For All The Women Out There

I saw this poem, and asked if I could share it with you on my blog. I hope you like it.

Every day we all should look in the mirror and say…

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Mirror, mirror on the wall…

It doesn’t matter if I’m short or tall…

If I have skinny legs or my hips are wide…

It only matters who I am inside…

Blue eyes, Brown eyes, black or green…

What makes me most beautiful can’t be seen…

When you look at me, don’t judge me by my parts…

The most beautiful thing about me is my heart.

 Have a great day, ladies.

Submitted by Vanessa Strouse

Until next time, continue to stay safe, and keep the faith.

Path to Self Discovery

One of the best things I have discovered regarding journaling, I can write whatever I feel feeling. No one is going to read my thoughts and feelings. The year I wrote my book, “Courage to Live My Dream,” came from my feelings of depression.

I realized I was depressed even though I kept my happy face on for everyone to see. When I realized what was happening to me, I started writing. It was what I always did growing. It helped a lonely kid who felt she had no one to share her personal feelings.

I was the one everyone came to when they needed an outlet or sounding board. When I became an adult, people continued to feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with me

I shared that small portion of information with you because as a woman and a mother, it was only natural, I became a nurturer. Along the way, I lost who I was and what I wanted.

That is the situation I found myself in, and I am still struggling with who the real me truly is.  Journaling is helping to determine who I want to be.  S, you see, I am on my path to self-discovery.

For now, I know I enjoy writing almost as much as I do reading. I also love giving speeches, sharing what I have learned, and talking in general. My love of talking is only under certain circumstances. When I am reading, writing, or watching television, please leave me the heck alone

I did not mean to ramble, but so many of you are reading my blog, and until I do my about page, you do not know who I am. I will occasionally share more information about myself, including my frustrations, hurt, and anger. However, I rarely get angry.

That is it for now, so until next time, please stay safe, and keep the faith. Love you all!

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How Journaling Can Benefit Your Self-Development

Journaling is a fantastic way to supercharge your self-development efforts. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be challenging to analyze objectively.

Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a different perspective.

Thinking tends to be very sequential; one thought leads to the next, which leads to the next. We get caught in a linear track and miss out on the bird’s-eye view of the whole thought process. With journaling, you gain the ability to see things from a third-person view versus a first-person perspective.

Three Great Benefits of Journaling

  1. Solve complex challenges. When you write the issue at hand down on paper, the solution for a complex challenge often suddenly becomes apparent. The ability to re-examine the problem from a third-person perspective can make all the difference.
  2. Increase clarity. One of the best times to lean on your journal is when you are filled with uncertainty about what action to take. Many things become more evident when you can get them down in writing.
  3. Validate your progress. Sometimes we feel like we are spinning our wheels and not making genuine progress. When you are feeling this way, go back and review your old journal entries. You will be amazed at how much progress you have made since then. And you will also probably realize that you are taking huge strides right now, too!

How to Start a Journal

You might envision creating a journal in one of those blank books you can pick up in the bookstore. While this option certainly has a romantic feel to it, you might want to consider keeping an electronic journal.

  • Electronic journals can be virtually free; you could start a blog on a free website or use your word processing program.
  • The significant advantage of electronic journals is the ability to search for things. Imagine going back through 10 years of written records, trying to find a specific entry.
  • Additionally, if you type faster than you write, an electronic journal can be beneficial when trying to get complex thoughts out in a short period.
  • Also, there are several software programs available developed explicitly for journaling. If you can spare the $20-$30, they are worth checking out and provide a lot more flexibility than the traditional pen and paper approach.

Habit-forming: Make Journaling a Daily Activity

Even if you think that there are not enough exciting things happening in your life daily to bother recording them, do not let that deter you. New habits are much easier to implement if the activity is daily. Even getting down a couple of sentences every night is a great idea. You will be surprised how often you will write much more.

This practice can even help make your life more exciting and fulfilling. Just knowing that you have to journal each night may compel you to make your life a little more adventurous so that you have something interesting to write. Try it! During the day, you will notice that little thought in the back of your mind wondering what you can write about tonight.

Get started with your journal today. It is an activity that has little to no cost but provides numerous benefits. You will see your clarity increase and have a much better sense of just how much progress you are making in your life. Start journaling today and watch your self-development take on a new perspective.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith. 

