What do you need to let go of?

(My week in pictures, from clockwise from BL: With Heather Ramsey at her ‘Rewired4Success’ event, Girls Night Out, Positive Fabulous Women event with founder Katia Miller, interview with Rachelle from District 28 and Hangloose Media at their Grand Opening event, the elevator  I got stuck in, Women’s Ellevate Network event at Trump Tower.) 

Last week I was stuck in an elevator. No joke. (notice the photo of the elevator with the caution tape?!? Yeah that happened after my incident!) It’s actually the first time it’s ever happened to me! I felt as though I was in a movie or something. I pressed ‘G,’ thought I landed, and then heard a voice through the abyss saying ‘We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please wait’. Like I had any option!

Now just prior to this event, I was in a great mood. I had decided I would create a new ritual, and take myself out to dinner to celebrate whenever I landed a new opportunity. (And I had 3 last week! More to come in that front… however one includes a ‘Spark your G.E.N.I.U.S.’ Women’s Empowerment Retreat that was just confirmed in Sri Lanka in the Fall!)

So there I am in a nice dress, excited to go to my fave restaurant, in a great mood, and I get stuck in the elevator. Although it wasn’t too long before I got out (got to use the emergency phone and everything) I did experience some panic. I mean, I had to speak with the Emergency person at ThyssenKrupp! I must say she did a great job assuring me they were on the case… but still!

Now I could have let it affect my evening, and alter the fabulous mood I was in. I could have hung onto it. But I didn’t. I chose to let it go. (and then I chose to have a nice glass of wine to calm my nerves.)

What might you need to let go of?

Perhaps my elevator experience wasn’t the clearest example. And yet there are numerous situations, events, happenstances in life that affect us in a way so profound they become a part of us. We allow them to become a part of us. We hang onto them. And sometimes to our detriment.

Sometimes it’s not an event, but a relationship we need to let go of. Sometimes it’s a feeling that is no longer serving us. Or perhaps it’s our attachment to a certain outcome, objective, or result.

It has been said the only way real upset or disappointment occurs is when there are thwarted expectations. So, if we removed the expectation all together, would we also in turn remove any possibility for upset? Perhaps… and yet we’re human. And so removing expectation all together is a tough ask! That being said, letting go of certain things, including expectations, is worth considering.

When you let go of whatever is getting in your way, all you have left is space for possibility. (Click to tweet it out!)

Last week we talked about getting uncomfortable. And it seemed to strike a chord! (Thank you all for your feedback!) And so now that we’re willing to get a little uncomfortable, we have to take the next step in setting ourselves up for success. And one of the ways we can do that is by clearing space in order to forge ahead and blaze a new trail.

So, what do you need to let go of?

That coffee spill that happened this morning?

The upset you felt when your friend forgot your birthday?

That meeting with your boss that didn’t go as planned?

That conversation with your sister?

The perfect date night you had planned?

The client prospect meeting that went awry?

That friendship that is draining you of all of your energy?

Your attachment to perfection?

Your jam-packed schedule?

Your need to be right?

Your need to please?

Your need to say yes?

 

I invite you to take a moment now, to get real, and to look at what you may need to let go of. I guarantee once you do, you’ll feel a while lot lighter. And then yes, what will be left is nothing but space for possibility. To create whatever it is you want. Imagine that?

Go ahead, I dare you! And then I want to hear about it. Leave your comments below :-).

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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P.S. If you haven’t already gotten your tickets yet, two VERY exciting events coming up celebrating International Women’s Day. March 8th, ‘Women’s Day Summit’ and March 11, ‘Make it Happen’ … (and I happen to know 1 of the keynote presenters at each!!!) I’d love to see you there!

It’s time to get uncomfortable.

Living BIG

My week in pictures (L-R): Valentine’s Day happenings (treated myself to a spa day!) then Singles in the City event with founder Laura Bilotta, one of my little Valentines, fun reunion amongst theatre school friends, contestants from my Advanced Toastmasters club (last minute entry and humbled to say I won the Evaluation Contest! Guess they liked my Valentine’s Day pink attire…), beautiful sky while taking a hooky morning to go snowboarding, ‘Live Your Fabulous’ event with Company of Women, keynote speaker Carole Bertuzzi Luciani and I (get this ~ I actually met her 9 years ago while working at lululemon. We shared stories after finding out she was involved in a Breast Cancer fundraiser, and when she said she was a speaker I told her that was my dream job! And now I’m doing it! True story.)

