We talk about so many great things here: about where you can get information that will help you discover a passion or goal, about the power of having the right materials, about universal materials we all need on our creative quest, and about how to acquire materials on a low budget – and who doesn’t want that?

MM – 553 – Get More Materials

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Get More Materials

Episode 542 talks all about gathering the necessary materials – materials that will help rev your creative engine and reconnect you with your passion. If you haven’t listened to Episode 542, I think it’s a great idea, especially if you’re someone who’s in search of their passion or in search of a goal to achieve. Because in this stage of my process, I knew I was searching for something but I had no desires. So maybe Episode 542 can help you, too.

The general idea of gathering your materials in the first place was to kickstart your exploration process. It was to get you to play again, play with the materials that speak to you.

Now, I wonder when you reached out to gather materials, did you, like me, have some around your home that you could start to play with? Did you have a good idea where those materials were, and you went over and just picked them up again? I knew were mine were because I had a sense of guilt every time I saw them, because I knew I should be using them, and I wasn’t.

My materials are writerly things. I knew exactly where I kept my blank notebooks and favorite pencils, so I started this process by picking up one little, one-subject notebook. I grabbed one pencil. And that is how this began. Very quickly, though, I felt myself being pulled in many creative directions when I sat down to write: I wanted to collect notes on what I’d been reading, but I also had begun writing non-fiction and journaling. And I wanted to write down other writing or business ideas I was having so they didn’t distract me, so I would finish things I was currently working on.

All of this began to overwhelm my little notebook, so I went back into the cabinet and pulled out five more one-subject notebooks. I went back to the drawer and pulled out a black marker. I labeled each notebook by subject making sure to have one about my “50 States in 90 Days” book that I’m writing and one about this journey I am taking with you: “Coming Back from Flat.”

I had all the notebooks labeled and I was filling pages in each one, and you know what happened? So many ideas began to flow that I needed better organization, and I wanted to collect all of my ideas in one place because I know that this way they would have more weight. That they would have a better chance of materializing. So I went back into the cabinet.

This time, I pulled out a brand new, fat binder and a brand new package of dividers with tabs, it was like they had been there waiting for me. Then I grabbled a stack of lined paper, my colored markers, and my clipboard.

I labeled the tabs with the colorful markers and began ripping the pages from the notebooks and filing them into the binder – not caring that the notebook pages are smaller than the looseleaf ones. Then I put a stack of paper on the clipboard and I began to write.

If I needed to, I added a note to a page already started in the binder, or if I needed to, I’d start a new page on my clipboard. Everything got dated and everything got filed.

Before long, I ordered more looseleaf paper, a ten-pack of legal pads, some more pencils, and a few more books to read.

The more I used my materials, the more I needed them. Let me say that again: The more I used my materials, the more I needed them.

I started slowly with one one-subject notebook, but because I stayed organized, because I remained committed to the process of reconnecting with myself, because I gave my thoughts permission and space to expand, I paved the way for ideas to flow and I found the value in what I had to share. That’s when I realized that this whole time that is what I’d been looking for: my value.

The more materials you have to play with, the more you will create… if you commit to it. And the more you do anything, the more you build your skill, develop your talent, understand your purpose. Doing this is how we are able to impact the lives of others, which is what I believe we’re here to do, which is why it’s so important that you don’t hold yourself back from what you’re meant to create.

Before we go today, there are some universal materials that can help us all when we’re on this creative quest and I’m sure you’re not at all surprised that I made a list of these things for you to consider. As always, my lists are a smattering of ideas meant to help you get thinking about what would work best for you. A catalyst, if you will, because no one knows what you need better than you do. Sometimes we just need to be asked the right question or be exposed to the right thing.

So, I’m going to share this list with you, then I’m going to give you a bonus list of ideas that will help you acquire materials on a low budget.

First, here’s a list of materials we may not think about right out of the gate. It’s six ideas that will help to protect our physical and mental health when working creatively.

1. Diet (prepared meals or food delivery service to maintain energy, clarity, and overall health – planning is key!)

2. Exercise (gym equipment, outdoor spaces, indoor spaces, online program – schedule time to keep your body strong and healthy)

3. Meditation (meditation programs, prayer, music – whatever gives your mind a break and connects you to a higher power)

4. Personal Safety (safety gear, buddy system, support system – we have a friend who texts us when he goes out and comes back on his kayak – have a safety plan)

5. Pysical Well-being (use the proper equipment, stretch, be aware of your posture – take care of your physical self for the long game)

6. Physical Space (lighting, temperature, asthetics – it should be safe and inspirational. I currently have the blinds down, a sage and lavender candle lit, spa music playing, the light is low, there is a sleeping puppy on the chair next to me, and there’s a perfectly mixed iced coffee on the table. Because doing this with you is my passion, and I want to enjoy the process, all of it. So think about what you need to make what you’re doing enjoyable.)

