Inspired Mama Interview with Allison Winfield

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What’s your mom super power?

I guess I would have to thank my OCD, for my Mom Super Power. I am great at details and juggling.  This is an important super power to have when you have 5 kids, own your own business and run a non-profit.  In fall (soccer season), I have 2 boys playing soccer, 2 who think they will play football, and a daughter in cheer.  I have to remember who has to be where and when.  It gets a little (ok a lot) crazy sometimes but I love it.

What has been your greatest challenge as a mom?  How do you work through this?

I think the hardest part of being a Mom is on those days… You know when you are ready for bed by 6:30pm? Unlike when they were little, I can’t just say “ok, bedtime.”  They can all tell time now.  So (for example) last night we ate dinner super early and I was ready to hit my bed and watch Dallas Buyers Club before 7pm.  So I told the kids to go to bed and they were like (in your best Minion voice) WWHHHAATTT?? It’s only 6:37, we don’t go to bed til 8 pm. Luckily, my husband is amazing and when I’m down for the count he is ready to climb in the ring as my tag team partner!

What do you love most about being a mom?

I would have to say, my husband is my favorite part of being a Mom.  I can’t imagine doing what we do, by myself.  We complement each other really well. We have been married for almost 14 years and were high school sweethearts!

How do you make time for yourself?

It is hard for my husband and I to have date nights but I think we manage pretty well.  We live 2600 miles from our extended family so we don’t usually have baby-sitters available; although, we do always go out for our anniversary, and both of our birthdays.

We usually do date nights at home.  We’ll rent a movie or two from Redbox and maybe split a bottle of wine.  I guess it doesn’t matter what we do because we both know that we are loved and appreciated. And that is the secret to a happy marriage. Or at least ours, anyway.

What dream are you currently bringing to life? 

In addition to all the other stuff I do, I have had a blog for almost 5 years.  I had an idea a few weeks ago about a blog project.  I call it the Create Beauty project.  Each Monday, I have one woman guest post.  She can talk about her body image, her self esteem, and how she thinks the media has warped her self image.  The women also take a photo without make-up or their hair done.  But the most important part is they write a new definition of beauty.  I hope that by getting women to see themselves as beautiful, we can empower our daughters and create a generation of women who fearless and brave; not letting the media or anyone else dictate their roles in society.

 

AllisonW

Allison is a writing, cupcake baking, photography loving, Mama to 5 kids. She owns a cupcake bakery and has published a cupcake cookbook and is working on her second one.  She is also working on her first fiction novel, and is currently planning two different e-courses to assist women in becoming entrepreneurs.

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Interested in being featured in the Inspired Mama Series?  Learn more here.

Why the World Needs YOU (Even When Everyone Else Does What You Do) ~ Guest Post by McKella Sawyer

We hear it all the time: You’re special! You’re one of a kind! There is no one else in the world like YOU! We’re told that we have special gifts to share with the world.

So we go out and try to use those gifts. We create what our hearts want to create. We try to become what we want to become. We want to be the best at what we do, to do something no one else has ever done before.

Then of course, we realize someone has already done it.

Do any of these sound familiar?

-You pour your heart into an e-course and one day while perusing blog posts, you find that someone has already made a course about the exact same topic.
-You rehearse like a madwoman for weeks and audition for your dream role…and you don’t even make callbacks.
-You feel the call do something great, but no one else seems to have gotten the memo. Your Facebook page only has 10 likes, no one signs up for your mailing list, no one comments on the blog posts you spend hours perfecting.

What the heck do you do when it seems like everyone and their parakeet has already done what you want to do? What about all that “the world needs you” crap you believed? Was it all a lie?

Well, no. That’s the short answer. It’s not a lie, it’s just not the whole story.

Think about it: There are billions of amazing people on this planet, each with gifts and talents, and each with a purpose. There are plenty that have similar gifts and talents as you and that may have similar ambitions. There are lots of artists, teachers, therapists, writers, musicians, healers, massage therapists, etc. Lots of lots of people. There are billions of people with different wants, needs, challenges, and mindsets.

