Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.


It’s not everyday that you see a smiley face on a water tower, but, it’s interesting how much of an impact on your day something like that can have. I don’t know about you, but, it makes me want to smile too!

I found these interesting facts on Smiling on pickthebrain.com by nursingschools.net and wanted to share them with you:

  1. Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood: Psychologists have found that even if you’re in bad mood, you can instantly lift your spirits by forcing yourself to smile.
  2. It boosts your immune system: Smiling really can improve your physical health, too. Your body is more relaxed when you smile, which contributes to good health and a stronger immune system.
  3. Smiles are contagious: It’s not just a saying: smiling really is contagious, scientists say. In a study conducted in Sweden, people had difficulty frowning when they looked at other subjects who were smiling, and their muscles twitched into smiles all on their own.
  4. Smiles Relieve Stress: Your body immediately releases endorphins when you smile, even when you force it. This sudden change in mood will help you feel better and release stress.
  5. It’s easier to smile than to frown: Scientists have discovered that your body has to work harder and use more muscles to frown than it does to smile.
  6. It’s a universal sign of happiness: While hand shakes, hugs, and bows all have varying meanings across cultures, smiling is known around the world and in all cultures as a sign of happiness and acceptance.
  7. We still smile at work: While we smile less at work than we do at home, 30% of subjects in a research study smiled five to 20 times a day, and 28% smiled over 20 times per day at the office.
  8. Smiles use from 5 to 53 facial muscles: Just smiling can require your body to use up to 53 muscles, but some smiles only use 5 muscle movements.
  9. Babies are born with the ability to smile: Babies learn a lot of behaviors and sounds from watching the people around them, but scientists believe that all babies are born with the ability, since even blind babies smile.
  10. Smiling helps you get promoted: Smiles make a person seem more attractive, sociable and confident, and people who smile more are more likely to get a promotion.
  11. Smiles are the most easily recognizable facial expression: People can recognize smiles from up to 300 feet away, making it the most easily recognizable facial expression.
  12. Women smile more than men: Generally, women smile more than men, but when they participate in similar work or social roles, they smile the same amount. This finding leads scientists to believe that gender roles are quite flexible. Boy babies, though, do smile lessthan girl babies, who also make more eye contact.
  13. Smiles are more attractive than makeup: A research study conducted by Orbit Complete discovered that 69% of people find women more attractive when they smile than when they are wearing makeup.
  14. There are 19 different types of smiles: UC-San Francisco researcher identified 19 types of smiles and put them into two categories: polite “social” smiles which engage fewer muscles, and sincere “felt” smiles that use more muscles on both sides of the face.
  15. Babies start smiling as newborns: Most doctors believe that real smiles occur when babies are awake at the age of four-to-six weeks, but babies start smiling in their sleep as soon as they’re born.

So, as you can see, there are many benefits to smiling! 🙂

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Try these tips anytime you need to turn that frown upside down!

  1. Pull up a picture on your phone, computer, etc. of someone that you love dearly and that makes you happy.
  2. Do something silly! This could mean, dance, hula hoop, run through a sprinkler…the possibilities are endless!
  3. Listen to one of your favorite songs.
  4. Make a game out of seeing how many strangers you can get to smile just by smiling at them first.
  5. Do something nice for someone else. This could be for someone you love, or a complete stranger. Buy someone a coffee, help someone carry groceries to their car, send a sweet text to a friend…

Have a bright, sunshiny day! 😀




Be your own kind of beautiful.


We are all unique. Our individual attributes, personalities & characteristics are what make each of us unmistakably beautiful. Be your own kind of beautiful and don’t try to do things to change yourself into what you think others perceive as beautiful. Just know that you are, and embrace the unique beauty that is yours and yours alone. 🙂

We tend to make a habit out of focusing solely on the outer façade of ourselves and/or others to determine beauty. The fact of the matter is that true beauty is not just skin deep. It’s also a very subjective matter. What I find beautiful about myself or someone else will most likely vary to what your perceptions are…kind of like art. Is there a specific set of guidelines to outline what beauty is? Absolutely not. That determination is a judgment that each of us make personally based on our opinions.

The easiest way to distance yourself from the idea that someone is absolutely either Beautiful orNot, is to first acknowledge the fact that: EveryoneIsBeautiful. Rather than looking at yourself in the mirror or someone in the street and making an ultimate decision, alternatively, hone in on what you do find beautiful. This also applies to situations you are in, places you go, or personal circumstances. Make it a point to seek out beauty rather than ugliness. Isn’t that a much better way to view the world? Appreciate the beauty of your neighbors kind heart, or the beautiful rainbow after the storm. Love your beautiful laugh lines, and enjoy your friends beautiful singing voice. Beauty can be found in everyone and everything! 😉

Here’s your mission should you choose to accept it:  Each day, try these 5 things to make you appreciate beauty:

  1. SMILE!
  2. For everyone you encounter, find one thing you find beautiful about that person. This includes yourself each time you look in a mirror!
  3. For every place you visit, find one thing you find beautiful about your surroundings.
  4. Listen to a song that you find absolutely beautiful.
  5. Share your beauty with someone else. That could mean visiting an old friend, making a donation to a charity you support, or complimenting a stranger.



