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, May 29, 2011

New Website Offers Women Inspiration and Community

There’s a new website in town…perhaps you’ve heard of it? We’ve often said there’s nothing like a woman on a mission and The Letter W Online, launched earlier this month by creator/editor Shalena Janis, is yet another example of this.

Despite the “what ifs” and doubts within her own head, Shalena made a commitment to a long-time dream, reached out to area writers for support, and launched what is proving to be a thriving and growing online women’s community; a place where one can sit down in the comfort of their home (or convenience of a computer, anytime and anywhere) and take time for themselves to learn, become inspired and spark an idea or two to contribute, not only to the website, but also to their community.

The Letter W Online is essentially a site for women by women. Stories feature local women from all walks of life. Other content includes informational items with a local flair and focus. New content will be added to the site several times weekly and no matter which day of the week you visit, you are sure to find something that will make you laugh, pull on your heart strings, or move you to the point where yourl feel compelled to contribute to the site through a forum, e-mail or phone call.

And if you’re a local writer, The Letter W Online is always looking for contributors to submit content or inquire about a story assignment, making the dream of getting your written works in front of a local female audience within reach!

Soulspring Groups is excited to be a part of this active and growing community. Too often we see women putting their passions, goals and dreams aside because they don’t believe their passions are important, their goals are possible to achieve, and that they themselves are worthy of success. That’s why we’re so enthusiastic about his venture and the premise behind it.

We’ll be sharing our message of self-empowerment and inspiring women throughout the area to dust off those long-ago forgotten dreams, realize once and for all that they are stronger than they think, and that with commitment, focus and the right support network it is possible to bring them to reality, just as Shalena did with The Letter W Online.

Visit The Letter W Online today to see what’s new, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook so you can see the latest new content and features being launched via your Facebook newsfeed.

The Soul Sisters
Soulspiration of the Week:
“There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~Nelson Mandela

Sunday, May 22, 2011

From the Perspective of a Dandelion

One of my earliest memories was when I was in preschool at the age of 4. It was May Day and as part of the celebration we transformed cardboard milk containers magically into the most beautiful flower baskets you’ve ever seen. Before our moms came to pick us up that day we filled our baskets full with blooms picked from the millions of dandelions in the backyard of the school. We all left with bunches and bunches of the most fabulous yellow flowers. I’m sure our moms were thrilled.

I’ve always loved dandelions. You have to admit that it’s kinda nice to see that first pop of bright color every spring. And when you come across a whole field of the vibrant yellow flowers, you can’t help but smile! They’re just so cheerful! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention how fun they are when they turn to white puffballs! What kid (and sometimes even adult) doesn’t love to blow the dandelion wisps? I’ve always had the feeling that those tiny seeds carry some sort of magic with them as they take to the wind.

So, yes, I really do enjoy dandelions.

I have to keep my opinion of dandelions rather quiet from my husband though. He puts hours into removing the “weed” from our lawn. He (along with many, many others) absolutely despises dandelions. Where I see them as cheerful and pretty, most see them as a nuisance and are frustrated by their heartiness. They pre-treat early spring, trying to cut the blooms off at the pass. Then, when that’s not successful, they spray each individual plant after they show their ugly head. It’s nearly impossible to stay ahead of them. And then of course, a different line of defense is necessary if they take up residence in your flower garden. Spraying would most definitely kill all the legitimate flowers growing there, so this is when it’s necessary to find that really sharp weed digger tool and dig those little monsters up from the root ball.

So, yes, most people hate dandelions.

Perspective is an amazing thing, isn’t it? An identical object, in this case a dandelion, can be beautiful to one person and a nuisance to another. And so it goes with anything in life: a situation, a circumstance, a daily occurrence. While some may look at them as bad, there are always others who would look at them as good. So what’s the difference? It all comes down to a decision. Because of my own perception, I’ve chosen to like dandelions. And we all have that same power over everything. So today, instead of deciding to dislike the same old things, choose to look at the silver lining, and find something to like instead. You’ll have a better day because of it!

