Unleashing the Lion Within

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher”
-Thomas Henry Huxley

When I started this blog I wanted BALANCE. I wanted to live a balanced life. I had just lost a lot of weight and wanted to maintain it. I was controlling my food, exercising like a mad woman and obsessing about every bite that went into my mouth. I embraced my vulnerabilities and wrote about them frequently in this blog. Many people admired my ability to be vulnerable in such a public domain and related to my struggles in one way or another. Then something happened. I quit being Mia.
I quit because I was tired of identifying with that person. I wanted more out of life. I realized looking back at the blog that I was cycling through the same behaviours and actions and as much as I was growing I knew for REAL CHANGE. Something big had to change.

I had to change my thinking. I had to stop thinking and writing about my vulnerabilities. I had to stop thinking and writing and talking about the thoughts and behaviours that were holding me back. I had to create the version of me that I wanted to be. I had to eat, sleep and breath her. I had to become Mia again. Changing EVERYTHING meant changing nothing but the way I thought about myself.

YOUR THOUGHTS CONTROL YOUR LIFE. I changed nothing but my thoughts and my whole life changed. This is how I did it.

I STOPPED PRESSING SNOOZE
Why do you get up in the morning? Is it to live or is it to get by? I decided that life was too short to “get through” another day. I became excited about my life and my goals. Even though my goals were big and the work to do was going to be hard I was excited to get up and live every day. I woke up excited to live. I refused to snooze. I set the intention to get up, brush my teeth, splash my face with water and get dressed and go about my day as if it might be my last.

MEDITATION
I started meditating (I can see you roll your eyes). I mediated about success, about confidence, about wealth, about balance, about focus. The first week was hard but as I got into the groove I started to see changes. I was thinking differently. I didn’t give myself a choice. Every morning that’s how I began my day. Some days were harder then others. Some days the meditation was 2 minutes as my kids decided to get up, but I still took the time to breath and reflect.

POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
This would probably be my biggest change. It may make you think about Stewart Smalley from SNL saying “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dogone it people like me.” And guess what? It is TOTALLY like that. At first I thought it was RIDICULOUS but I did it anyways. At first I read affirmations from the internet. Just google affirmations. Then as got comfortable I started writing out affirmations about success, health, wealth, self confidence. I thought of the person I wanted to be and I said the words out loud (to myself). And it worked. Things started to happen that I cannot explain. Everything about me changed.

VISUALIZATIONS
I started to visualize what I wanted my life to look like. My perfect life. My house, my car, my well behaved kids, my successful career and the smile on my face. Whatever I wanted, I visualized. My goals and dreams coming true. And they did.

BELIEVE AND CREATE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS
What I have come to realize while I have been absent from the blogosphere is that YOU CREATE YOUR LIFE. Albeit you cannot control the outside world, you can control your thoughts and actions on a daily basis. You can choose how to think, and how to act, and how to react to people and situations in your life. You can choose to be miserable, you can choose to give up, or you can choose to live. You can choose to be WHOEVER YOU WANT TO BE. You are not your life situation. Stop waiting for tomorrow to change. When you get thinner, or less busy, or you have more money, or more time. Live your life now.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have failed. Try again. The more you have failed the more you have tried. Try again with a different mindset this time.
My mission in life is to help people. My mission in life is to wake you up, shake you up and show you how beautiful life can be. It isn’t always going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.
By changing my mindset I unleashed my inner lion. The lion that has been inside me the whole time but had been covered in sheep skin. The sheep was my armour protecting me from harm. My past failures and my life experiences created the sheepskin and through time I became comfortable and warm in there. Removing the armour and living the life of a lion is SCARY and UNCOMFORTABLE. I could fail. I could get hurt. And I might… but that is the chance I need to take to reach for the stars, think big, and live my life to the fullest.

“Don’t fear big. Fear mediocrity. Fear Waste. Fear the lack of living to your fullest. When we fear big we either consciously or unconsciously work against it. We either run toward lesser outcomes and opportunities or we simply run away from big ones. If courage isn’t the absence of fear but moving past it then thinking big isn’t the absence of doubts, but moving past them. Only living big will let you experience your true life and work potential”
THE ONE THING by Gary Keller.

