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5 Things I’ve learned through Heartache and Mistakes

Category: Self Compassion, Spread the Movement, The Best You

i’ve made many mistakes in my time, none of which i am proud of but am thankful for the lessons i got out of them. here are some of the nuggets i’ve picked up along the way.

1. be thankful for the life you have and live it fully

i see death knocking on people’s door every single day and am reminded by how fragile life really is. as a person who was coasting through the storm i took so much for granted including my life, saying Jesus could take me today and i really wouldn’t care. i still wouldn’t care if God called me home but what has changed is the appreciation i have for my life.

2. don’t take your loved ones for granted

i had a bad habit of taking my loved ones for granted… thinking they’d always be there for me. but that changed when someone i loved dearly ended up walking out of my life. i understand there is an ending to every beginning but i never imagined the ending would be like this… so cherish those you care about most because you might not have the rest of your life to show your gratitude.

3. faith and religion are two separate things joined together by God

i was struggling with my faith and for a while, wondered where He was. i had many unanswered questions, disagreed with a lot of values taught by my religion and at one point felt like i couldn’t identify with it. i was upset and angry at God; i needed answers but all i was getting was silence. i started drifting away from Him but one day, i finally received the sign i had been waiting for. and now, i am on my journey home with a slightly better understanding of it all. although i still don’t agree with everything the church teaches, i know i’m catholic because of Him.

4. stand your ground when it counts but compromise when you can

relationships are all about give and take. know your values and understand how important they are in your life. i was too unwavering with values i realized weren’t all that important to me which ultimately left me astray. however, that was the other issue… i hadn’t fully recuperated and jumped headfirst into it without fully knowing what i had to offer but more importantly, who i was. which leads me to my final point

5. self compassion is the key to being true to who you are and what you want

that whole cliche about taking care of yourself first so you can take care of others is true to its very core. i neglected my personal needs and in the end realized the only person i was betraying, was myself. take time to recharge, let yourself feel and get to know who you really are again so that you know what your needs are and what you bring to the table.

these are things that have really hit home for me. living authentically is a choice we make every single day but as long as it’s still a conscious choice i make for myself, i know i’ll be a-okay.

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,
Anh Thu

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7 Principles of the Happiness Advantage


Category: Self Compassion, The Best You, Spread the Movement

i knew i was running away from it all. never in my life had i felt so helpless, lost… and the worst feeling of all, so miserably alone. the easiest way for me to cope with it all was to throw it into this mountainous, ever-growing pile of crap and essentially neglect my problems. i thought hey, ‘out of sight, out of mind right?’

surely that wasn’t the case.

after so many months of being sad and upset at life i decided it was time i needed to make a perspective change and opened up The Happiness Advantage written by John Achor.

here are his Seven Principles of Positive Psychology that he discusses in the book.

1. meditate – neuroscientists found that monks who spend years meditating actually grow their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain most responsible for feeling happy.

2. find something to look forward to – anticipating future rewards can actually light up the pleasure centers in your brain much as the actual reward will.

3. commit conscious acts of kindness – a long line of empirical research, including one study of over 2,000 people has shown that acts of altruism decrease stress and strongly contribute to mental health.

4. infuse positivity into your surroundings – decorate your office, make time to go outside on a nice day, or clean your room or your house

5. exercise – release those endorphins, that’s obvious.

6. spend money – spend money on experiences or other people. one experiment found that students who were given money to spend on other people such as buying a friend lunch or coffee reported more positive emotions than a control group who was given money to spend on anything they wanted.

7. exercise a signature strength – find a character strength of yours and practice it daily. (find yours at www.viasurvey.org) one of mine is kindness so what i’m thinking is doing one random act of kindness a day and writing it down.

John says that we obviously can’t focus on all 7 points of his book so prioritize one, own it and see what happens. so what are you going to work on to help you feel more beYOUtiful?

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu

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What I learned Running Away from Reality

Category: Authenticity, Self Compassion, The Best You

I spent a year running away from reality during my transition to California. While it was a decision I made and ultimately wanted, what frustrated me was I found myself constantly lonely, which caused me to doubt my decision. I sat with these feelings for a long time and did my best to let go of the thoughts that held me hostage by traveling to distract me from the reality of California. I did my best to keep my game face on because I didn’t want anyone to know that deep down inside, I regretted my decision to move away from home.

