Seeking “The Spark”

 

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Full moon & sunset over Maiori, Italy. One of my favorite views yet.

 

We’re all searching for a spark. Something that reassures us we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. A feeling that creates butterflies in our stomachs so undeniable we can’t help but smile when they flutter. An excitement that drives us to get out of bed in the morning, to keep pushing forward with each new day.

These sparks are so wonderful because they’re rare. They’re specific to you and your desires. Only you can feel them deeply.

Where do we find these sparks exactly? That’s the best part, you never know when they’ll pop up. You could find them in a book you’re reading that awakens something inside of you. Maybe it’s song lyrics that give you goosebumps or a hobby turned into a passion over time. A conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop that makes you think twice about where you’re headed in life. City ambition, the simplicity of the country, a look down memory lane with your family members. Dancing, photography, helping people, or even hitting the gym. It’s a feeling you’ll crave more of.

When you discover that feeling, let it wash over you. Feeling a spark is incomparable to any other emotion. It will send tingles down your spine while grounding you in the same moment. It’s magic and reassurance combined.

Of course, relationships are probably what come to mind when you think of “flying sparks.” It’s true, you can’t have a successful relationship without sparks. Everyone wants to kiss their partner and feel those butterflies. The spark that makes you feel like you can float away but also comfortably curl up into. Again, it’s magical, and isn’t that something we all deserve?

I’ve found sparks in writing time and time again. When I put pen to paper and create stories, I get those butterflies. When I find a way to tie my thoughts together, I feel giddy. And that’s just it; you may not understand how I could feel this way about something others may consider tedious but that’s how I know this is one of my sparks. And I indulge in it as I please.

You are worthy of endless sparks in your life – we all are. We all deserve to wake up as though it’s on purpose and greet each day as an opportunity to live fully. We deserve to find sparks, some greater than others, but also recognize why certain ones have faded as we’ve grown. Sometimes a spark is only meant to burn for a short while.

Seeking sparks more often than not turns into them finding you. Sparks come around when you pursue your passions and surround yourself with people who make you feel special. Sparks fly in relationships when you’re able to be your true self and love your partner as they are, too.

A spark can only shine brightly when you claim it as your own, so own it proudly.

Sparks are the reason you should never settle in any aspect of your life. At times you will lose your sparks, grow in different ways, and change life paths but knowing what it feels like to have a spark gives you a feeling to always come back to. A feeling you’ll want to hold as your standard moving forward because you know how blissful your life can be.

Never stop seeking sparks, never compromise your passions, and always believe you are worthy of magic.

Cheers loves,

XO – Autumn

 

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Live Flavorfully

 

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seasonal allergy blend, photo by Autumn K. Dube

What does it mean to live life flavorfully? Anything you want really. I know, technically flavorfully isn’t a word, but it resonates with me in so many ways. It feels rich in color, authenticity, and sounds like a purposeful way to live one’s life naturally – so obviously I’m all about it.

This word came to me when I was trying to find a way to express how it feels to live a life guided by natural essential oils, specifically doTERRA brand. This is a new venture I am taking on and am genuinely excited about. It’s a simple way to improve your quality of life, aid your ailments both big and small, boost your mood, and overall become more grounded by replacing the toxic products we have integrated into our everyday routines with ones directly from nature.

I was hesitant for a few months to even begin to start sharing my knowledge and reaching out to others about essential oils. I don’t want to be one of those annoying Facebook friends who pushes vitamins or protein powders down your throat with the casual #ad hashtag at the end of every post. That is not something I believe in and is exactly the opposite of what I hope to achieve by spreading my passion for doTERRA products.

My family and I have been using essential oils for a couple years now. I would never advocate for something I don’t believe in. I use Lavender oil on the bottom of my feet at night and really do sleep better – it’s meant for calming moods. I use doTERRA shampoo and conditioner, which work wonderfully together, and the scents of orange, lime, and peppermint help to wake me up in the mornings. I have used tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca, on my acne scars for over two years now and have seen drastic changes in my complexion. I love it. I use what doTERRA calls Deep Blue, it feels like icy-hot, on my sore muscles after a workout or on the back of my neck for tension headaches. Peppermint on my temples has also proven to reduce pain when a migraine comes on, it’s cooling and quick acting. Oh, and lemon oil rubbed on a stomach does wonders for hangovers. Best part? All of these products are completely natural and extracted in an environmentally friendly way from different locations around the world.