There is more to come my friends… STAY TUNED…

Life has just gotten REAL INTERESTING… DAH DAH DAH (insert mysterious deep voice saying that)

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Full Circle – Saying Goodbye

It all started on the way back from NYC when I heard the song “The Cave” by Mumford and Sons. I knew something had to change. I was deeply depressed and unhappy with myself and my life. I slowly started making changes, some small and some large to be here in this moment.

At the time I knew things needed to change but I wasn’t clear on the why. I’ve made huge gains and some huge mistakes along the way but now I am here and the future is clear.

“Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development” – Jim Rohn

It is time to say goodbye to the person I was yesterday. It is time for a big change.

“If you want you life to be different you have to be willing to do something different first”  -Kevin Bracey

I thank you for all your support through the years. I accept my past but I am not that person. A new version of me is in my grasp but to be her I can no longer Be Mia. Because I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I could have been and done so much more. As much as I embrace my vulnerable side there is a strong successful side that has remained dormant.

Independent. Self-reliant. Successful.

It all begins with a belief. A belief that you can be more then you ever imagined. It all begins with your thinking and it is carried out with your actions.

Your life is now. Tomorrow isn’t good enough. Make today the life of your dreams. Stay tuned to some changes that will BLOW YOUR MIND!

So I will end this last post with the song that started it all and leave you with this thought.

Why did you wake up this morning? 

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Old Dogma. New Tricks (Part 2) – F**K IT

I have started to make real changes in my life. I have come to realize that I have been find-peacespinning my wheels for my whole life. Although I have made progress, there are some recurring themes and battles that I have faced that always seem to come back and slap me in the face. Everything is going well and BAM! I lose my path and start behaving as if I don’t know any better. I am on a mission to revamp the way I do things cause this sure isn’t working. When history repeats itself you may need to go back to the drawing board and rewrite the whole damn thing.

I know who I want to be and I know where I am. Some days the gap between the two is small and on other days I can’t even see my ideal self in the mess of the present. Until now this is how I have dealt with things. I wonder if you can relate:

1. Decide “THAT”S IT”
2. Go HAM on everything. Eat Clean. Train like an animal. Stop drinking.
3. After two weeks of this FEEL AMAZING. I think “wow I can’t believe I haven’t lived like this all my life. I will never go back to the old me.”
4. Something happens. Work stress. Home stress. Tired. BOOM! All goes out the window. Starts with something small and ends with me eating pizza in bed feeling shame and having a sore belly.
5. On average 3-5 days pass and I go back to step 1. Although this phase could go longer.

Funny enough one of the first posts in this blog is about DEPRIVATION and INDULGENCE cycles of my life.

Have I not learned anything?

Yes I have. But I was going about it all wrong. My diet mentality, my fear of being fat is stopping me from being the person I want to be. And coming into the holidays is the worse. I deprive until the parties and then eat and drink like the world is ending.

Can you relate? Do you want to stop the cycle?

I know I do and I think the only way to do it is say FUCK IT! I will eat whatever I want, whenever I want (I just had a mini heart attack saying that).

What if I decided to stop the cycle and learn to trust myself. Turn food into food and not some kind of trophy or make it more than it is FOOD. Fucking FOOD.

Some people don’t think about food like I do. Some people just eat it. Not me. It is an obsession beyond an obsession. It has to stop.

I have made a few changes in my life that have put things into perspective. I recommend you listen to the following podcasts. Although I have not read The Miracle Morning I have started implementing some of the ideas from this podcast in my life. I am already seeing changes.

My nutritionist/therapist (we should find a new name for that) Nutrapist? Summer Innanen has a podcast that I love. For all you diet and food obsessed people who want to STOP THE MADNESS listen to any of these episodes. Although if you go on iTunes the latest two about the holiday madness and the one about crushing self doubt are amazing.

