keep your sense of adventure

I just returned from a gloooooorious trip to Portland, Oregon where I celebrated the marriage of a close friend and my two year wedding anniversary. Yay love! All of this in the land of local meat and cheese, fresh coffee and endless beer, and fresh-air and skyline (nose-rings and doc martens).

The first two days in what I dubbed "the motherland" (per multiple Buzzfeed quizzes, this is the city I am "meant to live" >>click here to see yours<<) were spent hiking in dense forests with lush landscape, crisp leaves, and clean air that I couldn't sip in fast enough. Literally, trying to make pine-trees, moss, and waterfalls... mother nature's fast-acting inhaler. 

Wahkeena Falls, Portland, Oregon

Wahkeena Falls, Portland, Oregon

Maltnomah Falls, Portland, Oregon

Maltnomah Falls, Portland, Oregon

Maltnomah Falls, Portland, Oregon

Maltnomah Falls, Portland, Oregon



see what I mean...

Needless to say my trip through the forest, down steep ravines, and even our jaunts through industrious city blocks were adventures. But so are a lot of things in life; vacation trips, a next chapter in life, anything that breaks you out of the mundane of "the norm," a situation that is new or uncharted. 

When you embark on an adventure you 1. enjoy the ride by 2. remaining open to the present (aka not obsessing on the outcome or result of the adventure). You gain more by engaging, moment by moment.

A lot of situations and life events are adventures

  • moving (period. new house, new city, new block, new state...all of it)
  • having or adopting a child or choosing not to do either
  • marriage
  • divorce
  • changing, ending, or pursuing a job
  • trying a new food, restaurant, way of eating
  • travel (anywhere and of course!)
  • creating/engaging in literature, art, science
  • forms of physical activity

When you keep your sense of adventure, you are willing to try new things. Opportunities are opened to you and you are reminded of the reward behind the risk. When you keep your sense of adventure, you choose a path with confidence; filling your life with experiences that are rich, deep, and vibrant. 

But wait!
There is much more to be gained from adventure:

  • youth
    • getting out of your element keeps you active and keeps you spirited
  • adaptability
    • by nature, adventure is ever-changing therefore when you embrace the novelty of something new, you too have changed with it
  • gratitude
    • rising to the challenge of an adventure shapes your mind and body and creates an appreciation for both
  • dynamism
    • the skills gained, experiences earned, and overall next "layer" of yourself that is created by adventure has the ability to disrupt and surprise what you thought you new about yourself. you gain dymension 


how will you keep your sense of adventure as you navigate change, novelty, and uncertainty? how can you look at opportunities in your life with confidence and a spirit of self-assuredness? where is your next adventure taking you and how will you respond?
 

Forest Park, Portland, Oregon

Forest Park, Portland, Oregon

A glimpse at my decision-making + a cool travel app

Today I'm sharing more of my entrepreneurial side; Sharing insight into my reasoning when it comes to taking on a project outside of my normal closet or styling gig.
I am doing more writing and embracing another facet of my creativity. I am a firm believer that when you make a declaration into "the universe" that the world "conspires" to bring more of that delaration into your view.

"your thoughts create words, your words create action and your actions shape your behavior (i'm sure this is an exact quote of someone's)." 

I declared I wanted to do more writing and share my words and now mixes of opportunities are falling into my inbox. Some have been paid and some are strictly promotional. Either way I have learned to put the opportunity through these filters:

  • *gut check!* what is my intuition telling me? "explore this further? run away NOW! or this absolutely sends my creativity soaring!"
  • does this make sense for me and my brand (core values)?
  • will this require a lot of my time and energy aka does this measure up to the time (and $) I would or should exert elsewhere
  • will this create traffic to my website and build brand awareness?

