Posts tagged inspiration

3 Ways Networking Can Spark Growth

3 Ways Networking Can Spark Growth

Growth with your dream takes time. There are some things that you must do alone and some that include doing a bit more. I have found 3 ways networking can spark growth.

First, get out of your comfort zone for starters. It is so much easier to stay within the confines of what you are used to. It’s predictable though and holds no mystery.

However, when you branch out by networking it adds a new element to your plan. There is something to be said for getting around other like-minded individuals. They bring excitement to your goals.

Get in front of other people

By getting in front of other people you open up your potential. You start making connections with people. Sometimes those connections become valued friendships.

Not only are you helping sharpen up your networking skills, but you end up helping others too. Not everyone looks forward to meeting new people. The world consists of both introverts and extroverts.

Connecting with new individuals creates an opportunity to learn from them as well. You never know who you will end up helping in return.

Immersing yourself with networking sparks your creative spirit. Maybe talking with someone that is doing something like what you are doing can fuel your desire to keep going. Listening to a different way that someone talks about your craft can help broaden your vision.

Any time that you are on your own it’s easy to think that your way is the only way. Opportunities to learn from others happens when you take the chance. That often means getting out there and being around other people.

I have made it a point to network whenever possible. Luckily, I have attended a couple of What Women Want National Conferences and I made some wonderful friends that way. Listening to keynote speakers to hear about how they got started with their dream fascinates me.

You gain confidence in yourself

The second way is that networking gives you confidence. Even if you are the type that wants to take flight and retreat it can happen. If you stick around long enough to find out that is. Once you face your inner self-talk and give yourself a pep talk it happens.

By doing something that feels strange, awkward and uncomfortable you break the habit. That habit could be you avoiding networking opportunities. Each time that you participate you learn what worked and what didn’t.

Going to a networking event means that you may not know it all, but you go for it anyway. You break the ice a little each time that you go. You let down your guard enough to start feeling confident to do so.

Gain success by following up

Last but not least is the third-way networking can spark your growth. Once that you attend a networking event it is easy to collect a business card and forget about it. Instead, go over the cards that benefit you the most. What kind of people attended the event that you could follow up with?

Maybe it is someone that is doing something like what you are doing. Possibly it is someone that could use your services or the other way around. Don’t be afraid to help other people. Maybe that contact isn’t for you, but you know someone that could benefit from their services. Right there you will be helping a couple of people.

Following up after a networking event isn’t always about you. It can mean more than that. When you contact someone remember to thank them for speaking with you at the event. Take it from there and the rest will follow.

Networking gives you an opportunity to do all these things. It inspires and motivates you to keep on going and get you excited again. It is like taking in a breath of fresh air.

Give it a chance, think positive and enjoy yourself. Find the kind of events that work best for you. I have definitely found my kind of events and I know that you will too.

3 Tips to Help You Stay Consistent

3 Tips to Help You Stay Consistent

It takes careful planning to win with any diet, complete a project or stay the course as an entrepreneur. I came up with 3 tips to help you stay consistent.  As a writer, I have noticed my highs and lows. Also, I have seen the same trend with my fitness goals.

To become better at something, you must stay consistent. Ever notice that happens when you first start a diet? However, the minute that you slip you fall back into your old habits and you are back to square one.

It helps by starting off with a few steps. Habits take time to become successful. The most important thing is to begin the process.

Writing it down

First, get out a notebook and write down your plan. Think of the steps that you need to put into place. The things that will take you from point A to point B. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

The main idea is to get it all down on paper. This simple step will help you reap the rewards in the short and the long term. Plus, it’s a great way to become organized with your thoughts.

Reevaluate your “why”

Second, ask yourself why it’s important for you to stay consistent. This triggers your “why.” What’s in it for you? Maybe you are doing something for yourself or for someone else. Whatever it is figure out why you want to keep doing it.

If it is a new fitness routine, why do you need to be consistent? Could it be because you were bored with what you were doing? Maybe your old routine wasn’t working for you. Possibly the routine wasn’t the real reason it didn’t work.

That is how consistency plays a big factor in all that you are trying to succeed at. How many times have you started and not finished something because it got too hard? It’s about creating new habits and shedding the ones that didn’t work.