I have never felt better or thought clearer in all my life. Morning meditation, gratitude, intention and the belief that I will remain committed to my goals. Belief in what I am doing, where I am going and that failure is not the opposite of success, but a stepping stone to it.

I have failed many times in my life, especially when it comes to food and drink. That means that I have learned over and over and over and are closer and closer to success. The amount that I have failed makes me realize that I am going about it all wrong. I will change the way I do things and try,try, try again. Cause I want it SO BAD.

I know the person I want to be and until now I haven’t trusted myself enough to become her. Here is my intention (you may not believe it when you first write it down but the more you tell yourself it’s true to closer it becomes true):

I trust myself and my future.

When I respect myself and the commitments I make to myself, like eating healthy, exercising, and being productive I am happy and feel a strong sense of accomplishment. This sense of accomplishment fills me with pride and joy and brings me closer to the person I want to be. I want to follow through on my words because my actions will help me achieve my goals and develop my self esteem. I am not my past. I can do anything I put my mind to if I believe in myself, work hard and stay focused and dedicated to where I want to be.

A setback is not a failure.

I don’t want to live a mediocre life. I want it to be great. Mediocrity is easy, but great needs to be earned. And I am ready to work for it. 

The power of intention is strong. So is gratitude, love and self confidence. The belief that you can achieve your goals. Whatever it is, go forth and conquer. I’ll be here to cheer you on and write about my journey, right alongside you.

P.S. By the way part of my journey involves writing everyday. I guess I don’t have to post it to my blog but if my words help others then I think it is worth it. Don’t know how long my public posts will last. I might have some demons in the closet.

P.S.S. I remember struggling to write 1000 word essays. This one is close. It’s amazing how writing about your passion makes it seem so easy to do. Wait… almost there. Need 10 more words and I am at 1000. There we go.

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Conscious Reality

I Live My Life in Growing Orbits – Rainer Maria Rilke

“I live my life in growing orbits
Which move out over the things of the world
Perhaps I can never achieve the last
But that will be my attempt
I am circling around God
Around the ancient tower
And I have been circling for a thousand years
And I still don’t know if I am a falcon, or a storm, or a great song.”

This one is out there. I always know when my blog post are going to be popular. Weight loss and CrossFit etc. always gets attention. This one is not one of them. This one comes from a different place… far far away. Although I feel it might be some sort of philosophical idea that I have never read about that exists in some book somewhere.

I was thinking about consciousness. Consciousness is a weird thing when I start really thinking about it. I’ve blacked out or passed out and woken up not remembering what happened. Although everybody around me can tell me what happened. We hear stories of people dying and being revived, memory loss, Alzheimer’s.

Nothing exists to you when you lose consciousness. Albeit life goes on to all the people around you but you are no longer aware. Just like the world existed before you came, it will exist once you are gone. Or does it?

If I can’t remember what happened before I was alive and I won’t after I die then don’t I make my own reality? Without my consciousness, the world ceases to exist.

Bare with me. If anyone is still reading.

So doesn’t that mean that I am in charge of my own reality? And doesn’t that mean that in the grand scheme of things I can control and manipulate my environment as I am subconsciously the master of my life.

Am I God? Have I been all along? My thoughts and actions will be the only thing that matter when it comes to my life. Although I cannot control my external environment, the way that I act and live and think and behave all come from me. And even further, once I die this reality ceases to exist so aren’t I creating it?

If I am creating my own life then the world will cease to exist when I die.

I surrender to it all.

If I am in control of this life I will manipulate it as much as I can to make it the best life possible.

If I am God then anything is possible.

P.S. I don’t believe I am God. Well I do, but not your God. Just mine. You can have your own God, or be your own God. 

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Old Dogma. New Tricks.

Change either happens out of desperation or inspiration. The great thing is that during times of change, no matter why it is happening, the growth is going to make you stronger, better, more evolved then you were before.

