How to Learn to Love Yourself & Stop Seeking Validation from Others

April 19, 2017

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I want to let you in on a little secret… I worry a lot about whether or not people value or like me.

It’s something we all struggle with, but only more recently have I identified this exhausting cycle of looking to others to validate my worth. For so long I craved to get good grades so that my teachers and parents would be proud of me and therefore I would be a “good little girl.” Then it became career successes and acquiring as many internships + jobs as possible within my field so as to impress future employers. The end result? A not so minor set of panic attacks when life didn’t go as planned, as well as a crushing blow to my self-confidence and sense of self.

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Where does one go from here you may ask. Well, there’s only one way to end the cycle: Learn to validate yourself. Learn to give yourself the attention, approval, love, and acceptance you seek from others.

I have to tell you it’s not easy. Validating yourself is not just a matter of looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are a wonderful, beautiful child of God. It’s not just a matter of telling yourself throughout the day that you are enough. It takes great practice and also more than anything else, a changed mindset.

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To begin with, the first step to self-validation is learning to access the truth of who you are from your higher minded, spiritual self. The term spiritual may make some uneasy, but by this, I mean feeling connected to an energy far greater than yourself and working with the Universe to understand it’s meaning.

It’s only when the truth of who you are comes through you that you’ll begin to believe it. Hearing the truth from your higher self isn’t as hard as you may think. When your sincere intention is to learn the truth, you will begin to feel it. Ask the Universe to reveal to you your soul’s essence and so long as you are open to the possibility of a miracle, the Universe will present you with one.

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The second step to self-validation is in the way you treat yourself. For it is your thoughts that become your reality, and negative thoughts can make for a negative reality. It doesn’t matter how many lovely things your higher self tells you about who you are. You have to stop judging yourself and abandoning yourself in numerous other ways to internalize that truth. Ignoring your feelings, numbing your feelings with addictions, and making others responsible for your worth will trap you in feelings of unworthiness.

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I know for me one of my greatest struggles has been my addiction to being busy/productive. For me, I often look to career success and financial security to feel worthy. I have felt like I’m nothing without my career. For instance, these past couple months not having a solid 9 to 5 with a lofty title (and pay) made me really anxious. I kept thinking about how after getting my graduate degree I was failing by not being a marketing coordinator at some fashion company. I kept seeing myself as being derailed from my dreams, rather than see that a detour happened to show me many unforeseen life lessons.

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Together we need to practice treating ourselves as cherished beings worthy of all the love the Universe has to offer. The more we learn to love, see, and validate ourselves, the more validation we’ll ultimately find in others. When you treat yourself in unloving ways, you invite others to do the same. When you learn to love and validate yourself, the energy you project tells others you are worthy of being loved and validated.

Life will only change for the better when you learn to love and validate yourself. Why not choose to begin the journey of finding love from within starting right now? Close your eyes. Ask the Universe, God, or whatever you want to call it to help you. Remember that true happiness can never be found in another person, or what it is you do for work, or how many friends you have, but rather your connection to it all. Whatever you do, choose love.

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Photography by Lauren Hebert

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

Hiking with L.L. Bean

April 16, 2017

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As cliché as it is to say, I don’t think I truly appreciated my home state of Maine until I was gone. Growing up I despised that I did not live in a city and that it felt like nothing exciting ever happened. I so badly craved to be somewhere with more hustle and bustle. Now after living in three cities, I’ve come to appreciate how laid-back Maine is. Also beyond anything else, I value the many opportunities there are to venture into nature.

The other weekend when we were staying at Northern Outdoors we hiked to the scenic Moxie Falls. The three of us girls had woke up early, dressed warmly, and made our way to the woods. It had snowed first thing that morning so the trees were covered with flecks of white. The sun shined bright in the sky and the air was crisp, yet not too chilly. It was a perfect day to be outside.

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“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

—Jack Kerouac

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There’s something innately beautiful about being in nature. Perhaps it’s that you feel a connectedness to something much greater than yourself, or that there is absolutely no pressure to be anything other than who you are. Whatever it is, we sure need a lot more of it in our daily lives.

How beautiful it is to feel so at peace in your very soul.

