Rearrange.

I can’t do everything.

^That’s a really hard lesson for a ‘Type A’ / big dreamer person .

We only have 100%. If I give 10% of myself to something—> that means I have 10 other areas that I can give to (10 areas at 10%).
That’s kind of where I am right now. I have added so many little things, that the “big things” have got shoved in the 10% pile…and ultimately are being neglected.

So I’m quitting some things. I go through a ritual “cleaning” in my life about every quarter where I say “no” to some things in order to say “yes” to others.

Not fun, but necessary.

Sometimes we have to look at saying “no” as being an intentional, purpose driven person……. not a selfish one. quotes-when-you-say-yes_5952-1 One of the key distracting forces that will try and steal your dream from you, is all the unnecessary little things that we add to our lives. Every unnecessary task that we add, whether its out of a feeling of obligation/people pleasing/or just plain habit….takes that little extra 1-2% of your life away from your bigger purpose.

Harsh? A little extreme…? No. Its math.

Unfortunately we cannot add more hours to our days, we can only rearrange and be more purposeful about the ones that we have.

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3 Reasons Why You Should

I work really hard sometimes to avoid the moment where I have to make a choice. But after awhile all the research has been done, I’ve thought enough, and I have to make a decision. Do I take the leap? Or run as fast as I can to the nearest ice cream store and just forget about it?

We all do this. We peek over the edge and wonder if we should.

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Here are three reasons why you should

1)  You are responsible for what you don’t use.

I still haven’t quite figured it out but for some reason we tend to feel guilty for admitting we are good at something or have a gift. There is a time when we need that gift affirmed by others, and there is a time to stop looking for affirmation and permission and start using it. You have your gifts and talents for a reason…and that reason goes way beyond your own personal use. You have these talents to help change and influence others. Not using our gifts is selfish, not humble. 

2) If this isn’t it, it will lead you to something that is

A huge fear that tries to creep up in me sometimes is “making the wrong decision”. Like this one thing (no matter how big it is) will either make or break my actual life. Besides a few decisions like who to marry or whether or not to pull the plug on life support, are not as life altering as we make them out to be. And more often than not, by taking the jump you may not land where you thought, but you will land SOMEWHERE. And that somewhere is sure better than where you started.

3) You will regret it if you don’t

I regret more of the decisions that I didn’t make, than some of the ones I did. We kind of have things backwards, we place our fear in failing instead of fearing not trying. Failure is inevitable…but never trying is completely preventable. We weren’t meant to just survive and make it through life without any scrapes and bruises. Roll up your sleeves and set out for adventure. We will regret it if we don’t.

The ultimate question is why not? Many things are replaceable. You can earn back money, you can move back home, you can try another route. However you will never get back the days you wasted wondering if you should.

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Love Weeps

One of the most destructive messages in the Western church is the emphasis that we have placed on happiness, blessings, and ultimately…perfection. Like that’s God’s “goal” for us.

Nope.

This idea leads us down a road where we work…and strive…and try to arrange our lives to fit this demand. When He never placed that on us. We did. God is happy when you are happy. Sure. But that is not His main goal. He seeks authenticity. He seeks the RAW, real you. Its okay to be a little undone. He doesn’t rush us through the process. He sits with is in it.

Watched this video this morning. If you don’t follow Brene Brown…you need to! She is the real deal.

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Why Things Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Because they never will be.

Ever.

We can cry about it. Or get comfortable in imperfection. 

I have probably already lost 80% of those who started off reading this by the above statement. People don’t like things to be out of place because they feel like that’s a reflection on them.
First of all, it isn’t. But even if it was………?

I believe producing at an imperfect level is more honorable compared to the stagnation that “perfection” causes. Our lives were meant to be fruitful, not a strainful.  By seeking perfection and calling it “excellence” we have placed an impossible standard on ourselves that leaves us in a position to feel like if something isn’t perfect, its not valuable.

We should produce quality. Sure. But if its between producing nothing or producing something that’s less than perfect…..Produce. Do. Give. Make. Create.

