The 40% Rule

If you have never heard of the 40% Rule do yourself a favor and watch this video.

The first time I watched that video I was experiencing a pretty difficult life event. I was extremely upset over the way things were going and felt as if nothing was going right. I hadn’t been in that dark of a place in years and I honestly just felt like giving up.

Coming across this video was the best thing to happen to me. I am such a, ‘It’s a sign’ type of person, so of course, I watched the video and thought, ‘This is a sign.’. I realized I had so much more in me than I was letting myself think.

This was back in October. All I wanted to do was give up. No part of me wanted to continue with my job, school, really anything. Let me remind you, I hadn’t felt this way in a long time, so it was honestly quite frightening.

After spending days in bed and weeks becoming more and more miserable I began my journey to who I am now.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t just wake up one morning and I was automatically fixed. I feel so inclined to share this because I did struggle with my self-improvement for some time. I still do. 

It started with my decision to start working out. When people hear that you started working out they assume your goal is to lose weight and look fit. A majority of individuals start their fitness journey with this goal in mind. Very few stick with their fitness plan if this is their ultimate goal.

In the past that was me. I would spend four weeks working out, intermittently I should add, and after not seeing physical results I would become discouraged. Well, surprise surprise, you do not just lose weight and gain muscle in four weeks.

Because I had struggled with my physical appearance and weight for so long all I wanted to see were results. It took me time to realize until I was doing this for myself, I would not be happy.

Back in October, when I started yoga, I was practicing about only 15 minutes a day maybe five days a week. Once again, I did not stick with this. I did have a routine for about six weeks, but once the holidays came up, I lost track of my routine.

When the new year rolled around I remembered the 40% rule. I wanted, and have, made this my motto of 2017. I began a six-week program doing yoga, but this time I was doing it an hour a day seven days a week, no exceptions.

I never weighed myself. Never took measurements. Never used numbers. I focused on pushing myself to become a stronger person. Let me tell you, nothing feels better than being able to hold a yoga position that you used to shake and struggle to keep.

During these six weeks, I decided to start running. Honestly, I had hardly run since high school. With the 40% rule in mind, I ran a 9-minute mile. Although this may not be impressive to some, let’s keep in mind my fastest mile prior had been well over 10 minutes.

I have continued to use this 40% rule in my daily life. In school when I don’t want to keep working hard, I keep in mind there is still 60% of me that is entirely capable. When feeling discouraged I remember that I am the reason for that doubt more than anything else.

Since applying this rule to so much of what I do every day I have honestly never been happier. Obviously, it’s not the rule directly that has caused this happiness, but it has been a tool I’ve used to achieve this happiness.

I can honestly and whole-heartedly say that I am the happiest I have ever been. I love the life I am living and know that it’s only going to get better. I have only continued to better myself through focusing on my health, self-love, and emotional being.

I have just started one of my favorite adventures thus far. This past week I began cross fit and I cannot wait to see how far I can push myself. I have grown to love and crave the feeling after a good workout. I cannot wait to see where this journey will take me and how it will change me mentally and physically.

 

 

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An Open Letter to the Person That Needs a Pep-Talk

You are so much better than this.

You are so much better than the way you are feeling right now. I promise you, whatever you’re going through, you will get through it. You will overcome this, I believe in you.

You are here because someone needs you to be. Someone needs your smile and your grace. There is someone out there that can’t imagine this world without you. Just the thought of losing you causes a terrible discomfort. Maybe you don’t even see it, but they need you.

You are feeling this way because you need to be. You can’t see it now, but this is exactly what needs to happen. You will learn so much through this experience; it will help you grow. Facing this is going to shape you in ways that you never knew you needed.

You are far more resilient than you think you are. Once this is through you’re going to bounce right back to the person you’re supposed to be. Like I said, this is going to shape you. You may not bounce back overnight, but you will get there. It may take one day, or it may take one year, but you will get there.

Two years ago I spent almost every night crying. I wasn’t sure if I was going to graduate high school because my grades were so bad. These grades were a direct reflection of my depression. Today I am in the midst of my spring semester of my sophomore year of college.