I use these products. I have experienced their multiple benefits and heard others tell miraculous stories about their experiences, too. I really do love how these oils help enhance my mood and health. The human body and mind are capable of healing themselves naturally. doTERRA essential oils help to support and improve the ways our bodies already know how to function. By not adding anything unnatural to your body, like drugs and medicine, and trying essential oils instead, you are simply helping your body to function in ways it is already designed to do.

I love how powerful and complex human bodies are and I have always believed in the strength of a positive mindset. Combining these with essential oils has helped me to live my best life. Seriously.

So no, I won’t constantly nag you about trying these products or attending future events I host, but I will share the changes I have seen in my life in hopes of inspiring others to try doTERRA essential oils for themselves. I am eager to bring these to my community, sell them to those who want to make a change in their lives for the better, and educate others on why essential oils really do work.

Thank you in advance for supporting my new business venture! I am more than willing to answer any questions and share my personal stories.

Cheers to working hand in hand with nature to change the quality of our lives. It’s the way life should be (can you tell I’m from Maine?).

XOXO – Autumn K. Dube

Learn more on my personal doTERRA website: https://www.mydoterra.com/autumndube/#/ 

 

What Being a Positive Person Really Means

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Old Port, Maine

If you know me at all, you’ve heard me stress the importance of living life with a positive mindset. I’d happily accept the title of ‘broken record’, referring to how often I repeat those words, but I would never label myself as a hypocrite.

One of my friends called me this in a conversation we had while I was still at college. It was a talk filled with lots of emotions and no filters when it came to speaking our minds. Yikes, I know. “You are a positive person and you always talk about that but you’re not constantly happy and that’s hypocritical. And you even complain about things in your life, too.” Correct. These are all accurate observations but definitely not aspects of myself that I should be ashamed of or criticized for.

After reflecting on the words that left me feeling bitter, they became easier to swallow than I would have expected. It all comes down to what positivity means to an individual person, as most things in life do. In my eyes, and compared to my old self, I am proudly living as the happiest version of myself despite what that may look like to others.

Living a positive life doesn’t mean walking around with a smile plastered across your face every single second. It doesn’t mean being upbeat 24/7 and only having good things happen to you. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to love everyone and everything that comes into your life. This constant bubbliness would actually lead me to insanity, it’s simply not natural to be “on” all the time.

Becoming a positive person means deepening your understanding of yourself and what makes you happy. It’s the realization that happiness comes from within. It’s prioritizing your needs but also recognizing the joy that comes from helping others. And it’s being able to love yourself, flaws and all.

A positive mindset is a safe place you create for yourself. It’s where you can breathe easy when things aren’t going your way or you’re simply having an off day. Smiling like a fool doesn’t make you a positive person, but choosing to not dwell on the hard times or carry anger with you, does.

Everyone experiences hardships. These difficult times are what allow you to have empathy for others and gain appreciation for the little things in life. You will surely feel a range of emotions when tough times find you. You are entitled to express these emotions and feel them wholly, as this is how you heal. But the next step is where you define yourself. Do you want to stay at this low in your life or choose to live in brighter days?

I choose to follow the sun.

Even when I complain, stress out, or feel upset I choose to not make that my permanent mindset. I feel my emotions as they come, and seek out comfort from loved ones as needed, but then I find ways to move past them. There are some people who sadly can’t see the positive sides of situations but instead bring others down with their negativity. That’s not enjoyable or healthy for anyone but sometimes it’s inevitable. After many years of searching in all the wrong places, I finally know what it means to be happy and I come back to this state of mind daily through gratitude and love. It takes time and experience to learn and trust in the beauty of your life, but choosing happiness is easier than you may expect.

Cheers loves, bring on the sunshine!

XO – Autumn

Just Say Thank You

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Future is Female – Neighborhood’s Cafe, Boston

Every day I take the time to write in my gratitude journal. It takes five minute tops and it’s something I truly enjoy doing. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on everything I have to be thankful for, no matter what kind of day I’m having.

I recently held a program at my college and handed out gratitude journals to random people. I explained the basic concept and the importance of thankfulness. One girl asked me, “Do you really find something to be thankful for every day?” I never thought this could be deemed a difficult task. She was amazed when I said “yes” without hesitation and I was shocked she even asked that question in the first place.

I feel that many people believe being thankful is associated with big things. Having a lot of money, welcoming a new life into the world, or even getting the perfect job. These are all wonderful reasons to be thankful but if we just focus on the big-ticket items we miss out on living a life of gratitude, and that in itself isn’t something to pass up.

