Opening a gift shop was not what I thought it would be. Taking big steps to grow a business can be overwhelming, but if you remind yourself why you started, it will pull you through. Here are my steps to being prepared for the unknown in the brick and mortar world.Read More
In my last journal entry I shared my first non-negotiable in life, which was my daily meditation practice. Meditating is one of the two things that help me deal with daily anxiety and fear. If you would like to read more you can find it here.
Today I wanted to share with you my second daily non-negotiable that is done in correlation with my meditation practice in order to keep me feeling calm and balanced. Unlike my meditation practice, which is done first thing in the morning, writing can happen at any point in the day. This is a more organic and natural process versus one that is regimented. I keep a notebook in almost every room in my house, so when the spark hits, I can just grab the closest one, find a comfy spot and share my thoughts with the paper. I am going to explain below what my daily journaling looks like, however you can create something that is better suited for you if you find my technique not matching your style.
I always start by choosing my top 10 things I am grateful for, whether that be my home, health or relationships, etc. I choose each one carefully, write it down and then connect the feeling of gratitude for each one in my heart. This is not a list that I steam roll through, this is more of an exercise in reminding myself to not just say "I am grateful for X" but to actually connect the feeling of gratitude for each one. Once I have my daily top 10 and walked through the feelings for each one, I re-read the list and out-loud thank God/Source/Universe for each one.
- Write It
- Feel It
- Say It
Next, I will write about whatever is pressing on my mind in that moment. This could be business related, relationship issue's, financial worries or health. (My topics vary from day to day) This week in particular I have been feeling stuck, not really progressing or regressing but just sitting still. I wanted to explore more on why I was feeling this way. When I feel the need to get deep into a feeling I will normally meditate on it and then write about it. I have been taking mental note on all the self-defeating stories my ego has been telling myself lately. I write down why these self-defeating thoughts are simply old stories that no longer serve a purpose in my present day. As humans we tend to carry our stories with us even though they are from our past and no longer serve us well today. Maybe its because we feel our past pains are like a badge of honor. They show someone how much we have endured and experienced. But, in order to leave them where they belong (in the past) we need to greet with them lovingly, let them surface and then be willing to part ways, knowing very well you will not benefit from them today, tomorrow or next week.
When I started to write down all those self-defeating stories I was telling myself, there was a common thread among them. It was the notion that I did not deserve the success I was working very hard and diligently towards. Even though I was putting in the 10 hour days, giving my all to every client, working smart in order to avoid creative burn-out and having a steady calendar of work in front of me, I was still telling myself old stories from the past that I did not deserve success. Even if I kept at it longer, harder, smarter, as long as I was believing that I did not enjoy the fruits of my labor, it would never come. Hence, leave me feeling stuck, not progressing not regressing, just standing still.
In the past there was a time where I did believe this, but that was no longer truthful and real for me today. See, even though I can say, "No I do not believe this story to be my truth anymore" I needed to make peace with it, thank it and release it. I need to believe and remind myself this is no longer the story I want to live out. Instead, it would stay with me, waiting for me to eventually believe it again. And this is exactly why I have my two non-negotiable's in life. I have come to trust that the action of meditating and writing are just as important to my mind as healthy food is to my body. It has become so ingrained into my daily routine that I now look forward to completing each one as I would my favorite glass of Cabernet after a long day.
Now, how does any of this relate to business? Gifting? Being a creative? Because when my mind and thoughts are not aligned with my purest intent, then I am no longer living to my truest capabilities. How can I possibly offer my very best if I am not thinking my very best, feeling my very best, acting my best? Simply put, they walk hand in hand. My business is a direct reflection of my heart. My heart is a direct reflection of my thoughts. And I work everyday to create thoughts that are aligned with all of the above. Full circle, one working off the other.
As apprehensive as I was to share these extremely personal self-care practices, I felt that if one person could benefit from my openness, then that would trump any insecurities I may feel. I'm not embarrassed of where I am, I am so proud of how far I have come. I plan on sharing more often with the hopes that it speaks to your heart. Take what you need, file what may be needed and disregard the rest.
If you are interested in starting a meditation practice, I recommend checking out The Chopra Center where you will find free guided meditations as well as the 21 Day Meditation Experience. And if you are interested in starting a journal routine, well just pick a pen, and write one word at a time. Glory comes from the willingness to begin.
The intent of this journal or other information provided is not meant for self-diagnosis or use in place of medical advice, but to share my personal journey dealing with various mental health topics. If you or someone you know may be struggling with mental health issues, please seek support from the appropriate professionals within your community.
When I finally decided to add this journal to my site, I originally had plans of sharing everything about gifting, where to buy the best supplies, and lot's of other fun tips on how to design fabulous gifts that will keep them talking (In a good way!). And while I still plan on sharing those topics, right now I am truly being pulled in a different direction that has me wanting to keep it more real with you guys. I love when I can make a connection with my audience and I am seeing a trend that when I am honest and open, the deeper that connection becomes. I want to use this space to not just write and share about the gorgeousness behind gifting but also about real life topics.
I woke up today wanted to share with you my two non-negotiable's in life. These are the things that I vow to not negotiate my way out of with excuses. It is what keeps me feeling centered and honestly helps reduce my feelings of day to day anxiety and nervousness. When I am centered and focused on my well-being than I am able to offer my best to not only my clients, friends and family, but most importantly myself. Through-out the years I have created two habits that make this possible, meditation & writing.
