Growing Pains

I've been in such a weird place lately.
From the crazy happenings bringing division, to the devastation from the natural disasters, to the season of heartache, grief, loss, and waiting that I've personally been walking through;
it's been crazy. And I've been a hot mess.

The stress that has been residing in my life has not only affected me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but it's also brought me to an abrupt stop creatively.
I mean to the point that I would sit down and just look at my blank canvas, overwhelmed, with no idea on what to do and where to even start?

Have you ever been in that place? Where life seems to be spinning uncontrollably fast and you have no clue on how to stand straight? Or maybe you have little desire to even try?

Well as you can see, I have.
And to be quite honest I think that it comes in waves.

You're either preparing for a tough season, getting over it, or currently going through it.

As I walk through my own growing season I've noticed that lots of times, we want to put this pretty little mask on to keep people away from seeing whats going on.  


We are lonely yet continue to feed to that emptiness by drifting away from people and just being alone. Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some alone time, but too much alone time can harm you especially during tough seasons of life. 

I'm learning that in order to truly move forward during hard circumstances we need to make sure that we are feeding ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. We can't just retreat and get over these seasons by distancing ourselves, we have to take initial steps of growth by slowing down and taking care of ourselves.

Today I will be sharing different ways in which we can practice self care to not only help us walk through trying moments, but to cultivate a healthy lifestyle and ultimately create a culture of continual joy during times filled with growing pains.

1. Feed your mind.

The mind believes everything that we feed it, so nourish it with:
whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy —

I truly believe that the battle begins in the mind, at least for me it does. There have been numerous times that I've given myself actual migraines because of stressful situations in my head. I can admit that I'm not a glass half full kind of person. (My husband takes the cake for that) I'm more of a "glass is almost empty, so what are we going to do?" - kind of gal. 
Meaning when things start to get shaky, I question everything.

I'm learning that it's very important to practice mindfulness on a day to day basis. Whether that means starting the day off with some powerful scripture, or jotting down sticky notes of affirmation throughout the day to keep you going. It's important to make sure that we are giving a piece of our mind to things that matter. (pun intended)


2. Feed your body.

I drown out doubt with self love. ( I know that sounds a little cheesy) but through yoga and meditation it really helps me focus on my confidence and instilling the idea that I am worth my dreams
- Janina Santillan

I recently asked people how they cope with doubt; and though doubt isn't what we are emphasizing on, I think that this answer also helps with moving forward from growing circumstances.

This past year as I walked through some unfortunate circumstances, I had allowed it to physically affect me; to the point that I couldn't sleep. I remember telling my husband, that I couldn't sleep at all. And if you know me, that's a huge deal because I believe in naps.
My husband encouraged me to get into the gym and try working out. So I did just that, in fact I started going to all the Zumba classes, and I cannot even explain to you how helpful it was. See this wasn't just exercise to me, but it was my outlet in where I found my flow. It was where I would zone out, losing track of time, or anything around me, because for once I found something to help me cope.

Now, it's important to remember that everyone is different.
Your flow may not be yoga, prayer, zumba, or meditation, but the objective is to find an outlet that will help you reach the state of flow. So spend time jotting down what you love to do, and who knows it may be creating, or lettering.


Feed your soul by feeding the souls of others with love, kindness, and compassion. 
-Daniela Nikolova

I have realized that when my soul is parched, and when I am stuck in a funk, it is through loving and serving others that I find encouragement and motivation to keep going. Last week I attended an amazing retreat, and I made some sweet friends through serving and honest conversation. Though, finding the courage to share that you aren't doing too good is a hurdle, I cannot explain the blessing that comes from escaping the current trial you're facing by simply sharing with someone else that they aren't alone in the struggle-bus journey.

though we cannot change the circumstances we may be facing,
we have the opportunity to control the climate within our hearts.
Photo taken by: SS Hendley Photography

Photo taken by: SS Hendley Photography

And what I mean is that we have the choice to control how to go about it. We have the choice to change the way we see things, and as we change the perspective of it. We have the choice to fight back and grow through the most trying of times. Pain can have purpose, but we must choose to take care of ourselves and find the hidden beauty in the hot mess. I encourage you to feed your mind, body, and soul, and fight to find that beauty.