So how are we all special? If we’re all special, then none of us are, right?

The reason there are so many different people with so many of the same gifts is this: Lots of people can benefit from those gifts, but no one person can reach everyone.

And this is where your purpose lies. Sure, there are lots of people who do what you do, but some people that need that work won’t resonate with them. They might resonate with you. Your purpose is to share your gifts with your people. Who are your people? The ones who can receive from you, the ones who resonate with what you do and the way you do it.

That may be a few hundred people. It may be a few thousand. Or it may be a few. And that’s all perfect. Maybe those few couldn’t receive that what they needed from anyone else, and you’re the lucky one who connects with them.

No one can do exactly what you do exactly the way you do it. That’s true of everyone, and that’s what makes each of us distinct from one another. You may blend in with the crowd for some, but to others you will stand out and be the beacon they’ve been searching for.

Do what you do, and do it in the way that feels like YOU. Don’t worry about the “competition”, because there is none. There is only being who you are and doing what you love to do so the ones who are looking for you can find you.

Go on and be your awesome self.

McKella Sawyer is an artist, writer, wife, and soul explorer who dreams of helping women create beautiful lives in which they can thrive! Her art is available in her Etsy shop and she blogs weekly at McKellaSawyer.com. She’s currently working on her first e-course, which will be released this summer!

McKella also loves going for walks, doing yoga, reading, and eating unladylike amounts of dark chocolate. Don’t judge.

McKella’s Art Shop

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Living Hope-fully

It takes a lot of courage to release the

We all stumble or fall from time to time, but what if falling or failing wasn’t a signal to stop?  What if stumbling on our journey was actually an invitation to pause, reflect and begin again?

For months, I had been going strong.  I was acting on my ideas and bringing my vision to life.  I took on more and more, I was going to do it all and do it all well.  Then suddenly, in the midst of a project I had been planning for months, I didn’t want to do any of it anymore.

I found myself worn out and exhausted.  I needed a break and yet I didn’t see how I could take one.  I was busy beyond belief, there was always something to be done, but what was it all for?

Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of my vision.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my sense of direction, of what mattered most (to me).

Somewhere along the way, my dream and sense of purpose were lost in all of the “shoulds” and “supposed tos.”

Somewhere along the way, I lost my sense of hope.

I was no longer living with a sense of purpose and love, I was living out of a sense of obligation and fear.

I needed to stop doing.  I needed to give myself space to slow down and be.  I needed to dream again.  I needed to let go of what anyone else might think and reconnect with what I truly wanted and what matter most (to me).

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a series of posts all about my journey back to living heart-fully.  For today, I invite you to return to hope.  I invite you to take a bit of time today to connect with your heart’s desire.  I invite you to explore the following questions through writing, meditation, art or any method that best works for you.

What matters most (to you)?

What do you long to create or experience?

Who do you want to be?

How do you want to live??

What are you moving towards?

What are you ready to invite into your life?

What is your grandest vision for your life?

Please allow yourself to play with possibilities.  You are not committing to anything here, you’re exploring.  No one else needs to know your responses, this is just for you.  Allow yourself to connect with what you truly want.

The first step to living heart-fully, is returning to hope.  We return to hope when we take a step back from the busyness of daily life and allow ourselves to dream again.

Here’s to opening our hearts and daring to play with possibility!

With love and gratitude for you,

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P.S.  Are you tired of the never-ending to-do lists that have taken over your life? Are you craving a life of meaning? Do you wish you could create a thriving family life that honors, nurtures and celebrates what matters most (to you)?  If so, I’d love to have you join me for The Visionary Mother:  Living Heart-fully.  Our intention with this journey is to open our hearts, cultivate lives that honor what matters most (to us), and dare to be the change we wish to see in our world.  Our journey begins on March 24th and early bird pricing ends March 11th.  Learn more and sign up to join us today!

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Our Journey of Motherhood ~ March 3rd

Children are the anchors of a mother'sChange is in the air.  A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with the sudden realization, “This is not the life I want to live.”

