ENDURING LIFE: I’m Quirky and I Know It!

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I have filled many journal pages in my day; however despite my 2 decades of journaling, I would say that only the last 2 years have been filled with more positive notations and thoughts.

As a child, I stayed to myself. I didn’t bother anyone and I was pretty self sufficient before I was ten years old. When I did start to socialize, I was awkward and often made fun of. Needless to say, I documented those experiences and continued to beat myself up over the things that others did not like about me.

I carried those negative words, comments and taunts with me into my adulthood and sought out the wrong friends and attention only to find myself more unhappy and very depressed. When someone didn’t want to hang out with me, I questioned myself, my personality even the way I dressed. I doubted my ability to be a friend and I compared myself to others, who I believed “had it all.”

I knew I was different when it came to my looks, my thoughts and actions but when people started picking me apart in their own unique ways, I didn’t like being different. I hated it and I found myself altering myself to please those who I encountered. If they didn’t like my glasses, I took them off (Lord knows I needed them.) If they said I talked too much, I kept quiet. And when I was called a scatterbrain, I kept my thoughts and ideas to myself.

This practice and these mental beatings continued on until about 2 years ago when I decided to make a positive change from the inside out and today I’m sharing the 4 ways I embrace my quirks through journal writing.

Blank pages became physical canvases for positive words.
Blank pages became physical canvases for positive words.

          1.I “talked” about them.      Of course, you know what I mean when I say I talked about my quirks. I wrote them down. I created lists of my so called quirks and I reflected on them. I was called “four eyes” in elementary and middle school. I didn’t think this made me quirky or weird but it did to others. So I often wrote down all the reasons why I wear glasses (because I am blind without them)  and I reflected on how much I LOVE wear my glasses.

I love my glasses, full lips and oval face...makes me look and feel exotic!
I love my glasses, full lips and oval face…makes me look and feel exotic!

2. Turn a NEGATIVE into a POSITIVE!    THIS is possible and I believe this is best done through the art of affirmation writing. Taking a negative thought that you have about yourself and turning it into something beautiful that represents you can and will surely boost your confidence. For example, one of my biggest quirks is being a scatterbrain. I have been disregarded and frowned upon because my ability to live life with 2,188 tabs open in my head but to me, I see it as endless possibilities and ideas surging through me. Take that negative and make it positive, you know you can.

I make it an appoint to write a positive note daily before I start planning my day.
I make it an appoint to write a positive note daily before I start planning my day. It reminds me that I am stronger than the negative words and actions of anyone and any day! 

         3.  Stop the madness of comparing! I am me and you are you, so why do we need to compare ourselves to each other? We’re only human and it happens often. I used to compare myself to a friend all the time. I literally picked my life apart while analyzing her life and mine. We had similar quirks, yet she was embraced by masses and I was barely getting hits on my blog. Doing so almost cost me my relationship with my husband, my focus and another bout of severe depression. I used my journal to remind myself of who I was and what I was here to do. I filled those pages with ideas, missions, more affirmations and reminders that I was put on this earth for different reasons as my friend and those were the reasons that I had to not only focus on but also appreciate.

        4. (Love) Notes to Self :)   When it comes to embracing who we are, how we behave and what we do, we can’t seek out others to remind us of how special we are, we have to look within in and what better way to do that than by writing love letters to yourself. Last year, I dedicated the month of February to self love and I launched the Self-Love Letter Challenge. I encouraged participates to write love letters to herself and mean every word she wrote. I too joined in on the challenge and I used those letters to open up more about my quirks and accept that this was me! This is who I am and who I always will be. I still reference those letters at least once a week, especially when I feel a case of negativity trying to move in on me.

The reality that it has taken me almost 30 years to accept myself doesn’t deter me, it motivates me. I know that I was created this way for a reason and as much as it would be nice for everyone to understand, I know that they do not have to understand it. Accepting your quirks makes you stronger, it builds a confidence that no one can take away from you and through journaling I learned that I am invincible and so are you.

Embrace your quirks. Write them down, reflect on them, turn negative statements into positive affirmations, stop playing compare and contrast with YOUR personality and remember to acknowledge self-love!

Are you ready to reflect? What’s one of your biggest quirks? How have you embraced it? Share your quirky reflections below.

Until next time, stay blessed all!

