How to Celebrate the Everyday

There are 24 days left until I drive back to Wilmington for the summer. I'm trying to make them count without losing sight of the simple, everyday joys. I was reminded last night how life is far more than last minute projects or wishing for the weekend. Celebrating the little moments -- like the anniversary of a great friendship or a successful outcome to a meeting -- are necessary to living a life of happiness. Enjoying these cherished snapshots of life can be challenging, so below are three ways to find joy in the little things. 

1. Write your joys down.

At the end of the day, write down three things you are grateful for or experienced during the day that had you slowing down and enjoying the moment. These can be a kind smile or word, coffee with an old friend, or a picturesque skyline on your drive into work. They don't have to be over the top or exceptionally unique, just lovely snippets of your life. This exercise opens your eyes to the little moments rather than constantly waiting for the next big thing. 

2. Breathe and engage in the moment.  

You can only enjoy the unique moments if you are paying attention. If you are in a situation where you default to staring at your phone, I encourage you to put it down and be present. Take a deep, solid breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Look around you. What is new? What is different? What is beautiful about your surroundings? Is there someone around you reading a book you love or wearing a pair of shoes you think are wonderful? Tell them, ask them, engage with them. You'd be surprised of the beauty found in green tinted trees just starting to bloom or the quick flash of a smile of a person caught in pure moments of enjoyment. 

3. Always have essentials on hand to celebrate or turn the day around.

While I will freely admit to disengaging with my surroundings or not being as grateful as I could, this is one rule I follow adamantly. I always keep champagne in my fridge to celebrate the little things like promotions and exciting news or to simply turn a frustrating day around. Champagne for me reflects the mood I seek in times of frustration or celebration; it is bubbly, different, and classy. Your simple way to turn a day around doesn't have to be champagne, but something that takes you away from 'the struggle' (i.e. balloons, flowers, a special coffee drink, etc.).

How do you enjoy the everyday moments? 

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram with your favorite way to enjoy the everyday moment. Share this with people who could use some celebration in their lives. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
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How to Handle Conflict

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Tips & Tricks & Why Do I Care?

This post was previously published November 19, 2015. Since handling conflict is a part of life, there's never a bad time to arm yourself with ways to win at sticky situations.

It is important to find manageable ways to deal with confrontation and conflict to alleviate the inevitable pains that come from an ill-spoken word or argument. Here are my top four tips along with an awesome apology format to follow when future conflicts happen.

- if something is said that makes you want to lash out::

and an immediate response is necessary, take three full inhales and exhales before responding. If you can wait to respond, take the time to filter your words in a way that strongly presents your opinion but comes across without inflicting pain.

- if something is written that makes you want to lash out::

do not respond immediately. Write out what you would like to say, but do not send it at that moment. Take out unnecessary expressions of anger, and after ensuring your words come across mindfully and intentionally without cruelty, hit the send button.

- if you do or have done something in an expression of anger or hatred::

remember a heartfelt and sincere apology goes a lot further than resentment ever will. For example, if you've hurt someone's feelings or said an unkind remark, ask yourself why you lashed out that way, how it might have impacted their life to hear something like that, and ways you two might move forward.

A helpful format is,
"It has come to my attention that my action of (action requiring apology) could be seen as (offensive, annoying, hurtful, etc). I never intended to (consequence of your action). I want you to understand I was merely trying to (your intention), though I can see now that it may appear I was (perceived motive). Please accept my (adjective) apology. Moving forward, I will attempt to (proposed solution). That said, I would very much appreciate it if you (request for other party). Sincerely your (relationship to person), (your name)."

- if you are angry with or hate yourself::

breathe, ask yourself what exactly makes you upset, and plan simple steps you can take moving forward to change the behavior that bothers you. As an example, imagine you are upset you do not wake up on time. Ask yourself if you are going to bed too late, having difficulty staying asleep, or feeling overly stressed during the day. Some helpful steps would be to wind down earlier in the evening to go to bed at a more appropriate-for-you time, to lessen your load during the day by delegating or re-prioritizing, or possibly adjusting your caffeine intake if you're having trouble falling and staying asleep.

Choosing a more peaceful way to handle conflict is not easy. It requires effort and self-reflection. Be kind to yourself if you lash out or wish you had done something differently. Take small steps.

+ Did you find these tips helpful? What is your go-to calm down strategy?

