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First Step in Achieving our Goals

phnom penh, cambodia, mission trip

Tonight, I just wanted to slow down… my life has been so fast paced lately and I feel like I can’t keep up. So I resorted to youtube and searched up my girl Oprah. I feel like she’s always got something to feed the soul and so I watched a 20 minute speech she made and honestly, I didn’t even watch the whole thing but I cried watching it. I’m still trying to figure out why I became so emotional over it and maybe it’s because the person that has been functioning is so far from who I am at my core. Just rush rush rush to get things done. I haven’t breathed, taken things in to process and really one of the big things is that I haven’t done anything to serve myself nor others.

She shared about her story on building a school and I can still remember at one point in my life where I really wanted to focus in on developing a nonprofit organization that could benefit so many people. I never got around to figuring out what it was going to be… and I thought maybe my blog would eventually become that one day and I’m sure it still has potential to become something big. But I gotta figure out what I want to create, why I want to create it, who I want it for. I know that I want to impact, on a larger scale. I know I want to work with women, I know I want to empower and influence… just don’t know on what. But Oprah talking about her experience going back to South Africa to carry out her Christmas Kindness mission of giving a gift to young children reminded me that I haven’t put any effort in doing anything larger than myself in a really long time. And part of me felt called. Called to come back to that place. The place where I wanted to help, encourage, and inspire. Not sure how, or who or even what… but I know it’s time to explore my options.

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First step

First thing that comes to mind is I’d really like to get out of the States and go serve somewhere. The second thing that comes to mind is influencing through my blog and bringing my mission and vision to life. Because the slate is so clean, it can be really intimidating but the first step in pursuing that scares is committing to following through.

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How to Bring Your Life to the Next Level

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I believe that all of the activities we partake in outside of our obligations can essentially be categorized in three different ways. Being able to identify your activities throughout the day can easily show you things you can do to give yourself a little pick-me-up, especially on days they are much needed. So I’ve defined these activities as life-giving, chill or fun activities.

Life-giving Activities

Are things that give you life! Activities that fill your soul up with goodness so that you are full so you can easily share and support others.

Chill activities

Are  just like they sound, chill. They are things you do to relax and numb your brain so you don’t have to think about anything else.

Fun activities

Are things you just enjoy doing that aren’t quite life-giving but they just help  you have a good fricken’ time!

So for me

Life-giving activities – writing, gratitude, reading, working out, church at St John Fisher/Cottonwood, reflection, eating healthy, devotional, volunteering, quality hang outs/conversations

Chill activities – Netflix, social media

Fun activities – blog, photography, planning trips, online shopping, apex, chillin’ with friends

And now that I’ve categorized my daily activities, I have a much better sense of what I’m doing with my time and it allows me to be more conscious of what I do to ensure that I am filling my day with life-giving activities rather than chill activities that make my brain go numb. They say that if we’re not measuring progress, how do we know we’re improving. And if we don’t know, how do we know to shake things up to take things up a notch? So let’s think about what your activities are, and how can we be more conscious of doing more life-giving activities during our day because those are the ones that recharge and rejuvenate ourselves.

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How to Do a Self Check-In Assessment

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I believe reflection is a phenomenal way to process life, take a step back and make sense of all the chaos that surrounds us every day . Looking back at my life last year, it felt like a bunch of random events and moments I collected with not much understanding nor connection. Let me tell you, it’s the worst way to reminisce on life. And while I hit a major low last year, it was definitely something that needed to happen to spring me forward into the direction I’ve been wanting to go.

I’m currently reading this book called I am That Girl by Alexis Jones, and essentially it’s a self help book for women to speak truth and find their purpose. It had amazing reviews on Amazon so I figure I’d give it a shot. I’m loving it so far because the author tells her story and intertwines it with other powerful women’s voices and best thing is that it gives you activities to work on (definitely one of my favorite aspect of books that I read). One of the things I’ve really liked so far that I’ve actually completed is a life self assessment that you can do several times throughout the year. It is a way to stop and reflect, figure out where you are so you can figure out where and how to continue to proceed with life to get closer to manifesting those dreams.

