Motivational Monday: Just Breathe

img_1317Last week was a pretty awful week. Zooming in on me, I had a really difficult few days at work, struggled with homework and quizzes, was unable to balance my personal and professional life (but what’s new?), and found myself feeling run down and sick. I tried so hard to jump over hurdle after hurdle, and I barely cleared them. By the end of the week, I was curled up into a ball, hibernating at home, and watching my already overwhelming pile of responsibilities grow. Now, zooming out on what’s been going on nationally and globally, I think it’s safe to say that “awful” isn’t the right word to describe our current affairs. Awful feels like a terrible understatement, and that’s because there are no words that can fully capture recent horrific events. The mail bombs. The Kroger store killing. The synagogue shooting. Three hate crimes in the span of a few hours. If we were comparing my own challenges to those, there’s no contest. Now, that’s not to diminish my own experience for every feeling of frustration, disappointment, anger, and sadness felt so real to me in those moments, just like I’m sure that whatever you experienced this week felt just as real and difficult. This was an awful week for everyone, some more so than others. Most made it to the finish line, some by the skin of their teeth, and some sadly didn’t make it at all.

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Motivational Monday: Comparison Kills

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? I know I can’t be the only one who reaches for my phone and checks social media, right? In fact, I even find myself scrolling through everyone’s pictures and status updates multiple times a day. “How can they afford that?” “Wow, they’re living their best life” “I wish I could do what they were doing.” When all these thoughts start pouring in, I start feeling self-conscious, questioning myself, and comparing my life to others’. How many of you do the same thing and how does doing so make you feel in the end? Probably not great, huh? The truth is, comparison really is the thief of joy! We lose sight of our own accomplishments because we’re so fixated on someone else’s. We’re comparing our Chapter 1 to their Chapter 15, and that’s a dangerous game to play. Whether it’s #TransformationTuesday and we’re seeing before and after photos or watching our friends’ travel adventures, we feel like our lives are lacking, like we’re behind, and it causes us to rate our happiness and our choices against the value of others’. But the reality is we’re only getting a glimpse into a life that’s been intentionally curated, filtered, and manufactured by its creator for the ‘Gram. We aren’t seeing the grit, effort, time, and energy that was required for them to level up, and that can cause serious distress. It’s also not just limited to social media…

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Dear Reader…

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about Kermit Says… The inception, the journey, the hurdles, and the incredible victories. Kermit Says… started nearly five years ago. The idea came after speaking to a group of then-eighth-grade students at my former elementary school, and it only grew with the help of my high school students, many of whom still follow Kermit Says… today. This blog has gone through several iterations: Dear Kermit, where teens wrote privately seeking advice; Spotlight Sunday, where I highlighted someone worth knowing; and even a short-lived stint on YouTube. No matter what new addition I tried, I always returned to the most meaningful and important focal point: you. Kermit Says… was created for teens, and my hope is that as Kermit Says… continues to grow and I launch new dimensions, you will always feel central and your thoughts and concerns will always be priority number one. In order to make that a reality, I’d like to hear from you. I have ideas of blog topics and directions I’d like to take, but this blog isn’t for me nor is it about me…it’s always been for and about you. So, what user-generated content would you like to see? What topics would you like for me to explore? Comment below or send me an email at contactkermitsays@gmail.com!

Love,
Kermit

Motivational Monday: Be a Game Changer

This weekend was filled with triggering news that I’m sure brought up anxiety and all sorts of emotions. And as I shared on the Kermit Says… Facebook and Instagram pages, there is no right or wrong way to react. We are all fully-formed humans with valid feelings and experiences that have shaped our very being. With every news report and social media post that sparked an array of feelings, I hope you took time to both acknowledge them and feel them deeply and to care for yourself in whatever way was most effective and beneficial for you to mend and heal. Now, are you ready to press on and power up because there is work to do? You, my friend, have a voice that is valuable and worthy. We need you. You need you. It’s time to change the game. Continue reading “Motivational Monday: Be a Game Changer”

Thoughtful Thursday: Reclaiming My Time

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By now you’ve likely heard about Congresswoman Maxine Waters famously and appropriately interrupting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during last week’s House Financial Services Committee meeting. If you haven’t seen the video, I’ve linked it here, but essentially Maxine (we’re now on a first name basis) asks a very clear and direct question that Mnuchin “responds” to with a roundabout statement. In an attempt to redirect him and hold him accountable, Mnuchin’s vague non-answers are repeatedly met with “reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time…” As entertaining as this moment is, there’s honestly something much deeper and more meaningful at play. Here, Maxine not only informs us that her time is valuable and should not be wasted but also, and more importantly, reminds us of our own value and gives us permission to identify and remove the time-wasters within our own lives.

