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inspiration

SamChat: On Crisis: Life Is For You, Not Against You 1000 667 samantha

SamChat: On Crisis: Life Is For You, Not Against You

Writing is the one thing I always return to. It’s always been the constant in my life; the safe place to return to no matter what. This pandemic that is sweeping the world has given us a lot of food for thought and I wanted to share mine.

For one, I know we all didn’t think back in January we would be here now…but that’s the thing. We didn’t think we would be here, and yet here we are. And life is sort of like that, right? Sometimes never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be standing in a dark room, the unknown extending in every direction. Sometimes we find ourselves hit with the sobering truth that we are in a position we would’ve bet our life on not being in. We find ourselves thinking: how did I get here?

This week as we’re knee deep in true social distancing, away from friends, co-workers, and often family, we’re faced with the reality of this situation. This virus is more than just “a cold,” it’s more than the celebrity that goes on social media to tell us to stay home; this virus is sinking its teeth into the people of our country that never knew what was coming until it was too late. This virus is taking the life and soul of humans around the world and we all know how tragic that is. But the question is how are we allowing that truth to affect us? I can say I personally don’t know anyone who has died from the virus or who has had to spend days in the ICU because of it. But those humans exist. There ARE people out there who can say they personally know someone. People are out there right now who are losing their best friend, their dad, their neighbor, their grandma, the love of their life to this virus. And if they were standing right in front of us, what do you think they would tell us?

I imagine they would tell us to take this pandemic seriously, beyond doing our part of social distancing. I imagine they would tell us beyond hand sanitizing and at-home workouts and TikTok videos (guilty) and happy hour Zoom calls, they would tell us to for one day, one week, stop scrolling on our phones for hours on end, stop binge watching Netflix, and ask yourself: what is this pandemic teaching you on a soul level? It’s not that these things are negative, I believe connecting virtually with our friends during this time is bringing us that connectedness we love. But it’s so easy to ignore life lessons even when they’re screaming at us in the face. If we sat in silence and tried to listen to the greater wisdom this situation is shaking us to see, what would that be?

It’s not a mistake that we’ve been forced into some form of isolation. It’s not a mistake this has happened to our world, that we’ve been forced to slow down, to pause. We are at our worst when we do not understand ourselves and sometimes we need the noise of the world to quiet down so we can stop piling on external distractions and do the inner work that we’ve been avoiding for far too long. If we want to understand our anxiety more we have to do the work. If we want to get a grip on our procrastination of (insert: your health, your emotional avoidance, your novel, your job change, your schedule, your renewed partnership, your joy) we have to do the work. Life can change all around us, but only we can change what is within us. And “doing the work” looks different for everyone. For some it will look like slowing down, being still, on actually not doing anything. For others it will look like taking a forward moving action.

I’ve struggled with anxiety for so long and recently before this pandemic really hit hard, it got to the point for me where I was like, I just do not want to do this any longer. That is not the person I want to be in life. So, I committed to changing and it’s hard work, it’s not gone overnight, but instead of being so wrapped up in the anxiety, in the fear, in the worry, I decided to go to work on changing it. I found the right help, the right tools, the right people to talk to (outside my mom). I got so so committed that I’m starting to see change, I’m starting to feel lighter. And what comes to mind for me is, that’s how life should be too, right? The only way to get through fear, to get through change, or to implement it, is to stop resisting it and take accountability. We should be so committed to truly living life and soaking up the joy and not taking it for granted. We get so caught up in the fight or flight mentality, that 99% of the time we choose flight. I know I do. But this is a time for us to look inside ourselves at old patterns that don’t serve us well and start to choose differently.

