Celebrate small victories

Celebration is one of the key parts of life that lead to having met personal needs. To celebrate, to feel joy or emotion towards a specific instance, creates a level of specialness in that instance. When your child learns to walk, you celebrate it and you talk about it often. When you graduate from high school, college, university, there’s normally a pretty big celebration!

So what about small victories? What about your first successful week of eating healthy, or your first earning through a new medium?

I experienced this today. I began writing for Helium in January of 2011, and am working towards adding to my published material weekly. I earned my first amount there, 0.01$ as of this afternoon of February 15, 2011. It may not seem like much, but it is a start. It is a beginning, and I am excited.

It opens the door to my mind to realize, accept, and encompass that I can actually make money through this medium. It may not be much, but it is something. It is validating. It is empowering. It fills the body and soul with a power of knowing that the work I put into this medium pays off.

Any small success, no matter how small, impacts everything around you. By celebrating it, you pull it out of the shadows and bring it into the limelight for all to see. You show that you are proud of something that you have accomplished, no matter how small. You should be proud because accomplishments are accomplishments, regardless of their size. Impact is not affected by how big of an accomplishment is, but by how big the follow through is on that accomplishment.

If I looked at this 0.01$ that I earned through this medium and said “oh, geez, wow, a whole penny, whoopee” then I would be downplaying, and even insulting, my ability to write and earn through Helium. This could lead to frustration, and giving up, because I would be setting my expectations too high for this time in the game.

Instead, I celebrate, and I cheer for myself. Because I know that I can, and I know I will keep doing better. Small victories lead to bigger victories. Celebrate the baby steps, and the tiptoeing because that is what will lead you to feel more capable of taking on bigger steps.

Don’t let small successes laugh at you because they’re small. Laugh at them, because they will lead you to larger successes and better self-confidence. When you accept and celebrate your small victories, you are accepting that you have done something right. You did good, you’ve done well, you succeeded. Then you are more able to look forward and make more changes and achieve more victories.

So what small victory have you achieved today?

How much value is your money worth? You decide.

A friend and I were discussing shopping, and how easy it is to spend money in certain stores. Wal-Mart was one such store that came up, and my friend mentioned that because the food they sell is so cheap, it’s easy to buy a lot of it. I agree in theory, but not in practice. It made me think of why I don’t buy at Big Box Stores if I can avoid it.

The brand of food and product they provide at Wal-Mart (or any other department/Big Box store) may be the same with cheaper prices, but what goes into making that price lower? Where do the corporations make their money if they are lowering the prices of products that are normally more expensive?

Consider this: your money is a handful of voting ballots. Every time you purchase something, you are voting with that money. When you buy at a local store, you are voting that is it in that store that you place your faith, your trust, your loyalty. You support them silently by purchasing their products.

At the same time, when you purchase an item at a Wal-Mart or other Big Box Store, you are voting. Only you are voting for poor working conditions, poorly treated employees, and cheap products. The price of the product is knocked down because the large store is willing to sacrifice quality of working environment to pad their bottom line. The appeal is in the small price, especially when the small print is hidden.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user striatic
So the argument that the brand name may be the same becomes relatively irrelevant. It becomes a new argument of what kind of service industry and quality in environment do you want to support?

It becomes making sure that you know where that money is going. It comes down to where you would put your money if you weren’t getting anything out of it. Would you donate money to a Big Box corporation that spits out poorly made toxic toys? Or would you rather donate money to a small industry or store that makes sturdy, dependable toys made of real natural materials?

How much is your money worth to you? If the answer is still the same, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But remember that if your personal values are opposed to donating money to the store you just bought your last shirt from, why would you want to support them? If you feel that their working practices aren’t up to your level of value, or their accommodations aren’t up to snuff, take your money elsewhere.

It’s kind of like when you go for a vacation, and you stay at a hotel. If the service you received at the hotel was sub-par, or the accommodations left much to be desired, you probably wouldn’t go back! So when you’re at the mall and you’re trying to decide where to spend your money on things that you want or need, consider which store aligns its values closely with your own.

Your money is worth as much as you decide it is. If you want to get more bang for your buck, consider being willing to spend a little bit of extra to get a higher quality that will last you longer. If you want to support fair working environments, consider being willing to spend more at the cash register so that the employees will be provided better benefits, salary, compensation. Consider buying fairly traded products when possible to help not only those in your community, but across the globe as well.

We are all humans, and we all deserve a chance to live a fulfilling life. By voting with your dollar, you show the corporations and the government and the small business industry what you think is important, what you think of as quality, and what you think is worth spending your hard-earned money on.

Whoever you do choose to spend your money on, and whichever store or industry you support, just be confident and sure that it aligns with what you see as right. Integrity above all else, so be what you are and act based on your own values. Make conscious decisions, and informed decisions. Spend and act in ways that coincide with your beliefs instead of oppose them.

You may not think that you can make a difference. But you can. One person is all it takes to start a change. Talk about what is important to you. Discuss with family and friends what values you want to see in the food industry, service industry, everywhere. Expect quality, and don’t settle for less than you’re worth. It may be hard at first to find places that meet your expectations, but as demand rises so will supply.

Patience and integrity will carry you through. Decide and stand strong on what is important to you and what values you want to support. Then do it, one purchase at a time.

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Fresh new design

So I decided that my old template and design looked a little drab and childish. It was nice, but it didn't really fit. So I changed it. I changed it one element at a time. I'm still going to be tweaking it here and there, so it's not completely done. Then again, it probably never will be.

