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Financial S.O.S. – 3 Steps To Getting You Out Of Debt and Into Financial Freedom

Finances. Blegh.
PERSONAL finances. Double blegh.

It seems that the subject of finance is a big elephant in the room for most people. Nobody wants to think about it, much less share or talk about it with anyone else. Heck, I’m sure if people could accomplish everything through their online banking app, bank tellers would be out of a job within the week.

But yes, the finance conversation avoiders… I was one of those people for a long time. Still am in a lot of scenarios, like when I’m bombarded by the nosy inquiries of distant aunts, uncles and cousins at family gatherings. *Cue excessive head nodding and blank dead-eyed smile*

So why, oh why am I going there now? Because as a twenty-something millennial living in the height of capitalism and debt in a consumer-driven society, we’re in some deep sh*t, and we’ve GOT to start talking about it.

According to statistics, 78% of American workers are living paycheque to paycheque. And while most of us are (for some reason) at least somewhat aware of the economic, financial and/or political states of America, when was the last time you sought out information about your local current economic climate?

Being that I’m a Canadian living in BC, here are some facts according to the CPA – Canadian Payroll Association’s tenth annual survey (2018):

  • 94% of survey respondents report carrying debt in the form of mortgage, credit card and/or car payments (no mention of student loan debt)
  • 49% of BC employees live paycheque to paycheque
  • 44% of Canadians report it would be difficult to meet their financial obligations if their pay cheque were delayed by a single week
  • 1 in 5 Canadians (1 in 4 BC employees) say they could not come up with CAD$2000 (USD$1500) within a month in the case of an emergency expense
  • 35% of Canadians (39% of BC employees) spend all of or more than their net pay
  • 34% of Canadians (38% of BC employees) report an increase in the amount of debt they’ve accumulated over the past year
  • 40% of working Canadians feel overwhelmed by their level of debt

And while 69% of Canadians (65% of BC employees) are putting money away for savings, 69% of working Canadians report saving only 10% or less of their earnings. You can read the full media release on these survey statistics here.

The numbers are not lookin’ good, people. Not only are most Canadians not adequately saving enough for retirement and only a couple paycheques away from potentially being homeless, but the chances of the average Canadian being able to afford a home here in BC are notoriously slim. But this is not a problem exclusive to BC residents. The growing millennial housing crisis spans around the world across multiple continents, from North America all the way to Europe and Asia.

Commonly shared advice on the internet, such as “Move out of the big cities if you can’t afford it!” are often inconsiderate and carelessly given. Advice such as this may somewhat make sense at first glance, but are overly simplistic, not at all sustainable, and can only serve as a temporary bandaid on the proverbial “economic bubble” that is set to burst.

So, umm, what are we to do?? I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I have the all the answers, or that I’m an expert on the economy, real estate/housing, banking, etc.

What I do know – and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out – is that it does not matter WHAT or who comes in to correct the situation if one of the key factors contributing to the problem is not acutely addressed. That factor being our behaviour. Or more specifically, our current cultural mindset around financial debt and “Keeping up with the Joneses”… although these days, it seems more like “Keeping Up With the Kardashians on Instagram”.

Note that there are always a web of factors that contribute to any given issue, hence my emphasis on behaviour being only one of the key factors. I choose to focus on personal behaviour because that is at least 99.99999% in our control and therefore more immediately productive than sitting around complaining; blaming every-one and every-thing BUT the person in the mirror.

Here is the basic 3-part step to kickstarting your financial-health journey (make some snacks, get comfy, and roll up your sleeves):

SEARCH, ORGANIZE, SCRUTINIZE (S.O.S.)

1. Search and gather everything to do with your outgoing expenses from the past year – statements, bills/payments, invoices, debts, recurring payments on auto-withdrawal, all of it. If this feels too intimidating, or if you aren’t able to set aside the time to complete this in one session, divide the work up into 3-month increments.

DO NOT IGNORE, LIE TO YOURSELF OR OMIT ANY PAYMENTS. Everything that is outgoing counts. That includes food and entertainment, monthly banking account and interest fees, transportation, donations, contributions to savings, investments, etc. This ALSO includes anything you have late payments on, or that you haven’t been paying and is in debt collections.

2. Because this information is likely scattered between paper and online, I recommend you organize all of this data on paper or a digital file. I like to organize chronologically by month and date starting from January.

