Creative Living

#thursdaythoughts
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#ThursdayThoughts: If You Could Have Coffee With Anyone…

ThursdayThoughts is back and if you missed the first post in this series, check it out here! Basically I just ask a fun question for us to ponder/answer and it’s fun thinking about how every person would answer the question differently! SO, this week’s question is:

If you could sit down with any person that inspires you, dead or alive, and chat with them over coffee who would it be?

Of course I’m the most indecisive person ever so I’m going to give two answers for this. My number one would be my grandparents Ettie (Esther) & Jack. My mom’s parents who passed away when I was younger and I think that’s something I’ve always felt sort of heartbroken over, the fact that I never got to talk to them more or get to know them as I became an adult, etc. Man, I would LOVE to be able to sit down and talk to them. They had the most incredible, inspiring, purest love between them that just radiated whenever you were around the two of them. I would ask them more about their lives, more about how they met, I would probably sit there forever if I could.

Second, I would love to sit down with Maya Angelou. I’ve always thought she was a very strong, inspiring woman and I recently listened to a podcast with her on SuperSoul Sundays with Oprah. She has incredible life stories and wisdom and it would be so interesting to talk with her about her life. I was already blown away by what she shared with Oprah and I’m sure she has so much more to share.

Now it’s your turn! Who would you love to have coffee with? Scroll to the bottom and drop me a comment!

And if you want to talk more dreams and creative musings, head on over to my Instagram!

The Fear of Starting Something New
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The Fear of Starting Something New

I was going to title this “Overcoming the Fear of Starting Something New” but to be honest I don’t have the answers to overcoming it, so instead I’m starting a conversation about facing it head on and quieting that fear voice.

Every time I experience some large amount of change or embark on a journey of starting something new, my anxiety and the fear voice in my head are turned up to full volume. I don’t really know when or how this started with me because I actually welcome change. I truly believe starting new things and going out of your comfort zone are essential to growth, yet I still encounter this fear voice.

Fear of the Unknown

Why does this little fear voice pop up in our heads? I think it pops up for many reasons. I’m someone who likes to know the plan. I’m extremely curious and tend to (attempt) to predict all the “what-ifs”. I think we fear the unknown when we start something new. Whether that’s a new job, a new creative project, getting assigned a new account or assignment, starting at a new school, making new friends, starting a blog, the list goes on and on! We fear committing to something new and putting ourselves out there. We fear messing up or failing, we might even fear succeeding and knowing that our lives will change—even if that means small changes from our daily routine. It’s like walking down a flight of stairs, except it’s pitch dark at the end. If you can’t tell where or when you’ll take your next step, it’s hard to be 100% fearless right?

The only way out, is straight through

I think we’ll all probably experience this fear voice throughout our lives—it means our goals and dreams are big enough to scare us into taking action. But the only way to turn that fear volume down is to tackle the fear head on. Don’t put it off, don’t try to find ways around whatever it is that you’re about to begin, just do it. And sit in that fear and be honest with yourself why you’re feeling that fear.

I’ve heard many people say they try to talk themselves out of feeling anxious, nervous, or fearful about starting something new. I hear this all the time with auditions. I think that’s the less helpful approach. We’re not trying to trick ourselves by repeating some version of “don’t be scared” in our heads. Instead, if we get real with ourselves about why we’re fearful or nervous, it might lead to a more clear understanding of how to approach the situation and realize that the fear voice is totally unnecessary.

I recently started a new job in digital marketing and I really wanted this job! It was perfect for my schedule, the women I would be working with were so nice, and I thrived in the area I would be responsible for. So when I got the call that I actually got the job, you know what happened? Fear. Panic. Anxiety. The what-ifs came flooding in and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what changed so quickly. I had to sit in that feeling for a day before I realized it’s because I was trying to predict how everything would go. I felt such unease not knowing what my day-to-day would be like, especially when I had my routine down to a T this past year. I think this all goes back to something I had talked about on my Instagram last week. We can CHOOSE to not be stressed. If we’re conscious of that fear voice, we can try to be more conscious in how we deal with it.

So whenever that fear voice pops up for us, let’s remember these things:

  • Breathe
  • Don’t ignore the fear voice. Try to figure out what’s underneath that.
  • Realize that none of us can predict how anything will go, we can only try our best.
  • Know that we have a CHOICE. We can choose how to feel and react to the fear and ultimately, we have a choice about the path we take. Maybe whatever it is you’ve begun really isn’t right for you or your life. You can choose to not go down that path.
  • Truly recognize that everything happens for a reason and everything will be okay.

Maybe I should bookmark this blog for myself too 😉

How do you navigate the fear of starting something new?