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What I love about Maine is that even after growing up here and living here most of my life, there is still so much left to discover. For instance, I had never been to The Forks area and had I not been offered a stay with Northern Outdoors, I would never have found this overlooked treasure. Moxie Falls is one of the highest falls in New England and seeing it in the early spring with the snow still on the ground was absolutely breathtaking.

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For our hike, we opted for a Maine staple: L.L. Bean. Designed and manufactured almost entirely in Maine, L.L. Bean is meant to inspire, motivate, and keep you cool and comfortable. Perhaps this is my Maine roots talking, but what I’m most drawn to is their timeless style and practicality. Our L.L. Bean boots were not only fashionable but kept our feet dry through the copious amount of snow we walked through.

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When we returned to the car from our hike each of us was quiet for a few minutes. The walk in the woods had done us all well. Our souls were at peace and our minds were at ease. Taking time to reflect and unplug is one of life’s simplest gifts. After our trip, each of us vowed to prioritize time spent in nature.

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Photography by Lauren Hebert and Centered Images

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

 

Girls Weekend at Northern Outdoors

April 12, 2017

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More often than not life has a knack of getting in the way. Between the demands of work and family life, it can often feel like you do not have enough time for yourself let alone cultivating valuable relationships. In our society, we tend to put a greater focus on the importance of romantic relationships and lose sight of all the wonderful other relationships life has to offer- like your relationship with oneself, or how loved and appreciated we can feel in the context of a friendship.

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A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to partake in a girls getaway weekend with my bestie Chelsea, and our new friend Lauren. We ventured up to Northern Maine to stay at Northern Outdoors, an all-season resort in The Forks that is home to snowmobiling, rafting, hiking, hunting, fishing, as well as a microbrewery and pub. We arrived mid morning on a Friday and upon unpacking we instantly found ourselves seated by the fireplace playing cards, chatting, and listening to good music.

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What was incredible was how within just a minute or two after meeting Lauren (Chelsea’s friend and fellow lifestyle photographer) I felt instantly close and felt an emotional connection to her. This is what is awesome about forming friendships! Great friends are basically soul mates- the connection runs deep and unlike romantic relationships, they are not fleeting. Instead, these kinds of relationships immediately allow you to feel supported and cared for without the pressure to complete the other person. They also allow you feel known, seen, heard and understood on a really profound level.

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Unlike romantic relationships, friendships aren’t typically dynamics where we “lose ourselves,” but rather where we find ourselves — through introspection, vulnerability, and emotional generosity. Friendships help you to become your best self. For me, friendships — especially with other women — have allowed me to explore who I am and where I want to go in life. This is why a weekend spent with two other extraordinary women was so good for our souls. It allowed for us each to not only regroup and recharge from the stress of daily life but also to grow on a spiritual level by challenging one another and supporting each other through our unique gifts and perspectives.

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What was especially wonderful was watching Chelsea and Lauren take turns taking photos over the weekend. As photographers they each have their own unique eye and vision, however, they both were open to learning from one another when it came to shooting this blog content. Lauren having had her photography business for longer constantly provided Chelsea with words of encouragement and offered her feedback into taking her dreams & passions into a viable career.

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This whole experience reminded me of how very important it is to surround yourself with friends who encourage you to succeed, rather than feel insecure and challenged by you rising ahead. It is so important to be friends with people who are deeply committed to not only their own personal evolution but who are also committed to seeing you thrive and want to be apart of your journey. Remember: you have control over who makes up your tribe- why not surround yourself powerful, accomplished, thoughtful individuals whom your greatly admire?

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That evening we went to the Kennebec River Brewery and Restaurant inside the main lodge for a delicious dinner of mouthwatering burgers, home-cut fries, and pasta. Lauren ordered the flight of their most popular beers and Chelsea made sure to try their “Netflix & Chill” mixed drink (definitely 10/10 would suggest). We ended up sitting in the restaurant for hours talking and laughing.

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When we got back to our cabin we were able to relax and laugh some more while watching Modern Family since the cabin we were staying in had a TV with DISH network. Speaking of amenities, I just have to take a moment and point out how incredible our cabin was. We stayed in Black Bear, which was fully furnished with a fully equipped kitchen. We packed premade meals from our favorite Tripp’s Farmhouse Café that we were able to heat up and enjoy all weekend long. Also, did we mention there was a Jacuzzi in the Master bedroom? This weekend was the definition of relaxation!

