Who do you want to be?

We are asked this question over a dozen times when we are children.  As you get older it changes to, what do you want to do when you get older?  As we get even older it becomes, what do you want to do with your life?

I want to be someone who helps make a change in the world.  I want to spend my life filled with happiness and love.  I want to be an example to whatever children may surround me, whether they be my own or others.  I want to be someone that people can relate to, rely on and can trust to be an honest human being.

That just gives an explanation of who I want to be at my core.  Do I want to be successful? Yes, but I need to determine what I measure that success by.  I want to be a yoga instructor and a business coach.  I want to always be learning from what is around me.

Most of all, I want to be someone continues to embrace life in all of its chaos, imperfections and downs.  Does this mean I will be able to do this all the time?

NO!

Every single one of us will have things in life that trip us up.  Every single one of us will ask “Why am I not where I want to be?” that is OKAY!  What we must try and do is to continue to push forward.  We can embrace the negativity for a short amount of time but we need to pull up our big girl or big boy pants and keep moving forward.

You want to know why?

Life doesn’t stop, life just keeps moving forward.  If we do not make the conscious effort to move forward with it then we will always be asking the question of “Why am I not where I want to be?”

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Change

I began writing about change eight months ago believing I had profound thoughts on change. Honestly though, I could not find the words to share with the world. I felt they needed to be thought provoking, inspiring and challenge you to think of change in a different way. I did not want to write about change the way “everyone” else does but sometimes it is okay to reiterate what others say because it just might mean you are on the right track.

Seven months ago I moved out of my parents house for the first time. It was new and exciting, frightening and freeing all at the same time. Now many people move out in college but I did not as it was more cost efficient due to the fact I went to a local school.

When I started to think about change I started to think of milestones in my life when I can pinpoint the change that occurred. When I say milestones I think of specific things like:

  • When I went on my first date with my boyfriend.
  • Changing jobs to better my career, not knowing even at that point what my “career” was.
  • My Nanie passing away
  • Moving out of my parents house for the first time
  • Buying a new car
  • Choosing to go to Therapy for the first time
  • Choosing to practice yoga
  • Signing up to participate in a spartan race
  • Choosing to put myself first

All of these, while not all LARGE milestones, are still significant milestones in my book. When I think of them they also help me pinpoint where I was at in my “journey of life”. When going on that first date with my boyfriend I had no idea that I would change my perspective, outlook, expectations and passion about relationships. Not just my relationship with him but with those around me.

My career, while I still can’t say I know 100% what I want to do, I can say that I’m in a place where there are so many different opportunities that I would never have imagined. I didn’t know starting in a Customer Support role would bring me to the position I am in today and ultimately lead me to going back to school.

I never moved out of my parents house for college. I went to a local community college and university where it was cheaper to live at home. I am very thankful that I had parents who never shoved me out of the house knowing that I would leave when the time came. This past winter I had the opportunity to move out on my own into a friends condo. Living with someone other then my family was very different and not what I was used to.  The experience however was one I’d never trade anything for and helped me be who I am today.

Change isn’t just in the big things though. As I always try and say in everything I write, it is always about the little things. I wasn’t drinking enough water so I changed my habits, I carry around a 32 oz bottle of water with me everywhere. When I started and I craved something else, or something sweet, I “forced” myself to always just drink water knowing it is what my body needed.

When I struggle with negativity I make myself say three things I am thankful for. This didn’t happen over night, it happened because I chose to change how I thought of myself, the world, and others.

Change is not something that happens overnight. Change is TRULY inevitable and something that no matter how much you resist, it will occur over and over again. Change works best when you can accept and say “I know change happens, I may not like it but I will accept it and move forward.”

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Expectations

Living up to expectations, how do we do it? How do we know what the expectations are for us? Are they taught, are we told, do we learn by example?

Many of our expectations stem from societal norms.  At the theatre you are expected to be quiet and not chit chat during the performance or movie.  At work you are expected to put business first and personal stays outside the door.  As a child you are expected to behave when company comes over or when out in public.  As a teenager/young adult you are expected to act as such if you want to be taken seriously.  Even as a significant other you are expected to behave in a specific way.