Next to the month, calculate and write down your take-home income for that month. Underneath that, list out all the dates and everything that is an outgoing expense from the first of the month to the last of the month. If you’re a details person like me, I like to add in extra info such as which account the expense is coming out of, and whether or not it’s an auto-payment.

This may start to feel a bit repetitive, but is extremely important in order to get an accurate and full representation of your financial status.

3. Now for the fun part – scrutinizing the hell out of your expenses. First thing’s first, you want to calculate your incoming vs. outgoing by subtracting your outgoing expenses from your income for every month.

Important questions to ask: Are you making enough money every month after taxes? Do you have a healthy amount of breathing room at the end of the month, or are you often going in the negative and borrowing more money from your credit card? Are you routinely making payments on time? Are you putting at least 20% of your take-home pay into your savings and retirement accounts? Do you have a 3-6 month emergency fund? Are you tackling your debt?

If your answer is NO to any of these questions, it’s time to reorganize and reprioritize (*read my suggested list of priorities below).

Start trimming the excess. Look at your non-essentials and see what you can CUT OUT until you’ve made some significant headway on your debts, investments and savings – until you’re no longer working your ass off with NOTHING to show for in your bank account and no future security.

This usually looks like significantly cutting down on entertainment (movies, concerts, eating out, meal prep/food delivery services, alcohol) and subscription payments (Spotify, Netflix, that random app you never use but still pay for monthly). If you haven’t set foot at the gym, yoga studio, etc. for longer than six months, cancel that membership!!

If you’re drowning in debt and payments, consider selling or downgrading your car. If your bottom line isn’t cutting it, you need to find a way to increase your income – charging more if you’re a freelancer, requesting a raise, getting a second or third job, selling off belongings you no longer need.

*List of suggested financial priorities in order:

HOME & FOOD – mortgage/rent, strata, gas, electric, water, BUDGETED groceries
NECESSARY EXPENSES & DEBTS – cellphone, health insurance/medical bills, basic grooming upkeep, credit card, car payments, student loans, any other debts you have
3-6 MONTH EMERGENCY FUND – accidents, unexpected expenses (especially if you’re a parent or pet owner), in the case you get fired, or are unable to work for an extended period of time.
RETIREMENT FUNDS – contributing to your retirement accounts; in Canada that would be your TFSA, RRSP, etc. In the US, you’re looking at your Roth IRA, 401K, etc.
INVESTMENTS (LONG-TERM SAVINGS) – investing money into stocks, ETFs, index/mutual funds independently through platforms such as Questrade, robo-advisors such as WealthSimple and WealthFront, or through a reputable brokerage or firm.
BIGGER SHORT-TERM SAVINGS – putting money into a High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) for anything you’re saving up for in the next few years to a decade, such as a downpayment on a home.
FUN FUNDS – putting money into HISAs specifically for the fun things you want to save up for, such as travel/vacation, a new cellphone or computer, going to a festival, etc. For this, I like apps like Mylo, or Qapital if you’re in the States.
ENTERTAINMENT & EXTRAS
 – these are your set budgeted allowances each month for going out to eat/drink, food delivery, to-go coffees, shopping, non-essential grooming, Uber/Lyft, etc.

How quickly you want to pay off your debts, or build up your emergency fund is 100% up to you. It is my belief that anything worth having in life takes some pain for long-term gain. I’m also a big fan of the Dave Ramsey’s baby steps method.

Need some extra motivation? Check out this awesome debt repayment calculator to see the ridiculous amount of money you’re paying companies in INTEREST. Seriously.

The bottom line is, the faster you accomplish both of those things, the sooner you will have not only financial freedom, but total freedom, and feel that heavy weight of burden lift off your shoulders.

By taking control of your finances, you will:

Build confidence, feel empowered in your choices, and in control of your life.

Sleep better at night knowing you no longer have looming debts and late bills to pay at the end of the month.

No longer have to worry about choosing between having a full stomach and making rent.

No longer have to awkwardly dodge questions or conversations revolving around finances.

Be able to enjoy life, shopping and experiences guilt-free!!

Building financial security through investments, savings, and eliminating debt means:

Having the FREEDOM to make powerful decisions that are true to YOU and your values.

Having the freedom to say NO to demanding employers, family members, clients who disrespect your boundaries.

Having the courage to walk away from jobs and relationships that are toxic or no longer serve you.

Don’t wait another day. Take the reins and be in control of your destiny. You are 100% deserving and capable of having financial peace. You are 100% deserving and capable of creating financial wealth and success.

