What is Your Life Purpose?

 

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  I don’t mean just in this house? Or in this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  Honestly, most days I wonder what my purpose is….I’m sure many have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Many have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last few weeks.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days (very few) when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  Torn between what I think I “should be” doing and what I really want to do.  Torn between having the confidence to work my angel business releasing my creativity or just sticking with what I know works in my direct sales business.  Some may say do both BUT my MS requires me to keep things simple.  What about you, do you know your purpose?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  I know I can’t!  If you are like me, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special”. I like to help people.  Maybe it is the people pleaser in me.  Maybe it is just the “helper gene” LOL.  Or maybe it is just the fact someone was nice to me when I was struggling.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life (and in mine).  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.  It means you are willing to share your gifts and talents with others.  I am seeing new gifts develop or at least come out again – my creativity in making angels.  Seeing how putting the pieces together to form something wish brings memories to life is so humbling.

I think about my success as a Social Work….I know I made a difference. Some may think I am being conceited but I actually saw the difference I was making.   I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.  Even when things are tight for me, there is a way to give back – a cup of coffee, a ride to a meeting, a smile, a thank you – everything makes a difference.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question….Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Travel Tips + Free Printable

I know Spring Break doesn’t come until mid-April BUT travel items are on sale in March at Thirty One.  I tend to be the proverbial last minute packer,  I always change my mind a zillion times before we finally leave for a trip. Between changes in the weather, my moods and what our plans will be while we are away – I pile all of the “maybes” together and then sort through them the day before.

I love to travel. When Belinda was younger, I used to spend weeks getting things together – snacks, clothes, accessories, etc.  I checked and double checked to make sure we didn’t forget anything.  Of course, we usually did.  Now traveling with hubby, I seem to do the same thing – planning out for some things since both of us have health issues but when it comes to clothes I wait till the last few days to get things together.  When I travel on my own, you will find me packing on the last day..

Here are some travel tips courtesy of “iheartnaptime.net“.  I use her free printable packing list so I don’t forget anything.

Tip 1: Fill a pill case with any medicines you might need and label them.  This is for all of those “just in case” medicines so you aren’t hunting for things while you are traveling.

Tip 2: Use a contact case to store smaller items like earrings. It also works great to fill with makeup, like foundation so you don’t need to bring the whole container.

 

Tip 3: Place a garbage sack in your suitcase to fill with dirty clothes. We have been know to use the plastic laundry bags from the hotel but I prefer to use a Thirty One large utility tote especially on a road trip!  Plop the bag in the car and just carry it right to the laundry room when you get home.

Tip 4: Place your necklaces between two pieces of sticky (plastic) wrap, so they don’t get tangled.  Then you can place them in Thirty One’s Fold Up Family Organizer.  Easy to pack AND it hangs up when you get to your destination.

Tip 5: Fill travel containers with shampoo and lotions. Then keep them in a bag in your suit case so it’s already packed.  This is so much cheaper than buying the travel size bottles, too.  I leave mine all ready to go in Thirty One’s Hanging Traveler Case.  It is even big enough to handle some full size bottles if you are traveling with the family.

Tip 6: Place a fabric softener sheet in your suitcase to keep everything smelling fresh and clean.

Tip 7: Place your shoes in a zip top bag to prevent dirt from getting on your clothes. OR use those throw plastic shower caps you can get at the dollar store.  Thirty One’s All Packed Duffle is a perfect solution for this since it has a separate compartment just for shoes!  So, it works for travel or for the gym.

Tip 8: Place your favorite snack bars (mine are Aloha bars or Graze snacks) in a snack bag on a  so you always have a tasty and healthy snack.  Check out Thirty One’s NEW Coastal Carry All which is a great alternative.  It has a wipeable interior and can hold up to 8 beach towels.  So when you unpack all of the goodies, you can use it to head to the beach or pool

 

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Thirty One’s March Customer Special offers you 50% off select travel items when you spend $35.  You can get one item on sale for every $35 you spend!  Gather some friends together either in your home, at a local happy hour, on Facebook or just have a texting party……. to get some FREE products along with a great HOSTESS SPECIAL which includes the Around the Town Tote and an All About the Benjamin wallet! 

The NEW Spring Summer catalog is out too so be sure to click the link, fill out the simple survey and get your copy along with a coupon on your order.

 

Bonus: Print out a packing list from “iheartnaptime” to keep track of everything. It is a HUGE help for me.

Source: 10 Essential Travel Tips + Free Printable Packing List – I Heart Nap Time

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Bright is Your Light?

Have you ever noticed, you are happiest when you are helping others, or making a difference in your own unique way?

