Sam Chat: Meaningful Conversations + Inspiration

Sam Chat: Leading with Kindness – Thoughts on #PrayforVegas 1024 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: Leading with Kindness – Thoughts on #PrayforVegas

Please know that the following are thoughts on the recent Las Vegas shooting. If you feel you might be affected in a way that compromises your emotional health from reading this post, this is a heads up. Although I do share how I will be spreading more kindness and encouragement to try to make a difference in this world at the end of the post 🙂

I’m not going to lie to you, my head has been completely clouded ever since the shooting in Vegas happened. All kinds of emotions have been diluting my thoughts; fear, gratitude, anxiety, anger. For days I felt like I couldn’t interact on Instagram like I usually do because things were jolted into a different perspective. When you come SO close to losing people dear to you, you feel a little shift. And today I wanted to weigh in on that shift.

Our world has been rapidly changing and it seems like there are more forces of evil since the time I was a child. Maybe that’s not true, but the older I get the less safe I feel. I can’t say that I will ever know what it’s like to have bullets grazing past my body, to have lives taken right in front of me, to hear that horrible sound of an automatic weapon silencing everything around, to hear sheer panic from human beings trying to enjoy life. But I do know that my heart sank when I got news of this massacre. I know that I’ve felt scared just going into to any public area or facility since then. I know that I look for ways out now wherever I am. And I know that while that might be necessary in today’s world, we can do our part to spread more kindness.

A roller coaster of emotions 

It was a roller coaster of emotions that night. I felt panic trying to get in touch with friends at the festival. I was about to burst at the seams trying to find out if they’re okay, angry that something like this could happen again. I felt such sadness as I learned the name and face of every person that died. Tears formed as I thought of how every person there was just celebrating life, dancing with their people, unaware of the horror that would come. I felt so angry that my friends had to go through that fear, that awful unknown. I also felt overwhelming relief when I found out my friends were okay and unharmed. I said a prayer, SO incredibly thankful. My life and my friend’s lives could have been completely changed if that moment had been any different. And while it hasn’t changed in any physical way, I can say that my outlook has changed.

While I feel such anger that this happened to innocent people, I feel more determined than ever to spread light, love, hope, and faith in humanity. Now more than ever we need to have faith that there are good people in this world and let that light shine on the good so it can dilute the bad. This doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to the bad people and the awful things they do, but as Gandhi said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

I don’t know about you, but as an individual I’ve often felt helpless. A small fish in a big world. We can try to change laws, we can try to be precautious about environments that we’re in, but ultimately we can’t predict what will happen. What we can do, is be mindful…

A kindness campaign: #constantkindness

It is our responsibility to have faith in humanity and put the kindness and unity back into our people. We can encourage each other, collaborate with one another, stop pitting people against one another, lift each other up, and make a point to be kind to people—our friends and strangers alike. This week on my Instagram, I’m starting a #constantkindness campaign to try to put some faith back into humanity, a challenge for us to be kind and selfless. Every week I’ll be sharing something encouraging or motivating to my followers while also trying to give back, spread some love, and encourage others to do the same.

Today I challenge you to find ways to lift others up and put a smile on their face even if it’s in the smallest of ways. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee, let people over on the freeway (we all know how bad LA traffic is) encourage someone who is trying to grow their business or go after their dreams, write a friend a sweet letter, do a chore you know a friend or family member is dreading, etc. there are SO many ways!

In a world where we might feel less safe, we can still try to be more kind. Where there is hatred, there is always love so let’s shine a light on that. The news and media love to show all the bad things that go on, but I’m confident we can share the good within our social media communities! Share your acts of kindness on Instagram with the hashtag #constantkindness and tag me @theconstantcreative and I’d love to re-post you guys!

 

P.S. shop more inspirational cards and drop someone a note of encouragement via my Etsy shop here.

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What Being in A Sorority Taught Me About Comfort Zones
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Sam Chat: What Joining a Sorority Taught Me About Comfort Zones

As an Alumni helping out during recruitment at Pref night for my chapter, I was asked why I picked Alpha Phi. Trust me when I say in the least self-fulfilling way that I think my response could be helpful and relatable to anyone, no matter if you’re thinking about this blog post in terms of a sorority, job opportunity, or any new experience. I told the young freshman standing in front of me that I honestly chose Alpha Phi because when I was going through recruitment, I saw a part of myself in these girls that maybe I didn’t have the confidence to be yet, and that scared me. But I also knew that it scared me because I wanted it, because it felt right, and because I knew it was time to push myself out of my comfort zone. I will forever be grateful for that decision because it has made me grow as a person, as an entrepreneur, and as a creative. I recognize that many people have had different experiences with the Greek system, some good and some bad, but this is my experience and I’d love to share what I learned from it.