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BookClub: 7 Books I Read & Loved in 2017
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BookClub: 7 Books I Read & Loved in 2017

It’s always nice to have a good book at hand and every morning I sit down to journal a little and read. It’s a nice escape and whether I’m diving into a non-fiction book to learn something new or adventuring along with the characters of a fiction novel, I loved reading these in 2017. Below are seven books you should go read now if you haven’t already! Feel free to click the photos/titles if you want to hop on Amazon and get these shipped to you right away (I know I’ve done that with 3 books already for the new year!)

The Magnolia Story – Joanna & Chip Gaines

Chip and Joanna wrote this book to tell not only their own love story, but how they started their crazy dream business (empire, really, if we’re being honest here). It was SUCH a good read. So much more inspring than I thought it would be and regardless of if you’re a huge fun of them, this book is for everyone out there with a goal. It’s also really inspiring to people who have no idea what they want to do in life. Chip and Jo are here to tell us that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to if we just have a little faith and a lot of courage.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying: Lessons From a Life in Comedy – Carol Leifer

Comedian and TV show actress Carol Leifer details her experiences of trying to break into the business and it was a funny, honest look at what that truly looks like. No glam, no flashy business but hard work and some super funny stories that will make you laugh so much! I love hearing people’s stories about how they got to where they are now because it shows us all that we have to start somewhere, right?

Lily and the Octopus – Steven Rowley

I’m not crying you’re crying! You will cry. I’m just going to lay it all out there now, you will love this book and you will cry very hard. Oh my goodness this book! I am a major dog lover and have always had a dog in my life. I currently have 4 dogs, 2 little ones and 2 big ones. They are the loves of my life! This book was such a unique, funny, and heartwarming story about one dog owner. I love love love the fact that this book went inside the dog’s head but from such a different perspective that I hadn’t read before. So imaginative and original. You’ll be better off for having read this!

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook – Tony Robbins

Like I’ve mentioned before, I have that nerdy side of me that loves marketing and business books. I love soaking up new information and this past year I became really curious about investing and the right way to go about that as I get older. This book was SO helpful in explain to millennials the way it works and why we need to start investing now. I’ll leave it all up to the inspirational Tony Robbins to tell you, but I learned that it doesn’t matter how much you start with it just matters that you start now and not later!

Faith Countryman – Lori Hartman Gervasi

One of my favorite novels to date!!! You guys HAVE to read this. The characters in this book were so original and I always felt like I was right there having a conversation with them or standing in the same room. It’s my favorite thing to sit with a good book and just escape the world for a little bit and I did not want to put this novel down or stop going on the adventure with Faith! A must-read!

The Intent to Live: Achieving Your True Potential as an Actor – Larry Moss

This book will probably only be of interest to those who like acting but if you’re curious about what it really takes to be an actor and all the WORK it takes, all the inner work that goes on, then definitely pick up a copy of this! For anyone reading that does act: This book needs to be on your shelf to keep forever as a reference. Larry is a master and I wish I got to train with him. He gives invaluable advice, exercises, and personal stories we can all relate to. Consider this an acting class in a book.

Left Neglected – Lisa Genova

I remember I picked this book up in Portland about 2 years ago and it sat on my shelf un-read for whatever reason! I was cleaning out my room and picked it back up and decided to give it a read. I have to admit I thought I wasn’t going to like it….oh how WRONG I was! I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down and I mean it. There is so much more to this book and let me just say there’s double meaning to the title 😉 I truly fell in love with the main character and her voice. Everytime I would come home from somewhere I got sucked into reading this and finished it in less than a week.

 

I’m definitely a book worm and always will be, and it’s so interesting to see what books I stumble across I hadn’t planned to read. I already plowed through an amazing book so I’ll have to write it down for my 2018 list. Anyways, tell me every book you loved reading this past year below so I can pick up a copy and check it out!!

Setting Clear Intentions for 2018: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)
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Setting Clear Intentions for 2018: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s blog post, Finding Clarity: Questions for the New Year, I mentioned that I’m doing an email series with my subscribers called Cultivating Your Best Year. Day 3 (the final day) was all about setting clear intentions for 2018. As day 3 came and went I realized…wow that was a lot of journaling! And that’s coming from someone who really enjoys it. I’ve said it again and I’ll say it before though…journaling really does provide so much clarity, new ideas you didn’t know were in the back of your head, and a perspective you didn’t know you had. I really enjoyed doing this email series and got some sweet messages and comments. Thank you to everyone that felt a sense of purpose through this and I’m glad we can go into 2018 with a little more clarity and a lot more creative inspiration! P.S. if you don’t want to miss out next time, click here and scroll to the bottom where it says “Let’s Connect” and sign up for my newsletter!