I took the time to explain to the baffled girl how easy it is to find something in each day to celebrate. The perfectly crispy bacon at brunch, a kind text message from a friend, a sunny morning, or even a heads-up penny on the ground. Some of my friends may laugh at my amazement with nature or love for simple moments, but I know this appreciation for the little things is what allows me to be a positive person. And better yet, my outlook helps to connect me with others who share this same quality.

Embracing a mindset of thankfulness allows for even more blessings to enter your life. If you can be grateful for the big things, then you can easily learn to appreciate the minor things too. Plus, it just makes for better days to choose to say thank you for what you have instead of focusing on the things you lack. Because what’s the point in dwelling on the negatives?

It really is easy to attract goodness into your own life. Simply start by saying “thank you” and go from there.

Cheers loves! May you all find endless reasons to be grateful each day.

XOXO – Autumn

Stronger Together

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Women’s March Boston – photo credit: Betsy Roy

 

All my life I have been surrounded and influenced by intelligent and beautiful women. I felt that today, in honor of the Women’s March, it was necessary to say thank you.

Thank you to the mothers who never tell their children their dreams are too big. Thank you to the powerful women who use their status as a platform to do good in this world – Gloria Steinem & DVF, I applaud you.  Thank you to the genuine men that stand by women and believe in them wholeheartedly. Thank you to the women who embody fierce friendships and choose to uplift one another instead of tearing others down. And thank you to the women who know their strength and take pride in it. You are all wonderful.

I was not physically at a march today, but I was definitely there in spirit. Seeing live footage and photos of everyone coming together, in a sea of pink, filled my heart. There is so much good in this world and today was exactly the reminder we needed. When people choose to promote love and hope in a peaceful manner, greatness happens. This is when love trumps hate. This is how we will continue to move our beloved country forward in a progressive and all-inclusive way. I am so lucky to be growing up in an era where so much is possible.

I am proud to be a woman. I am grateful I get to stand alongside so many diverse communities with the knowledge that it’s one’s heart that truly defines them. We are stronger than we think, especially when we come together.

Thank you to those who marched today, wherever that may have been. Your determination and hope are inspiring.

Cheers to the women who know their worth and aren’t afraid to fight for it. Keep going.

Much love – XOXO

Autumn Dube

Thank You, 2016

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Biddeford Pool Beach, Maine

 

It’s difficult to avoid the overwhelming amount of people who keep labeling 2016 as a total shit show. From a worldly perspective, I totally understand this outlook, cause yikes was this year unsettling. But on a more personal level, I feel the need to show 2016 some serious love.

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution in the form of a phrase. It was sort of like my own personal mantra. “Living vicariously through myself” became my everyday reminder to do what makes me happy. The result of this mindset snowballed in the best, most unexpected ways possible. I first learned to be brutally honest with myself, then learned to express my feelings more openly, and as a result ended up living authentically and apparently inspiring others to do the same through my writing.

Who knew unleashing my true self would label me as an “inspiration.” This is a compliment I have received many times throughout the year, from strangers and loved ones alike. I am forever humbled by their kind words. Inspiring others was never an initial intention of mine. Hell, I am still trying to figure myself out. But the idea that sharing my own struggles and passions could light a spark in someone else was truly magical.

I have loved the journey 2016 has put me through, challenges included. My path has taken a wild turn and I have learned entirely new things about who I am, but more importantly, who I want to be.

In 2017 I want to continue to step out of my comfort zone. I want to open my heart to new people and push heartache aside. I want to manifest positivity into my daily adventures. I want to inspire. I want to be the best possible friend I can be. I want to find new things to love about myself. I want to stop biting my nails (ha). I want to write. I want to explore. And finally, I want to keep surprising myself.

I’ve been attempting to narrow down a new phrase to carry me through 2017 – remember, this can change over the course of your year if needed. “Don’t become complacent” will be my new daily reminder. I have been grateful for every opportunity I have been given but I definitely can’t become satisfied just yet. I want to use those words as my motivation to accomplish more and pursue my goals fearlessly. I hope to continue to grow as an individual and I believe this outlook will help me do so. You should always be proud of your accomplishments but continuously to strive for more.

I am extremely hopeful for this new year and I know it will bring even more blessings. After all, your life is whatever you make of it.

