What a Beautiful Day 🌞

I don’t usually describe 104° days as “beautiful,” but lately I’m realizing that I really need to change my perspective on some things. As I was walking into work this morning with the sun not yet making an appearance, I heard the birds singing. It seemed surreal to me that they were chirping when the stars were still shining. But honestly, I needed them this morning. I leave for work at 4:00am, and it’s a lonely way to start each day; I even have to wake my dog up to give her breakfast!

But today, the birds’ chorus was a really lovely reminder to look (or listen) for the light in dark places, and find beauty in the ordinary.

Happy Monday! ❤️

NT

She Made Broken Look Beautiful…

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It’s that time of year – I can’t help but look back and be disappointed by where I am in life right now. But dwelling on what’s done is not going to do any good. What I can do is learn from my mistakes, and there are definitely plenty of lessons available from the last few months.

Most importantly – this year will be a year of zero excuses. I will have a plan, and I will be successful. My heart can’t take another year of despising myself. This is the year I will learn to love myself and be a better me. I will do this for me, with everything that I have to lose as my motivation.

💙N.O.

Grace, Beauty, Spirit & Freedom

Tinker Quote

Words cannot even begin to describe how important my horse is in my life, and how much she helps me every day. She always waits for me with her head over her gate. She neighs when she sees me… she loves me.

She truly is graceful; she is beautiful. She has so much spirit, she helps me find mine.

Freedom – such a powerful word. It’s been a key word in my recovery too, it is what I strive for. Freedom from my eating disorder, freedom from depression, freedom from self-hatred; freedom found only in Christ. I feel this freedom every time I’m on the back of my gentle little mare. It’s a feeling like no other; like the world is ours to conquer.

Whatever makes you feel free, cherish it. Whether it is on the back of a horse, behind the wheel, running or writing… never give it up.

Be free. ✌

💙 N.O.

 

 

New Year, New Story

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It’s a New Year; in fact, I can’t believe it’s already five days into 2016.

Normally this is where I, and everyone else in the world, would reflect on backthe previous year, but too much of my life has revolved around the past. For me, 2016 will be a year of no looking back –  just moving forward. It’s okay to glance in the rear-view mirror sometimes… but nothing good happens when you can’t take your eyes off of the places you have already been.

The focus of my 2016 will be bettering myself so that I can selflessly love those around me.

Some of my resolutions include:
-To be & eat  healthier so that I have more energy to focus on the things and people that actually deserve my attention.
-Complete 200 hours of community service.
-Hike mountains and trails across Arizona (checklist to come).
-Apply to Graduate School (and hopefully decide what I want to do when I grow up).
-Place in the 2D in a local barrel race,,, my horse and our career is more of a priority for me this year than ever before.
-Go somewhere I have never been.
-Find a “home” church and attend regularly.

More than anything, I need to focus on all that I’m blessed with instead of focusing on the negative. This year, I have a new position at work that I will continue to excel in. I have some amazing, genuine friends. I am actively involved with the Crisis Text Line and the National Eating Disorders Association – two organizations that literally save lives every day. I am in a healthy, wonderful relationship with an incredible man. I have a faithful and prayerful family who I can always rely on.

I am so blessed, even on the darkest days.

There is so much that I want to do this year, so many expectations and hopes and dreams. But, unlike every other year of my life – I’m not going to beat myself up when I don’t perfectly stick to all of my resolutions or meet the goals I’ve set for myself. I know I’m going to fail, but I will continually remind myself that every set back is a set up for a come back.

So, whether 2016 means  a “New You” or consists of finding the real you. Remember that the past is the past, but your future is an adventure just waiting to happen – and guess what? It doesn’t care about what happened yesterday.

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Happy New Year!

-N.O.

Invincible

Kelly Clarkson released a single entitled “Invincible,” it is fairly new, and I just recently heard it for the first time last week. It was an immediate favorite of mine, the more I listened to it the more powerful it became to me – the more it encouraged me.

