Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's About BLOG Time!

WOW! I have lots of catching up to do! It has been 12 days since my last blog! What does that mean? Well... for some it may mean laziness or procrastination, but in my world it simply means that I have been SUPER BUSY and focused on something really important. (Unfortunately, it was more important than this.)
I usually blog even when I am busy, however with deadlines to meet I simply HAD to stay on task. (It's hard to control my mind when it's on fire.) I have been writing, writing writing! My goal is to have the book that I am ghost- writing for a client wrapped up by the end of June (fingers crossed) so that in August, I can start my next book with a hopeful release of early 2014. I am also planning a book party in Tampa for my current published title I Need the Happy Ending sometime towards the end of June if I can SQUEEEZE it in! Lots of busy work, preparation and planning; but that's the way I like it and would be bored if it were any other way. Intertwined in between all of that were three important commercial photo shoots that I had to execute looks for, one was for the awesome five member band, Wild Ginger, one was with the Tampa Bay Bucs players, and the last was a conceptual shoot on domestic violence; all of which are behind me now.

Over the last month and a half, (in my sparse-spare time) I have been reading a book called The Good Among the Great by Donald Van de Mark. It is an EXCELLENT book on the 19 traits of the most admirable, creative, and joyous people. I must admit, my initial attraction to the book was to see how many of the 19 traits I did NOT possess. I am constantly reading and learning on how to become the BEST "me" possible. Although some people find it strange that I do this, it is both fulfilling and rewarding to see how far I can push myself, to get out of my comfort zone in order to become a better person and to have that feeling that I am always evolving. But you know what the BEST part is? It is one of the FEW things that I actually do for MYSELF! (4 kids, a boyfriend, and three parallel careers don't leave much "me" time.)

I am just starting chapter (trait) # 11 and was humbled to find that so far, I possess 9 of the 10 traits covered, and have begun to work on the one out of ten I have not perfected yet. However, I can vividly remember the time in my life when these "traits" did not exist as part of who I was; I have certainly changed for the better. I can pinpoint the events, the moments, and in some cases, the books that led me to the knowledge/lessons I needed to make those changes. Reflecting on these times as I read this book has been pretty awesome.

I would like to share some of my favorite takeaways from the closing of chapter 10, which I just finished reading last night. I find them to be very useful and quite honestly, it was a nice reminder that like I say all of the time... if you love what you do, nothing else really matters... and that if you do something strictly for the "money", you will NEVER be fulfilled.

Here ya go.... I hope you think about these statements and reflect on your own life; think about whether or not you do these things or better yet, what holds you back from doing them.

Takeaways that I wanted to share:

"If you want to be accomplished, and even more, if you want to be joyous regardless of your level of achievement, find what excites you every day. It doesn't have to be the same thing that excited you ten years ago; in fact, it's very likely that your preferred routine will evolve throughout your life; as it should, to reflect your inner self; whoever that self is at any given moment."

"Unfortunately, we're often taught from a young age that the only thing that matters is achieving the goal. It's part of living in competitive market economies. Western and American cultures in particular emphasize the same message: results matter, winning is the most important thing, or even worse, the only thing. From grammar school to graduate school, what matters most are credentials, not the day-to-day joy of living, serving others, or creating." 

 "You must enjoy the process as much as the result to be fulfilled"

"Pay attention to your daydreams, particularly when you drive, shower and walk. These are times of sensory stimulation and thus open paths to non-analytical wisdom."

"Seek and learn to enjoy time alone"

"Don't believe everything you think!"

I must say that this chapter spoke so much to me. I beat myself up for years comparing myself to others. I am in a very competitive field, and being a single mom all of my life, I did not always have the financial ability to go to classes to gain further education. I did NOT go to college, only cosmetology school, and  have taken a "paid" hair workshop only once in my 22 year career. I NEVER had any "formal" makeup training of ANY kind until a month ago, because when I was learning, there wasn't anything available other than books unless you wanted  to work a makeup counter. (No thanks) Guess what? NONE of that stopped me. I read books, practiced on myself and other people and attended  a few free classes to get where I wanted to be. I not only enjoyed the process, I APPRECIATED the process because I built my career on my passions, my LOVE for what I do; in the end... THAT is all I needed. I am proof in the pudding right here. (let's make it chocolate!)

As an adult, I truly enjoy time alone;  that time becomes more precious with each thing that makes it harder to get. I will lock myself in a closet if I have to now in order to get this time to think, to erase the "busy" so I can tap into what I know is best for me. I have also learned over the last several years that "always trying to make the next buck" held me back for SO LONG! I was focused on the money because I HAD to be, I had bills to pay, kids to raise alone (I still do) however, there is much more joy in just DOING what I love. Ironically, focusing on that has presented more jobs, more opportunities and more money in the long run. I am rich... but not monetarily (if I was, I would not be driving around in a car with no A/C for the third year in a row ;in Florida might I add because I refuse to go into debt to get it fixed.)  I am fulfilled, I am happy, I AM RICH with the fruits of life, of loving what I do, how I make people feel, and sharing what I know to help others achieve and overcome. I can hold my head up high knowing  that I am often smarter than I knew, wiser than I should be for my age, but most important of all, resilient enough to keep living the best life I can.

I know that someday I will  have A/C in my car without having to go into debt to get it; 
until then, I will just burn more calories than those with it!! 




I want you to stop comparing yourself to others, be who YOU are and make the best out of that. Enjoy today, take time for you, and wake up tomorrow with an attitude that will help you grow and change in a positive way instead of one that holds you back, gets in the way and makes you feel like you are not as good as everyone else. Appreciate and find love in being unique, special, quirky, just being YOU!

XOXO
~Shells~