Letting Go Of Society’s Timelines for Your Life

There have been many moments where I have thought about my age and immediately started panicking about the fact that I haven’t accomplished something or reflecting on some insignificant measure of success. There have been times where I have literally given myself undue anxiety about the fact that I don’t own property (if you own property, that’s actually great).  Society measures success by a list of standards and most of those standards make a person LOOK successful rather than truly telling me anything about that person. What is success anyways? I’ve discussed in a previous post that we define our own success and are responsible for creating our standards of success for ourselves as individuals.

However, defining our success can be difficult when society has created timelines for nearly everything that we do in our lives from getting married to owning a home and even having children. Society literally says we should have our own business by a certain age, only switch careers before a certain age, and refuse to take risks if the timing isn’t perfect. I also published a post previously about refusing to limit yourself based on the ideas that you believe are “realistic”. Free your mind of the box that someone has labeled “For women younger than 30” or “For people who are over 50” or even “For people who have money, house, car, etc.”.

I’m beyond tired of people creating rules for when things should happen in other people’s lives and it isn’t going to stop. But what we can do is create our own rules and choose to live by a unique standard that truly inspires others. Your timeline may not fit everyone else’s because your story is unlike anyone else’s so do what suits YOU. Keep writing your own story and living your own truth while creating your own standards and timeline for success.

If you know me personally, you know that I look much younger than my actual age. In my career, my reality has been that people have underestimated my experience and skill set because of their perception of my age and what they feel that my experience should be. That is unfair because it impacts my career mobility if I am not highly communicative about my abilities and experience (even while displaying those abilities in the workplace). I say that to demonstrate that we can’t push our “should be” mentality on other people. We can’t go around placing things in boxes because they are operating on a different timeline from what society has taught us to expect.

I want you to think intentionally this week about the things that you want to accomplish, why, and when. I want you to reflect on your whys and be sure that they fulfill you and not just other people’s standards of success. Then pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished already because it is a lot more than you think and there is no timeline except the one that society has created FOR you without your permission. Yeah, no thanks.

 

Lacey Alanna

 

 

How To Be A Realist Without Placing Limits on Yourself

During my career transition journey, I have found myself placing so many limits on myself, labeling it as realism. People often get confused about the differences between being a realist and placing limits on yourself. This misunderstanding is easy to have because the two are so closely related. However, it is SO important that we know the difference between the two so that we can live a life that fulfills us in the most amazing ways.

I don’t measure my success by other people’s standards and I don’t compare myself to others intentionally or as much as I used to in the past. Comparing myself less and doing fewer things just to make others happy with my choices was a huge part of my personal growth journey. However, I first began to notice that I was placing major limits on myself when my boyfriend told me not to take small opportunities when I knew I was worth more and to have the patience to wait for bigger and better. This was so enlightening for me and really empowered me to reach for bigger and better. I realized that I am enough and that there is no harm in shooting for opportunities that seem like a bit of a reach.

Planning for the launch of my vintage boutique has also made me realize that I have habitually placed limits on my potential. I found myself afraid to make certain decisions, postponing the launch over and over again because I am afraid of failure. I’ve looked at other boutique owners and thought that I wasn’t going to be as lucky to have such a successful business. I have succeeded to convince myself that I am not “them”. These are times when it is important to recognize that you can be realistic without ruling things out and placing limits on your potential or abilities.

So what is the difference between being a realist and placing limits on yourself?

When you are a simply a realist without placing limits on yourself, you make decisions based on a mixture of fact and intuition. You are “realistic” in your decision making but you don’t box yourself into a certain job or life. When you place limits on yourself, you allow negative self talk to convince you to go one way over another. When you place limits on yourself, your mind places a box around you and within it lie your abilities and your potential.

After realizing that I was placing limits on my potential, I realized that I was living carefully, inside certain boxes, on eggshells trying not to break any rules. I have moved away from that limited mindset by taking a shot at opportunities or activities that I may not have before. I have practiced envisioning myself doing things I may not have previously. Your mind can be your worst enemy or your greatest ally but I think you have to make that choice.

