Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

Looking for Your Sweet Spot

“There are different kinds of gifts. But it is the same Holy Spirit Who gives them. There are different kinds of work to be done for Him. But the work is for the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NLV)

When I am looking for inspiration, I scroll through past blogs and on this day in 2014……..I was talking about finding my “sweet spot”.  I truly believe God nudges us in the direction we need to go.

Suzie Eller’s blog post on crosswalk.com has me thinking seriously (yes, AGAIN) about my “gifts”.  She talks about her Pinterest frenzy and how she tried all kinds of things.  Then one day her daughter after surveying her efforts said “Mom, you need to know your sweet spot and this isn’t it”.  YIKES!  How many times do we try things in an effort to be something we aren’t?  OR maybe our sweet spot has seasons, and it is time to move on.

WOW!  I know I have been talking about this A LOT lately but life has been changing for me.  I’m sure I am not the only one who experiences seasons with their gifts and talents, eight? I struggle with people pleasing so change is not easy.  Each of us is designed differently on purpose so we can come together to make a whole. So, what is your sweet spot? How has God gifted you for His purposes?

I struggle because although I know I have gifts and talents, Doubtful Debbie comes a knocking just when I think I am making strides.  Along with age (hitting 65 this year), recovery and MS issues all seem to play a factor.  Here are a few of my sweet spots:

  • Making a difference – I truly believe this is one of my greatest gifts.  I am a glass half full kind of person and believe in sharing it.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days when Negative Nellie is around but they are fewer and far between lately.  Whether it is as simple as a card, a kind word or an angel to brighten someone’s day – I want to bring a smile to others.
  • Crafty.  Angels have become the center of my crafting world – from sewing them to jewelry pieces to plastic canvas.  I love to share them with others and hear the stories as to why people pick certain ones.
  • Writing.  I love to write.  Crazy as it sounds,  it started with poetry as a child then it moved onto grants in my professional career.  The initial challenge to blog was scary but exciting at the same time.  It is my hope I can inspire others through my strengths, hopes and experiences.
  • Cooking.  Since moving to our forever home, I have found I LOVE cooking and sharing it with friends and family.

God can use these sweet spots for His purposes. God uses my unique design when I invite a neighbor or friend for dinner.  If your sweet spot is hospitality and making a home beautiful, then there are people who will be touched by this gift. If it’s humor and laughter, then someone needs to find that joy, too. If it’s teaching, teach.  Whatever your sweet spot, God has a purpose for you.

Time for me to focus on my sweet spots and make strides in all areas of my life.  How has God formed and fashioned you? Share your sweet spot with us.  It is not about being like someone else, it is about being ourselves and ACCEPTING ourselves including the gifts and talents God has given us.

Have an Epic day!

 

Making a Difference

Actually, I Can Movement

I don’t know about you but I am my own worst critic.  I tend to believe things which simply aren’t true. You know those horrible inner gremlins which want to keep you from feeling the JOY of every day.  What if you WERE good enough, just the way you are? What if failure wasn’t an option? What if you believed, “Actually, I Can”?

STOP right now and take a minute to think about all the things you’re capable of .  I BELIEVE you can do anything you put your mind to!  NOW share the positivity with the women around you.

Thirty-One is launching an ALL IN campaign this fall to inspire others to believe in themselves. When we take time to better ourselves from within, we inspire others to believe – “Actually, I Can.”

 

Write a love letter to yourself

 

Play this fill-in-the-blank  game to get yourself in a positive headspace! Without reading the story, fill in the blanks with a word of your choosing. When you’ve filled them all in, read it back to yourself and feel the love.  I would love to have you share YOURS with us…

 

Wear your confidence close to your heart

 

Design an “Actually, I Can” charm to wear (or gift!) as a reminder to keep moving forward, no matter what life tosses your way. Our Personalization Studio makes it easy to create a custom piece of jewelry that makes a statement, like a personalized Just Write™ Rectangle Charm on a long Dainty Rolo Chain.  I have two of them I were every day – “Just for Today” as a reminder of my recover after relapse and “Courage” because it is my word for this year.  The both remind me of how far I have come over the last 16 months…

 

Pin up these mantra cards

 

Are you a fan of mantras?  Did you know when you repeat a positive mantra every day for 21 days, if will actually become something you believe in?  Positive energy draws more positive energy so why not give these mantras a try.  Use these fun, printable mantra cards to spread the love and keep the positivity going! Hang them on your mirror or leave them for others to find as a reminder of all the amazing things you and others are capable of.

