed. "You cant even go get a cupcake without him being upset! I want more for you! You deserve to be with someone who wants to make you happy and who wants more for his life! There is so much more out there for you!"

As the sun rose the morning of August 1st I woke with a heavy heart. "I cant do this anymore. This isn't going to work out. I'm not happy. " "If this is what you want," he said with a tired voice. Within 30 minutes he packed his things and with the last bag in his hand looked at me and sobbed. "I really wanted this to work out, Erynn." he cried. "I want you to be happy, maybe it's just not with me."

My carefully designed apartment instantly felt empty. "How am I going to make it out here I thought?" The dogs looked up at me with sadness and confusion in their eyes. "Did I make the right decision?"

Shortly after, mornings were no longer exciting. Instead of delicious home cooked Mexican-style breakfasts I was now left to devour my own creations which weren't as yummy. "This is so strange," I thought, "Who will I have here that loves me the way he did? Will I be okay?" I prayed whenever I could asking God to guide me and take me in the right direction. "You're 25, you have no friends here and you're all alone. Wow you must really suck at life!" I negatively thought to myself. "I am going to take care of you," His voice would say to me constantly,"Stop worrying so much. I am protecting you."

The sleepless nights and crying continued. "Why is it that though God is here I feel so alone?"How am I going to get out of this funk?"

My mom called daily to check up on me and make sure I was ok."I'm fine!" I would always say but the second we would get off the phone I would rush to call the one person I felt I couldn't live without. "I miss you! I don't think I can be here without you in my life," I cried heavily. "I care about you, Erynn, but we just aren't right for each other. You weren't happy with me," he said. "But I need you!", I cried, "I still want to keep talking to you! It's hard for me right now. I don't like change."

"I don't know what to tell you, Erynn. You have to do what makes you happy. And apparently I couldn't do that. Why don't you just go back home?"

"Running home isn't going to help me! I wasn't happy there either! I'm going though a lot and I need you. Can't you just be around as my friend?" I said. "Yes, I care a lot about you and I don't want to see anything bad happen to you. It's hard on me too," he said.

So, here we are weeks later. Just me, myself and my dogs.

I'll admit I'm a control freak. I plan, I overanalyze and I try to play my cards right with almost every situation. My biggest struggle in life has been the fact that I like to know what's on the other end of things. In the past couple weeks I've learned that it isn't right to try to control nor is it wise to try to go behind God and try to put pieces together that he broke apart.

God has been so good to me my entire life. He has covered me, held my hand, and guided me in the right direction. I don't know where my life will take me but God has never ever taken me down a road that wasn't for my best interest. Since the passing of my grandmother, moving away from my family, and ending my engagement I have been wondering...what's next for Erynn? What plan does God have for my life?

Taking some time and detoxing my mind has really been essential for me coping with all the changes that have happened in my life. I realized that instead of being afraid of this process, enjoying the journey is the best thing for me to do. It's all about perception. You see, my life is still chaotic and unorganized so sharing my story helps me gain a lot of clarity about it. I'm in a good space and I need to understand that everything in life happens for a reason.  I know in the back of my mind it will all work out in the end.  Each day, my goal is to fearfully be and express who I am and do the things that Erynn wants to do. Embracing the uncertainty is okay and necessary. that's why I share my struggles here. I am so perfectly imperfect.

This chapter in the book of my life may have ended but I'm looking forward to the next one.