Musings: On Personal Growth...

Like muscle training, personal growth can be a bit uncomfortable but the pain isn't pointless.  Ideally, you'll come out on the other side of the process a better person. It takes self awareness to come to the realization you're in one of these periods of life. But once you're on board, you realize your role here is to learn, to grow, to expand upon your previous definition of yourself. 

Are you stuck in a rut? Are you locked into a few bad habits? Are you closing in on yourself and not opening yourself up to life's journey? Honey, it's time to quit that. Life is change - and lots of it. While I fully believe we have the power to shape our lives, I'm also keen to the fact that surprises are coming our way daily. Some are meaningless distractions there to try to trip us up. Others are opportunities. If you one develop life skill, I suggest it be the gift of discernment which will allow you to ferret out the rare opportunities from the sea of distractions that fly your way. 

So... what's irking you? is your patience being tested? Perhaps you need to develop that skill. Are your professional skills being questioned? Maybe you need to focus on your strengths and your gifts. Are you feeling fatigued? Believe it or not, physical activity is what you need and certainly an analysis of your dietary intake is in order. Are you lonely? Perhaps you need to open yourself up to more social interaction. Pay attention to the discomfort - it is an arrow pointing to your area needing work. 

Are you at a pivotal point in your life where you need to expand and not shrink? It might make you nervous - but there's joy and growth in your future. Will you decide to resist or will you make the decision to improve? Will you decide to grow? Will you move beyond the fear at learn to fly? I like to believe you will. I love to imagine you can. I hope to see you flourish. 


Perspective: See Your Goals. State Your Goals. Seize Your Goals...

So... I have a new life goal. And it's a good one! I've always had a deep, deep desire to be a venture capitalist - able to give entrepreneurs and upstarts the financial push they need to thrive. I still have that goal, as it's a passion close to my heart for personal reasons. Now, however, I have a parallel goal. I need (notice the shift in verbiage here) I need to own homes around the world that are part of the a luxury home rental network. 

Just flipping through the Inspirato magazine is enough to jumpstart a dozen dreams. but I suspect most people glossing through the pages simply think of their next vacation. Me? I want more. I need more. It is my intention to own a handful of carefully selected properties that a company like Inspirato (and there are growing number of others like it) will manage and strike to keep booked throughout the year. 

Imagine knowing you have a home in St. Martin like the one above and it's generating passive income for you. Imagine feeling thrilled by the knowledge that you own a stunning mountain home in Vail that is producing a handsome profit for you. A chic flat in Paris's 16th arrondissement would be dreamy, no? What about a Mediterranean beauty in Sonoma overlooking a vineyard. It sounds like a dream, but these are real homes owned by investors who see the value in the ownership of spectacular properties. 

The rise of the Airbnb's and Luxury Retreats of the world is a cultural shift not to be overlooked. It's one thing to dream of vacations - and I definitely do. It's another thing entirely to develop the goal to own jaw-dropping real estate in the world's most coveted destinations and set yourself up for financial success. 

So that's it world. I'm putting this intention out there for you, for me, for everyone to see. It's a dream that's been building for a while and I'm finally saying it out loud with greater frequency, a stronger sense of purpose and a vision of it so clear that it rivals the clarity of that swimming pool above. 

What good is a post like this if I don't share simple goal setting & achieving steps? None at all. Here are the basic steps I liken to those shampoo bottle instructions "Lather. Rinse. Repeat."


This is the most difficult part for everyone. You need CLARITY. To get this, find ways to clear your head. Perhaps it's a scenic drive, a challenging run, a long swim, a solo bike ride. For me, thinking of this intensity happens when I'm moving. Regardless, you need perspective which means you'll want to shake off your typical daily routine and perhaps GO somewhere. Distance can be your very best friend. Frankly, these ideas just "come to me" once I'm alone with my thoughts. It takes some discernment to cast aside the flights of fancy from the inspired ideas.  Trust that you'll have the wisdom to know when your marvelous idea or ideas emerge. (Hint: you'll be overwhelmed with the urge to engage in step 2...)


