Like many people, I always looked at sororities as a group of girls who just party together and pay to do it. And while there is a fairshare of partying and bonding, it’s so much more than just parties.
I spent my high school years with all girls which I didn’t realize until much later, played a huge factor in my decision to rush because those bonds are ones I carry to this day.
When I began to consider rushing, I knew I would be picky and wouldn’t want to join just any sorority. It would have to be THE one.
My sophomore year I found this with Alpha Chi Omega. And the two and a half collegiate years I spent as a Kappa Omicron was more than just fun. It was empowering to be surrounded by many different women, all of which had a different story to share.
My 19-year-old self was changed forever by this. I am changed forever by this. I truly, and so deeply, feel that this experience has led me to where I am in my life right now.
I made amazing friends, who I’m still close with today, and also my experiences with these strong women beside me sparked something in me. I became more confident and sure of my decisions. As time went on the vision I had for my business and entrepreneurial journey became clear.
I wanted to support women and empower them, hopefully giving them the amazing feeling I got from AXO. The product I offer at Lifestyle Details is 100% sourced from fellow female-owned businesses. I love being able to say that.
In 2019, women are more than ever stepping into their power and I want to do everything I can to keep that momentum going, to be a part of the change. You may be asking, okay how does all these relate to sorority life? What’s my point? My suggestion would be, don’t judge a book by its cover. You may think you know what goes on as I did. Yet it was so much more of an experience than I ever expected and helped me find my goals. So who knows, join a sorority, it could change your life in more ways than you can even imagine. LITB.
Thank you for reading! Drop a thought below!
If no one’s told you yet: work doesn’t have to be painful and soul-sucking. You have permission to quit if your work drives you crazy, or simply doesn’t fulfill you. If these are the words you needed to hear, here it is: go for it.
What if, you don’t know what your passion is, you’re just positive that your present job is nowhere close to your dreams? Where do you even start?
In my own life, I’ve begun to ask myself one question:
How do I want to feel?
This mentality is the brainchild of Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map. I’m going to touch briefly on a few of her most inspiring points, in the hopes that it’ll get you feeling good and optimistic.
LaPorte tells us that when we set goals, we often aim for external checkpoints: make X amount of money this year, get a promotion, buy a new car by next year.
What’s more important, and what we usually skip over, she says, is how you want to feel when you hit those goals.
For example, I began writing because I love to spread my positive ideas to listening ears, and because it allows me to work from anywhere.
In other words, I want to feel influential, positive, and most of all, free.
So, let’s say I’m striving to make this much money by this point in time. A writing job arrives on my doorstep that will fulfill that goal for me. Yay! I’m ecstatic.
Except… I begin to look through the job description and find that I’m not thrilled about the task. They want me to write about something that doesn’t align with my values. I’m going to have to force myself to sit at the computer, downing cup after cup of coffee, simultaneously staring out the window and getting distracted by Facebook every five minutes.
Here’s why this is not completely ridiculous:
When you keep a job that makes you miserable just because you “make too much money to quit” or something along those lines, you don’t feel good. You’re stressed, irritable, pessimistic; basically, you close up.
Let’s say you’re working that job that you hate and you hit that goal of making a certain salary or completing a successful project. You’re done, yet you feel depleted. That job drained you. You thought the money would make the hustle worth it... but...maybe after you down a bottle of wine?
Move on to the next day, or the next week. You’re searching for a new project, still feeling closed up from the last one. What kind of outlook will you have amidst your search?
Will you feel good?
Do you think you’ll be open to thinking outside the box, find new possibilities, or take a creative leap to maybe finally find the thing that sets your heart on fire?
Or do you think you’ll accept whatever job comes your way that sounds the easiest, in hopes that you’ll get some reprieve this time from the soul-sucking toil?
To put it in Danielle LaPorte’s own words, “feeling good increases your flexibility, resiliency, effectiveness, and magnetism”. Her key point is that “feeling good is the primary intention”—which is why, of course, we aim to earn that salary or buy that new car or reach for vague, sparkling ideals such as success. It’s supposed to feel good in the end! Right?
So, we unconsciously place money as our top priority, with feeling good falling way down the list. Because “hard work pays off”.
Except for when those external outcomes, the “payoff”, doesn’t bring you the feeling you desire.
Guilt is normal when you begin this process. It’s a sign you’re beginning to move toward what you desire rather than chasing external motivations or whatever makes you look good.
This means you still work hard, but you don’t feel like complaining about it.
