Uncategorized

you're-exactly-where-you-should-be-in-your-20s
You Are Exactly Where You Should Be 1024 681 samantha

You Are Exactly Where You Should Be

My generation is plagued with the idea that we are never where we should be; in our careers, financially, in love, in what our home looks like, in life. Maybe (hopefully) we don’t feel all those at once, but the years of post-college life are usually peppered with phases of extreme hardship on ourselves for feeling like we’re not where we should be in some facet of our lives. We had a plan, an idyllic timeline of how things should play out. We should be this age when X happens. We should be achieving this goal, by X point in our lives. And if reality doesn’t match up with the timeline we conceived in our heads, it’s hard to enjoy the present for what it is when we’re so busy fretting about the future.

But then 2020 happened. And I felt this collective sigh from people my age because no matter what we thought we wanted to have happen by 2020, no matter what we told ourselves we will achieve by the end of that year, it all got put on hold. We all got a get-out-of-jail-free card from the cell we were putting ourselves in to just…be. We were able to pause our comparisons because we were all in the same boat of not being able to do anything but get through each day one day at a time. For once our inner critic was able to go on vacation while our only worry was just about surviving. All we really could do was be present.

As 2020 went on and we realized things weren’t going back to “normal” like we thought they would, that this was in fact the new normal, we all started to do the same thing: we indulged in the little things. We started to focus more on the small things that make up our life. We started baking, and going on walks more, and soaking up nature, and being so grateful and communicating that to the people in our lives. And while there were still some “big picture” things that kept us up at night, like the election or overwhelming Covid statistics, we kept returning to all the little things that make us happy.

So as I would curl up with the latte I learned to make this year, or water the plants I spent time learning how to not kill, or sit on the couch laughing so hard with my best friend about a stupid video, or closed my laptop after writing something I wanted to write just for fun, it weighed so heavy on me in the most enlightening way: it’s about the becoming. It’s the everyday-ness of our lives and being present in it that adds up. It’s about the becoming of who you are, which is actually ever-changing. We’ve heard so many times throughout life that happiness is not a destination, it’s something that comes from within. It’s about being happy along the journey of life and not waiting until you arrive somewhere, because even then we’ll strive for what’s next. It’s about being present and enjoying it and leaning into the deeper knowing that no matter the timeline you had in your head, you are exactly where you need to be. We can have goals and set deadlines, but accept that sometimes things change. We can know that we are exactly where we need to be, because what’s for us won’t miss us. And anything that doesn’t work out, that didn’t go according to plan, is just a redirection—not a rejection.

I think we learn lessons over and over again, in different ways and for different reasons. I’m not saying I’ll never worry about where I “should” be in life again, but I am acknowledging that 2020 shifted my perspective in a way I hope to return to again and again. Be present, as often and as intentionally as you can. Know that you are exactly where you should be. And enjoy your becoming, now and forever.

Reflecting on 2017 1024 1024 samantha

Reflecting on 2017

The older we get, the faster time flies by. Often times I think we forget what life lessons we’ve truly learned or how much we’ve grown as a person. Reflecting on the good and the bad allows us to get real with what we want out of life.

2017 felt like a stepping stone year for me. I suppose every year is a stepping stone, but it didn’t feel particularly wonderful or exceptionally awful. That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for this life and the fact that I’m alive and healthy because let me tell you I AM! A lot of amazing things did happen this year and I’m proud to celebrate that too.

2017 was a year that I spent a lot of time questioning things. I spent a lot of time worrying and asking what-ifs. While that probably won’t go away completely, I’ve come to more peaceful terms with a lot of things that happened this past year.

In my Cultivating Your Best Year email series I’m doing with my subscribers, we reflected on 2017 yesterday with a few journal prompts geared toward reflecting on our accomplishments, positive things we want to cultivate again this year, things, people, or energy we want to get rid of for 2018, what we learned about ourselves, and so much more. Every day we’ll take some time out of our day to write down answers to these questions and I did my journaling this morning!

If you missed it, be sure to subscribe to my list so you won’t miss out on more fun things we do and super soulful conversations! (Scroll to the bottom where it says “let’s connect”)

My 2017: Personal Growth & Reflections

I did write longer more personal answers down in my journal, but here are some takeaways from my year and reflections I had.