TEOLOGO1

 

ENDURING MUSINGS: Update- Selfie Journal Challenge

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It’s been a super busy week for me as I prepare to take some much needed time off and prep for Thanksgiving, so I have been trying to catch up on my entries for the Selfie Journal Challenge.

Growing up, I don’t remember getting my picture taken much. Sure, I had class pictures but I can count on one hand just how many pictures I have seen of myself as a child.

Yeah, that many.

This challenge allows me to capture images of myself that I never had as a kid and I am able to reflect on paper about the image and myself as a whole.

Here’s a peek at some of my pages from last week…

Decorating the pages has been therapeutic for me. It calms me down, especially after a hectic day at work. Grabbing a few markers and just letting loose is such a great way to wind down...
Decorating the pages has been therapeutic for me. It calms me down, especially after a hectic day at work or around the house. Grabbing a few markers and just letting loose is such a great way to wind down…
"Usies" and a natural face. This SMASH book has become my favorite base for art journals with photographs.
“Usies” and a natural face. This SMASH book has become my favorite base for art journals with photographs.
UGH! This paper came to a HUGE surprise. I had no idea how to journal on it but I loved the contrast of the black and white.
UGH! This paper came as a HUGE surprise. I had no idea how to journal on it but I loved the contrast of the black and white.

I created this challenge with a purpose; I want those who are taking it to do more than take a self-portrait and write a caption or two, I want you- I want us to elaborate, express and reflect those these images.

How can our images do more than gather likes and comments? How can our images enhance us? How can they peel back the layers that we have covered ourselves with for so long?

It’s time to sound off and share. What layer will you peel back? Share your comments and your selfies with me here or on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist)

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

ENDURING LIFE: Dear Creatives…

Dear Creatives…

Don’t give up.

I know that this statement is easier said-and read than done but please, do not give up. From one creative to another, let me share something with you.

I am a reformed quitter. Yep, I was notorious for quitting something. Be it the project got tough or I didn’t feel like I was being supported by those around me, I was quick to throw in my towel and walk away with my tail between my legs.

If I had a dollar for every business idea and project I launched and gave up on, I could go to TWO movies at AMC AND get some popcorn with a drink too.

I know that might not seem like a lot but from a creative mindset, it is.  I gave up on so many ideas and projects that I started to think that I was in the business of giving up… until, I fell in love with my purpose and my passion.

When I decided to take a serious leap of faith and start a subscription box business I was excited and I was scared. So like any other venture, I looked to the internet to help me find out more information and you know what? I didn’t find much. I found a few posts here and there but nothing solid enough to help me develop the framework I needed for this business. After a few searches, I contemplated if this business was really for me or could this just be another “good” idea at a bad time?

There were moments of doubt- okay, there were a lot of moments. I was so frustrated with the minimal information I found that I was ready to quite before the hard work really happened. I wanted to just stop everything, go back to being a housewife and calling that my life but something would not let me quit.

My passion and my purpose.

The passion was growing and my purpose was becoming clearer. How could I give up after all that soul searching, crying and listening to John Mayer’s “Why Georigia” and “Stop This Train” on repeat?

How could I expect this to be a cake walk? This was a business, a livelihood and a future legacy for my kids and their families. Giving up may have seem like the easiest thing to do but it was also the cowardly choice.

I have spent many nights fighting back tears, crying at random and screaming at the top of my lungs:

WHY DOESN’T ANYONE WANT WHAT I HAVE?

WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE ME BUSTING MY ASS!!

I apologize for the swearing but this is the life of a creative. I have done all of this, all while developing my business, building my brand and chasing my dreams.

It’s not pretty.

I am learning that as much as I believe that what I have to offer is for EVERYONE…It’s not. What I am offering- a creative outlet for personal growth is only for those who seek it most. (Can you tell I’ve been hitting the marketing research, lately?) Some people will love what I do and support me and my craft on their own terms not mine. With that being said, there is no excuse for us to give up on our passions.

Creatives, let me tell you this…DO NOT GIVE UP!

Everyone has to start from somewhere and that makes us, the creatives no different. Yes, I know that we are sensitive about our crafts and that’s what makes us so passionate. If you’re so passionate about your gift, tell me again why you’re so ready to give up on it?

Go on I’m listening…

Creatives, we are unique, special and we are bound for greatness. We cannot lose sight of our passions and purpose because they make us who we are from the inside out. When you feel like you’re ready to give up…ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. What is my long term goal with this?
  3. What else to I need to learn to reach achieve this dream?

