How Tragedy + Perseverance = Empowerment

Today marks the 24 year anniversary of my Mothers’ tragic death.  It also marks the 24 year anniversary of the beginning of my growth process.

It truly amazes me how I can remember every step, every motion, every word, and every emotion of that day 24 years ago but I cannot remember where I set me keys 10 minutes ago.  I can still feel the pain as if it happened yesterday…I can remember the blood curdling screams coming from my pregnant 17-year-old body.  I can remember begging and pleading to everyone in the room to just let me see her….which now I am so thankful they did not give into my pleads. My mother was killed in a terrible car accident and I know that the visual of her mangled lifeless body would have changed me in a way that I may not have been able to recover from .

It took me many years to really experience a breakthrough as a result of my Mothers untimely demise.  I went through several years of depression and a feeling of emptiness. Several years of just being lost.  I was 17 years old when my Mother died.  I was 3 months pregnant and I was marrying the father of my unborn child 2 days later.  I think I lost my Mother when a young girl needs her Mother the most.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I, at 17 years old, didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a child…and how to be wife..are you kidding me??????  I was still doing homework for crying out loud….like legit….I was a senior in high school.

If you were to ask me 20 some years ago how I coped and found my way I probably would have told you some bullshit about being strong and working hard and being focused….thinking about that now makes me laugh!  Ask me now how I coped and I will tell you it was because of the leaders, mentors, and the people who gave me guidance.  My Father, my step-Mother, my Sister….they selflessly guided me.  Also, my in-laws at the time.  They had A HUGE impact on my life and I kick myself regularly for walking away from my marriage the way I did.  I divorced my Husband and literally just walked away from everyone.  I was young and scared and didn’t know how to handle things.  I have since apologized to them for my actions and have learned an EXTREMELY valuable lesson as a result of it.  I literally ghosted them….I will never do that to anyone again.  If I make the decision to no longer be part of someone’s life I choose to have the uncomfortable conversation as to why.  Not that I chose not to have a relationship with them I guess I just didn’t know how.  I should have told them that and they could have used their life experience to show me.

At the time I’m sure all those people thought I wasn’t listening….in fact I don’t even think I was listening….like I wasn’t really HEARING them. The point is it still got in my brain…just for later use .  It was through the natural evolution of maturity that I started to call upon some of the input my Dad and step-Mother instilled.  Also, through my growing relationship with my Sister (technically my step-Sister but I feel far too connected to her to address her that way)  who has been a beautiful example of the kind of person I want to be.

What I am trying to say here is that I did not get to this place of clarity for many years.  It did not just magically happen.  I think that is how some people see it though….because they did not actually see my process they naturally assume that I was always this way.  They assume they can never get to that place of enlightenment because they weren’t born that way.  I am here to tell you that NO ONE is born that way.  You become that person as a result of you who you surround yourself with and the stories you tell yourself.

I know that you cannot get to a place of clarity on your own.  It is through learning from others that you obtain that knowledge.  The opposite can also be said…you will get to a place of self-destruction, pain, stagnation, and a feeling of failure by surrounding yourself with the wrong people.  By listening to words of discouragement instead of encouragement, by listening to negativity rather than positivity….that will also take you somewhere…but it is going to take you to a dark place…a place where there will be growth but it will be a place where disease grows…where pain grows…where failure is an absolute.

I choose to use the death of my Mother as the birthplace of where I am today.  My Mother was 39 when she passed…It was nearing my 39th birthday that I had that  “OH MY FUCKING GOD” moment of realizing this was all the life my Mother ever lived.  I can either choose to bathe in pain of her tragic death or rise to the top as a result of it.  It is truly a choice.  It is 110% a fucking decision…..in every possible situation you have a choice…you may not like the choices but you still have a choice.

I made the CHOICE when I had that breakthrough moment nearing my 39th birthday to end my very unhappy marriage….that was the hardest DECISION I have ever had to make.  It was a choice though….either way you look at it….it sucks.  I could have chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage and live a very unfulfilled life OR break up a marriage that impacted the lives of a man, 3 adult children, and a grandchild.  IT FUCKING SUCKED!!!  But, I had a choice and I chose to leave so that I could be my very best self to serve those children better….to serve the my grandson better, to serve my team, my tribe, my community, and ultimately myself better.