This is absolutely not the place I thought I would be four years ago, but it’s exactly where I need to be. When you work hard and continue to strive to become a better version of yourself, things will work out just the way they need to.What you need in your life and what you want in your life can sometimes be completely opposite.

One of my favorite quotes is, ‘God gave you exactly what you wanted to show you it’s exactly what you don’t need’. There have been countless times in my life where I’ve prayed and wished that I would get something. I eventually had that prayer answered and later wished it never had been.

Give it time and you will be better. Time heals all wounds, a cliche, but cliches exist for a reason. Sometimes you need to let these hardships run their course. Like a bad cold or a stomach bug. It’s absolutely miserable as it passes, but once it’s over with you appreciate your health so much more.

You are enough. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise, not even yourself.

You Are Not The Stigma

There is quite the stigma attached to mental illness. Like most things in life, it’s something that’s hard to understand unless you’ve been through it. It’s just the fact of the matter. There are so many things each of us withstands in life, and unless we go through each of them personally, we really don’t understand how it feels. It’s unfortunate, but true. As hard as we try, it can be difficult to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

When I struggled with my mental illness, I was terrified, absolutely terrified, to share with the world what was going through my head. I didn’t want to be deemed as crazy or fragile. I was looking for support; the last thing I wanted was for people to look at me like I was broken. I wasn’t broken. I didn’t realize at the time, but I was stronger than ever.

Imagine if people with cancer or diabetes got blamed for being sick. That sounds absolutely insane, doesn’t it? It is. How could you blame someone for being sick? The thing with mental illness is that people rarely see it as a sickness. We simply lack the education that provides us with this information. It holds little to no educational importance.

I learned absolutely nothing about mental illness in school. Everything I learned was self-taught, research or just bits and pieces taught in a psych class. Here’s the harm in a young 11-year-old girl doing her own research on mental illness. It is so terribly easy to become misinformed. I had no idea what was going on with me.

This is where a stigma gets created. A stigma gets created when individuals are uneducated on a subject. When you don’t understand something, you begin to assume things. It’s just simple human nature. We constantly desire knowledge and we fill in the gaps as best we can in areas we don’t understand.

I used to be so petrified to speak up about my mental illness. Like I said, I didn’t want to be deemed as crazy. That’s the stigma. You hear depressed and you just think someone is overly emotional. I was so scared that these aspects that made me, me, would get written off. I feared I would be told it was just my PMS acting up, or just because of my age, ‘we all go through it.’ right?

Erikson, a psychologist, proposed the theory of identity vs. role confusion. This is just one aspect of the Erikson theory as a whole. Within every tier of his theory, an existential question is proposed. Between the ages of 12-18, when identity vs. role confusion is said to occur, Who Am I and What Can I Be? is the existential question proposed.

If you agree with this theory, you can understand why there is so much struggle within our youth. You are dealing with such a difficult time in your life; facing judgment not only from your peers but from yourself. You are most likely going to struggle terribly with trying to figure out who you are.

No adult is the same person they were when they were 13. We are such dynamic creatures. We are constantly learning and growing. We crave new information on a regular basis. It’s how we’re wired. We struggle so much to figure out who we are at 13, but why? Who we are at 13 is not who we’re going to be for the rest of our life. Regardless it happens, regardless so much of our youth struggles with this.

Even worse so much of our youth is trying to figure out how to speak up about their struggles. It’s so taboo to speak up about the way you’re feeling. Even if someone spends every waking hour being upset about something, telling someone to just ‘get over it’ is impractical. Sometimes all you can do is wait it out.

We have to teach people that it’s okay to feel things, it’s okay to be upset about things. That doesn’t make you crazy. There should be no shame in having emotions and being comfortable enough to express those emotions. You are human.

If you want more information on ending the stigma go to http://bringchange2mind.org

Have Courage and Be Kind

‘Do you think it’s possible that some people are born to give more love than they will ever get back in return?’

I came across this the other day and very few things I come across resonate with me the way this did. It truly and honestly got me thinking. It resonated with me so much because I love so much.

I love to love. I sincerely and wholeheartedly believe that if more of us surrounded ourselves with love and light, we could fix the world’s problems.

