Intentionally Lola, Dopamine Dealer. Here’s my card

Hey kids, I’ve got something for you. You are going to love the way it makes you feel. I’m going to give you just a little taste of it now. Go tell all your friends about it and then come back and see me when you’re ready for more.

What is it that you’re getting a taste of you ask? It’s called dopamine and I’ve got the good stuff! I’ve been getting my supply from people around the world but I just got my biggest and best supply to date and I am willing to share it with you. There’s a catch though. You have to take it and share it with your friends.

Here ya go, open your mind wide and say ahhhhhhh. Here’s a taste.

You know that thing that you’ve been wanting to do? You hear that voice in your head that keeps nagging you about what you really WANT to do in your life? Well, today is the day. Today is the day that you start making that shit happen and stop waiting for the right time. That “right time” is never going to come.

Today is the day that you start seeking out the other people in the world that have done what you are wanting to do. They are out there but here’s the thing…you have to find them. Find them, talk to them, ask them questions, and then implement their suggestions. Then go back and ask them more questions….not until you have used all the information they gave you last time though. Nothing is going to annoy a great mentor more than a person asking for help and then them not taking action on it.

Find out what books they’re reading. Find out what podcasts and TED-talks they are listening to….then you read those books….you listen to those podcasts and TED-talks. Then start doing the things they are doing. Here’s the thing…because you have a different personality, different look, different style…you could try to do things exactly like that other person but it will be a little different because it will be coming from you. You are going to put your own unique spin on it and maybe even make it better than the original.

Surround yourself with the people you want to be like….that’s how you make shit happen. BAM! I know you’re gonna run out of that little supply I gave you but you know where to find me….I’ll be here and I can give you even more next time. You just let me know how much you’ll need and I will make sure you get plenty. Make sure you share it with your friends too though. They will love it just as much as you do!!!

You have to endure the sour to enjoy the sweet

This blog was created as a way of showing how powerful living a life of intentionality can be. One more point of intentionality, in my opinion, is letting you know that not every day is sugar plums and rainbows.

The last few days I have really been in an emotional struggle. Struggling with the feelings of inadequacy, failure, insecurity, and all around shittyness. As someone that is trying to be an inspiration and motivate anyone that needs it I felt it was necessary to share that even those with their sights laser-pointed on positivity, growth, and warm fuzzy feelings for themselves has dark days too.

So what do I do when I’m having these moments? Seek out my people. The Bréne Browns, Ani Difrancos, and John Maxwells of the world.

The most important part about being in an emotional gully is recognizing where you are, knowing that you put yourself there so you can get yourself out and then claw, scratch, or climb your way out of there as fast as possible. You may slip a little here and there but just keep moving forward.

We are not perfect beings we are human beings and with that genetic makeup comes ups and downs that sometimes can not be explained. We don’t need an explanation….chances are it’ll just be some made up story that we are telling ourselves anyway. All you need is an upheaval in your thoughts. Seek out your coach and prepare for a realignment.

Please share your strategies with me. I would love to hear them. Also, I would love it if you would share Intentionally Lola with the world. Just press the share button. It’ll feel good I promise 😉

The power of AND

I was recently introduced to a podcast by my dear friend Julie Jones.  Thank you Julie! The podcast is called the “The Courage Makers” and its mission is to use mission driven women of the world to inspire and motivate the other mission driven women of the world.  In a podcast that I keep listening to over and over I have learned the power of the word AND. It is used to show that there is a parallel in taking care of yourself and helping those that need it more than you.

One way I and many others are able to stay so positive and keep pushing forward is keeping in mind that there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me.  Even though that thought does remind me of how good my life really is it has made me feel guilty about taking care of myself.  We tend to guilt ourselves into thinking that we can’t give ourselves something we deserve because someone out there has it worse than we do. Lara Heacock explains that the two can exist in parallel.  Recognizing that someone out there has it worse than me AND recognizing that I deserve something can both be true. She goes on to explain that in order for us to show up and make a difference in the world we have to be our true selves.  In order to do that we must show self kindness and take care of ourselves first.  We have to be at our very best to give our very best.  What does that mean?  Getting a massage , saying no so you can give your self time for mental clarity, taking a long hot bubble bath,  buying that new outfit that makes you feel good, sleeping in…..whatever that thing is that you want and deserve but you talk yourself out of it because of guilt…that is the thing.

