Tag Archives: fun

Guest Post: Unique Purpose

Guest Post written by my sweet cousin, big dreamer and über hiker, Brittany Paulin.  Enjoy!

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I have found that I go through stages of inspirational growth.

I’ve confronted love and judgment and there is always fear to expel. Lately, though, I’ve had words like direction, purpose, commitment and balance eloquently enter my psyche. I believe that we all have a unique purpose. My purpose is to serve and help others be healthy.  With that, I am a bit of a free spirit with tunnel vision on the Now. You know, doing what I want when I want on the fly, oozing creativity and investigating ideas. And, I am a 24 year-old-business owner.

How do I channel these ideas and creativity in a direction towards my purpose?

How can I best serve, run a business, and still retain some of my own self?

Balance is a big player here.  What good are these brilliant ideas if they never meet reality?

These are what I’ve found I need to focus on to give myself direction and live my dreams:

Commitment:  It’s not just about relationship commitments. Commitment is love. Therefore when I am passionate about doing something, I have to make a commitment to it. A commitment and love for myself. A commitment to nourish myself. A commitment to health. A commitment to my purpose. Each day I have to reassert and recommit to the purpose. Just like a relationship, it won’t always be easy. There may be fights, but you can’t give up because it is ‘hard’. My grandparents haven’t been married over 50 years and my parents for over 30 years not because it was easy, but they never gave up on the commitment or the love. You can’t divorce your purpose. So in combining this with my ideas now, I commit to my purpose every day. I commit to a direction to take NOW, today, to fulfill and move my purpose forward. I love my job. I love myself. That’s why I am committed and in it for the long haul.

Reconnection: This is big  one for me. Hiking has become such a key part of who I am. Not just for exercise but for the opportunities it yields. A couple of hours a week for quality Brittany time.  I reconnect to myself.  I rediscover what I believe.  I reconnect to my purpose. To listen to my intuition and find that direction free of the influence of others. I am my truest self. My ideas soar. I write my best pieces and have my most brilliant thoughts. Being in Nature makes the problems of my life, concerns about money, doubts and fears seem so small. At the same time its vastness is humbling, but also makes me feel that the World is brimming with infinite opportunities. There are no limits to my own potential and what I can accomplish.

Create Energy: Growing up shy and quiet, I view myself as a good energy reader, as I spent most of my time in observation and listening. Having a purpose where I need to serve, I realize that I have to create an attractive energy. People have to say yes before I can help. Focus on the radiating energy: love, positivity, enthusiasm. I’ve realized that being the highest version of me is the best way to inspire and help others. Make your energy contagious!

Have Fun:  When I read this in the book, Tao of Pooh, I thought I’d found the answer to life. But I had to realize it’s not the party, the do-whatever-the hell-I want-fun. There is still the purpose to focus on. It is the idea that what you’re doing, where you are is fun. Love your job. Love your purpose. Love your Life!

Take time to discover yourself and make a commitment to your life’s purpose. Create energy to let this happen, take time to reconnect, and keep the thought that life is fun!

About Brittany:  She is a Healthy Lifestyle Coach. She teaches weight loss and longevity by teaching healthy eating habits, cooking, exercise with kettlebells, and inspirational thought. In the last six months she has taken ownership of the family business, moved to Colorado Springs to set up a new facility, and continues to oversee the Terre Haute location. She is passionate about cooking, which she loves to share with others through her blog, cookbooks and videos. Her next dream is to create and publish her own solo cookbook. Dream of all dreams? Brittany has a fascination with VW buses and food trucks, so her biggest dream is to travel with her Bakery Bus, serving gluten and refined sugar free treats!

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What Do You Do?

I am in the midst of creating business cards that are really life cards.

So, not necessarily my 9am-5pm business life on a card, but the “what I am up to with my big, amazing life” card.

That way, when we meet one evening at a party and you shake my hand and ask the question that we always ask to keep the conversation alive and engaging, “Nice to meet you.  (pause)  So, what do you do?”

