Thursday, October 17, 2019

Chilled to the Bone, but not the Heart...



The cold weather is officially here, and I find myself ready to bundle up and cuddle...

Funny thing is that I'm thankful for the ability and desire to be a loving person. Yes, I said "thankful", and yes, I said "ability". Truth be told, there was a time that I wasn't sure that I wanted to be that "loving" person. I didn't want to keep having my love taken for granted or used against me as a tool of manipulation. I didn't want to be hurt again (because that seemed to be all that my loving character brought), by anyone in any relationship, no matter what the dynamic of that relationship may be. I thought that maybe if I could just be a cold-hearted person, and keep my affections exclusively for my children and immediate family, then I could avoid being hurt by others... Ever been there? Still there?

Well, let's walk together through why it isn't healthy for you to allow your heart to freeze over:
  • Stifling emotions can actually cause you more stress and health issues
  • You should never allow others actions to cause you to be someone/something other than who You want to be
  • It feels good to give love and kindness
  • There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 KJV... (Just let that marinate for a bit)



I had the chance to visit with my parents recently, and while there I also visited their/our long time neighbors, for the first time in years. While visiting, my beautiful wise elderly neighbor said "Chris, we're so happy that you came by to visit us. We still love you." I smiled, and replied "I love you too", but it was our next exchange of words that really hit home...

Her: I know you love us, Love never dies...
Me: TRUE love never dies
Her: Chris... You are so right! True Love Never Dies...

And with that, my heart was filled with sadness... They had never stopped loving me, and even though I had never stopped loving them, it had taken me Years to stop by and show them my love by giving of my time... So consumed by all that has gone on in my life, contemplating fighting against being the loving person that God has made me to be and that I find fulfillment in being, I was allowing myself to ignore and/or remove that beautiful warm feeling that true love brings...

Emotions and feelings can truly be hurtful, but not allowing yourself to be who you were meant to be can be just as hurtful and literally harmful to both your emotional and physical health....

Bundled up in my thick sweater this morning, I could still feel a chill to my body, but I smiled at my refusal to let my heart be cold. Wrapping up this entry with my love to you, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole...



Friday, October 4, 2019

Set Yourself Free...

girl with wild hair | ChristalNicole's | image Development

She's wild and crazy, some may say...
How can she allow herself to be out in public like that, others may think...

Once upon a time, I would care so much about what people say or think that I would have difficulty with just being myself. I would change my hair, the way that I dressed or even the way that I acted, just to please others. I was bound. I was bound by the fear of not pleasing others or meeting their standards. Is this you?

What binds you?

  • Self-doubt/self-pity?
  • Inability to let go of the past?
  • Fear of not pleasing others?
  • Insecurities?...
Smiling | ChristalNicole's | Image Development

It's time to let it go. Be liberated!

You will never be able to grow and evolve into your true self, as long as you are focusing on your flaws versus your strengths, your past rather than your present and future, and/or whether or not your life (keyword: YOUR) is lining up to be what others want it to be. Having a "people-pleaser" mindset will always set you on a path of illogical thinking and an ever-changing bar of acceptance. So, let's change it! 

Today is the day to change your thought process, begin a journey of self-evolution, and set yourself free!

No longer will you be bound by thoughts of self-doubt and beliefs that you are not "good enough". Gone are the days that other people's opinions of you are allowed to be dictations of your life path or extinguishers your dreams and aspirations.

As always, I've linked a few helpful articles of reference within this entry to assist you on your journey. Believing in your journey of liberation, your always passionately driven ChristalNicole...


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Uncovering Beauty Unseen...

sun shining through gray clouds


What do you see? Do you notice the dark clouds first or the light coming from behind the clouds? 

There are times in our lives that all seems to be dark. Everything seems to be going the wrong way, and there seems to be little hope in sight. These are the moments that we have to remain strong and focus on the light at the end of tunnel. No matter how low you may be or how dark the situation may seem, you have to remember that just like the rain clouds, it will pass away. 

In life, beauty presents itself in the smallest ways, and if we are not focused on living and striving for elevation, evolution and positive growth in ourselves and our lives, then we can miss it...


woman with flower headpiece - ChristalNicole

Going through life with a negative self-esteem and self-image, I used to only be focused on my flaws. I could never see my own positive characteristics and refused to believe compliments of beauty, until I began to take my own advice of using positive self-talk, positive reframing and thought-stopping. 

