ENDURING LIFE: Dear Sons (Black Lives Matter)

Dear Sons,

You matter! You matter to me, your fathers, your mothers and most importantly this world.

We need your smiles to light up rooms, we need your strength to carry us through and most importantly we need you be alive.

It pains me to even write these words but I have to offer words of caution. Beware, sons…our precious sons because this world isn’t ready for you.

This world has been manipulated by the hands of those who do not understand you. And when they don’t understand, they fear and when they fear, they eliminate.  This world has been altered to oppress you, reject you, denounce you and sadly…end you.

Your lives, your very heartbeats are just a statistic waiting to be confirmed.

I offer these words not to scare you, instead, I want to educate you and enlighten you. Baby, this land of freedom comes with a price that I fear they have appraised with your flesh and blood.

They pack you into jailhouses, mock your strength, desensitize your masculinity and now…they take your lives in broad daylight while their peers excuse and justify them. What happens to us? Your mothers, your fathers, sisters and fellow brothers?

We suffer. We mourn. We speak up and speak out for you!

Sons, believe me when I say that history is repeating itself but we will not stand for this morbid repetition. You will rise about this, celebrate your victories and like those who came before us…overcome.

Dear sons, listen to your mothers when we say:

Don’t sell out.

Don’t cash in your freedom.

Don’t sell your soul.

Don’t offer your innovation to those who don’t value you.

Fear not those cloaked in authority, instead feed them knowledge. Do not validate their reasons to interject on your freedom of self, instead shame them with your progress. Stun them with your intelligence and walk away when need be.

Be Martin, not Kanye. Be a movement and give every encounter a positive purpose.  Give power to your actions and plant wisdom with your words.

Know that your lives matter, they’re precious and they are important.

Dear sons, rise up, be heard and live free!

-The Enduring Optimist

 

ENDURING LIFE: Journaling 101- Do I Really Need All of That?

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Before writing my book, I was asked a lot “What do I need to start journaling?” I didn’t really know how to answer the question, because I tend to be something of a minimalist when it comes to my journal essentials; however; when the question popped up again after writing and publishing the book, I figured it was time to share some of my thoughts and hopefully answer this question to the best of my abilities.

So today, I’m answering the question and keeping it simple. I will elaborate on some elements in later posts too.

Deal? Cool :)

So you’re ready to start a journal? Are you sure? Because once you start, it’s like Pringles…you won’t stop. (Side Note: This is the second post this week that I reference food…Lol) Deciding to start a journal is a big deal because journaling is a true journey into ourselves. I’m a strong believer that your journey to self should be a big deal, therefore your vessel should be one that you enjoy and the items that you bring with you on this trip should be just as meaningful too.

What do you need, then? Not much, just the following:

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These three items are all you essentially need when starting your first journal. You want a journal that is sturdy and of course eye catching (my husband surprised me with this TOMS journal).

If you plan on carrying your journal with you during the day, be sure to choose a journal with a durable cover and quality paper that can survive the daily bustle of your life. When it comes to the media that you use to document your journeys, it can be a pen, pencil or marker. It depends on your preference and sometimes, what’s readily available. I keep a few pens in my purse or messenger bags (because I’m a pen thief and I have a SERIOUS pen preference issue.) No matter what, be sure you choose a writing utensil that you love to use. I have found that I write more when my pen writes great.

And of course, you can’t have a journey to self without YOU! I say that you are essential because you not only need to be physically present when journaling, you also need to be mentally and emotional present. It doesn’t matter the type of journal that you are keeping (art, gratitude, listing, etc.) you and all your senses and emotions need to be in those moments as you develop those entries. I definitely recommend not to journal “just because” because you will find yourself holding back and ultimately not going anywhere on your journey. Imagine being in a speedboat and driving in circles…Not so fun, huh?

See how simple that is? All you need are these 3 items to start a journal. Our journal experience and sessions should be simple and designed for clearing our minds, expressing our thoughts and understanding who we are and what we want out of life.

