August 22, 2016

Hey, Monday...


They say we should bloom where we are planted. That we should stop waiting for our life to be better or somehow different before we chase our dreams. Stop waiting to lose weight before we dance. Stop waiting to take a class before we write. Stop waiting to learn a new skill before we build. Stop waiting. Why are we so afraid to chase our own desires? Why are we hesitant to live what we love? 

Today, stop waiting for the conditions to be just right and take that first step. Bloom where you are planted with perennial force. Set up shop. Create some space. Take a leap. Do whatever it takes to simply begin. And remember that after you open yourself up, you will bloom in new and exciting ways year after year. You will learn the skills you need to continue. You will grow in unexpected ways. You may be even surprised by what you find. This is only the beginning. 

p.s. Along the way, remember to spread the seeds of adventure and growth to those around you so that they may bloom too. You have the joy and beauty within you to inspire others.




October 12, 2015

Are we there yet?



Has it really been over a year since I was last here in this space?

Honestly, I feel a tad bit relieved because I seriously thought it had been longer. 

So...how are you? I've missed you!

Me? Well, let me tell you a little bit about what I have been up to since I last checked in before the start of B-School, GG2CB, and the Sacred Alone. I completed each of the courses, but ended up more overwhelmed than ever. I started to really question what I wanted to do next, what my passions were, and then when I thought I had it worked out self doubt creeped in. I quickly sunk down inside of myself and just laid there still. Hunkered down. I was self preserving.

Not long after, life just picked me up and decided I was now going in the passenger seat. The truth is, I've been drifting. Taking each day one step at a time and tackling whatever came my way.

Don't get me wrong, there has be a lot of fun in the last year and half. I took some classes, read some books, watched some great football, got a promotion, moved in with my boyfriend, grew a little garden, and more. But it has been a little aimless and went by in such a blur!

Looking back on past posts and images I created, I am shocked that I let this slip away so easily. (I blame this mostly on my laptop breaking, but there's definitely more to it.) I feel like I had really found my visual style and voice and I was ready to take it further and start a business helping others to do the same. The trouble is, I realized that my passion for graphic design wasn't actually I wanted to invest my time and build a career. I had a passion and talent for it, but when faced with a decision to start building a business, I wasn't feeling it. I wasn't afraid. I think it wasn't really in alignment with the lifestyle I desired. It's a good thing that I figured that out before I took the leap, but ultimately I wound up feeling lost. I thought I had finally found it...that elusive Purpose. 

So today, I am here at another crossroads, similar to where I last left you. In all of the changes and growth that happened over the last year, I recently realized I somehow lost myself. I lost touch with my creative force. I lost connection with my body and my mind. I drifted far away from everything I thought I knew about what I wanted. So, here and now I am starting over. I am coming back to the place where I last left myself.

I've learned that the only way to plug back in is to make room.  In order to reconnect with my creative force, I must create. To love my body and mind, I must embrace each lovingly and give them adequate room to breathe. To ground myself, I must focus within and make space to honor what I need each day. It's time for self love. It's time to put these important pieces of myself first and take back the drivers seat.

I will be musing here at joyful.life periodically about life, personal challenges, music, and anything that inspires or moves me. At the same time, it is my intent to build another website/blog focused on the fitness/health/goal-setting side of my life...but more on that later. For now, I just wanted to take the first step towards reconnecting with my spirit and my sacred online space.

I am already feeling better.

Oh, how I have missed you.

March 7, 2014

Lining up at the start.






















Today I am at a crossroads.

In the coming weeks I will be faced with a choice. The choice to stay exactly where I am or dive in and become the person I was born to be. A good part of me is swimming in fear and desires to stay where I am comfortable, while the rest of me is excited to see what happens next.

You see...I signed up for B-school. (If you've been on facebook or reading blogs lately, you might have heard it mentioned.) B-school is a tried and true program for how to successfully and authentically run your dream business online. And then I signed up for The Sacred Alone because it sounded like some kind of wonderful and I know I am missing out on the benefits of stillness. Oh...and then there is GG2CB which I signed up for a few months ago and after a short delay is launching very soon. Holla! (Remember that time when I said I might be overcommitted? Yeah...this is why.) I've invested in myself and starting Monday my mega-training will commence.

Why am I nervous?

Because I no longer have an excuse not to be the person who I desire to be.

I will have a huge arsenal of tools at my disposal and an even bigger support group. I will have someone(s) else rooting me on. And I will be surrounded by others in the same boat and succeeding like whoa.

That's scary, right?!

Accountability? Support? Coaching? Resources? No excuses.

I am absolutely terrified of the enormity of it all. Big dreams are intense!

So, in the interest of fully diving in and following my wildest dreams, I've decided to take a short hiatus from blogging. I will definitely be back...because my brewing plans include this little blog of mine and maybe even a facelift or redesign? I certainly hope to have a renewed blog-passion when I return...maybe in the middle if inspiration hits...and I hope to see you again soon.

Until then, here is a free desktop wallpaper to remind and encourage you to...

BE the person you were born to BE.

Follow your BIG dreams and make yourself proud.







March 3, 2014

hey, monday...


