Accidental Blessings

By: Shannon Boatwright

“you deserve to be in spaces and relationships that make you happy. that feed your soul and help you grow. you are worthy of connections that are loving, nourishing, kind, and authentic. so before you settle for anything less than, remind yourself that the places you visit, and the people you journey with through life, should make you feel safe, loved and enough”

– alex elle

Coming across this particular quote was an accidental blessing.

One of my favorite radio stations is q93.5. I follow them on Instagram. This past Sunday they posted this quote by Alex Elle, wishing everyone a good morning. I had no idea who this Alex Elle was. In fact, upon first read earlier in the day, I thought, maybe it’s from some of the DJ’s named Alex and Elle? Later on Sunday night, before diving into a load of stressful work, I treated myself to one more scan of Instagram, secretively hoping for some uplifting inspiration to help lift my head out of my state of overwhelming work and life stuff. I allowed myself to read the q93.5 Instagram post again and really soaked in the words. I thought, wow, this is lovely. This is gold. Priceless truth for your life.

I immediately knew I needed to find out who Alex Elle was. I Googled the name and came across this site  www.alexelle.com – a beautiful discovery for sure. Come to find out, this Alex Elle is a brilliant writer, a woman who shares her passion for life, love and healing through poetry, narrative writing, storytelling…At first glance over her website and blog, I have fallen in love with her positive spirit of hope, self-love, healing, and positive living. I immediately signed up for her email newsletters of encouragement and plan to follow her blog.

My accidental blessing of coming across this incredible woman’s amazing work as I simply sought out a quick escape before trudging through required, aggravating school work, has enriched my life. I only hope that I’ll continue to pursue her encouragement and let it help build the strength that I know is within me. If I could do what she does and have the means to dive into my writing, share my own personal journey, and spread joy, love, encouragement and hope into others lives, and actually make a living at it, I WOULD TOTALLY DO SO!

Here’s to praying that my accidental blessing will lead me to wonderful achievements. I know I’ve already scored by discovering a gorgeous mentor in Alex Elle. We’ll see where life leads me. I certainly agree with what she says in her quote. Amen, amen and amen to that one. I’m ever thankful for the priceless people in my life that come to mind when I read her words. As I scan over her other words of encouragement, I am reminded of the power within – the power that we have to make great things happen for ourselves.  Hmmmmm…maybe God and the universe is trying to tell me something? Maybe it’s time to pursue new goals and make greater things happen so that I can make more of a difference in other’s lives as I enrich my own?

(INSERT LOUD NOISE HERE) Have Your Resolutions Hit the Wall Yet?

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

Every Woman Blog - stay motivated to accomplish goals

Did you hear that loud thud this morning? I think it was the many resolutions made in the heat of the New Year that finally hit the wall. Surprisingly, 75% of resolutions will be continued through the entire first week of January, but only 46% make it past six months. University of Scranton also stated that 39% of people in their twenties will achieve their resolution each year while only 14% of people over 50 years of age will achieve theirs.

As one in that final 14% group, it shouldn’t surprise me that even though I picked a word and not a resolution, per se, that I’m feeling a little flat and discouraged. I was encouraged, however, to read the following tips to stay on track from LearnVest. In case you need a lift, too, I wanted to share them with you. Whether you’re trying to save money or lose a little weight, they apply to nearly any resolution(s) you might have made:

  1. Start small. You can’t do it all at once. It took you more than a month to acquire said issue, so you won’t solve it in a month, either.
  2. Celebrate every milestone. That one pound may not be the 22 you want to lose, but it’s a lot better than gaining it. And 21 lbs. sounds better than 22, doesn’t it?
  3. Don’t get discouraged. Old habits die hard, but putting this off forever is only going to make it worse. Be nice to yourself. You’ve totally got it.
  4. Stay Motivated. Change ain’t easy, but you can do it.

I recently tagged the following on my vision board, and it’s a good reminder:

Don’t think about what can happen in a month. Don’t think about what can happen in a year. Just focus on the 24 hours in front of you and do what you can to get you closer to where you want to be.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Living Life With Purpose

By: Katie Austin

It’s early on a Sunday morning in late December.  I am sitting on the back porch drinking a cup of coffee.  The wind is blowing through the trees and I can hear nature waking up around me as the sun begins to peek in. I am the only one home and I find my mind wondering.