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The last month, I have been struggling.  Struggling with changes in my MS.  Struggling in my business.  Struggling with life.  I have been pondering why this month, what makes this one different.  I feel like my light has been dimming.  Sounds weird, right? I don’t mean it is a morbid way, just not feeling like I am making a difference anymore in the lives of others. No, I’m not on a pity pot.  I’m simply trying to adjust to the changes MS is making in my life.  A reality which is sometimes tough to grasp.  Talking with my sponsor the other day, she said “your brain my think things are jumbled but the words actually come out clearly and concisely.”  Yup, I needed to hear those words because it is the exact reason I have been taking a backseat in things.  Ok, I squirreled so, let’s get back to how you can let your light shit….

No matter what your purpose in life is, there is an underlying mission.  It is all about living your life in a way people say to themselves, “There’s something different about her and I want to know how to have some of the peace, joy, and love in my own life.”

Here are five ways you can let your light shine:

1. Look for ways to be a blessing.

Letting your light shine means letting everything good within you come forth. There is so much negativity around us on a daily basis when good enters our environment, it brings light into the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing—even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind coworker.  Small random acts of kindness do make a difference.

2. Refuse to be judgmental.

One of the fastest ways to turn people off – in business or in your life is to judge them. A person can done wrong without condemning them for it.  Honestly, I have made mistakes during my addiction BUT I was glad people did not judge me.  They gave me chance.  Honestly, we have all done things we need to be forgiven for, so be merciful to others. Embrace and support those you want to judge when they are trying to do better.

3. Speak up for what is just.

Speak up for what is just—not right. Do you confuse the two of these?  I know I do!  Focus more on being just so those who cross your path are better off for having done so. At work, in your business or in a personal situation, when others are being cheated, disrespected, or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do it in a direct, calm, straightforward, and nonjudgmental way.  Of course, the “old social worker/advocate” in me is sometimes far from calm.  LOL!

4. Let go of the desire to fit in.

Maybe this is part of why my light has dimmed this month….. I’m a proverbial people-pleaser.  As the MS effects more of my life, I struggle to find a place to fit in.  I never thought about how difficult it is for my light to shine when I feel like I need to fit in everywhere I go. Sometimes, people think I am odd just because I  am smiling and talking to everyone.  I need to focus more on being a symbol of truth and love on a daily basis instead of trying to fit in.  What about you?

5. Don’t hide your spiritual life.

This may be a hard one for some.  For me, I have learned my Higher Power is central to everything in my life.  When I pretend that is not the case, my light dims.  It is by his grace, I have survived the craziness of my life.  I am not saying you need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When the chance comes to tell people where your strength comes from in difficult times, or to acknowledge how your Higher Power has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.

My Challenge to you is to identify one way you will share your light this week. Then set out to be a symbol of love and light in the world…  Share with us…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Why You Can’t Live Without A Large Utility Tote

Thirty One’s original (and famous) Large Utility Tote, or LUT for short is celebrating it’s 10th birthday…Don’t get why this is such a BIG deal?

Millions of these totes have been sold over the years and for many it has been your go-to tote from the grocery store to the beach and back. And with more prints to choose from than ever, now is the perfect time to stock up on them – and the accessories to make the best even better!

Check out what makes this customer-favorite so special, and how the addition of the Double Chill Thermal Set and Stand Tall Insert has upped the game on this #1 seller.  The list of the 101 most creative, practical and just plain wacky uses customers have found for the LUT  is CRAZY!!

It’s storage made portable! When the best-selling tote debuted in 2009, the original Large Utility Tote featured, and still does, a sturdy wire support around the top to hold its shape and reinforced stitching on the handles and seams for unmatched durability.  Did you know it could hold up to 100 pounds?  Yes, it has been kid tested!  It also collapses flat for easy storage.

The two-piece Double Chill Thermal Set is soft yet structured and fits perfectly inside the Large Utility Tote, transforming it into the ultimate picnic basket or tailgating tote! Or quickly snap in a Stand Tall Insert to add structure, stability and handy interior pockets.

Want to get inspired????   Here are 101 of the favorite uses shared by Thirty One Customers and Consultants.  Which one (or ones) would you use it for?

1. Warehouse store shopping
2. Wine caddy
3. Cleaning supplies
4. Gift bags, boxes & tissue paper
5. Hockey equipment
6. Christmas lights
7. Winter hats, gloves & scarves
8. Campsite dishwashing tub
9. Yarn storage
10. Basketball camp

11. Junk in the trunk!

12. Classroom posters
13. Garage storage
14. Cold cellar storage
15. Portable tool box
16. Cowboy boots
17. Take puppies to the vet
18. Camper organization
19. Under the bed
20. Lift-out chest freezer divider

21. Bathroom storage

22. Beach or pool bag
23. Fitness equipment
24. Battle ropes
25. Band equipment
26. Hide Christmas gifts
27. Photo albums
28. Hunting gear
29. Kids’ science fair projects
30. Extra diapers

31. Boating needs
32. Car cleaning supplies
33. Calving supplies & milk bottles
34. Carry sewing machine to quilting group
35. Dry/wet towels
36. Store chips in the pantry
37. Newspapers for delivery
38. Camping gear
39. Soccer balls & kits
40. Swim team gear