If you leave this post with nothing else, leave refusing to place limits on your potential. Live life intentionally but STAY OPEN. Don’t box yourself in and stick to the limits that your mind places on you to do things, avoid things, look, or live a certain way. Most importantly, step a little bit outside of your comfort zone from time to time. You might love it. If you hate it, you go back and try something else.

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

 

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How Minimalism Has Improved My Mental Health

Minimalism is a huge trend right now. It’s everywhere from documentaries to news articles and blogs. Everyone is fascinated with the lifestyle that values experiences over material things and I must admit, I am intrigued.

In early December, I started researching ways to relieve anxiety through changing environmental factors and I found a wide range of information on minimalism. Many people claimed that minimizing changed their lives and helped to decrease stress and anxiety overall. They said that de-cluttering, organizing, and clearing your space also clears your head. I got rid of half my wardrobe before entering 2018 and I couldn’t agree more with these claims.

For those who are unfamiliar, minimalism is a movement in which people decrease the number of items that they own to make space in their lives for clarity, to become more environmentally conscious, to gain more experiences through financial savings, and for a host of other reasons. Some people even keep close count of the number of items they own. But I am a strong believer in defining things for yourself and making your own rules to fit your own life.

So I feel that minimalism has played a huge role in my personal growth journey. In the last 2 months, I’ve purged my closet 3 times! Every single time, it has been extremely difficult to get rid of clothing items I have had forever. The first time was the hardest because minimalism was so new to me and I wanted to keep everything. Of course, I had to ease in. I would pack up items, put them in my car in a bag and let two weeks go by. If I didn’t notice they were gone, then I’d get rid of them. I would find myself forgetting what I had even packed away. I was motivated to minimize my wardrobe specifically because I had a closet full of clothes and constantly felt like I had nothing to wear. More importantly, I felt very overwhelmed by my closet full of clothing and the lack of space for my items.

Minimizing my wardrobe has empowered me. It has invigorated my spirit and my passion for developing personal style.  It has also made me some extra money and space for new items.

I have used minimalism to take back control over my physical space in order to help me maintain control of my mental space. 

 

I don’t count my items and I don’t avoid shopping altogether. However, I do only buy new items AFTER I’ve gotten rid of old items. I do think very intentionally about items that I buy and their anticipated role in my life. If I don’t love it, I don’t buy it. If I haven’t rid my home of at least one similar or unnecessary item, I don’t buy a new item. Most importantly, I try to spend money on good experiences and save money by using my quality items/clothing for a long time. I also recycle clothing by donating or selling used items.

My experience with my adaptation of minimalism has been extremely positive. I have been able to occasionally decrease my anxiety by simply altering my physical environment. The best thing about minimalism is that we can define it in a way that works for our own lives. For me, minimalism decreases stress and anxiety and refocuses me. No I don’t count my items but I am intentional in what I choose to purchase and keep in my home. Minimalism might mean something a little different for you. Whatever it is, use it to help you grow in your experiences and in your relationship with yourself.

Have you minimized lately? What effects does your environment have on your own mental state? How can you either get rid of or utilize items that you don’t use or wear often?

Thanks for reading,

Lacey Alanna

 

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Career Update: What I’m Doing Now & My Lack of Inspiration

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a lack of inspiration in my work. I want to be open about the fact that SURPRISE: I’ve returned to teaching for now. Also, I’m currently working on shopping for inventory for my online vintage boutique, which I am so excited about launching this year. I’m developing my blog and my brand in my off time. I’m so excited about journeying through personal growth and in that same space, exploring entrepreneurship and developing my own passions!

With all that going on, I’m facing some roadblocks in my creativity. Have you ever just felt uninspired and in a creativity rut? Ever felt like you were so bogged down by everyday struggles that you lost the fire that you had for your passions? I have felt just that lately. Feeling stuck and longing for guidance from intuition for next steps is a common thing. You are NOT alone and those feelings are valid. However, I believe so deeply in the work I’m doing. I have so much more to accomplish.

