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I had a realization about a week ago: I have been a very negative thinker. As I recount my years on earth I have been a  poster child for positivity. I was trying to make myself whole by helping other people be positive, but I did not truly welcome that positivity in my own life. How could I ever help someone finally get over a negative thought process that I was still engaging in myself?

Well ,I made that admittance last week. I was (past tense because I let it go after originally writing this post)a negative person who had tried to build myself up by building others up. You see I didn’t embrace positive thinking for myself which was the problem.I could spew out positivity but it would not stick with me for a long period of time. After a while, I would return back to this defeated, negative thinking in my own life.

I am now fighting for positivity and fearlessness. I am positive and bold even when I don’t feel like I am.   It has taken me years to get to a point of admitting my negative thinking patterns. It will take me some time to get to a point of actually being those powerful words, but I will get there. I am in control of this mind up on the top of my head and it is not my ruler.  I am a culmination of storm elements waiting to be unleashed on the world. I am not scared to feel good. Or to follow my dreams. Or to be reckless(within reason). Or to be honest. Or to be free. I am positive.  Positively amazing. Positively well. Positively capable. I am listening to the pulse of life via the voice of  God.

I will smile everyday because I am positive. and that is all that matters. Here is my life motto:” Be still. be honest. be simple. be me. ” I will say that a thousand times a day until my mind, heart, and soul get it. This invisible wall of fear has enclosed me long enough. The only way to render it useless is to keep stepping out of my comfort zone and putting myself in situations that require me to be bold and positive no matter what.  That starts today this very minute.

 

Now is your time. It is that simple and true!

Here a few strategies that are helping me along the way. I hope they can help you too!

1) Let “IT” Go. Seriously, now is the time. Bitterness. bad relationship. road rage. resentment. Fear. Simple decide that it does not control another step of your great life.

2) Kick fear in the butt ,step by relentless step. Everyday do something that terrifies you. Make the phone call. take the class. express yourself. find a new job. clean your closet. What else is really stopping you?

3) Develop a positive mantra. This can be something you make up, a Bible verse, a quote. Keep it simple and repeat a million times a day whenever a negative thought makes it way in.  My favorite at the moment, “I will not harbor any unhealthy thoughts”

4) Get wide-eyed about life again. Laugh louder. Breath more calmly. Dance in the rain. Roll on the floor. Marvel at this wonderful time and space we are in right now with no regret or worry!

Now stop reading this blog and just do it 🙂

Peace and many Blessings,

Kandice Na’Te

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Last year, I participated in the most amazing month long challenge called Reverb10. Every day a writing prompt was created by leading authors, bloggers, etc. This challenge made it possible for me to reflect on 2010 and make time for writing in my life again.

I was elated when they came back in 2011 with once-a-month prompts! Here was the open ended prompt for this month:

April Prompt:
What’s blossoming?

This prompt is yours to use as you like: answer it as-is on your blog, create a vision board, share your response in conversation with a loved one, make a short film. Get creative. Change the prompt as you like. Enjoy.

My entire life is finally blossoming. I have been a seedling under the dirt making attempts to push through the soil and reach for the sun.  My dreams are blossoming into reality one step at a time. My love for myself is blossoming every single day I wake up and reflect on my personal growth. Most importantly, my outlook on life has blossomed into my personal philosophy which is : Be Still. Be Honest. Be Simple. Be Me.

Let’s keep on blossoming together into greatness!

Kandice Na’Te

“The bounty of good health is the greatest of all gifts.”

-‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

So I’ve spent the past few weeks being sick. I ate some bad food and my system didn’t respond well to it. Since my body isn’t used to most of the bugs here in Ecuador it got me feeling pretty miserable for a good 3 weeks. It also didn’t help that I was far from home and had to take care of myself on my own for the most part. Don’t get too worried, I am now in top shape. But 3 weeks sure gave me a lot of time to think!!

Being sick always teaches me so much about what being healthy means. Isn’t amazing how every experience in life – especially the difficult ones – are packed with learning?

