7 things that will keep you head over heels in love with your partner

After making the decision to live an intentional life one of the very first things I did was divorce my Husband.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what had gone wrong and I how I could avoid making the same mistakes in the future.  What I figured out is that is was all about communication.  Not only the way we were communicating but also what we were not communicating.  I had realized that we spent a lot of time avoiding the difficult conversations that we were supposed to be having as partners.  When you are married and raising a family together there are so many variables at play.  Children, home, finances, careers, in-laws, and so much more.  At the end of the day juggling “life” can be so damn exhausting that when you get home and see that your expectations were not met you become aggravated.  The biggest thing we don’t factor in though is often times we don’t even tell our partners what our expectations are!  Then we get pissed off because they didn’t know what we were thinking.   Think about that for a moment.  We got pissed off because someone didn’t read our minds.

I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned from my past relationships because I am putting them into full play in what is the greatest relationship I have ever known.  What I have come to realize is that fate brought us together but that is not what is keeping us together.  It is us making an effort everyday to make sure that it is great.

Whether you are in a new relationship or are celebrating a lifetime together these are 7 things you can make sure you are doing consistently to keep the flame alive.

#1.  They are not trying to hurt you that is just how you feel

When your partner does something that makes you angry remember that it is not what he/she did that needs to be addressed it how that thing made you feel that needs to be talked about.   We often times get angry and start pointing fingers saying “you did this” or “you did that”.  This causes your partner to get defensive and shut down.  Instead, allow yourself to calm down before addressing the problem and then begin with “when (insert offense here) happened this is how it made me feel”. Your partner will also have an opportunity to speak his/her feeling on why they did what they did.  The two of you will have a clearer understanding of each others feelings which will be a game changer for the long haul.

#2 Keep the games for Monopoly night

When you begin dating someone who is when the groundwork for the relationship is laid. Unfortunately we play these games and then things get to a rocky start.  An example would be after you meet someone and you are super excited to contact them but you practice the “3 day rule”.  You know, waiting 3 days before contacting them so you don’t see too eager.  That is so ridiculous.  If someone waited 3 days to contact me I would assume they weren’t interested.  Then I’d start questioning their intent after they did finally contact me.  If you are excited to contact someday….CONTACT THEM.  If that person gets scared off because of your eagerness it is safe to say that person is not for you.  If you find yourself saying “I don’t want them to think __________”  you’re setting yourself up for failure.  You have no idea how a person is going to react to anything.  Go through with what you want but do it intentionally.  The less games you play the less chance you have of losing.

#3 Learn their Love Language

In the book “The 5 Languages of Love” by Gary Chapman he explains that most relationships start to change course after about 2 years.  He believes it is because we are not speaking to them in the correct Love Language.  We tend to show our love the way we would want ours to be shown but that doesn’t work for everyone.  The languages Gary talks about are words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts,  If you receive love through someone telling you how wonderful you are but your partner receives love through physical touch it would be important to know that.  You would have to make it a point to show love not in the way you would want it shown but instead in the way your partner would want it.

#4 Dont Assume Your Partner Knows What You Want

You get home from a long day of work and all you are thinking about is spending some time with your partner.  You have this vision in your head that when you walk in the door they will greet you with a hug and kiss and sit next to you conversing about the day.  When you walk in that is not what happens and you get angry but don’t tell your partner why.  You hold your partner accountable for expectations that were never verbalized.  This happens so often and escalates to a point of no return.  Instead of being angry when those expectations are not met let your partner know what it is that you want.  It is unfair that we hold our partners responsible for knowing what we want in our heads.

#5 The Little Things are the Big Things

When we begin a relationship we are our best selves.  We go out of our way to send little texts, leave little notes, prepare surprise meals, and so on.  After some time we do less and less of that until it’s not happening at all.  Make sure that you are always doing the little things.   A note in his/her lunch is such a great way to show someone you are thinking about them. Sending a random text telling them you love them or that they are on your mind. Those are the things that leave the biggest impact.

#6 Talk About Your Favorite Memories Together 

We all have those days or nights with our partner that will forever be engrained in our minds.  It is important to talk about those favorites!  The more you talk about those things the more likely you are to keep creating wonderful memories together.  When you reflect on something that made you really happy you tend to try to do those things over and over again.  You tend to keep things new and fresh as well as exciting.

