The power of purposeful giving 

Purposeful giving can be light and fun if our focus is on giving what is available and has thought behind it. Each of us has ways of giving that have potential to change lives. Being practical, creative and personal are great things to think about when you are thinking of ways to give. Your own personality and uniqueness is an asset to the giving  process.

Let’s first start with some good questions to get you thinking in a way that generates practicality, creativity and personal flair. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What am I able to give?
  • What skills can I offer?
  • What is the need(s) of the recipient?
  • What can I learn to give best to my recipient?
  •  What sources outside of myself do I have to help contribute?
  • What opportunities are there to give?

Remember our end goal is to meet the need and want of our recepient. Once we have answered some of these questions we have a good idea of how we are going to meet the need and want of the individual.Purposeful giving goes beyond a nice gesture. It has the power to build a healthy family, relationship, skill or dream. When we have reached this type of giving, we have reached to the level of blessing.

I remember listening to a speaker long ago. In her talk, she said something like “People say “bless you” but they speak empty blessings.” You see a blessing is something that goes beyond words or a simple gesture. A blessing is a true sense of meeting a want and need that forever changes a person. One of my favorite movies to watch is Les Miserables. This movie has such profound truths and gives such a clear picture of what a life that has been truly blessed and changed, looks like.

Against all odds, the main character Jean Valijean who is an ex-convict is shown kindness from the Bishop. After Jean steels from Bishop he is caught and brought to the Bishop. Bishop gives him what he stole and additional items.

Bishop says to Jean “don’t ever forget it, you’ve promised to become a new man. ” Jean says “promise, why are you doing this?” His response “Jean Valijean, my brother You no longer belong to evil with the silver, I bought your soul.  I’ve randsomed you from fear and hatred. Now I give you back to God.”

This story makes me wonder what life would be like if we acted with this kindness towards every human being.  What if we met people with their deepest needs in a healthy way? If after having blessed someone, we leave it at that. No getting even, no strings attached.

I propose we get creative. Every person has the ability to be creative. I can remember a time where I rallied with a group of girls for a mission. There was a family that was in need of food and money for expenses. Not only did this bless their hearts but it caused a stirring for them to do the same and different blessings. It also drew our relationships closer. Our group started becoming like family and gave us all new ideas on how to reach people with love and kindness.

Wondering what blessings to give? Here are just a few favorite suggestions:

  • Volunteer for a charity
  • Grocery giveaways
  • Filling someone’s gas tank (especially appreciated in winter)
  • Helping introduce and welcome new people to the community
  • Letter to a depressed friend
  • Invest in a friends dream or business
  • Giving gift cards to the homeless
  • Buy and bring a coffee to a tiered and overworked mom

When we are willing to bless others, it softens the heart and gives us an appreciation.  Look for opportunities to bless. Don’t forget to look close. Sometimes those who need it most are some people you wouldn’t expect. They may seem perfect but people hide their sufferings and vulnerabilities.

Have an open heart, a gut that guides you in the right direction and a positive attitude with any and all purposeful giving opportunities.

Be blessed and bless others,

❤Coach Dani

21 days of Thanks: why 21 matters

We could all use a big, fat thankful heart. For this reason, I have made it my goal to research gratitude- why it matters and how to implement it so that it becomes apart of us every day. Being thankful is a process not an event.

It’s no surprise that we all go through tough seasons in life and it can be a struggle to find something to be grateful for. We experience painful things that take a toll on us and put us in a state of negative thoughts and behaviors. This can be paralyzing if you don’t look at what there is to be grateful for.

I have entitled this message 21 days of Thanks: why 21 matters” for a couple of reasons…

  1. 21 days has been proven to be a start where changes and new behaviors and habits start to form. This is not to say that it will automatically just happen after 21 days. Research has proven that on average it takes more than 2 months for a new behavior to become a habit.
  2. 21 days is a doable goal. When we focus on a number that isn’t too big and scary then we are able to commit to the process. It is my hope that you continue this journey with me and are encouraged/motivated to keep going, even if you have a bad day, or two or three😉

If you happen to miss a day, don’t feel bad. Pick yourself up and remind yourself you can do this.

