Inspiration

Monday Motivation: What I Really Learned From Swim Lessons

Moments With Millie

This summer I decided to take the plunge and finally learn how to swim. I had a traumatizing experience as a child that lead to my fear of large bodies of water. To make a long story short- two schoolmates threw me into a pool even though I repeatedly told them I couldn’t swim. Talk about scary! You cannot imagine my panic when I could not call for help as I sank towards the bottom of the pool. I was finally rescued when they realized I was telling the truth all along.

Fast forward to this summer when I got a once in a lifetime opportunity to take lessons.  I was a little hesitant at first however I knew the only way to conquer my fear was to dive in head first. While I knew that I would learn how to swim, I didn’t expect to also gain a few life lessons. Here is what I really learned from swim lessons:

  1. You can’t swim with your feet on the ground. My instructor said this to me after several attempts at getting me to actually swim. I had mastered some of the basics and was ready to take off. However I was fearful of not being grounded. At every attempt to swim, my sub-conscious reverted to the time that I was sinking and couldn’t get upright. I was fine as long as I was either standing up or holding on to the side of the pool.  But the reality is a fish does not swim standing up just like a bird does not fly on the ground. You must learn to let go and trust that you will be fine.
  2. Remember to breathe. We all know how essential breathing is to swimming (i.e. living). Well it turns out that breathing is also essential to calming fears. Breathing underwater is the very first task I mastered during my lessons. I even got to the point that I could hold my breath for several seconds. However everything went out of the window when it came time to swim. I was so focused on trying not to drown that I forgot to breathe. I ran out of steam quickly which lead me to becoming frustrated. I learned that if I focused on my breathing than I will stay afloat. And being fixated on possible negative outcomes did not help me. In life you may feel that are drowning however it is important to remember to breathe. If necessary, take several breaths. After all it is important to your survival.
  3. Courage does not mean you are successful. It means that you’ve persisted despite your fears. I must admit that I was a little unhappy at the end of the lessons.  A part of me felt the lessons were a waste of time because I was not a skilled swimmer. I thought I wasted a lot of time being afraid to let go. After some self reflection I realized that I was courageous. And at this point, I would much rather be courageous than a lifeguard. No offense but it was courage that lead me to conquer my fear. And building courage is always time well spent.
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R Is For Read

R is for Read | Moments With Millie

R is for Read | Moments With Millie

Working Girl | Moments With Millie

I was such a bookworm as a child. However that changed when I went to college. Between attending classes, working numerous jobs and my social life- I had very little time (and/or energy) to read for pleasure. Last year, I decided to get back into reading. Although I managed to complete just a few books, I was happy to be doing something that feeds my mind and soul. Here are some of my current favorite books. What are you must reads?

The Five Love Languages- Gary Chapman

This book was such an easy read. I learned so much about the mindful expression of love. I also learned about the importance of expressing love in my spouse’s love language. The information contained in this book is invaluable.  I love how applicable it is to just about every relationship.

What I Know For Sure- Oprah Winfrey

I am such an Oprah Winfrey fan. I could go on and on about her but I will spare you. This book was another easy read which was perfect for those long, stressful days. It is filled with little gems of wisdom from the her life experiences. I think it makes a great gift or coffee table decor piece.

The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho

I heard many positive things about this book so I decided to finally give it a try. I am so happy I did. The author is such an excellent story teller. His vivid descriptions made me see myself in the protagonist. The story is a great reminder to follow our hearts, pay attention to signs given to us on life’s journey and to pursue our dreams.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou

I originally read this book in middle school. It is Maya Angelou’s autobiography. I was originally drawn to the book because of the author. However, the title further drew me in. It is one of my favorite books. I love it so much that I re-read it very so often.

