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, December 26, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of Year?

We’ve made it! It’s the day after Christmas and I hope you were able to spend at least some of your day relaxing in your PJ’s. It is a great time of year; full of memories, family, and friends…but it sure takes a lot out of a person!

So how’d you do? They say this is the most wonderful time of year after all…you know, “with the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer”. So was it the most wonderful time of year for you?

I have to admit, I absolutely love Christmas; even more so these last couple years while I’ve been enjoying my time as a stay-at-home mom. But I’ve heard the signs loud and clear from a few women I know. While Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, we find ourselves being over-stressed and over-stretched. Where did all this hype come from? I’m sure we can all look back at our Christmases growing up and think, “They were all such quaint little gatherings back then.”

So we hear the advice time and time again, “streamline your schedules, do only what’s important, delegate, etc., etc.” but we obviously aren’t listening. Every year the bar is placed higher and higher. We definitely aren’t enjoying the holidays as much as we once did.

So here’s another approach we could take. Wouldn’t we enjoy the holidays more if we weren’t trying to jam so much into one month? Instead of Christmas being the social climax of the year, why don’t we celebrate year-round? If you think I just fell off my rocker, stick with me here…

Whoever said that holiday greetings and gay happy meetings could only happen during the Christmas holidays? I’m pretty sure 4th of July cookies would taste just as good, and I’m sure extra kindness to strangers would always be welcome.

I’m not saying forfeit the Christmas season and its traditions altogether. I’m just proposing we all take a step back, and spread it out a little more; carry it beyond the end of the year. Instead of trying to run the marathon that is Christmas, why not visit some family at Christmas, some at Thanksgiving, and some in…June? Perhaps send your donation to the Salvation Army in August instead of trying to remember your change jar in December? And couldn’t we send greeting cards in the spring?

So here it is, December 26. Are you going to plummet off the Christmas high, or are you going to carry the magic of the season into 2011? Now that I think about it, February would be the perfect time for hearts to be glowing!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Instead of being a time of unusual behavior, Christmas is perhaps the only time in the year when people can obey their natural impulses and express their true sentiments without feeling self-conscious and, perhaps, foolish. Christmas, in short, is about the only chance a man has to be himself.” ~Francis C. Farley

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Are You Ready for Christmas?

It’s been a very consistent theme this week. Everyone you meet seems to greet you with a friendly hello quickly followed by the million dollar question, “So, are you all ready for the Christmas?” I’ve been asked that question nearly a dozen times over the past several days; I was always quick to respond with, “No, I‘m not!” And that would send me into an immediate mental review of my “What I have to do before Christmas” list.

It struck me like a brick to the head last night while watching my son’s last basketball game of the season. Sitting for over two hours my butt was numb from the hard wooden bleachers and I felt my energy dwindling by the minute. The game got a late start which set the tone for my mood that evening. I kept checking the time; getting antsier by the minute. I should be home getting things ready; checking the items off my list was all I could keep thinking about.

And, then it happened again. Another mom sitting close by leaned over and whispered, “Are you all ready for Christmas?” It took me minute to gather myself away from my pity party before I could answer her. I again responded, “No, and actually that’s what I was just thinking about.”

I was forced to snap out of it when I noticed the score was tied with only minutes left in the game. We scored, and then they scored. We got a free throw, and then they got a free throw. It was all very exciting as the game went into overtime. The boys played tough. It was a great game even though the scored resulted in a loss by 2 buckets. Not even mentioning the loss, my son was beaming; smiling from ear to ear so proud of the 7 points he had scored. What an inspiring attitude he has.

As we drove home I was still thinking about everything I have to accomplish in a matter of days. But what if I didn’t get it all done. What’s the worse that could happen? Would it be so bad if my house wasn’t all decked out with Christmas décor? Is it the end of the world if I opt for gift bags over precision wrapped presents complete with a coordinating floofy (no, that’s not a typo…floofy is a very technical term which means not quite fluffy, yet not poufy) bow?

So what does it really take to be ready for Christmas? I’m beginning to rethink my answer to that question. After all, if God wants to send his Son…. “Yes, of course I’m ready!”

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"For onto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9: 6

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Take a Shortcut Through Your Problems

The process of self-discovery and the change that goes along with it can be a confusing journey. There are many stages and emotions throughout the process including blame, pain, avoidance, personal responsibility, blame and avoidance some more, awareness, and awakening.

I was recently introduced to the short poem below that so wonderfully simplified life’s journey. I don’t know about you, but I’ve walked down the same dangerous street myself a few too many times. Hopefully as time goes by I’ll get a little more “street-wise” and start taking that shortcut down another street through my problems.

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters ~Portia Nelson

Chapter I:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter II:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place
but, it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V:
I walk down another street.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A New Self-Care Motivation

I had the most amazing “ah-ha” moment a few weeks ago while I was attending the “I Can Do It” conference in Tampa. Although I had several of these moments at the conference, I feel most compelled to share this one. I can see how it really relates to all of us as women (and especially as mothers) as we tend to fall more into the category of “giving” rather than “receiving”.

My moment of enlightenment happened during a break-out session with author, coach and speaker Cheryl Richardson. She asked the audience what seemed to be a simple question, “How many of you feel you would have had better childhoods if your own mother would have devoted more time to her personal self-care?” And the hands went up. As I looked around the room of a couple hundred people there were only a handful that did not have their hands raised.

Wow, I had never thought about it that way! When asked about self-care I’m quick to say, “Oh, yeah, that’s so important.” But I’m sure I’m not alone in that my own time seems to come last; after the cooking, cleaning, homework, laundry, care-giving, etc. My own self-care is something I do when I have “extra time”, and of course there is rarely such a thing as “extra time”. So I carry on, day in and day out, not doing the self-giving activities that would rejuvenate my patience, happiness, spirit, and overall mood.

I knew self-care was important, but never really thought it was THAT important. Now, for the first time, I’m realizing that my own self-care would contribute to my children having a better childhood. As a mother, isn’t that ultimately what I want? With all the hands raised that day the chances that my children, and your children, will feel the same way if asked that question in their adulthood seems extremely likely, unless of course we change our ways.

So here I go…I’m devoting more time for myself. Perhaps a weekly bubble bath, some time spent each evening reading or writing in my journal, date night with my husband, and maybe the kids need to take more trips to Grandma’s house. It’s about time I finally make some changes in this area. My children’s happiness depends on it!

So what do you say? Who’s with me?!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"When you can lovingly be present to yourself, your presence to others takes on a deeper quality also.” ~MacRina Wiederkehr

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Message from my Christmas Angel

We’ve come upon it; that time of the year. Its official “The Holidays” are here. We’ve got Thanksgiving under our belt…literally, and as we round the bend toward December the big push begins. The lists of to-do’s start to grow and you now remember why you opted for the calendar with such big boxes a mere 12 months ago. Let’s face it; Christmastime is a busy time.

I was pondering that very issue last weekend. Exhausted from a day of cleaning in preparation for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to put my feet up for the evening. I had a few dishes to wash and then I was home free. And that’s when it happened….in walked my angel. Of course I didn’t think that at the time, I certainly wasn’t expecting her. She floated in and spoke just a few words. It wasn’t exactly what she said that was so touching, but the sweet twinkle in her eye that tugged at my heart; there was something familiar about it. She opened her precious mouth to ask me one simple question, “Mom, can we put the Christmas tree up now?”

