Monday, April 23, 2012

Choose joy.

Have you ever had someone tell you that happiness is a choice? That all of those things that make you feel sad, or angry, or hurt only have as much bearing on your life as you let them?

I have. Plenty of times. When things have been good, and when things have been not so good. And I really do believe it. Things can get you down and you can be bummin' all the time, or you can choose to see the good things around you and be happy.

I just finished "Cold Tangerines," a book about celebrating life by Shauna Niequist. In the last chapter of the book, she describes this choice so well. And it's our motivation this  Monday.

"It's rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It's much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love."

Inspiring, no? Get out there and create hope. Choose to dance. Celebrate!

(image via)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You and your friends are on different pages.

"At 25, you will feel drastically more mature than some people you know, embarrassingly less put-together than others, and acutely aware of these imbalances in lifestyle, career, and consciousness between you and the friends you used to feel absolutely in sync with. This can be isolating. Out of nowhere, you can go from feeling buoyantly held aloft on the tumultuous sea of life by friends who totally get you, to feeling… you know, whatever the opposite equivalent of that analogy is. Desert Island or whatever. Don’t fret. Your 20s is supposed to be a time of rapid growth and development in every area of your everything, but we don’t always — in fact, rarely ever — evolve along the same timeline. And so we lose pace with each other.

Maybe in the next few years, you and your former soulmates will end up in the same place again and be BFFs. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe your path will take you to a whole new group of friends who are more suited to this stage of your life, and hopefully your old friends find that, too. Regardless, don’t let the fact that you and your pals have less in common than ever become grounds for resentment, anger, self-doubt or any of that nasty sh-t. It sucks, it’s sad sometimes (social limbo is a lonely land, yo), but the best you can do is stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible, and try to retain a certain sense of social zen — people come in and out of your life, and that’s okay."

While I'm still a year from the quarter-century mark, this Thought Catalog piece about the 6 Things You Learn at 25 had a lot of interesting things to say. Things that resonated with me. Especially these two paragraphs (otherwise known as thing #5 on the list).

As I look around at my friends (the people with whom I've shared relatively similar lives up to this point), I realize that we are all in very, very different places. Some of us are married. Some of us have children! Some of us are buying houses, or cars. Some of us are searching for jobs. 

It's easy to compare myself to my friends who, in one way or another, seem way more "put together" or "grown up" than me. It's hard feeling in "social limbo," as this writer puts it. Everyone is in different stages and it just feels like we're no longer the people we used to be.

And we aren't. But that doesn't mean any of us is doing the wrong thing. It means that we're growing! Maybe in different directions, but we're growing. And that's not wrong or bad. That's great. As long as we're following this advice: "...stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible." 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep this in mind.

Short and sweet today. Keep a small goal and it will be accomplished!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let go of the life you have planned.

Are you a planner? I am. I can't tell you how many times I've made a plan for what was going to come next. In high school, I had a plan for college. In college, I had a plan for what came next. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that those plans all changed. Multiple times.

Thank goodness those plans changed! I wouldn't be where I am if I'd followed through with what I thought was best. I have no doubt that the life I could be leading would be blessed, fun and fulfilling. But where I am right now? This place that wasn't even on the back burner? It's much better than anything I could have planned. 

Here's to letting go!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What are you doing April 4?

It's been awhile since I posted anything but a bit of motivation for your Monday. But today, I want to tell you about a great event happening two weeks from today--Wednesday, April 4 at Carlow University.

The event is the Pittsburgh Service Summit, from Get Involved!, Inc. Get Involved! is a nonprofit dedicated to engaging, energizing, educating and empowering students and young professionals. AKA, the next generation of folks that are going to do something great for Pittsburgh.

Interested in getting involved in your community? Believe that service can make a difference in the lives of others (and in your own life)? Come to the Service Summit and hear from some like-minded folks.

The Service Summit features 3 key note speakers: John Stahl-Wert (Serving Leaders/Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation), Benjamin Wagner (Senior VP at MTV News) and Luke Skurman (CEO of College Prowler). There will also be ten breakout sessions, on topics ranging from teamwork to developing personal goals to the importance of community service. The night will wrap up at 7 p.m. with the awarding of the Get Involved! and Rising Stars awards.

I'm honored to say that I have been selected as one of Western Pennsylvania's Rising Stars! I can only attribute this designation to being connected to some of the coolest people in Pittsburgh. The other winners are doing some really incredible things for our City and for the world. It's truly an honor to be recognized with such amazing people.

So, I'd love to see you April 4! We'll start hanging out for keynotes and breakouts at 4 p.m. Awards begin at 7. See you there?

For more information or to see the entire list of winners, visit Get Involved! Inc's website.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Universe is desperate.