100% of me also believes love is the strongest force on our planet. Now I may sound just absolutely insane but think about the stories of a mother lifting a car just to save her child. Love is such a strong force we grow to love inanimate things; children’s teddy bears or blankets they can’t live without.

Love draws people together. Think about families that haven’t spoken in years, but come together when a loved one passes away. It may all sound like a movie script, but the thing about fiction, part of it is a reality from somewhere.

Love isn’t learned. Love is an innate emotion that we learn how to share. We develop this sense of existence among the world. Due to experiences some of us either lose that sense or have that sense grow greater. Some learn to become guarded, learn to avoid love. Others have so much love to give. More love to give than they can possibly receive back in return.

It’s like this. We all have love to give, and like I said, some more than others. Those that give lots of love sometimes don’t recive any or all of that love back. Still, I think it’s important to give those lacking love the most love ever. They are deprived of this necessary resource.

We can’t expect everyone to love the way we do. Just like we can’t expect everyone to have all of the same talents as us. Two people could have the same love to give but could express that love in completely opposite ways. It is so important to recognize how we express our love, how we share our love. You will never meet two people exactly alike. Remember this.

Some of us are meant to give more love, but don’t let that discourage you. Don’t ever let someone discourage you from loving the way you do. One day you will meet someone that needs that love. You will meet someone that is more than happy to accept your love. One day you will meet someone that learns from your love. They’ll learn from your love and love just as much, if not more than you do.

Regardless of how the world reacts to your care and affection, you must keep your heart open. You must continue to have courage and be kind ❤︎

 

An Open Letter to the People I’ve Lost

I miss you.

I miss you so much more than I’ll ever let on.

I never thought I could ever miss someone, anyone, like this. My head is filled with constant reminders that things are no longer the way they were. I stay up crying; crying to the point where I don’t even know what I’m crying about anymore. I feel absolutely pathetic for letting anything have this affect on me.

This isn’t your fault. Nothing is your fault. I could never blame you for this. People only place blame to justify why things happen. Blaming you would be the easiest way to justify this, but it’s not your fault. You are one of the most amazing people I have had the honor of knowing.

I miss you and I don’t know why.

I mean, I do know why, but I don’t want to miss you the way I do. Every inch of me misses you. I find myself in crippling fits of tears when I think about the memories. When I think about how things have changed. Honestly, it’s ridiculous, I feel absolutely ridiculous.

Some nights I wish you were still around. I spend far too much time reminiscing about our greatest joys. I regret not embracing more of those moments together. I miss so many of our memories. If I could have just pick one to have back…

I miss you.

Why did I have to lose you? Why? Just why? I’m desiring so many answers, to so many questions I don’t even know. I just want to be told that everything is back to how it was. I want to be told it’s all good again. I want it all back.

I miss you.

I miss you so much more than I want to.

Achieve Your Goals

If you sat down and had a conversation with me for more than an hour you would quickly learn that I love to have a grip on everything I do with my life. I plan just about every single thing I do. Although lately, I have backed off this idea, when I was going to school full time and working about 60 hours a week, my need to plan out every breath I took was a necessity (granted, I do still plan quite a bit).

Obviously, I have about a million things going through my head on a daily basis. There is no way I could possibly remember all of the things I have to get done if I didn’t write things down. Many people today just use their phones for all of this, but I love using a tangible planner. Using an actual paper planner gives me the ability to create not only a calendar but a journal as well.

I have always enjoyed using my planners as a journal. I write in fun things that happened during any given day, paste in ticket stubs, write in details I never want to forget. It helps me create something memorable and creative.

I honestly feel so at peace after planning out what I’m going to be doing with my week and how I’m going to achieve all of those goals. It makes me feel like my day is going to have a purpose.

Up until I found out about this company called Passion Planner, I would have such a hard time hunting down the perfect planner. Passion Planners are great because it helps you lay out goals within your life. The weekly layout gives you adequate space to plan out each day and room to write good things that happen. Being a more visual person I love being able to SEE what my day is going to look like.

These planners are not only highly personable but are sold by a self-started company. Angelia Trinidad is a young CEO that started Passion Planner in her garage. This company is all about self-improvement. They want you to become the best you, you can be.