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” ~Talmud

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Empowerment Tip: You Don’t have to be a Rebel to Break the Rules

I’m a rule follower by nature. I tend to wait my turn, be on time, wear my seatbelt, come to a complete stop at a stop sign, return books to the library by the due date, and refrain from drinking before noon (not that afternoon cocktails are usual for me either).

But lately I’ve been thinking about rules. I can see some are important for our safety, and others are important for civil order; but I’ve come to realize that we accept some rules without a second thought. Could we benefit by taking a closer look at our beliefs about rules and rule-breaking?

That might make me a rebel, but I don’t really feel like one. Instead I prefer to be an independent thinker; capable of making up my own mind and setting my own rules for my life. Maybe it’s time for you to think about breaking some rules too? Consider these points…

• Famous rule breakers include Christopher Columbus, our Founding Fathers, Susan B. Anthony, Picasso, and we could go on. How different society would look if they hadn’t had the courage to break a few rules in their day. Instead of inspiring change, they could have chosen to stick with the status quo. For us as women that would mean living on an Earth that’s flat as a pancake, subservient to the king, without the right to vote. Oh, and while the men are out discussing politics and the news of the day over fine scotch and cigars, we’re stuck at home staring at boring art. Doesn’t sound appealing to me.

• Conflict isn’t very becoming of a lady. Women belong at home. Women and children should be seen and not heard. Sounds preposterous in this day and age and yet at one time these unwritten rules were believed and enforced. Makes me wonder…What unwritten rules keep us from speaking our truth today? What would breaking those rules look like?

• Many of the rules we follow today we do to avoid conflict. Nobody likes an argument but it’s healthy to express your opinion! Remember, you don’t have to agree with everyone, and it isn’t necessary to have a winner in every debate. Everything doesn’t have to be open for discussion, does it? If you believe in it, I say break the rules!

• Sometimes it’s our own rules that keep us hostage. What self-enforced rules are keeping you from your true power? Take some time to question your perceptions, assumptions and beliefs.

• Just because it’s a rule doesn’t make it right. If you believe you need permission to break the rules, please do so anytime your highest values are supported by doing so! I’ll back you all the way!

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Life is short; break the rules...Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile." ~Unknown

Sunday, May 8, 2011

With an Ageless Attitude You're Never Too Old

It seems as though there’s a common fear among women as they age; that they have an expiration date and once they reach a certain point in time they’re too old. Too old to try new things, go on grand adventures, start new careers, or live the life of their dreams.

We’ve never really bought into that way of thinking. Perhaps it’s because within our midst is a real-life example that debunks this limiting belief; our own mother, Rita.

Shortly after Mom turned 60, she and Dad sold their farmstead of 30 years, got rid of most of their belongings, purchased a massive RV and hit the road with nothing but a compass and possibility ahead of them. When they announced their plans it wasn’t hard to imagine Dad loving life on the road, but Mom? She was more of the stay at home and tend to the garden type. But, it’s been over 6 years now and together they’ve had enough adventures to prove to anyone that you’re never too old.

While they still summer back at the farm, the rest of the year is spent touring the highways and byways of the country and volunteering for the Texas State Park System. They’ve been east and been west, visited what we believe to be a record number of wineries, walked battlefields and toured mansions, and never leave a state without stopping at the Presidential library, if there is one. Some of their escapades make us extremely nervous and we remind them that we’re not made of money and should they be kidnapped while exploring those remote towns in Mexico, we’re not quite sure how we would pay?!

Their State Park stories make us a bit anxious too. The long hikes on rough terrain setting trail markers is very physically demanding, even for the much younger park rangers, let alone a couple of 60 something gringos. Still, they send back pictures of the group, park rangers exhausted and resting in the shade, Mom and Dad in wide brimmed hats, spry as always and smiling from ear to ear.

You can image our surprise when Mom announced she and Dad would be taking a 4 day tour across the Rio Grande into the mountains of Mexico, on mules no less. Mules? Yes, the extremely steep and rough terrain was too much for most horses. Mules could navigate the rugged country much better. And so they went, and rode, and had a great time. We picture their adventure to be a little like Billy Crystal and the gang in City Slickers. They say it was a full trip, riding up to 25 miles a day, but that they hope to do it again, sore butts and all.

