The Grandest Vision

“The true meaning of courage is to be afraid, and then, with your knees knocking and your heart racing, to step out anyway — even when that step makes sense to nobody but you. I know that’s not easy. But making a bold move is the only way to truly advance toward the grandest vision the universe has for you.” -Oprah

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Dustin’ That Ass Off

When I’m feeling bad about anything in my life I use it as motivation. I use my emotions to push me towards the things I need to do in order to succeed. There will always be experiences, people, and tragedies that will occasionally knock you down no matter what you do to prepare. But there has not been one single instance in my life where I have been knocked down and just laid there. I take a moment to breathe and then I get my ass up, dust myself off and I make a plan.

I’m a firm believer in using the bricks life throws at you and building yourself up to be even stronger. “Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.” -Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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If you’re sad, be sad. If you’re hurt, then be hurt. Allow yourself to go through those feelings and witness your fear. But give yourself a deadline to feel that way, because there is only so much one can do when they’re feeling bad for themselves. I like to cry it out, take a hot lavender bath, make myself an amazing meal, and get a full 9 hours of sleep if possible (I realize that’s not always an option for some people..) and then I wake up the next morning and give all my anger, sadness, confusion, and pain up at the gym. It works every time. I leave the gym feeling like a new woman.

Smiths Machine 24 hour

But the biggest thing I’ve learned from the recent let-downs in my life is this: you have to make an effort to be strong, you have to fight back against negativity and self-doubt every day, and you have to disregard anyone’s desire to blow out that flame that you work so hard to ignite within. And the most important thing is that you do all of that with love and grace. Because anybody can be a fighter, but not everyone can go about it in a gentle and loving way.

It’s How You See Yourself

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“Your job is to see people as they really are, and to do this, you have to know who you are in the most compassionate possible sense. Then you can recognize others.” -Anne Lamott

Do you understand? Read it twice. Love every inch of yourself. Embrace every good part and every bad part about you — do it without making up excuses. Be humble. Be gentle. And then it will all begin to make sense. 

XOXO, Bailey Mikell

My Intention for 2014

Usually I take some time to write a post about my year. Obviously everyone needs to know how I felt about it, right? ;) But this year it feels best to keep it short & sweet — 2013 was many things.. and a year I will never forget. I feel gratitude for the people, experiences, and challenges it brought into my life. But I have shared my thoughts on many things over the last year on this blog & I feel as though it’s time to truly put the good, and the bad, in the past.

With that said, I woke up this morning eager to start the first day of the year. When I first thought about making New Years resolutions I did what I do and got busy over-thinking (naturally) Here’s my first list aka clusterfuck: Get a 4.0 during Spring semester, finish my first half marathon with a great time (or just finish, that’s cool too), improve my performance at work, make my apartment more Pinterest-y, or beat last years time when I compete in the Spartan this June for the 2nd year. But I quickly realized all of that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. These things are like the sprinkles on top of the cake — nice, but not necessary.

I’d rather commit the year to improving myself all together and putting energy towards being the well-rounded, loving woman I know that I can be someday. I love my life and the adventures I’m about to embark on and I plan on doing the things listed above. But I know there is more to “it” than just that.

So as I sat in my last pose in my last yoga class of 2013 I set my intention for 2014: Create more love and bring it into all the different areas in my life. My career, education, relationships, yoga practice, and the things that bring me pain could all use less structure and more love. Pure, undeniable love makes the cake — marathons, good grades, a nice job, etc. are the sprinkles.

“Forgive others. Not necessarily because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.” -Unknown
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I have really focused on coming from love when handling hard situations over the last 2 months. There have been times where my heart has ached, I’ve felt anger, confusion (ya lots of that) and betrayal. Moments where I had 2 options: be an emotional biatch or take a big deep breath and remember it’s better to be happy than right. I reminded myself that it’s not what happens to me in life, it is how I react. AKA I calmed my sassy brazilian ass down and let whatever was ruffling my feathers go.
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So when people or situations bring me pain I will choose to bring compassion, understanding, patience, forgiveness, and above all I will come from love. One of the most important lessons I learned in 2013 was that those who bring negativity and sadness to your life need exactly the opposite in return. They need love. It’s true.. those who hurt others need love more than we could ever truly imagine.

