Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Don't Be Afraid to Let Go...

ChristalNicole | image consultant, McKinney, TX

Whether it's a person, situation or emotional attachment to something, many of us have a difficult time with letting things go and moving on with our lives...

Yes, I'm talking about myself as well. I'm guilty (first step is to admit it, right?), or at least, I have been: 


If a person stopped communicating or decided to leave my life, I would try to figure out why and inwardly be broken, even if I didn't show it.... If I went through something traumatic, then I would allow it to effect my future (sound familiar?)... 

But then there was this thing called self-evaluation and this other thing called an epiphany!

Suddenly, after all the years of doing something so unhealthy, I became (and continue to become) this person that no longer wanted to allow people or circumstances to determine my life, health or overall emotional state...

let go

But Christal, I've tried to let go, and I just can't seem to... 

Well, Ok dahling, this is why I am writing this little piece today. Psychology Today and  PsychCentral have pretty great articles with a few suggestions that I'm including in my list, but I have a few suggestions of my own:
  1. Recognize that you're holding on to that infectious thing (just be "real" with yourself)
  2. Make a conscious and definitive decision to let go 
  3. If it is a person, then recognize that you are giving that person power over you that he/she probably doesn't even realize has been given (especially due to the fact that the other person has usually moved on and isn't giving you or the situation a second thought)
  4. Recognize your worth and the value of your time (while you are wasting time crying, pondering, being bitter, hating, chasing, etc. etc. etc., you could be taking over the world baby!)
  5. Talk to someone about what you're feeling (wise friend, counselor, clergy, ChristalNicole ;) )
I know. Right now, you're probably singing 




Are you ready? You can do it. Let it go! 
Until next time, I leave you your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Friday, November 2, 2018

Your Most Important Audience is You...

ChristalNicole image consultant in DFW, TX


"I want to be a great role model for my daughter/son."
"I want people to see the good in me."
"I just want to make my parents proud.".....................

All wonderful statements and positive goals to reach for. However, I want to put a little bug in your ear that may just also bring you a moment (hopefully a lifetime) of enlightenment by asking you this question:

"What do you SEE, when you look into the mirror?"

A simple enough question, if you refuse to come with me to this deep place that I'm attempting to guide you to... Allow me to take your virtual hand and guide you a moment into self-exploration:
  • Who is this woman/man that you see staring back at you?
  • Do you make yourself proud?
  • Are you happy with the morals/ideals/decisions that you express/make?
  • Do YOU see the good in you?
  • Are there things that you are ashamed of and refuse to forgive yourself for?
  • Do you accept who you are completely?
 ornate mirror
It's one thing, if you have the ability to look yourself in the mirror, and acknowledge how handsome/beautiful you may think that you are. It's another to take an honest look inside your own soul, face your demons and work toward loving the person that you see reflected. 

Let's look back at the statements that I made in the beginning of this entry. In essence, if you are able to do such a brave, honest and pure thing as true self-evaluation, then you will automatically be able to be the reflection of positiveness that others will see. A truly happy person exudes happiness, just as a truly loving person exudes love.

Your most important audience is you. Be able to applaud yourself and others will applaud. Ready to join the applause, I leave you as always your passionately driven ChristalNicole... 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Put Yourself In Time Out...


There's just something about koi ponds that makes me feel relaxed and have a sense of peace. Places such as this provide me with a nice little break from stressors and quiet time to calm the storm that is incessantly present in my brain... A Time Out

According to Wikipedia, "Time-out is a form of behavioral modification that involves temporarily separating a person from an environment where unacceptable behavior has occurred." As adults, we get moody (ie, grumpy, snippy, attitudinal...), stressed, overwhelmed, etc. These are behaviors that are generally Un-Acceptable for/to the persons around you, especially the ones closest to you.

So, today, I am going to play the virtual Mother and "sentence" you to a Time Out, Mister/Ma'am...

For children, this means removing them from a pleasurable activity or environment, to give them time to "reflect" on what they have done to cause the consequence. For adults, this means to remove you from the environment/people/area that is causing your negative vibes.


