Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Self-Care, Self-Talk, The Mighty, The Pencil Case on The Mighty

Pencil Case Prompts: What will you NOT do this week?

Sometimes prioritizing self-care means not engaging, participating, encouraging, or taking part in something. What will you not be doing this week?
Let me know in the comments below!

For me, I will not:

1. Encourage negative thoughts.
2. Procrastinate in finishing my certification.
3. Continue to speak down on myself.
4. Push myself when I feel exhausted and need a break.

Join the conversation here in The Pencil Case on The Mighty.

Posted in Creative Writing, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk

My Little Seed

I remember planting this seed and thinking it would never grow. Pressured by the expectation that I’m doing something wrong, I was plagued with thoughts that if it didn’t show it’s growth it would be my fault.

But, although my expectations were low, it grew anyway and the tears I shed when it showed its little leaves made me realize I’m okay.

I’m okay because the seed is planted and as long as I have even the slightest hope that it would grow, it just might grow.

I just might grow, too.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Radical Self-Acceptance

It’s difficult to face yourself, every part of yourself. To sit, feel your pain, and acknowledge when you need help is nothing short of a heroic act.

Advocate for yourself when no one else is advocating for you. Call yourself out when you know you need to do better. Move and do what’s best for you. Trust in yourself. Gain knowledge. Grow in empathy.

Realize that you don’t need to carry those burdens everywhere you go. Relieve yourself of the expectations that cause you pain and fuel habits of self-sabotage. Create reasonable expectations instead. Know yourself. Say no. Be gentle with your self-talk.

Speak the words “I can” and walk in your affirmations and manifestations. Follow through with what you say you will.

Be intentional with self-love and take care of yourself.

Realize how important you are and take action. Move in grace and gentleness with every step.

The more you accept yourself in your intrinsic beauty and worth, the closer you are to purpose and change.

First believe, each step will then be accompanied with power.

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

I’m Not “Too Much”

Hi my name is Nina and I’m highly sensitive. Yes, I’ve said this before and yes, it’s something I’m learning to love about myself. Plagued with hearing the phrases like I’m “too sensitive” or “too deep” penetrates my psyche leaving me feeling invalidated and strange.

Yes, I notice things, very subtle things. I notice patterns and changes; I notice character traits and inconsistencies; I notice my feelings from an overwhelming amount of notices. In an attempt to create stricter boundaries for myself honoring my needs and concerns, I express thoughts on these notices. It’s been a tough road as I’ve grown frustrated with how much I feel and all that I notice.

Ultimately, I simply want to be able to express myself without being “too much.” I’m not too much. This is me in my high sensitivity.

Posted in Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Defying Shadows: Signs You Are Overthinking And What You Can Do About it

Overthinking does not have to prohibit you from achieving your goals or taking care of your responsibilities. It’s okay to have concerns and want to think thoroughly through everyday challenges, but instead of overthinking take action while also prioritizing your mental health.

Link: Signs You Are Overthinking And What You Can Do About it

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Making Sense Analysis, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Sometimes It’s Hard to Remember…

Sometimes it’s hard to remember the thoughts we try to forget about. That one childhood memory that brings everything back or even the ones that happened just last year. And even though we thought it was behind us, in a split second it’s staring us in the face. The feelings flood back and so does the pain, frustration, and confusion, too. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the memory and pretend it’s not real, to repress it, of course, so we don’t have to feel.

But, as hard as it is to relive those painful memories, the ones we avoid with every part of us, they resurface.

Those memories are telling us to feel them. Without feeling them and processing how they shaped us, we hold that pain within our bodies. We often see those memories wanting to come out; in our dreams, our behavior, through our fears. To process pain and memories is to honor and love ourselves. We are not meant to hold baggage and to suffer unnecessarily. We do not live to suffer, although it seems this way.

Process the memories and express how they made you feel. What did you learn from that memory? How do you see yourself moving on from it?

Empowerment is the constant processing of pain, thoughts, and perspectives into ambition, potential, action, and advocacy. Our stories are what empowers us.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk, The Mighty, The Pencil Case on The Mighty

Pencil Case Prompts!

One of the many exiting additions for my group, The Pencil Case, on The Mighty, is Pencil Case Prompts.
The goal of these prompts will be to to think, reflect, contemplate and share.

