motivational monday: what you feel, you attract

what you think, you create, what you feel, you attract, what you imagine, you become

I heard this quote recently, and it really stuck with me. I repeated it to myself a few times trying to understand it. Once I did, it hit home. I haven’t blogged for awhile, not due to lack of content, but lack of time. I would say I was feeling very motivated, and was attracting a lot of work. I was even offered two jobs. That led to a bit of depression and stress because I always want to help people, but I can’t add working for someone else to my already full plate. I hadn’t seen many friends as often as I normally do, things were spiraling, and I was stuck at home glued to my computer. I love my work. I love to design, I love consulting, I love social media and marketing. BUT, I also love painting, making jewelry, blogging, skating, and karaoke with friends. I’ve been missing that part in my life. The sadness and stress changed what I watched and listened to while I worked. Josh finally said something. He said “you’re always watching sad stuff now, what happened to the cute shows?” his question made me pause. Sometimes it takes hearing something a few times for it to sink in, he wasn’t the only one voicing concerns. I was just stuck in the thick of it. I’m not complaining about being busy with work. I’m very grateful for the client work and online sales that pay my bills, it feels good helping people and having people appreciate my designs. I also have my pt gig, and my board chair responsibilities. My calendar has been super packed. I have been able to make it out to planner meetups, speak on a panel, work with a local creative community, and have tea with friends. I just need a little more of that in my life. So to combat “what you feel, you attract” I’ve been trying to tie up things, and have been making plans with friends. I forced myself to start watching cute stuff again, and suddenly, I was back to my happy, peppy self. Which is where I need to stay, because happiness is what breeds cute designs.

“What you imagine, you become”
This is a tough one, too. I think we can unintentionally become someone we don’t want to be if we’re not careful. If something bad happens to you, you feel like you’re a victim, but if you’re not careful, you’ll feel like that after the bad moment has passed and you’ll allow yourself to stay a victim. People can also transform themselves to be who they think they need to be in order to impress their “friends”. That always makes me sad. Real friends will accept you as you are. If you feel like you need to dress a certain way, or live a certain way to hang out with your “friends”, I’m sorry to tell you, but you may need new friends. Of course there’s the “big bad”, social media, which can make you have FOMO real bad, making you want to change up what you’re doing. A friend recently told me that in her mind I’m having tea parties with friends every week. I have accidentally made my life play out that way on Instagram. If she followed me on Twitter, she’d probably have a different take on my life. ha! Please don’t imagine yourself as “less than” or as a victim. Imagine yourself happy to be who you are, just as you are.

I like the idea of “what you imagine, you become” it reminds me that I can control my life, I can become the person I want to be. For me, being the person I want to be can be exhausting. I was raised to help people in need. I tend to put friends in need ahead of my own needs. That’s when I need the reminder that you put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

“What you think, you create”
This one I feel the strongest about. I think we all need to have a positive attitude, then we can create positivity, and positivity is infectious. If we’re always judging people and being competitive, then we’re creating negativity. There’s nothing cute about negativity or being a “mean girl”. That’s a grumpy place to live in. Inspiring people with kindness is the best thing we can do. It doesn’t take a lot to show genuine kindness.

You can’t fake any of these, either. Well, you can to the public, if you want, but at the end of the day, when you’re alone, don’t you want to feel proud of what you’re putting out into the world? Yesterday I was texting with a friend about life, and I told her that I appreciated how honest and real she is. I don’t even think she knows how to be fake, which is awesome. She just is who she is, and let’s people accept her for who she is. Maybe you think she must be so confident, and that’s not you, but it’s not about confidence. It’s about faith. Faith that you will attract the people that should be in your life. We all have parts of us that we wish were better, maybe you wish you were skinnier, curvier, stronger, made more money, had a “cool job”, whatever it is that’s “lacking” in your life doesn’t have to be that way forever. If you let your friends know the real you, they could help you with your goals.

There has been a lot of bad stuff in the news recently, and it can certainly have an impact on us. We get to decide what kind of impact. For this “Motivational Monday” I hope you get motivated to take control of your life, to own it, to not be a victim, to inspire people, to spread kindness, and to remind yourself that if you need a change in your life, there’s no better way to do it than with support from your friends.