If I could change anything, what would it be? What goals will I set for myself in the New Year?

This is the first time in a long time that I didn’t wake up to making a to-list for the day. I simply allowed my mind to wonder.

I decide to pick up my laptop that I set on the table next to me and begin to perform various Google searches, entering keywords like “motivational,” “purpose,” and “change.”  I watch a few of the videos and they have good information, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Then I came across one that stopped me in my tracks.  It was like it was speaking to my heart.  I found myself crying within the first few seconds.

 

The first window came up with the quote below:

“Your life won’t ever be perfect, but it can be purposeful. Live for something bigger than yourself and leave a mark on the world.”   – author unknown

As the video played, I began to wonder if my life was “purposeful.” Was I living my life with purpose or simply living?

The video went on to ask you to look at yourself in the mirror and see if you disappoint the person you were at 18? Only let him or her be the judge. In that moment, a flood of emotions came running over me as I began to remember what it was that I wanted to be at the age of 18.  When I so young and ready to take on the world…

The video ended and it was like life stopped for a moment. I sat there staring at my laptop as I realized that I wasn’t living my life to the fullest.

Don’t get me wrong – I am happy for the most part, but I know that I am not living my life with purpose. There are things that I love to do that I put on the back burner. I can only blame myself as I have a tendency to fill my plate to the point where I am getting a lot done, but I can’t enjoy what I am doing. I am trying to get one thing done so that I can move on to the next.

This is not the way I want to live my life. It’s time for a change.

Life should be meaningful and it won’t be until I make it a priority. If life is meaningful, it will be purposeful.

I hope each of you enjoy the video and find your true meaning (purpose) as you head into 2017. This is just the start of my journey and I will be writing more about it in my upcoming articles.

I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes and as this will be my motto for the New Year. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you!

“Don’t talk about it, be about it.”  – Eric Thomas

You Are In Charge…

By: Shannon Boatwright

motivation

Remove stressful activities and demands from your life.
If you cannot, then learn to joyfully deal with them.
Either way, no more complaining.
You are in charge of what you allow in your life and how you cope.

Brendon Burchard

I am inspired by music and/or quotes almost every day, and some days I am inspired by both. Several weeks ago, I came across the lovely and powerful quote above and took a screenshot of it – which lately seems to be my go-to method for collecting these types of things that I like and am touched by in some way. Modern technology! When I need a pick me up, some good ole positive reinforcement, or more smiles to add to my happiness, I skim over my screenshots of quotes and songs in addition to my precious pictures, which create a sea of inspiration.

As I recently dove into my l’il sea of specialness, this particular quote stuck with me. Most of us are not necessarily capable of actually removing stressful activities and demands from our lives. Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy for some of us. But we can indeed attempt to joyfully deal with them. Although I quickly admit, it’s easy to snicker and even giggle at the thought of handling my most stressful situations with any ounce of joy! I mean, come on, really!!?? But hey, maybe I should try it more often – honestly make an effort to deal with the stress with as much of a joyful, accepting nature that I can muster up and just see how things go. It certainly can’t hurt the situation! Unless of course I let sarcasm take over my joy a bit…but still, I’d bet that would still put me on the up and up, as opposed to letting a situation crush my chest and sit on my heart with the immense weight of stress.

The really interesting part of the quote is when it states, “either way, no more complaining.” So direct. So true. So near impossible. Yes, complaining rarely gets us any peace, nor does it put us in a positive way of thinking. BUT, let’s dissect this a bit. Sometimes, when we unleash our frustrations, say with our partner and/or best friend, not only do we feel better from releasing our frustrations by simply voicing them, but sometimes we’re able to come to a solution and/or provide an opportunity for someone to help you in some way get to a better place. Let’s face it, sometimes we just need an opportunity to fuss, with those we can trust, to keep us on track. We should certainly never let complaining turn us into something ugly that only multiplies on itself and grows negativity. But in turn, we also do not want to weigh ourselves down by harboring frustrations that we could quickly, innocently release. All that being said, I do get the main point in the quote, which is, whether you can or cannot change your circumstances to eliminate the stress, by all means, deal with it as best you possibly can, without complaining your whole way through your survival. Drowning yourself in an ocean of complaints will not help you reach your desired destination.