So when I was randomly asked to be a "local expert" for a travel app (Stay.com) and emailed about an opportunity to provide a list of 8 shopping destinations in Orlando, here is what I did:

  • looked up the app/website
    • if my name is attached to ANYTHING you better believe I'm going to fact-check and make sure it's something I support or think is rad/useful
  • thought about how I could re-shape what was being asked of me to fit my personal and business mantras
    • I'm not a big "shopper" nor do I subscribe to trends forcing you to buy stuff all the time, so how could I look at this list differently and make it intentional
    • I asked if I could provide my own write-up/blurbs about the businesses I would recommend; making them personal and showcase what makes these shops true gems (be sure to click the purple "local's pick" underneath each shop, to access this)
  • made sure I was clear on what I was getting out of the "free" work
    • since promotion was involved, what did stay.com commit to doing for me in return for my time and what parts of my brand were they willing to include publically
  • made sure I was clear on exactly what was asked of me
    • always one to bring my best but also one to over give or think when it isn't always necessary. they wanted short blurbs so that was all they would get; power-packed 1-2 sentences.
  • set a deadline for myself, was prompt in providing what they asked of me and shared why I agreed to the work
    • since I advocate for local and small businesses, that was exactly who I wanted to showcase in this list. I was sure to share that in my agreement and in turn, created a genuine connection with the stay.com rep. I was corresponding with

I'm sharing all this because I too filter my decisions, evaluate them against all parts of my life (personal, business, down-time), make requests, and don't claim that any single part of that is easy. 

Plus the app is suuuuuper cool and useful. I would love for you to check it out and support my ci-tay!

>>Click here to get my "guide"<<

plus check this sneaky peak!

I learn and experience deeply along this journey of mine and I will continue to share of myself and encourage you to do the same.

 

Using your Core Values to make Decisions

Last week we talked about taking the time to write, articulate, and get uber specific about values that are important to you. Whether you had a lengthy list or a brief few, I hope the exercise in "core values" was a good interruption to your weekly norm. 

If you didn't take the time, then I encourage you to do so soon. The early bird gets the worm right? And in this case, the early bird gets to move closer and closer tokicking ass
 at setting (and keeping) those boundarieswe've been talking about.

To review: Your core values are strong attributes (adjectives) that make-up both who you positively consider yourself to be and who you desire to be. Core values show you what you stand for and what you do not tolerate; this protects your
 SPIRIT; your unique essence. If we could bottle you, these would be the ingredients listed on the label.

Your list should light you up.
Your list should wet your appetite for a fueled&fulfilled (can I trade mark this slogan? sounds like a tag-line for an energy drank) life.
Your list should be ALL SUBSTANCE and ZERO FLUFF.

This Week: Actively use your list of Core Values to guide your decisions.

Spend time putting your social calendar, a request from work, how you're going to spend your down-time, whether you want breakfast for breakfast or breakfast for dinner...ALL OF IT through the filter of your values. 

ex: If I value flexibility then I'm going to leave room in a vacation schedule for spontaneity versus having every moment strictly planned. If I value deep connections then I won't get together with superficial (former) friends; I'll spend my time otherwise.

OPTION(s)
*What are my choices?

CORE VALUE FILTER
*Does it align with a specific value or set of values? If it doesn't, why am I struggling to say no?

DECISION
*The "best option" will start to present itself & your decision will be clearer

The better you get at using your core values to filter your choices, you will gain confidence and conviction in your decisions. You will learn how to comfortably say no to opportunities that do not make sense for you and stop apologizing for it. 

PLUS! You'll start to:

  • shed feelings of guilt
  • lessen anxiety around being a "good" or "bad" decision-maker
  • gain control of how you spend your time
  • understand your uniqueness
  • care about doing things to lift your spirit versus out of obligation

I'm here if you want to share your list of values, share in your successes & struggles, and sharpen your decisions. 

Establishing Core Values

Last week we started your journey to BOUNDARY SETTING by working on your Personal Bill of Rights; a powerful list of sentences (basic rights) to help you assert yourself while respecting others (ex: I have the right to be healthier than those around me. I do not have the right to tell someone how they feel).

What did you think of this exercise? I can assume some "rights" were easy while others were hard---did you almost not write those rights down? 

Did this exercise come at time when you were feeling taken advantage of; over-stretched, over-worked, over-scheduled, over-over this mess? Perhaps.

It's no coincidence I am beginning this work for you now, during the summer when things slow down. Our work on boundaries over the next few weeks will build you up and prepare you for the next season; a time when kids are back in school, projects are due, events get stacked, and our lives just get busier; more demanding.  

Now that you have your Personal Bill of Rights, let's shift into focusing on your
 CORE VALUES.

Core values are the building blocks that create the substance of who you truly are. They are the means and often motivators through which you can filter decisions, goals, actions, and behaviors. 

What qualities or attributes do you hold dear? What do you stand for in your life, in relationships, in your contributions? What buzzwords light you up and make you think..."I want that to be part of who I am."