And who can forget white water rafting on the Rio Grande. The white water was no match for Mom. Five hours was spent navigating the river along with a guide. The areas of rapids were a little threatening to them at first but it didn’t take very long at all before they had the hang of it. They also were able to experience rafting through multiple narrow gorges, too. And as they glanced up they couldn’t help but notice stranded vehicles perched along the side wall. Cars that had driven off the road up above and it was too dangerous for any rescue personnel to pull them back out, so there they stayed. Yikes is right!

But the adventure to beat all, and one that makes us wish we could implant a tracking device into each, consisted of them setting out through the Texas dessert to look for ancient hieroglyphics. They had heard about them from a park ranger and listened intently as he described the location. On their next day off they packed up their Jeep and set out across unkempt roads (later we would learn a cactus spine had actually lodged into the tire of their vehicle but they made it all the way back to Wisconsin before the tire began to leak!).

After hours of driving they finally arrived at their destination, a sheer rocky cliff. Not exactly as they envisioned, and not prepared with any type of climbing gear, they stopped for a moment to question if they should really continue.

Well, since others had done it, they certainly could too and so they set out up the rock face. Carefully climbing but enjoying every minute. Upon reaching the top and discovering the ancient drawings, they decided their climb was definitely worth it; a view of untouched history. The hieroglyphics were amazingly preserved within the recesses of the cliff. And the view of the mountainous dessert, well that was amazing too.

But then came the even more difficult task of climbing down. Thankfully they made it back safe and sound and reported back to the park ranger about how amazing their day was. With wide eyes the ranger replied, “What?! No one climbs up there! How did you even make it?!”

Thanks for being such a positive influence on us Mom! We may not be quite as adventurous as you, but we haven’t given up on ourselves yet! You’ve proven to us that there’s plenty of time for wild escapades and thrilling explorations. But more important is this lesson: Age isn’t a number, and it has nothing to do with how you feel…it’s more of an attitude and yours is ageless. We love you!

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~C.S. Lewis

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Growing Grass the Wrong Way

My husband and I bought our home 10 years ago this November. We were 20 and 23. Uffta, way too young to take on such responsibility! Thank goodness my husband and I had the perfect mix of patience, love, and common sense to see us through!

When we bought our house it was newly built but had been left vacant for over a year. It was exciting to have a “new” house but the yard definitely needed some TLC. Grass was never planted and the lawn was literally a yard full of waist-high weeds. It was November and there was no growing season left for the year. The only option we had was to cut everything down to the ground and tackle the grass situation the following spring.

Five months later my husband decided it was time. Finally some green grass was in the works! The first step was loosening up the dirt and since we had no prior knowledge of anything of this magnitude (we had only cut the stuff before), we relied on our common sense and went to work. Brad put me on a lawn mower and told me to drive in circles while I pulled a “drag”, weighted by a concrete block, behind me. So that’s what I did – round and round. The ground was exceptionally hard but to me that only meant more trips around.

Being that this was spring, the neighbors were making their first appearances outside after their winter hibernating and we were seeing a lot of them for the first time. As I was busy attempting to bust up the dirt, a neighbor gentlemen stopped me, literally, and said, “You’re doing that completely wrong – you’re going to have to get a tiller in here and till up that ground if you ever want anything to grow.”

I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that someone would actually stop to point out that they thought we were doing something “wrong”. I drove to the backyard where Brad was working and told him. He said, “Well, get back up there…now we really need this grass to grow.”

The grass did grow that year in our little plot of land. And all these years later we have one of the best looking lawns on the block! I think back to that man anytime I find myself labeling someone’s process as “wrong”. It’s easy to slip into that “controller” role but just because I would do something differently than someone else, doesn’t make their way any less right. And most of the time their way works out just fine. There’s more than one path to the same destination. It was an important life lesson…There is no sense in spreading negativity by pushing our mistaken ideals on other people.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
"When you know you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut." ~Will Rogers