Suffice it to say, there are many of us who at this time, could use some inspiration, calming and comforting thoughts and feelings of hope and prosperity. One of my favorite news anchors who I occasionally watch in the late evenings has even started to begin his shows by encouraging viewers to take in a deep breath and believe that better days are to come. I’m with him, on that. So, without further adieu, here is a simple post today, with a couple of inspiring words and phrases I’ve stumbled upon in recent days and weeks:
Several years ago, while standing in line at a local Hallmark store waiting to complete my purchase, it was a chance sighting that led me to a years long affair of inspiration and counting. Standing in line, my eyes caught focus on a collection of shiny silver bracelets all adorned with inspirational messages. Edging closer to the case, I took in each of the sentiments and words emblazoned on the jewelry, captivated by each one. Reading the name on the packaging, I made a quick mental note to look more into the company when at home.
When my research later resumed, I learned the name and company behind those striking bracelets – Mantraband. Little did I know at the time what an impact the company and their items would prove to be on my life. In the months to follow, I became a dedicated follower and customer of the jewelry brand. Not only are they a jewelry brand, but to me, it is more so about the lifestyle they encourage, promote and foster. Unlike other sections of social media and websites, they foster a sense of community, strength and encouragement, believing in the goodness of others and the chance to begin anew. Their words on their jewelry spoke to and resonated with me on levels difficult to place into words. My discovery of the company and their products came at a time when I needed them most and even today, helps me to put my life and many experiences into a greater, more manageable and reasonable perspective.
With that being said, I was recently provided with the opportunity to partner with Mantraband and was sent my own Mantraband to add to my blossoming collection. Chosen by me, in the “Aurora” band color, my new bracelet, as pictured below and modeled by me, states, “She Believed She Could So She Did.” This mantra is one I look to fondly and have always identified with; so much so, that my sister even bought me a bookmark with the saying, which I use each day to mark my place in the book I am currently reading. This mantra and Mantraband’s jewelry overall, provides me with the encouragement, reassurance and trust in myself that I need and look to each day, to power through my most challenging moments. One of those moments, in fact, was yesterday. A difficult day littered with feelings of inadequacy, melancholy and an overall abysmal outlook on my current state, when snapping photos for this very post, my mood started to shift as I reread the packaging encircling the Mantraband bracelet. So often, I’ve read the packaging of my other Mantraband jewelry and it connects to the hollow parts inside of me in need of care and attention. It helps me focus on what really matters and leave behind what doesn’t. Yesterday, reading the wise words imprinted on the package and band, itself, reminded me to look to the abundant sunshine and blue skies outside, focusing on what I CAN do, instead of what I cannot. In saying this, we all can’t always do everything, but we can so SOMETHING, each day, and even if that something on some days is simply getting out of bed and showing up, that CAN be enough.
Curious about the background of Mantraband and how it all got started? No worries, so was I! Here is a brief snapshot of who and how the company got their start and some details on their humble beginnings:
Mantraband‘s Founder & History of The Brand:
As a young mother with a desire to inspire, empower and enlighten others while wearing fashionable and comfortable jewelry, entrepeneur Aysel Gunar began Mantraband in the summer of 2012 and quickly gained chains of followers and customers, who connected with their philosophies and products. In fact, their mission clearly states, “To inspire and empower with positive messages, because positive thinking and mindfulness leads to a better life.”
A collaborative company with a unique and solid bond between the brand and followers/customers, the majority of mantras are from consumer suggestions! In fact, customers and brand followers are even encouraged to provide mantra suggestions and feedback! Who knows, one day you could see your own mantra on a Mantraband bracelet or other item!
Designed in Dana Point, California, over the years, Mantraband has continually added to their product repertoire, which now includes but is not limited to: Bracelets (Mantraband Originals, Chain, Create-Your-Own, Whisper, “Within,” Statement, and Infinity), Mantra Necklaces, Mantra Rings, plus Lifestyle Items (mugs, book, stickers, t-shirts, candles and more!)
Special Initiatives: Includes – (Mantra of the Month, CharityBands, For The Planet Donations)
Mantra of the Month: Each month, a new mantra is featured and offered at 20% off regular retail price. For the month of October, the mantra is: When You Love What You Have, You Have Everything You Need.
