Category Archives: getting real

25 Ways to Love Yourself

25 Ways to Love Yourself

It wasn’t a normal Saturday. After a meeting, everything that I had been feeling over the past few months came rushing to the surface. Tears couldn’t seem to stop for hours. I had a good cry, one of those that didn’t seem to make any sense, where every feeling that had been pushed down rose in the form of tears. I finally gave my heart a voice.

Often times I find that when my business is going great, my personal life is less than great, or vice versa. As someone that operates at a high capacity, it’s easy to look at the highlight reels of others and allow for voices of comparison and limitation to take the driver’s seat. However, after this past weekend I’m reminded of the value of giving your heart a voice. When it comes to self care, only I truly know how to take care of myself. Knowing when to give yourself grace, to take care of yourself body, soul, and spirit, laying other items to the side. Self-care isn’t selfish or narcissistic, rather it allows you to show up, bringing your best self to the table, and the ability to serve others over and over again. In light of this, we put together a little list to brighten up your Monday. Regardless of the season, dream you’ve been chasing, or length of your to do list, take some time for self care today.

25 ways to love yourself

How are you going to practice self-love this week?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

make the whole beautiful

Monday Words: Make the Whole Beautiful

There are moments when we look back and there are pieces, fragments and seemingly innocuous moments that don’t fit together. Regardless of how you look at them, they just don’t seem to make sense. The chips fall where they fall. Failures and disappointments happen in the ebb and flows of life. More than anything, I’ve learned there’s something about resilience. Having the ability to look at disappointments and failures and move forward changes everything. Over the past year, it seems that this is a lesson I’ve been learning over and over again. However, there is one thing I have learned- failure is never fatal. It’s how quickly and gracefully we get back up that makes all the difference.

This Monday, may your heart find bravery and courage again. May you find beauty in the tides that come in and out, crashing on the shores of life. May you embrace every change and transition that may come, holding close the truest essence of who you are. But more than anything, may you run after the dreams that are on your heart, pursuing wholeheartedness, and finding beauty as things are restored again.

What dreams are you chasing this Monday?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

open up let the light in

Getting Real: Open up Let the Light In

I sat in an office and was having a conversation. During this meeting, I was hit smack in the face. Another one of those moments,  I became definitively more self aware in a seconds then I had been in years. It was phrased as a simple question.

“Mel, what if the very things you desire in life, are the very things you are insulating yourself from?”

It was after that conversation I went on a journey. It was surrounded by a simple question. In light of the mess, the current challenges that life had delivered, how was I going to be mindful and to live open? What did dropping perfectionism, shame, and letting others in again look like. How would I lend myself to trust again, putting together pieces, and invite people into relationship.

I’m thankful to admit that the subsequent months got better. Things got easier. As an creative entrepreneur it’s easy to relate to others out of a feed, likes, engagement, and following. We’re all committed to the hustle and as an extrovert who frequently works from a coffee shop, we all can sit in our respective corners and relate strictly to one another out of curated feeds and content that fill our days. It’s easy, but far from true, honest, or the connection we so deeply long for. The year got better and there was something that was unlocked within others. Somewhere through mindfulness, journey, and much prayer, I was able to live open and found myself in a place where greater freedom existed. I was no longer confined to the definitions of my work or the significance that my creativity could bring to the world. Rather, I found breath, freedom, and love in relating to others without expectation. There was a freshness, a rawness to it all that I have come to love.

How will you live open today?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

getting-real-how-to-overcome-rejection

Getting Real: How to Overcome Rejection

Life has good seasons, ebbs and flows to it. There are peaceful partings where forks in the road come, relationships naturally change, and there’s mutual understanding. Then there’s the other moments. The romantic relationship that ends unexpectedly, the friend of years that walks out, or the dream job where they love your work, but don’t necessarily love you. At some in life, we all face rejection, loneliness, and the hurt that comes with it. But how we deal with rejection, pain, and moving forward, determines the ability for our heart to love and lend trust to others again.

Over the past two years, I’ve gone through an intensive process and have found that overcoming rejection was one of my biggest victories. Very rarely in life and love do we talk about vulnerability, rejection, and hurt. While it brings depths of meaning to the relationships where people choose us, as we navigate life, we’re rarely given tools to face pain, cope with it, and overcome rejection. We tell ourselves time will heal wounds and we learn how to put our feet on the ground every morning. If we’re perfectly honest, no one wants to identify themselves as someone who struggles with rejection and acceptance.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past few years that have been vital.

Learn to face your pain.

It’s easy to run from our pain, push it down, and try to keep on navigating life. Learn how to healthfully express your pain, validate the emotion you’re feeling, and choose not to remain in those feelings. Sometimes it might mean writing things out in a journal or verbally processing with a trusted friend. (For most of us, an honest hour conversation with a trusted friend could replace hours in therapy.) 

Get a fresh vision for what you desire as you move forward.

Once we experience a painful experience with others it’s easy to wall ourselves off, becoming closed off and a fortress. It leads to superficial relationships, lacking the very depth and nuances of meaning we truly desire. Once a bit of time has past, ask yourself the kind of community, romantic relationship, or career opportunity it is that you desire. As you put pen to paper, focus on the things you do desire, rather than solely the negative. What are the things you value in friendship, the kind of people you desire to surround yourself with? What culture do you long to be in?