Reaping the Benefits of a Gratitude Journal

It might seem like a pipe dream that writing in a journal could be so beneficial. But the scientific evidence is in, and gratitude journals benefit you in significant ways if you keep one for the long term and use it daily.

Experience Stronger and More Fulfilling Relationships

It is so simple, but it can be hard to accept. You are the one who makes yourself happy with your own choices. Another person cannot make you happy or grateful. Only you can do that. But something unique happens when you express gratitude often – your relationships open up and become better. Those that do not, you start to recognize for what they are and let them go.

Become Physically Healthier

Being grateful for the ability to move and breathe will eventually cross over into wanting to ensure that you can always do that. Therefore, you will be more motivated to go on walks, eat right, stay hydrated, and live in gratitude for every aspect of your life.

Increase Your Mental Dexterity

You take lemons and turn them into Arizona’s sweet and delightful state drink by keeping a gratitude journal. The main reason is that you will learn on even a bad day to pick out the good in it. That requires a good imagination, creativity, and thinking on your feet.

Feel Less Aggression in Your Life

 It is hard to feel aggressive if you are happy and grateful. It is okay to be angry about injustices in the world without being aggressive. But if you feel angry a lot due to your life, it is not finding the things to be grateful about in your life. There is almost always something for most people.

Act and Become More Empathetic

As you write more and learn to forgive yourself as you seek to fill your mind with thoughts of gratitude, you will start seeing others differently. You will have more ability to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their way without judgment. It happens when you learn to forgive yourself.

Get More Restful Sleep

If you are not anxious but go to sleep each night feeling thankful for everything you have experienced (or at least most of it), it is more comfortable to sleep because you have less anxiety.

Get More Done Every Day

Due to feeling more rested, less stressed, and more grateful, you will have a lot more energy to get things done every day. That is always going to make you feel even more thankful because good things happen due to productivity.

Feel Better about Yourself

You can not help but feel better about yourself when you have improved so many good qualities about yourself. Your self-esteem will go up when you express gratitude for what your mind and body can do for you.

If you want to be happier, get more done in life, and experience real joy in life, a gratitude journal can be the way to achieve it. The guiding thing to remember is that your thoughts cause your feelings, and you are the one in control of the actions you take once you accept your feelings. Assuming that you do have control is half the battle, and your journal will make it clear that you do.

No matter what your goals are in life, journaling can help you reach those goals. It is not magic; it is just a simple way to voice what you want and to create action steps to get there. Goal setting does not have to be complicated, but if we do not have a precise list or a path of action steps, we can get distracted and lose track of our dreams. My “Journal to Relieve Stress and Reach Your Goals Faster” introductory class aims to teach you how to journal and write. All you need is 10 minutes a day to do some writing and the desire to dream big. Check out the class here: https://tinyurl.com/1vdou9ig.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith. 

4 Common Myths about Journaling

Journaling is on the rise, and a growing number of solopreneurs and others find it invaluable for getting the clarity and motivation needed to thrive. However, misconceptions are still common, and breaking them can help you make the most of journaling. Here are some common myths about journaling.

Journaling Takes Too Much Time

Journaling is a time commitment, but many people overestimate both how much time it takes and how difficult it is to find the time needed to make journaling a regular habit. If you have a morning routine, there’s a good chance you can spend a few minutes journaling while having a cup of coffee, for example. If you don’t have a morning routine, consider setting one up and making journaling a part of it.

If you spend any time on public transportation or waiting in lines, consider downloading a journaling app to pull up when you have a free moment. Many people find journaling to be most effective right before bed. Consider using journaling as a way to unwind after a long day.

I Don’t Have Anything to Write About

Journaling is a creative task, but do not use the “I’m not creative” excuse to avoid regular journaling. Think about some of the most basic journaling questions or techniques. Consider a gratitude journal: What made you grateful during the day? A surprise journal is also a great way to gain some perspective, so think through how your day went and what parts of it you found surprising. What made you laugh during the day? Journaling helps clarify your aspirations and find out how to meet them, so write about your dreams.

I’m Not Good at Writing, or I Hate Writing

Your journal is not about showing off perfect grammar; it is about speaking to yourself in an organized manner. You do not even need to use typical sentences, so consider starting up a bullet journal to improve your organization and track your days.