Write those ideas down. FAST and in detail. Articulate them and flesh them out in as many beautiful details as you can. If it's a better body you dream of, describe how you'll feel, what that new body will wear and how you'll own every room you walk in. If it's a series of properties like mine, begin declaring specifics such as locations, occupancy rates, property management partners, etc. Articulate your BIG GOALS on paper for YOU to see, then you'll feel emboldened to share them with people. This process will develop a sense of certainty in you - a feeling of power and momentum. (Tip: a pretty journal pairs nicely with this act.)

One more tip: put it "out there" in the form of a decorated refrigerator door (do people still do that?) or an inspiration board. Me? I'm putting Inspirato photos of that house on my pinboard (my favorite option can be found here). I'm writing a few goals out and putting them up to see every day. I'm boldly declaring to myself (and anyone who observes my work space) the driving force behind my burning ambition. 


You won't believe this, but the first two steps are the most difficult for people. Most of humanity simply won't attempt the first two steps. They don't take time to dream, they feel that "thinking" the idea is enough. It isn't. Without a written goal that you can SEE on a regular basis, your actions won't align to bring about the necessary changes. Step 3 is a natural response to steps 1 and 2. So stop here and take the time alone to get clarity and then put those visions and goals on paper in big, bold, bossy ways. The third step will almost happen for you once you've established the importance of the goal on your subconscious. 

So go ahead... Dream big - REALLY big - because if those goals don't make other people think you're crazy, they aren't big enough. 

{Editor's note: this incredible home can be seen at Inspirato.)

Musings: On Building One Another Up...

Sometimes a girl just needs a good pick me up, doesn't she? If you've been reading for a while you'll be happy to know I'm finally serving up special content in a weekly email. These are personal notes where I dish up special thoughts, behind-the-scenes happenings and favorite discoveries. The content will always be inspiring and a bit different from my typical posts. I'm even hoping to shift into creating video content (although I might need a bit of encouragement to do so!) for you special subscribers. Think of this as VIP content delivered right to you inbox. If an inspiring email is just what you crave, sign up & join the fun. I can't wait to connect with you!



Buon Weekend: Anything is Possible...

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely due for a good weekend. And by good I mean FUN. It's raining and glum here (where are you, Texas sun???) but we'll make the best of it and get creative with our days. I hope you're somewhere fabulous sinking your toes in the sand and warming yourself by a pool with a great book and even better friends. If not, perhaps you'll imagine the possibilities and create a little sunshine of your own. Life is too short to live average days! 

Musings: On the Merits of a Life Edit...

This sums it up perfectly, doesn't it? Evaluate everything in your life and make decisions about the value everything holds. If it isn't bettering you, perhaps it's time to let it go. This could be an overflowing closet or an overstuffed social calendar. There's no shame in prioritizing yourself and your time. The life edit isn't just good for you, it's oddly freeing and empowering. This newfound freedom from real or imaginary weights will be deeply liberating and will offer you a fresh perspective on everything you've shuffled into the "keep" category.

So go ahead... donate those clothes, clean out those cabinets, carefully consider your future appointments, outsource a few tasks and focus on what really matters in life. The people, the projects, the relationships, the goals - make them your highest priorities and whittle away those things that work against that flow.  

I promise... the results of such an edit are worth it! 


Quotes: Work For It...

It's Monday, everyone! Time to rise and shine and make strides towards your best life. What simple actions can you take today to move the ball forward? What call are you putting off? What conversation is crucial to unblocking your path? What decision are you deliberating? The smallest steps are often the key to significant change. Be bold in your tiny actions and relish in the fact that they add up to major shifts in your life. 

Don't wish for it... work for it! 

Musings: On Making it Fabulous...

Have you ever had one of those days - or weeks - where you just felt powerless to make things the way you'd like them to be? I have. And it isn't fun. But that's life, right? it's messy. It's unpredictable. It's marvelous.

When those days arise (and they will) you need to tap into your resource of personal strength and summon the awesomeness within. It's time to pick yourself up, realize YOU are in the driver's seat and you have better things to do than worry or wallow or wonder.

The truth is, your 24 hours are yours to design and yours to enjoy. Make your moments, your days and your life FABULOUS. Please. Because you deserve it.

Buon Weekend: Lit from Within...

Your happiness is yours and yours alone to own. No one can steal your joy, your fire or your passion for life. Own it. Happy Friday to you all. May your weekend be filled with purpose, laughter and light. 