OK, as promised, I have another list for you: 7 Ways to Acquire Materials on a Low Budget. (Even if you don’t have a low budget, who wants to waste money?)

1. Borrow from the Library

2. Borrow from a friend

3. Rent – maybe even split the rent with a friend

4. Barter or trade (think products and services)

5. Buy used

6. Post on social media what you’re in need of – don’t forget, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” You may be helping somebody by doing this; maybe it would make someone happy to see this item being used by someone who appreciates it?

7. Get a job some place where they have what you want, so you can get what you need for free or discounted – Examples: Want to be a travel writer? Become a stewardess. Have fitness goals? Work at a gym. Need craft supplies? Get a job at a craft store. Other tools and supplies, how about Home Depot or Lowes? Want flight lessons? Maybe you could volunteer at the school in exchange for flight hours?

Basically, get creative!

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: All things needs replenishment: body, mind, soul… and materials. So, keep nourishing and nurturing your gifts, talents, and goals, and seek the materials that can best help you progress to the next level – even if you have to get creative about it! We don’t do excuses here at Motivate Me!, we do actions. You got this!   

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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Connecting with our people is vital to the human psyche. The question is: How can we nurture this connection without losing ourselves? How can we use this connection to fill us instead of drain us? Great ideas and examples of exactly how to do this in this episode!

MM552 – Connect with Your People

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Connect with Your People

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of connecting with your people and its role in helping you reclaim your passion. How doing this can help you get your head and heart back in the game!

First, let’s talk about why we should connect with our people, and then we’ll talk about how.

Every action we take in life is done out of either fear or love. Fear is what holds us back and love is what propels us forward.

Connecting with friends and family is all about love and it serves multiple purposes.

For one, it clears our conscience. It clears our conscience because we know that our friends and family are doing well, because they know we care, because we are pulling our weight in our relationships. It keeps us grounded, and it’s good for our soul because caring about others is a form of service.

We have to have a clear conscience if we’re trying to achieve our own goals. I don’t know about you, but if something or someone’s on my mind, I can’t focus to meditate or read or write or create anything. However, when I sit down with a clear mind and feel good that I put effort into my relationships, I’m much more creative and productive.

It’s similar to when we talked in another episode about how much easier it is to focus on our wants and needs when our other responsibilities have been met, like how when the house is clean, the family is fed, and the day job is in order.

Now, there’s two types of relationships we’re reaching out to when we connect with our people: one is those people who fill us with all the feel-good hormones, and the other is those that drain us. The thing is, sometimes we have relationships that are draining and we aren’t willing to walk away from them. That’s fine, I’m not here to lecture you on your relationships. I’m here to say that you need to do whatever it takes for you to free up your headspace.

For many of us this means making sure we’re playing our part in our relationships. And if some of these people are the kind that bring you down, that’s fine, just mentally prepare yourself for those people and know that you need to keep an emotional distance. It’s not that you don’t care about them, it’s that you don’t allow them to consume you. Chances are, these are the relationships you most need to nurture in order to keep a clear mind.

Either way, back to you! So, if you’ve been following our steps for Season 4, you’ve been journaling and writing and playing with your craft. You’ve gathered some materials that will help you explore your passions more, and you’ve been making yourself a priority. That’s awesome, and I really hope you’ve been working on this for yourself. Now it’s time to take some of that time and reinvest it in your relationships because doing so will refill you.

The quandary is: How do I make time for everyone and everything in my life and still have time and energy leftover for me?

Well, here’s a list of some simple ways you can stay connected to your people, ways that have a big impact but don’t create a big time commitment for you or them. Please don’t get me wrong, there are times when we can sit on the phone or FaceTime with friends and family, but there are also ways we can achieve a similar outcome without depleting our precious personal time.

After we discuss this list, I’m going to share a fun and unexpected ending of what happened after I took one of these ideas to task!

6 Simple Ways to Stay Connected with Your People

            1. Send an actual card or letter. This doesn’t sound super inventive, but in this day and   age it is pretty uncommon. The note can be handwritten or typed, it’s a nice gesture, it’s something you can do any time of day, and it feels nice to receive. I suggest adding a fun   sticker to the envelope or hand drawn picture, and you can also address it in a way that will make the person smile, like Jess Hottie Casiano, Justin Da man! Silva, Kelly             Awesomeness Trombley. These are actual examples… I have many more!

            2. Drop off a homemade meal or dessert. To me, it’s a small amount of effort to send a     big amount of love. And, it’s really not that time consuming to put a couple of portions of a meal you’re already making into a container and run it over to a friend’s door.

            3. Send a gift from Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, shipping’s free. I just sent a

            pool net to my friend for her boat… she’s always leaning over the boat to scoop garbage

            from the river. What little item could you send to a friend? A funny T-shirt you know

            they’d love, a specific color of nail polish? One time a grieving friend was visiting and she took comfort in my slide-on sneakers, I surprised her and shipped her pair. She felt the love.