Believe that you can

Finally, the third thing is to believe in yourself. You can’t become consistent if you don’t. Faith in what you are trying to do is everything. Do whatever it takes to instill it in your heart, mind, and spirit.

When you start doing that it makes you more confident. It doesn’t mean that some things may not scare or intimidate you, but you will be ready for those moments. Confidence will help you project it from the inside out. It ends up becoming more visible in your life.

Consistency  is what will get you closer to the completion of your goals. It’s a partnership that you create with yourself. You make a pact to get it done.

You make it a point to show up even on the days that you don’t feel like it. Remember 2018 isn’t over yet. You have plenty of time to get into the process.

So, here’s to you for what you are about to recommit to. Think about how much better you’ll be for it. Taking a piece of what is important to you and making it the best that it can be.

Conferences Propel You Forward

Judy Goss and Kristin West
Judy Goss and Kristin West doing what they do best.

Conferences Propel You Forward

Ever get back from a conference fired up to apply everything that you learned? If you haven’t then I highly recommend that you consider the What Women Want National Conference in 2019. I came back from this conference so excited to move forward with my dreams and goals.

The theme this year was to Go Big.  Judy Goss put together a conference that had something for everyone. There were a variety of speakers and breakout sessions to choose from.

When you consider attending a conference do your research and be open-minded to what is being taught. There is always something valuable that you can take away from it.

Remember that not every single part of a conference may be a fit for you. This usually depends on the topic and who it is geared towards. Examine the parts that you think might be for you. How can you apply them to what you are doing now?

Fitness and Inspiration

Cathryn Marshall of Simple Fat Burn was a great speaker talking about diet, nutrition and fitness. All things that I am familiar with. I was reminded that I needed to up my water intake. She talked about sugar being in a lot of foods including some fruits and vegetables.

Even 10 minutes of exercise at home is beneficial. It is easy to make things more complicated than what they must be. She reminded us about getting our daily dose of greens too.

Nikki Walter was there with her daughter Addie to talk about their journey. There were some heartfelt moments throughout her story. It’s easy to be inspired by such a beautiful woman that is a hard worker and still finds a way to balance it all.

She was the perfect example of someone holding down a full-time job, a fitness powerhouse and a wonderful mom. The kind of woman that gives other women hope that they can do it too.

Lesley Jane Seymour was a great speaker as well. I connected with her talk. She is all about reinvention in middle age through her platform called Covey Club. I enjoyed her strength and examples of being resilient through some hard times.

Amy Newmark publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul shared inspiration from some of her books. I have been a huge fan for many years. I couldn’t leave without asking her for a tip on writing for her someday.

The good news is that her tip resonated with me especially on my flight home.  I was reading one of the stories when there was a light bulb moment for me. That is what many people can take away from attending a conference. That golden nugget that will be the game changer.

We all have those epiphanies when we are strongly engaged to a speaker. It is about being a listener first, asking questions and then applying those principles. Without the application you stay in the same place.

Put in the Work

Anyone can attend a conference, but not everyone will do the work afterwards. I know that I wasn’t going to be that person that didn’t. Have you ever attended a conference that made you want to do more? Aside from learning things you get the opportunity to network.

You get the chance to establish new friendships. The in between moments when you can talk with each other are the best. People tell you their story and their plans.

What I loved about this conference is that it made you want to go after your goals. This time it made me feel more determined more than ever. Let’s face it when you hit midlife you start realizing that you don’t have all the time in the world.

So, to all the younger people out there go for it! For all my midlife people keep going and don’t stop. You will reap the rewards before you know it.

Forget Excuses

If you are looking to change your current situation find a conference near you. Buddy up with a friend. Start local then eventually travel to one that is 6 hours or less from you.

Don’t make up all the excuses of why you can’t. I almost wasn’t going to be at this conference this year. However, I made the decision to do whatever it took to be there.

Your Time Is Now

Judy Goss is someone that I admire and respect so much that I knew I had to be there. I am so grateful to her for what she has created and this community of women helps us empower each other. Attending a conference like this makes us see the bigger picture.

