10 Posts to Read When You Need Some Advice for Life

This one is for my fellow bloggers (and everyone else too!) – Do you ever find yourself in need of a little reminder of your own best advice? When you’re feeling a little off, a little bit more vulnerable than other days and you think hey I totally wrote a blog post about that and I need a little kick in the butt…well I do so I thought “hey, this could make a fun, little round-up post”, are you with me?

When I’m feeling overly self-critical about choices I’ve made in my life: 10 Quotes that Help Me See the Silver Linings in My Mistakes

When I’m feeling a little lonely being a single gal: Why I’m Enjoying Being Single Right Now

When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed: 12 Ways to Deflate Anxiety Naturally

When I need to add a boost of some extra self-care into my week: 55 Self-Care Activities to Add to Your Schedule

When my schedule has gotten super chaotic: How to Plan a Healthy Schedule when you’re Super Busy

When I need a some positive inspiration: How Powerful Core Beliefs Will Guide your Life & Happiness

When I need to love myself a little more: You are a Magical, Beautiful Being: 15 Affirmations for Self-Love

When I find myself feeling a bit judgmental: Why It’s Important to Let Go of Toxic Judgments

When I need a little help getting my finances back on track: How to Build a Budget for those that Hate Budgets

When my to-do list has gotten out of control: How to Build a Better To-Do List

How to Use a Quarter Life Crisis as Positive Motivation

So I was going to write about my favorite Netflix and Amazon shows tonight but I’m not…I’m still going to totally write about them (because Netflix binging is seriously like one of my favorite things) but I’m going to write about it another night. Tonight I want to talk about my mid-mid life crisis. Like seriously, I want to quit my job, shirk all responsibilities and runaway to a little remote beach village.

Realistically for me better titled as what EliteDaily.com refers to as my 30’s-Life Crisis. My mind is filled with wonderful, crazy ideas of things I want in my life still. But I know I’m coming to a point where I may run out of time to do them. I am restless. I want more out of my life. I’m not unhappy overall but I am feeling a bit stale, not at my best yet. I don’t feel as if I’ve reached my full potential. Honestly, I’m starting to feel the sting of getting older. I am craving something bigger, some more magic in my life. Perfectly quoted from EliteDaily.com, “You’re young because you still dream big. You’re old because failing is no longer an option”.

According to an article on HuffingtonPost.com, this time in our lives “gives rise to a desire to change, finding an exit plan from the current situation, and rebuilding your life”. Well that’s pretty fitting for my life. When I turned thirty, I started focusing on making life changes to lead a happier life. Over the past few years I’ve made substantial changes to routines, wellness practices and my perspective on life. I’ve hit the road running kicking into this year by making launching my business and growing my website a top priority. I’ve put my dreams in very close view to work towards making them a reality. Daily I think of my motivators and how I want my life to look like in five years or even in the next year. What I want to be doing, how I want to feel and who I want to be around.

I recently read that many people go through a mid-life crisis because they don’t go after fulfilling their dreams. I am only halfway there. I have my moments when I think about how I wished I did things differently in my twenties and how maybe I could be sitting with my toes in the sand today instead of working the 9-10 hour office days I do now but would I have a different frame of mind if  I would have gone down a different path? Would I have still learned the lessons I did along the way? In the end of my thought process I realize I wouldn’t be where I am today with the definite conviction of what I want in my future.

I’m choosing to use my mid-mid life crisis as a wake up call, as motivation to go after my dreams and my goals. I’m choosing to look at it as I’ve learned many lessons on my journey (and still have more yet to learn) and those will help me be successful. A crisis can be an opportunity to prevail.

  1. I made a list of all the things I love to do and the goals I still want to accomplish, things I want more of in my life.
  2. I made a Bucket List. Actually I made a lot of bucket lists, I created a ‘Bucket List Notebook’ that can keep growing!
  3. I created a game plan. And I researched what I needed to do to accomplish my goals.
  4. I created a rough time line – allowing some flexibility to bend with the curve balls life throws you.
  5. I started with one step…and I keep working at it every day.

