love

Go Big Or Go Home

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I have a few mantras that I live by - guiding principles if you will - for when I feel like the going is getting tough or if I need a dose of optimism. "Go big or go home" is one of them. I don't remember the first time I heard it, probably during my childhood if I had to guess, but it's been a phrase that comes in handy in a lot of situations. For me it means to rise up, focus and put in all I have to whatever I'm doing. It means there's nothing I can't accomplish. You see, I wasn't always like this - optimistic, driven and unafraid of what was ahead in my journey. I was thinking about it the other day, when did I become this person? HOW did I become this person? The answer didn't magically appear for me either, I had to do some digging until I could remember back far enough.

I can remember being in my 20's and having ideas about what I wanted to accomplish in my life. Things like travel the world, be a successful businessperson, and help others in need. I can also remember people telling me things that made me doubt those ideas. Things like "you don't really think you're gonna do that, do you?" or "that sounds impossible." Until I realized I was responsible for making the choice to rise up to live my own life, I was going to be limited by what others said or thought of my abilities.

The day that all changed was the day I decided to throw caution to the wind and change the course of my life. The day I decided to pack my bags, get in my car and drive over a thousand miles to a new place because I knew it was where I was supposed to be. It was October 1997, I was living in Florida and six months earlier I had met the man I was going to marry. He lived in New York City (I'm originally from NY and always knew in my heart I would move back), was the exact opposite of every other man I had ever had a relationship with, and I knew in my bones from the day I met him that we belonged together. Against all of the naysayers, I did it. I got in that car and I drove to be with him, I left my entire life behind, except to me, my entire life lied ahead.

I realized then, at the age of 24, that I was the one calling the shots - ME. I was the one responsible for my happiness, my well being and my future. It was a valuable lesson and one that I use every day in my work and with my family. I wasn't going to fall into a life I didn't want because it suited others and made them happy. I was going to create the life I wanted with the people I chose.

My story to rise isn't about overcoming a major challenge or a sickness or a difficult parenting situation. My story to rise is a daily reminder that I have a choice. That's something I preach to my children every day. We always have a choice, no matter what the situation. My story to rise is one of strength in believing in myself that I could make it in a new place with a new person. That even though it wasn't always easy, that the bumps in the road would be more difficult than I ever anticipated, I would be able to navigate them and create a life that I WANTED to live.

Have there been days of doubt? You betcha.

Have there been times of trial and tribulation? Absolutely.

But there has never been one day where I thought I was making the wrong decision.

It's 20 years later, I married that guy, we have 2 beautiful boys and a life that hasn't always been easy to manage. I started a new business not that long ago. It's tested our limits in more ways than one, but it has strengthened our resolve to one another and to my belief in my choices.

I tell my kids four things every day:

  1. Be happy
  2. Be kind
  3. Make good choices
  4. I love you

I see them observing how we choose to live our lives to the fullest through example and experiences. I notice them watching us make decisions for our future. I listen to their concerns and answer their questions. Every time my answer is directed toward one of the four things I tell them every day.

Go big or go home - do your best and consider your situation and you will surely rise up to the occasion.

One Thing

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You guys, if you know me in real life you know I love shiny sparkly things that come in the form of accessories. I've rarely met a jewel I didn't love. And I love to collect trinkets especially when they have meaning behind them. I came across One Thing Lockets late last year and immediately fell in love. Their bracelets and necklaces are fun, whimsical and feminine. I gave some as Christmas gifts last year and got rave reviews! From the One Thing Website: The One Thing brand was inspired by a documentary. "There are places in our world where people live under one dollar per day. If you join these people in the pursuit for life and happiness, you will see that the fundamental things we all care about are quite similar, despite our superficial differences. Essentially, we are driven to thrive because of a few 'one things' that define us - like our children, our willingness to overcome, or our values. This is what makes us human!"

"But when things come easy and we’re not in survival mode, we tend to forget how connected we are through our human nature. And when we forget this, we can’t see that we all have value or that we’re each trying to bring something to the world. We only see superficial differences and opinions. One Thing believes that a connected, more accepting world starts by recognizing that we are all fundamentally similar."

So One Thing asks people all over the world: 

"What is one thing you bring to this world?"

It's a great question. Think about it - what IS the one thing you bring to this world? I've pondered this question a few different times. I keep coming back to optimism. Maybe it's because that's my nature. Maybe it's because as a mother I'm trying to raise my boys in a world where I know they can do and be whatever they set their minds to as long as they remain positive and hard working. Maybe it's because I can't particularly handle the negative - and I will always try to find the lining in the cloud. Or maybe it's a bit of all of it. We were trying to teach Elias how to ride a bike today, he kept saying "I can't" until I looked him in the eye and said "what are you talking about? You absolutely can. There is no I can't today. Let's go" so he got on his bike and we practiced. Did he learn how to ride, no, but he did try so that's something. Optimism. You can do it. 

