Contributed by June Blogger of the Month, Kylee Gwartney
Journey: what comes to mind when you hear it aside from, of course, the lyrics to Don’t Stop Believing? For me, I’m reminded of how important it is to not only follow your dreams, but to take care of yourself and learn as much as you can along the way. Your life’s journey is entirely what you choose to make it. That can be scary because you have no one to blame except yourself for any failure or unhappiness, but it can also be liberating. You have all the power you need to write the narrative of your life as many times as you want to in order to achieve your goals.
So what can help you along the way? Everyone has their own ways of bettering themselves, but here are some things that I find to be helpful:
- Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein –Spirit Junkie couldn’t have come at a better time for me than at the end of college when I was going through a really bad breakup. If you’re familiar with spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson, then you’ll love Gabby. The main message of the book is simple yet amazing: choose love over fear. It provides an inside look at her personal struggles from childhood to now, and how she found the happiness she cherishes today. It reads more like an extremely wise novel than a self-help book. It’s a definite must-read no matter who you are or what your life is like. The tools she shares in this book as well as her other ones are profoundly impactful.
- Yoga: I’ve only been doing yoga since October of last year, but it has quickly turned into my favorite thing ever. Not only have I noticed obvious physical results from doing yoga, it makes me feel less stressed out and completely at ease with life in general. A lot of people stay away from yoga because they’re afraid of looking stupid, but honestly, no one cares – everyone is busy doing their own thing. The health benefits are endless and it’s the most relaxing workout you’ll ever have (at times). If anything can help you better yourself mentally and physically, it’s yoga. Oklahoma offers a lot of awesome classes too, so there’s really no excuse not to try it out! Since I live in Mustang, I go to classes at the community center (only $15/month for unlimited group classes) as well as the classes Whitney Streets teaches at Heavenly Hands Day Spa (only $8/class) – she is awesome. If you don’t happen to live in The Stang, I’ve also heard good things about Balance. Yoga. Barre. (locations in OKC, Edmond, and Norman), The Yoga Room (Tulsa), and Inner Peace Yoga (Tulsa). Check out Rachel Brathen on Instagram (@yoga_girl) for more inspiration.
- The Lively Show by Jess Lively – Jess Lively wasn’t someone I’d heard of until recently, but she’s made me an instant fan. She’s a popular life coach who focuses on living with values-based intentions. Her podcast, The Lively Show, is so incredibly insightful. She interviews successful men and women from all walks of life about areas pertaining to blogging, business, relationships, money, health, and so much more. My favorite interviews I’ve listened to so far have been with Brooke White (singer and American Idol contestant), Alexandra Franzen (author and blogger), and Liz Schneider (blogger for Sequins and Stripes).
- Journaling – Sometimes it just helps to write everything down on paper where no one can see it, am I right? I’ll go months without writing in my journal and when I notice myself feeling a little off or like I have too much going on in my head, that’s when it’s time to write. Journals are more than just therapeutic; they’re a great source of inspiration for us as writers. Also, they’re kind of hilarious. I’ve been keeping one since I was 13 and it’s pretty funny (and embarrassing) to look back on the trials and triumphs of teenage me.
- Massages / Chiropractic Care – When your body is in balance, you just feel better. Whether it is massage or chiropractic care, it’s so important to make sure you stay relaxed and aligned. If you did any kind of sports when you were younger, it’s even more important. I’ve found that all the years of doing pom did some damage on my back, so I visit the chiropractor every 1 to 2 months. If that’s not your thing, massages are a must! What’s better than zoning out for an hour and listening to nature noises while someone works all the knots out of your shoulders? Probably nothing. Heavenly Hands Day Spa in Mustang and Le Visage in Norman are my favorites.
What resources help you along your life’s journey?
Kylee Gwartney is the author of teen novel, Catching the Fever, and the creator of kbyeee.com where she posts about style, beauty, and inspiration. She lives in Mustang with her boyfriend and their furry cat children, Rachel McKattams and Noah Cathoun. When she’s not online shopping or eating queso, you can probably find her at a local restaurant drinking mimosas well after brunch time and pretending to be Blair Waldorf.