It wasn’t until a conversation I had with my best friend that made me realize I hadn’t been at my best this last year. In that moment I knew I had wasted away an entire year, drowning in my own self pity… which was when it hit me, I can’t just let these negative emotions consume me nor control my life any further.

As embarrassed as I am to admit to all of this, I know it had to happen this way for me to truly appreciate and love my life, so as 2017 begins… this is what I need to let go of and forgive myself for.

The lesson I was reminded of through this process though: is that self compassion can be one of the most difficult things to practice but it’s the key to self love and pure confidence.

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu

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5 things i’ve learned and relearned from Failing miserably

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Category: Self Compassion, Self Acceptance, The Best You

I’m just going to go on the record and say I’ve made countless mistakes and while society is trying to change the negative connotation of “failure,” re-wording it to things like: “an opportunity for growth,” “a lesson to be learned,” etc. — it does NOT make committing the mistake any less awful.

I’ve made plenty of dumb decisions; from my personal life all the way to the other end of the spectrum. However, I’m reminded by the fact that I have learned so much, not only about myself but about life in general throughout this process.

Things I am relearning:

  1. Growth is exponential and while you may be great at something, without continual practice the previously acquired skill could dissipate into thin air.
  1. It’s great to feel like you know what you’re doing but when things get hazy, get off your high horse and ask for help.
  1. Remember, it’s okay to SAY NO.
  1. Chasing after perfection is a great mentality to have, in fact I admire people who continually pursue this state of being. However, remember not to escape reality because perfection doesn’t exist.
  1. At the end of the day, as long as you gained something out of said mistake, then well… it was all kinda worth it right? I hope.

With that, while committing mistakes may not be the most pleasant experience, at least there are some positive outcomes that come from them. If we think hard enough, there will always be a lesson to be learned from our mistakes. And hey, it’s okay to make mistakes.. how do you think Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, right? 🙂

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

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12 Good Deeds to do this Christmas!

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Category: Spread the Movement, The Best You, Self Compassion

is it just me or does it not feel like Christmas is right around the corner? as a general rule, most people are more giving around the holiday season and it really warms my heart to know there’s more good going around in the world. i’ve been reflecting on what i’ve given back this year and to be honest, it hasn’t been much since i was so focused on rebuilding myself and transitioning to life in california. despite the lack of giving though… it’s never too late to do good. i’ve decided with only 12 days left of Christmas, i’m going to commit to one good deed a day and YOU CAN TOO!

 

Here are 12 ideas on how to Give Back this holiday season:

  1. Go through a checkout line and pay for the car or person behind you
  1. Send a Christmas card to someone who’s made a difference in your life this year
  1. Next time you’re going through a door, wait to keep the door open for the next person behind you
  1. Give some extra change the next time you see a bell ringer at any storefront
  1. Genuinely compliment someone on something you really find unique about them
  1. Send a text message to a loved one telling them how much you appreciate them
  1. Rummage through your old stuff and donate some of those things you don’t really use anymore that could really be helpful to someone else
  1. Pick up some trash you see laying on the ground and throw it into the nearest trash can
  1. Smile at everyone you encounter in your day
  1. Intentionally pray or keep someone in your thoughts and send them good vibes
  1. Offer your help to someone

    12. Go one day without complaining, negative thoughts and just love on YOU

i’ll keep you all posted on the progress of my good deeds. good luck and let me know how it goes for you! happy holidays.

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu

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Feel Like Your Hands are Tied? Did You Put YOUrself First?

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Category: Self Compassion, The Best You, Spread the Movement

Something I’ve been meaning to do but have not followed through on is fostering my relationships and helping those in need. We fear imperfection for many reasons and for me it’s because I am so afraid of people recognizing my faults, judging me and ultimately losing any sort of prior credibility I managed to muster up. Part of the reason why I haven’t dedicated as much time help others is because I felt as though I wasn’t in a place in my life to do so and the other half of it was just literal fear, fear of feeling exposed, not knowing what sort of comforting words to offer if need be and the list goes on.

However, life is all about giving more than we take and to be completely honest, I spent a lot of time alone. Alone because I didn’t feel like I was in a place that I could give, not because I didn’t want to but simply because I felt as though I had nothing to offer.

