I Vow, 2017.

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I vow to worry less about others love for me and work harder to give that love to myself.

I vow to breathe through anxiety and put myself first.

I vow to say no without an explanation and feel comfortable doing so.

I vow to love fiercely in every way possible.

I vow to be vulnerable and real.

I vow to not let the fear of judgement control who I am.

I vow not to measure my success by the amount of likes on a picture or the amount of compliments in person.

I vow to keep some goals to myself and smash the hell out of them.

I vow to let go of could-bes and things that don’t work out.

I vow to truly take in the moments that make me carefree.

I vow to say what’s on my mind even if it isn’t what someone agrees with.

I vow to minimize the “stuff” I purchase and save it for the experiences I can live.

I vow to be open and genuine.

I vow to never numb myself to joy for fear of feeling pain later on.

I vow to say sorry less, to stop apologizing for who I am.

I vow to keep feeling every single emotion fullly and showing the world how it should be done.

I vow to call myself beautiful and believe it.

I vow to work through rejection in an effort to better myself.

I vow to have more courage to tell someone how I feel only for the sake of them knowing.

I vow to always find hope in any incredible amount of darkness I face.

I vow to accept that which I cannot change and move forward in the direction I’ve been pushed and pulled.

I vow, for one year, to give every ounce of love to myself so that others know how it should be done.

I vow, for one year, to be exactly who I am in the most kind and genuine way possible. 

I vow, for one year, to put my happiness utterly and completely before anyone else’s. 

I will always keep pushing, keep striving and keep growing.

I will never give up.

Love,

Anna Marie

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Love Her

 

 

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Oh please, just love her.

Love her to the ends of the earth.

Love her vastly and openly, let her be who she’s supposed to be.

Push her to explore. 

Push her to try again.

Love her for who she is and not who she could be.

Love her whole. 

Love her in pieces.

Love the way she’s not perfect. 

Encourage her to love the imperfections too.

Love her to love yourself better.

Love her to heal your fears.

Love her excitement.

Love how she loves you.

Squeeze her tight and kiss her hard.

Love her so much. 

Oh please, just love her.

 

Love,

Anna Marie ❤

 

 

I Hope You Stay You.

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I hope, at the end of the day, you’re you.

I hope that the fire in your soul fuels your bravery and the criticism of society burns in the flames.

I hope you love so freely that it scares people away and attracts the deepest friendships of your life.

I hope you spike your hot cocoa to stay warm and breathe in the crisp winter air because the contrast is sacred.

I hope you fall in love so bad it hurts and he only stays if he let’s you be exactly who you are.

I hope you always stay exactly who you are.

Never a dimmed light-

never a watered down version-

always, 100% you.

I hope you eat french fries and skip the salad once in a while.

I hope you call yourself beautiful.

I hope you look in the mirror and accept yourself for your own beauty ideal.

I hope you talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.

I hope you practice kindness and stay genuine.

I hope you aren’t afraid to feel sadness and learn how to carry it with you.

I hope that you inspire yourself to be brave and believe in yourself to be fearless.

I hope you know that you can do anything.

Whatever you want, just do it.

I hope that you care for others in a way that makes them love you to the ends of the earth and fight like hell for what you believe in.

I hope your beliefs are never shoved down the throats of others.

I hope you listen to the silence for all that it says.

I hope you listen just to listen and not to respond.

I hope that you are missed by the ones you love and miss those you adore.

I hope you remember to smile.

I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself.

I hope that someone finds that light of yours and let’s it shine as bright as ever before.

I hope no one tries to take away your spirit.

I hope you never let them.

I hope you never apologize for what isn’t in your control.

I hope that you share yourself if only so you feel more confident in who you are.

I hope you never change.

I will always hope, at the end of the day, that you are you.

Stay you.

Love,

Anna Marie ❤

Why are we so scared?

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Don’t lose your sense of adventure.

Open up to strangers and invite love into your heart.

Sit on the bus and ask how the person to your left is doing.

It’s not creepy, it’s how we used to meet people.

Stand in line at a coffee shop and tell that girl who dressed up that she looks lovely.

She won’t give you a weird look, she’ll smile.

Pick up a book and read your favorite quote to someone you want to connect with.

Your favorite words will tell them so much more than your Facebook account.

Smile with your eyes and dress up so you can say damn, I look GOOD.

Stop racing for a goal and breathe in the moment you’re living.

Why are we so scared to live in a world where no matter what, you’re going to get hurt?

It’s true isn’t it?

No matter how guarded you are, how careful you are, how safe you live your life- you’re bound to get hurt at some point down the road.

Tripping on the side walk.

Criticized by your boss.

Rejected by your crush.

Hurt is going to happen.