Perspective: Excellence is Its Own Reward ...

{image credits: Chanel Fall 2014 Couture Show 1 / 2 / 3 Gianni Pucci /}

Our personal habits and behaviours are interesting, aren't they? What we do for ourselves often differs from what we do for others. I've been contemplating this lately as I fire up my creative life again. I'm making these for designers in town and have noticed that my attention to detail and perfection of aspects no one will ever see is astonishing.

It is imperative to me that the quality be unsurpassed and exceptional. Small construction and design details that may not matter to the designers or even the end client are wildly important to me through this process. And I must admit I love (LOVE) the feeling of producing with a spirit of excellence. It feels fabulous. It feels right. It feels purposeful. Whether or not anyone else cares about the finer points is irrelevant. The act of making things luxuriously fine is reward enough. I'm quite proud of what I've made and how well crafted the finished pieces are. That in and of itself is incredibly fulfilling. 

Would I invest as much heart and soul into a product for myself? I know the answer. I would strive for perfection but I would not obsess as much over the minor details. Just as you might eat dinner by yourself at your kitchen counter but pull out all the stops to entertain guests. It's using your finest ingredients and pulling out the heirloom stemware. There's a pleasure in doing things well for others. There is a value in striving for excellence for your own benefit. There's a deep sense of satisfaction in doing things well even if know one notices. It develops your inner life and builds incredible self worth. 

I encourage you to try it. Make a concerted effort to be excellent in areas no one will ever notice. Perhaps it is as domestic as perfectly iron sheets even though you'll be sleeping alone. If you are a maker, it's about producing the finest quality. As a chef it might mean whipping up a five course meal that surpasses all expectations. It's picking something up that someone dropped and rushing down the block to ensure they have it. The idea is about doing things exceptionally well and doing them without expectation of anything in return.

What can you do today to serve others (or yourself) with a spirit of excellence? What private acts could you perform right now with an attitude of precision and purpose? Think about that. Try it. I assure you the feeling that flows through your soul wil be all the reward you could possibly need. The acts themselves are in fact the incredible gift you receive in return for doing your best. 

Go... be excellent. You'll quickly find you're happily addicted to it. 


Musings: On Daring to Grow...

{image via Nastygal & Wekoko Blog}

This week was quietly amazing. Time and again I'm impressing myself with a renewed tenacity and an unshakable belief that if there is a way I will find that way and make it happen. Everything is possible with the right belief system and consistent action. Those goal writing sessions we've discussed? Time to get on it if you haven't before. I promise there is unshakable power in putting your vision for life down on paper. 

Me? I've been sketching new ideas, writing down financial goals and defining (not unlike DVF) the woman I want to be. If I can encourage you to do anything this week it is to step way outside your comfort zone and into the faith zone. Move beyond what you've achieved in the past and decide to do what a better version of yourself would do. By consistently doing this simple process you will blossom into the fabulous human being you truly desire (and deserve) to be. 


What if this week you sketched a little, journaled a little and put some colorful dreams on paper? Perhaps for no one else to ever see except you (those dreams are the best, I believe). Think of this as your kickstart to spring. Your moment to reawaken your spirit and your inner fire. Put on some pretty new shoes, rock big audacious sunglasses and unleash the creativity that's been on hold during this painfully long winter. 

Need a good book recommendation? I have a few motivational reads you might enjoy. These two will get you started and I'll continue offering more. 


If you want to open your mind and heart to the possibilities of belief, these three books will shake your perception of what's accessible to you. Remember: it is never what you are born with or what you have - it's what you think about yourself and the consistent actions you take in life to build the dream life you desire. GO GET THESE BOOKS and open your eyes. Life is waiting for you. 

Musings: On Focusing On Yourself....

If your aim is to please others, you've got it all wrong. Seek first to raise your standards and live up to your own expectations. Exceed them. Confidence is attractive. Self-driven success is appealing. Demonstrated personal skill is magnetic. Set high standards for yourself and exceed them. Impress yourself. Aim high and blow away your own personal best. Rest assured... the satisfaction from such private personal goal attainment is reward enough. But I've discovered time and time again that those very things you would have been chasing will soon be chasing you if you'll just BECOME the very thing you wanted at obtain.