For us to be generous, kind, loving, and empowering to the people who need it most we first must practice those things with ourselves.  Be kind, generous, loving, and empowering to YOURSELF first!  You then have far more to offer as being your true self at your very best for the people who have it worse than you.

It makes me think about when you are on an airplane and the flight attendants are demonstrating all the emergency procedures.  One thing they always stress is that in an emergency situation when the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling to secure your own mask first before helping the person next to you. You must take care of yourself before you can be of any real help to those around you!!

The podcast can be found on “That Hummingbird Life”.  Meg Kissack, the host and creator of the blog and the podcast is awesome.  She really is able to get even more information and perspective out of the guests by asking really wonderful questions.  You can find the podcast as well as more inspirational information at That Hummingbird Life.

Please help me by sharing this blog and liking Intentionally Lola on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also find me on Instagram.  Click on those links to go directly to my pages.  I hope this information helps you in your mission of intentional living and being your very best possible self.

Self-made is fiction

You often hear the word self-made when people talk about their successes. They worked hard, worked diligently, they did what ever they had to do to succeed.  While I absolutely believe that they worked hard, diligently, and did whatever that had to do to succeed…the self-made part…meaning they did all alone.  I’m calling bullshit on that one.  No one ever gets to the top alone.  Everyone finds help along the way.

Over the past 8 years or so I have really been on purpose to find the coaches in my life.  People that I want to be like.  Most of these people I have chosen as a coach have no idea I even exist.  Through the gift of technology I am able to follow their paths through audiobooks, podcasts, tedtalks, or the like.  I have also had many coaches who definitely knew of my existence but may not have known they were my coach.  One in particular was one that created my existence.  My Father.  There are no words in any language that could express the amount of gratitude I have for my Father.  He has taught me so many things and I am forever grateful for him.

Throughout life I have found that I have had a series of coaches.  Some that until just recently I didn’t even think of as a coach.  It wasn’t until I heard where the word coach was derived from in that wonderful book “The 15 invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell that I recognized it.  The word Coach comes from the horse-drawn coaches that were created in the 1500’s in the German village Kotsche.  Coaches were originally created to transport royalty.  In time they would also carry valuables, mail, and common passengers.  Today the word is defined as someone or something that carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be.  If you have a coach you know you will end up at your desired location.

I have many coaches for many different things.  Some are life long coaches and some are coaches for only a moment.  My very first coach in my career was the Co-owner of the salon I worked for nearly 13 years, Stephen Wake.  He took me and my career to place I didn’t even know was possible.  He had a gift of creating a vision.  I am not sure if he is aware of the impact he has made on me and my life but I hope to someday have the opportunity to show him.  The other is the other co-owner of that salon, Tricia Wake.  Tricia taught me how to value and accept the differences in people.  She taught me that not everyone learns the same.  She taught how to coach people on an individual level.

Some of my current coaches are John Maxwell, Brene Brown, Simon Sinek, and many more.  None of these people know of my existence but I go out of my way to listen to their words and incorporate their missions as my own.  My current in person coach is Bennie Pollard.  I have reached new heights professionally and personally as a result of having this man in my life.  He has created a team of coaches and leaders that I admire, respect ,and strive to be.

When it comes to reaching your goals no matter what those goals are, keep in mind you did not get there alone.  It was through research that you found through the successes and failures of others.  It was through the motivation of those that have done it before you and it was through that one or more people seeing your value and helping you get where are you today.

You did not do it alone…you are not self-made and the moment you realize that you open yourself up to greater growth and greater potential.  When you realize that it was through the help of others that you are where you are, you will begin to seek out more coaches to get you even further.

The most successful people know that there is always someone to learn from.  If you are at the very top of your class you are in the wrong class…you should always put yourself in a circle of people who are smarter and stronger than you.  That is the only way to ensure that you keep growing.

I would love to know who your coaches are.  If you need help finding coaches I be happy to help you find them if I am able to.

Please like and share this so we can reach as many people as possible.  I am constantly seeking out new coaches and would love to hear from as many people as possible in order to find them.

5 things you can do today to start an intentional life

Whenever we think of starting something new it often feels overwhelming and we don’t know where to begin….then we never do.  Once you have even the slightest bit of forward motion inertia takes over and it gets easier to keep moving forward.  Here are 5 things you can do today to get the ball rolling!