Help survivors of domestic violence
I have shared my story before of being a child of domestic violence – something not talked about back then but it was.  Whether it is physical, emotional or verbal – more than 1 in 3 women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. This fall, Thirty One is  standing with survivors by supporting an issue which affects so many.

Throughout the entire fall season, Thirty-One Gives wants to empower women to believe in themselves, find safety and rebuild their lives. During October and November, you can Round Up! your Thirty-One purchase to the next nearest dollar (after tax and shipping) or make a donation of any amount to support survivors of domestic violence through our partners: National Network to End Domestic Violence in the United States.

Funds raised by the Round Up! campaign will go to specific programs run by these organizations to help survivors of domestic violence get back on their feet.

In the United States, funds will support the Independence Project through National Network to End Domestic Violence, a credit-building microloan program that helps survivors of domestic violence rebuild after experiencing financial abuse. Women can receive a zero-fee, zero- interest loan of $100 to boost their credit scores. By paying back just $10 for 10 months, she can get approved to sign a lease, buy a car and get started on her new, safe life!

Share your giving heart this season by participating in Round Up! this season – your donations will make an enormous difference in the lives of survivors of domestic violence.

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: Dreams

Dreams are defined in two ways:  #1 – a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep. and #2 – a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.

I will admit I don’t often remember the dreams I had when I am sleeping.  I guess it is part of the MS or maybe I don’t dream.  But there was a time when I had goals – dreaming big for success in my professional and personal life.  Of course, I’m not sure I really knew what success was.

What do you dream of?  Exotic vacations?  A successful business? A romantic relationship?  Kids? Friends?  What did you dream about doing when you were little?  I don’t remember much of my childhood so what my dreams were, I don’t know.  I have glimpses of past dreams – some of which I met.  Those glimpses come with the help of others who remind of my successes.  Now, my dream is to wake up one morning with memories (all of them) and not have MS.  I dream of being able to process thoughts and have feelings again besides the extremes of sadness and joy.  It’s more wishful thinking than anything, but who knows, if not today, maybe tomorrow. There’s always hope for tomorrow.

I never grew up dreaming I would have a life with a chronic illness filled with body weakness, loss of memory and pain. I don’t think anyone ever does. Cancer took many of my family members so I actually figured one day it would take me…..but I stuffed the thought and lived my life.  I’m not sure what my choice would have been on career day but I’m sure MS wasn’t an option.  I remember wanting to be a lawyer and ended up in the casinos. Then addiction and recovery changed my life.  I went from the casino to being a social worker.  Something which might have been God’s plan all along.  I loved helping people and it became my calling.  I am grateful for the pictures and the memories others share with me of those many years making a difference in the live of others.  I love creating things – angels of all types and sewing.

Now, because of MS, my thoughts get jumbled and the words I’m thinking aren’t always the ones that come out.  I don’t remember people so remember details about their life is a struggle.  Helping others is more difficult since I can barely help myself some days.  I trust others memories of my hopes and dreams.  I  rely on them to help me remember my past.

I may not talk a lot in public since my worlds get jumbled BUT I do love writing. Writing my thoughts down gives me enough time to pause in order to keep from jumbling words up too bad. I still make a ton of writing errors, but they are easier to correct than losing my train of thought in the middle of a conversation.  It’s really funny when I jot something down and then go back and read it later – I am usually puzzled wondering what was I thinking.

Creating my angels has become therapy.  It takes a lot longer than it used to but I still love spending the time using those creative juices.  The colors may not always work, the design may be a bit off but the end result is a unique angel design.  I have to be more patient with my hands when they won’t stay steady. Or the numbness/tingling causes me to drop things.   That makes it a challenge, but somehow I still get things done.