Have any questions? Message me privately, or leave a comment below.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

Why do I Binge Eat? What I’ve learned from reading This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide by Geneen Roth

I’m reading this amazing book by Geneen Roth called This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide. So far, 10/10 would recommend to anybody who has EVER struggled with their body image, wanting to lose weight, or their relationship to eating and food.

As a female in her late twenties who is big on self-development and has ALWAYS struggled with food & body image, This Messy Magnificent Life brings to surface some pretty touchy and prickly emotional wounds that I’ve likely tried to bury since the age of 10 or 11, which is the earliest I can remember being self-conscious about my body.

Since starting the book, one question that has consistently come up whenever I’m on the verge of a food binge, or wanting to eat despite already being uncomfortably full, is to ask myself, “What am I avoiding right now?”

What am I distracting myself from?
What are the feelings I’m unwilling to face?
What are the tasks, responsibilities and stresses I’m trying to bury away with this food?
Where in my life am I feeling powerless and small?
Where in my life am I sabotaging my chances for success?

And my gosh, the list of answers never falls short… when I’m willing to authentically look, that is. I’m actually flabbergasted at the sheer amount of stuff crap my mind attempts to bury away and distract me from with sensory pleasure activities. Throughout my life, it’s been many different things: shopping, exercise, alcohol/drugs, busying myself with social events. But the most constant thing has always been food.

I love food. I love how food tastes. I love how food makes me feel. I love the feeling I get when I have a big meal, or lots of food to look forward to. In low moments, food has often been a driver for me to get up in the morning, or get up and dressed even if I’m feeling super lazy.

But I’ve also hated the way I lose control around food. I’ve hated feeling full to the point where I think my stomach is about to tear open, and stuffing my face anyway. I’ve hated the feeling of a meal coming to an end, while others are still working on their plate. I’ve hated the feelings of emptiness and subsequent punishment that has often followed one of my binge sessions; whether that meant pushing myself excessively hard with physical activity, or restricting and under-eating.

Although I’m not nearly as bad now as I was in my early twenties, my body is TIRED. My metabolism isn’t as fast as it used to be, and with where I am in my life, I’m fed up with the narrative of being a failure/not good enough – which, I’ve discovered, is the root of many of my longstanding problems. After over a decade of this sh*t, it’s just getting really old.

To quote Ariana Grande… Thank U, Next!

Turns out there is a lot I’m still avoiding, or haven’t fully dealt with. And I don’t expect to be able to resolve seventeen years worth of deep-seated issues and detrimental self-beliefs overnight. Geneen Roth’s book has been an eye-opener for me, and if you’ve stuck with me this far into my blog post, I genuinely believe it would be well worth a read for you too.

For now, here are the questions I’m asking myself as I navigate my relationship to food and feelings of self-worth:

  • What am I avoiding?
  • What feelings am I burying?
  • What is it that I’m actually starving for that I’m replacing with food (or other mindless entertainment)? i.e. purpose, love, affection, feeling like I matter, etc.

And the beliefs I’m cultivating:

  • I am worthy of love despite my shortcomings
  • I am worthy of abundance despite my flaws
  • I am worthy of happiness despite the mistakes I’ve made
  • My accomplishments/failures do not dictate my success
  • My accomplishments/failures do not dictate my worthiness as a person

Order your copy of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide now
Click here to learn more about Geneen Roth’s work and upcoming talks.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_

Featured Image by Dan Gold on Unsplash
This post is not sponsored.

So I’m my late twenties… now what?

Halfway through 2019, and here I am: blogging/e-journalling with a creeping migraine. Some days I feel great about where I’m headed, the progress I’ve made. Other days I feel like I’m so far behind everyone else, why even bother trying?

I’m 27, turning 28 in a few months. Eek. Did I think I’d be here when I was eighteen? Definitely not.

When I was teenager, I thought I’d have everything together by 28. Maybe engaged, or married. Career thriving. Travelling the world. Making and saving comfortably. I thought I’d be the fittest I’d ever be, and basically just have all my shit together.

Now that I’m sitting here, reflecting on the past 10 years, one thing I know to be true is no matter what age you are, it never really feels or looks the way you think it’s going to. I have a pretty unoriginal theory that our physical bodies age at a much faster rate than our minds and souls, leaving us feeling like time has flown by before we’ve had the chance to really live.