Since March is just right around the corner, I decided it would be the perfect time to do this because Q1 of the year will be over next month!

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Self Check-In

Take some time to answer these self assessment questions and it’s ok not to finish in one sitting. It’s best to ponder and provide a thoughtful response than to rush through the process. I’ve also went ahead and shared my personal responses to each of the questions below. I think it’s best to be raw, and real… and feel as much as you can through answering these questions because it’s the only way to get an honest look at life.

So here we go…

  1. What are you most proud of recently? What are you least proud of? What did you learn from your least proud moment, and what can you do to inspire more of what you were most proud of?
  2. Rate yourself from 1-10 on the following attributes: AuthenticitySelflessness

    Kindness 

    Compassion

    Patience 

    Creativity 

    Forgiveness 

    Passion 

    What areas need the most improvement? How can you put them into action? Schedule them into your planner

  3. List out your top priorities (ideally) in order.
  4. Where are you spending most of your time (I’ll list what a typical week looks like?) Where are you spending most of your money? Do your priorities match your actions (bc where you spend your time and money is a direct correlation to your actual priorities)?
  5. How do you feel in general? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Do you feel deprived in any area, too focused on any area, or in need of serious attention in any area?
  6. What are your current personal and professional goals? Write them down, steps to accomplishing them and schedule them into your calendar
  7. What was the last act of kindness you did? Think of a new one and schedule it

 malibu, malibu beaches, california, beach, beach life, california

My Responses

  1. What are you most proud of recently? What are you least proud of? What did you learn from your least proud moment, and what can you do to inspire more of what you were most proud of?

Recently, I’ve been really proud of my fitness progress. I’ve been eating well, working out 5-6 days a week for the last 3 weeks. I’m definitely beginning to see and feel results.

I am least proud of the way I’ve treated my loved ones, especially in times of need.

Promises are huge. I live in a gray zone, my life is gray, things intermix, change and constantly flowing and I need to learn how to compartmentalize. Be rigid, be strict, it is yes or no, not maybe.

  1. Rate yourself from 1-10 on the following attributes:

Humility (authenticity) 5

Selflessness 6

Kindness 8

Compassion 7

Patience 8

Creativity 7

Forgiveness 8

Passion 4

What areas need the most improvement? How can you put them into action? Schedule them into your planner

Passion, humility and selflessness need the most improvement. Passion, I’m unsure if I can truly say that I am passionate about blogging or nursing. At some points I feel like I have to do it… and of course there will be parts of any job or career that is not fun, but they must be done because they add to the bigger picture. Passion, I need to continue to push through and constantly remind me of the core reason why I began the blog, and why I went into nursing.

Authenticity, and I know I haven’t been incredibly honest and or authentic with others. Partially because I feel I can’t, that I don’t have anyone I feel safe enough to do it with. Isn’t that crazy? Coming from the lady who values it? But that’s it, I need to model it for others. Because this is truly something I believe in wholeheartedly.

Selflessness, I feel like I can be A LOT more selfless for Hoan. Hoan tells me I’m his number one priority and I believe him. I’m going to be more actively conscious of being more life giving to him.

  1. List out your top priorities (ideally) in order

 

  1. God
  2. Hoan
  3. Family/friends
  4. School
  5. Blog
  6. Work
  7. APEX

 

  1. Where are you spending most of your time (I’ll list what a typical week looks like?) Where are you spending most of your money? Do your priorities match your actions (bc where you spend your time and money is a direct correlation to your actual priorities)?

Two days of work, the weekend is usually chillin with church. The other three days, I’ll either work on blog, homework, do online shop, gym, prep food, grocery shop, watch Netflix

I’m spending LITERALLY all my money on food. Good, healthy, groceries, and also online shopping.