I will be the first to admit that I didn’t handle it well. Without even thinking I quickly responded, “Are you kidding? No!” And that’s when I saw the spark begin to fade. I took a deep breath and soon realized from where I had known that bright twinkle of excitement. Once upon a time I held the same elation for Christmas time. (Where did that girl go? I want her back!  I thought to myself.)  Now, she is not one to give up easily. She didn’t miss a beat and commenced the negotiations. She was quite surprised when my next answer was, “OK” and quickly skipped off happily, ready to begin the assembly process.

Sending my own angel to rescue me from the “busyness” of the Season…what He wouldn’t do.

I’m happy to report we had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Our family gathered with food galore not commenting on the bare, yet to be finished Christmas tree in the corner. It might look bare to the untrained eye but I see it adorned in angel kisses, bright twinkling lights, and trimmed in the magic of the Season. Thank you, Christmas Angel!

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. ~Peg Bracken

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Your Golden Buddha

I heard a beautiful (and true) story recently and just had to share...

In 1957, a group of Tibetan monks were informed that a highway was being built and the highway would have to go through the location where the shrine for which they were responsible was currently located. The shrine, a huge clay Buddha, would have to be moved.

Arrangements were made and the day of shrine moving arrived. A crane began lifting the clay Buddha, but as it rose off of its block resting place it began to crack. It was far heavier than all the engineers had estimated. The monks and the engineers examined the Buddha and found several large cracks. A larger crane would be needed and that crane would not be brought in until the next day. The Buddha would have to spend the night in its current location. To make matters worse, there was a storm building and the night would be a stormy one.

The monks covered the Buddha with waterproof tarps on poles to keep it dry overnight. All seemed to be well. During the night, the head monk awoke and decided to check on the Buddha. With a flashlight, the monk carefully checked the condition of the Buddha. As he walked around the huge clay figure shining his light on the cracks, something caught his eye. He returned to the spot on which he had just shined his light. He peered into the crack. What he saw he did not understand. He needed to see more. He went back to his quarters, found a chisel and a hammer and returned to the Buddha. He began carefully chipping at the clay around the crack. As the crack widened, he could not believe his eyes. He ran to wake the other monks and instructed each to bring a hammer and chisel. By lantern light the monks carefully chipped all the clay from the Buddha. After hours of chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight before them. There, in front of the monks, stood a solid gold Buddha.

After much research, the pieces of the story were put together. The Golden Buddha was the cherished responsibility of a group of monks several centuries earlier. These monks received word that the Burmese army was headed their way. Concerned that the invading army would loot the shrine for its Golden Buddha, the monks covered their Buddha with 8 to 12 inches of clay. When they were finished the Golden Buddha appeared to be a Buddha of clay. The invading army would surely have no interest. The monks were correct. The invading army had no interest in the Buddha. They did, however, kill all the monks before they moved on. The Golden Buddha was lost in history until 1957.

I think there is a Golden Buddha inside each of us. As a child we’re all shiny with possibilities but as time goes on, and we become programmed to believe our abilities and potential are limited, our golden selves become tarnished and dirty, and our exterior becomes hard.

Imagine what would happen if we cracked open and exposed our true selves! Just think what life would be like if our talents and gifts came pouring out! What if your greatest discovery didn’t lie within your future or within the outside world, but rather was within your very soul?

Yes, within each of us lies a golden treasure just waiting to be uncovered and there’s no better time to discover yours.

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust quotes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teaching What's Right

We’re continually bombarded with advice about parenting; seems like you can’t get far these days without hearing some sort of report or recommendation. Advice comes from Dr. Phil saying to increase communication, and from Parenting Magazine saying not to bribe too much. Now my personality being what it is, I take everything to heart and try to apply any good suggestions to my personal life.

I hear that reading to your children improves their literacy in the future and so I read to them. I hear that they need to be eating more fruits and vegetables, to which I say, “Bring on the green beans”. I just heard the other day that children are hearing “I love you” less these days, so here comes the “I love you”s. It really goes on and on, and the list gets longer and longer. Seems there’s so much to keep track of in the quest to be the “perfect parent”.

And then I heard it; the mother of all parenting advice! This advice makes remembering all the other advice unnecessary. It’s really very easy but it will guide you from this day forward. The advice: Simply ask yourself every night, “What did I teach my children today?”

It’s no surprise that children learn from example, and everyday is jam-packed full of learning. From the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed, they are examining, questioning, and remembering everything.

So what are we teaching our children each day? Are we telling our son that the computer is more important than his questions? Are we portraying the role of a disempowered woman to our daughter? Maybe we’re showing them that living in a state of overwhelm and clutter is normal? In our relationships are we being role models of a loving and happy couple? Are we teaching them how to deal with disappointment in the right way? Are we teaching them to be safe and set limits? Are we showing them that our dreams and goals are important and within reach?

Spend some time contemplating what you taught your children today. Is it what you want to be teaching them? If not, it’s time to implement a new lesson plan.

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.” ~Jacques Barzun

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Listen Up!

As children we are taught to wait our turn. Toddlers as young as 2 or 3 are reminded of this simple concept of good manners every time they budge in line to go down the slide first or grab a toy from a friend. As we approach preschool age and our verbal communication develops, we are then taught the very important rules of the classroom: Only one person should be talking at a time, you must not interrupt, and you must sit quietly and listen. Now let’s fast forward 30 or 40 years. How are we doing with those classroom rules now?

I heard an interesting statistic the other day - immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what they said, and long-term we only remember 20% of what we hear. I was shocked, have I really been missing 70% of what’s been happening?

It wasn’t too long after that I caught myself…I was guilty! While having a conversation with someone in my office, I was only half listening and the other half (if you could call it that) was replying to an email. Shame on me!  I realized what I was doing and immediately took my fingers off the keyboard and turned slightly to face the individual. As I was trying to catch up with the conversation I was stunned to catch myself again a short time later, but this time not just once…twice!

I was anticipating the end of the conversation and felt the need to hurry things along. Instead of listening to this individual make his final point and move on with my day, I interrupted him and finished his sentence by incorrectly stating his position. Yikes! I not only just added another 10 minutes to this conversation simply because I couldn’t sit quietly and listen, I took away this person’s power by trying to finish his thought.

In our fast paced life we think in order to stay ahead and be competitive we must be proud of the fact that we can efficiently “multitask”. This buzz word became popular several years ago as a positive thing and everyone soon added it to their resume. But the fact is Wikipedia defines human multitasking as the performance by an individual appearing to handle more than one task at the same time. New research is showing that humans aren’t as good as they think at handling many things at once. Not only that, but we are finding we’re also damaging our relationships because our interpersonal skills are waning.

Possessing good listening skills can benefit all aspects of your life. It can create strong teams, resolve conflicts, and build trust and respect. It may take some practice on your part, but by simply going back to those once upon a time classroom rules you can become a good listener again.