So this week I braved it out and went to see ’50 Shades of Grey.’ Yeah, there were some pretty steamy scenes. And yet I didn’t get as uncomfortable as I thought I might (I think it might have been a bit of a different story for the friend I was with… there may have been a little squirming action going on!) However, it’s not because I don’t know what it’s like to get uncomfy. I totally do.

There are a few different ways one can get uncomfortable.

  • Perhaps your skinnies are feeing a little too tight after indulging in an all-you-can-eat lunch. Yeah, been there done that. And yes, that can get uncomfortable.
  • Maybe you run into an ex while having lunch with your current. And so of course you feel obliged to do the courteous yet totally awkward introduction. Been there done that, too. And yes, it was a tad uncomfortable! (tip: try to avoid the phrase: ‘this is awkward!’)
  • You’ve just had an important business meeting, or gone on a hot date. You think it went really well, and just as you flash yourself a little smile in the mirror congratulating yourself, you are mortified to see a piece of your spinach salad caught in between your front teeth! Okay, so this hasn’t happened to met yet, however pretty sure it’s only a matter of time!

 

So yes, there are lots of situations in which you could easily have every right to feel uncomfortable. However, I want to talk about another type of uncomfortable today.

The type of uncomfortable I want to talk about is the type you feel when you are stretching yourself. When you are playing a bigger game. When you are stepping to the edge of your comfort zone, or questioning where the edge of your comfort zone really is.

Now I’ve talked about the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone before, however I am going to take it one step further.

I’ve had a few coaching conversations this week where I’ve heard people speak about the fact they’re feeling uncomfortable, as if it was a BAD thing.

On the contrary, friends! Feeling uncomfortable is a GOOD thing! Why? Because it means you’re stretching, you’re playing bigger, you’re doing something a little scary. And yes, likely outside of your comfort zone.

Woo hoo! Celebration time!!!

If you’re not going outside of your comfort zone every once in a while, you’re playing too small. ‘Cause it’s outside where the magic happens, where the game of life really starts to get interesting.

I am going to be bold enough to say feeling uncomfortable is not only a good thing, and par for the course, but it’s actually a necessity if you want to live a big life (or even bigger!) And I know you do, right?!?

So, this week I challenge you to get a little uncomfy. Do it. I dare you!

And I want to hear from you any time you do. And I shall be there to congratulate you for stepping up, for stepping out, and for playing bigger.

If you want to live big, you have to play big. And if you want to play big, you have to be okay getting a tad uncomfortable. So get used to it! (Click to tweet it out!)

I hope you experience, relish, and celebrate any and all feelings of discomfort this week.

Have a FAB week!

When have YOU felt uncomfortable? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

P.S. Speaking of uncomfortable, I am going to be speaking at TWO big events coming up celebrating International Women’s Day. March 8th, ‘Women’s Day Summit’ and March 11, ‘Make it Happen’ … I’d love to see you there! 

Are you still breathing?!?

HAPPY FRIDAY! …

from where I sit at my reclaimed barnwood dining table, with a sunny view of the CN Tower ahead and the snowy dog park below. I can imagine the crunching sounds of boots and the sniffing sounds of dogs as they enjoy the fresh, winter air on this fine Friday morning.

 I know I said last week I would make Colette my writing spot from now on, however as I have two meetings there later on today, I thought starting first thing in the morning would be a tab overkill! However, don’t you worry, that Americano Misto is waiting for me! (just may have to make it decaf at that point!) HA!

So, this week was a fun and fruitful and yes, busy one. Although I must admit I’m not such a huge fan of the word… I mean we’re all busy. Any suggestions?!?

 

Fish use their gills to breathe. Insects use their tracheal system to breathe (although to call it breathing may be a stretch ~ it’s more of a gas exchange ~ but I digress!). And humans use their lungs. And yet I sometimes wonder, if breathing wasn’t automatic, would we ever forget to breathe?!?