Happiness is an inside job.


Do you ever make deals with yourself regarding happiness? Sadly, I think we are all guilty of that. “Once I get that promotion, then I’ll be happy.” “When I’m able to move into that new house, then I’ll be happy.” “Once I finish school, then I’ll be happy.”

If you notice, once those things do happen, you find something else to delay your happiness. It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle. We’re like rats in a maze trying to find our way to a happy life, but we can never seem to get there. The exciting truth is that we can be happy… today… no strings attached, no deals to be made. Happiness is something we can choose every morning when we get up!

Happiness comes from within. Material things and life experiences are not what actually MAKES us happy. It’s how we CHOOSE to REACT to those things or experiences that make us happy…or not. This applies to anything that happens in our lives. If you get ready to leave for work and realize you have a flat tire, you can either choose to let it ruin your day, or just laugh it off and have a great day anyway. The choice is yours and will always be yours. There’s no reason to delay your happiness when you can have it now. The present moment is all that is certain. The past can’t be changed…it’s over and done with. The future is not guaranteed, so there’s no point in fretting over the what if’s. Decide today that you will be happy!

Here’s your mission if you choose to accept it: The next time you find yourself compromising your happiness, or you’re feeling down & out, try these 5 things:

  1. SMILE!
  2. Think of 3 things that make you utterly happy. If your mind wanders to what is making you unhappy, bring your attention back to those 3 things.
  3. Look in the mirror and repeat to yourself: “I am in complete control of determining my emotions.”
  4. Take a brisk walk outside. Nature has a way of nurturing your soul.
  5. Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. Yes…call…no texting or Facebooking!



Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from the negative.


Our brains seemed to be wired to “survival mode” to constantly focus on the “what if’s” and attempt to plan for every possible one. This usually means thinking negatively. Have you ever noticed how one negative thought leads to another? Then, negative things start happening around you? If negativity consumes you, then where’s the room for positive? The answer is there isn’t any.

Negative energy is only going to bring more negative into your life. Having a pity party and feeling sorry for yourself is not going to suddenly makes things right in your world. The only way to do that is to distance yourself from the negative, and focus on positivity.

I’ve noticed on days when I’m super positive and think happy thoughts…lovely things happen. I hit every green light, my hubby will show up with flowers for no reason, I get a call from an old friend, I gain a new client, that cool breeze shows up just when I need it…   Positive = Positive. 🙂

When things don’t seem to be going your way, it’s best to take a breath, then look at everything that’s right and good in your life. The world is a very beautiful place if you look at it in the right way. When you exude positivity and love, it rubs off on others around you…and that’s pretty awesome. Be the reason that those around you are feeling positive today.

Your challenge should you choose to accept it: Whenever you are feeling negative today, try these 5 things to turn it around:

  1. Smile!
  2. Take 5 deep, cleansing breaths.
  3. Write down 3 things you are grateful for.
  4. Write down your negative thought(s) or feeling(s), then try to reword it in a positive way.
  5. Do something nice for someone. (This could be anything from buying a stranger a cup of coffee to sending your significant other a sweet note…anything to brighten someone else’s day!)



There Is Only One You For All Time. Fearlessly Be Yourself.


All too often we’re urged to conform to the norm, or try to be someone that we’re really not. I’m guilty of this myself, although; I’ve been working hard to erase this habit from my daily life. It’s no easy task, when you’ve been self-conscious for so many years, but once you learn how, it makes life so much easier!

No one can be more you, than you… So why not be cool with that? Our quirks, beliefs, flaws, values, morals, etc. are all different and make us the unique individuals that we are. When you’re gone, there will never be another you…EVER. With that being said, go out into the world every single day and FEARLESSLY BE YOURSELF. Don’t feel ashamed, don’t try to mimic what others are doing…be proud of who you are, and dance to the beat of your own drum. This world would be way too boring if everyone was the same, wouldn’t it?

Your Mission should you choose to accept it: Before bed, write down 3 to 5 things that you liked about yourself today. Read it first thing the next morning. Repeat for a whole week.



The Best Project You’ll Ever Work On Is YOU!


Taking time out to work on yourself is extremely important.  Most people don’t give themselves permission to do this, because they might feel guilty, or think there’s not enough time in their schedules to do so. I’m here to tell you that you should absolutely NOT feel guilty and that it IS possible to work a little “You” time into your schedule.

Our bodies are our temples, and the only places we have to live in this lifetime. If we don’t take the time to take care of them, the outcome is usually not a good one. With cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease (just to name a few) all on the rise, we owe it to ourselves to exercise, eat healthy, meditate and work on positivity to possibly avoid these terrible diseases. Not to mention that when we do all of these things, we feel better…and when we feel better, we’re happier, and when we’re happier, everyone around us is happier! It’s a wonderful chain of events that puts positivity out into the Universe!

