Friday, March 30, 2018

Fortune Cookie Friday: Define Your Own Life

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Fortune Cookie Friday on positively b.e.e.! Some readers have sent in a few fortunes, so you'll be seeing those in coming weeks.

Here's a good one that just came in:

Accept no other definition of your life, accept only your own.
This one is so empowering, and I wholeheartedly agree! Live life on your own terms, not on someone else's.

Leave a comment and tell me: how do you define your life, or, if you want to redefine your life, what do you think you would do first?

For me, I've finally learned that just being myself is enough, and I'm happy with that. I have less focus on being what others want me to be, and more focus on being who I want to be, instead. This is part of what made it easier for me to decide to leave a traditional job setting and go about things a bit differently.

If you want to contact me there is a form on the front page, or reach out on social media! If sending a fortune cookie, you can reach me on the Facebook page and send me a picture of your fortune.

Have a great—and empowered—weekend!


 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there! ~~

Monday, March 26, 2018

New Beginnings

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

So, some exciting things are happening over here at positively b.e.e.!

This past Friday was my last day at my regular 9-to-5 job. I've been spending my spare time reaching for some personal goals, and I am finally at a place where I can take the leap and really go for them! I've been taking classes, developing plans, talking to people, reading a lot, and working very hard at all of it. I thought it would take me a lot longer to get to this point than it had. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, though, so I'm doing it. 

My colleagues gave me a great send-off, including a nice going away party, beautiful flowers, handwritten cards & notes, and even a really special goodbye breakfast. (You can see some of these in the above photo.) They really are the best!

Here are some of the questions I've been getting:

Where are you going?
To my couch. Or my desk at home. Or to visit my parents, other family, or friends. Or to the local coffee shop. Or to the car dealership waiting room while my car gets an oil change. The skills I have to offer and the problems I can solve are all doable from just about anywhere!

But...why would you leave your awesome job doing awesome stuff at that super-awesome place you used to work at?
Because it's time. It was a really good run, but this shift has been in progress for a long time, and several things synced up to make me realize the time is now. I am grateful for the years spent at my last job, and at various places along my career. I've learned new skills, made lasting friendships, and had awesome colleagues along the way.

So then what will you be doing?
Proofreading, copy editing, writing, and transcription. You'll note that these things are very portable. Additionally, I will be focusing on continuing to bring great content here at positively b.e.e., and have plans to expand my offerings.

How does your husband/family/whoever feel about this?
I have an amazing support system. My husband and parents have always encouraged me to aim for the stars, go for my dreams, and follow my heart. I recognize that I am very lucky to have them cheering me on, but I also recognize that I would do this even without their support. (I might not have done it *quite* as soon as I am, but I would do it anyway. I'm just built like that.) I also have friends, colleagues, and acquaintances rooting for me.

And really, most people have been incredibly supportive. Indeed, many of them said they wish they could do the same. Some of them HAVE done the same and given me some inspiration and advice. And others have told me they also plan to do the same in the future when the time is right for them.

A few people, though, reacted a little differently. Did you notice that some of the questions I got seemed just a little bit unsure? Maybe it doesn't come across in text, but in person, some people seemed almost afraid for me. Indeed, one person was a little negative about my next move, as if to dissuade me from taking the leap. But I firmly believe that if we never try, we never succeed. I cannot and will not live a fear-based life making fear-based decisions for my future. I've done that for long enough; it's time for a change.

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
― Erin Hanson

Ok, but...why?
How many times have I said there's no better time than now to live your best life? To always strive to be yourself and do the things you want to do in life, because life is short and we are only promised this moment? That is a major reason. If I'm going to sit here and talk about how we can fulfill our lives, live our dreams, and be happy in this world, then I need to have some integrity and walk that walk, too. 

There have been a few times in my life where I have been offered opportunities that I'd had to turn down, because I didn't have the bandwidth to accept them while still working in a traditional 9-to-5 setting, and I was too afraid to leave the security of a traditional job. I have now freed myself up to say "yes" instead of "no."

