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

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“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

-Groucho Marx

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My Vision

17 weeks ago I started my vision board. But at the time I couldn’t quite fill an entire white poster board with my dreams because I did not know what exactly I wanted. So I chose to wait until I felt passionate enough to continue. 

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And then suddenly my life took quite a few unexpected turns. Some beautiful, some ugly, but all together they are mine. The recent change of pace has motivated me to continue creating, dreaming, and striving to live my very best life. Within some of my personal struggles I have found a great fighter inside of me. I want to wake up and be proud to take responsibility for the life I live and the things I do. At the end of the day it’s simple: we must be able to go to sleep and be happy with the decisions we make and the person we become.

(and yes I’m aware of my plants slightly brown ends…oops)

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So after a long week at work I came home, took my makeup off, and pulled out my vision board that was partially done. I played my favorite Pandora station and poured myself a glass of wine. And as I scanned through each Oprah, Self, and Womens Health magazine I own I pulled bits and pieces of inspiration that made me take a second look — and this is what I came up with.

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Working on my vision board helped me feel more clear about what I need to do to become the woman I know I can be. It also showed me that Elmers Spray Adhesive belongs in every creative persons home and that my creative go-go juice is (and may always be) Blackbox at its finest.Image

By the way, I easily made 10 paper balls or more out of magazine scraps to keep this stinker occupied until he called it a night.. Image

Last night I realized that there are a lot of things I must do for myself in order to reach my goals but I’m willing and ready to do what it takes.

A few things I will be working on for the rest of 2013 are:

  • Getting outside and just doing it whether it’s a hike, run, or late night walk.
  • Saying yes to every opportunity life gives me
  • Living an all around healthier lifestyle (clean eating, exercise, meditation, and plenty of yoga)
  • Allowing myself to rest when I am over-worked. I have to remember that my tasks will be there when I wake up… checking work emails in bed at midnight is not necessary.
  • Self-love! No more putting my personal needs on the back burner. Learning to treat myself not cheat myself.
  • Don’t settle.
  • Educate myself through the people I surround myself with, the books I read, the songs I hear, the places I go and the meals I eat.
  • Travel. Anywhere and everywhere
  • Express gratitude daily. I want to give back to those who have helped me during my journey.

I also need to remember to be gentle with myself during the process and remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination. So I did my best to get my fingers to stop sticking together so that I could have two girl scout cookies for a midnight snack and then I went to sleep. I would call that a pretty successful night.

I’d like to end on this quote and hopefully it will help get my message across…

“Develop into a lifelong self-learner through voracious reading; cultivate curiosity and strive to become a little wiser every day.” -Charlie Munger

All my love, Bailey Mikell

Building Resilience

No matter what our circumstances are we each have our own battles in life. You can have your dream job, the healthiest & happiest relationships, a beautiful place to call home, and  the courage & education to pursue your dreams. But at the end of the day those things do not matter when life decides to test you. We all have, and are allowed, to have bad days. There are no exceptions. We all have days that shake us. Yes, some are better equipped than others when it comes to difficult times, but at the end of the day we are all human and we all have to find our own ways to cope.

One of my favorite coping mechanisms is yoga. I’m normally a night owl but when I have class at 6 a.m I force myself to sleep. So when I woke up this morning after having plenty of sleep and still felt mentally and physically exhausted I knew I needed to push myself to go to class more than ever. I forgot my water bottle & towel, and so I found a spot in the back of class because I was later than usual. My breathing was off, my palms burned from using my old mat, and I couldn’t hold my strongest poses for the life of me. There wasn’t much to it, I was simply off balance.

When I left I hugged my teacher and thanked her for a wonderful class. As difficult as class was for me this morning I know that it was what I needed. I needed that extra push. I knew that instead of feeling frustrated about my personal performance in class I should be thankful that I have the opportunity and ability to go and start my day with yoga. It was the first of many things that helped me choose happiness today.

