encouragement

More Life, Less Rush

More life, less rush. #simplicity Today's post is a quickie but it's something I really wanted to share with you guys. This past Saturday was my birthday (yay!!!!) and I turned 20 :) One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list is to write a letter to myself to open when I turn 30. As I was contemplating what to write to 30-year-old Brittany, I realized a funny thing about birthdays.

Growing up, I was always wanting to be older. I couldn't wait to be 14, then 16, then 18, then 20. Now I find myself longing for the day I'm 22 and out of college. But looking back, I realize how fast my teenage years seemed to go by. Even now, I feel like I'm rushing through life, trying to get things done so I can move on to the next part. Where did enjoying the simple moments of life go? Do they only belong on Tumblr photos?

These thoughts caused me some lack of sleep last night because I long to live a simple and authentic life full of meaning, as do many of you. So what can we do to change this?

One, realize that you aren't required to hustle.

[Tweet "You are not required to hustle 24/7."]

While hustling can be a good thing (get that dream business started!), many times it can cause us to feel overwhelmed and overworked. Don't let hustling cause the quality of your work to decline or cause you to not be present in everyday moments.

Thriving and being successful isn't just tied to how hard we work, it's tied to our own definition of those words. Don't let others tell you what you need to do to be successful. You're doing just fine at your own pace. There's no need to rush through life.

Two, sometimes we get so focused on 'what could be', that we forget what is right in front of us.

We're constantly looking forward to what's next, always dreaming of the future. While I do believe that having big dreams is important and that we should work really hard to make them come true, sometimes we let those dreams cause us to believe that our current life is boring in comparison when it really isn't. The idea of the perfect life overshadows the beautiful life we're living right now.

So this is what I want to encourage you to do today, and every day to come:

Be content with where you are in this moment.

Whether you're still in school, moving across the country, getting married, starting a business, or welcoming a new baby, take 5 minutes each day to simply pause and thank God for the life He's blessed you with.

Life will always be messy. But it's your beautiful mess.

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The Three Equations of Kindness

Think of kindness as not just an act, but as a lifestyle. Approach each person mindfully, with your full attention, smiling, seeking to understand them, trying to interact with gentleness, warmth, compassion. It's time for a kindness comeback.

In this media driven, socially connected world we live in, kindness matters more than ever. The problem is, many view kindness simply as an act, which it is, but it's more than that. Kindness is a lifestyle. It softens and warms the heart while making the world a nicer place to live.

Consider the acts of kindness you've witnessed, gave, or received. How did you feel? One time during a snow storm in my college town, Caleb and I had to stop on an icy hill due to traffic and a stoplight. The wheels spun round and round and we didn't move an inch, but it only took a few more tries until we finally got going. Only after we were moving was when we saw it. Down the highway a bit, four young men had gotten out of their truck and were running in the snow towards us. They soon saw that we were fine and turned back, and, sadly, we never got to thank them for the act of kindness they showed us, even though the act wasn't fully carried out. But just seeing their willingness to help made our day.

So what can we do to bring kindness back? Lots of things, really. But in order to do so, we must understand more about what kindness is and isn't, and how we can use it effectively.

The Three Equations of Kindness

[Tweet "Learn more about the Three Equations of Kindness you need to know to help kindness make a comeback."]

Kindness = Altruistic

While kindness is not selfish, it doesn't happen solely for the benefit of those receiving. Let me explain. When choosing to do an act of kindness, what's your motive behind it? To help because it makes you happy to see others happy? To show others that kindness makes for a better workplace in effort to make work less stressful? We show kindness because it makes us feel good.

Kindness motivated by positive thoughts that also benefit us, is healthy. It becomes unhealthy when one does an act of kindness without the heart in it. But more on that in the third equation.

Kindness ≠ Weakness

Sadly, kindness has become confused with weakness. But in recent years, more and more companies are incorporating acts of kindness into their workplace. Consider Ikea Canada, which distributed more than 15,000 free packing boxes to help those moving in the summer. Or Kleenex, which allowed people to send free packs of tissues to their sick family and friends during its “Softness Worth Sharing” campaign.

When you ask for help, kindness comes to the rescue. People are willing to share their secrets and help you get the answers you need, plus more! What could be viewed as weak actually comes out as strong.