Bonus: You can use your PBR to guide this work! Take a look at the list of rights you made and see if there are any patterns in what is important to you. Did you write a majority of rights focused on health? Did your rights show you how much you value alone time and personal maintenance? Look for the patterns and give the groupings a singular word that describes /links them. 

A few of my core values are:

  • authentic
    • it pains me to be fake so I have to share, encourage, and even dialogue from a place that is genuine
  • empowerment
    • positive thinking, uplifting, and the roar!to my spirit
  • relatable
    • I seek to make my voice, words, and insight both easy to conceive and applicable for anyone. I'm no better than anyone else
  • fresh perspective
    • I am most creative when I am looking at things from a different vantage point, playing devils advocate, and trying new ideas
  • vulnerable
    • when I am putting myself "out there" and taking a risk, I know the challenge and occasional nerves are worth it to support this value
  • abundance
    • there is plenty to give, plenty to share, and enough of anything for everyone
  • fun/humor
    • helluuuu! I can talk serious but I can't approach my life that way all the time! I love to laugh and find humor in anything

Think of it as: "I want to create a life of _____________ (fill in the blank). 

Other examples:

  • discovery/exploration
  • gratitude
  • warm-heartedness
  • patience
  • partnership
  • mindfulness
  • adaptability/flexibility
  • creativity
  • integrity
  • spirituality

I'm really looking forward to hearing what core values you come up with for yourself. Try some on and see how they feel. Not of all them will fit & that's as it should be. Go with the values that make sense for the life you want.

 

The Beginning Stages of Boundary Setting

Because I will never do anything I love without gusto, I want to start with a HUGE concept and work to pick it apart while building YOU up. 

It's a pesky, helpful, patience trying, and oh-so-rewarding life tool and skill-set called...

BOUNDARY SETTING

*Gulp!* You either have boundaries, don't have them, think you have them or are afraid/ignorant of them (which is really the same as not having them sister-friend). 

I want to help you learn your boundaries so you can set them with purpose, and keep them with conviction. 

Before you even set a personal boundary, you have to know what your personal rights are; my therapist taught me the mental health concept of
 Your Personal Bill of Rights. 

As women there can be both an inner drive and a social influence to be everything for everyone. As you and I both know first-hand (not an assumption, just common reality) this "push" is exhausting, unachievable, and completely damaging to our self-worth. 


The super-rad part about all of this, is that at any point, ANY POINT, we have an opportunity to turn our "current state" around and get our life on the right track. 

A Personal Bill of Rights allows you to respect yourself while respecting others. This is where you become assertive.

You know what else your PBR (not the beer...still the "rights") does?
 It combats GUILT, SHAME, & COMPARISON.Whaaahooo! Win.Win.Win

Here are some basic Rights:

  • I have the right to ask for what I want
  • I have the right to be healthier than those around me
  • I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can't meet
  • I have the right to be uniquely myself
  • I have the right to change my mind
  • I have the right to be happy
  • I have the right to expect honesty from others
  • I have the right to make mistakes
  • I have the right to my own needs for personal space & time

You can also put some in the "I DO NOT have the right" format:

  • I do not have the right to take other people's problems on as my own (this was a tough one for me for a long time as I had a tendency to ALWAYS be a listening ear, a chronic helper, a fixer)
  • I do not have the right to violate others
  • I do not have the right to tell someone how they feel

Use this week to think of and write down your rights; you will need to be 100% clear on what you deserve. Though not a must, think about the results you want from each right (consider the "why"). Is it more time to take care of yourself so that you're present in your relationships? Is it living a healthier life so you manage your stress better? Example: I have the right to exercise weekly. Now, what's your motivator so you protect this right. Is it... "I sleep better, can play with my kids, and set a healthy example for my family." Truly think about the version of yourself on the other side of these rights:

  • how does she feel mentally and physically?
  • what does she do in her down-time?
  • who are her friends? who is she in quality relationships with?

As you get more specific, put your list somewhere you will see it daily. I had mine on my fridge for several years. By looking at them frequently, you get to decide whether you connect to them or not. Notice how you feel as you read them. If you don't like one...change it! 

I'm here if you want to reach out for help, to share your favorites, or just tell me this work is hard. It is hard, and I promise the more you try to write these out, the easier setting & sticking to them will be.