I mean, yes, I have a lot more experience and am a completely different person than who I was ten years ago. At the same time, it feels like high school graduation was just yesterday.

Needless to say, 2019/Year 27 has been a year of renewal and realignment. It’s been a year of questioning old beliefs, digging up and healing old wounds, rediscovering who I am NOW today (not who I wanted to be 5-6 years ago), and updating my list of goals and dreams accordingly.

It’s been a year of learning how to set boundaries (still learning), and stepping into my flow whilst relinquishing control at the same time… I know, it hurts my brain too.

Where I think these next 10 years are headed is focusing on becoming the most raw, authentic version of myself possible. The most raw, authentic, creative, go-getting, stock-investing, TFSA/RRSP-maxing, take-no-bullshit, happy, conscious version of myself.

Yayyyyyy. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda scared. But then I remember life is extremely, extremely short. All of this life is just going to pass me in the blink of an eye, and none of this small stuff (overthinking, over-worrying, being scared) will really matter.

Then I just breathe, take it all in, and enjoy this beautiful fragile human life for what it is: a tiny blip in the grand history of time. So important and consequential, yet so meaningless and inconsequential. Everything we do matters, and nothing we do matters. Ultimately, therefore, life is what you make it.

What I wish for in my life is to have made a difference in the world for the better, to have loved and been loved, to tell great stories, to create, to laugh, to cry, to give generously; to stand up for what I believe in; to not waste a single second of my precious time and attention; to appreciate every moment, even the bad; to pass on, free of burden and regret.

What do you wish to accomplish in your lifetime?

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
IG: @WhereHappinessBegins_

Featured Image by Wolf Zimmermann on Unsplash

Choose longterm happiness over short-term gratification

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Fondation Beyeler Artwork - Cumulo by Tacita Dean

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There is no light without the dark. I don’t believe in the idea of false positivity. Or that the point of life is to always be happy, laughing, and dancing. Every emotion on the human spectrum has its place, cause, and purpose – even the ones we deem as “negative”.
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I don’t believe in burying negative/unwanted emotions with positivity quotes and meaningless feel-good advice that miss the point entirely.
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I believe in self-awareness and going deep to locate the ROOT of our unwanted emotions. If you’re going to distract yourself because you aren’t ready to deal with an emotion yet, at least be aware that’s what you’re doing.
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Choose longterm growth and happiness over temporary emotional bandaids, and lean into the entire spectrum of your thoughts and feelings. Because what you resist persists!
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An ignored thought/feeling will only keep getting louder and louder and louder until it is addressed. It WILL demand to be seen and heard, and likely in ways you do not want.
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Don’t be an ostrich by sticking your head in the sand 😝 Learn to pull back the curtain on the shadowy parts of your mind so that the light and warmth can come through.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Artwork: Cúmulo by Tacita Dean
Location: Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland

Finding your passion when you want to do all the things

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Finding Your Passion Illustration @HeyAmberRae

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Does anybody else just want to do ALLLLLL the things? Oh man, I’ve stopped and started so many projects as a result of being interested in so many different things – and probably a little bit of FOMO, to be completely honest.
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I’m the epitome of ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’, and used to beat myself up for being a “quitter”. It certainly has its pros and cons, but really when it comes down to it, it’s about figuring out what you like/love vs. what you’re PASSIONATE about.
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How would I describe when you’re passionate about something?
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💭 You naturally already live and breathe “it” every day
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🤔 It’s constantly and consistently on your mind, even if you’re not taking physical actions toward it right now
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💁🏻‍♀️ You could talk about it every day, whether you’re sick, tired, or busy – which doesn’t mean you’d WANT to, but you COULD, and probably would get excited about it if somebody asked the right question(s)
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⚡️⚡️ Working on it, talking, and sharing about it energizes the crap out of you! Because if fills you with purpose
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I love what @garyvee says about documenting vs curating when asked how he continues to generate content over a long period of time.
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When you’re passionate about something, and you’re already living and breathing it, all you have to do is document and share your life; your thoughts, your actions, your progress.
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When you share your passion from your heart in a REAL way, it’s palpable and electrifying for others. When you create from an authentic place with authentic intentions, SOMEONE somewhere out there will resonate with what you have to say.
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That’s where the conversation starts, and the magic happens.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Photo via @heyamberrae

Having Total Control vs Having a Life

@WhereHappinessBegins_ @RubyEtc_ When You're Controlling

🙄🙋🏻‍♀️ I’m a control freak y’all.
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Yep. I like to control things. Which is GREAT for detail-oriented work. It makes me very scrupulous and meticulous. Not so great for everyday life though.
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I’m a controlling free spirit. Contradictory, right?