            4. Hide a gift for someone to find. I hid a Tennessee ornament under the Christmas tree at a friend’s house last year, since we’d both just moved here. Recently, she hid a NJ   ornament that was in her house in my bag. So small, but so big, right?

            5. Pass along news articles or tag people in things you see online. I shared an article about sharks with one friend and tagged another in a hat I knew she’d love. They felt so seen.

            6. Send a low-commitment text. A low-commitment text is one that doesn’t take much time to read or respond to.

This is the story I wanted to tell you about. I’m close with many of my nieces and nephews and no matter how crazy life gets, I try to make sure they remember that I’m here if they need me, that I care about what’s happening in their lives, that I’m interested in all they’re striving for. But at the same time, I don’t want them to feel like I’m putting expectations on them. So, a few months ago, I sent a simple text to three of my nieces and three of my nephews that said: “On a scale of 1-10, how’s things?”

Now, I’m expecting simple answers, I would have been happy with just a number in response, to be honest, but what I got was quite the surprise. My first niece said she didn’t know how she was doing yet, that she’d let me know as soon as she got out of the job interview she was about to walk into. (She told me later that she got the job, and she also shared with me that her fiancé had just been diagnosed with Covid.) A second niece responded right away with, “I’m in class what’s up, what do you need?” She’s fine but wants to know what she can do for me… while working full-time and going to college full-time. And my third niece sadly said she was only at a 5/10 because she’d been struggling with getting accepted into a master’s program.

Then I heard from the boys.

My first nephew responded that he’s at an 8 or 9 out of 10, only because he can’t live on his college campus due to Covid. But then he opened dialogue with me and seemed genuinely interested in how life’s been treating me. My second nephew asked if he could FaceTime me because he’s out in L.A., he wants to show me his new apartment, and he wants to tell me a long sorted story about an agent who wants to sign him. Then he sent me the song he’d just recorded. And my third nephew, well, he said he’s at a 5/10 because he feels he “doesn’t need to be wonderful all the time.”

Hahaha.

Wow. Right? One simple text that I sent to six people I care about, and I got a window into their worlds and they got to see that I care. I remember that I was working at the kitchen table the day I did this. I remember that doing this sidetracked me for a small period of time. And then I remember putting my nose to the grindstone feeling contentment in my heart and connection with my people.

What can you do that will give you this same sense of contentment? Who do you need to reach out to so you can quiet your subconscious?

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: Connection with others is probably the greatest need of the human psyche. We can allow this need to drain us or to we can allow it to fill us up. The thing is, there are many aspects in life we cannot control, but this is not one of them. We can get creative in how we reach out to those we love, we can put some planning into building these relationships, and if we do this, we will feel fuller than when we started and excited to get back to achieving our own goals.

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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Revisit what it means to feel “flat. Be inspired to take a small action in a direction that will get you loving your life again. Get ideas on actions you may find inspirational! This week’s “truth talk” – at the end of the show – is a personal one. Lynette knows that together, we can find passion in life again.

MM551- Take a Small Action

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Take a Small Action

Somebody asked me recently what it means to feel flat; what it means to “come back from flat”? So before we talk today about taking a small action, I think we should clarify our goal.

If you’re new to Season 4 of Motivate Me!, I suggest listening to the first episode of the season, Episode 532, where I go into detail about my personal journey into and out of feeling flat.

But for right now, here’s the nut shell version: Feeling flat simply means you’ve lost your verve or your passion for engaging in life and for being creative. That you’re not moving forward in life, you’ve stopped striving for something you used to really desire, you’re not taking part in things that previously made your life more exciting or more meaningful. That your head and heart are just not in the game.

I fell flat after traveling the fifty states in ninety days interviewing people about their passion. Once I got all the interviews from the trip edited and posted on my podcast and on YouTube, and my responsibilities for the trip were over, I crashed. Not because I wanted to but because I was unclear of my next moves, so I began to wait it out, and during that, I allowed life to swallow me up. That’s kind of it.

But then the pandemic and quarantine came and I fell further, which is what I go into more detail about in Episode 532. But the outcome was that I drew a line in the sand and made the decision, because that’s all it is a simple decision, to reconnect with myself and my passion for life again. And I began to aggressively seek myself again. The secret to all of this is just to make an intentional effort.

The steps I took to do this are what we are sharing with you all through this season. It’s the tips, tricks, and techniques I used to get my head and heart back in the game. To get back to being excited about something again. To get back to creating. I knew what I needed to do, so I just got back at it, and these are things anyone can do, that’s why I’m sharing them. All we need to do is make the decision.

Life can change so quickly for the better and the worse. Have you ever had an experience where you met a new person and your whole perspective on life changed? Whether it was a romantic partner or a new friend, but you just felt so amazing about yourself and about what life now had to offer? Or have you ever started something new and it just opened up a whole world you didn’t know about?