Ever since I was young I would make new years resolutions. I’m an avid list maker and always have been and when I was younger they were always those vague, cliché resolutions: workout more, read more, keep my room cleaner, etc. But as each year passes I’ve learned a lot more about resolutions, goals, and intentions and the difference between then all. Here’s why I think intentions are the foundation we need to start with.

Here’s something I said in my email newsletter:

Goals vs. Intentions

For me, I think the difference between goals and intentions is that goals imply a specific outcome. While specificity is great, I think intentions are more about the journey and making longterm changes that will lead to your goals & dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I love setting goals for myself. However, I think I can agree that there’s a negative connotation that comes with not meeting that goal. Intentions comes from a place of presence, and that’s pretty powerful. A great example I’ve read about goals vs. intentions has to do with weight loss. For example, let’s say you give yourself the goal of losing 20 pounds by the end of the year. But if you set out to do that without the intentions of really trying to live a healthy lifestyle and have that awareness to make those changes within your diet and exercise, you could be setting yourself up for a year of stress or not meeting that goal. And if you do meet it, where do you go from there?

A truly GREAT thing I read about goals and intentions said this: “Declare your intentions first, then build your goals on top of them.” That makes so much sense, right? Healthy lifestyle = intentions, losing 20 pounds = specific goal that builds from that intention.

Setting intentions allows you to live your values and attract the life you want. It’s common for many Entrepreneurs to set intentions because it’s truly a powerful tool!

Questions for Clarity:

Here are just a couple questions I asked my subscribers to journal, and a glimpse into my answers!

In order to see your dreams come to life, what parts of your life need to shift this year? What habits do you want to start or remove? What fears do you want to overcome? 

One of my words this year is Action. I moved closer in the direction of my dreams and goals but I want to attract them even more. I was productive, but not as productive as I could have been. I set some systems in place, like powerblocking my days, but I fell off the wagon a bit. This year I want to shift my day-to-day to taking more meaningful action. No scrolling on the internet or doing tasks for my blog when I know I sat down to work on my screenplay. Purposeful action. I know that I’m most productive and my brain is buzzing with ideas most in the morning. Things that could shift are my sleeping schedule and going to bed earlier to put everything else into place. Sometimes I look at my to-do list of everything I need to do to break into the industry for acting/screenwriting and it’s overwhelming. This year what I want to shift is not feeling like it’s a sprint but a marathon. All I can do is focus on one thing at a time and then move down the list.

I’d also like to shift my reaction to things more to a place of pausing, listening, taking it all in before reaction. I can be opinionated with those close to me and would like to see one of my core values of inner harmony come to fruition more this year.

Choose a word or a few words to be the anchors for 2018.

I divided mine into two words: Action + Inspire. Action to anchor my personal dreams and to take actionable steps towards that & Inspire to be a mantra for me in this world of blogging and writing. Both words are so purposeful to me right now in my life. In the blogging world, it can be hard to find your identity or figure out how to take your authenticity and make that your brand. Choosing inspire as my word is also my anchor for everything my blog stands for and helps keep me on track when I’m thinking of content ideas or what to say to my audience!

What are your creative or life’s work intentions for 2018? List a goal for each intention (I asked this slightly differently in my email but condensing it for this post)

  • To be more vulnerable on my blog/social media this year. A goal that stems from this is to incorporate video into my content more
  • To take more actionable steps towards what I want to accomplish instead of putting things off. A goal that stems from this intention is to acquire a theatrical agent as well as a commercial agent
  • To make my screenwriting part of my day-to-day routine, no excuses. A goal that stems from this is to have a completed and much better rewrite draft by this year.

What are some of your intentions for 2018? I’d love to know! Comment below and tell me and feel free to journal your own answers to the questions above!

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Finding Clarity Within Myself: Questions for the New Year

#Realtalk: Finding Clarity Within Myself

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s blog post Reflecting on 2017, I mentioned that I’m doing an email series with my subscribers called Cultivating Your Best Year. Day 2 was all about getting real with ourselves. This morning I took some time to journal all 13 questions prompted in the email! I know, that’s a lot right? But it truly helped and I loved getting clear on things that seemed to have slipped to the back of my mind. P.S. if you don’t want to miss out next time, click here and scroll to the bottom where it says “Let’s Connect” and sign up for my newsletter!