41. Pack for a potluck

42. School supplies drop-off
43. Scrapbooking supplies
44. Gardening tools
45. Cake decorating supplies
46. Ice fishing equipment
47. Snowmobile helmet & gear
48. Kids’ hide-and-seek spot
49. Cookbooks
50. Beauty supplies

51. Coach’s bag
52. Birthday party supplies
53. Computer repair items
54. Church youth group
55. Painting supplies
56. Weiner dog bed for road trips
57. Tae Kwon Do sparring gear
58. Carry hay to the goats
59. Nerf guns & ammo
60. End-of-school locker clean-out

61. Ultimate picnic basket
62. Clothing & toiletry donations
63. Cub Scout bag
64. Cheerleading equipment
65. Packable extra luggage for travel
66. Hot tub essentials
67. Seasonal closet clean-out
68. Mixing bowls & utensils
69. Floor tiles & grout
70. Vinyl record collection

71. Extra baseballs for practice
72. Take coffee & snacks to the office
73. Transport a large piñata
74. Deliver May Day baskets
75. Dog boarding & grooming items
76. Toy racecar tracks
77. Carry birthday presents
78. Clean laundry sorting system
79. Artificial Christmas tree branches
80. Spare sheets in each bedroom

81. Family Sunday

82. Sleepover bag
83. Extra shoes by the door
84. Farmer’s market
85. Sweet corn picking
86. Pretend airplane
87. Stuffed animals
88. Blankets & throw pillows
89. Air mattress, pump & batteries
90. Take NICU/chemo care kits to hospital
91. Cosplay costumes

92. Grandma’s crochet projects
93. Softball catcher’s gear
94. Kayaking accessories
95. Magazine storage
96. Camera equipment & tripod
97. Trading card binders
98. Baby-wearing class supplies
99. 100 feet of garden hose
100. Ham radio supplies
101. Clothesline, clothespins & hangers

So, are you convinced you need one?????  Grab them while they are on sale this month…
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are Emotions Ruling Your Decisions?

We have all done it, right?  Let emotions rule our decisions.  I am sure there are more time than I can remember where I made impulse decisions based on how I was feeling instead of thinking them through.

When we make an important decision at the height of an emotional state – whether we are angry or ecstatic, frustrated or giddy – can lead to decisions you regret.  How about the shopping spree when you were feeling down?  Or the eating binge? Or maybe you left a job after a bad review or incident?

Emotions are powerful. Sometimes they are positive and sometimes they are negative, but they always have the power to move us into action.

I have to admit, I take action more often when the emotions are uncomfortable – like fear or anger or frustration.  The end result was to always get rid of the feeling.  Yup, stuffing feelings lead me to my addiction and then to my relapse so many years later.  Those inner gremlins reared their ugly head and made me feel less than in so many ways.  They compared me to what others were doing in similar situations (or so I thought).  The end result was some really bad decisions leading to credit card debt and more negative feelings.

Emotions can  be brought on by the circumstances and events in your life, or by the manipulative behavior of a particular person in your life.  The key is to take notice when you feel pressure to make an important decision in the midst of strong emotion. Is it easy – NO!  The pressure of our emotions is strong.  It allows those inner gremlins we thought we had dealt with so many years ago to gain some strength.  Emotions or stuffing them, allows old behaviors to come back creating more of a mess.

The next time you feel pressured by your emotions, I want you to do something different…

That’s right. Do absolutely nothing. I know it is scary – trust me, I have been there more times than I can count lately.  Let yourself feel uncomfortable, afraid, angry, sad – and don’t make a decision or take an action. Just sit with the emotion.  No, I’m not crazy (well, maybe a little).  Talk it out with someone BEFORE you make the decision.  Over the last eight months, I’m grateful to have found a group of like minded people who help me through the emotions BEFORE I make a decision.  I hate asking for help.  I mean at 61 you would think I could make them on my own.  The truth is I can’t….

We need to embrace the idea that your emotions don’t have to rule. The are not facts they are feelings.  Emotions can actually teach you something. What message is your emotions sending you? What can you learn? And when would be a better time for you to make a decision or take action?

I’m a person who seeks instant gratification.  I hate feeling uncomfortable.  I don’t like people to see me being emotional so I stuff feelings which doesn’t make for good decision making either.  Do you stuff your emotions or do you share them?

The reality is – it is oaky to be emotional. It’s natural. Just don’t let your emotions think for you. Slow down. Take a breath. Be wise.  Remember emotions are not facts!

Today, I challenge you to not let your emotions rule your actions. STOP! Be still. Hold off on making a decision until you are less emotional. When we are emotional, we fell the NEED to make a decision immediately to get rid of the feelings.  But, what would happen if you refused to make a decision or take action in the midst of high emotions?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!