In all reality though, how many of us live up to those expectations?  In all reality, how many of us have created expectations that we can not even rise up to?

One of the oldest and long living expectations is that of the expectations in a relationship.  Many fall pray to what I will describe, and if you already know what I mean from the previous sentence skip ahead.  In many many relationships it is often a point of view of one partner or the other that they should not need to explain or communicate what they want or need.  It is expected that the other partner just knows!  I would really love to know how as a society we fell into this because I have gotten stuck, and continue to do so, many times over.  I blame the romantic movies I love so much.

What about the expectation of someone’s character?  What about the expectations you have for your sibling?  As the oldest sibling I often felt like I had to be the care taker if my parents were go.  I had to be the best example I could for my sister and not falter.  I expected myself to be the smartest and best I could be.  What happened is she ended up being much smarter then I am.  She got a better job then I did, and I still beat myself up about. it.  But whose fault is it, my won?  It’s my own fault because I have set those expectations upon myself of what defines my failure.

We can anticipate that as humans we expect someone to be kind and be a “decent” human being, that definition may depend on the person who has that expectation.  We also can anticipate that when out to eat we each have an expectation, depending on the business of the restaurant, how long it takes for our food to be ready.  We even can anticipate that we can expect to sit in rush hour traffic at 5pm on a Friday evening.

Simply put, every single one of us has expectations.  What of those expectations however can we let go of?  It is hard work to first of all even recognize that ourselves or someone else “did wrong” simply because we had an expectation set.  This expectation may have been known or unknown to us, regardless we set one and because it wasn’t met you are left feeling mad, angry, frustrated, sad and/or disappointed.

Expectations are a reality, they are a tough reality but they are there.  The best we can do is try and voice when we have expectations and understand if we are setting ourselves or anyone else up for failure.

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Social Media Hiatus

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Well, I’m not sure about better than ever but it is a start!

I know it has been quite a while since I have written and shared on this blog but this last month I also chose to disconnect from the social media world. I deleted Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat from my phone.

I found I was spending too much of my “down” time just scrolling through my different feeds. When I realized this, I was upset with myself because I know life is more then looking at my phone.

Our world is so involved in social media and while I understand it is a way to connect, stay in the know and to grow businesses it’s overwhelming. Throughout this month I have paid attention to when I have been around friends and family. Noticing that when silence occurs the phone’s come out even if you just looked at it two minutes ago.

From this social media hiatus I was also able to spend quality time relaxing, creating memories with those closest to me and celebrating some really large milestones happening in the lives around me. I also spent less time thinking negative thoughts and being hard on myself for not being, looking, acting like anyone else.

While I appreciate social media and will continue to use it and share my story and be in contact with the world I will continue to work and limit its use in my life. This hiatus has also helped me come up with new ideas to write about and has helped make decisions on how I want to move this blog forward. I don’t know that I will post as consistently but my new goal is to share a new post at least once a month.

I look forward to reconnecting with everyone!

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Email: beyoufindyou@gmail.com

What are you passionate about?

The age old question that you are asked umpteen times in your life.  Whether you are asked in an interview, by your friends, relatives, etc.  It’s interesting that this has come around more frequently as a question as I feel it means we as a society are more concerned with what drives people.  Not just what they aim for in the future, i.e. goals, but things that help wake them up every day and get out of bed.

Recently, in a book I read, there was a challenge to no longer ask “What do you do?” when you are meeting someone but to ask “What are you passionate about”?  I was struck to my core by this line.  It continued on to say that we define ourselves by our job and our title but is that truly who we are.  Our passions are what encompasses who we are and what is left of us when we go.  When you read an obituary, sorry to get daunting here, but when you read one do they say “X Smith was an engineer” and leave it at that? I mean, maybe some do but those I have read do not.  They talk about the individuals passions and what they truly cared about.

I recently had a conversation about passions with a colleague and friend.  She asked me to have lunch with her to specifically talk about my Passion Planner.  When we sat down she brought up that she was asked this exact question recently and she was a little stumped. She asked me my thoughts and I was inspired to write.