There is nothing more excellent or perfect than someone who is willing to be a little undone and do it anyway.

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Strong Opinions about a Woman You Have Never Met

There are ways that I hope I would respond. I have beliefs and values that are important to me. However there have been many times (many!) that under tremendous strain I have responded differently than I ever thought I would.

Does that mean that I was a bad person? Had no values? Did not love God?

No.

It’s easy to share a story and voice a strong opinion, in the comfort of our homes about a woman we have never met. But until we are placed in the same fire as someone else,
we have no room to talk…at all.
Strong judgments and opinions only set us up for a high and mighty fall.

I don’t know about you but I have a lot of “I should haves” without voicing what others “should have”.

We can only strengthen our own values everyday and pray that when and if the time comes for us to make a decision we will choose the right one. Until (or if) that times comes, those who are facing death, facing a trial…we should love them, honor them, and assume the best of them.

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5 things YOU need to know before becoming a Photographer

I get emails consistently from guys and gals who want to know

“How do I start a Photography business?”

There are many many many tips and tricks to this (many I am still learning). However before anyone jumps in and adds the word “photography” permanently to their name…

Here are five things you need to know before you become a photographer…

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1) It’s hard work.

This is the biggest misconception about being a photographer (in my opinion). What people see is you show up with a camera….laugh and have a blast shooting for an hour, and then in a few days see these beautiful images splattered all over Facebook. What everyone doesn’t see is the hours of marketing, answering emails, EDITING (no we don’t go home and burn a disk straight from our camera), bookkeeping, making contracts, burning disks, ordering prints, delivering photos, etc. etc. etc.

In all honesty….if you aren’t willing to do these things 90% of the time, you won’t be able to consistently shoot (the thing we get to do about 10% of the time)

2) You can’t be a sensitive cry baby.

Since photography is more of an “artsy” business, its hard for people to remember sometimes that it IS still a business. With owning your own business you have to be okay with rejection, and a lot of it. Some people will not like your photos, some people will tell you that you are too expensive, some people will tell you that they are glad that your childhood pet got ran over by a car….

People are people. You have to be confident in YOU and YOUR WORK, to make it doing this.

3) You need to be good.

What I mean by this….

You need to be able to consistently produce good quality photos before asking people to pay you.

Its EASY to call yourself a photographer. But before you invest in equipment. Invest in yourself. Learn camera settings (yes….like manual). Watch video tutorials and be a second shooter for some photo shoots. Don’t be insecure and never start, but be diligent with learning and working on your craft before you ask people to pay you.

4) People will want you to work for free…….a lot.

I have gotten a lot better about this. But especially in the beginning when I was more insecure, I gave away A LOT of free shoots. Now this was good at first because I shouldn’t of been charging at the beginning (because I sucked). But as time passed and strangers started contacting me for photos….it was hard to make the shift (especially when its friends or family you feel very weird, almost guilty to charging).

That’s one of the biggest mistakes I could of made. You are a business owner. You are working. And photography is WORK. <——-Read this over and over.

There are still times (very rarely) that I do things for free.

Now its because I want to….not because I feel like I have to. If others are not valuing you and your work, you aren’t valuing yourself enough.

Put a price on it. People who expect you to work for free do not truly care about you or your business.

Harsh? Maybe. But its the truth.

5) Be okay with it taking a long, long time.

I have been a “photographer” for a few years. In all honestly it has taken me until recently to have  a consistent business.

I say that not to be depressing, and hopefully it wont take YOU that long, but I am just keepin’ it real! There have been many times where I have considered quitting, especially in the beginning.

The key to being a full time photographer is to not give up when you are just a part time photographer.

Be tuff. Stick with it.

6) You can do it.

Okay I just broke a rule. I said there were five things, and here is the sixth one….

I know, I’m such a rebel.

But really. With any business….with any dream...if you want it bad enough…it CAN happen. Read, invest in your mind…realize your potential.