I can hand you a life card and say, “Oh me?  I am the Mad Hatter“.

Here is how the back of the card I hand you will read:

Boom.

I cannot wait to meet you!  What will your big, amazing life card read?

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The Pop Over, Swing By, Drop In. Anyone?

When was the last time you showed up somewhere unannounced?

Great question.  With the use of cell phones and all their fancy cameras, text messages and voice dialing – the element of surprise is almost an extinct element in our lifetime!  And, I love surprises!

So last night, I am walking the dog sans mobile device.  Just me, the dog, poop bags and the good old open air and eye contact!  I walked past my friend’s apartment whom which I was going to yoga with in the next hour or so.  We had never confirmed, so I decided to do a little surprise pop in.  I knock on the door and no joke – all these visions pop in my head.  I say to myself, “shoot, what if she is with someone and I am interrupting?”, “oh I hear she is on the phone, how rude of me”, “omg, what if she is naked?”…. ridiculous, I know!  So she answers and it was one of these “Oh!  Hey!  What are you doing here?”.

Now, let me  be clear with sentence emphasis.  It was not “oh, hey, what are YOU doing here?”… but more of the “Oh!  Hey!  What are you doing HERE?   Here?  At my door step?  In front of my apartment?   Yes, she was mildly shocked and surprised.

It was a funny exchange in which I spilled “we were just stopping by to see what time to head to yoga?” – as if that sentence were one long word to clarify why I was there, and simultaneously apologize for the no text, no phone drop by.  Very odd.

And funny.

I thought about the experience while walking the dog back home the one measly block away.  I realized that we just don’t knock on doors, surprise drop in or just swing by anymore.  We don’t do the fun Kramer door slide pop over ever.  You know, Kramer from Seinfeld?  The pop over move to Jerry’s house quite literally made his character on that show!  #greatTV

The Pop In

The Pop Over

From now on, I am committing to more pop-over-Kramer-moves.  Nope, I am not calling you or texting you – I am just coming over!  Get ready for life in person, coming in hot!

SURPRISE!

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Project Inspiration: Amanda Casgar

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my dear friend, Amanda Casgar has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  She is newer to my World, but just as much impactful.  She really is the hostess-with-the-mostess-stand-for-your-goals-in-the-utmost-powerful-way-insanely-innovative-powerful-total-New-Yorker-that-walks-fast-and-talks-fast-loving-poopoo-platter-creating-joke-teller of a friend.

Dear Amanda,

I remember sharing a hotel room with you on one of our numerous trips to Vancouver for work.  We were talking, laughing, sharing and you said, “hey, can we be friends for a long time?”.   I had never been asked that question directly, and of course, my immediate response and reaction was, “yes please!”.  And I meant it.  We phone one another often, and by often, I mean a lot and we have the luxury of the work connection, however, some times work friends become real life friends and I am so happy we made that shift.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

First and foremost, you are my goal stand.  And I wish I could think of a cooler analogy and I am sure you will think of one in 13 seconds, but you stand for my goals.  Period.  I say I want to do this, here comes Amanda with an opportunity.  I am thinking maybe I should go this direction with my goals, here comes Amanda with advice and someone to connect me to.  Now, I know you are the ultimate matchmaker for people.  But I am so happy that I was already taken in the love domain and you took the path of matchmaking my deepest, scariest, most radical goals with possibility in my life domain.  I am inspired by how you stand for me, how you stand for others.  It pushes me to listen, listen, listen to and be in possibility and find opportunity in the coolest of ways. 

Amanda, you are the epitome of the phrase, ‘hostess with the mostest’.  You can make a full on snack bar out of an empty refrigerator.  You can make a roundtrip grocery shop in 17 minutes for a full week of delicious-ness, in what would take me at least 92 solid minutes.  And this truly reflects how much you care for other people; how much you care that there is an environment for people to feel comfortable, satisfied and always  just enough wine.  I admire your party-throwing abilities and how you care and love others so they feel invited and ‘at home’. 

