10 Things That Changed My Life

1) Coconut Oil. Right? I don’t even know. This stuff is magic. (IT IS REAL! IT IS! I KNEW IT!) I put it everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Sorry in advance if you ever venture inside my apartment because chances are you’re going to leave with some coconut oil somewhere on your body. You can eat it, use it as a lotion, use it as a makeup remover, use it as a leave in conditioner, use it as a face moisturizer AND use it as a light sunscreen for extra shimmer at da pool. Basically, coconut oil in general needs to hire me on a spokesperson ASAP because I dedicate my life to coconut oil and its beautiful results.

2) Listening to my body. This isn’t some thing about how I talk to myself and such. I just started paying attention to what my body is telling me. I used to be so sick all the time and I think part of the reason is because I didn’t listen to what my body was telling me. I needed to slow down and take time to heal and get the help I deserved. I was just too busy ignoring all my body’s text messages and never replying. Well, I’m replying now. Sometimes even calling it for a chat. It wants whole, all natural foods, some exercise, and relaxation and lots of sleep. And it gets what it wants. Happy Body, Happy Life.** Edited version.

3) GOALz. No matter how busy I am, no matter how late it is by the time I get home or how tired I am or how many Catfish episodes I haven’t watched yet, I make sure to etch out at least 30 minutes a day to me. I will lie down on my couch; pull out my list of goals and hopes and dreams and mark progress. Sure, I might be hanging out in Indiana for the next 9 months but that doesn’t mean I can’t take steps toward achieving my dreams while here…and it doesn’t mean you can’t either. Then, I’ll read. Or listen to music. Or eat chocolate. Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed and focused- do it.

4) Meditation. I’m totally that person. But seriously. After the recent diagnoses it’s been more difficult than usual to stay positive. I feel the negative thoughts hitting harder than ever and this is where meditation comes in handy. I can push the negative thoughts out of my mind and focus on the positive and I can sleep 100 times better. Except when there are children outside my window screaming about rain…meditation doesn’t work for that.

5)Noticing my surroundings. There’s this quote I love and it’s “Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” (I might have quoted that wrong, bear with me.) This is so pertinent to everyday life. Look around you. We live in a beautiful world filled with so many miracles and bubbles of happiness. We are able to experience the INTERNET and SATELLITE TV and NETFLIX and NATURE. There are so many wonderful things in life that we often overlook. Look around you and be amazed.

6) Being a friend. If you want people to support you, you need to support them. I always want to be the kind of friend that I would want others to be toward me. Go the extra mile. Call them. Go see them. Spend time with them. Listen to them. Support them. Make the effort and see the effort reciprocated then enjoy this beautiful new friendship where you can text them “I want to learn occlumency” at 12 a.m. and they get it. They get it.

7) Discovering my passions. I love volunteering. I love meeting people. I love making other people smile. And I love to travel. What do you love to do? Discover what makes you come alive and do more of it. These kinds of things are the things that make life worth living.

8) RED FLAG Dating. You know when you’re on a date and the person does something that kind of bothers you? Like they order FOUR drinks on the first date and it’s barely 8 p.m. Or they talk about how shallow your favorite TV show is. Or they look at other women/men passing by over 3 times. These, my friends, are red flags. We need to start paying more attention to them. It’s cute because we’re all “Ohhh he’s just nervous! That’s why he’s well on his way to alcoholism!” But really, he isn’t. Maybe he just isn’t a good fit. That’s it. Maybe you should save yourself now so that 6 months down the road you aren’t crying to your friends about your boyfriend, the semi alcoholic. I think back on my past of dating and there are so many times I wish I could just shake myself and scream “WALK AWAY, LARA. LEAVE. STOP MAKING EXCUSES. JUST LEAVE.” But I didn’t walk away…so now I do. I will never be in the position where I feel like I have to settle and compromise my likes and dislikes for someone on the first date…and you don’t have to be either.

9) Stopped saying “it’s fine.” I’m an emotional person. There, I said it. I have emotions. You probably do too…unless you aren’t human. Stop trying to act like you don’t have emotions. Emotions make the world go round, right? If someone hurts your feelings, don’t allow these feelings to be downplayed and discarded. If you’re upset about something or ecstatic about something- let it out. If it isn’t fine, don’t say that it’s fine.

10) Singing in the shower. I have literally never been the kind of person to sing in the shower. I always just kind of wash my bod and hair and leave. I mean, I don’t want a high water bill you know? But the other day it was so sunny and beautiful and I had just done yoga so I brought my new Selena Gomez/Krewella/ The Mowgli’s spotify playlist into the bathroom hit play and sang along to every word. It was beautiful. It might not have sounded beautiful, but it was pure happiness. Try it sometime.

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