Before I share a few of these lessons with you let me share some advice.

  • Make sure you see a good Doctor, the best you can find. Even if like me you are into alternative medecine, there are times where you need to resort to a conventional Doctor. Don’t play with your health.
  • Take charge of your health. Ask questions, call your Doctor again and again in case of doubt.
  • Don’t stay alone! Ask for company, surround yourself with people that will lift your spirits up. Keeping the moods up won’t magically cure you but it will sure boost your immune system. And strengthen your ties with other people. (make sure you don’t get them sick though!).
  • Pray for your health. Ask people to pray for your health. And believe that it will have an effect.

Now unto the lessons!! These few weeks have been huge in spiritual lessons. By spiritual lesson I don’t just mean enduring untill you feel better but actually working on your virtues. I believe each challenge can teach us a specific virtue. By practicing and adquiring virtues we gain strength to face life more skillfully. Find out more about virtues here.

  • Detachment. When you are sick you need to focus on taking care of yourself. Strive to let go of anything else. Make a list of all your worries and commitments and put them aside until the next day. And do the same thing the next day. Until you are ready to face the world again. If you have kids, ask for someone to help you with them. If you work outside of home, ask for a few days off. If it’s just your our brain driving it crazy, just shut it down! Your job now is to take care of yourself. To borrow from Kris Carr’s expression: You are always at the office of healing.
  • Kindness. Create a sacred bubble around yourself. Feed your heart, your body, your mind with what feels truly good. Play music that heals your soul, cook your favourite meal, take time to catch up on lost sleep. Learn what you need to love yourself back to health.
  • Humility and Collaboration. Living on my own in a foreign country I had to reach out to people I hardly knew and ask them to help me with very basic stuff. One day I went down to my neighbour and asked her to make me chicken soup!! We really aren’t trained to ask for help and recognize that we just can’t do it on our own. Sometimes people don’t respond the way we imagine. Some people go out of their way, some are simply touched that you asked and even though they can’t do much they hold you in their thoughts. In any case it creates more connection and you learn to be humble.
  • Forgiveness. Forgive yourself for having gotten to this point, for having not eaten well (that’s me!!), for having smoked too much, slept too little, worried excessively. You probably know what you needed to do take care of yourself but you have missed the signs. Trust that you’ve been doing your best at that very moment.
  • Focus and Moderation. Sickness is such a great opportunity to review your priorities. And also a great reminder of how fragile life is. Pay attention to how you use the few resources you have: What do you have absolutely no energy for in your life? What does seem essential to you this very moment? During the few weeks I wasn’t well I was able to easily take a few life-changing decisions. Something about being physically at the end of the rope made it much easier to let go of what was draining me.
  • Trust and see the end of the process. Remember that growth isn’t linear. One day you’ll feel like you can take on the world and the next like you’ve just aged 20 years. It’s all part of the process of recovery. Life is made of crisis and victory. Accept the times of crisis and be extra-kind with yourself. Celebrate the small victories in a way that is meaningful to you. When I started having more energy and was just down to one nap a day I changed my bed sheets to celebrate this mini-milestone. It felt terrific.

This is what progress can look like. There are bumps in the road but the general direction is up!! Source

The convalescence.

You might start to feel like yourself again and feel ready to start work again but… it’s not over yet!!

This  the phase of convalescence or recovery. The most acute signs of illness are gone but you are still more vulnerable that you think.

I actually believe this is the most important phase. People might see you feeling better and start coming to you with their demands. You can also be the one who starts putting pressure on yourself again.

It is a great time to practice patience. If you feel you need more time, give yourself this time. You will be much more efficient for the extra day, the extra week that you gave yourself.

You can also practice intuition by assessing where you still need to take care of yourself and where you can start slowly re-entering the world.

Moving on

Now the trick is to not just take care of yourself when you are sick but to keep up some habits afterwards. Let me share a few ideas on how to move on smoothly.