This doesn't mean that you should let yourself get walked on and feel pressured into doing something because it's the kind thing to do. Remember the first equation: Kindness is Altruistic. Kindness is positivity. If anyone or anything tells you to do a "kind" act and it'll have a negative effect on someone else, or if you don't feel like your heart isn't fully into it, don't do it. Don't associate kindness with weakness or negativity.

Mindfulness + Kindness

They go hand in hand. Transitioning towards kindness requires mindfulness, whether it's intentional or not. Making the conscience effort to be mindful of every interaction with another person will affect you positively, causing you to feel compelled to spread more kindness, which in turn encourages you to be more mindful. Mindfulness and kindness feed on each other in a beautiful, wonderful cycle.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12

I encourage you to begin thinking of kindness as not just an act, but as a lifestyle. Approach each person mindfully, with your full attention, smiling, seeking to understand them, trying to interact with gentleness, warmth, compassion.

In seeking to understand them, listen to their needs, both verbal and non-verbal. Find ways in which you can simplify their life and address their needs. More often than not, we become so self-consumed in our lifestyle that we don't take the time to give others our full attention. By doing this, we are pushing ourselves further away from creating meaningful relationships.

So when someone comes to talk and visit with you, when your kids are begging for attention, when your spouse has something to say, turn to them without distraction, putting everything else away, and give your full attention. Listen. Be 100% present.

Kindness changes the world.

What acts of kindness have you performed? How have acts of kindness by others blessed your life?

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You Are Worth It.

YOU ARE WORTH IT. Think about what doubts or fears are keeping you from doing sometime you've dreamed of and take a deep breath. Now, let go. Let those doubts and fears blow away and allow you to see the best of life. Awaken to a deeper meaning and embrace your uniqueness. The world needs you to hold on to your sparkler. I noticed it through the hazy summer twilight. I noticed it among the sound of children's laughter and playing.

He had dropped his sparkler.

As his father picked it up and held it out to him, the young boy shook his head.

No, it's going to burn me.

You can do it, his father said, just hold it right here. Let's try again.

This time as the sparkler was lit, the boy held onto it. In fact, a look of wonder came across his face as he stared at the fiery sparks. With a smile, he ran off down the hill towards the others, never taking his eyes off the little ball of fire.


There's something about fire that we desire to dwell deep within us. Burning passion. Desire to do more, be more. Embers of hope.

But in the middle of cherishing our spark, something snuffs it out. Fear. Resentment. Doubt. We begin to realize that we aren't living up to our dreams, or at least we allow ourselves to believe that we can't.

But we can. It's time to fan those sparks and feed the flame. Because more often than not, we've fallen into a pit of self-doubt. And I speak from experience.

I'm a detail-oriented, logical, people-pleasing dreamer. (Hmm, is there such a thing as a logical dreamer??) In other words, I figure out and dream up the best possible scenario before taking any action. But then the doubt kicks in and I wonder, am I enough?

Their blog is growing so much faster than mine. Am I enough?

What if my plans for this product launch fail? Am I enough?

I want to make fashion posts, but what if I end up looking frumpy? Am I enough?

Maybe you've even thought it to yourself before, Am I enough? Well guess what? :) You are.

It's time to stop holding ourselves back; it's time for a wake-up call. Because darling, you are worth it. If you have big dreams, don't settle for less, aim higher. One of the greatest regrets in life is being/doing who you think others would want you to be/do, rather than simply being yourself. Fan that spark and let it burn! And if it doesn't turn out the way you expected, so be it. Learn from it and move on. You have so much more to give this world.

Think about what doubts or fears are keeping you from doing sometime you've dreamed of and take a deep breath. Now, let go. Let those doubts and fears blow away and allow you to see the best of life. Awaken to a deeper meaning and embrace your uniqueness. The world needs you to hold on to your sparkler.

So don't give up on yourself or your dreams just yet.

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7 Ways to Achieve Your Dreams

7 Ways to Achieve Your Dreams | The Kardia Blog Anyone who knows me knows that I am a dreamer. I live for the future and what it has in store. I'm constantly visualizing what I what to make happen. My mind is full of ideas. So how do I go about making those dreams a reality? Patience, practice, and a whole lot of support. Here are 7 ways to effectively and successfully reach your highest dreams.