Now, if you want to amp up the creativity in your first journal, you can try adding some, if not all of these items to your journal arsenal:

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Each of these items can add a punch of personality and innovation to your first journal. Magazines are great for creating collages and even journal prompts. Decorate your pages with words and images that inspire positivity and happiness.  Photos make great writing prompts because they allow us to recall the day that the picture was taken and all the emotions in and behind the photo.

Who doesn’t love a pop of color? You can achieve that with markers and colored pens. Sharpie has some great no bleed pen markers in a nice variety of colors and Papermate’s new InkJoy collection gives you all the colors of the rainbow in some inexpensive and smooth writing ball point pens. Colors can represent events, emotions, months or days of the week. Adding color to your journal gives you endless inspiration.

Stamps are a fun way to decorate your handwritten pages or emphasize something of great importance. Many journal enthusiasts also use stickers for the same effects too.

Other items you can use in your journal include stickers, cardstock. washi tape, post cards, stationary, etc, etc! I could give you a list of over 30 things (maybe more) you can use in your journal but I’ll save that for another day.

When starting your first journal, I offer a little advice…Don’t get hung up on the supplies, reflect on the reason why you’re ready to start a journal. Are  you in need of a release? Are you ready to write your life story? Maybe you just need an outlet for your thoughts, creativity or pains. No matter your reason, let that be the fuel for you to keep that book near you at all times so you can write it all out.

Each of us has a story worth sharing, why let someone else mess up your happy ending?

I would love to know, when did you start journaling? What did you first journal look like? Share your answers in the comments below and share your journaling essentials with me on Instagram too, follow me @the_enduringoptimist, tag me and use the hashtag #journalessentials. I can’t wait to see what you have.

If you’re new to journaling and want to know how journaling can benefit you, what other types journals there are and much more, get my book, The Optimist’s Guide to Journaling, available on Amazon.com.

Until next time, stay blessed and happy journaling!

TEOLOGO1

ENDURING LIFE: Tis’ the Season for NEW GOALS! December 2014 GOALS

HELLO DECEMBER LOGO

 

Don’t you love it when the first of the month falls on a Monday?

I sure do!  It’s like a double stuffed Oreo! SWEEEEEETTTT!

Double the awesomeness and in my case, double the creative productivity.

The month of December is a busy month for all of us. We have holiday celebrations, gift giving, gift making, family traditions and of course…GOALS, GOALS, GOALS!

One thing I love to do in December is planning for the new year. Yes, that’s right! The countdown to 2015 has officially began.

I plan on claiming 2015 as the year of The Optimist, so this month, my goals are based on 3 Bs:  my blog, my business and my next book!

Here is a run down of my goals for this month:

Set goals, create a plan and execute them all!
Set goals, create a plan and execute them all!

This month, I will…. FINALIZE AND DEVELOP THE ELEMENTS OF THE OPTIMIST-KIT

This month, I am finalizing my informal business plan, planning out the soft launch of The Optimist Kit and planning kit contents for the first quarter of 2015.

This month, I will… ORGANIZE MY BLOG FOR 2015!

I am such an organization freak and when it comes to my blog, I am really obsessed with editorial calendars, so this month, I am working on blog content for the first quarter of 2015. Let me tell you, I am excited about the new content and new features coming to the Optimist Weekly newsletter!

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Commit to it…WRITE IT DOWN!

This month, I will… WRITE MY NEXT BOOK! 

Yes,  I am working on a new guide. WOO HOO!! I am so excited to start breaking ground on this. For next 30 days, I will be brainstorming the content I want to include in this book, along with the layout and hopefully, begin working on the draft by the end of the month.

Sorry, I won’t reveal the title yet…

The holidays are here and this is the last month of the year, so the time has come for us to set goals that will carry us into the new year and prepare us for greatness in 2015.

What are your three goals for this month? Do you have them written down? If not, check out my MonthlyGoalSetting worksheet to help you define your goals and draft action steps to achieve them.

