Enter This Week’s Inspired Woman Contest Now!

felicityfloralcontest

 

Have you entered yet?

Enter HERE >> http://www.igniteyourtruth.com/contests-that-inspire/

This week’s Inspired Wo/man Contest is OPEN!! Submit someone (or yourself) who rocks their confidence and stays strong!

PRIZE: Pamper Me Gift Basket from Felicity Floral!

CLICK HERE to read about our last week’s Winner, Gina Swenson from Las Angeles California!

 

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Your Restitution: A Bridge Above Your Tears

restitution_banner_1I wrote a song in 2002 called Bridges.  It was a song that was on my heart to write for the book I’d written, Restitution – which is set to be released and published next month.  I feel compelled, suddenly, by whatever you want to call it – Spirit, the Universe, God (I call it God) that someone needs to here this message of hope and healing.  So, I’m posting the link to the song. It has since been recorded in Nashville and will be released with the novel when it comes out.

If you are a survivor of Child hood sexual abuse or domestic violence, please take 3 minutes and listen to this.  I think you need to hear the message.  All my love.  Courtney

http://itsneverinvain.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Bridges-Mix-1_01.mp3

 

Two Secrets to Unlocking Your Value

2secrets_value_iytTwo Secrets to Unlocking Your Value

My boss took me to Panera Bread to give me the ultimate ultimatum.  I had to either embrace my value as one of his managers or take the “you’re fired” option.  He specifically said to me, over my Thai Chicken Salad, “You haven’t created Value.”

I couldn’t figure out why I was struggling with developing positive and productive relationships with my co-workers.  I wasn’t clear on my objectives, and even though I had a ton of great ideas my execution lacked organization and confidence.  I was in the midst of being the newest employee at the bottom of the totem pole in a leadership role that I just couldn’t seem to make work.  I was absolutely fabulous at sales, had unique ideas for increasing profitability, and could always envision and be passionate about the bigger picture.  So, what wasn’t working?

Even though I said to my boss that day over lunch that I would commit to embracing my value as a manager and come on board full force in my performance … I was totally at a loss as what that meant or how to do it.

So I started with what I knew.  What my OWN unique value was.  Instead of managing my co-workers, I started managing my own value – my output in direct correlation to my skill set and what made me unique.

I was great at sales but terrible at organizing.  So, I started selling more and making sure the sales people I managed started getting more involved with my sales. I learned to delegate the things that I knew I wasn’t as strong in and gave those jobs to people who had those talents.  I was great at leading team meetings, so I started doing them more often and getting my sales staff involved.  I stopped worrying about who would like me, and started focusing on my strengths.  I stopped being bossy and started to lead.

I had to constantly address myself every day at work by asking myself, “Is what I am doing right NOW valuable and am I bringing something to the plate that no one else can bring?”  We can all do a certain task the same way, but it’s the uniqueness of those of us who bring our true talents and value to that task that allows for superior performers.

So as I began to see output increase and my own sense of value increase … I began to also see something else emerging.  My own confidence.  I was beginning to take stock in ME.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better … I was let go.  “We can’t afford your salary and are eliminating the management position.”  Ouch.

At first, I thought this was a setback.  A huge one.  I started to doubt the progress I’d made because the end result wasn’t what I expected.  However … after a few days and a few good friends to lean on, I realized  that it was EXACTLY what I needed.  I had risen to the challenge of discovering my true value in who I was and what I had to offer and the time for me to go for my dreams was NOW.

So, I hunkered down with my severance pay and finished my second novel and co-founded a new company, Ignite Your Truth.  At times, often isolated, I had to call upon those unique things about myself to remind me that I had VALUE in what I had to offer the world.

I could sell.  I could write.  I wanted to heal.  I wanted to share the message of love and hope.  I had a voice.  I could speak.

Almost getting fired led me to discovering my innate Value based on my strengths and talents.  Getting let go led me to living out my life-long dream of becoming an author and speaker.  It is often times not in our enormous successes that we discover the true secret to our inner value, but in the challenges that we are called to face.

So what is the secret to unlocking your value?

Secret #1:  Value is in the discovery of what you were born to do and what you have to offer the world.

That doesn’t always mean that it’s losing your job and writing a book or starting your own company.  It can mean anything, in every task, during any normal day as well.

Since I work from home now, I’m remembering those days of what it felt like to be a stay at home mom.  The dishes, the laundry, the carting kids around … the everyday tasks that tend to get mundane and overwhelming.  I’m remembering how I would occasionally feel a little forgotten. Unappreciated.  I remember what it was like to dress in my favorite black pencil skirt with my delicious red leather patent shoes …. and then I look down and I’m still wearing my pajama’s and it’s already noon.  But, there is even value in that.