When talking with her I told her I am passionate about:

  • Family
  • Yoga
  • My relationships
  • Animals
  • Health
  • Living life

I told her when someone asks me what I am passionate about I think of things that make me happiest.  I also shared that my passions have changed and they will change.  New things come into our life all of the time and others leave.  There are people I know who used to be passionate about a specific sport and now they just don’t care for it anymore.

I do find that sometimes our passions can take too much of our energy.  We get so involved in them with our time and effort that we lost sight of why we are passionate about them. For this reason, if I find I am starting to not feel passionate about something anymore I start making a list. Yes, I AM that list person. Anyways, I start making a list of why I was passionate about it in the first place. If for some reason none of what is on the list rings true anymore, then I recognize it’s not something for me.

I have had things I have been passionate about that have relied on the people I was doing them with.  Which makes sense, sometimes our passions are brought to us by those around us.  This is why I have also taken the time to recognize it is the people around me I also need to be passionate about.

I need to be passionate about cultivating, nurturing and encouraging the relationships I have.  These can be personal or professional, but I find if I don’t also focus on the people then my passion for things can fizzle out.

Passions can be simple things, no one defines what your passions are except yourself.

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Anxiety

Anxiety, is a very sensitive subject with many.  It has a wide spectrum of its debilitating effects on those lives it touches.  It has been a hot topic item with those around me lately and so I wanted to shed my own light on it.

In my own personal experience anxiety stems from my own fears and insecurities.  For instance, when my boyfriend and I had our first summer together he had a week where he was gone to be a camp counselor.  Despite knowing how much he loved me this week apart caused me a large amount of anxiety.  Add to the fact he would be traveling with one of his camp counselor friends who was a female – enter self-doubt!  I had anxiety about the trip because I lacked confidence in the fact I was loved.  I had anxiety about the trip because of my own insecurities from my past relationships.  My boyfriend was not the cause of my anxiety; my past and my own self-doubt were.

When I can realize my anxiety, and recognize it is occurring I choose to take a good hard look at myself.  I ask myself why am I anxious?  What is causing this?  In doing so I might realize that it is because I am having to present in front of a huge group of people.  This makes me uncomfortable and is causing me to be anxious.  It may be the fact that I haven’t said what I truly have felt in my relationship with a friend or my boyfriend.  Holding in emotions can be a huge anxiety trigger for many because we keep our emotions in so we are not judged.

Anxiety also comes from our environment and from those people we surround ourselves with and the people we follow on social media.  I believe to a certain degree that everyone is empathic and can pick up on other people’s energy that surrounds them.  I know that I am empathic and am capable of being drawn in by the energies of those around me.  Have you ever been in a good mood and then encounter someone who is very stressed out?  Do you sometimes start to then feel stressed out and you don’t know what’s causing it? It is huge to recognize what is your own and what is not, I have had to ask myself some days is my anxiety my own or someone else’s?

I also make it a point to follow positive influences on social media or individual’s I feel bring value to my day to day.  As feelings of self-doubt cause anxiety for me I do my best to surround myself with individuals who are “real” in their posts.  What do I mean by “real”, I mean an individual who will post the good with the bad and can share even when they aren’t “perfectly posed” because let’s be honest real life isn’t like that.  Even in my own group of those I interact with daily I have those who I can reach out to when I am having anxiety.  They will then ask me the question of is it yours? If it isn’t let it go, if it is why are you having anxiety?

Being active in any way can curb anxiety whether you choose weightlifting, horseback riding, running, yoga, walking or any other form of activity.  There have been many studies conducted that physical activity helps with anxiety and depression.  I used to weight lift and currently my go to is Yoga, when the weather is nice in Maine running might be on my list.  My go to physical activity, especially when anxious, is not always the same.  It depends on what my body is craving, sometimes it’s a run or walk no matter the weather because I just need a change of scenery.  I will state though; my anxiety has never been helped by digging through social media or on my phone.

If I am unable to be physically active when I am having anxiety another practice I have put into place is being more thankful.  I will take a piece of paper, or in my planner, and write down what I am grateful for in that moment.  For this year I actually purchased a Five-Minute Journal that I write in every morning and every night.  If I have anxiety at any point in the day I remind myself of what I was thankful for that morning.