I totally had a different post ready for today, but then I opened my email this morning. This quote from Jackson Kiddard is exactly what I needed to hear as I start a busy, busy week:

"The Universe is desperate for you to follow your dreams. You will be surrounded by all the support you need if you choose to see life that way. So many live their life in fear. It's such a rare moment when one of us wakes up and decides to plunge into the abyss of the unknown that the Universe will rejoice and provide everything you need for a successful journey. There will be obstacles, so it's your job to decide how to react to each challenge. I promise you if you keep pressing on you will be presently surprised to find out what lies just on the other side of every perceived 'failure.'"

Follow your dreams! The Universe is desperate for you to do so. And no matter what, keep pressing on. Happy Monday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Never regular.

I love typography. Sessions on type, leading, kerning, font families...they were always my favorite parts of design classes. I'd love to spend 20-30 minutes selecting font families for a flier or newsletter. I just love them.

That's why I'm so excited about this week's motivation. It speaks to the (wannabe) typographer in me.

Bold is easy to define. To be bold means to take risks. To be confident and courageous. Italic is a little less easy to wrap our heads around. It means "slanted or sloping type." There's no other meaning.

To me, being italic means to be different. Not in the same way as bold--risks are great but you don't always have to be a risk-taker. But italic type stands out. It's not the same as regular old type. It makes a name for itself.

So, be bold. Be italic. Never regular.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Try again tomorrow

Good Monday morning!

I've been thinking a lot lately about what we do when we face a fear. At our "Live What You Love" workshop for Propelle in February, Kate challenged us to do one thing scared every day. What a challenge!

I really wanted to meet that challenge. But some days, I just can't do the one thing that makes me scared. At first, that made me pretty upset with myself. Then I found this:

Try again tomorrow! Maybe today wasn't the best day. It might have been the worst day. And all you want to do it curl up under the covers and declare tomorrow a "Me Day." Sometimes, that's a good idea. But I'm learning that more often than not, it's a better idea to try again tomorrow.

Happy Monday! And if it's not so happy....try again tomorrow!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Powerful beyond measure.

I took a week off last week. Because lucky me, I had Presidents' Day off! Aside from a Propelle workshop that evening (so inspiring!), I rested, knitted and baked. It was wonderful.

This quote is frequently attributed to Nelson Mandela, but it's actually from Marianne Williamson. And it's one of my favorites.

I feel that sometimes, in order to remain humble, we downplay our own strengths. Wouldn't want to seem conceited, right?

Wrong. Own your brilliance! Your beauty, your talents, your sheer fabulousness. Because as you let your own light shine, you'll give other people permission to let theirs shine, too.

Happy Monday, friends!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Spread love.

Happy Monday!

I have been reminded recently about the fleeting nature of life here on Earth. Don't forget to spread love and kindness, and let the people you appreciate know that you appreciate them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

To do!

I don't know about you, but I love making lists.  They keep me focused, and I love checking things off the list when they're done. It just makes me feel accomplished.

But sometimes, lists bog me down. They seem to always grow, never get smaller. That's why I like this list. These eight items are things I always want to do, but never want to cross off the list.
via Got It At Gabby's
Here's to never forgetting to do these eight important tasks. What would you add to the list?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I love East Liberty.

Surprised? :)

It really is a great neighborhood. I could give you a million reasons why, but instead I'll direct you to, where I had the chance to write the top ten reasons why I love the neighborhood so much.

Check it out and in the comments, let me know why you love your neighborhood!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Happy Monday!

Last week I talked about how sometimes, I get into a rut. Especially if my tasks at work and at home stay relatively the same, it's hard to get excited. And when tasks aren't exciting, sometimes that means they don't get completed. Not good, right?

So now when things get boring, I try to follow the advice of Pittsburgh's own Andy Warhol:

I know what you're thinking: easier said than done, Mr. Warhol. Sometimes the little things are really boring. But each time you make yourself be excited by the little, mundane things, the easier it will be. And soon, you'll get excited about the little things, like sending emails. And creating that cover for your TPS report. BORING, but make it something thrilling. It will get you through the tasks you put off to the ones you're excited about.

That is, of course, until you see everything as thrilling. Then you'll be so excited about work you won't know what to do with yourself! Right?

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Mondays, more motivation!

Happy Monday!

I'm ultra-busy this week, as is par for the course this January. I don't know about you, but being busy sometimes sends me into a rut. I don't have time to be as creative as I'd like, because I'm worrying about just holding my head above the water.

While it's good to have some tried-and-true methods, it's important to take a second to come up with something new. Because if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten. And that's just boring.

Peace and motivation to you this week! (And GO GIANTS!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

57 Reasons to live in Pittsburgh!

I've never been shy about my love for this city. The people, the arts, the rivers, the sports, the hills, the cold, the heat, the humidity...there's always something to love.

My good friend Kate is the woman behind Yinzpiration, which I've written about before. A few months ago, she asked some tweeps to talk about their favorite reasons to live in Pittsburgh--57 reasons, to be exact!

