Our Blog

Happy Friday, everyone! Jen here, and I started to work with Jess a few months ago. She recently asked me if I would be interested in bringing back the Design Your Life series, I agreed, and I was so excited to get started.

Today we are going to be hearing from my first feature, Lori, blogger behind A Positive Curl. I stumbled across her blog a few weeks ago and every time I visit, she’s posting about how we can all celebrate our lives to the fullest. Her posts are honest, inviting and totally relatable. I knew she would be the perfect person to kick this series off again, and I was so glad when she agreed to participate, I know you will be too.

 


Lori a positive curl 1

 

Walk-with-Confidence

I don’t always wake up feeling great about myself.  I have bad hair days, bad skin days, bad everything days, but I have learned that I cannot rely on those external things to feel good about myself because they can change on a day-to-day basis.  What I can rely on, though, is knowing who I am.  I am strong.  I am beautiful.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  That knowledge gives me the courage to start my day in peace and walk through the ups and downs of life with confidence.

Greet-Others-with-a-Smile

When my husband comes home from a long day at work, I stop what I’m doing and greet him at the door with a big hug and a huge smile.  My smile conveys to him that I am happy and excited to see him, and I know that he appreciates this greatly.  As important as it is to me to greet my loved ones with a smile, it’s important that I greet others with a smile as well.  With people that I see at work, church or even at the grocery store, I do my best to greet them with a warm and genuine smile.  A smile is a simple but powerful gesture.  You never know what someone else may be going through, and your smile may be the very thing that brightens and uplifts their day.

Be-Love

One of my newest life intentions, and something that I try to practice every moment of every day, is to be love to the people around me.  When I first thought about it, it seemed a little overwhelming.  How could I possibly be love to everyone around me?  But 1 Corinthians 13 shows me simple ways that I can be love to others.  I can be love by being patient and kind.  I can be love by not envying someone else or being jealous of what someone else may have.  I can be love by not getting easily upset and not keeping a record of any wrongs done to me.  I can be love by looking for the best in others, being filled with hope and persevering through every circumstance.

Ask-for-Help

I have an “I-can-do-it-all-by-myself” type of personality.  I very rarely ask for help because I never want to appear as if I don’t have all the answers.  But the truth is that I don’t have all the answers.  I never have and I never will.  I am learning that there are people in my life who have already been down the road that I would like to travel on, and it would be silly of me to not ask for their help.  Last summer, I had an idea for a blog but no idea where to begin.  At the time, I had been following Jess Lively’s blog for a few months, and I really admired her work as a successful blogger and business woman.  When I discovered that she offered one-on-one consulting, I knew that I needed to ask for her help, and I’m so thankful that I did.  Jess was beyond amazing in helping to bring clarity to my jumbled thoughts and helping me find purpose in my blog, which is something that I would have never been able to do all on my own.

Celebrate-the-Kinks-in-Life

I have lots of “kinks” in my life – things about myself that I don’t like or wish I could change.  For years, I hated my naturally curly hair.  I did everything I could to hide my curls, until one day I decided that it was time to stop fighting them and begin to embrace them.  I now wear my hair very big and very curly, and I love it!  Learning to celebrate my hair has opened my eyes to other areas of my life that are in need of a little celebrating.  I may not have beautifully toned arms like First Lady Michelle Obama, but I’m still going to rock my sleeveless shirts in the summer time.  My voice may not sound like the amazingly talented Mariah Carey, but I’m still going to sing my heart out every chance I get.  My height and size may not be that of a gorgeous supermodel, but I am still going to stand tall and walk with confidence, knowing that I am perfect just the way that I am.  Whatever the kinks in my life may be, I’m done fighting them.  It’s time to celebrate them.

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

going within
March 26th, 2013     |    Life

 

GoingWithin

Writing on this blog is one of my favorite parts of my life. I deeply feel called to serve others and this medium feels made for me in so many ways.

Since I started the blog January 19th, 2009, just over four years ago, I’ve devoted as much time as possible during my workday to create compelling content that can help people.

Thankfully, I’ve been fortunate to have a wonderful community who has stuck by me through all the ups and downs of the past four years.

My career and vocation, in many respects, is due to this wonderful support as well.

However, I’ll be honest: lately I’ve been on a bit of an internal roller coaster.

Though there are many awesome projects in the works which I cannot wait to share with you in the coming months, I have sensed an outward focus which is not sitting well lately.