#7 Don’t be Shy 

When it comes to how we like to be touched or kissed we usually don’t tell our partner how we like it and then risk never experiencing it.  You then begin to feel unfulfilled and things go awry.  When they do something you really like it is important that you let them know so they keep doing it.  The trickier part is when they do something you don’t like.  That is when you put a positive spin on it and let them know that one thing that they do that you really love.  You are able to change course without hurting their feelings and you get to experience what you really like!

 

 

 

5 beautiful things that will happen when you start living intentionally

My decision to live an intentional life came just before my 39th birthday.  39 years was all the life my Mother had lived before she was tragically killed in a car accident.  It wasn’t until I was turning that same age that I had the realization of “This is all the life she had ever lived”.  It was a monumental life changing moment for me.  My Mother died in the blink of an eye and I had decided I wanted to live my life as if my days were numbered….let’s face it they may be.  There are no guarantees except for the moment you’re currently in.

In the beginning of making this lifestyle change it can be a little scary.  You will find that some of the people around you are not supportive and wonder why you are acting so “selfishly”.  I faced that myself.  I found that those people were draining me for their own gain.  It feels uncomfortable and scary in the beginning but once things get going and inertia takes over and you become unstoppable.

I sought out books, videos, and blogs seeking inspiration and motivation.  Here are 10 videos that kept me going through this transitional period.  I have watched these videos over and over again.  Whenever I am feeling like a need a little support to keep me going I seek these out.

 

#1

Lessons from a 3rd grade drop out

I still cry every time I watch this video.  I truly believe there is a lesson to be learned from every moment of everyday.  From every person you meet.  I have learned far more in the failures of my life than I ever did in the successes of my school education.  When you live intentionally you begin taking in everything around you.  You start appreciating the lessons that can learned from everyone.

#2

I drove here

This is Chris Garner.  Will Smith played him in “The Pursuit of Happiness”.  There is so much truth in this short little snippet.  I couldn’t change my life until I accepted responsibility for being where I was.  You cannot blame anyone else for your problems,  Like it or not you are solely responsible for your destination in life.  The beautiful things is that it is solely your responsibility to change it!  You begin to own all of your failures and therefore transform them into successes.

#3

Don’t back down from sharks

This video has so many lessons in it that you feel like you can do anything after watching it.  It is a reminder that the little things matter.  The little things get you to the big things. Something as small as making your bed every morning will get you one step closer to your life’s ambition.   Also that there are many sharks in the world, you mustn’t back down from them.  When you choose to live your life exactly the way you want you begin to recognize the glory in all the small actions…such as making your bed every morning.

 

#4

Decisions based in fear disguised as practicality

I have this little snippet memorized because I watch it so often.  The are many pieces in this video that will stick with me forever but the stand out is that “you can fail at what you don’t want to do so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”.  Fear is nothing more than your brains security system letting you know that this thing you are going to do is foreign and it’s not sure how to process it.  Once you’ve done it your brain has identified it and now it no longer transmits that element of fear.  The more and more you push forward through this element of fear the less and less scary it is.  Intentionally living allows you identify this feeling and no that no matter what things will work out!

#5

If you know what you’re worth go out and get what you’re worth

As I mentioned earlier there is something to be learned from everything and everyone…even Rocky Balboa.  When you or the people you are closest to start living intentionally they begin to rise above.  This does put a target on your back.  As you begin to stand out in a crowd people try to knock you down…they throw everything thing they can at that target…it is your job to take the hits and keep on moving forward.  You have 2 choices you can either blend in with the crowd and spend your whole life kicking yourself in the ass for never going for it OR you can go for it…take a few jabs along the way but ultimately live the life you’ve always wanted.

Live intentionally.  Know that it takes a million tiny little steps to get there but with each and every one of those little steps you are moving closer and closer to your goal!

