Tuesday Tune: Pharrell’s #Happy

There’s nothing better than a song that instantly brightens your day when it comes on. Right now, that’s Pharrell’s Oscar-nominated “Happy” for me. I can’t help but clapping along, dancing around and even throwing in some spirit fingers when this song starts playing. The best part–In the music video, people are dancing down the street just being happy. Happiness is contagious!

If you haven’t heard it yet, then check it out below:

“Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Clap along if feel like that’s what you want to do.”

Just dance. Be happy.

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Monday Motivation: Follow Your Heart

Imagine this. You have to make a decision, and as much as you try to reason through your decision-making process, your gut is telling you something. How can a decision provoke a so-called gut reaction?

I don’t know the answer to that question. But, I do know, that following your heart will never lead you in the wrong direction.

Recently, I’ve had a few job prospects. But, everytime I feel as of I’m doing the wrong thing — everytime I feel as if I’m signing my life away.

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

Why do I feel this way? Deep down inside my heart I know that it’s not what I dream of doing — what I know will make me happy.

Yes, these offers are a great opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge. But they will keep me within the limits of my comfort zone.

I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone, challenged beyond my imagination, and it’s time to do just that.

So, stop denying yourself happiness, follow your heart amd step outside of your comfort zone. If you fail, at least you can say you tried. But why not stand up, brush yourself off and try again?

Along the way, you’ll learn the depths of your strengths and weaknesses, and at least the journey will be interesting.

Don’t deny your happiness. Follow your heart.

Monday Motivation: Nothing is Permanent

Nothing is permanent.

As I rollerbladed down the street today, some of the leaves had already transformed into a burnt-orange color. Is it already fall? Or, is it the result of a summer draught? Maybe a combination of both. Either way, it’s a reminder of the transition from summer to fall. And, that life continues on.

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin

You can interpret this statement of motivation in two ways. One, as a breath of fresh air because, one day, you will overcome a hard fought struggle. Two, life will never be the same as it is at this moment.

Sometimes we get caught up in the decisions of life. When it seems like we’re about to make life-altering decisions, remember, it isn’t forever. If it isn’t the right decision or the best decision, then you can change it and it will always lead you to a more informed decision. How will you know if you don’t try? But don’t forget, pause and take a moment to celebrate what you have right now and also to assess what else you want in life. Be thankful for what you have and always strive to raise the bar.

Zumba: Creating the Rhythm of Your Life

After a month-long hiatus, Zumba class is back in session! Grab your bright colored workout gear, a water bottle and let’s get ready to dance like no one’s watching.

Shake it. Enough said.

Zumba, for me, is that one hour during the week where friends, new and old, meet to workout, everything is perfect and the world does not exist outside of the dance studio. We support each other. We have a good time. We are not afraid to challenge ourselves. The world is perfect.

I’m a very active person, and have become addicted to being challenged. When you’re challenged — when you are pushed to your limits — you learn a lot about yourself and your strength. It’s my experience that your mind usually gives out before your body does.

So, the question is, what life lessons have I learned from Zumba?

First, try, try again and then try again. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced Zumba-er, it takes three classes to get into the groove and feel the choreography. You may not get the samba on your first attempt, but it’s that failure and that re-attempt that allows it to finally click.

One day you will get it. Be persistent. Don’t give up despite a failing attempt. Use your attempt as motivation to keep trying. And, when you finally get what you want, don’t be afraid to celebrate your success.

Second, get out of your comfort zone. I love to make people laugh. With that said, I will often bust out dance moves or jokes at inappropriate times, of course, for the sake of laughter. However, that’s comfortable to me. On the other hand, Latin-inspired dances require a certain amount of sex appeal, which is foreign to me. As you challenge yourself to expand and explore this new side, you learn about yourself. You open yourself up to a new part of you, and you become fearless in the face of new challenges, what ever those challenges may be.

That’s Zumba.

Finally, have fun. I have been blessed with over thinking every aspect of my life. Sometimes — well, more like most of the time — I forget to have fun or even that I deserve the opportunity to have fun and get  away from work. Zumba has taught me to let go, have fun and that it is good for your mental and physical well being. Even while you are having fun, your mind continues to process life’s daily struggles and battles. And, most importantly, it clears your mind.

While Zumba may not be for everyone, I encourage you to find an activity that allows you to escape the stress of your life, clears your mind and allows you to have fun in the process. And, possibly, takes you away from your computer, the Internet, Facebook and your phone.

Unplug yourself and have fun. You deserve it!

Monday Motivation: Just Be Happy

We wake up. We rush out the door. We head to work. We head in the direction of life. We get caught up in the logistics. But, how often do you pause and acknowledge what you have to be happy about right now?

You have your health, family, friends and knowledge.

During the pursuit of our happiness, we forget to be happy for what we have right now. We’re always trying to get somewhere else — be happier than we are in this moment.

Pursuing your dreams of happiness is not bad but, take a moment, reflect on what you have to be happy about at this point in the journey.

If you don’t realize how happy you are in this moment, then how will you be able to truly measure your happiness once you’ve reached that goal?

I’m just as guilty as the next person. Once again, let’s walk down the road to the corner or college graduation and job searching. My ultimate dream of happiness is quite clear, so I often forget to be happy for where I am right now and where I am going.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend my cousin’s bridal shower and, to my luck, my aunt has a trampoline, where I spent countless hours jumping after the party.

To quote Manny from ABC’s Modern Family, “Who’d enjoy that I thought? A kid. You were right — I was born 16. I’ve lost my childhood.”

While Manny is a mature 12-year-old boy, I am 23 year and take myself too seriously. Don’t get me wrong — I love to laugh just as much as the next person, probably even more so. But, it’s nice to let your inner child out every now and then.

Moral of the story — be happy for how far you’ve come on the journey to happiness. Do something out of the ordinary. Let your inner child out. I did and it was great.

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