Tag @yourfriend_em on Twitter or Instagram and tell me what you loved best about Handling Conflict. Share this with people who could benefit. Hashtag #thegreatvibesguide to spread the Great Vibes! Xx


P.S. Get a free 8-page Guide to Great Vibes filled with recipes, tips, and tricks to the lifestyle and body of your dreams.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?

5 Signs You Have Anxiety and Don't Know It

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I've written previously (here & here) about grief and sadness and being okay with not being okay, but I thought I'd share with you something I wasn't expecting at all from all of my emotional mayhem...

I became incredibly anxious.

When I say incredibly anxious I mean outstandingly so to the point of doing nothing but crying and wanting a cup of tea and my bed and my heart rate to slow down. It felt as if there was a weight in my stomach, a vise on my head, and my thoughts raced around unstructured and frustrated.

I'm telling you this because it's not uncommon. These feelings of overwhelm and stress have become second nature to society, a pseudo-desire of hard work and progress if you will.

I'm telling you that's bull****.

You can be successful, celebrated, and revered without stress or anxiety. It's not easy by any means, but it's worth putting in the effort.


Here are 5 things you might not know about how stress can affect your mind and body ...

1. You might be grinding your jaw or clenching it tightly.
When we are stressed, we tend to tense our muscles, like you would if someone were about to hit or punch you. That kind of tension is part of the natural fight or flight response. Tension caused by anxiety or stress is rarely relieved, meaning your entire body is in this constant clench. Cue sensitive teeth and painful chewing.

2. You might have stomach and intestine complications

The gang's all here in the form of indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, etc. Anxiety can make you feel jittery and high-strung, and while it's affecting your mental state and ability to breathe, it's making your belly just as jittery and high-strung, and it'll react by making you uncomfortably bloated or running to the bathroom every so often.

3. You might experience body aches like never before.

Like with excessive grinding of your jaw or clenching it tightly, the rest of your body is still doing that. It might feel like you've run a marathon or just done crossfit 10 times over even if you haven't left your bed. Your body is tightly wound at this point and making you aware of it all.

4. You might be sick more frequently.
When our bodies are on go-mode all of the time, our immune system cannot keep up. Most people suffering from anxiety or stress have difficulty sleeping or eating foods that boost their bodies health and these factors can wear down the body even more, making us susceptible to colds, flu and stomach bugs, and other germs our bodies would normally be capable of fighting off in good health.

5. You might have dull hair and skin or have more breakouts than before.

Stress and anxiety in our bodies release cortisol (the stress chemical, really). This can lead to an excess in oil production on our skin, so we can say helllooooo to breakouts. It can also lead hair to go into telogen phase where it is falling out easily. When we're not eating well or paying attention to our health, we're not getting the vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to survive and thrive.
 

How does that all relate to your life right now? Are you finding there are similarities? Differences? Variations on the theme? Making this post today, I was amazed at how one little word causes so much trauma in the body. But that list is no beuno!!!

Luckily, we have the control to turn anxiety around - most people think it lies in medicine and forgetting all about it (and for some that might work) - but almost always it comes with digging down to the deep, dark, root issues and spend a lot of time asking the hard questions: Why is this happening? What can I do? How is this affecting my life?

In other words, the winner of life (not that there is such a person) is not the most anxious who still manages to succeed. The winner is the person thriving without stress or anxiety and rocking a life of Great Vibes. You have the power to be the latter every single day.

It's time to tap into that power!

Cheers to Great Vibes!
Xx. Em

UP NEXT WEEK:: So I Have Anxiety, What Do I Do About It?


+ What is your experience with anxiety? Share in the comments below!


P.S. I don't know why the font is so small, babes! Technology, I swear ...

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P.S.S.S Have you checked out all of the
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The Midnight Thoughts :: A Post on Grief

This is the first post in a new series on grief. For anyone in need, the comment section can be your safe place to express yourself and share your memories of loved ones past. Peace to you all. Xx.

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I wish I had called more. I wish I had taken the time to talk more with you even though you couldn't understand me well or form the words your mind was thinking. I miss you. I wish I'd asked you more about Wall Street, how you met Grandma, the first program you'd developed that took her parents' breath away. I wish I'd taken time to write it down, because I already feel the memories fading. I wish I could eloquently put fingers to keyboard, and capture your spirit. In my dreams, I remember you strolling by my side, with your hands clasped behind your back, pointing to something off in the distance and telling me it was beautiful. I wish I had that stilled in a photo and not just a black and white scan of an image long past. I wish I had cuddled up to you more and spent more time by your side when you were resting. I wish for a lot of moments with you. But here are the things I'm honored to have in my heart...