 

 

 

 

The First Step is Knowing Your Self Worth

As I spread my gospel of living an intentional life I have to keep reminding myself that it is important to teach how to get started and not just the act of living intentionally.  The getting started part is the hard part.  Once you begin the inertia sets in and it becomes the new normal.  Part of living this lifestyle starts with self-love, self-confidence, and how you talk to yourself.  If you are a confident person you have a bit of a head start.  If you are not a confident person than that is where you begin.  You begin with the way you talk to yourself.  This is a direct quote from “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell.  “I wish I could sit down with you , hear your story, and encourage you specifically in your journey.  If you had a difficult time and you don’t feel good about yourself I want to tell you that you do have value.  You matter.  Your life can change and you can make a difference.  No matter what kind of background you have or where you come from.  No matter what traumas you’ve suffered or mistakes you’ve made you can learn and grow.  You can become the person you have the potential to be you just need to believe in yourself to get started.  Every time you take a step think a positive thought, make a good choice, practice a small discipline…you’re moving one step closer just keep moving forward and keep believing!”

John Maxwell himself may not be able to sit next to you and speak these words but you could tell yourself this every single day.  You could incorporate some of the thoughts from my blog “Fake It Until You Become It in Pleasantville”.  If you have a hard time seeing your value in the beginning….Fake it until you do….Keep telling yourself that you matter, start living life like you matter, start making a difference, start seeing your potential, start believing it because it is 100% true.  Change every negative thought you have into a positive one.  An exercise that John Maxwell suggests is making a list of all of your best personal qualities.  This may come easy to people who already have good self-esteem.  If self-esteem is something you struggle with it may be more difficult but don’t give up…spend the next 2 weeks adding to the list until you have a list of 100 of your best qualities written down.

How you talk to yourself is the first step in living an intentional life.  Whenever you make a decision to change your life in some way there are always going to be critics and people telling you can’t.  Also people who ask “who do you think you are?”  People that see your new lifestyle is not benefiting them anymore so they leave…usually angrily.  You have to rely on your self talk to get through those difficult situations.  When you allow yourself to listen to the people in your life that tell you you must be crazy to think you can do this that is when you start second guessing yourself.  Remember, intentional living is a life with blinders…you only see the goal not all the distractions around you.

Do not allow yourself to be disrespected.  Make a point that whenever someone treats you in a way that you makes you feel inferior let that person know that it is not okay and that it will not be tolerated.  If it continues it is time to remove yourself from that destructive relationship.  Surround yourself with the people who make you feel good about yourself.   The people who see your value.  The people that empower you.  If those people do not exist in your life right now once you begin behaving in this way they will appear.  Read books about growth, watch inspirational videos, seek out what you are missing.  Here is the key though…you have to start practicing these things right now…whether you think you are ready or not…do it anyway.

If this is something you feel like you are already doing and succeeding with please share it with someone.  Empower everyone around you!  There is plenty of room in Pleasantville…invite everyone to relocate there!

Fake it until you become it in Pleasantville

This thought came after thinking about the TedTalk “Power Poses” by Amy Cudy.  If you haven’t seen it make a point to watch it (after you’ve finished reading this beautiful little piece of enlightenment of course) To watch this video click here

Amy Cudy talks about a personal experience in which she was involved in a terrible car accident that left her with major head trauma.  As a result, her IQ had dropped substantially.  This was a huge deal for her as she had always been identified as gifted so she felt that her identity had been stripped away.  Many of her professors and loved ones had basically told her that should rethink her career goals because “it just wasn’t going to happen for her”.  Thankfully she was incredibly strong-willed and kept on her path in spite of her set back.  Although it took her twice as long as it took her colleagues to get through school she did it!  Nearing the end of her education she had to do a talk in front of a group of  people and fear was telling her that she couldn’t do it…That she was “not supposed to be here”  When she approached her professor about backing out her professor basically said “oh hell no, you’re going to do that talk…you are going to fake it and then you are going to take every single talk you can and keep faking it until you realize you’re not faking it anymore and you are just doing it”.  After years go by and now she is teaching, one of her students approaches her and says “I can’t do this..I’m not supposed to be here”…This was a very emotional moment for Amy because she realized that she didn’t feel that way anymore.  So she basically told the girl “oh hell no, you ARE supposed to be here…tomorrow you are going to come to class and you are going to give the best comment”  and the girl did.  So basically what both of these women did was they faked it until they became it.  That is so powerful!!!  This is something that I have been practicing for a while now however I am taking it to the next level.

