5 Ways to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life

When we think about mantras it’s easy to imagine a pretzel-legged yogi, chanting in near-coma calm, a look of transcendence on their face. Maybe there’s a Tibetan singing bowl involved, maybe the lights are dimmed.

But what about those of us who need the power of positive thought so we don’t slam into a pedestrian in a fit of road rage on our commute? The folks who want to harness their affirmations so they nail an interview, not transcendence?

I think mantras have a place in OUR mouths, too!

Remember: A mantra has the power to drown out excess noise – like negative thoughts about traffic and bad interview results – to help you quell the accompanying emotions – such as rage and fear.

Often, the situations in which we experience the most excess noise are the very times we can’t commit to a 30-minute meditation practice. But we can still turn to a mantra to guide us through.

Here are a few ways to incorporate mantras in your daily life…

1. As you prepare for your day. Laying in bed after your alarm sounds is a great time to set an intention for your day. Then, you can repeat the intention throughout your morning routine to infuse the mantra in every step of your preparations, setting yourself up for greatness! As you brush your teeth, blow-dry your hair, prepare your coffee pot, and pull on your shoes–repeat your mantra. Try: Today, I will choose happiness. 

2. During your work out. Whether you’re rolling out your mat or lacing up your sneakers, there’s definitely an opportunity to infuse a little mindfulness in your fitness plan. Mantras can be a great motivator (even Nike uses “Just do it!”) but they can also serve as an opportunity to give thanks for the strength and power your body holds. Try: If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

3. In quiet moments of solitude. Sometimes your mind needs a quick reset in the midst of a hectic day. When you stumble into a second of peace – kids finally napping, you’re alone in your office for the first time all day, or hey! a bathroom stall (I’m not judging!) – use the time to focus your thoughts in a way that will serve you. Try: Taking a long, hard look in the mirror reminds me of who’s boss. 

4. When negative thoughts creep in. We all have our negative thought triggers. Whether yours comes from road rage and interview stress like the examples above or perhaps as a result of fear of public speaking, a toxic relationship holding you back, or just reading the news each day, mantras are a powerful solution. Instead of trying to silence these thoughts (impossible!), use new thoughts in order to transcend them. Try: I am filled with positive actions.

5. Before you fall asleep. After a long day it’s nice to reflect on what you’re grateful for. Instead of the thought spiral that can lead to sleeplessness, identify those things which truly served you in positive ways today. Did you know the happiest people do this daily? Jump on board! Try: I am thankful for [fill in the blank!].

Will you try these out? How do YOU incorporate mantras in your daily life? 


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m going to lay the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what you can expect from the series:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)
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My Birthday Book & Movie Haul

In case you can’t tell by the title of this post, I recently had a birthday! Just last week, in fact. I was blessed with some amazing gifts (like this beautiful bar cart from Chet and a huge box of Gilmore Girls themed coffee from my mom!).

But my favorite way to treat MYSELF for my birthday is to pick up whatever book(s) and movie(s) I feel like! Usually I’ll talk myself out of book and movie purchases because of a little thing called the library and another little thing called Netflix. On my birthday though? Well – I deserve it! 🙂

Here’s what I picked up:

Movies

Stephen King’s IT

Who doesn’t love watching a scary movie (or three or four) in October? I still really want to see the new version but I mean c’mon! So many famous faces in this one. Including, but not limited to, John-Boy from The Waltons sporting a rad early 90’s ponytail.

The Edge of Seventeen

This movie looked reminiscent of two of my favorite coming-of-age flicks – Cheaters and Juno…and the back cover likens it to a modern day The Breakfast Club (another fave!) – so I was all in. Plus, I love Woody Harrelson!

Books

You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends On Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney

Since I left the world of speech & debate, and no longer sit through tons of informative speeches every weekend, my annual dose of pop psychology has drastically diminished. This looked like an interesting and fun way to rectify the situation. I’m excited to dig in!