If you’re reading this as a girl who might go through recruitment but you don’t know if it’s right for you (yet wandering campus alone and having two close friends who you don’t see very often also doesn’t feel right) this is for you.

If you’re reading this because you would “never” join a sorority or risk being judged for it— I’d love for you to read this, so you have a chance to see the Greek system from the perspective of someone that once had the same outlook as you.

And If you’re reading this because you’ve stood in my shoes—this is also for you so we can celebrate this journey we’ve been through.

Backstory: If you only knew…

I was a transfer to California State University, Northridge and pretty comfortable with my life as it was. I was excited about starting in the screenwriting program and finally being at a University that felt right for my needs. Two years prior I had transferred from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo because they didn’t have a film program or the major of screenwriting that I knew I truly wanted but it felt right this time around at CSUN. I was happy to see my lifelong high school friends whenever I could, but most of them didn’t live so close to me anymore. My other best friend was my boyfriend of 6 years but going into my senior year of college, our breakup kind of rocked my world. There was nothing that could’ve prepared me for feeling so not “me.” Everything going into my senior year was different: From where I lived ( I moved into an apartment) to making new friends.

I had been around a few girls that joined sororities, but I was convinced for years that it wasn’t for me. I watched my roommate freshman year go through recruitment and even my mom was in a sorority for a short period of time, but I was the girl that would say, “You couldn’t pay me to be in a sorority.” To be honest, I 100% judged girls that were in sororities. Why would I “pay for friends?” Why would I get “hazed?” Why would I want to be a part of something so exclusive? Now I look back and think if you only knew. And that’s the thing, I just didn’t know. You don’t pay for friends, you definitely don’t get hazed, and it’s not something exclusive, rather it’s something so sacred between sisters once you’re in it.

I was caught between two opposing thoughts: half the people I knew would probably judge me for joining one and caution me about getting “hazed” and I’ll be left asking myself, “How will you get yourself out of this once you realize you’re with a bunch of girls who aren’t genuine and don’t fit your personality?” The other voice was telling me that there’s a reason why so many girls fall in love with the organization they pick. And after meeting a few girls who really didn’t seem to fit the stereotype, I decided to expand my horizon and give it a go.

What I wanted from this experience

By the time Pref night came for me (where you go to the houses of your top two preferences), I was completely invested in the recruitment process and also totally torn between two sororities. I never thought I would be there, but I had found two organizations that spoke to me. My perspective might be different now that I’ve been on the other side and involved in a sorority that I cherish so much, but at the time I started making a mental list of all the things I loved about each sorority, the girls in it, their philanthropies, you name it. And what it came down to, was that one sorority felt safe and the other felt like it would push me out of my comfort zone. What did I really want out of my experience? What did I want as a 21 year old who didn’t join a sorority until my senior year, the only year I would ever get to be in one? To grow as a person and make genuine connections with people. They always say to go in the directions of your dreams, but I also think sometimes you need to go in the directions of your fears. Your fears are a fear for a reason, because you know that growth will come, because you know you might be successful, because you know that whatever lies outside of that comfort zone is something magical. I knew that I saw myself in Alpha Phi, but it almost felt too good to be true. So instead of second guessing myself or wondering what if or playing it “safe,” I decided to go for it and I’m so glad I did.

The amount of excitement mixed with anxiety I had on Bid Day was insane. I opened that envelope and saw “Alpha Phi” written down and I was excited but also some voice popped in my head that said, “Oh no, what did you just do?” It was that feeling of finally getting what you wanted but then that fear kicks in and you start paddling backwards. I felt a little bit like an outsider internally because most of the girls were head over heels excited and knew they wanted to join a sorority since high school. However, looking back I also know I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. I’ve talked to a lot of girls that were excited but so overwhelmed. I was so anxious because I’ve never been more out of my comfort zone.

Being out of my comfort zone taught me…

I can say with confidence that joining a sorority taught me SO much about why it’s important to get outside your comfort zone. Looking back, it’s almost weird that the whole experience intimidated me at first. I can’t tell you how in love I am with the Greek system now and I know that Alpha Phi is a huge reason why I am the person I am (as is any sorority you join).

