R.I.P. - Jackie Shane (1940 - 2019)

💗 Now you’re free as a bird gerhl 💞🕊

“Most people are planted in someone else’s soil, which means they’re a carbon copy. I say to them, uproot yourself. Get into your own soil. You may be surprised who you really are.” - Jackie Shane

30 Things To Start Doing For Yourself. #4 Is Absolutely Vital

Marc and Angel are the authors of 1000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently. Here’s their amazing list of 30 things to start doing for yourself. If you enjoy this, be sure to visit their website for more inspirational advice and tips for life.

#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.

#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.

#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.

#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.

#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.

#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.

#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.

#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.

#11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work. Most of the time you just have to go for it! And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.

#12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready! Think about it. You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward. So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.

#13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be. Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment. And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.

#14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made. People and priorities change. As some relationships fade others will grow. Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work. Trust your judgment. Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory. Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.

#15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. Aim to break your own personal records.

#16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.

#17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope. Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times. And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

#18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others. And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go. Forgiveness is the remedy. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.

#19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people. Guide them if you know a better way. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. And so on and so forth.

#20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition. Be true to yourself. Say what you need to say. Do what you know in your heart is right.

#21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down. Breathe. Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose. When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity. These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.

#22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day. Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner. Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.

#23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’ One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are. Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal. No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.

#24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen. Get out there and DO something! The harder you work the luckier you will become. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it. By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result. Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

#25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it. Talk to those closest to you. Tell them the truth about how you feel. Let them listen. The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.

#26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own. You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.

#27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people. Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty. Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

#28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.

#29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward. No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things. Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on. Read The How of Happiness.

#30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.

This is such a wonderful list. If we take little steps every day and practice these things, we can make great improvements in our lives. Share this post with your friends and loved ones. 




Are You Happier When You're Creating? by Lindsay Van Thoen

Have you ever been so deep into a creative project that the rest of the world falls away?

According to new research reported in CNN this week, this experience -- what some psychologists call “flow” -- not only reduces anxiety and heals post-traumatic stress disorder, but it’s also the secret to happiness.

"When we are involved in (creativity), we feel that we are living more fully than during the rest of life," Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi said during a TED talk in 2004. "You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though difficult, and sense of time disappears. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger."

This feeling of focused attention is similar to the effects of meditation, psychologists believe, a practice known for its myriad health benefits and long-term effect on happiness.

This research is supported by a number of studies on crafters. In one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling "very happy."

Add to this the feeling you get when you see your work on the wall or get compliments on your work, and the act of creation becomes a significant boost to your feelings of well-being.

Crafting may also prevent aging. According to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry, playing games, reading books and crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%.

This is all great news for creative freelancers, who whether they’re crafting with their hands, their tablets and mouses, or their pens, are experiencing the benefits of “flow” everyday.



"4 Ways To Harness The Power Of Intuition" by Lindsay Van Thoen

As an entrepreneur, you probably always get advice to “follow your gut” and listen to your intuition.

But what happens when your gut is kind of… quiet?

I confess, I used to think I didn’t have a “gut.” The truth was that I did have intuitions, but I was so stressed, distracted, and (honestly) worried about money that I just ignored my intuitions in order to push ahead and survive.

It sounds corny, but realizing that I wasn’t just some weirdo who didn’t have a 6th sense -- that it was a matter of practice and good habits -- I felt a sense of relief and motivation to start practicing.

This week, rockstar career coach Marie Forleo gave us 4 ways to practice intuition, especially for those of us who didn’t realize we had it. Her advice was so spot-on for me that I felt I had to share it with you guys.

Here’s a brief summary of Marie’s actionable ways to listen to your gut:

1. Go on a historical dig. Look through your past and find a circumstance when something went wrong and you had a suspicion something was wrong from the beginning. Red flags you ignored because you didn’t have proof.

Last week when I talked about avoiding deadbeat clients, the #1 thing I heard from you all is that you could tell before you even agreed to the gig (or at some point during the work) that they were bad news. Listening to your gut would have saved you time, money, and anguish. Have you had this before?

2. Meditate. I speak from personal experience when I say that meditation really helped me get off the “EVERYTHING IS OVERWHELMING AND I CAN’T EVEN HANDLE THIS RIGHT NOW” train I was on. Marie meditates for just 10 minutes a day.

3. Ask for guidance. I’ve been practicing this for a while, and didn’t even associate it with intuition. Whenever I have a major decision to make or something important to say, I pause for just a few moments or up to 30 seconds to ask: “Is this right?”

Whether you think you’re asking God or your inner life or the universe -- just the mere task of quieting yourself and waiting rather than always having the answer is like a muscle that gets stronger and stronger -- and before you know it, the answer comes as a whisper.

Even though I didn’t hear anything or feel anything in the beginning, I still did it. And now I instinctually do it.

4. Pay attention to visceral reactions. Marie talks about intuition as a physical thing you feel in your body, like tightness in your chest (that says “don’t do that!”) or openness and fullness. Because intuition lives in your body, not in your mind.

Freelancers, do you feel that your intuition helps you in business? Could you practice to make your intuition stronger?

I highly encourage you all to check out Marie Forleo's site. It's chock full of great stuff like this.



"5 Simple Money Habits That Make You Happier" by Antonia Blair


We all know that freelance jobs come in waves (are our clients conspiring together somewhere?), so we are often reminded to save, save, save.

Saving is good and you should of course do that. But did you know that there are ways that to spend money that can promote well-being, too?

Professors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton wrote a whole book devoted to the subject called Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. It’s a fascinating look at why we spend -- and how we can stop buying out of compulsion and start buying out of joy.

Here are some of the book’s key findings:

1. Spend money on others

According to the authors’ research, buying a surprise gift for a friend or family member will make you happier than spending the same amount on yourself – and it’s a super New Mutualisty thing to do! 

2. Buy time, not things

Studies show that people get more happiness from experiences – like travel, concerts, and fun events ­– than we do from buying material possessions, like stuff.

3. Underindulge

Indulging yourself too frequently can make you unhappy, the authors found. Instead, spreading out the spending will cause you to get a “spike” in happiness each time, making you feel happier overall. In other words, buying something compulsively won’t make you feel as good as the occasional treat will.  

To that point, LearnVest made a fun “This or That” calculator that will tell you how much you could buy with the extra money you have by changing tiny habits, such as getting a morning latte. (Warning: this app is also terrifying if you like to eat out a lot.)

4. Purchase in advance

Subscription services, pre-ordering new products, and supporting Kickstarter campaigns are all common ways that people purchase things in advance. But did you know that this practice can actually make you feel better?

Studies show that getting things that you’ve bought ahead of time will make you happier than if you pay for the item when you get it. The theory goes that distancing yourself from the “payment” aspect of buying a new object reduces the dread of debt, but increases the happiness connected with possession.

5. Temporarily give something up

In one study, students were asked to eat chocolate, then give it up for a week, then eat it again. The students who gave chocolate up temporarily  enjoyed the chocolate much more than the students who were allowed to eat it all week. The authors call this the “candy corn” affect because things that are only available for a short time (candy corn) are more appealing because we’ve “missed” them.

So if you want to get more happiness out of something you buy, try taking a break from it. Don’t eat out this week, and reward yourself by having one dinner out with friends at the beginning of next week. Chances are you’ll enjoy that meal more!