The past few months have been filled with such tragedy.  It seems to be happening constantly.  A few years ago I gave up watching the news because I realized that it just made me sad.  Then I found myself using the phrase “ignorance is bliss” very often.  I totally believe that to be true.  So, what if we just faked the entire life we wanted to live until it BECAME the entire life that we wanted to live.  What if you basically lived your life with blinders on?  You didn’t even consider the outside world even for a second.  What would happen?  Well, first thing that would happen is you would start attracting people who had those same sort of philosophies.  The second thing is that all of the people that were against those philosophies either begin to change their philosophies because you’ve inspired them or they drop out of your life. Sure they will think that you have become some kind of asshole but guess what you have those blinders on so you don’t see a damn thing.  Half of the battle is won at that point.  Here is an example…I want to live in a world were everyone is compassionate, kind, and empowering.  I want to live in a world where everything is beautiful.  Where I am not judged for carrying a few extra pounds..where it is ok that the house is not spotless all of the time..where people won’t label me a drunk if I have a glass of wine (or two) with lunch.  A world where everything I want is acceptable.  Well I think that world can and does exist.  The more and more I make these decisions that this is how I want to live my life the more and more it happens.  Here is an example…I see people making ignorant comments on Facebook that do not align with the perfect little “Pleasantville” that I live in…I unfollow or un-friend them….bam..they no longer exist in “My World”.  I patron a restaurant that does not treat all sexes, creeds, religions, and nationalities equally…I leave and take my business to a place that does.  I only visit the places that align with my core values, wear clothes that look phenomenal on me,  eat foods that I love, talk to people that make me want to be better, read books that make me smile and grow my mind, watch television that touches my soul and makes me happy.  I make a clear concise decision to do what makes me happy and a better version of myself.   So let’s just say that the love of my life makes a decision that affects both of us that does not align with my philosophies…well there are 3 options but all 3 of them come from us communicating respectfully with one another.  I explain to him how the decision he made makes me feel…based on that conversation we make a compromise and back to pleasantville we go.  The second is that he explains to me the reasons behind his decision and how it makes him feel…we make a compromise and back to Pleasantville we go.  3rd and finally is that we both explain how we feel we realize that neither one of us is wiling to compromise…I ask myself “is this something that I can deal with for the rest of my life”???  “Am I wiling to align myself to his way of thinking”?  If yes, back to Pleasantville we go and I never look back because I made that decision OR I make the decision that I am not wiling to be part of this decision and back to Pleasantville I go, alone.  We have choices in every possible situation that we face.  Then we have the choice on how we react to it.  There is absolutely no such thing as finding happiness….only choosing it!

What we want versus what we do

I am listening to “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell…AGAIN.  This was such an amazing and eye opening book that I can certainly envision myself listening to it dozens of times as I put his practices into action.  Here is a quote he referenced by James Allen.  “People are anxious to improve their circumstances but unwilling to improve themselves”.  Man, I listened to that over and over again about 15 times!

Prior to making the decision to live an intentional life I found myself working harder and harder to reach my goals and getting no where.  I was becoming so frustrated.  I, like most people, thought the harder I worked the more successful I would be.  That is ultimately untrue.  It wasn’t until I could clearly define what I was working so hard for that I began to reach my goals.  In order to do that I had to take a long hard look at myself and realize that I had to make some changes to myself before I could make changes to my life.

I have always been a very empathetic person however I began to realize that the way I communicated did not emulate how I was feeling inside.  For instance, if things were not going the way I wanted them to at the salon I found myself getting very angry with the staff for not living up to my expectations….here is the kicker though…I never told them my expectations….what the hell???  How could I possibly expect anyone to exceed the expectations of their position if they didn’t even know what the expectations were? Even then…when I communicated my expectations it wasn’t until I took the time to show them exactly how I wanted things done and empowered them to teach those strategies to the next person that things began to change.

It was through TONS of leadership classes, books, mentoring, and self development that I was able to start communicating in a way that allowed me to take an intentional approach on what my expectations were.  Here is what I ultimately figured out…instead of creating a team full of followers that keeps you in a position of constantly spinning your wheels….I needed to create a team of leaders who could take not only themselves but the future generations of Lola to the next level.

