Yet Another Reason to Put Down Your Phone and Reclaim This

When was the last time the shape of the clouds fascinated us more than what’s on our phones? Or we sat engrossed in the sunset without a single interruption?

Chances are, for most of us it’s been a while. As much as we might appreciate these things, the never-ending to-do lists and distractions of our lives tend to desensitize us to the little miracles around us – to the point where we might stop noticing them altogether.

As we get older, it’s natural to grow accustomed to the things that once enchanted us as kids because we’re no longer seeing them for the first time. Before I moved to Los Angeles, for example, I remember how incredible I thought it was that there were palm trees lining the streets here (I’m from Minnesota, after all).

But since living here, that initial fondness and excited wonder has long subsided.

On the one hand, it’s wonderful to be able to adapt to our surroundings and grow comfortable in our environments, but isn’t it tragic when we become dulled to their unique magic in the process? Continue reading

Do Your Friends Make You Better?

As a culture, we are quick to laud romance and familial love (such as between a mother and child), but how often do we stop and recognize the love we share with our friends? To be sure, there is something to be said about having people in our lives who encourage our talents, soften our heartaches, listen to our complaints, and build us up with their constant love and laughter.

Yet… friendship is an interesting thing. While most of us would consider it to be an intrinsic good, not all friendships are created equal. After all, we’ve all no doubt experienced those friendships in which we’ve picked up bad habits or felt we had to compromise part of who we were in order to make it work (several cringe-inducing memories from college Greek life come to mind).

Friendship then, as the adage goes, has the potential to make a good man better or a bad man worse.

How much do our squads shape the person we are? Head to The Fullest to keep reading. 

Image via BonnieKate Zoghbi

Removing the Salary Stigma

Removing the Salary Stigma
Do you know your best friend’s salary? What about your sister’s, or even your co-worker’s? I’d venture to guess you don’t. If you do, you’re definitely in the minority. Even in our modern age, when we can talk about issues as personal as PMS woes and Tinder fails without so much as a blink, it’s still somehow considered taboo to talk about how much money we make. Sure, we might talk about other finance-related topics, like how much we spend on rent each month (a fave topic of conversation here in LA) or what our hairdresser charges, but most of us have been brought up to believe that it’s inappropriate to reveal the actual figures we earn.

Why is discussing salary still such a taboo? Read more on The Fullest to find out how we can start de-stigmatizing the topic and use it to our advantage. 

Image via Julie Scorse

4 Ways to Reclaim the Simple Life Right Where You Are

A friend of mine is about to begin a long-term program in which, among other things, she’ll learn how to farm, bake bread, make cheese, dip candles and more. It’s hard to imagine that such a life is still possible in our modern world, isn’t it? To me, the notion of living off the land and cultivating routines around the seasons tends to conjure up images of the past and inspire a sense of almost wistful nostalgia for a life most of us have never lived.

In essence, it sounds like an actualization of that elusive “simple life” that we all dream of — free from the stress of nonstop emails, meetings, workouts, social events, etc.

Yet, as fulfilling as such an existence sounds, I also wonder if and how the so-called simple life manifests itself outside the farm and in our own lives. Is the simple life something we just relegate to our imaginations, as a thing of the past? Or is it possible to live a full, successful and simple life without giving up our careers or home responsibilities? Continue reading

Celebrate Your Beauty

Propel Women - Celebrate Your Beauty
There’s something about wearing a swimsuit in public that brings out insecurities we didn’t even realize we had – a phenomenon I witnessed firsthand on vacation in the Caribbean a few weeks ago.

I overheard countless women’s murmurs of negative self-talk all over the beach: “Wait, we can’t take group pics because I’ll look fat next to her.” Or, “Ugh, I have no butt whatsoever. I should’ve done more squats before this trip.”

In this digital age, we’ve all seen countless images of what our culture considers “perfect” bodies. Whether we’re flipping through a magazine, watching a movie, or just scrolling through Instagram, it can feel impossible to escape the stream of filtered, posed images around us – and the pressure to measure up to them.

Our bodies could be in perfect health, but still would never be good enough if looked at through our culture’s lens. We’ll either be too thin, too fat, have too much cellulite, or too little muscle… the list goes on. Continue reading

Creating An Environment of Authenticity

Whether we’re chatting with a stranger or hanging out with our bestie, one of the beautiful things about human relationships is that different people bring out different aspects of ourselves. Some people bring out the extroverted, talkative sides of personalities, while others draw out our more reserved, pensive qualities. It all depends on how we feel around a person and what we deem is expected of us.

Have you ever considered what aspects you bring out in others? Do you make people feel accepted, comfortable and loved enough to be authentic in your presence? Or do people leave you feeling scrutinized, judged and exhausted? Often times, making people feel loved enough to be their truest self– even on a subconscious level– is an art.

So, how do we ensure that our presence is uplifting to others? Read more on The Fullest to discover simple ways to encourage authenticity. 

Image via Instagram

Q&A With “Love Lives Here” Author Maria Goff

For fans of Bob Goff and his bestselling book, “Love Does,” Maria Goff — or “Sweet Maria,” as her husband refers to her — needs no introduction. The wife, mother of three, and now author is beloved for creating a career out of loving those around her.

In her debut book, “Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want,” Maria reflects on what she’s learned about living with intention, dealing with loss, and loving others like Jesus does. Full of warmth, grace, and humor, she shares vivid personal stories that invite readers to stop and reflect on their own lives and discover how to make them more meaningful.

“I didn’t write this book because I think we need more information, more steps, or more instructions on how to lead a meaningful life,” she writes. “Instead, I think we all can benefit from times of honest reflection.”

Continue reading

Mastering the Art of Listening

A couple weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend when he made a somewhat off-kilter religious remark. Given the nature of it, I assumed he was joking – until I looked up at his face and realized he wasn’t. Here was someone I’d hung out with on countless occasions– getting coffee, hanging out at the beach, going biking – and I had thought we were quite similar in our beliefs and world views. Yet the more we unpacked that conversation, the more I realized how wrong I’d been in that assumption.  Continue reading

How to Tell If You’re Content or Complacent

Let’s think for a moment about the last time each of us experienced pure contentment in our lives. Chances are, scenes from our respective “highlight reels” are materializing: laughing with friends at last week’s beach bonfire, journaling while watching the sunset, waking up to a kind text this morning…

What about the moments in between, though? Are those marked with the same contentment? Or… complacence?

There’s a fine line between the two, and it’s one worth evaluating. A content life is the one we strive for, of course. It is one filled not just with happiness, but with a sense of peace and satisfaction stemming from our acceptance of ourselves and our present life. A complacent life, on the other hand, is one in which we find ourselves settling for less-than-ideal circumstances out of resignation, discomfort, or even just laziness.

The two sound different enough, but it can still be difficult to distinguish between them sometimes. Learning how both reveal themselves in our lives, though, can help us learn to be more content while avoiding complacence. Continue reading

Do Small Things With Great Love
Do small things with great love.

We’ve all heard this before. One of Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s most beloved axioms, this quote serves as a beautiful reminder to infuse all that we do – even the smallest, most mundane tasks – with love. When we act from self-centered or ambitious motives, our professional and societal achievements – no matter how great – are worthless. It is love alone that transforms and uplifts our actions, and there is no value in whatever is done without it.

This sounds simple enough in principle, but what does it actually look like applied to the regular happenings of our lives? How do we sweep the kitchen with love, shop for groceries with love, or sit in traffic with love? Continue reading on The Fullest to find out. 

Image via Sonya Khegay