I realized that I had made myself so busy – building community and building a business – that I wasn’t enjoying the time I wanted with my family.  And so, the past few weeks have been a time of questioning, a time of clarifying my vision, a time of learning to let go of everything I think I “have to” or “should” do, that doesn’t honor the life I want to live.

One of my realizations, is that I’m drawn to working with other mothers who wish to live deeply and make a meaningful contribution to our world.  I’m drawn to building community, to bringing mothers together to help cultivate a more compassionate world.

As part of my clarified vision, I’m launching a new series of blog posts, beginning today.  The idea behind Our Journey of Motherhood is that we are stronger together.  I really believe that we have so much more in common than we ordinarily allow ourselves to see or believe.  My hope, through this series, is to help mothers come together, learn from one another, inspire one another, and recognize that we are not alone.

In light of my recent explorations, I reached out to a few mothers who inspire me and asked, “How is your work or writing inspired by your experience of being a mother?”  Here’s what they had to say:

Naomi Wittlin photoNaomi Wittlin of Poetic Aperture
Before I became a mother, I enjoyed taking lovely macro photos of nature and capturing snapshots of our travels, but I did not truly realize the possible depth and meaning a camera had the ability to convey.  It wasn’t until I knew the vulnerability of motherhood that I began to tap into a personal sense of spirituality.  As I have witnessed what seem like mini-miracles of development as my daughter absorbs the world around her, I don’t take for granted the subtleties of life.  I feel a connection to every mother around this world, heart to heart, bearing witness to each other’s sleepless nights and celebrating the successes of each other’s children.  Because of this depth of feeling within me now, I recognize which moments are the ones a parent will treasure.  It’s not the posed family photo so much as the delight on a toddler’s face as he watches a helium balloon float about around him or the intense look of concentration on a young girl’s face as she carefully measures sand to make a pretend cake just right.  Some moments, especially with children, are so full of meaning and yet they pass by so quickly.  My newfound pleasure is to help people hold on to them a bit longer.
 

CatchAFallingStar_ReneeAvard_byJenniferSeitzer_June12-13Renee Avard of Catch A Falling Star
As a Mom, having my son, (he is autistic and almost 15), I have felt more inspired just because not only did I feel a special kind of love for my son, but I find a special love inside that comes from my son. The level of unconditional love on both sides is beautiful, genuine and moving. To be perfectly honest, I would not be here today with my writing success if it weren’t for him. He has been my savior, my light in the otherwise dark spots. My writing has evolved and taken shape and become more genuine. If it weren’t for this unconditional love that I feel from and receive, I am able to show an unconditional love for myself, my writing, heck, my whole life’s plan would have been seriously altered. His hugs, kisses, smiles are bits of inspiration and so are his words. He says some of the most wise things ever which is all of the inspiration I need to do my work …. and to live to my life.
 

PamelaJorrick3 (478x640)Pamela Jorrick of Zesty Mom

As I writer, my favorite genre is Creative Nonfiction~ mostly because real life never ceases to amaze and entertain me. Anyone who has ever spent any time around children knows that they do and say all sorts of unexpected things, and my kids certainly give me plenty to think and write about.

When I was newer to my parenting journey, writing was a big part of how I personally processed the transformation that motherhood was taking me through. Since I took my job as a mom more seriously than I took anything else in life, I had a lot of questions and things to sort out.

I pondered on paper about my ideals and philosophies versus my actual reality, the space between and the crossing over of the two. Sometimes I had epiphanies, and sometimes I just got to vent, but either way, I got things off of my sleep deprived mind.

I noticed that in circles of other women, many of them were also going through similar things. Since I love to share stories, and thought that maybe some of mine might be helpful, or at least entertaining to others, I started to submit my writing.

As my kids grew, they began to provide me with amusing and sometimes even hilarious stories to share.  I think these are as valuable as the more serious and deep thoughts, because really, everyone could use a good laugh.

Now that I have teens, they still give me with plenty to think and laugh about, but I’m definitely more careful about the stories I share these days, often asking for permission if I’m not sure they’d be OK with it. Most of the time they agree because they each have a great sense of humor, which really comes in handy. Besides, none of their friends read my stuff at this point.