This week I attended an amazing annual networking conference, Networking Connects, put on by my friend and mentor Jennifer Beale. It was so lovely to see so many familiar faces. Even though we can easily stay connected on line these days, there is nothing like face-to-face interaction.

An amazing woman, Christine Douglas, who mentors, always gives back, is a part of numerous organizations including Women in Aerospace (how cool is that?!?), came up to me at the event. ‘You’re doing so many things! Good for you! But what are you doing for you?’ She asked. She has been a huge supporter since we first met, always willing to help, and a religious reader of my Happy Fridays. She continued to explain she thinks it’s great I seem to be busy, however she was curious as to what I was doing for me.

It’s true, I like to be busy. And it was one of those weeks where I had quite a few days of one meeting after another session followed immediately by a phone call and then a workshop to run to… I mean if breathing weren’t automatic I may very well have forgotten to do it!

Ironically, I made a declaration this year I wanted to do less and be more. And I do. This week won’t be my norm ~ as I am realizing more and more now that busy is not only not necessarily productive, but also if it’s nothing but go, go, go how can it be fun, fun, fun?!?

Although I’m definitely a work-in-progress, I’m implementing a few ideas to ensure I am being (and breathing!) more. For instance, a few simple morning habits. (Have you watched my February Living BIG challenge yet?!? If not, you need to get on it!) Even if I realize I pressed snooze one too many times and need to really bust a move out of bed, I still have enough time for at least a 1-minute morning ritual. Taking the time to slow down and breathe first thing in the morning has become important before my day gets going. Although not a member of the 5am club yet… (ha!) I am adding one thing I can do at a time. It’s the small victories after all.

Are you giving yourself the space and the time to breathe first thing in the morning? Throughout your day? Before you go to bed?

All things need to breathe. Our schedules need to breathe (have you heard of buffer time? You need it… trust me! I’ve learned the hard way!) Our work needs to breathe. Relationships need to breathe. Good wine needs to breathe.

Are you giving yourself the time and the space and the permission to really breathe? (Click to tweet it out!)

I remember listening to a yoga teacher once say that life is not about inhaling. It’s true. It needs to be tasted, it needs to savoured, it needs breath. Have you perhaps been guilty of inhaling life?

I’m going to make more of a conscious effort to allow for more breathing room in all areas of my life. And I hope you’ll join me!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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 P.S. This weekend is Verbal Aikido with James MacNeil! If you haven’t already gotten your ticket, visit the link HERE. Communication is at the heart of everything. Learn how to build genuine rapport, handle any conversation with ease & confidence, and master the moments that matter most. See you there!

It’s a good day to make it a good day

Happy Friday!

AND, happy two more sleeps day! Two more sleeps before what, you may be asking?!? Why, my birthday, of course!

 

Now I’m somewhat of two minds when it comes to birthdays. On the one hand, I’m always up for an excuse for celebration (especially if there are balloons and cake involved!) And on the other hand, I find myself thinking about where I am as compared to where I thought I might be, or where I may want to be. Perhaps you can relate, hmm?!?

However, if the content I’ve been grateful enough to be training this week (having so much fun co-facilitating my first 4-day coach training with James MacNeil!) says anything, it’s that we are all on our own unique journey, and we are all exactly where we need to be.

I remember reading a quote a little while ago that says: ‘Today is a good day to make it a good day.’ (Click to tweet it out!) Well, perhaps this is a good year to make it a good year. In fact, I may even be so bold as to say this is a fab year to make it a fab year. After all, why not?

Now I know I’ve talked previously about the power of our beliefs. So I won’t repeat myself. However they are exactly that. Powerful. And our beliefs affect our thoughts. And our thoughts affect our feelings. And our feelings affect our actions. And our actions affect (some may go so far as to say determine) our fate.

I am certainly about taking action. However, this year I actually think I may want to think about doing less, and just being, more. They say life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans. “But I like making plans! I like being busy!” Me too.

Well, perhaps it’s time to switch it up a little. I think I’m going to make it a FAB year by doing a bit less and being a bit more. And I’m going to believe it’s possible.

