Creative Living

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What To do When Doubt Creeps In

When in doubt, don’t stop.

A Realization

I usually start my days by journaling morning pages (lately it’s seemed like I have no time!) but I also keep other journals about life milestones or specific journeys I’m on. I have two journals, one for Screenwriting and one for Acting that I like to write in every now and then documenting big goals I’ve accomplished in those areas, breakthroughs, things I’ve learned along the way, etc. and I recently started flipping through my acting journal. It’s crazy to read everything I’ve written in there since 2014! I wasn’t pursuing it as seriously as I am now but even then it’s so funny to read my thoughts back then.

I read the Jenna Fischer book The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide a couple months ago and ever since then it clicked in my mind just how long the actor’s journey can be. I think the same goes for any creative industry though. It can take years and years and years of hard work and breaks to finally “make it.” I had this funny feeling happen recently. I told myself that there was no other option right now but to go after my dreams wholeheartedly and with so much hustle. I don’t recommend the days where it feels so exhausting you might need 10 cups of coffee to finish the day BUT it certainly felt forward moving.

Hustle Hard, Hustle with a Purpose

Why else do we hustle and work so hard for something non-stop other than for the idea that we will get a break one day to get to do something we love? I think “breaks” come in all shapes and sizes but it’s that feeling of: okay this is all for something bigger and this is a stepping stone.

But recently I booked a part that I wanted SO bad and I was so happy, so excited, so ready to take on this challenge and yet…doubt creeped in.

“Doubt is a signal of the creative process. It is a signal that you are doing something right—not that you are doing something wrong or crazy or stupid. The sickening chasm of fear that doubt triggers to yawn open beneath you is not a huge abyss into which you are going to tumble, spiraling downward like you are falling through the circles of hell. No, doubt is most often a signal you are doing something and doing it right.” – Julia Cameron, The Artists Way

That reminder is probably the biggest gift any of creatives can give ourselves. A reminder to recognize the doubt and then keep plowing through to the other side, because on that other side is a wonderful experience that could very much change our life in both big and small ways.

“For an artist, the first doubt is like the first drink for a sober alcoholic: We cannot afford to romance it. The first doubt leads to the second. The second leads to the third, and in no time you are staggering , hurting yourself on the sharp edges of the furniture…When doubt moves at an artist, the artist must learn how to step aside and let the charge pass by.”

Whatever you’re hustling towards and whatever opportunity has landed in your lap, don’t let doubt deter your confidence or your passion. We can do this. When in doubt, don’t stop.

 

What’s something you’ve been doubting lately that you could use a little encouragement with?

1-minute short film
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What I Learned from Making a 1-Minute Short Film

Last year, I wrote, produced, and acted in a 1-minute short film alongside some talented filmmaker friends of mine. We came across a 60-second film contest put on by Moet and immediately hit the ground running with this idea. The challenge was to create a short film around the theme “this is your moment.” It was one of the most amazing experiences to date!

First and foremost I learned that a great idea, even a 1-minute idea, takes time and effort to become a clear, succinct story. My friend and director of the film, Jonathan Coria, met with me one evening and we hashed out a vague idea I had. A few hours later, we turned that vague idea into a short (very short) story with an arc and inspirational ending. One thing I learned was that no matter how “small” a project may be, it still requires a lot of time and effort. Treat your shorts like they’re a feature. Comb through the vague ideas until they’re specific. Even though there were no words in this script, I went over it multiple times to make it the best it can be. I’m a firm believer in setting the script aside for a day or two and coming back to it with fresh eyes, so I did exactly that before locking everything in.

Our short, Shoot for the Stars, follows our main character Jane as she dreams of what it would be like to turn her idea into a film. We follow her through daydreams of casting, directing, editing, and finally back to the epiphany that started it all. This is her moment.

The film was set in a single location which certainly made it easier considering we only had 60 seconds. We were lucky enough to be able to use a vacant town home that was open for a few more days before tenants moved in. That was a huge weight off our shoulders not having to worry about renting a location space. Especially with a short film like this we had practically no budget, so I tried to be resourceful as possible in making this happen.

I’m grateful for this experience because I underestimated before-hand how much time it took to set up all the props up, how much stuff (props, equipment, etc.) we loaded into the town home, and how long it would take to film. We were ambitious in how we went about the shots, but that also led to more time-consuming set ups. Watching our director and DP work together taught me so much about camera, lenses, and the rigs they set up to get the shots we wanted. I learned to ask questions now because there’s no better time than to ask your friends on a short film where everyone is still learning.

All-in-all our 60 second short film took 12 hours to film. 12 hours of getting the choreography of the camera with the actors right, getting the lighting perfect, and getting the shots that blended into one another just right. 12 hours of working with an amazing crew that made this shoot so fun and rewarding.

Although we didn’t win the Moet contest, I wouldn’t have changed this experience at all!

Here are some of my personal key takeaways:

  • I learned that collaboration is key.
  • I learned to overestimate how long it will take to film.
  • I learned that it’s the small details that matter. Days before the production we were making sure we had the small props that mattered and we stayed up late the night before adding in the last minute details we thought would matter on-camera.
  • I learned that sometimes when you’re funding your own dreams you have to wear all the hats, and that’s perfectly okay.
  • I learned that there are so many wonderful people that lend their time and talents to make films happen. We couldn’t have made this without the people who volunteered to make this 1 minute short happen.
  • I learned that being thorough in development, all the way through to post production can make you stand out. I know we did the very best we could and we were devoted to this creative idea.
  • I learned that winning or losing a contest doesn’t not put a value on our worth and our talent.
  • I learned that coffee is a necessity (actually, I’ve always known that let’s be honest).
  • I learned that this was just a stepping stone in our careers and if making a 60-second short film was this exhilarating and rewarding, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our next film.

Be sure to follow along on social media to keep up with our next project and films!

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Ego is the Great Killer of Creativity: Comparison Kills

Comparison kills. This is a message has been popping up a lot lately in my life and I’ve been having great conversations about this. It’s so easy to compare ourselves, our career, our relationships, our successes, and our life to those we see on social media. But the more we compare and dwell on what we don’t have or aren’t accomplishing in this moment, the less we’re dedicating our time and energy on creating, on being inspired, and on allowing opportunities into our own lives.

Whatever industry you’re in, I know we’ve all gone through that similar feeling: you hop onto Instagram, scroll through Insta stories, and there it is. Someone talking about the new project they just secured, the new role they booked, the new country they’re traveling to next week, or  all the amazing things that are happening to them because they worked so hard for it and it’s finally paying off. And that’s great! That’s awesome (truly) but then we start to get down on ourselves because, hey, we’re working really hard too, right? And we can’t help but think, “But why not me?

It’s SO hard not to compare and start feeling like we’re not good enough when we’re working day in and day out towards our dreams. But the fact is that we are all on our own journey and on our own path. No two people got to the same destination by taking the same path.  I’m a firm believer that hard work and luck go hand in hand. And maybe that luck is created by someone greater than us, but if we work really really hard and have that laser focus about what we want out of this life, what we want to accomplish, and the legacy we want to leave people with, I know that “luck” will be delivered to us. Sometimes people just get that earlier than we do and that’s okay. Because if we don’t give up, we’re going to get there too. One day you’re going to meet that right person at the right moment or have that job offer just land in your lap when you need it most or get that part you could feel was made for you.

As my acting teacher says: Ego is the great killer of creativity. What’s yours in yours and what’s mine is mine. I love that because it means we can genuinely celebrate other people’s journey and successes, knowing that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be.

#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!

 



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