I don’t think we can truly cultivate a life we love without getting 100% real with ourselves and asking the tough questions (or honestly, even the silly questions that we haven’t asked ourselves since we were kids)

Creating the life of our dreams means asking empowering questions, means moving in a direction where we feel our best selves, and knowing firmly what we really want. They say we grow where we are planted, but in order to grow you must know what it is that you need. What we need is always changing but I think to cultivate our best year yet, we have to get really clear on things! Some of the questions I asked were meant to help us discover ourselves a little deeper & find clarity about our dreams and goals so we can pursue our intentions (that we’ll set tomorrow) with clarity and authenticity.

Here are just a couple of the questions I asked, feel free to journal these too!

What do you feel, at your core, that you absolutely cannot live without doing? What do you feel you’re meant to do in this life?

Storytelling & moving people to feel deeply. This is the foundation of everything I’m passionate about in this life (acting and screenwriting, or writing in general, which are both forms of storytelling) and I know that’s what I was meant to do and would not want to live without doing. Storytelling and moving people to feel deeply about something also coincides with connecting with people on a deeper level. I think that’s why I love it, too. There’s a reason I love deep conversations!

What would you do if everyone believed in you?

My answer to this question in my journal was longer than I expected. I wrote about a lot, but something that emerged I thought was interesting (which happens a lot when we journal; things come out from us that we didn’t know where thoughts) was that I would show up more for my blog in person (IG stories, live video, Youtube videos, etc.) I think I hold back in this area because it’s a lot scarier than posting a picture! A lot more vulnerable and I know I wonder if people will tune in, or furthermore if they even care? But I felt such a reassurance, or maybe even a voice that was saying not to care what people think, to try this!

What are your most treasured values? How can you live your life more aligned to these values?

This prompt was a great reminder! I loved this one. I skimmed a few lists of values on the internet, like this one, and made a list of the ones that stood out to me:

  • Authenticity
  • Adventure
  • Balance
  • Compassion
  • Creativity / imagination
  • Community
  • Faith
  • Legacy
  • Determination
  • Loyalty
  • Growth / Learning
  • Friendship
  • Inner harmony
  • Love
  • Honesty
  • Meaningful work
  • Optimism
  • Peace
  • Curiosity
  • Trustworthiness
  • Openness
  • Passion
  • Happiness

Okay sooo, that’s a long list! And while all of those traits are valuable to me, I know I needed to narrow it down. “If everything is a core value, than nothing is a priority.” I wanted to get really clear about my most important things so that I can set clear intentions about my day-to-day life in the coming years. Here’s what I narrowed it down to:

  • Adventure: Because life is fun! I don’t want to make excuses as to why I can’t travel somewhere or do something I want to. It’s fun to go out of the norm and experience new things!
  • Empathy: For me, it’s important to come from a place of trying to understand how other people feel. Having empathy can be both a blessing and a curse, especially when you feel bad about serving yourself when you know something doesn’t feel right at the cost of hurting someone else’s feelings. But I know this is an important value to me because I can’t stand when people are rude or mean to others, it shows me they have no empathy for others and there’s no room for that in my life.
  • Creativity / Imagination: Probably obvious here! “Made to Create” you know?
  • Faith: I couldn’t get through life without this. It’s what keeps me going when the path gets a little muddy or I question myself.
  • Growth / Learning: I always loved school and love soaking up new information. Podcasts and as always reading are my favorite way of learning right now.
  • Inner harmony: Because I’ve struggled with anxiety a lot in the past and probably will continue to. This inner harmony and peace is essential for me.
  • Passion: Because if you have passion you have meaningful work and vice versa. Having passion for what I’m doing means I’m on the right path towards fulfilling my soul’s purpose
  • Trustworthiness: I really try to be that trustworthy friend and I hope I will continue to.

*I wanted to include love and happiness in here, but to me those felt like the essential human needs that everyone wants and I feel like love and happiness are the foundation of many of the core values above. Just my thoughts!*

What I learned from Day 2 journal prompts:

What I learned overall from all 13 questions asked on day 2 was that in order to attract the kind of dream life we want, we have to radiate it and become it before it is drawn to us. Getting clear on my dreams, my values, and what was missing allowed me to really get down to the nitty gritty about what I want to incorporate in my life. I feel that when we are that specific, it’s easier to attract jobs we love and repel the ones that suck the life out of us and the same goes for friendships and relationships!

If you want to see me get candid about these topics, head on over to my Instagram where I’m probably sharing more thoughts with you guys on the new year!

What are some of your core values? Comment below!

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Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment
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Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

This past weekend I took a mini-vacation to Newport Beach (about an hour and a half from where I am in LA) and it was much, much needed. It was nice to be so close to home, yet far enough away to feel like I get to explore somewhere new.