  1.  Write down exactly what you want
    • No matter if it is more money, a better relationship, to lose weight…whatever your desire is write it down clearly articulated.  For instance if you want to make more money how much do you want to make?  How long will you give yourself to make it?  Put a date on it.
  2. Dedicate 30 minutes to research how you will obtain your goal
    • Again using the making more money as our example taking 30 distraction free minutes to research what it takes to make more money.  Is it furthering your eduction to make yourself more valuable?  Is it finding new innovative ways to find more clients?  Is it asking for a raise?  Is it finding a whole new career?
  3. Create a road map
    • Now you know exactly what you want and you have a few ideas of how to get it.  Now it is time to create a road map.  Imagine if you wanted to take a road trip across the country…from New York to California.  If you did not have a map of what highways, roads, etc, you might never make it there.  First create a list of all of the things you know you will have to do.  Then put them in a sequential order.  Chances are as you start using this road map you will add some extra steps and such but the important thing is that you are still moving forward.
  4. Create a schedule
    • Whether you have an old school paper calendar schedule or you use your phone or google calendar schedule in time everyday to work on something from your map.  This may mean that you have to wake up a little earlier, stay up a little later, work through lunch, or bump something less significant from your schedule.  Live by that schedule.  No matter what make sure you do not double book that time you have with yourself.
  5. Mark off one thing on your roadmap today
    • Whether it is making a phone call to get info, purchasing a book that will help you achieve your goal, or creating an area to get this important work done…mark 1 thing off your list.  By doing that you have made your first step towards your goal…whether it is a big step or a little step does not matter….its the forward motion that counts

Now you have the what, when, and how to start living your dream.  The biggest thing to remember here is forward motion….small steps are still steps…you are still that much closer to your goal.  These are small dedications that you can implement today.  Please try it….you won’t regret it.  Also please share your story with me.  Your stories inspire me!

Why empathy is crucial to intentional living

When I made the decision to live an intentional life I was met by much resistance from many of the people closest to me.  I realized because I made the decision to move forward and it did not benefit them I appeared to be selfish as I was “leaving them behind”.  I was called cold and heartless by the people I loved most and the people I thought loved me the most.  It was a very painful time for me but I had to keep moving forward.  I knew that the last thing I could be described as is a heartless person therefore this had nothing to do with me so much as it did with them.

It was around that same time that I had heard something that changed the way I connected with people from that day forward.  “Everyone thinks they are the good guy”.  So simple but so profound.  In every situation no matter the person, the circumstance, or the subject….every person involved believes that what they are doing the right thing.  From that moment forward I always put myself in that persons shoes.  This helped me identify and connect with people on a deeper plain.

Empathy, the act of understanding and knowing how another person feels has helped me in moving forward easier.  When I look back at that time in my life I can now fully understand why they gave me so much resistance.  Their life was changing without their permission.  They were scared.  It was fear of the unknown that caused them to react the way they did.  There is nothing I could do about that however just knowing why has really helped me.

I share this with you in hopes that it will help you understand why people do the things they do.  It is important that you do not change your course as a result of their actions rather make your course smoother as you will have a greater understanding as to why they feel the way they do.

Next time you find yourself putting a label on someone…”oh, she’s crazy…or he’s an asshole”…whatever it is…take a moment and try to see things from their perspective. Very often it is either a person’s fear or fearlessness that we are labeling…not the person themselves.  It is their behavior that we are seeing which is as result of something bigger. It has nothing to do with who that person is at their innermost core rather what obstacles they are currently facing…that is what we are seeing and labeling.

I invite you to use an empathetic approach today.  You will find that you stay much calmer when you are faced with obstacles.  Please share those stories with me!

 

 

Don’t waste pain

Pain is something that we try to avoid at all costs.  No one enjoys the pain that heartache, disappointment, despair, and rejection gives.  Pain is something that is part of life though.  It makes us who we are.  Because pain is something that we cannot avoid, as hard as we may try,  it is important that we do not waste it.  If you are going to endure all of that pain make sure you use it to be a better version of yourself.  Use it to drive you in the direction of your goals.

