Be Fearless, Inspiration, life

Taming the Mammoth with Fearlessness

September 30, 2014

Do you ever feel like you are a box with a fire burning inside?
Psalm 27:1 Taming the Mammoth by being fearless -theinspiredcafe.com
Sometimes you feel like you would be more comfortable at home in sweats, drinking tea, reading a good book. Other times you have so much passion and desire rise up within you that it comes out in bursts of creative expression or conversation causing people to think you are crazy a tornado of ideas and passion?

Would you describe yourself as  an introspective, quiet, over thinking, seeker type? But then at the same time there are moments when your passion for a topic or an idea forces you to burn through that box and come out of your sweats, throw on your  heels (or tie) and share what your doing? Afterwards do you promptly feel like hiding again so you can quietly contemplate every thing that was said and worry obsess over what others thought of you at that moment when your fire was burning bright all over the dang on place?

If so, you are not alone.

This is me all the way, every day.

I noticed that these feelings were really affecting my life last year. I have been this way since my teenaged years but it continued to get worse in my 20′s and even my early 30′s. I had this strong desire to share my feelings, thoughts and message in a way that I had never felt before but I was struggling to accept myself. I was struggling to accept my unique mix of gifts, talents, dreams, goals and circumstances. I didn’t see anyone else out there like me doing what I wanted to do the way I wanted to do it.It was causing me to feel frustrated and confined. Two things I hate dearly.

That’s why I started by #befearless journey. As I’ve gone through this journey I’ve begun to see God’s hand EVERYWHERE! It was super hard at first but now I’ve come to the point of accepting the parts of myself that somehow had become hidden over the years.

As we grow up, layers from life’s experiences start to form over our authentic selves. As we get older we might desire to uncover our selves again so that we can live more purposeful and passionate lives. But it’s scary to let go of those old habits, beliefs and fears. However, when you begin to examine where your life is and where you want to go, you start to realize that you’ll never get there if you live under layers of fear, criticism, and caring what others think.

Basically you were being pushed around by the social survival mammoth.

I found out about the Social Survival mammoth on  the blog Wait But Why written by Tim Urban. In his article called Taming the Mammoth he illustrates (literally) how we allow “the social survival mammoth” to dictate to us behaviors based on irrational thoughts about what people might think of us. These thoughts cause us to try on a billion different outfits before going out, or missing out on an opportunity to talk to someone new for fear of rejection. When reading the blog post you see how ridiculous it is to allow this mammoth to influence our behavior and choices but in reality we all do it.

So back to my fire. The fire that I let the mammoth step on and almost put out so many times. The fire that for some reason wouldn’t die and continued to torment me. The fire that was shut up in my bones so to speak. I realized that if I wanted to get anywhere with my dreams I had to find a way to over come my fears, to connect more with others, to develop closer friendships and a stronger faith.

Making that choice was the first step. I thought that it was about putting myself out there so that I could get more subscribers, followers, or facebook fans. I thought more attention would get me what I wanted. Maybe I could write a book, or travel, or work with brands if I just. had. more. Maybe I would feel better about my writing, or just feel like one of the cool kids…and finally learn how to fit in.

But I didn’t realize that it really was about uncovering who I am in Christ and being more free with my faith. I didn’t realize that by going on this journey I would find a deeper meaning to what I was trying to accomplish rather than having more people follow my youtube channel. I’ve begun to found more joy in writing again as well as doing youtube. Many times I’ve asked myself why I’m doing what I’m doing online. The answer isn’t very black and white. All I know it’s given me a chance to explore, connect, grow and share my faith. I’ve also realized something major…

I don’t need followers to write a book, or give a speech or work with a brand. I don’t need followers to feel good about what I’m writing or making a video about. What I need is to keep my eyes fixed on Christ, to seek Him first, and know that what I’m creating is what He wants me to create. When I do that I have more peace, and it doesn’t matter if I’m a cool kid or not. And frankly Jesus already said that if we followed Him we would most certainly NOT be a cool kid.

And that’s totally fine with me.

So how about you? Does the world of social media weigh on you sometimes? Do you get distracted by stats and numbers? Do you think you need those things to do what you want to do in life? Let me know how you over come the social survival mammoth.

God Bless

 

Crafts, DIY beauty

How to make a Studded DIY Peter Pan Collar Necklace

September 20, 2014

Looking for a way to spice up your wardrobe? Try making a handcrafted DIY Peter Pan Collar Necklace. This Peter Pan Collar was super easy to make and took me under 20 minutes to make. The best thing is that little to no sewing is required!