Lists are great for journaling, so think about starting up a list of your goals or dreams you can update over time. Finally, note that journaling does not have to be on paper. A simple voice memo app can let you journal through your smartphone’s microphone, allowing you to think through your day and record your thoughts.

There is a Right and Wrong Way to Journal

Following a prescribed journaling method can be great for getting started, and you may find a particular type of journaling is perfect for you. However, any time you spend collecting your thoughts and committing them to paper is time well spent, and even scratching down a few notes you are unlikely to read through again helps organize your thoughts and sets you up for future success. Find out what works for you.

Journaling is an invaluable habit, but many people are intimidated due to persistent myths and misconceptions. Above all, please keep an open mind when it comes to journaling. You may be surprised how your attitude changes over time.

Take Journaling to the Next Level with My Newest Class

Now that I have convinced you of the benefits and ease of journaling, let me show you how journaling can significantly change your life. My newest class, “Journaling to Relieve Stress and Reach Your Goals Faster.” Learn how to embrace journaling quickly and how to incorporate this stress-reliever into your everyday life. I’ll encourage you to embrace journaling, even if you have to use baby steps to get started. Go here to register for a free class, https://tinyurl.com/1vdou9ig. The course is on February 28, at 2 p.m.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.  

Conquer Those Mindset Roadblocks with Journaling

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Journaling is about clarity, and when we gain clarity about roadblocks that are holding us back, we are better able to deal with them. Although journaling can be useful for several reasons, it is perhaps best for personal growth, and breaking down barriers is a worthwhile goal. Here are a few common types of roadblocks and how to use journaling to defeat them.

Money Roadblocks

Perhaps the most valuable tool in the fight against money roadblocks is your budget, but there is no need to make your budget and your journaling entirely separate entities. Tracking your spending, after all, is similar to journaling, and tracking down your thoughts on your budgeting progress can help you find out what works best for you.

Furthermore, tracking your financial roadblocks is about uncovering your relationship with money itself. By journaling about it, you will be better able to find out what is holding you back and improve in the future. Even if it takes time to make progress you are seeking, journaling about money lets you spend the rest of your time focused on other significant goals.

Insecurity

We often are plagued with feelings of insecurity, and journaling can be an excellent technique for breaking down these roadblocks. Perhaps the most common type of insecurity is imposter syndrome, which is common among people who do not feel like they belong or deserve to be in a particular field. By tracking downtimes when your feelings of insecurity or imposter syndrome pop up, you will be able to craft an action plan for accepting these feelings and letting them pass promptly.

Merely acknowledging that imposter syndrome is a part of your life lets you recognize intrusive feelings for what they are. Feelings of insecurity may never entirely go away, but you can help make them nothing more than minor distractions through journaling.

Productivity Roadblocks

People often joke about procrastination, but productivity roadblocks constitute a significant issue for many, especially in the digital era. If you have a bullet journal, consider making quick notes about your progress during the day and times when you are unable to be at your best. Look for patterns and find ways to set yourself in an ideal environment for success.

If you view low productivity as a significant setback, consider setting aside a few minutes every night looking back at what you think held you back during the day. Focus on the positive as well: A few minutes in the morning covering how you intend to be productive can set you on a course for success. Try listing the three most important tasks that you MUST finish that day, and you will start your workday focused and determined.

Journaling is a powerful tool, and it helps us uncover what we need to succeed in our personal and professional lives. If you, like most people, are currently being held back by roadblocks, make sure to use journaling as a way to uncover roadblocks, form actionable plans, and thrive.

Need more convincing? Join my intro class on February 28, at 2 p.m.!

I will discuss how to get started journaling, some more benefits, tools you need to get started, and writing ideas. We will also talk about the pros and cons of handwritten journaling vs. digital journaling. Plus, ways to incorporate this new habit into your already busy life. We will have fun! So, join me on February 28, at 2 p.m. Be sure to register for notifications! https://tinyurl.com/1vdou9ig.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.

Find More Time in Your Day by Adding Journaling to Your Schedule

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One of the best aspects of running your own business is the freedom to plan your day the way you want. Without a boss and a fixed schedule, you set your own goals and decide when and where to work. If you struggle to stay organized, you will quickly find yourself working too many hours and likely end up on the road to burnout.