If you’re unable to answer these questions, chances are you might want to reevaluate if your heart is really in it. If you have answered these questions truthfully then recreate your action plan, deconstruct it to work for you and no one else.

I believe in you, creatives. We are destined for greatness. Are you ready to claim it?

I’m ready. Let’s go!

Until next time, stay blessed, unique and of course…CREATIVE!

TEOLOGO1

ENDURING LIFE: My Journaled Life: How Journaling Helped Me Find My Purpose

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My name is Pachét Spates and I am a journalist! Not only to I believe in the benefits of journaling, I have experienced them.

In my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling, I explain that I have been journaling since I was a little girl. I was 6 years old to be exact and my first entry detailed the life of another, not my own. I wrote a story. After writing that story, I felt a connection with the pen and paper and I have been a faithful (for the most part) journal writer ever since.

Through my years, I have written about so many topics and experiences in my journals but none have been as eye opening and enlightening as they have been over the last two years. I was journaling off and on while serving in the Army and thereafter but I didn’t get back into on somewhat of a daily basis until after the birth of my third child.

I was feeling down and unable to pick myself back up like I used to, so I used my journal to breakdown my current moods, situations and experiences. I chronicled my lack of inspiration and direction and I wallowed deeply in the “my life means nothing” realm.  Honestly, I believed that I was just destined to be just a mother and a wife. I didn’t even know or understand my purpose.

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A few journals from 2013…

The more that I wrote in my journal, the more, I felt a desire to uncover something that was deeper in me than I ever knew. Soon, my journaling took a new turn; I started writing my own affirmations and elaborating on them in my entries. I started drafting daily to-do lists based on the dreams that I was documenting in my entries.

Affirmation writing accompanied with a journal session.
Affirmation writing accompanied with a journal session.

I read those entries over and over and often, I would add to them when ideas hit until…it hit me.

I found my purpose.

My purpose had been in front of my face the entire time, in my writing, in my own words…My purpose is to use my creativity to inspire others through innovative tactics to motivate them to think positive and chase their dreams.

The beginning ideas for The Optimist Kit...
The beginning ideas for The Optimist Kit…

Journaling has opened my eyes and made me refocus that negative energy and those negative thoughts and transform them into positive challenges and inspirations. The more I journal, the more I am able to define my purpose even further and I believe the same can happen for anyone.

A brain dump of journal ideas from a few months ago.
A brain dump of journal ideas from a few months ago.

We have to be willing to open up ourselves, face the demons and get back to the essence of who we are. What makes us tick? What motivates us? What gets our blood racing and what keeps us up at night? These questions…and all their answers can and will define our purpose in life.

I used to think that finding one’s purpose was the equivalent to rock science. I thought it took more than thoughts- no, our thoughts are just the beginning. They are the blueprints of our future…

Has journaling helped you? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

Find out about the benefits of journaling and more in my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling, available now on Amazon.com.

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

 

ENDURING MUSINGS: Update- Selfie Journal Challenge

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So we are almost 2 weeks into my recent journal challenge, The Selfie Journal Challenge and I wanted to share with you how I have been doing this challenge.

In my previous challenges, I posted directly to my blog; however; I am such a sucker for a keepsake (and a notebook) and I wanted to get some art journaling in this month so I decided to utilize a SMASH Book I purchased from Target (on clearance) and combine the digital and physical world.

Here are some of my entries from last week:

The first two days of the challenge...
The first two days of the challenge…
I love that SMASH Books are like binders. It made it so easy to write on the pages and switch them around or add additional pages too.
I love that SMASH Books are like binders. It made it so easy to write on the pages and switch them around or add additional pages too.
For this art journal I did keep it simple and I used my Papermate markers. They do NOT bleed through the paper and they are precise.
For this art journal I did keep it simple and I used my Papermate markers. They do NOT bleed through the paper and they are precise.
One of my favorite pages!
One of my favorite pages!
I have gotten a few questions about how I printed my picture out. There a variety of ways. You can email your pics to yourself and print them out check out Walgreen's app for Android and Apple. You can upload pictures from your phone and/or other social media sources (Facebook and Instagram) and get them printed off at one of their photo centers in your area. The cost as low as $0.17 per photo.
I have gotten a few questions about how I printed my picture out. There a variety of ways. You can email your pics to yourself and print them out or check out Walgreen’s app for Android and Apple. You can upload pictures from your phone and/or other social media sources (Facebook and Instagram) and get them printed off at one of their photo centers in your area. The cost as low as $0.17 per photo. I have been using my Walgreens app and taking notes for each entry on a memo pad application on my phone too. 