Consider this: produce the type of work you wish to be recognized for. Be the kind of person you wish to become one day. Be the friend you hope to once day find. Host the style parties you wish to be invited to attend. Step up and move yourself to the next level through sheer will and an commitment to living a better life - to being a better you. A much better you. 

Aspire to the incredible. Achieve the awesome. Discover that you are indeed already living the dream. 

Musings: On Forging New Pathways...

Knowingly or not, we are largely creatures of habit. In order to change your life, you'll have to make consistent changes to your daily routine. That's right: switch up the tiny behaviors we do each day to make sweeping changes to your life. Change on a micro level is what results in big results on the larger scale. Consider your daily practices, your daily habits and your routine carefully, as you just might be walking yourself down humdrum lane without much thought. 

Need an example? Consider the cup of milk. Just one drop of red food coloring and it's now glass of rosy fluid. To the diabetic, even a tiny piece of chocolate throws the insulin levels off. That brief call home to mom might be the moment of change she needed that day. The quick hug to your neighbor might be the only one they receive that day. 

But what about you? Could you rise 30 minutes early to workout or begin writing that novel? What if you took a different way to your desk each day, deepening relationships with the marketing department rather than isolating yourself with your direct colleagues? What if you started each day with a green power smoothie instead of skipping breakfast? How would that impact your energy and output for the day? 

Do you work from home? Maybe relocating to a co-working space or a cafe would allow you to widen your circle of contacts or opportunities. On a more practical level, perhaps a sales call or introductory note once a day would put your business in front of the right clients.

Think big. Act small. Minor shifts for major impact. 

What's your personal daily challenge? What do you do each day and what do you WISH you were doing each day? Decide how you could alter your daily life right now that would bring you closer to alignment with the life you dream of living.

Is "future perfect" you fit and trim or on the front page of Fortune magazine? How does "present reality" you begin shifting into that new iteration of yourself? The truth is, transformation is what life is all about. You just have to be willing to make small daily changes to get there. 

Do you need to add something in or omit something? Consider the answer carefully. Only you know, but don't be afraid to make shifts - large or small - to yield the result you are committed to achieving. 

I urge you to do something NEW, try something different and move FORWARD on your journey to the life you truly crave. We all have something we know we should do to get us there, to put us on the map to success, to bring us deep personal satisfaction. You might not be ready for massive change, but I assure you that small tweaks in your daily behaviors ARE within your grasp.

It's time to step forward and make moving the ball forward part of your DAILY life. Even if it makes you nervous. Embrace the fear and do it anyway. Be bold. Be awesome. Be powerful. You hold the key to everything you crave right inside you - it's simply time you stopped denying yourself the opportunity to shine. 

{image credit}



Perspective: Outlook is Everything...

Life is all about your perspective. Are you tending to your flowers or the weeds in your garden? Are you focusing on the brilliant wonders in your life or the nuisances and lack? It's important, because your mindset determines your outlook... your outlook determines your experience and your daily experiences tally up to be the very summary of your life. 

There are flowers all around you. Your friends, your family, your internet connection, your incredible mind, your very breath. Celebrate those incredible assets in your life and choose to focus on them. Stop feeding the weeds and they'll surprise you by slowly dying off... and all you'll be left with is a colorful, life-affirming garden of flowers. 



Musings: On Daring to Ask..

If you're waiting for life to give you permission, brace yourself... that moment it isn't coming. Go out and grab what you want from this brief time you have. Dare to be bold. Dare to take massive action. Dare to take small steps. Dare to fail so that you can perhaps succeed. The only one who can give you permission is you - so why would you stand in your own way? That's right... you wouldn't. :) 


Perspective: Believe It to See It...

Call it chutzpah, call it blind ambition, but willing things to happen with unstoppable faith has incredible power. Kick of this Tuesday without fear, without hesitation and without any doubt. What you seek is already in your power. It's all about realizing it. 


Musings: On Making the Days Count...

{Peter Island, Falcon's Nest, British Virgin Islands // via  Pinterest }

{Peter Island, Falcon's Nest, British Virgin Islands // via Pinterest}

Can I tell you a secret? A "great life" isn't the result of a whirlwind voyage around the world or a crazy big windfall in your future. Those are going to lovely, yes, but they are not what matters most in this moment. 