Jenny
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." ~Epictetus

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Got Limiting Beliefs? Top 3 Questions About Limiting Beliefs Revealed

With our “Busting Through: Life Without the Limits” tele-training event only a week away, we’ve been fielding a lot of questions on the topic of limiting beliefs; how to know if you have them, how to know if they’re holding you back, and what to do if you recognize disempowering thought patterns in yourself.

Obviously we’ve hit on a hot-button topic and it’s no wonder, we talk to a lot of women, and in nearly every conversation, a limiting thought will be verbalized in one way, shape or form. It’s easy to do, and with all the research and speaking we’ve done on this topic, we’re even guilty ourselves from time to time.

Yes, limiting thought patterns are hard to break…wait, is that a limiting belief? Oh goodness, it is! See what we mean!

O.k., let’s just say that it is possible to turn your disempowering beliefs into empowering ones, but it takes knowledge, awareness and a little something we call PTC (Present Time Consciousness), to do so. So with that in mind, let us answer the top three questions coming our way on the subject of limiting beliefs.

Limiting Belief Question #1: How do I know if I have limiting beliefs?

This is an easy one to answer; we all have limiting beliefs. For women we often hear them verbalized this way: I’m not smart enough, I’m not old (or young) enough, I’m not pretty enough (or the right weight or build), I don’t know who I think I am to even think I could achieve that, I always get the short end of the stick, and many, many, more.

These beliefs are often developed in childhood, we may have even heard important people in our lives verbalize the same things, consequently making these degrading thought patterns acceptable and correct. Often these ways of thinking are passed down between generations!

Limiting Belief Question #2: How do I know if limiting beliefs are holding me back?

Obviously, verbalized statements and recurring thoughts like those mentioned above, are pretty easy to identify once you become aware and listen for them. In addition, you can pay close attention to your emotions and use your feelings as a barometer for these hidden beliefs.

Sometimes a deeper analysis is needed and uncovering limiting beliefs requires a careful examination of your life. Here are two additional clues that disempowering thought patterns are holding you back:

1. If you have recurrent problems that don't seem to go away, such as constant money problems, relationship issues or challenges in your career, chances are you have a limiting belief.

2. If you find there are behaviors or reactions that constantly get you into trouble, you definitely have a limiting belief!

Limiting Belief Question #3: How do I overcome a limiting belief?

The secret to changing our limiting beliefs is found in the Pain/Pleasure Principle. Associate enough “pain” with your old beliefs, and a tremendous amount of “pleasure” to your new empowered beliefs, and you can change your life!

We’re going to be sharing more about the Pain/Pleasure Principle during “Busting Through: Life Without the Limits” as well as reveal our 1-2-3-4-5 Exercise for challenging your limiting beliefs! This is one training you won’t want to miss. Get registered today!

Busting Through: Life Without the Limits
Monday, November 8, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. CST
In the Soulspring Tele-classroom
It's FREE*! We invite you to be our guest!

*Long distance charges apply where applicable.

You will receive your tele-classroom access code and training materials via email prior to the training call.



Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them." ~Anthony de Mello

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Developing An Attitude of Patience

I’m not a fan of driving in Minneapolis/St. Paul - especially during rush hour. All those vehicles stopping, going, merging, dodging; seems to me like a good way to get into an accident! So when I realized I needed to make back-to-back trips to St. Paul this week I wasn’t overly excited. But I’m a strong, confident woman, right? Certainly I can handle this!

Day one of my consecutive trips I was feeling pretty great about everything as I traveled through St. Paul and back without the slightest inkling of rush hour. I questioned why I even thought that rush hour traffic could be a problem. It was smooth sailing; this was the kind of driving I liked! Then, about 10 minutes outside of the city, everything came to a screaching halt. As I crested a small hill I could see the four completely full, completely stopped, lanes of traffic as far as the eye could see.

This was not perfect.

So there I sat for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, and then 60 minutes, without reaching a speed any higher than a crawl. Early on in the waiting game I figured traffic would start moving at any moment, but as I sat, and sat, and sat some more, I figured I better do something constructive with my time. Let’s see…I know! Practice the virtue of patience. Perfect!

That lasted exactly 6 minutes until the first tinge of needing a bathroom break hit. How could I be patient at a time like this?! My focus quickly shifted from practicing patience to practicing bladder control. But hey, this is a skill that could be just as handy though, right?

As the minutes ticked away at the ratio of what felt like about 3 minutes to every 1 actual minute I was getting close to the breaking point. What on Earth could be going on to stop traffic for this long?! I’ve got places to be people!

OK, so maybe it was time to try the patience thing again. But how can I just be OK with sitting here, wasting an hour of my time? And that’s when it hit me; As with anything in life, it’s not so much “being OK” with a stressful situation but more so our attitude towards it. Being OK with an extensive traffic jam was not coming easily to me that day, but changing my attitude towards it? That I could do.

I spent the rest of the hour-long delay mentally listing all the reasons why it was good that I was there at that moment. I thought of the more serious ones; how I was being held there in a safe spot so that whatever harm lay ahead could be cleared. And then of course I had to throw in some silly ones; this was giving me the opportunity to find out if it’s possible to get a tan through a car window.

And surprisingly enough it worked! No, not the tanning through a window part, the part about restoring my patience.  The rest of the hour breezed by.

And thank goodness the second day’s trip to the city was not as eventful!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience." ~George-Louis de Buffon

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Living True to Your Theme Song


I loved the Laverne and Shirley TV show. I’d live for Tuesday evenings, getting my homework done immediately after school and settling in at 7:30 p.m. so as not to miss one minute of the show.

And, you’re probably wondering what brought this up out of the blue? Well, I attended a conference this week and the keynote speaker asked what our life’s theme song was. How cool is that – I didn’t have to think long at all. Mine is the theme song from Laverne and Shirley. It wasn’t just the catchy tune that stuck with me…the words spoke true to what I believed then - and still do today.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight
Schemeel, schlimazel, Hasenfeff Incorporated
We're gonna do it!

Give us any chance - we'll take it
Read us any rule - we'll break it
We're gonna make our dreams come true....
Doin' it our way

Nothin's gonna turn us back now
Straight ahead and on the track now
We're gonna make our dreams come true...
Doin' it our way

There is nothing we won't try
Never heard the word impossible
This time there's no stopping us
We're gonna do it

On your mark, get set and go now
Got a dream and we just know now
We're gonna make our dream come true
And we'll do it our way - yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
And do it our way - yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
For me and you

The conference presenter went one step further with this exercise and asked, “What might the people in your life perceive your theme song to be?” Now there’s an interesting question. If you went around and asked your co-workers, family members, and friends what they think your theme song is, would you agree? Are you telling yourself one thing in your heart and mind but portraying something completely different to those around you by your actions, body language, and words?

Take a minute to ponder your life’s theme song. Do you walk around humming the Peanuts theme to yourself or are you whistling the Titanic’s sinking tune live on the stage of your life?

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Behavior is a mirror in which every one displays his own image. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An Empowering Approach is Needed to Prevail Over Bullying


I don’t watch much TV and tend to steer clear of the news (I opt for a more positive media experience). Still, the latest trend in bullying and teasing among our young people, and the suicides resulting from the behavior, couldn’t help but catch my attention.