  1. How do you feel in general? Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Do you feel deprived in any area, too focused on any area, or in need of serious attention in any area?

You know physically I feel pretty good. I’ve been going to the gym the most I’ve ever gone in ever, I think. The other day, I weighed myself and breaking record I was 118.4, the lightest I’ve been in… like 3 years maybe?! Also, eating really well, lots of greens and shopping a lot more at trader joe’s and whole foods which is phenomenal. I’ve been much more conscious of what I’m putting into my body and limiting the amount of preservatives and unhealthy foods.

Mentally, I feel okay.. definitely not feeling burnt out in regards to school yet because it literally just started and school is actually (I think) going to be fun this semester? I’m not feeling mentally drained at all surprisingly. Probably because I’m definitely having a lot of balance in my life. The other day, I had such a productive day. I woke up around 8 or 9, went to the gym, grocery shopped, cleaned, made my shake, showered, did some online shopping and by the time I started homework, it was about 2pm. I literally cranked it out until 830pm and finished my project! It was such an exhilarating feeling. I need more days like that.

Emotionally, I feel okay. I know for sure that I haven’t quite tapped into those moody, negative, tough emotions yet.. regarding my friendships and healing from my move. I know there’s still a lot to dissect and I’m looking forward to mulling through it with my therapist. She provided me with some homework to work on before we meet again in March.

Spiritually, I feel okay, I don’t think I’ve been fully in tune with God and my spirituality. Lately, it’s just like I know I need to go, so I just attend. I’m not excited about going but it’s just like it is, what it is. The last time I felt really spiritually present and connected was when Hoan and I went to Agape church. Service was okay, but the community was what got me. I definitely felt God’s presence being with them. Their openness and realness was exactly what I needed in a season of stillness. Seeing how tight knit they were as a community of Believers was just so heartwarming. I need more of that in my life.

  1. What are your current personal and professional goals? Write them down, steps to accomplishing them and schedule them into your calendar

Personal goal – Write more. Write down what I’m grateful for every day. Post at least one blog post a week on the blog.

Take my finances to the next level. Hoan and I want to purchase a property by end of this year or next.

  1. How much money am I putting into it?
  2. How much will I have by the end of the year?
  3. How much do I need?

Professional goal – Find a part time nurse educator position that works in NRPs either in Seattle or LA.

  1. Apply for RN in Washington
  2. Sign up for nurse educator jobs on Indeed – CA and WA
  3. What was the last act of kindness you did? Think of a new one and schedule it

7. What was your last act of kindness. Schedule the next one

Last act of kindness… well, I attempted to give the lady next to us at church who was coughing a cough drop this last Sunday.

Let me think of an act of kindness. Being of help to my colleagues at work is normal. With this one, I feel like I need to go out of my way to do something kind. So I decided, I’m going to create care packages and donate them to a nearby women’s shelter once I get my bonus. Stay tuned for more details!

Well, I hope you all have really enjoyed your self-assessment, please let me know how it goes for you!

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How to Follow Your Heart – 3 Steps

follow your heart, hearts, forever 21, blogger, fashion blogger, los angeles

I think all my life, I’ve trusted the reason my heart would speak of and while I know it doesn’t always align with what is logically correct, in the end I know it’s what I need to do. Listening to that little voice inside me isn’t always easy though. Urging myself to do something that might feel uncomfortable is something I think many people have difficulty with. In the past I know that when I don’t do what that voice is telling me, I ended up feeling really disappointed in myself. I began to practice it more this last year with living intentionally, but I don’t think I did it enough. So with that being said, I’m definitely going to do my best to speak up when my heart says that I should.

How?

So how do we get ourselves to follow through with what we know is right in our hearts?

  1. Recognize the voice

    I think the first step in doing is realizing the voice is actually there. When you get into a situation where you feel compelled to speak up or do something, it’s important to be aware of the fact that your heart is trying to say something.

