Sunday, April 24, 2016

3 REASONS YOU ARE NOT HAPPY AND HOW TO FIX IT


Each of us will experience difficult times. However, it is what we do during those difficult times that will either make or break us. As the Youth Advocate at a high school I am always looking for ways to help and inspire my students. However, it isn't uncommon for them to be the ones inspiring me. If I were to begin listing all the different ways, we would be here all day, so instead, I am going to focus on three examples that happened just this week. Through the many different positive influences of my students, this week I was able to recognize three possible reasons we aren't able to find the happiness we deserve, and how to fix it. 

 

REASON 1: WE FORGET TO GIVE THANKS

One way I try to help my students is by teaching them skills to be more organized with their time. I created a "Things To Do" printable for them to keep track of all the things they need to get done throughout the week and be able to check them off once they are finished. I usually ask them to bring it to me to check once they have filled it out. 

After giving him a "Things To Do" print-out, one of my students brought his in to my office and I was shocked by what I saw. Most kids will have a long list of homework and assignments (which is what the sheet is intended for), however, this one was a bit different. Along with the different assignments that needed to be completed, this student had added "Give thanks to God" at the beginning and end of each of his days. I couldn't help feeling impressed and even inspired. How often do we forget to "give thanks" to God? Do we really consider it to be one of our most important tasks of each day? This young boy inspired me and reminded me that I need to make "giving thanks" to God more of a priority in my life.  

At such a young age, one of my students was able to recognize the importance of giving thanks to God for all that he has been blessed with. I will be the first to admit that remembering to "give thanks" and "count my blessings" is not typically the first item on my to do list. However, it should be. My darling student nailed it. The very first and very last part of each of his days were dedicated to thanking God for all he has. 


REASON 2: WE TURN AWAY FROM GOD INSTEAD OF TO HIM

While my religion and personal beliefs are a huge part of my life and extremely important to me, there is no place for that in public schools. As much as I might like to, I cannot share my personal beliefs about God with my students. Once again I was inspired by one of my outstanding students. Recognizing that I was a little "down" one day, and without even knowing the details as to why, this student reminded me of a truth that we too often forget by telling me, "God has a plan for you". At that very moment, those were the exact words that I needed to hear. I truly believe that God works through mysterious ways and that day He used a young 17 year old kid to be the answer to my prayers. 

When things get hard in life, people either turn to God for help, or turn away out of bitterness. When we turn away from God, we are turning away from the true source of  all happiness. During difficult times, the worst thing we can do is turn away from our all-knowing, and all-loving Heavenly Father. While you may have feelings of bitterness or confusion when things aren't working out the way you would like, remembering that God truly does have a plan for you is so important. I was reminded of this truth at the very moment I needed it by my incredible student.   


REASON 3: WE FORGET WHO WE ARE

The last two weeks I have been doing a project with my students where they write on a piece of paper, "I AM..._______" and fill in the blank with one positive word that best describes who they really are. When I look at my students I can think of countless positive words that describe them. It broke my heart as I watched many of them struggle to come up with one positive word that they personally felt described who they are. A few of them threw it back at me and asked what I would put to describe myself. While it was so easy for me to see the good in them, when it was thrown back at me, the task seemed a little more difficult. I imagine that this is exactly how our Heavenly Father feels about us. We are LITERALLY, His children. We are sons and daughters of an almighty God. We are divine and precious.  While this is true, for some reason, our vision of our true identity gets clouded and we forget who we are. As I watched my students bravely redefine who they are and label themselves positively, I was reminded of who I truly am. A daughter of God with infinite potential. 

Do you really understand the significance of the reality that YOU are a child of God? Do you know that your worth is without bounds? Do you know that God loves you? You are His child. He knows you perfectly and can easily see all the good that we are. God doesn't love a certain version of you, He loves the WHOLE of you. Exactly as you are, faults and all. 

When we forget who we are, turn away from God, and forget to give thanks, we are making the possibility of finding true happiness near impossible. Doing these three things will not make everything perfect. However, doing these things will provide you the strength necessary to get through the difficulties that life will inevitably present to you. If you have found yourself struggling, bitter, or saddened by the hardships of life, I challenge you to implement these three things more seriously in your daily life. 


"He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that. He’s not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He’s not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief." -Chieko Okazaki



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Saturday, April 9, 2016

LOVING LATELY • GLOSSIER + AWESOME DISCOUNTS FOR YOU


If there was one beauty company I have been dying to check out, it's GLOSSIER

Well, I finally took the plunge, and honestly, my only complaint is that I didn't do it sooner. 

I purchased the Coconut Balm Dotcom - Universal Skin Salve and it literally smells like summer in a bottle. As if that wasn't good enough, it can be used everywhere. Lips, hands, elbows, anywhere you need a little hydration. It nourishes, repairs, and locks in moisture where you need it most. 



