Inspiration & Motivation For When It’s Tough To Keep Going

I was browsing through some old posts, doing my monthly reflecting thing, and I came across this one. I wrote it in September of 2014, a true turning point in my life. With Easter soon here, it brings thoughts to mind of hope and new beginnings, a thought of how true pain can bring upon us glorious resurrection. I can’t say that my life became easy, or that heartache stopped to exist in my life after this turning point, and maybe some days I still don’t take it in the best stride, but I do come back from it every time, stronger than I was before. I can’t help but imagine that I am being trained for something so much greater out of this life. In the last three years, I’ve suffered more loss and held greater heartaches but I will not give up hope ever. I refuse to believe that life is anything other than a gift, that our suffering is anything other than lessons. I refuse to roll over and lay. My spirituality has shifted some as I grow but my core beliefs remain the same and I still believe. 

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have experienced many trials, challenges, and heartaches in my life (so far) but I do not look back at them with regret or resentment.  A couple of years ago when my ex left me three months before our wedding I was crushed, the very center I had built my future around had been shattered. Though I didn’t know it then, I had been saved. When my Grandmother passed away, I was deeply saddened, but with that sadness I found strength and courage. When my son was angry and told me he hated me I felt as if my heart had been pierced but it gave me focus and motivation to show him how much I loved him, to be a better Mother.
We will all have tragedies in our lives. Some we bring on ourselves, some that are dealt to us, but do not look at them as defeat, for there is no such thing as defeat. These are just twists in our path.

If it wasn’t for my heartaches, for the challenges I overcame then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or who I am today (or have the relationships I have today). Some hurdles I soared over, some I barely climbed but I can say with pride and boast that I survived them, I survived. The Universe does not break our lives but will always be there to give us strength to survive. We will be given the tools to rebuild. Life will always have tests – tests of strength,  tests of courage, and tests of faith.
Having faith isn’t about knowing what the outcome will be, it is about trusting that in the end it will all be well. I used to have a close friend that would always say, “It will be okay and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end”. Those words still linger in my mind. I truly believe that we are placed (or sometimes walk ourselves into) situations so that we may grow, that we may better ourselves. Ten years ago I didn’t have that same belief, I thought the world was against me. But then I learned some valuable advice – what makes us strong, what makes us happy, and what makes us wise is not what happens to us but it is in how we  react to it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am.

I don’t know what all will happen tomorrow but I do know that I will have faith to make it through and that I will come out a better person because of it.

I Choose to be, Therefore I am.

5 Books to Read for Bloggers & The Business Minded

A new month brings new beginnings. It brings refocus to our goals and how we are going to get there. We learn from our experiences, our failures and our successes, and we learn from other’s stories of triumph and challenge. Check out my reading list for the bloggers, the entrepreneurs, and the business minded – the movers, the shakers, and the world changers.

You can shop the whole list here: Reading List for Bloggers & The Business Minded

Leave Your Mark by Donna Karan – Drawing invaluable lessons from her experience, Licht shares advice, inspiration, and a healthy dose of real talk in LEAVE YOUR MARK. She delivers personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers and for people who are well on their way. With a particular emphasis on communicating and building your personal brand, something she knows a thing or two about, Aliza is your sassy, knowledgeable guide to the contemporary working world, where personal and professional lines are blurred and the most important thing you can have is a strong sense of self.

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso – #GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek – START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

The Design of Business by Roger Martin
To innovate and win, companies need design thinking. This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another—from mystery (something we can’t explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated). As knowledge advances across the stages, productivity grows and costs drop-creating massive value for companies.

How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup – Whether you have been blogging for years or just a few weeks, How to Blog For Profit (Without Selling Your Soul) offers solid advice and practical action plans for creating an authentic, successful, and profitable blog. With wit, wisdom, and the insight of someone who’s been there, Ruth Soukup shares how she grew her own blog, Living Well Spending Less, to over one million monthly visitors, earns a full time income, and still is able to write about the things she truly cares about.