  • Getting outside of my comfort zone broadened my perspective. I get asked often if I was hazed or about other common misconceptions about being in a sorority and I would love nothing more than for people to see the positive impact the Greek system can have on a young person’s life. Being in a sorority opened me up to a whole other world at my university and oddly enough for a system that gets a bad rap for judging people, I think it helped me not to judge others as much and be open to experiences I may not know enough about. Being a part of an organization that has such an impactful foundation as well as morals and values that I feel so connected to is something I never would have gotten to experience without Alpha Phi. Being part of a sisterhood where all the girls cherish that as much as I do is something really special.
  • Getting outside of my comfort zone led me to my best friends and to form meaningful connections with people. Commuting from home to campus and back without meeting new people that often wasn’t the experience I knew I was meant to have in college and yet that’s how much of my freshman and sophomore years were spent. After joining a sorority, it might’ve felt overwhelming at the time to be in a house with 100 other girls, but it teaches you a lot about being open to new friendships, conversations, and connections. I can say with 1000% certainty that my experience would be so different without being in the Greek system. I wouldn’t have had people to say hi to or hangout with on campus, no sisters to study with in the library during finals, no connections to other people interested in the film and tv industry, and I wouldn’t have met my lifelong best friends.
  • Getting outside of my comfort zone prepared me for running my own business. So much of my senior year was spent running from class to a sorority event back to finishing a project, etc. The schedule got a little crazy and stressful but I loved every second of it. Turns out, that’s really similar to my life now as an actor/writer, blogger, and Etsy shop owner.

If any of you are faced with an amazing opportunity that excites you but ignites a little pang of fear in you, take that leap. In 10 years, you’ll be so glad you went out of your comfort zone. Tell me in the comments below what you’ve been wanting to do that’s out of your comfort zone! Scroll to the bottom!

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Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present
Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present (Beyond Putting Your Cell Phone Down) 681 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: What Hawaii Taught Me About Being Present (Beyond Putting Your Cell Phone Down)

You know that feeling when you’ve been traveling all day and you finally get to where you’re going? When you finally see that beautiful water and put your feet in the sand that feels like butter and then…everyone takes out their phone. I’m 100% guilty of it too. This past trip I went on with my family though, I took a step back and realized just what Hawaii taught me about being present. But this isn’t just your typical post about turning your phone off. There were a  lot of takeaways about being present that I didn’t think about before.

#picoritdidnthappen

Being away from the stresses of daily life, it was a little bit easier to breathe it all in. It was nice to pause and not have to worry about anything really. It also made it easier to step back and think about things. We are so used to taking out our phones and documenting every second in our day to day lives. This was no exception, especially in a gorgeous place like Hawaii. The thing is, I don’t think most of us in the millennial generation are taking photos necessarily for the memories. Sure, it’s nice to have them and show a few friends. But for the most part, we take photos because we’re thinking ahead about what we want to post on social media. That’s kind of sad. We take a beautiful hike where the view is just breathtaking, but we don’t stop to think about the moment. Or the history behind the environment. Or how we’ll never be in this same place with family again. All we do is scramble to take a few boomerangs, and then re-take some photos with a different pose, and then we leave. #picoritdidnthappen is the double-edged sword millennials have with wanting to show the world what we’re up to and yet when we’re always thinking ahead, we’re NEVER in the present.

Millennials and Being Present

Something that made me realize this pattern us millennials have is in part thanks to my parents. They aren’t thinking ahead about what photo to post on social media. (Mom if you’re reading this, super proud of you learning Instagram though). They take pictures because they really want to look back and remember and cherish everything. That’s kind of the ultimate goal, right?

As I would do my morning pages every day, I was writing about trying to be more present and then I would write down everything that was worrying me, or looming above my head, or stressing me out. I thought, well this is good because I write it all down and let it all go. And then it hit me. Again…worrying about the future isn’t really being present! Worrying about things I can’t control won’t do me any good. And so being present extends so much farther than putting your phone down and smiling at the beautiful view in front of you. It’s also about learning that the NOW, the present day or moment, is the only one that matters.

Being Present in the “Now”

We hear about needing to be “present” all the time, but it’s actually a hard concept. Can you sit there for 1 minute and think about nothing but the present moment? It’s almost impossible. Our minds venture to something in the past or present. But I started to think that if we can focus on being present just a tiny bit more, we might have a happier and more peaceful state of mind, and furthermore, we can show our spark to the world when we’re in those present and open moments. More than anything, I was reminded that it’s important to be present in life so that you can be real with yourself and your dreams. Tune into your most authentic self and share your spark with the world! Go after what you really want and don’t be afraid to share your most natural, REAL, uninhibited, un-retouched, beautiful spark of self to the world!

What are a few ways you can practice being present in your daily routine? I know for me that’s taking time in the morning for me, to write and just simply be without my phone which I love doing. It’s freeing. And to also stop worrying about the future, it ain’t up to me! Scroll to the bottom to comment below!