“Follow your passion. The rest will attend to itself. If I can do it, anybody can do it. It’s possible. And it’s your turn. So go for it. It’s never too late to become what you always wanted to be in the first place.” ~ J. Michael Straczynski

5 Positive Ways to Address World Challenges

I can’t believe we’re already on Day 16 of #LoveBlog2018! Usually I’d be the one saying even though February is the shortest month of the year it feels like the longest but this year it seems to be moving right along. There have been so many fantastic posts from the hosts this year (last year was amazing also!) and I’m still so excited to be part of such a great series. You can check out all the prompts for this year at bellebrita.com. Make sure to swing by and enter to win this week’s giveaway too! One lucky winner will receive a custom illustration from Coffee and Maps, plus the item of their choice from the Coffee and Maps online store. The giveaway starts February 15th and ends on February 21st. US residents only. Learn more on Rafflecopter. Brita Long of Belle Brita will verify the winning entry before emailing the winner during the fourth week of February. If the winner doesn’t respond, she will start the process over again. Good luck!

Today’s prompt is ‘Challenges’. I have so many thoughts around this prompt that I struggled a little getting my thoughts organized and deciding which way I wanted to go with today’s post. With everything that is going on in our world today, we are faced with challenges, both big and small, on a daily basis. Initially I was going to share my thoughts about challenges in the office, about how the workload can be overwhelming or about the struggles of working with different personalities but when I sat down at the kitchen table to have dinner with my mom, the news was on and they were reporting about that awful shooting in Florida. Then my mother and I ended up in a discussion about the opioid crisis. As a society we have many world challenges. As individuals we have personal challenges, both within ourselves and from external circumstances. There is so much going on, how do we navigate through it all? I found myself in thought about the issues I feel passionate about and the ones I feel an urge to drive advocacy about – mental health, breaking the opioid cycle, minimizing the negativity and anger that’s in our world today…there’s a lot that can easily fill up my mind. I spent much of the evening working through the thoughts that flew around in my head. Although there are special exceptions in any issue, I found all of my thoughts ending at “if we (as a society) took better full care of ourselves” we could make more headway, more improvement towards these issues. Things we’ve gotten away from like managing our pain, managing our emotions, our grief, our stress – not taking care of ourselves in a full, rounded way. So many times we try to mask symptoms or discomfort with medicines instead of truly working through them (again please note, there are exceptions – clinical depression and mental illnesses are real and should be treated properly, I’ll get onto my thoughts of that a little bit down the road here). I believe as a whole we have less pain tolerance (both physically and emotionally) so we feel the need to medicate instead of being able to breathe through it or in a term I don’t necessarily love, “suck it up”. How do we reform this? We (we being wellness advocates, bloggers, and all of the included) keep pushing through, we keep researching, we keep making strides back to natural health. We keep talking about self-care, we keep promoting positivity and motivational quotes. We keep trying. We keep sharing our stories, we keep giving all we have to inspire others.

Now onto my second thought – mental health and wellness…we need to be addressing this more, we need to keep speaking up about it. There are still too many people out there not getting the help they need. There are people living their whole lives with depression and feeling as if they can’t tell anyone, can’t reach out to who they need to, barring them from getting the help they need. There is absolutely no need to ever be ashamed of how you are feeling, whether it’s anger you are struggling to let go, or clinical depression, or anything above, below or between. We need to create more places people can feel safe in their lives. We can’t wait until it’s too late to open our eyes to it. Maybe this one is personal for me. I have many outlooks on it. I have the “we can’t help them until they are ready to help themselves” outlook and also the we better be damn well available for when they are ready  and I have the we need to be recognizing the signs more so we as a society build better systems and help our community. I hear so much about gun control, and though I do think there are some things that can be done there, I am not against guns. I am a big advocate of the thought that we can’t address gun control without addressing mental illnesses. I spent my time eating my dinner listening the news of how this kid (18 years old so I guess technically that makes him a young man) noticeably had mental issues yet was able to own a gun. I have a problem with that. Guns don’t kill people, people use them as a tool to kill people. I was raised as a military child so I can’t consciously admit that I’m against guns nor am I against myself owning a gun (I don’t own one but maybe I would) and I will admit that I would shoot to protect myself and my family but I wouldn’t shoot to kill. I know that I wasn’t in every one of those situations so I can only speak in speculation but it’s heartbreaking watching these things happen in our world. We need to break the cycle of violence. We need to advocate for mental illness. We need to promote wellness in all areas. We all deserve to be well in mind, body, heart and soul. 