Indeed, after I turned in my resignation, I was approached by several people with invitations to collaborate on projects, so while I thought I'd be taking some time to ramp up, instead I will be hitting the ground running, which is exciting for me! :)

And, just because I will be working in a nontraditional setting does not mean I'm going to sit around all day eating bonbons and watching soaps. I will still be working hard. I just won't be going to someone's office to do that.

Oh, one other question I've gotten from a few people:

Great! This is wonderful news! What can I (we) do to help?
To anyone who has asked this: THANK YOU. I appreciate your support! Tell everyone you know that I'm out here doing this. Share this blog. Tell your friends and family. If you know any writers, business owners, website developers, bloggers, ANYONE who needs a skilled proofreader, copy editor, or writer, send them my name! If you have ever wanted to write your memoir or a book but don't like typing, did you know I can type it up FOR you? Want to write a letter that sounds businesslike but don't know how to go about that? Talk to me. I can help. These are just a few examples of things I have done for people.

Additionally, I hope you will consider using my affiliate links.

For example, if you were going to order something on Amazon, anyway, it doesn't cost you any additional money to use my Amazon Affiliate link, but it does help me out. You simply click on the link and buy whatever you normally would buy, and Amazon gives me a small percentage for the referral at no additional cost to you. If the Amazon link you click on is to a specific product (such as the fortune cookies I feature on Fridays), you don't have to buy that product; you can just click on that link, search on whatever you wanted to buy, and buy it. It's that simple, and will help me in my goals of bringing better content to you here.

So that's the scoop!
I'm super-excited by the changes taking place in my life, both within me and career-wise. I look forward to the next part of the journey.

Oh! And I almost forgot: I know it's Monday (and not Fortune Cookie Friday), but I'm going to include a fortune here in this post. I got this in a fortune cookie years ago, and must have tucked it away somewhere to be forgotten forever. Last week, though, it dropped out of a notebook as I was rearranging items on a shelf:

I mean, REALLY: does it get any better than that? Talk about getting a little confirmation I'm on the right track. Do I think fortune cookies are psychic? No. Do I believe in coincidences? No, not really.

Hey, it works for me. :)

Leave a comment below: what new beginnings are you embarking on this spring? Let's inspire and celebrate each other!


 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Fortune Cookie Friday: The Worth of Water

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

I've been so happy to get your feedback about Fortune Cookie Friday. It seems like so many of you are loving this feature, and I'm loving it, too. If you have any fortunes you'd like to share, let me know!

Here is today's fortune cookie:

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.

Now ain't THAT the truth! How many of us go through life never even registering the people or things we should be grateful for? How much do we take for granted in our lives?

Take some time today to think about what you have in life and be grateful for it. It can be the most minuscule thing. Sometimes my gratitude journal will have nothing more than something mundane, such as "I'm grateful for my car. It gets me where I need to go so I can support myself." Things like that are still worth noticing in life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this as well! Comment below or on social media and let me know what are you grateful for? Let's have a gratitude fest!   💛🐝

Want some fortune cookies so you can play along? Get some here.

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Quiet Your Mind And Your Heart Will Follow

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"Quiet your mind and your heart will follow."

I woke up with that in my head on a recent morning. It was the last thing I remember from a dream I was having. I sat straight up, grabbed a pen and paper, and jotted it down. It was loud, too, as if someone in the room had said it right next to me. You don't ignore something like that!

At the time, I was struggling with some decisions I needed to make. Well, decisions we (my husband and I) were mulling over. It's a good problem to have when you have a lot of options for a situation, but for me, sometimes having too many options makes it difficult for me to see the path right in front of me.

I knew what I was being told: that I needed to quiet my mind and my heart would know and seek the true path.

I have a habit of letting things get to me, and they get all swirled up in my mind. It's like a cacophony of mental sound inside of me, every thought fighting to be heard.

Can you relate at all? If so, what do you do to quell it?

