By Carla Helené Ezell
The city sleeps in broad daylight while we watch from the distance... misfits... outcasts... criminals... tortured souls... easily ignored...
We are screaming!
WHY CANT YOU HEAR US????
But you are deaf to our cries...
Our tags are happy colors and silver dreams... our hope...
hope that you hear us...
care about us...
but all you see is destruction...
chaos... So you suffocate us with your law & order...
your sterile walls shroud our colorful duality... like the crisp matting around a photograph...
THESE SPRAY CANS ARE WINDOWS INTO OUR SOULS...
but you are blind...
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By Carla Helené Ezell
One of the worst things we can do is get to the end of our lives and look back with regret. The should haves, could haves, would haves that plague us even now are indicators that we are not living the best lives we possibly could. Sleepless nights and troubled m, restless days tell us something is inherently wrong. Life is short but so often we take the hope of tomorrow for granted even though it was never promised to us.Thus we find ourselves giving death bed confessions and trying to spend our last moments making up for past mistakes.
Below are five ways to help eliminate (or at least severely reduce) death bed confessions and carrying regrets to the grave. Instead of worrying how things work out in the end, I challenge you to enjoy your life for all it has to offer before it is too late. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
1. Live in the now. Every day, every moment, be conscious of who you are, what you are doing, where you are, who you are with, what direction you are heading in.
2. Take control. Do not just let life coast by and happen to you haphazardly. Decide who you want to be, what you want to do, and how you want to do it. You use your power of choice. Think of the consequences of your decisions BEFORE acting on them. Question yourself, “will this decision better my life or worsen it?” Only do the things that will better your life. Weigh your options FIRST. Think BEFORE acting.
3. If it doesn’t evolve you, it shouldn’t involve you - this applies to relationships, working environments and every aspect of life, really. For example, stop living for office gossip. It is negative and I it brings division among your co-workers and others involved. Quit wasting time doing negative things. Only positivity will bring good things to your life. The universe is waiting for you. What you put out into it is what will return to you.
4. Challenge yourself. Arm yourself with knowledge and then use it to become a better version of yourself. Iron sharpens iron. Read. Expand your mind. Listen to podcasts. Work on your self development, not with the goal of getting something good but with the goal of becoming someone good. Increase your knowledge base so you have better things to offer the world.
5. Get busy. Use time wisely. Stop procrastinating. Be about it, don’t just make lofty goals. Plot a course to accomplish the things you want to accomplish. Get busy falling in love with your process and your life and the results will take care of themselves.
By Carla Helené Ezell
Time is short. We are busier now than we have ever been before. And in the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to get pulled off course, distracted or overwhelmed with to do lists. But this does not have to be the final result of our lives. In the middle of chaos, we can find balance. Below are five principles to help bring everything into check when life is moving faster than you can keep track of it.
1. Create routines. Spend 5 min prepping the night before by creating a to do list for the next day. This helps you organize your tasks more efficiently and will give you peace of mind. You will sleep better at night when you do not have so many unchecked things hanging over your head. In the morning, as soon as you wake up, pray. Praying before your feet hit the floor will put you in a better mood and promote a ‘can do’ mindset. This exercise will set the tone for the entire day and give you a head start on everything you have to do. When your mind and heart are in the right space you are released to work smarter and more efficiently.
2. Get organized. Break down tasks so they aren’t looming large and overwhelming you. Tackle your now smaller tasks one at a time and give yourself a time frame for each item on your list. When you do get something done, reward yourself. Positive affirmation boosts confidence. Your reward does not have to be anything really big. Even an M&M here or there or five minutes of unplugging while playing Solitaire are a excellent treats for a job well done.
3. Ask for help. If you have a lot on your plate, and it’s overwhelming you, delegate the things you can assign to someone else so you are more free to do the things that only you can do or things that you enjoy most. This does not mean it is okay to dump all the unpleasant tasks you have to do onto someone else. But learning how to spread the work out so it is not more than you can healthily manage alone is a healthy skill to master.
4. Eliminate distractions. It is so easy to get side tracked especially when we are busy. You start one thing and see something else that needs attention, then you jump to that thing and forget about the original thing you were doing. Stop it. Focus. Having a to do list is one of the best ways to eliminate distractions because it is tangible and makes it easier to stay on task. Turn off your ringer so friends don’t distract you with random texts and calls when you are trying to get things done. Stay focused.
5. Accept failure. Don’t hold yourself to such a high standard that you cannot achieve success. No one is perfect. Accept that you are human. The beauty of being human is that you know your strengths and shine in them and also accept your growth points so you can work to strengthen those areas. Acknowledging you are human means that you are free to be human. Once you accept this about yourself, you can forgive yourself and subsequently, give yourself permission to try again tomorrow. Now that you have allowed yourself some space to be human, get back up and keep moving forward.