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Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away
Sam Chat: Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away 681 1024 samantha

Sam Chat: Knowing Your Self-Worth and When to Walk Away

After feeling the pressure to get a job right after I graduated college, I learned an unexpected but important lesson in the “real world”: know your self-worth and stand firmly by it.

A Short-Lived Rest Period

I’ve always been a busy-bee. I’m the kind of person that goes a little stir crazy when I don’t have something to work on after a while. Right after I graduated I didn’t worry about too much. I wasn’t sending my resume out to anyone just yet, I wasn’t stressing over post-grad life, and I stumbled across Kathryn Schwarzenegger’s book “I Just Graduated … Now What?: Honest Answers from Those Who Have Been There.” It was a nice reminder that other college graduates are taking that time period to explore what path is right for them. And another reminder that, “Hellooo no one else has it figured out at 22. So, relax Sam.”

That lasted about one week. I knew I wanted to pursue acting and screenwriting, and even the idea of starting this blog was in the back of my mind, but I suddenly felt the pressure of needing to get a job ASAP. The more people asked, “So, what are your plans now?” or “So, what do you plan to do with your degree?” I felt it piling on.  I felt like if I wasn’t doing something, I was just wasting my time.

Job Hunting

So, I quickly jumped onto the computer and started submitting my resume to everything I was remotely interested in. Any kind of writing job you could think of, I applied to it. Eventually, I landed a writing job that was mainly remote with an in-person check-in once a week or every other week. I thought that sounded great! It was a nice part-time job to start with that would still allow me to pursue my other creative endeavors.

One of my first assignments was to do product descriptions. Simple enough, right? They wanted you to make each one similar yet different, not too long yet not too short, and don’t use the same three words in a row so there would no confusion with plagiarism. Needless to say, I was calling my advisor saying that the amount of product descriptions they wanted me to do by the end of the week (we’re talking in the hundreds) it seemed nearly impossible. This was far from the part-time work-from-home job I was described upon getting hired. It took up enough time to be a full-time job. They told me I was doing it wrong and spending too much time on each description. After a few pointers and tricks of the trade I felt like maybe I had a handle on this.

Cut to a few months later: I was drowning. By this time, I was not only getting calls at abnormal working hours to do something that wasn’t related to the job I was hired to do, like Photoshopping photos, I was running multiple social media accounts, and still doing writing assignments. Well…it all came tumbling down with one writing assignment. When I was told to go in and take over for another writer and do descriptions exactly how she did them, I did as I was told. 700 product descriptions later, the company says the descriptions for each product are too short and it’s my job (and on my dime) to go back and fix it. Even though they are just as long as the first writer’s descriptions, they don’t care. When I say that I don’t have time to do that by the deadline and it was their fault for not clarifying the first writer did them wrong, they tell me I have to complete the job or I won’t get paid for any of it.

Manipulation At Its Finest

Did I mention the writers here get paid by the hour? And by the hour I mean by how long THEY think it should take for you to finish a project? Yes, something that wasn’t told to me during the beginning of starting this job. When I tried to communicate the frustration, they basically told me in so many words that I was dispensable as a writer. I wasn’t going to get paid if I didn’t do as they say, and would only get paid probably half of the hours that it took me to actually complete the job.  At this point, it felt like manipulation at its finest.

Recognizing My Self-Worth

That’s when I knew. I am worth more than this. I knew that my skills were an asset, whether that company realized it or not. And I knew that on some level, I was being bullied into getting paid way less than what I deserved to get. Any company, person, or project that doesn’t see what you bring to the table and who more or less thinks of you as dispensable, is not worth your time or energy. Know your self-worth and stand firmly by it. 

The Inner Fear Voice

Sometimes walking away can make you feel like you accomplished nothing; I know I felt that way. But what you accomplished on one path is not a measure of your self-worth. Walking away doesn’t make you a failure, it makes you stronger for recognizing your own personal value. And in a different light, you might actually have accomplished a better sense of self-worth in the process. Quiet that inner voice that tells you you’re a failure if you walk away. That inner voice is just fear talking.

Don’t Settle for Quantity over Quality

I knew in the end that it wasn’t worth drowning in a job I hated and who didn’t value me just because I allowed myself to feel pressure to get a job. In turn, I didn’t want to work for a company who took on a quantity over quality attitude and didn’t create a supportive and encouraging work environment. Any single person or company who is manipulative like that doesn’t deserve to be in your life, work-wise or personal. Always remember that you are unique in your own way and if you work hard, you are not dispensable.

Have you ever gone through something similar? Let me know in a comment below by scrolling to the bottom!