Basically, I’m “spontaneous” until something seriously screws with my plans/vision. I’m adventurous until something unpredictable blindsides me —> What??? 😂🤔
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Up until my early-mid twenties, I wanted to control and contain the unpredictable; my emotions/reactions, my thoughts, relationships, events, other people’s emotions/reactions/actions.
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I would do this through subtle manipulation via domination, people pleasing, mirroring, lying, being passive aggressive, playing games, and “pushing” the right buttons so that things would turn out the way I want.
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Why? Because if I get to say what’s what and who’s what, my ego is safe – I’m safe. If I get to call the shots, control, and predict what’s going to happen, I minimize the risk of getting hurt or left behind. It means not having to deal with as many “difficult”, “annoying”, unwanted, and painful situations.
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My saving grace was my empathy and emotional flexibility. I never INTENTIONALLY wanted to behave that way, nor was it an everyday occurrence. But it was the result of operating from a place of ego, scarcity, and fear.
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In those oft fight or flight moments, I didn’t know how else to be. In a world of “winners” and “losers”, I didn’t think there was any other way to protect myself, or get what I want. And I chose to turn a blind eye to how it was impacting my life and the people in it.
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If you want total control, that’s fine. But understand that total control is an illusion. It doesn’t exist.
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In trying to never fail, never get hurt, and always get “what I want”, I also got an inflated ego, frustration, cynicism, resentment, judgement, and broken relationships.
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So I choose having a life. I choose imperfection. I choose laughter. I choose friendship. I choose kindness. I choose happiness, and I choose sanity.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Illustration via @rubyetc_

Becoming the local traveller – bringing wonderment and curiosity to your hometown

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Location: Basel, Switzerland
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I love to travel. Don’t we all? All the new sights, smells, places to explore, foods to try, cultures to observe. Every city/town with its unique hums and beats.
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Even more-so, is this profound sense of PRESENCE many of us experience whilst travelling. Because so many things are NEW and different from our usual routine, everything grabs our attention.
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🤔 We NOTICE more. We are more aware of our surroundings, how others act and behave, and in turn, how we act and behave. In other words, for many of us, we become much more mindful.
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😍 We find inspiration in the shops, and the architecture of the city. We find an electric aliveness in its hustle and bustle, and bask in the peaceful and quiet tranquility of a small town. We are more willing to try new things.
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🙌🏼 In this new place, we are away and free from all the expectations, and the “us” – the version of ourselves we’ve become accustomed to – that only exists at our lives back home.
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🙋🏻‍♀️ In this new environment, we are freed up to move and speak and choose a little differently. We are not so confined and constrained to the “we” we think we ought to be, or the “us” our friends and family have gotten to know.
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What if we could be our curious, open-minded, free, adaptable, and happy traveller selves back home too?
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And I get that there are many people who travel and are just as stressed out, rude, and uptight as they are at home. But in my experience, even the grouchiest of Ebenezer Scrooges are more willing to try something new.
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What if we took this long Easter weekend to really look and SEE our lives, the places we live, and our friends and family through the eyes of a curious and wandering tourist?
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What would it be like to approach everything and everyone – including ourselves – with a sense of renewal everyday?
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A clean slate, every day.
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The wonderment and joy of exploration and discovery, every day.
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I think life would look pretty awe-some, wherever we are in the world.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
#CraveGoodTravel
@WhereHappinessBegins_

Make a choice to stand for something.