I've explored various techniques on how to deal with this over the years: pro/con lists, journaling, talking it out with people, but today I would like to share a meditation I've been doing that has been helping me with this problem.

I start by sitting quietly and comfortably, feet flat on the floor, hands in my lap. If you try this and you feel you need calming music, then play some music softly in the background. I prefer to sit in utter silence, and you'll see why, below.

Take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly but fully. Let each breath go deeper than the one before. Let the tension of the day drop away with each breath. Stretch a little, settle into how your body feels and consciously relax each muscle, joint, and limb.

If thoughts crop up, acknowledge them, and then let them go. They will probably crop up a few times, and that's okay, just keep acknowledging them and letting them go.

Take more deep breaths, and SMILE. Did you know smiling can calm you down and raise good endorphins?

After several clearing breaths, I let my awareness extend outwards to connect with sounds around me: children playing, birds chirping, cars passing by on the road, a dog barking in the distance, that really insistent woodpecker in the backyard. It takes my mind out of myself and connects me with the outer world. (This is why I often don't use music.) The reason I do this is because by putting my awareness OUTWARDS, I stop focusing on what is INWARDS in my head.

After a few moments of being out of my own head, I am then able to bring my awareness back within, and picture myself in a place that is calm and happy. For me, it's often a quiet beach with calm waves lapping the shore, much like the beaches I grew up with in Connecticut.

Then, I let my higher 'self' connect with heaven, and I pray. I ask God to guide me down the right path.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

After praying, I sit silently again, just paying attention to my breathing, and continue to acknowledge and let go any confusing thoughts that crop up. I sit in a space of quiet gratitude and light, continuing to breathe. By this point, the confusing thoughts are generally gone, and I have only one or two thoughts happening. If I try to jettison them and they come back solidly, then I know those are the ones I should address.

I don't really know how I arrived at this method. It's just from a variety of things I've tried over the years and it's developed from there. One thing I know for sure is that this doesn't come from me. The letting go of my ego and connecting my awareness outward during the meditation is necessary for me to truly quiet my mind, connect above, and know the right path. That step came during another moment of intuition and message last year, and I took it to heart and started implementing it.

One more thing: I've found that there will be what Kim Chestney calls "Godwinks"—signs from above to do something—that are obvious to me if I bother to pay attention. I know for myself, whenever I ignore them, they will fight to be heard even louder, sometimes to unpleasant consequences. When I look back on my life now, I see them so clearly. I've just had another situation in which it was clear I was not in balance with who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do, and I'm listening up. BIG CHANGES coming in my life right now, but they're GOOD ONES. Being in balance with God and the universe has never been more important to me, and makes my decisions even easier when I listen instead of ignoring it.

Comment below or on social media and let me know: have you ever felt something similar? How do you quiet your mind so that your heart can follow? Do you have any favorite tricks for this?


Want to read Kim's book? You can find it here. And if you are local to the Pittsburgh region and get a chance to do a workshop with Kim, I highly recommend working with her. You can find out more about workshops and events she offers at her website. You may recall I attended an event she helped create back in January, and you can read what that was like here.

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Fortune Cookie Friday: Watch One's Thoughts

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Greetings, fellow fortune cookie lovers! Today's fortune is a good one, once again.

Watch one's thoughts, as they become actions. 

There's a theory out there that what we think is what our reality will be. I know this holds true for me. Anyone who's read The Secret or practiced mind over matter would probably know what I'm talking about.

I like to "keep a clean house," mentally. I find that if I start using certain language, that language does have the power to affect my perception of the world. This cookie reminds me to keep my thoughts aligned with how I want my life to be.

What does this saying mean to you? Comment below or on social media. I'd love to hear your thoughts! 🐝

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Start the Week with Sunshine

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I know those of us in the States are hurting a little bit with the loss of an hour. Good ole' "spring forward" made us turn our clocks forward an hour as Daylight Saving Time came back yesterday. This stinks in terms of sleep lost, but hey, it also means Spring is around the corner!