It means you feel awesome about what you do, rather than proving your success or value to other people or to yourself.
External-based goal setting often gets in the way of feeling good and finding your passion. So, start giving it some thought. Be totally self-centered. You are the most important person in your life, and you are responsible for your happiness.
Ask yourself, what do you desire? What do you want to feel when you work? What makes you feel good? What doesn’t?
If this interests you, you may want to grab a copy of The Desire Map; it’s part book, part workbook. It’ll aid you in your discovery of your true passion and your highest, most joyful self, and empower you to take charge of your own happiness.
Does this sound familiar? Your mom asks you to watch the dog tomorrow while she’s out of town. You know you wanted to take tomorrow to run some errands you’ve been meaning to do for weeks now.
If you say yes mom, of course I’ll dog-sit for you, you’ll have to squeeze in those errands after work on Monday (you’ll probably stay late at work, too) or in between the dozens of other outings and obligations you’ve already committed to this weekend.
But that voice in your head says, don’t be selfish. Do this for her. She raised you, after all. “Yes mom, of course I’ll dog-sit for you. No, it’s no problem at all,” you say.
It’s all too common in our society to resist saying “no”. We want to be compassionate. We want to look like hard workers. We don’t want others to think we’re selfish, at all costs.
But how can we say no to people and still be compassionate? It may help to think about compassion in a different light.
In fact, Brené Brown, in The Gifts of Imperfection, tells us that to cultivate compassion for ourselves and others, we must define our personal boundaries clearly and firmly.
Ask yourself what you need right now.
Practice being open to your own needs. You’ll find that sometimes, your mind will spontaneously tell you what you need in this moment. Sometimes, it’ll remind you to ask yourself what you need. Sometimes, you’ll find yourself turning down requests and invitations without even knowing why, and you’ll later realize that you had way too much on your plate to begin with.
If it helps, take it a step further, and picture yourself as a child. Imagine asking him or her what they need from you. Stay open to what the child says. It may feel normal to neglect our present selves, but we would never ignore a child’s needs. Reconnect with that child in you, the one who still needs rest and care and playtime, and you may find it easier to care for the grown-up on the outside.
Make an “ingredients for joy and meaning” list.
Compile a list of what’s going on anytime you feel joyful: these are your ingredients for joy and meaning. Then, make an intention to start (just start) saying “yes” to things that cultivate joy and meaning, and saying “no” to things that bring you further away from joy and meaning.
Make a choice, and stay open.
Eventually it will become clear whether you made a choice that fulfilled you.
If you made the wrong choice, don’t kick yourself! This has become an opportunity for listening to what is happening, staying open, and learning about yourself so that next time you will be more informed in your decision.
When we agree to obligations which take us further from what we truly need, we say no to ourselves. In other words, we tell ourselves, “I know you have needs, but this matters more than you do right now.”
You can, however, cultivate the will to start filling yourself up rather than draining yourself. Saying no to what drains you or does not fulfill you is an act of self-love, and self-love is nothing but learning from yourself, allowing yourself to make the wrong choices sometimes, and gently reminding yourself to stay open to your needs in every moment. In time, you’ll find that your residual judgment and resentment begins to melt away, and is replaced by effortless love and genuine compassion.
Work from home! Be your own boss! Set your own hours! Make millions!
These and many more are all the glittery promises of any career when you’re self-employed. Even if you’re not your own boss, and you’re just working from home, it can often be more difficult than it sounds.
Work life can start to mix in with home life when there’s no clear line between the two, other than what time you decide to pull your laptop out.
As an example, let me give you a run-down of how my morning went:
9:00am Wake Up (but fall back asleep)
10:00am Wake Up Again
10:30am Shower, Stretch, Make Coffee
11:00am Sit on the couch with my SO while we drink coffee
11:30am Maybe I should open my laptop now?
11:45am Check Facebook, remember that a year ago today was the day that awesome California vacation began, share pictures with family
12:00pm Open unfinished Word document from yesterday
12:05pm Decide I could use some motivational music, spend 10 minutes making a playlist
12:15pm Check email
12:20pm There’s a tropical storm warning in the gulf? That sounds important
12:30pm Toast an asiago cheese bagel
12:35pm Look at unfinished Word document again, type two sentences with greasy asiago cheese fingers
12:45pm Clean the kitchen while singing “Misery Business”
These “work from home” jobs aren’t always as luxurious as they might sound. Especially when you live in a less-than-luxurious post-college apartment with only a second-hand kitchen table and a garage sale loveseat to work from.
