This idea was born as many are because I want my daughter to grow up empowered, rich with the knowledge that she can do whatever her little heart desires. I want my Maddie to be know she has choices in life to grow up and be whatever she wants to be. She is only limited by what she believes. As an entrepreneur, I know first hand how hard I have to work to make the kind of money I want and need but I also know how rewarding it is it wake up everyday knowing that THIS day is the day that I get a chance to do more of what I love. To work with people, in places that excite me to no end. I have photographed Mayors, Top Chefs, Child athletes who have been featured on ESPN. I have photographed women living with Lupus and Cancer survivors. And I want to share this story with girls of all ages too. That yes you can live a life as powerful and fun as this and make a living at the same time. The belief that you can is inside of you.
One of the most common questions I get when people find out I’m vegan (and have been for almost 14 years now), is “what do you use instead of. . .(milk, cheese, eggs, etc.)?” I sometimes take for grated that I live in Vancouver and that vegan food substitutes are easy to find in even the smallest grocery and corner stores. Not only that, but there are dedicated stores like Choices and Whole Foods that have large sections in their stores for all the vegan food my heart desires. . .beyond the regular milk and cheese alternatives, there’s vegan cookies, ice cream, candy, meat substitutes and more.
Whether you’re a new/seasoned vegan or someone who wants to substitute your “regular” food for health or taste reasons, this list is for you!
Letter from the Editor,
The question that is crossing my mind today is, “after the event do you use it?” Every year there are dozens upon dozens of conferences for bloggers all across the country. As the head of the Pushing Lovely, a wonderful group of women bloggers across the United States and Canada, I hear about many of them. When I am trying to decide which conference, event or webinar to attend, I always ask, “am I going to use whatever I learn at this event later?”
My time is precious to me. I have a husband, 4 children, a dog and a cat. All of these people and creatures need my time. If I am going to take time away from them, it has to be for a good reason. There has to be a benefit. Three years ago I attended a conference and I learned the expression, “Take Action Now.” I liked the expression, the idea and the story of the man who taught the crowd why we should take action now. I liked it so much I began to use it in my life both professionally and personally. Each week on my blog, Janeane’s World, I write an article about how to take action now. I like it so much I even wrote a series of books to teach people how to take action now and get things done.
Several months ago, I attended another conference hosted by the woman who hosted the conference where I learned to take action now. I met a woman who became my sister. We text each other once a week to encourage and support one another. The relationship she and I started at the conference was strong, emotion filled and special. I look forward to her tweets each week and I know she looks forward to mine. We both benefited a great deal from attending the conference.
When you are thinking about which conference, event or webinar you will attend next, think beyond the friends you will see. If you are going merely to see and connect with friends, skip the conference fees and plan to meet up with your friends at a location of your choosing instead. Think beyond the swag bags you will bring home. If you are going just for the swag, think about how much of that stuff you will actually use and how you can get it more economically than traveling to a conference.
Before booking a ticket to a conference, webinar or event, think about what you will learn, experience and get out of the conference. What will you get and how much you will use later. If the benefit you will get is significant, if you will receive things you will use later in life then by all means get up and go. When you think about an experience, remember the best ones last for more than just the time the even takes. The best experiences give us memories, skills, tools or knowledge that will last us a lifetime.
Recently, I did boudoir photo session with Wanda Thomas of MadCris Images. The photo session itself took only an hour. While it was fun and exciting to dress up and act like a fashion model, what I received from the experience was far more valuable. I got a renewed sense of my own importance. I discovered a new color that looks GORGEOUS on me. I learned things about myself that will help me to be a better person and to enjoy my life more. Those things are worth well more than the cost of the photo session.
Take time now to look at the events you have planned for the rest of the calendar year. Be objective as you analyze them. Certain ones will offer you no real benefit. You are going simply because you afraid you will miss something others will experience. Others will benefit you at the time of the conference, event or webinar and well beyond. Those are the events you must work to attend because those are the ones you will never regret attending. Then, make your reservations, pack your bags and go forth to do and be great!
Pushing forward . . . always forward,
Social media is full of people claiming certain things are #Goals. One of the best things that can be a goal in our lives is to find a way to balance work and home obligations and responsibilities. As you dream about #Goals- never forget to include family with all your career plans.
Goals should be things you can achieve, so make them good!
Most who work do so because they need the money to take care of their families. Most people who have families have them because they want someone to care about and to care about them. As a result, work and family obligations are common in most households. In many cases, the obligations at work and home come into conflict at one time or another. For example, if you work a typical 9 to 5 job, Monday through Friday, you are scheduled for work when your children have school plays, musicals and concerts they want you to attend. No matter how many sick days, vacation days and personal days you have, there will not be enough for you to attend every school event you would like. This does not take into account events you might be required to attend for your spouse’s work obligations including holiday parties, dinners and celebrations.
This week I’m doing a week of smoothies. Since the beginning of the year, I can probably count the number of times I’ve had breakfast on one hand during weekdays. Weekends are better, but not by much. I’m usually so focused on getting Jam ready, along with myself, that I completely space on breakfast. And because I’m so adrenaline-rushed or just plain forgetful, I don’t even think about food until around 11 or 12 o’clock. Thankfully I keep some snacks like applesauce and nuts in my desk, but let’s keep it real…I’ve completely bombed on the most important meal of the day.