I’m so thankful for all of the entertainment, growth and inspiration my kids have brought into my life. I don’t know if my writing would have ever blossomed into a professional place without it.

 

 

Interested in sharing your ideas in the Our Journey of Motherhood series?  Learn more here.
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Cultivating an Appreciation for Ourselves ~ Guest Post by Aarathi Selvan

AarathipostWhen we begin to cultivate an appreciation for ourselves, we can uncover our brilliance, our light and our strengths. In the face of difficulties, instead of succumbing to dark thoughts, self-flagellation, guilt and shame, we can use our strength to uncover joy, awareness and skilful action.

Here are ways to drop your daily life struggles and the constant desire to improve, and instead, embrace yourself for who you are, for the challenges you face and the experiences you have.

Here are some ways you can begin to cultivate an appreciation for yourself:

  1. Be your own friend:  During difficult times if you can imagine a part of you sitting and being there for you, if you can imagine that you were your own best friend sitting beside you, watching, and being witness to the challenges of the moment, you will be able to begin a practice of accepting yourself, your emotions and in turn, others. Many times when I am having a tug of war with my toddler or in a difficult place with work, I imagine sitting by myself, being there, being a witness to my struggle. This powerful yet simple practice brings me to the present moment, allows me to be witness to my struggle and in turn my toddler’s. I begin to see myself and others more compassionately, and as a result, my challenges feel less scary or overwhelming.
  2. See yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you: Out of frustration, when I behave harshly with my toddler, and want to shut out the world because I am feeling overwhelmed, I channel the love my father would shine on me in this situation. Sometimes, I think about what my husband would say. Seeing yourself and your struggles through the eyes of someone who loves you, immediately allows you to shift your focus. You become kinder to yourself and also to those around you.  You start to appreciate the work you are doing and the path you have chosen to live. This powerful practice helps you see yourself as being both empowered but also vulnerable, a wonderful combination.
  3. Give yourself a mental hug, a pat on the back or the caressing of a loved one: When I am on the treadmill running the last 10 minutes, when I feel like giving up on an especially hard project I’ve taken up, I visualize that I am giving myself a hug. When I feel that I cannot run three more minutes on the treadmill, I imagine giving myself a foot massage and this love that I shower on myself and the gentle support I give to myself, helps me go that extra mile or complete (with utter gentleness) the project I’ve been dreading to get to. Remember to be there for yourself, when it seems dreadful or fearful to go that extra mile, coax yourself with utter gentleness to be brave.
  4. Acknowledge your goodness: Seeing the good in ourselves, especially looking at what “good” qualities inhabit within us, can be a challenging task, more so when we find ourselves falling short of what we think we should have done instead. To begin with, become aware of one of your lovely qualities during the day, acknowledge its presence, and sink into the joy of that quality. As you read this, think about your goodness  and sink into its beauty. You may find that you are resilient, perseverant, gentle, caring. Discover your goodness and sink into its beauty.
  5. Practice gratitude towards yourself: Every night, begin to cultivate a practice of thinking about one thing you are grateful for about yourself and also answer why you are grateful for this. It could be that today you woke up early and got a lot done before the kids woke.  You may be grateful for that because it shows that you are committed to your work and also want to make sure you have single-minded time with children. Write this down and let the why (commitment to work and children) sink in, and enjoy and appreciate yourself for this. With a daily practice of gratitude towards yourself you will uncover a reservoir of strength that you possess – a treasure trove for difficult times.

Cultivating an appreciation for ourselves allows for freedom in our thoughts and actions. Moreover, an appreciation for ourselves only leads to appreciation for the other wonderful people in our lives. Begin small and begin today.