CharityBands: Within Mantraband’s product line up is the specific category of CharityBands. Comprising the line up are bracelets designated for charities offering support and positive impacts on women’s and children’s issues. With each bracelet purchased, the charities receive a $5 donation. Some of the organizations include: National Alliance on Mental Health, The Alzheimer’s Association, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, Autism Speaks and many more! With CharityBands, not only do customers receive inspiring words to adorn their arms, but also a donation to worthy causes as an added bonus!
For The Planet Donations (Bracelets Giving Back): Mantraband as a company is a proud member of 1% For The Planet and donates at least 1% of annual sales to nonprofit organizations to protect, preserve and restore the natural environment. With Mantraband products, customers can receive high quality items AND preserve the environment, simultaneously.
Mantraband’s Social Media Connections: (via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, plus their website!)
Mantra Tribe: Mantraband affectionately refers to their dedicated and passionate league of followers as the “Mantra Tribe!” Join the over 254K Instagram followers, 369K Facebook followers, and 1.4 million Pinterest visitors and gain inspiration and wisdom, each day! Check in daily for empowering words, promotions/discounts on products, and to connect with other like-minded friends. Also, be sure to share your own Mantraband experiences by tagging @Mantraband and #MantraTribe for all to see and the chance to be featured on one of their social media pages/feeds!
Now, onto the best part of all! Inspired, curious and eager enough to try out one of Mantraband’s acclaimed bracelets or hopeful of adding another to your growing collection?! Well, here is your official chance, right here on Melissa’s Morning Musings! It’s easy to enter, trust me!
Here’s what you have to do: Simply leave a thoughtful comment on THIS POST about what you’re most grateful for! Yes, that’s ALL! Please keep it friendly and respectful and remember, that anything is possible to be grateful for, so whatever it is, please share! The winner (1 winner) will be revealed on FRIDAY (10/23/2020) of next week, so you have an ENTIRE week to enter and share with friends, family and other followers. Entries CLOSE on THURSDAY (10/22/2020)
The winner will receive one Mantraband of their choice in ANY color. The bracelet will be shipped directly to the winner from Mantraband.
GOOD LUCK to all and THANK YOU, in advance, for entering and supporting Mantraband & my blog!
*Many thanks to Mantraband for this opportunity and for providing me the chance to share my love of Mantraband and sponsor a giveaway!
Waiting. It is something I’ve done since infancy, but much more potently as an adult. Whether it is waiting for something as simple as a delivery, or something more complicated, or figurative, it can be an arduous process. Waiting is a recurrent theme in my life; waiting for the text that may never come, waiting for the phone call that may never come, waiting to meet “the person,” who may never come, waiting for a sign, waiting to act, waiting to take the steps towards a better life or achieving my dreams, waiting to change, waiting to summon courage, waiting to live the life I want to.
Sometimes, waiting is inevitable, or we need to wait, but other times, waiting is something we choose to do, whether we’re conscious of it or not. When struggling, sometimes we wait because we believe better times are coming, or because we feel our struggles are not worthy of seeking help. Today, however, is World Mental Health Day, a day that has been recognized now for a number of years. It is a day celebrated to remind people of the importance of seeking help, of recognizing struggle or pain, and of reaching out to another or taking the personal steps necessary, because we are all worth it. We are all worth the steps and effort it takes to feel emotionally and physically better.
There is no perfect moment. Sometimes, an epiphany never comes. Sometimes there is no sign, or maybe we can choose to see whatever happens or doesn’t happen to us as a sign; a sign that we CAN put forth the effort and time it takes to heal. All of us are encountering and traversing through feelings and situations we may think others don’t want or can’t understand, but the reality is, in this vast world, there are more people who will listen than not. There is someone out there who hasn’t heard your story yet, but wants to; I say this, because I live it. There are others like me, who WANT to hear your story, who WANT to help and who truly and fiercely believe we are all worthy and deserving of the chance to make our stories known, no matter what they contain.
