Monday, April 1, 2013

30 Days of Pin-spiration!

Since I failed miserably at March's #NaBloPoMo blogging challenge, I realize that immediately signing myself up for another monthly challenge might not be the greatest idea I've ever had. However, since it's now officially spring (and the sun has actually been shining), I've decided to do a little something bright and cheery to kick of this new season!

My Pinterest boards have been growing steadily since I started my account in 2011, and as of today, I have over just 2,200 things 'pinned' to my virtual wall. I know, it's a little crazy, but I just love the idea of having a virtual inspiration board filled to the brim of things that make my soul sing!

There are literally tons of great ideas, recipes and tutorials to be found on Pinterest, but sometimes it can be a wee bit overwhelming to actually get out there and try them. I know I can't be the only one who's still working on turning those crockpot meals, beautiful wardrobes or exercise plans into a reality! So this month, I'm taking a stand against my growing list of uncompleted ideas and I'll be blogging about it daily for everyone to follow along with!

Introducing: The 30 Days of Pinspiration Challenge

For this challenge, the rules I've made for myself are quite simple. Each day, for the month of April, I'll be tackling a Pinterest project that I've been meaning to accomplish. I'll try to spread the projects out over a number of areas, such as home decor, cooking, baking, crafting, and maybe even one or two hair & makeup tutorials (if you're lucky) and I'll always link back to the original pin so that you can pin it too! I'll be blogging the challenge over at The Pulse, so make sure to subscribe to the mailing list to get all the juicy details!

I'll be posting updates and such over here as well, and you'll be able to find links back to the daily projects below:

Day 1: When Candles Come in Teacups
Day 2: Adding a Pop of Colour is Just a Swirl Away
Day 3: Bunny Bread Bowl
Day 4: Quickie Energy Balls
Day 5: Painted Chalkboard
Day 6: D.I.Y. Frosty Paws
Day 7: Zoku Chocolate Banana Pops
Day 8: Eucalyptus Bath Bombs
Day 9: Last Minute Lemon Loaf
Day 10: Easy Homemade Granola
Day 11: Soul Pancake
Day 12: Homemade Shower Pucks
Day 13: Fabric Wrapped Presents
Day 14: Making Your Stainless Shine
Day 15: What Should I Read Next?
Day 16:
Day 17:
Day 18:
Day 19:
Day 20:
Day 21:
Day 22:
Day 23:
Day 24:
Day 25:
Day 26:
Day 27:
Day 28:
Day 29:
Day 30:

I can't wait to start sharing my sure-to-be-adventurous April with you guys!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thoughts on Life

I've been a busy little bee for the past few weeks, and am acutely aware of my lack of posts for my risk blogging challenge. Although it appears that I'm a little behind, you can be sure I have not fully failed - and I will not accept defeat!

The truth is, I've been doing a little bit of private soul searching when it comes to risk, and have been working with a great life coach (Grace Cho from Seismic Coaching) to help define the direction that I would like to take my life in.

Through my short time in working with her, I've already begun adjusted my mannerisms and the way I converse with myself regarding big life matters. I've started to eliminate those "should" feelings that come so naturally to me, for whatever reason. "I'm not living the life I should be" or "I should be doing _____ with my time, instead of ________" are commonplace in my private mind, but I'm finally beginning to see that "should" should be a 4 letter word!

I'm beginning to question the origin of these emotions and self-taught thoughts, and understand why I've grown to become so plagued by them. I'm also learning to counteract them, with thoughts of inspiration, potential and hope for the future. So far, Grace has taught me to really believe we are all born just the way we are meant to me. We aren't meant to be fixed, or adjusted, we are meant to experience life with the plus's and minus's we are given, and we should never feel that we are broken and in need of fixing. We are just in need of growth.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Mentor I Haven't Met Yet

Who out there in the world would be the best mentor for your ideas and goals?

The prompts certainly are doing an excellent job in forcing me to figure out the way I view my life! I wish I could say that they get easier as you go along, but that has most certainly not been the case for me. Each day I sit down on my computer to focus on the new prompt, and each day I let out a big sigh when I realize I don't know the answer. It's like it would be enough of a challenge just to write the post, let alone actually figuring out how I feel about it. 