There are so many blog posts and articles on a lack of inspiration. I think that this is common among content creators, but there are so many things that you can do to get out of the rut and get back to work. The key is re-centering yourself, reflecting on your thoughts, and meditating to clear your head space. These are all things I’ve been working on to clear my own head space and create some amazing content for the site.

In the coming weeks, I will be talking about why I went back to teaching, minimalism,  and how to seek calm in the everyday.  Please comment with what you might be interested in seeing on the blog about personal growth and living a meaningful and intentional life.

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Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

 

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The Power of Self-Talk: What it is and How it Works

Self-talk can be self-destructive or it can be an amazing tool that you use to promote optimism and grow more confident in your everyday life. What is self-talk and how does it help you to move forward in your personal growth journey?

I first became aware of self-talk when I started teaching preschool. I was taught that as a teacher, I had to demonstrate self-talk to my students. I had to intentionally share my thoughts out loud to show them my thought process whenever I read a book or completed a model activity. I was modeling self-talk so that my students could think more like me with a strong sense of reasoning and curiosity.

Later on, I discovered that we as adults engage in self-talk ALL THE TIME. We tell ourselves things that influence the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. We tell ourselves things that shape our outlook about almost everything in our lives. I realized recently that some of my self-talk could sometimes be negative and has increased my anxiety, stress, and pessimism in certain areas of my life.

We create our own realities through our self-talk. If I tell myself that a tough situation is scary and negative, then I condition my brain to believe it. If I tell myself that a tough situation is temporary and I am going to grow through it, I also believe that. It is important that we use our self-talk to uplift ourselves, to condition ourselves to believe the positive about a situation or person, and to condition ourselves to believe the best about OURSELVES.

I often find myself anxious, tense, stressed because I have engaged in negative self-talk. We all find ourselves in that place, telling ourselves the worst. But, we have to recognize that place and change it when we do.

I believe that self-talk is extremely powerful. When I find myself in an anxious and uneasy place, I sometimes reflect on the things I have told myself and how they have become my reality, my world. I have completely immersed myself in ideas that I have conditioned myself to believe.

An important step toward self-love and acceptance is positive self-talk. Using this tool can change your mindset instantly about a situation, a person or yourself. Try the statements listed below and note the shift in energy that you experience almost instantly. Validate yourself, encourage yourself, create your own reality.

 

Positive Self-Talk

  • It’s not that bad
  • I am warranted in my decision
  • I feel this way because ________________ and that is valid.
  • I am strong and this situation is temporary.
  • I am intelligent and I can navigate this.
  • If  __________ happens, I will react by ___________.  That is the best I can do.
  • I have no control over ____________, but I can control how I react.
  • This is not a big deal. The worst that could happen is _____________________.
  • I am kind, I am strong, I am amazing.
  • This situation doesn’t define me.

 

Come up with some positive self-talk of your own and comment below.

What have you been telling yourself? Does it promote positivity and growth? How can you change your self talk to create a new reality?

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

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Learning Patience: How To Enjoy The Wait

Patience is one of the hardest traits to develop in oneself. I literally hate waiting for anything. I don’t like waiting for food, service, opportunities, or other things that might actually be good for me. But, I can honestly say that the times that I have been at my wit’s end waiting for something have been the times where reality exceeded my expectations. However, the amount of time that I spent waiting did not change because I was so anxious and impatient. What if we could learn to enjoy the wait? What if we could learn to not only fill the time but to prepare for something amazing before we even knew it was coming?

We become so passionate about things that we don’t just let them happen. Pushing for something is okay but when you push so hard that you aren’t enjoying and embracing the present, self-awareness, happiness, and full presence diminish. I found myself on this path recently and re-centered myself. Anxiety and being socialized to measure your success by other people’s standards can be major factors of stress and impatience. Essentially, impatience is wishing away or not utilizing the present because we are so focused on the future and waiting for something. We are waiting for something to happen, to receive something, to know something. We are longing for a near or even distant future without being fully present.