There you go. My one thing that scares me today… declaring it’s going to be a FAB year. After all, why not?!?

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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Which kind of Champion are you?

My week in pictures… from L-R: Photos from ‘Women Living B.I.G.’ ~ Day of Empowerment (one of our amazing sponsors, Sparkplug Coffee, created a personalized blend called ‘Dream Big. Play Big. Live Big.’ and we all got sample packs!!!), road trip to Ottawa with Marissa McTasney in her moxie Trades jeep, StartUp Canada Day on The Hill, snapping a pic of Sean Wise in the infamous pink work boots, yoga class at Fotographia Boutique studio.

cham·pi·on/ˈCHampēən
noun

  • a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition, especially in sports.
  • a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.

Every time I hear the word champion, I can’t help but have Queen singing around in my head! (as an aside, our last night in England at the lovely Buxted Park Hotel last week, we had ‘Freddie Mercury’ in the house… never seen so much energy from a live impersonator entertainer type person in my LIFE… he was amazing! And Hilarious :-)  )

Perhaps you, like me, first think of ‘winner’ when it comes to the word champion. However, this past week I have been exposed to a LOT of the second meaning ~ and in my mind, it’s a whole lot more powerful.

Coming off an event-filled weekend (Women Living B.I.G. ~ Day of Empowerment was a huge success! I hope you enjoyed the pics above), I was excited to take it somewhat easy this past week. And then I got a surprise invitation by Marissa McTasney, founder of Moxie Trades ~ if you don’t know who this incredible woman is, go check her out. Seriously. Like, NOW. Well, actually, finish reading this happy friday first and THEN go check her out! ~ to join her at StartUp Canada’s ‘Day on the Hill’. Yeah, in Ottawa.

At first I thought – can I hack it?!? And then I thought, how can I NOT?

I’ve confessed before I’m a bit of a YES girl ~ sometimes to my detriment. However there are ‘yes’s – and then there are ‘YES’S! This invite was the latter. An opportunity I simply could not pass up.

All I can say is OMG! (first time EVER using that in a Happy Friday. Only appropriate response!) It was an opportunity on steroids… I will forever be grateful for the experience, and forever grateful I said yes.

First of all, StartUp Canada is an incredible organization whose mission is to support entrepreneurship across Canada by bridging the gap between the entrepreneurs themselves and the government. Pretty cool. What’s cooler, it was founded only two years ago, by an incredible mover-and-shaker of a woman, Victoria Lennox. At only 30, she’s shaken hands with the Queen (first Canadian and one of the youngest to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion) and will likely be Prime Minister of Canada one day.

Over 1,000 entrepreneurs, sponsors and government employees across Canada met for the second annual event at the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Amazing keynote speakers (like Frank O’Dea, co-founder of Second Cup), roundtable discussions, and inspirational panels. During lunch, Sean Wise, The Naked Entrepreneur, was interviewing a women’s panel including Marissa and the Honorable Minister Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and the Status of Women.

Here is where our theme of champion comes in.

Towards the end of this inspirational panel, Minister Leitch issued a challenge. She asked each of us in the room to find someone to be a champion to. Someone to believe in, stand by, fight for, mentor, empower…

Those folks who champion individual persons or individual causes are the folks that really make a difference and really can change the world.

Who, or what, are YOU going to champion?

I am happy to say not only have I found the person I am going champion (because although my intitial thought was, ‘I’m not successful enough to champion anyone!’ we ALL have something to offer), I’m also super pumped about my new champion. I’m super pumped for the work ahead of me. I’m super pumped about the Ideas that are a-brewing. BIG time. I have a new-found confidence in how I want to move forward. I’m ready for action ~ and 2015 is going to be an exciting one. And yes, a lot of it comes down to knowing I have someone rooting for me.

We all need champions. And we can all be a champion for others. And when you champion someone else, or a cause greater than yourself, everybody wins. (Click to tweet it out!)

And then, “We Are the Champions” (cue Queen here!) indeed.

Have a FAB week, << Test First Name >> !

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Do you have someone you are championing? Do YOU have a champion? What are your thoughts on this idea? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :-).