Photo by Lydia J

Now if you’re wondering whether or not you want to embark on this journey, I have a few encouraging facts. Being grateful has many proven benefits. Studies show that gratitude can do the following:

  • Improve health
  • Increase happiness and reduce depression
  • Reduces toxic emotions
  • Improves self esteem and mental strength
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Promotes optimism
  • Have a more positive outlook

In addition to this list, gratitude reduces entitlement and makes us more giving.

Now that we have established why and how being grateful matters, I would like to leave you with some ways to start putting it into practice. For the next 21 days (minimum and please go longer) you will keep a gratitude journal.

  • List one thing every day of the week that you are grateful for. You can write why or meditate on it throughout the day.

Another great idea I’ve heard done before is to create a gratitude jar. This can look many different ways…

  •  Fill it with money everytime you think of something you are grateful for. Then at the end of the day/week/month (however long it takes you to fill it) give it to a family in need.
  • Another option is to write down something you are grateful for with your family. Each of you will take a turn reading them on a family night at the end of the day/week/month.

I’m incredibly grateful to do this with you. We were made to encourage, inspire and motivate each other to even more greatness. Joy, impact, meaning, purpose- these are words you thought you knew. We are going to seek to understand on a deeper level in the journey ahead. Prepare yourself, the journey ahead is about to get really good. Adventure here we come.

Photo by Johnny Rodriguez
IG yoloing1234

What you need “to do” today to help you succeed

photo by Diana Kinkor photography

An interesting thing happened to me recently.  I took out my “to do” dry erase board. It’s been awhile since I used it- many, many months. I was excited to erase my old “to dos” still listed on the board. Only thing was that they would not erase. Instead they were ingrained in my board.

Most of the to do’s I had listed were written way down on the tale end of my list. It’s a no brainer that these were my things to do that were “less important” and “less fun.” Those things now are no longer relevant and missed opportunities.  I took this mess and used it as a lesson on what to do and not do.

As a result, I have created a step by step process to help you conquer your to do list…

1Grab a sheet of paper. Write down every task you can think of that needs to be done. Don’t worry about order or making it “look pretty” yet- just write. Get specific and condense. Write words that are going to help you remember specially what you need to do for that task.  Condense those words so that it’s not overwhelming and you utilize time and energy to read it before doing it.

2.Put each task in order of importance. This way you push yourself to take care of the pressing needs. Think about what is a pressing need that is going to be a process and take a long time to complete. You need to think ahead so that you can do your work great.  If you know that what you need to do is going to require lots of time and energy- start that task now. Who are the people affected by this task? If it’s a large sum or it affects those closest to you that you interact with daily then chances are it’s important. It needs to be put on the top of your to do list.

3. Put a reasonable deadline on each task.  Sometimes if it is a new task, never been done before this can be tricky. Let’s be realistic and decisive.  How long has it taken someone else to complete? Ask these types of questions to people you know and let this be a guide to helping you put a deadline on your task(s). You can also research to come up with an idea of what a proper amount of time is feasible. Decide on a deadline and stick to it.

4. Do each task. You can personalize this one.  We all have our certain tasks we know we need to do but we hate doing. You can personalize your task to get it done. For instance, if your task is to get up by 6 am to hit the gym- drink a cup of coffee to wake you up or meet up with a friend at the gym as a way to get motivated and follow through.

Stay disciplined  with every step so that you create the habit of doing your “to dos.” I believe in you wholeheartedly. If you get off track pick yourself up, tell yourself over and over “I can do this” and go be incredible.

 

 

 

 

How to be Fearless

Let’s face it, we all have fears. Even the strongest, have fears whether or not they care to admit it. Knowing your fears and the place they hold in your life is insightful. When you understand what makes you afraid, it brings you to a point of decision. You can ask yourself “What do I need in order to move forward into this fearful place?

Often what scares us has no reason. And if they are legit, how much of it really matters? If you’re an insecure or prideful person that thinks  “I don’t need changing” you can stop reading now. This post is reserved for leaders that want to grow.

I can remember my biggest fear coming true years ago. Those select few who know me-like REALLY know me, know that losing those close to my heart in the past has been a scary place. Although it still sort-of falls into that category, it doesn’t have a hold on me like it use to.

My biggest fear came true when I lost my dear Grandpa in 2011. It was heart wrenching. My Grandpa was my security and the man I really learned to love. When battling questions over his death with God I couldn’t help but embrace the fear.