Why a week of smoothies
By doing a week of smoothies and actually making them every morning, I think it will help me in two ways:
- Well, duh. I get to actually have breakfast for a change. More importantly tho, my body and my mind won’t be running on fumes. Along those same lines, my body won’t store fat for energy because it’s starved out of its damn mind. It’ll be nourished will all kinds of good ol’ fruits and vegetables (or just fruit because I hate vegetables) and hopefully I’ll be able to think better, perform better, and have a more positive demeanor and mindset. No pressure, smoothies.
I rarely get nervous about speaking in front of crowds. I’ve been appearing on-camera for 20 years now. After interviewing an array of folks from Oprah to Al Gore with a white supremacist or two mixed in (I was a TV news anchor in Mississippi) there’s not much that can throw me off.
But my son rocked my world and took my breath away Saturday night.
As I stepped from behind the backstage curtain at the Atlanta performance of Listen to Your Mother, the sweetest voice God ever made yelled with all his six-year-old might!
Then his little hands clapped feverishly FOR ME.
I was stunned for a moment by the tears that welled up in my eyes.
Letter from the Editor,
As I write this letter, the world is abuzz with the death of Prince and rumors about infidelity in Beyonce’s marriage. This means that the world is fluttering with comparisons of all kinds. Every school child learns how to compare and contrast things early in grade school. What we don’t learn until we are all grown up and truly mature is that there is danger in comparing ourselves to others.
There is danger because all too often, the comparisons are false. The wrong things are compared and the wrong weight is so often given to the qualities that are compared. Today people are comparing music artists to Prince. Others are comparing Beyonce to her husband’s alleged mistress. Still others are comparing their marriages to those of celebrities in the news. I have friends who are bloggers who compare themselves to “big name” bloggers. My attorney friends compare themselves to attorneys at the top of the profession. If you are a person who is plagued by comparison, be encouraged. There is a cure for you.
Stop comparing yourself to others. There is no way you can win when you do things that way. You do not control others. You are not what determines how well or how poorly someone else does. What you do control is yourself – how hard you work, what you work on, and what you do in response to events in the outside world. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to you!
Here is an example, when we first founded Pushing Lovely, there was a blogger in our group who had a blog with over 100,000 page views per month. When I first met her, I had a grand total of 30 page views per month and thought that was great. Later my page views increased to 100 and eventually over 10,000 per month. At all times, I was thrilled. I had grown by leaps and bounds. I still was not at the level of my 100,000 friend, but I was way better than I had been. If I compared myself to my friend, I would never be happy or proud of myself. However, since I compared myself to me, I end each day happy with my progress and looking forward to doing better the next.
If you are comparing yourself to others, stop. Look to yourself as a measure of comparison. Don’t try to fit someone else’s mold, instead, be like my friend Pam Margolis, of An Unconventional Librarian and create your own path in the world. She is a librarian, a teacher, a blogger, a public figure and so much more. She does it by creating her own way in the world – an unconventional place. Let today be the day you stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, stand on your own two feet and realize that “nothing compares to you.”
Pushing forward . . . always forward,
A few years ago while facilitating a breakout session for a sorority group I asked for a volunteer to stand in front while we listed off the multitude of roles we all carry – wife, mother, sister, friend, worker, confidante, entrepreneurs, caregivers, volunteer, etc, etc, etc.
With each item listed, I placed a ping pong ball in the hands of my lovely volunteer. Of course, as the list got longer, the pile of ping pong balls got higher until they all began spilling over.
Different people in the group came to help out, pick some up, hold some for the original volunteer, and one person made a cup under her hands to catch any that fell over.
Sometimes the different roles in our lives are just like that. We take on too much (sometimes without even realizing it) and ask for too little help. In worst case scenarios, this can lead to serious health issues and breakdowns. As business owners, we have to do better.
The thing about work-life balance is that many of us have been approaching it as a one-size-fits all solution for fitting all aspects of our life into neat little boxes. The reality is it just does not work that way.
My work-life balance looks different than yours. And that’s okay. Throughout life, your true work-life balance will go through some changes. Rather than attempting to mirror what others appear to be doing, reflect on your current personal and professional situation to determine where you attention and focus needs to be. A simple task to do is to print out weekly calendars with time-blocks. Add in your commitments and block off sacred time for family and self-care. Looking at what you have committed your time to in black and white will give you a snapshot of what your current balance (or lack-of) looks like and help you to begin shifting and rearranging commitments.
Balance may not equate to equality. Many women feel they should be dedicating equal amounts of time to their personal and professional lives. Realistically speaking, that just is not feasible or attainable for most of us. There will be times you must dedicate more time to your work – peak seasons, a large project due or if you work for yourself this could be during the initial start-up of your company. For most the ideal solution is to spend more time dedicated to your family and friends. Keep this in mind when choosing to spend additional time taking on business tasks. This is very elementary cliché but remember that your business yes may mean a personal no. It is important to reflect if this is a choice you need and want to make.
It is important to take action now to improve your intellect. The ability to reason and understand things objectively even when things are abstract is something that is of great value. When you improve your intellectual abilities, you make yourself more valuable, you become a thing to be treasured.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
~ Steven Covey
The world is increasingly becoming a smaller place. In our hands we have the ability to speak with and write to people from all across the world.
Thanks to my volunteer work with Shot@Life, I am able to help future little readers all over the globe grow up to be healthy readers.
In the photo above, I talk to new Shot@Life champions about how to find their platform by looking inside themselves and seeing where their passion lies. Turns out, mine happened when my toddler became dehydrated from a case of rotavirus and we had to take him to the ER. Twenty three years later, he is a grown man, all because we had access to health care. But there are many mothers who don’t have access to care for their infants.