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Braelyn Bjornson πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦  πŸ“Melbourne l 'beautiful people are kind people' l πŸ‹ l follow: @maddie_project @maddiebcproject l Mental Health Advocate l BCOM 2017 l Blogger l

https://braelynb.wordpress.com/

now i understand why you guys were standing like that, oops πŸ™ˆ

I am a firm believer that 'you are who you surround yourself with.' I do my best to apply this concept in both the personal and professional aspects of my life. Surround yourself with those who do not judge, those who you can trust, and those who love you for all that you are. Surround yourself with motivators, supporters, and game-changers. Surround yourself with inspiring beings. Surround yourself with those who challenge you and push you outside of your comfort zone. Surround yourself with those who teach you, not to work harder, but to work smarter. Surround yourself with inspiration, creativity, and passion. Surround yourself with beautiful people - 'beautiful people are kind people.' Surround yourself with those who remind you of how beautiful you are. Look to your people - if you aren't receiving the support, kindness, and love that you deserve - go get it. Remember, it's not just interests and hobbies that bring people together - it is lived experiences, hardships, and failures too. It is never too late to re-create your circle. The love you deserve is out there, I promise. I will always listen and I am always here. My circle is your circle. You are worthy of connections that foster kindness and compassion. Don't settle for anything less than what you are worth. You are, and you always have been, enough. πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

I have never been this overwhelmed – with love and gratitude. I have connected with numerous people all over the world. I have reconnected with friends I haven’t talked to in years. Connection – that is what I love and that is what I am grateful for. Thank you, to each and every person who reached out and shared their story with me. And thank you, to each and every person who listened to me share mine. I used to have troubles falling asleep at night – this is when my anxiety thrived, and my self-worth crippled. I still have troubles falling asleep at night – but now, it is because I am so inspired and motivated to make a change – I catch lmyself writing down mental health initiatives, campaign proposals, and blog topics in the middle of the night. I am overwhelmed with passion and inspiration. Every day I am connecting and collaborating with like-minded individuals. Every day my heart is filled with love and gratitude. Every day. I have so much love. I love all the people I surround myself with. I love the life-long friends I’ve made in Australia. I love the number of people who I miss, back in Canada, who are also life-long friends. I love that I also consider my family as life-long friends. I love that I love how much I love my friends (say that ten times fast). I just tried, it didn’t go so well. I love waking up early and admiring the pink sky. I love avocado on toast. I love Melbourne’s coffee (it is worth coming to Australia just for the coffee – just saying). I love laughing so hard my stomach hurts. I love when Spotify surprises you with a kickass playlist (I have some suggestions if you’re interested). I love waking up without an alarm (this doesn’t happen often). I love my plan to not have a plan (spontaneity is scary, but also exciting). I am so grateful. I am grateful that on the bad days I can look to my life-long friends to keep me grounded. I am grateful for discomfort because this is where I grow – this is where I jump outside of my comfort zone. I am grateful for the failures because they have taught me how to appreciate the successes. I am grateful for all that I have to be grateful for.

"Nothing is right. Aunty has cancer, the doctor says it is only a matter of time. I just failed all three of my midterms - the one thing I had going for me, and I can't even do that. Oh, and it's costing thousands of dollars. My best friend and I are fighting. The boy I like decided he doesn't like me anymore. I hate my job. I'm not good at anything - I'm unlovable and unworthy. I hate myself, every single part. All of it." This is what I wrote in my reflective journal the first week of attending the Vancouver Coastal Health Eating Disorder Program. Two years ago this was my reality - I lost control and desperately needed something to hold on to. Food became that thing I could control - it wasn't because I wanted to weigh a certain number or fit a certain size - of course, societies perception that 'to be beautiful is to be thin' didn't help - but this is not why my eating disorder developed. No one understood what was going on - they were frustrated, confused and scared. I pushed away everyone who tried to help me - not because I didn't want help, but because I didn't think I was worth helping. I was ashamed - how pathetic am I? I can't eat a meal. It's food, really Braelyn? You used to love food. What happened? Two years later and I am here to tell you - it's not your fault and it wasn't your choice. It was never about the food. And right now, you can't bare the thought of eating a nourishing meal - I know. But guess what? You are so much stronger than you think. You have a life to look forward to. And right now, this illness is winning and you're not living. You deserve to live, and I mean really live. You may have a mental illness but you are not your mental illness. You are not alone. The statistics speak for themselves - 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness. 1 in 5 - that is 20% - despite the statistics, it is still hard to talk about it. Why? Bell Media, a mass media company, has used their brand to engage in a controversial, stigmatized topic. A brand that is changing the game - and gives me hope that even 'the corporate world' can make a difference. Join the conversation, if you aren't already, let's talk. #bellletstalk #shinebright