Anyone who has read some of my blog material, and/or follows me on social media, knows how much I love the beach for its peace and tranquility. However, what I've discovered is that I don't need to and shouldn't wait for months at a time to take a long, and sometimes expensive, trip in order to take a time out. There are so many other ways to get that little necessary break. I have a few pointers/ideas for your Time Out sentence:
  1. Determine what brings YOU happiness/joy/peace, as this is different for different people. For me, I need/enjoy:
    1. a quiet place
    2. alone time
    3. nature
    4. beautiful scenery
  2. Block your calendar for the weekend
    1. don't allow anything/anyone to book up your schedule for you (something that I have a difficult time with myself)
    2. unless it's an emergency, don't convince yourself that you Need to do something else besides taking this Time For Yourself (synonymous with Time Out)
  3. Visit a hot spot in town in town (if you truly don't have a whole weekend to spare or you direly just need to "step outside of your world" for a moment)
  4. Take a weekend trip to someplace new
  5. Take a Time Out no less than once a month
 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world

As much as my heart desires to travel the world (and I will), I've had to come to the realization that I need more than the sporadic beach/ocean view. After one of my regular self-evaluation sessions, I have determined that my behavior (self doubt, negative thoughts, etc) is absolutely unacceptable, so I'm going to put myself in Time Out (soon)... And you should too...

Planning for my Time Out and feeling positive, I leave your always passionately driven ChristalNicole...


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Let Me Talk...

https://youtu.be/S73bIrfb994

Let me talk. Let me speak. Let me say what's on my mind...

So many times, we hold things in for years and it eats away at our very souls, affecting every part of our lives...

I can personally say that I'm aware that my past has not only affected my self image but every relationship that I have attempted to form...

Speak. Let it out... Let go of the negativity that seeks to keep you bound. Be free...

Your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Power of Communication...


I am in no way a sketch artist. However, I had this vision of communication being the roots of a relationship, sprouting branches of longevity, commitment, loyalty, love, trust, etc.....

So let's discuss this "thing" called communication. It is an idea, a concept, a living entity, necessary/mandatory for any type of relationship to begin, be sustained and/or end. It is birthed and either nurtured or abandoned, causing it to become either positive or negative.


There are three types of communication:

  1. Verbal (Talk to/with me. Tell me what's on your mind. Don't just talk "at" me)
  2. Nonverbal (I see how you look at me or fold your arms in a negative manner or how you hold/kiss me to express your love...)
  3. Written (Text. Write a note, etc)
I am so literal, and I love the definition that I found for the meaning of communication. The verbiage "exchanging of" and "means of connection" are almost poetic to my brain. Communication is the key to reviving a broken friendship/marriage or the stake driven into the heart of an already dying relationship.


Understanding the importance of communication is the first step. Understanding "how" to communicate is the next step...

But how? I know you're asking (and I've been trying to help you out with that already, but here's a little more...)
  1. Be transparent/honest
  2. Be willing to share yourself, your experiences, as you expect the other person to do
  3. Don't talk AT a person. Talking at a person means that you are not allowing that person to speak, and what have we learned today? Communication is an "exchange". It is "sharing".
  4. While communicating, listen and pay attention, so that you can learn the other person. This will help you to learn a person's temperament, what that person likes/dislikes, etc....
Okay, I have given you some pretty deep and precious golden communication nuggets. If you still need more, then you may just need to come see me for a life skills session. I'm easy to find...

Until we meet or the next time I share, I leave you your always passionately driven ChristalNicole...



Friday, September 28, 2018

How can I make you smile today?



How can I make you smile today
Everyday, I want to hear you say
Can I be the one that dries your tears
The one who calms your fears
Tell me, will you let me
Love you, ever so gently
Unrelenting, contently
With a newness so surreal
A reality causing your heart to heal...

I have a tendency to write poetry in a romantic/passionate tone. However, this little short poem, though it is applicable romantically, is a poem about self love (now read it again). 


Now, how can I make YOU smile? Have I already accomplished my goal? Has it ever occurred to you, the fulfilling nature of just bringing a little joy to another person's day? Seriously, random acts of kindness and care are literally healthy for you.