Persevering through tragedy is ultimately what makes you unstoppable.  Surviving that time in my life is exactly what led me to where I am today….and I am damn proud of where I am today.  I am a very good person…I know this because I WORK REALLY FUCKING HARD AT IT.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am empowering.  And I have every single person that has ever been in my life to thank for it.  The people who had my best interest at heart as well as the people who were sucking me dry.  I thank every one of them equally.  The good ones for the guidance to the light powerful side and the bad ones for showing me what the dark side looks like and serving as a bad example.

DO NOT WASTE THE PAIN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW…It is your catalyst to greatness…it is the fuel that is going to take you to exactly where you want to go!

I please ask that if these words spoke to you in any way or you know someone who could benefit from reading them PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE THIS by clicking here.

It is my mission to help show everyone just how powerful they are. I need your help in spreading this!

10 ways we as a nation are “numbing out”

After listening to the most recent “couragemakers” podcast (click here to experience it for yourself) I really started to think about how much I continue to numb myself. Although I work really hard on self discovery I still have a long way to go. Today’s episode was called “Challenging The Shit That Holds You Back” with Andrea Owen.

Andrea talked about how when she really started down her path of self discovery how her drinking had really accelerated. How when she really started to look deep within herself and address her pain the numbing became more prevalent. That really made me think about how we numb and all the different tools we use to numb. A lot of which you probably don’t think of numbing agents. Also how we really stunt our emotional growth when we numb ourselves.

Growth really happens in the most painful, uncomfortable, awkward times of our lives. If we numb ourselves in those moments to lessen the pain we are feeling we are really doing ourselves a HUGE disservice. If you can put down the drink, put down the doughnut, avoid the pills, or whatever it is that you are reaching for in that moment and just look that pain right in eye…feel the pain, and yes it’s going to hurt like a motherfucker….but those are growing pains and they are necessary.
First, let’s think about all the different agents we use to numb and how it is affecting us and those around us.

1.) Alcohol
This is a tough one for me because I really do enjoy cocktails…Prosecco is my current drink of choice…The thing is though how is it affecting not only you but those around you. Most people would say “what is the harm in just having a couple drinks”…I am one of those someone’s btw. One thing I start to realize with myself though is after even just one drink…I change. I lose momentum. My ambition towards greatness starts to decrease…I get this “meh, it can wait until tomorrow” sort of attitude. For others, they love the way the drink let’s their guard down but then they don’t know when to stop…before they know it they are slurring their speech and depicting themselves as someone their not which can make them look very unattractive to the people they love most.. Then there are the one’s who think they are “OK” to drive and end up injuring themselves and becoming the responsibility of a loved one. Or maybe get a DUI which again puts pressure on the loved one to drive them to work and everywhere else they have to go.  This can often cause resentment and inevitably lead to the end of that relationship. Or the absolute worst case is tragically taking the life of another human being…possibly ruining the lives of an entire family and more.

2.) Drugs
Drugs come in so many different forms now, Legal to illegal. Anything that is going to change the way you FEEL…masking physical and emotional pain, anxiety, sadness, fatigue…I am not talking about antibiotics here. Anything that if when the effects of the drugs wear off that you feel the emotional pain you were trying to mask with the drug in the first place…that is what I am talking about….Although I do not really think that marijuana is a harmful drug at all and I don’t think that legalizing it would be a bad thing it is still a mind altering drug and it numbs you from the pain you should be experiencing for growth. Which leads me to the other point…you cannot selectively numb….if you numb pain…you numb joy and happiness along with it. If you have someone in your life that loves you…they love all of you…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I recognize that many people suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety but I think many times those symptoms can be fought with a change in perspective, ownership of mistakes, and self-love.