Like for example, I was just on the International Volunteer Headquarters’ website where you can select a country and get involved in helping their community, whether it’s teaching or building or community projects. The United States has opportunities on there too. Imagine how exciting getting involved in something like that could be? The people you would add to your life, the new experiences you would have.

It’s like when we step out, the world opens new wings up to us. I experienced something similar to this when I joined a new exercise program and again when I started taking classes at the community college. Life shifts like this for us when we take small actions and it’s exciting and fun and illuminating, and it moves us in our next direction.

Did you have desires that you know you’ve detached from? Was there a college degree, a promotion, a business, an art project, a health and fitness goal, a book idea, or something else that you know you want to achieve but you’re just in a funk? That’s what feeling flat is. If this is you, I’m glad you’re here because our goal is to help you get your mojo back. Whatever that means for you!

Now, this isn’t where I tell you what your next move is, what the small action is that you need to take. I will give you some ideas on that, but this is where I tell you that moving forward begins when you take that one small action, the one that is personal to your unique talents and interests. You may know what that is right now, you may need to journal and meditate to figure that out.

All of the tips, tricks, and techniques I share with you are meant for you to make your own. They’re meant for you to travel through in your own time, space, and order. I’m sharing them in the order they worked for me, but it’s your job to do some introspective work, to take time for yourself, and to figure yourself out.

Find the time and make yourself a priority, our lives are only what we make them.

I’m going to share with you an example of a small action I took when I started out on this journey, and then I’m going to give you more ideas of simple small actions that may or may not pertain to you.

I’d been following the steps I’ve already shared with you this season. I was reading, taking notes, and journaling for starters. And in doing so, I noticed that two of the authors I was reading got book deals through publishing an essay on Medium.com. They each wrote it, submitted it, it got a ton of likes, and they were approached with a book deal.

Well, wow! It had already crossed my mind to tackle an essay about my fifty states in ninety days trip, and since the book is a much longer process, why not write an essay and submit it on Medium.com? I loved the idea and you know what? It was free to do, there was no danger in it because I could always decide not to publish the essay after writing it, and the essay-writing process would be great prewriting for the book. It felt like a win-win all the way around. All I had to do was decide to do it and then follow through.

I immediately got to writing. I wrote the essay and I sent it to two lifelines: 1) my daughter because she’s one smart cookie who always has great feedback and is really current, and 2) a friend who was in my master’s program and is a college English professor whom I adore. (Now notice, these are people I trust with my heart and mind, people I know will give me helpful and honest, but kind, feedback.)

They gave me pretty exceptional editing ideas and I applied them.

Did I submit this essay yet? No. You know why? Because writing it was the small action and submitting it is much bigger. I wasn’t ready then – but maybe I am now! You see this? Because of you, my Motivate Me! Friends, I’m feeling encouraged to submit my essay on the day this episode airs. At the end of each episode, I tell you that you motivate me, and I mean it… see!

I am just like you. I am taking small actions, I am fearful, I am brave, I desire to love the life I live. We can do this together.

So, I promised a list of small actions that may inspire you to get on this train with me and accomplish some cool stuff!

Here it is: The Small Actions Inspo List

– deeply listen to music (this inspires all art forms: writing, painting, photography, dance, etc.)

– create a Pinterest board (of whatever piques your interest: interior design, fashion, woodworking, all the different diets and cooking styles, make up, etc.)

– leave your gear out (want to walk more, get to the gym, rollerblade? Leave your gear where you can see it.)

– make a vision board (map your brain to achieve your desires – start believing)

– verbalize your ideas (but only to supportive people, find the language for your idea)

– put your ideas on paper (and let them grow there – brainstorm)

– research social media (is there a tribe of people you can connect with online?)

– research your community (is there a tribe of people you can connect with in real life?)

– play with the materials of your craft (feel them in your hands, smell them, envision what you will do with them)

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: If you know anything about Motivate Me!, you know that we’re all about: Envision. Explore. Execute. Well, if I were to take a guess, I would think that you’ve envisioned yourself doing whatever it is you want to do long before now. And if I were to take another guess, I’m thinking you have done some exploring about it. So now it’s time to execute one small action in the right direction. You don’t even have to pick up a pen if you don’t want to, it can be as small as you need.

Motivate Me! Friends, you are what I’m hoping to accomplish. Helping you to live a life that is more exciting and more meaningful, one you are excited about living, has been my goal from the start of this show over five years ago. I picked up this project, I created it from nothing, I searched deep into my person to find out what truly mattered to me, and it was you.

I tried to put you down. I tried to walk away. I couldn’t. I’m back at it again, trying to reach you from a different angle, because helping you is who I am. I don’t know how to explain this any differently, I just know I wish this same passion for you. And I know we can get there together.

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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Here’s an example: You’re a great writer but are having trouble getting that novel published! Have you ever thought that maybe non-fiction or essay writing would be a better fit for you? Have you ever thought about sharing your love for writing in other ways, such as becoming a teacher or translator? All sorts of great ideas for you here!