So why do we fear it so much?

It’s a huge part of us.

A part of living, growing stronger and pushing forward.

I’ve seen people cringe from pain so much that they’ve become immune to being alive.

They hide themselves in a shell so tough that they can’t even begin to understand how someone could open it.

And it only grows thicker.

The part of them that could really live gets hidden as they go through the motions- waiting for anything to break through that shell.

Well it’s not up to a force of nature.

It’s up to you.

It’s up to you to face your fear and live in a world where you embrace rejection and let it push you.

By the thousandth time, you’ll be a professional.

By the thousandth no, you’ll hear “there’s a different plan”.

Don’t be scared to live. 

Embrace the fear and do it anyways because we’re all a little insane to hope that just enough courage will earn us the happiness we all deserve.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

 

 

To Be Inspired

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To be inspired is to laugh so hard your body shakes. 

To hug someone who has continuously given you their time and love.

To breathe a sigh of relief after a big test.

You know that feeling when you can feel something inside you building?

Courage, determination, strength or pure happiness?

And then you finally approach that person or run that extra mile and you just feel… good.

Not good- inspired.

Inspiration is driven from chalk being twirled and pressed into concrete.

From 26 letters of the alphabet creating a novel that erupts passion.

From that one person you couldn’t live without whose presence sends your mood to the moon.

It’s biting into a piece of pizza and closing your eyes because the combination is just right as it dances on your tongue.

It’s that wave of heat that encompasses you as you step from painfully frozen air into a heated building.

It’s the excitement of a stranger saying “Good Morning” or smiling at you just because they are  swallowed in their own happiness.

Inspiration comes from new eyes searching the world around you.

From appreciating the moments that we so easily forget.

Taking our pants off.

Falling into a warm bed.

Stretching sore muscles.

It’s the way we look at ordinary days.

Because those ordinary days make up our lives.

That’s how we will create an inspired life- by living and breathing the beauty that goes into simply waking up in a comfortable home that was created by you.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

 

 

What are you doing?

I’m going to tell you something.

In this moment, no one cares about what you’re doing.

No one cares if you’re reading a book or watching Netflix.

No one is wondering if you’re deciding to put on make up or going to curl your hair.

No one wants to know if you went on a 6 mile run or walked ten steps to the bathroom.

These moments, every moment, is about you.

I’m giving you the freedom to understand that you are allowed to be selfish.

I’m also telling you that it is completely up to you what you do.

If you choose to watch Netflix while munching on the nearest snack food for 8 straight hours, is that going to get you to your “dream life” that you ponder every so often?

Is skipping class going to give you satisfaction?

We tell our friends, family and strangers our plans, our goals and our dreams.

I want to lose weight, I want to read 20 books this next year, I want to put my phone down more often.

In the end though, we find ourselves stuck in this place that is stagnant and comfortable.

We are laying in bed thinking how much EASIER it would be to just not do anything.

It sure would, wouldn’t it?

That’s the difference between creating a life full of pushing boundaries  or staying where you are. 

The need to be able to push yourself and motivate yourself every single day.

The hunger for success whether it be to eat more vegetables or smile at strangers.

The satisfaction upon completing a goal you’ve been working at for months.

No one cares what you are doing right now.

But these days that you stay stuck will turn into weeks and those weeks into months and those months into years until you realize that this is your life. 

We have all thought about where we want to be in a few years but it doesn’t just magically happen.

We have to strive and push ourselves every single day for it.

We create our lives by doing things that make us happy.

So what are you going to do today that will make you happy? Not comfortable, but happy.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

You Must Decide To Rise

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Breathe.

Breathe in light.

Breathe out darkness.

Raise your palms to the sun so your fingertips can be touched by hope.

Close your eyes so you can imagine how blessed you are to be so loved.

Wild and free.

Wind blowing throw fields of sunflowers so yellow it’s petals drip happiness.

Free as the birds who fly anywhere and everywhere with the option of home always in their hearts.

Wild as the drinks that make you dance on table tops and kiss strangers.

Breathe in.

If only to feel alive because spontaneity is played by those who crave adventure.

It’s for those who crave each other. 

Lust and love.

Fall in love with a one night stand for just one night but promise to respect your body.

Crave love in everyone you meet and long for a soul that will understand your own.

Have the patience of your mother and keep her strength too.

Be brave like trees swaying in hurricanes.

Pray for the opportunity to spread positivity.

Love fiercely, move fearlessly and chase what everyone is too scared to run after. 

Rejection isn’t for the weak- it’s for the willing who know they are capable of rising.

And you must decide to rise. 

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

You Can Shine in Darkness

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When it’s dark outside, demons have a way of crawling in-between the spaces I have created happiness in.