Never before in my career have I felt frustrated by a nagging sense of competition. Though I intuitively know there is enough room for everyone and that things will continue to evolve and change in the industry, this egoic outward focus is clouding my joy.

Further, now that I am focused on service as my success metric, the blog and online world is even more relevant. It not only draws clients my way, but it also allows me to serve simply by writing valuable, helpful content on the blog and WIKW.

In my eagerness to serve and help others through my efforts online, I think I’ve started to inadvertently place my personal value there as well.

Which needs to change.

Because, unbelievably, though I have been serving more people than ever over the past few weeks, I have felt this lingering sense of… lack during the same period.

Though I have great intentions to serve and help others, I need to be completely content in my personal value independent of my level of service – especially online.

My sense of self-worth should not rest on how much I serve others online nor should it rest on my perception of the market.

To help myself rediscover my equilibrium in this area, I am going to take the rest of the week off from blogging and social media, excluding the WIKW topic tomorrow and a new guest series on Friday.

After this post, I’ll respond to current comments and Tweets that I have yet to answer. Then, I will take the rest of the week to devote to the projects I mentioned earlier in the post. I’ll still be consulting and serving my clients as usual, but when it comes to the blog and social media, I’d like to take a bit of a break to go within myself and recalibrate.

I hope is that by taking the time to pause and heal this part of my life paradigm, I’ll emerge more balanced and serve you even better from a place of fullness.

The online world is a wonderful place, but it is best to navigate it with self-care in mind.

 

willingness
March 26th, 2013     |    Business AdviceLife

 

Willingness

Recently, the concept of “willingness” has come to my attention. Though I’ve never given the idea or term much thought in the past, it seems to be following me around.

It’s popping up in my Course in Miracles reading each morning. It’s the concept I’m most drawn to in the levels of consciousness chart I shared last week.

When I think about it, the concept of willingness is what has allowed me to grow a business from the age of 15 with a $5 bag of beads. Willingness was what allowed me to move to Chicago with $700 in the bank after graduation and set up my business full-time in a studio apartment.

I was willing to have anxiety attacks over cash flow.

I was willing to take on interns when I was a year out of school myself. Without a clue about being a boss.

I was willing to dip into my savings to re-brand my company.

I was willing to learn how to work with manufacturers to make products beyond my speciality – and make mistakes along the way.

I was willing to do whatever I could with whatever I had.

 

Recently, I feel like willingness is less common. Or perhaps less commonly spoken about.

In an effort to establish “credibility” or exude “success,” especially online, we are less interested in sharing the sacrifices, trade-offs, and lessons learned. We are less likely to share the nitty-gritty or not-so-pretty.

The problem with this phenomenon is that is isolating. It make it appear as though no one struggles. It makes it appear as if there is some sort of secret to “success” that some know and some do not.

But the truth is that talent, value, and willingness, are among the factors that cultivate long-term success.

We are comfortable sharing our talents and value, but shy away from what we were willing to do to get where we are.

No, I’m not suggesting we give a play-by-play of our actions. But I do think we can share our humble beginnings and difficult trade-offs in a more collaborative way so that other’s don’t feel like they are alone, struggling and making hard choices.

 

As a first step towards cultivating a more “willing” community, I kindly ask: what have you been willing to do?

 

 

WishIKnewWebsiteStandOut

This week on Wish I Knew Wednesday I’ll be sharing my take on crafting a website that stands out. The ideas presented will be helpful for those with sites or those just starting out. In fact, I’m going to be sharing the changes I’m currently implementing on my own site.

 

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming workshops and other Business With Intention updates.

(If you have signed up for the Wish I Knew Wednesday newsletter, you will automatically get this email.)

 

confident expectations
March 25th, 2013     |    LifeQuotableThink About It

 

ConfidentExpectations

I heard this quote today and it struck me as the perfect Monday morning mantra.

May something good happen to you this week!

 

it’s been one of “those” weeks
March 22nd, 2013     |    Life

 

This week has been one of “those” weeks.

You know, when things go something like this:

 

I’ll be taking the weekend easy so hopefully next week will be more like this:

 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great weekend!

the human will
March 21st, 2013     |    LifeQuotable

 

TheHumanWill

Good news! The computer seems to be in good working order since the coffee spill yesterday and I’m thinking ‘powerful’ thoughts that it will stay this way.

In the meantime, it’s always nice to have a little pep talk from the lovely Mr. Covey.

 

power vs. force
March 20th, 2013     |    LifeThink About It

 

PowerVsForce

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about motivation as it relates to intentions in our lives.