By Carla Helené Ezell
In the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to forget how amazing you are. So here are some ways to pamper yourself because you really do deserve to be treated like a diva. And who is better suited to love you than yourself?
1. Go shopping. A little retail therapy is a quick way to lift your spirits. Buying new things, whether it be clothes, makeup or just a new perfume can give you a swing in your step.
2. Go to the movies. Who says you need a date? Treat yourself to some alone time and entertainment. You deserve it.
3. Sleep in a few minutes or go to bed a little bit early. That extra rest really can be refreshing. You owe it to yourself.
4. Eat out somewhere new. It doesn't have to be that new expensive Ethiopian restaurant in town unless you want it to be but treating your taste buds to something new not only makes you feel special but it opens your mind to new ideas and concepts too. Win/Win!
5. Listen to some new music. Music that is different from your normal listening patterns opens your mind to new possibilities and can be relaxing or energizing (depending on the style you choose).
6. Go dancing. Grab the girls or a date and treat yourselves to a night at a dance studio. They often offer introductory classes that don't cost too much (or are possibly free) plus you'll be giving yourself a fun workout while meeting new people too. Check out Groupon.com if you're looking for a studio. There's usually something listed there with di$count$!!
7. Get a haircut. You don't have to make a drastic change like I did last month, but a little pampering is good for the soul and healthy for your tresses too! So get a trim, lose the dead ends and bring your hair back to life in one fell swoop!
8. Go for a walk. While you're enjoying the view, take your camera or use your phone camera to capture the sights. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular either. Even clicking a pic of the neighbor's flowerbed can bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab photo album. Plus, it's fall! Celebrate with some changing leaves shots.
9. Take a drive. Get in your car and drive for a few hours. You don't have to have a specific destination in mind, just go where ever the road takes you. Roll down the windows, open the roof, turn up the music and cruise.
10. Have a wine party. Invite the girls over and pop the cork on a new blend you've wanted to try. Savor the flavors and company. And if you want to be fancy, pick up some expensive cheese and jams to really raise those pinkies.
11. Take a bubble bath. Make it a long, hot one too. Relax those tired muscles and enjoy some smooth jazz and candles while you're at it.
12. Eat something sweet (or salty) and refuse to feel guilty about breaking the diet. Everyone deserves to indulge now and then.
13. Read a book, magazine or blog. Escape from life a few minutes each day by enjoying the fantasy of a good story with great characters.
14. Take a trip. Save a little each week so you can splurge on a quickie getaway. Stay overnight and experience life at a different pace for a change.
15. Unplug from the Internet for a couple of days or a weekend. Turn off your cell, tablet, laptop, etc. Don't answer your email or texts/calls during this time. The world can afford to lose you for a day or two but you can't afford to never take a break. Your mind will thank you for it.
16. Get a massage or facial. Find a local spa offering discounts through Groupon (this is so my fav way to find new places). Then indulge in some self-love with a rub down, deep cleansing treatment or even just a manicure and pedicure.
17. Call an old friend or family member you've lost touch with. Rekindle your friendship. Walk down memory lane together. Remind yourself why they were in your life long ago. Oftentimes revisiting a memory will clarify future goals and dreams.
18. Sing in the shower loudly. Don't worry if the neighbors hear you either. It's your time. Stop thinking about how you're going to run that meeting next Friday or where you're going on date night. Just pick a song and let her rip.
19. Plan a picnic. What other activity is better to celebrate the changing weather?
20. Take a yoga class. Stretching and strengthening your muscles while clearing your mind is a wonderful way to feel refreshed and rejuvenated.
21. Cook your favorite meal. Then savor every bite. You don't even have to share it with anyone... unless you want to.
22. Visit an art gallery or museum. Spend an afternoon just sitting (or standing) in silence, and let the colors and patterns speak to you.
Summertime means the weather is hot and the food is refreshing. This simple salad is easy to make, presents beautifully for gatherings and won’t take up too much time from your entertaining.
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
1/4 cup Basalmic Vinegar
2 salmon fillets (6 oz)
10-15 strawberries (hulled and sliced)
lettuce of choice (I prefer baby spinach but any lettuce will do)
1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
1/4 cup crumbles feta cheese (or cheese of choice)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425f. Place salmon fillets on aluminum foil squares big enough to make pockets out of around fish. Lightly drizzle tsp of olive oil over fillets so they don’t stick to the foil. Salt and pepper salmon. Fold foil into pockets and place in oven 8-12 minutes (or until cooked through). Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Prepare salad as follows: layer lettuce, strawberries, onion, and feta in salad bowl. When Salmon is done, break it into large chunks then toss with other salad ingredients. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over salad.
300 calories per serving.
My name is Carla Helené. I am a cheeky naturalista, serial entrepreneur, speaker, educator and self love advocate who encourages women to embrace their truth, love themselves and make margaritas out of life’s lemons. Is there a recipe for this? I’m not sure I but I know we can figure it out together.
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