Are you the same way? Do you only see your flaws, the flaws of others and the negativity in your situation/environment? 

Let's try something new (I promise that it will bring more light in not only your life but the lives of others):
  • Speaking negatively about yourself, others, or your life situation- Stop it! Seriously, stop the negative verbiage and replace it with a positive (positive self-talk and positive reframing)
  • A tendency to have consistent negative thoughts, regardless of positive feedback from others- Stop that! Literally use Thought-Stopping and get in the practice of using positive self-talk
  • Hang positive quotes in your home in rooms that you spend the most time in

scenery beside a pond
tiny wild flowers














Beauty is everywhere. In the smallest of flowers and the quietest places, we can find beauty and peace to encourage us.

No matter what may be going on in your life or how your own personal self-image has been, decide today that you want more beauty/positive energy in your life and around you. Reprogramming your thought process and views is both emotionally and physically healthy. You will also see more positive changes in your life (some that may have already been occurring, but you didn't notice), your environment and relationships with others.

As always, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole. I hope that your days, weeks, and months are beautiful and blessed....

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dear Future Forever Love...

dear future forever love

...And I mean exactly that... Forever...

No, this is not a rant. It is not a blog entry to put anyone down or vent about life, love or the lack thereof. I hope and pray that this entry is encouraging to all who read it and that you share with others for encouragement as well.

Often times, when we have experienced love and heartbreak, everyone seems to have ALL of the advice for us:

  • Don't give up
  • Don't be so hard on yourself (ie, you can't think like that, don't say that, there's nothing wrong with you...)
  • Don't be so hard on future prospects
  • Your expectations are too high
  • You overthink things too much (I get That one a whoooole lot, lol).........
Truth is, no one knows your heart, your pain and/or your desires more than you do. "Heartbroken" is subjective. For me, I have honestly just felt Broken. For you, it may not be so deep, but whatever your level of "brokenness", be strong enough to evaluate your needs for yourself and not pattern them according to what others deem is appropriate for you.

So, what do YOU want? Seriously. What are YOUR requirements for a happy life and/or love? Figure that out, and you will see a definite change in the way that you approach things and how you make decisions.

everything with a high cost doesn't require money

One thing that I can truly agree on (and I've definitely heard lots and lots of times) is the fact that everyone has a past of some sort. That being said, I had to remind myself that I am no less worthy of reciprocal love than any other person with a "different" past. 

Remember who you are. Believe in and walk in your worth. Love the person that you are and are becoming as you incessantly evolve, and while doing so don't settle for anything that you really don't want in your life. You only have one life to live. Try to make the most of your moments.

Dear Future Forever Love... Yes... I Did say Forever.... So I'll wait...

I hope that this entry is uplifting and encouraging to all who read it. Until next time, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole, seeking to enlighten and motivate...

Friday, April 5, 2019

The Skin You're In... Loving You First

             



Seeking love or companionship, when you haven't learned to love yourself, conquered your own insecurities and embraced your flaws is a dangerous position to put yourself in....

I have this conversation with both women and men quite frequently, actually. The conversation of understanding your decision-making and the power of emotions, self-concept and self-image.

If you've ever read any of my other entries, then you know that I'm all about being transparent and honest with yourself. So, let's be honest. Are you someone who feels that you can't be single? Do you feel like you HAVE to have a man or woman in your life, in order to be happy? Have you made decisions to be with someone, because of those thoughts?.... How did that work out?...




The first step is to love you, who you are and the skin that you are in. I'm sure you've heard people say "How can you expect someone to love you, if you don't love yourself?" While this is true, it is deeper than just saying that you love yourself. You have to take it a step further and actually be "in love" with yourself. Be able to encourage and uplift yourself, regardless of relationship status:


  • I love who I am
  • I make myself happy
  • I am beautiful/handsome to me
  • I believe in myself            
  • I am a good person
  • I have a great personality....
As I end this entry, I will give my usual disclosure....
From experience, I know the consequences of making decisions that were fueled by my own insecurities (ie, low self-esteem, low self-image, low confidence). Not until surviving a violent domestic relationship and being released from one emotionally damaging relationship after another was I able to recognize the impact of my own necessity for strength....