3.) Sex
We as humans are here on earth for one reason and one reason only…Connection. So often we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to show the people around us who we really are so we feel the only way to feel actual human connection is through sex…I’m not talking about sex with someone you love and have a beautiful relationship with. I am talking about just having a warm body that you are trying to connect with. The problem with that is without that real connection that only comes with vulnerability of the heart you don’t connect anyway and you start to trust people less and less. You start to feel more alone than you did before this “connection” therefore even less likely to truly connect. There can be so much pain involved in this ….I think particularly with women as we tend to get more emotionally attached after sex then men do. When that emotional attachment happens but there is no foundation in which the relationship was formed there is a feeling of rejection when the deed is over with nothing to show for it.

4.) Shopping
Shopping actually boosts the same neurotransmitters, serotonin, as sex and drugs. When we buy things it makes us feel good which in many cases can be awesome. Anytime you make a purchase so many people prosper as a result of it. The company you purchased from, the creator of the actual item, the paper company that the receipt was printed on, the company that created the bag that you carried your time away in…the list goes on and on. The downfall is, much like alcohol, when is enough enough. We are the most in debt nation in the world for this reason. We max out credit cards, we blow our savings, we take out loans, you name it…we do it… all to just keep buying things that we don’t truly NEED. As a result our families suffer as we are now not able to provide the needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and eduction….or medical needs perhaps. I absolutely believe in buying things that make you feel good but there has to be a limit..it has to just be the things you NEED. Be intentional with your purchases. If you don’t absolutely love it then you don’t need it.

5.) Video Games
Whether they are on a gaming console, your phone, or your computer games can often times act as a distraction from the pain you are feeling. I think a game, when you are intentional about when you choose to play it is awesome. If you find yourself reaching for your phone, computer, or game controller because you begin to feel the tinge of pain when you sit in silence….you have to fight the urge and just feel the pain.

6.) Social Media
This is a major one. Social media has a wonderful place in this world. I will forever be grateful for Facebook because that was the medium in which my boyfriend Heath and I were reunited. The question is how are you using it? Aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and other sites is a sign that you are avoiding something. Worse yet, we like to share the things on social media that make us look really really good….what we WANT people to see. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a couple snap a pic of each other in this really lovey dovey pose with big smiles and pure happiness only to go back to not talking or looking at each other after the photo was taken. We are creating a mirage of what we want people to think in hopes that will make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. All that does is drive us further and further away from connection. Use social media for inspiration, motivation, entertainment…but make sure you are not using it to numb or mask. Unless you are intentionally searching for something or you are posting something that you are really proud of that you think your friends, family, and the rest of the world needs to see tread lightly because you are likely just avoiding facing the pain you are inevitably feeling

7.) Food <——my numbing agent of choice
This is one I can really relate to the most. I have struggled with my weight and my body for as long as I can remember. I love food, I love the way it makes me feel. I love the feeling of being full…not stuffed but full. I wish salads would give me the same satisfaction as pizza did! We need food for survival which is what makes it extra difficult. You can’t just say “ok, that’s it, I’m quitting food”. Food is a must. Unfortunately there is something in a big ol’ plate of nachos that really gives me comfort than I cannot find in a bowl of quinoa and kale. This is something I have really been working on. Identifying when I am truly hungry versus when I am just trying to numb some pain. When I am traveling the road of healthy eating though it is amazing the difference you feel. The energy and genuine happiness you feel. Because I am not filling a void or feeling of emptiness with a sleeve of Oreo’s I am forced to face my demons and identify with where they are stem from….and fight them.

8.) Television
This is very much in the same realm as social media and video games. If you find yourself scrolling through the guide on tv…you are avoiding something. If you reach for the remote, find exactly what you want to watch, and pay attention and enjoy that is different. I think, again, like social media and video games, television has a wonderful place in this world….but you have to be aware of are you just distracting yourself, just passing time??? Or are you engaged with what you are watching?

9.) Over-exercising
I have a feeling there would be some people who would fight me on this but it’s true. Exercise is something, much like food, that we all need. This is also something that so many people avoid…myself included. However, there is a whole lot of truth in “too much of a good thing is bad”. Working out also stimulates that beautiful neurotransmitter, Serotonin. It makes us feel good which is awesome but there are people that are spending 5-6 hours of everyday working out. Our bodies need rest and our brains need to be stimulated. I get it though…nothing makes you feel like you can conquer the world more than working out. But it has to come in healthy doses. Work out, build muscle, burn fat, escalate your heart rate….but be cognizant of when you are just trying to numb out…trying to avoid the emotional pain.