Some of us are more disciplined than others, and I find myself falling into the less-disciplined category more often than not. Even so, working from home is still possible! I’ve put together a few hacks to help your mind get motivated.
Clean and Protect Your Workspace
If you’re serious about working from home, you need a specific place in the house to work from. When I say specific, I mean almost sacred: this is your workspace, and your workspace only. This is the pristine temple where you retreat to daily to create your beautiful life’s work. And it should be treated as such.
Make it cute and decorated, if that’s what you like, or make it minimalist and organized, whatever helps you feel inspired and ready to be productive. Again, this is your temple, so set aside some time making it look and feel the way you want it to.
For me, when I sit down at my computer, I tell myself I’m going to write until my brain is no longer churning out ideas: that’s my cue that it’s time for a break. I like to take yoga breaks: there are plenty of five- to fifteen-minute yoga videos on YouTube. I have a few quickies saved in my favorites list that are perfect for getting the blood flowing again.
For Writers, Try Distraction-Free Writing Apps
These come packaged either as websites or downloadable applications for Mac and PC. A writing app is basically a full-screen, toolbar-free Microsoft word—some have keyboard shortcuts rather than a toolbar, and others have swipe-down visible toolbars. These apps enable you to write on a blank screen without the constant temptation to switch tabs and check Facebook.
There are plenty available for free, such as FocusWriter. For additional features such as optional audio, there are paid apps such as OmmWriter.
Do you have favorite hacks you use to keep the productivity going? What does your daily work-at-home schedule look like? Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
We've all probably heard at some point in our lives that stress is a silent killer. But are you doing anything about it?
Challenging situations can cause a release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which affects the body in various ways. If not handled appropriately, the buildup of cortisol over time can lead to anxiety, elevated blood sugar, suppressed immunity, increased inflammation, and weight gain.
This hormone is responsible for our fight-or-flight response, which is a primitive built-in autonomic nervous system response designed to protect ourselves during intense situations (i.e. hunting and/or being attacked).
That's enough to make anyone uncomfortable! So what can we do about it?
Meditation helps to activate the “rest and digest system” aka the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the opposite of our fight-or-flight response. This can be used as a tool to build-up our adaptability bank to stress. What this means is that the more we meditate, the better we can handle stress so that our body does not automatically respond with releasing cortisol.
Mindfulness is the act of bringing yourself into the present moment. Many people think meditation is too hard or impossible because they think they need to completely stop the mind from thinking. This is, however, not the case. We are human and meditation is simply a tool to observe the happenings in the mind.
Mindfulness meditation helps to redirect the mind whenever thoughts happen. Here are some steps you can take to try it out for yourself:
Even the happiest of people show their darkest feelings. A death in the family, extraordinary life circumstances, or just a sudden change in brain chemistry can trigger a landslide of emotion. Our friend transforms before our eyes: who is this statue of a person who lays on the couch with a long face all day, and what did they do with our best friend?
Validate their feelings.
It doesn’t matter whether your friend’s dilemma is huge or tiny. Their emotional response is valid regardless. They could display symptoms of distress, depression, or fiery rage. Ensure that you avoid statements such as these below that can make a person feel unheard or invalidated:
If it makes you feel better, I’ve had worse.
It’s not that bad.
Don’t be sad.
Just be positive.
Other people have it worse than you.
As a note: Positivity and gratitude are essential to live joyous lives. However, as humans, we all through tough times. Your friend is human being and has the right to feel these negative emotions. When we guilt people into positivity or gratitude (e.g. you should be grateful, other people have it way worse), we often trigger an internal shame reaction (e.g. I’m bad for feeling bad). This can push them down further into their spiral of negativity, rather than bringing them comfort with love and care.
You won’t get stuck or buried in emotion if you allow the emotion to rise. On the contrary, we allow emotions to leave our bodies when we let them come up to the surface. Burying our pain only invites it to show up again and again, without our consent.
This quote from Pema Chodron explains this concept:
“Resistance to unwanted circumstances has the power to keep those circumstances alive and well for a very long time.”
“It sounds like you’re feeling helpless.”
“I hear that you feel angry about what happened. I’m right there with you.”
This allows the person to feel heard. Remember to accept your friend’s right to feel any way they are. Give them permission to cry without feeling like they have stop; just let them get it out and release the associated emotions and occurrences.