Yes, your time is now because we all get the same number of hours in a day. I left this conference feeling so pumped up to Go Big. I can tell you that a year went by fast since I attended last year’s conference. It may be Fall of 2018, but so much can be accomplished before the end of this year.

Will you be willing to do what it takes too?

A Second Blog Anniversary Keeps Me Going

A Second Blog Anniversary Keeps Me Going

 

Pursuing a dream is comparable to the work that you put in when you work out. You have a combination of sweat, tears and continuous hard work. It’s an almost love/hate relationship. Here I am, and I’ve arrived at the second year of my Blog Anniversary.

Time has surely flown on by. Every single step has been worth it. That is how far your passion takes you when you are willing. I stress on the word willing because that is the game changer.

Some people don’t know that I’ve been a writer for so many years. I was a writer before I ever became a blogger. I wrote for free for a while before I made a dime at writing.

However, my commitment is what has kept me going. Have I always been committed? Well I can tell you that I didn’t always feel like staying committed. There is a difference.

You could say that I took a hiatus from writing on a regular basis. Now that I’ve hit mid-life I realize that I don’t have any time to waste. No waiting for the right time either.

It’s a sink or swim mentality. Sounds harsh doesn’t it. That is what it takes to make it with anything that you’ve never done.

Have you ever felt like quitting something because it got too hard?

Keep Going Do It Anyway

That is what a dream does for you. You face the unknowns like a leaf shaking in the wind. You stumble and fall through all the uncertainties but manage to get back up.

You keep on going despite how hard it gets. These past couple of years has taught me about: grit, patience, gratitude, doubt, excitement, being consistent and staying committed to the course.

I have a strong passion for writing inspirational posts and articles that make you feel good. It gives me a lot of joy when a reader tells me something resonated with them. That right there is why I write.

If I can touch a heart, then I’ve done my job. I am super grateful for the friendships that I have made through blogging and for the wonderful opportunities that have come my way.

Be Willing to Continue Learning

I’m continually learning new things. You’d better believe there is never a dull moment. I still don’t know everything, and I’m blessed to work with Linda Mendible because she helps with the behind the scenes that I may not know the answer to with technology. On top of that she is an experienced blogger as well. She is my saving grace.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want to know how to do everything. Part of the excitement with a dream is learning along the way. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. If you can’t do it alone then you ask for help.

I’m finally at a point where I am working on my own book after all these years.  I also started my own podcast Arrows & Lattes on top of everything else. That’s the beauty of sticking with something and staying consistent. Sometimes I’m curious about the future and what it will bring my way.

In the meantime, I focus on what I can bring to the table. I aim to inspire, encourage and make a difference whenever I can. If I can pursue my dream all while having a family and a full-time job, then you can follow your dream too.

So, here’s to my second year doing what I love and celebrating my blog anniversary. A huge thank you to all that have come along the journey with me. I know my muse is proud of me, but most importantly so am I.

College Send-Off Bittersweet

College Send-Off Bittersweet

The time is upon us to drop our kids off at college. A time where students step into the next chapter of their life. Yet, they are not the only ones making their way towards unknown territory. The same holds true for the parents that must learn to live without them.

The following is a letter to my son upon his leaving home and going towards his calling in life.  It is such a bittersweet time.

The Little Things

I’m like any other mother out there holding on to what once was and trying to let you go. I know it’s important to you to get your feet wet in that next big thing in life. You are venturing towards a fresh independence of becoming who you are meant to be.

That doesn’t change the fact that of course I’ll miss the little things. For you see the little things started so many years ago. It started the very day that you were born.

When I met you for the first time and held your tiny hand in mine. What about the time that you finally learned how to walk or ride a bike with your Dads help? Throwing you fun birthday parties just because it made you happy.

As your parents we got blessed with eighteen full years of having you home. People told us that one day you would have to leave. The day that your life would begin in college.

That was so many years ago. I thought I had more time with you. To do all that I used to do.
For you see not only are you beginning something great, but I am letting go of one of my biggest achievements in life: You. There really isn’t any manual that tells me how to go on without you.

Time to Let Go

Only the wisdom that comes with time that it will all be alright. I’ll still worry across the miles because that is what a mother does. Yet, I’ll be your biggest cheerleader through your college years.