  • By virtue of having been ill for a while you are new person. If you have done your work well something in you will be transformed. So no need to do a lot of ‘extra work’ here. Your system has already been upgraded.
  • Re-enter the world with confidence and be thankful to your body for not having let you down. Remember to keep being kind to your body and taking charge of your health. Don’t dish all your good habits just because the Doc said you can go back to work!
  • Here’s a way to go the extra mile and practice a new virtue: keep your heart tender and open. Notice the suffering of others and show them compassion. When I started feeling like myself again I realized how many people around me were going through challenges of their own. I took the time to write a note to a friend of mine who had just become a new dad and was going through sleepless nights.

I trust that you will do your best. And I trust that you won’t do it perfectly. And that is totally fine.

I get up. I walk. I fall. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”

-Hillel the Elder.

Do share your experience in the comments… I would love to learn from you.

What has being sick taught you about health? What are your best practices to love your body back to health?

***

Meet Bahieh K.

Bahieh K. (Bahieh Khamsi) is a blogger and women’s mentor based in Ecuador, South America. She is committed to empowering women around the globe and helping them make the most of life’s experiences.

When she is not going on some intense journey she enjoys eating mango and playing with the neighbourhood kids!!

You can find her at www.bahiehk.com. She’s thrilled to meet you!!

It is time to live a great life. I am making a shift in my blog name this month for a higher purpose. Please read on to find out why.

The “Good Life” has always been a well-known phrase, but good needs to be turned into better. As a student I was not content with the teacher marking good on my paper. I wanted a “Splendid” or “Excellent.” Those terms denote the highest height of attainment.

Living just the Good Life is playing small. It is time to move in a different direction by acknowledging that we want to live the great life. Let’s live the Great Life in Real Life. Our lives are amazing real events wrapped up in greatness if we choose to see it that way.

How do we make the shift from the Good Life to the Great Life? For a website,it is as easy as changing the domain name. The minute I change the web domain name the other domain is rendered useless.  Guess what?  It is that simple for us human beings as well.  The moment I take good out of my mental vocabulary and replace it with great, a shift happens in my thoughts and corresponding actions. It is time to change our mental domain from good life to great life.

I hope that you stay tuned with me as I shift from the Good Life to the Great Life. I am committed to bringing you positive content to show you how to  be simply great. As I take this new journey, I hope that you are by my side finding your simple greatness in everyday life so that you can share it with others.

Will you make the shift with me?

Kandice Na’Te

I have a confession to make: I am a recovering perfectionist.

From childhood, I was obsessed with to-do lists, time management, and creating effective routines. I was highly self-conscious about every move I made and other people’s perception of me. These tendencies and habits led me to be super-productive to the point of overworking myself. I was honor-roll student in high school, graduated from the prestigious University of Chicago with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years. I participated in a bazillion organizations and activities along the way. My first teaching job was as a founding teacher for a start-up charter school in California, which meant a 2,000 mile relocation just weeks after the end of my master’s programs. This move had more in store for me than I ever imagined and was the turning point in my road to perfection and where my obsession with it backfired.

About 6 months into my first teaching job, I burned out. I quit my first official job and plunged into a semi-depressive state. During this time, I wrote, cried, prayed, posted random YouTube chronicles, become a nanny, moved to a smaller apartment, attempted to re-ignite my passion for songwriting, joined a band for about a month, moved in with my parents , and made an attempt to stay sane in a city where I was far away from everything familiar. I eventually landed a teaching gig about 6 months later in Chicago.  *Side Note: I became a pro at cross-country moving!

I became a teacher again in Chicago Public Schools and did a year for a teacher on maternity leave. Like having blood flow through your body, I was beginning to regain confidence in my teaching abilities and myself in general.  After the teacher returned I found another teaching job at a charter school in Chicago. During this time, I reconnected with a sorority sister of mine who introduced me to a life coaching service for woman. It was eye opening and broke me down to my most authentic self. Through coaching and reflection I exposed a lot of my limiting beliefs, bad habits, and areas of improvement in my life. Of course, I am not one to ease into anything, so I plunged and fell again.