Visualize Success

The first step to achieving your dream is to see it. Picture yourself reaching your goal. How will you feel when you reach your goal? How will your life change as a result? I recommend keeping a picture of your goal where you see and are reminded of it every day. Visualize success. If you can't see it happening, chances are that it never will.

Make a Plan

One of my favorite quotes says "A vision without action is nothing but a hallucination."  I keep this quote on the login page of my laptop so I see it everyday. It's a reminder that your dreams won't happen unless you make them happen. Sit down and make an action plan on how to achieve your dream. Write down the steps that need to be taken, set mini goals, brainstorm ideas, anything to put your goal in motion.

Be Positive, Not Negative

Life isn't always easy, especially when you're trying to achieve a dream. Things will go wrong, people may laugh at you and tell you that it won't work, and sometimes it may be hard to simply just get started. But don't lose hope. Stay positive. Nothing is impossible to the person who has the desire to succeed. If you really want it, you can't let negativity rule. Stay positive every step of the way.

Practice Patience

Even when you're trying your best to being positive, there will be times where you'll feel defeated or stuck. But when nothing seems to be happening, don't give up hope. Take some time to sit back and observe what is happening. Things always have a way of working out.

Be Open and Flexible

The road to achieving your dream isn't always straight and clear. If you hit a roadblock (or two, or 50), don't give up! Just go a different way. Don't look at failures as a waste of time, look at them as an opportunity to learn.

Review Your Progress

Establish a time for checking your progress and write in down in your calendar. Evaluate your strategies and tactics. If you're making great progress, what can you do to keep the momentum going? Are you getting the results you expected or desired What is the next step?

If you’re not making progress, don't let your optimism keep you from accomplishing your goals. Honestly, something will and probably is, going to go wrong. Just take a look at what is keeping you from accomplishing your goal and make a plan to overcome them.

Support Others

If you have big dreams, find others who also have big dreams! Encourage one another and provide support. Surround yourself with dreamers, believers and people who see the world as big as you do. #fireworkpeople is a great community for creatives, dreamers and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. I'm a member and I am truly blessed by all the encouragement I receive from others. Every Tuesday night at 9pm EST, there is a Twitter Party using the hashtag #fireworkpeople. If you are full of dreams and want to put them into action, I encourage you to come join us! We also have a Facebook group where we can share encouragement and stories. The community is so friendly and I hope that we can all unite with the common goal of making a difference and changing the world.

I am...a Dreamer | The Kardia

 How will you achieve your dreams? 

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P.S. Check out my very first post on why I blog!

36 Ways to Show Love to Others

36 Ways to Show Love to Others | The Kardia Blog Last Tuesday I had the chance to join my first #fireworkpeople Twitter party. #fireworkpeople is a community for creatives, dreamers, and entrepreneurs that is full of encouragement! I'm so happy I found such a welcoming and supporting community. The topic we discussed last Tuesday was on how to love others. There were so many great responses and an amazing discussion on what it really means to love. Encouragement and support was everywhere! Days later, I found myself still thinking about how I can show love to others, even to those who don't show it to me. While this list isn't a complete list of the ways you can show love to others, it's a great starting point. So today I challenge you to find ways to show someone that you love them, and then go do it.

35 Ways to Show Love to Others

  1. Pray for them
  2. Say "I love you" often
  3. Hug more
  4. Give without expecting something in return
  5. Apologize first
  6. Listen quietly
  7. Be gracious and say thank you
  8. Write a handwritten thank you note
  9. Brighten their day with flowers
  10. Give gifts
  11. Give advice when wanted
  12. Be honest
  13. Forgive
  14. Be thoughtful
  15. Be a shoulder to cry on
  16. Give compliments
  17. Simply spend time with them
  18. Accept invitations
  19. Exhibit patience
  20. Accept differences
  21. Let them know that you admire them
  22. Let them know you appreciate them
  23. Let them know you are proud of them
  24. Be a mentor
  25. Remember things they like
  26. Be a source of comfort
  27. Smile :)
  28. Encourage them to go for their dreams
  29. Compliment them on a talent, strength, or skill you admire
  30. Do something little, but thoughtful
  31. Fully listen to what they have to say
  32. Resist the urge to tell them they're wrong
  33. Listen to their needs
  34. Learn what their love language is and utilize it
  35. Provide something that they need
  36. Stand up for them

Love Note

Let all that you do be done with love.

1 Corinthians 16:14

What are some other ways you can show love to others?

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