Ready for me to drop some wisdom on you? Your dream life is closer than you imagine. It's around you right now. Your "reality" is composed of minuscule details that make up each day. That's right. Small, tiny moments that you may be overlooking each waking moment of each day are what will stack up to become the sum total of your life. Knowing this, it's time to "wake up" from your life coma and embrace each and every breath. 

That trip into the grocery store holds the potential to be an opportunity for a serendipitous introduction. Your morning commute could reveal to you the most spectacular sunrise you've ever witnessed. A text to a long-distance friend could very well be the pick me up she (or you) needed at the moment. 

It's time to embrace the now to ensure yourself a more miraculous tomorrow. Watch the sunrise. Be more mindful when someone tells you they love you. Open your eyes to the marvelous things already in your life. When we appreciate - and I mean fully appreciate and acknowledge - the bountiful goodness in our lives it will seem almost comical how much more of it flows in. 

Don't live waiting for this or that or the other to occur. Seize the beauty and miracles in your life right now. Enjoy it, Marvel at it and love every bit of it. You just might discover you are indeed living your dream life.


Buon Weekend: Make It Beautiful, Make It Count...

This was a week of major hustle. Thanks to a fresh dose of "life is too short" inspiration I've taken great strides to live each day with a make it count mentality. This means actively pursuing every dream I harbour, every goal I possess and every passion I hold in my heart. 

The results of living an "all in" life cannot be disputed. I've checked off more lingering tasks on my accomplishment list than you could imagine. I've laughed more, seen more people, had deeper conversations and strengthened many emotional bonds with friends and family.

Why do I share this? Because the concept of being "all in" was a simple one that crystalized much of my thinking for 2014. Moving forward it has allowed me to focus only on those things which are truly key for my life. It causes you to be more selective of your investment of time (a finite resource) and energy (an easily extinguished resource). Being "all in" means giving fully and freely to those people and activities and interests you hold dear. It means turning down the volume on distractions. It means living with more passion and far more purpose. 

Done consistently, being "all in" results in a fulfilling experience dotted with productive days and memorable moments. As a creator (to borrow from Jonathan Adler who calls himself a "maker") it means I'm designing and creating almost every day. It translates into inspired Ideas that become beautiful results. Being "all in" means being a "doer" not a dreamer. It it the opposite of hesitation and self doubt. Being "all in" means you act upon your inspired thoughts and nudges from the heart Without hesitation. You listen to that still small voice that guides you and you leave no room for doubt. It means living a more tapped in existence. It is a beautiful thing. 

What about you. Are you all in? I promise... life is far more fun this way! On that note, I can't wait to share with you some of the creative projects I've been working on of late. Have a lovely weekend, everyone! 


{pins via here here here here here here here here}


Musings: On Blowing Them Away...

The key to living a life well lived is believing that the impossible is entirely possible. I'm convinced that any success I've achieved is entirely due to the way I approach new challenges. I don't overanalyze things. I simply decide to act. No overthinking. No time for self doubt. Momentum is surely one of my best assets. Why bother fearing failure? Failure is surely proof that you're trying, proof you are hustling, confirmation you are alive and thriving. 

Listen, the world might put limits on you (real or imagined). Your family might define you a certain way. Your spouse might see you another way. Often those closest to us are the very individuals who have a difficult time imagining us doing something new. But remember: that is their issue - not yours. The one person who should never shackle you or hinder your personal growth is YOU. 

The surest path to forging new paths is by making a decision and taking at least ONE small action towards that goal immediately. Don't think - just do. I can't stress this enough. You need to get inertia going towards your goals as quickly as possible. The moment you have an "ah-ha!" idea you should take swift action. Then watch yourself get caught up in a tidal wave of subsequent steps towards achieving your goal. Momentum is surely a beautiful thing and a critical key to success in any endeavor. 

Get moving. Get going. Use the currency of time more efficiently. You do indeed have as many hours in your day as Beyonce. 

Ask... What would you decide to do if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could achieve it?

Now go out there and have some fun. Wow yourself. Make the seemingly impossible your new reality.