It is also okay to just take a day and sit with yourself and utilize these tools.  There are days where anxiety just breaks you down and gets overwhelming.  I had one such day when this occurred and it made me realize I needed help, I needed third party to talk to because talking to my family and boyfriend just wasn’t cutting it.  Sometimes that is what it takes and its ok to admit to needing to speak to someone.  It took me a while to recognize this, and that it was okay to see someone.  I bought into the fear that I would be judged for seeing a therapist and that those around me would be heavily concerned if I began seeing one.

Anxiety is real, it can be debilitating and frustrating.  My post again, is here to hopefully speak to you the reader in recognizing you are not alone.  If you follow my social media I try to be very honest and “real”.  There are many out there who also suffer silently with their anxiety and don’t have a fix but I hope that my post may help them in no longer being silent.

Never Say Never

What happens when you say the word never?  Can you think of instances when you state this word?  Let me give you a few:

  • I will never jump out of an airplane
  • I will never like sushi
  • I will never go camping when it does not include plumbing
  • I will never go hiking
  • I will never sleep in a tent
  • I will never settle
  • I will never do yoga and be able to calm down
  • I will never run a 5k
  • I will never meditate
  • I will never forgive this person

Guess what?  I have said every single one of those statements, those are all real life examples from my very own life, every single one, with the exception of jumping out of an airplane, is no longer valid.

Now this may just be the Brené Brown or Gabby Bernstein coming out but when I use the word “never” it always is in a negative way.  There is no positive thinking that occurs when I have used the word never, most often it is from disgust, defensiveness or stubbornness.  Over the last few years I have realized how much saying the word “never” limits me.  By stating that I would never do something I was preventing myself from being open to new opportunities and lessons.

In another post I’ll talk further but I have dug a lot into mindfulness and how your thoughts create your reality.  By stating sentences with “Never” in it I was immediately creating a wall, I was shutting down any opportunities that may come forth.  For years I told people I would never do yoga because it was too slow for me, I thought I’d injure myself and that I thought it was boring.  Quite honestly I just thought I would embarrass myself with my lack of flexibility and also not get the “body” I thought I wanted.  By this sentence I limited myself from being more conscious of my bodies abilities, from a stress reliever, and a community I never knew existed.

I have recognized to not state these sentences that limit my thoughts, actions and opportunities.  After dating my boyfriend for two years we had the opportunity to hike Mt. Katahdin.  This hike was the second hike I had ever done in my life, lets be honest I had big dreams.  I trained for six to eight months (think stair stepper, a lot of the stair stepper) at the gym wanting to ensure I prepared my body for what was to come.  Mt. Katahdin was one of the scariest, eye opening, and emotional things I have done in my whole life.  It took us 12 hours and at the end I collapsed on a picnic table and cried.  Cried from pent up fear from the trail (Knife’s edge, it’s called that for a reason) and from the fact I completed something I said I would never do.  This experience was one of the biggest examples I have to date that if I had continued to say “I’ll never do that” I would not have the memories I have now and I wouldn’t be able to count it as one of my biggest accomplishments.

When people ask me if I’ll do something or try something most often my response is “Maybe not right now but never say never”.  To be quite honest I thought I would never complete in a obstacle race, this past November I completed my first ever Spartan Sprint race.  I found out about it from my friend who was pulling together a team, I read the information, said “Why not, f**k it, might as well” and signed up then and there.  I didn’t do it for time, or to see what I needed to improve upon.  Quite honestly I can’t say I trained “properly” either but I did it for fun and to see what I could do.

I think when you say sentences including “never” you limit yourself from those experiences.  You limit yourself from the potential to say “I did this, I can do it again”.  I challenge you to do your best and Never say Never again.

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Stop Deleting

Technology rules our current generations and it is only going to continue to do so. There was a time when you would take a picture and have to wait a week for it to develop, then you could find out what actually happened with the picture. There was no deleting it or discarding it immediately, you waited, and for the most part someone would overrule you and tell you that the photo was being kept anyway. Everyone has an embarrassing photo somewhere that they wish never existed but for some reason or another it is still around albeit faded.