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Close to the resort is the well-known Moxie falls scenic area, which we were able to hike to. Even if it’s technically the spring season in Maine, the snow on the ground makes for a prolonged sense of winter. Instead of curse the copious amounts of snow that remained, we embraced the opportunity to snowmobile and see Moxie falls covered in a white frozen splendor. Also, the three of us girls found hiking in the snow to be a welcome challenge and throughout our walk through the woods enjoyed the sound of our L.L. Bean boots crunch through the snow.

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Weekend getaways don’t have to be a luxury. If you plan ahead, budget, and prioritize you can easily plan a weekend away. More and more I’m seeing how life has to be about balance. There is something to be said about the phrase “work hard, play hard.” As much as your career is important so are your relationships. Without proper nourishment, they will not blossom and grow. What better way to spend time with loved ones than during a weekend spent in nature? I’m of the belief that life is meant to be enjoyed to the fullest and I’m blessed that my home state of Maine makes for the perfect playground. You better believe I’m already planning a getaway weekend to Northern Outdoors again for this summer. Plus then the outdoor pool will be open and I can plan on crossing off whitewater rafting from my bucket list!

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Photography by Lauren Hebert and Centered Images


Thank you, Northern Outdoors for collaborating with us on this post!


LOVE,

Blog Signature Hannah

The Throat Chakra

April 4, 2017

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The Throat Chakra controls the energy that enables you to communicate and is located at the top of your throat to the base of your neck. When unblocked, this energy is used to express ourselves, our thoughts, and our truths.

The Throat Chakra is the driving force behind all outward connection with others. It allows for use to spill our minds and profess our passions. The energy created from the rest of our bodies chakras help form our perceptions and feelings but the energy created from the Throat Chakra is used to express those feelings to the world. This expression can take the form of spoken words, writing, gesture, or art, It’s home to our creativity that gets put forth in our daily life.

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A clear Throat Chakra leaves you in a state of openness with yourself and the people in your life. This also means you’re in a confident and independent mindset, which enables you to become inspired more easily. An open Throat Chakra helps you build better connections with others because you are able to communicate and speak your mind.

A closed Throat Chakra can cause you to feel isolated or inauthentic. To begin, this chakra can become blocked when you ignore or silence your inner thoughts and feelings. It can also become blocked when you take on beliefs and opinions of others especially if you don’t agree with them.

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You can physically feel the tightness in your throat when you try to hold in the truth. In the long run, a Throat Chakra imbalance can lead to self-consciousness, timidity, anger, depression, and even physical pain in the throat, neck, and mouth area.

It’s simple to figure out if you’re causing an imbalance to the Throat Chaka. Be real with yourself and think of what you might not be telling someone. Allow yourself space and time to reflect on your actions, thoughts, and feelings to make sure they are true to you. Are you pretending to feel a certain way within a relationship? Are you silencing your voice for the satisfaction of others? Even if you are unsure of yourself, you can begin to unblock the Throat Chakra by sharing your uncertainties.

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Get in touch with your Throat Chakra:

Blue is the empowering color of the Throat Chakra so lay out under the sky (which is actually the Throat Chakra’s natural element). On a smaller scale, try wearing something blue or using it in your artwork. The crystals and gemstones to wear and keep near include sapphire, aquamarine, quartz crystal, turquoise, blue topaz, and blue lace agate.

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Enhance your chakra balancing with yoga and aromatherapy as well.
Throat exercises, Lion pose, Plow Pose, and Camel pose are good places to start. And whether it’s a candle, incense, or essential oils, breathe in lavender, geranium, and chamomile scents.

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There are a number of things to do for yourself that will help open up and improve the balance of your Throat Chakra. Since it is the root of your self-expression get involved in a creativity activity to stir up some inspiration; anything from getting your paint out to writing a long overdue journal entry or just sing and dance to your favorite music! In order to sharpen your confidence and independence, which are also important traits of the Throat Chakra, try taking off and going somewhere on your own for a while. And no matter what you do, it is always vital to own your emotions and practice your truths.

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Model Logan Ronan


There are only two chakras left to explore of the TFC Chakra Series! Don’t miss the next post where we’ll look into the Third Eye Chakra!

LOVE,

Blog-Signature-Hannah

 +Sadie (our freelance contributor)

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