Dreaming is doing. #hashtagsdonthelp

With my college graduation over with and my feet (somewhat) firmly planted in the real world, I can now come back to Mindful Effervescence and put much more effort into this sweet and inspirational blog.

Although the inevitable inspirational speech at my university’s graduation was enlightening and inspiring, the speech given by Shonda Rhimes for the Dartmouth class of 2014 really hit home for me. For those of you who don’t know, Shonda Rhimes is an extremely talented writer who can be credited with writing the two hit television series, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Not only are these two of my absolute favorite shows, but Shonda Rhimes is truly a force to be reckoned with. I hardly consider myself a feminist, but she brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “girl power.” Actually, not even just girl power. Human power. These next few quotes hardly cover every key inspirational point of her endearing speech, but they definitely bring inspiration into my life. It is my hope that they bring inspiration and drive into yours too.

“A lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, powerful, engaged people? Are busy doing. The dreamers, they stare at the sky and they make plans and they hope and they think and they talk about it endlessly. And they start a lot of sentences with ‘I want to be’ or ‘I wish.’ ‘I want to be a writer.’ ‘I wish I could travel around the world.”

Shonda–you killed it with this. Honestly, I’m not sure if truer words were ever spoken. As a recent college graduate, now is my time to “do.” It’s not my time to wish, or want, or dream, or “what if” myself into oblivion. It’s time to start doing.

“A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething”

“Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show.”

Once again, Shonda makes me rethink everything. I was one of the millions of women (and men) who used the #yesallwomen and #notallmen hashtags in response to the devastating Santa Barbara shootings, but what did I do about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I thought about all the ways I’ve been treated disrespectfully by a man. I thought of ways I could prevent it in the future. No, there have not been very many and I’ve been blessed with having an incredible father and boyfriend for most of my life. But what did I DO in response to my thoughts? While I’ve been dreaming of a world where sexual slavery, rape, racism and disrespect didn’t exist, what have I done to make a difference besides use a hashtag in one of my 1,700 tweets to a mere 400 followers? Absolutely nothing.

From this point forward, I have promised myself that I will begin my journey into the world by doing. Not thinking and not dreaming. I will do everything and anything that crosses my mind, and the only thinking I will do is the thinking back on how I achieved my goals and made my dreams happen.


If you want to view Shonda Rhimes’ incredible speech—here is a link, courtesy of zap2it.




Mindful Monday

Today’s Mindful Monday was inspired by all of the ignorant and unnecessary (in my opinion) negative backlash towards the Coca-Cola “America the Beautiful” Super Bowl commercial. Whether ‘America the Beautiful’ is sung in English, Spanish, French or Arabic, it still means and always will mean, ‘America the Beautiful.’ 

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”

-Theodore Roosevelt 



Southern Snowpocalypse: The Good in Humanity

As some of you may or may not know, the south was taken by surprise when a “massive snowstorm” (by our standards) hit the city of Atlanta. Everyone panicked when we received over two inches of snow within a couple of hours. The sudden onslaught of snow and ice caused schools to release students, businesses to release employees and everyone to drive home at literally, the EXACT same time. The city of Atlanta became gridlocked and people were stuck on the roads for hours and hours.

Due to the massive gridlock combined with the terrible weather conditions, people deserted their cars, got into massive accidents and ran out of gas. One woman was even forced to give birth in her car. People were walking on the side of the roads trying to stay warm and find shelter while dodging sliding vehicles. Some people were so far away from their homes that they were forced to take refuge in nearby businesses for the night.

I’ve heard numerous opinions regarding the state Atlanta was in over the past two days. Some compared it to AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ series, calling it a “snowpocalypse.” Some referred to it as “sheer stupidity” and “completely avoidable.”

As a resident of Atlanta, I have my own opinion. I believe that it was a necessary reminder of just how good and kind humanity can be. It restored my faith in people and made me proud to consider myself an “Atlantan.”