Now let’s get to the gold of the quote, my favorite piece of this inspiration…YOU, yes YOU, are in charge of what you allow in your life and how you cope with it. Sure it’s not easy…it usually never is, in fact. This is life we’re talking about, after all. But we have the ability and the right to control what we allow into our lives, how we let things affect us, and how we react and respond to those things. We can choose to cope with a positive heart or an ugly, negative one. We can either breed negativity and allow it to eat us alive or we can choose to breed positive things that will lighten our hearts and allow true joy into our lives.

The interesting thing is, I came across another quote I had taken a screenshot of that also really caught my eye and my heart, and low and behold, it’s from the same person, Brendon Burchard, who happens to have an Instagram account (@Brendon.Motivation) that is dedicated to motivating others.

So to close out my entry here, I suggest you find some outlet for motivation and inspiration if you don’t already have one. Let words empower you and remind you of the best ways to cope with life and make the absolute best of it. Amongst all the craziness of our world, I leave you with this quote. I only wish that all of the human race accomplish this…

Humanity is seeing others and saying, “I wish you joy, love, health and abundance.”
Not just those you like or agree with. Every. Single. Person.

What’s Your Motivation?

By: Shannon Shull

Motivation is a key to success. What motivates a lion in the wild to chase down and devour a deer? Hunger! Like a lion in the wild, we all have a hunger of some sort. Hopefully in the case of us humans, we have a hunger to succeed in some way. Since we are human, we require motivation  to pursue something. As a lover of the Arts, I am motivated to teach so that I can share this passion and the fulfillment it can bring to one’s life. To me, motivation is desire. It’s what helps us take action.

Sunflowers

Whether a case of desiring a full, satisfied belly, or in my case, teaching others about the Arts, or in the case of a student, taking action simply because they want a good grade to get their parents off their back, motivation is a powerful thing.  If you’re a smart teacher, you will use positive motivational strategies that not only motivate your students to have a desire to do what you need them to, but allow them to see the rewards of their motivation and embrace it.  In the world of the dramatic arts, we are motivated to put on an incredible show. We want to entertain our audience and want to hear their applause. Fortunately for some, that is motivation enough. But in the real world, though most may be motivated to do things for the attention, it’s not always for the right reasons.

Think about what motivates you…is your motivational strategy in life positive?  Whether with career, family, health, education, etc, are you motivated for positive reasons to bring fulfillment to your life or is your motivation really not so positive when you really look at it? Is your motivation really to hurt someone else? Is your motivation to just survive and make money to pay the bills, though you’re miserable in your job?  Is your motivation ugly in nature at its base? Check yourself and re-evaluate. Please. Your life will be fuller and happier if your motivation is deep seeded in positivity.

Can we teach others motivational strategies? YES!! In my career, I am motivated by a desire to be the best teacher that I can be. Therefore, I feel that it is my responsibility to use motivational strategies in such a way that my students can recognize the benefits not only in the moment but down the road, as they grow into adults that must stay motivated to survive this harsh, competitive world.  I consistently show my students how the Arts can benefit them in life. Whether it’s utilizing the tools in the Actor’s Toolbox or understanding that a storyboard is a communication tool, I will always try my best to show my students the purpose of a lesson, and how they should take advantage of it and allow it to motivate them to become better, more successful people.

So as human beings who really want to strive to be outstanding and utilize motivation to achieve fulfillment in our lives, we can not only lead by example but share our own personal motivational strategies. We hear incredible success stories all the time about how someone has lost enormous amounts of weight. Their motivation was to live a healthier life. To be physically fit and feel good about how they look, as well as feel good on the inside. We hear stories of amazing strength in which someone defies death because of a motivation to see their loved ones again.  I think we’ve all heard about or maybe even experienced that level of motivation.

So in an effort to be a good example and provide some motivation, I challenge you to rethink your “real” goals in life and your motivation for reaching those goals. Do you have a strategy?  Is your motivation rooted in positivity? Is motivation even present?  As they say in the acting world, “What is your motivation??”  Be brave and share with us what you’ve discovered after doing a thorough check on what really motivates you!