Over Thanksgiving just a few days ago, my family and I were talking about how people don’t take the time to be fully present in the experiences they’re in. All too often we see the person in front of us at a concert who won’t put their phone down and just listen. Just take in the moment that they’re in. Taking this little “staycation” was a little reminder to soak up my experiences, even if I’m close to home.

Soaking up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment

It doesn’t have to be an international vacation to make you stop and notice how great life is. Soak up your friends, the laughter, the music, the sunshine, whatever it is just soak it up.

Here are 5 ways you can stay in the moment and take time to be grateful for this life we have.

  1. Plan ahead. I thought about this and it could go either way. Maybe staying spontaneous makes you feel more free, but my thought is that if you plan ahead you won’t have a need to be on your phone. Let’s face it, we use our phones for everything. We Yelp the best nearby restaurants, we Waze our routes, we Google what to do, etc. Planning ahead could keep your phone in your pocket a little longer.
  2. Put your phone away. You probably saw this one coming. I’m a fan of capturing the moment don’t get me wrong! But snap a picture at the beginning of dinner (or at the end) or get a quick photo of that beautiful sunset and then just take time to actually enjoy it. Just like the concert thing I mentioned above, we get so concerned with showing everyone that we’re watching an amazing sunset, before we know it the sun has set and we can’t recall any of the details.
  3. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity. Focus on the present instead of worrying about the future. Have you ever been somewhere trying to relax and you keep thinking about your to-do list? Or stressing over something that doesn’t matter? I do that a lot. When I’m trying to be in the moment, I have to just take a deep breathe and not care. If it won’t matter in the next 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes of your life thinking about it.
  4. I know I said plan ahead…but to a certain extent. I’ve found one of the best ways to truly be in the moment and soak up my travel experience is to get lost with the people I’m with doing something really fun and having a great time. Just like when you get lost creating something you love, or how I get lost writing something I get into that flow state and lose track of time. You can still plan ahead what you’ll do but no one needs an itinerary.
  5. Be open to exploration. Not only within the environment you’re in depending where you’ve traveled to, but be open to discovering a side of yourself you didn’t know existed or to doing something you didn’t think you’d want to do. Don’t force anything, but if you have the urge to do zip-lining and it’s available, why not! There’s nothing that forces you into the moment than doing something that scares you just a little.
  6. Okay here’s a bonus one: stop and take it in. An exercise I’ve done for writing in the past is to take a walk up the street and write down every single sound you hear. What’s crazy is you don’t realize all the individual sounds until you list them. The birds chirping, your shoes on the pavement, the leaves in the trees, cars driving down the street, dogs barking in the distance, you get the idea! Try doing this mentally on your next trip. Just stop and list everything you see and hear. It might sound weird but this truly gets you in the moment and I guarantee you’ll be able to go back to that moment in your mind because you were so present and mindful.

What do you find are the best ways to stay present? Tell me in the comments below!

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Fall Reading List: 6 Books to Read for Every Mood You’re In

You all know I love writing and journaling but I’m a book nerd too! Every morning and night I get some reading in, even if it’s only a few pages. This is more a dream fall reading list of all the books I wish I had time to read more than a definitive MUST READ during October and November. I thought I would start making reading lists every season because I discover so many amazing authors and books I want to read every week it’s hard to keep up with it all. While I know I won’t get to this whole list during the fall months alone, I hope I can read them all eventually!

  1. When you feel like rooting for someone:

    The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. This novel has been on my reading list for a while and I physically have the book, but have yet to dive into it. I’ve heard so many amazing things about this book. It sounds like a real page-turner and I already know I’ll be so invested in these characters and can’t wait to find out what happens!

To sum it up: “It tells the story of two sisters in France on the eve of World War II, and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation of France.”

  1. When you feel like organizing your life and getting rid of the noise (inside and out):

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The first time this book got put onto my mental must-read list, I heard about it on a podcast. It goes SO much deeper than just cleaning out your closet and really gets down to the nitty gritty. The podcast I listened to also talked about how it explained a little bit of why we hold onto things or people.

To sum it up: “With detailed guidance for every type of item in the household, this quirky little manual from Japan’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help readers clear their clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home–and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”

  1. When you’re in that marketing mood:

    The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone. I should probably make an entire list on marketing books to read because I have looooong list but this is definitely at the top. I am always looking to better myself and my business and reading books like this if anything give me a different perspective. I love knowing what makes people tick, what has made their businesses successful, and the journey they took to get there so this book is right up my alley.

To sum it up:  “To reach the next level, you must understand the coveted 4th degree of action. This 4th degree, also know as the 10 X Rule, is that level of action that guarantees companies and individuals realize their goals and dreams.”