Life can bring some shit. Shit you have no control of. But the way you react and how you behave in response to it is 100% your responsibility. You can let it bring you down, you can complain, you can bitch and moan and groan and eat cake or drink booze, or be mean to others… or you can accept it, take responsibility for it and move on. Surrender to the pain. Surrender to the things out of your control and take responsibility for your own actions.

If you want to be healthy, eat well and exercise. If you want to be financial stable, don’t spend money on useless things. If you want to be in control of your life, then take control. Don’t blame circumstances or others for your own life.

I consider myself a positive person, but when certain triggers arise I can fold upon myself into a fetal position and go to that dark place. In that dark place I forget all my goals, my dreams and I go to a place of fear, gloom and complete and utter desperation. The funny thing is my life has not changed, but something changes in my perception of things and I fold.

As I think about my blog I see a pattern. As I work through my life I see that as much as I’ve grown, my central dogma for how I live my life has lead me to the same path over and over and over again. Some of the triggers change but I know that I need to learn new tricks for the triggers that turn my life into the pit of darkness.

Shame. Fear. Failure. Conflict.

The only way to get over them is through them. Face my fears. Face my adversaries. Look them in the eye, with a smile and say. I surrender myself to you with love.

I am not my fear. I am not my shame. I am not my past. And most importantly, failure is not the opposite of success. It is a building block to success.

But I know I need to change my dogma. I’ve gone about it all wrong this whole time. Don’t get me wrong. The puzzle pieces are there and some are in place… but for the whole puzzle to come together something BIG has to change. My perception of myself and what I will bring to the world.

I am love. I want to help people. I want to be the strongest version of me to raise my boys to be strong independent and caring members of society. But something has changed. It’s all about me. I am not selfish in thinking I need to put my needs first. Before I help you I need to help myself.

I am love. I am life. I am grateful for this opportunity to make real changes. It feels like Christmas inside. The process won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

I accept everything in my life. I am here. Now. I surrender to my fears and I will succeed. On my terms. No matter what life brings.

I might bring you along on the journey. That is still undecided.

P.S. I re read my post and realized that I talked about the negatives that may come with life. However, there are also great joys and moments that come that most of us our too busy with our lives to take time to notice. Life is beautiful. Life is a miracle and you only have one to live.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
— ALBERT EINSTEIN

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One year later. 15 lbs heavier

Two weeks ago I did a photo shoot to prove a point.

I wanted to prove that the scale is not a good way to track progress.

Since starting Crossfit in March of 2013 I have gained 15 lbs. I have also gained the following:

Decreased my 5 km running time by 3 minutes.
Increased both my clean and jerk and snatch by more then 100% (when I started crossfit I couldn’t snatch 75 lbs)
Relearned and performed gymnastics exercises that I could not do since I was a teenager.
Started wearing short shorts and being comfortable with my “big” legs.
Got a muscle up.
Went to Regionals.
Started coaching.
Started a kids program.
Learned to accept my body for what it is.
Stopped weighing myself and basing my self esteem on a stupid number.
Started eating for health and performance and not for weight loss.

DESA7552 DESA7291DESA7238 DESA7459

The proof is in. I have risen above the numbers on the scale and turned it into something different. Something tangible.

Never give up. You might not be there yet but your scale is not your friend. Write down your goals and make them tangible and attainable. Then write out a plan and never give up.  There are some good days and bad days. Days you want to quit. Remember your goals and keep going.

Its worth it.

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Saying goodbye to a friend

Some people in your life bring you up. They support you. They are there when you need them. A warm hug, a good cry, and sometimes even some “get real” with you to help you when you need to hear it most. Those friends and family are important for your moral and emotional support. There are other “friends” in your life who bring you down. They make you make the wrong decisions. They are bad influences when it comes to your life and as “supportive” as they feel at the time, they are masking their bad influence on you as “support”. They really are not your friend. O.K. Fine. Sometimes they make you the life of the party and make you feel on top of the world. They help you with your confidence and self-esteem. They are always there to help you get through a rough day when no one else is around or no one cares. But really THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS. These are the type of people you need to be weary of. They are hard to get rid of because they are ALWAYS AROUND. Always there when you are weak and they make you believe you need them.