Love yourself.

I never thought I had an issue loving myself, but I am surprised how often it can come up. Whether it’s negative thoughts toward my body, the way I age, or the way I take care of myself throughout the week, it can become apparent. How we think about ourselves often is the way we view others as well. Choose to look in the mirror and practice positive self-talk. Statistically we have 27,000 negative thoughts run through our head throughout the day. Learn to love yourself by capturing anything less than true and throwing it out the window while driving down the I-5. Get into the practice of doing this and you’ll find it transferring to the way you see others as well. During a season where rejection has felt somewhat brutal, give yourself the necessary treats to love yourself. You’ve lived with you for a while, so you know what you need. For me, this means good night’s sleep, some great time in prayer and scripture, and healthy food that my body craves. When I do this and workout, my body feels so much better.

Find the positive and encouraging friends that bring out the best in you.

I love to surround myself with champions. They’re the people that champion me, ask the best questions, and our absolutely killing it in their fields and spheres of influence. When I’m around these people I know I’m going to have a great time. We can laugh together, cry together, lean on one another for support, and celebrate each other’s wins. There’s something about surrounding yourself with people that inspire you and you walk away challenged, stretched, and smiling. These communities of people are rare gems. Once you have these relationships, cultivate them, hold onto them, and enjoy them for as long as the season lasts. They will be anchors and benchmarks in your life.

Know this you belong.

What’s the opposite of rejection? It’s acceptance, love, and belonging. What makes you believe that you belong? You were meant to take up space. To be the bold, audacious, loud, quiet, strong, gentle, tender being that you are. The things you believe about the world, others, and faith shape the way you see everything. For me my faith, encounters with the living God, the ways he has spoken, shown love, care, and acceptance over and over again have changed everything for me over the past few years. It has been the core of who I am and the anchor through whatever I may face and how I have overcome rejection. I know that I belong and that I am enough.

What are some of the ways that you overcome rejection?

5 Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals

5 Ways to Reach Your Financial Goals

I’ve always been a goal oriented person. Over the years, goals have changed and evolved from health to fashion to business goals. As 2017 rolled around, it came great changes. The business and blog evolved. Partnerships closed and collaborations, new clients, and opportunities opened up. As an entrepreneur, I’m incredibly aware of my ability to increase or decrease my income. I determine my income ceiling. I’m 6 months from turning 30 and can’t tell you how amazing my finances have been in my 29th year. I set a goal to increase my sales and services by $20,000 this year. (It comes out to increasing service revenue by $5,000 a quarter which has proven to be very manageable.) Yes, that’s a significant increase and it’s strategic. I have a few pending major purchases and knew I wanted to make and save some serious money this year. As I have these purchasing long-term goals in mind, it’s been easy to save. Maybe for you, you’re hoping to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, or make a major purchase.

Here are 5 tips we’ve learned along the way to help reach our financial goals.

1. Be conscientious about your spending.

When it comes to credit and debit cards, it’s easy to lose track of your balance. Not ready to ditch the perks of credit cards and shift to the cash envelope system? Keep track of your expenses through the calculator app on your phone. Get into the habit, by making sure you enter the amount into the calculator right after checkout and prior to leaving the store. It takes around 10 seconds and you’ll create a great habit.

2. Live off one paycheck a month. 

For most of us, we get paid on a bi-weekly basis. As our income grows, we often allow our expenses to increase with our income. By keeping living expenses to one paycheck a month, it allows you to save the other check. With saving half of your monthly income, you can reach financial goals quickly and get past living paycheck to paycheck.

3. Cut the excess expenses in your budget.

It’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing, coffees, eating out, and entertainment throughout the month. Set a budget and choose to meal prep and make your cold brew at home. (We have an awesome recipe for cold brew right here. And teach you how to buy organic for $50 a week.)

4. Pursue multiple streams of income.

As an entrepreneur or career minded person, it’s always wise to diversify finances and pursue multiple streams of income at the same time. Whether a student, working multiple side jobs, or being self-employed, figure out ways to develop passive income or increase the money coming in through additional jobs. This is a great way to increase money coming in allowing you to reach your financial goals faster. Keep a spreadsheet of your income. This will track multiple streams, allowing for estimates in income growth for each quarter, allowing for ebb and flow throughout the year, knowing where hustle and rest need to find their natural rhythm.

5. Keep your goals in front of you.

Whether it’s a major purchase, paying down debt, or filling in a paper thermometer to track your income increase, set your long-term goals in front of you. It will keep you moving forward as you visualize the best option for your finances. We keep a mood board with all things financial goals in our Evernote app. It’s on our phone all the time and great for referencing when we need additional inspiration.

Looking for more resources on finances?

We love this blog. The Financial Diet is great and our go-to resource when it comes to being a creative entrepreneur and becoming financially savvy.

Dave Ramsey is a master and with good reason. If you’re looking for an intensive and needing to pay down debt quickly, we can’t recommend him enough.

This is a blog post on our past relationship with finances and one worth rereading. Getting Real: From Broke to $10K

Interested in a fun challenge? We spent one week living off of $0. Find the full series of posts, as we completed the No Money Challenge. Intro | 2 | 3 | 4

What are your current financial goals? Any tips that have worked for you?

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.