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selflove

Freedom Friday #3

February 15, 2018 in Freedom Friday

Friends, this series makes me so so happy. What does it all entail? Freedom. Whether this freedom encompasses letting go of your eating disorder, removing yourself from a toxic relationship, freeing yourself of depression or anxiety, breaking away from orthorexia or exercise addiction… I want to hear your story. And I want to share it. Your story is precious and deserves to be heard. If you want to be featured, email me, DM me on Instagram, contact me in some way, and let’s chat. I have a set of ears that’s willing to listen and a blog that I want to use to share your journey to freedom.


My sweet friend @vanessapalencia15 is sharing her story today.  I have had the privilege of meeting up with her before and she radiates nothing but positive energy. I hope you all enjoy her story on her journey to freedom!

**A few years ago, when I thought ‘freedom,’ I pictured the Boston Tea Party and the Declaration of Independence. I still imagine that sometimes, but lately whenever I think ‘freedom,’ I picture a life of happiness, a life free from the destruction of my mental and physical health that was caused through the hatred of my body and subjecting it to extreme ways.

I find it ironic because I never thought that I needed to be set free from this lifestyle. I thought that I was free from the tangles of being deemed ‘unattractive’ or ‘fat,’ but I only sunk myself deeper into the pitfalls of self-hatred. You see, I had a phase in my life where I was considered the “chubby girl” at best and it was during that time in my life that I had convinced myself that the only way I could be seen as socially acceptable and be considered worthy of love was to lose weight. And so began my spiral down into the world of orthorexia, obsessive exercising, and body dysmorphia.

It wasn’t until over a year ago that Nick, the love of my life, sat me down and tried to slap some sense into me. While I considered it briefly that there might be something wrong with the way I approached food and exercise, I decided to brush it off. In my head, there was no way that I had an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. I was simply doing what everyone else was doing. I was doing everything I ‘needed’ to be doing to stay ‘fit’ and ‘healthy’ in an effort to obtain my ‘ideal’ body. It wasn’t until a few more episodes of me not eating because I ‘didn’t deserve it’ and a few more intense conversations about my mental health with Nick that I knew something was very wrong. I didn’t quite know how to handle it because I went through a pretty big paradigm shift. My belief system in everything regarding health and fitness had been shattered. But regardless, I took the first step towards recovery by abandoning my regimen of macro and calorie counting. Thus began my journey to a newfound freedom of self-love and mental health.

It’s been a struggle ever since. You would think that the road towards loving yourself and embracing your body would be such an easy road to take, but it isn’t. It isn’t easy because the beauty and diet industry have spent countless years trying to highlight what the perfect body looks like and offering products to help us get there in a subtle attempt to tell us that, unless our body resembled the ‘ideal body,’ we weren’t enough, and we needed to fix ourselves. Unfortunately, I was one of millions of girls who readily took to this distorted perception of beauty and self-worth. And let me tell you, it can be extremely difficult to break free from many years of brainwashed ideologies; difficult, but not impossible.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried because I’ve lost count. I can’t recount the thoughts I’ve had during bad days because they’re too gruesome to pass onto someone else. What I can tell you is that it took a long, arduous journey to get to where I am now. But even then, I’m not finished yet. I’ve found freedom in truth, so I’m no longer bound to the shackles of restrictive dieting and severe over exercising, but I’m still fighting to keep this freedom. I fight everyday for my right to love myself exactly the way I am. I fight to remind myself that I deserve to eat and that my health doesn’t depend on spending long hours at the gym. I fight every single day to ignore and challenge the diet and beauty industry’s perceptions of beauty and to love every supposed flaw on my body. But regardless of these continuous fights, I know I’m free because I am no longer blinded. I’m free because I know my value and my worth are far greater than anyone on this earth can estimate. And once you realize that you are in charge of yourself and that you worth so much more than what others say, then you will find freedom, too. **

Keep working towards a life of greater freedom friends. Happiest of weekends friends. 🙂

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Early February & Fear

February 6, 2018 in Recovery

I’ve been planning for this month since September. And it’s finally here. It’s been here for 6 days now.

A lot has happened since September. I taught at a yoga fundraiser. I taught yoga in college. I laughed with my roommate and best friend and had so many great memories with her. I cried. I smiled. I had new people enter my life. I let go of some people. I turned 21. I quit my job at GNC. I finished the semester. I covered up an old tattoo with a new one.