Do you get FOMO? (and 3 thirst-quenching ways to deal…)

FOMO, otherwise known as ‘FEAR OF MISSING OUT’ is when you feel as though you are missing out on that exciting event, party, or happening. Perhaps you are staying in on a Friday night and are feeling a little lame. Or maybe you’re creeping around on social media and get the sense everyone else has a lot more going on or is having a lot more fun than you.

Now these feelings are valid ~ after all, anytime you feel any sort of emotion it’s valid, the question is ~ is it warranted?

As my Theatre School Director used to say in her strong British accent, ‘There will ALWAYS be another party.’

Indeed there will be. And it would be simply impossible to keep up with every single event, opportunity, and happening going on all of the time. Especially when you are starting to really put yourself out there, are meeting new people, and are joining new groups.

So if it’s normal to feel it… what can you do about?

Here are 3 ideas:

1. Take caution when comparing your ‘everyday life’ to someone else’s ‘highlight reel.’ Often a lot of FOMO comes from social media… we are bombarded with fun pictures and good times showing up on our newsfeeds and notifications every minute. However, it’s important to remember it’s often the exciting stuff that is being highlighted on purpose. And it doesn’t mean that is everyday life… You may want to consider disconnecting from social media every now and again (or even more regularly!)

2. Take a moment to appreciate and feel gratitude for all you have.  It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap when you lose sight of all the exciting things going on in your own life. Sometimes we forget to take a step back and celebrate all that we have around us.

3. Take notice of what is really being triggered. Sometimes when we feel we are missing out it’s because there is something underneath going on. Perhaps we are craving connection, or a good conversation, or simply need a change of scene. Consider connecting with a close family member or an important friend in order to fill up your love bucket.

And remember, (insert British accent here) ‘there will ALWAYS be another party’ (Click to tweet it out!)

Now while I certainly do not encourage nor condone FOMO, if you really want to avoid it after hearing about how much fun tomorrow’s IGNITE event will entail, I suggest you register NOW!!! Only 3 seats left… and yes, it will be sold out. Here is the link, one last time (promise!) :-).

Have a FAB and FOMO-free week, everyone!

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Trust your gut. You got this.

Carol Schulte's Happy Friday week in pictures

Trust your gut. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Although it may have become an overused maxim, do you still take it to heart? Or has it  perhaps lost some of it’s meaning?

I’m curious. Do you always take the time to really listen to your gut?

Perhaps you know you should… although that doesn’t necessarily make it easy.

I don’t know about you, however I find it hard to sometimes really listen to what I know deep down I should be doing. Why?

First of all, there’s so much noise going on around us… constantly! And sometimes I’m so busy rushing around I don’t even take the time to get quiet, to ask the question, and then to listen to the answer.

And on top of that, for me specifically,

I care about what other people think

I like to please other people

I tend to ask other people’s opinions

Perhaps you can relate?

It’s good to care about what other people think… to a certain extent.

It’s nice to want to please other people… to a certain extent.

And it’s important to ask other people’s opinions… to a certain extent.

When I have my coaching hat on, I come from a place of ‘all the answers already lie within…’ And so my role is to then ask my clients the right questions in order to help those answers come to the surface.

I really do believe the answers lie within. And yet sometimes it’s harder to believe that ourselves.

You know when something doesn’t feel quite right, and you get that icky feeling inside? Listen to it.

You know when something feels very right, even though you get that nervous-excited feeling inside? Listen to that feeling, too.

Trust your instincts. Trust your feelings. Trust your gut. Click to tweet it out!

You know what to do. You got this. Quiet down that noise, stop the comparing, and limit the opinions of others and the need to please.

This is YOUR life. And only YOU control how you’re going to live it. So what are you waiting for?!?

Happy Friday!

