How I finally ditched acne (my acne cure)

IMG_1499Acne and I have a long, complicated relationship.

She first introduced herself during my teen years in quite a furry. I went from having smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum skin to pimply skin almost overnight.

It was hormones, I was told. And they were right. But I wasn’t excited about this new friend and look I had acquired–one that I couldn’t seem to get rid of. And Clean & Clear just didn’t cut it.

Not only did I now have these lovely little white bumps covering every square inch of my t-zone, my skin also produced a ton of oil, and my complexion had an uneven, reddish color. You know, the look you get when you’ve been bawling your eyes out. I now know that this is a sign of inflammation.

Oh, and lets not even talk about blackheads. I’ll just say nothing–no strip or cream or magic potion–could remove those nasty little boogers.

Foundation also became a dear Continue reading

When I felt small

IMG_2566A couple of years ago I felt small.

Brance and I  had moved our little family from a rural part of the country (where I had grown up and lived my entire life) to the happening northeast city of Boston.

It took a good year for me to feel completely acclimated to my new environment. By which I mean, not feeling like I was taking my life in my hands every time I drove my car. And public transportation and I are now dear friends, but it wasn’t always so.

All the while, we had a new baby and preschooler I was trying to teach. Brance’s dad had recently passed away. We had left family and friends far behind. And Boston winters! I was not prepared for the depression that would set in from months of being cooped up (thank goodness I have since discovered the “miracle” of vitamin D and walks!).

But I think the hardest thing of all was the betrayal that we experienced again and again by people who claimed to be Christian. Many who were leaders, pastors even, in the Church. It was awful.

The thing that tipped the scale, though, was Continue reading

A new perspective

sailboatsOne thing I’ve learned that has helped me immensely is to view any challenge or failure I face as an opportunity. It’s so good, that when I began doing this several years ago, it literally transformed my life.

This is not something I did in the past and it made for bumpy ride–an unhappy, bumpy ride.

In the past, I sought perfection and every time I faced a challenge or failure I would feel discouraged or defeated. I would focus on what was wrong and how my life wasn’t perfect. Doing so left me unhappy and it kept me from truly living. It also kept me from taking good, healthy risk.

And then, a beautiful thing happened.  I learned a different way and was finally able to reclaim my life and happiness!!!

  • I learned to look at the difficulties I faced in life differently–to view them as opportunities for growth.
  • I learned to no longer be defined by what was going on around me–be it bad or good.
  • I learned that my value doesn’t hang on the opinions and approval of others.
  • I learned that if I couldn’t be happy in the present, right dab in the midst of whatever was going on in life, I would never be happy.
  • I learned that thankfulness is a gift from God that has the power to transform our hearts.

And so, finally, I  learned the secret to being content regardless. Even when things don’t go my way. Even when faced with challenge and failure.

When I finally stopped viewing challenge and failure as doom and I stopped looking to my circumstances for happiness, things brightened immensely. Not that my life got any easier or my circumstances magically improved. My perspective did and that was enough.

With Love,
Lauren

 

To look or not to look

computer 2I assume that all of us have experienced rejection at some point in life. We were dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Or, even worse, our spouse walked away.

Even if we were one of the fortunate few to meet and marry and stay married to our first love, we’ve certainly experienced rejection from a friend or a family member at some point.

Like it or not, rejection just comes with the territory of being alive.

And if we are completely honest, most of us have ended a relationship/friendship for some reason ourselves. Although ending a relationship isn’t necessarily painless, it is typically more difficult to be on the receiving end of rejection, right?

There is something incredibly difficult about being the one left. Something that compels us to Continue reading

The supplements that have changed my life

vitaminsSupplements have played a huge role in helping me reclaim my physical and emotional health.

With their help, I have been able to banish depression, anxiety, foggy-headedness, exhaustion, poor sleep etc. AND drastically improve my sex-life, boost my happiness, increase my energy levels, and improve my cognitive skills and memory.

Shortly after I began supplementing, I will never forget telling my husband Brance, through grateful tears, that I felt A-M-A-Z-I-N-G–better than I ever had in my entire life. It was as if a fog had lifted. But I didn’t need to tell him, he could see the difference.

The difference was night and day. It felt as if a miracle had transpired and I was SO grateful. Anyone who has felt as bad as I did and has had this kind of transformation will know exactly what I am talking about.

Yet, I don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture here. The differences that Brance experienced from supplementing have been more subtle.  He didn’t feel as poorly as I did before. Brance was already clear-headed and didn’t struggle with depression or anxiety. He has mostly noticed an improvement in his energy levels and sleep.