Materials:

  • Felt (Joanne’s fabric)
  • Studs (Joanne’s fabric)
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue for fabric
  • ribbon
  • pattern (found in description box of video)

Please subscribe to my channel for more diy projects.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

Blogging and Business, Inspiration

3 Questions to Help You Find Clarity and Be Great

September 17, 2014

Many times when you start a business you are really excited about it. You have a ton of ideas, you have a mission and you have a strong belief for what you are selling or providing for your customers. After awhile the day to day tasks and challenges can start to take precedence over your passion and the bottom line becomes the top dog. In this post I’ll share: 3 Questions to Help You Find Clarity and Be Great.

3 questions to help you find clarity and be great

I’ve been struggling to find the heart of my blog again. I absolutely love blogging, sharing what I learn and connecting with others. I want to continue to grow my platform and create a life that is beneficial to my family, my well-being and blesses others. I decided to enroll in Michael Hyatt’s Platform University in order to learn more tips on how to do a better job at the things I’m already doing online  as well as get over my fear of creating products to sell.

In one of the Platform University forums someone asked a question about finding their niche. I thought that was a great question because I’ve been feeling like my focus has been getting unclear here at The Inspired Cafe. I don’t want to feel like I have to create a focus and then write towards that focus. I wanted to take the core of who I am, what I’m passionate about and create a focus around that. This way I can still feel excited and inspired to write and create.

In one of the forums someone suggested watching Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk called: Start With Why-How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Let.me.tell.you…

This was well worth the 20 minutes it took to watch this video. It really dialed in on a perspective that I think is present in all humans but just not well articulated. He simply broke down what separates the greats from the “meh”. Seems like common sense that the “why”  in what you are doing or selling is the most important thing in being effective, doesn’t it?  But sometimes we need to be reminded and given a clear strategy for not forgetting or why in the future, and identifying what makes the “why” disappear.

After processing for another 30 minutes I came up with a new mission statement for The Inspired Cafe that better incompasses what I’m trying to express here on this blog.

The questions I had to go back to is:

What do I believe?

  • What are your core beliefs and worldviews?

Why is that important?

  • How does this belief help others?

What do I do to help others?

  • What is your business? What is your vehicle to deliver your belief/dream/message to others?

All of a sudden things started to fall into place and I felt more authentic in my goal for the blog and more inspired to create products that follow that belief system. So what I’m created feels genuine and from the heart. (That stuff is important to me.)

BAM!

I also wanted to share a video from Marie Forleo where she shares an experience she had on a visit to Morocco with her husband when they went to purchase a rug. She knew that she didn’t need the rug but the owner of the rug shop reminded her that you aren’t buying a rug with your mind you are buying it with your heart. The rug was going to be a reminder of her trip as well as a way to have a piece of Moroccan art in their home.

Here are the videos that you can check out!


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Inspiration, life

3 Things You can do When You are Feeling Depressed

September 14, 2014

3 things you can do when yo

It’s been almost 4 months since my world was turned upside down, since my daughter was shot (she survived), since we’ve had our own place to live, since…life was “normal”. I’m not going to lie. It’s rough sometimes. I have moments during the day where I struggle…really hard. I don’t like my thoughts and my thoughts really don’t like me. The “d” word hovers over my head for at least 83% of the day. I fight to keep an open heart, to keep communicating with my husband, to keep laughing with the children. I keep trying to pray and keep busy being creative and sometimes it helps.

Tuesday we started family counseling.

It felt like a band aid was ripped off of a wound. A wound that I thought was scabbed over and healing, but no. It’s still bleeding.  I’ve been mad at myself because it still hurts to think about that night when bullets ripped through our home like a war zone injuring my oldest daughter. I should be over this by now, shouldn’t I? It feels like the whole world has gone crazy. Maybe it was already crazy and I finally woke up to it. I say that somewhat tongue in cheek. Of course the world is crazy…it’s just that it’s craziness wasn’t supposed to touch me and my family.

But it did.

I keep thinking about how I’m going to get through this period in my life. I believe things will get better, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that there are moments when it’s hard. I accept that. I accept the wave of emotions that come, I ride it and let it wash up on shore until the next wave rides in. My out of body beach experience.

I keep debating on how much to share. How deep do I go? Will it be too much? Will I be setting myself up for someone to take advantage of me? Then I remember the gift that God has given me.