MM – 550 – Experiment with Your Craft

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Experiment with Your Craft

I’d like to start off this episode with a favorite quote, it’s a Buddhist proverb that says: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Some people feel proverbs have one specific meaning, but that’s not the way I look at it. I feel they’re like songs and poetry: we connect to them in our personal way, and our interpretation of them changes over time as we evolve.

Here’s what I mean, my first experience with this proverb was when I was in college to become a teacher. As a teen, I was much more focused on my social life than school, so I got off to a slow academic start, and I didn’t go to college until I was in my 30s. So when I first saw this quote, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears,” I felt like it was speaking to me.

At that time, I took it to mean that until a person (the student) is ready to learn, the teacher is just not visible. And no matter how hard or long the teacher tries to reach the student, until the student is ready, the teacher might as well be trying to get a tangible hold on something like smoke or water. It’s impossible.

On the other hand, when the student is ready to learn, the student will seek out the teacher, and they’ll go to great lengths to do their learning. Which is what I did when I was ready.

From my first year of teaching high school English on, this quote has always had a place in my classroom. Of course, the irony is that I’d gone from being the blind student to the teacher who was now trying to grasp in my students what isn’t, necessarily, tangible.

What I did do is try to help my students see what I couldn’t at their age, and I did that by enlisting them in my process. The reality is, I learned more from my students than they did from me, which is the second experience I had with this proverb. I came to understand that we’re all students and we’re all teachers. I let them know that I was learning from them, and in doing that, I empowered all of us.

My third and final experience with this proverb is its connection to the ego, that to be an authentic student, one must shed their ego. And that’s a really humble, vulnerable, and daring place to be!

I’ve spoken about ego on the show many times before. Ego is what controls our feelings and inspires our action or inaction. It’s our mind where all that thinking and overthinking comes from.

The ego’s intention is to keep us safe and keep us comfortable, but it does that through keeping us afraid. Afraid of failure, afraid of looking dumb or silly, afraid of physical harm, afraid of risk. Our ego is what keeps us inside our comfort zone.

So what does all this have to do with experimenting with our craft?

We have to allow ourselves to become the vulnerable student again. We have to give ourselves the freedom to “try things on for size.” We need to broaden our perspective: Am I in the right niche of what I’m doing now, or can I use what I’m good at in an entirely different field?

You may be someone who’s already aligned with your passion, or you may be someone who’s trying to figure out what your talent is. Either way, how will a pastry chef know if he should be making and decorating cakes unless he experiments? How can a novelist know if they could also be a poet if they don’t try it? How will the corporate attorney know that they’d rather be a public defender if they don’t explore? Or how will the science professor realize she is better suited for cancer research if she never considers it?

I always think about country music star Darius Rucker at times like this, do you know who he is? You probably know him as the front man for Hootie and the Blowfish! He went from rock a sensation to a country sensation. That took guts.

What’s most important about this is that experimentation doesn’t just breed creativity; experimentation creates who we are and the life we live. And as far as your ego is concerned, it will be on this journey with you, and you will either let it limit you or you will limit it.

So, if all of this is so important, why do so many of us choose not to explore when it comes to our gifts and talents? Why do we stay pigeonholed where we are or never take chances?

Here are some basic reasons why people choose not to experiment with their craft:

– we’re afraid we won’t be good at it

– we’re afraid of what others will think about us

– we don’t want to look dumb or silly

– we fear we’re letting other people and their expectations down

But, here’s the thing: exploration is a process, it’s not a permanent decision. It is no harm, no foul to envision yourself taking your gifts and talents and using them in a new way. I put together a list of seven simple tips that will help you take your craft to the next level – or to a different level.

7 Tips to Help You Level-Up Your Craft

* Read and watch movies (about others in your field – learn about their life and work)

* Play (without having expectations of the outcome of what you’re creating)

* Take yourself less seriously (let creativity in)

* Take yourself more seriously (believe in yourself)

* Let go of judgement (your own and that of others)

* Practice positive self-talk (You’re the best, baby! Say it with me!)

* Invest the time it takes to better your craft (beauty is painful!)

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: We take ourselves and the opinions of others too seriously. We take life too seriously. Leave your ego at the door, envision other ways you can utilize your talents, and then experiment. Our goal is to get our head and heart back in the game, to reclaim our passion, what if the reason you aren’t all in is because you have been missing the target? Find the target and you will find yourself again.

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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When your whole body is activated you get excited about life! You get inspired and motivated to participate in the world! Connect with what sets you most on fire, get suggestions on how to activate that, and receive tips on how to get your loved ones on board when they fall short of seeing what is important to you in this process.