In the beginning of this journey it would sting a little to know that I was the one that needed the fixing.  It is funny how things have come full circle though.  Now I very rarely find myself blaming anyone for anything that has gone wrong in my day, my week, my year, my life, or my company.  I am in complete control of my life.  Does that mean nothing goes wrong…..HELL NO.  I’m faced with obstacles every single day however my view has completely changed.  Now instead of blaming other people I look to myself.  Did I tell them exactly what I wanted?  Did I communicate correctly?  Did I choose the right team member?  Did I make a decision out of fear instead of love?  Once I figure out the problem I change my direction!

I could have never gotten to this place of clarity without the leaders and coaches in my life.  Bennie Pollard, founder of Cool Beauty Consulting, has been a major player in my growth process.  As a leader himself…and a damn good one he has introduced me to so many other leaders and coaches.  Most who have no idea I even exist but I quality them as my coaches anyway.  I am so thankful to have Bennie in my life.  Who is your coach?  Do you have one?  If not, take the time to think about the person in your life that you most want to emulate.  Even if it is someone you don’t know….Maybe it’s an author…or a blogger…a speaker…whoever.   I think they can still be your coach even if they don’t know it.  Learn from the people around you and then pay it forward!!

Being your very best self starts with how you dress

It is so easy to get overwhelmed when we begin the journey into living an intentional life. A life that portrays us as being our very best self. One of the very first things that I recommend doing to start the process is going through your closet.
I remember when I first began living my intentional life I got rid of all the clothes that I did not feel amazing in. Which was A LOT!!! We all have our favorite items of clothing that we KNOW we look good in. Well shouldn’t that be every piece of clothing? Often times the way we feel about ourselves on any given day begins with what we see in the mirror. If you begin your day feeling confident with the way you look your attitude on the day’s challenges tend to be much easier to handle.
I’m sure many of you are thinking that it would cost a fortune to get an entire new wardrobe but really you don’t need tons of clothes. All you need are pieces of clothing that can be paired easily with other things. When you shop you have to shop INTENTIONALLY. Is it something that fits you in ALL of the right places? Does it complement your figure? Do you LOVE the way you look and feel in it? Is it something you can wear with several different items? If you answered no to ANY of these questions than put it back….that piece is not for you.
After cleaning out all of the clothes that really were just “meh” I went from a huge bedroom size walk in closet full of clothes to a small 4 foot wardrobe rack and 1 drawer half full of clothes. I had made the decision that black was my favorite color for clothing. I love the way I look in it. I have found I like myself best in solid black…no prints. I also made an intentional decision on exactly what cut of clothing fits me the best. When you are very strategic about what it is you are looking for it weeds out a ton of items so I don’t even bother looking at anything unless it fits within the guidelines I mentioned. To make these limited items of clothing look different every time I wear different pieces of inexpensive jewelry and different shoes. Also by slightly changing the way you style your hair can make an outfit look different as well.
As a hairstylist I know how the confidence of looking and feeling your best can effect EVERYTHING!! When you KNOW you look GOOD and I mean really GOOD you behave differently. You treat your children with more patience. You are more affectionate with your spouse. You are kinder to strangers. You are also more willing to take chances…like asking for a raise or joining a social club. Looking good equals feeling good.
One other great little aspect of this exercise is getting rid of a bunch of clutter in your closet which will be one step closer to de-cluttering the mind

Visible growth

This past weekend I was presented with a major challenge after one of our salon apprentices quit unexpectedly. This was a young woman that I had put a lot of time, energy, and money into training. I was blindsided as she left for what she called “an opportunity she couldn’t pass up”. As a woman who has been in this industry for 20 years I knew better than that, however, it was what she believed at 19 years old. This ended being a very positive experience for me.
I want to give a little backstory before I explain why something so devastating could be so positively impactful. It was around this time 2 years ago that I made the decision to live a very intentional life. I know that I have always worked on growing but now I do it in a much more intentional way. When I began this journey the fear of the unknown would torment me. Thankfully, I was always a big enough risk taker that I would make the leap anyhow but not without extreme anxiety. I have spent the past 2 years letting go of that anxiety and just making the leap knowing no matter what the outcome will be it will end up working itself out in the end.

