Tag Archives: self

5 Musts for the Busy Woman

March 23, 2016

2b Photography

Recently, I had a change of jobs. Although I would consider this move to be an advancement from where I was before, I caught myself homesick and stressed. A new job means a new schedule, new people and new responsibilities.

To make it through the transition and twelve hour days, I began to find something to look forward to every day. Thankfully, the time change peeked around the corner and has allowed for the sun to still be beautiful and bright when I exit the building on those long days. The first day the sun was still out at 6:30 p.m., I hurried into the house, changed into workout clothes, and bolted out the door for a long run. Looking forward to something as simple as the sunshine allowed me to look for the silver lining in each day.

I’m kinda known for relishing in a cup of hot tea, preferably “Sleepy Time” tea at night, taking long baths, and cuddling up in a cozy robe. (No, I am not in my 60′s.) If you didn’t consider me to be an old soul before, I’m sure my new philosophy on life solidifies it now.

But if you catch yourself running only on fumes and know that your busy schedule may not be slowing down, consider these five musts for keeping your sanity and lowering your stress:

1. Find something to look forward to every day, even if it’s just as simple as sitting on your porch or going for a walk in the afternoon.

2. Discover the things that bring you joy and fulfillment, and do them! Implement these small joys into your daily life. Exercise is essential for me. Even if I were to never burn a calorie or lose an inch, I would still workout. Exercise relieves stress and releases endorphins. (Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and produce a positive feeling! Thanks, WebMD.) Other things on the list may include going to the farmers’ market on Saturday’s or thrift shopping. Your list may look differently, but whatever it is, make time for those things that create moments of relaxation and happiness.

2b photography

3. Surround yourself with inspiring friends. My closest girl friends validate my feelings but are also honest with grace when needed. Their conversations are therapeutic, comical and often times enlightening. And hey, “a good friend is cheaper than therapy,” they say. Negativity breeds negativity, which can add to an already stressful life.

4. Take time to be with your family, and call your grandmother back.  My family centers me. They shower unconditional love and provide irreplaceable support. During my job change, my grandmother called several times and left voicemails. When I returned the call, all she wanted to say was “I love you.”

5. Put it in your schedule to rest. Rest is just as important as anything you do. If you are spent, then you are good for no one. A rested mind, body, and soul make for a better friend, mother, sister and coworker. Say “no” to things that you know will be draining, and make time to sit down and put your feet up daily.

What can you look forward to every day?

Article by Brittany Windle

Photo Credit: 2b Photography  Model: Becca Bell, one of my inspiring friends

InstaSEXagram

April 9, 2014

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Since the widespread of Instagram, I’m noticing more and more women showcasing their bodies… and their goodies- not just their fit, toned selves in workout gear, but hyper-sexualized pictures. Take the “fitspo” and “fitnessmotivation” trends and the pictures that accompany them for example. Who wears a thong and lace push-up bra in full hair and makeup while doing tricep kick-backs on a bench in the gym ? NO ONE.

What message are women sending these days? Has vanity overtaken our society? What about the girls of future generations? I fear that the answers to these questions are what women have been fighting against for decades.

What message are women sending these days? These risque pictures (in hopes of getting “likes” and “comments”) are leaving nothing to the imagination; they send universal approval to men to lust and sexualize women. Women of today are adding to the over-sexed hype that our culture has set as a standard. As if it hasn’t gotten bad enough through commercial media, we as women are adding to this standard by means of social media. We are counteracting what we have been wanting for years and years to happen-to be taken seriously, given equal opportunities as men and to not be looked at as a mere sex object. Instagram is a sea of semi-nude women in sexually explicit poses, and we are to blame. Women are posting these.

Has vanity overtaken our society? I get it-I love style and fashion. I post #ootds (not with my face in them) and the occasional “selfie” (rare), and some days, quite frankly, I just feel beautiful! However, my first reaction is not to take 100 photos just to capture that one perfect look to post on Instagram. I have a confidence that came from years and years of experience, self-reflection and self-acceptance. Today, women have become self-absorbed; hovering over their heads is an unhealthy pressure to capture how beautiful their hair looks or how amazingly flawless their makeup is or how tight their booty is getting. Very often it’s captioned with a insightful quote that has nothing to do with the fact that they are posting a picture out of vanity just to get approval.

What about the girls of future generations? They are the ones most engulfed by this. I teach freshman in high school. I see girls taking selfies in the bathroom, walking to class, and sadly sometimes in my classroom before the bell rings. It’s a norm for them-to post pictures on Instagram, tweet on Twitter and make videos for Vine. The scary thing is, how will they know when to draw the line between innocent pictures and delving into the more sexualized photos? Which picture would get more likes? I think we all know the answer to that question.

My hope for young ladies and women all around the world is for them to know that they don’t have to post pictures of any kind  in order to gain approval. I want them to know that their beauty doesn’t rely on the number of “likes” or “comments” of social media. I want them to find inner-confidence, self-control and more importantly, self-respect.

So, think before you post. Think before you envy that girl in the tiny black bikini working out at the gym. I just have to giggle at those.

~ Brynlea Cunniff

Follow Brynlea on Twitter.

Balance & Self-Discipline

March 5, 2014

balanceart via

Intention-based rituals.

According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.

95%! This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe. This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life.

Continue your reading here.