I will be sharing these prompts here on SparklyWarTanks with a link to the post on The Mighty!

Note: Pencil Case prompts are journaling prompts you can use for personal journaling or to answer in the comments for The Pencil Case Prompts posts. The prompt will always have two follow up question: What and Why to help us turn our thinking caps on!


Prompt 1

One thing that helps me to keep going is to remember random moments where I felt good. Some of those moments are moments where I accomplished/achieveved something and felt proud of myself or recalling my talents and things only I can do the way I do it.

Activity

What is an accomplishment, achievement or talent you are proud of?

  • What is the accomplishment, achievement, or talent?
  • Why is it important to you?

Note: There is nothing too big or too small to mention as an accomplishment, achievement, or talent.

Reflection

I know I mention this ALL THE TIME but I’m so proud of myself for 1. starting my brand and 2. expanding my brand to Motivation by SparklyWarTanks.
There was a point in my life where I didn’t think I would be anything or do anything worth mentioning. Being able to continuously work on something helps me in my darkest loneliest moments to remind myself that I CAN do what I SAY I can do.


Join this prompt’s conversation on The Mighty here.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk

How to Practice Active Mindfulness Meditation

 

Meditation and mindfulness are two complementary practices that can help enrich the relationship and connection we have with ourselves. Although different in subtle ways, meditation and mindfulness can teach self-compassion, self-awareness, peace, relaxation and calmness. When used together, meditation and mindfulness can also help to build and maintain a healthy relationship with the mind and body. 

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation: Meditation is a practice and skill that welcomes calmness, stillness, focus, and concentration.  By allowing the mind to focus and concentrate on the present moment, meditation helps to manage problems and consider solutions by developing the skills to navigate thoughts and ideas. With aiding in concentration, meditation also helps with calming internal turmoil and chatter. Meditation is a discipline and like any discipline takes practice and patience. 

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is the skill, technique, and process of cultivating non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts, environment, and feelings. While it’s easy to over-analyze and overthink to gain control of our thoughts and feelings, mindfulness teaches us the power of noticing and observing. Without the urge to critique or change how we approach our thoughts, we are able to realize when and why those thoughts occur. To be mindful is to intentionally interact with our mind and body to welcome peace, relaxation, and rest. Like meditation, mindfulness seeks to draw attention to the present moment with awareness and intention. 

Active Mindful Meditation Techniques

Note: Active mindful meditation combines the concentration and calmness of meditation with the non-judgemental awareness of mindfulness by accepting, noticing, and living through the sensations and experiences of the present moment.     

Mindfulness Breathing 

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist in The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation states “breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.” Relying on our breath gives us the choice to return our attention to the present moment. While mindful breathing can be practiced in the crossed-legged position sitting upright as traditional meditation persuades, it can also be done at any time and anywhere, especially when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. 

Step 1: Focus your attention on your breathing. 

Step 2: Practice a rhythm of breathing that works best for you (either with your eyes opened or closed). Some examples of rhythmic breathing include:  

  • Counting (whether for three, five, or ten seconds) as you inhale slowly, then counting again for the same amount of seconds as you exhale.   
  • Using the 6-3-6 technique by inhaling for six seconds, pausing for three seconds before exhaling, then exhaling for another six seconds.
  • Simply observing the natural sensation of breathing itself. 

Step 3: With each inhalation, focus on the inbreath and observe the sensation, warmth and coolness of breathing in. As you exhale, draw attention to your lungs, expanding diaphragm, and tip of your nose.         

Step 4: Notice the thoughts that come up while you are breathing. As the thoughts appear imagine them drifting away with every breath.  

Step5: Continue in this rhythm of mindful breathing as long as you feel it necessary.     

Mindfulness Eating 

Mindfulness eating builds awareness and improves the relationship we have with what foods we consume on a daily basis. 

Step 1: Focus your attention on what you are eating. How hungry are you? Can you hold it in your hand? How does it feel? How does it smell? Is your mouth watering? Notice your thoughts as you begin to eat. 

Step 2: Notice the food in your mouth, the temperature and texture of the food, and how you are chewing. Observe the sensations in your jaw as you are chewing and swallowing your food.  