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 so this book seemed like a good bet. 😉 The subject matter, a city hit by an epidemic of “white blindness,” reminded me a little bit of Station Eleven. Not to mention it won a ton of awards and received rave reviews! So, although it’s not a book I would normally gravitate to, I couldn’t resist.

Which of these interests you most? Have you bought any books or movies for yourself lately? I’d love to hear!

mid-week round-up

Hello friends! What’s going on this week? With everyone’s talk of “sweater weather” and cooler temperatures, I’m feeling a bit like I have the opposite of Seasonal Affective Disorder. We’ll call it OMG WHY HAS IT BEEN HOT FOR SO MANY MONTHS??? Syndrome. Maybe some activities to mark the passing seasons would be helpful?? I already put up some Autumn/Halloween decorations but what else could be fun? Any ideas?? I’m all ears! Also, the comments on this post make me excited to continue sharing about mantras in the coming weeks. ‘Til then, here are some links…

Fleeing the fires in Sonoma County.

In the poorest towns, where even Wal-Mart failed, Dollar General is turning a profit.

A run-down of the best emergency preparedness supplies.

On my reading list.

My charitable donation for October went to Center for Reproductive Rights.

U.S. officials inadvertently included a Bloomberg reporter on an internal email list about Hurricane Maria.

The Halloween costume everyone was wearing the year you were born.

And I just ordered some Christmas decorations because it’s never too early.

Have you heard of the new online grocery store where everything costs $3?

Residents of Barbuda return to pick up the pieces after hurricane.

15 things to do when you’re bored at work.

What’s next on your reading list? Find out how long it will take to read.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Too Many Books, Never Enough Time and Desk Drawer Must-Haves.

I have an idea…

When you see one of those flashing speed limit signs that tells you how fast you’re driving, even if you’re only going a notch over the ridiculously low speed limit, you slow down, right? You take your foot off the pedal. Start to coast for a few seconds until you’re a safe distance away. In fact, these signs are ridiculously effective.

Studies repeatedly show that when alerted by a radar sign, speeders WILL slow down up to 80% of the time. Typical average speed reductions are 10-20%, and overall compliance with the posted speed limit will increase by 30-60%.

Which got me thinking…could we harness the power of the radar speed sign for other applications? And then, *lightbulb* You see, try as I might to be mindful of my posture as I work at my desk. I fail. A lot. But what if I got a reminder to straighten my spine and not sit like a Notre Dame resident as I power through a project?

What if I saw a photo flash across my screen of someone displaying bad posture? And what if these photos kept coming in the form of intermittent pop-ups any time my desktop was on? Would my back grow taller? Shoulders loop? If the efficacy of those speed limit signs are any indication…my money’s on YES.

If this is already a thing please let me know! If not, I’m ready for it to become a thing. Alright Monday… LET’S DO THIS! (with as straight a spine as possible.)

Do you have any tips or tricks for better posture during computer work? I’m all ears. And if you take this idea and make a million dollars off of it, you’re welcome! 

(Photo via here.)

Do you use mantras?

Do you use mantras? I find them wildly helpful for setting intentions, practicing mindfulness, and chilling the eff out. Haha! In fact, I named this very blog to honor one of my favorite mantras of all time. FIND DELIGHT.

As you go about the tasks of your day, your mind is constantly popping in with new thoughts and ideas. And there are emotions that go along with these brain intruders. Sometimes a thought will bring up self-doubt, an idea will instill fear. A mantra has the power to drown out the excess noise, and to quell the accompanying emotions, by repeating something neutral or even empowering!

So why does it work?

“Put simply, it’s because it employs the thinking mind instead of trying to ignore it, silence it or subdue it. It uses thoughts to transcend thoughts, which is an extremely skillful method.” 

As I mentioned before, FIND DELIGHT, is one of my faves but I’ve used many others to help me focus my thoughts in a direction of my choosing. If you’ve never given mantras a try, I encourage you to do so! Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting more about mantras so check back if this sorta thing tickles your fancy or you’d like to learn more. Until then choose a chant that suits ya…

I AM STRONG.
I AM ABUNDANT.
I AM CONFIDENT.
I AM HAPPY.
I AM ALL I NEED.