Think about it. It feels so great, when someone thinks about you, cares about you and shows you love. It also feels rejuvenating and liberating to get a good laugh out of your belly, am I right? Well, now think about what it feels like to see someone smile, because of your unsolicited kindness and maybe even humor. 

Studies show that kindness not only improves relationships and calms down negative situations, it is good for the heart and slows down aging by releasing oxytocin and decreasing inflammation (yes, really!)! 

Hmmmm.... Be Kind and Loving-Reduce Inflammation and Look Younger
Vs.
Be Mean and Hateful-Look All Bloated and Like an Aging Witch... (IJS)
I think I'll take Kindness and Love

Who have you made smile today? A person or two? Well, go make somebody Else smile! No one? Well, then go get on it!

Smiling, as I think about your smiling faces and the smiles you will spread. I leave you, until next time, your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Friday, September 14, 2018

Acknowledging the Power of Forgiveness...


I am incessantly on a journey for enhanced peace, fulfillment and love of self. This entry is going to be sort of two-fold, in that I'll be writing about letting go of the past and forgiveness...

Many of us have a wall that has been built to protect us from others, due to whatever experiences and persons we have encountered in our lives. However, where we are willing to admit to the wall, we are not always willing to acknowledge the row of locked doors behind that wall which block us from the peace that we seek...


First of all, we all have a past of some sort (at least, that's what people always tell me, lol). Possibly, you may have done things in your past that you are not so proud of or had things done to you that you cannot seem to let go of. Regardless of what that past looks like, it is just that- the past. So, let's look at it. What are the reasons that you are still holding on to it?
  1. Unable to forgive myself
  2. Unable to forgive someone else
  3. Afraid of judgment from others
It's so often said that you have to forgive others, in order to move on with your life, but just as often, the importance of your forgiving yourself is forgotten. Just as my journey in self-love has been a long one, part of that journey has also been understanding and acknowledging the necessity for me to actually forgive myself for things that I deemed unforgivable and to understand that I canNOT worry or focus on what others' opinions/judgments/views on me or my life are. Lastly, what positiveness is gained by holding hatred, hurt and pain in your heart toward another?

  1. ............................
  2. .......................
  3. still waiting.................just forgive already, and free yourself!

Above, you see a lady who is learning everyday about the joys of letting go and the freedom that comes with forgiveness. Liberation is beautiful, and that beauty is a beacon for positiveness, attracting the energy that enhances the ability to evolve and flourish. Each minute, hour, and day is gone, never to be retrieved again, except through our own memory banks. The time spent in negativity is wasted.... Live, don't just breath....

Until next time, I leave you your always passionately driven ChristalNicole...



Friday, August 17, 2018

Heart Be Unbroken...


Let's talk a little about love today... Or, rather, the loss of love...

So often I find myself in conversations and/or counseling someone who is struggling with the emotional distress following the dissolution of an intimate relationship. It is understood that a person can feel deep loss, when a friendship is severed, but this particular blog entry will be focused specifically on the ending of a more intimate relationship such as marriage or a boyfriend/girlfriend-type relationship/situation.... You know, the type that feels like the literal severance of the heart from the body... That loss...

A broken heart can sometimes feel like you're dying on the inside, an endless feeling of emptiness and a pit in the bottom of your soul (yeah, I might be familiar). Truth is, you really could actually be suffering from takotsubo cariomyopathy, also known as the broken heart syndrome. Yes, I'm totally serious. A characteristic of this condition is chest pain and shortness of breath, following severe stress (either emotional or physical). This heart condition  can feel similar to a heart attack, is almost exclusive to women, and is generally temporary. I have linked some more detailed information about the condition in the text, so don't forget to take a moment to check them out.


Healing is similar to that of someone who is dealing with grief and the death of a loved one. In essence, it very parallel to the death of something inside. However, just as a broken heart can medically be treated, it can also be soothed emotionally.