 

Aarathi Selvan_Bio1Aarathi Selvan is a licensed psychotherapist, Mindfulness guide and a Contemplative artist. She practices and teaches mindful motherhood. She runs an Ecourse called Happiness is Your Nature: 30 days to a Joyful motherhood. She also runs a free private Facebook group for mothers called the Mindful Motherhood. You can meet her at:

Website: www.aarathiselvan.com

FB Page:  www.facebook.com/betweenlifesdoings

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/aarathiselvan

Believing in Yourself and Your Gifts – Guest Post by Sarah Leonard

you are magnificent

Believing in yourself: necessary for success but sometimes difficult to do. So how can we keep ourselves in that place of self-belief? How can we get to that space of self-acceptance in the first place? Let me share a few ideas and inspirations with you.

I have found that self-belief is a little like a tide - it ebbs and flows and sometimes leaves the sandy beach of your heart and soul entirely open to the sunlight.

Occasionally it crashes onto the shore like a tidal wave, and retreats so suddenly we can be left feeling bereft and confused.

My word for 2014 is Believe. I have vowed to believe in myself and my gifts and believe in the abundance that will inevitably come to me as a reward for those gifts.

So how did I get to this place of self-acceptance?

I have worked long and hard on this aspect of my life, I can tell you. I have found it so difficult to quiet those nagging voices. The ones that compare my work in progress with other people’s finished article, the ones who whisper that I’m not special enough, not talented.

The first thing I would recommend is to assess your emotions. They can be such a great guide for our lives. If you’re feeling happy and content then browsing the web and seeing what others are creating might be a wonderful idea. It might give you ideas of your own, make you feel part of a creative community and raise your vibration.

If when you look at your feelings you find yourself a little down or a little unhappy, today is not necessarily the day for web research. Today is the kind of day for more practical matters. Getting outside, doing a little exercise, baking/cooking something yummy. These are good activities for those down days.

Basically, it’s important to listen to your feelings and to cut yourself some slack. Go with what feels right for you. You can save any of the other jobs on your to-do list that don’t feel quite right for you today until tomorrow. That way you will be able to do your best possible work and work in alignment with your heart and soul.

How do you keep on believing in yourself?

There will be days when it’s harder than others. On the whole though, these little things keep me flowing in a place of self-love and belief:

  • Look after yourself: paint your nails, do your hair, wear pretty clothes and pamper yourself in whatever way that speaks to you.
  • Let yourself play: enjoy the process of creating – don’t be too focused on the end product. Let yourself get messy, make mistakes and enjoy the process.
  • Surround yourself with love: pets, friends, family, loved ones. They will keep you grounded and let you feel their love, so that you are vibrating on the highest frequency and sending out that positivity into the universe.
  • Find your tribe: either online or in person. Find like-minded souls who get you. They will support you on your journey and with your ideas.

I hope these small tips and ideas will help you to believe in yourself and your gifts and be more open to the idea of abundance and beauty in the universe.

You are someone to know, a force to be reckoned with and you deserve the best in life – don’t ever forget that.

curiously sarah
Sarah Leonard is a curious soul, who lives a magical creative life with her kitties and her husband. She runs an Etsy store full to the brim with artistic curiosities, and writes regularly on her blog A Cat-Like Curiosity. She is also the founder of The Curiously Gorgeous Sisterhood, a gorgeous community full of light, life and inspiration.

What is your heart telling you? ~ Guest Post by Naomi Wittlin of Poetic Aperture

 

Art created by Naomi Wittlin

Art created by Naomi Wittlin

There are a lot of things that I think I need to do.  Maybe you can relate.  I should have more New Years resolutions or life goals.  I should try yoga again.  I should be more patient.  I should wear more makeup.  I should try to lose weight.  I should be posting to Twitter or my Facebook page more often in order to grow my blog subscriber number.  I should spend some of my free time exploring my city’s coffee shops and art galleries.

It could be anything.  Every single time one of these “shoulds” pops into my mind, I feel less than.  I feel inadequate, like I’m falling behind some standard of acceptable living. These thoughts come from within us, and yet they are false.

In truth, you don’t have to do anything that feels wrong for YOU.  There is not one Universal correct way to be.  There is only the unique being you were put on this planet to become.

Art created by Naomi Wittlin

Art created by Naomi Wittlin

We must open our hearts and listen very carefully. There is an awareness, a kind voice, within your heart speaking directly to you, whispering to you what feels like YES.