BE BRAVE.
FIND DELIGHT.


In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m going to lay the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what you can expect from the series:

  1. Do you use mantras?
  2. How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
  3. Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
  4. A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)

mid-week round-up

Hi friends! What are you up to this week? Tomorrow is my birthday!!! No grand plans, just planning on a relaxing day. Last week we ventured up to Savannah for a few days and had a blast hanging out with my brother and sister-in-law! (We ate here and here, strolled around and saw wild animals here, and roasted marshmallows(!) here.) Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and here are some links for your reading pleasure…

A tale of two Puerto Ricos: What Trump saw and what he didn’t.

A grandmother, the Nazis, and the shadow of the Olympics.

Multiple women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment by Harvey Weinstein.

Kristin Enmark didn’t act the way a hostage was supposed to act – and a new psychological disorder was born.

How an English teacher’s quest to meet John Lennon changed Beatles history.

Can I buy these warm-up booties even though I’m just a living room ballerina???

The making of a male midwife.

The Coexist logo is famous on bumper stickers and around the world — but it’s also at the center of quite a few battles.

Katharine Hepburn’s brownies: a recipe for home-wrecking?

Perfect desk accouterments for a home office.

Carmen Maria Machado’s  take on the woman with the green ribbon around her neck.

Related: Now I want to read her book.

The Florida migrant town that FEMA forgot.

P.S. 2 Finding Delight blog posts you might have missed — Our Florida Stay-Cation and What books would you paint on a staircase? 

50 Ways To Save Money (With Minimal Effort)

Some of my most popular blog posts on Finding Delight are all about How To Ball On A BudgetAnd why not? Everyone would love a little help in this department. Which is why sharing ways I personally save money (with minimal effort) is something I’m happy to do!

As the holiday season approaches, saving that extra bit of cash for all the costs that go along with the time of year becomes a necessity. Presents and parties and vacations…OH MY!

With the impending holiday expenses in mind, I put together a few of my favorite money saving ideas. Pick and choose a few of these simple lifestyle changes to implement and you’ll be well on your way to a nice little monetary stockpile. However you choose to spend (EGGNOG FOR EVERYONE!)…well, that’s up to you!

 

Shopping

Check second-hand stores first.
If that doesn’t pan out, hit the clearance racks.
Check the weekly circulars for the best deals.
Shop your pantry before shopping the store.
Make a weekly grocery list and stick to it.
Shop the periphery of the grocery store.
Don’t be afraid of the generic brand.
Sign up for rewards programs and do your homework about the benefits.
Buy seasonal items during their off-season.

Food

Pack your meals for work and school.
Always have a water bottle on hand for free hydration.
Brew your coffee at home and learn to make your indulgent Starbucks order.
Buy from the bulk bins so you’re not paying extra for packaging.
Batch cook big meals in your crock-pot.
Get into the habit of meal planning.
Find a cookbook you love and cook your way through it.

Appearance

Give yourself at-home manicures.
Color/straighten/curl your own hair. Or let it go natural.
Create a fitness plan that doesn’t involve a gym or costly classes.
Set up a seasonal capsule wardrobe.
Make your own beauty products.

Travel

Stay at an Airbnb.
Stock your kitchen-away-from-home so you can prepare meals instead of eating out.
Give yourself a daily allowance (in cash) while you’re away so you don’t go overboard.
Bring along all your lingering gift cards to treat yo’self.

Entertainment

Bust your boredom. 
Cancel cable and pick a streaming service instead.
Cancel print subscriptions and subscribe to a few email newsletters instead.
Make a list of cheap date night ideas you think sound fun and cycle through.
Host a game night for your friends.
Get your books from the library.
Go out for brunch or coffee or happy hour cocktails instead of dinner.
Start an articles club.

DIY

Consider making gifts instead of buying.
Dollar Tree is a great place to pick up cheap craft supplies.
Learn to mix your favorite cocktails.
Create your own cleaning products.
Check for tutorials online before paying someone else to do your home improvement projects.