I don't currently have any mentors for my ideas and goals, at least none that I actively know of. Truth is, I've always had a bit of trouble relating to others when it comes to my own personal thoughts and challenges. When I receive motivation from others, I feel it's more like "oh of course you can do it," which has always struck me as a little generic. I have trouble believing them because I feel like they hadn't heard the whole idea yet, or weren't listening when I shared my doubts. How would they know if I could do it, if they hadn't yet heard what I was so afraid of? As a result, I started doubting the whole possibility of having a role model/mentor that could really shake things up for me. I wish I could say that part has changed, or is changing, but there really isn't much progress to report on this front. 

So, I guess you could say I'm taking applications. I'm sending it out to the universe that I'm looking for a mentor who'll grab me by the shoulders and say "Hey Shannon, you've got a really amazing talent here and you can't let that go to waste." Because really, that's all it really comes down to for me. Some sort of specific validation that there's something here inside of me that's great. Not just that 'I'm great' or that 'I'll do great.' Something specific that I do that makes someone else go "hey, there's no way she should give that up."

Is that really too much to ask?

__________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted by BlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Eeney Meeney Miny Mo

If you didn't have to be concerned about money or expertise, what would be your ideal job?

I've always wondered how many people actually know the answer to this question off the top of their heads. Is it one of those things that you read and then run with the first idea in your head? Or should you really, really look deep inside your soul to find the answer. Like I discussed in my personal post yesterday, I've been known to have a touch of a self-esteem complex. As a result, it's tore down a lot of the dreams and "ideal" scenarios that I've come up with over the years. It usually doesn't take too long for my brain to tell my heart that it's not really possible, it's too big of dream or too wild of an idea to ever come into fruitition. Pretty quickly, I have myself convinced that not only that I can't do it, but it's not really worth it anyways; before you know it, I'm back doing ordinary and average things. 

So, it goes without saying that I'm not really one of those people that can answer this question quickly. It usually starts off with a grand idea - like that I would love to open a boutique store and be surrounding by beautiful and inspirational things every single day. I would work with my hands to build handmade items, to sit on the shelves amongst other unique items from like-minded creators. It would be a happy place, where I'd build relationships with others, and together we would cultivate kindness, joy and happiness without our own little community. I'd be surrounded by others who live and breath the benefits of stillness (of the heart and the mind), and encourage balance between work and pleasure. 

Somewhere along that imaginary journey, though, I find a way to cut down the dream. I get discouraged about the path to get there, because I can't see it clearly enough to know where to go. My brain tells me that there's now way it would ever get to that point, for I am not great enough to achieve it. And well, if it's just going to be a tiny shop with me making crafts nobody will really want to buy, what's the point anyways? It's a dangerous trap that catches me on a number of occasions. 

But it's coming around. With a little work and a lot of soul searching, things are bound to start looking up. 

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This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted by BlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

When Life Gets in the Way

What is getting in the way of you reaching for your dreams?

I used to think I would always be able to reach any dream I set my mind to - even if I hadn't figured out exactly what it was yet. Somewhere along the way, though, I somehow lost faith in myself. I lost faith in my determination, in my motivation and in my ability to manage my time. It seemed the more I got older, the more I started feeling like life was just too much to handle. Even the simplest things were too hard, and the smallest tasks were overwhelming (let alone trying to juggle a handful of things together).

I wish I had one specific thing to blame for getting in the way of reaching my dreams, but I don't. The closest I have is my thoughts. It's hard to say (or even just admit to myself), but the majority of my lack of dream-chasing is largely due to my lack of self-esteem. Trust me, this isn't a pity cry or a 'poor me' statement, but I feel if I don't start admitting it - I won't be able to start fixing it. 

I have difficulty seeing the promise of my future. I feel like whatever I do just won't be good enough. Regardless of what anyone else thinks, it somehow still won't be good enough for me. The worst part is, I know it's ridiculous, I know I shouldn't treat myself like that or view myself so low, I know I should believe in my dreams and my heart and my wild ideas. But I'm limited. 

It's so true that you will always be your own worst critic, I just wish I knew how to tone down the dial a little. I'm always trying to be this person that I should be. I want to be happier, and funnier and more carefree. I want to embrace life and laugh, dance and smile more. I want to wake up inspired and happy. I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on my life lately, especially with the big changes coming up in the next few months, and I've been forcing myself to be ok in the silence. I've been considering stillness, and paying attention to my thoughts, hesitations and intuition - and I'm learning a lot. It's been a messy process, some of it good, some of it bad, but I keep telling myself at least I'm making progress. Because if I don't start now. If I don't force myself to start waking up and experiencing life in a better light, I'll be in the exact same space 10 years from now. 