Most of us don’t feel whole, don’t feel enough, unto ourselves.  We use busy-ness and noise to try to suppress our intuitive knowing or to control our environment so that we can avoid unpleasantness.  We are afraid of the potential, the possibility, of really hearing what may be best for us.  There’s always a reason we are not listening. Usually it’s fear.  If you really want to listen, you will find a way to tap into it.

For me, slowing down is the key.  For the past three weeks or so, I have been intending to institute a daily “quiet time,” and I have noticed that I avoid it every single day.  I am in a comfort zone that feels terrifying to step out of.  I feel that I need to stay on top of my daily, weekly, and life to-do lists in order to be ok, to feel in control of my life.

And so I have challenged myself, and I extend that challenge to all of you as well, to let go of that control that we don’t actually have anyway.  To let down our barriers and open ourselves to that spacious feeling of letting go of tension and fear.  To just try, perhaps once a day, to put a hand over our heart and tell ourselves we are enough, it’s going to be ok, and then listen.  Listen for the YES.

Yes to compassion; yes to healing; yes to kindness; yes to acceptance; yes to forgiveness; yes to passion; yes to love; yes to healing; yes to self-care; yes to what you are deeply called to do or be.

The truth is, I don’t really know what would happen if I were courageous in giving myself that spaciousness to listen.  I don’t have an iota of a clue what I would hear or be led to change.  But I have a strong feeling that it would be worth it.

Naomi Wittlin photo
Naomi is a photographer, blogger, and artist who lives in Houston, TX with her husband and 5-year-old daughter.  She welcomes visitors at www.poeticaperture.com.  The artwork above is by Naomi.

The Heart of Learning ~ Guest Post by Martine Joseph

Everyone shines...I inspired myself to learn from a young age. When lectures and textbooks lacked sparkle, I created new meanings. With imagination, I could turn any English composition or science experiment into a fascinating task.

What if the world were a great playground of fun and discovery?

Who would I be in such a world?

What new friends would I meet?

What brave exploits would I undertake?

Learning Self-Love

That’s why I felt so inspired when Becky McCleery shared her story An Invitation to Shine, about the decision to homeschool her daughter for a time.

I feel invisible, Mommy,” her daughter said. “I feel like there’s something wrong with me.”

Seeing a turning point in her daughter’s self-esteem, Becky stepped in to guide the way with love. To me, this is a miracle story about endless possibilities for one little girl, and for all of us.

Joyful Learning

As a highly sensitive adult, I’m finally beginning to understand and embrace self-worth. Who I am is a gift.

There is nothing stopping us today from re-imagining ourselves. We can love ourselves unconditionally.

Self-love is contagious. It empowers us to learn and live in joy.

What if I could go anywhere and do anything?

Who would I be in such a world?

Who will I meet?

Where will I lead?

What new ideas will I share?

Honoring Our Hearts

Life has taught me that:

  1. Self-love is our most important lesson. We cannot truly love others, or live a happy, fulfilling life, without it. Self-love enables us to share our unique, valuable gifts fully.
  2.  True forgiveness is essential to self-love. We are all teachers and learners to one another. Others teach us lessons about ourselves, inviting us to learn and move forward.
  3. Sensitive learners are here to lead the way with love and creativity, even when the world around us is reluctant to change.

Deep Learning Checklist

Deep learning honors the inner child. It is learner-centered and promotes self-love, healthy relationships and personal empowerment.

Here are eight qualities to cultivate as you learn deeply and joyfully:

  • Fun. Is this lesson joyful and uplifting? If not, how can I find joy in this or a similar subject?
  • Self-Love. How can I understand, care for, approve of and respond to my inner child?
  • Creativity. How can I nurture and encourage my unique interests, talents and expertise?
  • Intrinsic Motivation. What do I truly want to know? What is my authentic path and how can I honor it?
  • Intuition. How can I practice mindfulness and sensitivity? How can I cultivate relaxed awareness in my learning environment and beyond?
  • Inner Strength. How can I trust and act upon my feelings and intuition? What actions will inspire genuine confidence?
  • Courage. Do I feel safe expressing my ideas? Where can I take the initiative and reach out?
  • Engagement. Where can I connect with like-minded learners? What am I genuinely passionate about? How can I help others?