Now get your cute shoes on and take charge of today!

Xx
-renée

motivational monday: community over competition

Community Over Competition

Did you roll your eyes when you read the title of this post? Sometimes I roll my eyes when I see people using this phrase on Instagram, and you can tell it’s not really coming from their heart, it’s just part of an image they’re trying to curate online. More times than not, those girls hashtagging this up have an exclusive group and only want to interact with people that they can tell are fan-girling and/or have a decent following.

We all have a secret skill, and mine is seeing through people’s facades. This can make it hard for people that can’t be real with me to become my friend. To me, when you build a facade, you are building a lie, and I don’t want to be friends with a liar. What’s the point? If your friend can’t be their real self with you, then you can’t have a real relationship, which to me is a waste of time.

What does all this have to do with “community over competition”? Well, if you’re building facades, you’re not having faith in your community to accept you for who you are. Your facade is also something you’ve built to make your life seem better than it is, this means your using your facade to compete with those you think have “it” better than you.

I love social media, but these unreal views that people create promotes more competition. I’m not saying that this is all social media does, though!

Twitter is my favorite social media outlet. I’ve made so many friends, learned a lot, collaborated with people, and have helped people in return. I’m slowly building a similar community on Periscope. These two places seem more real to me than Instagram. I love my Twitter community. There’s no drama in my Twitter community.

I’m also in some Facebook groups, and in most of them there’s a lot of drama (sadly a lot of the planner groups can be like that). That said, I LOVE the Louis Vuitton planner group I’m in. Some people think less of people that buy “luxury” goods, but this group is so full of positivity! Yes, we all have LV planners, but the inserts range in “price” from homemade to high-end, and no one judges anyone’s inserts. No on makes fun of someone when they have a DIY insert that is not super sleek. We’re all just cheering everyone on and sharing how we made them, or where we bought them (often off Etsy). It’s a great group to be a part of.

Sometimes I feel stupid for not understanding why anyone would ever choose to not be supportive of their friends or strangers on the internet. If your friend got a raise and is making more than you, celebrate her! Don’t try to knock her down. If your friend has more followers on social media, don’t be jealous, ask her for advice. If your friend’s business is booming, ask her to share steps she took to boost sales. Unless you two are making the exact same product, she is not your competition.

A rising tide lifts all boats

There are a lot of business coaches out there, many teach people how to become coaches themselves, they know there is room for everyone. I’m in several licensing groups on FB as well, and we all help each other out. We share resources, give feedback on art and contracts. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’ve helped some friends that are complete competition for me, they have a similar style and target demographic, but I’ve helped them anyway, and I will continue to help them any time they ask. The mark I want to leave on this world is of being helpful, that’s more important to me than fame or fortune.

I’m a believer that what you put out comes back to you. That’s not what motivates me to help people, but I’ve seen where selfish people have “paid the price” in their lives. You can’t fake your karma, either, your good actions have to come from the heart. I was recently jealous of someone. It lasted less than 24 hours, and then I decided to get over it, and go back to my normal helpful self. After I made that choice I felt so much better and was no longer wasting time thinking about that person in a negative way. We’re all going to feel jealous from time to time, the trick is to move past it, and keep putting out positivity into the world.

Isn’t there enough bad out there? We have the choice to help people out. If you’re one of the “good guys”, you’re out there raising everyone up and being supportive, try taking it a step further. When your friend or co-worker (you know the one, the one that lives for gossip and tearing others down) starts in, try calling them out (in a positive way). If this person is too difficult, any time they try to bring their negativity around just change the subject. That way you’re squashing the negativity. Every day we get to make a choice on the impression we want to make in this world. We own that choice. Maybe bad things keep happening to you, and you’re feeling angry and like you’ve been dealt a crappy hand. Last year was a very bad year for me, but I didn’t let all the crappy days change what I put out there. When someone is a jerk to you, you can control whether or not you take it out on the next person.

So what’s this “Motivation Monday” about? It’s about motivating you to constantly make the choice to help your community, and spread the energy to get others to do the same. For some this will come easy, for others this will be changing their habits. If you think it will be hard for you, have a buddy help you out. Together we can do so much.