And that is pretty much the only thing I'm really scared of. 

__________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted by BlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here

Friday, March 8, 2013

Now Leaping Near You

Do You Always Look Before You Leap?

Short Answer: No

Next Question: Should I?

Quite Possibly

I feel very strongly that this post will show just how much of a walking contradiction I am. I love the idea of risks, and I love surprises, but I also like to plan. I like things planned, and concise. I like to know how my day will end before I wake up in the morning. I keep a schedule and write lists to keep me both motivated and on-track. I've also been told I take life a little too seriously (from a personality test we took through our pre-marriage counselling so I think it's pretty legit). 

As a result, when it comes time to make really big decisions, like buying a car, quitting a job or listing our house. I usually leap. Without looking. Thing is, I feel so bogged down by my self-generated stress from day to day life, that when the big life-changing decisions come along I'm pretty good at throwing caution to the wind. Sometimes I feel that I'm so drained from micromanaging my own life, that it's easier to pick some things by doing the "eeny meenie minie mo" thing. Although with the big things, I just feel that one way or another things will just work out. If the house isn't meant to sell now, it won't. If we sell and are left homeless, we'll figure it out. If I quit my job, we might struggle for a bit but I'll be able to keep us afloat by taking on various tasks, projects, etc. Hell, if an opportunity dropped in my lap to move to a different city, I'd probably seriously consider it for a day or two and make a decision. 

Sure, I've jumped into things that I probably shouldn't have. I've lost us money in business ventures that were horrible ideas, I've taken vacations when we certainly shouldn't have, I jumped into relationships that were horrible for my soul. The transition periods out of these instances were painful and difficult - but growth almost always is. And I like it when my heart + soul grows. 

I feel that if you go too long without learning, you feel stuck. It isn't my nature to continue along mostly smooth seas just living a relatively predictable life. I also have this opinion that life is what you make it, and I although I struggle with worry and hesitation for smaller things (should I got back to school, should I take on more clients, should I open an online store), when opportunities arise I rarely shy back from them. I take it as a sign from the universe, regardless from what might be waiting for me on the other side. 

__________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted by BlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Going Big?


Discuss your experience with the saying "Go Big or Go Home"

I've never really been one for the 'go big or go home' mentality. Like I've mentioned in my other risk posts, I am a fan of risks in general, but I'm also a fan of reasonable risks vs. possibly unreasonable. My mister, on the other hand, is a firm believer in 'go big or go home' so suffice it to say that this area is a bit of a struggle for us. 

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to go on a mini vacation to Las Vegas. I love the Vegas. It makes me uber happy every time I visit there, mainly because of the hot summer sun and long hours drinking caesars by the pool. The spouse, however, felt that if we were a) going on vacation and b) going to Vegas, we needed to make the most of it by saving (and then spending) HUGE dollars on fancy meals, spa treatments and a better hotel room. I was just happy to even be going, let alone staying at a decent hotel and just couldn't understand his dissatisfaction with an ordinary vacation. I finally talked him down from his grandeur expectations of our first visit together to the city of sin, and realized he felt that way because he wasn't sure he'd ever get back. He wanted to make the most of it, since we were there, just in case. 

Coincidentally, we have been back a number of times since our first visit (and this summer will be my 5th trip - as a joint stagette), and we have enjoyed ourselves every time, even on a budget. To be honest, I think each trip we spend a little less than the last, and enjoy it a little more. He's come to realize that to me, just getting there is going big (because we could have spent our days off more locally) and going bigger does not always guarantee more happiness or enjoyment. 

Usually, when I think of going big, it commonly involves feelings and thoughts that involve money and our financial stability. And it's usually a decision based on "is spending an extra $XX on going big going to be worth the financial setbacks I will incur over the next 12 months." Because as awesome as it might be, going big is rarely cheap. 

That being said, our difference in outlook has helped me understand that sometimes, we don't really know 'if we're going to make it back.' While vacation choices are relatively small in the big scheme of things, it does make me think more about applying that to other areas of my life. Like spending time with my grandparents. Family camping trips. Our wedding day. Those are times I'll be a bit more lenient in actually going big instead of going home. Just don't expect a $30,000 wedding - just like my vacations, I'm sure my 'big' is much smaller than most.

__________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted by BlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here
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