Martine - photoMartine Joseph

I’m a teacher, author and speaker who shares about the miracles of love, forgiveness and healing. Watch for my story in Harmonic Voices: True Stories of Women on the Path to Peace (2014).   

My lifelong depression disappeared last year. For your FREE eBook, visit 1001 Aha! Moments.

 

 

10 Reasons Why Our World Needs YOU Right Now

You matterDear Beautiful Soul,

I was thinking of you the other day, wondering if you had any idea of how special you are, how amazing you are, how very much you matter.

I know you are busy. I know there is always so much to do and there just never seems to be enough time. Please don’t worry about doing it all, all that you do is enough. Please don’t worry about falling behind, you aren’t. You are exactly where you need to be in this very moment.

I am trusting that you are reading this note, right now, for a reason. In case you ever forget, I wanted to remind you of 10 very important reasons why the world needs you (the true you, exactly as you are in this moment) right now.

1) We need your presence.

It’s true, you’re one-of-a-kind and the world is a better place, simply because you are in it.

Have you ever considered how many lives you have touched? How many people you have encouraged? How many hearts you have warmed?

You have, you are, and you will encourage and uplift others every single day. Even if you may never know the impact of your actions, trust that you are making a difference, just by being you.

You matter, so much more than you will ever know.

2) We need your curiosity.

We need your questions, your sense of wonder and imagination. Don’t hold back. Keep exploring, seeking, expanding – allowing us to grow with you, through the beautiful beginnings you dare to bring to life.

3) We need your perspective, your point of view.

No one else ever has or ever will see the world exactly as you do.

Look around. What do you see? What do you notice?

Perhaps there is beauty, wonder or potential that only you can see. Help us to see what you see. Help us to make our world a more beautiful place.

4) We need your voice.

We need your words, your opinions, your wisdom. Your words matter. Your thoughts, ideas, opinions and beliefs all matter.

Reach out and share your inspired ideas. Your words have the power to make someone’s day just a little bit brighter. Your words have the power to start a movement and transform lives.

It’s all up to you. Speak up.

5) We need your heart.

We need your passions, your dedication, your commitment.

Honor what you care about, our world needs more care, we need your care. Follow your passions, they are yours for a reason. Allow yourself to light up and come fully alive, right now.

6) We need your courage.

We need you to have faith in yourself and to act upon what you are called to do.

We need you to stand up, speak out, and step into the person you are longing to become in the life you are longing to live.

We need you to act when you see a need for change. We need you to trust yourself to be the person you were born to be. We need you to challenge us to grow into a more loving, compassionate, generous and heart-centered community.

7) We need your dreams.

You have your dreams for a reason. We need you to dream, to imagine, to explore.

We need you to have the courage to bring your beautiful dreams to life, to dare to create wonders that can only be brought into our world through you, wonders that we would miss without you.

We need you to say, “Yes!” to your heart’s desire.

8) We need your joy.

Our world needs more celebration, we need your laughter, humor and delight.

Your joy is contagious. Laugh more, enjoy who and where you are, choose to celebrate your life. Start now.

9) We need your love.

The world needs more love. We need your kindness, your care, your unique way of reaching out to others and letting them know that they matter.

We need you to care, to open your heart, reach out and share your healing love.

Your love has the power to transform lives. Don’t hold back, reach out and share your love with everyone around you.

10) We need your loveliness – what makes you sparkle and shine as only you can.

You have gifts that are yours alone and the world needs you, right now.

We need you to share your gifts, strengths and passions. We need you to come fully alive and to illuminate the lives of those around you, by sharing your loveliness each and every day.

We need you, all of you, exactly as you are, right now. You are a gift, you are a blessing, you are a miracle. You are one-of-a-kind and you matter so much more than you’ll ever know.

Yes, our world needs you (the true you) right now. We really do.