Something I have begun to do that I wish more people would is I have stopped deleting photo’s. If I take photo’s on my phone, I won’t delete any of them before I make a post on a social media sight. Truly I’ve felt much more liberated and happier in doing so, I’m not concerned about how I look in every photo. I don’t cringe at people seeing it, if I am making a funny face or if I don’t like how I look I just laugh it off. This is my reasoning; in life we can’t take things back. We can not delete moments from our lives, we can’t delete how we looked one day, what we wore, how we did our hair.

When I was in junior high-school I wanted highlights in my hair. My mom wanted to help and do it at home. She swore she had an idea what she was doing so I let her. Needless to say my hair was short, remember mushroom head, and the top layer of my hair was blonde. THAT WAS IT! My mom in her loving way, tried to help me get the “look” I wanted but it was just……bad the only way that somewhat “hid” this huge snafu was pigtails, for 6 months. I obviously can not go back in my life and delete that choice or decision, and I wouldn’t. I look back and think, I am lucky to have a mom that wanted to help me and to this day she’ll help me in anything.

This blog is short because my insight is simply:

Stop deleting your life so you can remember more of it, so that you can live it and stop deleting your life so you can simply be freer.

When I stopped deleting things I had less concern about how I looked and I began accepting myself and my life more. I believe it makes you realize that you do not have to have a perfect smile in every photo and you won’t be able pose perfectly for each photo either. This is what society, technology, and magazines have taught us that no one can see your photo’s unless they are “perfect”. Tell me a photo that hasn’t been filtered, airbrushed, or photo-shopped in some way, shape or form. On my own personal social media I have even stopped using filters. They are fun, they make things look cool, but why edit yourself?

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It’s a New Year!

Go figure right?  By the time you are reading this it’s January 8th and many of you have started making yourself a brand new person with your New Years’ Resolutions.

My question is what’s wrong with the person you are? I’m not saying don’t go and set goals for yourself but just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that’s what you HAVE to do.  If we’re going based off that then tomorrow’s a brand NEW day, why not start whatever resolutions then?

I realized some time ago how new years became a toxic thought spiral.  It’s the time of year where everyone amps up to set resolutions and keep them.  So if they fail at going to the gym every day each week in a month what happens?  Do they give up and say “Well I tried”?  I know many that have and then beat themselves up, all themselves a failure and say “Well I just can’t do it.”  I say to that individual, YOU ARE WRONG! I can do it but you know what?!  Life happens!  You get sick, your schedule gets full, and some days you’re just damn tired.  Well, you are a HUMAN BEING; not a SUPER human so cut yourself some slack, wake up to the new day tomorrow and try again.

For instance, the month of January I committed myself to doing the 30 Yoga Challenge hosted by Yoga with Adrienne. It’s day 5 and let me tell you I have not done the yoga sequence in two days.  Friday I was exhausted from shoveling myself out and yesterday I had a boot camp/yoga event in the AM and a party in the evening.  Getting home at 10pm, while I’ve done yoga that late before, I was exhausted.  So do I feel like crap because I haven’t kept up my end of the bargain? Yep! For some reason I think that Adrienne knows I haven’t done it, that the Yoga with Adrienne community knows I haven’t done it and they’re going to think less of me.  Is this true?! HELL NO!  It is entirely in my head, and if they do feel that way well, it is their problem.

In the few short days of 2018 so far I have realized that my goal isn’t to complete something consecutively per day, my goal each day is to be active in some way.  Whether this may be yoga, working out, hiking, snow shoeing, shoveling (lets face it it is an activity) or simply going for a walk.  I want to be active every day, I want to get my body moving and stretching.

What I am trying to say with this post is set goals for yourself, or if you wish call them resolutions.  Make them every single day, don’t think you need to wait for a new year to occur to create them.  I am constantly adjusting my goals, I have a Passion Planner, that I never thought I would ever use, to help me do so.  My mom had gotten me one as a gift a few years ago and I thought it was a great idea but was entirely confused as to what to do with a blank slate.  I mean literally a blank slate, no dates, no holidays marked, NOTHING! It didn’t even have cute little designs in it.  What it did have were quotes every week to help guide me and suggestions on what I could do that week to give thanks or reach out to those I love.