The book Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins has introduced me to a very interesting concept regarding motive, paradigms, and power. Though I am skeptical of many of the scientific elements he brings to the table, I have been fascinated by the spiritual ideas.

In the book, Mr. Hawkins suggests that the way we view and interact with the world relates to a specific level of consciousness. He believes we often stay within the same consciousness level most of our lives, but I personally believe that we may jump between these levels depending on our mood, experiences, and spiritual growth.

Mr. Hawkins describes the following levels.

 

PowerVsForceConciousnessLevels

 

The levels in coral depict those which use power. Operating from one of these levels creates an effortless pull of good things, situations, and opportunities to you.

Meanwhile, the levels in gray demonstrate the levels of force, according to Mr. Hawkins. Force levels require you to go out there and ‘take’ the good things, situations, and opportunities that you’d like.

It all boils down to a “push” vs. “pull” way of living and being.

At first glance, this may either seem amazing or a little too woo-woo.

Regardless of the concept’s abstract nature, I’ve found some tangible, “spiritually practical” ways to implement these ideas with great results in my own life.

Lately, whenever I’m faced with a difficult personal conflict, business decision, or other mental quandary, I now try to determine which level I’m currently operating from.

Chances are, if I’m having a conflict, I’m looking at the circumstances from a gray, forceful level. Coming up with a solution for the problem on the same, or nearby gray level, will still leave me frustrated and at a standstill.

However, when I pause and ask myself:

“At what level would I need to look at this situation in order to find peace and a new solution?”

… A new way of being, thinking, and feeling emerges.

Is it always easy to remove the emotions tying me to the gray level I was previously operating in?

Honestly, no.

[Intermission….]

In fact, funny story… I just had “a situation” occur in the middle of writing this post.

Yep, about one minute ago I spilled my coffee out of the blue onto my new MacBook Pro (which means I’m now typing this portion of the post on Mr. Lively’s super old laptop).

I easily could have felt angry about the unforeseen setback, guilty about my clumsiness, and afraid that it might do some real damage.

But thanks to writing this post, I immediately was reminded of the power levels. Heck, I just needed to look at my screen rather than the coffee puddles to find that I needed to rise to the level of acceptance in order to find the peace about the situation.

I can accept that I will spend the rest of the day doing work from this different computer and be thankful that I have a computer to work on at all. I can also accept that I will find out if any serious damage has been done when Mr. Lively gets home to investigate.

So there you go. Though the idea of consciousness levels might be a bit “out there” for some, but it can really be useful.

Especially if you spill coffee on your laptop.

work at a coffee shop… right now
March 19th, 2013     |    Business AdviceLife

 

WorkAtACoffeeShop

Last week I mentioned a few of my work-from-home quirks like my new home-working arrangement and my obsession with eating out.

In response, Jamie Silver directed me to Coffitivity via Twitter.

It’s simple, yet amazing.

If you are alone in your home studio or in a cubicle in a corporate office, visit this site and be instantly transported to your own personal coffee shop.*

 

*Caffeine not included.

 

 PS – Check out my interview about business and Franklin in Pawsh Magazine on page 38. 

 

WishIKnewSocialMediaEffectively

 

This week on Wish I Knew Wednesday I’ll be sharing my tips and take on using social media effectively.

Though I know many people have a pretty good handle on this topic lately, I do have some key suggestions which have proved to be impactful for myself and my clients.

 

If you’d like to get the email, simply sign up by clicking on the image below. This email list is also where I announce upcoming workshops and other Business With Intention updates.

(If you have signed up for the Wish I Knew Wednesday newsletter, you will automatically get this email.)

 

let there be an empty shelf
March 18th, 2013     |    Life

 

LetThereBeAnEmptyShelf

Let there be… an empty shelf.

Which leaves room for that future special someone.

 

Let there be… a day without orders.

Which leaves room to develop next season’s new collection.

 

Let there be… a night without plans.

Which leaves room for a bubble bath and a glass of something delicious.

 

Let there be… openness in your life.

It provides the space for new things to come.

 

 

Update: I was just told that this idea is mentioned in The Happiness Project. I didn’t know that when I wrote it, but very cool! 

 

learning to say “no”
March 18th, 2013     |    Life

 

theeverygirl_sayingno

 

For this month’s Living Well column on The Everygirl, I’m sharing three kind ways to say “no.”

I’ve also suggested – to business clients – that a sticky note with these three “no’s” next to their computers could help them politely turn down opportunities when necessary.

Click here to see: Learning to Say No

 

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