Note: Mindfulness helps with impulse eating by increasing your awareness to make choices concerning your eating habits. Why are you eating? Are you hungry? When was the last time you had a meal? 

Mindfulness Walking 

Mindfulness walking focuses awareness on both the body and environment. 

Step 1: Choose your favorite place to take a walk whether it be a park, your backyard, a beach, garden or other desired place. 

Step 2: Start by standing and evenly distributing your weight on both feet. Observe and feel your body balance on the solid ground. Before starting to walk, mentally scan each part of your body for pain, stress or tension. 

Note: Body scanning is a mindfulness technique that allows you to navigate bodily sensations. You can practice body scanning at any time while doing multiple activities. Body scanning is increasing awareness of how your body feels at any given moment. 

Step 3: Begin to walk! Notice and become mindful of how you are walking. Take note of how your feet are touching the ground as you walk forward. Slowly move your attention to each part of your body from your feet to your ankles all the way up to your hips. What are the sensations in your feet, ankles, shins, calves, joints, and hips?

Step 4: Notice the air blowing against your skin. What are you thinking? How do you feel?  

Note: Active meditation and mindfulness increase your focus and awareness of your body movements and thoughts. There is no need to regulate or change how you would regularly perform these actions; simply notice and observe. 

Understanding the Power of Making Mindful Choices

Some find meditation, in its traditional sense of restricted practical consciousness, stillness and focus to be difficult to practice especially when experiencing racing thoughts and stress. By utilizing active meditation techniques, it’s possible to not only incorporate meditation during our every day schedule, but also increase awareness and become mindful of our present self. By understanding our body and needs, we are able to appreciate the power of having and making choices on a moment by moment basis. To have choices reminds us of who we are and what we are capable of. 

Reminder: Check out my certifications tab to see all I learned and the link to the mindfulness course I took!

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Therapy Takeaways: Holding Space

Source:Unkown

This image is a #Repost from Facebook.

So this post appeared on my Facebook feed and allowed me to reflect on the previous conversations I’ve had with my therapist. Conversations centered around relationship-building, relationship maintenance, and relationship termination. Relationship in this sense is defined by any bond I make with who I’ve come to encounter.
Relationships (whether platonic or romantic) are complex and whether we choose to remain in such interactions with others is what we have control over. We have control over who we surround ourselves with.

Still, while in my current frustrations, I’ve realized my habit of “holding space” although torn between whether im valued or thus appreciated in such bonds. When do I draw a line between moving past and holding space? In what ways can I hold space while also ensuring my needs are met and I feel the relationship is benefiting both parties?

Holding space is a form of love and acceptance. And while this year, in particular, has shown me my own strength in my “space holding” capacities, I do value this part of me. I hold space because I love my friends, family (actual, internet, from school or in other instances) and I choose to make room for them. Make room in how I love and support those who’ve shown me vulnerable parts of them.
And yes. Making space isn’t easy as everyone is different and I can’t control others’ “space holding” capacities, only my own. To become frustrated and rash is how I’ve come to include my own needs and put myself in the equation too. Holding space doesn’t mean I won’t get frustrated, triggered, or annoyed. Neither does it mean I’ll abandon myself in pursuit of others’ needs, but I still will make space as well as hold space.

To the people that I love and cherish, there is always space for you. I love you and will always have space in my love for you. If we’ve fallen out or hurt one another in some ways I still have space and I’m rooting for you wherever you are. If we’ve just got to meet one another and getting to know the complexities of one another’s character, my space is here and isn’t going anywhere. And as I hold space for others, my only desire is that others will also hold a space for me.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Are You Holding On To Something? Read This

Often times we stay stuck in the reality of our past. We dwell and ruminate on the what-ifs and maybes. We stand in what we can’t walk away from. But, that doesn’t have to be where we are forever. We can give ourselves permission to move forward. We can dissect and navigate our mistakes, regrets, and pain in order to clear the path of progress for ourselves. The more we become comfortable with our discomfort and adjust our eyes in the darkest parts of ourselves, we learn to forgive what we were and make room for who we can become.

Make room for yourself to walk forward. Clear a path so that you can forgive and lift the weight that’s been keeping you standing instead of moving forward. Manifest something different. Manifest clarity and grace. Manifest wellness and peace. You deserve to feel free. This is your time for freedom.