One of my very favorite quotes….I wish I knew who said it so I could give them the credit due..  “If you are reading this, you have SURVIVED your entire life up until this point. You have survived traumas, heartbreak, devastation, and the different phases of life. And here you are! You go, motherfucker…you’re awesome”

So often we try to forget about all of the pain we have endured in our lives.  I think that is such a waste!  Think about what you had to go through for all of that pain.  Use it…reflect on how you were able to survive every single obstacle in your path.  Embrace how strong you are as a result of all of that pain.

It is through the survival of great pain that I have become the strong, independent, enlightened, ambitious, and intentional person I am today.  It was from not wasting the pain of death, heartbreak, divorce, poverty,  single parenthood, and outgrowing relationships that has metamorphosed me and my life.  Pain has a way of transforming into strength when you use it correctly.

When faced with great pain know that you have survived every single painful situation that you have ever encountered.  Use that memory as a catalyst to push through and become the stronger, wiser, improved version of yourself.  Choose to be intentional with that pain you are suffering.

Please join me in this mission on intentional living.  I would love to hear your stories.  Please share them with me!

Our biggest mistakes are often blessings in disguise

Friday night I went to one of the greatest weddings I have ever had the pleasure of attending. It wasn’t because of the beautiful venue….though it was amazing. It wasn’t because of the food…though that taco truck was killer. It wasn’t because of the desert table…though the donuts were delicious. The reason this wedding was so amazing was because the groom had forgotten the rings. I know I am getting some sideways looks right now and some “what the hells?” Allow me to explain.
The bride it my best friend. She is motivated, strong, beautiful, smart, funny, and above all else, ridiculously organized and regimented. The groom is also a very dear friend of mine. He is talented, funny, handsome, smart, cultured, as well as disorganized and un-regimented. It is the most amazing display of the “opposites attract” belief that I have ever seen…aside from my own relationship that is.

 

It was after the bride had made her way up the aisle that my boyfriend had noticed the groom pat his coat pocket and get that “oh shit” look on his face. The groom whispered to the bride that he had forgotten the rings. I was completely oblivious to all of this at the time. It’s my boyfriends’ incredible attention to details that kept in the now of all the goings ons. While the officiate, also a dear friend, was reading his script the groom informed him about the blunder. Without missing a beat the officiant incorporated it right into his speech. In such a way that I wondered if this was all planned. It was so imperfectly perfect that I can honestly say that it is a wedding I will never forget.
How does this pertain to intentionality you ask? In every possible way! We are human. We make mistakes. It is how we react to them that makes us the best possible versions of ourselves. That is what intentional living is all about. Plans do not always go as smoothly as we’d like. One of my very favorite quotes is “Sometimes when you think that things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place”.

That wedding was beautiful and I mean absolutely beautiful but if I’m being honest it is the moment where the groom shared what happened…the bride laughed it off…and the officiate did some killer improv that I will remember most.

They intentionally lived in the moment and it was the most beautiful display of it that I had ever seen.

When something goes wrong think back to this story as a reminder that the mistake may be the thing that makes it a shining moment in your mental memory box!
Please share this with all of your friends and family!

How to start the life you want right now whether you are ready or not

While reading “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” John Maxwell had made a point that blew my mind.  We tend to make “excuses” as to why we are not changing our lives.  Some of them look like this:

  1. I am not ready
    1. The fact of the matter…you will never be ready but you do it anyway.  Just like anything in life the very first time you do something it is not going to be perfect however you will learn a lot from it and be able to implement that into your 2nd attempt.  Again, on your 2nd attempt it will not be perfect but you will learn more and implement those lessons on your 3rd attempt….so on and so forth.  With every attempt you learn and implement.
  2. I do not have enough money
    1. Although you may not have all of the funds necessary to complete your dream in one big purchase you can make the little investments necessary to begin.  Let’s say you wanted to open a gym.  If you need $100,000 to complete the project.  Create your business plan…that is free!  Scour your competition….what are they doing right?….that is free.  Come up with the name, the theme, the mission, the vision, who is your demographic?  These are all free….they are all essential in opening a business…and it is the foundation in which you build upon.  Most of all it is forward motion.  Take steps forward every single day…no matter how big or small.
  3. I do not have the time
    1. Time is something that we all have the exact amount of.  Each and every person in the world not matter who they are, where they came from, no matter how much adversity they face…we all have 24 hours in a day.  There is always time….it’s making the time to do it.  It means waking up earlier, staying up later, working through lunch, and/or avoiding distractions.  It’s a trade-off.  There are very busy people out there living their dreams with the exact same amount of time as you.  Choose to use your time INTENTIONALLY!
  4. I am not good enough
    1. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH….YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS…YOU CAN DO IT…You have to shut down the little evil voice in your head that is telling you otherwise.  Make a list of 100 of your best qualities.  Read them to yourself everyday…..until that little evil voice is so exhausted that he gives up.  If you struggle with self-confidence this may take more than one sitting….take a few days to do it…weeks if you have to…pay attention to all of the things you do well.  All of the things you love about yourself.  No matter what it is….what are 100 of your best qualities?  Maybe your creativity, good cook, beautiful eyes, good singer, proactive, inspirational, good at saving money, good at decorating, great at styling your hair, kind, funny….whatever they are WRITE THEM DOWN….READ THEM EVERYDAY!  You will come to realize that you are an exceptional human being and that the only thing holding you back IS YOU and the little stories that you make up in your head.