Midnight Dress Rehearsal

January 2, 2014

the coulisses

I heard some of the best advice given to me the other day: “Don’t let someone’s decisions change your character.” When I heard that one sentence I was shocked that someone would have such wisdom. You see, this past year, my parents after thirty years decided to separate and divorce.

If you have ever experienced parents divorcing, you know that there is a lot of pain, confusion, and heartache. I don’t think it matters your age; it always hurts. A picture perfect family that you envisioned will soon be two families (even when you always knew it wasn’t perfect). Fun-filled holidays won’t be the same, but rather a tug of war to go to not just one parent’s house but now two.

Eventually you learn (or I hear that you learn) to move on, heal, and do what’s best for you. During the healing process, I have become calloused but then vulnerable, sad and then sometimes furious. There is a roller coaster of emotions that encompasses a divided family. I have gotten mad at individuals and have stood firm and unwavering on my decision to never speak with them, but then realized that was not realistic and not a healthy way to live. Unforgiveness smothers your happiness and will deteriorate your joy.

It is a process. At times, I’m able to live without it crossing my mind. Then sometimes I’m hurt all over again and mad at certain individuals. I have spent countless nights lying in bed rehearsing a speech that I would love to give to those who have hurt me. The words are choice, the phrases are timely, and sharp as a two-edged sword.

Recently, I had decided that the speech would become a reality. I would march up to that person’s door, knock furiously, and invite myself in, completely unannounced, of course.

But I was stopped in my tracks when a mentor of mine said that one tiny but powerful sentence: “Don’t let someone’s decisions change your character.”  I realized that no matter the decisions of a person, I couldn’t let it alter who I was.  Even if someone has been unquestionably wrong, that person’s actions do not give me the right to do something that for 1. is out of character and 2. possibly damaging as well.

So I’ve decided to keep my character intact. No more “dress rehearsals” at midnight with me killing someone with my words. I won’t change on account of someone else’s decisions.

When will I heal completely? Who knows? But as I continue to forgive…sometimes daily, the pain is slowly melting away, and my joy is being revived.

Brittany Windle

Follow Britt on Twitter.

6 Soul Resolutions

December 3, 2013

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Summer isn’t even here, so why am I already thinking about bikini season and those painful trips and excruciating journeys to the mall in order to find the perfect swimsuit? Why does something so small have to be such a daunting and depressing task? Most swimsuits only have about 1-2 yards of fabric incorporated- some-even less! It’s a self vs. self, self vs. society’s skewed body image ideal, and self vs. mirror conflict.

It is so funny how superficial and shallow we can become. We will nearly kill ourselves for a flat stomach, but we will ignore an unfit relationship with our minds and souls.

So how do we prepare for the swimsuit challenge? We amp ourselves up with a great playlist on our iPod, plan out our meals and work out. We say goodbye to carbs, sugar, fatty foods, fried meals and carbonated beverages and say hello to water, fruits, veggies, lean meats and the gym. We do whole-body cleanses, rid our body of toxins, ignore harmful additives and dyes and renew our inner self. We sit in saunas, sweat through our tanks doing cardio, tackle circuit training and do other forms of crazy exercise. Even though it’s a daunting task, it’s so worth it to lose those 5, 10, 15, 20 extra unwanted pounds and gain self-confidence, a sense of accomplishment and begin a healthy lifestyle.  We feel like stronger, powerful and healthier women when we work out physically. With this being said, why is it so hard for us to work out spiritually or get emotionally healthy?

It is so funny how superficial and shallow we can become. We will nearly kill ourselves for a flat stomach, but we will ignore an unfit relationship with our minds and souls. These relationships are the most important things a woman can have in her life. Why can’t we seem to get motivated to cleanse spiritually, do relationship cardio and walk in full stride towards becoming the healthy and well-rounded women we were called to be?

Sometimes I’d much rather run 5 miles after a 30-minute circuit training session than have to address personal weakness and issues that deal with the heart and soul.

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I think it’s due to a pain, need for self-control and a sense of uncomfortable vulnerability that far outweighs any workout’s demands. We have to be real, be open and continuously be vulnerable- not always easy! Sometimes I’d much rather run 5 miles after a 30-minute circuit training session than have to address personal weakness and issues that deal with the heart and soul.

What does one have to offer with only a beautiful, hollow shell? My favorite quote, Proverbs 31:30 states that  “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” This reminds me that our actions and words should reflect truth and integrity. One day, our wrinkle-free faces will have smile lines; our hair will turn gray with age; and our bodies not quite like they once were.

Crunch your inner struggles, detox your unhealthy surroundings and run (actually sprint) from unnecessary negativity. Keep hitting the gym and salad bars by all means, but start getting in shape all around.

 Our 6 Soul Resolutions:

1. We will make time for self-reflection (prayer, meditation, journaling, quiet time)

2. We will make time for positive and inspirational relationships (ladies’ night out, date night, family game time)

3. We will make time to give back to the community (service at the local homeless shelter, donating old clothes)

4. We will love our bodies (workout, eat clean, accept what we can’t change)

5. We will love our souls (positive self-affirmations daily)

6. We will love one another (encourage others-especially other women-be a cheerleader)

 Brynlea Taylor

Follow Brynlea on Twitter.

Photo Credit: 2b Photography – Becca Bell