10.) Plastic Surgery
We see this all the time in Hollywood. The most beautiful people in the world go under the knife in hopes of changing the way they feel inside. I can understand how this happens. As I’ve gotten older it becomes harder and harder to identify with the person I see in the mirror…who is that person? Inside I feel like a young 22-year-old woman but I look in the mirror and see the reality, It can be tough to swallow. I am not against plastic surgery….I think if a little enhancement is going to make you feel beautiful go for it. A nose job, breast enhancements, Botox, facelift. Go for it….BUT, if you find that you get one of those done and you end up wanting to go back for more there is a deeper issue there. You have pain that needs to be felt and fought and until you do that there is not enough plastic surgery in the world that will make you feel beautiful. You have to feel it on the inside before you yourself can see it on the outside.

What this all comes down to is being intentional. Give yourself a few moments every single day to feel your emotions. When you are in the car alone, turn off the radio, put your phone on airplane mode, and just be. For most people this is going to hurt….to actually feel your emotions…it can be excruciating but once you do it…it is the most peaceful beautiful feeling in the world. Trust me on this, I can always feel when I haven’t gave myself a little silence. When I do though, I recognize my value, my worth, my beauty, and my power. You will too!

 

This is what happens when you share your story

Today is one of those days that I will remember as one of the greatest I have ever experienced.  You know those days????  When you can reflect on something that happened or someplace that you went and it changed you forever.  Today was one of those days for me.

It began with a breakfast meeting with my very first “professional” mentors.  Stephen and Tricia Wake who own Focas Salon in Saint Charles IL.  They taught me so much!  So much more than how do to kick ass hair.  They taught me how to be an amazing human being.  They opened my mind to a whole life I didn’t even know was possible.  A couple of weeks ago I had this moment where I had just realized what a profound impact these 2 people had on my life.  I had always known it but I saw it differently at that moment for whatever reason.  I knew immediately that I had to contact them!  I had to let them know how wonderful they are.  As a fellow small business owner we hear criticism on a regular basis and it is so rare that people go out of their way to share the good stuff.  I knew that I had to let them know what a positive effect they had on my life.  I knew going in that 2 things would happen as a result of it #1.  It would give them the extra boost of confidence that comes from knowing you impacted someones life and it would keep them moving forward in helping them build their team.  #2.  It would allow me to work on my vulnerability and story sharing.  What happened though was so much more than that.  It became a collaboration of minds.  3 like-minded people traveling the same path in life sharing our “secrets” to success with one another to help empower the other.  It was beautiful.

Next, I was in-between appointments and I was starving.  There is a whole lot of eating involved in today I am realizing.  Anyhow, I decided to check out this new restaurant in town called Craft Urban in Geneva, IL.  Holy shit is this place incredible…1st off…talk about a visually appealing environment.  It’s wide open, brightly colored but not obnoxiously, everyone has an edginess to them but not in an intimidating kind of way, and oh my god…the kindness…the genuine kindness.  SO amazing!  That is what I noticed just while walking in.  Now, you get to the menu…simple, to the point, unique selections, OBVIOUSLY INTENTIONAL in every possible way.  I struck up an amazing conversation with the bartender and the owner.  This place is special.  Not to mention they have a Friday and Saturday late night Ramen menu….what?????  Every Friday and Saturday they have a new ramen selection.  Taco Tuesdays serving different tacos every week…YUM, but I digress.  The point is I learned their stories and it was beautiful.

Lastly but certainly not least I went to a new place for my pedicure today.  Lisa Clark at Lacquered Up in downtown Geneva, IL.  This woman….oh my god this woman.  She is the most beautiful soul with such an amazing story not to mention she does some killer nails for a super super reasonable price (side note). It was because she shared her story and truly engaged in mine that I made a connection with this beautiful human being that I will never forget.  I am truly and I do mean TRULY a better person as a result of talking to her for an hour.  Her insight on life, love, perspective, intentionality, and her spiritual mindedness changed me!!  Listen to what I am saying…..if she hadn’t allowed herself to be vulnerable and true that connection would have never happened.  If I put up a wall and didn’t engage with her we both would have missed out on a connection.