If there’s something I’ve learned about myself over the past year, it’s that I don’t like being afraid of things. And the stubborn part of myself hates admitting that I am afraid. I usually do the things I am very scared of, just because I like the challenge. I did yoga teacher training by myself last summer and lived at the facility- something I was freaked out by but went and did it anyways. I’ve let new people into my life, another thing that would have provoked way more anxiety in the past. I think with being afraid of something and going to do that thing anyways comes a whole lot of growth. Getting out of your comfort zone = more growth.

I am afraid of going to New Zealand. I’m going to be put out of my comfort zone in so many ways. Flying alone, being in a new continent, meeting all new people, adjusting to a new time zone, going to a different university. It’s a lot. But I love that. I love that I know I’m going to be put in a place that will help me grow. And I will make sure to remember that, even when I’m texting my mom saying I miss her or that I’m overwhelmed. Because I know I will have those moments, I’m human; and I can’t run away from my humanness.

With fear, you have to feel it. Soak it all in. And then you have to do that thing anyways. I remember back to my gymnast days when I was scared of doing a new skill. Or I was afraid of competing a routine. I didn’t have a choice but to do it. So I’m taking that approach with this study abroad experience. Because, “The beautiful thing about fear is, when you run to it, it runs away.” Conquering what we never thought we could is an amazing feeling, realizing the fire that lies within you to climb up these mountains and do what you didn’t think you could is even more-so. I know that two years ago, an experience like this would overwhelm me to no end. SO many unknowns, things I can’t control, being away from home, not having any friends with me…. but now, I have a different outlook. I know that the fears I don’t face simply become my limits.

"The beautiful thing about fear is, when you run to it, it runs away." (Robin Sharma)

Keep running towards the thing that scares you…. keep stepping outside your comfort zone. I know you can all do this! And if it seems daunting, something I remind myself and want to remind you all is to BREATHE. One foot in front of the other and just BREATHE. Stressing and worrying about what you don’t know and what is coming will only take you away from the present moment.


Thank you for reading. <3

Tell me, how do you conquer fear? 

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6 Self-Care Ideas

January 26, 2018 in Balance / Friday Favorites / Recovery

Hi guys! And happy Friday. 🙂

I’m sharing 6 ways to take care of yourself in the video below…. if you aren’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, click here to change that!

But if you aren’t a video type of person, here are the 6 self-care ideas I shared in the video.

  1. Draw/Color. This sketchbook is from the Dollar Store, as well as my colored pencils.
  2. Burn Candles. This is something that helps me a lot during the winter months. Having that extra light in my room is great for when it gets dark so much earlier, and candles smell amazing. TJ Maxx or Home Goods has inexpensive candles.
  3. Learn about the moon. Within the past 6 months or so, I have become so interested in the power of the moon. Whether it’s new moons or full moons, I find it so fascinating how we can all be affected by its cycles. I got this journal from Spirit Daugther for $10. It has information about the new moon in whatever month it may fall in (which relates to that zodiac sign) as well as journal prompts and rituals to follow for the new moon.
  4. Journal! My journal is from TJ Maxx, and was $3.99. I love to journal on different prompts. Some of these include what I feel is inhibiting me in life, my current struggles, my dreams, my intentions for the day, what I’m grateful for, and what is exciting me in life. `
  5. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. I wrote a post about the value in walking on Monday, and truly believe walking is like moving meditation. It’s so good for our soul.
  6. Drink a cup of coffee and read some blogs like Cora’s, Naomi’s, Ellie’s, Nicole’s, and Joyce’s.

What is your favorite way to take care of yourself lately? 

Have a great weekend 🙂

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What does Freedom Mean to You?

January 19, 2018 in Recovery

This is a topic I was journaling about on Wednesday: what freedom means to me.

The first thing that popped into my head was freedom from the thoughts that sometimes hold me down. I post about some of these on Instagram and stay as vulnerable as I can on social media. I tell the world about the anxiety I have from time to time. The fear I am not doing enough. The little freak out in my head when the barista messes up the kind of milk I asked for. The worries about the future. How challenging it can be to step away from my normal “routine.” I think freedom means being able to stay mindful. Accepting the not so good moments and riding them like a wave- which I have improved upon SO much… but continuing to ride these waves no matter how big they get.

Freedom to me means freedom from what others think of me. I used to let others opinions hold me back and define me. I used to fear people’s judgments of me. Freedom to me does not entail any of this. It’s living a life where other people’s judgments and opinions of myself do not cause me any added stress.

Freedom means living my life for myself: not for other people. It means doing what makes ME happy. Doing a career that makes me happy. Doing activities that make me happy. Doing the things that make my soul feel good.

