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, April 25, 2010

YOU: The Designer of Your Life

Each year in April, Soulspring Groups has the privilege of sponsoring a fabulous women’s event, which honors the contributions of Administrative Professionals in the southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin areas. Nearly 200 women gather at the Red Wing Women's Colloquium to celebrate and acknowledge the efforts of these office heroes. Let’s face it; many a business would close their doors were it not for the dedication of their administrative staff!

One contribution Soulspring makes to the event is overseeing the “lively” fashion show. It’s been a tradition for nearly as long as the event has been taking place--next year will be number twenty-five! Being Soulspring, we view this as not just another luncheon and award ceremony. No, to us this event is an opportunity to inspire and empower women from all occupations and backgrounds!

But how do you incorporate an inspiring message of empowerment into talk of fashion trends and the newest spring colors? It’s a challenge we’re happy to tackle head-on, and to be honest, we need only take our inspiration from you.

When we meet you at events and chat with you online, references to your hectic and busy schedules always creep into the conversation. And we can relate! Life gets crazy-busy sometimes, especially for women…balancing work and family, and then you toss your own dreams and goals on the pile and you’ve got a mountain of obligations and deadlines to climb every day! It’s easy to forget who’s running this show.

Well, when all is said and done, there’s one place where you still call the shots! You are the Queen of your Closet, and even though you wear a lot of hats, you’re still first and foremost the designer of your life, which we thought was the perfect message and theme for this year’s show!

And a fun show it was; an opportunity for local merchants to show off their merchandise and amateur models to shine in the spotlight. We had fun, the models had fun, and the audience had fun. Yet we hope that we inspired more…

There’s no getting away from the fact that you are the designer of your life. You’re the one who coordinates the pieces and adds the bling. Whatever the look or feel you want for your life, you’re the only one who can make it happen.

When you get up tomorrow morning and apply your makeup, when you dry and style your hair, when you open those closet doors to pick your outfit for the day, remember these aren’t just your clothes, makeup, and hair! No, these are your tools…just like your dreams, passions, goals, and ambitions are your tools. These are the tools you use to design your life.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page.” ~Mark Houlahan

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wisdom from a Four Year Old

My four year old daughter added a new word to her vocabulary last week. The word “ruined”. If her Playdoh colors get mixed – it’s ruined. If she spills on her shirt – it’s ruined. If she breaks a crayon – it’s ruined. At first I was appalled at my daughter’s use of such a negative word, but then I noticed how she was reacting to all these “terrible” events in her life. After every dramatic “Ooohhhh, mommy, it’s all ruined!” I saw that she would just move on like it was no big deal – as if to say, “Oh well.”

What a wonderful lesson! How often in life do we get upset over the “ruined” things that don’t really matter? Just think how different our days could be if we adopted the “Oh well” reaction?

If you oversleep in the morning, “Oh well.” If you get stuck in traffic, “Oh well.” If you burn supper, “Oh well.” Instead of allowing yourself to stay in the downward spiral, say to yourself, “Oh well”, and move on. You’ll be glad you did!

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

Monday, April 12, 2010

What's in a Name?

I spent the last week putting the finishing touches on a major fundraising event for my daughter’s school. Several months of planning, decorating, creating, and organizing came down to this last Saturday night. This was the 3rd year of throwing such a large affair. An incredible amount of work goes into this evening, but to see the final outcome makes it all worth the effort.

The past year’s events hold memories of sold out tickets, amazing donations, and incredible amounts of money, all being given in support of this small school. This year we exceeded our expectations yet again, we had a nearly sell-out crowd and amazing donations as well, but it was something else that will be forever etched in my memory from this year’s Gala.

Every year the students prepare some sort of small craft project, which is then sold as part of the silent auction. This year my daughter’s class assembled and painted small bird houses. These cute wooden crafts were exactly what one would expect from a group of 4th graders; all bright and colorful, each one resembling the personality of the child who painted it.

It was half-way through the silent auction when my mother-in-law was out-bid on Ellie’s birdhouse. She checked with my husband and my father-in-law but no one possessed the mysterious bid number. My father-in-law took another spin around the silent auction room and placed another bid for Ellie’s birdhouse. A few minutes later he returned only to find out that the mysterious bidder once again out bid a family member! We had to get to the bottom of who this mystery man or woman was!