And that’s the thing: in this isolation we’re finally being asked to sit with everything we don’t want to face, everything we want to run from. For some, this will hit harder than others. Every one is at a different place in their lives and this will feel heavier to some than it will for others. And truly, I hope that it feels lighter for you more than it does heavy. Some of you will read this and know exactly what it is you’ve been avoiding, know exactly what it is you’ve locked away to deal with later, and it’s no coincidence that you’ve been gifted with a time of isolation to finally deal with it. Some of you will read this and not have something hit your heart immediately. You might think, “wow how can you get so deep in this, just get your work done from home and drink some wine.” Don’t worry, that’s definitely happening. But maybe you’ll ponder for a little bit on what this means for you: maybe it’s calling your sister to rekindle your friendship, maybe it’s finally cleaning something out in your house, maybe it’s not working soul sucking hours anymore to focus on yourself, maybe it’s finally resting and not feeling guilty for it, maybe it’s just about promising yourself to think of three things you’re grateful for every day and complain a little less.

Like the amazing Julie Day says: life is FOR you, not against you. 

Soon enough the dust will settle and we’ll be able to look back on these weeks, maybe months, to ask ourselves: so, what is for us? What does bring us joy? Who does make us feel like home? What do we want to make more time for to simply enjoy in our life? How can we laugh more and worry less? Now that we had time to sit in our thoughts, to sit with everything, how can we slow down and cherish life more? How can we start living life forwards now that we took time to deal with the things that we had been sitting on? I’m already seeing this pandemic create a stronger appreciation for connection, which is so beautiful during a time of physical disconnection.

There is a purpose in every season and this season is a wakeup call for us on a national level and on an individual level. We will forever be changed by this season, and if life is for us, and not against us, like a gardener that must shear the vines, it’s time to get rid of everything that is not for us anymore. Dreams that have changed and made way for new ones, old thought patterns, bad tempers, one-sided friendships, internal walls, bad habits that hold us back, you name it. Change is extremely hard for me and yet at the same time, I learn from it. When I find myself in places thinking: how did I get here? How did this happen? I get past some of the emotion and just start shedding things. I’ve dropped so many things these past couple of weeks that weren’t serving me anymore: a job, setting aside something I thought I wanted in my career, things that were holding me back from being better (hello, anxiety). Here are some truth bombs:

The book will not write itself for you.

Your health will not improve itself for you magically.

Your happiness will not improve itself for you while you let your mind work against it or while you’re busy blaming others for the absence of it.

It starts within you, within us. This isn’t really about putting pressure on ourselves during this quarantine to achieve lofty goals by the time it’s over. it’s about: what do you observe about yourself during this pause? What will you do with that?

And I know it’s not easy. There are some things people are struggling with I can’t even begin to understand. I think we have to work at it every day and I’m really not saying any of this from a place of knowing better than anyone else reading this. I’m saying this from a place of…let’s encourage each other, be there for one another, appreciate one another even in the midst of becoming better. We can’t change others, but we can focus on ourselves. When we work through things we become more self-aware and hopefully we become lighter.

My hope is that we come out of this radically grateful for everything in life, the good and the hard. All of it matters. My hope is that we are ecstatically joyful for everything it has to offer. My hope is that we have the courage to change. Soon enough eating at a restaurant with your favorite people will have so much more meaning. Seeing your best friend will be something you won’t take for granted. The privilege to exercise in a gym won’t go unnoticed. The trip you finally book will be treasured so much more. The sweet texts, the little things your loved one does for you will be held close. I know for me I will cherish all the ways my friends and family show up for me going forward because these past few weeks have put so much into perspective.

In our busy frantic lives, this is a message to love more, fear less, and charge into the unknown. Drop the weight, stay in the present, stay in the joy. A fulfilling, happy life doesn’t happen on accident.

The thing is no matter what happens, we’re going to look back and think: wow, now I see the perfection in that time apart from everyone. We’ll look back and say of course that had to happen because we are better for it. We have to trust the process and trust ourselves. Life isn’t always fair or easy, but I guess what I’m getting at is it can be lighter. And it’s still your life.

This is about the gift of having a life at all. And that’s what I think a person would tell you if they lost someone to this virus.

Making Space in Your Life for New Opportunities 681 1024 samantha

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

What To do When Doubt Creeps In 681 1024 samantha

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?

