Lesson #14: You Look Better When You Smile

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“Smile though your heart is aching,

Smile even though it’s breaking”

Charlie Chaplin

I love the song Smile by Charlie Chaplin.  My favorite version of the song is when Janelle Monae covered the song.  You can be having the worst day of your life, but smiling can help you improve your mood and make you look better. It may not change the circumstances that you are going through, but it can give you a glimmer of hope that things will be alright.

 

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Lesson #12: Look with New Eyes

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When my twin sister and I began running in September of last year, I was initially paralyzed by fear. In my minds eye, I still saw myself as an obese teenager, who could barely run a mile without stopping.

 
One day while we were running, and I felt like giving up, Tasha looked back at me and yelled , “Keep going, you can do it!” I began to cry when she uttered those words because I knew she was right. It was at that moment that I looked at myself with new eyes.

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Lesson #11: We Are All Human

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I mentioned before that we can be so consumed with social media stars and celebrities. We may praise them and assume that their lives are much better than our own.  In addition to the comments of praise on Facebook posts, Instagram pics, and YouTube videos there are numerous hateful remarks.  For every, “You are so beautiful!” comment, there are 10 remarks picking the person apart.

I watched a video clip of The Real a little over week ago in which the ladies were discussing bullying.  It saddened me to hear how co-hosts Jeannie Mai and Tamar Braxton were still very traumatized by the negativity they get on a daily basis.  To know that their feelings get hurt by the things others say, reminded me that we are all human. Celebrities and people who are “social media” famous go through the same issues the rest of us experience.  The only difference is there is a camera on them.  People feel the need to make comments on how others live simply because they “put themselves out there.”


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Lesson #10: The Importance of Selectivity

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As I mentioned in my Abundance Mentality and Veganism post,  I get a lot of questions, concerns, and criticism about what I choose to fuel my body.  This got me to thinking about why I choose to eat healthy.  Where I work people bring food all the time.  I’m often offered foods that I no longer eat such as chocolate, bread, and meat dishes.

 

I respectfully decline these offers.  Sometimes people may ask why I choose not to eat certain things.  Being in those situations and writing about veganism inspired me to write about the importance of selectivity.

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Lesson #9: Your Journey is Your Own

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I’m running down the street with my twin sister, thinking to myself “Tanika, you can do this.  Just try to keep up with Tasha.”  For a good 5 minutes we are able to run at the same pace.  Once we are heading over a bridge, we separate.  We continue to run and eventually Tasha is at least a block ahead of me.  It is at this point that I no longer try to maintain her pace.
Instead, I tell myself, “Come on Tanika, just keep moving.  Don’t stop.  Keep running until you make it home.”  This experience inspired me to write this post.  When we were in high school, Tasha was on the cross-country team and did long distance running on our track team.  I on the other hand did shotput and discus for all 4 years.  I also was diagnosed with arthritis at age 17 and had to overcome my fear of running.What is my point?

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Lesson #8: Be Unbothered

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In my introduction to this series, I stated that I write these lessons for myself, as well as for you.  A prayer that I have been saying to God lately is: “Let me be unbothered by the negativity of the people around me, difficult times, and life stressors.”

I often say to Tasha that you have let the negative and difficult things in life roll off you like water–to not let them get to you.  In a sense,  it is important to be unbothered. By this term, I do not me that you shouldn’t care about or disregard your troubles.  What I mean is that you don’t have to react in a negative way to the challenges that you will face on a daily basis.

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Lesson #7: Find the Beauty in Ugly Situations

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As you can see, “This is ugly,” is written in big, black letters across this painting. What you don’t see is the other part of the painting, which I cut off and threw in the trash.  Several years ago, I was attempting to paint some flowers.  Things were not going as planned and the other side of the painting was actually ugly.  I was so fed up, that I wrote those words on the painting. 

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