 

All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page

How To Get Back On Track To Reach Your Goals & Dreams

I went eleven days without writing, without posting, without sharing my thoughts with you all. I wasn’t MIA, I was on a bit of a different path, a side street for a bit. I took some time and dove into my office life as a marketing manager, I took some time to sleep, I took some time to process the moons, to clean out my closet. I took some time to think, a lot of time to think…and now I am here, ready to go.

Restart

Sometimes we need to take some steps back, take a look at where we are, where we want to be, and what we need to do to get there. This helps us clear away the fog that builds up on our lenses, refocus ourselves to drive towards our goals, and to set adequate steps to take to reach those goals.

1.) Set concrete goals.

2.) Clear out the clutter.

3.) Write out the tasks that need to be completed.

4.) Schedule out tasks and routines.

5.) Focus on one task at a time.

I feel stronger, calmer, with a clear mind ready to move forward towards where I want to be. I have spent the last few days enrolling and starting my course for my health coach certification, editing my blog editorial calendar, cleaning out my planner, scheduling my fitness routines, and writing out my daily mindfulness tasks. 

My Goals:

1.) Get Fit Again – Not that I completely fell off the wagon, but I’m not where I want to be or where I know I can be. I scheduled exercises for every morning, set goals for packing lunches, and will be working more gym time into my week.

2.) Health Coach Certification ProgramClasses started this week, woohoo! To keep myself on track, I’ve scheduled class time with myself each week. 

3.) BloggingUpdated my editorial calendar, scheduled blogging time, spent my downtime getting ahead with some posts.

4.) Painting/Art TimePicked the upcoming art shows I want to apply for, wrote the deadlines on the calendar, and scheduled in art time each week. 

Allow some flexibility into your schedule and your routines. Allow yourself to be forgiving of yourself if you slide or miss a task. Keep your goals in eyesight, write them down and post them where you see them frequently. Celebrate your successes. 

Now go kick butt and make the magic happen! 

How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide Your Life & Happiness

Our beliefs can transform our lives. Many of my beliefs I have carried with me year after year,  helping shape me into the person I am today and the person I strive to be. These beliefs have continued to inspire and motivate me in each of my days. They give me strength and hope and the fire to keep going no matter what obstacles or heartache come my way.

Your beliefs become your perspective. 

What you put out into the world is what will be returned to you. Life is a circle, if you send good energy out, that is what you will be returned with. Although not all things in life will be roses, choose not to only see the thorns. Each experience that you have in life is preparing you for something much grander. If you chose to believe that, then you can be at peace in knowing that good things are coming no matter where you are in life right now. Keep your head up and keep pushing forward towards your goals and dreams and you will arrive when the time is right. Creating a positive mindset will help you get there. We each have the ability to change our way of thinking, to control how much power we give to negativity and circumstances, and the power to not allow situations or people control our emotions, feelings, and outcomes.

Create strong core beliefs and hold on to them to get you through anything. 

The Path of Art Journaling – Exploring My Growth

About a year ago, I started art journaling…I found it a wonderful release of the stress that the day had brought. Since then my mind has opened and the creativity and artistic nature of my personality has unleashed so much more. Today I sketch, I paint routinely, and I dive into free drawings with my pastels when I find I’m struggling to sleep. This #artthursday I took a look back at where I started adding art back into my daily routines…this shows that when we start with just a simple step it can unleash us into many wonderful places as we continue to move forward on our paths.