This is something very important to note however, before we begin feeling guilty about not going out of our way to help another human being, we need to ensure whether or not our cup is full. What I mean by this is that we need to take care of ourselves first. Just like when flight attendants explain safety precautions, we must place our oxygen mask on first before helping another passenger. Same goes with our well-being; we need to be in a place of fulfillment on our end in order to offer our support.

So remember, YOU come first. After that everyone else can have a sip of your cup 😉

love simply, simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

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The 5 Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo

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Category: Authenticity, The Best You, Self Acceptance, Self Compassion, Spread the Movement

I read a book titled The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die written by John Izzo and I could not have asked for a better read in such a pivotal time of my life. The problem was I kept filling my life with toxicity; from negative thoughts to making poor outwardly decisions, they just kept piling up one after the other. However after every offense, what kept me from moving forward was never allowing room for forgiveness.

I think having compassion for yourself can be quite challenging because we constantly doubt ourselves, wondering whether we’ll ever be good enough. There comes a point though, when you must let go of all of that and accept you for who you are and realize imperfections exist but opportunities for improvement are always at hand.

John Izzo says these five secrets to living a full and happy life are no brainers but they are quite profound when we finally actualize them into practice.

  1. Be true to yourself – we are the most happy when we follow our hearts and do what makes our heart sing. so don’t neglect that little voice inside of you, because it knows.
  1. Leave no regrets – don’t turn into that old person sitting on their porch still contemplating their life’s ‘what if’s.’ because happy are they who live a life without wondering what could have happened.
  1. Become love – be compassionate to yourself and to others because it does not serve anyone any good to be toxic but showing love and kindness can change and even save lives.
  1. Live the moment take in each moment as if it could be our last because when we realize how special this moment really is, we become grateful and gratitude is life’s currency.
  1. Give more than you take – research has clearly shown that people are happier when we practice random acts of altruism. There’s just something so powerful about giving back and making the world a better place than we found it.

The author suggests focusing on one secret at a time. So what could you work on in your life? as for for me, I will be living a life full of love and compassion. Best of luck!

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

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the Most important piece in the jigsaw puzzle

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Category: Authenticity, Self Compassion, Our Best Selves

I think there comes a point in time when you realize you are the most important piece to this jigsaw puzzle.

I tend to draw a lot of energy to my external environment and for the most part it’s because I genuinely care about it but something I’ve recently noticed is, it was just a way for me to neglect my own needs and pretend, at least for a little while that everything on my end was okay; but truth be told, I felt like a complete train wreck.

After so many jaded experiences… you can’t help but feel disheartened. However, putting a band aid on it and hoping it heals doesn’t actually make it go away. You realize you have to nurture that cut with love, care and antibiotics. Over time, the cut scabs over and you’re left with nothing more than perhaps a pigmented scar. Of course you’re never the same person you are coming out of it but that’s just the beauty of it; life moves on and you do too but the best part about it is you’re a little smarter and maybe a little wiser at the end of it all.

So with that, we need to stop focusing on everything else and start taking care of ourselves. it’s time to do YOU, and no one else.

simply beYOUtiful,

Anh Thu

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the most important thing to have this Thanksgiving

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Category: The Best You, Spread the Movement, Self Compassion

there’s something that i want to share with you all that i truly believe is the secret to having a happy life. as thanksgiving rolls around and people start talking about their thanksgiving day plans or better yet, their black friday plans… i want to focus on something even greater and so much more powerful and that is: gratitude!

gratitude played such a huge role in my life this last year as i transitioned to life in california. not only has it completely changed the way i live and my outlook on life but also the way i give and love.

having a grateful heart has always been something i’ve practiced but not mindfully. i realize looking back now that it was truly when i felt grateful for this opportunity to be here in california, was the moment things finally clicked in place for me.

so with that, what are you grateful for this thanksgiving?

 

love simply, love beyoutifully,

anh thu le

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so many rocks and hard places

Category: Personal, Self Compassion, Spread the Movement

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i can’t believe it’s been a month since i last wrote and i am so sorry. life has really picked up this last month with work and school but i guess October won’t be any different.

today was a tough day… it’s never easy when you’re placed in a position where you feel like you have to choose something over the other. i’m realizing that the older you get the more frequently you’ll encounter these situations where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. and while the way we react to the situation may get easier over time but figuring out what to do and actually following through with it never seems to get any easier.

but despite the difficulties, we just have to remember that this is only just a little dip in the big incline towards the top.

simply beyoutiful,

ATL