6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Women Entrepreneur Needs to Listen To
6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to 1024 768 samantha

6 Inspiring Podcasts Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Listen to

My obsession with podcasts really only started this past year, even though they’ve been around for a long time. It was always something that seemed like a lot of mental work, to have to sit and listen to a podcast (and I had never clicked the purple podcast icon on my phone before). But then I went down the rabbit hole and stumbled upon a few inspiring podcasts I couldn’t get enough of and soon my drives to auditions and time on the treadmill at the gym were filled with podcasts! I’m big on finding inspiration and motivation through other people’s stories and it’s a definite possibility you’ll be glued to your headphones after listening to some of my favorites. Below are 6 podcasts filled with uplifting, motivational, and touching messages from women entrepreneurs who truly inspire you to go after your dreams and goals!

The Laptop Lifestyle Podcast

This podcast is for “virtual entrepreneurs, millennials on the go, and adventure seekers with big dreams,” and I love Alexis! What’s awesome about her is it feels like she’s right there in the trenches with us navigating entrepreneurship (even though she’s doing big things too), and yet we’re gleaning SO much great information from all the creatives she interviews. Episode to tune into: Episode 33: Pursuing Faith and Authenticity in a Filtered World, with Lifestyle Blogger, Lauren Kay Sims


The Influencer Podcast 

Julie Solomon is THE GIRL to go to for all things blogging, PR, marketing, and pitching related and I’ve been following her for a long time. I recently did a mastermind with her and was amazed by her eye for improvements and sweet help! I was so excited when she launched her podcast and I’m addicted to it! The women she interviews give such sound advice for following the paths you know you’re truly meant to follow and not being afraid to start the business of your dreams. So many of the conversations she has had stuck with me and I hope you’ll give it a listen! Episode to tune into: Episode 16: From Assistant to a 500K Influence– The Evolution of Creative Dawn McCoy

The Goal Digger Podcast

I remember the day I tuned into her very first podcast! Thanks to recommendations from The Rising Tide Society Facebook group, it was such a cool feeling to think I was going along on her podcast journey with her! The podcast is a “live-workshop style business podcast for creative girl bosses, so you can train from the experts how to dig in, do the work, and tackle your biggest goals along the way.” Now, I listen to every podcast she puts out and I love the way she communicates her messages so clearly and in the most personable way. You’ll find yourself remembering her advice months later. Major inspiration for how to #hustlewithheart! Episode to tune into: Episode 57: How to Know and Attract Your Ideal Client

Make it Happen Podcast

The podcast for big-hearted creatives that you’ll fall in love with! I stumbled across this one day when I was looking for a podcast specifically on how to work through all the creative ideas I had that were overwhelming me. Jen Carrington is a UK based creative coach with some BIG takeaways about living a wholehearted creative life. She takes big ideas and breaks them down into simple and beautiful concepts that you walk away with ready to apply to your own life and creative projects. Plus who doesn’t love her accent?! Episode to tune into: S04 E03: CLARITY VS CERTAINTY 

Femtrepreneur:

They describe their podcast as perfect for online course creators, but I’ve found some super helpful information on here about blogging, content creation, and so much more! They are absolutely hilarious and have the funniest personalities which is great because there’s nothing worse than an interesting podcast topic ruined by a boring host haha. Also lots of amazing freebies! Episode to tune into: TFS 015: How to Balance Freelancing with Lauren Hooker


Off Camera with Sam Jones

You’re probably wondering why this podcast filled with actor interviews is on the list if you know anything celebrity photographer about Sam Jones, but I wanted to include this one for SO many reasons. There’s nothing more inspirational than listening to people tell their stories of how they made their dreams come true and that’s what every episode touches on. These people share their trials and tribulations, their accomplishments, touching moments, you name it. It’s inspiring to listen to because it serves as a great reminder that there is no one single path to get to where you want to be or what you want to create in this life. Go listen to it! Episode to tune into: Episode 2: John Krasinski

 

What’s your favorite podcast right now? Tell me in the comments below by scrolling to the bottom and dropping me a note, I’d love to hear from you!!