Instead of enjoying life and letting things flow, I became obsessed with schedules and getting things done for the sake of checking something off of my To Do list. In a matter of 4-5 months,I started Good Life, Real Life, became a representative for the life coaching company, joined a health club, ran a half-marathon,and wrote songs again. . Well lots of things fizzled in a matter of months and I stopped writing for Good Life, stopped being a company rep,didn’t write any songs for months, and canceled my gym membership. I was back at square one, feeling uninspired and fading fast.

Well this seemed to be a pattern in my life and I realized that I was tired of it. Seriously, in 2010 I vowed that I was not going to go into 2011 burning out because it was not a good look. I was going to make a choice to ease into things and flow in my purpose on purpose. I also made a commitment to bring positive energy to the masses by whatever means I could.

At the end of 2010, I joined a writing challenge called reverb10 that helped me to reflect on the amazing year I had and be more aware of where I was going in the next. I also did a monthly challenge with happyblackwoman.com called a 31 day reset and set some amazing, yet practical goals for my life.

My life is still moving at a hectic pace, but I am enjoying every bit of it. I have no idea the vast places my dreams will take me, but I know I will be making forward movement. Here I am knowing life follows no plan perfectly and that is okay! I am making a conscious effort to  appreciate life and the imperfections. I repeat, I am learning to appreciate the imperfections of life. It’s alright that my bed isn’t  made every morning. Its okay if the dishes don’t get done right away. Its okay to get into arguments and make up later. “It’s ok not to be ok “as the lyric by Jessie J says. I was here waiting for some sweet happily ever after, not realizing that I was actually living it.

Here are a few of my accomplishments and Action Goals:!

I have paid off about 70% of my credit card debt

I am becoming a more supportive person.

I have been consistently blogging on Goodlifereallife.com in 2011

I am learning to to work out and eat healthier.

I am learning to communicate better with my family even when its the hardest.

Most importantly, I realized that my happiness is now, not later. I know that the Good Life is NOW if I make some consistent, simple changes.

My life is the Good Life.I will help others to live the Good Life in Real Life. These are my constant affirmations no matter what the day throws at me.

Along the way, I have learned, reflected, cried, complained, and acquired some knowledge on a myriad of topics, and I am still growing . It my sincere hope that I can share with you so that you can live the Good Life in Real Life! May we inspire each other.

Let’s live the Good Life in Real Life together and get Positive Energy for Inspired Living!

Peace and Blessings,

 

Kandice Na’Te Washington

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to yourself and open it in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years? Well now you can!
On this site www.futureme.org you can write a letter to your future self and have it sent to you email inbox up to 40 years later. They allow you to set the exact date. Make sure you use an email that you will be able to check or get something forwarded to.

It was a pleasant surprise last week to get a letter that I wrote to myself about my goals and aspirations. It was a push in the right direction to keep moving towards greatness.

This also serves as a wonderful way to write a letter to your child or spouse that they can read in upcoming years!

Enjoy FutureMe on this Frantic Friday !!

Sign up for the 8 day Challenge starting on March 23rd: http://wp.me/pUDG9-4I

Have a wonderful weekend and don’t forget to join us on Monday for our weekly

Positive Energy Boost!!

Get your Boost by calling into (605) 477-3099 Access Code: 897836# and Reference Number 1#

The key to living the Good Life is helping others live the Good Life and spreading love and joy. This is something that you can teach your children to do as well.

Children are used to being the center of the world. It is helpful to remind kids of all ages to be less selfish and aware of the needs of others. This helps to foster a sense of giving and gratitude, that will last a lifetime.

Each week encourage your child to engage in random acts of kindness at home, in the community, or at school. Here are some random acts of kindness:

* helping a elderly neighbor with groceries

* Pick up trash on the block

* Randomly clean up the bathroom or do a chore they don’t normally do

* Help you cook dinner

The list goes on. Let your children’s random acts of kindness inspire you 🙂

Peace and Blessings

Kandice