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Know Your Worth Illustration by @AshleyMurrayCo🌻🤔💭
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything.” – Alexander Hamilton
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This is a popular quote I heard a lot growing up. While I got it theoretically, I don’t think I ever understood what it meant.
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I’ve always been able to see multiple sides of an equation. This has been both useful and detrimental in my life.
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My Pros:
• I’m a great mediator in disagreements; between two opposing views
• Mostly open-minded to different opinions, experiences, and ideas
• I would do well on any side of a debate at school 😝
• When I DO decide on something i.e. an opinion or belief, I get REALLY excited; feel peaceful, grounded, and unstoppable from the sense of assuredness
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My Cons:
• Easily swayed/lacking solid ground to stand on because I can see merits to all sides/opinions
• Feeling a weakness in my identity and a sense of being lost/not knowing myself
• Prone to overthinking and rumination because there are SO many sides and factors to consider
• Prone to indecisiveness as a result
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As I continue to grow, experience, and develop, what I’m discovering is the balance between open-mindedness and making a CHOICE, i.e. choosing where I stand on an issue. They are not and do not have to be mutually exclusive.
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Making a choice doesn’t mean I’m necessarily saying the opposition is “wrong” or invalid.
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Making a choice doesn’t mean closing myself off to other possibilities or being rigid. NOR does being open-minded mean I’m forced to take on ALL other possibilities and opinions.
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A choice is simply a statement that while both A and B may be true and valid in different contexts, when held up against my own goals and values, I am more committed to B than I am to A. Or vice versa.
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A choice is nothing more than a stronger commitment and alignment with one option, over another. And for some people, it is much MUCH stronger.
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Regardless, in order to move the conversation along, I think we could all do with a little more willingness to acknowledge opinions and experiences that are different to our own.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Illustration via @ashleymurray.co

Spirituality & Intuition

@WhereHappinessBegins_ Spirituality and Intuition

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I’m a spiritual person. I regard my intuition very highly.
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Two things I’ve always been afraid to say/proclaim.
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Because it sounds fluffy, a little too hippie-dippie, and goes against the logical and rational side of my brain. It’s not foolproof, and it isn’t scientifically proven, and yet I believe.
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• I believe in this thing called a ‘gut feeling’.
• I often listen to my inner voice.
• I use tarot cards and numerology when I’m called to it
• I believe in signs from the universe.
Because I’ve experienced coincidences that are too coincidental, and my inner voice has yet to steer me wrong.
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This doesn’t mean I haven’t BEEN wrong about some things or people – I can’t read minds after all – but I’m always steered in the right direction. As long as the guidance is coming from my TRUE inner voice, and not from fear, lack, or anxiety.
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Some may assume that my ‘intuition’ simply tells me what I want to hear. But often what comes up is quite the opposite: a hard truth that, deep down, I know is right. Even if I don’t want to hear it.
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What I think is most important is being able to utilize logic, intuition, and fact congruently in all decision making. However, you can think just about anything to death, and never get anywhere.
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At some point, you’ve just got to trust yourself, trust you have all the facts you need to know, and take the leap. 💫

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_
Illustration via @spiritdaughter

Don’t be afraid of doing things and going places by yourself!

@WhereHappinessBegins_ People Watching in Singapore

Does anybody else enjoy being by themselves over a quiet meal or coffee, and just people watch, or be with their thoughts?
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I love eating, drinking (coffee/tea), shopping, running errands by myself. I love going to Chapters Indigo and spending the afternoon tucked away in a corner, or sitting at a communal table.
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In my life, people have often expressed how they could never do that, or prefer to be with others, or that being out alone makes them feel weird or self-conscious.
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While having welcomed company is wonderful, there is such benefit to learning to become comfortable with your self and your own thoughts, and learning to put your happiness over what you THINK people are thinking about you.
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Trust me, no one’s looking. And if they are, they are either genuinely curious, or judgemental. Either way, what other people think of you, is none of your business – in this context, anyway!
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🤔 I love observing others.
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☕️🍜 I love being able to savour a meal or beverage fully.
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🙋🏻‍♀️ I love being able to say where I want to go, and how long I choose to be there for.
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💭💫 What a wonderful opportunity it is for ideas and questions to spark and grow.
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🧘🏻‍♀️ I love practicing being present, in my body, and noticing my thoughts.
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🌞 I love being able to bask in the luxury of “nowhere to be but here and now”, and in the spaciousness of time that is 100% mine.
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Spending these moments alone makes me have to be CLEAR on, “What IS it that I want right now?? What do I want to do, now that I have ALL the say?”
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This weekend, carve some time out to be by yourself. You know all those places you’ve been wanting to go to, or things you’ve been wanting to do/see that no one else seems to be interested in, or interested in ENOUGH to go? Take yourself!
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To that restaurant or coffee shop. To that “Instagram-worthy” place. To that movie, concert, event, exhibition, class, workshop, seminar! To the store. To the beach. Go on a long walk. Life is too short to have our actions dictated by what others are willing or not willing to accompany us for.

🌻 #WhereHappinessBegins
@WhereHappinessBegins_