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, January 29, 2012

Womanly Words of Wisdom: 25 Empowering Quotations for Your Life

It’s amazing the comfort that comes from a good quote.  They reassure us that others have been in the same place; physically, emotional, and mentally.  And when only a good quote can help us through a trying time, the right one appears, as if by magic, to inspire and cheer us on.

We are the product of years and years of wisdom from other women.  I can’t think of a better place to find advice, inspiration, support, or motivation than from their wise words.  Below are 25 quotes that offer general thoughts on life.  May the one that you need at this very moment find you…

1. “If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.” ~ Gail Sheehy

2. “Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ~ Betty Smith

3. “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.” ~ Margaret Young

4. “There are two ways of spreading light ... To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton

5. “Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.”  ~ Janet Lane

6. “The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~ Sonya Friedman

7. “The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

8. “You can look at a person's attitude and know what kind of thinking is prevalent in his life... It's better to be positive and wrong than negative and right!” ~ Joyce Meyer

9. “What a wonderful life I've had!  I only wish I'd realized it sooner.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

10. “You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” ~ Erica Jong

11. “We never know how high we are till we are called to rise; And then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the skies.” ~ Emily Dickinson

12. “Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.” ~ Mildred Barthel

13. “Remove those 'I want you to like me' stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good -- on your mirror!” ~ Susan Jeffers

14. “You never find yourself until you face the truth.” ~ Pearl Bailey

15. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” ~ Sally Berger

16. “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.” ~ Anais Nin

17. “Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can - and surely will at times - fail. Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed or risking love, can be terrifying too. I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.” ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers

18. “You can't punish yourself into change. You can't whip yourself into shape. But you can love yourself into well-being.” ~ Susan Skye

19. “It doesn't matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn't matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years -- we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.” ~ Sharon Salzberg

20. “No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.” ~ Barbara de Angelis

21. “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” ~ Margaret Drabble

22. “The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.” ~ Ellen Glasgow

23. “If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.” ~ Mary Engelbreit

24. “Don't be afraid to fail. Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's OK to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing.” ~ Anne Sullivan

25. “I have discovered that patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” ~ Joyce Meyer

The Soul Sisters

Soulpiration of the Week:
“The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation.” ~Isaac D'Israeli

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Living An Empowered Life Requires Asking the Right Questions

Last week’s post referenced an article entitled, “How Far Has Your Bottle Gone?”  Written by Ernest R. Stair, the article tells of a man who put a note in a bottle, asking whoever finds it to send him a letter revealing its destination.  He seals it up and tosses it in the ocean, imagining all the exotic places his bottle would go and all the adventures it would have.  He lived in anticipation, excited to see where the bottle would eventually be found. 

Forty-five years later, he received a note that the bottle had been found...mere yards from the spot where it has originally been thrown it in.

Are there goals in your life that haven’t quite gone the distance?  For most, it’s common to feel disappointment from not accomplishing the great endeavors you dreamed of as a child.  We have hopes of changing the world, traveling to every corner of the globe, being top-dog in our career, saving helpless orphans.  And, when we hit mid-life and haven’t achieved all we set out to do, we feel as though we’ve failed. 

It's an issue many Soulspring Groups members are quite familiar, and if these feelings are common to you, too, then perhaps it’s time to change your way of thinking.  Instead of asking yourself...

  • How much money do I make?
  • How many square feet does my house contain?
  • How will my job title sound at a high school reunion?
  • How many people report to me?
  • How many walls are needed to display my degrees, awards, honors, trophies and tributes?

What if you asked yourself...

  • How many times did I refuse to quit?
  • How many times did I learn from my mistakes?
  • How many times did I make a comeback?
  • How many times did I let somebody else have all the glory?
  • How many times did I take criticism gracefully?
  • How many times did I make someone’s day?

Notice how the first line of questioning has one thing in common; measuring your level of achievement based on other people’s opinions.  The latter set of questions inspires deeper answers.  Instead of basing our accomplishments on the size of your paycheck or the fancy options in your car, these are the true test of real achievement.  They show what is deep down inside, and that’s what matters most.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“It has been said, ‘Accomplishment is socially judged by ill defined criteria so that one has to rely on others to find out how one is doing.’  It is our job to rise above it!” ~ Albert Bandura

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Soul Searching Question: How Far Has Your Bottle Gone?

January marks the beginning of the New Year; that means it’s time for a life review.  Have you accomplished everything you thought you would in the past year?  Are you at the exact point in life you thought you would be?  If your answer is a disappointing “no”, and you suddenly feel a sense of failure sneaking in, wait... 

A Soulspring Groups member shared a wonderful article with us last week, “How Far Has Your Bottle Gone?” from the January 2012 issue of Toastmaster’s magazine.  In the article, author Ernest R. Stair writes about a man who put a note in a bottle.  The note requested that whoever found the bottle send him a letter revealing its destination.  He sealed the note in the bottle, tossed it in the ocean and began to imagine all the exotic places the bottle would go and adventures it would have.  He waited anxiously for word that the bottle had been found; excited to see where it would eventually turn up. 

Forty-five years later, his bottle was found, and he received a note from the finding party.  The bottle was found only several hundred yards from the spot where he had originally thrown it.  What a let-down...a great, big, giant failure; or was it?