The same way that I was when you were in sports growing up. Going to as many games or matches as possible. Being there for you meant everything. To see your smile when I was there made it worth it.

That brings me to the present moment. The finality of having to release you into this crazy world of ours. In the hopes that you will continue to make good choices.

To be honest it’s more of no longer being able to protect you from it all. No more being a helicopter mom of sorts. There aren’t words to describe the way that I will feel once you are gone. The days when I’ll walk past an empty bedroom.

Who ever said parenting was a piece of cake? Nobody did I’m sure. So, yes, I may be a little mushy with this letter, but let’s get to the next part.

Things I Want for You

I want you to do your best in college. Get in there and see who you are. Enjoy the path of self-discovery. Don’t let fear dictate who you are meant to become. If someone thinks that you can’t it is your job to prove them wrong.

Dream big and don’t ever let anyone make you think small. Be a giver and do it without asking for anything in return. When you are chasing your dream it’s important to lead others to do the same.

Hang in There

There will be times when your self-doubt will test you. It’ll make you think that you aren’t worthy, ignore it. You are way bigger than that.

When things get rough you can vent for a bit and then move on. You are only human. Look at upcoming obstacles as a challenge. I wish that I could tell you that you won’t get any, but you will.

It’s part of your journey. Something that is bound to happen. Don’t worry because it will soon pass as soon as it arrives.

Determination Goes a Long Way

Be determined about what it is that you are seeking in life. The most successful people walk through fear because their commitment pushes them past it. Be that person.

Through it all you will shed layers of doubt and you will gain layers of maturity. If there is one thing that your independence will teach you is perseverance and true grit.

Three things that you should always keep in your pocket are: your integrity, your morals and your faith. This is a time that you will see what you are made of. It’s a big test to see if you will either give up or keep going.

The good news is that you are not alone. You can always lean on me no matter where you are. When in doubt all that you must do is look up.

Believe in yourself the way that I believe in you. I know that you will still carry a bit of me with you. You’ll remember our talks and I hope that will move you forward.

New Beginnings

Although this may seem like the end of what we have always known it’s only the beginning. This is the part where it gets even better yet again. The part where you get to be the director of your own story.

As you embark on your next chapter be ready to create your own opportunities. Don’t wait around for them to arrive. Do the work and the rest will soon follow.

You are well on your way to greatness. This is the moment where you embrace how lucky you are. It is where you get to pursue everything that you have ever wanted. A dream in the making is waiting for you.

Although it feels bittersweet know that I am happy for you. For you are chasing your dream like I knew that you would.

In my mind you’ll always be my baby, but for now I must let you take the lead. I’ll be watching on the sidelines rooting for you every step of the way.

You have us, your family giving you high fives. Be ready because you have what it takes and then some. It’s time to discover the part of you that has been waiting for this moment.

Now’s your time to gather all your hopes and wishes. Put them before you to allow yourself to dream big.

Why stop there though? I say dream as big as you are willing to go. Even if it seems impossible. For when you do great things are sure to happen.

 

Glamping Made Special on Solo Retreat

The following is a sponsored post with Glampers Paradise.

glampers paradise
Inside the Peacock Mansion

Glamping Made Special on Solo Retreat

Imagine for a moment going on a glamping mini vacation. I found this on my solo retreat at Glampers Paradise. What is glamping? It is a way to enjoy the outdoors with a touch of glamour and wonderful amenities.

Upon my arrival Jennifer Waller greeted me outside in front of her gorgeous patio. It was awesome to finally get to meet her in person. I knew by the location that I was going to enjoy my stay.

I sat down with her to talk about her beautiful Airbnb. It is a place where women can rejuvenate, rest and rediscover themselves. As women get older and especially during midlife it is important to find that balance.

Some of them are women that are becoming empty nesters, have a full-time job and are married or single. Women that are undergoing these transitions tend to feel overwhelmed. They have raised their children and now ponder over what comes next in their life.

I loved the personalized touches. She had a lap desk ready for me because she knew that I was a writer. Plus, coffee and tea. The small plate snacks were delicious. I can’t say enough about her green juice in the mason jar. So good!