I’d worked for nearly 8 hours on my novel and on my website http://www.igniteyourtruth.com one day last week and when I broke for lunch I noticed how dirty the oven was.  I felt like that oven. A little forgotten, serving a great purpose, but a little bit of a mess.  So, I set out to clean it.  I don’t know what happened in that hour but I was suddenly dead set on cleaning that oven like I’d never cleaned anything before.  Out of nowhere I sensed value in my doing what I was doing and it felt good.  I was humming and singing and scrubbing and at one point I think I even day dreamt about winning the best oven cleaner contest in the world.  (this was before 5:00 so I hadn’t even cracked a bottle of wine yet)

That evening when James came home and asked me, “So, what did you do today?”  I felt slightly unaccomplished.  I felt overwhelmed. Starting a company and editing a novel is draining and it doesn’t bring a steady pay check.  I took his comment personally, as if by my staying at home now to kick start my company made me some house wife who sits around and eats bon bon’s all day.

But then, something happened.  I smiled.  I pointed to the oven and said, “I cleaned the oven.”

Maybe it wasn’t the launch of my novel or the booking of several speaking engagements or a high website hit day.  But I’d done something with my whole heart that day, given it everything I had, and I felt damn good about it.

Secret #2:  If you do just one thing today, do it with all your heart.  You’ll find the value.

  • What strengths, skills and unique talents do you have that create value in your work, with your friends and with family? 
  • How can you start to focus on those to really unlock the secrets to your value? 
  • What situations have you been in that led you to your value moments? 

We’d love to hear from you!  Comment. Connect. Share.

Prize Winner for Inspired Woman of the Week Contest!

Gina Swenson | Inspired Woman of the Week Contest

Doesn’t matter what Gina has on her plate she always makes me a priority in her life and it blesses me and inspires me. To be a person so selfless and so giving of every facet of herself to those she loves every day?

 

This week’s nomination comes from Catherine McClaugherty of Littleton Colorado and she says,”I’m nominating my best friend Gina Swenson for the Inspiring Woman of the Week because she embodies basically everything that Ignite Your Truth has been discussing and delving into since the start. Authentic friendships. We naturally always hold all of those looming little insecurities we have as close as possible and tightly cling to the difficult and (albeit sometimes dark) secrets of our lives. Since the day I met her over 13 years ago and we locked eyes across a restaurant (she was my boss at the time but I’m trying to romanticize the moment here…ha!) any resistance to do what seems natural was just futile. The woman just looks at me and my own most personal and intimate thoughts come tumbling out.”

Catherine continues to tell Ignite Your Truth: “My entire life I’ve been told that I am not one to really open up, so Gina is like my own trusted Gladiator in terms of helping me navigate and conquer my inner battles and struggles. Gina is an incredibly busy mother of six, let me repeat, SIX children including her 2 beautiful step daughters. The way her children respect and adore her no doubt would make even a great mother – look at her in awe if not envy. I can only imagine what kind of lives and accomplishments lie ahead for the munchkins that are being raised by this one of a kind woman. Her (awkwardly high) level of intelligence and ability to look at the world everyday as HER oyster inspires me. As we get older and friendships often change with different paths and responsibilities, Gina and I’s friendship has only evolved and grown. Two kids? Three kids? Four kids? A daily schedule that probably doesn’t leave five minutes for her just to be alone? Doesn’t matter what Gina has on her plate she always makes me a priority in her life and it blesses me and inspires me. “

What does it mean to be an Inspired Woman?  In Catherine’s words for Gina, “To be a person so selfless and so giving of every facet of herself to those she loves every day? (And that was Gina’s voice just popping into my head saying in our favorite Asian comedian’s voice, “HOW yoouuuuuu know daaaaat”…) I know for a fact one day Gina and I will be somewhere sharing a bottle of “two buck chuck” on some patio when we’re in our 80s not reminiscing about life – but trying to out-talk eachother in whatever it is we’re flapping our jaws about at the moment and deciding how to maximize a night of fun while minimizing the trouble we know we’ll be getting into.
What is it about them/you that specifically relates to this week’s theme? : In a nutshell, Gina can Ignite My Truth when sometimes I can’t seem to get it lit on my own. :) “

This is raw, relevant, Radical Friendship ladies!  Thank you so much to Catherine for nominating such an OUTSTANDING WOMAN and thank you to GINA SWENSON for being that friend, mother, sister, daughter, and woman that we can all look up to!