You may find yourself going through the classic stages of grief:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression, and finally
  5. Acceptance 

Some tips for coping with your whirlpool/tornado of emotions include:

  1. Seeking out caring people (avoid the cynical, bitter & negative, especially the friend that just wants to go beat someone up for breaking your heart)
  2. Be mindful of your physical health (declining health will contribute to chemical releases within the body that contribute to depressive symptoms) #revengebody #butdoitforyourself
  3. Remember that life is for living, and no person should have the power to take that from you
  4. Seek outside help, if necessary (there's no shame in seeing a counselor/therapist, to assist you with dealing with your hurt)...
Love is one of the deepest emotions/most powerful emotions that one can feel. Some may argue that Hate is just as powerful, but it is proven that love can even conquer a cold/hateful heart... So powerful... On that note, remember to love, accept love, because it's okay, and it feels great... 

Lovingly yours, your passionately driven ChristalNicole...




Friday, August 3, 2018

Reflecting to Reflect...



The dictionary defines a reflection as "the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it...." or a "serious thought or consideration"......

I have a tendency to be a "deep" thinker (hard to believe, I know) and sometimes even over-analytical (another shocker, right?). Anyway, while conversing with someone earlier this week, we began to discuss my goals and aspirations for my image consulting business. I elaborated on the details of what a complete "image" is.

By definition (Ms. Literal here), an image is "a representation of the external form of a person or thing..." I believe that the image is formed not only by what we dress the external in but what exudes from the inside.

While discussing this, I began to "reflect" on my purpose and how my actions are not just a reflection of me but also the principles, morals and standards which I claim to represent.


Ever wondered "What Reflection Of ME, Do Others See?"

Do they see the loving, kind, and generous positive aspects of what I believe in and strive to represent or does the serious, broken, and guarded wall still present within me overshadow the light?

Oftentimes, we go about our lives thinking/feeling that we are presenting ourselves in one way, only to find out from others that we are not quite reflecting what we thought. Sometimes, we are more transparent than we think, allowing more of what we were trying to hide to seep through than desired. Other times, we are so guarded that the bright light we thought was shining is much dimmer than intended.

My goal is to be a walking REFLECTION of a godly woman, exuding positiveness, strength, perseverance, love and triumph. I want this REFLECTION to be so much so that it causes others to REFLECT on the woman that they just spoke with, read about or even passed by.

What are you reflecting? How important is your reflection?

Thank you for taking the time to read my musings. I hope that I have given you something to reflect on (see what I did there?). As always, I leave you your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Friday, July 27, 2018

Keep Pushing... Regardless


Perseverance is so often used more as an adjective, to describe a person's action. However, it is actually a Noun.... Stay with me. There's a method to this mad English lesson...

Reading it's meaning again, and thinking to myself that this word has been my word of the year (maybe even the past few years), I realized that it truly isn't a description of myself. It is, rather, a state of being. Despite adversities, the natural struggles of life, self-convictions, and continuous obstacles, as I persevere, I am strengthened.

My mind, spirit and heart ARE in a state of perseverance, and in those moments when I feel like giving up, I am recognizably not myself.... WE are all recognizably different, when we lose our drive and begin to lean more toward Giving up the Dream or Leaving It All Behind...

So many times, I'm sure you've heard someone tell you "Don't Give Up", "You Got This", "You're Not a Quitter" or  "Only Losers Quit". Well, let me take a moment to drop a little wisdom on you. As small or insignificant as it may seem for you to "quit" or "give up", each little action of "non-action" (yeah, I think I just kind of made that up) contributes to your life path and state of mind. In reality, you set yourself up for an incessant patterns of negativity and "non-actions".

Of course you believe every word that I write and don't necessarily need additional resources, buuuuut here's a great article from Psychology Today: The NeuroScience of Perseverance.




So, I'm that lady at work who sends the positive quotes and attempts to be an encouraging voice. I can't help it. It's just me...

Well, I was a little "off" this week. I had difficulty finding that positiveness, even after posting on that subject specifically last week! Wow, it happens so quickly... And it was noticed... Thank you

While I don't need for you to tell anyone else or broadcast it to the world. Thank you for reminding me that there is a purpose to all that I do, and that there really is someone listening...

I hope that your day is truly beautifully blessed. Until next time, I am always your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I Will...I Can...I Am...