  1. When you’re still in that marketing mood:

    Your Best Year 2018 by Lisa Jacobs. Sorry I had to add in one more! For years now I’ve been watching Lisa come out with a bigger, badder, better edition of this book but I finally just said, “what am I waiting for?!” and I can’t wait to get through this whole book! She is a marketing genius, especially for bloggers or those with a product shop of sorts. Don’t wait to get this book, you’ll want/need it for the new year!

To sum it up: “Your Best Year is a productivity workbook and online business planner designed to make your most ambitious goals come true. It is for entrepreneurs who are ready to stretch their comfort zone and make it happen already. Written by a best-selling internet entrepreneur, no better resource exists to help you make the most of your business year.”

  1. When you feel like being purposeful:

    Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Joanna Gaines wrote a beautiful article about the power of this book in the Magnolia Journal and every since then it’s been on my reading list. I’m all about trying to be more present, intentional, soulful, you get the picture. Hopefully I’ll get this read by the end of November!

To sum it up: “Present Over Perfect is a collection of essays that focuses on the journey from frantic and tired to connected and free. Many of us find ourselves busier than we want to be, missing the sweetest moments along the way. We end up resentful and distracted, full of regret and feeling disconnected. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out to a new way of living—full of grace, space, and connection.”

  1. When you feel like tapping into another world:

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’ve heard about this book described as a dark dream you can’t help but be more and more curious about. The description alone really draws me in and to be totally honest I’m not sure if I will end up liking this book or not BUT I’m really curious to find out. I’ll keep you guys posted on what I think once I do read it!

To sum it up: “A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.”

Are any of these books on your reading list? Tell me your must-read books this fall by commenting below, I’m always looking to add to my list!

 

6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I learned from Family
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6 Lessons on Entrepreneurship I Learned from My Family

Entrepreneurship runs in my blood. It’s something I feel like I was born with and as I look back on the different lessons my family taught me, whether consciously or not, it’s shaped me into who I am and the way I navigate being an entrepreneur.

Fun fact: When I was 8 years old, I made holiday-themed stationary. I used paint pens and colored pencils to create cards and paper with pretty borders. I then photocopied the originals and printed out a ton. Then, I made my parents a PowerPoint presentation all about why I should be allowed to go around my neighborhood and sell this stationary. It was VERY detailed, and they got a huge kick out of it. They also agreed to my proposition. That was probably my earliest memory of being an “entrepreneur.”

Below are 6 lessons on entrepreneurship I learned from my family. Lessons I hope you can take with you and implement into your life as well. Keep reading, and I would love to hear a lesson you’ve learned too!

Lesson #1: Have a Strong Work Ethic

Maybe this is a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. My Grandpa Jack (my Mom’s Father) was extremely hard working. He came from the generation of folks who worked very hard at their 9-5 and he did so happily in order to provide for the family. For 30 years, he worked at the same company as an accountant and while he never went out on his own like an entrepreneur, it’s a lesson that anyone can apply to their life. He was extremely reliable, trustworthy, and so hard working he almost never took a sick day his entire time at the company. Having a strong work-ethic is essential in being an entrepreneur, because there will come times when you have to put in more hours than you’ve ever wanted to put in (no matter what you do). If you understand that, you’re in a better position to get to a place where you won’t have to do that your whole life.

Lesson #2: Have a Strong Support System

My Grandma Ettie (my Mom’s Mother, short for Esther) was the most nurturing, understanding, and supportive person you ever met. She was exactly the kind of person you’d want on your side and if there’s anything that entrepreneurship has taught me, it’s that it can sometimes be a lonely road. She was the support system to Jack and her family that everyone needs. Find someone to be “your person.” You will need them when days get tough, when you need ideas to bounce off of someone, when you have great days you want to share, and when you have breakthroughs that need nurturing. If you’ve never read The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron talks about needing a “catcher’s mitt” person. Someone to nurture your artist, to encourage you, and to support you. She also taught me to be that person for someone else and I cherish that.

Lesson #3: When You See a Need— Fill it

My uncle Mark started his own company creating first aids kits to businesses and factories.
He saw a need and filled it. He took control of his future, of his idea, and then implemented it. This is so important because often we see a need for something and even as that entrepreneurial spirit stirs inside of us, we live in fear of acting on it. He taught me that you can create your own destiny and be your own boss.

