How’s Your Joy Quotient?

Sunday a day to relax, reflect and recharge.  This morning I will be enjoying Praise and Worship at National Conference.  It is the last day and then we will be headed home.  I amazing few days full of blessings where I got to fill my cup.  How appropriate today’s message is on “joy”.  Unfortunately, I found this and am not sure who to give thanks to but it was not written by me.

One of the overriding evidences someone has a genuine relationship with our living Savior is their consistent attitude of joy and outlook on life. A follower of Jesus should not be a person who always looks at life as if the glass is half empty. Instead, we should be the most positive people on earth. We should see opportunity in the midst of challenges.
The light resides in you should be like the beam of a lighthouse to a ship seeking direction. Our lives should have the fragrance of Christ. People should be attracted to our lives just as the bee is attracted to the nectar in the colorful flower.

The apostle Paul understood this when he said, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Cor 2:14-16).

I must admit I’ve been with some believers whose attitude toward life is more like a porcupine. It’s painful to get too close to them because of their negative and poisonous view of life that criticizes the world around them.

No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in, the joy of the Lord must be your strength. Paul learned this truth even in the midst of his adversities. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil 4:12-13).

How would others describe your joy quotient? On a scale of 1 to 10, where would they rank you? Today, make a commitment to greet every circumstance knowing the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Do You Listen to Your Core Desires 

Monday morning – the moment many dread as they head to their job wishing for a longer weekend.  I am blessed to be able to work from home and make my own hours.  I have been working with a coach and an amazing group of women doing “31days & 31 ways to Jumpstart Your Abundance”.  My second go around and new things are coming to light.

We have been talking a lot about core values and our core desires.  Maybe it is the MS and memory issues or maybe it is the inner gremlins who take joy in squashing my hopes and dreams but this is a struggle for me.  Whatever the reason, I’m sure I’m not alone.

Let’s take a minute to focus on our life  – our definition of success, and how we can find purpose, fulfilment, and joy by letting the things which truly matter guide us.  I know a heavy topic for a Monday morning but give it a try!

How many of you struggle with the noise, and “norms” of society which make it difficult to stay connected to your core desires.

I have been trying to focus on my core desires in my work and my life.  These are the things which help me to focus on how I will prioritize and spend my days, how I define success, and how I will show up in my life.  Here is what I came up with:

Financial independence

I never thought much about being financially independent.  It was always about paying the bills and having “things”.  As I have gotten older, health challenges have come to light, I want to feel stable, secure, self-sufficient, and be independent financially.  It goes beyond wanting a  roof over my head (hubby takes care of all the household stuff) and food on the table.  I want to feel happy and at peace by making mindful, intentional, and responsible decisions when it comes to finances, and by showing up wholeheartedly for my business too.   It means paying off credit card debt.  This is such a huge change for me from just “winging it”.

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Emotional & physical well-being

Living with a chronic health condition has taught me to pay more attention to my health and well-being.  I can’t change the struggles my health issues sometimes cause, but I can control how I get through them.  Feeling emotionally and physically healthy is something I have been prioritizing in my life this year.  I try to honor the needs of my health in my business, and how I support my health in the lifestyle choices too.

Living & telling my truth

I struggle so much with accepting who I am, yet, I am willing to share my strength, hopes and experiences with everyone.  I continue to work on accepting who I am – the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am learning to embrace my  strengths and weaknesses. In my business, I want to inspire others never letting pride or fear hold me back from showing up, supporting and encouraging others.

Meaningful work

I crave meaningful and joyful work. I long to make a difference and am always searching for my true purpose.  It isn’t about the money I make, it is about what the money can do to make a difference.  I love when customers feel comfortable enough to share their story, their fears, their joys, and their desires with me.  My heart swells with joy, when I see someone smile who is struggling.  I want to honor this desire by never losing sight of what matters most to me in my work, and never letting money be bigger than the “why” behind what I do.

To be of service

Whether it’s in my business, in my relationship, friendships, and with my family, or how I contribute to the world, I always want to be the positive in the lives of those around me.  Yes, I want to live a joyful and fulfilling life, BUT I don’t want to always be looking at my own needs.

Connection

I long to feel connected to what matters most to me, to the people in my life who I love and adore, to my business and the work I do.  I try to stay aligned with my core values, desires, and intentions, by carving out time for my favorite people, by interacting in and engaging with the world around me, and by getting outside of my comfort zone. YIKES! A tough one but so important in staying connected with the world to find ways I can play a small but positive part in it.

