Saturday, July 19, 2014

Are You Creating Roadblocks to Your Happiness?

If you believed that the world really was about people's Facebook posts of 24/7 happiness or their Monday morning work recaps of amazing weekends with no mishaps, rest and family'd think you were an alien for having argument with your husband, having the teenager who sneaked out of the house while you waited up until 4am until they returned, gaining 15 pounds in 6 months (WTH??) or any other life mishap that wasn't worthy of a reality show!  

I'm here to tell you, real life is not a glossy magazine spread!  Happiness is derived internally with a spirit of gratefulness, thankfulness and  overall constant reminder that where you are is where you are.  However, we all do things that create roadblocks to getting to a place of internal happiness...

So when we bumped into a great post by Tim Hoch on "10 Roadblocks to Happiness", we were super intrigued!  How could a trial lawyer, strategist and consultant so perfectly describe what we were thinking!

Here's a copy of his post and you can read more about Tim and his great wisdom here:

  1. You ascribe intent. 
Another driver cut you off. Your friend never texted you back. Your co-worker went to lunch without you. Everyone can find a reason to be offended on a steady basis. So what caused you to be offended? You assigned bad intent to these otherwise innocuous actions. You took it as a personal affront, a slap in the face. 
Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t ascribe intent to the unintentional actions of others. 
  1. You’re the star of your own movie
It is little wonder that you believe the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very center of every experience you have ever had. 
You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end. 
Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you a promotion, your movie is ruined. 
Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists. 
  1. You fast forward to apocalypse
I have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is marginally better than utter disaster or jail time. My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. My sore throat is cancer. My lost driver’s license fell into the hands of an al-Qaeda operative who will wipe out my savings account. 
Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under. 
  1. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations
Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims. 
Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first movie date? Did your girlfriend refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to fawn over your tribal tattoo? 
Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy. 
  1. You are waiting for a sign.
I have a friend who won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” I suppose she is waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. She is constantly paralyzed by a divinity that is either heavily obscured or frustratingly tardy. I’m not disavowing that fate or a higher power plays a role in our lives. I’m just saying that it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it.
  1. You don’t take risks. 
Two words: Live boldly. Every single time you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did. 
  1. You constantly compare your life to others. 
A few years ago I was invited to a nice party at a big warehouse downtown. I was enjoying the smooth jazz, box wine and crustless sandwiches. What more could a guy want? Later in the evening I noticed a steady parade of well-heeled people slide past and disappear into another room. I peeked and saw a large party with beautiful revelers dancing and carrying on like Bacchus. Suddenly my gig wasn’t as fun as it had been all because it didn’t appear to measure up to the party next door- a party I didn’t even know existed until just moments before. 
I do this frequently. Those people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Craig gets all the lucky breaks. Ted has more money. John is better looking. 
Stop it. 
Always remember what Teddy Roosevelt said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” 
  1. You let other people steal from you
If you had a million dollars in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and take precautions to insure it is safe. The one possession you have that is more important than money is time. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it to thieves. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like Fort Knox. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it. 
  1. You can’t/won’t let go
These are getting a little harder aren’t they? That’s because sometimes you have to work at happiness. Some hurdles are too difficult to clear by simply adjusting your point of view or adopting a positive mindset. 
Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship? Do you need to come to terms with the death of a loved one? 
Life is full of loss. But, in a sense, real happiness would not be possible without it.  It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow. 
Closure is a word for people who have never really suffered. There’s no such thing. Just try to “manage” your loss. Put it in perspective. You will always have some regret and doubt about your loss. You may always second guess yourself. If only you had said this, or tried that. 
You’re not alone. Find someone who understands and talk to that person. Reach out for support. If all else fails, try #10 below. 
10. You don’t give back.
One way to deal with loss is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.
It doesn't even have to be a big, structured thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from your self-absorption.
Tim & His 10-year Mentee from CASA Program
When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you?
Aren't these great!  Next time you catch yourself doing any of these, go back to Tim's list and re-frame how you are perceiving a situation and look at it differently...your happiness is dependent upon it!
We'd also recommend reading Tim's "12 Ways You Sabotage Your Future" is a great read!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Glamping: Your Next Unique (and Authentic) Travel Experience

Glampling...I was surprised when I (@qswerve) received a new follower alert on Instagram with a name like Glamping (@glampingdotcom).  I was curious and clicked on the site...WOW!

See Website Here
I must have been living under a rock because every year when it rolls around to August I start getting nervous of whether my sister will make me go camping with the family in H-O-T Texas!  But the Glampling site was nothing like my past family camping experiences of staying on a patch-of-dirt lake site with thin tents, hard ground in sleeping bags and bugs for days...Glamping looked cool!

What is Glamping?