Even in my forties I can still feel a painful twinge inside when I reflect on the teasing back in my day. I wouldn’t compare it at all to the stories of late, but painful at the time none the less. Now as an adult, and after talking with others about our school years, it seems no one escaped unscathed. Yes, even the best-looking, the most talented, and the biggest bully, had someone harassing and degrading them in some way. What’s a kid to do? Some took it, some fought back, and some focused their aggression by bullying others.

If there was ever a time that our animal instincts as a species become most evident, it would have to be when we are trying to secure our position in the pack. Sad, isn’t it?

While I don’t condone bullying and teasing, and believe it to be wrong and inexcusable in the strongest sense, I guess it’s programmed in us and in a way part of growing up, in learning right from wrong, of establishing our character as we grow into adulthood. Kid’s know it’s wrong, they know it’s mean, they know it leads to trouble (and in light of recent events, a criminal record and prison time). Still the behavior continues.

The anti-bullying task forces and bullying awareness campaigns are a great start to combating the pranks, abuse, and torments, but in my opinion that’s not enough and only addresses half the problem. We’re missing a more important focus. Where are the empowerment programs and self-esteem classes?

I don’t mean to go all “touchy-feely” but wouldn’t it serve our youth in the long-run to develop the confidence, personal power, and understanding that comes with self-acceptance? The bully would no longer feel the need to put down another to elevate himself, and the bullied might gain some valuable insight about the acts against them, understanding they are not the source of the problem. I believe this is a crucial missing link and what it’s going to take to stop the cycle of abuse within our schools.

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.” ~David Brinkley

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Push is All You Need


It was a typical vacation with my parents; my Dad was the leader, leaving no rock unturned or path unexplored. It’s always been that way, but we’ve experienced some great things because of having that extra little push.

My daughter and I were lucky enough to ride back north with my parents this last spring in their RV. And it very quickly became clear to me that Dad hasn’t changed a bit. My parents clearly had a little something up their sleeve as we were traveling through Missouri.

I’ve always wanted to blow glass so I put it on my list a few years back; my “list” of course being my “List of Things to Do Before I Die”. I’ve casually looked into taking classes but always decided that I’d put it on my “someday” list (And we all know what happens to a majority of the things on our “someday” list!).

Aware of this aspiration on my list, Mom and Dad tracked down a glass blowing studio near where we’d be making our RV trek. One late afternoon we pulled into Astral Glass Studio in New Haven, MO. The showroom had so many beautiful pieces of blown glass but unfortunately the blowers had left for the day. This is where my natural response would be to politely say, “Thank you, have a great night.” Well, before I could open my mouth Dad spoke up and asked, “Do you ever let customers blow glass?”

The woman behind the counter was a little surprised by the request, but after giving it a minute of thought she said that if we came back in the morning she was quite sure that “the guys” (the glass blowers) would indulge me by helping to cross this item off my list. Sure enough, we returned the next morning and the guys let me into the shop, showed me the basics, and let me blow my very first glass bubble! As for my list…Glass blowing…CHECK!

Quite often in life we’re presented with amazing opportunities but instead of embracing them we listen to the little fearful voice inside of us. A little push is sometimes all we need to experience something new, great and adventurous! I’m lucky enough to have a person in my life willing to give me a little “push” from time to time, but there’s no reason why you can’t be that person to yourself. Seek out those opportunities, leave your comfort zone, and live life to the fullest!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.” ~Orison Swett Marden

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What's Your Legacy?


It’s the call that no one wants to receive. The one that tells you that someone special to you is gone. Learning of our dear cousin’s unexpected passing this week swiftly brought forth the realization of what is truly most important in the big picture of life.

With a sad heart, I quickly recalled countless occasions spent with her. Summer after summer would bring us together as kids. And, now as adults she lived many miles away, but we’d pick up right where we left off with each visit. I don’t remember the little things like what she wore, what she drove, or how many rings on her fingers. Instead it was her warm smile, her contagious laugh, and her positive attitude that made the lasting impression. Her perspective was incredibly optimistic; she displayed courage and strength whenever faced with an obstacle. She was, and will continue to be an amazing inspiration to all who knew her. Those are the things that will come to mind when we speak her name now and forever.

Take a moment today to conduct a little personal inventory; ask yourself, what is the legacy you want to leave? What are the things that you want to be remembered for? Are you living in alignment with that vision?

And, one more thing…Be sure to tell your family and friends how much they mean to you. Don’t wait; you never know when it could be too late.

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” ~Pericles

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Calling all Wise Women


Yes, we mean you! From all the fabulous comments you post to our Facebook page, our interactions via Twitter, and our face-to-face interactions at Soulspring Meetings and events far and wide, it’s clear…

You have a lot to say about passion, empowerment, and life in general!

As a matter of fact, as we were reflecting on a particularly inspiring Dove’s Promise sentiment (you know, the ones inside the Dove’s chocolate candy wrappers), we commented on how many of your expressions rival them in terms of wise advice to empower us all.

And that’s when it hit us…A deliciously, wonderful, awesome idea for a one-of-a-kind empowerment project, and we want you to be a part of it!

We’re calling on each of you to submit your bits of wisdom, advice, inspiration, and deep thoughts. They don’t have to be long, 100 words or less would be ideal! Each submission will be immortalized in a professionally designed e-book, which will be made available for download free of charge to any woman who wants one. We envision a bright and colorful resource for encouragement, inspiration, strength, and empowerment, circling the globe via world-wide-web!

Of course you’ll receive credit for your submission, and we’ll include a link to your website’s URL if you’re interested in showcasing your woman-owned business, blog or charity too!

So what are you waiting for? Start spreading the word so your friends can contribute too. Then email your submission to SoulSisters@SoulspringGroups.com today!

We’ll be keeping you posted on the project with regular updates on how the book is coming along, as well as the latest news about the official e-book launch, so stay tuned!

We couldn’t be more excited about this project and the opportunity to share empowering woman’s wisdom with women everywhere, and we look forward to getting your bit of wisdom for the book soon!

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seeing Beauty


I received an invitation to a Photography Exhibit Opening a few weeks back. It came from a photography instructor that I had when I took some photography classes about three years ago. He and three other photographers were combining their creative works for an exhibit on street photography. So I receive this invite and immediately put it out of my mind. After all, I don’t go to exhibit openings, I don’t go to strange parts of Minneapolis at night – you get the point.

The day before the event, I came across the invitation a second time. I read through it again with a more adventurous eye and thought to myself, “why not?!” I set out to find someone to join me (I wasn’t quite adventurous enough to go by myself) and my friend Holly was happy to oblige.

So we headed up to the photography exhibit titled, “Street Scene: Incidents in Real Life”, on Friday evening. To give you a feel for the exhibit, it was described by Tom Arndt as this, “…many anonymous photographers understood that the street was and is the theatre of real life. From simply sitting on the front porch talking about the day's events to political demonstrations against war, poverty, racism and human rights, photographers have witnessed some of the most compel-ling and sometimes touching moments in our collective history.”

Holly and I enjoyed ourselves as we walked through the gallery looking at art that was captured by a photographer seeing the magnificence in everyday life. At one moment I heard the gentleman next to me say something. It was one of those moments where your cluttered thoughts come out through someone else’s mouth perfectly articulated. He said, “It’s amazing the beauty you see in the world when you’re really looking for it.” Wow, how perfect!