Learning that today is World Mental Health Day, I couldn’t let the opportunity slip by without mentioning it and making others aware, in case they didn’t know. There is no better time to take the effort and time to check in with both yourself and others. There is no better time than to recognize how much you’ve overcome or encountered and yet, you are still standing, even if your leg or voice shakes. Strength is not always seen, but can often be felt, in a multitude of ways. Strength does not need to be proven to anyone, as long as we can internally feel it. Sometimes, it is easy to forget how far we’ve come.
Nobody really ever knows the strength it takes to push through some days or situations. Nobody knows what the polished, sophisticated person went through who conducts TED talks or other presentations or the CEO of the company who never seems to miss a beat. Nobody knows if it took every bit of strength to pull themselves out of their beds or if they forced themselves into a shower, or cried in their car en route to their workplace.
Be kind. Be you. Be brave. Have courage. Ask for help when you need it, think you need it, or aren’t even sure if you need it, because they are signs of wisdom and strength and it is okay to not to be okay. It is okay to take steps forward and then find yourself back to the same place; life is not a race to be won; healing takes time, both mentally and physically.
Sometimes the stories we hide are the ones others are waiting to hear; the ones that will heal, inspire and inform, not only the others who listen, but the storytellers, themselves.
Today, on World Mental Health Day and every day moving forward, share, listen and heal.
When hard days fall upon us, as they can at any moment, it can be a challenge to see or feel any kind of silver lining or to derive any sort of comfort. Yesterday, I noticed this chart of reminders, detailing so many poignant and applicable sentiments and recommendations that can make a hard day even slightly better.
Some days can be excruciating, with one disappointment or snafu after another. On those days, sometimes the only reprieve is laying down and resting, while on other times a reprieve can mean asking help, pausing to vent to a friend or family member, or maybe even jotting down thoughts in a notebook or taking a quiet stroll outdoors.
In any case, a bad day, or a day filled with struggles and challenges, does not reflect who we are as a person. Those days do not define us or render us powerless; but rather, they make us human, susceptible to difficult days and moments, but also susceptible to love, happiness and success. Remember that pleasant, successful and happy days are equally as likely to happen, as bad. Even when a bad day happens first thing in the morning, there is the potential to change around a day, even when it seems all hopes are lost.
Reaching out a hand to another, offering a listening ear, or a calm, supportive presence are all beautiful acts of love, care and concern, but it is important not to forget that ASKING for help, is also a symbol is wisdom and strength. If you need help, even if there is a only a small fragment of you that feels you need it, please ask. All of us don’t always know when a loved one, friend, coworker or acquaintance is in need, so please, whether it is verbally or through a written word, trust in yourself and take a step to ask for support. It may feel uncomfortable, scary or foreign, but the end result could be freeing and helpful tool or solution.
Bravery is not simply helping others, it is also helping ourselves and asking for help, even if the need appears small – it is still valid and so are your feelings.
Happy National Coffee Day! To some, it may be a silly or meaningless holiday/celebration, but to me, it means much more than the beverage it honors. To me, coffee is more than a beverage or something to consume; it an experience, symbolizing comfort, connection, versatility and creativity. Even now, I remember my first sips as a child. Back then, it was more or less forbidden, with my mom only allowing my sister, Hope and I small cups during holiday dinners with dessert, filling up the majority of the mug with milk and a touch of the brown java. As I grew older, my affinity for coffee grew as I delighted in coffee shops and my own coffee appliances and ground bags of it at home. Smelling the coffee brewing, especially in the morning or in times of need and comfort, is always a source of nostalgia and joy for me.
One of my fondest memories associated with coffee is from back in November 2008. Some may find it odd that I recall the exact year and month, but for me, it symbolized more than a moment to enjoy coffee. It was towards the end of the month, nearing Thanksgiving when I arrived home from a lengthier hospital stay. While hospitalized, I very rarely, if ever, was able to drink a cup, so the evening of my arrival home, I settled in to watch a favorite TV show in accompaniment of my mom and sister and shared the first sips of pumpkin coffee that season. From smelling the fragrant, spiced coffee brewing to the first sip, at that moment, I’d never been more grateful to be where I was, pausing to take in my surroundings and my family.
Maybe only a beverage to some with the ability to awaken or reenegerize, to me, coffee is more about the taste and composition, it is a means for connection, relating and taking comfort in what it can bring. Sip, share and summon your own memories today, because sometimes, the very best thing we can do amidst this chaotic world, is to pause and enjoy something as simple, but enjoyable as coffee.