I am trying to saying goodbye to them. Trying to get them out of my life. For now. Or for always. It’s hard to push away a friend that has been there for you your whole adult life and another who has been there for you since you were a child. Alone in the school yard with the comfort of this “friend”.

We all have friends like these. They come in different forms. Sugar, Alcohol, Tobacco.

Alcohol is the friend who makes you feel confident and social. Sugar is the one who is there when you are sad, tired and frustrated. Tobacco is the abusive partner who beats you up but then tells you he’s sorry and that he loves you and wants you back. And you usually take him back in your weakest moments. When you are vulnerable.

I have been friends with all three in my life.

I said goodbye to the abusive boyfriend a while back and it was the best decision I have ever made in my life. Once in a while when I am super stressed he still comes back to try and hook me back but I now know better. I am free. I have not gone back.

But the other two have been harder to let go of. It is a work in progress. Changing habits. New friends. New life. But for me it is worth it. Because the “real” friends in my life really bring me up.

So if you have a friend like that think about all they have done for you. Why you feel you “need” them. What have they done for you? Are they worth it?

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Grateful for the inspiration

This weekend I coached at my CrossFit box (yes BOX not gym.. go ahead rip me apart). I decided to make it a “festive” workout and we did a Thankgiving themed “Turkey Murph”. This workout consists of a 1 mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups and 300 air squats, and then ends with a 1 mile run. This type of workout is called a Hero WOD, in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan. It isn’t for the faint at heart and is usually done with a 20 lb weighted vest.

I made it “easy” for the members and told them they could do the workout in partners or teams of 2 or 4. I put a spin on it and members had to guess how long it would take them to do it and try to get as close as their estimated time. So the “winners” where not the fastest, they were the ones who could guess their times best.

Stay with me I have a point.

During the 10:30 class there was a flurry of activity as people were trying to find partners, good team names. “Team Asian Sandwich” was my personal favorite as was “Just Carl” which I made up myself when a member decided to do the workout on his own. ANYWAYS, during the flurry I asked one of the members what her team name was and she was contemplating doing it on her own as she didn’t want to slow anyone down. Just then another member turned around and said (and I wish I remembered her exact words) but it was something like “Come on our team, I’m going through chemo, we aren’t going to win it here” (she said it better but that’s how I remember it). And just like that they made a team. And yes your team gets an honourable mention for having the best “turkey gobble”.

Why did I feel the need to tell this story? frankl

Because it reminds me that no matter what your situation is, you have to keep living. This is the time you have. Surround yourself with the people you love, do the things you love, and enjoy every minute of it. No one knows how much time we have on this planet. Every day is precious.

Thank you to my friend who reminds me every day to live my life to the fullest. I would mention you by name but I don’t want you to sue me.

Pay it forward. Live life to the fullest. Don’t let little things get you down. Be grateful for what you have and stop worrying about what you don’t have.

“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

– Viktor E. Frankl

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happiness is Progress

Or is it the other way around? Progress is happiness? I heard this on a podcast the other day and it made me think. I used to think that my goal in life was to be happy. If I was happy I could enjoy my life. But is happiness really a goal? I’ve been struggling with the state of the world we are living in. Celebrity culture and the instalife. The bombardment of advertising telling people they are not healthy enough, happy enough, and that their lives would be so much better if they were. In the end, how do you want to be remembered?

“Wow she had GREAT abs!”

As I look back at my life and as I close in to my 40s I have come to realize what makes me happy. I feel the path of my life going in a direction for me. My path may not be the one that you would choose but it is the right one for me. I may make some mistakes, lots of them but I will learn from them and that will be part of my journey.

I will not push my path on others. What makes me happy might not make you happy. There is a lot of talk about longevity. For some, that is a goal. For me it is meaningless. I lost my mom when she was 56. She did nothing to shorten her life. She was active and healthy and strong. She just got dealt the wrong cards in the end.