In order to sometimes move forward that’s what we need to do- Embrace the fear. That means getting as real as can be. Through my questioning with God, I wrestled and fought for answers which later on I got. It just wasn’t in the time or way that I wanted them.

When we embrace fear it gives us clarity and peace of mind (on some level).  You take action and reject your feelings. Feelings give us some truth but not the whole truth. As it turns out, your feelings can be deceiving and in some cases put you at a stand still. We acknowledge feelings and then we move on with logic.

Before taking action ask yourself relevant questions. How will this action move me or someone I care about forward in a positive and healthy way? Growth happens when we decide to be scared while taking action to achieve.  We embrace, are enlightened and are able to empower.

I could have decided after my Grandpa passed away to not be vulnerable or get as close to people- that way I wouldn’t have much lose. But that is not living life to the fullest.  That life is shallow and sad. We were made to experience joy-a sense of deep meaning, gratitude and satisfaction. Fear is fuel for a beautiful life that we live with purpose. And when we let it become fuel, it breeds faith. Faith that every day we are closer to an understanding of the beautiful people God created us to be.

 

Let your actions speak

We have heard the saying “Actions speak louder than words.” This statement has been a saying that I have learned to grasp and relate to on many levels. Actions, what we do, sends a clear message to those around us.

What are we portraying to those around us? What message(s) are they hearing from our non-verbal communication? This is important to think about. If we don’t, we can find ourselves surrounded by the wrong people in our lives, wondering why they mistreat us, cross our boundaries and degrade our values.

Something as simple as what clothes you wear, how you decorate your house or office or the way that you carry yourself and how you talk to people. These all send an honest message of the person you are.

For this reason, we need to be intentional with every aspect of our lives. We do not need to be on guard or worried about what someone will think of us, based on every decision we make. We are human and we make mistakes. However, we need to be intentional with portraying to people our real self. If we make a mistake, we own it, we sincerely apologize for it using words and a kind gesture. Then we move on to hopefully never make the same mistake over.

We need to know who we are, love who we are, and accept who we are. This is a tough one in a world where acceptance and belonging are important to us. Not everyone is going to like or appreciate us.

Don’t compromise who you are! I think we have all at some point in our life compromised and settled for something or someone in order to feel some sort of “goodness.” In the end, it just leaves us feeling a little less confident and a little more needy.

You set your standards, stay disciplined and hold yourself accountable to be better and do better. That looks different for everyone. What is going to get you to the point of setting standards, staying disciplined and holding yourself accountable?

Tony Robbins has this quote that I remind myself  of often. He says “progress makes us happy.” We don’t have to put pressure on ourselves to be perfect. However, we do need to put pressure on ourselves to make steps forward. What are you doing today that will pull you forward in your future?

Let your actions speak a message of love, beauty, value, truth and kindness. Let your actions say to people “I am amazing and I believe you are too.”

I am Enough

I am enough. You are enough.  We are enough.   With my whole heart, I mean this.  The relationship you have with yourself is utterly important. It will determine how emotionally, physically and spiritually happy you are. It will determine the path you take, as well as who you attract.

You do not have to be anyone else but you.  If you feel like you have to change for someone in order for them to accept or love you then you have already lost yourself.  Embrace the uniqueness of who you are.  Nobody in this entire world gets to be you!

Not everyone is going to like you for you and that’s okay. It’s a hard truth for the perfectionist and the people pleaser to grab ahold of.  We all have different passions, opinions, goals, and personalities.  Sadly, this can drive a wedge between people.  When we automatically judge people and don’t give them a chance, we ruin a potentially great opportunity to know them.

In my lifetime, I’ve had some pretty incredible people encourage, challenge and support me. If I hadn’t been open minded about getting to know them, despite our differences, I would have never gotten the chance to know them. They have been vital parts to my growing and maturing process. Never discount someone when you haven’t taken the time to get to know them.

Not every person deserves your attention. The start of a new friendship or relationship can be a little tricky. The key is asking good questions and seeing what they are all about.  You are enough. If any person tries to get more out of you when it goes against your values and who you are, that is a clear indication that they don’t deserve your attention.

To be fully known, understood and loved for every part of you, weaknesses and all shows the maturity of a person.  They see the positivity even in the negativity.