I started to wonder what people should do to make the most of wait time. I found that we must improve ourselves. If you are waiting for something, you should absolutely prepare for it in the meantime. If it is a new job or opportunity, we should work on ourselves so that we are in the best position to be successful for that moment when reality exceeds our expectations. Recently, I interviewed for a job and as soon as the interview was over, the hardest part began, the waiting period. I began to prepare myself for my new role by starting to do some similar independent work for practice, researching the role and responsibilities.

Additionally, I looked inward to evaluate what habits I had that might negatively affect my success in my new role. That means I organized clutter in my home, sorted through my wardrobe, prepared materials for the possible new role. I kept myself busy, but I did productive and efficient tasks that set me up for success. Learn to utilize the wait. If your opportunity or the thing you were waiting on came tomorrow, what would you do? Are you truly fully prepared in every way? These are questions to ask yourself and problems to solve.

Patience is a virtue, not only because it is difficult. It is a virtue because once you have learned to be patient, you have learned to utilize every moment. You refuse to waste any second because you know that it can mean the difference between your success and failure.

What are you waiting for? What are you doing to prepare for it?

 

Comment and subscribe to the blog for email updates and the *1 Year Goal-Setting Worksheet.

 

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

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3 Ways to Get Motivated When you Feel Like Doing Absolutely Nothing

On Sunday, I woke up and followed my normal weekend routine. I rolled over, turned on some tv and started scrolling my social media accounts (all bad habits btw that completely go against my normal morning routine). But I share that to make a point. Getting motivated to accomplish things when you feel like doing absolutely nothing is HARD. It is undeniably one of the biggest daily challenges I face on the days I am not working.

I think about my goals every day and I reflect on them. My goals have the ability to move me sometimes. But most times, I’d rather sit and watch tv, read a book, and relax. That is perfectly okay sometimes. But when you spend too much of your free time relaxing, you find that you don’t have time to do all the things you need to do to accomplish your goals, spend time enjoying your hobbies, and get your odds and ends done.

Anyways, back to Sunday; I was able to turn a seemingly lazy day into a very productive one by just doing a few things. I suggest doing the following to get motivated when you really don’t feel like doing anything at all.

  1. Think about your whys.

Your whys are the reasons behind wanting to accomplish your goals. For example, a goal of mine is to exercise twice a week. The reason that goal is important to me is because I want to have a healthier and more physically fit body. I have also read that physical activity can decrease chronic pain and help with stress. Those are all reasons that I strive to exercise twice a week and those reasons motivate me to look at the result of my action rather than the action itself. The idea of exercising doesn’t make me want to get up and go to the gym. But, the idea of a better body and decreased anxiety does! Write down your whys near your goals and always revisit them.

2. Reward yourself.

Rewarding yourself can be an amazing motivator to help get you moving. It works for me more often than not. I often have to promise myself something to motivate me to do activities that I have anxiety about or that I just really don’t feel like doing. For example, I sometimes promise myself that if I get up and go to the gym for 30 minutes,  I can spend an hour watching a show I love.  This works like a charm for me. Simply try to use what you like to motivate you.

3. Take the first step

I’d say on average I spend way more time dreading doing an activity than it would take to just get up and do it. The hardest part of getting something done is always just taking the first step. So, do it. Stop thinking about it and take the first step. Once you do, every step after that is ten times easier. That first step might be getting out of bed or going out the door. Half the battle is won once you take the first step toward doing anything.

 

I believe that these steps are key to getting things done when stress, anxiety, fear, are all trying to keep you from getting motivated enough to take action. It can also be helpful to have an accountability partner and to build strong habits/routines. Accomplishing your goals and living the life you want is up to you.

 

What is the hardest part of getting motivated for you? How can you reward yourself? What is the first step that you always struggle with?

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Thanks for reading!

 

Lacey Alanna

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Intuition and How it Has Completely Changed the Way I Make Decisions

 

Intuition is a new buzzword that people are using to talk about self-improvement and personal growth. I’ve heard it in several podcasts, Youtube videos, and personal growth blogs. But what is intuition really? How do we use it to influence our every day?  I literally used to ask myself those very questions when I would hear the word. I never got a clear answer until I started my own personal growth journey last year.