An ideal method for creating structure is to fit journaling into your daily schedule. Journaling is not a mere internet fad. It is an invaluable tool that every entrepreneur should use to organize day-to-day tasks and short-term and long-term goals.

Whether you use a physical notebook or a digital tool, you will still be able to reap the benefits of this efficient practice.

Improve Organization and Productivity

When you write goals down rather than trying to juggle them in your head, they will be easier to remember. It will allow you to organize your thoughts to create the optimal plan for achieving your goals.

Writing down your goals is an excellent way to organize and break them down into small, actionable steps. Especially in the beginning, little daily habits will help you accomplish more than a demanding, unrealistic plan that leaves you feeling stressed and overworked. If you perform an easy task for even just a few minutes each day, you can build a daily habit that will immensely boost your productivity in the long run.

Gain a Clearer Perspective

If you are like most people, you see goals and milestones written down provides clarity that you cannot reach through just mulling things over in your head.

Journaling will give you a clear visual of your business plan and make it much easier to see where you may have to adjust your goals. A clearly outlined schedule will help you stay focused even on days you feel tired or swamped with work, as you will not have to waste time agonizing over what to start on first.

Besides, the therapeutic effects of writing can help you relax by reducing your anxiety and stress levels on difficult days.

Try Bullet Journaling

One of the least complicated forms of journaling is also one of the most effective. The power of bullet journaling lies in its simplicity. Brief, concise notes are far less overwhelming than extensive descriptions of a task or goal. Without the pressure of complicated details, your mind will be freer, enabling new ideas and creativity to flow without obstruction.

This popular version of journaling also makes it easy to cross out tasks you have completed, providing an extra sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

There are few drawbacks to starting a daily journaling practice to boost your overall productivity. Organizing your workdays will not only remove the unneeded stress of struggling to decide what task to tackle first, but it will also enable you to achieve more while working fewer hours.

My New Journal Class

If you are more curious about how journaling can change your life, join my journaling class on February 28th at  2 p.m. We will talk about how to get started, WHY you should get started, and how easy it is to create a new life-changing habit. Be sure to follow me on Facebook to get notifications about my class https://www.facebook.com/lawannagparker or go directly to Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/journaling-to-help-you-reduce-stress-and-reach-your-goals-faster-tickets-141650595745 to register for free.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith. 

How to Journal Your Way to Improved Mental Health

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Many business leaders struggle with stress. Over time, stress can turn into more serious mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety. A great way to improve your mental health is by taking the extra time each day to journal. You can choose to journal in various ways, whether you prefer to use old-fashioned pen and paper or use an app on your phone.

Here are a few of the main ways that journaling can improve your mental health.

Helps You to Relax

One of the benefits of writing in a journal is that it helps you to relax. Write about the stressors of your day to release them from your mind. Or consider a different approach: Write about your gratitude or all the things that went RIGHT today. Taking the extra time to relax is also a great way to boost your immune system and help you stay mentally and physically healthy. Writing in a journal for only 15 to 20 minutes a day a few times a week is an effective way to relax and unwind from each day’s stress.

Boosts Your Mood

Another benefit of journaling is that it can significantly boost your mood and enhance your overall

well-being. Putting all of your thoughts on paper or typing them out on a computer can relieve stress and help you feel much better. Developing a journaling habit is an excellent way to reduce depression and provide a positive outlet for you to express your emotions.

Allows You to Stay in Tune with Your Emotions

One of the main reasons people struggle with their emotions is the failure to focus on their mental well-being. However, taking the time to write in a journal is an excellent way to stay in tune with your emotions and help you develop resiliency to everyday stressors. Strengthening your emotional functions by journaling is a perfect way for business leaders and entrepreneurs to handle stress in the workplace.

Solve Problems More Effectively

Many times the source of anxiety or stress is due to unresolved problems at work. Making the extra effort to put your thoughts down on paper is a great way to help you solve problems through creativity and intuition. Taking a break from the fast-paced work environment is also an effective way to help you feel relax and find creative solutions to various problems.

Helps You Achieve Goals

Writing your thoughts in a journal is also a great way to help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Writing your goals down is an effective way to keep your focus and help you be much more productive. Achieving your goals is a great way to boost your mood and help you feel much better about your life.