Not convinced? Think of one of your weaknesses. How has it worked in your favor? I’m sure that if you dig for perspective, you will find that your weakness has helped you in some way.

There is a quote by one of my new found favorite youtubers Joshua Eze. He says that “when a door closes, that is Gods redirection not rejection.” When you look at it that way, it is much easier to be grateful for the life you have now. You could have walked through a door that wasn’t at all meant for you and lived a life contrary to your values and dreams.

Someday, somehow, somewhere, somebody is going to fully embrace everything that you are. Those are the few people we want to keep close. They are not just the people that believe in what we do and stand for but most importantly they are the ones that are for us 100%. Even when we are at our worst, they stand by us, walk with us through life and believe in who we are.

You are enough, my friend. Embrace that truth. Own that truth. Carry that truth everywhere you go. Don’t just carry it for yourself either. Share this truth.  Show people this truth and demonstrate it. You and I are enough.

 

 

How to: Save money for the bigger deal stuff

We all have intentions to save but to follow through with it, is another thing. I’ve made a list of ways to save that will actually work if you do them. Don’t think, just do.

Eat out less and make your own beverages.  Everyone has that one drink they like to splurge on in the morning or after work to get them through. For me this is coffee in the morning or right before work. It really doesn’t matter the time in the day as long as it’s before 3 pm.  It doesn’t help that Caribou is right across the street from my work.

However, when you add up how much you spend on going out to coffee shops or eating out at restaurants each week, you will be shocked at how much you are spending.  Instead, invest in a great coffee machine. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like making coffee (I’m a little bit of a zombie when I first wake up) so I use my Keurig.  If I want a phenominal cold brew I go and buy it at Sam’s club in bulk.

Using apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 are great! They give you cash back for groceries. Ibotta gives you money back just for signing up and referring people.  Cartwheel (from Target) is another great tool. I don’t use it as often but it can come in handy at times. They are free to use and very simple to figure out.

Plan ahead and have a few back up plans. Life has a way of throwing us challenges and at times, when we least expect it.  Example: car breaks down, laid off from work. Things happen and we need to have a plan of some sort to solve the problem.

Having a “cushion” of money for unexpected things is important. Also we need to have resourceful people to call.  This can be extra helpful when things happen. Make sure you surround yourself with people who care and have a heart to help.  On the flip side, be that person to those around you. I truly believe that what you put out to those in your world, comes back to you.

 Make a plan and follow through. Once you have an idea of what you want your goals to be, make a solid plan.  Break down the steps to each goal. For instance, if your plan is to buy a house, make sure you write down all the steps to get there.  What goals are you gonna need in place in order to succeed in this endeavor? Don’t be afraid to ask people that you trust and have the resources you need to create each step.

Be consistent. Consistency will cause you to make your actions a habit. Good habits produce good results.  If you are consistent it will cause you to get what’s needed done. Consistency builds faith, trust, habits and lifestyles. Overall, it will improve your life if you are consistent with your plan to success.

Have Accountability. This should be 1-2 people who you trust the most and understands what you are trying to accomplish.  They can make the journey with you.  These people should have a certain criteria. They should be leaders that are driven, goal-oriented, follow through, understanding, dependable, gentle but honest. If they don’t possess these qualities, they will lack on holding you accountable.

It takes a certain amount of maturity to hold another person accountable to their actions.  If they themselves can’t follow through on positive action steps, how can they expect to lead someone else to do it? Choose an accountability partner wisely.

 

 

7 reasons why honesty is important in relationships

Honesty is essential in healthy relationships. It has the power to build, empower and grow relationships. I will be sharing with you, what I believe are 7 reasons why honesty is important in relationships.

Let’s start with the first reason. Honesty builds trust. When we are honest with one another we learn to trust. We don’t have to wonder what is being hidden or kept secret. Naturally we are at ease in our gut because we know the other person cares enough to tell us the truth.

Honesty doesn’t always feel good at the time but we can appreciate it because the person being honest is being vulnerable.  They are taking a chance at trusting you with the truth. These people understand that what they could say, has the potential to hurt the relationship. However, they care about you and want a relationship that is built on the truth.

When a relationship is built on truth it opens the door for growth. Which leads me into the second reason to why honesty is a big deal in relationships. Honesty problem solves.