On top of creating outstanding products, GLOSSIER doesn't skimp when it comes to presentation and delivery. When my package came I never anticipated just how much fun it would be to open. Inside I found my purchase zipped in the cutest little bubble wrap bag. They also included a poster, stickers, annnnnd a sample of their priming moisturizer. 



Now, here is the BEST news. 

If you aren't already convinced enough to head over to GLOSSIER and order your own goodies, maybe a 20% off discount is just the push you need. To get 20% off your purchase, just click HERE and your discount will be applied at the checkout!







What GLOSSIER products do you recommend for me to try next? 

Leave your favorites in the comments below!

xoxo

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

KEEP TRYING


I am the youth advocate at a high school. My primary goal there is to "advocate" for my students. 

Majority of the students I work with each day are really struggling. Their struggles are varied, however, each of the individual struggles my students experience tend to have a negative affect on their performance in school. 

Two years ago I was working with a boy and our goal for the week was to go to every single class. Now, this might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but for the students I work with, this can be a very difficult task. 

To my surprise, this fifteen year old boy, (who might I add, had just had his mother pass away a few weeks prior), had a PERFECT week. Not even a single late. 

I was on cloud nine. I could not have been more proud. 

That very same day, one of his teachers spoke with me about him. She said that he was terrible. She said he never  did his work and that he was always rude and disrespectful. I stopped her right there and I asked, "Did he come to class this week?" She told me that he did. I asked, "Was he on time?" She told me that he was. I then responded, "Those were our goals this week. He accomplished the task. This week we will work on something else. He can do his work, or he can be nice, it's up to you." She told me she would like for him to be nice, so that is what we worked on. 

From this experience I realized a few things. 

1. What might not be challenging for you, could be incredibly difficult for someone else. 

This darling student of mine worked SO hard to accomplish his goals. While to some, it might have seemed like no big deal, for him, it was extremely ambitious. He was trying. I recognized his efforts, and I couldn't have been more proud of him. 

2. God recognizes our efforts.

I knew how challenging this goal was for my student to accomplish. When his teacher began complaining about him I explained that I would not "break" him. I did not expect him to "run faster than he had strength". While seemingly insignificant, he was making progress. Slowly but surely, he was moving forward. Just as I recognized and was proud of even the smallest steps in the right direction, God recognizes our effort. 

3. Christ will advocate for us. 

When approached by my student's teacher, I heard her out, but then I defended my student. I helped her recognize even the tiniest effort on his part. As their advocate, I strive to defend my students while pushing them in the right direction. I do not expect them to be perfect, but I do expect them to try. As they push forward, even when they fail, I stand by their side. Christ is literally our advocate with the Father (D&C 110:4). He is pleading your cause.

 Today during General Conference Elder Holland's talk "Tomorrow The Lord Will Do Wonders Around You", really moved me, as I am sure it did many others. In it he taught that, "The Lord blesses those who want to improve." God recognizes our effort. He blesses us for our desires to improve. God also knows that we will fall short. He knows that we are not perfect and he does not expect us to be. Holland continues, "We get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed." 

I am so grateful to be a part of a church that believes in second chances; a church that gives credit for trying. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of my loving and merciful Heavenly Father, who despite my faults, never gives up on me. I am grateful for a Savior who advocates for me and "pleads my cause" even when my efforts have been small and insignificant. 

Click HERE to learn more about what I believe.


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Saturday, April 2, 2016

BE WISE MAGAZINE ISSUE 14 • "BE YOUR BEST SELF" EMOTIONALLY

The "Be Your Best Self" EMOTIONALLY issue has officially been launched and we couldn't be more thrilled! To check it out and learn more about our "BE YOUR BEST SELF" Movement click HERE. We have some super exciting things going on so make sure to head over to the website to check them all out!



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Monday, March 21, 2016

LOVING LATELY • MR BLANC




It can be extremely frustrating to spend wads of cash trusting the "promise" to a whiter smile on the label, just to have your teeth appear exactly the same. On the other hand, many of the products out there do produce whiter teeth... at the expense of really irritated gums. White teeth are nice, but the painful effects... not so much. 

In pursuit of a bright white smile, I have tried nearly every product out there... but none of them compare to Mr. Blanc. Truly, I LOVE this product. Within the first use I noticed my teeth were whiter. The best part, ABSOLUTELY NO PAIN. For real. I was ready to experience the typical irritation and there wasn't any at all. This is huge for me. This product gets a solid 10 out of 10 from me. You will absolutely get what you are paying for. If you are still not convinced, click HERE to learn more about why Mr. Blanc honestly is the greatest teeth whitening system out there. Also, we have a special code for BE WISE readers to get 15% off your purchase! Simply enter code bewise15 when you check out! 



SMILE. IT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU!