This calls for a Monday pick-me-up! Hope this song by Katrina and the Waves helps you kickstart this week—dance along with me!

If you like this song, you can buy it here.

Happy Monday, all!   🐝

 ~~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Fortune Cookie Friday: Make Your Life A Mission

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Ok guys, if you read the last Fortune Cookie Friday post, you'd have seen that that one referred to life being a play.

And then:  THIS cookie was the next one I opened:

Make your life a mission, not an intermission.
What is up with the theatrical references lately?! That's pretty neat!

Just last week, we talked about how, if life is a play, that you should choose the role that you want in it, before the curtain comes down.

This fortune is a great follow-up to that, isn't it?

And it's pretty simple, to me: don't treat life like an intermission. Life isn't simply a break where you run and get some coffee or a beer, or maybe go stand in line for the bathroom before the lights flicker, signaling that it's time to rush back and re-take your seat for the next act. Blink, and you miss it. Intermissions always go too fast.

Treat life like your mission. Don't waste it on mundane things. If you don't like where life is going, then make a plan and tackle it. Start by writing a mission statement. What would you change in order to feel like you were living fully?

A mission statement can be a simple one-sentence statement, from which other things can then grow. I'll start with the sentence that I had in my head when I started this site:

My mission at positively b.e.e. is to disrupt negativity by focusing on positivity, light, joy, and gratitude.

And now it's your turn: what's your mission? 

Comment below or on social media if you want to share your mission or any additional thoughts! And if you want any of your fortune cookies to be featured on Fortune Cookie Friday, feel free to send me pictures of your fortunes.

Have a great weekend! 🐝

~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there! ~

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Why "no" isn't a bad word.

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Have you ever said "no" and felt bad about it?

Have you ever said "yes" when you wanted to say "no" because you were afraid of disappointing someone?

Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash
For today's topic, I have some questions for you to consider:
If so, has that "yes" ever made you unhappy, or caused you to miss out on something you really wanted or needed to do for yourself because you were trying to please someone else?

Have you ever found yourself in the position of being unable to say "yes" OR "no"? Were you a solid "maybe" on that social invitation you got, never actually RSVPing to the host with a definitive answer?

I think a lot of people are hesitant to say "no" to things. I know I've been there, and I guess it's pretty normal. We're afraid of disappointing people, or not meeting someone's expectations. Or sometimes, we really want to do something and figure we can jam it into our already hectic schedules.

But does it have to be that way?

I used to think that I was pretty good at establishing healthy boundaries, and in certain areas, I am. But it's funny how a simple, 2-letter word can cause such a stir in my life, so I'm exploring why that is. I would never have put myself into the "people pleaser" category, but maybe that's what I am.

Also, I have a tendency to start too many projects or get involved in too many things, and then scramble, trying to keep it all together. I'm genuinely disappointed when I can't do it all! Who do I think I am, Superwoman?

That's pretty unrealistic, because guess what always happens when I do that?

Yep, you guessed it:

Burnout. Complete and utter exhaustion. Insomnia. Worry. Anxiety. An inability to make decisions easily. A desire to huddle myself away from the world.

The list goes on.

There's a local church I sometimes attend, and one day the pastor said something in a sermon that REALLY hit me. He was talking about integrity, and he said, "Let your 'yes' be YES and your 'no' be NO."

I don't know if this was his intent, but here's my take-away:

Make a decision. Stick to it. Have the integrity and respect for yourself and others to tell people "yes" or "no," and be solid in your answer. Don't waffle. Don't exist in the land of "maybe." Free up your mind, heart, and spirit for living your best life by making a clear choice in all you do. COMMIT.

So I've been working on that! While I still have to unlearn some of those "yes" habits, I've been saying "no" a bit more lately. And whereas in the past, I'd feel at least a little bad about saying "no," I'm finding that it's actually pretty good for me!

Want to know how?

I'm sleeping better. I don't have a million moving parts going through my mind, keeping me awake at night.