Anyone out there have a better eye for design than me? Care to share your insight? I want to look smooth and efficient, but not too serious (because lets face it, too serious is no fun!)

Anyways, this weekend is a blast so far, and I do apologize for my lack of posts, but I needed a little break. I hope to be back on track starting tomorrow, with fresh new information and opinions for all!

As always, if ever you have any questions, comments, ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact me and let me know!

Peace and serenity,


Saturday Morning Fun!

So this morning we're babysitting Z, as we do every other Saturday. After breakfast, we decided it would be fun to finally get outside and play on those huge hills the snowplows created around the parking lot. It was a blast!

I actually threw on a pair of snowpants and got right in there, got a sweet workout and felt the burn let me tell you! Climbing to the top of the hill proved harder than I had originally thought, but it made it even more satisfying when the two kids would climb up and I would roll them back down the hill. They laughed so hard!

The two of them kept trying to knock me over to no avail, so M decided that it would be her job to take me down. She tied the dog to a tree, and then climbed up and tried to knock me over. I saw her coming though, so I braced myself and grabbed her as the got to the top, and brought her down with me! Success!

All in all, what a blast! It was so much fun, and man am I tired! We're planning on going out again after lunchtime, to toboggan this time, and I can't wait.

Have you done anything outside yet this weekend?  What are you waiting for?

Peace and serenity,


Update on coconut oil

So I wrote a review of coconut oil a while back, this great product that I got for decently cheap in a beautiful glass container. It is still working wonders for me, and I would love to share the ways how.

Firstly, it is a fantastic moisturizer for my lips. I still use lip balm, but only because I have a few sticks that M doesn't like. When my lips are actually irritated, I reach for the coconut oil and slather it on. It feels way more natural on my lips, and it's almost invisible that I have anything on my lips at all!

Second, great skin moisturizer. The winter has been wreaking havoc on my normally nice and smooth skin. Havoc I tell you! This year has been the worst for it so far, oddly enough, possibly due to me taking out so many unnatural products from my beauty regime. So instead of using those, when I'm in the shower I grab a small dab of coconut oil and rub it all over wherever has been the dryest (most itchy) and the surrounding areas. Typically it's my legs and my arms, and sometimes my face and neck. I keep rubbing it in while the shower is running, the heat helps it absorb into my skin more efficiently. Then, voila! Soft silky skin right out of the shower. When I do this, I also try not to rub my skin with the towel so I don't rub off any of the oil or anything.

Finally, because of how great it is at moisturizing skin, it is a great injury cream. I rub it on my feet when they have blisters or irritation. I rub it on the edge of my scalp (by the hairline) when my dry scalp irritates me. I put it on my eyebrows if they're irritated after plucking. The list goes on. As long as it's not a heat injury (because oil will cause your skin to retain the heat, worsening the injury) I slather on some coconut oil and rub it in good. Even burns, once the actual heat has gone away (usually the next day) I will start putting coconut oil on it. I will confess, I don't know the science of why it works, but if I had to guess it would go something like this: The skin is kept soft and moist using a natural product that does not irritate the cells, speeding up the healing process and laying the groundwork for effective white blood cell movement.

Like I said, this stuff is amazing. Not to mention that a little goes a long long way. When this jar runs out, you better believe that I will be buying a new one!

Anyone use a simple natural product in their health or beauty regime? Let me know!

Peace and serenity,


Enjoy my updated review on coconut oil? Digg it or share it on your favourite social networking site!

Fresh air is good for your energy

No matter what season it is, it is important to get fresh air everyday. It will give you energy. It contains less re-cycled air. Re-cycling air is not a good thing for you, unless you have trees that are growing in your air circulation system, as it simply leaves the carbon dioxide in the air which lowers the amount of oxygen that is circulating.

Going outside gives you that immediate rush of fresh oxygen which will also help wake you up if you are feeling a slight drag in energy level. It's hard to stay motivated and awake when you are surrounded by fluorescent lights and old air. So if you feel yourself starting to fade in energy and liveliness, take a step outside and breathe deeply.

If you work in a densely populated area, such as downtown, it may seem counterproductive as the air is not as clean as it would be in the suburbs or somewhere surrounded by trees. It is still very effective and helpful to give yourself a quick perk in the middle of your day. If this is the case, and you feel that it isn't giving you the longer effects that you get from elsewhere, just make sure that you get some fresh air when you are back in the less populated area of your city.

Getting active while you're outside also helps, because it increases the amount of fresh oxygen that is being circulated through your blood. Exercise already boosts your mood and energy level, so kicking that up a notch with some fresh air will only make it pack a more powerful punch.

There is always time to go outside for a few moments. If you are watching TV and don't want to miss your show, just wait for the commercial. No one enjoys watching the commercials anyways, so take opportunity of the break to take a step outside and jog or walk around your yard. If you are on the computer just take an extra break when you go to the bathroom (for example) and step outside afterwards for a quick pick-me-up.

The positive effects on your body and energy level outweigh the few moments that it takes to get the air, so take a step for your own health. Each day, try to get outside at least twice for at least 30-60 seconds. You can always increase that amount, so don't worry if you think it's too short a time. Fit it into your schedule wherever you feel like it, and don't let yourself make excuses. It can make all the difference in your work day and keep a smile on your face.

Peace and serenity,