March 2016: So one of my bucket list to-do’s is to make an Art Journal. I’ve always thought they were so beautiful and such a wonderful way to be expressive. I have seen tons of great ideas online, you can check out some of my fave ideas on my Pinterest Board – Art Journaling.  I want my art journal to be fun, push the limits of formality and tradition. I want lots of color and funky doodles. I try not to conform to one set style or structure, just let myself explore and be free. I’ve found this a wonderful way to calm myself, a unique way to add to my meditations, a place to release. Some pages take thirty minutes, some take hours, some pages are part of one project, some a single thought.  I’m still quite a newbie and cannot compare to some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen online but my art journal is mine, not a following of any one else’s, my own creation, part of my artistic and spiritual journey… I’ll share as I go along, as I evolve and grow, hoping to inspire and stir ideas for your own…

I continue to grow more and more each day, some days I produce more art than others. Some paintings take months to finish and some I finish in a day. Each month, I find myself trying a new medium or a new technique. I have become more free in my expression and pushing past boundaries and limitations I used to hold myself to. I have opened myself up to seeing inspiration in so many more places and it has brought beauty to each moment in my days.

Feeling Stuck? 20 Ways To Get Rid Of Creative Block

We’ve all been there, as an artist, as a writer, as a blogger…creative block sometimes gets us. I get it at least once every few months. I know there’s awesome things there waiting to burst out but I can’t get the door to open. So I kick into gear on busting down that wall and getting those creative juices flowing again! 

1. Read – Dive into a fantasy novel, drift off into a good story.

2. Revisit your work – Look at old paintings, read old blog posts, review & edit the novel you’ve been working on.

3. Meditate.

4. Visit an art gallery or museum.

5. Take a nap – Dreams can be wonderful inspiration.

6. Get outside – Explore & surround yourself with nature.

7. Take a Class.

8. Listen to music.

9. Have a spa day – Sometimes you just need to relax & take the pressure off.

10. Research something unusual – There’s all kinds of crazy topics out there that can spark something in your mind.

11. Spend time with friends.

12. Scope out Instagram & Pinterest for ideas.

13. Cook – Try a new recipe or get cozy with a family classic.

14. Participate in a sketch or photo challenge.

15. Travel – Take a mini vacation or go for a day trip.

16. Just scribble or splat some paint on the paper – Let the chaos of the mess lead your artistic ways.

17. Drink some wine – Not something to overdo but a couple of glasses of wine can help you let your barriers down.

18. Pick a word & journal about it – What does that word mean to you? How does it inspire you?

19. Exercise – Go to a Yoga class, go for a run, get your Zumba on.

20. Clean & reorganize your space.

Inspiration From The Streets

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, making mistakes, and having fun.” ~ Mary Lou Cook

Where would art be if we didn’t have artists that pushed the limits and broke some rules?  I have a secret love for street art and graffiti. It takes some gust and some big inspirations to create art like that, big scale and bold colors up for the whole world to see. 

 

From a simple smiley face to a city poetry garden to a grand message, these pieces of art are one of a kind and hold their ground. Go explore, there is art all around us! 

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How To Have A Strong & Balanced Life: A Happy Life As An Ambivert

So many times the conversation comes up on whether I am an introvert or extrovert, I identify with both.

Ambivert: a person whose personality has a balance of extrovert and introvert features. 

Being an ambivert means:

1. I’m not uncomfortable at social events but I’ll get tired and need alone time to recharge.

2. I’m more comfortable meeting new people and experiencing new places with my friends there.

3. I will adjust my energy level to accommodate my company.

4. I can work in a group but I also like to complete most tasks individually.

5. Some people think I’m really outgoing and sociable but others know me as quiet and keeping to myself.

6. I can survive in crowded places but I don’t prefer them and I’ll usually find a quiet corner or stick close to just a few people. 

7. It takes practice to learn to be assertive and stand up for myself.

8. I can be really trusting at times and other times skeptical.

9. I can drift away in my own thoughts just as easily as I can be drawn into an intense conversation.

10. I tend to carry myself differently in a professional office than I do outside of the office with my friends and family.

11. I like to be the center of attention once in a while but not too often. 

12. I can usually determine people’s motivators quickly. 

My ambivert personality allows me to enjoy a varied lifestyle and helps me be adaptable to many environments and thrive in many situations. But being an ambivert has also taught me that keeping balance in my life is very important and is key to my comfort, my happiness, and success.