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Well. Those are the five (um, six) things that I believe people need to consider before they get a camera and make a Facebook page. I absolutely love what I doPhotography is very rewarding, but realize the reality in the work and persistence that it takes. Again, this is a small list- but hopefully it will help you clarify if this is truly something you want to dive into.

Wish you the best~!

-Heather

 

*Flash Back Friday: Originally Posted on March 25, 2014

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Defend.

Sometimes you are left feeling like you are left to defend a decision that you have made, or a life that you have decided to live.

Don’t.

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Everyone has their own lives for a reason- to use it. Living one life is complicated enough without trying to take on someone else’s and guide it to where you think that it should go. We should all be concerned with living the fullest life that is right for us, and what we are called to do. If someone disagrees……that’s okay. That does not always mean that you need to change your course. More often than not you shouldn’t.

People give their input and move on, but you are the one that is always left with the consequences of your choices. Run full force, and don’t pause to defend.

 

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No Idea Where To Start

Do you ever feel like you have a great idea but just have no idea where to start? I run into this problem a lot because most of the things that I want to do with my life are off the beaten path. Now “off the beaten path” sounds fun and adventurous right?…but truthfully it’s flippin’ scary.

It means you have no map, no degree plan, no idea where to begin. I feel like so many of us feel drawn to “do our own thing” yet lack the courage to jump out there, because it means figuring out what to do, and messing up a lot along the way. Those are valid concerns.

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I am in school and I feel like that is a small part of my map, but there are many, many other things that I want to do that go beyond that piece of paper I’m working on.

Here are a few things that have helped me create my own map. Most of this has come from books, audios, etc. Of course I am still learning so much everyday, but these tips have been a game changer for me.

1)  Learn. Constantly.

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I think submersing yourself in books is the most productive thing you can do. I read every morning and listen to about 1 audio book a week. Most of these books consist of subject matters in my field (mental health, positive thinking, leadership, business, creativity, etc). The more I listen the more confidence I gain in walking into the “unknown”. I think out of any habit I have this is one of the most important. You have to work on your mind before you work on anything else. Can’t skip that step.

2) Build a platform.

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Even if you have no product. This might sound kind of strange, because we have the opposite instinct. We think we need to have everything in place and then reach out. However building a platform takes a LONG time. So if you work to build it, while you are developing your idea/business you have people to launch your product/idea to once its ready. Example: If you are wanting to start a business selling buttons (I just watched Benjamin Button last night so buttons are on my mind!) then why not start a twitter account, and build your following based on facts about buttons? (exciting right?) Or if you are interested in consulting, why not launch a blog and document your journey? Start building your following NOW so one day you will have ears that are already ready to listen to you when you are ready to begin. Building an audience takes time. Don’t waste another minute.

3) Be consistent.
For heavens sake.

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This one I think frustrates me the most. If you are working towards your plan, and have a few small steps in place (I will build a following, I will blog, I will meet with my mentor…etc, etc)

Then do it. Consistently.
Great ideas and breakthroughs don’t happen without first building and following through with daily habits. The grind…..get use to it.

4) Ask for help.

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This is hard. Especially for me. I don’t know anyone personally who is doing exactly what I want to do. However, I know a lot of people who know something that I could use, and it’s worth taking time out to hear what they have to say. People are extremely flattered when you ask for their input, and this gives you more people in your corner to support you in the end. Win/win.

5) Throw a dart in the dark.

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If you have absolutely NO IDEA where to begin then throw a dart. Yes. Chunk it in the dark, and follow it wherever it lands. Of course logic tells you that this will not work, and will waste your time and resources….but that can be nothing further than the truth. Make an educated guess about something you could possibly do, and even if it sounds crazy, do it. Immediately.

Why this is important is it helps you start your map. Usually that first step won’t work out the way you think it will, but it will give you something to work with and cause you to start thinking in steps. You never know when you are exploring this….that you will find that. It’s all in the willingness to explore.

6) Throw your hat over the fence.

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I heard an analogy once about a young boy who wanted to follow through with a dare from his friends to confront a big dog that was on the other side of his neighbors fence. The boy threw his hat over the fence. If he did not bring his hat home, his mom would have his butt. By throwing his hat over the fence, he had to make the leap, he had to face his fears. He left no other option.

