Welcome to the Soul Sisters Blog!

We’re three sisters on a mission to empower and inspire women everywhere to pursue their passions and achieve their dreams. Our story is probably not unlike your own; a tug at the heartstring, a feeling of wanting more from life, a desire to fulfill a divine purpose. It was these relentless yearnings that inspired the concept of Soulspring Groups.

When our souls open up (and they tend to quite often) we’ve got to share! We invite you to read our thoughts (and occasional rants) on women, empowerment, passion, destiny and life! Feel free to share your comments; we love to hear your thoughts (and rants) too! And, become an official follower! It's always fun to see the company we're keeping!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

An Open Letter to Your "Self"

In last week's post, "Women's Empowerment: What's Stress Got to Do with It?" we shared about how our perceptions and reactions to stress can leave us powerless. The good news is that managing stress may be as easy as changing our thoughts and reactions to what we preveive as stressful situations. 
Howver, what triggers a stress response for one woman may not for another.  To stay in tune with your own personal power and what triggers stress for you, it’s important to pay attention to the signals and cues of our  bodies, and to watch for stress related symptoms.

This week we offer an exercise to help you do just that!  Pretend that the letter below is a message from your "self".  As you read the words, be present and listen to what your body tells you.  Fill in the blanks as appropriate and see what your intuition has to say.

The Soul Sisters



This is your “self”.  It’s been a while since we’ve connected.  I know you’ve been busy with work, the family, and all your volunteer projects.  Listen, I understand but what I have to say can’t wait any longer.

I’ve actually been trying to get your attention for some time now.  I’ve tried nearly everything; intuitive nudges, cravings, and even pain (yes, that was me).  There are times when I’m positive you’ve heard me, but then you just ignore my message and continue on with what you were doing.  Well, it’s my turn now.

You know what I’m going to say.  It’s been an issue between us for some time now, but we’re to a point in our relationship where we need to get honest if we are going to live on purpose.  We both know that if we continue living this way, our health and sanity are going to be affected.  That’s where I must draw the line.

Already we’re experiencing the telltale stress signals….
(Check all that apply)
  • Feeling irritable, frustrated and restless
  • Unable to concentrate, memory problems, and becoming easily confused
  • Negative thoughts and self-talk
  • Marked mood swings and emotional outbursts
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Not having enough energy to get things done
  • Feeling I can't cope
  • Finding it hard to make decisions
  • Generally feeling upset

Not to mention the problems this is causing us physically…
(Check all that apply)
  • Muscle tension
  • Pain in the low back, shoulders or neck
  • Pains in chest
  • Stomach/abdominal pain
  • Muscle spasms or nervous tics
  • Unexplained rashes or skin irritations
  • 'Pounding' or 'racing' heart
  • Sweaty palms and sweating when not physically active
  • 'Butterflies' in stomach
  • Indigestion and 'the gurgles'
  • Unable to sleep or excessive sleep
  • Shortness and holding of breath
  • Weight gain or loss

I know you think this is normal, and that we’ll be just fine, but two-thirds of doctor visits are related to conditions that are directly caused or intensified by stress, like heart and coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease, insomnia, and multiple sclerosis.  Plus stress also leads to marriage breakups, family fights, road rage, accidents, suicide, and violence!

We mean too much to too many people.  Please, let’s not let it go that far!  It’s time to get these issues out in the open.  We both know that it’s not our long to-do list that’s causing the stress.  Our main issue, and one we’ve been avoiding, is the fact that ____(enter your main complaint here)____. 

But even that’s not our main issue.  If we break that down ever further we find that ____(enter your source of main complaint)____.    Yes, that’s what is at the root of our stress problems!

Resolving this issue is just too important to our happiness.  I know we’ve got it in us to face this head-on.  We just need to take it slow and steady.  A few small steps are all it would take to build our confidence and empower us to get on the right track to overcome this thing!  Here are some ideas I think would work for us:

What if the next time we felt stressed, we consciously paused and focused on what we were thinking about, and then stepped back from the thoughts and decided to find a new way of looking at the situation?  We could try to imagining an alternate ending that is happier and more positive.  Or how about letting our imagination think of some funny endings?  Or what if we just decide to be o.k. with whatever happens?

The simple act of changing how we think about our stress will give us instant relief and dramatically reduce our stress levels.

Come on, this little action step is all it would take to get us on a roll.  Let me know what you think and I’m behind you all the way!  You’ll know when I’m in agreement—I’ll give you the usual sign.

You know I only want what’s best for us.  We’re partners in this and we need each other.  If we can get through this, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish!


You Beautiful “Self”

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Women's Empowerment: What's Stress Got to Do With It?

Type the word “stress” into Google, and you’ll get 162 million hits.  That’s a lot of websites focused on something that women face daily.  After all, how many times have you said to yourself, “Stress—I can handle it”?

It’s true that stress isn’t always a negative emotion.  Stress is sometimes the motivation we need to get things done.  And, without stress, we wouldn’t have the “fight or flight” to jump out of the way of an approaching car.  It’s when stress becomes prolonged and constant that it wreaks havoc on our health and well-being. 