Utilities

Call your cell phone/internet/utility provider and ask for a cheaper rate.
Turn off the lights when you leave the house (or the room for that matter).
Don’t go crazy with your thermostat.
Carpool with your colleagues.
Make payments on time.

Savings

Kick it old school with a penny bank for your loose change.
Automate your payments and savings plan where possible.
Keep a spending diary.
Read budget blogs for free financial information and resources.
Challenge yourself to a no-spend day once a week or a no-spend weekend once a month.
Look through your bank statement for any recurring costs and consider canceling whatever they’re attached to.
Research any discounts you may be afforded through your work/school/memberships.

What lifestyle changes have YOU implemented to save money? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

 

HEROCLIP – Review & Giveaway!

If you’re around these parts long enough, you’ll learn I have an obsession with turning the day-to-day into endless opportunities for adventure. I love travel and the outdoors and exploring new-to-me places. Which means I’m always on the look out for products which will facilitate my whims!

The newest addition to my Every Day Carry: Adventure Edition is the HEROCLIP. This little doodad is the perfect thing to toss in your bag if you’re headed out for a hike, day at the beach, or any sort of travel. Here’s why…

Heroclip is a fully functional clip, with a rotating, folding hook. Meaning- you can hang your bag, water bottle, hat, beach towel, etc. off of just about ANYTHING. Hang your backpack off of the nearest tree branch on a picnic. Hang your purse off the table at your favorite dive bar. Hang your water bottle off your exercise bike. Hang your day bag off your wheely suitcase as you whisk it through the airport. YOU GET THE IDEA!

 A few specs of note:

Heroclip rotates 360 degrees, folds at two joints for maximum versatility and has a rubber tip so whatever you are hanging will stay put.  When not in use, the hook folds securely on to the clip. (So it’s easy to store in your backpack if you’re 1-bag travelin’!)

  • Holds up to 50 lbs
  • Dimensions: 3″ wide, 3 3/4″ long (closed)
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Material: Solid aircraft grade machine-cut aluminum with anodized finish, plastic, steel

Bonus: Outside Magazine featured Heroclip in their Top 5 Gear Under $25.

Since I’m down here in South Florida, I love using my Heroclip to keep my tote bag off the ground at the pool. (LIZARDS!) It’s also great if you have items at the beach that you don’t want to get sandy.

But my #1 reason for always having a Heroclip on hand?! SKETCH BATHROOMS WITH NO PLACE TO HANG A BAG!

If you’re traveling with all your worldly possessions in a single backpack, the LAST thing you want is to set that backpack in a puddle of pee. AMIRITE?!

Would you like to take Heroclip on YOUR next adventure? Lucky you! I’ve got one up for grabs that Heroclip was sweet enough to send me. To win, make sure you’re following me on one of my social media platforms
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
and leave a comment below telling me the last place you traveled to! I’ll choose a winner (randomly) next Tuesday, 10/10/17! (United States only.) Good luck!!

(Disclosure: I received products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own and I only endorse brands I truly believe in!)

 

My Autumn 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

Hi friends! I finally bit the bullet and put together a Project 333 capsule wardrobe this season. I’ve written about my All Season Capsule Wardrobe, as well as how to create a 10 Piece Starter Pack, but this capsule wardrobe is a little different. Following the Project 333 guidelines it is only for Autumn and consists of 33 items. I decided to include accessories and bags but not shoes.

First, I’ll share all the pieces I chose (10 of which I’d already selected for my personal starter pack), and then at the end of the post I’ll share how I’m choosing to keep clothes interesting (without spending a ton!) while still maintaining my capsule.

Let’s start with dresses!

Notes: I have dressier options on hand for special occasions. But since I would probably only wear those once (or not at all), they don’t have to be included. These are more go-to, everyday dresses.

Dresses

Little Black Dress
Target

Maxi Skirt (+Grey Tee)
Stitch Fix

Shirt Dress
Kohl’s

Outerwear

Outerwear. When you live in South Florida you can get away with a super small amount in this category. (And I won’t have to go any warmer than this in Winter either!)