I think it’s safe to say that most of us probably don’t see beauty in the simple, everyday moments around us; attendees at a parade, neighbors talking in the front yard, or a woman waiting for the bus. And why don’t we? Perhaps it’s because we’re always in a hurry, or are becoming numb to the same-old-same-old that surrounds us, or are just losing our focus on appreciation and gratitude. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure: We don’t need to be photographers to see the beauty in the world around us – we just need to always being looking for it. Start today!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind.” ~Ashley Smith quotes

Monday, September 6, 2010

41 Quarts and Counting...

I love Fall; chilly mornings, falling leaves and of course…canning.

We just canned up another batch of tomatoes – that makes 41 quarts so far, did I mention it was midnight? I can’t help but think there are still more tomatoes in the garden that we’ll have to tend to in a few days. But, that just made me realize that there is no better visual reminder of the old adage - You get back whatever you give, and more!

A little over 3 months ago our garden was planted. Healthy seeds were selected and careful thought went into the location of where to plant certain things. After years and years of going through this same process we’ve learned what works best and stuck to those rules. Our garden was planted just so, with good attention to detail, and high aspirations of what we will see come harvest time.

This is where God steps in and works His magic, giving just the right amount of moisture, heat, and sunlight. And, now from those tiny seeds, lush plants grew. But, God wasn’t done quite yet; He took it one step further and multiplied the reward. From one bean seed you very seldom get only one bean…you may get 10 or 20. From one seed potato you can feed a small family. One pumpkin seed can reap several orange masses the size of a small child. But, I’m puzzled about the zucchini…it seems He likes to multiply those by 100. Why the zucchini?

Watch how this lesson lives out in your own life...Be sure to plant high-quality seeds for your life. Pick many varieties that include your hopes, dreams, gratitude, and goals. Tend to your seeds often with a strong faith to ensure the proper water and sunlight. Your plants will soon be thriving and your life will reap a harvest more plentiful and beautiful than you can imagine.

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” ~Og Madino

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Success Secret the Pros Know: Create a Dream Team


Would you like to exponentially increase your happiness, personal power, fulfillment, results and success?

There’s a little known secret that the most successful among us apply innately, but the majority of the population (especially women), don’t realize. Pros of all kinds, from actors to athletes, take advantage of the principle, while others continue to struggle to achieve their full potential. Once we disclose it, we know it will resonate with you. The concept literally changed our lives.

Here is the secret revealed: By enlisting the assistance of others, you can draw upon the benefits of their experiences, successes, and mistakes, to maximize your own personal growth and development. You can accomplish much more with a team, than you ever will alone.

This is a concept used by every pro athlete, every professional actor, every political figure, and every successful business person. They each have a team consisting of advisors, mentors, allies, and coaches, who they rely upon to help them improve, advance and achieve their goals.

For many women this concept is foreign. Few have utilized a coach or a mentor at all, and if they have, it’s been merely for professional development and career advancement. Yet, if we were to trust our instincts, we would quickly realize that connecting with other women is the key to clarifying our life’s direction. Imagine harnessing what comes so natural to us, to empower ourselves to be, do, and give more!

Envision having a team of advisors available to you when you are faced with a difficult challenge or problem. A group of confidants, supporting you and cheering you on, as you work toward your goals and dreams. Think of how much more you could accomplish, the obstacles you could avoid, and how much further (and faster) you could advance toward your dreams.

Best of all, your own personal “dream team” may be closer than you think! Soulspring Groups makes it easy to assemble your team, providing the instructions, processes and resources your group needs to get on the fast-track to living your best life!

Assemble your team and start a Soulspring Group today! There’s no reason to put off your dreams any longer.

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulpiration of the Week:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Power of Words


My sisters and I, along with long-time Soulspring member LuAnn Myers, just couldn’t pass up the opportunity yesterday morning to cheer on the amazing women and men who have committed themselves to walking in the 2010 Twin Cities Breast Cancer 3-Day. This walk is a 3 day, 60 mile – yes, I said 60 miles – walk to raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. I’ve always wanted to experience every aspect of the walk; walk, cheer, crew. Having participated two previous years as a walker, this was my year to cheer (maybe next year will be my year to crew?).

It really is true what they say; once you experience any aspect of this walk you are immediately addicted to the contagious energy! The morning was incredible, watching all 2400 walkers march before us as we held our “Words of Encouragement”. Our “Words of Encouragement” have put on a lot of miles in their own right. They accompany us to many Soulspring Groups events and there’s something about them that draw people in (local press and KARE 11’s own Lee Valsvik among them! See the video here!).

Inspire…Belief…Power…Passion. These were the words the walkers saw as they traveled along their day 2 route. Almost immediately women began pointing, smiling, asking us to pose with our “words” for scrapbook photos, some even shed a tear. Whatever the reaction though it was clear that these words meant something to each of them, spurring them on to reach their final destination.

Isn’t the power of a simple, lone word amazing? Straight and to the point, and most importantly open to individual interpretation; defined by happy moments, tragedy, experience, and the overall journey of life.

Thank you to all the walkers participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day this year! We’ve got a “word” for you…AMAZING! That’s the best way we can describe your hard work and endurance as you create awareness and put names and faces to this disease. Never doubt that you are changing the world!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~Mother Theresa

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Women…It’s Time to Stand Up and Be Noticed!


In the time it takes you to read this blog post, how many women will have achieved a goal, built up a strength through adversity, or just made a difference is a simple way? I have to confess I don’t know the answer to that question but it makes one stop and think, doesn’t it?

Our lives are jam packed with incredible ladies who achieve amazing things. I’m not just talking about bold, heroic, self-sacrificing events. Of course those deserve our attention, too. But the rules have changed slightly and these days if you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone, if you’ve stood up for what you believe in, if you’ve faced adversity head-on, if you’ve taken a leap of faith to follow your passion, if you’ve done something that made even a small difference, then you are a woman who accomplished something and deserves to be noticed!

We are coming up to one of our favorite observances in September, “National Women of Achievement Month”. There are a number of women in history who paved the way for what we are lucky enough to experience today…The right we have to cast our ballot, the right we have to run for office, the right to hold a job that we are qualified for, and the list goes on.

But, have you ever stopped to think about how we are paving the way for those who will follow us; our children and grandchildren? Whether we realize it or not they are learning from our example everyday. They see us earn college degrees while working full-time. They see us leave the corporate 9-5 because it goes against everything we believe in and pursue a more meaningful way of life. They see us throw caution to the wind in a quest to follow our passions. They see us get out of damaging and unhealthy relationships. They see us excel in sports of all kinds. They see us learn from our mistakes. They see us take on the big-wigs and stand for what is right. They see us battle illnesses with courage and grace. They see us experience new things, facing the fear and doing it anyway. Yes, women are making a difference in every corner of our world.

At Soulspring we have set aside the month of September to recognize and praise these everyday women who portray courage, strength, determination, and perseverance. They are not only the shining examples of the legacy we are leaving for the next generations, but their stories will also lend the empowered hand to others who may need it, encouraging them to take the next step toward something great.