Anyone who has a successful relationship knows this to be true. When we are in a relationship where two people are allowed to be honest, it gives the relationship a chance to solve problems that come up. Sometimes misunderstandings happen.  When we are honest we can work through the misunderstanding, communicate and solve the issue and be done with it.  Different perspectives can be frustrating.  However, we are all different in our views and can learn how the other person thinks.  Honesty grows the mind and heart.

The third reason honesty is important in relationships is that honesty grows our character. When we are honest we are holding people accountable for their behavior. It challenges us and encourages us to be a better human being. We become a person that thinks about our choices and how they can help or hurt the relationship and the person we care about.

Honesty gives understanding. This is so important because it will all around help us understand our past, present and future.  When we give honesty it doesn’t necessarily reap understanding right away. But when we have enough people telling us the truth it can be a great place to land. From this place we can begin to understand the situation, who we are and what needs to happen to grow each part of our life.

Honesty gives us freedom. We are free to be ourselves, when we find ourselves in relationships were we can be honest. We don’t have to worry about working hard to be accepted or appreciated for who we are. Everything is talked about and shared because we care.  We don’t have to secretly wonder if the other is annoyed or frustrated because we know they care about us enough to be honest with how they feel about us.

Honesty teaches us.  It teaches us many great lessons. It teaches us how to interact with people and choose our words wisely.  Think about it, when a little kid you know says something with an honest heart and it comes out as an insult. They aren’t trying to be mean, well most of them aren’t.  They just say the truth without thinking about how their words are going to effect the other.

The more we practice honesty, the more we learn how to be honest and use modesty with our words. We learn through experiences good and bad with those in our lives what honest words are effective in helping us to grow.

Honesty demonstrates genuine love. Healthy and wholesome families know this to be true. When you love a person, you want to protect them from the evils of the world.  We live in a world that isn’t always kind. Some people (any one who is reading this I bet can think of at least one, probably more) seek pleasure at someone else’s expense.  Those that love best are super honest because seeing them hurt and damaged is the last thing they want for them.

 

 

 

 

One favorite way to unwind after a stressful day is to take a bath or shower. I personally love taking baths. Throw some in epsom salt and lavender essential oil into it and it will help calm you down.  Not only soothing but it will help release toxins in your body. Detox baths have been know to strengthen our immune system and prevent disease. All around you can feel the difference emotionally and physically when you take a detox bath.

Set the mood.  Play some light jazz music that has positive messages attached to it.  Remember to light some candles.  This will help you get into the mood of taking a bath, in case you are not a bath person.

Spending time with a good friend is a great way to unwind.  A good friend is a friend that makes us laugh, is trustworthy with our vulnerable life messes and challenges us to keep moving forward. They can help us find clarity through helpful insight.

Friends that give us a new perspective can open our minds to see possibility and opportunity.  They can allow us to vent about our day or push us to go out and have a fun night of adventuring.  Be picky about who you choose to hang out with. Friends that are helpful are essential.

Read a book that encourages, challenges and inspires you.  This can be a great way to unwind after a tough day.  Reading isn’t for everyone but it should be.  There are many health benefits to reading.  It has been known to strengthen your memory, helps with your vocabulary and it boosts your mood.

Go to bed early or a reasonable time.  Sometimes in life, what we need most is sleep.   If we can shut off the bad day through sleep that can be helpful for our mental clarity. Having a consistent, set time each night is important because it helps us think with more understanding and clarity. Hopefully, if  you have done any of the things I mentioned above, you will  be in a more relaxed mood and ready for bed.

 

Step in her heels: the meaning behind the title

“Step in her heels ” came to me I was pondering what name would make an honest and bold statement. The statement gently proclaiming “you are loved, you are valued and you have purpose in this world.”
I believe that’s the message desperately needed in our world today.  I believe it is what will move our world forward in impacting and driving people to be better and do better.

The purpose behind “Step in her heels” is to see the perspective of another by walking in their shoes. Impacting others happens when we open ourselves up to seeing their life. In the process we are intentional with hearing their story. Then we get to walk with them through the ups and downs of life. As a result we grow in love and compassion towards people.

On this journey, you will learn to be more aware of what positive changes need to happen within and how to connect with a variety of people. I encourage you to be open minded and willing to see in new perspectives. In every step you take, you will inspire the world to grow in love.