THEN I watched the music video. Even more incredible. Kelly Clarkson is a great role model in general, recently standing up to body shamers – proclaiming her acceptance and love for her body just as it is. This video features several women – of all different shapes, sizes, colors, ages handicaps, etc – first trapped inside these cubes, then fighting their way out. Showing first their pain, then their happiness. It is pretty awesome; watch it here: https://youtu.be/xQNqaERUYy4.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

You know I was broke down, I had hit the ground
I was crying out, I couldn’t make no sound
No one hears the silent tears collecting
You know I had lost hope, I was all alone
Never been so long till you came along
Teacher, I feel the dots connecting

Beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed
So beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause baby, I am ready to be free

Now I am invincible
No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more
Yeah, I am invincible
What was I running for
I was hiding from the world
I was so afraid, I felt so unsure
Now I am invincible
Another perfect storm

Now I am a warrior, a shooting star
Know I got this far, had a broken heart
No one hears the silent tears collecting
Cause it’s being weak, but strong in the truth I found
I have courage now, gonna shout it out
Teacher, I feel the dots connecting

Beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed
So beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause baby, I am ready to be free

Now I am invincible
No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more
Yeah, I am invincible
What was I running for
I was hiding from the world
I was so afraid, I felt so unsure
Now I am invincible
Another perfect storm

I was running from an empty threat
Of emptiness
I was running from an empty threat
That didn’t exist
I was running from an empty threat
Of abandonment
I was running from an empty threat
That didn’t exist

Now I am invincible
No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more
Yeah, I am invincible
What was I running for
I was hiding from the world
I was so afraid, I felt so unsure
Now I am invincible
Another perfect storm

At-any-give-moment-you-have-the-power-to-say-this-is-not-how-the-story-is-going-to-end.power-inspirational-quotesSia helped write the song, and she is someone who has overcome a lot in her life – including depression and anxiety. I can relate to so much of her music, and I can totally get her part in writing this song. The part that gets me most is the line that says “No, I ain’t a scared little girl anymore.” So much of my adult life has been affected by and is shaped by my childhood – including some particular events and people in my life at that time. So many people subconsciously allow the despicable people who hurt them when they were young to continue to hurt them later in life. I began to recognize this in my own life years ago, but haven’t quite had the courage to really do the work to take my life back. This song is so motivating to me. I can be invincible, I don’t have to be that scared little girl anymore, I don’t have to run – and neither do you. Take your life back! You have the power, no matter what your past looks like, you control your life today. You are invincible.

-N.O.

Beauty & Acceptance

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In adolesence and teenage years we are constantly faced with the challenges of acceptance; whether it’s trying to change who you are in order to be accepted or being yourself and consequently not being accepted. We see this as early as elementary school, and it is truly traumatic for some kids.

Our culture’s beauty standards certainly don’t help. Boys and girls alike grow up seeing these images that aren’t real – and they think that is what they need to look like to be handsome or beautiful. It’s simply not true, that’s why I love this quote, “To be beautiful means to be yourself…”

Unfortunately it really doesn’t change as we grow into adults. We still strive to be accepted; whether it’s by friends, co-workers, that cute guy or girl across the street… How we are accepted and what we are accepted for changes, but the principle doesn’t.

Obviously some people truly seem to have this all figured out. They know their place in the world, they are confident in who they are and are content being around the people that simply genuinely care about them. I envy those people. I have no idea where my place in this world is. Part of me just wants to be accepted and loved by everyone, but that’s just not possible. I will continue to work towards simply loving myself, only then will people who respect me and care about me be drawn to me. Because its not rocket science that people with poor self esteem and/or bad body image are attracted to people who either share their struggle or take advantage of it.

So, cheers my friends. Here is to loving ourselves as we are. True beauty is amplified when we are happy and confident in our skin – just as we are.

💙 N.O.