Their efforts with this are to help individuals achieve their goals. Inside each Passion Planner, there is a passion road map.

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As you can see it helps you layout your goals and breaks them down into smaller efforts to help you achieve them. My passion roadmap has helped me break down lifetime goals into smaller ones. It’s helped me see my goals are easy to achieve.

Among the descriptive weekly and monthly layouts, and the monthly reflections, I can visually see my goals in reasonable chunks. It’s honestly become the planner I never knew I needed.

Not only is this planner everything I have ever looked for in a planner, but they are a get one, give one company. This means with every planner sold, there is a planner given away. On top of that, each of their various 2017 planners supports a different cause. Depending on the style, when you purchase a planner, a portion of those proceeds are donated to either: breast cancer awareness, organizations that help our youth succeed, or Veterans assistance.

The thing is, this planner is amazing, as well as the company. I honestly have no problem supporting this company because they are so amazing! If you are at all interested in finding out more about them I strongly urge you to head over to the Passion Planner website to find out more information. While you’re over there, if you decide you would love to buy one put in the code TORI10 when you checkout to get 10% off your purchase! I hope you this planner helps you achieve the goals you set for yourself. Achieving a goal doesn’t have to make you miserable, if it does, you’re doing it wrong.

The Limit Does Not Exist

Not long ago my dad sent me a link to a podcast. The title of that podcast is The Limit Does Not Exist. It’s hosted by two witty and intellectual young women that are relatable beyond belief. Not only is the title of their podcast an homage to Mean Girls, but Christina and Cate are an extremely adorable pair of bff’s.

When we see successful people spending their days doing what they love, we often lose sight of the fact they didn’t end up there overnight. I run into this issue more than I’d like to admit. There are times I need to remind myself that the people I look up to have worked hard for their success.

I have this ridiculous, yet totally justifiable, love for Disney (I’m sure that adoration shines through in both my Inside Out and 20/80 posts). Since I was born I have loved Disney almost wholeheartedly.

Now, a little side note. Up until my junior year of high school, I told myself I was going to be a theater major. At some point during that year, I changed my mind. I was majoring in zoology. At that age, I felt so obliged to choose a major that seemed ‘credible‘.

Having to decide a college major at 17 was such a daunting task for me and I struggled with that. I wanted major in zoology because I love animals. After a summer spent in the BVI’s tagging sea turtles for scientific research, I thought my heart was set. It was set until I took a chemistry class and realized, my love for animals would be better suited as a hobby rather than a career choice.

After participating in a club where I was in charge of all the ad campaigns, I found this love for marketing. My responsibilities in this club led me toward a new path. I had already been accepted to ASU to participate in their zoology program. I made the decision to withdraw my acceptance. I was terrified of the judgment I would face ftelling people my decision.

I decided to attend community college before transferring to a university. I was questioned by some, wondering why I didn’t just change my major at ASU. Regardless, it was my choice to make and I am entirely happy with the result.

I am now going to school for marketing. My end goal is to work for Disney- surprise, surprise- but I never considered was, I don’t have to just pursue marketing. Christina and Cate discuss the fact that STEM and creativity can coexist. I love this idea. Think about it this way, animation and CGI wouldn’t exist without accepting this.

Living your life on one solitude path simply doesn’t make sense in our modern world. If you have multiple passions, pursue them all. Even if they don’t seem to go hand in hand.

Yes, I would love to work for Disney, but I would also love to write a book some day, and dive the wreckage of the Titanic, be my own boss, sail the BVI’s on my own boat, maybe even start acting again. Who says I can’t do it all?

We are not one-dimensional creatures. You don’t have to have just one job title. It’s like eating one food for the rest of your life. It is completely illogical. You can go out and pursue all that you want. Don’t live your life trying to satisfy the way people perceive you, you will be terribly disappointed.

Bottom line is, you need to do what you love. I am more than satisfied with the way I redirected my life. Follow your heart. Do what you love. Wherever it leads you, you won’t be let down.

P.S. Go listen to The Limit Does Not Exist for a weekly dose of inspiration!