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Friday, March 11, 2016

BUY ONE GIFT ONE SALE


When you BUY our “Be Your Best Self - PHYSICALLY” Online Issue we will GIFT one for FREE to a friend of your choice! Simply enter their name, email address, and a special note (if you'd like) in the “Note To Seller” section on the secure checkout page. We will send your gift to them within 24hrs!  (Sale ends Friday March 18).




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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

LEARNING TO ENJOY THE RIDE + FREE PRINTABLE


It is no secret that life often takes some pretty unexpected twists and turns and maybe even some big ups and downs. While you might have some idea of how you would like your life to turn out, God's plan for you may look quite different. At times this reality can be frustrating or even painful. There really is truth in Shakespeare's quote, "Expectation is the root of all heartache." While we might expect a certain outcome, God may step in and intervene with our plan. While difficult in the moment, if we could just comprehend even a small portion of what God has in store for us, we would gladly hand over the reins.  

God not only sees you as you are, He sees you as you can become. He has strategically planted trials and obstacles in your life to help you grow, learn, and eventually become perfected. He wants you to reach your full potential and has mapped out a life that can help you in achieving just that. 

It is important to understand that the struggles I might face will likely look much different from the trials you might face. This is because God knows what will help me to grow, might not help you. He knows what experiences we need and what trials we must endure. He is also fully aware of each of our "breaking points." He will never give you a challenge or struggle that you cannot endure. 

Now simply knowing all this does not necessarily make our trials any easier...  

That is why I have created four simple steps to help you (and me) learn how to ENJOY THE RIDE.



RECOGNIZE THAT LIFE IS A LEARNING PROCESS


When things don't go as planned, it can be easy to become frustrated. When trials arise, it can be easy to become pessimistic. When we make mistakes, it can be easy to feel discouraged. However, when we recognize the possibility of God's hand making changes in our life, instead of being frustrated, we should feel full of hope and even excitement for the future. We can be grateful for the trials as we begin to view them as an opportunity to grow. And instead of being discouraged when we make mistakes, we can step back, realize that we are human, and strive to learn and improve from our mistakes. Life is a learning process and every day we have an opportunity to change. 



CHANGE THE WAY YOU LOOK AT THINGS


Trials can appear to be obstacles... if we choose to look at them that way. OR trials can be opportunities.  I never planned to be 25 and single. As silly as it might sound, this reality at times has been a trial in my life. Lets be real, being single can be tough. The dating game isn't always a good time. I would love to be married and have kids. However, at least for right now, that does not seem to be God's plan for my life. Instead of throwing my own "being single is hard" pity party, I can instead look for the many blessings I do have.  I can focus on becoming my very best self, so that when the time does come to be married, I will be better prepared. Being single might not be your "trial", however, whatever yours might be, the advice is still the same. "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I could look at being single as a trial, or I could look at being single as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to grow, to focus on improving myself, and simply ENJOY this time of my life. 



CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK


Sometimes the best thing we can do to "enjoy the ride" and even for our own well-being is to simply cut ourselves some slack. To be perfectly honest, you are probably doing far better than you think you are and you are also probably being way harder on yourself than you need to be. Life is hard enough as it is and beating yourself up isn't making it any easier. Some days what we really need is a break. While your intentions might have been waking up at 5:30 to exercise before heading off to work, maybe what you really need is another hour of sleep. While your to-do list might be a mile long, maybe the first item on the list really should be some self-care. You are a work in progress. Give yourself time to progress. And in the mean time, cut yourself some slack. 



REWRITE YOUR DREAMS 


Having goals and dreams for your life is a beautiful thing. Working towards your own personal plans is a necessary part of life. However, as mentioned before, sometimes our own plans can take some unexpected twists. When this happens, (because it will) do not give up. Do not quit your dreams. Simply rewrite them. Heavenly Father wants to bless you. Rewrite your goals and dreams so that they can are aligned with the plans God has for you. Instead of being discouraged, rewrite your expectations and create new and beautiful possibilities for your circumstances. 



When you think about a roller coaster, I am sure you envision lots of different twists, turns, loops and maybe even a few surprises. Without those, a roller coaster is no longer a roller coaster. Roller coasters would not be nearly as enjoyable if it weren't for the exciting uncertainty of the spiraling twists and turns as well as the ups and downs.  

Life is the same way. While knowing what will happen next and never dealing with the lows is comfortable and safe, without that we would never be able to appreciate the highs. Recognize those "lows" as opportunities to grow and learn. Change the way you look at things and you will notice the things you look at will change. Remember to cut yourself some slack and give yourself credit for the successes you do have, big or small. And lastly, rewrite your dreams. If your life took an unexpected turn, use this opportunity to create new possibilities. Above all, learn to simply enjoy the ride.


"The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time." James Taylor


DOWNLOAD OUR FREE "LEARNING TO ENJOY THE RIDE" PRINTABLE HERE


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