 

 

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Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create
5 Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create 500 726 samantha

5 Morning Habits that Will Inspire You to Create

My morning routine is pretty simple and I’ll admit, you’re not going to see anything mind-blowing on this list that you probably haven’t heard of before. Simplicity is key for me, especially in my morning routine. I learned that the more intentional I was about my mornings and the more I stick to them this way, I was more inspired to write, brainstorm new ideas, and do what I love to do best: create. So here are 5 healthy morning habits I’ve gotten into a routine of doing that inspire me to create.

Create before you Consume

AKA don’t be on your phone first thing in the morning. I used to wake up and check my phone in bed while my eyes were barely open. Not only did that start to strain my eyes sometimes, but it would either get me stressed right away if I looked at how many emails I had or it was a big distraction because I would start scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, and let’s face it, there’s nothing that interesting on there so early in the morning. “Create before you Consume” was actually something I heard Julie Solomon say over a year ago when I tuned into one of her webinars. It really hit home for me because I realized, I know that my mind is more alert and fresh in the mornings. That’s when I do my best writing. But being able to create was being overshadowed by everything else I was consuming. It’s hard to come up with an original idea when you’re flooded by the ideas of everyone else. This is something I’ve really tried not to do and it’s worked so well this past year! For me creating before I consume means I don’t read other blogs, scroll on social media, read another screenplay, etc. before I write my own blog post, a page in my own screenplay, etc. the list goes on. I usually keep my phone on silent until I’ve finished writing and drinking my coffee.

Morning Pages

If you’re sick of me talking about my love for morning pages yet, you’re in for a treat haha. Morning Pages for me (3 handwritten pages of whatever comes to mind) makes me feel so grounded and ready to attack the day. It’s the ultimate dump and jump—dump out everything that might be weighing on you, stressing you out, or even positive things that might just be clogging up your brain and then jump into your day with a freer peace of mind. Sometimes I read a few pages of The Artists Way before writing these pages, which is where I heard about this in the first place! Doing my morning pages gets my creative juices flowing and sometimes I come up with my best ideas for my projects during these pages. So inspiring!

The routine of coffee or tea

For me, this is a part of my routine that I covet. I love my mornings so much. It’s “me” time and I love to sit and drink a few sips of my coffee with my dogs snuggled up near me and enjoy that time. Sometimes I think it’s less about actually needing that caffeine (although let’s be real I am a coffee fanatic) and more about the routine of enjoying my cup of brew. Having a part in my routine that I do without fail brings more intention and consciousness into my everyday life, and furthermore it inspires me to go create something I love.  You may not be a coffee or tea drinker and that’s fine, but find something that you will do every day and just sit there for a few minutes taking it all in. We won’t always have mornings to ourselves so I like to cherish that.

Get dressed before you create

Whether you work from home or you’re finding time for your morning routine before heading to work, I find that getting dressed makes you feel mentally prepared to get down to business. Of course, I still like to be comfortable and most days you’ll probably find me in workout clothes regardless if I’m working out, but staying in my pajamas until noon does not do me justice. Getting dressed inspires me to be conscious that it’s time to make those ideas a reality. 

Morning Habits that Inspire You to Create, Made to Create Coffee Mug

“Made to Create” coffee mug by Samantha Skelton. Click to buy. Photo by Hannah Robinson Designs

Start Creating

Aren’t we talking about things to do in the morning that inspire you to create? Yes, but it’s sort of like that saying, “to begin, begin.” Like I said before, I do my best work in the morning. It’s when my brain is most alert and I show up and do the work in the mornings more so than any other time in the day. Sometimes just starting in on a project can lead to more ideas, momentum, or creative clarity. There is no better time to start than “now” because tomorrow will lead to never.

What habits do you do that inspire you to create? Share your inspiration below by scrolling to the bottom to leave a comment!

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