 

 

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Sam Chat: The Story Behind Constant Creative & How I Started Blogging
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Sam Chat: The Story Behind Constant Creative

Many of you have asked..…just kidding. No one has asked because this blog is brand spankin’ new, but! I figured that some of you might be curious why I chose the name Constant Creative for my blog and wanted to give a little backstory on how I started blogging.

Trial and Error

This blog was a long time coming and something I wanted to do for a while. I started a different blog years ago that was linked to my Etsy shop (this embarrassing blog shall not be named), but it was all over the place and completely unorganized. Most days I would post pictures of the cards I made and occasionally there would be a post on my favorite makeup picks from Bobbi Brown (still my go-to) or my favorite coffee shops in LA. I also decided to run a short story contest one time, and to my surprise someone actually entered haha. But I didn’t stick with that blog for very long for a few reasons:

  • I expected to have readers and comments right away. I thought that by my blog being out there on the internet I would gain traffic fast. Nope, I was so wrong. Having these kinds of expectations didn’t help either, because I got discouraged pretty quickly and didn’t stick with it.
  • There was no focus to that blog! I was an Etsy shop blog + lifestyle blog + creative writing blog + whatever else popped into my head. I had no direction.
  • The research wasn’t there. I had no idea the work that went into having a blog and probably wasn’t 100% interested or committed. I had no idea what a brand was, that you needed good photography or to post regularly, and I opened the blog through wordpress.com, as in blogname.wordpress.com and I really thought I was set. There’s nothing wrong with starting a blog there, but I still didn’t do my research!

No Niche For Me…Sort Of

Fast forward to today and this blog fell into place faster than I thought it would. Reasons I held back for so long were because I honestly thought no one would want to read it, I didn’t know what to focus on because I felt interested in a variety of things, and I thought that the market was already so saturated with bloggers, how would I ever stand out?

How could I talk about all the things I felt passionate about without being all over the place like before? I didn’t want to corner myself into a small niche, especially one that I wasn’t 100% into. I knew that if I became a fashion blogger who linked to clothes all the time or started a blog that focused on writing or acting specifically, I would fall short of connecting to my audience due to burn out from writing or posting about one specific thing day in and day out that I wasn’t 100% passionate about. While many people are successful and benefit from being in a smaller niche, I knew that I didn’t want my blog to be too narrow or I would be setting myself up for failure. I would venture to say that having a creative living + lifestyle blog is in its own niche, but it’s one that works for me.

Like a Glass Slipper

One day while at a friend’s house, I was talking with her mom about life and what I currently had going on. Her response to me listing off a few different endeavors was, “Wow, you are constantly doing something creative. That’s awesome!” Almost like an epiphany, it hit me. In honor of staying true to myself, why not start a blog about all the creative things I’m always doing? A creative living blog. The bloggers I connect to the most are the ones that I can tell truly love the things they’re talking about. For me, that’s anything creative. I wanted to be able to share about ALL the creative things I’m passionate about, not just one aspect.

For so long, I held back because I thought that being passionate in multiple things meant that I was committed to none of them. To a certain extent, I think that’s true. I don’t think you can be a pro golfer at the same time as trying to become an astronaut. And the only reason I don’t think that’s possible is because there’s not enough time in the day. If there was, then power to you!  However, I think it should be celebrated when people are creative and passionate about a handful of things.

Thus, Constant Creative was born. The second that name entered my brain it was as if the glass slipper fit and it felt so good! I know that I’ll be my most authentic self if I show my audience that I’m passionate about different things and I love to be creative. The best part is that creativity really expands so wide and means so many different things! For me, creative living extends all the way from art to business to creating a life you love.

I wanted not only to share about the creative things I have going on in my own life, but creative things I’m learning more and more about every day. I wanted my blog to talk about starting your own creative business and being a cheerleader for any woman that’s thinking about starting a side hustle, or trying a new art, or taking a leap to make something she’s always wanted to create. I discover creative inspiration from new things every day. Some surprise me, like how it really feels creative to bake a new dessert or to put together an outfit or travel to a new place. Other times, I seek to know more about living a creative life and stumble upon the most interesting answers, people, and ideas. I’m so excited to share it ALL with you here.

The Journey Ahead

I have so much to learn on this blogging journey but I couldn’t be happier about it! What’s exciting to me is all the doors that blogging opens; all the people, places, collaborations and new perspectives I wouldn’t get to see otherwise.  If you’re joining me on this journey, make sure to stop by and say hi! Scroll down and leave a comment, I’d love to know about who you are, what you do, where you’re from and where you’re going!

Want to save this post for inspiration? Pin the below image!

The Story Behind Constant Creative and How I Started Blogging

 

 

 

 

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