Cheers,

XO – Autumn

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” –  Elite Daily

Honesty, Writing, & Bright Futures.

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Fanueil Hall, Boston 2016

As a national contributing writer for Her Campus, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to write about various topics, trends in pop culture, and serious issues. This range of article assignments opened my eyes to different styles of writing but also helped me to recognize a common theme – the importance of honesty.

Honest writing is truly the best writing. It has taken me years to fully embrace this concept, as it’s scary to dig deep sometimes, but wow, was it worth it. Genuine writing derives from the ability to be honest with yourself. Whether it’s grappling with who you are or what you want out of life, the most important thing is to give yourself the opportunity to change.

My most recent article for Her Campus, titled “I Took Risks in My Love Life for One Week & Here’s What Happened”, was the most challenging yet rewarding piece I have written yet. I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, officially told the world I’m bisexual, and learned a lot about my self-worth in just one short week. An added bonus was the feedback I received from loved ones and strangers alike. It was heart-warming to have so many people reach out to me to share their stories or appreciation about my article.

I have now begun living my life as my authentic self. It’s a beautiful reality to wake up every single day and recognize how far I’ve come. This feeling came from being honest with myself, no matter how difficult and frustrating it was at times. Point is, I’m here and I’m so proud to say my future is even brighter than it was before.

Whether it’s in your writing or everyday life, be sure to stay true to who you are and be honest about what you deserve. It doesn’t have to be scary.

Cheers loves – to honesty & genuine people!

XOXO – Autumn

Below is a short clip from my national article, check it out!

“I bought an attractive stranger a drink.”

“I’ve seen this done in movies. The confident woman buys an attractive guy a drink, turning the tables on the standards of dating. I had to see for myself how this scenario would play out in real life. Naturally, I chose Thirsty Thursday to make my move. Sitting at a table with a few of my girlfriends, I scanned the bar for a potential prospect. This part of my night was funny, somewhat stressful, but overall entertaining knowing the power was in my hands.

As I was scanning the nearby tables, a tall blonde guy walked out of the bathroom and past my table. We locked eyes and he smiled ever so subtly. Without hesitation, I whispered to my friends, “I choose him.” I watched where he went to sit – a table with another guy and three girls. Crossing my fingers none of those ladies were his girlfriend, I asked my server to find out what he was drinking and buy him his next round. Apparently, his drink of choice was a watermelon margarita, go figure.

Margarita in hand, I watched my server walk over to his table and place it down. His friends began to laugh and his face lit up when she said, “the girl in a pink sweater bought this for you.” His reaction was everything I could have hoped for. I mean who wouldn’t be grinning over a free marg? Funnily enough, a server came over to me a few minutes later and handed me a black business card. It belonged to watermelon margarita guy. I was caught off guard but loving every second of this little charade. Soon enough he came over to the table to thank me for buying him a drink and introduce himself. The conversation was casual, I could tell he was nervous too. In his very distinct Boston accent, he ended the conversation by telling me I should text him. Mission accomplished.

I miss hearing stories about people meeting in person and going on incredible dates. And here I was, trying to make it happen for myself. No, I never ended up texting him, but his little black business card will be a reminder that even the smallest rewards can come from simply putting yourself out there.”

  • Article was written for Her Campus By: Autumn Dube

Vulnerable

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Reflecting Pool, Boston

Being vulnerable is scary. It is. It can make you extremely self-aware and show you sides of yourself you may not be comfortable embracing yet. So why succumb yourself to this feeling?

Society teaches us to be strong. To be fearless and seek power through success. This mindset instills in us the thoughts that pain and emotions are unnecessary, as if they are only standing in our way. This made sense to me at first. I mean, who wants to willingly feel anger or sadness? Well, according to a Ted Talk I watched today, whole-hearted people do.

The Ted Talk explained, after extensive research, that we tend to numb our emotions. Whether this is by blocking unsettling feelings from our minds or turning to vices, many of us tend to suppress what we are feeling rather than actually dealing with it. You would think that numbing the bad would allow you to only focus on the good, right? Wrong. This is what we as humans need to recognize and change as we grow.

You cannot choose when you feel pain. Sure, you can strive for a positive outlook and handle uncertainty with grace but ultimately life will throw you some curve-balls and it’s okay to be upset when this happens. When you numb your pain (from heartbreak to shameful moments) you also numb your chance at joy and happiness. Which in turn leads to searching for meaning in your life, being dissatisfied, reliving your negative emotions and as a result continuing this cycle.