Now back to the positive take away from losing my apprentice. Even though I knew we will now be even more short staffed than we already were at the salon which in turn puts even more pressure on the entire staff I calmly accepted this young woman’s resignation. After leaving the meeting with her I realized that I didn’t feel any fear or anxiety. I simply accepted it and immediately implemented the steps necessary to fill the position.

This was such a beautiful moment for me. I had actually seen the strength and growth that I have worked so hard to achieve over the past 2 years. Something that I have worked so hard for was actually now right on the palm of my hand, so to speak. This was an amazingly empowering moment for me. I had always thought that I was capable of anything that I wanted bad enough…now I know I am.

I share this with you because at the end of the day I am just a girl with a burning desire to be a great leader. If I, some small town girl, can do this ANYONE can do it. I will leave you with this riddle

5 frogs sat on a log. 4 decided to jump off. How many are left?

5….there is a difference between deciding to do something and actually doing it.

Thank you John Maxwell for that profound little tidbit!!!!

Facing mortality as a healthy 39 year old woman

If you guys took a gander at my “about me” section of this delicious little blog site then you know that it was at 39 years old that I seriously changed the direction of my life. 39 years is all the life my mother ever lived after being killed in a car accident. I was 17 at the time. At 17 you think 39 is old. Well as I crept closer and closer to 39 I could not stop thinking “oh my god, this is all the life she has EVER lived’. Truth be told I have lived far more life than my Mother ever did. I have traveled more than she, studied personal development more than she, delved into different cultures more than she. My Mother was an incredible, caring, funny, beyond beautiful woman but she really didn’t live much life…who knows maybe if she was here today she would tell you differently however from my perspective she was very sheltered. As I crept closer to that 39 year mark I realized that there is zero guarantee of the next moment in your life. The only guarantee is the exact moment you are living in so you better make the absolute most of it. As I looked around I found myself living a life that I was not happy with and it was at that moment that I made a decision…a decision to live an intentional life. I was married to a man that I had grown apart from. This moment of clarity came days before our 13th anniversary. It was just 2 years before that he had had an affair and turned my world upside down. Although at the time of his affair I can certainly say that I was not happy in my marriage but I thought that I could trust more than anyone. We had married after only 8 weeks of knowing each other and we were very much in love. After about 10 years of what I would call a really great marriage this started to change as I was moving up in my career. I really began to focus on personal development, leadership, and intense goal planning. My husband (at the time) was very happy exactly where he was and had no intention of growing….or if he did have the intention he didn’t have the follow through. That was when we started growing apart. It had become very clear to me that he could never truly give me what I needed from a partner but I trusted him incessantly. I was willing to forego all of the other attributes that I would love to have in a partner knowing that I had that strong element of trust. In 2012 that trust was destroyed as I learned he had an affair. Next to my mothers untimely demise it was the 2nd most devastating moment of my life. I had no idea that such physical pain could come from heartbreak. After a little time he had convinced me to try again. I will never forget the words he used to give it another go. “It will never be the same as it was but it could be something better”. I was beyond intriguing to me and honestly 100% true. It could have been something better….if things had changed. Over the course of the next 2 years things just never really got better. I knew that they never would but I was really putting my energy into my career. Fast forward to the looming 39th birthday and everything flipped like a switch. I realized that if god forbid something happened to me and my life came to an end I would have felt very unfulfilled. I made a decision to start living the life that I wanted to live and it had to start with getting out of a marriage that was not good for either of us. I made the decision to separate and very soon after…divorce. I quickly moved to a town that I had been dreaming if living for as long as I could remember…but the “time was never right”. I put that in quotes because one of the things I have learned is that the time is never right but you do it anyway and it all comes together…which is exactly what happened.
I share this story with you in hopes that if you have found yourself in a situation in which you are not happy it CAN be fixed. Whatever the situation is it can be changed. You either have to remove yourself from the situation or change your mindset about the situation. Very often I have found that simply changing my approach or the way I think about something fixes the problem. Please share with me some of the challenges you are facing. Please comment below. I would love to be the neutral party that could possibly help you get through a trying time.