The gift of creativity. It’s my prozac. It literally lifts my spirits and helps me to keep going. It takes my mind off of dark thoughts and just let’s me breathe. Almost as if I had run 50 miles and collapse out of exhaustion, and happiness and accomplishment. That’s how I feel when I’m able to be creative. My mind can run free, and feel the wind it’s hair…well…you know what I mean. If my mind had hair it would be blown by the imagination wind.

And it would be epic.

It is epic.

I am reminded of the conversation I had with my brother the other night. He is a VP at an engineering company. He is also a gifted musician, rapper, and producer who teaches awesome bible studies at our church. He’s also a father of 4 kids. He’s kind of awesome. So much so I call him my little big brother because I look up to him (literally and spiritually). We talked about the gift of hobbies, and creativity and art and how they literally can help us make it through life’s challenges. Expressing ourselves while in the midst of our journey can help with healing as well as encourage others. While hiding those parts of ourselves can feed the negative thoughts that we tell ourselves throughout the struggle or trial we are facing. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to stay positive. But there are a few things I’m implementing to help me keep my head above water.

I am working on putting my health first:

  • This is hard to admit but sometimes I won’t eat if I’m too busy. Sometimes I forget and sometimes I do it on purpose so I can keep working. I’ve done that with having to pee or get a drink of water. Now I try and stop, pee/eat/drink, and then continue on with what I was doing. I’m still not perfect at this but I’m getting better.

I make time to write in my journal/visit with friends/think/pray:

  • This has always been important to me but I don’t think I really made it a priority even though I know that this is essential to my well being, creativity and overall happiness.

I’m giving myself some grace:

  • This is by far the hardest thing for me to do. I’m working on not judging or criticizing myself for sleeping in, or not doing laundry, or not praying the most “holy” prayer. Essentially for being “human”. Right now things are messy and even get lost but I’m trying to let those things go and realize that my worth is not in how well I accomplish things but my worth is simply in who Christ made me to be.

Do you have any tactics that you use when you are feeling down?

 

 

Crafts, DIY fashion

How to Make a DIY Lace Peter Pan Collar

September 10, 2014

This is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a Lace Peter Pan Collar. I hope you like it!
Materials:
Old Lace from a shirt I got from goodwill but you can buy lace at your local fabric store
needle and thread
scissors
Pearl embellishments from local craft store
Tacky Glue
Ribbon
felt

Please subscribe and share if you like the video!

Creativity, Inspiration, youtube

2014 Essence Festival: Empowering Your Voice with YouTube

September 2, 2014

I found this video from Shameless Maya’s vlog of her visit to New Orleans for the 2014 Essence Festival. I thought this video would be really inspiring for anyone who is thinking of starting a youtube channel or starting an online business. It was really great to get an inside look into the journey of YouTubers who have been able to develop a brand and make a living doing what they love. What made this interview so awesome was the fact that Soledad O’Brien was doing the interview! She did a great job as always inspiring and guiding the discussion. I really appreciated the candidness of the ladies as well as the openness to share their stories. I really enjoyed Jessica’s honesty and passion for making hair videos. I loved the experience and wisdom that Tiffany from Tiffany Rothe Workouts was able to contribute to the conversation. She really stressed how she considers her videos as a way to help other women become their best! Franchesca brought truth and honesty in a light hearted and sober account of her experiences with trying to pay bills and live her life while being online. Maya was someone that I really identified with. She spoke of having to balance her artistic expression with connecting with her audience. She talked about how she decided to shave her hair in order to redirect focus to her brand. I really appreciated her honesty and courage to do something like that and remove what could have easily changed the course of what she wanted to express. I was happy to hear that there are others who want to maintain their artistic expression foremost while maneuvering into the world of YouTube and online work. I think this video is worth watching and very inspiring!

HOSTED BY: Soledad O’Brien
Featuring: Jessica Lewis of MahoganyCurls®, Maya Washington of “Shameless Maya”, Franchesca Leigh, and Tiffany Rothe.

DIY fashion

How to Make a No Sew Glittery Peter Pan Collar Necklace

September 1, 2014

I’ve been obsessed with Peter Pan Collars and when I found out how you could turn them into necklaces to wear anytime with any outfit I was totally stoked! I wanted to share this quick and easy tutorial on how to make an easy no sew Peter Pan Collar necklace. It’s so easy my 7 and 10 year old girls made ones for themselves. I think Peter Pan Collars are a classic addition to any outfit. I love how they kind of give off this sweet and innocent vibe while playing it up with  some bling adds a lot of pizzazz to the collar. Did I just say pizzazz?