I don’t think that we ever find the perfect answer to how we are supposed to manage our stress, self-doubt, fears, and life’s challenges. I believe this to be true because each trial and error is so unique and needs special care for us to properly heal and grow as individuals. However, I do know this for sure: We must never give up. Whether it is the power of prayer, self-love, fitness, time spent with mother nature, or the people we surround ourselves with there is always a solution to the problem. We simply must be willing to seek and work for it. The last month has taught me a lot but that has been one of my biggest & best lessons thus far.

With that said I hope that you do wake up every morning and choose happiness no matter what life presents you with. You must breathe through each struggle, stretch beyond your comfort, and exceed your personal expectations. Because you are worth it.

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Sweeter Than Others

Dear January 14th…. we are in a fight.

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BUT, lets celebrate the beauty of today instead of highlighting the negative. I decided to take my frustration out in the kitchen and bake the cutest little banana bran muffins you’ve ever seen.

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And of course I spilled granola all over my kitchen floor during the process. But don’t worry, Roman was there to provide me with some assistance..

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AAAAND…. Lincoln turned 2 at the end of December & I couldn’t be more proud of the sweet boy that he is. I do believe being an auntie is one of the biggest blessings in the world. We played with his new toys, ate cupcakes, and smooched goodnight. I love him very much.

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It’s colder than a witches tit in the ‘tah. I’ve come to the conclusion that copious amounts of tea, bloody mary’s (which I’ve mastered), beer, and football are the only solution to the temperature being in single digits. Keep calm & drink/cheer the 49ers on.

January weather

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
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Winter is always the hardest season for me, so meditation, yoga & daily affirmations are key to staying centered & balanced. The problem is I close my eyes for 10 minutes & when I open them this is my first thought….
what the fuck was I thinking about?
Oops. Some seasons are simply sweeter than others. Speaking of sweet, I decided to stop being an asshole & start dating again (& I may or may not have a crush…) What has January been treating you with? I miss all of you. Reach out to me so that we can reconnect, I’d love to hear what’s going on in your world.
All my love until next time, Bailey Mikell

Creating Space

Taking some time to make a space for my breath. It’s been too long since I’ve taken my daily dose of meditation & sunshine — it will clear this mind of mine in no time.

All my love until next time, Bee

Today I Am Loving…

This man bouquet. Every man would love this, I guarantee it. I’m ready for my lady bouquet, which would entail bubbly, lipstick, makeup brushes, & whatever else. (Not tampons. We can take care of that. Thanks though)

These bite sized pieces of baked brie. I was raised in a home where garlic & brie are a favorite, so I am all about these.

This man, for reminding me that sometimes you just have to jump and know that someone will catch you… And for being the one I can trust enough to do so. (Oh & for loving me even though I’m crazy) I love you so much.

This loft bed with a built in closet underneath. I love how simple it is, and the organization is awesome. I can’t stand childrens bedrooms with toys & what not just laying there waiting until you roll your ankle on them or puncture your foot.

This look

This woman! 83-years-old Bette Calman is living proof that the ancient art of yoga can do wonders on the human body. Bette Calman has been practicing and teaching yoga for the last 40 years and, although other people her age can hardly move anymore, she can pool of difficult yoga moves that put teenagers to shame. She can execute the “peacock” a difficult position in which the body is held horizontally, using only the power of the arms,  the “bridge”, “lotus” and can stand on her head with unnatural ease. Asked when she is going to retire, Calman said ‘You’re never too old. The body is a remarkable instrument. ‘It can stretch and stretch, and get better all the time. Forget age’ Ms Bette Calman teaches up to 11 classes every week, in Williamstown, Australia, teaching others the remarkable effects of yoga.

Because she could probably kick my ass.

Getting seconds at our work luncheon (because I can)

Savers providing me with an oversized sweater that I can’t get enough of. It probably came from a 90 year olds closet, but sweaters don’t require background checks. As long as they can mingle with my Litas & non-traditional Christmas nails, we’re fine.

My amazing grandma. I love her everyday, but especially when she sends me to work with airborne, crackers, & detailed instructions for nursing a cold/inversion-rebellion. She also knew exactly where my leg warmers were this morning when I was frantically trying to find them before work. ‘What would you do without me?’ Well grandma, I don’t have a clue.

So there are a few of my favorite things. What are you loving today?