While I still continue to evolve and grow in strength, I am more self-aware, recognize not making decisions out of loneliness or desperation, and I share with others, so that they too can be strengthened...

As always, I hope and pray that this entry has been encouraging, motivational, and a source of strength.  Forever I persevere, your passionately driven ChristalNicole.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

When Will Someone Accept Me for Me?... Learning to Accept Yourself...


When will someone accept me for me?... Said the girl who couldn't accept herself...

So often we put the pressure on others to give us validation or to "accept us", when all along the "problem" isn't with others but from within our own person. I know that some won't even read this entry in its entirety, because they don't think that they have an issue with self-acceptance. Well, let me ask you a few questions (not a complete assessment, buuuut):

  1.  How many times have you criticized yourself about the smallest thing, and didn't feel good about yourself until someone else came along and gave you positive feedback about the same thing you put yourself down for?
  2. How often do you find fault in the way that you look, and no matter what others say, you still see that fault?
  3. How easily do you change your behavior, in order to "fit in" with others around you, because you deem it necessary?

Truth is...  You'll never be good enough, pretty/handsome enough, slim enough, etcetera, if you can't accept yourself as you are.... Let me say that again, in a different way.... You can't be something for someone else, expect acceptance from someone else or please anyone else, if you can't accept or please yourself (and the choir sings, the hands are raised and the crowd goes wild)... 

So many books, journals and articles have been written to help with this, but the first step is Recognizing the Issue. What good is a book, if it is not read, or a counselor without a client?


My usual self-disclosure: I've always struggled with accepting myself as I am. Never believing that I was good enough in one way or another, while comparing myself to others, their lives and/or their accomplishments. Constantly focusing on my failures, that was me. Above, you see professional photos depicting emotion for the camera, while inside genuinely feeling that darkness... That smile, you see in the last picture is genuine, however. A woman who has decided to accept herself, regardless of others acceptance... And it feels great... A weight still carried but lightened...

You all know that I am a big advocate of positive self-talk and positive re-framing. Take a moment, during your time of self-evaluation, and tell yourself something nice. Be your own number 1 fan and cheer yourself on today! As always, my loves, I leave you your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Take Care of Yourself: You Matter Too...

ChristalNicole-refreshed


I know that it's been awhile, since my last post. My apologies to my awesome readers.
I'd like to say that I've been taking some much needed R&R, but unfortunately, it's been the total opposite. I've been super busy! Hence, this blog entry, reminder to not only you but also to MYself...

Work is a grand thing that allows us to pay the bills. "Hustle-mode" is a common phrase, used frequently as motivational and admirable. Being a parent or caretaker of some sort can be a very demanding responsibility...

While there is nothing wrong with either of these states of being, none should saturate your life so intensely that you neglect your health and overall physical/mental well-being.

massage

Am I asking you to give up your job, your hustle and/or your positions of responsibility? Never! I'm all about that "Perseverant Life", but I guarantee that you and those you love will appreciate a less stressed/healthier you...

So, let's talk about a few ways that you can take care of yourself, in the midst of your busy life:

  1. Take a napYes, naps are not just for babies and children. Naps have been proven to help "reboot" the brain and improve mental awareness.
  2. Get a massage... Professional or non can be relaxing and reduce stress, but if at all possible get a professional who knows the proper techniques
  3. Relax... Yes, I know that sounds almost silly and pretty simple, but try out a few different relaxation techniques:
    • Body scan- Focus on one specific part of the body starting from head to toe or vice versa and relax that part of the body, working your way up or down the body (I have discovered times that I was literally laying tense in my bed, and didn't realize it, until I tried this method)
    • Yoga
    • Guided imagery- Focus on places, scenes or experiences that are soothing, relaxing, and help you focus
  4. Eat healthy/exercise... A lifestyle that includes an overall healthy diet and exercise is proven to decrease risk to chronic disease, reduce risk for heart disease, reduce risk for certain cancers and more
ChristalNicole-resting-teddy bear

We've all heard the phrase YOLO, and while that is usually what people say before they do something exciting and/or adventurous, it should also remind you that you only have ONE life to live. Being stressed out, tense, and agitated are not the ways to live it.

As always, I have some really good reads linked within this entry, so don't just take my word for it. 

Get you some rest. Take care of yourself. I will do my best to do the same. Until next time, I am always your passionately driven ChristalNicole...