Because of MS, I have learned to appreciate the things I am still able to do. I can’t let the fact that I can’t do something now get me down. There’s always a way if I get creative enough.

Have you given up on a dream?  Maybe it is because of a chronic illness.  Maybe it is because life showed up and things got detoured.  Don’t loose hope in succeeding in finding your dream. Never stop pursuing your dreams just because something gets in the way.  Life happens.  Dreams keep us going and yes, they do change.

Never lose the ability to dream – for me, it just means writing them down.  It means not “thinking” the passion will keep the dream alive because the truth is, by tomorrow I will forget what the dream was.

Remember…Go out there and conquer your day today.  Reach for your dreams – large or small. taking one step closer to them every day.

Have a blessed day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Are You Missing One of These in Your Business?

Thank you Christie Browning for today’s tips….

I love my business. If you know me, you know it!!!!  Whether it is my Thirty One business or my handcrafted angels, I love having my own business.  I love the flexibility. I love the freedom to take visions to fruition.  I love sharing my love with everyone.  Now, I will be the first to admit on any given day I miss out on opportunities.  On those days, I tend to be more focused on “making money” to pay bills, so I blow past some of the things I need to have a successful business.  Don’t get me wrong, making money (and paying bills) is what we work for.  The truth is, I can’t sustain my sales (neither can you) if your business isn’t built on a strong foundation.

#1 – Know where you’re going and why you want to get there

I know we have all answered (or at least tried to) the question of our why…. We need to know what it is to be successful, right?  I have talked about the emotional why many times – it is the real root of why you want to be in business.  It is the inner motivation which pushes you when your tired, you want to give up, you are out of your comfort zone, and to push past your fears. Why is being a success important to you?  What will you gain if you are successful?

I struggle with tapping into my emotional why. as a result of my MS.  The key to the emotional why is your ability to paint a vivid picture of what “success” looks like to you.  It isn’t the same for everyone!  By identifying what the finish line looks like, you will know when you cross it, so you can celebrate and know you’ve arrived!  Your finish line might be clearer as you get closer to it but you need a visual picture NOW. The visual should touch your heartstrings and drum up some emotions when you think of it.

Key #2 – It’s your business – make it so!

You are designing YOUR business so make it yours!  I know it sounds crazy BUT how many times have you tried to copy someone else’s business (especially in direct sales) because they have risen to the top of the company?  I have been there, done that and got the tee shirt.  It doesn’t work!  I am learning (yup, took me 7 years!) my business will be different and might probably come together in a different way because it is MINE!  Be sure to design your business around your strengths and passions. Structure it around your time and calendar whether it is a part time or a full time gig.  You get to call the shots.  The key is to be sure to be true to yourself .  Remember your customers buy because they trust you – stand out in a crowd for what you want your business to look like.

Key #3 – Put the right process in place to win

I don’t know about you BUT I LOVE vendor events and home parties.  I LOVE connecting with people face to face.  Some would say it is the glamorous side of our direct sales business.  The truth is, success is made behind the scenes, in the nitty-gritty facets of your business (the parts we may not like).  Just showing up at events or parties is not going to keep your business consistent nor is it going to guarantee you success.  So, what system do you use to keep track of all of the “other things” you HAVE to do?  Do you have set days for follow-up with customers?  Do you know your target market?  I use a tickler file and LOTS of notes on my planner to make sure I keep up with order follow-up, mailings, booking leads and so much more.

Key #4 – Making the noise to bring in the biz

For some, marketing is the fun stuff!  For others, it is a hodgepodge mess.  You need to know who you are as a business and who you are trying to serve.  Do you know what your brand is? Branding is simply something which when people see it they think of YOU (and the ripple effect is thinking of your business).  It is the tone and feel of your business – such as the colors, images, and graphics you use.  I ALWAYS say “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day” – my customers expect it.  LOL.  Angels have become a part of my marketing…. they are part of my team logo as well as the watermark I use in all of my graphics.   What do you want their experience to be like after they interacted with you and your company? I want my customers to know I am all about making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.  I want them to know I am a down to earth “take me as I am” kind of gal.  The key to great branding is to be true to you. Don’t try to be something your NOT because it won’t connect with or feel authentic to your customers. Your brand is an extension of YOU and should be reflected in all you do, say and show.