Remember that is the whole purpose of life...connection.  That is why we are here.  There are so many people in the world that would say “oh it’s just nails”, or “it’s just hair”, or “it’s just bartending”…the list goes on of occupations that are snubbed but think of it this way…we sat eye to eye, there was actual physical contact which means there was a transfer of energy…we engaged with one another…we allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.  If that is not some powerful shit I don’t know what is.  Not only did Lisa give me the confidence that comes from looking my best….I feel great when my feet look good!  She also touched my mind and my soul.  Because of that PEDICURE I am a better person.  I grew as a human being.  Thank you Lisa Clark!  (630) 277-2555 for all you local people….you won’t regret it 😉

Here is my point….it was through actual real conversation….REAL CONVERSATION that I was able to connect with people on a beautiful plane today.  Imagine what I would’ve missed out on if I would’ve just been on my phone the whole time.  What if I hadn’t reached out to Stephen and Tricia because I was to embarrassed about what they would think about me contacting them out of the blue.  Imagine if I would’ve been to self-conscious to dine alone and didn’t go into Craft Urban today.

No matter who you are…no matter what your path in life is…you have so much to offer!  You are so powerful….you have the ability to change someones entire life but ONLY if you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.  Embrace every facet of your existence…whether you came from a life of tremendous abundance or horrible scarcity.  No matter if you are a brain surgeon, a CEO, a nail technician, a hairdresser, a server, or a student…..YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD…I beg you please do not pass that opportunity simply because you were too afraid to put yourself out there.  GO BIG….show the world exactly who you are!

Please pass this along..  I would be humbled and honored if you would share this with someone in your life!

What happens when you define your mission

My favorite artist/singer/poet/activist/ultra-feminist, Ani Difranco, has a song titled “Out of Habit” that contains the lyrics “Art is why I get up in the morning  But my definition ends there And it doesn’t seem fair That I’m living for something I can’t even define”.  Even though I’ve been singing that song at the top of my longs for nearly 20 years now….those words have really began to resonate with me.  Until recently I knew what I wanted my life to look like but I couldn’t define it.  It wasn’t until meeting a few truly inspiring people who I am finally able to define my purpose in life.  “To change the way hairdressers and the beauty industry is viewed.”  By demanding the respect the industry so greatly deserves.  Empowering them to hold themselves to a standard so high they cannot be ignored.  To let them know that no matter who is sitting at the table there is a seat for them…ceo’s, cfo’s, state officials, doctors, lawyers, professors….pull up a chair people!”  What I have found is so many people go through life not knowing how damn smart and powerful they really are.  So many people don’t have that person in their life telling them they can do anything,  supporting them and to help push them to the top.  If that person does not exist in their life..I will be that person.

I share this with EVERYONE because this applies to human beings in general.  This is a concept that can be utilized with anyone…whether you want to change the way you as a person are viewed or the industry you have dedicated yourself to.  This certainly does not just apply to hairdressers.

I will be preaching the good word about how strategically branding yourself will earn you the respect you so greatly deserve. I was lucky enough to be taught the importance of this by Bennie Pollard and Paula Hensen of Cool Beauty Consulting.  It is now my responsibility to share this with the future hairdressers of the world.

Smiling, making eye contact, shaking hands, having a killer wardrobe, great personal hygiene, using great dialogue and delivery, great posture, being punctual, and having an exceptional attitude.  Sharing the importance of these 9 things to the future hairdressers of the world.  But this goes FAR BEYOND hairdressing.  This is just human beings holding themselves to a higher standard in general.  This is something we should be teaching our children and something that we as adults should be doing every day!

At Lola we call this “The Art of Mastering Badassery”.  Now that I can define my mission….now that I have an actual strategy of spreading this mission…I AM UNSTOPPABLE!!!!   As long as my heart is beating I know that my assignment is not complete!!!  I invite you to join me in being a badass and teaching those around us how to be badasses….ANYONE can Master the Art of Badassery!!!  Let’s do this shit!!!!!

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!!!

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!

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!

 

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!