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V1, Girl Boss Alert

Hearts On Fire President Caryl Capeci Receives Visionary Award

Hearts On Fire,  The World's Most Perfectly Cut Diamond, known for its exceptional and consistent cut celebrates President Caryl Capeci as she received the Visionary Award from the Women's Jewelry Association. The WJA's 35th Annual awards for excellence gala was held on July 16, 2018, at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers in New York City.

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To celebrate the WJA's 35th anniversary, the Visionary Awards were introduced to mark its milestone anniversary and to celebrate the individuals and organizations leading the way for women's equality. 

Capeci is responsible for all global company operations for the Boston-based diamond jewelry brand.  Hearts On Fire is sold in over 700 points of sale including Hong Kong based parent company Chow Tai Fook. She serves on the boards of Jewelers for Children and the Diamond Empowerment Fund, and supports Girls Inc. – an organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart, and bold. She is also a member of the Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York.

"WJA created the Visionary Award to recognize and honor women who have demonstrated exemplary leadership within their careers and are mentors, philanthropists and inspirations to us all.  They are strong, fearless trailblazers and we feel that Caryl embodies all of these qualities," said Jenny Luker, WJA Board President. 

Capeci was honored alongside Mercedes Abramo, President and CEO of Cartier North America, and Nadja Swarovski, the first female member of the executive board of Swarovski. In addition to a joint award given to De Beers Group and UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

"I am so grateful to be recognized by the WJA for this amazing Visionary Award – especially alongside remarkable women like Mercedes and Nadja.  I truly love what I do and find great joy in representing the best diamond jewelry brand on the planet while working with an exceptional and passionate team of people at Hearts On Fire and Chow Tai Fook.  I'm proud to be a part of an innovative company like CTF where female leadership is celebrated, " said Caryl Capeci, Visionary Award Recipient, President, Hearts On Fire.

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V1, Girl Boss Alert

Girl Boss Alert: Samantha Skey Named CEO of SheKnows Media

Penske Media Corporation today announced the promotion of Samantha Skey from President and Chief Revenue Officer to Chief Executive Officer of SheKnows Media.

Skey will lead SheKnows.com, which caters to moms, STYLECASTER for millennial fashion and beauty enthusiasts and BlogHer, the largest event for female content creators and entrepreneurs. These brands represent the flagship sites in the SheKnows Partner Network, which, along with top lifestyle sites, provides content and community to 75 million women each month (comScore, June 2018).

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This promotion makes Skey the company's first female CEO. SheKnows Media has taken strides to build a culture that represents its mission of empowering women. Over the last five years, the company's executive leadership team has shifted from nearly all men to one that's predominantly female.  Now, 80% of SheKnows Media executives at the Vice President level and above are female.

"Sam is one of the finest media executives we've encountered over the last decade," said Jay Penske, Chairman & CEO, Penske Media Corporation. "Her plans for SheKnows are grounded in a deep belief in the mission, and the boundless potential of the business and its offerings."

Additionally, Skey leads vision and social mission for SheKnows Media.  In 2014, she created the #Femvertising Awards to celebrate brands whose advertising defies gender stereotypes and empowers women and girls.  The #Femvertising Awards are in their fourth year and have been featured in AdWeek, Forbes, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and more.  In February 2015, the company launched Hatch, a national digital literacy program for "Generation Z." Hatch has won five Telly Awards for producing social impact video content.  Likewise, Skey launched #ThePitch, the company's program supporting female entrepreneurs, in May 2015 and has since created marketing programs for hundreds of entrepreneurs and business leaders. 

Next, she will lead #BlogHer18 Creators Summit in New York City, August 8-9.  Now in its 14th year, this event attracts 2,000+ female bloggers, social media influencers and entrepreneurs alongside top-tier talent such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian West and Serena Williams.

"I am incredibly honored and humbled to take on this new role and thankful to Jay for his confidence in me to run SheKnows. I am beyond proud of our team and the success we have built together over the past five years," said Skey. "Across our branded media, influencer, programmatic and live events business lines, I look forward to finding new opportunities in the marketplace to inspire, inform and empower women everywhere."

Skey will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of The Ad Council and The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). 

"SheKnows Media creates spaces for women to build community, share their experiences, celebrate each other's wins, and empower each other through challenges. This incredible brand is a direct reflection of its dynamic leader and new CEO, Sam Skey," said Lisa Sherman, President & CEO, The Ad Council. "Her innovation, creativity and mission-driven leadership have taken SheKnows Media to the forefront of media created by women for women. She's been an incredible partner to the Ad Council as a member of our Board of Directors, and I can't wait to see what she and her team continue to build together."

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V1, Motivation/Advice

HOW CAN HAVING A NEW BOSS BE A GOOD THING AND A FRESH START FOR YOU?

A change in leadership can feel disruptive to your life at work. Disruption is a powerful force that can be harnessed for good. It can be tempting to focus on the ways a new boss will upset your routine—which might be just what you need. Here are five ways to embrace this change and let it propel you forward. 

 Image  via

Image via

  1. Welcome. Take time to sincerely express to your boss that you look forward to working with him or her. Be genuine and warm, but don’t overdo it. People can smell when you are disingenuous from a mile away.
  2. Communicate. Your new supervisor does not know you or completely understand how your department works. Being conscientious to be clear in communication will keep things running smoothly. A quick email such as, “I will have the monthly numbers to you by Friday like normal. Let me know if you prefer them differently” can keep processes and expectations clear.
  3. Reflect. Any shifts in your work life are natural opportunities to evaluate your career goals and take fresh steps to grow. Are there any courses you have wanted to pursue or organizations you have wanted to join? Use the energy from the changes to propel new growth for yourself.
  4. Grow. One of the benefits of having multiple supervisors is that each has unique experiences and strengths. Does your new boss have expertise that you want to learn?
  5. Relax. It will take a while for things to settle into a new, productive flow. Be patient with your boss, yourself, and the process. 

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V1, Motivation/Advice

How to defeat the competition?

Ever feel discouraged by the threat of competition? Anytime you initiate something that is beautiful, new, amazing or creative; others will follow and mimic, and you need to establish and maintain your audience. Competition is okay because they are emulating you.  However, how you handle it is what matters. 

Here is a guideline on how to compete, what to do and what not to do to keep you motivated.

What not to do

  • DO NOT cave.  Confidence will help you persevere.
  • DO NOT focus on what they are doing, instead focus on you and what you need to do to perfect your brand.
  • DO NOT copy, instead, create. It is okay to be inspired by what others are doing, however, use that inspiration to create something amazing and not the same thing.
  • DO NOT waste time feeling jealous, frustrated or angry. That keeps you from perfecting your brand. You have no time to lose dillydallying, get to work! 
  • DO NOT follow them on social media. Seeing their posts could potentially give you anxiety, and will only discourage you. 
  • DO NOT visit your competitor's website/social media more than once a week, if you must. More than that may cause your stress levels to rise, bring you negative energy and deflect you from your creative process. 
  • DO NOT dwell on what you could have done and what you should have done. There is no time to focus on the past. You already know how to move forward, now concentrate on that. 
  • DO NOT rush. Take your time, and do it right. What's an extra couple of days, weeks or month? Taking your time allows you to be happy with the result. 
 Photo via

Photo via

What to do

  • Kill your competitors with kindness. Acknowledge them when they do something amazing. Eventually, they will reach out to you to collaborate somehow. 
  • Comment and interact. Acknowledging keeps you in control.  You might even inspire them to change their tactics and clean up their copy.  
  • Fight for what you created by pushing it harder than ever before.
  • Dedicate 1 hour daily to just promoting your brand. Social media is a great way to get the word out but can take up too much time and interfere with your creative process. Organize your efforts to one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.
  • Remember it is business and stressing too much about what others do in business can affect your health and wellness. Maintain a healthy balance without crossing over into your personal or family time. 
  • Keep your hours 9-5 if possible, you need a break. Maintaining the proper time to yourself keeps your brain alert and aware. 
  • Take some time daily to think of your next power move.  Leave emotions way behind.  With strategies in place, you will always win.

Remember, competition is healthy. 

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V1, Motivation/Advice

3 Ways to Use the Ancient Practice of Yoga to Heal Yourself

To achieve the full benefit of Yoga, we must first understand what Yoga is.  

While many know the literal translation as being “Union with God,” the Sanskrit word Yoga, like most Sanskrit words, is understood from a deeper internal level. Much like saying “a picture speaks a thousand words.”

“Union with God” means you are one with the sacred.  There is no difference between one and the other, you are wise, you are love, and you are that which is everything.  You are the god.  When you attain union, healing becomes nonexistent.  This Union is achieved through the practice of Asana, Meditation, and Pranayama.

Asana exercise is the physical aspect of development, Meditation is the mental aspect of development and Pranayama is the spiritual aspect of development. All three attain Yoga.  The Human body hosts both the manifested and the unmanifested form of Man.  Balance within these three aspects is essential to holistic wellbeing.  

Yoga is a profoundly spiritual practice.  You cannot practice union with God, but you can attain union with God.  Healing yourself using the Ancient Practice of Yoga is pursuing the path to sacredness.  

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Asana

  • Asana practice is not Yoga; it is a physical exercise to attain Yoga.  Asana practice has a myriad of names; Booty yoga (booty union with God), Chocolate yoga (chocolate union with God), Hot Yoga (Hot union with God), Trauma Yoga (Trauma union with God). Names attached to yoga are mere descriptions for marketing purposes.  If Yoga is truly understood, one would see that no labels nor explanations are needed, the word ‘Yoga’ speaks volumes on its own.
  • Practicing asanas that are right for you is beneficial.  The labeling is implying different types of Yoga benefits only the marketer.  Often this labeling re-focuses the individual from the reality of Yoga to illusion and imagination disease.   In other words, since the ego seeks that which makes it comfortable, you will subconsciously choose a class based on what your ego thinks will make you feel good and not what is good for you.  
  • For example, Hot air lowers your life energy or prana.  Cold air raises your prana.  Asana practice is to increase prana. Most yogis climb the Himalayas to meditate because of cold air raising prana.  Why then would you practice Hot Yoga or Hot union with God? One must use intuitive wisdom to ascertain that which is supportive of them.

Meditation

  • Meditation, like Asana practice, has received many different marketing names based on various techniques.  However, they all aim for the same result: thoughtless awareness. When one achieves thoughtless awareness, mental healing occurs.
  • In thoughtless awareness, one can dive deep into the recesses of the mind, releasing the electrical charges causing suffering.  Mental pain is like a painful scar.  
  • Thoughtless awareness allows one to be aware of the origins of the scar, the pain of the injury and the healing of the scar.  
  • Often people do not heal because when they feel the mental pain, they often repress or suppress it instead of moving through the energy and releasing it. Avoidance of psychological distress is like a massive rock blocking the flow of all possibilities.
  • When energy is released, you may forget painful memories altogether, or even if you recall them, they will no longer carry a charge.

Pranayama

  • Pranayama is described as breath control.  Prana, however, is more than breath. It is the energy that carries consciousness.  Prana can be understood as an energy field that transports the highest knowledge. Without awareness, all life would be unable to experience itself. Prana is the active aspect of breath and consciousness is the inactive character of breath. Prana is our life force energy.
  • The practice of Pranayama techniques brings about changes from a subtle, atomic level resulting in a change in the gross level.  It is said that the practice of Pranayama alone can be done to the exclusion of all other methods.  The consciousness within the Prana is supreme intelligence.  This supreme intelligence cleanses and rearranges your atoms, creating new supportive energies which expresses itself as health, wisdom, and vitality.

*****

The Ancient Practice of Yoga is not about healing from a limited bodily perspective but instead uplifts and evolves you to an expansive immortal state of being.  The journey is filled with varied experiences, one being the realization that there is nothing to heal.

“Union with God” differs from “Union with good feelings.”  ‘Feel good’ unions carry highs and devastating lows. Attachment, imagination, and expectation spur them. 

All spiritual practice requires the release of self-motive.  Even if the motive is to be healed, it must be released. When self-motive is released, then surrender and gratitude will naturally occur, and clarity appears.

Asana, Meditation and Pranayama, when practiced together, are the perfect recipe for human evolution to higher consciousness and the ultimate healing of oneself-- ‘Union with God.’  

About the Author:

Ashta-deb is a registered hypnotherapist and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, Inc. She integrates Yoga Nidra (Eastern Wisdom) with Hypnosis (Western knowledge) to maximize supportive results. 

She offers several online self-awareness and self-development guidance sessions via Skype. Her unique ability to apply the centuries-old teachings of Vedanta to modern day life is terrific. Her psychic abilities allow her to see genuinely into another’s soul which at times can prove unsettling. Ashta-deb engages daily in meditation and pranayama, reading books on Vedanta and experimenting with ancient yoga techniques as described in the scriptures. She enjoys her family time with her husband, Sam and four children in Ontario, Canada. 

Connect with Ashta-deb on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about Life Happens to Us at www.ashtaashram.com.

Life Happens to Us: A True Story is available for purchase in paperback and e-book via AmazonFriesen PressAshta-Ashram website, and all major booksellers.

Header image by  Form 

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V1, Girl Boss Alert

Girl Boss Alert: DIFFA Appoints New Executive Director Dawn Roberson

After an extensive search, the Board of Directors announced the appointment of Dawn Roberson as Executive Director at DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS. Roberson commenced the duties of her new role in June.

“We are excited to have Dawn take on the role of Executive Director at DIFFA,” says Cindy Allen, Board Chair. “Dawn has the boundless energy, passion, and knowledge required to lead the organization in its charge against HIV/AIDS. Her contributions at DIFFA the past five years have helped the organization grow in both measurable and immeasurable ways. The Board was highly impressed with Dawn’s capabilities and strategic plan for the organization and is confident about its continued success. Three cheers for DIFFA with Dawn at the helm!"

 Image via DIFFA

Image via DIFFA

Roberson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in fundraising, partnerships, event management and brand marketing to her position as Executive Director. Previously, Roberson served as the Corporate Marketing Manager at Abigail Kirsch Catering where she created and implemented marketing strategies for six New York venues. She later joined DIFFA as Event Director, where she successfully executed the Foundation’s local and national fundraising events. During her tenure at DIFFA, Roberson not only helped secure thousands of dollars in sponsorships to support DIFFA’s signature fundraisers and grant-making efforts but also re-imagined and significantly grew attendance at Picnic By Design and DINING BY DESIGN. A visionary and innovator, Roberson launched DIFFA’s first grant reception—Thanks for Giving—which united more than 200 DIFFA supporters and grantees.

“I am proud to serve as Executive Director at DIFFA and usher the organization into its next chapter of success. Working to support DIFFA’s mission over the past five years has been a fulfilling experience as we grant funds and support dozens of organizations nationwide fighting HIV/AIDS. With support from the Board, DIFFA team and our community of supporters—our efforts will only continue to increase as we focus our support on critical areas of need in the communities we serve," said Roberson.

Dawn Roberson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication - Marketing and Advertising from San Diego State University.

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V1, Motivation/Advice

The Everygirl shares their office space.

The Everygirl shared their office space today. But, not only did they share photos they shared answers to questions we all want to know. Solutions which may inspire your next move.

 Image via  The Everygirl  

Image via The Everygirl 

You started the Everygirl in 2012 out of your homes — when and how did you know it was time for office space?

Yes — we both worked from home for the first few years! The real catalyst for getting an office was because we were hiring full-time employees here in Chicago and needed a space where we could work together and produce photo shoots. We found this amazing loft in Chicago’s West Loop that rents as either a live or work space, so the rent was much more affordable than standard commercial office rentals, and it had a much cooler aesthetic than most office spaces, so we jumped on it. We now have seven full-time editors (the two of us included), one part-time editor, and two interns working out of our Chicago office.

Read more here.

 Images via  The Everygirl

Images via The Everygirl

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V1, Motivation/Advice

STRATEGIES FOR STRENGTH

Many people look at my travel photos and may be unaware that besides having adventures around the world, I work as a registered nurse too. It is one of the less glamorous hats I wear, but it is the most character-defining job to date.

In 2003, as a newly minted registered nurse, I had the privilege of working on the Burns, Plastics, and Trauma unit at Vancouver’s most significant academic teaching hospital. It was here that I not only learned to hone my clinical skills but also gained perspective on life through a few great life lessons. The most prominent lesson learned: resilience. 

 Photo by  Heather Schwartz  on  Unsplash

How can you be strong in times of adversity?  
For years, you might not imagine that your teachers could be the unsuspecting patients that you would encounter and care for. You know that these horrific and traumatic events would change their lives forever but didn’t realize they would change yours. After this enlightening moment, I became a keen student; I would listen, collect and recall their stories.

There is a physical (medical and surgical) aspect of caring for a trauma patient, but there was also an emotional one. No textbook could adequately cover the complicated emotional rollercoaster of a patient’s journey. Everyone’s story was unique as well as the way they dealt with their circumstance to rise above. These stories are strategies for strength that you can use in your everyday life, no matter what your situation.

  • A sense of Humor: Being able to remember to laugh helps to keep things in perspective. There’s the saying that if you do not laugh, you will cry. I have done both: I laughed things off when I reminisce about younger years with my high school friends, and I have also cried when I remember how lonely I felt on the first day of eighth-grade in a brand new school in a brand new city. I also saw this when I watched the movie Stronger, a film about Jeff Bauman’s journey of recovery after having bilateral above the knee amputations as a result of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. He compared himself to ‘Lieutenant Dan’ from Forrest Gump offsetting the severe nature of his injury. As Forrest Gump reminds us, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”
  • Self-Reflection: While some rely on their humor, others can depend on self-reflection and outward expression as their coping mechanism. As someone who keeps a journal to express my thoughts, I can relate to this method, mainly since I sat down years ago and penned my novella, The Love List. Extracting the swirling ideas in your mind can help provide clarity to your situation, whether you are contemplating your next career move or big life decision. I came across Jane Diamond, a trained ballet dancer who lost her ability to walk after a tragic motor vehicle accident. After countless years of multiple surgeries, loneliness, and frustration, she turned to ask herself practical questions like, “What am I waking up for?” and “How did I want to live my life?” Her answers became her short- and long-term guide and today Jane now works as a wellness coach, personal trainer and yes – she walks. Who, what, when, where and why. Start with that and see what flows out of your pen (or fingers, if you are more of the digital type). You might be pleasantly surprised how therapeutic this may be.
  • Social Network: As much as I enjoy my alone time, I am a social creature who surrounds myself with love and support. In good times, this may not be as important; in times of need, like when I have seen exhausted families sleep in uncomfortable plastic chairs for a chance to hear health care professionals provide their assessment of their loved ones, a secure social network is critical. I can also personally attest to this when I worked as a nurse to see the power of loved ones. Todd Green* was in a minor accident; however, a couple of his surgeries had failed outcomes. He was down-in-the-dumps, but his family and friends, and the steady stream of well-wishers shielded him from the actual emotional toil they felt. Instead, they banded together and kept his room a haven for positive vibes. I know who will lift me up when I need some TLC. Who is your go-to support?

Although I am no longer a front-line clinician, I am reminded of these strategies for strength when I hear success stories like those of Jeff, Jane, and Todd. All three were able to come back from their accidents and use the strength from those around them, and within, to walk away from being victims of circumstance to becoming resilient heroes in their own right.


*Patient name has been changed to maintain their privacy.*

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V1, Girl Boss Alert

Girl Boss Alert: Meet The All-Women Creative Team Behind BELLAME

When you're building a brand that breaks all the rules - and rewrites the script on an entire channel of distribution – the creative team supporting the project has to be stellar. And in California-based BELLAME CEO and founder Melissa Thompson's case, the fact that her design + copy leads are all females is no accident. "BELLAME was founded with the belief in empowering women from the inside out," she says. "We're obsessed with our 'tribe.'"

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Drawing on her mega experience in the cosmetics industry, which has included tenures at the world's top direct-sales companies, Thompson's goal with BELLAME was to give women a path – via science-backed, luxury beauty, and an innovative business model – to claim their career and financial destinies. And it was precisely this new approach to direct-sales that attracted Float Design founder Larissa Pickens to BELLAME.

"Melissa found me on the CEW members site," Pickens recalls, referring to Cosmetic Executive Women, the New York City-based networking association. "From our very first call, I loved her energy and enthusiasm. She put so much of herself into the project, had a great track record with her previous businesses and really made it feel like we were partners."

Still, before she signed-on, Pickens did her due diligence. Friends and family members hadn't had great experiences repping other direct-sales brands, and she wanted to make sure BELLAME would right those wrongs. "I really grilled Melissa in our first calls," says Pickens. "I wanted to learn how she was planning to structure the business and ensure team could flourish. Needless to say, I was ultimately convinced. She was truly willing to invest in her team, making decisions that would cut into profits for the sake of improving their ability to run a successful business."

Cut to months later: Armed with Thompson's product prototypes, Pickens and her multi-city staff got to work mocking-up a brochure. "Melissa came in with a very strong vision of what she wanted and it honestly feels like we took it and ran with it," says Pickens. "She approached us with the idea of an elegant, black and white brand that looked like an invitation, and everything flowed naturally from that concept."

Based in Austin, Pickens guides designers on her own Texas turf, as well as in New York City (where Float originally launched), Seattle, North Carolina and Los Angeles. "We're truly a distributed team," she says. "Thank goodness for Slack! We're on it all day, and use Basecamp to keep projects organized."

Although she's had male designers before, and fully intends to again in the future, Pickens' current staff is made up solely of women. "Since Float started focusing on the beauty industry, I've found many women knocking down the door to work with us, whereas guys aren't as passionate about this space."    

When she reached the point with BELLAME when she needed help with copy, Pickens reached out to veteran beauty writer Dana Wood, whom she discovered on LinkedIn. Wood, who logged two decades as Beauty Director for three Condé Nast magazines, is currently based in St. Petersburg, Florida, and splits her time between editorial assignments and brand copywriting.

"I'm thrilled Larissa 'found' me for this project," says Wood. "Not only is the BELLAME line effective, gorgeous and a pure pleasure to use, the creation of the brochure and website copy was seamless. Both Melissa and Larissa have crystal clear visions and are meticulously organized and great communicators. I hope to do loads more work with these super-sharp, successful women."

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V1, The Angry Female

Books to read: Master the Art of Thinking Happy: Plan Be! by Becca Anderson

Plan Be! by Becca Anderson is for everyone who appreciates daily affirmations and positive quotes.

  • The affirmations, quotes, and ideas in this book are a set of tools for you to use in your self-development.
  • They are for “inner work.”
  • And you know what they say about happiness–that it’s an “inside job,” which is 100% true.
  • The suggestions in Plan Be! vary widely from spiritual aspirations to very simple, straightforward and practical ideas.
  • Much has to do with adjusting your attitude.
  • Depending on the day, it might be a slight adjustment or a major overhaul, but the more you practice daily affirmations, the fewer adjustments you’ll need.
  • One day, you will realize you have mastered the art of “thinking happy” and are looking at the bright side of life every day.
  • Incorporating this effort as a daily practice will build “mental muscle” and help you achieve the all-important optimistic way of thinking.
  • These are habits that can easily be reinforced by practices such as journaling, creating your own affirmations, and talking to yourself in the positive.
  • Like an engine driving you toward greater things, self-belief brings you closer to your life’s purpose, your personal mission and will absolutely make you a happier camper.

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V1, The Angry Female

ARE MY FRIENDSHIPS WORTH KEEPING?

When I was younger partying all weekend, admittingly sometimes even, acting a little reckless was fun. Now in my 30's, my priorities have shifted. I had to make the decision to finally walk away from a group of women whom I had called friends for years. I recognized that inexcusable behavior in public was a constant occurrence, and it simply made us all look foolish. I did not want to be associated with this anymore. I decided to disconnect from this group of friends with whom I began to realize more toxic than fulfilling.

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  • There were times when my friends were out partying and would end up getting into altercations with other women for nothing other than immature reasons. In my moments of reflection, I would think, couldn’t we hang out and have fun without making a scene? I certainly grew exhausted of this. It was seemingly more like episodes from reality television and have grown older with more responsibilities, and there was no reason to still act like menaces. Bouts would end up trickling onto social networks, and jabs toward me posted online.
  • Disassociating myself, I anticipated that if my friendships were valued, perhaps we could start a conversation. Indeed, I had an emotional connection as over the years we built memories together so surely it was difficult. It was my hope that my separation would allow them to consider why I had distanced myself. However, as time went on, it became apparent that there was no interest in having any discussion about how to maintain our friendship once they learned that I did not agree with the senseless acts.  I understood maybe there is no value in these friendships.
  • Not even sure how I even maintained these friendships for so many years. I decided to take a stance, and am no longer surrounding myself with the negativity. I guess I am growing up, and probably, I outgrew them.

If you are in a situation like this, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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V1, Motivation/Advice

HOW TO STOP ANXIETY BY SIMPLY ORGANIZING YOUR DESK.

All too often we set up our office whether home or work, to look beautiful and clean. Even more fun is when it is a new space with new furniture. Added to the mix are a new computer and some organizational utensils to finish off the look. So why is it at 5 p.m. our desk seems like a hot mess? What makes it worse is when you leave it messy and in the morning head straight to that mess. Your anxiety levels begin to skyrocket. No one wants to start his or her work with an unorganized space.

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Let me break it down of what you are doing wrong.

  • All the fantastic organizing products you buy, but do not use properly, causes nothing but confusion. Buying things to make your desk look cute is excellent, but it makes your desk unusable by taking up space. Not utilizing any product for its intended use defeats the purpose of trying to be organized.

So let's see how we can get you to be a little more consistent, organized and happy.

  • Start with a clean slate and strip your desk. Take everything off so you can separate what is trash and dump it.
  • Once the dump is complete, gather any loose papers and stack them to the side. Time is limited, so this is a quick fix for later.
  • Think about all the things you need on your desk that will allow you to stay organized. Don't reflect on the visual aspects yet, let's leave those for last.
  • You may have pens, paper, a desktop or laptop, figure out quickly where you need these things to be on your desk. All the important things should be within arm’s reach.
  • Consider using trays like the ones sold at West Elm. Depending on the size of your desk they are great to hold little odds and ends, things like your stapler and tape dispenser, pens and rulers, etc. Moreover, even a small space for something pretty, like a candle or your favorite nail polish and perfume.
  • To give additional room on your desk, consider getting a computer stand. It gives your computer some great height while creating extra space underneath for more storage.
  • Get a clipboard to keep all papers you are working on that day. At the end of your time only gather all your paper and clip them on the board. Leave it neatly on your desk or tuck it away in a draw.
  • Five minutes before shutdown, take a look at your work area and start putting things back into place.
  • One thing I have learned about staying organized is everything should have a place, and if it does not, then it does not belong. Keep that in your mind, and I can guarantee you will become more organized. When you are working, it may be difficult to have the perfect desk, but knowing there is a spot for everything will make cleaning up a breeze.