Xx-renée

motivational monday: change can be good

henry ford quote

This Henry Ford quote can seem not that “motivational”, I look at it as more of a kick in the pants. It’s similar to the Albert Einstein quote “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We all tend to find comfort in routines, even if those routines are not helping us improve our work or life. When you decide that you know everything and have something down perfectly, that’s when you’ve constrained yourself from growth. Make no mistake, you make that choice. You are the only one that can change up your patterns. You decide if you want to keep growing. This decision applies to business and life.

Lets say you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s not happening, that’s when you need to seek out more advice. Switch up your routines, give what you’re eating some more thought.

What if you’re business is not growing? Make a list of everything you’re doing, then figure out what you’re not doing that other successful business owners are doing. If you’re pitching stores, venture out of your home city/state. Look into doing shows, if you haven’t done them before. Review your target audience on FB and your SEO, maybe it’s time for a refresher.

I volunteer for SXSW, and have been a volunteer forever. I’ve specifically worked in the Press & Publicity dept. for the last 10+ years. I used to complain that every year when it becomes “show time” we are asking each other how to process certain things. I would say, “we’ve done this long enough we should have this down”. What I learned from us questioning every year was that by us questioning, we were constantly improving our processes. We may have basic guidelines, but we’re always improving. We’re not afraid to mix it up. We’re not afraid to try new things.

BIG TIP!

ALWAYS BE REVIEWING –
Review your daily routines. How can you make things more efficient? How can you work smarter, not harder?

Here’s a super personal place I’ve recently put this practice into action. I reversed the order in which I do things in the shower. This helps me have shorter showers, saving me time, and water. Win-win!

I also recently stopped checking emails first thing in the morning. This helps me be more proactive than reactive. I get some business done first, then designate a time to go through emails.

REMINDER
It’s up to us to control our lives. Did you read about the employee that wrote an open letter to Yelp complaining about her wages? Setting aside that the living wages in the US are not where they should be, the employee chose to accept a job knowing the pay, and knowing what she needed to earn to make ends meet. She should have been looking for other employment to meet her financial needs. We cannot rely on anyone, on any employer, or on the government to care about us enough. This is not meant to be political, this isn’t about that. It is about us taking care of ourselves. If you hate your job, start looking today for a new one. If you don’t have the skills to get the job you want, start taking online courses. You’re in the driver seat, and life is too short to settle for an unhappy life.

Don’t think it’s all about having a “cool” job, either. It’s about having a happy life. If you can work somewhere that can afford you the finances to buy the things and experiences you want out of life, then you’re getting a pretty great trade there.

There’s no such thing as a perfect life, don’t be fooled by that nonsense you’re getting fed online. It’s all about finding gratitude for all the good things, and knowing that you can have more good days than bad, and that without bad days, those good days won’t seem as good as they are.

Xx-renée

inspired: pretty in pink 30th anniversary

Pretty in Pink 30th Anniversary

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the 80s movie Pretty in Pink. On Valentine’s Day they had special screenings through Fathom events, and boy did I scoop up tickets as soon as I found out. This movie has had a long lasting impact in my life. To this day, that soundtrack puts me in a very productive mood. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading this post now, and come back after you do. Trust me, you’ll want to see it. If you have, let me share the ways this movie weaved through my life. Pretty in Pink inspired me to cut up clothes and rework them into new pieces, it made me want to work in a record store doing fun displays, it made me want a pink car, it reminded me not to let what people think change me, and the music, well, the music just ended up being my own life soundtrack.

Now to give specifics on all of that. In middle school my best friend and I would get together and swap clothes, I always used the clothes I got from her to cut up and mix with my clothes. I didn’t know how to sew then, so I would staple, safety pin, and tape pieces together. No one knew that I did that, but people always asked me where I got what I was wearing, and there was no better feeling than getting to say I made it. It felt amazing knowing something new I pieced together was well received.

In high school I did my first choreography dance final to Shellshock by New Order (featured in the movie).