MM549 – Get Your Blood Pumping

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Get Your Blood Pumping

I have a disclaimer for today’s show: This episode is not a lecture on the benefits of exercise! And I have to tell you, of all the tips, tricks, and techniques I used to get my head and heart back in the game when I fell flat, this technique is one of my absolute favorites. And I think it’s one that most of us just don’t do enough.

I’ve come to understand that from a very early age, freedom has been a core value of mine. The day I got my driver’s license remains one of my most favorite days of all time. I was, literally, hooting and hollering for ten straight minutes at the top of my lungs on my first solo drive.

Another example of when I felt deliciously free was when I moved from New Jersey to California eight days after graduating high school. I only knew one person who lived there, and I knew before I went that two months after I got there, he’d have to go out to sea for six months. But, I wasn’t scared by this, I was excited by it!

Then there’s our podcast tour where we traveled the fifty states in ninety days interviewing people about passion. I’ll tell you something about that, I did feel fear before I headed out on that bad boy trip, lots of fear. But once I hit the open road, it was like my heart split open and I experienced actual bliss. I felt so alive. I felt so free!

Can you feel my blood pumping in these examples?

Now, here’s the thing, we can’t do one thing, no matter how big it is, and ride that out for the rest of our lives. If we don’t continuously nurture this side of ourselves, we will continuously lose ourselves, and we disengage from the world, our passions, and joy. In this way, it is like diet and exercise, this is another way we sometimes “let ourselves go.” We need to do things that excite us often, and when we’re off, we need to recalibrate.

So, let’s talk today about ways we can get our blood pumping again because this will increase your motivation, ignite your excitement about life, make you more creative, and improve your mood – and who doesn’t want all that!? And after I share my list of ideas with you, I will share a struggle I’ve been having within my marriage about exactly this.

OK… so if you want to feel great but you’re short on ideas on how to push yourself into that, here’s a list of SOME things to consider:

-get in the sun – for some vitamin D

-connect with nature – especially walking barefoot in the dirt

-take a risk – call that guy, invest in that stock, take that trip

-play like a kid – get on your bike (I’m in love with my electric bike), paint with your fingers, role play

-tire out your body – go for a hike, do yardwork, clean your basement

-meditate – you know I’m a fan! It can be exciting!

-watch a scary movie – not my favorite, but it will get your blood pumping

-listen to music – make different playlists: one for stretching, one for outdoors, one for cleaning, one for sexy time

-be curious – learn all the things! Why is NJ the only state where people can’t pump their own gas? How was the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup really invented? What’s Pink’s real name?

-visit new places – go on an adventure, explore, try new foods, take pictures

-plan a surprise – that always gets my heart pumping!

-make plans – to see friends, to see family, to relax, to have coffee, to go boating, to get excited for the future

-exercise – hit it hard or take it easy, but we can’t talk about getting our blood pumping without including the physical body

A favorite of mine is to do something that intimidates you. What intimidates you? Have you ever gone on a solo trip? Like, taken a flight, rented a car, explored a place you’ve never been all on your own? Even if you stay with friends or family, have you ever given yourself this kind of space? Space to think, space to make decisions that pertain to only you, like, where to eat or which route to take?

Recently, I spent a week back in New Jersey. I did just what I was saying above, I flew alone (without the dog or the husband), I rented a car, I drove all around New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I visited my dad’s grave alone. I ate and drank what I wanted, took the routes I wanted, listened to the music I wanted – and because I was alone, I could even wear headphones in the airport. Doing that is like giving life a soundtrack, it was amazing.

I love to travel with my husband, but I’ve been married since I was nineteen, so this was a new experience, and I wasn’t sure why, but I was having a lot of feels.

During flight delays and all the air time, I had a lot of time to analyze these feels. I was also able to speak to many female friends and family members in all stages of life and relationships about what I was feeling and get their perspectives.

Timing is everything, and this trip was right on time for me.

Let me share with you how my thought process evolved: I started thinking about if I was single. I asked myself: What are the first three things I would do if I suddenly found myself single? (If you would like to try this exercise, stop here and take a few minutes to really consider this. I suggest writing down your answers.)

If you decided to put us on pause to make your list, welcome back!

The first thing I would do if I suddenly found myself single is make less of a big deal about meals. I thought it was interesting that this came up for me, especially first. I’ve never really thought about this before, but the funny thing is, I’d probably save money and lose weight if I did this.

The second thing I would do is drive a convertible, instead of a minivan. I thought it was really wild that I had this idea, too! I have been considering the idea of having a convertible just because it’s so freeing, but in this scenario, I also saw something else. I, all of a sudden, felt like if I’m a single person I don’t have to worry about taking care of other people, I can focus on taking care of myself. I like to have a bigger car and bigger home so I can accommodate other people. I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone else. So I envisioned myself in a small, cool car and even pictured a small, cool living space.

The third thing I would do is allocate money to attend professional development workshops and some kind of retreats. I’ve always wanted to do this, but my husband isn’t into it because he already does this kind of thing at work. Well, I don’t get to and I think I’d enjoy it, so I want to do it.