So as an individual how do we help address these challenges?

  1. We stay positive and hopeful. Without hope we are lost. The world needs hope. We need to be able to see that things can get better. This motivates us to make positive changes.
  2. We stay respectful in our advocacy, our comments, our chants. When preaching for your cause it’s important to not create more anger and hate. We don’t fight fire with fire. You can disagree with someone’s opinion or comment without throwing them down and stomping on them. The world needs positive change. There are many perspectives of a challenge. It doesn’t make it not a challenge. It means that we are seeing it differently. I find it frustrating that we spend more time arguing about the problem than actually working on finding solutions and healthy compromises…this goes for world challenges and personal challenges. I am absolutely exhausted of seeing the hateful posts on social media and the road rage and the anger and negativity. 
  3. We educate ourselves. I have many personal opinions about how I feel about situations but if I really want to work towards making changes (in any situation) I have to learn about them more, from both sides.
  4. We stay passionate. Let your passion drive you (not to the point of crazy though – passion is not defacing property or throwing things at people in protest). Use your passion to not give up. If one letter didn’t work, send more. Build plans, suggest solutions, show people you care in positive ways.
  5. We find people that share our concerns. Again, this is one of those, I’m not saying go join an extremist group. But build a group of those that also want to advocate and fight for your cause (fight meaning positive ways of protest). Raise money to help improve a shelter if your cause is getting homeless of the street. Get a group of folks together to write letters to send to politicians about saving endangered animals. Link up with wellness bloggers to help get the word about healthy living out. Whatever it may be, numbers and collaboration make a difference.

If we all give a little then we can create a lot of change. We need to be united to address world challenges…but also keep in mind it all starts with the person we look at in the mirror every day.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Meet Your Hosts

Brita from bellabrita.comBrita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.

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Pamela from thecoastiecouple.com. Pam is one half of The Coastie Couple. She is a teacher turned blogger that shares her family’s adventures and recipes on the blog. She currently lives in Michigan with her husband, baby boy, and two dogs. You can often find her exploring the local area to find hidden gems to share on the blog. She enjoys travel, wine, writing, and playtime.

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Laura from dofivethingsaday.com. Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

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My Thoughts & Realizations about ‘Adventures for Your Soul’

I spent January reading ‘Adventures for your Soul’ by Shannon Kaiser. This book was filled with reminders of how to push towards your dreams and live to your full potential. She reminded me that to truly find our passions and live them we have to be true to ourselves, we have to love ourselves honestly and openly. Shannon outlines ’21 Ways to Transform Your Habits and Reach Your Full Potential’ breaking it down into action items for the reader to put into place right away, creating new, positive thought patterns. She shares examples in how she actively changed her life to a life she loves by sharing her story and how she overcame her challenges. I loved how Shannon included notes of awareness of habits that are creating blocks of the happiness we desire and motivational mantras.

Some of my favorite parts & Lessons:

“Emotions are the way that you assess or react to a situation. Emotions are rooted in assessing situations, whereas feelings are grounded in truth in the moment. Emotions are often in your head, whereas feelings are inspired by your body and heart……Distinguishing between the two is an important step in moving forward in life with clarity and confidence.”

“We lean into love by recognizing that everything is in our life for a reason, that we are in those situations to help us grow and to learn……They lead us to new opportunities and to new doors that may open, but life is an ever-expansive journey where we are growing, changing, and morphing into what we want to be based on where we have come from.”

“Accept where you are fully to reach where you want to go faster. You are not broken; there is nothing to fix.”

“……it doesn’t matter what our life “looks” like, it matters how our life feels.”

“…….ask yourself what you want, and what feels good for you in the moment. Aligning with your own truth in each moment will help you become who you want to be.”

What I realized reading this book is that I shared so many of the beliefs Shannon was sharing in her book but I have been limiting myself. I have only been going halfway in. I need to commit to my beliefs, my passions and my dreams, go all in, allow them to lead me in my life. 

You can check out more about the book here.

