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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wear Your Power Pants Proud

These are my "Power Pants" so named by my best friend and routine shopping companion.

What are "Power Pants" you ask? They can be anything that makes you feel powerful the second you put them on. They could be a pair of athletic pants, your favorite pair of jeans, or something like these, pants that make me feel like I am on my way to change the world. They don't even have to be pants, though. Maybe it's a shirt you got from a race you finished, a pair of comfortable socks, or a rockin' pair of shoes.

I have met many people who say that what you wear doesn't matter, but I am a firm believer in fashion. No, not the type of fashion you wear to impress other people or show off your wealth. I am talking about outfits that make you feel fabulous, clothes that you wear with confidence because that is the way we change the world, being confident in ourselves, our abilities, our beliefs.

I wrote once before about getting rid of clothes that don't make you feel fabulous. Since that post, I have not bought anything that doesn't. Why waste your money on clothes that make you feel mediocre when you could be stocking up on "Power Pants?" Heck, these were only $12.00 so it just goes to show that you don't even have to break the bank! You just need to find things that remind you how beautiful, fashionable, and powerful you can be.

The other day, I was at the YMCA, talking to a girl in the hot tub who shared way too much of her story with me, a stranger she had just met in a hot tub. I could tell though they were things that were weighing on her, that they were things she just needed to get off her chest. When she got out and went to go change, the first thing she did was weigh herself. I thought about my "Power Pants." I thought about the fact that I don't even know what size they are, that this never even crossed my mind because of the way they made me feel. It made me forget to check the size.

Hell, I know that on any given day I could weigh more or less than the day before. I know that I weigh more and wear different sizes than I did when I was sixteen because that's normal. I know that sometimes, my pants size is not going to be consistent because brands are different. I also know that I work out at least a few days during the week, eat as healthy as I can without sacrificing things I love, and according to my yearly check-up am considered healthy. For me, feeling healthy and happy has always been what matters most.

But so many are obsessed with numbers on a scale or clothing labels. So many wear things that make them feel like less than their potential. Hell, at points in my life, I have too. Maybe it is because we are scared. It is hard to stand out and that's exactly what "Power Pants" make us do. This is how we change the world, though. We embrace ourselves for who we are on any given day, wear and do the things that make us feel the best, and forget about the numbers. It is this that people will notice. It is this that will help us be as powerful as we can be. It is this that will change the world.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Reminders from Paradise

I am lucky enough to work in a school district that has the means to send us to conferences, especially out of state conferences. This week, I was in San Diego for a School Mental Health conference that I not only was able to attend, but also was honored to presenter at with other members of my team. That in itself has been an amazing opportunity!

Our conference presentation/adventurous group

I am also lucky enough to work with people who are adventurous, energetic, and flat out fun. We had so many adventures and laughs and got to know each other in an entirely different way. I am currently sitting on my balcony, listening to the Star Spangled Banner coming across the Harbor from the Naval Base, and reflecting on all the things San Diego has reminded me of.

On Wednesday I was reminded, while two of my coworkers and I sat on the four hour flight and literally talked the entire time so my one coworker wouldn't be so nervous flying, how important it is to take out your headphones, put away your phone, computer, book, whatever it is and take the time to talk. The flight flew by, my coworker wasn't AS nervous, and it made something that could have felt unbearable (I know four hours isn't much, but it can feel like a lifetime), enjoyable.

On Thursday I was reminded, while going on an impromptu kayaking tour with two of my coworkers and three random locals who agreed to take us out (they were affiliated with a kayak shop... don't worry!) and show us some of the wonders that sit right in their neighborhood, how important it is to go out of your comfort zone and take time to do new things. We saw sea lions just feet from us, a sunset over the bay, a college rowing team practicing, and hundreds of gorgeous boats. I almost didn't go, but as I was sitting in the kayak with these people, watching the sunset through palm trees, I realized how important it is to embrace adventure.

On Thursday I was also reminded, while riding in an inflatable dingy, in the middle of the night, across the same harbor, because the locals had offered to give us a ride to where we were meeting the others in our group and we thought it would be more fun than an Uber, that life is about embracing every moment to the fullest and not settling for the easy way. Sure, we could have taken an Uber. It probably would have been safer and quicker, but flying through the water on this little dingy, laughing about how ridiculous it was, and seeing the Harbor from a different perspective made me happy we didn't take the easy way.

Our "head honcho" and I riding across the harbor in the "dingy"

On Friday I was reminded, while we were standing on the beach on Coronado Island with Tijuana Mexico to our left, the Harbor we were staying at on the right, the Hotel del Coronado behind us, and of course our toes in the sand, how important it is to take off your shoes every once and a while and put your toes in the sand. What I mean is, so often in life we walk around busy and distracted from the world around us. It is important to take off our shoes if you will, stand on the beach, and really take a look around you to realize there is so much wonder to the world we live in.

A panoramic view from the beach including Tijuana Mexico, the Hotel del Coronado, and the sunsetting over the ocean 

On Saturday I was reminded once again, while walking through the San Diego zoo with our group, the importance of being in the moment, being adventurous, not taking the easy way (they have buses that literally take you up and down hills if you don't want to/can't walk them), and looking at our world with wonder. It was the perfect culmination to our trip. There was so much to see we didn't get to see everything, but that was okay. And that was another good reminder. Life isn't about seeing all there is to see. It is about embracing every moment for what it is and finding the good in everything you do.
A flower in the San Diego Zoo