Because I feel SO much better because of the supplements I take, I often talk about them and blog about them (hello Vitamin D3!!!). So, I often get questions about the supplements and brands I take. I thought it might be helpful for me to compile all that information in one place with Amazon links. Here you go.

My daily supplements

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Happy Birthday Brance!

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Our little family is incredibly blessed by this guy!  Brance is the most loving and adoring father and husband. He keeps us laughing and keeps us thinking. I have yet to meet someone who thinks as deeply and carefully as he does. Or who has as much integrity in the every day when no one is watching. Happy Birthday to our favorite guy! We love you!

Your deepest happiness

Deep happiness

We’re going deep today. Prepare to ask yourself hard questions and to be real. Because, ultimately your deepest happiness is at stake.

Where are you looking for happiness? Where are you intentionally or unintentionally looking for meaning in life?

Perhaps you are living as though happiness resides in a successful job or business. Maybe it’s physical health or your appearance you are looking to. Or financial security or your home or possessions. Maybe you have pinned your happiness to the back of another human being.

Um….we can look for happiness through affirmation on social media.

Whether we have thought about it or not we ALL are naturally inclined to look to something/someone to fulfill us—to bring us joy. And we become disillusioned and upset when we feel they let us down. Which inevitably always happens when we look to these things for happiness.

What if I told you there was a better way? A way where you could Continue reading

Reclaiming your emotional energy

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Photo by Dave Carney

We all have a certain amount of energy to burn on any given day–both physically and emotionally.

Today I am going to focus on the emotional aspect.

How wisely do we spend this energy? Do we protect it and use it in the best possible ways?

OR are we throwing it away on fretting, jealousy, and anger?

It’s amazing how much MORE we can accomplish, how much MORE we can be present and available for those we love when we protect our “energy”. When WE decide where we spend it.

I won’t say that I have arrived in this area, but I have come a long, long way. In years gone by I would burn SO much energy worrying. Worrying about what I said and did. Worrying about what other people said and did. Worrying about what they THOUGHT. Crazy, right!?

It was insane just how much energy I wasted in useless worry. I would literally Continue reading

Allowing tragedy become a catalyst for good

broken_heartTragedy is something that we can’t escape here on earth.

Most often we are merely bystanders, hearts full of sympathy for those suffering. But there are times we are the sufferers. We are the ones wading through the murky waters of hardship and trial.

Our temptation is to allow tragedy to take our freedom . In other words, tragedy can usher in fear that keeps us from living a joyful life.

Certainly this is understandable for those directly affected by tragedy. And healing for those people will be slow.

But as people indirectly affected, as mere bystanders, we too can be paralyzed by tragedy. We too can lose the freedom that we lived in before.

OR, tragedy can be a catalyst to bring about positive change in our life, if we will let it.

Here are some things that tragedy can teach us…

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Feel your best

Picture by the lovely Anabell Jimenez

I know first hand what it is like to feel amazing and I know first hand what it is like to feel terrible.

Right now, thankfully, I feel amazing. Even in the face of a serious autoimmune disease.

A decade ago, I did not feel well AT ALL. I was foggy-brained, exhausted, depressed, anxious etc. I was just barely getting by.

I remember how it took everything in me to hang out with friends or clean the kitchen or do pretty much anything. By the end, I would feel like I had been run over by a train. And the whole time I felt spacey and unable to keep up.

I even remember being afraid for people to know the “real” me back then. Certainly, if they knew how “screwed up” I was, they wouldn’t like me. Oh, and marriage–the closest relationship out there? That was super-scary stuff for me. Thankfully I married the most supportive and loving guy out there.

Now it is as if I have tons of energy to do the things I need to and then some to spare. And my head is clear. And I am no longer anxious or depressed. It truly feels like a miracle has transpired. There is NO comparison in how I feel–physically, mentally, or emotionally. It’s night and day.

Feeling this amazing was something I dreamed of and prayed for years ago. I was so desperate to feel better. But it seemed completely out of reach.

Anyone who has experienced this will know what I am talking about. It’s a terrible place to be.

But I am living proof that a person can feel better!!! That we can beat extreme exhaustion and foggy-headedness! That we can take out anxiety and depression–for good.

Because I was able to turn things around for myself, I started this blog. I just knew that there had to be other people like the me of a decade ago. People wanting to feel better, but not knowing how or not certain there was even hope for change.

There is hope! I am telling you. It is possible! I felt terrible and I have experienced a  total transformation. If I can, I know that there is hope for you to feel better too!

If you need to feel your best, in a major way OR in small ways, here are things that I would suggest from my experience.

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