So, these are my three big things. Nothing crazy. In doing this little exercise, I had a big realization, though: I was irritated. And I was irritated because I felt trapped.

My go-to was, of course, to blame my husband for my feelings, because this had to be his fault. His asking, “What are we doing for dinner” or saying, “I don’t want to get into another car payment” or me having to justify to him why a professional development opportunity is worthwhile.

I felt like a cat trying to get out of a bag. I felt trapped and suffocating… I just want to do what I want to do, stop controlling me, I can’t get excited about life if you are holding me down. These were my thoughts.

Is he, though?

I am well aware that no one can make us feel any kind of way. We make ourselves feel what we do. And I know this, so what’s really going on?

I looked at the three things I would do if I were single again, differently this time. And I realized that if I boil them down further, I think what I want is to simply worry less about others and do more for myself.

That this isn’t about anybody but me.

Now, I am sure you have come to the same conclusion I finally came to: Why do I have to be single to do this? I don’t! And I also don’t want to be single, I adore my husband – I just want to be free. We can be free and still be married and still be a mom and still have a career and still be all of these things together.

We just need to have the freedom to do things that get our blood pumping!

Unfortunately, this does not mean that we may not be met with resistance.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get what we need; family, responsibilities, and money come into play. Sometimes we know we need to do something for ourselves but somebody doesn’t see its importance, which makes us wonder if they see us and our happiness as important? And sometimes we feel resentful because we are made to justify what we want, like we need permission, like we’re begging for our own freedom.

All I can tell you is that each of our situations is different, but here are four tips that will assist you in getting a partner on board when you feel the urge to take part in an experience that they may not quite understand.

1. Know what you want and be able to clearly state it.

2. Know what you will be willing to compromise to get it.

3. Don’t assume you know what another person is thinking.

4. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations.

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: It is vital that we activate our feel good hormones! Doing this inspires us to participate in the world around us, it inspires us to create, it inspires the kind of happiness that we project to others, and when we do these things, we feel valuable and important, we impact the world and live our purpose.

And here is a bonus, ladies and gentlemen: When you engage your whole body in an experience, you are focused on the present…it is in the present that we find true peace and happiness.

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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We have the power to unlock the secret to childhood creativity and it is SO simple. Learn how to step away from the world, how to reinvigorate your mind, and how to find you again.

Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of Motivate Me!

It’s Me! Time here on Motivate Me! and we are working on coming back from flat.

Before we start, let’s get into the right headspace. Let’s engage in the idea that this is time where YOU are the priority. Let’s take two slow, deep breaths to get us centered. Just follow me.

Today’s focus is: Unplug to Recharge

Listen, it’s no secret that in today’s society many people are trying to mimic the highlight reel they see of the lives others share on social media. And, it’s no secret that we pick up our phones twice as much as we think we do. The NY Post estimates that we pick our phones up eighty times a day, which is every twelve minutes. I’ve seen other reports that say that number is even higher.

For the record, I’m a cell-phone, Internet, social media, people-loving person myself who really enjoys staying connected with friends and family online. And I’m curious and I love to watch all different kinds of videos: true crimes, inspirational, historical, etc.… all the things. I get “sucked down rabbit holes” all the time, as they say.

If you’re not familiar, getting “sucked down a rabbit hole” looks like this: You think to yourself, “Oh, Billie Eilish has a new song out!” So you search YouTube, play the new song, then play three of her other videos, then watch videos about her life. Then you decide to search for footage about her and her brother recording their first album in their bedroom, which leads you to search to see if her brother has an album of his own. Yep, he does! So you flip through all his songs on the app Spotify. Then you go to Billie’s Instagram to see how her new album is being received and get sucked into reading pages of comments by her once adoring fans who are bashing her because they think she’s doing something called “queer-baiting” – because she titled one of her posts, “I like girls.” Now her fans think she’s just baiting a specific fan group in order to build her base.

On one hand, all this searching and watching was interesting and entertaining, it was also informative because “queer baiting” is new to me. On the other hand, I lost an hour of my life, and I walked away feeling horrible. I couldn’t stop reading the posts, one after the other, bashing Billie. And I thought, “Wow, fans! Where’s your loyalty?” Shouldn’t fans show support until they at least know what they’re bashing? Isn’t Billie allowed to be human? I understand what they’re upset at, but they’re making assumptions and they’re judging – judging harshly – and I’m not about it. It honestly made me super sad, it’s still resonating with me. Like, I hope Billie Eilish is OK right now.

I hope people who’ve been through this reach out to her. In the rabbit hole, I did see that she’s become friends with Justin Bieber, so maybe him or Pink or Gaga or Britney or Lindsay or anyone else who’s been put on the pedestal to be ripped down is giving her perspective.