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What are you core desires in your work and your life?  What are they and are you honoring them in your work and daily life?  Share with us….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Stop The Comparison Game

12414868-Stop-sign-illustration-Stock-Vector-noWOOHOO!  It is the weekend, okay, the start of it and it is Feel Good Friday!  The day when we squash those inner gremlins who want to keep you from being happy…

When was the last time you compared yourself to someone else?  Over the years, I’ve compared myself to others when it came to school, looks, money, my business and more. The first step in stopping the “comparison game” is to acknowledge it.  The truth is everyone has done it at one point in their life. The difference is what happens after the comparison…

Some people compare themselves to others to determine their personal value which usually ends up with us feeling like crap, right?  Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts.  Or do you play the comparison game and get inspired.  Does it motivate you to change your situation?  Honestly, this doesn’t happen to most people and in the end results in more negative thoughts.  Either way, by comparing yourself to others, you are holding yourself back.

Sure, you may not be able to reach a goal as quickly as someone else or it may require more hard work, but it doesn’t mean everything is impossible for you. Everyone is on a different path, and there are people who are better or worse off than you.  Instead of comparing your path to those around you, why not focus on what you can do to make your dream a reality.

Here is how you can stop comparing yourself to others…..

#1 – Realize comparisons are often negative and most of the time they do not help.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Be happy for others and instead of feeling jealous be happy for their success of others.  Good things can happen to other people, it doesn’t mean your life is any less important or any less of a success.  By being happy for others, you’ll learn to accept yourself and let more positivity into your life.

#2 – Be motivated, not competitive.

Be inspired by other’s success or happiness. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone, think about how you could possibly do something similar (if it’s what you truly want to do). Use others achievements as inspiration for your own life and goals.

#3 – Take a break from social media.

This is tough in today’s world so why not “stop following” those who you play the comparison game with.  I am still friends with some people BUT I don’t check their news feed for snipits of their wonderful life.  Social media can be fun but you are just seeing carefully selected pieces of someone’s life.

#4 – Be confident.

I compare myself to others because I tend to lack self confidence.  While I’m not as confident as I would like to be, I am getting better.  Gaining confidence can help you too.  Yes, you can learn to be more confident.  When you are confident, you will learn how to stop comparing yourself to others because you believe in yourself.

#5 Be positive and happy with who you are.happy dance

No matter how life may be going for you, I believe a positive outlook can help to improve your life. It’s all about being grateful for what you already have. Everyone experiences sadness, anger, being scared, etc., and sometimes it can be difficult to see the positive or to be happy in spite of the circumstances.  Negative thoughts keep you feeling stuck with the feeling like there is no way out of your problems, and zero options. While being positive helps you realize you are able to do things, you are in control of your life, and the little things will not kill you.  You will be able to move on and deal with stressful situations better.

#6 – No one is perfect.perfect1

Accept your past and present, realizing you can make changes for the future if you truly desire to do so.  You may be at the beginning of the journey while someone else is at the middle or end.  You don’t know what they’ve been through, so you can end the comparison game.

 

These things are sometimes easier said then done.  Pick one and focus on it if you can’t fathom doing them all at once.  Find YOUR dream, then figure our YOUR action plan.

How could you stop comparing yourself to others?

 

Success Your Way

“Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth” – Henry David Thoreau

There are four definitions for success in the Oxford Dictionary:

  1. The accomplishment of an aim or purpose:
  2. The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status
  3. A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc
  4. The good or bad outcome of an undertaking

What is your definition of success?  Is it a cookie cutter picture like others in your life or is it uniquely you?

My picture used to be cookie cutter.  In a nutshell, it was be the top in my field, make “big bucks”, make a difference in the lives of others and live happily ever after. When I became successful and a Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit, I didn’t feel like a success.  I couldn’t or didn’t want to see myself as others saw me.  I was content to be in the corner letting others receive the accolades.

When I entered the world of direct sales, my picture of success was a cookie cutter.  Yup, I am a people pleaser and didn’t really think about what I wanted.  I had forgotten how to dream and define success for me.  Over the last six months, things have changed.  I can’t explain it.  I don’t know if it is a result of the health issues or creeping up on 60 years old or whether I am just seeing myself as others see me.

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I have done a lot of digging, and I want my success to be defined as what feels fulfilling and meaningful to me.  Ultimately, the traditional definition of success just does not feed my soul or offer any long term fulfilment and joy – for me.  Traditional markers of success are about how the world perceives us and seldom takes into consideration how we feel about ourselves, our life or our work.

I have played the comparison game and so have you, where we have compromised our health, our relationships, and our wellbeing to reach someone else’s definition of success. We have ignored our own values so we could be accepted by others instead of building our own success dream. As a result, we find ourselves with a life which is exhausting and unfulfilling.