I was completely overwhelmed by the utmost kindness, compassion and selflessness I witnessed from the citizens of Atlanta. People were helping others in ways that were truly heartwarming and some acts of kindness brought tears to my eyes.

People were opening their own homes to complete and total strangers so that they were not forced to spend the night in the cold.

Drivers who were stuck on the icy roads were helping other drivers by providing them with water, clothes, gas and even a much-needed push out of an icy spot.

Local businesses such as Kroger and Home Depot were opening their stores for people who were not able to find shelter. Schools remained open for students who couldn’t find a way home, feeding them and keeping them safe until their parents could reach them.

Overall, the Southern Snowpocalypse of 2014 taught me a valuable lesson about helping others. There is always a way to help and when catastrophe strikes, big or small:

|| Keep your home, heart and mind open to all. ||

Mindful Monday

In honor of the great Martin Luther King Jr. (and other prominent and inspirational figures), I have decided to add “Mindful Mondays” to the Mindful Effervescence blog. Every Monday, I will post a new quote full of inspiration and effervescence that hopefully inspires each and every one of you. Happy Mindful Monday and I hope that we can all take something from this quote.

“Equality should not be a dream for anyone.

It should be a reality.”

-Author unknown.


14 Ways to be a Better You in 2014

As we kick off the new year, resolutions are a must for many of us. After all, how many chances do we have to completely start the year over? The literal answer is every 365 days. But we all know that 365 days can sometimes feel like 365,000 days. After talking to my incredible family and friends about their personal resolutions, I’ve created a list of ’14 ways to be a better you in 2014.’ Hopefully these ‘ways to be a better you’ will help you the way they’ve helped me and many people around me.
Accept yourself. The first step to being yourself is accepting yourself. You are who you are and there’s nothing you can do about it, except accept it. And love it.
Be kind. Think about the other person. You don’t know what somebody could be going through. Remember this one next time you honk at someone for driving too slow or rudely hang up on that sales call. 
Be loyal. Friends are hard to come by! Be loyal to the ones you have and cherish every moment you have with them. 
Be amazed. Now if you’ve seen the movie ‘New Years Eve,’ you’ve been exposed to this one before. But really, allow yourself to be amazed by the little things in life that often go unnoticed. 
Stop judging. Everyone is different. That’s what makes this world so incredible. Let them be themselves without fear of judgment or ridicule. 
Laugh more. Laughing is contagious and inspires happiness in everyone around you. Haven’t you ever heard that the happiest girls are the prettiest girls? Well, it’s true. 
Give yourself a break. We all need one. We are all human and we’re easily our own worst critics. Cut yourself some slack! And while you’re at it, give others a break too.  
Set goals. 2014 has the potential to be your best year yet. Set some goals for yourself! Even if it is the smallest of the small goals, do it. It will give you something to look forward to and work towards in the upcoming year. 
Read a book. Put down the excuses and pick up a book. 
Do something in the rain. More than once. I don’t care if you’re walking, running, dancing (sort of cliche, but whatever floats your boat), singing, eating, drinking or sitting. Have you actually ever done anything in the rain besides run to your car or hide your hair? Trust me. Try it. 
Buy someone’s drive-thru meal. Even if you only do it once in your life, I promise it will make you feel SO good. And it will make someone else’s day. What more could you want?
Stop being jealous of other people. Don’t let what others have determine what you want. Jealously leads to a general lack of happiness in life, and who wants that?
Stop planning. As a public relations professional with a severe, and I mean severe, case of OCP (Obsessive Compulsive Planning), this is one that I REALLY need to remember. There are some things that you just can’t plan.  That list includes, but is not limited to, engagements, marriages, children’s births, mother nature, when that cute guy will call you, the lottery and sex. Especially sex. 
Be happier with what you have. Whether it’s your hair, teeth, job, family or home, just be happy. It’s yours and yours alone. Nobody else can say that or (for the most part) take it away from you, so take pride in it and be happy. 
DISCLAIMER: If you aren’t happy and simply cannot be happy, give yourself a break, set a goal and be amazed. 🙂