What did Gina Win?

This Week’s Prize

energyA big thank you to Jessica Crouch, Independent Rep of Shaklee!
Shaklee Energy Chews provide a clean burst of healthy energy to help you get that extra edge when you need it most. Each chew contains a scientific blend of caffeine from natural green tea extract, plus L-tyrosine, L-theanine, B vitamins and vitamin D. And there are no artificial flavors, sweeteners or added preservatives you’ll find in other energy products.
That’s PURE energy.
Retail Price: $21.15 – 20 ct package

Nominate your Inspired Woman of the Week Today!

Sunshine Bloggers Award!

sunshine-blog-awardWOW! I feel so honored and humbled to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by fellow inspiring blogger Mary at Rock Your Inner Hippie!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, MARY! :)

There are some small details that go hand-in-hand with excepting this awesomely-titled award, so here they are:

‘The rules…’

  • Include the award logo in a post or on the blog
  • Include a link to the person who nominated you (Molly, you rock!)
  • Write 10 random things about yourself
  • Nominate ten other bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”, and let them know you nominated them…

Now for those 10 Random Things about Me…

1. I am an actress but didn’t act in my first play until I was 34 years old!

2. I sold my first book in 2002!

3. I lack the ability to turn down a dare

4. I can impersonate E.T like no other!

5. My son is currently in Boot Camp and graduates in only 9 days!

6. I am a classic Literature FREAK and have a tattoo of the Raven on my back!

7. My dog is Named Hemingway.  (See #6 lol)

8. Once, as a guest speaker at a church for Roe vs. wade Week I faked a live pregnancy test.

9. My life motto is: ‘Nothing is Ever In Vain’

10. My second novel, Restitution, is about to be released

And my SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD nominations are (drumroll please…)…

1. Jenna Dee 222

2. Insight from a Woman’s Heart

3. Steven Waddell

4. Dosage of Daily Inspiration

5. Health, Happiness, and Skinny Wraps

6. Ignite Your Truth

7. Brevity

8. Mindfulbalance

9. Truth and Cake

10. Real Life Co.

A big THANK YOU to each of these bloggers for the SUNSHINE they spread with every blog they write  🙂
And to Mary, I say thank you again for nominating me for this wonderful award  🙂

Be Blessed! Be Bold! Love, Courtney!

The Hungry Hippos of Self-Loathing & Hate

hunger_of_self_loathing_ignite-your-truthSelf-Loathing is an insult to who you are – You are highly valued!

I can remember all of my failures and mistakes as if they were happening in this exact moment, each time I am disappointed.  Every failed effort is coupled by past failed efforts and it’s as if they feed off one another in a frantic game of Hungry Hippo.  Logically, I know where my value is and that mistakes only lead to great growth and new opportunities, but in that moment; that exact moment – I am totally void of the ability to gain control.  The perpetual cycle of poor me is a dance I do quite well.

I used to stay in the game for long periods of time, chomping at every bit of excuse and self-loathing as if it were my life line to some warped reality of survival.  Before I knew it, I wasn’t just playing with my own insecurity and lack of worth, I was accusing others of theirs.  Surely, my failures weren’t just my own and someone could have done something to help me.  Then, the isolation would break out.  The little white balls of fear were eaten all up, the board game sat cold and lonely, and I too began to break into a proverbial cage of leave me the hell alone.  I’d stay there for days.

Eventually I’d toss the game into a dark corner, my pity party escalated into screw it all.  The giving up of all the hard work I’d put in to achieve something.  Anger, that sweltering hot house of madness, seeped in and I met it like an old friend; the kind who offers you drugs on a street corner and tempts you because it’s free and well, no one else is looking anyway.  Just do it.  Just give up.  What’s the point of trying again anyway?

What began as an unmet success, a missed opportunity, a mistake, or even an unmet expectation I’d had of something or someone soon became the definition of myself.  Instead of the situation becoming a lesson towards greater good or the overcoming of something to reach an even better opportunity ahead; I allowed my lack of value and self-worth to beat me into submission.

Through the years, I’ve played the game less and less, and the old battered and beaten Hippo’s have learned that I don’t care if I eat all the white marbles of mistakes and disappointments.  I can even laugh at a few now, because the truth is … it’s a game that is never won all the way.

Failure hurts.  Disappointments are painful.  Un-met expectations are hard.  But they don’t define us.  When I’ve learned to play the game with my value, taking into account who I truly am and what it is about me that has the courage to keep moving forward; I’ve already won.