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.  
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Inspiration from the Big Screen – Celebration of Star Wars

There has been so much excitement about the new Star Wars movie coming out tomorrow! I’ll be honest, I enjoy the movies for sure but my knowledge is no where comparable to some of the folks I know, but being in a marketing position at the office I’ve found myself caught up in the whirl of it and it’s been a fun ride! Me being me, of course, I found some inspiration from the sayings and quotes. With the idea of the dark side vs. the light side, there is much that can be pulled out of the context of these movies <3

My Favorite Quotes from the Star Wars Movies & What They Mean to Me

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” ~ Darth VaderYou have to have faith in yourself, in your abilities, in life, and in possibilities. Faith will guide your way. Without it, you can feel lost. Even on bad days, you have to hold onto the faith that things are going to get better. You have to have faith that you can achieve your goals to start working towards them. Faith is a driver. Don’t give up faith.

“The force will be with you always.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiEverything you need to succeed and to be happy is within yourself. It is always with you.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” ~ YodaIf you decide you want to make something happen then you have to will it to happen. You have to do what it takes to get it done. There is always a way if you stick to it.

“You can’t stop the change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.” ~ Shmi SkywalkerChange is inevitable. Everything is always changing, even the very cells in our body are constantly changing. We must learn to adapt to change and to grow with it.

“If you strike me down I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiLife gets hard and can break us many times but each time we fall we heal and we become stronger. So bring it world!

 “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” ~ YodaDuring some of our darkest moments is when we can truly discover who we are. It is in our rawest moments that we see the truth. 

“Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.” ~ Anakin SkywalkerCompassion is an important trait to develop. We must learn to have compassion for the world, for others, and for ourselves. Compassion envelopes understanding and love and compassion leads us to positive change.

“Your focus determines your reality.” ~ Qui-Gon JinnWhere you place your focus is what will grow. Focus on the things you want in your life, focus on the positive.

“Let go of your hate.” ~ Luke SkywalkerDon’t live your life full of hate and anger, it will destroy you.

“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations.” ~ Darth VaderDon’t take on more than you handle at one time. You’ll burn out if you do.

“I should be mindful of the future…but not at the expense of the moment.” ~ Qui-Gon JinnBe aware and work towards your goals and build for your future but do not blind yourself of the present moment. You must learn to live in the moment while you work towards the future.

“Much to learn you still have.” ~ YodaWe will always have more to learn. Life has consistent opportunities for us to grow and develop.

“Many of the truths that we cling to depend on our point of view.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiWhat we perceive is what we believe. You have to teach yourself to see things with an open mind and believe in all possibilities.

“Be mindful of your thoughts. They will betray you.” ~ Obi-Wan KenobiTrain your mind to release negative thoughts.

“Now be brave and don’t look back. Don’t look back.” ~ Shmi SkywalkerLet go of your past, you don’t live there anymore. You can’t go back and change the past, you can only take the lessons learned and move forward.

Three Bonus Quotes to Inspire You to Keep Working Towards Your Goals

“If you want to be successful in a particular field, perseverance is one of the key qualities.” ~ George Lucas

“You have to find something that you love enough to jump over hurdles and break through the brick walls.” ~ George Lucas

“You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plough right ahead.” ~ George Lucas

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50 Quotes For Success To Bring You Up When You’re Feeling The Sting Of Setback

It can be a long road to success. It may take late nights and a whole lotta sweat and tears. I’m not going to be the one that’s going to sit here and say “It’s going to be easy” because most times it isn’t. There will be set backs and failures, which are all natural in the process of making change, of pushing down walls and working towards your dreams and goals. But I will sit and say, “Don’t give up”. If you want it, if you’re willing to work for it, you’ll make it happen. Big dreams take work and they take time and they take overcoming challenges but it’s all possible to make those dreams come true. 

Some of my little secrets to keep yourself inspired and motivated: Surround yourself with things that build you up, surround yourself with people that are making it, reward yourself for little wins along the way and post all the motivational quotes, mantras and affirmations you can all over the place! 