While the bottle was found close to its origination there’s nothing to say that it didn’t travel the world before it came back.  Perhaps the bottle thrower was correct, and it traveled to every exotic corner of the world, saw great vistas, and met many hands that threw it back into the water.

Or, maybe the bottle did only travel a few hundred feet before coming back to shore, and spent the remaining 45 years right there on the rocky coast.  Imagine the sights of awe it must have experienced; the sunsets, the sunrises, the family outings, the fishing, the ships, the vacationers, the wildlife.

When taking stock of your life’s accomplishments, it’s inevitable to feel like you’ve had some disappointments.  Do your grandiose ideas of travel, adventure, and changing the world seem a little more out of grasp these days?  If so, perhaps you’re measuring the wrong thing.  Instead of measuring your accomplishments by the final goal, what if you took stock of everything that has happened along the way?  Isn’t that what’s really important anyway?

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:
“You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.” ~Georgia O'Keeffe

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goals to Propel You to a Bigger, Bolder Life

We’re one week in to 2012; how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?

Yes, the New Year holds so much promise and opportunity to set and achieve some pretty amazing things!  Unfortunately, once we’re into January, and back to our daily routines, we often forget about the promise of the New Year and settle back into the mundane.  Well, buckle up because Soulspring Groups is going to take you on an amazing journey this year.

As we go through life it’s easy to fall into a rut – the same routine day in and day out.  What’s the fun in that?  What we need is a jumping off point, a “springboard” to some adventure and excitement!  It seemed to us that a “bucket list” would be an easy and fun way to ensure we’re adding the variety and spice to our lives for which we all yearn, and that is precisely the idea behind Soulspring Groups’ “My Spring Board” project. 

This year we want to see you reaching, learning, and attaining everything you’ve always wanted to be, do and have.  The first thing you’ll want to do is visit our page on Facebook and download your free Spring Board tools from the “Empowerment and Fun” tab (you’ll see the link below our profile image).  Then, follow along on the Soulspring Facebook Page as we share an inspiring “Spring Board” idea every Friday!

Get ready for 52 ideas to help “spring” you into living a bigger, bolder life!  If our suggested idea or activity sparks some interest within you, then add it to your “Spring Board” in the appropriate section; schedule something you would like to do in the summertime under June or July...something you think would be good to do with your family under the Family section.

If you missed the first Spring Board idea for 2012, you can see it here. 

And of course we want you to add your own ideas to the plan!  We’ve included more than 52 spaces for fun activities on this worksheet; plenty of room for your own personal goals.  Remember to stretch and strive for interests that have been long lost, maybe since your childhood!  To help inspire ideas ask yourself the following questions:

  • What dreams did I have as a child (i.e.: ride in a hot-air balloon, blow a bubble gum bubble bigger than my head, etc.)?
  • What have I always been curious about trying (i.e.: firing a gun, spending the night in a lighthouse, milking a cow by hand, etc.)?
  • What have others done that has fascinated me (i.e.: running a marathon, whitewater rafting, writing a book, etc.)?
  • What are the simple things in life that I need to be reminded to do (i.e.: drive around the lake in autumn, watch the sunrise, go on a picnic, etc.)?
  • What have I always wanted to learn (i.e.: knitting, changing a flat tire, learning to make Grandma’s special recipe, etc.)?

Our post each Friday on Facebook will prompt you to revisit this list often (as in weekly!).  When you do, check off your accomplishments, add more ideas, and schedule your next to-do or adventure!  Refer to this tool anytime you’re feeling down or bored; choose a goal and put a plan into action to achieve it!  Heck, make it a family affair!  A sense of accomplishment is one of the best empowerment-builders there is!

We want to stay updated on your accomplishments, both big and small!  Post your latest achievement to our Facebook Wall, referencing “The Spring Board Project” and help to inspire the entire Soulspring community to live big this year!

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."  ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions: What If Your Life Depended on It?

Donna Fountain's Dreams
It’s the first day of 2012 and if you’re like most people you have a long list of resolutions and goals for the new year.  And, if you’re like most people, you won’t even come close to making them a reality and they’ll be long forgotten come February.

This year at Soulspring Groups we’re looking at our goals and dreams a little differently.  We were deeply touched by the story of Donna Fountain, 38, of Brooklyn, NY.  Donna had goals for her life and she took them seriously.  She had them in writing and carried them with her wherever she went.

On her way to work her early Christmas morning shift as a home health attendant at Partners in Care, Donna was struck and killed in a hit and run accident.  The worn piece of paper, on which she had written her bullet-pointed list of dreams, was found at the scene.

Certainly a woman, who had taken the time to put her goals in writing and deliberately carry them with her daily, was extremely dedicated to seeing them through.  Yet, we couldn’t help but wonder what extra steps if any, Donna would have taken, had she been forewarned of her fate.  Would she have done anything differently?  Would she have changed how she allocated her time, her energy, her attention, had she known her dreams had a deadline?

None of us know the exact day or hour of our death; but we know it’s coming at some point.  How differently would you approach your goals if you had a definite deadline?  That’s the kind of focus, energy and enthusiasm we must put into pursuing our passions and achieving our dreams.

Your goals have a deadline; don’t die with your dreams in your pocket.

Thank you, Donna Fountain, for teaching us this important lesson.

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"If there were ever a time to dare, to make a difference, to embark on something worth doing, it is now." ~ Unknown