Maybe there are certain dates on the calendar we look at and think back to previously-set goals or events that happened or failed to happen on those particular days. There are certain dates that are permanently etched in my mind, emblazoned like a tattoo on my memory. The date of my first job out of college as a professional, the date of my college graduation, the date my life changed my senior year of high school, the day I became an Aunt, the day I moved; so many days I remember.
Then there are other days, such as my birthday, that can sometimes bring a sense of melancholy with it, another year older sans accomplishing the goals and dreams I once aspired to. So many mistakes and chances not taken, or chances taken that maybe shouldn’t have been taken, though, despite those recollections, I’m choosing to begin this week realizing there is no expiration date to my dreams. Yes, I may be older than I thought when accomplishing them, but maybe with that comes wisdom, knowledge and a better sense of direction and understanding. Maybe if it had happened years ago, it wouldn’t have evolved the way it may now that I am older. With age comes acceptance, or at least for me, it does. Contrary to how I thought prior, now when confronted with swarms of photos on social media of marriages, births, career advancements and more, I challenge myself to see it differently. Instead of comparing someone else’s triumphs or successes to my own or lack thereof, I see it for what it is; a moment that was right for them at the time it was supposed to happen. Not everything I see is what I want and I can appreciate what another has without lusting after it myself.
This quote below states that mistakes are not failures or inadequacies, they are simply detours or brief roadblocks on our respective journeys.
Yesterday, while driving, I noticed a license plate adorned with the college I applied to as a senior in high school in their early acceptance program. It was a college I became enamored with during my high school years. Believing journalism was the correct career path for me, I set my sights on this particular college after learning their journalism program was top-ranked in the country. About two months after submitting my application, I received the thin envelope – knowing the result without having to tear it open. Devastated was an understatement, but at the time, I don’t think I fully understood the magnitude of what attending that college would have meant. As a teen and even as a young adult, it can be a challenge to fully take in all that a decision may result in, as I primarily fixated on the name of the journalism school and the famed journalists who attended. Being turned down from that school taught me a lesson I still value today; the importance of really listening and learning about what works for me and not so much of what looks good on the outside. The college I ultimately graduated from was for me. When I finally landed there mid-way through my college years, it felt like home. Suddenly, the college process became easier and I cruised through the rest of my college career; a vast contrary to the preceding years. Like this quote states, it is important to get back up after experiencing heartbreak, missteps and making mistakes. Getting back up let’s us rediscover alternate ways that work better for us and lets us find the shoe that fits, so to speak.
At any point in our lives, we can begin a new story. After all, all of us are the authors of our own lives and only we hold the pen. Maybe today is the day you, whomever is reading this, begins a new story, or maybe, you’re already in the midst of writing a new one. No matter your place in your story, know that you possess the ability to adjust your sails when encountering struggle; know that it is acceptable to encounter missteps or to be unsure and there is always the option to begin again.
Her name was Adeline. She was 28, a newly-minted physician in the throes of her flourishing career as an OB-GYN. Recounting her childhood in upstate NY, her parents reminisced in interviews of her dancing around in her house, donning a stethoscope from the tender age of 5. From that young age, she knew her calling was to help others as a physician. She honored her goals, graduating from medical school and up until just a few months ago, was heavily engaged in her residency in a hospital. Assigned to a rotation in the ER at the height of the pandemic, she was confronted by the virus, but never shuttered and continued to care for her patients.
Up until several days ago in the early morning hours, Adeline was a stranger to me, never once hearing of her until I was confronted by her story on various media outlets. A mere four years my junior and a graduate of a local university less than hour away from me, her story continued to resound in my mind. A poignant, devastating loss, one I can’t fathom; one that is continually a struggle to understand or make sense of. Why her? Why a seasoned, young doctor who merely wanted to help others? These are questions I will never have answers to, but in paying attention to the interviews given by Adeline’s family, specifically her parents and sister, I realized there was something I COULD do to honor her memory. Her family urged people to be kind, to help others, to see them, as a way of commemorating the memory of their altruistic daughter, sister, friend and physician. Now THAT is something I feel we can ALL manage.