  • This past year I got to know myself a lot more. I got to know my strengths and weaknesses more than I ever have and I came into my strength and self-awareness. I stood my ground for energy that no longer had a place in my life and said “no” more to things I dreaded instead of trying to please people.
  • This past year I put effort and energy into people that didn’t reciprocate that, that simply didn’t care as much as I did. It took months and months to come to terms with that, but I know that in 2018 I can’t let suck energy out of me. I want to cultivate friendships and partnerships with people who meet me on the same level and put thought, energy, and nurturing time into me just as much as I put into them.
  • In 2017 I showed up for my dreams, but at times not as much as I could have. Can we all give 100% every single day? It’s a nice thought but I think we all have days where we just need time. Time to give ourselves a little rest and self-care, and that’s okay! But I think I could’ve been a little more aggressive in being productive, in not making excuses, and going after it. If you haven’t read it yet, check out one of my top blog posts: Showing Up for Your Dreams
  • Something I learned this past year was that we CANNOT predict how our life will go. That’s obvious I guess. But this year it was really cemented for me. There are some things in my life today that one year ago looked completely different. The bottom line is that I can worry all I want, but there’s a greater plan here. Trust that.

My Happiest Moments and Achievements

2017 also brought some really happy times and crazy accomplishments for me:

  • I wrote 2 short films: one that you can view here and one that’s in pre-production!
  • I went on my first cruise
  • I filmed a commercial with Hyundai that was so much fun!
  • I started this blog! It’s something I wanted to do for a while was so happy to finally just start
  • I might live in LA, but there’s a lot of things I still haven’t done in my own city! I finally went to the summer movie series at the Hollywood Bowl and it was a blast! We saw Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • I attended BeautyCon for the first time! Read my blog post about authenticity at BeautyCon
  • I traveled to Asheville, NC for the first time with my Mom and Uncle
  • My family took a trip to Oahu and we stayed in the cutest town of Lanikai. We felt like locals for the whole week. I had been there a few times before and was so happy to show them my favorite spots! I learned a lot about being present on this trip, so check that post out!
  • I learned a lot more about social media and digital marketing. (I’m that person that loves books on business too, the nerd side of me comes out)
  • I participated in a Mastermind with some amazing bloggers and one of my favorite PR Influencers!

All in all, Reflecting on 2017 allowed me to see where I flourished, and where I could have done more. 2017 prepared me for the year ahead, as I suspect each year will do.  I had some amazing times with friends and family that I never want to forget and I’m glad I took time to journal about it all.

What did you reflect on and learn about yourself in 2017? Scroll to the bottom and drop me a comment to tell me!

Also, be sure to check back on the blog in the next few days to read blog posts about the other 2 days of my email series! We’ll also ask ourselves some tough questions as well as set clear intentions for the year ahead!

10 Influential Women to Read, Watch, or Listen to For Major Inspiration 1024 819 samantha

10 Influential Women to Read, Watch, or Listen to For Major Inspiration

influential women to read, watch, or listen to for major inspiration

There are honestly so many inspiring and influential women out there, but I thought I would share 10 women that ignite passion, motivation, and encouragement in their own unique ways. Whether it’s through their blogs, books, podcasts, or Youtube channels, all of these women will bring some serious inspiration into your life!

1.   Lauren Hooker of Elle & Company:

When I came across Lauren’s blog during the building stages of my website, it was like stumbling across a treasure chest of all things branding, growing your business, creating amazing content, and SO much more! For any creative entrepreneur out there, this is one woman you don’t want to miss. Every single one of her blog posts is so helpful, she truly focuses on serving her readers, and her content is unmistakable, it’s that good. When I say that, I really mean EVERY single blog post is purposeful and I walk away from reading with a new idea or strategy for my business. Not only does she have a blog, but she goes above and beyond with her Elle Chats, a weekly webinar, and she also offers E-courses (I can’t wait to sign up for the Adobe one)

2.   Maya of Shameless Maya:

If the name doesn’t already give it away, Maya Washington is an extremely talented and influential Youtuber who inspires you to share who you are and celebrate that shamelessly! I love her videos because she really encourages you to go out there and not care what other people think and to follow your passion with all your heart. Maya has an unmistakable style and vibe about her that will make you binge watch all her videos! I also love her Tech Talk videos, they’re super informational in an engaging way. Also talk about being a #ConstantCreative, Maya is also a creative producer and actor who stars in Google’s Original Series, God Complx and Feature Film, Alaska is a Drag.

3.   Hannah Gale:

The first blog I ever read of hers made me laugh out loud, literally! This gal is so funny, down to earth, and also quite inspiring. Her wit and humor will draw you in, but her well thought out blog posts with thoughtful content will keep you there. She’s all about being YOU, whatever that may look like. She shares her life and her heart on her blog and also on her YouTube channel. She’s a major influencer in the blogging/beauty/fashion world and you should check her out ASAP.

4.   Natalie Franke of The Rising Tide Society:

Being in The Rising Tide Society has changed my journey as a creative and so has the incredibly inspiring Natalie Franke. In the spirit of #communityovercompetition, Natalie started a community where creative entrepreneurs can band together to encourage, learn with, and inspire each other. Whether it’s through the Facebook page (which is nearing 100,000 members quickly and you should absolutely join as a creative) or via the weekly TuesdaysTogether the Rising Tide Society holds, she’s a voice in the creative community this generation needs. Natalie has her own blog with such valuable content and she also has a pretty strong vlogging game on her Youtube channel! Maybe it’s because she started The Rising Tide Society in her early 20’s or maybe it’s because she likes coffee as much as I do, either way, she’s one influential and inspiring chick!