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Wellness Wednesday: Getting Headspace

img_1317Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Yesterday marked ten straight days of guided meditation with the mindfulness app, Headspace. Unfortunately, ten days of Headspace also means my free trial is up. Great! Now how am I supposed to find clarity and focus and also reduce my stress and anxiety (sarcasm)? While I think of new, free ways to deepen my meditation and mindfulness practice, here is my review for Headspace.

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Motivational Monday: A Tale of 2 F.E.A.Rs

IMG_8533I have a friend who is so terrified of literally everything, she practically sits at home and hibernates. She’s even rarely willing to engage in serious conversations because she’s afraid of the possible outcome. Sometimes it gets to the point where she sabotages her own relationships. Now, if you’re thinking “this doesn’t sound like much of a life,” then you’re right! It doesn’t! The thing about fear is that it’s totally natural and understandable. We’re all afraid of something, it just looks different. Maybe you’re afraid of scary movies or heights. Maybe you’re afraid to say no. Maybe you’re afraid of rejection or taking risks. Maybe it’s all of the above, and it makes sense! Life can be a pretty scary place and situations may arise that cause us to pause and maybe even retreat, especially when we can’t anticipate the consequence, but when we allow fear to control us to the point where we’re paralyzed, well, that’s when we’ve got to put in some work and decide to either Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise.

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Friday Findings

cup1Happy Friday, friends! How is it possible that time can feel like it’s both dragging along and flying by? I’ve been working at my old school in Massachusettes since late June, and here we are with just one week left before I head back home to Chicago. I honestly never thought I’d see the finish line. I love it up here and it’s been so incredible reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, but there’s nothing like being in your own bed and in your own space, right? We also have Saturday classes, so it’ll be really nice to have a real weekend and just enjoy my summer before starting a new graduate program this fall. It’s hard to believe this may very well be the last time I teach English, so I’m definitely savoring every moment. How are you spending your summer break? Comment below, and without further adieu, here are two of my favorite finds of the week. Have a great weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday: Being Present is a Present, a Reflection and Life Update

IMG_6064Happy Thursday, friends! Apologies for the late post, but I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say without being long-winded. That was a mountain I didn’t quite conquer, so bear with me. I don’t know much, but what I do know now is that for the first time in my entire adult life, I can honestly say that I feel happy, calm, and centered. I’ve always been the type of person who looks ahead in life and believes that if I have the next best thing or what my heart desires, then I can be happy and live the perfect life. The problem with this thinking, however, is that it means my happiness is solely dependent on the unforeseeable future and on what was not and could not be guaranteed. If I couldn’t guarantee achieving the next best thing, then I couldn’t be happy. Living in the future felt like a constant wheel I just couldn’t get off of–a state of mind I couldn’t escape. It was also an unproductive and unhealthy place to be. I can only imagine what I’ve missed out on because I was too afraid to be still and live in the moment. If only I knew early on how easy it could be to start over. I know it’s not this easy for others, but all it took for me was a conversation with a new friend, a new moon, setting new intentions, and intentionally practicing daily meditation to completely change my mindset for the better and recognize that being present is the best present of all. I hope this is a start for you.

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Kermit’s Cup of Tea: Friday Findings

cup1What do you do when you have a ton of work to do but are totally and disgustingly sick? Power through–snot-nosed, congested, sore throat and all. I’m a mess right now and would definitely do a cartwheel to celebrate Friday’s arrival if I could! So instead of the cartwheel, let’s celebrate with a few of my favorite finds from the week:

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