According to the official site for anyone who wants to go Glamping, Glamping is: A global trend has caught fire that offers outdoor enthusiasts an upgrade on rest and recreation. It’s called glamping, a new word for a new kind of travel, defined as glamorous camping. When you’re glamping, there’s no tent to pitch, no sleeping bag to unroll, no fire to build. Whether in a tent, yurt, airstream, hut, villa or treehouse, glamping is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury.

See Website Here
Glamping – a fusion of glamour and camping – emerged international and came across the Atlantic over the last decade. Both independent properties and global hospitality brands have capitalized on a jettisoning demand for travelers who want to experience the positive aspects of camping without the “uncomfortable” negatives. Glamping pivots on a high level of service that focuses on the complete comfort of the guests. The amenities found at glamping destinations far exceed anything recreational campers experience.

See Website Here (Our #1 Pick)
What we love the most is that the site has a strict set of standards and only highlights properties who have received a minimum four star rating on TripAdvisor.  The site gives you Glamping options in North America (including Canada), South/Central America, United Kingdom, Africa, Europe (including Italy, Spain and France), Oceania (including Australia, Fiji and New Zealand), Asia and the Middle East (Jordan, Israel)!

Other highlights include how you can go Glamping on a budget called Value Glamping! Our favorite value destinations were in the Dominican Republic (starts at only $80/night), the Elqui Domos in Chile (which has a pool and showers and starts at ($125/night) and the Yellowstone in Montana (starts at only $99/night)!  Although they have a limited selection of value options, they are adding new properties that meet their standards monthly.

You can also choose your Glamping destination based on your living choice: Glamping tent, Glamping Villas & Huts, Glamping Eco & Safari Lodges, Glamping Treeshouses, Glamping Cabineering and so much more!

This Value Glamp Starts at Only $99/night!
With consumers continually looking for ways to maintain their household budgets but also not wanting to give up on their family and friends having a unique experience, I don't think Glamping is going away anytime soon!  The property options that were not listed under their Value Camping section started at about $179/night USD and can go as high as $600/ all depends on the type of unique experience you want to have! The great thing is that each Glamping site can sleep multiple people so compared to most hotel rooms with minimal nature views and limited capacity, you could still end up saving lots of money going Glamping!
Gather your friends, gather your family, gather your co-workers and tell them you all are going to experience something unique, fun and definitely not the now un-cool way of camping in years past...this is the 2014 version with a glamorous twist!

See Website for our #1 United Kingdom Yurts Pick

**All pictures credited from the site**

THE Video Inspiring Women to Challenge Beauty Ideals

If you have not heard by now, let us be the first to tell you:  The new music video "Try" by Colbie Caillat has went viral and as of the writing of this post, has received over 6.6 million views on YouTube!

Why are people flocking to see this video?  Because they are inspired by the reason Caillat created the video: she was tired of being airbrushed and wanted to empower women to feel free to "take off the makeup, let down their hair, take a breath, take a look in the mirror at yourself...don't you like you??? Cause I like you!" (song lyrics).

She said the hardest part about being a woman in today's society was feeling pressured to live up to others' expectations.
The song is from Caillat's new album, "Gypsy Heart." In an interview that appeared on Elle magazine's website on July 10, Caillat said she went into the recording studio with producer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and explained to him she was tired of being pressured by others to look like someone she was not. He encouraged her to put those feelings to music.
"I don't have Photoshop on my album cover," she said in the interview. "At the video shoots, I'm doing less hair and makeup. For the 'Try' video I didn't prep or starve myself and over-exercise. And then I didn't get my nails done, I didn't get my hair done. I didn't get a facial. I didn't have a stylist."
"When you have a cute outfit on and your makeup looks amazing, the first thing people comment on is your image. When you don't wear makeup, you hear things like, 'Oh wow, you look tired or you're so brave for not wearing makeup!'" she said.
The video appears to have struck a chord with viewers. One viewer on YouTube wrote: "Flawlessly beautiful. Inspiring in every way! And, no she is not saying 'You can't wear make-up!' She's saying simply be you. That if you do wear make-up, wear it because you want to not because you feel like you have to. That being said, all you ladies and gentlemen that do wear make-up... Just know that you are just as gorgeous without it :)"
This video is exactly what I strive for no matter what we post for Curva-Lish!  In our world of continued (un-achievable) standards for beauty, being a mom, being a friend, being a volunteer, being superwoman in the workplace while also being the "perfect" wife and juggling all of your responsibilities perfectly...none of that matters if you lose your authentic self in the process.  I couldn't find anywhere else on the web where I could seek out inspiration to be authentically me as I age and evolve!

Don't get me wrong...I looove makeup, being stylish, being the best sister I can be, being the best friend I can be, etc, etc....but keep it all in perspective. Whatever you do, whether that's to be healthy, have glowing hair, buy the most fashionable in-season items you can afford, etc...just be YOU!