Lesson #4: Being an Entrepreneur Requires Stamina and Laser Focus

My Grandma Betty (my Dad’s Mother) came from a very very poor family in Colorado in the 1930’s. They had virtually nothing and my Grandma struggled with being seen as the incompetent girl in the eyes of her father. That really lit a fire in my Grandma to surpass everyone’s expectations and be successful. Her present didn’t look anything like the future she knew she wanted for herself, so she worked her tail off to get to where she wanted to be.

Eventually, she moved to California with her mom and brother and quit high school her sophomore year to start her own business. She had sewn some clothes here and there in the past but decided to learn everything she could about sewing, hemming, you name it. She started a business as a seamstress and realized what she needed to do to up level competition. She decided to make herself a “professional,” offering a pickup and delivery service. This made her more professional than anyone her age and in the local market. Throughout her lifetime, she had laser focus and the utmost determination to find success in the businesses she started.

Lesson #5: Believe in Yourself First

My Dad has that entrepreneurial spirit in his blood, just like his mom. His entire life he’s worked his way up from job to job, breaking into industries that didn’t even seem possible in years past. Something my Dad has taught my brother and I is that it’s so important to have confidence in yourself. You will need to take risks throughout your life and journey in your business and the only way that will be possible is if you have the confidence in yourself to do so. No one else will believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself first. He didn’t need anyone else’s approval or validation to go after what he knew he wanted. He knew he had potential and summoned a determined force within himself to be relentless until he got to where he wanted to be. So often I talk with people who say they want to make changes in their lives or want to start a business, but they don’t go after it with confidence and that laser focus. Every day an actionable step needs to be taken. It’s easier said than done, but my Dad taught me to be driven and to go after my dreams with confidence every single day.

Lesson#6: It’s Okay to Pivot

My parents made it a priority, and had the privilege, to spend as much quality/family time with my brother and I as possible when we were little. They cared deeply about the way they raised us and I always appreciated how much emphasis they put on family time. My mom worked for many years of her life, but there came a time when she felt the need to pivot. She strongly felt the need to be home with my brother and I and what I learned is that….that’s okay. There will come a time in your life and business where you will need to shift things. Either drastically or incrementally, but it will need to be done. Welcoming that change instead of dwelling on it could be one of the most beneficial lessons you can learn. I’m so glad my Mom taught me that it’s okay to pivot and make changes or honor what you feel in your heart is the right path to take, even if it’s different than originally planned.

Many of the lessons I’ve learned I had the privilege of learning while my grandparents were still alive. Some lessons though, I really didn’t learn or even realize until long after they passed away. I’m very close with my family and even writing this post makes me so proud of my parents too. I’ve never felt more honored to be a part of this family and look back on their journey, while taking what they taught me for the road ahead on my own.

What lesson on entrepreneurship have you learned from your family? What’s something you want to start implementing into your life? Tell me below by leaving a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: “Made to Create” Coffee Mug Photo by Hannah Robinson. Coffee Mug by Me, find it here.

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Returning to the Heart of Your Vision During a Season of Change

Autumn is known as the season of change, rebirth, and growth. Not only do we see change and growth visibly around us, but it’s a time of year where we might be experiencing changes within ourselves, our business, or our goals. Today I want to bring to the table a conversation about why it’s important to stick with and trust your goals, your dreams, or your vision during a season of change. We will encounter change in our lives no matter the season, and sometimes that change will be in small increments and other times it will hit us like a storm. However that change enters your life, here are some thoughts on trusting that vision you so passionately saw for yourself from the beginning.

Transitioning from Summer to Fall

For me, the summer months inched by for my blog and business, and even my auditions seemed to slow their roll. But now that fall has arrived I’m in full-on crazy busy mode. My inbox is getting busier and busier as the weeks go on, I find myself flooded with new ideas and sometimes struggling to make time for it all. While I try to stick to powerblocking my days, as new opportunities arise and my schedule gets more jam-packed, I have to give myself mental checks to remember my initial goals and always return back to the heart of my vision. There are some weeks when I spend far too much time worrying about my blog and I have to be intentional about giving my writing, acting, and product creation side of my life enough attention and nurture too.

Your Work Evolves but Your Vision Remains

My blog is constantly evolving and especially because I’m relatively new to the blogging world, I’m finding exactly how I fit into this crazy blogosphere (or rather, stand out). I like incorporating new ideas into my blog or exploring new branches of blogging, but I know that the reason I started this blog was to inspire and encourage other women and people in general. Even if that inspiration comes in an unassuming way (like sharing things I’m loving for fall). In this blogging world, it can be hard not to get swept up into monetizing like crazy and trying to jump into the stream of bloggers that promote a new sale every hour. That works for them, they love it, and that’s great! But that’s not the heart of my vision. I constantly return back to my manifesto I wrote when I first published this blog. Do I find inspiration in style and beauty? Sure, of course! And that’s not to say I won’t be sharing things like that. However, I will never stop writing heartfelt inspirational blog posts that I hope inspire or motivate someone.