Break the cycle. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This not only gives you the chance to connect with others in a more genuine way but it will help you find what true happiness means to you. Vulnerability comes with being honest with who you truly are which overtime leads to accepting who you are. The study showed that those who were accepting of themselves, and have a strong sense of love and belonging, are the same ones who believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

This took me a second to grasp, the concept of the beauty behind vulnerability, until I realized I have caught myself living my life like this more and more over the years. As I become more comfortable with who I am it has become easier for me to reveal myself to others, whether this is through words or actions. I have definitely texted my crush asking them to grab a coffee (and even been turned down too), wrote essays about very personal topics that I later had to share with classmates, and continued to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It may not always be ideal but knowing what I deserve has given me more courage to go after what I want.

Vulnerability, in the sense of expressing who you are and what you deserve, is worth adapting into your lifestyle. Be strong and powerful but brave enough to love yourself. Like anything, it takes time, but it’s worth the effort of learning to be aware.

Life is better when filled with deep connections & self-love.

XOXO – Autumn

The Secret

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Camp Ellis Beach, Maine

About 8 years ago my parents showed my brother and I a movie called The Secret – which is based off a book. The message throughout shares the benefits of tapping into your own internal power, whether you realize you’re capable of greatness or not.

Stories of attaining wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving goals that may seem unrealistic are told by a range of people who have experienced this first hand. It all has to do with one’s mentality and the belief in the powers of the universe.

I have held this message close to me throughout the years. I whole heartedly believe even my subconscious embodies this way of being. I have been deemed a “lucky person” many times and I know my blessings come directly from the universe and my own outlook on life.

Your thoughts control your life. This is why many people preach the idea of “good vibes” but not everyone truly knows the importance of actually practicing this mindset. The Secret describes how you can have any life you want. The first step to attaining what you want is to believe you deserve it and continue to visualize it each day. Truly picture yourself attaining your goals and desires, feel the emotions that will come with it, and trust in the universe to make it happen.

One of the more difficult things for me is to trust the universe to create a way for me to attain the lifestyle I want. I am capable of envisioning desires and believing I deserve them, but I have always been taught to find my own way to success and happiness.

The universe will create a path for you. You don’t need to stress over the how aspect, you simply need to look for signs and act without hesitation. The universe will speak to you if you let it. This doesn’t mean sit back and relax, but rather have faith while pursuing your goals and know you will get what you want in the end.

This message is too important not to share and it is one I can personally  attest for. Maybe this is the reason my life goals are so big or my days are so bright, because I know they can be. One of my favorite lines from the movie describes the universe like a catalog. All you have to do is pick what you want out of life and the universe will hear your thoughts and find a way to bring your desires to you. It’s as simple as that. The people who are able to believe this, as crazy as it may seem, are the ones who will reap the rewards.

You can now watch The Secret on Netflix – it’s worth your time, trust me.

May your thoughts be as bright as your future.

XO -Autumn

 

Looking Forward

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Biddeford Pool, Maine

I’m the type of person who enjoys a busy lifestyle. Hell, I thrive on it. Whether it’s during finals week of college or the sunniest day in the dead of summer, I’m happiest when I’m doing things and going places. I love the rush that comes with this style of living. Always down to experience new things but prioritizing what’s important; it’s the type of journey I have grown to embrace every day.

Of course real life cannot be ignored. Working a job, maintaining relationships, and continuing to strive towards your goals are all part of the craziness that comes with building a life.

Not all days can be thrilling and eye opening but they never have to be entirely dull. I like to ask myself “what would make you happy?” when planning out my days. It’s a simple question but it can have a great impact. You may not want to go to work, but you know you have no choice (sadly, money will always be a reigning factor in our decisions). Within this mindset of having to go to work, it’s important to find a positive. You already know what to expect, so why not find a way to make your day more enjoyable? Switch up your routine by making time to do something you know will put a guaranteed smile on your face.

Prioritize your happiness within the life you’re living while working towards the life you desire.

Part of living a busy lifestyle is taking the time to appreciate it. I do this by giving myself things to look forward to. Whether it’s knowing my favorite meal is waiting for me in the fridge at home (hello BBQ ribs) or buying tickets to a concert that is months away, I always give myself a reason to smile. Knowing my future is as bright as my present moments is what continuously gives me the push to keep going every day.

Plan ahead. You know yourself better than anyone, what makes you happy? Now go do it.

XO – Autumn