You know who they are, it may even be you! We invite you to share their stories with us. Simply submit their name, a brief description of their accomplishment, and their website (if applicable) in the comment area below, or visit our nomination post on our Facebook page (and please, “like” us while you’re there!). Throughout the month of September, we’ll be honoring each nominee with a tweet via Twitter, and acknowledging their triumph in the twitter-sphere! What a simple way to show another their hard work has not gone unnoticed! Mother, sister, coworker, friend…no achievement is too big or too small!

So often the contributions of the everyday women are overlooked or taken for granted by society; giving the message that as women our accomplishments are not important. Not this time ladies! Nominate your Woman of Achievement today!

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” ~W. Wilson

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Women's Empowerment Tip: Power from No


If you think this is another article about prioritizing and learning to gracefully say no to some of the many requests we receive as women, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. I’m not going to be sharing about saying no, but rather getting no’s.

Why would we want to hear the word no? After all, don’t we spend a lot of time avoiding that negative word? I know it seems crazy, but bear with me.

What if the word no wasn’t as negative as we believe? What if the word no was actually a gateway to positivity, empowerment and all that we want from life?

O.k., now that I have your attention…I have a theory and I challenge you to think about this in your own life. I notice that when I have a request and need to ask for something from another, I tend to make the request in my own mind, and then as if I know how the other party will respond, I give myself the answer. If I think the other person will say yes, I tend to move forward and make my request and of course the outcome is as I imagined and my request is granted.

But sometimes, and maybe more often than I care to admit, I hear the word no as the reply to this back and forth exchange going on in my head. Worse yet, this no is followed by a barrage of reasons why my plea couldn’t possibly be granted. I feel a sense of disappointment, and to save myself from rejection give up on the whole idea.

Then it occurred to me; why am I assuming I know how the other person is going to respond? Why do I believe they will decline my plea? Why am I afraid of that little, two letter word? What am I withholding from myself and my life, by so easily accepting anything other than a yes to my need?

As women we are so accustomed to granting the wishes of others, but how often do we make a request on our own behalf? I don’t think the average woman asks for enough. Maybe we don’t think we’re deserving, maybe we don’t want to be demanding, or maybe we’re just afraid to hear a no.

So I’m implementing a self-imposed challenge, and I invite you to join me in my quest for no’s (3 no’s a day to be exact). I’m still planning to rehearse my requests in my head, but instead of hearing a no, I’m going to hear a yes and experience the happiness and gratitude upon hearing my need affirmed. Now for the important part; I’ll actually follow-through on my request. Regardless of whether I get the yes I’m expecting, or the no I feared, at least I’ll have asked and I’ll know that I’m receiving all that is possible for me.


The worst that can happen; I hear a no. But that will be overshadowed by the number of wishes granted to me; many of which I would have never had the courage to ask for before!


Three no’s a day will be my goal. To me that’s the magic number to know that I’m asking for enough from life.

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek; and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” ~Matthew 7:7-8



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Overcome the Busyness Epidemic ~ Free Tele-Class Event!


"I'm so busy." How many times do we hear that statement (or have even said it ourselves) in the course of a day?

Depending on the study, research attributes 50 to 80 percent of all diseases to stress-related origins and ask any woman to name her number-one stress; 90 percent will site being too busy.

Do you feel like your life is out of control and don't know where to begin to get your time back? Do you wake up in the morning already feeling behind, only to rush through your day trying to catch up to some unknown goal? Do you say "yes" when you really should say "no" and ultimately live your life out of balance and incongruent from your values?

If so, you've just joined the ranks of millions of other American women. Overwhelm really is the new epidemic!

How did we get so busy? What motives and reasons fuel our busyness impulses? Are we living a fulfilled life or just a full one? Where do we even begin in the quest to live the life that we really want?

Join us in our tele-classroom for the answers to these questions and discover the 5 secrets to getting your life back under control. This free tele-training event is not to be missed!

REGISTER NOW!

Monday, August 16, 2010
7:00 p.m. CST
In the Soulspring Tele-classroom
*Fee: We invite you to be our guest

Visit our Soul Store and register to receive your tele-classroom access code and training materials via email 24 hours prior to the training call.

*Long distance charges apply where applicable.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Online Women's Empowerment Danger: Stinkin' Thinkin'


We’re all so much more connected now with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. While it’s a great way to stay linked with family and friends, there are also many dangers lurking there! I’m not talking about internet stalkers but negative thinkers!

Yes, social media is just one more way to get sucked into the negative thoughts of others (or pull others into ours). Here’s a sampling of what I’ve seen recently on the Facebook News Feed:

"Bad night=Crabby Morning ;("
"Went from having a great day to a bad night."
"Why can't life be simple?"
"Why can’t diets be fun??"
"Wants to know why everything always goes wrong."

It’s time to clear out the social media negative thoughts; not only for yourself but for your entire virtual community of family and friends. While you can't control or change the posts of others, there is one thing you do have control of and that's the news you post and how you choose to respond to the posts entered by your social media friends. While some may argue that this is easier said than done, it only requires that a simple decision be made; the decision to stop and be inspiring.

Let’s give all Facebook and Twitter users the benefit of the doubt; maybe they don’t realize how negative they’re being? Maybe none of us realize how negative we’re being? Here’s a simple exercise that will easily bring our negativity to light:

Grab yourself a common household rubber band. Place it on your wrist and wear it for an entire day. The catch is that every time you have a negative thought you must snap yourself. I’ve actually done this exercise myself and it works! It’s amazing how our negative thoughts can become so second nature that we don’t even notice them anymore. With this simple exercise you will become immediately aware of your negative thoughts, and thus able to quickly correct them with a simple thought of “Stop!” after which you can replace the negative thought with a powerful and positive one!

We all know that negative thinking only brings about more of the same. The question becomes, “How much stinkin’ thinkin’ will you allow in your life?” Make the choice today to change your negative social media ways and inspire others in the process. Who knows, the life you change most may be your own!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” ~W. Clement Stone


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Soulspring Groups' "Soul-spiration" Newsletter Named Finalist in "Next Top Newsletter" Contest


Isn’t that great news? We couldn’t be more excited! Winning the Next Top Newsletter Contest would allow us to inspire even more women and the possibility makes us giddy! Imagine a planet where every woman knows their worth and has the strength and courage to pursue their passions, achieve their goals, and make changes in their communities that ripple around the world! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? But what will it take to make it possible?

We need your votes!

While “Soul-spiration” has made the list of top 20 finalists, we haven’t won yet! The winners will be chosen on August 2. Would you please take a moment right now to vote for us by clicking on the link below, scrolling down to the 2nd comment/post, and clicking on the “thumbs up” icon next to our names?






And if we can ask just one more tiny favor…Would you please share this request with everyone you know and ask that they do the same! It takes just a moment but would mean so much to us.

We are so excited to have “Soul-spiration” recognized from among so many entries! Thank you in advance for your support and votes!

Kim, Jenny and Becky,
The Soul Sisters


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Empower Yourself Through Life-Long Learning


Quite often my kids comment about how they can't wait until they are done with school. I remember feeling that way, not wanting to be in the classrooms, doing the homework, taking the tests, etc. I had had enough and was ready to move on to the next step and get out into the world where we didn't need to learn anymore. Oh, but how wrong I was. How boring life would be and how short we would fall from our full potential if we stopped learning.