My decision-making has been much clearer, probably because I don't have a million moving parts going through my mind.

I've been able to focus more on my health and well-being. I still have a way to go, but I'm finding a little more time for exercise and meditation these days, and picking up the yarn or a book for fun more often.

I'm even letting some of my expectations of myself go. (Yes, my people-pleasing apparently applied to myself, too.) Things like: I'm the errand-runner of the household, and I used to beat myself up if I forgot an item or didn't get to the store when I wanted to. So what if I forgot to buy paper towels? I could make an Amazon order and save myself the trip, thereby freeing myself up for something that actually matters.

I've been able to focus on a few things at a time in my life instead of spreading myself too thin. For instance, I've been able to write more consistently here on positively b.e.e. and apply my energy to learning some new skills.

I'm still pretty busy, but I feel like I'm making better choices for what I say "yes" to. (Granted, I still have a lot to learn.)

I'm learning more about quality of life instead of quantity of the things in my life.

So while I'd like to say "yes" to a lot of things, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with "no." It's not the difficult word I'd sometimes thought it to be.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Photo by Andy Tootell on Unsplash

Comment below or on social media and let me know how the word "no" affects you! 🐝

~ positively b.e.e. is on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there! ~

Friday, March 2, 2018

Fortune Cookie Friday: Life Is A Play

This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See Disclosures & Policies on my About page.

Hello, and welcome back to Fortune Cookie Friday! And welcome to our new readers, too!

If you're new to positively b.e.e., the idea is simple: I will be using some Fridays to post bits of wisdom that come from fortune cookies I have opened, or ones that you share with me. I use the saying inside to think intuitively, and then share those thoughts with you. If you'd like to play along, make sure to get some cookies the next time you get Chinese food, or you can order some here.

Alright, let's get started. Today's is a good one, and I was so excited when I opened it!
Life is a play. It's not its length, but its performance that counts. 
So, I have some questions for you:

Are you the playwright? Are you writing the script and deciding how the storyline will progress? Are you dictating how the characters interact, creating relationships, and figuring out what plot points will move the story forward?

Photo by Wei-Cheng Wu on Unsplash
Or are you an actor, following someone else's script? Maybe someone else wrote it, and a director is calling the shots, giving you notes, and telling you how to play it, but you can bring your interpretation and motivation and emotional range to the play and make it a moving and memorable performance that wows your audience.

Maybe you're the stage manager. Someone else may have written the script, and other people are out front making that script come alive on stage, but you take the necessary actions behind the scenes to make it all happen. You create the unseen magic and make others look good, while providing a seamless, enjoyable experience to the audience without them even realizing that you've done it. You're a bit of an unsung hero.

Or maybe, just maybe: you're the director. You see the plan set out by the playwright, and you have a vision for it. You can interpret it and harness the creative and technical resources to make the play happen beautifully. It becomes a masterpiece under your expert guidance.

All of these roles, both figuratively and in life, are valid and meaningful. Everyone, no matter what their role, brings something of value to the table. Each person has something to contribute, as long as they show up.

But if life is a play: are you happy with your role, or do you want to change it up? Are you contributing to your life in the way that you want to? Who do you want to be: the playwright, the actor, the stage manager, or the director? Or someone else?

We don't know how long the play will be. It could be a one-act play, or it might have several acts with intermissions, but no matter how you play it or what your role is, ENJOY IT. Take charge of your own happiness and play the role YOU want to play. After all, we are only promised RIGHT NOW.

This play is the play we're in, so let's make it the best-produced play ever, okay? 

Live your best life always.

Oh, and one final thought: who cares about the critics or what they say—some will love you, and some will hate you, so just live your best life anyway...

...before the curtain comes down.

Photo by Rob Laughter on Unsplash


Comment below or contact me through social media (links below) and let me know if you have any fortunes you want to share!

 ~ positively b.e.e. is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Follow me there! ~

Reflections on 2020

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, by which I may be financially compensated. See  Disclosures  for more info.  It’s finally...