5.   Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman of A Beautiful Mess:

This was one of the first blogs I EVER read, isn’t that crazy? I remember checking their blog religiously to see if they had added any new posts, I was obsessed. Sisters Elsie and Emma have created an empire with A Beautiful Mess and it’s for good reason. Their blog really resonates with me because you can see that they’re passionate about different things and didn’t want to be confined to one topic, a lot like myself I would say. Plus, their blog is total eye –candy! On A Beautiful Mess, you’ll find blogs on everything from food, décor, hair tutorials, crafts, blogging, travel, fashion, you name it! They truly have a colorful outlook on life that makes them stand apart from the crowd and inspires people like me (and you) every day! Elsie and Emma not only have a blog, but they also have an entire shop full of books, apps, classes, planners, a Happy Mail subscription, and so much more! What else could they possibly have?! Oh yeah, a popular DIY Youtube channel. If I had to say what I hope my blog will become one day, A Beautiful Mess has set the standard for me!

6.   Maya Elious:

You can pretty much just call her the content queen! She helps creative women strategize with purpose-driven content and the second I downloaded one of her guides, I was hooked! She has a killer blog and so many freebies that will challenge you with your content in the best way possible. Maya also has a YouTube channel that I recently came across and she’s all about helping you find your purpose and grow overall as a person. All of her videos are so inspiring, SO uplifting, and really encouraging. I think she said it best when she says: “It’s time for you to step into your purpose, strategize your business, and be the boss you know you’re meant to be.

7.   Reese Witherspoon:

Not only is she one of my all-time favorite actresses (and I hope I get to work with her one day) but she also started a #ForTheLoveOfReading book club that’s run exclusively on Instagram called @rwbookclub. There’s no formal website, instead she starts a conversation with her followers to pick the next book—the perfect kind of book club for the Millennial generation, right? I’m a bit of a romantic when it comes to books and the written word and I love that she’s keeping book clubs alive in this social media driven world. Also, she puts out AMAZING film and television content with her Pacific Standard production company who focuses primarily on female-driven stories. So yeah, #GoReeseGo

8.   Julie Solomon:

Oh man, it was like hitting a gold mine with Julie! I stumbled across her Instagram which eventually led me to her Pitch It Perfect course and that was one of the best decisions I could have made since I knew I eventually wanted to start my own blog, and here we are! Her Pitch It Perfect course is a must-do and I really walked away from that course feeling so much more confident in navigation collaborations and reaching out to brands. There’s even more good stuff on branding, pitching, blogging, and social media on her blog. She also just launched an amazing podcast called The Influencer podcast that’s my latest addiction! Seriously, this is another one that I have on repeat in my car because I love soaking up all the great information this podcast has. I love that she is so passionate about what she does, but in such a relatable way. She’s so encouraging and engaged with her audience, I know you will feel the same way about her too!

9.   Jenna Kutcher:

She’s another one that I gush about to people all the time, this girl is the real deal! You really do end up feeling like her best friend after reading her blog or listening to her podcast—both which absolutely top the blogging and podcasting charts, at least in my opinion. I actually came across The Goal Digger Podcast first and I think that’s all I listened to in my car for a week straight! Jenna Kutcher has lots to say about marketing, growing your business, and being your most authentic self in every part of life. She’s not afraid to be herself and consistently talks about her love for Mac n Cheese too, which is fine by me because pasta is my must-have. Go check her out! (And let me know when you’ve been down the JK rabbit hole of goodness for days and days).

10.   Joanna Gaines:

The woman of the year! Joanna Gaines is everywhere these days because her style and outlook on life is inspiring and so contagious! You probably know her from HGTV’s Fixer Upper where you’ll find lots of inspiration for your home and shiplap for days, but she also has a book that she wrote with her husband Chip called The Magnolia Story. This book is SO good it will make you feel motivated, empowered, and ready to put in the hard work it takes to accomplish your dreams. You can also read more from Joanna in their magazine, The Magnolia Journal. One of my favorite parts of the journal is the “A Note From Jo,” heart-felt musings from Jo herself about the little things in life that matter a lot. Reading those pages, and the Manifesto in the back of the journal, make me feel like I’m sitting on a back porch getting advice from my Mom or wise older sister. Her words are just a beautiful as her heart and she truly inspires me!

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave



    Get free tips & tools to harness your constant creativity!


    (Don't worry — I hate spam just as much as you)
    Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!