Intention for a New Year

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My favorite time to reflect is with a view // March 2016, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

2016 was… well, not as good as 2015. But there was good in it.

I will always be biased towards 2015 because it was the year I studied abroad in Budapest, my home away from home. However, I think it is better to appreciate 2015 for all that it gave me, rather than compare it to 2016.

In 2016 I found myself in new places as well: Puerto Rico, New York City, Los Angeles, and even Arkansas and Wisconsin. Though in my ideal world I would have traveled even more, I cherish each new location I visit.

As I see everyone say “good riddance” to 2016, I can’t help but dwell on my own downturns this past year. However, each down also had a corresponding up. I moved apartments in Chicago three times; despite the exhausting process and moving fees, I made friends with new roommates and experienced Chicago from a slightly different perspective with each move. I landed a coveted internship… and then learned it was not for me; but without that experience, I would not have learned what I am looking for in the future. In 2016 I turned 21; while being 21 has been fun, it has also caused me to neglect my health. I have fallen into ruts and neglected to cultivate my hobbies into passions (namely, not writing enough); but I have also simplified my life. I’ve faced rejection and learned to pick myself back up.

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Good Weather

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Life has been busy and these next two weeks are going to get even busier, so I apologize to you (and to myself) for the lack of recent posts, and therefore I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

I started a new internship two weeks ago, finals are next week, and The Walking Dead is back on TV, but today’s remarkably warm weather and a few lines from I book I read inspired me to fit in a short blog post today.

For my Effective Business Communication class, we are required to read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. So yeah, I usually try to hide the title while I’m reading it in public. Despite the fact that I’m reading it for a class requirement and the funny looks you may get while reading it on the train, I  would definitely recommend this book. It was published during the Great Depression and the lessons it offers still hold today.

The quote that stood out to me today isn’t actually from Dale Carnegie himself, but rather Elbert Hubbard, whom Carnegie provides an excerpt from.

Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp.

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The Balance Between Health, Happiness, and Hustle

Today was one of those days where I had no social plans and spent the day doing stuff on my own. While I like that for about half the day, my extroverted side gets bored quickly. However, when I’m not talking much to others during the day, I end up talking to myself. The question I found myself asking today was, where do we find the balance between health, happiness, and hustle?

Let me elaborate. Not having any plans for the day got me thinking about the balance between health and having a social life. When I think of being healthy, I think of having a consistent sleep schedule with at least eight hours a night, cooking healthy meals at home, and drinking in moderation. In contrast, when I think of the typical “college” social life, I think of staying out late and sleeping in late the next day, eating out with friends at not-so-healthy restaurants, and drinking maybe more than one would consider “in moderation”.

Being healthy makes me happy and so does having a social life. But in terms of the typical “college” social life I just mentioned, those rarely overlap. Yes, of course there are ways to be social without drinking and staying out late. I love working out and cooking with friends, as well as hanging out during normal daytime hours. But if you’re like me and you enjoy the occasional party, it’s not likely that you’ll stay home from a party you want to attend for the sake of your health (unless you’re a pro-athlete that relies on your body for your job, but most of us aren’t).

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Don’t Skip the Savasana

Now here’s where I try to get deep and pull a life lesson out of yoga.

Nothing beats a good savasana. If you aren’t a yogi and have no idea what savasana is, it’s when you lay in corpse pose at the end of a yoga class for a few minutes. Corpse pose is exactly what it sounds like: laying flat on your back with all your muscles completely relaxed.

Savasana is like meditation. You try to clear all thoughts from your mind and breathe naturally (no controlled breathing sequences, like some meditation suggests). However, whether or not you are able to really meditate during savasana depends on the teacher in my opinion.

This may sound a little corny, but some of the happiest moments of my life have been laying in savasana.  For me, if the song is just right, something very blissful and peaceful just clicks. Here are my two favorite songs that I have experienced during savasana:

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