  2. Reason with yourself

    Once you recognize there is a voice, explore it more and ask yourself why? Why are you feeling compelled? What would be the end result if you did do it, and what would happen if you didn’t? Would you be willing to walk away from the situation without saying or doing and if not would you be okay with it? Figure out if it’s something worth your time. Sometimes the turmoil is what’s most difficult to experience.

  3. React to the situation

    After you’ve gone through the scenarios and realize you can’t walk away not doing what your heart is telling you, then it’s time to follow through. Sometimes this can be the most difficult task but take a deep breath, let it out and if you need support go seek it so you can stay accountable.

 I can’t say following our hearts is easy and I feel like as time goes on and the more practice we get in, the more comfortable it will become. One thing that helps me is reminding myself that we need to trust that the process will lead us to our end destination. The road may twist and bend but all of it will eventually lead you there.

 

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Paralyzing Emotions

sad, sad girl, beach sad, mexico beach

ever since i got back from my thanksgiving trip in seattle, i’ve been in a bit of a funk. i couldn’t help but notice that i was feeling out of my element and while everything had remained the same, there was this running theme i felt all week long. i’ve been trying to process through the emotions and i’m realizing it’s multi-layered.

i think part of it is because the reality of moving  is sinking in… knowing that my life is going to completely change very soon with hoan moving down and then moving up to seattle, getting married and wanting to plan a life around two cities is right around the corner. all of that is just a lot to take in. and while i’ve always enjoyed the option of having more, i’m feeling the nostalgia of resistance from 2 years ago when i first moved to LA resurfacing with this next move.

the other things i kept noticing was feelings of inadequacy, the inability to be myself, fear of judgment and this internal struggle of believing people expected something of me, trying to live up to it but knowing it wasn’t me. with these emotions hitting me all at once, i realized all i could do was numb, do my best to freeze. it’s all so foreign to me feeling like this… never in my life have i felt not enough… not myself or felt fearful of what others thought of me. these were never beliefs that consumed my being and all of a sudden, it was all i could think about.  it’s been really paralyzing and i think i’m still trying to wake up from this trance…

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Vulnerability is Who I Am at My Core

who i am at my core, vulnerability, authenticity, blog, post, california

Something I’ve realized is that I haven’t been fully vulnerable lately. I’m not quite sure why that is but it could be that I’ve been tapping more into my airy side. The side that enjoys chillin’ and having a good time because I’m in sunny So-Cal.

After writing just these two sentences, I felt a gut-wrenching emotion telling me this doesn’t sound right.  Because I know this isn’t who I am at my core. In this moment of desperation, I looked up at my vision board for some answers. This is actually where I look and refer to to remind myself of who I am, what I want to achieve and I what I value. I inherently knew authenticity and vulnerability had to be somewhere on the fricken board.

And what do you know, front and center with the definitions of who Anh Thu is: “Continue to be authentic and vulnerable.” And that’s when it hit me… I don’t feel like I’ve been myself because I haven’t chosen to be real or very open with many people.  So really, it’s my fault that I haven’t been feeling like myself. Because this is a decision I made but this is also where it ends. 

THoughts

So, who are you at your core? I think it’s important to reflect upon who you are and how it’s being reflected in your daily life because your actions may not necessarily show it. Would be curious to hear your thoughts!

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Back for Bigger and Better

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off the shoulder overlay, white top, white off the shoulder, black lace, fashion, whatiwore

ootd, off the shoulder overlay, fashion, off the shoulder top, white top

Hi everyone, we’re back for bigger and better!

I felt a little lost in the mix of the blog for some time.  It finally hit me that i was doing something wrong and needed to change things up. Everyone who knows me knows I like balance, it’s probably just a libra thing. But my whole life, I’ve strived to have a well balanced, well rounded life. So I thought what more perfect way to revamp the blog by giving it more life!