No matter where you may be or what you may be going through, please remember that you matter. Know that you are already whole and completeand valuable beyond measure. Know that you are lovable and deserving of love. Know that I am holding you in my heart, and I am so grateful that you are here.

If you are ready to uncover your unique, inherent loveliness and say, “Yes!” to living and sharing your beautiful dreams and sacred self, I’d love to invite you to join me for Written Anew: The Sacred Story of You.

In Written Anew: The Sacred Story of You, we’ll join together on a spirit-led journey of going within, uncovering your sacred truth of who you are, awakeningyour inherent loveliness – what makes you sparkle and shine as only you can – and choosing to step into the soul-nourishing life you’ve been longing for.

We begin in just one week, and I’d love to have you join us.

I believe the world needs you, the true you, exactly as you are.

I believe that this journey of waking up to the wonder within each one of us and choosing to live with intention and meaning, is a sacred path. With that in mind,Written Anew begins from a place of wonder, as we open our hearts, minds and spirits to the possibilities before us. To support you on this path, you’ll findpractical, spiritual and creative resources, tools and activities throughout the course, to help you go within and flourish forward.

I believe that we are here for one another, that we need one another, and that we are so much stronger when we join together. I believe there is strength in sharing our stories, honoring our truth, and seeking connection and inspiration to support us on our journey. With this in mind, you’ll find that community is built into the Written Anew experience.

If any part of this offering speaks to you, I encourage you to sign up now.

Although a self-study version of the course will be available at some point down the road, I do not yet know when that will be. This is the only time the live course will be offered in 2014 and, as of this time, I do not have plans to offer a live version of this course next year.

If any part of this offering resonates with you and you would like support on your journey – both from me and other inspiring women on our journey - I invite you to say, “Yes!” to your wild and precious life and join us today.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing the wonder of who you are, with our world.

Wishing you an amazing day, filled with love, laughter and great day!

With love and gratitude for you,
Becky

Lessons in Self-Love

Today, I am honored to join together with 22 incredible women, sharing their stories & insights on changing their world by finding their self worth, in this amazing FREE eBook “Lessons in Self Love-Life Stories of Women who are Changing Their World by Finding Their Worth.”  I invite you to download your copy at:  http://www.carolinekirk.com/lessons-in-self-love/.

Written 2

Choosing Love Now

I was beyond elated when I found out I was expecting my first child.  I was so grateful that this dream was coming to life and I could not wait for this new part of my journey to begin.

I can admit that another part of the initial thrill of being pregnant, was a newfound sense of freedom around food.  I could eat!  I could eat without guilt.  I could eat without agonizing over every bite.  I could eat without hating myself afterwards.  Or so I thought.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with my weight and body image.  Looking through childhood photos, I went through stages of being slender and stages of being heavier, but in my mind, I’ve always been too big.  Somewhere along the way I came to believe that my weight was my fatal flaw, that no matter what else I did, because I was heavier than I “should” be, I wasn’t truly worthy of love or acceptance.

At some point, my struggle with my weight led to an obsession with diet and exercise.  From middle school on, I would devote each summer to working out every morning and watching what I ate throughout each day.  Without fail, I would lose weight each summer and began to feel more confident about my appearance.

Then school would start again and my busy schedule forced exercise out the window.  Surrounded by girls my own age, I would obsess over who was thinner or tinier than I was (nearly everyone in my mind, though I’m sure my perspective was somewhat skewed) and though I’d make plans to make myself as slender as the other girls, I’d often find myself eating in order to calm and comfort myself.

As I grew older, I found myself labeling foods as good or bad and then judging myself to be good or bad, depending on what I ate each day.  I weighed myself far too frequently, feeling successful when the number went down and feeling like a failure when the number went up.  I allowed far too many of my days to be ruined as I beat myself up over what the scale had said that morning.  Though I never acknowledged it at the time, at some point, I decided that the weight and shape of my body defined my value and worth as a human being.

I invite you to read the rest of my story in Lessons of Self Love:  Life Stories of Women who are Changing Their World by Finding Their Worth.