I used to really struggle with decision-making. Whenever it was time to make a major decision, I would make pros and cons lists, google related advice, avoid coming to a decision, and just be extremely stressed, overwhelmed, and confused. Decision-making never had to be that hard! It was when I started making major decisions about my career that I learned how to use intuition to help me make the right decisions.

Intuition is the art of knowing. It’s knowing what is best for yourself based on a feeling. When I made the decision to quit my teaching job to work on my masters degree and explore my passions (travel, entrepreneurship), I made a list of pros and cons. I googled “qutting teaching” and “should I quit my job” and read forums filled with opinions every day. I knew that I loved teaching but I also knew that I would never be sure if it was the right path for me unless I ventured into something else.

I asked people for their advice constantly on whether I should be a flight attendant, looking for my perfect answer from someone else. What I found was that I was looking for certain answers to the questions that I was asking. I wanted people to tell me to go for it, to quit my job and go to flight attendant training. That was what I really wanted to do and I was waiting for someone else to validate a decision I had already made within my self.

Intuition is all about your true desires and what is right for you. As I searched for answers from outside sources, I realized that the answer was within me and really I was just searching for validation from other places. I know it sounds cliche but we know our heart’s desires and our visions for ourselves.

It is logical to make decisions based on your goals for yourself. It is intuitive to make decisions based on how you feel about certain situations in a moment or series of moments. Intuition is about following that voice, that inner voice that speaks when you think long and hard about the decision that faces you.

Here are some concrete ways I started using my intuition to guide my decision making:

  • I decided not to do things that made me feel weary, uneasy, or gave me overall negative vibes. Plain and simple.
  • When asking for advice, I would pay close attention to the answers that it seemed I was looking for. You have to admit that when you ask for advice, usually you know what you want to hear. That is your deepest desire, that thing you want to hear, that thing you want to be encouraged to do.

Becoming more in tune with my intuition has been a game changer for me, like seriously. I find myself less dissatisfied with the decisions I am making because I am listening to and following my instincts on situations that are right for me and those that might not be such a good fit.

What decisions are you faced with at the moment? How can you improve your ability to use your intuition in your decision-making process? What can you do to channel your intuition more everyday?

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Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

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My 2018 Manifesto, Goals, and Why I Don’t Believe in New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I’m so excited about the new year,  not because anything will automatically be different because of the change of date. I’m excited because it is a great time to reflect and to begin concentrated effort on new goals for myself and my life. Before the end of 2017, I had been one of those humans that just lives, exists in the world. I was sort of living life as it comes, being more reactive than proactive about my life.

Today, I wanted to discuss the shifts in mindset that took place for me toward the middle to end of 2017 and how those shifts have contributed to my goals for 2018. In addition, I want to talk about why I believe that New Year Resolutions are a complete load of crap and how I set myself up for success in other ways.

During the last week of 2017, I carved out time to reflect on the past year. I realized how far I’ve come in my personal growth journey because as I reflected, I realized that I didn’t have any clear cut goals for last year . You’re probably like what?! Don’t be like I was…create goals! Here’s what I did differently in preparation for 2018 to give me a more clear, centered approach to measuring my success toward my lifelong goals at the end of the year:

  1. I created 5 goals for myself that I’d like to accomplish by the end of 2018. I chose to only create 5 big goals for the year because I wanted to be able to really focus my efforts this year. I think any more than 5 goals a year can get overwhelming, difficult to remember, and can cause a lack of focus in daily efforts. I picked 5 goals, just 5 that will ultimately lead me to the accomplishment of my life goals. If you haven’t created a list of life goals, subscribe and consider doing that first using my FREE 1 Year Goal Setting Worksheet you will receive.
  2. I chose a theme for the year. My theme for this year is “Be consistent, stay focused”. All 5 of my goals for the year are centered around this theme.  I wanted my goals to be cohesive and to build character. I have found that in the past I have lacked consistency and focus which has prevented me from building healthy and strong habits in many areas of my life. My mind goes back to the quote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is then not an act, but a habit”. The most successful people have strong habits that promote excellence across their lives. My theme is that extra push I need to build my character in a different way than I have in the past.
  3. I created a visual manifesto. I created a diagram pictured below that displays my hopes and dreams for the year. It illustrates the visions I have for myself in different areas of my life such as my finances, body, mind, and business. I have included a picture below of my manifesto with my personal goals listed to the right (covered with sticky notes), not fancy AT ALL. I am a visual person and this was a very important part of really gaining a cohesive and pertinent vision for myself. I hung this in my work area so that I can see it and internalize it daily. Knowing your goals and vision for yourself is an integral part of your personal growth and your ability to accomplish those goals and realize that vision.