What makes “stress” such a challenging issue first lies in our beliefs.  Most believe that stress triggers reside outside of us: the controlling co-worker, the rude driver, our financial problems, for example.  Placing the focus on these outside situations and circumstances is stressful because we don’t have any control over them.  We feel powerless.

However, it’s possible to take back your power by understanding a simple truth.  The truth is that much of our stress is actually related to our reaction or perception of these circumstances, and the good news is that managing stress around these situations is as easy as changing our thoughts, thus changing our reactions.

Still, what triggers a stressful response for one woman may not for another.  That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the signals and cues of our own bodies, and watch for stress related symptoms.  We need only take the time to focus in and ask ourselves what is causing our feelings and symptoms of stress and our body and spirit will usually offer a clue.

What messages has your “self” been trying to give you lately?  Don’t answer too quickly as the message coming your way in next week's post may have be meant for you…

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Give your stress wings and let it fly away."  ~Terri Guillemets

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stephen Covey inspires "Habits of Highly Empowered Women"

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Stephen Covey last week at the age of 79.  We've been fans for years and avid readers of his books.  "First Things First" is a personal favorite and "The 8th Habit" confirmed for us that we were on the right track with Soulspring Groups.

Back in November he inspired one of our most popular twitter-series and blog posts, the title of which was a playful twist on his book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People".

Seeing his book on the shelf one day prompted us to write our version, "The 30 Habits of Highly Empowered Women". In our post we asked, "What qualities do empowered women have in common?  What is it that sets these women apart from their counterparts?"

In memory of Stephen Covey, we invite you review our list and contemplate how you might accomplish your mission and leave the world better than it was when you got here.

The 30 Habits of Highly Empowered Women

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character...”  ~Stephen R. Covey

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Women's Empowerment Tip: Finding Passion Time

Today’s lifestyles don’t leave a lot of free time, and many women struggle to carve time out of their busy schedules to work on the passions and goals that inspire them.  Here are some ideas to help you find the time you need to put your passions into focus:

1. Cut back on T.V. time.  According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey, a year-long poll that involved over 13,000 Americans over the age of 15, women spend nearly 3 hours daily watching television.  Reclaiming just half of those hours would give you over 10 hours to dedicate to your passionate pursuits!

2. While we are strong advocates for the physical and mental benefits of sleep, many women find 3-6 extra hours a week by getting up 1 hour earlier in the morning, staying up 1 hour later at night or getting up at regular time, but letting the family sleep in, on the weekends.

3. Multi-task the right way.  Practice visualization while enjoying a bubble bath.  Listen to an inspirational book or podcast while working out.

4. Empower your family.  While they will surely complain about extra chores, if they understand the reason behind them kids and husbands soon become your biggest supporters!  Learn to be a bit more self-sufficient is a great lesson in empowerment for them, too.  Their not mind readers, though.  Delegate by giving specific requests, deadlines, and postive reinforcement for a job well done.

What tips do you have for carving out more "you" time from your schedule?  Please share your tips in the comment area below!

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of." ~Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Empowered Women Do on Vacation

Are you planning a vacation this summer? Hey, we all need a break from time to time -- getting away from it all is refreshing; but so too can time spent in self-reflection. 

We want to let you in on a little tip...the one thing that empowered women are sure to schedule while on vacation:  Don't forget to set aside some alone-time for a little personal reflection and contemplation.

The Soul Searching Questions below are perfect for this!  Surely you're found yourself more open and creative when you're on a break from your day-to-day responsibilities and routines.  That's why there's no better time to check in with you, to see how your feeling, doing and being.

This "Summer Break Exercise" will help you uncover what's "broke" (not working), where you need a "break" (take some time off or away) or where you just need to "brake" (stop or discontinue)! Such simple questions, yet sure to lead to a big vacation break-through!

  •  When I think about what's "broke" in my life, the first thing that comes to mind is...
  • When I think about where in life I need to take a "break", what comes to mind is...
  • When I think about where I need to apply the "brakes" in my life, what comes to mind is...

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking." ~Earl Wilson

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Through Rose-Colored Sunglasses

A few weeks ago, as my family was traveling home after an extended weekend get-away, I could not believe the sunset.  None of us had really noticed it until we turned a corner and there it was, smack dab in our line of vision.  It was seriously a top 5 sunset; beautiful colors of pinks, oranges, and lavenders filled the sky.  I went on and on, “Oh my gosh, isn’t this the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen?!  It’s gorgeous!  I can’t get over it!”
I continued to rave, as everyone else in the car looked at me with very confused looks on their faces.  As you can imagine, that was surprising to me…how could they not appreciate this phenomenal sight??  I lowered my sunglasses to get a better look, and that’s when I saw it.  The same lackluster sunset that everyone else was seeing.  I had no idea that the colored lenses in my sunglasses were what were actually accentuating the sunset’s colors.  But, rather than be disappointed, I just popped my sunglasses back on and appreciated the fact that I was the only one seeing the beauty.