"Today is going to be a good day..."
"I will complete all of my tasks on today..."
"No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper......... Isaiah 54:17"

Some of us are in the habit already of "talking to ourselves" when we have a big day or a big event happening in our lives. We are nervous or excited and need some immediate encouragement. Oftentimes, these are the only times that we recognize our need for this positiveness.

So, let's BREAK that incessant state of neglect (yes, I said neglect). Feed your mind, body and spirit with that regular dose of positive that it so desperately needs and yearns.

I am a big advocate of Positive Self-Talk, because of the power we have within our tongue/mind. We have within us, the power not only to hurt, uplift and encourage others with the words that we speak, but to do the same for ourselves.
I began giving my clients this handout in practically every class and/or individual session that I teach. I tell them to place this somewhere that they can see it regularly, and recite it to themselves with a positive word at the end...

Today, I say: I WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. I AM MAKING A DIFFERENCE....


I WILL TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I CAN TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I AM TAKING OVER THE WOOOOOORLD.... Shhhhhh.... That's my "secret" positive self-talk ;)

As always, I end this entry your passionately driven ChristalNicole

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Smile! It Really Is Good For You...

A SMILE
A FROWN




















                              VS



How many times have you been walking down a hallway or into a store, and someone told you to "Smile, it'll make you feel better" (or something like that)? Were you in "one of those moods"? Did you scowl harder, thinking "why doesn't that person mind her/his own business"?

Surprisingly enough, whomever that may have been that attempted to encourage you was also looking out for your health! Smiling has been proven to be beneficial to our health in a number of ways. Some of the benefits include:

         












  1. Lower blood pressure
  2. Relief of Stress, by the release of endorphins that cause us to be happier
  3. A stronger Immune System
  4. Aaaaaand, better relationships, which is definitely better for our health than negative ones

A little research to back up all of this knowledge that I'm dishing:

From Psychology Today "Try Some Smile Therapy" -
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/isnt-what-i-expected/201208/try-some-smile-therapy

From Benefits Bridge "The Top 7 Health Benefits of Smiling" -
https://benefitsbridge.unitedconcordia.com/top-7-health-benefits-smiling/


Transparency moment: I am that person that gets caught up in my thoughts and generally is told to smile by strangers. I have even had a negative thought to go through my head, when I was told, buuuuut now, instead of negativity, I ask myself a few questions... 

Why not smile? What do you feel, when you smile? Even when things are bad, and you don't really feel like, try it! I'm forced to think of something joyful, in order to do so, which automatically brings me to a "happy place". Also, when you smile and have joy, it causes those around you to reflect that same positive energy. Pay attention to how many smiles you get returned, when you smile. It's pretty awesome!

Smiling, as I end this entry, I leave always your passionately driven ChristalNicole...

Friday, July 6, 2018

Cry, Baby, Cry...




Wow, I can't believe that it's been 3 years, since my last post...

I've had a whirlwind of things to happen in my life, and I'm finally coming to a place of self-discovery and understanding. It has been, during this time, that I have become more self-evaluative and a major revelation has occurred...

It's okay to cry! Yes, as simple as it may sound, I too had difficulty with this human expression of emotion. Although I am still not comfortable with crying in front of other people, I have learned a few wonderful things personally about crying:

1. It is therapeutic
2. It is liberating
3. It relieves stress
4. It clears your mind
5. It's natural... and doesn't make you any less of a "strong" individual.......

If you don't believe me, then take a look at a little research that has been done about crying. It could definitely blow your mind!

From AgingCare.com- Go Ahead, Have a Good Cry: 5 Reasons It's Good for You
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/reasons-why-crying-is-good-for-your-health-146022.htm

From LifeHack.org- 9 Surprising Benefits of Crying, or Why It's Okay to Have a Good Cry
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/9-surprising-benefits-crying-why-its-okay-have-good-cry.html

So... Cry, Baby, Cry... Throw away any thoughts of weakness and allow yourself to release the pain, joy or happiness that may be locked within. It's a beautiful thing, and so are you!

Until next time, I am your passionately driven ChristalNicole...