Skills

Let’s be honest, how many times have we claimed forgiveness on someone but still hold small, bitter grudges? “Forgive and forget” – a phrase coined many years ago that means to, well, forgive and forget whatever dishonorable thing a particular person has said or done to you in order to continue the relationship you’ve always had. It’s no secret it almost always seems as if forgiveness were “mission impossible.” If this happens to be your case, my piece of advice is: don’t forgive a person for them, forgive them for you. Holding grudges has many negative effects. By offering forgiveness you can do yourself a huge favor.

There is a great amount of power that comes with forgiveness. Although it is an undeniably tough thing to actually do, it can also be incredibly cathartic. I have found that there are three stages to forgiveness:

  1. The initial feeling of vulnerability: betrayal/loss/pain, the splurge of reactive emotions: passive aggressive or aggressive attitudes that derive from anger and/or denial, etc.
  2. Acceptance of the situation which can terminate or pause the relationship as you begin to assess the facts and multiple objective points of views.
  3. And finally, permanently moving on with or without that person in your life with forgiveness or tightly held grudges.

Keep in mind that forgiveness does not mean that the person needs to continue to be in your life. It is possible to forgive a person but respectfully reestablish the bounds of the relationship by talking out what the expectations were, what has been failed to be done, and how to improve it or help the person understand that in order for you to forgive them, the relationship must come to an end. “Isn’t that not forgiveness?” I think to myself. But forgiveness comes in many forms. It comes through love, through helplessness, and through peace.

Peace of mind is something that comes with forgiveness. If you have truly forgiven the person, you will feel a sense of serenity and wholeness. And it is perfectly acceptable if this is a process that may take you time – a week, a month, or even a year. According to experts, forgiveness can bring you lower blood pressure, increase spirituality, a positive mindset, altruistic behaviors, increase your immune system, and relieve stress. Overall, it is a big plus for your physical and psychological self. Take the time you need to harmonize yourself with reality and let go. This all begins with acceptance of the truth of the situation and essentially, the world. Life requires we climb impossible mountains, cross never ending misty rivers, and survive the most catastrophic storms. As corny as this may sound, you must remember that the universe will only give you what it knows you can handle.

People make mistakes – you and I both included – and sometimes we simply need to let go of the things in the past, the things that we cannot control. Holding these grudges are only doing us harm and the only way to feel at peace and grow from the experiences we encounter is to accept the sitution and move on. Although difficult, forgiveness is possible. I encourage you to at least try and to at least take the first few steps of courage in your journey of forgiveness, because you don’t know just how far even that can take you.

Image: Gratisography

Culture

1. Holidays

The obvious: it’s holiday season. You may celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or just plain old New Year’s Eve. December means shopping. It means pigging out on all year-round-forbidden foods. And it means seeing family and friends and reconnecting with those who you have maybe lost touch with throughout the entire year. I see December as a month of reunion.

2. Hot Drinks

Don’t tell me you don’t participate in PSL season. Okay, if you had to look up PSL, maybe not. Either way, we all know there is nothing more comforting or satisfying than sipping on a searing cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in cold December. It is the time where coziness reaches its climax. Drinking away your calories is acceptable, but only in December.

3. Smell

December has a smell – that is fact. It smells like cinnamon. It has the aroma of pine trees. And it has the faint scent of deliciously baked goods. Am I wrong?

4. Winter Clothes

Summer is definitely a desired season, but during this time you can finally dress in sophisticated coats and elegant scarves that you’ve secretly been waiting to wear all year long.  It’s cold, but not cold enough where you’re forced to wear bulky parkas. Also, it calls for some fun when putting an outfit together – scarves, boots, pants, jackets, ear muffs, hats, and gloves! There is much opportunity to be a fashionista – get creative, my friends.

5. Cozy, Cozy, Cozy

Not only do you get the chance to drink sugar and calories, but December also means sitting by mellow fireplaces, candles, and an excuse to just be lazy for once! The sun sets earlier, therefore your days end earlier and getting home early in the midst of some comforting dim lights is very tempting. Readers: what’s better than spending a night reading a captivating novel by the fireplace?

6. Netflix

Let’s be honest, not all of us have boyfriends and girlfriends to cuddle with. However, Netflix is always there to comfort all singles worldwide. From interesting documentaries to addicting TV shows to the movies we just never had the time to watch during the year, Netflix is our best friend.

7. Vay-cay

December is the time to reunite with family and friends, as previously touched on. However, it is also a time of travels and vacations – be it to see those family and friends or to travel with those family and friends. December is a time to bond with family and friends and get closer to your loved ones while still getting the chance to visit familiar or unfamiliar places!

8. Fluffy Snow

December introduces many parts of the world with snow. By January, the snow is no longer “pretty” because by then, it has turned yellow or brown and icy. However, in December, it is a beautiful thing to see blankets and blankets of freshly fallen snow! Snow angels better be on that to-do list!

9. ABC Family

December tends to revolve around child hood memories and this includes flipping the television channels only to find Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas or Polar Express on. For some of us, ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas is on our calendar – spare the judgments, please.

10. Reflection and Renewal

Above all, December is a month of renewal. It is a time to wrap up the year, to wrap up old habits, to plan for new ones; it is a time of reflection and preparation. This is a beautiful time that invites reminiscing and change. Plan to embrace the goals you have for 2015 and think about what you would like to leave behind in 2014. December is the close for the year – enjoy every last moment and squeeze out the best remaining bits of it!