Meditation, as stated by the Chopra Center "is a simple yet powerful tool that will take you to a state of profound relaxation, dissolve fatigue and accumulated stress, and renew your creativity and passion for life. By its very nature, meditation calms the mind, and when the mind is in a state of restful awareness, the body relaxes, too."
I hope I don't lose you now if you are thinking this is only for Yogi's or New - Age thinking individuals. Meditation is for everyone and anyone! And the best part, you can have results even by meditating if only for a few minute a day! Meditating is my first daily non-negotiable. This is something that is just as important to my morning routine as brushing my teeth. If I know I have an early start the next day, I will rise 15 minutes earlier. For me, it centers my mind, calms my heart and sets my intentions for the day. Whatever is on my mind that morning that may have me feeling anxious or fearful, I spend 15-20 minutes meditating on it. I take this time to hand it over to God, Universe, Energy, Source and trust that it is all being taken care of.
Before I committed to making meditation one of my non-negotiable's, I would dabble here and there with it. Sometimes I would dedicate a few weeks meditating and then find a reason to not partake one morning and then months would go by with no intention of meditating. That's when I would take notice that my anxiety is strong and constant, my self-defeating thoughts are rampant and my over-all feelings of being centered and balanced are non-existent. Over the years I have been able to recognize what makes me feel good inside and out and what no longer serves my mind and body well. Meditation for me, like prayer is something that truly connects me closer to Source. And when I am closer to Source, is where the calmness exists, and the answers are found.
I invite you to try meditating along with me, even if its only for a few minutes a day. Upon rising, carve out 5 minutes for yourself where you can quietly rest with no distractions. Sit in a relaxed position, with your back straight and your hands resting in your lap. Choose a mantra for how you would like to feel that day. Here are a few of my favorites:
- My mind is calm
- I am at peace
- I am healthy mentally, physically and emotionally
- I am guided to all my answers
- I am strong, powerful and courageous
If you are a beginner to meditation, there are so many useful FREE resources online for guided meditations. One of my favorites that I am partaking in currently is the 21 Day Meditation Experience, Getting Unstuck. This is a 21 day guided meditation to help you become unstuck and create a limitless life. Sounds good, doesn't it?
I speak from experience when I say this practice has changed my mind, my thoughts, my life. With all the noise in today's world, it's reassuring to know that each morning I will gift myself the chance to reconnect, realign and come back to center and I wish the same for all of you. If you have any questions regarding a meditation practice, please feel free to email me or comment below. Let's all become the greatest version of ourselves together!
Stay tuned for my second non-negotiable, it will have lots of good tips on how to over-come those self limiting beliefs. Don't want to miss out, make sure you are signed up for my newsletter below. Let's take this journey together!
For the past year, I've had a running list of idea's that I knew I wanted to blog about, eventually... The one topic that kept coming up for me was how I define success, what does being successful look like? I feel like the success talk is much like the money talk, no one wants to have it. Success should not be something we are embarrassed about, hide from or even feel the need to exaggerate. Your success and victories should be celebrated no matter how small they may seem. Here are a few ways I learned to embrace the process of accepting my own successes.
IT'S NOT A NUMBERS GAME
I've been there, I've done it, I'm guilty as charged. I have compared away, whether its the number of followers they have, number of blog posts, amount of times they have been published, number of likes, numbers, numbers, numbers! I thought in order for me to be/feel successful, my numbers needed to be off the charts, that the amount of followers would equate to the amount of work I received. #FALSE
Yes, of course as my following grows I do tend to feel encouraged and the amount of likes I receive may shift from day to day. But I can now attest to the theory, that the amount of followers equals the amount of work I receive is false. (At least for me this is true) Hand raised high; I am busy, I sometimes receive more inquiries that I can answer in a promptly time frame, I have enough work for my two hands and small studio space can handle at the moment. Numbers no longer control my image of success. Instead, the time and care I can offer each client is how I define my success. When a client sends me a message reassuring me that I am meant to do this, that is what makes me feel successful.
FORWARD IS A MOTION
Don't get me wrong, yes I have semi-mastered the non-numbers game of thought but that doesn't mean I still fall into the comparison game from time to time. I am only human after all, and definitely not perfect. Gauging your success on someone's portrayal of their success is a negative place to let yourself drift into. Here are some tips for when the self-destructing starts to step in.
- GET BUSY! This is when you need to dive even further into your own situation. Recognize your journey is exactly that, YOURS.
- STAY FOCUSED on you and that special gift you are offering to the world. What keeps you unique? What are you offering to your clients and customers that is needed? Reminding yourself why you began can jump start the motivation train.
- SHOUT IT OUT to everyone, letting them know who you are and what your business has to offer. Compose an email and send it other's within your industry introducing yourself. Get out from behind the computer and meet other creatives. Join a meet up, one where you can chat among other like-minded individuals. If you are looking to find one in your area you can check out Rising Tide Society, to locate one near your home town.
- KEEP MOVING, even one small step at a time. Because in the end, forward is forward no matter how big of a jump or little a step. Forward keeps the energy going.
- BE YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN. Everyone loves a cheerleader, be the best at it!
In the end, we will all have different definitions of success. For some, success may very well be a certain number of followers, while the next may say it's the amount of inquiries they receive in a single day. For me, success is the end result of each gift design I hand over to my clients and customers. Success is the thoughtful email they send to me afterwards. Success is the feeling a gift I designed gives someone who is preparing to start chemotherapy or the Bride that needed help with saying Thank You to her best friends. Success to me will always be a feeling and not a number.