Learning is the one thing that we have the ability to continue doing no matter our age, financial position, or employment status. When we dig deep into those areas that interest us we gain not only knowledge, but also self confidence and power. Just by being avidly inquisitive and curious you keep your brain alive and open to receiving an abundant amount of information. Are you a life-long student?

You can never run out of new things to learn. The ways are simple. Read books and articles about those areas and topics that interest you. Surround yourself with intellectual people, strike up conversations and ask questions, visit points of interest and historical sites, start or join a Soulspring Group where you can begin the process of teaching and inspiring others with your life experiences and in turn learn from other women.

The subject of learning is a life-long course. It isn't just the reading, writing, algebra, and chemistry. It's as simple as finding the little interesting nuggets in our everyday life that we didn't already know.

Scratch more than just the surface and you'll uncover a whole world of new found interests, hobbies, and talents waiting to help you become who you were meant to be.

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life." Henry L. Dohertye


Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Newest Trend in Women’s Empowerment: Host a Party for Personal Development


Let’s face it ladies, we all love a party! We have parties for jewelry, parties for skincare, and parties for no other reason than to just be together. But, what if you could have a party to fulfill a greater purpose?

Imagine gathering together with a few of your closest friends to explore an interesting topic…throw in some deep conversation, a little time for some personal reflection, maybe a tasty treat or two? Now that’s what we call an Empowerment Party!

We’re sure the concept of self-improvement is nothing new to you; you’ve probably been involved in various training programs at work. But when was the last time you focused your efforts on improving yourself in an area that was important to you and your personal life? Topics like positive mental attitude, service, and time management take on a whole new meaning when approached from a vantage point outside of the workplace.

Now, as you consider taking workplace training from behind the confines of work and applying the concept to your personal life, it may cross your mind that there are a few missing ingredients; a trainer, a topic, and training materials.

Never fear, Soulspring has got you covered! Many of our Soulspring Groups use our tele-class events as another reason to join together to make a positive change in their lives. This is one opportunity however, that isn't limited to our Soulspring Group members alone!

We invite all women to hold their own Empowerment Parties in conjunction with any of our free Tele-class Training Events. Gather your friends, sisters, mothers, and daughters together to learn about a subject of special interest to women such as busyness and overwhelm, limiting beliefs, and many more. You just need a telephone with speaker phone capabilities and long-distance access.

6 Steps to a Successful Empowerment Party:

1) Your Empowerment Party can be any size, although two to ten is ideal!

2) Invite your friends by sending traditional invitations, or via email, Facebook, or with a phone call. Your invitation might say something like this:

Hi Jane,

How many times have we said, "I'm too busy!"? Soulspring Groups is holding a complimentary tele-class event called “Overwhelm: The New Epidemic”. Visit this link for the full details:
http://www.soulspringgroups.com/index.html#eventlink

They suggest having an Empowerment Party to work through this training class together. I know we could all use some help in this area and doing it as part of a party sounds more fun than tackling it alone. What do you say; you want to join me? Reply back and let me know and I'll get you the details (time, place, etc.). Also, follow the link and get registered for the class so you will receive the training tools. You'll want to print them and bring them with you to the party.


3) Your friends will receive your invitation and can then R.S.V.P. Since each will be registering for the class on their own, they will receive their own confirmation and training materials by email 24 hours prior to the tele-class, which they can then print and bring to the party.

4) Your last step will be getting the final details to the guests who R.S.V.P.'ed (party time, location, etc.). We encourage you to make your Empowerment Party the easiest party you've ever hosted so you and your guests can keep the focus on learning, sharing and having fun! Consider asking each of your guests to bring a snack or refreshment to pass; trust us, everyone will be most happy to contribute.

5) We recommend incorporating some social time prior to the tele-class to give guests time to arrive, catch up on the happenings of the day and enjoy refreshments. When it’s tele-class time, gather your guests around the telephone to enjoy the training and take notes. At the conclusion of the call you can take some time to work through any exercises included in the training materials and discuss the training topic, challenge areas and any “aha” moments attendees experienced! You’ll be amazed at the insight and wisdom you can share with each other! As you bring your party to close, ask each guest to commit to one “change” or “action step” they can take immediately to implement something they learned through the training.

6) Lastly and most importantly, acknowledge your role in inspiring, motivating and empowering the most important women in your life. Who was the person who was most impacted by the experience? Don’t be surprised if that person is you!

An Empowerment Party is similar to the kind of experience our Soulspring Group members experience every month within their groups, but you don’t need to be a member to get in on this secret to personal development! Throw an Empowerment Party of your own and you’ll see firsthand what all the excitement is about and how something as simple as women joining together to support and inspire can cause a ripple effect that reaches so many more!

The Sisters of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
“It’s important to strengthen the ties between women all over the planet and support and encourage each other. Then life in turn will support and encourage us.” ~Louise Hay


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Question your Assumptions

I was watching an episode of Dr. Oz a while back (I love Dr. Oz!) and the topic of the show transitioned to a particular woman who was very unhealthy. They followed her through a typical day which consisted of working a full-time job, taking care of her elderly parents, and doing the stereotypical “wife duties” of shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And on top of all that she picked up a part-time job to work in the evenings to make ends meet due to her husband being unemployed for many months. This woman’s life made mine look like a vacation, that’s for sure! Keeping a lifestyle like this was taking its toll, though. She was overweight, not getting enough sleep, over-stressed, suffering from high blood pressure, and the list went on and on.

They then welcomed to the show a professional life coach. Clearly in this woman’s case, she needed to get her life under control before they could work on the food and exercise areas of health. As the coach listed out the steps to take to get her life back to a healthy level, there was one step that particularly stood out to me: Question your Assumptions.

How often are our “have to’s” really things we have to do? We place certain assumptions on how things are supposed to be; what a good parent should do, what a perfect wife should do, what it takes to be successful. It’s easy to play the blame game when we’re stressed, busy, or unhappy. But in most cases we’re probably assuming things need to be a certain way when they really don’t.

What kind of assumptions are you placing on your life? Try this eye-opening exercise for yourself by listing out everything that is putting a strain on you right now. Then self-debate the possibility that they are not necessary. You might just be amazed at what you discover.

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.” ~Alan Alda

Monday, July 5, 2010

Without a Pre-Plan Checklist you may be Sunk

I learned a very good lesson this past weekend. I learned how important it is to always conduct your “Pre-Plan Checklist”. The purpose of a checklist is to make sure you cover all the imperative steps upfront in order to get to your destination or intended result safely, timely, accurately, with the least amount of setbacks or delays due to conditions that you have control over.

Now I bet you are dying to hear what events brought us to this little talk on pre-plan checklists. We all know that at Soulspring we are all about learning from one another so I’m not at all embarrassed to share this story of mishap with you because I know it will be very educational, and maybe a little entertaining, to many women.