I know this sounds like A LOT so take it slow and easy.  Start with one and work your way through…. Which one will you start with?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

What Lesson is Your Life Offering Now?

I want you to take a minute and think about what lessons your life is offering you right now.  The truth is when we change the way we look at situations, good and bad, we can actually learn from them.

God offers lessons everyday and it is up to us to learn from them.  If you are anything like me, you are hard headed (a typical Taurus trait) and may need to go through things multiple times before you actually learn the lesson. As a result, the same lessons are offered over and over again. Whether you are going through a frustrating or exciting time, there is something to learn which will prepare you for greater opportunities on your horizon.

Today, I want you to be intentional about looking for those lessons and finding ways to apply them to the daily challenges you face.  Here are five lessons you may have learned on your journey. If so, consider these a reminder today:

1. Nothing is permanent.

Believe it or not, change is good.  The first change I remember was moving from my childhood home to a new neighborhood at the age of 11.  It took me awhile but I adjusted.  Over the years of going to college, and changing jobs, I quickly learned to adapt to new circumstances, new people, and new surroundings. Nothing in life is permanent.  This fact should encourage you to revel in the joy your life is bringing right now.  It will help lessen your frustration when you encounter circumstances you don’t like. For some change is not easy, for others they have learned to roll with the punches.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a new job, or a chronic illness, there is a lesson to be learned.  If there is something or someone you love, in what ways could you embrace and enjoy them more? If it is something you don’t think you can handle, just hold on a little longer. This too shall pass.

2. You are either living on purpose or living by accident.

Too many people wander through life haphazardly, for the last few years I have been one of them.  I latched onto acquaintances, jobs, and life situations just because they crossed my path. I lived by accident.  It wasn’t my plan nor did I actually think I was.  I struggled to find my purpose.  A course called “Fit Within” is helping me to create a fulfilling life where I am purposeful in my decisions. Don’t make a decision without reflecting on what long-term impact it will have on you and the people you love. Pursue the things which empower you to express your values and talents. Choose to be around people you feel good being around—inspiring, supportive people who are moving in the same direction you are. Know your purpose and live in it every day in your work, relationships, health, finances, and spiritual life. Strive not to end up anywhere by accident—just because it was convenient.

3. Fear does not necessarily mean stop.

Does FEAR cripple you?  Do you want to run away or are you ready to roar like a lion and face it head on?  Fear is as powerful as you allow it to be. Most of us feel fear and take it as a warning to stop moving forward. Been there, done that and have more t-shirts then I can count!  We should see fear as a natural emotion which pops up every time we venture outside of our comfort zone. When you feel fear, keep moving. Step out of your comfort zone.  It will help you to grow AND get you closer to your goals. What are you afraid of right now which is keeping you from living your best life? Will you make a decision to move forward despite your fear?

4. Less is more.

Are you someone who shows their worth through money and material possessions?  Are you all about keeping up with the Jones’?  Do you play the comparison game?  The simple truth about self-empowerment is it comes from knowing nothing material will ever prove your worth. This is a lesson I need to be reminded of periodically.  Your worth comes from your identity as a child of God and the impact you make in the lives of others. Don’t worry about impressing everyone else. If you are a people pleaser, this might be a tough pill to swallow.  Focus on impressing God (or your Higher Power) by living the purpose for which He created you—serving and blessing others in the way only you can.

5. The power to change your life is in the choices you make.

SMACK!  This is perhaps the most powerful and toughest of lessons. Better choices create better circumstances. It’s not what happens to you which most impacts your life; it is how you respond to it. Your choices create your future. What kind of future are you creating with the choices you are making today? You can choose to enjoy your life or to be miserable. You can choose to be flexible or keep hitting a brick wall at work or in a relationship. You can choose to pursue your dreams or keep making excuses for why you can’t achieve them. The choice is yours.

What is the most important lesson your life is offering you right now? How will you apply this lesson in your future?

Today I challenge you to take an action in the next 48 hours which will enrich your life in a positive, meaningful way.  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!