In high school I had decided I wanted to own my own record store. In order to do that I thought I should get a job at a record store. After I graduated I worked in several trying to learn as much as I could, and often getting to work on displays. I even did a variation of the record display in the movie at one of the record stores I worked for. Once I started working for Tower Records, it was then that I learned of art departments in record stores, and doing that became a new goal. One of my favorite jobs ever was when I was in charge of signage, displays, marketing and events for a record store, it was there that I was really marrying my two loves; being creative and music.

Perseverance is a strong theme in the movie. Duckie, Andie, and Iona kept pushing forward and having a strong sense of self. It was inspiring, it made me feel like I could hold my own no matter what.

I still haven’t owned a pink car, but that’s next on my list. 😉

What do you think about Pretty in Pink? Are there any movies that have inspired you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Xx-renée

wednesday wisdom: it is what it is

image

I happened upon this simple, beautiful typography print from Etsy seller Coco And Dee, and was inspired to share a little bit about a topic on which I’ve been working in my personal life recently: acceptance. Accepting the world around us isn’t always easy, and accepting ourselves is often even harder. “It is what it is,” is a statement I’m known to use often when discussing external situations or problems, but applying that same understanding to myself has been a significant challenge throughout most of my life. I know I’m not alone in this; many people experience the same difficulty and it holds us back from being our best, most satisfied selves. A few moments of digging online will produce an ample selection of resource options, though, so there’s definitely hope for us!

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – e.e. cummings

Accepting oneself does not necessarily mean approval of where one is in life right now. You can still recognize area for improvement, have goals and ideals, and have a plan in place to help you achieve those goals (which, of course, means changing something about where/who/what you are), but you don’t have to beat yourself up along the way. Acceptance simply means no longer struggling against your reality, which will actually make it easier for you to attain results and make lasting changes.

In a Tiny Buddha post on the topic of self-acceptance, author E.K. Bradley explains, “No one can attain happiness if they are hung up on what is lacking; we must transcend the need to compare ourselves to others and let go of our apparent flaws and shortcomings. This frees us from self-imposed judgment and the need to fit into society’s standard of what we should look like, be, act, and do.” (The site has lots more great content on acceptance, by a variety of writers, FYI.)

In acceptance lies empowerment, happiness, and freedom. Be kind to yourself and consider your weaknesses, without making excuses, when beginning a new journey to improvement. Making small, realistic, quantifiable actions toward your chosen goals will help you achieve lasting lifestyle changes — but don’t forget to love who you already are along the way.

You are who you are. And it is what it is.
xo
-Jen

spring teaser and link love

RoboRoku_LittlesCollection-
Here’s a peek at some new Robo Roku goodies for Spring/Summer 2015. We’ll be adding new tees soon, and more accessories next month! You can shop The Littles Collection here. We’re behind listing new goodies because things here have been pretty hectic. I’ll share more about that in the next “the haps” post.

Here are some things I’ve stumbled upon recently…

I totally want to make this pasta dish recipe from A Beautiful Mess. There’s a packaged mix I buy sometimes that I enjoy, but making it fresh will be so much better.

What if Morrissey lyrics were motivational posters? There are some pretty cute/funny posters in this list.

This post from The Dainty Squid addressing the awful term “real job” really hit home for me. As an artist it’s really hard to get respect for what you do. I think because people don’t understand the “mechanics” behind making a living as a creative they act like your job is not real. If you have ever used them term “real job”, I beg of you to never use it again. It is so demeaning to all the hard work and hours spent learning and building a viable business that supports you. If you are a maker/artist/designer/blogger and are not at the level of making your sole income from it, please call your main source of income job your “other job”, and don’t belittle “different” ways of making a living.

I shared a link on Twitter to Gala Darling’s post “Feeling Burned Out? Ask Yourself This One Simple Question…” and friends were totally loving it. I thought I should share it here too, just in case Twitter is not your thing.

Speaking of Twitter, if you need help figuring it, out here’s a nice little cheat sheet.

Here’s an artist on Instagram I love following.

Sort of a follow up to the “real job” thing: Why Creatives Don’t Succeed In Traditional, 9-To-5 Work Environments.

This week has been a little rough, but watching The Goldbergs always makes things better. If you grew up in the 80s, you need to watch this show. It’s amazing.

Seriously, go check out The Goldbergs.

XO
-renée



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