 

 

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Monday Motivation: After The Rain

The weather has been a little gloomy these past few days. It makes me think back to a conversation I had with an Uber driver a few weeks ago. She expressed how much she hated the rain. As I sat in the backseat listening to her mini rant, I thought to myself that I couldn’t  disagree anymore. Since moving from the East Coast I’ve really missed the rain.  It was always a welcomed change. I guess I didn’t mind it as much because I knew there is something to gain from it. Rainy days forces us to slow down and enjoy the important things in life. If it wasn’t for the rain, many of us wouldn’t take the time to relax, read, or enjoy hobbies such as napping (my favorite). Lol!

In my opinion, the rain represents a renewal. It washes away all of the old making room for the new. Sure, it may slow things down a bit. But it won’t rain forever. Similar to the storms in life, the sun always comes out after the rain. All of this reminds me of a song by Betty Wright called “After the Rain”. I bet you thought I was going to say “It Doesn’t Rain in Southern California”. Nope. Cause it seldomly does. And  when it does, I’ll be here to welcome it.

 

After The Rain | Moments With Millie

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Inspiration

Hi There……

It’s been a while. I seriously can’t believe it has been almost a year since my last post. As much as I hate to admit this– the break was very necessary. The time off gave me a chance to become more centered, live life, and evaluate the direction I would like to go as it pertains with the blog. I started this blog a few years ago as a creative outlet. I really didn’t give much thought on how/why/what I wanted to say. I just wanted a way to channel my thoughts. As time went on I felt this desire to inspire others. And I knew that I needed to become more focused in order to have any positive effect. So I took some time off to figure some things out. In the process I’ve managed to create a logo and took care of some back end things. I am looking forward to making a few more changes. However I think it’s about time to start posting again. I can’t say that this is the last break that I am going to take. We all need a break every now and then. I can say however that I will continue to try to inspire others the best way I know how. One moment at a time.

Hi There | Moments With Millie

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Inspiration

Motivational Monday: Back to Work

Hi Everyone! We are nearing the end of August.  And you know what that means- time for back to school. It’s been a while since I’ve been in school therefore I don’t know if I can offer any helpful back to school tips. Instead, I decided to take some time to speak to the ladies that are going into the workforce. It’s not the same however I feel like I can relate to her more. I worked in Corporate America for over 10 years and have learned quite a bit during that time. Here are some of my tips:

  1. Work Hard, Play Hard. One of the things that I struggled with is proper work/play balance. There were many weeks I thought I would just drop from sheer exhaustion. I worked early mornings and late nights just to work through the weekend. I felt like a zombie. I realized that my stress level was affecting my relationships. I never completely mastered the skill however I did learn to take breaks to help clear my mind.
  2. Ask Questions and Offer Solutions. This is something that I learned from one of my supervisors. She let me know that it is ok to ask questions and voice concerns however it is also good to offer up solutions. I found that my supervisor was happier to hear from me when she knew I wasn’t there just to complain and ask questions.
  3. Get Organized. This is a very important skill to have. I find that when I am organized, I am more efficient. Try to get into the habit of organizing everything from your work, work space, mind, etc. If possible, try to set aside some time each week to get organized. It will save you from being a frazzled mess.

To the girl that is not working in her desired field but has accepted a position in order to pay her bills- I know how difficult it can be. My best advice to you is to make the best of your time at your position. Learn as many skills as you can (they may come in handy when you are ready to make your transition). Lastly, stay focused. Try to connect with professionals in your desired field. Who says you can’t have a side hustle while working your 9-5?!

Motivational Monday: Back to Work | Moments With Millie

 

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Inspiration

Motivational Monday: Going Through Tunnels

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I gravitated to the arts and was really into things such as music, dance, poetry, etc. Flash forward to two years ago, I decided to create this blog as a creative outlet. I had so many ideas floating in my mind and needed a way to get them out. Starting a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog seemed like a natural fit. Except for one thing- I hate taking pictures. Like many people, I am overly critical of myself. It doesn’t help that I am a Virgo (perfectionist) and a little bit of a control freak.