I want to talk about other things that I really enjoy in addition to what I already am talking about! So things like fashion, health and beauty, and of course relationships and personal development like I have been.

I’m super excited for this new start and looking forward to chit chatting with you all 🙂

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Outfit Deets

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FREE Simply Beyoutiful Workbook is FINALLY here!

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I just want to let you Beautifuls know my FREE workbook is finally available for download! If you’re reading this from the blog, on the righthand side you’ll find a form to enter in your info OR on mobile, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the form! Once you complete the process, you’ll get an email to the workbook link that you can download! 🙂

This has been such a long, stressful, yet rewarding journey. I never knew creating such content could be so much work. But I’m so happy to present to you a workbook with 5 tips on how to feel beautiful instantly! The workbook is meant for you to work through, and reflect on the things that truly make you feel beautiful. The best part? On the days that you’re not feeling exceptional you can pull out the workbook and remind yourself exactly how to feel fabulous instantly!

Feel Beyoutiful!

Feeling truly beautiful can be a difficult thing, but remember that it’s not all about physical beauty, there are so many other things encompassing that word and what’s most important is figuring out what ‘beautiful’ means to you!

Here at simplybeyoutiful, we believe in the beauty that makes you, YOU! I hope we can support you on the journey to feeling beautiful every single day and living your best life!

 

live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

 

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Our Wedding Update

What is the meaning of a wedding? I think the first few words that come to mind is partying, celebrating, fun, loving… beautiful. I think of a day full of highs and lows and celebrating the union of two souls in front of God and all our loved ones.

ALready planning

The stress of wedding planning is really beginning to set in. AND I’M NOT EVEN ENGAGED YET. Hoan and I thought it would be smart to just start planning now… being engaged is really just a matter of a ring. However, since we already know it’s going to be forever, we figured why not be productive in the meantime. He says failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Weddings are expensive and I’m realizing the fantasy wedding I dreamt of may be a difficult one to achieve, not impossible though.

Our wedding day is still over a year away but already, many tears have been shed because of everyone’s disagreements. I’m fearful of the journey ahead and am constantly trying to tell myself to fall in love with the process. But I feel as though every step we take, takes us further away from the wedding I’d always dreamt of. Part of me wants to surrender and say do what you please…but the other side of me wants to continue fighting for what is rightfully our decision. I feel my strength waning as the days go by… and I worry this is something I’ll regret when it comes to the day I say “I do.” Because instead of planning it for us, we planned it for everyone, but us.

Feeling a little hopeless 🙁

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL

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Growing Up – What would your 17 year-old Self Say

what would your 17 year old self say about you today, beach, palos verdes, look out, sunset, california, west coast

My friend Ann recently asked me if my 17 year old self would be pleased or disappointed with the 27 year old self that I am today. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago that I was 17… it feels so long ago yet at the same time feels like yesterday. Being a senior in high school, I felt like the next few years were so cookie cut for me. At the time, I knew I was going to the University of Minnesota for the next four years, was exceptionally excited to grow up and start adulting even if 17 felt old already. I was literally looking forward to growing up, getting married and being a mom, starting a nonprofit of some sort… and just basically being a rockstar.

In the here and now at 27, I can say that I am nowhere near being a rockstar. While getting married and having kids is on the horizon, I’m definitely nowhere near starting a nonprofit! My life is so different than what I thought it would be but I’m grateful for who and where I am today. The one thing I do want to pick apart is the nonprofit I dreamed of starting. Honestly, I never considered myself an entrepreneur but the older I get the more enticing that sounds.  I can say with confidence though, that starting this blog is a starting point for that nonprofit I dreamed of. I’m not sure how or when… but I know there’s more to the blog than just this.

So if you want to join in on the reflection, here are some things to ponder:

What did I picture life would be like when I grew up?

What dreams did I have as a child that I wanted to pursue?

Am I living the life I deserve?

What more can I do to create the life I want?

 

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are!

 

Live simply, love beyoutifully,

ATL