They take shape in memories and what if’s… always preaching about what I could have done or how I’ve failed.

They whine like wolves to my heart strings, screeching and howling until I bleed from the sound.

My demons slither beneath my skin and swallow any light I’ve found within me.

But I once heard you have to friend your enemies.

And I slowly deceived the demons. 

I let the wounds bleed and would dab at them with reminders of what I love to do when they were not looking.

I got to know them and their plan to control my happiness and I quietly learned the reasons behind their savageness. 

I crept silently into their world only to befriend the enemy and discover strategies of all different calibers. 

Only after the enemy tore my spirit limb from limb did I blast through the scars with a light so bright my eyes couldn’t remember the sight of darkness.

And I shined.

And I healed every wound with a petrifying force that created a warmth so compassionate the demons started weeping.

I started weeping.

And I won’t ever forget this feeling of what it once was to feel so dark inside that only my own happiness could cure the shadows.

Because I thought that every ounce of light had left me when it was always patiently sitting, waiting for when I was ready.

I’m ready now.

I’m shining.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

The Spoil Yourself Project

If you live your life in any way, shape or form that resembles mine, you are a giver. You constantly are trying to console, advise or listen to those around you and sometimes you completely forget about the person who might need all of those things the most- you.

It’s not that we don’t love being there for others because believe me, it’s built into our DNA. However, I have been told quite a few times that I should just take a breather and focus a bit on what I want out of life and begin to do certain things just for me.

We have our dreams but are we doing anything to get us there? We have the ideal person we imagine ourselves to be but you will never be that person unless you start to work at it right NOW.

So here are a few simple things you can do to start something I have named the “Spoil Yourself Project”. Simply because I keep forgetting to do things that will make me a happier person. Therefore if I write them down and PLAN them, I do it and take that step closer to the person I want to become.

IMG_78711. Make a list of things you love to do or things that make you happy. I wrote down everything from painting my nails to laying in bed with the Christmas lights on and candles lit. Make it endless. Do you love walks by the river? Reading books? Make a giant list of what you love that makes you happy.

2. Do you have a planner? Schedule an item for EVERY day of the week. That’s right, you should be doing something for yourself every single day. Write it down so you can cross it off and feel good about accomplishing something simply for YOU that day. Maybe even just schedule a time you want to do something for yourself and then take a look at your list and choose. It’s truly up to you.

3. When you are doing whatever task you want, make sure you relish in the moment. Don’t treat it like a chore because it will defeat the entire purpose of spoiling yourself. Now is the time to focus on YOU and it’s important to appreciate the small joys that are a part of your being.

4. GO! Hop to it and eventually, you won’t even need a penciled in reminder that you should be doing something for your well-being every single day.

Best of luck with the ones who need to be spoiled by themselves.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

This is What Strength Looks Like

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Strength is tear soaked pillows and piles of crinkled tissue.

It’s hot tea filling up empty hands and warming up a heart gone cold.

Strength is taking a bite when you want to waste away.

It’s saying hello after the hardest goodbye.

Strength is good days and terribly awful minutes.

It’s writing a song or painting canvases full of splattered heart beats and memories.

Strength is pulling yourself out of the warmth of a blanket cocoon.

It’s peeling your heart off the sidewalk after an earth shattering quake.

The pieces will never fit back together but they remember the familiarity of what used to be there.

And you change.

Strength is saying yes to new adventures and fighting for everything you believe in.

It is loud and boastful or quietly accumulating.

It withers and swells each day.

Strength is feeling something so deeply it drowns you.

Strength is floating up from the abyss.

It is answering questions you’re scared of and letting someone hold your heart with their bare hands.

It is loving a place you’ve never been and leaving behind everything you know.

Strength is adventuring into the world.

It is embracing strangers.

It is curiosity for something beyond ourselves.

Strength is trusting yourself.

It is trusting others.

It is holding up those who are struggling to move forward and carrying on with them.

It is never forgetting the people who made you love.

It is always loving those who have made you who you are.

Strength is creating a better person when the air is filled with temptation.

It is forgiving when surrounded by betrayal.

Strength is constantly giving away kindness.

It is letting go and holding on and fighting in between.

Strength is forks in the road and lonely trails.

It is loving yourself and becoming your own friend.

It is acceptance.

It is fear.

Strength looks a lot like the reflection in the mirror.

Strength is YOU

– Anna Marie 🙂

P.S. This is dedicated to the ones I love who are struggling a little more than others today. We have good days and bad days when dealing with pain but as long as you are surrounded by love you will shine. I’ve been there and some days I’m still there but you always have to look forward to what might happen next with a big smile and an open heart. It’s easiest when you do what you love and forgive what you can’t control. You are STRONG!

All of my love.