I started using Polyvore as a tool for creating outfit inspiration. While it has been a great tool, it is not as effective as I would like. Sure, the site is a virtual dream closet with a large array of clothing/accessory pieces however it does not allow viewers to see the outfits on an actual person. The collages are very aesthetically pleasing however they lack the ability to make a personal connection. Over time,  looming in the back of my mind was the realization that in order to take my blog to the next step, I had to model the outfits for my posts. In other words, I had to go through the tunnel.

Going through tunnels can be a little scary. They are dark and confining. Many people speed through them which add to the anxiety factor. The kicker is however scary they are, you have to go through them to get to where you are going.

Last Sunday, I casually mentioned to my husband that I would like to start taking pictures for my blog. I said I could go to Sephora to get my makeup done (for free) and head over to a nearby location to take pictures. He said, “that’s a great idea!”. I didn’t expect him to say he was off the next day and would be more than happy to take the pictures. I instantly panicked because I knew  I would have to go through with it. You see, hubby tends to be one of the few people that can actually hold my feet to the fire.

I woke up Monday morning half excited and half scared. I decided to take my time to get dressed and put on makeup. As a result, we arrived to our destination a little later than I hoped but we quickly proceeded to take pictures. While taking pictures all I could think about was how uncomfortable with taking pictures. What’s worse is I forgot my belt and accessories.  Needless to say, I was feeling a little defeated by the time we had wrapped. As we started to make our way back to the car, my photographer (aka hubby) started to goof off by snapping a few pictures as if he was a paparazzi. After looking at those set of pictures I realized that I didn’t look as bad as I thought I did. No, my outfit wasn’t perfect but I got through the tunnel. And it wasn’t until I let go of my fears that we captured my favorite picture from the shoot:

Going Through Tunnels | Moments with Millie

Someone once told me that the greatest reward in life come from doing things that scare you the most. I couldn’t agree with that more. Change is uncomfortable but the only way to get passed your fears/insecurities is to go through the tunnel. Thank you for reading this unusually long post. Your reward is more pictures of me from the shoot.  🙂

Going Through Tunnels | Moments with Millie

Going Through Tunnels | Moments with Millie

Going Through Tunnels| Moments with Millie

Going Through Tunnels | Moments with Millie

Going Through Tunnels | MomentswithMillie

DRESS– FOREVER21+ | CHAMBRAY SHIRT– ASOS| SHOES-TJ MAXX

 

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Motivational Monday: How To Have A Good Day

Good Day

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are doing well. Summer is in full effect and I can’t say that I am too mad about it. We had a rough start to the season here in California. Last month we experienced June gloom. For those of you that are not familiar,  June gloom is a series of dreary days. Contrary to popular belief, the sun does not shine everyday in LA. It may not rain in southern California but we do have some cloudy days. Things finally took a turn for the better and all is well in the world.

I never realized how much of an effect the weather has on my mood until a few weeks ago. It was a struggle to get out of bed and be productive. After realizing the clouds were the reason I was feeling down I  decided to get up and do something about it. Having a good day does takes some effort however it is possible. Here are my tips:

  1. Decide to have a good day. For the most part, whether or not you have a good day is a choice. I like to think of it as mind over matter.
  2. Get your mind right. Pray, meditate, or listen to music. Do whatever helps to clear your mind and boost your mood. It only takes a few minutes of your time however it will set the pace for your day.
  3. Get dolled up. When you look good, you feel good. Spend a little time to make yourself up (shower, do your hair, put on makeup and put on a cute outfit). I find the process itself to be transformative. Getting dressed can be quite calming. It helps you to get your mind off of things. And you receive the added benefit of looking good.
  4. Get out. There is nothing like fresh air when you are feeling low. Something as simple as going for a walk can help boost your mood, energy level and productivity.
  5. Do Something. Being productive is a great way to improve your day. You’d be surprise at how crossing just one thing off your to-do list can change things around. If you can’t be productive, do something you love (paint, dance, sing, write, etc.).
  6. Spend time with family and friends. This is always an instant mood booster for me. Call a loved one to catch up. Or meet up with your girlfriends for drinks. You’ll be glad that you did.
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