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P.S. Have you registered yet for ‘IGNITE’ ~ my next FULL-DAY event on Nov. 8th?!? Tickets are selling fast… I hope to see you there!

too much; too many… the paradox of choice

too much; too many… the paradox of choice

So I’m going to be honest (and perhaps vulnerable once again) right now and share my current thoughts, feelings, stream of consciousness: overwhelm. running around like a crazy chicken. want more coffee. perhaps I’ve had too much coffee. Is using a microwave really as bad as they say? why can’t I just stick to a schedule! where did the sun go? Boo on my car (which I still love) that just got serviced and now won’t start. frustration. staying up until 2am may no longer be serving me. getting old. kids are walking home from school and I have not nearly done enough for a whole day’s worth. Is music with lyrics too distracting in the background? Why do I always have so many windows open? (10 on my screen minimized right now, and numerous tabs even within some of those windows…) I need to do yoga. I need to actually check something off of my list first before I can justify yoga. if I can’t even handle my own schedule, how will I ever be able to handle a family?!? my bulbs are blooming… flowers are always such a nice gift. is that really snow? I’ve broken off all of my nails. I should paint them. are people actually reading this right now? am I the only one that thinks random thoughts all of the time? maybe the woman I met at the networking event last week was right ~ maybe I should get tested for ADD! okay I need a system. I actually used a calendar, scheduled in all I needed to get done this week on Sunday and have failed miserably. discouraged. why do we (or at least I) allow myself to break commitments with myself all of the time? how can one day I feel on top of the clouds, and on the next feel I am dragging my heels? where did the whole pulling up your bootstraps phrase come from anyway? maybe I should relook at that wordpress theme… way too many to choose from that’s my excuse for not getting my new website up yet. Barry Schwartz with the whole Paradox of Choice was onto something. less is more. I really need to simplify. perhaps take feng shui. declutter. spring cleaning time. hmmm… will I be able to make that happen in time for my move April 10th? need to book the elevator. grateful for my amazing friend who is going to help me purge tomorrow (now today.) I need to be ruthless.

Too much stuff. Too many choices. Too much to do. Too many thoughts!!!

Too much; too many. Hmm… perhaps better than not enough or not any? Or is it?!?

Okay clearly I had no idea where I was going with my happy friday this week. I had been reading posts and quotes throughout the week about this idea of not being ready and how really we never think we’re ready, so to simply go for it anyway. But, I’ve sort of touched on that before. And then twice I heard a quote that is already in my ‘love it’ file, so thought it was a sign I should talk about that.

(here’s that quote anyhow: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Apparently I hadn’t made a decision as to what I was going to write about today because I needed to let my consciousness ramble (I hope I didn’t embarrass myself and I’m not the only one that does that?!? And if I am, SO WHAT!). And in my ramblings, what came out was the whole notion around decisions and choices… and the fact I have issues making them!

Too much; too many.

See that’s my problem. I can’t make decisions because there are simply too many options! And I’m talking all sorts ~ from decisions about my business and my logo and my homepage copy to what I should eat for dinner or do on Saturday night. And so I ponder and ponder and eventually fall victim to analysis paralysis. Then I often don’t make any decision at all and end up staying stuck (or staying in on Saturday night 🙂 )

So, if that’s the problem, I need to find the solution. Allow me to indulge as I try to give myself some advice. And if you, too, may get some helpful nuggets, all the better!

  • Stop trying to pick the best option… best is subjective anyhow. And it’s impossible to know the answer before you pick one.
  • Listen to your gut. What feels right deep inside? What will make your heart sing?
  • Who are you trying to please? Be honest.
  • Don’t be afraid of going down the wrong path… there will be a fork in the road soon enough, and you can always turn back
  • Stop asking everyone else’s opinion!
  • Stop caring about everyone else’s opinion!
  • Take a step back… isn’t there more important things to be spending your energy on?!?
  • Think about how
  • So do yoga. or go for a run. or take a bubble bath. or a glass of wine. or all of the above.
  • Stay calm. (hence the reason for yoga and/or wine.) making a decision when emotions are running high is not always a good thing!
  • Have confidence in yourself as a decision-maker
  • There are no such thing as mistakes… only learning experiences.
  • Stop analyzing and weighing and humming and hawing… just choose something already!
  • Remember; nothing is permanent, nothing has to be forever.

Sorry folks, my rambling made for a pretty long post this week! Kudos to those who are still with me.

AND, if you are still with me, what advice do YOU have for me ~ and anyone else ~ who suffers from the paradox of choice?!? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts, advice, feedback in the comments below :-).

Have a FAB week, everyone!

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