Her Shasta travel trailer is called the Peacock Mansion.  You will see her peacock decor throughout her outdoor space and in her trailer.

Green juice

Glampers Paradise is a place that offers relaxation and serves as a way to unplug. Also, as an opportunity to indulge in some self-love by booking a photo shoot. It’s the kind of place that you don’t want to ever leave from.

Playing dress up

Glampers Paradise
Feeling like a goddess in my blue dress.

Remember playing dress up as a little girl? That is exactly what I did only grown up style.

I had the chance to put on some beautiful dresses and lovely statement jewelry. Jennifer had a way of making me feel right at home. She was the type of lady that I would have loved to have grown up with.

We had a wonderful evening with a fire too. It was so easy to unwind with a glass of red wine. Being outdoors under the stars and having an inspiring talk.

It reminded me of a slumber party. Guests can interact as much or as little they’d like to. I’m a people person so I loved spending time with Jennifer. I found out more about her as a person and with her other business venture that I will cover in a future post or in my podcast.

The photo shoot made it feel that more special. When you are wearing a long gown, you feel empowered. You feel sexy and most of all you feel worthy.

Worthy enough to indulge in getting pampered and most of all simply being still. Rediscovering yourself without the to do list, daily distractions or being pulled away from yourself.

glampers paradise
Beauty in the woods at Glampers Paradise

It’s okay to say yes

“You don’t need permission to kind of escape for two days and two nights and put yourself first.” When Jennifer said that I could immediately relate to it.  What woman hasn’t felt guilty about putting herself first?

It was a place where you could pause and breathe. All while being surrounded by beautiful things. That is what she hopes women will experience during their stay.

From the Peacock Mansion offering privacy or the outdoor space you will find tranquility. There is something that will resonate with you. They offer romantic stays as well.

The milk bath was the most relaxing way to end my stay.

When was the last time that you did something special? Doing something for yourself is worth doing. When you take care of yourself you are at your best for others.

Forget the mom guilt and leave it at home. Staying at Glampers Paradise will be just what you needed. Be prepared to feel welcomed. There is so much more than meets the eye here.

Maybe it’ll be the soul searching or revisiting that dream of yours from childhood. I tell you the possibilities are endless.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to discover that?

I know that I did and can’t wait to explore those possibilities again. Very soon too I might add.

High School Graduation Means Letting Go

High School Graduation Means Letting Go

The minute your child enters kindergarten you are already prepping for milestones. Yet, when it is time for their senior year that is when reality sets in. High School graduation means letting go.

This is where I was most recently with our youngest and several years ago with our oldest. All sorts of emotions start to come about. Often, I think I’d like to revert back to accidentally stepping on Legos. This would allow me the opportunity of reliving their childhood once again.

Sounds extreme doesn’t it? I mean who would want to step on tiny hard plastic pieces? Or maybe I’d like to push my kids on a swing again at the park.

Reminiscing Good for Your Soul

I remember when our kids were little I thought that graduation seemed so far away. I don’t think that I took my time for granted, but the progression of time speeding by seemed unlikely.

Back then being part of their moments with growing up felt like time was standing still. As if I was in a time-lapse photography session with each milestone that was reached. Teaching our kids how to walk or my husband teaching them something that I didn’t know how to do.

It was all part of the process as a family. Being connected on a level so deep that the thought of them growing up seemed so far away.

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A Supportive Community Strengthens Your Dream

A Supportive Community Strengthens Your Dream

A supportive community strengthens your dream. Building a community helps you tackle on tough projects. Those projects can consist of big and small goals. Surrounding yourself with folks that get what you are doing is crucial.

First thing to accept is that those closest to you may not always have your vision. That is okay. It’s not for everyone.

Look for people that are on a similar path. Network when you can whether that is work related or socially. Be genuine when you do it.

Be that person that lifts and empowers someone else. The type of person that someone else can look up to and appreciate.

Get Comfortable with Fear

Are you shy?

It’s time to embrace your fearless side. Everyone has that side. Often it is sitting on the sidelines waiting to be invited.

Maybe you haven’t noticed that it is there, but it is. Learning how to step away from being shy and jumping into being fearless doesn’t come easy. It takes guts.

