Inspiration

Your Focus Creates Your Feeling 681 1024 samantha

Your Focus Creates Your Feeling

I am someone who fully believes that change and growth is needed to continue to be the best version of yourself, but change can still be a hard thing sometimes. When things are going good in your life and you have a nice routine going, who really wants change?

I’ve struggled with anxiety for a few years now and only within this past year have I truly started to understand how my thinking can change my emotional world.

My anxiety really started in college. It’s not that any single decision I made or new experience I was going through was particularly bad, but it started when I was hit with the realization that for once, I wasn’t completely sure what path I was taking or what was ahead. I stressed HARD on the what-ifs, lost sleep on whether I was making the right life decisions, and my body was physically struggling to keep up with me. When I felt riddled with anxiety, it’s like my mind hyper-focuses on all the negatives. For a little while it feels like things are just not going to get better. No, it’s not like over-thinking something. With anxiety, it feels like being thrown into a panic to try to solve a Rubik’s cube, only the harder you try to solve it, the worse it becomes.

I took time to sit and get honest with myself (and through too many phone calls with my personal on-call 24/7 therapist: my mom). What I’ve learned this year that truly has changed my way of thinking is this: my focus creates my feeling. Whatever holds our attention, molds our intention.  

It might sound so obvious, but for the most part we can control our thoughts. (This is of course with respect to any mental illness that simply doesn’t allow that). It’s crazy when I stop to think that I have the ability to stop myself when I’m sitting there thinking of all the possible things that can go wrong. When life seems to come to a halt and a dark cloud lingers over and all we can do is replay a little movie in our head with something negative or bad, we have the ability to think: ‘No. I’m not going to think that way. Instead, I’m going to dwell on all the positive outcomes that could happen and be grateful for all the good things in my life.’ My focus creates my feeling.

When I feel such anxiety over the what-ifs or play negative conversations or situations in my head that couldhappen, I realize I have the power to change that. I can immediately stop and tell my mind: ‘you’re better than that.’ Sometimes when I have anxiety, I truly couldn’t even tell you why. This sinking feeling hits me and I’m hard pressed to figure out what the heck is going on. But instead of feeling like I’m sinking, I actively tell myself to change my thoughts.

I stumbled across this verse from Philippians 4:8. Even if you don’t consider yourself religious, this is a sweet little reminder to dwell on the positive things when you’re feeling low.

“Fix your thoughts on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

 This is no easy task, though. It’s hard to block out the negative downward spiral when anxiety hits, and even harder to convince yourself to start dwelling on the positives. But through trial and error I’ve found that if I can tell myself, “you are okay, right here, right now,” I can usually lead myself to think about the positive things happening in my day or my life. That switch from worry and fear to gratitude may not solve everything 100%, but it leads me back to the present.

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Making Space in Your Life for New Opportunities

We’ve all heard the saying, “when one door closes, another one opens,” but for the longest time I supposed I unknowingly carried a more passive attitude in regards to that.

When I would think about that mantra, it seemed in my mind to suggest that I should be patient in waiting for that right opportunity to come along. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, but did that mean I’m supposed to wait around? Having a career as an actor and screenwriting is mostly about waiting anyways, so it’s nothing I wasn’t used to. However, recently something clicked for me and made me realize that it’s not just a waiting game. Patience is a virtue, but being passive can detrimental.

For about two years I was with an agency that I knew I needed to move on from. Just a few months ago, I kept telling myself, “Okay, as soon as a great new opportunity comes along with a different agency, I will promptly move on from them.” I thought that was the smart thing to do, trying to play my cards right. If I left my old agency, what else would I be stuck with? Nothing?

Just recently one morning I got up, grabbed my phone, called my agency, and asked what I needed to do to terminate my contract with them.  I had reached a boiling point of not being where I wanted to be and waiting around for a new opportunity could’ve taken who knows how long! I literally sat at my kitchen table and said a quick little prayer that a new door would open for me because in that moment I definitely felt like there wasn’t much to go off of. Then I opened my laptop to get to work and just let it go. I took a proactive step in a new direction and hoped the rest would fall into place.

TWO HOURS LATER I received an email from an agent I had never heard of and never submitted myself to in my life. He told me he wanted to meet with me in person to discuss representation. WHAT!? How insane is that? Not only to have this new opportunity, but to have an agent who is going after me, not the other way around (and trust me you don’t want to see the number of emails I’ve sent over the years to agents asking for two minutes of their time to meet me). I was so pleasantly surprised. I didn’t have to chase this guy down and beg for a meeting. He sought me. What a change of pace.

I couldn’t have received a bigger affirmation that when we MAKE SPACE for new opportunities in our lives, doors will open and creative opportunities will fall into our laps.