Looking at ways to improve your mental health is essential in today’s ultra-competitive work environment. One of the most overlooked ways to boost your mental well-being is to focus on writing in a journal for a few minutes each day. Developing a journaling routine that works best for your situation is an effective way to combat everyday stress and significantly improve your overall well-being.

Let’s Talk More About Journaling on February 28, 2021, at 2 p.m. PST

Have I convinced you yet to try journaling? It is not difficult to get started but if you need even more convincing, join my intro journal training on February 28, at 2 p.m. PST. You can register for free at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/journaling-to-help-you-reduce-stress-and-reach-your-goals-faster-tickets-141650595745

I will even share the benefits of you keeping a journal. Be sure you are following me on Facebook, so you get notifications! https://www.facebook.com/lawannagparker

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith. 

The Unknown: Where You Find Your True Self

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If you’re thinking already, you might as well think big. ~ Unknown

You have probably heard the saying by Roy T. Bennet, “You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

During the times you indeed step outside your element, you experience who you are. It is about facing our fears and doing things that make us so passionate.

We often live our lives with the “I cannot,” “I don’t want to,” or “it’s too difficult” thoughts that keep us stuck and unhappy. Only until we realize that when we stop letting our negative thoughts control us, we find our true selves.

Stepping into the unknown is frightening, the place just beyond where we can see the outcome of doing it. That is the part that makes our hearts pump faster, makes us break out into a cold sweat, and yet, and we yearn to see what is there.

Staying in our comfort zone keeps us from stepping into that unknown. It keeps us secure and safe. Your comfort zone is the basis of your life now. It’s how you define who and what you currently are.

But what would happen if you stretched outside that zone? Would bad things happen? Or would you suddenly be excited about life?

How do you know if you should step into the unknown? Begin by writing down ten things that do not scare you, and you often do. It could be things like traveling by bus, giving a public speech, or whatever it is that does not scare you. It will be different for each person because we all have different comfort zones.

Describe how it feels to live within your comfort zone. Be as detailed as possible using feeling words. How does it make you feel to be in your body, your mind, and your life?

Then ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are there things you want to achieve but have not yet?
  2. Are you dissatisfied with your daily life?
  3. Do you want to achieve big things?
  4. Do your goals and passions keep appearing, tugging at you?
  5. Is there material or immaterial things you want that you do not have?
  6. Are you struggling with finding meaning in your life?
  7. Are you feeling jealous of others who have achieved or done things you secretly want?

Once you have answered these questions, think about what is keeping you from going after what you want. What makes you uncomfortable? Is it fear? Are you reluctant to take chances or make changes?

Write Down 10 Things That Scare You.

Now describe how it would feel if you were living outside your comfort zone. Be as detailed as possible. You can describe in detail how it feels, what you see, hear, or where you are.  Use images, color, or visualization to help you create your life.

Take your time with these steps. Once you realize what keeps you from stepping into the unknown, you can begin taking small steps outside your comfort zone to get there.

Your life can be as fulfilled and exciting as you desire it to be once you step into the unknown, where you find your true self. 

Until next time, take care of yourself, and keep the faith. 

Building Self Respect

The first step toward developing self-respect is acknowledging and believing that you matter more than others when it comes to your life decisions.

When you begin to understand that others take their cue from you and respond to how they treat you, you can take charge of yourself.

Be True to Yourself and Your Needs

Be Clear on Your Values

For each part of life that makes you a whole, well-rounded person, consider how your values will play out and what your personal goals are for each.

Stop Trying to Impress Others

Being comfortable with who you are, means no longer worrying if your choices are acceptable to others.

Avoid Being Jealous of Others

Envying others for their success or happiness is sure to rob you of your joy and self-respect.

Change the Inner Voice of Negativity

The negative inner voice we all have can often keep us from taking action in our lives.

Do Not Let Others Have Power Over You

Only when your self-worth comes from you and not others do you have real self-respect.

Treat Yourself with Respect

Surround Yourself with Respectful People

Lead by Example

By treating others with respect, you lead by example in two ways. You help others to see how to treat you. And, you remind yourself why you are deserving of self-respect and how you should treat yourself.

Never Quit Trying

Working on your self-respect is a lifelong endeavor. As we grow and change, our behavior toward ourselves shifts as well.

When you treat yourself with self-respect and are confident in the things you do, others will treat you with respect.

Until next time, stay safe, and keep the faith.