I hope that this challenge is fun and also refreshing for you. I have been questioned on why I wanted to do such a challenge and was told that it didn’t make sense. Well, I say to each its own.

I created this challenge to be fun and allow participants to try out or partake in something that was not only creative but also motivating. All too often, those who take selfies are looked at as vain but to me, a selfie is a reflection of our emotions. How we feel at the given time. Stuck in traffic, hungry and ready to get home, take a selfie and reflect.

Sharing a moment with friends? Take a selfie and reflect on that newfound memory.

Selfies have become the digital diary; allowing us to track life events from day to day. I hope that you are enjoying this challenge as much as I am. I am having some fun with this one and loving the stress free feeling when I am done with a page.

How’s your selfie journal challenge coming along? Share your thoughts on this challenge below and share some selfies with me on Instagram when you follow me @the_enduringoptimist and or use the hashtag #selfiejournalchallenge.

And for information on the benefits of journal, my book The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling is on sale now on Amazon. I highlight the benefits of journal writing, discuss various types of journals and I have over 30 journal prompts and writing pages to kickstart your written journey.

Order your copy here.

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

ENDURING LIFE: Recapping the Hustle and Flow Workshop

 

 

 

 

 

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As an aspiring entrepreneur, I have become a sponge. I soak up as much information and inspiration as I can and I try to learn as much as I can about business from marketing to branding and social media to professionalism; so when I was invited to cover Toya Nicole’s Hustle and Flow  Building, Branding and Balancing Your Business workshop, I accepted the request and came prepared to take some notes for me and YOU!

Last Sunday, a group of entrepreneurs and myself gathered at the Hyatt Place in Hyde Park of Chicago for more than light refreshments, we gathered together for inspiration, motivation and action steps from Boardroom Beauties’ Co-Founder and entrepreneur, Toya Nicole and a panel of insightful business women sharing their tips, tricks and lessons on building your brand, building and operating your business and balancing it all.

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The workshop kicked off with keynotes from the hostess herself. Toya welcomed us and advised that this workshop was designed to empower us as entrepreneurs and provide the necessary tools and resources needed for our brands and business.

Workshop creator and hostess, Toya Nicole opened the event with one simple question.
Workshop creator and hostess, Toya Nicole opened the event with one simple question.

Tax accountant, DeAnna Grant has been in the tax business for over 15 years and after groundbreaking life events, she decided to launch her own business and thus, Grant’s Financial was born.

Tax accountant DeAnna Grant stresses that profits are everything  and reminds the audience that we are in the business of making money.
Tax accountant DeAnna Grant stresses that profits are everything and reminds the audience that we are in the business of making money.

DeAnna, shared the 5 things that every aspiring entrepreneur should know from a an accountant’s perspective. Grant detailed that maintaining good books and records, paying your taxes in a timely fashion, creating business loss year after year, the importance of profit and understanding cash flow are all vital in the entrepreneurial process. She also added that hiring a good accountant doesn’t hurt either ;)

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Kristen Anderson teaching the audience of "The Wealth Equation."
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Kristin Anderson teaching the audience of “The Wealth Equation.”

Kristin Anderson shared her story of how to came to be a Financial Advisor. From college to the 9 to 5, she has done it all and now she’s sharing “The Wealth Equation” with us:

Give 10,  Save 10 and Invest 10 and live the good life! 

Kristin broke down equation and advised that the biggest killer in the question is when you factor in debt. She added that if you can pull debt payments from funds set aside for taxes and/or housing.

Event Coordinator, LaToya Keys breaks down the art of professionalism and what it means to keep your personal and professional life separated.
Event Designer, LaToya Keys breaks down the art of professionalism and what it means to keep your personal and professional life separated.

When she’s not working her 9 to 5, LaToya Keys is creating beautiful events throughout the Chicagoland area and schooling us on “Professionalism 101.”

Keys stressed the importance of defining professionalism for yourself and being consistent with it. She explained that in any and every business, it’s all about the details and added that a lack of communication is the biggest killers for small businesses. You must communicate with your clients and prospects.