So here we go babes. Another year down where I hope you feel like you kicked some ass, but if not there’s good news… We have 365 days of blank pages and we can choose what we’d like to do with them. Isn’t that incredible?

So if someone is really awful to you and you’re not sure why, just think “Wow, you’re kind of an asshole. Maybe you need a hug?” How people treat you is their karma — how you respond is yours.

It will be hard to always be full of love because unfortunate circumstances are inevitable in life. All I know is that on December 31st when I’m looking back on the days of 2014 it will be impossible to feel regret when all I see is love.

Happy New Year dolls,

XOXO Bailey Mikell 4b6be466786d46c25eda788c9ce64e3a

The Rule of KISS

The last week of the year is like the big sha-bang. There is a lot to do with a small amount of time. You can choose one of two ways to handle it: crumble under the stress — or adapt.

It’s like running. When I run in a race I always try and finish strong no matter how much I struggle between start and finish. It’s all about digging deep and pushing through the “I can’t go any further” and “am I going to puke?” moments. I wish I was kidding, but I honestly feel like that is how this week is going to be.

And if it all starts to feel too heavy I will breathe, find a new way to carry it all, and remember the rule of KISS: Keep It Simple Sweetheart.

Happy Monday my loves

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Anais Nin

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“My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to find peace with exactly who and what I am. To take pride in my thoughts, my appearance, my talents, my flaws and to stop this incessant worrying that I can’t be loved as I am.” -Anais Nin

Remember Why You Started

Hey all, I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend so far. I spent my Friday night in the gym with my best friend, we worked hard and laughed harder. And as I was breathing through my latest challenge (perfecting the deadlift) I looked at myself in the mirror and figured out why I was really there.

I’ve noticed that most 20-somethings are in the gym to see quick results. They do whatever it takes to get that perky booty, toned stomach, wee arms, and the infamous “thigh gap” (which I hate, but that’s another story. Click here for my opinion on that) And I’ll be honest, a year ago I was that girl. But I’m so grateful for my experience in the gym these last 2 months because it has drastically changed my view of what fit and healthy really means. 

When I go to the gym I focus, I compete with the person I was the day before, and I have fun. I am gentle with myself when I am not quite understanding something new for the first few times, and I am hard on myself when my body says “give up” and my mind says “try one more time“.

At the beginning of this journey my goals were not healthy. I wanted to look good for a trip we’re planning in January that calls for bikini’s and sundresses. But something clicked and I realized that I’m not there 6 days a week to have skinny arms to flaunt at the bar or while I’m on vacation. My reasons go much deeper than that because they’ll effect my life, and those in it, years from now.

I want strong arms so that I can swoop my nephew up and squeeze him tight when we’re playing. So that it’s not as much of a challenge to carry things like groceries up the stairs to my apartment. I want to be strong so that I can defend myself if I ever found myself in a scary situation. And so that in May when it’s time for me to move I wont have to rely on so many people for help (and wine to recover;)

The strength I am working so hard for is for myself. So that I can have a lifetime of good health & fitness instead of simply working towards a slim body for the holidays or sporadic vacations on the beach.

And I am many years away from this part of my life, but I work hard now so that one day I can be a strong momma to my children. I want to be a good example of happiness & health for them. I want to be able to keep up with them when they are being stinkers & booking it as fast as they can away from me ;) & I want to be emotionally strong, which is what focusing on loving and nurturing my body does for me.

I will continue to run races, compete and complete spartans, and stay active. I want to be a fun auntie, a daughter who can help with big projects, a girlfriend who can do her own heavy lifting, a self-lover, and someday I hope to be a mom who can keep up with my quick and curious kids.

So when I walk into the gym on a Friday night or an early weekday before work I will forget what society says, I will brush any self-doubt aside, and I’ll remember why I started. And I think that’s pretty powerful.

“A woman is often measured by things she cannot control. She is measured by the way her body curves or doesn’t curve. By where she is flat, or straight, or round. She is measure by 36-24-36 and inches and ages and numbers, by all the outside things that don’t ever add up to who she is on the inside. And so if a woman is to be measured, let her be measured by the things she can control, by who she is trying to become. Because every woman knows measurements are only statistics, and statistics lie.” -Nike

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