I want to live my life and learn from yesterday. Progress is happiness. I will not stop myself from doing something I want to do because it might take years off my life. What is life if it isn’t lived? I’ll take the chance.

It’s about the way you interact with the world. Like cells in the human body. They are connected and work together to make the human body function properly. You get a cut, the platelets come on over to help out. The white blood cells fight off bacteria. Every cell in the human body is important. And it only take ONE cell to make everything go wrong.

I honestly don’t know where I am going with this. I guess what I am trying to say is this: Be at peace with who you are, what you look like and your past. You can always improve but just enjoy being you. Flawed and all. Who says you need to be more? And remember that you are part of something much bigger. Like the cells in the human body we all have purpose and meaning on this earth. One bad cell can make it all go horribly wrong.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Open your heart and open your mind. That last line is the one that gets me every time.

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Can people really change?

When I was a kid I had the same thing written in my report card under the comments, “Mia gets easily distracted”. I’m pretty sure every year this was the only comment that I got… other then my grade 4 year with Mrs. Robyn. Remember her? The flaming red lips, dark hair and dark evil looks? I just got shivers. Off topic.

When I was a kid I was also the one to get my allowance and spend it. Immediately. No saving. No waiting. Right away. Not only that I would spend it on junk food. I still remember the bike rides to the Provisoir. Ringolos, gummy worms, Crunchie bar and juice in a bag. The worse part about this was that I would bike to the school yard afterwards and eat in all in secret. Partially cause I knew my mom wouldn’t approve of me spending my money immediately and also because it was all junk food.

I would sit on the swings and guiltily (I don’t know if thats a word but I’m trying to prove a point) eat ALL the food that I spent ALL my money on. Then go home and blatently LIE about it. Sometimes I would bring my little sister as an accomplice but most time this was something I did on my own that I felt really guilty about. I also used to steal my dad’s stash of sweets and FLINESTONE VITAMINS by the handful.

I was a competitive gymnast and a super active kid. Never had a weight problem… just a bingeing problem. And maybe a sugar addiction. But as I’ve lived through my life I realize that it is more then that. It is a problem with impulse control.

Just call me good times Charlie.

Impulse control problems in combination with a desperate need to people please makes for a super fun/toxic combo. As I have grown older and my priorities have changed I have desperately tried to change this. Eating well, training hard and being an example to my kids. But when the going gets tough, I regress back to my default mode.

Luckily I have a good head on my shoulders, and people in my life who have taught me how to make the right choices. It is SUPER important to me to eat well, to not go overboard with drinking and to lead a healthy lifestyle. And to live within a budget and even save money for the future. But it is never easy. I work HARD to live this life.

Working on your weaknesses

I always tell my students at the gym that they need to work on their weaknesses as well as their strengths. We LOVE to do what we love, but have a hard time working on our weaknesses. But what we have to remember is that sometimes our weaknesses are masking our power. If you ignore your weaknesses you will never uncover your true potential.

Some things that come naturally to me, will not to you and vice versa (all you runners out there).

But you need to know what your goals are and keep on trying. Working on yourself, your strengths as well as your weaknesses. This applies to all aspects of life.

So to answer my own question, can people change?

For sure.

But some things need more work then others. And if you truly believe that you can and truly believe that it is worth it then you will. Well, you can never transform into a unicorn, nor can you turn your weaknesses into your strengths. I believe that with consistant work and a belief in yourself you can minimize your weaknesses. As you push through you will become stronger and they will slowly be less and less of an issue.

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them” – Albert Einstein

I know what I want for myself. I do not want to be the kid feeling guilty sitting alone on the swings eating candy. I don’t want to be distracted. I have come a long way from those days in the school yard but I know that there is consistant work to be done to improve. The first step is accepting yourself for who you are and not make excuses for your behavior. If you identify a weakness that needs help then never give up on making those changes in your life. Eventually it will get easier (or at least believe it will).

We are only limited by our own beliefs. Some things we can’t control but for the things we can the sky is the limit. Live your best life…

Don’t try to be perfect. Do your best and be perfectly imperfect. be better

 

 

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