You are a funny human being.  I smile and laugh so much when I am around you.  You have this quick wit, one liner, loud type of humor that everyone gravitates to.  Never a dull moment, be it in a yoga class, a full on dance party, or on a 5:30am run, in which I have no idea how you enrolled me to be up that early;  you lighten a mood and throw out some vocabulary word we all have no knowledge of and then make another joke about that.  You relate quickly to your audience, connect and truly leave a legacy.  It is a true gift to be someone who people never forget – you are one of those people.  I am inspired.

You are the Director of Innovation.  When it comes to creativity energy and cool ideas, I call on you.  I look forward to every conversation and especially the future you will create, as it will never look the same as the last idea, as yesterday; it will never be old news.  You will never be old news.  So fresh, so vibrant, and some times risky.  I am inspired by your thought process and the way you stand for it; it allows me to think big, be a bit risky and ask for more in all areas of my life.

And Amanda, you are just fun.  I know every time we get together that I will walk away smiling because we had radical conversation, deep belly laughter and get real moments of presence and gratitude.  Always the life of a party, always a good time; I would definitely opt to be stuck in an airport with you for 8 hours any time. 

You are a great friend I am so happy to have in my life.  The true life of a party, the host of a party and the entertainment at the party; one might ask, “how do you do it all?”.  But that is who you are and it is amazing.  Thank you for being my friend now and for a long time, for standing for my goals in the most beautiful way, for being a perfect host and rocking life on the regular with your huge ideas and innovative ways.  I am so inspired by you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Chris New

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Chris New has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution. He is that there-for-you-any-time-every-time-Midwest-hearted-turned-California-dude-slash-uber-hipster-on-a-beachcruiser-with-a-prius-great-taste-in-music-loves-me-full-heartedly-stands-for-me type of best friend.

Dear Chris New,

We met.

In a Bar.

Celebrating.

Obviously.

Story of our college life. Really, story of our friendship life. I strut into Kilroys during those IU college summers when you really think you ‘own’ the town. I saw you just yelling so loud, smiling so big, happy and free. I said to myself, “I want to be best friends with that guy, right now”. And so it was. And be it with my family, just the two of us, with our friends in Vegas or on the sand, we have been partying ever since.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am every day.

Chris New. You are a radical best friend, and by radical I mean the true definition of the word. Extreme, to the limit and extraordinary. I remember when you made me promise to wear jeans twice a week to go out and have fun with you. I tell that story all the time. As my best friend, you pulled me out of a funk and brought me back to reality.  In a language that made sense. “Jacki, no more legging and yoga clothes – put on jeans!” I am forever inspired by your ability to speak to people you care for in a way they understand. Thank you for speaking my language and bringing me back.

You are a live-it-all-right-now human being. There is an 80’s song that is my definition of you, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears; it opens with, “welcome to your life, there’s no turning back….”. I mean, do you play this song every morning? Because you took that welcome mat and RAN with it. I am inspired by you, your life choices and your ultimate enjoyment of who you are. It is a constant reminder to live my life now, because there is no turning back or do overs.

You are a part of my family, Chris New. Period.

I really love that you go to concerts and movies solo. I think it is so cool that you don’t miss a favorite band or rad concert because everyone is busy – you buy the ticket and treat yourself. It inspires me to not wait on anyone else to plan something, just go and be happy.

And on that note, Chris, you are just freaking cool.  You are.  Cool music, cool dive bars, great foodie foods, flannel…you are who you are.  You do not try to be anyone else, or look good with ego or do things that don’t feel right.  You are self aware and so true to your values.  It is very beautiful.   I am inspired every single day to be me, as you have been such a great example in my life.