LaToya enforced the importance of being intentional about your brand by setting boundaries to create your personal brand and its identity.

Her hustle and flow! Toya Nicole gives us a crash course in social media.
Her hustle and flow! Toya Nicole gives us a crash course in social media.

Toya Nicole gave the audience the insight needed to navigate the  ins and outs of social media and offered the 3 social media mistakes to avoid. She added that when it comes to social media, you need to listen, plan, develop a strategy and decide on what tools you will use to share content.

Panel Discussion: The guest speakers took questions from the audience and shared some last minute tips.
Panel Discussion: The guest speakers took questions from the audience and shared some last minute tips.

At the close the workshop, the guest speakers sat down to answer questions for the audience and provide a few more nuggets of inspirational wisdom.

DeAnna stressed the importance of keeping your business organized and advised us to to “THINK LIKE A BIG BUSINESS.” LaToya added that we master the art of time management and suggested to get into the habit of scheduling your week ahead of schedule. And Toya encouraged us to create our own hashtags unique to your brand and business for social media content.

By the time this workshop was over, not only did I have pages worth of notes and action steps, I was recharged. I was and am ready to take a good hard look at my business, think like a big business and get my brand in order.

Want more information  on each of these phenomenal business owners or how to contact them, click on the links below:

DeAnna Grant for Grants Financial 

Kristin Anderson, Financial Advisor-Edward Jones 

LaToya Keys for Elle Kay Events 

Toya Nicole for L. Nicole Media 

Until next time, stay blessed and inspired!

TEOLOGO1

ENDURING LIFE: I’m a GOAL Getter! My November 2014 Goals

 

HeyNovember

Welcome to NOVEMBER!

Daylight savings time gave us an hour back, how will YOU utilize that extra hour?

It is that time again, time for us to set some goals, make some plans and make some serious moves.

This month I am prepping for business and the blog in 2015. I’m also taking the last week of this month off to celebrate life, love and MY 30TH BIRTHDAY! I am so excited to turn 30 and so nervous at the same time but first I gotta focus on some goals first.

This month, I used my handy monthly goal setting worksheet to draft my goals for the month.

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There are many things that I want accomplish; however; I sat down and I prioritized what REALLY needs to get done for my business and my blog. Here are my three goals for this month:

1. Outline and write my informal business plan for The Optimist Kit

I have said it before and I will say it again, The Optimist Kit is my baby and I want to nurture it in every way that I can. Most importantly, I know that I need a business plan and since my business is small as of right now, i feel that an informal business plan will allow me the opportunity to share my business with potential vendors and sponsors for my kits. After I draft my plan, I will be sharing it with at least three people who I trust to review it and give me feedback on it.

2.  Create my editorial calendar for the first quarter of 2015 for the blog. 

I am a list maker and a secret (or not so secret) organizational nut plus, I have found a newfound love of editorial calenders. I have been using one (lightly) for the last 3 months or so and I enjoy it. This time around I want to make sure that I not only create the schedule of content but produce it and schedule it for 2015. If you’re a blogger, editorial calendars are a must or you will be spending all your days creating content and losing precious time doing cool stuff like chatting with me online :)

3. Plan Kits for the first quarter of 2015 for The Optimist Kit. 

While I am drafting my business plan, I am also thinking about the next 3 years of The Optimist Kit. I am planning a formal relaunch with The Optimist-Kit and I want to ensure that I have some great kits to ship out. So this month I will be breaking down the quarters, finalizing a price on the kits and creating event kits too.

I am always excited when a new month comes but I think that this month I am excited to be working on my future in general. I am gearing up to really give you some great content for journaling and creative personal growth.

After I set my goals for the month, I created a vision page in my Passion Planner to keep encouraged alongside my calendar.

My November vision page and my calendar for this month.
My November vision page and my calendar for this month.

In additional to these goals, I am planning a vision board workshop too slated for a December date! I want to encourage and motivate everyone to get into a positive state of mind in time for a new year, so stay tuned for more details about my workshop.

Have you set your goals for November yet? Share your three goals for this month in the comments below. If you have yet to set your goals, check out my MonthlyGoalSetting printable.

Here’s to a productive and blessed November.

Until next time, stay blessed…and warm!

TEOLOGO1

 

 

Creating, inspiring and motivating one positive post at a time. New posts EVERY Wednesday and Friday!

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