One Thing is on a mission to empower and connect, and so am I - which is why I'm such a big fan of their work. AND they're passionate about giving back - proceeds from the sales of specific pieces benefit Post Partum Depression and Suicide Prevention. So since today is the last Friday of Love Month here at Why Am I Yelling? Why not spread some love and give someone you love a One Thing Locket for their next gift. And because they're so badass - they've given me a discount code to pass on to you - when you place your order, use the code whyamiyelling20 for 20% off!! Woo Hoo!! 

And then answer the question - because I want to know What is the one thing you bring to this world? 

Here's their website for more info: https://onethingdesigns.com/ and follow them on Instagram to see their amazing stories! https://www.instagram.com/onethinglockets/

xo 

Pay It Forward Friday - The Power Of Forgiveness

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Happy Love Week you guys! I hope you all had a fun, sweet filled, candy covered Valentine's Day!! I started my day with a brand new head cold that's still lingering, but managed to salvage it by having brunch with Will, getting the boys some new books (thanks WORD Brooklyn), balloons and heart shaped sprinkle donuts. It was a good day. And now it's Friday - already - again!! I swear, I will never get over the speed in which time flies. I've been thinking about my pay it forward this week, I was tossing around a few ideas in my head but after doing the #WhyAmIYelling? LIVE! yesterday with my guest, Emily Hooks, I cannot get the topic of forgiveness out of my mind. We had a powerful conversation about the art of forgiveness that I think just about everyone in the world could learn something from. It's a funny thing, forgiveness. It's empowering and emotional. But one thing's for sure, it's necessary - every day. Emily and I talked about learning how to utilize forgiveness in our daily lives. By incorporating it into your daily gratitude or affirmation practice (you do that right?), it can really help you release any kind of negative energy around a person or situation. The key is that you have to learn how to forgive yourself first, then you can forgive the rest of it.

You might be reading this right now thinking to yourself "Krista, you're nuts, I don't have enough stuff to forgive to acknowledge it every day" and my response to that is, yes, you probably do and if not, then good, take a day off. But if you really think about it, even the smallest thing that hurt you today requires forgiveness. For example, my good friend was in her car after picking up her son from school today. While sitting at a stop sign, a group of teenage boys were crossing the street in front of her car and one of the boys decided to do a WWF wrestling move and slam himself onto the hood - FOR FUN - um, what? Leaving a human teenage size body dent on the hood of her (very nice) car. It scared the shit out of her and her son.She called the police and filed a report and is beyond mad at the whole thing. I would be the same way!! But, in order to let it go and not allow it to consume her, she needs to forgive the situation and send some love into the universe for those boys. Easier said than done sometimes, but after my discussion with Emily, necessary to be completely at peace within yourself.

I could go on and on with examples of reasons to add a forgiveness practice into your daily life, but I think you get the idea. By now, you probably know I'm a big advocate for doing mindset work every day. Positivity is something I try to project to the world consistently - yes, of course I have crappy days, that's life, but for the most part, I try to find the silver lining. Forgiveness is an essential part of that, and after my enlightening chat today I am making it a point to use it in my daily routine.

So this week, instead of paying it forward with good deeds, (you should still do that), pay it forward to yourself and forgive. Forgive yourself for anything your harboring and forgive the people or situations that show up from time to time in the back of your mind from years ago, from days ago, from this morning. Forgive your kids for not listening and making you feel like the bad guy for yelling at them. Forgive the nail tech who cut your cuticle and made it bleed. Forgive the guy who cut you off on the highway. That stuff sinks in, even if it seems surface and like it should roll off our backs, a lot of the time those small incidents snowball into larger problems. Forgive them all.

If you want to check out my interview with Emily Hooks, founder of The Forgiveness Academy, click here: https://youtu.be/UbEypwnjU2U

Happy Friday!

xo

 

5 Ways To Focus On Love (Everyday)

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Ah, Valentine's Day! The one day a year we're expected to show our love and appreciation for our partners....the ONE DAY. I'm all for hearts and flowers, believe me! But, I l try to show my love and appreciation every day. Look, if you're not putting some kind of effort into your relationship for the other 364 days a year, then don't be shocked when your foundation starts to show cracks. Now, I'm by no means saying you do this but...I've been with my husband for 20 years, I know how easy it is to allow your relationship to slip to the the back burner. We're all busy - between kids, jobs, obligations, activities, and whatever else you have going on, it's of no surprise that you have very little time to devote to yourself and your partner. I get it, I've been there, hell, sometimes I'm back there and have to make a conscious effort to shift gears.