What excuses are you making as to why you are not living the life you dream of?  You have everything it takes to be the person you want to be and to live the life that you want to live.  Keep telling yourself you CAN do it.  FAKE IT UNTIL YOU BECOME IT!  I will leave you with this inspirational moment. Fake it till you become it

What is living intentionally?

I was reminded today of how I had a missed opportunity of being intentional.  When I began this journey of creating a blog on living an intentional life I skipped over the absolute most important part….Defining it!  One huge aspect of taking on this new way of thinking is to NEVER assume anything.  Also when you realize that you made a mistake…fix it.  So here I am.  Taking ownership and being intentional with my decision to define a lifestyle that I so passionately believe in.

This blog was meant as a road map to living an intentional life.  If you didn’t have a clear definition of what that was it would seem very undesirable.  We tend to shun the unknown.  Allow me to introduce you to intentional living.

Intentional [in-ten-shuh-nl]  Adjective: Done with intention or on purpose

To be on purpose every single day.  To live a life that happens FOR you not TO you.  When you live on purpose you have a reason for everything you do, wear, say, read, watch.  You’re intentional on where you shop, the products you use, the car you drive.  You create the world you want to live in.  You choose the people you want to surround yourself with.

Because you are taking ownership over every single thing in your life you react very different to obstacles.  When you know you are on purpose and things don’t go as planned you recognize that you have control and can bob and weave appropriately.  The most important thing though is that when things don’t go as planned…you devise a new plan.  Think of it this way.  Imagine a life without the technology we use today…scary huh.  Imagine you are out driving around with no gps…no map…nothing.  You find yourself lost.  You don’t just set up shop in this place because you cannot find your way out.  You keep trying new routes until you find yourself in familiar territory again.  Or you find someone who can help you find your way back.

To be on purpose is to make conscious decisions about everything!  In order to make those conscious decisions you have to define what you want out of life.  Do you want to make more money?  Be specific…how much money do you want? Are you willing to sacrifice the time and energy it will take to make that money?

Do you want a better relationship with your spouse or partner?  What does a “better” relationship look like?  What is it exactly that you want?  More affection?  More quality time?  More help with the kids and home? Define what a great relationship is to you.  Are you willing to give your partner what they need as well?  If you are feeling that you are not getting what you want and need from your partner there is an excellent chance that they are not getting what they need either.  Are you willing to take ownership of your shortcomings in the relationship?  Define what a great relationships is to you.  What are your nonnegotiables?

I have defined a great relationship as one in which my partner respects my feelings…no matter how crazy they may seem.  They know that they are part of a partnership so their actions directly affect me and vice versa.  Someone that is putting just as much into the relationship that they are taking.  Someone that will communicate their feelings to me no matter how vulnerable they feel.  Someone that I can communicate my feelings to and know they will be taken seriously and not used against me.  Someone that is always making sure they are growing and becoming the very best version of themselves.  Someone that has specific expectations of me as well.  I have been very on purpose with my relationship and it is for that reason that it is so healthy.  Have we had our ups and downs.  ABSOLUTELY!!!!  But it was our willingness to communicate that has made us stronger.

What do you want?  Be specific.  Define it!  Create a road map to get there.  Move forward every single day….if you get lost….reroute!