Building your own approach to success isn’t easy.  I regularly battle with Negative Nellie and Perfect Polly.  They are the inner gremlins who want me to continue to be a cookie cutter model of success.  How have I began building my own approach to success? I want to share with you some things which have helped me to find some peace in my world:

Contentment: Do I feel satisfied in my day-to-day life? Even when the stressors and challenges can’t be avoided, am I content with how I am spending my days?

Purpose:  Is my life all about me or is it bigger than just myself and my own needs? Am I am contributing to the world in a way which fulfills my purpose in life?

Passion: Am I excited about my work and my life? Am I eager to get up and start the day?

Joy: Am I happy with my life?  Maybe not every single second of every single day, but do I find joy and pleasure in my life on a regular basis?

Stability: Am I financially stable? Am I making smart decisions with my finances?

Personal growth: Am I open to changing, and growing in my life? Am I becoming the best version of me?

Devotion: Am I committed to what matters most in my life?  Am I giving 100% to the  priorities in my life?

Peace: Am I at peace in my day-to-day life, even when things may not be going as planned? Am I staying connected to my core values, to live an intentional life?

Authenticity: Am I showing up, in both my work and life, fully and 100% myself? Am I owning my story and living in my truth?

Remember these are my markers for how I am redefining success in my life.  Truth be told, I don’t live up to these every single day, BUT I am a work in progress not looking for perfection.  I’m learning to shift the focus from worrying about how others perceive my life to focusing more on how I feel about my life.

Tell us what success looks like to you…. no cookie cutter answers.  What questions would you yourself when fears of “am I successful?” and “am I good enough?” creep in?

Have a ThirtyOne-derufl day!

 

 

 

Looking Forward to 2017

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My word for 2016 was CONFIDENCE. 

CONFIDENCE to believe when the way is rough.  CONFIDENCE to hang on when the going is tough. CONFIDENCE will guide me when my business is slow.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I move forward with the Rays of Hope – Angel Connection.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I overcome doubt with my new contract working with a grassroots non-profit.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I learn to live with my recent diagnosis of MS.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I see and believe in the person that others see in me.  CONFIDENCE will guide me as I squash the inner gremlins that have haunted me all of my life.

As a wrap of to this year, I’ve been reflecting A LOT as well as praying on what my word will be in 2017.  I love the beginning of a new year, with all of the hopes and possibilities of what’s ahead, but I know it’s also easy to feel overwhelmed with having 12 brand new months to tackle too. By sharing some of the things I’m looking forward to next year, my hope is it will encourage you to think about what you’re excited about in 2017 so you can enter the new year feeling ready and raring to go!

1. 5 Year Anniversary!

I can hardly believe hubby and I will be married five years and we have been together for 16 years.  My goal is to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip with Thirty One so I can take him on a cruise for our special anniversary.

2. Adventures, big and small!

We’ve been lucky enough to do a little traveling – North Carolina to visit the girls and I headed to Ohio for National Conference.  We had adventures like traveling the State to see doctors about my MS & the many symptoms.  I want to embrace the mini adventures next year too – day trips out to explore new places, and weekend breaks.

3. Full-time in my business

I have been in direct sales for almost 6 years and I am really excited to see what this next year has to bring. I am committing to my business full-time so it will be my main source of income to help with the household bills.  No more part-time job.  I am so grateful to be able to work from home with so many amazing women.  Along with my direct sales business, one of my biggest priorities in my business next year is to continue to create different ways to show up and be of service to the community.  I feel so grateful every single day this is my job, and I want to just give it 100% and show up fully for my business in 2017 along the way.

4. Continuing to embrace less stress, more joy in work and life

This has been one of the biggest takeaways for me in 2016 – a mindset of less stress, more joy is what serves me best in my work and my life. Keeps MS symptoms at a minimum and makes for a happy Hope.  I am learning how to embrace the seasons in my life.  I’m feeling focused, productive, and inspired as I end 2016.  In 2017, I want to give myself permission to live my creative life on my own terms, and embrace my own natural ebb and flow of rest and hustle too.

5. All the growth, discovery, and lessons ahead to come

I don’t know about you, but I learn, grow and change so much during a year.  In 2016, I’ve discovered so much more about myself, who I am, and what is most important to me.  I feel so much more aware and connected to what matters most in my life. I’m so excited to experience all the lessons 2017 has to bring.

I want to thank you so much for following my blog this year.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with you every day.  My vision in everything I do with my business and online presence is to support, encourage and inspire you to be the best YOU, you can be.  I hope to continue to do it in 2017 too.

I believe this is each and every one of you…d41d60aa5f46b43b9c0545e7f97b07c5

What will your word be for 2017?  Share it with us and let’s work together to make this year a success….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!