courage ernest hemingway

April: My Month of Courage

“Courage is grace under pressure.” – Ernest Hemingway

I have never described myself as someone who is courageous. In fact, it is probably the reason why I never identify with most protagonists in fantasy novels that exude this quality all too often. I’m quite the opposite — an overthinker, an observer, hesitant and nervous, very much a side character.

But then I discovered this quote by Ernest Hemingway and it really resonated with me. Courage doesn’t have to be persevering against danger or being completely fearless. Instead, this quote redefines courage for me in a way that I feel like I can actually accomplish. Courage can be thought of as a sense of calm and poise in a situation where you actually feel scared. Staying composed and aware of a situation is something I can strive for instead of trying to rid myself of all my fears.

It is a very fitting theme for April. I have already started to push myself out of my comfort zone. Yesterday, my sisters invited me to hike Devil’s Punch Bowl, which was the most challenging hike I have experienced. Despite my fear of public speaking, I have a beginners calligraphy class in the works with the public library. But most importantly, I am experiencing the transition of leaving the safety of a job I held for four and a half years and starting over in a new career.

If anything, now is the perfect time to be courageous. I know that my fear and anxiety won’t magically disappear, but I’ll try to take a deep breath and do my best to be graceful.

three lessons from the common cold fellow lemon ginger tea home remedies recipes

Three Lessons from the Common Cold

If you read my previous post on my holiday burnout, you’ll understand that I was over the moon to have a real weekend off with Dennis for the first time since November.  Of course, my body had other plans. I had pushed myself too hard during the holidays and it all caught up with me. I spent half of the weekend bundled up, congested and passed out on the couch.

If you know me in person, you will know that I am a complete baby when it comes to being sick. I don’t want to do anything at all, have no appetite whatsoever and will lug around a mini pharmacy with me wherever I go. Now that my head is feeling a little less cloudy, I am going to share what I learned about myself.

  • I need to rest. While a huge thanks goes to Nyquil, I have to force myself to rest and let my body heal itself. Lying in bed on my phone for hours or binge watching some of my favorite shows doesn’t help my body replenish. It simply needs rest.
  • I need to take a look at my habits. What am I eating? What am I drinking? How much water or tea have I had? When did I go to bed last night? In order to get myself back to 100%, I have to really watch how I treat my body. I’ll be completely honest, this is not something I do normally yet. I jokingly complained to Dennis that I was tired of drinking so many fluids and realized I probably drank more water in the past three days than I have in the past month. And that can’t be good.
  • I need to disconnect temporarily. Mainly because I get dizzy if I am on my phone for too long and feel achey at my computer when I have a cold. It was nice because I got to read through a good chunk of The Fellowship of the Ring, one of my favorite books, and felt happy. Reading is so nourishing for me and this was a reminder of how I need to carve out more time in my day for it.

I started this post as a written journal entry because, as I mentioned previously, I get a little dizzy with screens for too long. But after I finished, I realized that this was something that I should share because catching a cold sucks, but it is probably the ultimate reminder that you really do need to take care of yourself. I’ll end my post with my lemon and ginger tea, which I have had too many cups to count. I like it so much I think I should drink it even when I am not sick!

Lemon & Ginger Tea
(Single Serving)

1″ of ginger, thinly sliced (I used a peeler) placed in a metal tea ball or mesh tea bag
3-4 thin slices of lemon
1-2 tbsp of honey

In a mug, pour boiling water over the ginger tea ball and lemon slices. Steep for at least 5 minutes. Muddle the lemon slices. Add honey and stir. Optional: I like to steep a peppermint tea bag with it for the extra health benefits.


What Life Do I Want To Live - Jen Sincero You Are A Badass Cassey Ho Blogilates Watercolor

What Life Do I Want To Live?

After having a conversation about struggling to adult and going through the motions of life with one of my best friends (Erin Vicencio, L.Ac business owner and amazing friend), she grabbed a book from her bookshelf and told me to borrow it. That same week, my sister (auroragrie, life blogger and wonderful mom/sister) told me that she finished a book that completely inspired her to take on her lifelong passion and recommended I check it out.

That book is You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero!

I was going to wait until I finished the book to do a complete review, but there was something that was too helpful for me not to share with you.

The entire book is about living the life you want to live because you deserve it. Even though that sounds pretty straight forward, I have to admit that I’m not there. One of the biggest hurdles is this: So I’m not living the life I want to live… But what is the life that I want to live?

Jen Sincero wrote a great segment she titled “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel” where she poses some questions about other people’s lives that you admire. Since I love to take notes, instead of answering Jen’s questions in my head, I wrote it down in my journal.

I found the results so powerful, so I wanted to share one of my answers with you guys!

  1. Who lives a life that you admire?
    Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates
  2. Why do you admire them?
    Cassey Ho is a successful female Asian-American entrepreneur who embodies positivity and working hard. She is literally a creator. She created her pilates videos, apps/website, fashion designs for her workout line and she even published a book!
  3. How did they get there?
    I actually had no clue, but a couple days ago I found out that Cassey runs a podcast with Lisa Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition called The Sheroic Podcast. They talk about their endeavors – including both successes and failures. They also interview other successful female entrepreneurs! I seriously stumbled upon it at the best possible time.
  4. Simplify it — what is it that you actually want?
    To create more! To be a business owner one day!

The last question is how can you get there? Whether it’s educating yourself on a topic, honing your craft or interviewing people in your life, it is important to have a call to action.

When I did this exercise, I actually listed four people. When I got to Question #4, I was surprised that three of the four people on my list were successful business owners. To be honest, I never would have thought that would be the common denominator, but this simple exercise was insightful. It’s easy and doesn’t take a lot of effort, so I encourage you to try it out – you might be pleasantly surprised!