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 29, 2012

Spring Cleaning and Clearing Life’s Clutter

In last week’s Soul Sisters Blog post we shared about how you can lose 10 pound fast by tackling the clutter in your life.  Timing couldn’t have been better; I don’t know about you but we’re in the midst of our spring cleaning!

So why are your Soul Sisters harping on you about your piles?  Clutter wreaks havoc on personal empowerment!  It makes life more chaotic, making us feel overwhelmed and restricted.  These feelings can lead into depression, guilt and loss of esteem and confidence.  Yes, clutter IS NOT a power-booster.

But one of the hardest things about clutter, which ironically also often leads us to fall into a cycle of chaos, is the question of where to begin.  In the above video, Ellen offers some tips: “Ellen Degeneres' Spring Cleaning Tips For People Who Aren't As Good At Spring Cleaning As I Am".  While it’s always best to start any difficult chore with a laugh, we think our tips might be a little more practical.  You decide...

Where to Begin
  • Understand what clutter is.  Remember, if you do not love it or use it, it's clutter.
  • Approach de-cluttering your environment with the right intention; as you clear the old, you make room for the new to come into your life.
  • Start small, with just one drawer, one closet, or one room.  See how it makes you feel, and how you begin to open up emotionally, as a result.
  • Give yourself a set amount of time and a deadline.  You would be surprised by how much you can accomplish in just an hour of focused de-cluttering time.
  • Sort things into categories (Keep, toss, donate, sell, etc.). 
  • Bless each item as it's put into its appropriate category.
  • Follow through with putting away, tossing, donating or selling each item within a week's time to avoid it turning into another kind of clutter!
  • If you find yourself struggling with parting with your things, don't be afraid to seek out the help of an expert.

Releasing your clutter allows you to let go of old life patterns that no longer serve you, and create new and open pathways for fresh opportunities and prosperity to come into your life.  Without the clutter, these new experiences can support who you are now and the woman you are becoming.

Clearing the clutter allows you to loosen the hold material things have on you, opens your energy and sparks a sense of freedom!

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"Anyone who has ever cleaned out a closet and taken stuff to Goodwill knows how liberating it is.   You feel lighter, your mind feels clearer."  ~Cecile Andrews

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Lose 10 Pounds Fast

How would you like to lose 10 pounds fast?  I know, silly question; who wouldn't?

The fact is we can lose 10 pounds (and more) by clearing the clutter from our lives.  Clutter is anything unfinished, unused, unresolved, tolerated and disorganized.  In today's material world it can add up fast and create an emotional and energy block that affects our lives in a variety of ways.  Clutter can impact our ability to create a life of prosperity and well-being, and affect our health, relationships, creativity, spirituality and more.

Why is it that we hold on to all our "stuff" so tightly?  The most common reason is deep seated in "fear", mainly fear of the future.  You may even be thinking, as you read this article, that you couldn't possibly get rid of this or that because you might need it someday (even though you haven't used it in years).  This is precisely the fear of which we are speaking.  Holding on to material things that we haven't used for a long time, because we may need them someday, is a negative affirmation; a lack of faith and trust that you will be provided for in the future.  This belief is actually creating that which you are most afraid; a future of lack and scarcity.

The first step to de-cluttering your environment, is to get to the core reasons why letting go is so difficult.  Contemplate the following beliefs about clutter and ask yourself what your "stuff" represents to you:
  • Security: My stuff keeps me secure and makes me feel safe.
  • Habit or Inherited Pattern: This is how it's always been.  This is how my parents (grandparents) did it.
  • Evidence: My things are reminders of how I used to be, what I once was, how great things were then, etc.
  • Unfulfilled Dreams: I need these things for my future dream, of which I haven't yet accomplished but might still do, someday.
  • Sentiment: These items represent memories and better times.
  • Represents Self-esteem: My things make me somebody and show I'm important.
  • Responsibility: People (family) are counting on me to watch over this stuff and won't like it if I get rid of it.
  • Worth: My stuff might be worth something someday.
  • Environment: Throwing it away is bad for the environment.
Do any of these resonate with you?  We all have reasons for holding on to our stuff, and a few sentimental pieces tucked in a drawer to show the grandkids is harmless.  However, when the clutter gets out of hand and turns into messes, piles, disorganization, and the associated feelings and emotions that come along with it, it's time to get clearing.  After all, do you own your stuff, or does it own you? 

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
"A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”  ~ Victoria Moran

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soul Sisters’ Book Review: Kristine Carlson’s “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms”

Through the power of social media, and a series of coincidences (if that’s indeed what they were), we were fortunate to connect with Kristine Carlson, wife of the late Richard Carlson who authored the best selling “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” books, three of which were co-authored by Kristina herself.  Her book, “Heartbroken Open: A Memoir Through Loss to Self-Discovery” has helped many cope with the grief of losing a loved one, members of our own families included.

So when we heard she was continuing the tradition of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” and writing a book for moms, we waited and followed with intense anticipation.  As followers of Kristine’s Facebook page we were continuously amazed by her deep, reflective, spiritual approach to life and living.  Authentic and vulnerable, she shares openly about the triumphs and tragedies of her life, spreading faith, hope, wisdom, and humor along the way.