Like I alluded to earlier, my story begins with 3 women, a boat, a busy boat launch and you guessed it, no pre-sail checklist. We pulled into the parking lot of the boat launch and saw trucks and boats parked every which way. We maneuvered off to one side in order to be out of the flow of traffic. As we passed what appeared to be the waiting line, my friend kindly waved at one of the gentleman waiting in line and said, “I guess were behind you?” He was a friendly guy and quickly responded, “Feel free to sneak in ahead of me.” It was like when you are the grocery store and someone with an over flowing cart gestures to you to go ahead because you only have a gallon of milk. But, it didn’t quite make sense in this instance because we all had the same number of boats on our trailers. Not objecting, we quickly made our way toward the launch site.

Everything was going smoothly…. Boat was in the water, the motor was running, we boarded and was just about ready to pull away from the dock when we noticed the boat was taking on water. Stunned we looked at each other and almost simultaneously said, “THE PLUG!” A friendly voice from the end of the dock, obviously talking from experience, instructed that we’d have to reverse our procedure and take the boat back out in order to the drain the water and fit the plug snuggly in the hole. Now picture this, lines of boats ready to go in the water, lines of boats ready to come out of the water, boaters and families antsy to get on with their day on the water, and we were standing in their way. Some folks looked obviously put out, but others shared some comforting words. “We’ve all done it!” “You’ll only forget this once.” And, “Thanks for the reminder!” were just some of the comments.

After a little rocky start my story ends with a spectacular day spent with great friends and a boat that stayed afloat. Completing a checklist is a vital step in any plan, be it a pre-flight, a pre-win, a pre-conquer, a pre-achieve . . . and especially the one I learned first hand, a pre-sail.

PLAN? CHECK!

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
“Developing the plan is actually laying out the sequence of events that have to occur for you to achieve your goal.” ~George L. Morrisey

Friday, July 2, 2010

Independence or Interdependence?

As we head into the "Independence" Day holiday weekend we bring you this inspirational video and make our "Declaration of Interdependence"! Women, when we come together and support each other, there's nothing we can't do! Set yourself free and be all you can be!

OH, THANK GOODNESS VIDEO


Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Kim, Jenny, and Becky,
The Soul Sisters
JEEUSZVU3APV

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Women’s Empowerment Tip: Personal Reflection


Years of stifling our passions and dreams makes us quickly lose touch with who we are and what we truly want for our lives. Prayer, meditation and journal writing are only a few of the many techniques you can use to once again get in touch with your true you.

As our Soulspring Members can attest, journaling exercises are incorporated throughout the entire Soulspring process. Of course each membership includes an Empowerment Journal, which was designed as an accompaniment to the Soulspring Groups Membership Program. We also integrate journaling into each Soulspring Group meeting and encourage regular independent reflection between gatherings too. Creating a record of your “aha moments” is an amazing self-development tool!

If you’re not experienced at journaling it can be an intimidating process for a newbie. The most common challenge we hear is that old question, “I don’t know how to start.”

We’ve been there ourselves and that’s why we have incorporated a wonderful tool into the Member’s area of the Soulspring Group’s website. Members, did you know that with each login you will find a new Soul-Searching Question on the Member’s homepage? We’ve been told time and again the amazing power of the Question, and how it’s the perfect query for the specific challenge you’re facing at the time.

And, if you’re not yet a Soulspring Group’s member you can still take advantage of the Soul-Searching Questions! Subscribe to our Soul-spiration e-newsletter and receive a new Soul-Searching Questions collection in each month’s edition (you can subscribe by entering your email address in the space on the right).

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, or just want to get focused in on your goals, dreams and passions once again, these questions are just the ticket to promote reflection and inspire your journal entries. You’ll soon get to know yourself again!

Kim,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior” ~Christina Baldwin

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tribute to Dad


Here at Soulspring we spend a lot of time and focus on women. Having just celebrated Father’s Day, and with dads on our minds, we’d like to take the time to recognize the men who were instrumental in making us the women we are today; our fathers!

It’s really amazing everything we learn from our fathers. The “maybe not so important stuff” like not taking the first bite of an ice cream cone from the bottom, to the more important work ethic we carry into our first part-time jobs. I would say the most important though, is our fathers joining forces with our mothers to teach us about the kind of person we’d like to grow up to be. While I think back to everything I learned from my dad I can see as an adult how vital these tidbits of wisdom have been. Please allow me to share:

Never pass up the chance to strike up a conversation with a stranger. By observing my dad over the years I’ve come to discover the wonderful things that come from meeting new people. Maybe they have the scoop on the best place to find burgers in town, maybe they’ll offer to take you on a tour of the area, or maybe you’ll just walk away feeling happy that you had a connection with someone. Be friendly; not so difficult of a task, right? So next time you’re pumping gas or standing at the supermarket husking sweet corn, say hi to the person next to you.

Keep your sense of humor. I was blessed to get my Dad’s sense of humor. A little corny at times but we’re always the first and last ones laughing. Always look for the comedy in things and you’ll make life that much more fun.

Use a lot of paper when working through a problem. This originally started out to apply to algebra. My dad would constantly remind us to use a lot of paper and lay out the equation and our figuring in a neat and organized manner. But what about using this idea for all problems in life? Sit down and write your problem out…and use a lot of paper.

Never pass up an opportunity because of fear. I can think back to more than a few fun experiences we got to do all because Dad wasn’t afraid to go for it. When I feel myself sinking into fear I sometimes ask myself, “what would Dad do?” And more than likely the answer is, “he would have gone for it!”

Here’s to all the dads out there (especially our dad):
Thank you for all your love, support, and wisdom throughout the years. Thank you for raising such happy and empowered daughters. We love you and are so very blessed!

Becky,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
"The father who would taste the essence of his fatherhood must turn back from the plane of his experience, take with him the fruits of his journey and begin again beside his child, marching step by step over the same old road.” ~Angelo Patri


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Who Are "They", Anyway?


Several weeks ago I was offering some assistance to someone in the office. She had several different copying projects to do and I noticed she was adding an unnecessary step to her task. I asked her if anyone had ever shown her this simple trick that would allow her to finish her job in half the time. She looked at me in horror and said, “They said I can’t do it that way.” I inquired who “they” were. She simply said, “I don’t know, but that’s what “they” said.” I reassured her that it is perfectly safe to rearrange her projects and the end result would be the same, but she would complete her assignment in half the time. She seemed satisfied and finished her project in short order.

I thought about that conversation several times since then and wondered who “they” were. Obviously, “they” had their information wrong about the use of the copy machine. I needed to get to the bottom of who “they” were and set the record straight. Wait a minute, who named me the copy machine police? I decided to leave well enough alone and didn’t track them down, but I did come to realize the incredible power that “they” had. It really goes so much further than the proper use of copy machine.

How many times do we listen to the “they’s” in our lives? We don’t bother to question what “they” say because apparently “they” know best. How many times do we give in on something we think is important because “they” say we can’t do anything to fix it anyway? How many opportunities do we let slip through our fingers because “they” say it’s a waste of time? How many dreams have we set aside because “they” say it’s not worth it? How many goals do we give up on because “they” say they are not possible?

Who are these unidentified folks in your life? They may think they are the copy machine experts, but they certainly aren’t the experts in your own life. Fortunately, only you can have that job!

Jenny,
Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
"The greatest revenge is to accomplish what others say you cannot do." ~Unknown