I don’t isolate.  I don’t blame.  I don’t self-sabotage.  I see the mistake or the failure for what it is, play around with it for a minute to learn what I need to learn, and then realize that all great things begin somewhere … somehow, again and again and again.

Put the Hippo of Self-Hate away.  It’s okay to feel disappointed, but remember that your mistakes and especially those missed opportunities or un-met expectations you had, well, they don’t define your value or who you are.  It’s in the way you grow from it.  It’s how you reach back out.  Your efforts, in the trying of success, are a gold-mine of inspiration and opportunity.

IGNITE YOUR TRUTH!

The Law Of Attraction: Real or Not?

tom-casanoThe Law of Attraction: Real or Not?

by Guest Blogger Tom Casano

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S.Lewis

After moving out of my parents’ house in 2007, I moved into a 150-square-foot studio apartment in Queens, New York.  It was in the basement of someone’s house, with 2 small windows and pink walls.  I lived alone.

It was depressing.

I lived there for 4 years, spending most of my time after work — I can finally admit it now — smoking pot and spacing out.  I laugh now as I look back on that experience, but a good part of the time I was day dreaming, thinking of the infinite possibilities of my life.  And yet here I was, living in an ugly little apartment with no job.

I had no car, no nearby friends, and no money in my back account.

I spent all my savings on just getting the apartment.  In New York you pay the broker’s fee, security deposit, and first month’s rent.  My $2,000 of savings was annihilated in one fell swoop.

The Gift of Failure

Before moving in, I lived with my parents for a year.

While living at my parents house and giving music lessons, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with my life.  I had earned a Bachelors degree in Philosophy.  4 years and a lot of academic work later, I was giving guitar lessons to 14-year-olds, 3 or 4 times a day.

Something was wrong.

My dream after graduation was to be a rock star (I know, I have big dreams).  Everyone, it seemed, told me to do what I love.  I figured now’s the best time to take a chance.

After a year of constant practicing, playing bars for $30 a night, and teaching 15 students a week, it just wasn’t working out the way I had planned.

I ultimately “failed” in fulfilling this dream.

At the time it was very painful to admit defeat, that I wasn’t going to be a rockstar, and might have to succumb to living a very ordinary and mediocre life.  I was deeply disappointed.  My dream had died and I felt like I had truly failed.

Ironically, this failure came to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

It was the only thing that opened the door for me to step into something new.  If I hadn’t failed at this, who knows how long I would’ve kept dragging along, stuck and unhappy.

This failure was the biggest opportunity of my life.

 

When An Old Dream Dies, A New One is Born

Okay.  If I wasn’t going to be a rockstar, then what was the second-best thing I could do for my career?

Well, my only motivation at this point in my life was simply to not work.

So I reasoned that if I had lot of financial leverage — like a hedge fund manager — then even if I made just 1% on a billion dollar fund, I’d be all set.  Simple dream.  Where do I get this fund?

With my bank account close to zero, I moved into that depressing pink apartment in Queens.

I was ready to strike out out and do something great.

 

law-of-attraction-attraction

 

The Law of Attractions Works

I’m happy to tell you that the law of attraction really works.

I dreamed about being financially secure and having financial freedom.

Basically, all the time.

I spent my evenings in my ugly basement apartment, laying on my twin bed and staring at the ceiling, dreaming about a better life for myself. I imagined the money I was making, the girlfriend I had, my stimulating social life, my awesome, spacious apartment.

I had none of it.

But it all happened.

It took a lot of time and a lot of effort, but it all happened.

Day dreaming about it every night, thinking about it all the time, wishing for it to come true, eventually brought it into my life.

 

Finding my Path

At first I worked through a temp agency for a property manager, a plumbers’ union, and even a hedge fund, all within the span of a month.

I went on over 10 or 15 interviews.

Then, it happened.

I kept landing on “day trading firms”, where you trade stocks in the stock market to make money.  Finally I found a firm that would back me (take the risk for me since I had no money), and off I went.  I had positioned myself with the opportunity to make my dreams come true.

It was absurdly difficult at first.  I’d make money one month and then lose it all the next month.  But three years later, I was making into the 6 figures.  I couldn’t believe it.  I still can’t believe it.  My first dream was starting to come true.

 

How to Practice the Law of Attraction in Your Own Life

The law of attraction is real.  It actually works.  And with time and practice, you can even make it work faster.

The two most effective techniques I practiced to implement the law of attraction? ……….

 READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

Tom Casano is the founder of Life Coach Spotter, where you can get your free guide: How Do I Find a Life Coach?  You can also learn about what a life coach is and how to get a life coach.

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