Honor someone. Reach out to someone. Pick up the phone. Make the call. Send the text. Write the email. Tell someone something you’ve been meaning to say. Send a care package. Record a video and send it. Do what you can to show care, to show love, to show recognition. I’ve said it many times in the past and I will continue to say it, because I believe it to be true and quite frankly, I can personally attest to it; we may never know what someone’s kind word, gesture, thought, or smile can do to change someone else’s life. That “small” word, gesture, thought, letter or message may be exactly what they needed to push through the day, or take the steps to change or improve their life. That action, may be the catalyst for their progress, the “sign” they were looking or hoping for. Maybe it is uncomfortable or a challenge to take a bold step to reach out to another, but just because it may be uncomfortable doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act upon it. Sometimes to help ourselves, we can do so by helping others. Even if the action was never returned to me, I can say that I’ve never regretted helping or reaching out to another.
So many of us, sometimes without even being aware or knowing it, wait for approval. Maybe it is a pat on the back, a verbal confirmation, a text message, or really, an acknowledgment of any kind. Maybe when we are unsure of how to make a choice regarding a difficult situation, we seek out the advice or opinions of others because we merely want our own thoughts confirmed and/or accepted. Other times, we may really be perplexed or unsure as to how to proceed or conflicted as to whether or not we should take the leap, where the end result is uncertain.
The truth of the matter is, our lives our solely our own. No one, no matter how much they feel or state they can relate to our experiences, can walk our paths for us. Despite similar encounters or realities, no one’s lives are identical and paths each of us walk are different, no matter how hard that may be to digest. Some may insist they know what it is like, but none of us ever really know for certain.
It makes me reflect back on some occasions in my life where I was unsure about a choice, but asked for the opinions of others and ultimately, chose my own path, hearing their feedback in the background, but letting it stay there. Boldly, I chose to both accept and leave jobs throughout my 20’s, sometimes without having another secured; other times, I embarked on classes I didn’t know would be right for me, but ultimately those choices were my own.
Through the years, I’ve found myself becoming frustrated at times when asking others for their advice and feedback, for when I receive it, it often turns out to be not at all as I expected or wanted. They cannot and should not walk my path for me; they will never know where I’ve truly been, both physically and emotionally. We only know what we see and interpret for ourselves, which is not always the truth when it comes to others’ experiences.
Walk your own path. Still ask questions and solicit feedback if desired, but remember, our choices are solely that, our own. No one can or should walk our paths for us; no one knows where we’ve traveled to physically or emotionally unless we choose to reveal it. Choose to forge a life that looks and feels good for you and not to please or satisfy another. When we listen to ourselves and what brings us contentment or satisfaction, that is when life is lived.
In life, we don’t always need grand gestures, big, exclusive trips and extensive travel, or the latest gadgets and designer items, clothing and accessories. In fact, more often than not, we are able to manage, do well and find happiness without any of these aforementioned items or gifts. More often than not, it is the simple, everyday things and interactions that tend to mean the most and bring solace during difficult days or times.
It could be something as simple as a warm mug of coffee or tea or a coveted pumpkin spice latte as a treat, arriving after a long hiatus. Maybe it is settling in on the sofa with a warm, cozy blanket taking in a favorite TV show prompting laughs or intrigue. It could even be the comforting taste of a warm, sizzly grilled cheese or a hearty bowl of chili as the temperatures cool. Maybe it is the allure of a favorite song, fast or slow, prompting relaxing or comforting thoughts or summoning an impromptu dance party. Or, maybe it is sinking into bed or a cozy chair and indulging in a book or magazine, with the ability to throw oneself into the lives of another for a brief time. Perhaps, it is even a quick walk or a long stroll through the neighborhood, taking in all nature has to offer; flowers in bloom, Fall foliage and the overall landscape.
No matter what we choose to indulge in, the simple side of life can often be the most beautiful and impactful. Often, these small feats prove to have the ability to transform a day, providing courage, comfort and resilience; or at least a means to recharge our batteries. In a world that can be fast-paced, always commanding our attention, albeit in-person, virtual or a bit of bit, take time to enjoy these simple acts, for it’s impact and effects are surely anything but simple.