Bridging the Gap Between Ideas

Do you ever come across someone, whether in real life or on the internet, that suddenly makes everything click for you? I’ve heard Ashley Lemieux and her incredible story before on multiple podcasts but for some odd reason, it wasn’t until this week where I felt her journey and mission clicked with me. She found a way to bridge the gap between having a blog and the products she was making that had a greater purpose and she’s given me more inspiration than she knows. She truly understands balancing blogging and having a product shop and I love that she has found ways to keep on inspiring people every day and give back in life-changing ways. I have been trying to bridge the gap for so long between my blog and the products I create in my product shop and this week has been one of the most clarifying weeks I’ve had in a long time. I have some big changes that will be coming and ideas that I can’t wait to share!

Returning to Your Vision

Whatever it is that you do, take time to be present with yourself and remember your intentions for your dreams and your life. When things in your life start to change or get busy, pause and reflect. When I have busy weeks or even busy months and spend far too much time worrying about things that don’t matter I have to stop and ask myself: why am I worrying about this? Why am I spending so much time doing this? And if you’re experiencing a slow season, return to the heart of your vision and take a small step each day towards that goal. It can be hard, but it will pay off.

Let’s encourage each other during this season of change and growth! Comment below and tell me what returning to the heart of your vision looks like for you.

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Emmys 2017: Championing Women, Powerful Messages, and Partnership

This past Sunday, I tuned into the 2017 Emmy Awards. My mom and I have a tradition of watching both the Emmys and the Oscars every year, we love it! Besides rooting for my favorite actors, actresses, and TV shows, I also tune in for inspiration. Inspiration not only because I am an actor and screenwriter myself, but because I love seeing what they say in their speeches and the encouraging words they might pass on to others.

This year the Emmys brought up a lot of important topics, including diversity and domestic violence, but this blog post is about one topic in particular. Some of the messages communicated through speeches at the Emmys touched on championing women and better roles for them in the film industry, as well as growing ideas and projects through friendship. These words were both impactful and meaningful and I’m hoping to shed some more light on them.

Using Their Platform

One of my favorite TV mini-series of the year, Big Little Lies, took home a few of the awards this year which I was so happy about! When Nicole Kidman gave her speech for Best Lead Actress she said, “…sometimes when you’re acting you get a chance to bring a bigger message.” Though she went on to talk about domestic violence because that’s what her character in Big Little Lies goes through, both Nicole and Reese Witherspoon did use their platforms to talk about something bigger than themselves. In Hollywood, I’ve always found it interesting when people get up on stage and talk about themselves for 5 minutes. Unless there’s an uplifting message or some advice hidden in there, I truly appreciate it when people take the time to talk about a message or movement bigger than themselves.

#CommunityOverCompetition

When Big Little Lies won, both Reese and Nicole took the mic, with Reese saying, “It’s been an incredible year for women, bringing women to the forefront of their own stories and making them the hero of their own story…” Nicole continued by saying, “This is a friendship that created opportunity, it created opportunities out of a frustration because we weren’t getting offered great roles…”

This is SO important. It’s exhausting to see women in television and film who have dull roles. I’m so thankful more and more stories are being made that make women the hero of their own stories, including Big Little Lies.

An important movement that’s close to my heart is the community over competition movement started by The Rising Tide Society. This incredible group of makers and creatives are there so artists and entrepreneurs don’t have to go at their dreams alone. I love that we see the community over competition message within bigger industries and talked about on larger platforms like at the Emmys. The women of Big Little Lies could’ve easily taken an attitude or stance that they were each other’s competition, but they actively chose not to. There are a lot of people no matter what industry you’re in who will try to put you down for making moves, being successful, or being extremely driven with what you want. This is not the idea of “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” AT ALL. This movement is about lifting each other up, finding each other’s strengths, and banding together to create beautiful things.

I’m sure we’ve all had times in our lives when we felt a tickle of jealousy, fear, anger, sadness, etc. when someone in a similar industry as you has the success that you haven’t had yet (myself included). However, everyone is different and each individual has their own path. There is no one way to achieving your goals or dreams and just because someone similar to us is on that same path, doesn’t mean we can’t be both encouraging and supportive to them while chasing a similar dream too. I love that Reese and Nicole reiterated this same message at the Emmys.

How can you encourage or support a friend with a similar dream this week? How can you collaborate to create something amazing? Tell me in the comments by scrolling to the bottom!



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