My father-in-law upped the bid once more and hung out a bit to get a visual of who this person was. He stepped closer to the women as she once again placed another bid for Ellie’s bird house. He reached over to place his next bid on the sheet only to be addressed by the women in a kidding manner, “Don’t you out bid me again!”

Finally he was going to get to the bottom of whom this person was and why she would want such a “unique” looking birdhouse made by his granddaughter. He explained that it was his granddaughter’s birdhouse, and then she responded, “I lost my daughter when she was young – her name was Ellie, too!” After that interaction she resisted anymore bidding and Grandpa was able to take the birdhouse home. But the stranger’s words stayed with him, not surprisingly we were all deeply moved by what she had said.

Grandpa and Grandma contacted me this morning to see if Ellie would mind making them another birdhouse. It didn’t take me long to figure out what they were planning to do. They informed me that they have the birdhouse from the auction packaged up along with a picture of our Ellie and a note. It will go in the mail first thing in the morning to the woman who holds tight to her daughter’s name and memory.

Sister of Soul

Soul-spiration of the Week:
“Life gives us brief moments with another...but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a life time...” ~Author unknown

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Squash Adventure

I’m not ashamed to admit that I like food. In fact, there are very few foods I won’t eat. I’m not a fan of melons and just within the last few years tomatoes, which used to be a favorite, don’t taste quite the same to me. Then there are the foods I’ve despised since childhood: lima beans and squash.

Supposedly squash tastes like “candy”, or so my parents always said. Hmmm, really? I never got that. It wasn’t just the taste; the texture was a little grainy and, how can I say…fiberous? And just seeing that orangish-golden color made me gag just a bit. Yes, squash was hands-down my least favorite food.

But something happened this weekend. I ate squash! Yes, and not only did I eat it, but I liked it too! Who knew?

My husband and I escaped over Easter weekend for some much needed “together-time”. He’s recently adopted a healthier way of eating, which includes eliminating gluten from the menu. If you’ve never considered it before, let me just say that gluten comes from wheat and many other grains, and wheat and grains are a pretty common staple for the American diet. Of course the typical breads, pastries, pastas, and cakes, all contain gluten, not to mention many sauces, gravies, soups, and the like. Even though we know the most obvious hiding places for gluten, we’re still often surprised. The rule is that if we didn’t prepare the food ourselves, we ask.

So it was on Saturday afternoon, after a wine-tasting at Chateau St. Croix, when we decide to head to St. Croix Falls for a bite at Grecco’s. They have a very eclectic menu, all freshly prepared foods; surely we would find something wonderfully (and gluten-free) there!?

Perusing the menu, everything sounded amazing, and was served on bread or thickened with flour. We asked our waitress about gluten-free options and she checked with the chef. As it turned out the chicken meatball appetizer was prepared without flour or breadcrumbs and had been a favorite among the patrons this weekend. The only problem, it was served on a layer of creamed squash. Chuck’s eyes lit up and I knew I couldn’t poo-poo the only thing on the menu that fit with his way of eating, so we ordered.

I figured I could just scrape off the squash part, but when the plate arrived my hopes were dashed. Instead of a mound of squash, like I envisioned, the meatballs were in a puddle of golden soup. It was a beautiful presentation however, and the aroma was pleasing too, and so I decided to give it a try.

The chicken was tender and juicy, perfectly seasoned. And, the squash? Creamy…smooth…buttery…delicious!

Yes, I ate the squash and I liked it. While not a death-defying feat, I felt proud for having taken the risk. Had I stuck to my childhood belief, that squash was the most despising of vegetables, I never would have experienced that tasty adventure!

And that’s when it hit me…what other childhood beliefs am I still allowing to hold me back from experiencing life to the max? I think it’s time to challenge those long-standing beliefs and re-evaluate their truth for my life. Are they beliefs of a young, insecure child, or the beliefs of a confident, empowered, adventurous woman? I get excited just thinking of the new adventures that could be in store!

Umm, I don’t think I’m quite ready for the lima beans though.

Sister of Soul
Soulspiration of the Week:
“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as you can change your beliefs.” ~Maxwell Maltz