It takes a strong enough will to want to accomplish your goal to get you there. If you haven’t succeeded at something have you asked yourself why not?

Allowing the Fails to Prepare You

Not succeeding right away doesn’t mean that you won’t ever succeed. Being able to fail and get back up takes grit.

It’s the desire to prove to yourself that you indeed will succeed. The first time that you fail at something is easier than the times after that. Failing the first time preps you for those multiple fails.

It is when you fail that you begin to question your path. You begin to doubt if you are meant to do that thing or not.

Failures will season you for the future. Your future self is depending on you failing. Sounds silly right?

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My Tools for Fitness Success

My Tools for Fitness Success

You’ve heard of accountability partners with fitness. However, fitness success means partnering up with yourself first. You get the pleasure of becoming your own partner from Day 1. My tools for fitness success consist of a variety of things.

Engaging on a fitness journey is unique for everyone. You alone decide what will and won’t work for you. Expect to fall off the wagon a few times, but remember failure is only temporary. The good news is that you can get back up and start over.

First, put some things in motion that will help you succeed. Are you the type that will lay out your exercise clothing the night before or do you just wing it the day of? I have done both.

The main thing for me is that I have ready to wear clothing. I can’t say I prefer to get my clothes ready the night before. I’m the type of person that is used to working under pressure. Throwing something on last minute still gets me to the gym.

My shoes are my first priority. A good pair of workout sneakers are essential. One trusted brand that I love is Nike.

Where to Find a Good Deal

Recently, I jumped on to Purcado to search deals on sneakers along with sexy heels for fun. My search led me to a variety of popular shoe sites where I came across a 25% off sale on Nike cross training sneakers and they offered free shipping.

I’m a huge fan of traditional black and white sneakers. Except this time, I wanted a pop of color either in pink or red. I ended up finding some very cute ones with that splash of color in pink.

My goal was to stick to a budget of $50 and with tax it came out to $48.04. Talk about a win for me! I stayed true to my budget.

Gym Must Haves

My tools for fitness success include: resistance bands, an SPIbelt (running belt), weight training gloves, Bose earbuds and a huge dose of belief in my capabilities. For now, I carry it all in a tote and in the future, I’d love to find a traditional gym bag in pink or rose gold.

I used to hold on to a pair of sneakers until I couldn’t wear them anymore. Nowadays there are more choices than ever to have more than a single pair. By preparing for fitness you dictate what works best for you.

I’m the type of person that needs to wear exercise apparel that makes me feel good about myself. Doing what it takes to get the job done. That might mean wearing a top that has an inspirational message on it.

One of my favorite is a top that says You vs. You. In the end that is really what it is. Your biggest obstacle is yourself.

Having the right tools in your gym bag and mindset is what will steer you towards success. If it means getting a pair of kicks that will encourage strength I am in. I will be using Purcado again and will also look for some shoes for my family.

Fitness means different things for everyone. Maybe you are starting out on your journey or you have been doing this for a while. Wherever you see yourself keep your focus on how it will benefit you in the long run. Preparation is key.

Are you willing to do what it takes to get you there?

Self-Care Days With Be Pure Beauty

Self-Care Days with Be Pure Beauty

Years ago, before kids; I was on a getaway weekend with my husband in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was passing by Be Pure Beauty in Chapel Hill, NC recently. Sundays are made for self-care days with Be Pure Beauty.

Imagine my surprise when I was walking by and I saw some beautiful kimono robes through the window. I love shopping where I get to know the owners and can develop connections with them. That is what I enjoy about April and her lovely store.

https://www.bepurebeauty.com/?rfsn=332660.30532c

I knew immediately that I wanted to buy a kimono. The hardest thing was deciding which color to get. They were all gorgeous. What better way to treat yourself.

There is something about slipping into something silky that makes a person feel sexy. What I love is that it really brought my cherished memory back to life. I don’t believe in coincidence. It was meant for me to have it.

Sun Protection

I initially went in to find a facial sunscreen. I have discoloration from Melasma and with the summer days approaching I knew I should buy some. What I like about Be Pure Beauty products is that they are good for you.

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