Freedom entails the ability to step away from any poor relationships because I know I am worthy of more. It means moving away from people or situations the cause me pain, even if I feel like I need to stay and keep trying to mend a relationship. Freedom means walking the other direction and letting go of people from time to time.

Freedom means being 100% myself. Being real with the world and so secure with myself. Wearing what I want when I want to. Wearing clothes that make me happy. Decorating my body with tattoos and piercings because I truly believe it is the most beautiful canvas I’ll own.

Freedom means relying on myself. It means trusting that I will always have a home within myself, for I know I am an independent individual who at any moment can come back to herself and feel at ease amongst the chaos the world presents us with.

Freedom is detaching myself from the beliefs that I am not enough. It is believing I AM enough, I AM whole, I AM worthy, I AM a good person, I AM a beautiful soul.

Lastly, freedom means letting go. Softening my grip and letting every part of myself just BE.

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Now tell me: what does freedom mean to YOU? 

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Recent Positives

January 8, 2018 in About Me

Life gives us so many beautiful moments, and it would be a shame to not appreciate and celebrate them…

Here are some positive moments in my life lately:

-Trying a new cafe and having the best banana bread and dirty chai latte with great company.

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-Moving my body in a way that feels GOOD. That included going to the gym, doing yoga at home, and trying a new yoga studio.

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-Having a relaxing snow day that included lots of reading, watching Vampire Diaries, drinking hot coffee, and snuggling with my pup.

-Drinking all the hot dirty chai tea lattes. And writing messages on my cups to make myself smile.

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-Trying a new delicious Thai restaurant.

-Finishing two books: The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self  by Steven Cope.

-Listening to new music. Some of my favorite songs lately: This Must be the Place (Naive Melody) by The String Cheese Incident, Television by You Won’t, Ego by Milky Chance, and Lucky Fish by Little India.

-Listening to The Chasing Joy podcast.

-Learning to read Tarot cards.

Now tell me some positives in your life lately. 🙂 Have a wonderful Monday friends!

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Self-Care This Week

January 5, 2018 in Recovery

“If your compassion doesn’t include yourself, then it is incomplete.” -Jack Kornfield 

Here are some of the ways I was compassionate with myself this week and took care of myself:

1. Drawing

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-> Picking up a piece of paper and pencil is so therapeutic.

2. Yoga

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-> I typically do my own flows at home or videos from Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. This week, I went to a Hatha class at a studio nearby. This practice of going inward aids in my ability to keep peace in my mind and stay grounded.

3. Reading

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I finished The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur this week.

4. Coffee, journaling, and music

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5. Netflix

-> Vampire Diaries has been my go-to show.

6. Lighting candles, burning incense, diffusing oils… all of this helps me to relax more and brings more light into my room which I love in the cold winter season.

7. Meditating. I meditated once so far this week for 10 min! tumblr_p0xgr43iNJ1tjgsm3o1_1280.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Face masks

Those are some of the ways I took care of myself this week and fed my soul. All of this stuff makes me happy and feel so GOOD. Taking this time to do things we love goes a long way for our mental well-being. Take this time for you friends!

Tell me… what did you do to take care of yourself this week? How were you gentle with yourself? 

Have a happy Friday! xoxo

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My Favorite Posts From 2017

December 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

2017 was a fun blogging year for me. I stepped into more of my truth this year, and started exploring other topics to blog about. I dug deeper into eating disorder recovery, mental illness, yoga, spirituality, and shared some of my own struggles. Here are some of my favorite posts from this year:

Push Past your Fear

“I think what is so crucial to remember is that conquering our fears is going to help us in the long run no matter what the outcome may me. If things go well when you face your fears, you will grow. And if things don’t go well, you will also grow. So there is nothing to lose. Because we ultimately become a better version of ourselves when we face our fears. But when we don’t and we hide behind them, there is no room for self-improvement.”

I Never Thought I’d Beat my Eating Disorder

“If you are at a time of struggle. If you are deep within your eating disorder, remember this: even though you may not feel strong enough to overcome this battle; even though you don’t think you can beat the demons in your head: I was once there. I was in your shoes. And here I am: here I am living my life to the fullest. I didn’t think I had the power within me to fully let go of my eating disorder, but I did. I am not a special case. If I can do it, you can too.”

“You are going to hurt. But you are also going to heal.”

“Let yourself hurt, Let yourself heal. You will be stepped on in this life. But just like flowers, you can still grow. Pain is just a temporary setback, that’s it. Nothing long-term, nothing forever. Trust in that, have faith. And remember the power you hold within your heart.”