Your Mission should you choose to accept it:  The next time you’re urged to get on Facebook, put your phone down. Sit in a comfortable seated position. For the next 5 minutes, focus on your breathing… Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4 & repeat. This calms the mind and reduces stress…it’s much better for you than looking at Friends X, Y & Z’s photos from their trips somewhere tropical, suddenly stressing and becoming envious over why they get to take nice vacations like that and so forth and so on.  Focus on you…you’re worth it!



The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned From Yoga

FullSizeRender (2)

In Western Civilization, most people have misconceptions about yoga…

  • It’s only for flexible people.
  • It’s just a series of weird stretching poses.
  • It’s an activity where my super cute yoga pants are acceptable.

…just to name a few.

Yoga is so much more than stretching and contorting your body into unnatural feeling positions. Patanjali, known as the Father of Modern Yoga, outlined these 8 Limbs (or Sutras) as the foundation of Yoga Philosophy, and act as guidelines on how to live a purposeful and meaningful life:

1. Yama

This sutra deals with one’s ethical standards & sense of integrity. It’s how we conduct ourselves in life.

There are 5 Yamas:

  1. Non-violence
  2. Truthfulness
  3. Non-stealing
  4. Continence
  5. Non-covetousness

2.  Niyama

The second limb, is all about self-discipline and spiritual observances.

There are 5 Niyamas:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Contentment
  3. Heat; spiritual austerities
  4. Study of one’s self
  5. Surrender to God (Your God, the Universe, the Divine)

3.  Asana

Asanas, or postures, is what are most familiar to Western Civilization. In the yogic view, the body is a temple of spirit. Through the practice of asanas, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.

4.  Pranayama

The 4th stage consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions.

5.  Pratyahara

Pratyahara, the 5th limb, is withdrawal. During this stage, we draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6.  Dharana

Dharana is concentration. We learn how to slow down the thinking process by concentrating on a single mental object.

7.  Dhyana

Dhyana is Meditation; the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Dhyana is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus.

8.  Samadhi

Samadhi is the ultimate state of Meditation. It is a state of ecstasy, where the mind and soul are at equal balance. Some refer to this state as “enlightenment” or “becoming enlightened”.

After learning all of this for myself and trying to apply it all to my own life, these are the



The first couple of times you try Yoga, you may not notice a difference physically or mentally. It really takes practice and perseverance, not only in the Asanas, but with your breathing, and all of the mental aspects of the 8 Sutras.


When I practice regularly, really try to focus on living in the present moment, and use meditation as a tool to quiet my mind, I feel nothing but love. Love for you, love for the universe, love for the sweet little birds singing in the trees… That’s what we’re supposed to feel, right?


For most of my life, I have always had self-esteem and self-confidence issues. I think that’s true for most women in this day and age. With movie stars and models in all of their presumed “perfection”, flashed in our faces constantly, there is such a high standard that we feel like we have to meet. I’m tiny, I’ll blind you in the sunlight, I have super long monkey arms and legs, I have a birthmark on my forehead, I have freckles… For years, all of these things bothered me and I would do my best to disguise what I could. But now, on my path to enlightenment, I embrace all of these things because they don’t define who I am. Our physical appearance will never be “who we are”. When I was a 5 year old little girl, I was Casey… Now that I’m 33, I am still Casey, even though I’m taller (not by much!), with shorter hair, and a lot more freckles. I wasn’t any more Casey back then than I am now. Why? Because my soul…my consciousness is who I am…not the shell that I’m residing in.


When I’m on my yoga mat, focusing on my breathing and feeling that life-force pulse through me, negative thoughts never seem to arise. That’s because my mind is focused and not wandering. As I lay in Savasana, I focus on something beautiful, whether it be a rainbow, sunshine, flowers, the love I have for everyone, and nothing but positive feelings flourish, and it just sets my day for one of positivity and peace. Positive brings positive… Negative brings negative… I think I’ll just keep on doing yoga and cash in on the positive.


I’ve practiced the Western idea of yoga for about 9 years, and by this I mean, learning and practicing the asanas. For about a year out of those 9, I’ve REALLY been practicing yoga. I’ve worked on trying to apply those 8 Sutras and become more mentally and spiritually involved with the process. I was like many others in those first 8 years, because I thought it was just about breathing and poses. Now that I’ve educated myself, and have been applying all of those other aspects, I can say that I’ve never “lived in the present” as much as I have been lately. I used to worry about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! But, when you live in the present, YOU…DON’T…WORRY. Why? Because you are focused on what you are doing at this very moment. You’re not thinking about past events, or worried about the future. I’m sure everyone knows someone or has read a story about someone that died suddenly or way before their time. That’s the truth of life…that we will all die. Whether that be today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now. Since we don’t know when that will be, why not live our life in this moment, since it’s right in front of us. There’s no need to waste time when we can just be happy now. It really makes you appreciate everyone in your life more, you love more deeply and live more happily.

“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” – Patanjali