But that’s the thing, they don’t just arrive because we’ve been patiently waiting twiddling our thumbs. Those opportunities are pulled our direction because we have that beautiful combination of actively taking steps towards our future while (still rather patiently) waiting for the seeds of opportunity that we’ve planted to bloom.

Sometimes it’s not always about playing your cards right. Sometimes it’s about taking a risk, taking action, and keeping the faith that something will come along.

Interview with Voyage LA Mag #TrailBlazers 1024 556 samantha

Interview with Voyage LA Mag #TrailBlazers

A few weeks ago I had the honor of being interviewed by Voyage LA Mag as part of their #ValleyTrailblazers series. I was so excited when they reached out to me for the opportunity to tell part of my story, my goals, and my inspiration. When they told me that their goal is to help hard-working, inspiring people tell their stories authentically and in their own words, I said count me in! Below is the article published on their website. Give it a read and let me know what you think!

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Skelton.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.

I’m an LA native – born and raised! I’ve come to realize how rare that is with the industry that I’m in. Aside from running this blog, I’m also an actor and screenwriter.

I had wanted to start a blog for the longest time, but just never had time in college. I majored in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge. College was an amazing experience for me and taught me so much. As soon as I graduated, I pursued everything I’m passionate about with full speed. That meant acting, screenwriting, and starting my blog.

I finally landed on The Constant Creative because I feel like that’s how much of my life is. I’m constantly doing something– writing a new script, collaborating with others to create short films, diving into new books, always pushing myself in some new direction, and for the longest time, I also had an Etsy shop.

Has it been a smooth road?

I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit about me — I made a powerpoint presentation when I was 8 years old for my parents about why I should be allowed to go around to my neighbors selling Christmas stationary! So, I think I was bound to embark on other ventures like this someday, ha!

But, of course, nothing is ever easy. I’m constantly learning new things, always evolving. I don’t think I will ever stop learning in any area.

When I started my blog, it was in conjunction with my Etsy shop. I had an Etsy shop since 2013 where I sold handmade typewriter quote cards and I really thought creating my own website/blog would help business for my Etsy shop. Eventually, I learned that I was being pulled in too many directions, and if I had to pick… my energy was better spent on the things I’m most passionate about. This year, I closed my Etsy shop to focus on my acting but I still love having my blog. It’s a great way to connect with other like-minded women, meet new people, and learn new things.

My advice for other young women that want to start their own blog or business, or maybe who are hesitating to go after something they want is just to START. Just begin. The only way you will know if something is right for you or not is to try it out. It’s not the end of the world if you go in another direction. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. As long as you’re taking action somehow, you’re forward moving.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Constant Creative story. Tell us more about the business.

I started The Constant Creative to ignite a fire in people and leave them feeling more inspired than when I found them. I also started it to connect with other creative people in the online community. We all leave a legacy, whether it’s on the big screen or tucked away on the internet through a little blog. I truly love that one is not more significant than the other.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?

Something I talked about on my Instagram recently was the idea of an abundance mindset vs. a scarcity mindset. I think so often women are viewed as being standoff-ish towards other women or the media pits women against each other. I see so much opportunity for women to share the wisdom they’ve learned so far and then collaborate to make something great. Everything is not a competition.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Laci Havens Photography

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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?

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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
The Fear of Starting Something New 681 1024 samantha

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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Setting Clear Intentions for 2018: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)
Setting Clear Intentions for 2019: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better) 681 1024 samantha

Setting Clear Intentions for 2019: New Year’s Resolutions (Only Better)

Note: I have updated the following blog post to reflect the 2019 year!

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s blog post, Finding Clarity: Questions for the New Year, I mentioned that I’m doing a series called Cultivating Your Best Year. Day 3 (the final day) was all about setting clear intentions for the New Year. As day 3 came and went I couldn’t believe how much journaling we did! 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 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!

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 them all. Here’s why I think intentions are the foundation we need to start with.

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 there can be 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, such a powerful mindset.

Questions for Clarity:

Here are just a couple questions I asked everyone to journal, and a glimpse into my answers too.

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 power blocking my days, but I fell off the wagon a bit. This year I want to shift my day-to-day and take more meaningful action. No scrolling on the internet or doing other tasks online when I know I sat down to work or write. 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 producing/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 2019.

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 2019? 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.
  • 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 2019? I’d love to know! Comment below and tell me and feel free to journal your own answers to the questions above! Read yesterday’s post too!

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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 a series called Cultivating Your Best Year. Day 2 is 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.

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 in a newsletter I sent out about this series, 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!
  • 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!

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
Soaking Up Your Travel Experience: 5 Ways to Stay in the Moment 1024 768 samantha

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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