If you use the Monthly Goal Setting worksheet, share your goals with me on Instagram (@the_enduringoptimist), I’d love to see your plans for this month and help cheer you on.

Until next time, stay blessed and productive!

TEOLOGO1

 

 

ENDURING LIFE: 30 Facts About The Enduring Optimist

Sound the alarm!! Someone is officially 30 years old!

Can you guess who?? Lol.

It’s me! I can remember a time when I believed that 30 was a long ways from me; little did I know how close it really was. Today, I am celebrating my birthday with all of you by sharing 30 facts about me.

I love my blog but I am more than a blogger, when I am not blogging I am taking care home, building a brand and working full time. I feel a connection to all you Optimists out there and I do my best to be as transparent as I can be either here on my blog or on my FB page, Instagram and even my Twitter (when I do actually tweet). I feel it’s important that you know what makes me tick, this does include my quirks and my flaws.

Are you ready to learn a few things about your favorite Optimist? Here we go:

  1. I have Sickle Cell Anemia. I was diagnosed while pregnant with my second child. I do my best to endure the pain and I try not to let it be my crutch.
  2. I have OCD. I had no idea what it was when I was a kid but as an adult, I noticed the “odd” behaviors I had during my childhood made their way into my adulthood, so I decided to see a doctor about it and well…I was formally labeled nearly ten years ago.
  3. I don’t like my food touching! A sign of my OCD when I was child but my mother believed it was just a phase. I cannot eat my food if it touches. I have sent food back or requested my food be served on separate plates. Sad but true.
  4. Odd numbers bother me.  I can’t handle odd numbers. I am constantly counting something in my head. I even count the kisses that my husband gives me before he goes to work.
  5. I’m a night owl…and an early bird. I can go to sleep at 12am and wake up at 5:30am like I slept a full 8 hours. Unhealthy? I know.
  6. I served 4 years in the U.S. Army.  Once a solider, always a soldier. I joined after two months in college.
  7. I was accepted to Yale. Yes, you read that right. I got cold feet and feared leaving home…that’s the reason why I didn’t go. In a nutshell.
  8. I could drink coffee 24/7. Again, another not so good habit but it’s true. I love coffee, it’s my best friend.
  9. I cannot stand being cold. You can always catch me with a cardigan within reach in case of emergencies.
  10. I can eat ice cream no matter the weather. True story. I’m not scared to eat a blizzard during a blizzard.
  11. I have a severe fear of clowns. Please don’t send me any pics of clowns. I’m begging you!
  12. I’m very impatient. Despite the fact that my name, Pachet means
    “enduring expectations, a form of patience.” My mother must have known I was gonna be the total opposite lol. Side Note: The definition of my name is where I came up with my alias :))
  13. I went through a goth phase in middle school. I cut all my pants, wore lots of black, I wore over 20 necklaces at once and had a ring on every finger.
  14. I am OBSESSED with Transformers! In my mind, Optimus Prime is my husband!
  15. I write fiction stories. I have two short stories on Amazon.com
  16. I have an unhealthy love for vampires.
  17. I love to cook.
  18. 18 is my favorite number!
  19. I wanted to be an event planner in my early 20s.
  20. I have 5 tattoos and I want many, many more including a Japanese themed sleeve.
  21. I’m not a big breakfast person.
  22. I love thrift shopping.
  23. I ALWAYS have a notebook with me.
  24. I’m a pen thief.
  25. I am a big baseball fan (WHITE SOX!)
  26. I’m an emotional creature of habits.
  27. Black is my favorite color.
  28. My first name is a popular French LAST name.
  29. I live to be organized.
  30. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING TO ME!

This last decade has been a rollercoaster of sorts and I am so thankful for the experiences and lessons learned. As I embark on a new chapter of my life with a year upon us, I hope that you will join on a new journey via my blog and everywhere else in between.

Here’s to life, love and creativity!

Until next time, stay blessed and unique!

TEOLOGO1

 

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

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

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