β™₯οΈπŸ’‹πŸ’„πŸ’ƒπŸ»πŸ‘ πŸ·β£οΈβ—οΈ

saaaaay πŸ§€

Go ahead and write down something you are grateful for ☺️

Living with four (now three #byejeremy) boys isn't always easy, but I wouldn't change a thing! Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes - yesterday and today ❀️ I feel so incredibly loved! 22 feels gooood πŸ’ƒπŸ»

Everyone always told me, "you have to go travelling, it will change you." I used to get excited about the idea of 'starting over' and having the opportunity to be anyone I wanted to be - initially, travelling was a way for me to reinvent myself. It didn't take long for me to realize that I didn't have reinventing to do. I struggled at first; it was my first time being so far away from friends and family. It was also difficult making friends with strangers; I worried about what they would read when they searched my name. For awhile, I struggled deeply. Despite my breathtaking photos of the beach and the sunsets, I was lonely. I didn't have my friends and family to comfort me. It was bad, really bad. I felt guilty - I was given an opportunity of a lifetime to study abroad. I had a false impression that living in Australia would cure me from my disordered thinking. This was a bit naive - my sickness isn't cured when I board a plane; it comes with me everywhere I go and reminds me every time I am presented with the obstacle of finishing the food that is on my plate. It reminds me every time I look into a reflective surface. It is, and it might always be, with me. I have a mental illness but I am not my mental illness - repeat this to yourself over and over again. Travelling hasn't made my disordered thinking better, if anything I think it has made it worse. However, this is a very narrow sighted perspective, and in the long run - I have challenged my eating disorder more than ever before. Eating disorders live in comfort zones; they thrive off of routine and structure. Moving to Australia very rarely follows a routine or a structure - as hard as it may be, you don't grow in your comfort zone and I can confidently say that have grown. Go travelling - Go - Not for the places but for the people. I have met lifelong friends. I am learning and growing from them more and more everyday. I am so grateful, loved and inspired. Here's to the next 8 months of unexpected, spontaneous adventures. Australia, I love you. #shinebright

When I was in kindergarten, I experienced my first bully - he was your classic name-calling, lunch stealing bully. At five years old, I couldn't understand why someone would be so mean to me for no reason; I told my mom, of course, and I assumed she would respond how ordinary parents do - by talking to the teacher or principal. But not my mama, she is anything but ordinary; instead, she said: "Braelyn we are going to buy him flowers". I was confused, and initially, I refused. But eventually, I caved because 'mama knows best.' In front of my five year old peers, I presented the bully with a bouquet of flowers. That was the last time he bullied me - and it was the first time my mama showed me what it means to 'treat others how you want to be treated.' You taught me what it means to be kind to others, and for that, I am so grateful. When you would drop me off at school you would always say 'do something nice for someone today.' Kindness is at the core of everything you do; you have the biggest, most beautiful heart. You are hilarious - there is no one who makes me laugh as much as you do. Halloween - mom, you know what story is coming, I am sorry but it is too funny not to share. It was Halloween, I was four years old and my daycare encouraged everyone to wear their costumes.There was some miscommunication and my mom had the impression that the parents were supposed to come to the daycare dressed up too. This was a very a big daycare, by the way, hundreds of kids and their parents. So we dressed up, and she didn't just throw on a witches hat and call it a day - she looked like a Disney princess, you must have spent a fortune on that dress. We had matching Belle costumes, no other parent dressed up - it was priceless. On my sixth birthday, you made me invite every child from the daycare because you didn't want anyone to feel excluded. There must have been over 100 kids at my birthday party - McDonald's sold a lot of kids meals that day. You are always rooting for the underdog, and now, I find myself doing the same. Thank you for showing me what it means to be a friend. You were my first friend, and you are my best friend. Happy Mother's Day Mama. πŸ’•πŸ’“πŸ’—

... and to think I didn't know this human before Australia blows my mind #twosocks

my walks to work are prettier than your walks to work β˜ΊοΈπŸ™ƒ

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