We have to do that. We have to burn our ship, throw our hat over the fence, …take irreversible chances. That’s where you really see your true commitment.

7) Tackle the big things.

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We kinda avoid the big things by busying ourselves with a bunch of busy work don’t we? But that wont get us anywhere but some temporary spurts of dopamine, fooling ourselves that we are following our dream….when we are really avoiding it. A great book about this is “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. Tackle the big things if you want to get somewhere.

8) Believe in your map. Love your map…..;)

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If you have one step on your map, be committed to that step. Believe that step is the shinizzle. I really believe its the confidence and force that you tackle projects that will lead you to your map. In trying, with your WHOLE HEART you will stumble (maybe tripping and falling) into your success. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to get a little messy to see this happen.

I could go on and on. But these are a few steps that I have taken and ran with, in developing my map. Is it hard taking the “unbeaten path”? Yup. But not having a plan is more common than you may think, so it’s not a good excuse…it’s a good reason to get to work.

 

 

 

 

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How to say…….”No”

No.

That’s a hard word. It’s very, very hard to say…and it’s really hard to hear. I have been practicing saying “no” in my life, and it’s not a lot of fun.

I worry a lot that I am going to hurt someone’s feelings.

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When you hear “no” sometimes you feel rejected. So saying “no” to someone else makes you wonder if they feel like you are rejecting THEM……not just what they are offering. This is a tricky situation because you are left feeling torn between protecting your time, and hurting someone’s feelings.

However…

In the end, you have to be more protective of your life (your time) than you are of the way you are perceived. You cannot control what other’s think or how they feel.

You can’t. Ever.
People gonna think….what they gonna think….

I love the scripture that says, “as much as it depends on you, live at peace with all men”.

“As much as it depends on you”……
But some of it doesn’t depend on you, and is left out of your hands.
Like the way people may perceive your “no”.

Say “no” respectively with as much authentic appreciation as you can…..but know its okay sometimes to respectfully decline.

If you don’t want to do something, or if you literally do not have the time for it—for heaven’s sake run from it!!  Those who cannot understand or respect that are not worth the precious effort that you invest. 

“No” is a very hard word to hear and to say. However not saying it causes ALOT of regret and ultimately adds stress to your life.

Feeling “obligated” in relationships is a violation of boundaries that will ultimately drive a wedge in those relationships — that although you meant your “yes” to prevent conflict, actually pushes you further (emotionally) from that person. Because they don’t really know how you feel, and you will probably end up bitter/annoyed with them. And how is that fair to them? Or you?

So say, “no”.

Its okay.
It really is.

And for the record…I wrote this blog so I could read it;)

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When knowledge is not enough

We love information. We look for it, dwell on it, and pass it along. It helps us feel a little more in control—because we KNOW whats going on. We wanna know who said what, how they said it, and why. We wanna know who has Ebola, and how they got it. We wanna know what 70′s TV show “we are”…based on 10 Facebook questions. We love information.   images (2)Most of the information we have, isn’t really the truth. But honestly? Who really cares? If our minds are busy with random facts, we get a little fix. We feel like we are being productive, we feel like we are involved, we feel like we are apart. Knowing is not enough though.

  • How much do you know about fitness?….. what do YOU DO about it?
  • How much do you know about human trafficking?….what do YOU DO about it?
  • How much do you know about what you want out of life? ….what do YOU DO about it?

Knowledge is limitless…yes. But its also useless if its not used as a reference point for our actions. Raising awareness is awesome- but how many of us are “aware” ….but do not care? I would rather be the person running off 10% knowledge and DOING SOMETHING with that 10% than be the most well-informed, prestigious woman you know who doesn’t bother to lift a finger. We have to quit talking at some point …and start doing. There shouldn’t be so many hurt, dying, and confused people in the world. We have enough facts, we have enough statistics. The world was never influenced by people who just knew a lot. We need people with enough courage and backbone to step out and DO something. images

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