This week I am grateful for the natural shifts happening around us. The past few months have been draining, stagnant and dreary, but the new moon over the weekend has brought us all a welcome change. It is time to pay attention to how we are feeling and new dreams that may be calling us. Commit to change where it feels right. Let go of behaviors or ideas that may stifle us as well as future expectations that no longer serve how we desire to live.

The past few days I've found myself over-committing out of eagerness for change. Saying "Yes!" feels wonderful and all of these additions are exciting...don't get me wrong...but I am a little worried for my sanity. This week I will work on how to follow through fluidly...positioning myself 100% behind my choices and having fun with it. I will focus (2014 one word!) on setting up new rules and intentions to help manage so many additional commitments, and focus on letting go of what no longer works or no longer serves my growing list of new directions and new dreams.

Do you have one thing that you will commit to let go of this week?



February 1, 2014

you are ready

A new moon brings with it a chance for a fresh start. A new cycle. The most recent new moon (Aquarius on January 30th) brought with it the opportunity for renewed creativity, inspiration, and the energy to become the person who you were born to be. Whatever it is that you are waiting for (or striving for) in order to begin your dream is either not necessary or already within you. You are ready. Follow your heart.

To honor this much needed energy throughout February, and keep a gentle reminder front and center, I have created 3 free desktop backgrounds. I am using "You Are Ready" to keep self doubt at bay and keep moving forward on the next big adventure. To get yours just double click on the image to open it in full size, then right click to select "Save Image As..." and save it where you choose. Next, locate the image on your computer and right click on the file to set it as your desktop background. Go get 'em Tiger!



January 8, 2014

52 weeks of focus









This is my word. My intention for 2014.

To focus on the present. To focus on who I am. Focus on learning and growing. Focus on finding my passions. Focus on the task at hand. 

This year I will learn to pay closer attention to how I am spending my time and adjusting to the world around me without losing sight of my goals. I desire to make things happen. 

Here is the game plan for 2014...
- Cancel my cable and spend less time in front of the television (absolute time suck!)
- Set up and organize my studio for creative focus
- Take web design and photography courses
- Make weekly and monthly goals to keep moving in the right direction
- Eat healthy and exercise (because that's the doctor's orders for the focus-challenged)

In addition to the practices above, I've started a 52 week project focusing on my unique interests. There are so many things I want to learn or try that I often find myself overwhelmed by The List. So this year, I wrote down 52 things I would like to learn about or do this year, put each on a slip of paper and dropped them in a jar. Each week I will pull out a slip and spend some time working on that project. This week...learn ways to light a photo. In particular, I would like to learn more about properly lighting my product photos for the joyfullifeshop. Tips, tricks, you name it...I want to find it, absorb it and use it. As I go, I hope to share only the best parts of what I learn from each project with you here. 

So...I'm off to learn a little about photography lighting from the novices, masters, and DIYers. If you know of any great resources, or have tips of your own, I would love to check them out. Just leave a link in the comments so readers can check them out too.

Until next time! Keep on working towards your best self. 

January 3, 2014

Welcome to 2014...the year that answers


(I just love the endless possibilities evoked with this quote!)


How did you like my "hey, monday" post on a Thursday yesterday? Shame that I "accidentally" hit the publish button on a post that was meant for next week! Or...maybe...I didn't realize it wasn't Monday until half way through the morning...but oh well it felt like a Monday for most of us. The first real day back to the grind.

So it's 2014. I have to admit I was nowhere near ready for the new year. Typically I spend some time the week or two before reviewing the year that just passed, planning for the year to come, and picking my one word to guide me through. This year it all snuck up on me. All of a sudden it was New Year's Eve and I had no clue how to end one wild year and start the next.  So, I spent most of day one listening to what I was craving more of and figuring out how to make that happen. (Thank you new moon!) But I'll tell you more about all of those plans next week.

Until then, I wanted to encourage you...if you have not done this already...to come up with a word of your own. Or maybe just set an intention for the new year. How do you want to feel when the year is over?

Still not sure? Here are some links to help inspire you.

There is so much inspiration out there, but the truth and direction can only come from within. Take a moment to be still, have some lavender & chamomile tea, listen to the whispers and lean in to whatever may be calling you. Trust what feels right. 

And don't worry if you don't spend 100% of your time trying to manifest your chosen "feeling" this year. Just remember to use it as a guide when asking yourself what you want to do with that spare hour, or what you are going to have for lunch, or whether you want to watch a comedy or a drama tonight, or what you want to wear today. Try your best, but even the smallest details can make a big difference. 

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014. 

January 2, 2014

hey, monday...




Focus on step one. The first page of a brilliant story. The first day you let go of the past and lean in to the future. Express gratitude for where you have been, where you are today, and for every small triumph as you move closer to your dreams. You can do this. There is nothing in your way that cannot be overcome. Your path may be longer, slower, or more treacherous than others, but it is yours to complete. To master. Focus today on step one. 
Today, do one thing that moves you in the right direction. This week, make a plan for keeping the momentum going. And this year, my hope for you is that you find your passion, realize your goals, and embrace your power to effect change. Be brave and make this year a year to remember.