Stop Food Shaming

“Because all food is is just food. It is nourishment. That’s it. No bad, no good. It gives us life, it gives us energy, and it keeps us going.”

Yoga Teacher Training

“YTT was hands-down one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in this 20 years thus far. Learning about yoga, living the yoga, and witnessing my two instructors live the yoga and live wholeheartedly was so inspiring. This past month is one I’ll cherish forever. My sanga- community- is one that has left an imprint on my heart. Do the things that scare you, do the things that awaken your soul.”

An Open Letter to my Depression

“Dear depression, you hurt me. You made me feel weak. You made me feel alone. But you did not take me from my loved ones and from the things I loved. You allowed me to grow into a wiser human, one that is always aware of her self-worth and magic within her veins.”

Pain Enables Growth

“I have let my hurt change me, but I will never let it make me smaller. I will never let what has happened to me trim down my unique edges. I am not ashamed of my hardships.”

We Are Like Oceans

“You will be messy in this life. You will feel scattered and all over the place. Do not let this discourage you. The ocean is messy and scattered, yet it continues to flow- and so should you.”

Observation Without Judgment

“Work on just noticing how you are doing. Check in with how you are feeling that day. Get in tune with yourself. Once you made those observations, don’t get angry or frustrated with yourself if you aren’t in the best mood and aren’t pleased with a feeling you’re having. Know that this mood or feeling will soon pass and you are simply a human being that encompasses a variety of feelings.”

Repairing Broken Relationships

 Let go of your eating disorder. Soften. You will see how when you let go of ED, you will regain back these connections you thought were long gone. Find some fight in your soul. An ED will not take all connections and healthy relationships from you if you don’t let it.”

~Thank you to the humans that read this blog. Thank you for your kind messages and comments. This blog means so so much to me, and I am grateful to have this space on the web to share the words that fill my own heart and hopefully fill other’s too. Love you friends Hope you take today to reflect on what this year has given you and prepare yourself for what the new year may hold. Sending LOVE and LIGHT- today and always! xoxo

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Wholeheartedness

December 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

I don’t crave half-hearted living. It’s not within my soul. I cannot do anything without putting all my heart into it. I cannot post on Instagram just to post. I cannot post something that I find little value in. My soul is not filled when I take a picture of every meal I eat and post it on Instagram. Because for me, there’s a lot more to living than that. And while I know that beautiful food pictures bring in the most followers, I can’t find it in my heart to create that content for others. My brain has thoughts blossoming left and right, the experiences I have had on this planet need to be shared in some way, my empathetic self has to make its way into the world through something greater than a picture of salad.

I support people whose passions lie within food blogging, and I would never talk poorly of those who have a love for this. I will still snap pictures of my food here and there: it’s fun! And food is something that connects us all together which is a beautiful thing. I used to take pictures of my food all the time. And now, I find little meaning in that. Some food is truly beautiful. But why would I post a picture of my smoothie where I could instead post a picture of something that holds such importance to me- a message I want to share or a story that needs to be told. Living wholeheartedly and embracing authenticity has pulled me away from constant food pictures and towards longer captions, pictures of nature or myself, and releasing the words in my throat that I once swallowed and held back. Our words are important and deserve to be heard.

I have not, and I probably never will crave surface level. Surface level friendships or relationships leave me feeling unfulfilled, just as posting surface level content on Instagram or with this blog does. My heart feels unsatisfied. Digging deeper and being vulnerable is what pulls me back to my laptop and the Instagram app, because I know that vulnerability is strength, and in sharing my rawest moments; some soul out in the universe will be inspired to share theirs too.

I think our world desperately needs vulnerability and authenticity. We need to speak our truth, we need to live our truth. That truth is something that varies for each and every individual on this earth, but I know my truth is something greater than only sharing my meals with the world. My tongue craves the harder conversations. The ones about mental health that can leave your heart punctured. The conversations about racism and feminism that can result in energy levels sky-rocketing in a room, the echoes of voices vibrating against the walls. My mind yearns for new knowledge. My soul pushes for additional steps along this avenue of spiritual growth.

So I will continue to saunter away from half-hearted living. For half-hearted living leaves me with a void I don’t want to attempt to fill. I will continue to move towards being my purest, most genuine self. I love taking you all on this journey with me. I appreciate your support as this blog and Instagram has shifted along with who I am as an individual. Thank you. Thank you for reading lengthy captions on Instagram that stem from my heart space. Thank you for appreciating vulnerability and authenticity. Thank you for listening to my imperfect journey.

“Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” -Brené Brown

Hope you all had a LOVELY holiday!! Happy Tuesday sweet friends. xoxo

Wednesday Reminders

December 20, 2017 in Recovery

HELLO. I am (almost) done with school! One more paper to submit today by 1:30 pm. Then freedom and onto bigger things next semester, like studying abroad! Just wanted to pop in today to share some important reminders with you to keep you on track with your self-love journey.

1.for when you’re feeling stuck and down…

it’s just how life works you know? one moment you’re on the ground crying, the next you’re at a beach moving with the sound of the waves, a cold drink in your hand and a fresh watermelon by your side. these moments- the crying on the floor at 3 am moments. the staying in bed until 2 pm curled in a ball because the world is crumbling and you are losing any bit of stability you had left. all of these moments matter. but somehow we are able to pick ourselves out of that bed and open our curtains when the light seemed so foreign to us. we are able to make it to that beach and drink that drink and savor every bit of that watermelon. it’s the beauty of life. the beauty of strength. 

2. for when you’re struggling to love your body…

women: you do not have to be smaller. you do not have to look liker her. you do not have to do crunches until you get rug burn on your neck and you do not have to rip yourself apart every time you look in the mirror. you do not need to be embarrassed if your hips are “big.” let those hips move freely my friend and take up as much damn space as needed. 

3. for when you feel stunted with your growth…

“You’ll be different. You’ll be different from the self that you were. You’re constantly growing.”

4. for when you’re feeling overwhelmed…

get grounded. when your sitting or standing, actually feel how your grounded into the earth. you are here on this planet, you are grounded and strong.

5. for when things seem complicated…

“in thinking, keep to the simple. in conflict, be fair and generous. in governing, don’t try to control. in work, do what you enjoy. in family life, be completely present.” -Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Wishing you all a happy Wednesday. <3 xoxo

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Self-Love Christmas Gift Guide

December 11, 2017 in Recovery

I love reading these, so I thought I’d make my own. All of these are self-love / self-care themed gifts that I genuinely love and think you all will too!

Books

Some of my favorites:

“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown

“The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition” by Rumi

“The Princess Saves Herself in this One” by Amanda Lovelace

“Shifting Bone” by Alison Malee

“Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” by Stephen Cope

“Present over Perfect” by Shauna Niequist

“Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and her Flowers” by Rupi Kaur

Crystals

Crystals are so healing and can definitely help in deepening your spiritual practice. Some of my favorites:

Amethyst: relaxing, helps with anxiety and day-to-day stressors

Lapis Lazuli: aids in living your truth, opening the throat chakra, tuning in with your intuition

Black Tourmaline: associated with protection and staying grounded

Turquoise: calming energy and emotional balance

Selenite: removes negative energy and anxiety

I get mine from Poshmark, Etsy, or local stores!

Essential Oil Diffuser 

They have these on Amazon and a bunch of different stores now. I got mine from GNC!

10 Reasons Every Home Should Have An Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oils 

Some of my favorites:

Lavender

Frankincense

Peppermint 

Skin Care 

Doing facials is one of my favorite forms of self-care. Some of my favorite (and inexpensive) facials:

 

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Yes To Tomatoes Charcoal Mud Mask

 

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Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Sheet Mask 

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Fré Purify Me Facial Cleanser. This is on the more expensive side, but I love this company because for every skincare set you buy, an Argan tree will be planted to help replenish the Argan forest and support women who harvest Argan oil in Morocco. So cool. : )

Yoga Mat

You all know how healing I think yoga is… so obviously I had to include a yoga mat on this list. I got mine from Gaiam for a cheap price. I also got my yoga towel from this brand too!

Studio Select Dry-Grip Yoga Mat (5mm) black rolled

Journals

Journaling is such a soothing activity for me, and is something I always tell people to start doing.

Etsy has recycled journals and notebooks.

 

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Tea

I love making time to sit down and have a cup of hot tea. My favorite kinds are peppermint, passion, chai, pumpkin, and green tea.

Candles 

Lighting candles in the winter and bringing more light, as well as a good scent, helps me cope with the shorter days and the fact that the sun sets around 4:00 pm.

Himalayan Salt Lamp 

These do so many beneficial things. Not only do they look cool, but they also cleanse the air, improves the quality of sleep, enhance your mood, and lessen symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

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Hope this gift guide gives you all some good ideas for the Holiday Season. All of these things I truly do LOVE and have helped me a lot in my own life!

Have you read any of those books?

Any book recommendations? 

Do you use essential oils? 

Happiest of Monday’s friends! 

xoxo <3 

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