How will you enjoy December?

Image: Stanford

Culture

These days, Thanksgiving is known for its big meal and is otherwise swallowed up by the rest of the holiday season. However, when we think of it like that, we miss a lot of joy that comes from the holiday itself. It is a day that brings family and friends together and makes them take stock of the goodness in their lives. Everyone has their own role to play in this. Even if Thanksgiving is not your favorite holiday, it has values you can celebrate all year long.

1. The holiday motivates us to keep in touch.

With social media, it’s easy to see what your loved ones are up to throughout the year, but it’s hard to make plans to see each other. People really make the effort to be together on holidays but you don’t need a holiday as an excuse to get together. When you miss someone you love, make a plan to see them. I know work and school can be hectic. However, in the last year, I’ve made the effort to spend more time with my extended family and I’m grateful for it. We know each other in a new way now and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

2. Thanksgiving allows you to forge a bond through food.

We all know everyone has to eat. Thanksgiving is a food holiday, but also one steeped in tradition. People work together in their kitchens to keep old traditions alive or create some new concoction. I love to eat and to cook. Throughout my childhood, I was a last minute helper. I had to contribute in my own small way. Now that I am adult, I do most of the cooking myself. On Thanksgiving, preparing food is not just cooking, it is carrying on tradition. Everyone contributes to the meal. We are brought up on recipes that we learn to make ourselves. It’s a group bonding activity that does not have to be one day of the year. I frequently help my family cook. It takes away some of the work after a long day. Take some time throughout the year to share recipes with others or to cook together. It is a fun way to pass the time with people you care about.

3. Thanksgiving is one of the biggest volunteering days of the year.

Remembering what we have now reminds us to help others less fortunate. A lot of charities put out food for families and the ill on this holiday but people need to eat all year round. Why wait to volunteer one day of the year? There are many worthy causes looking for help during the year. Try one.

4. Think about what you are thankful for.

We are in the ‘now generation.’ We tweet, Instagram, and Facebook to talk about what we are doing in the moment. Most of the time, it’s important to keep moving forward and be present. That said, it does not hurt to realize all that you have going for you. It also never hurts to remember all the people in your life who make your life better. Let them know what they do for you. Again, this doesn’t have to happen one day of the year. When you appreciate someone in your life, tell him or her.

Holidays are a time to celebrate events that happen year after year. However, we don’t have to only bring out these values one day of the year. We can get closer to our loved ones, work together, give back, and appreciate all that life has to offer. All you have to do is remember to try. I told you some ways that I celebrate. Think of how you want to contribute this year.

What Thanksgiving lessons do you implement throughout the year? Share in the comments below or tweet to us!

Image: Lee

Skills

Starting April 1, the Carpe Juvenis team is going to take on a 30 day challenge. There are 30 days in April, hence why it is called the ’30 Day Challenge.’ There can be challenges every month, but we are starting this April and we’ll see how well it goes before committing even more time. Before the 30 Day Challenge even begins, though, we are faced with our first challenge: what to challenge ourselves with! How does one go about deciding what to improve and how to make something challenging? We came up with a list, and if you have any other suggestions, please send them our way!

It is tough to choose just one from this list, but we think that focusing on one challenging thing first will help us stick with it and actually achieve our goals. There is only one rule of this Challenge: do the thing you say you are going to do each day for the entire 30 days. That’s it! It might be hard, it might be the push you need to start something you’ve been delaying, and it might even be life changing. We can’t wait to find out.

30 Day Challenge Ideas (things you will do every day):

1. Don’t hit the snooze button.

2. Read the newspaper every morning.

3. Journal every day.

4. Read one play every night.

5. Exercise.

6. Take one picture a day.

7. Blog.

8. Cook a new recipe.

9.  Go to bed early.

10. Send a handwritten letter.

11. Tell someone you love them.

12. Watch a movie.

13. Write a page of your novel.

14. Apply to internships.

15. Study another language for one hour.

Good luck, keep us posted on how it goes, and remember: good things take time. 

EducationSkillsTravel

Carpe Juvenis is always on the lookout for tools that will help simplify life. In a technological age where there are hundreds of thousands of different smart phone apps, finding the very best can be difficult. Here are some apps that we have used consistently and with ease! They have all been “Carpe Tested” for quality approval.

When it comes to:

To-Do Lists

This duo smart phone/computer application allows you to sort out daily, weekly, or monthly tasks in an easy to follow visual To-Do list. The color coded lists transfer between your computer and smart phone via wifi so you can save time! Just be sure to watch the dollar amount on this one – downloading the Mac computer version will cost you $9.99 but there is a Clear Free version on the iPhone app store.

http://realmacsoftware.com/clear 

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When it comes to:

Staying informed

Circa keeps you up to date with the most critical information on the most important stories of the day. Less time is wasted and more information is digested. Being informed has never been so easy or fun. This app is free!

http://cir.ca

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When it comes to:

Easy “reading”

Although the Carpe team typically prefers reading books, Audible has a fantastic app that makes listening to an audiobook super easy. If you have an Amazon account you can download an audiobook through Audible for free!

http://www.audible.com

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When it comes to:

Commuting

Carpe does a lot of traveling so it is essential that we have the right tools to sort out public transportation wherever we may be. The “Embark” apps are amazing. There are 10 different transit systems available, all of which are free. From San Francisco to Washington, D.C., these apps have you covered.

http://letsembark.com

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We hope that you love these helpful tools as much as we do! Which apps do YOU love?