My reason? If you've just moved here, you feel at home. And if you've been here forever, the City always shows you something new.

The list is now out! And we're adding to it with tweets, under the hashtag #57reasonsPGH. Check it out! A few of my favorites:

(Consistent cropping has never been my forte) 

I love knowing that there are 56 other people (and way more!) who love Pittsburgh just as much as I do! What do you love about Pittsburgh? Share it here, on Twitter or on the Yinzpiration facebook page.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A dream.

Happy Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! Today our motivation will come from his iconic speech from the March on Washington August 28, 1963.

Each time I listen, I get chills. Thank you, Rev. Dr. King, for your leadership and passion.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Do it anyway.

It's not Monday, but I bet we could all use some motivation to finish this week strong. After a week full of car problems and hurdles to mount at work, I know I could!

Here's a nice message from my girl, Mother Teresa (the inspiration behind this blog's title, by the way):

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.

I keep this quote on my monitor at work. Or I should say my monitor came with this quote attached, courtesy of the woman who came before me. It keeps me focused and motivated when I'm not really feelin' it. Hopefully, it provides you some inspiration today too!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's Monday!

It's Monday, the Stillers lost, the Penguins are down six players, and the Pirates are the Pirates (I call it like I see it, people). We could all use some motivation.

Dr. Seuss is so great. He's so right. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. 

What do you care about? Make today the day you do something about it. Maybe it's your job, maybe it's a social cause, maybe it's a friend who's not doing so well. 

Vow to work hard today (Mondays are hard, we all know). Volunteer your time for an organization related to your cause, or donate a tweet to them. Send your friend a text, a facebook post or better yet, call him or her.

Armed with these ideas, I ask you again: what do you care about? And on this motivation Monday, what are you going to do about it?

Thursday, January 5, 2012


So remember in November when I wanted to do #NaBloPoMo and write for 30 days? And then I did? Let's take a moment to bask in that awesomeness.


Okay, back to the post at hand. Back on day 7 of NaBloPoMo, I wrote about achieving balance. And how it was going to soon be more difficult (but more exciting) because I had just accepted an offer to join Propelle. Remember?

Guess what!?

I'm officially on the website! Check out my Spotlight interview now. Go read it!

No really, go read it. Now!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A relevant list. [Resolutions], it's almost 2012 (insert bad cliche about time flying here). This is the fifth post in a series on New Years Resolutions; mine, and others. Read my other resolutions here, here, here and here.

When I want to feel better about my life, feed the occasional angst-beast or kill a solid 20 minutes reading blogs, I turn to Thought Catalog. Some articles are a little (okay, a lot) irrelevant to my life, but are still entertaining.

There are times though when I can really relate to what's on Thought Catalog. In fact, most of the things I've starred in my Google Reader come from TC. Today is one of those days.

They've posted a great list: "20 New Year's Resolutions for 20-Somethings" by Jessie Rosen. You can read the entire list here; I'm highlighting some of my favorites (with my own comments) below. 

1. Before you status update, Tweet, Tumble or Instagram, pause and say to yourself, “is it entirely necessary that I share this morsel of thought with my entire social network?”and if the answer is not, “yes, I absolutely must,” then step away from the Internet.

This is the #1 thing I want my generation to learn. I can use this sometimes, too, but I'd like to think that I'm getting better at it.

2. Know which candidate you’re going to vote for in the upcoming presidential election, and know why.

I don't care who you vote for--make an informed decision, stick to it AND be able to defend it.

6. Please stop liking the Kardashians, all of them. It’s not helping anyone, least of all the Kardashians.

Need I say more?

9. Call someone on the phone at least once a week, and speak to him or her for at least ten minutes.

I love that texting, Facebook and Twitter allow me to stay in touch with so many people. But reading text on a screen just doesn't soothe the soul like the voice of a friend.

16. Volunteer once over the next 90 days.  You’ll feel really good about it, and probably end up volunteering again over the next 275.

I have spent my entire adult life making volunteering a job. From community service class to the Bonner scholars to PULSE, volunteering is a part of who I am. Give it a chance and you'll want it to be part of who you are, too. (PS if you're looking for volunteer opportunities, let me know. I know PLENTY of organizations who would love to have you!)

17. Tell someone who you love that you love them on a more regular basis. To their face, not in a text.

I have only recently discovered how powerful the words "I love you" can be. Try saying it to someone you've never said it to before. No, not a significant other (unless you're ready) but a friend. Or a family member. Someone who means a lot to you, but doesn't know it yet. When those words are genuinely expressed, they are so wonderful.

19. Crap or get off the pot. This applies to whatever thing you’re not doing that you should just sack up and do already.

Yeah, this might be a little offensive. But really, do it or don't do it. But don't just sit idly by while you "are going to get to it." It's not fair to you or to the other people you're affecting by half-committing.

So there you have it. Any of the resolutions from Thought Catalog stick out to you?

Oooh, I almost forgot: