Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Be Thankful for Your Challenges??

"...find a new direction for Eating Pretty"
"...this guy is not good enough for you, move on."
"...I have 3 diets to write and an e-book in 3 hours. ahh!"
"...pretty sure this guy has turned out to be a full on sociopath, move on."
"...find another direction for Eating Pretty. Again."
"...emails, oh my lord emails. If Eating Pretty could find it's direction - I could have an email writer!"
"...ignore that bbm, ignore that text, ignore! ... aw, but he's so cute."
"...that sale didn't work at all, let's find a new direction!"
"...I have to give a speech on ____ in 30 minutes. I should probably write it."
"...it's ____'s birthday. But I have so much work!"
"...concentrating would be so much easier if I didn't have a broken heart"
"...I can't wait to tell Claire this!"
"...concentrating would be so much easier if I wasn't so excited."
"...is it the 1st already?"
"...I miss my family. I need to call Laura and bbm Daddy"
"...all I want to do is write, play with puppies and gossip with my girls - but, I need to find another direction!"

Welcome to my inner thoughts on a daily basis.

One could look at my facebook, twitter, linkedin, blog, website, youtube channel and think that all I do is think of pretty food, girlfriends, rainbows, puppies and magic all day. (which, is somewhat true.)

However, between being on Year 1 of my income solely from being an entrepreneur, seeming to be anywhere from unlucky or non-existant in the boy department, having to find new directions to take my business to the next level (and trying that again, and again, and again), attempting to manage all areas of a growing business alone, trying to refrain from being an anti-social workaholic and maintain my friendships, keeping up with all the volunteer work I do...
I guess it's needless to say: my brain is not all cupid, sunshine and sparkles.

But that is my ultimate goal. Sunshine, sparkles and making others lives better. And I will never stop being who I am and standing for what I believe in until I get there.

Last week was one of the most bitter-sweet weeks of my life. It was one of those weeks where in all areas of life you just want to crawl into a hole and hibernate, except I was working on my huge event Rock the Runway in support of Movember. So keeping positive through the weeks challenges was imperative.

On an especially stressful day I was trying to stay strong and keep it together at my office, but I took one look at my best friend Claire's face and burst into tears.
In my vent session my inner trucker took over and you would never have known I was a girl who thought swearing was a sign of a weak vocabulary. The cuss filled rant was rolling off my tongue like a drunken pirate.
Sparing you the $#^&'s ...
I told her that on my drive to work this morning I thought about how much easier it would be if I was one of those insecure, lost people who turned to drugs, alcohol, clubs, meaningless sex, bad food and designer things for validation.
Obviously, I did not mean it. My point was that sadly, in this world those things rule. I could literally walk out of my office and in 30 minutes be drunk and in bed with a new guy who wanted to buy me a Prada bag and take me for lobster. All my worries about companionship, finances and my business would be out the drowned out by booze and momentary validation.

But that is not who I choose to be, and I work so hard to be who I am.
It's not easy at all. In fact this journey is much more difficult then I could ever imagine. 
Following your heart, being daring, and passionate all while sticking to your core values has become next to impossible in this twisted world. Being reckless provides such immediate gratification that it's rare to find people that are truly who they portray themselves to be. And even more rare to find people who believe in that path and stick to it even on the days that bring them to tears.

If you follow my blog regularly, you will know I believe there is a lesson in every challenge. Once I began to believe that with everything I was - life just started to make sense.
Last week was the first time one of those 'lessons' blind sided me - my inner voice gave me NO warning and I can't for the life of me see what I must learn from it.
Claire said to me she thinks the series of events in my bad week are only making me stronger and ready for the best that is yet to come. She thinks with the week I've had it's right around the corner.
(I think best friends have to say that, it's in the code.)
But, that day I hoped she was right, today I believe it and (I hope) next week, I will know it.

Focusing on what I don't have or the challenges that feel like a punch in the face are only going to push me into that dark corner to be that girl I live my life trying not to be, and try to inspire you not to be.
On the days I am tempted to throw in the towel and conform to the 'easy' (and completely unsatisfying) way; I picture those that follow my career, attend my seminars, Rock the Runway, Live and Eat Pretty, and then I think
"What kind of example would I be sending? Not one I believe in."
So I focus on what a truly blessed life I live.

This week I feel more overwhelmed with true friendships, love and praise of making a difference than ever before. It made me realize no matter what the challenge, I am so very blessed to have all of you in my life.
Attitude of Gratitude has been my saving grace. The more I am thankful, the better I feel and the more love I seem to receive from those that matter most.

Never give up, and be thankful for what you have? 
Seems so simple, and yet in reality it is the most challenging.
But next week at this time, I know the things that made me be McTearsy last week, will be long gone and I will be faced with new victories and new challenges - leading me to the perfect place I am headed for, all for being exactly who I am.
Challenges are a part of life. They make you feel, fuel your passion and test your limits.

My challenge to you on this American Thanksgiving week is:
Spend 5 minutes a day being thankful for what you do have. Love, amazing friendships, family, a great job, a roof over your head, pets, a delicious meal, a lucky break... whatever it is. Be thankful.

Attitude of Gratitude always brings more to be thankful for.
Don't focus on the bad like I did last week - it only amplifies the pain and challenges.
Be thankful for the lessons the universe teaches you, too. Even if you aren't sure what they are in the moment. They take you where you are going. And if you let them... 
I will see you there!

Love you all.
xo A.