Manifesto

Why I Don’t Believe in New Year Resolutions

I don’t believe in resolutions because they really aren’t effective. Let’s face it, no one sticks to their resolutions. However, goals are tangible and I think people should think about their motivation or their why for particular goals. That is what keeps you going when it gets difficult and you want to give up. Your whys are what make you fight harder to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. Take a look at your whys when you get discouraged. Take a look at your visual manifesto when you lack focus. There is so much power in those tools. Creating a resolution each year with no implementation strategy is not living intentionally or proactively. Make your own rules about how you want to set and accomplish your goals but be strategic in the course of your journey.

What goals have you set for 2018 and beyond? What life goals have you set? What or who are your whys? What tools will you take from this post and implement for a successful year and life?

 

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

 

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Why I Quit My Job AGAIN After Only a Month, Intuition, and What’s Next

   I really grappled with the decision to continue to update readers of the blog on my career decisions and changes. I struggled with deciding whether I should bare it all or keep things impersonal and solely help YOU to make YOUR own rules for your life. I went through phases of feeling like a quitter or a failure because things turned out differently than I thought they would. I went through feelings of being afraid that people would look at me a certain way or project negativity on to me because of my career decisions.  I also got over it fairly quickly.

     I decided to share my personal growth journey with readers simply because doing so aligns with my mission for this blog and this brand (read the “About” page for more on the specifics). I’m here to truly touch people’s lives in a real and helpful way.  I never want to stop sharing my stories and personal experiences if they can move others in the same way that they have moved me. Read on to find out why I quit my job as a flight attendant after only a month and what my overarching themes will be for the next year and beyond.

     As I prepared for Flight Attendant Training, I thought that this new career was going to be a welcome change. It would give me a mental break from teaching (my previous career), give me time to work on my Masters Degree, and give me the opportunity to explore my passions, I thought. I was so excited and so prepared. I didn’t care about the pay cut, the nights away from home, the rigorous training. I just wanted to travel the world for  F R E E  and live life adventurously while getting paid to do it!

I completed training, relocated to my new base (Minneapolis, MN), and began working. I liked being a flight attendant. It was easy, fun, and I got to travel for free on my limited off days.

So why did I quit?

The problem was me. The job was not a good spiritual fit for me as I felt a decreased sense of purpose in my work. In addition to the extreme financial struggles, health issues caused by flying, a crazy loaded work schedule, decreased time for family and my relationship, and adoption of a nomadic lifestyle, the job simply did not align with the life goals that I had recently rewritten for myself.  Many of the goals I set for myself for 3 years, 5 years, and life would be extremely difficult to accomplish working as a flight attendant. Therefore,  I made the decision that I would quit my job as a flight attendant and seek joy in other passions that were more aligned with my goals.

What’s next for me?

  • More Blogging!
  • Coaching
  • Entreprenuership
  • Masters Degree!
  • More Service to others
  • Intention in EVERYTHING I choose to do

Before I end this post, I want to take a few moments to discuss the importance of knowing and following your intuition. Intuition can be a difficult concept to understand because it is so elusive and is not black and white. I knew I needed to move on after only a month because I felt disconnected and misaligned with my purpose in my role as a flight attendant. It was a feeling of knowing that I had. No one can tell you what decisions to make, what to do with your career, when to quit your job, or whether a path is right for you. It is simply a combination of trial and error mixed with a lot of following your gut. Follow your intuition no matter what and I guarantee you’ll always be glad you did.

Thanks for reading!

Lacey Alanna

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