50 Quotes For Success To Bring You Up When You’re Feeling The Sting Of Setback

  1. “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
  2. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill
  3. “Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.” ~ Bo Bennett
  4. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
  5. “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.” ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
  6. “The secret of success is that we never, never give up.” ~ Wilma Mankiller
  7. “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” ~ Japanese Proverb
  8. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” ~ Colin Powell
  9. “The secret to your success is determined by your daily agenda.” ~ John C. Maxwell
  10. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” ~ Napoleon Hill
  11. “Action is the foundational key to all success.” ~ Pablo Picasso
  12. “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” ~ Florence Nightingale
  13. “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
  14. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~ Arthur Ashe
  15. “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” ~ C.S. Lewis
  16. “Success is not the absence of failure, it’s the persistence through failure.” ~ Aisha Tyler
  17. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  18. “Success is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ben Sweetland
  19. “There is no success without hardship.” ~ Sophocles
  20. “Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” ~ Lydia M. Child
  21. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill
  22. “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” ~ Walter Scott
  23. “True success is overcoming the fear of being unsuccessful.” ~ Paul Sweeney
  24. “Always remember that striving and struggle precede success, even in the dictionary.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
  25. “They succeed because they think they can.” ~ Virgil
  26. “It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success.” ~ Charlotte Whitton
  27. “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow
  28. “Things that look like an ‘overnight success’ typically are not.” ~ Jason Calacanis
  29. “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
  30. “Success is a process, a quality of mind and way of being, an outgoing affirmation of life.” ~ Alex Noble
  31. “Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact upon both our levels of happiness and success.” ~ Shawn Achor
  32. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” ~ George A. Sheehan
  33. “The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream, and how you handle disappointment along the way.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki
  34. “There’s a lot of blood, sweat and guts between dreams and success.” ~ Paul Bryant
  35. “There’s no abiding success without commitment.” ~ Tony Robbins
  36. “The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” ~ David Sarnoff
  37. “Much effort, much prosperity.” ~ Euripides
  38. “Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.” ~ W. Clement Stone
  39. “Without failure there is no sweetness in success. There’s no understanding of it.” ~ Glenn Beck
  40. “To follow, without halt, one aim: that’s the secret of success.” ~ Anna Pavlova
  41. “Success is the progressive, realization of predetermined, worthwhile, personal goals.” ~ Paul J. Meyer
  42. “The real secret of success is enthusiasm.” ~ Walter Chrysler
  43. “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” ~ Joyce Brothers
  44. “What drives success is internal motivation.” ~ Vivienne Ming
  45. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart.” ~ Thomas J. Watson
  46. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden
  47. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~ Walt Disney
  48. “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
  49. “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” ~ Zig Ziglar
  50. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

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5 Top Goals To Get Focused on Self-Improvement

September is National Self-Improvement Month and with a new season ahead of us it’s a great time to get setting some new goals. Here’s the top goals to set for yourself this month. *These are high level goals, over the next few weeks we’ll break them down more with tips, tricks, and ideas to soar to the top! 

1. Get Fit. A healthy body is a gateway to a healthy life and mind. It improves our overall happiness and helps boost our energy day by day. Find ways to add better eating habits and healthy exercise routines into your weeks consistently. 

2. Financial Organization. Set goals to build a budget and to stick to it, set savings goals. This goal is all about building more security and financial freedom into your life. 

3. Focus on Building a Healthy Mind. Daily affirmations and meditation are great ways to building a clear and strong mind and to help you manage stress better. 

4. Make “Me” Time for Yourself. It’s important to have time to yourself to decompress from the stresses of every day life. This helps you recharge and reflect for what’s going on and for what’s to come. 

5. Expand and Keep Growing. Never give up on your dreams. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and go for them. Take classes on topics that intrigue you, visit a new place, keep practicing that craft you love. 

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How to Stay Motivated & My Top TED Talks for Motivation

Sometimes I need a little help getting motivated, a little kick in the butt to get back to tasks. I have found TED Talks to be extremely inspiring and motivating. They speak truth, they speak action, they speak change. A key way to keep motivated to work towards your goals is to surround yourself with motivation and positive thoughts of change.

  1. Surround yourself with positive, motivated people.
  2. Post motivational quotes at your desk, in your planner, and in your room.
  3. Read an affirmation every morning.
  4. Listen to music while you work or clean.
  5. Read motivational books and listen to motivational podcasts.

My Top TED Talks for when I Need Motivation

  1. The Art of Being Yourself by Caroline McHugh
  2. How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over by Mel Robbins
  3. The Power of Vulnerability by Brene’ Brown
  4. The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong by Amy Morin
  5. Your Elusive Creative Genius by Elizabeth Gilbert
  6. Lessons from the Mental Hospital by Glennon Doyle Melton
  7. Listening to Shame by Brene’ Brown
  8. The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain

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