We may feel that each new year is a blank slate, and sometimes that is true but it’s not because it is January 1st.  It is because we decide it to be, just like we decide that tomorrow is going to be a better day then today.  So I ask of you, know that you are a human being who can only physically and mentally control so much.  Recognize that goals will and can change and it’s a beautiful thing.  Most of all, I ask that you realize your “New Year” can start at any time that you wish; it isn’t determined by the date January 1st, it is determined when you say “It’s a New Year for me” and you choose to start changing and going after those goals.

I can tell you right now that my “New Year” started July 10th, 2017 when I started this blog.  I decided to change and share my thoughts, actions, fears, and life with those who would read it.  My New Year started then as I decided to get out of my shell and put myself out there in an entirely new way.  My New Year started with this blog because I decided then to work on a life goal of creating a community where others felt like they were not alone.

Happy 2018 everyone! I look forward to sharing my year with you and hearing about yours!

Email: beyou_findyou@gmail.com
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It’s the most Wonderful time of the Year

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It’s the holiday season and I couldn’t be happier; it is my absolute favorite time of year!

Maybe it’s all the Hallmark movies I’m watching, maybe it’s the season and the magic I know that it can bring either way I wanted to share some of my thoughts around this time of year.

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year and as long as I can remember it always has been.  All of the delicious comfort food that is cooked and prepared regularly.  The time spent with those you hold dear; don’t even get me started on all of the songs that get played 24/7 in my household and sung sometimes at obnoxious octaves.

Despite all of this there have been some years where Christmas just hasn’t come easy.  Where I’ve lost my spirit and joy that comes to me ten fold this time of year.  I know this can happen for others too and I know that for some it can be difficult to enjoy the holidays.  This can be for a variety of reasons but most often I find it is due to loss.  This may be the physical loss of someone they love or it may be they have lost touch with those they love most.  Regardless I recognize it may not be the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.

In all reality I could say that Christmas should truly be my least favorite holiday.  Eighteen years ago my Papa, my mother’s dad, passed away on Christmas Eve.  I don’t recall knowing that he had passed until a few days after Christmas.  I do remember the day very vividly however, as it was the first Christmas Eve that I didn’t spend the entire day with my parents, they showed up at our family event later that evening.  I remember being so excited to see them finally but also seeing the sad looks on their faces.  I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what it could be sense it was CHRISTMAS!  So as an 8 year old child I just kept playing with the gifts my cousins and I had just received and forgot about their sad faces.

After the loss of a loved one Holidays can be incredibly hard for people.  As I have mentioned in previous posts the loss of my Nanie last year made the Holidays for all of us a bit more difficult.  Quite honestly anytime I heard a Christmas song by Elvis, Brenda Lee or Gene Autry I teared up and most times couldn’t stop the water works from coming.  To also see the sadness on my family members faces, mostly my mom’s was toughest.

In my post Family Matters I mentioned how all of my family lives across the country.  As kids everyone used to come back to Maine and we would all celebrate Christmas Eve together.  When my older cousins began going to college it became more difficult and Christmas Eve wasn’t the same.  The loss of not having them around was a tough one to swallow, I was angry for some time and there are some Christmas Eve’s where I still feel the absence of them.

You may not even be experiencing a loss, you may truly just be at a difficult time in your life.  You could be struggling financially, having a difficult time in a relationship, or quite honestly starting your life over.  When your in a season of “family time” and “togetherness” it can be difficult if you feel alone or are alone.

When and if you are going thru any of what I have mentioned about, it is tough to enjoy a “joyous” season when you’re just not filled with it.  When your bitter, hurt, and angry how do you be happy, cheerful and kind?  The biggest piece I have taken away is that it is okay to do things on your own.  It is okay to also say “Can I come too”?  I have also learned to not put myself in situations where I knew I’d end up snappy and frustrated at others.  Just because I was in a sour mood didn’t mean I needed to be that way towards others.  On the flip side, if you know someone is who is going thru a loss be respectful.  Be empathetic to them for what they are going thru, try to still include them in activities that bring merriment.

I won’t deny that this season can be a very tough one but try and embrace the small things.  Remember my Crawl. Walk. Run. post? Take in the Christmas Lights, smell the Christmas trees (or a candle that smells like one), bake or any other holiday activity!  Just give it a shot!

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