I'm honored you sent me your pieces of art; the lions are my favorite, and the first time I saw them, they took my breath away. The wings you added to my silhouette when I was younger have given my dreams flight for years now, and your encouragement and spirit have made them a reality. The carousel I sent you framed all in black, heavily contrasted and blurred at the edges, was one of my favorite pieces, and when you hung it on the wall in your office, I burst into tears, because you made me feel worthy. I loved that you loved my dog without having met her. Your smile was infectious, and I think I loved her even more after seeing her through your eyes. She knew you were gone, and somehow, I know she misses you. I loved watching Rachel Ray with you and talking extravagant recipes even though we were waiting for Gram to finish cooking you eggs with ketchup - the not so extravagant. The day we picked up takeout, and you sat in the car explaining to me all about penny stocks is the highlight of my adult life with you and the reason I've majored in Mathematical Economics.

I ate ice cream tonight after celebrating your life with a glass of champagne and a live music set in a bar with exposed brick and oil paintings hanging on the wall. The ice cream was plain vanilla, but the flavor doesn't matter; it was rich and decadent and everything you would have wanted. I hope you're eating it now, adding all of the cookies you want, topping it with whipped cream, and telling your Dorris she'll be okay.

Because she will be eventually. We all will be okay. That's the thing about death.

It feels like a soul-ripping, tortuous, overwhelming tidal wave of emotion, but in the end, your body will settle for okay. It might be a very dull, impossible-to-breathe okay, but it'll be okay. And pretty soon it'll be life and spirit and energy and movement and hope and growth and smiles and laughter and joy. There's no timeline, but it will be there. For a moment. For a second. A little glimpse of what it could be if it's held onto with both hands, eyes closed, and an open heart.

I've been trading in my books, one by one, to save enough money to buy a big-girl camera. It's beautiful and comes with enough lenses to make your heart beat a little faster. I want it to capture food and smiles and imperfections and love and joy. I hope it captures a little bit of you in every snap. I say, I hope, but I know it will. I already feel you in the vibrations of the world. I sense your solid ground, your steady voice, your laughter at the absurd.

You are one mighty big spirit, and I'm honored to have known you in my adult life. I am so thankful you got to see me with a future and not just a list of hopes and dreams. I wish you were able to see a little bit more, to hear a little more stories of my life, to pass on a little more anecdotes from yours. Instead, I'll cherish what I have had with you. I'll wait for you to throw a sign in my path, and make me stop and appreciate the little things. I'll wait to smell the hotdogs with ketchup, the sweet aroma of ice cream, the click of a camera, the clink of ice in a cocktail shaker. I'll wait until your memories float into my life to make them my own.

There's no one else like you. The world will never be the same. I will never be the same. But you wouldn't stand for boring sameness, would you? 

Don't take too many candids up there, okay? I have an image to uphold. Love you to the moon and back, twice around the biggest hug in the world, and off to sunrise. May you light up the world of all those hanging on your every word. Xx.

This is the first post in a new series on grief. For anyone in need, the comment section can be your safe place to express yourself and share your memories of loved ones past. Peace to you all. xx.


Spread the Great Vibes to anyone who needs them today...

Dreaming Big(ger) for 2016!


A few weeks ago, I wrote about setting resolutions for the new year that don't suck. You might want to check it out, and see if the ones you have set for yourself this year are as best as possible. I promise, if you follow those 7 steps, freaking magic will happen. Magic! I've obviously had too much coffee as I'm writing this post, so I'm just going to share with you my top resolutions for this year. Above is my vision board for the first part of 2016. It's what I want out of love, business, blogging, and for myself. What are some of your wants? What are some of your resolutions? What do you hope for in 2016? You've got this! Let's rock it.

Some of the intentions I've set for 2016 ...

1. Be a bad*** in everything I do. Always and forever.

2. Be unapologetic in my business and myself. 

3. Less hoping and waiting and more manifestation and doing.

4. No doubt or fear in pursuing my dreams and accomplishing my goals.

5. Love, love, love. Life is too short not to share love with the world. What do I have to lose?

6. Be honest but not unkind with the delivery of my truth.

7. Empower others to find their passions, and do everything in my power to support them.

9. Stop complaining and start celebrating. Even the little things.


What are your top nine? Let's have the best year of our lives, shall we?


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P.S.S. Have you checked out all of the
other places Emily's spreading the Great Vibes?