It's hard to stay focused on your relationship when so many other "important" things come up - at least we prioritize them as important, but are they really? It's overwhelming sometimes, all of the items on the to-do list piling up and in the back of your head you're trying to remember the last time you saw your partner naked. When that started happening in my marriage, we decided to make a few changes and you know what? No one got hurt, no one suffered...everything got better. You see, when your partner knows you care, when they know you're thinking about them and appreciate them, they are more likely to return the sentiment.

If you're trying to figure out how to make time to focus on your relationship, here are 5 things we do to continually work on ours:

Listening Listening Ears (as my 5 year old would say) - Put the device down! Make an effort to listen to your partner, ask engaging questions and participate in meaningful conversations. Don't make it about the kids or yourself, make it about something your partner is interested in - you never know, you could learn something too!

Touch Me - Intimacy is important! It's also non-existant in some of our relationships. Alone time may seem impossible but making an effort to have some kind of connection on a daily basis is essential. A kiss, a hug, an unexpected touch are all indicators to your partner that you're still interested. Who knows...maybe you'll get lucky after the kids go to bed!

Take Five - Make time for selfcare. Say what? I know, it's not easy, but trust me, even if it's five minutes, it will change your outlook. Try to find time in every day for yourself - have a cup of tea, take a bath, read a book - do something that doesn't involve a "to-do" and is something that you enjoy. Having a few minutes to unwind, decompress and focus on literally nothing allows you to clear your mind and will help you better focus when you need it.

Consideration - Be aware of one another's needs and goals and try to work them into your relationship goals. Showing that you care about your partners plans and including them in yours (and vice versa) will encourage communication on a higher level.

Thank You - Appreciating your partner is a sign that your respect your relationship. Unsolicited recognition for the smallest thing will not go unnoticed. Say thank you, use kind words, be thoughtful. It goes a long way!

Every relationship takes work - Having a healthy one with your partner shows you have the stamina to be in it for the long haul, and it helps create a standard for your children to respect and admire. Working together as a team will solidify your love and appreciation for one another as you continue on your journey!!

Happy Love Day!!

Pay It Forward Friday - Love Love Love Love!!!

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You guys! It's back after a looonnng hiatus that is 100% my fault for which I will not make excuses. Pay it Forward Friday is something I started a few years ago after Hurricane Sandy and I kept it going inconsistently. Effective now that changes. It's back. Every week. Every Friday. Because this world needs some goodness and if I can provide a tiny bit of it, well then, great and I truly hope you'll join me! For those of you who are new to Pay it Forward Friday, lemme explain. Think of it as a day of kindness. While I expect most of us do nice things every day via our words and our actions, I wanted to highlight projects, causes, charities, movements that are near and dear to your hearts. This is where YOU come in. I need you to tell me what you're passionate about. What's your cause? What do you want to see fixed, changed, made better? Is there something you want to celebrate? Tell me and we can work together to get the message out.

The goal for Pay it Forward Friday is to raise awareness, and spread kindness, love and gratitude all over this big world we live in, because let's face it, right now we can use all the kindness, love and gratitude we can find!!

So...this week I decided to celebrate love, and I know exactly how. My friends Danielle and Bret are getting married in April and instead of going on a fancy-schmancy honeymoon on a tropical island or touring the Amalfi Coast like a lot of us did, they have decided to go to Macedonia with Habitat For Humanity to build houses...like seriously, how freaking cool is that? I think they win the "most unselfish honeymoon" award for sure!! They need to raise some cash for this endeavor so that's where we come in. If you're feeling like you wanna give to a charity and help out some folks who are in need - like they don't have houses and you do kind of need - then make a small donation (think Starbucks latte) and put a smile on your face knowing you just contributed to some worldly good.

For more information, please visit Danielle & Bret's You Caring website https://www.youcaring.com/habitatforhumanity-744097 and wish the happy couple well as they begin the next chapter in their already kick ass life together (with their ridiculously cute dog Banjo - who you should follow on Instagram for your daily dose of cuteness). https://www.instagram.com/thisisbanjo/ 

Mazel Danielle & Bret - have a great time in Macedonia!! And thanks you guys for helping me bring back Pay It Forward Friday!!

Cheers to LOVE!!!

xoxoxo

If you have a mission you believe in and want to submit it to Pay It Forward Friday, send an email to info@whyamiyelling.com and we'll get on it!!