Yes I did.

And that’s okay.

For materials you need:

scissors

Felt (I got from Joanne’s fabric)

glittery rhinestone thingees (I got from Joanne’s fabric)

ribbon

Tacky glue

pattern

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Please share it if you like it and subscribe!

Creativity

Giving Myself Permission

August 29, 2014
do you what you feel in your heart to be right for you will be criticized anyway - Eleanor Roosevelt

I want to give myself permission to write what I want to write. But it seems so hard at times. So many thoughts swirl around in my mind. Actually I think my left and right brains are totally at war. One side wants to express artistic deeply felt prose as inspiration hits… and the other side wants to figure out how things fit together. Which heading, subject, topic fits into what category on the blog. I stop myself from allowing buds of possible articles to grow as I try to decide if they would be well received or even fit with the over all message of The Inspired Cafe. By the way-what IS the message of The Inspire(d) Cafe again? I remind myself of how I need to create an editorial calendar so that I can be consistent. Consistency will build and audience. Consistency in message will build the right audience. Right?

But I can’t do all of that right now. There’s way to much going on in my life. My life has literally been turned upside down, shaken out and thrown in the air. I’m still waiting for all of the pieces to land.( Then my left brain will start the sorting, organizing and purging process.) I started blogging 6 years ago because I needed an outlet. I needed a place to put my thoughts about life while I tended to little children, my home and my marriage. I yearned for community, feedback and validation. Sometimes I still do. But I was so naive back then. I had no idea what blogging was or what it could be. It is not the same today as it was when I started. There is an opportunity to make money running a blog these days. And it seems so enticing to go after that. I tried to for a little bit. It turns out that unless you have a large following there is still a lot of work to be done for little to no money. If I was to refer to Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” and his reasoning that one must decide in the beginning if they are willing to go through the dip to continue with an idea is really wise. It’s how I’ve always thought. I thought I was willing to go through the dip of trying to earn money with my blog but I realize that in this day and age it’s really hard to stand out from the crowd. But since I know there is a possibility to be a professional blogger I will most likely keep trying to figure it out.

So the question begs to be asked-do I want to spend more time trying to get my blog to be seen or do I want to spend my time writing and creating? Right now, I need to create. It’s always been something that’s been hard to articulate to others. Something I think other people don’t quite understand. I have a need to create, to express, to share what I learn because that is how I learn, and grow as a person. When I don’t I feel stagnant and that’s almost like death to me. Blogging and youtubing have been a lifesaver to me. I’m tired of trying to understand how to market my blog, what kinds of strategies are best, what social media platforms are the best. I’m losing my inspiration and I’m not willing to let it all go.

So I’m giving myself permission to write about anything that I want here at The Inspire(d) Cafe. I need to try a new model and just do me like Maya says. So I’m going to do something that is going to drive my left brain up the wall and remove the menu for a little bit. Having the categories stare at me all the time cause a block when I come to my blog do to what I love to do. I want to live a more inspire(d) life. And I think that starts with giving myself permission to do so.

Do you have any creative blocks in your life?

 

August 27, 2014
Inspirational Quote -theinspiredcafe.com

Inspirational Quote -theinspiredcafe.com

Get Re-Inspired

Crazy Sexy Inspiration

August 13, 2014

This morning I watched a really inspiring interview on Marie Forleo TV with  Kris Carr the founder of Crazy Sexy Cancer. She is also a New York Best Seller with her diet, wellness, and recipe books.  I found her blog a few years ago and thought what she had done was amazing. She was diagnosed with cancer as a relatively young woman and started an email newsletter to friends and family to keep them updated with what was happening with her diagnosis.

From there her newsletter grew into a movement which she leveraged to write a book and even create a film. She is also featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  I love how she took a tragic diagnosis and turned it into something positive and creative. In this interview she talks about success, challenges and how she continues to keep her desire to help people as the core of her brand.

I hope it inspires you today.

Marie asked us to share one thing that this interview has inspired us to do. For me I was inspired to continue to move forward even though I don’t know what is around the corner. Right now I’m working on developing the brands that I have built and bringing some focus to this blog. It’s scary but I really feel good about what I’ve been discovering about what I want to do with this blog. I can’t wait to share it with you all!