Fast forward a couple weeks and I’m driving down the road with my sister.  We see one of those interesting Cube cars.  Their body style alone is enough to catch the attention of passers-by, but I could not get over the color of this one.  I went on and on about it, “I love that color!  It’s like a mix of copper and bronze!  I would love that color in my bathroom…”  Meanwhile, my sister is scratching her head…all she sees if a less-than-attractive funny mauve colored car.  Finally, I realized that my sunglasses are on; as I tilted them down I see the color that she was seeing.  I smiled to myself and pushed them back up…I liked the color of the car better that way!

Isn’t it funny how something as simple as your sunglasses can change the way you see things?  You’re given a whole new perspective.  Perhaps there’s something simple you can do in your life to change your perspective and turn the blah and ordinary into something spectacular?  Could your rose-colored sunglasses be an hour of alone time in the evening, or a morning walk, or a healthy lunch? 

When you feed yourself, it’s amazing how it can shift your outlook.  You easily see the beauty in the familiar, appreciate the simple things, and maybe even see more clearly when dealing with hardships.

One thing’s for sure…I’ll be keeping these sunglasses for years to come, and enjoying the magnificent views through them!

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”  ~Unknown

Sunday, June 24, 2012

7 Vacation Destinations for When You Can't Take One

I don't know about you, but there are some days that I could really use a vacation.  Unfortunately, our busy lives don't always allow us to take leave. 

First off, let us vehemently stress that we're the first ones to advocate going on vacation anyway; life's way too short and work will be there next week.  But if a vacation is really out of the question, might we recommend at least taking a break from your same old routine.

It's easy to fall into a rut.  After all, we have schedules to manage and tasks to juggle.  Keeping to a routine helps us to get a lot done in an efficient manner.  Unfortunately, following the same routine day in and day out gets boring fast.  When you are focused on your mile long to-do list, you might not even notice.  But if you really think about it, we're taking bets that you could probably use a little pizzazz in your summer right about now.

So if you can't sneak away for a week (or at least a long weekend) we're giving you a week's worth of tips to at least allow for a break from your dull, tedious, repetitive, habitual, standard routine (have we made our point)?

Vacation Day 1-Be a Kid Again:  Who says that just because you're an adult you can no longer play with toys?  We couldn't disagree more, and summer is the perfect time to put our theory to the test.  Fly a kite, play a game of hopscotch, throw the Frisbee, build a sand castle, or create a work of art on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.  Lose yourself in the activity and feel your stress melt away.  The experts call this Play Therapy and you will pay $75.00 per hour or more to play in the confines of their offices.  Playing at home with your own toys: Priceless!

Vacation Day 2-Mix up your Morning:  Do you wake up to the same radio station or alarm tone every morning.  Talk about a routine!  Mix it up by bringing your iPod and docking station or speakers into the bedroom and start your day off with something a little more spirited and unexpected.  Use your favorite upbeat tune or may we recommend the William Tell Overture!  Honest, it starts your day off with a smile!  Get ready to take on the day!

Vacation Day 3-Spice Things Up:  Something a little out of the ordinary is all it takes to transport you from everyday life.  Revving up your pedicure with a flashy fuchsia polish or experimenting with a new shade of lipstick might be all it takes to transport you to a different place and time. 

Vacation Day 4-Get Back to Nature: When was the last time you walked in the rain without regard for flat hair or running mascara?  How about lying on the dewy grass gazing at the star-filled sky?  Whether you take a hike or visit the beach, getting in touch with nature has an amazing and almost instant healing effect. Taking a 5 minutes break to just listen to chirping birds or a babbling brook will instantly take you away.  Go ahead; try it right now.

Vacation Day 5-Relive the Memories: Think of a time when you felt limitless and carefree.  What was it that inspired that feeling?  Maybe you must regress way back to your childhood and time spent pursuing a favorite hobby.  Perhaps it was just the experience of reading a romance novel on the beach. Would it only take hearing an old song or smelling a specific scent to take you back to that time?  Whether it's an old 80's tune or the smell of Love's Baby Soft, make an effort to make it happen.  Sometimes it's the trips back in time that are the best.

Vacation Day 6-Plan an Adventure:  So you can't jet to Paris for a week; what's stopping you from experiencing an adventure closer to home (or even in your own backyard)?  Plan a mystery trip to a local destination you've always wanted to visit but just never have.  Or pitch a tent in the yard and light a bonfire at dusk.  Tell stories and roast marshmallows; as darkness falls you will find yourself transported to the most remote of campsites without stepping foot past your property line!

Vacation Day 7-Expand Your Mind to New Ways of Thinking: Take a community ed or online course and learn something new.  Or read a book on a topic you've always been interested in.  You might just stumble upon an new talent and a virtual destination that can help you "get away from it all" on a more regular basis!

The Soul Sisters

Soulspring of the Week:
"More than just yearly rituals in which we connect with friends and family, vacations are also exercises in self-definition. In affording time away from the demands of everyday life, vacations disclose what people choose to do rather than are required to do." ~Cindy Sondik Aron