Jean Jacket
Stitch Fix

Grey Cardigan
Target

Black Cardigan
T.J. Maxx

Vest
Stitch Fix

Striped Cardigan
Stitch Fix

Bottoms

Bottoms! I’ve never been someone who feels the need to own a bunch of pants. The unpictured pair of jeans is what I’m most often sporting. But I do love a good pair of dress pants. If you’re short, Kohl’s is where it’s at for slacks.

Black Shorts
Old Navy

Jeans
Old Navy
*Forgot to take a picture…because I was wearing them, lol*

Grey Jeans
Kohl’s

Grey Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Slacks
Kohl’s

Black Leggings
Target

Tops

This is probably the biggest category in any capsule. I tried to limit my picks to the items I most often gravitate to anyways…and then narrow down based on season, matching capability, and occasion versatility.

Graphic Tee
Studio Nico

Floral Blouse
Thrifted

Black Tee
Target

Striped Shirt
Stitch Fix

Navy Silk Blouse
Stitch Fix

Patterned Silk Blouse
Kohl’s

Plaid Shirt
Forever 21

Pink Ruffle Top
Target

Navy Polka Dot Top
Gordman’s

Bags

Honestly, I have about a gajillion other bags but I rarely crack them out. These are my bare bones bag options and I really think they’re all I need.

Black Cross-Body
Tom Bihn

Backpack
Tom Bihn

Accessories

My favorite pieces for dressing up a boring outfit! Of course, jewelry is tiny and easy to access so it’s not the end of the world if I branch outside the capsule every now and again.

Watch
Thrifted

Statement Earrings
Thrifted

Statement Necklace
Forever 21

Pearl Earrings
Gifted

Everyday Necklace
H&M

Ok, so if you’ve been keeping count you’ll know we’re at 30 pieces. Which leaves us with 3 more spaces to be filled! These 3 spaces are how I keep things interesting while still maintaining my capsule. Because they are filled with an ever rotating cast of closet characters thanks to Le Tote. I signed up for Le Tote a few months ago and I absolutely LOVE IT! They send you 3-5 items (depending on the subscription you sign up for), you wear them as much as you want, send them back…and they send you more!

So last week I had a beautiful 3/4 length sleeve dress, a t-shirt with embroidered birds on the front, and a mustard yellow cross-body bag. This week? A cardigan cut like a blazer, a black turtleneck, and a dainty necklace. Mixed and matched with my capsule the outfit possibilities are endless!!!

If you’d like to try Le Tote, you can get $25 off your first month by CLICKING HERE and using promo code SHOPLT.

P.S. 7 YouTube channels you should check out for inspiration!

mid-week round-up

It is finally (officially) Fall! YAY!!! What are you up to this week? Yesterday I worked from the library on FIU’s campus and Chet treated me to lunch at the University’s faculty club. There was legit a piano player and gold rimmed tea cups with saucers. Not too shabby for a Tuesday afternoon. Hope you have a great rest of your week, and here are some links I’ve found interesting lately…

Ask a mortician explains the frozen bodies of Mt. Everest and Titanic’s dead.

Related: On the rooftop of the world.

NPR names Lost Bayou Rambler’s Kalenda a song they love.

Photos from a battered Puerto Rico.

Elaine Welteroth, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, has reinvented the magazine.

Mark Zuckerberg’s American Tour.

37 unique scare movies every horror fan must see.

These would be perfect to have on hand this Fall to sweeten a cup of tea and soothe a sore throat.

Related: Hot Toddy Recipe

In 13 states, parents can force teen moms to give birth without an epidural.

How do families around the world spend their vacation?
(All of these vacays look really nice but the photos from the water park in China give me so much anxiety. TOO. MANY. PEOPLE!)

100 lunch ideas when you’re not sure what the heck to pack for work.

How cute is this pillow?

A secret history of the pissing figure in art.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — An Afternoon of Art – Frost Art Museum and Must-Haves For Sleeping in the Heat.