We were fortunate to receive a pre-release copy of “Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms: Simple Ways to Stress Less and Enjoy Your Family More” and immediately knew it was a winner; hundreds of anecdotes, lessons, wisdom and advice written specifically for moms by a mom.  Nearly every aspect of mothering and family are addressed in the book in some fashion – from self-care and taking care of yourself first, to heavier topics such as the emotional safety of our children, to the more practical topics of living “green” and teaching your children financial responsibility.  What we especially love about the book is how Kristin broke it down into 100 short chapters…clearly as a mom, she understands that time is sometimes only available in small chunks.  “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms” is easy to pick up and read whenever you get a free moment.  Plus, all the advice is simple enough that it can be easily applied to our lives immediately.  Brilliant!

True to the title, Kristine puts all anxiety, stress and pressure about motherhood into perspective.  Throughout the book important themes repeat: It’s all okay, it’s acceptable and necessary to take time for yourself, perfection is over-rated, you can seek out help from others, etc.  As moms we tend to visualize the picture of that perfect mom in our heads, and we are constantly striving for that…it’s unattainable and leaves us feeling burned out, unhappy, and feeling as though we have failed. 

Finally, the significance, magnitude and understanding of what it takes to excel at motherhood has been eloquently translated into written-word.  It’s easy for mom’s to feel underappreciated by society, as was exemplified by the back-and-forth after Hilary Rosen’s comments in regards to Ann Romney’s decision to raise her five boys as a full-time mom.  It’s gratifying to see it in writing.  Moms are the heart of the home, the leader of the family, the orchestrator of the schedules…finally someone noticed!

But is motherhood everything?  As Kristine states, “I’m still devoted to family, but I am not confined by that role.”  Many mothers get themselves into trouble by placing their entire focus on family.  They are doing themselves a disservice by underestimating the importance of their personal goals, interests and passions.  Had Kristine subscribed to that philosophy, we wouldn’t have this amazing guidebook to a more relaxed form of motherhood. 

Early on in the book, Kristine shared the oxygen mask/flight attendant metaphor.  Anyone who’s flown on an airplane and has listened to the flight attendant’s instructions will relate; “In the unlikely event that air pressure drops within the aircraft, oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling.” You’re then instructed to put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others, even your children.  The logic is clear; if you’ve passed out from a lack of oxygen, you’re of no use to the people around you.  This sets the stage for the rest of the book.  Over and over again she reiterated that we, as moms, need to feed ourselves first – create a special place for ourselves in our homes, take a “mommy time-out”, plan “rest” time for ourselves each week, etc.

As women, we often seek out the advice of other women.  Here, we are receiving the advice and wisdom of one of the most understanding and grounded moms out there.  You can feel her love, energy, and sensible style with each turn of the page.  She has such an amazing soul and even if a fraction of her advice and wisdom rubs off on us, reading this book and expanding our beliefs about motherhood will make us less stressed moms raising happier kids.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms” is for every mother.  The young moms will find the advice helpful in getting off on the right motherhood foot; asking for help when it’s needed, not holding yourself to crazy standards, and more.  For more experienced moms, it will remind them of how much of a feat being a mom really is and that they should be proud of their accomplishment.  It will also give them permission to reassess how things are running in the home and inspire them to make changes where they feel it’s needed. Practical parenting advice such as taking a breath before responding to a child who is testing your patience is a great reminder to all of us. 

Pick up a copy and learn for yourself how you can be happier and stress less as a mom.  Still not convinced?  Kristine had graciously allowed us to share an excerpt from the book, a portion of the chapter, “Empowered Mom”, as the feature article in our May Soulspiration e-newsletter.  We couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate Mother’s Day for our subscribers.  If you’ve yet to join our email list, please sign up today (and claim your free e-book, “50 Reasons to Believe in You”).

The Soul Sisters

Soulspiration of the Week:
Join the community of Don't Sweat Moms on Facebook!  Declare that you're a "Don't Sweat it Mom" here!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Who Do You Think You’re Fooling?

It’s the first day of April, and that day marks a rather strange holiday called April Fool’s Day; do you know it?  In the U.S., it’s a day to play practical jokes and pranks on others.  I guess there’s really no harm in a little innocent deception, as long as it’s limited to just one day.  It’s the other 364 days of the year that have us concerned.

Oh, don’t pretend you don’t know what we’re talking about...You can’t fool us!  There’s a lot of trickery going on all right, and unfortunately, we’re our own greatest jokester and the pranks are far less innocent because we’re playing with our lives.  The deceit can take on many forms including blaming, avoiding and tolerating, and it seems to be motivated by a single emotion, and that emotion is fear.

Before you write off this post as just another April Fool’s joke, are you fooling yourself with any of these?

It’s not my fault: That may be true, but it’s not anyone else’s fault either.  Aside from an act of God, we’re responsible for our personal circumstances.

Change is hard: Change is a choice.  How easy or how hard it is depends on our perspective.

I can’t: How often have you uttered this untruth?  Let’s get real here; it’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.

It’s not really that important: Oh really?  Well, if it’s not that important, why does your heart leap with joy when you think about it?  Why have you been dreaming about it since childhood?  Why does a life without it make your heart break? 

It’s just how it is: It may be the current situation, but you have the power to take action and transform your reality into something better.

That’s selfish: It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about our energy, our time, or our money, if we’re depleted and running on fumes, we’re of little help to anyone.  Want to be the best you for your spouse, your kids, and your workplace?  It’s in everyone’s best interest to tend to your own needs first.

It’s time you start to see through the tricks you’re playing on yourself, step through the fear, and reserve those foolish antics for April Fool’s Day.

Sister of Soul

Soulspiration of the Week:“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we're afraid."  ~Richard Bach