I had a whole conversation about it with my husband because this is one of the ways celebrities end up in rehabs. Billie Eilish has a strong support system, I just hope it’s enough to get her through this, because she’s 19-years-old and that’s a crazy place to be in all of this.

Anyway, do you see how invested we can get when we get sucked down the rabbit hole? How much energy we put into things that have nothing to do with us, things we have no control over?

Now, I’m not saying to never explore random things and people online. Sometimes we do this as a family, and we learn new things about people, their life, their craft. I just found out some pretty interesting things about Louis Armstrong’s life! I’m just saying that sometimes we need to unplug from it all to recharge who we are, to evolve in our own right.

So, what does it mean to “unplug to recharge”? Here’s my definition:

To “unplug” yourself means to step away from the world at large and let your mind be still.

And to “recharge” yourself means to refresh and reinvigorate your state of mind.

So, what kinds of things is it important to unplug from and for how long do we need to do this?

In general, I recommend finding space and time away from the things on this following list, and doing this for at least thirty minutes once a week (much longer, if you can).

You will need to say NO to:

            – Internet

            – telephone calls

            – social media

            – YouTube

            – video games (all games)

            – television

            – music (optional)

The only reason I suggest avoiding music is because we’re constantly being stimulated by something, and nothing manipulates our emotions more than music. What would you think about and what would you do if you were surrounded by total silence? If you were sitting in a room and everything was just off? Just still?

Something would happen. If you didn’t fall asleep, your mind would probably become restless and very quickly you would start thinking about things, like, maybe I should paint these walls or make a pillow? Or where is that book I’ve been wanting to read? Or I should try that new chicken recipe for dinner tonight.

Or maybe your mind starts envisioning story lines or begins to hear new melodies or starts to plan a surprise for someone you love.

You may have experienced this when we were forced to quarantine if you weren’t busying yourself with distractions, like binge-watching television, scrolling through social media eight hours a day, drinking all that wine. I’m not here to judge. I had days doing all these things, that’s how I know what you need to get yourself back on track. That’s how I know that in order to recharge, we must unplug.

Here is the only thing you are not allowed to do during unplugged time – and it will be your first go-to! – when you have these delicious, creative ideas, you CANNOT pick up your phone. When the ideas come, jot them down, jot down a few notes to look into later. Yes, on paper – not on your phone. You don’t have a phone right now, remember? Just keep gathering ideas. Draw out your idea, create steps, do all the things, but the longer you wait, the more you gather this information, the more developed it will be, because you are giving yourself space and stillness to delve deeper.

So often we use all of the things we are plugged into as distraction, it’s a form of escapism that is different than but similar to drugs, alcohol, excessive exercise, a shopping addiction, etc. All of these distractions take our minds off of things. But if our minds are distracted, how will we ever grow or change or create?

If you really want to give yourself this opportunity, if you really want to see what could stem from this kind of quiet time, try to manage these four additional distractions, too. These will take more planning.

The first one is: Work

– Work is the first of these. It’s very easy to throw ourselves into making other people successful. And very often, work can bleed into our personal lives and drain us. Even if you’re someone whose work is a passion, getting that thirty minutes to an hour of quiet time a week could enhance the work you are already doing. Work/Life Balance is vital to the recharging process, so it’s important to value this time and honor it.

The second one is: Chores

– Chores are an obvious responsibility we can’t get away from, but we can absolutely give ourselves an allotted amount of time a week to ignore what needs to be done.

The third one is: Pets

– Pets seem like a silly thing to bring up here, but have you ever finished all your running around, you pour yourself a nice cold drink, you sit on the couch, and Fido goes into a full-blown temper tantrum? Exactly. And if you’ve only allotted yourself thirty minutes to unplug, then taking the dog out and getting their treat, their dinner, their fresh water, and then getting your head back in the right headspace could cost you at least ten minutes of your thirty! So take my advice, take care of any needy pets before you start your time.

The final and fourth one is: Relationships

– Relationships is the most important and final point I’d like to bring up. And when I say relationships, I mean any and all that leave you with a sense of responsibility. Yourpartner, children, family, neighbors, friends… whoever could commandeer your quiet time, physically or mentally. Again, plan ahead to get the most out of this time, and remember that you are not required to respond to calls and texts on demand. Your work lunch break may be the best time for you, when you are padded by your work day? And, maybe you can utilize these relationships to help you achieve your goals; could someone in your life assist you in getting this quiet time?

We would love to hear your thoughts. Join us in our Private Facebook group: Motivate Me! Support System and checkout MotivateMePodcast.com for anything else.

I am going to leave you with some truth talk from me to you: What happens when kids are home and bored? They begin to create. They make forts and draw and have talent shows and play teacher. Make it your mission to find time to get bored! Unplug, be idle, stop the multi-tasking. I know some pretty important people and they manage to unplug – because none of us are so important that the world will not go around if we dip out for an hour. So claim your time, it’s yours to take, and see what you can create with it!

Remember, you Motivate Me!

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