Creating your comfort zone

Everyday I came home full of new idea’s, new inputs and new experiences.
I had to channel all this new information into something I could work with and build on.
My room was the perfect place to unwind and to let all those new impressions sink in.

On the wall, I posted a large map of New York.
I made small arrows that I placed on the area’s, parks, restaurants, coffee bars I went to that day.
Around that, I had a blackboard where I wrote key words that mattered to me, that represented me. With every word I listed, I asked myself: What does this word mean to me? How does it affect my daily life? What do I do on a daily basis to incorporate this feeling? Why does it make me happy? What about it makes me happy?

Besides all that, I had a whole bunch of books about New York, yoga and mindfulness.
They were all displayed on my shelves.
While being home, I loved listening to some music.

Creativity and curiosity turned out to be two of my core values.
Whenever I’m around any of those, I feel safe, comfortable.
I’m able to turn idea’s into action.

What are your core values?
Have you found them yet?
Let’s go look for them!

Xo – Ann

New Life :: Keeping a journal

When I was still in boarding school, I kept a diary. Just to write down my thoughts, how I felt, what I learned and where I could improve.

Keeping a journal or diary is a great way to keep track of your personal progress.
‘You are here’ – ‘Start at the beginning.’

It can help you get rid off all the thoughts rumbling around in your head.
As I was trying to find myself and the secret of New York, I wrote letters to myself.
I tried to find my core values. What drives me to do the things I do?
What gives me energy? What will always be true about me, regardless of the days ahead or in the past?

There are plenty of books about mindfulness and topics like discovering yourself.
However, the book that stood out for me was:
Elle Luna – The crossroads of should and must.
I bought this book on my way to Brooklyn Bridge Park on a sunny afternoon.
It was a signed copy by Elle Luna herself.

On one of the first pages, she asked the question:
‘If you were to look for your dreams in real life, where would you start?’

I knew I was in the right city.
How did I know? No idea, but being in New York felt just right.
It felt like coming home.
Why? That was my quest. One that I was very excited about!

So what does your dream look like?
Have you found it yet?
If you can visualize it, you can create it!

Xo – Ann

Photo Credit – Elle Luna

New York (4) – Creating a new life …

So then here we are…
I didn’t have a plan but to make sure I could accomplish all the crazy things I had in mind, I had to create some kind of structure.

I had to design a routine for myself.
You’re more productive in the morning so waking up early was the perfect start of an active day ahead.
I downloaded the 7 minute work out app on my phone and made it a habit of doing my daily work out before breakfast.

Granola parfait with fresh fruit, blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs with tomato and mushrooms. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
Nowadays, I usually pick up a coffee and croissant on my way to work, however, it’s such a nice thing to do for yourself, taking the time to really start the day.

I started to read a lot as well. Mainly about the city. After a while, I changed to mindfulness and how to create a productive and happy life for yourself.
Investing in myself, away from everything else, was the best decision I made so far in my life.

I left the house around 10 am to go check out a new neighborhood, museum or park.
Always with a couple books in my bag, a cup of fresh fruit salad and a bottle of water.
Around 4pm I would either start looking for a place for dinner or heading back for a home cooked meal and some Gossip Girl. Depending on the day, I would check out a nice cocktailbar or do some more reading.

Doing things by yourself makes you more aware of your surroundings and the energy around you. It can be scary at first but once you break through that feeling, life becomes so much more exciting.
New York is a city build on ambition and opportunities.
But you’ll have to go get them for yourself…

Xo – Ann