You are the life of a party, the true meaning of friendship, and someone I will always have a space for in my heart.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally, being on reality tv with me, getting P90seXy day after day, making me go out and be your best friend, for loving my family, sticking it out through the hard stuff, for being cool, and for loving Christmas as much as I do.  I am always inspired by you.

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Matt Hoglund

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Matt Hoglund has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  You probably have one of these:  the talk-for-hours-yoga-loving-possibility-seeking-share-your-goals-and-dreams-with-brutally-honest-and-well-dressed best friend.  Let’s compare notes. 

Matty,

I remember that sunny day you walked through the glass double doors at lululemon athletica Santa Monica and thinking, “Hmph, how did this guy get the job I applied for?”.  Ego talking.  Recurring theme, I am aware.  From our shared yoga dates to work drama, our amazing coffee evenings or late night wine chats, match.com winks to cleaning out my closet and sharing possibilities, I am so happy you got the job and walked into my life that day.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are, has and continues to shape who I am every day.

You, Matt, are possibility every day.  I envision when you wake up there is an inspirational book of quotes next to your bathroom sink to read while teeth brushing, you have a daily declaration on your mirror every morning,  and  you leave the house standing upright and walking with an air of “today is the day to be great”.   And I envision this because when I speak to you via phone, you ooze with greatness.  I am inspired by your mentality, your ability to believe in yourself and who you choose to be each day.  And, I believe in you.

Matt, you look good.  And I mean really good.  Your fashion sense is unreal and you have no qualms sharing what not to wear.  As I recall, you saved me from the insanity that was packing to move from LA to Chicago by shipping out 3 large black gallon garbage bags to goodwill.  It was not the sheer and utter honesty when you held up the pink and black polka dotted skirt that was size 2 and you looked at me like “that is never going to happen every again”; what it really was:  is who are you are.  We had a great time cleaning out my closet, we had a great time making fun of my fashion sense and you allowed space in my life.  Space that was not there before.  I am inspired by the space you allow people by being you.

Your decision to leave a job to create one that would fulfill all areas of your life is inspiring.  You choose possibility over fear and that in itself is a rare gift.   Go ahead, check him out:  www.matthoglund.com.  You’re not going to live a mediocre life and neither am I.  Knowing we are in it together keeps me excited – and calling you every other day for accountability.  Thanks for picking up the phone.

The ability to be open and patient definitely allows you a leg up.  A long leg up.  You thrive on feedback to be better, you listen listen listen then ask questions and you allow yourself and others time with no judgment.  I yearn to write ‘envious’ – however, that is not the correct word.  I am inspired by you as a great leader in my life.  I continuously work on patience and listening and you are such a guiding light.

Lastly, I will not leave out our one night of amazing dance moves at Circle Bar.  There it comes up again – that fearless movement, literally.  We showed that dance floor and Santa Monica community who was boss that night.  And to me, that sums up how you live your life.  Create it, show them who is boss and dance because you can.  So inspiring and I will continue to shake my groove thing with you.

Thank you Matty for going against the grain, having a different conversation and beautiful worldview, and for teaching me everyday to be a great human being.  The experiences I have from our friendship are ones that I am forever grateful.  I will continue to be a name that shows up on your caller id, and I look forward to every encounter; as every time I am in a different and greater space than I was before we connected. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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Project Inspiration: Alex Christensen

As I dig deep and look into who I really am, I look into who I invest my time with and how they have moved me in what I have called Project Inspiration.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how my best friend, Alex Christensen has inspired me and been a part of my life evolution.  You probably have one of these:  the always-there-for-you-voice-of-reason-eat-everything-and-stay-thin-perfect-coutnerpart-super-organized-travelling-adventure-seeking-crazy-big-hearted best friend.  Let’s compare notes…

Dear Alex,

You are a once in a lifetime best friend. 

We met our first day in college, you had bangs and braces and I had an ego and mismatched outfits.  It took us a year or so to come around to best friends, and once we did we were inseparable.  Same classes, studies abroad in Australia, moved to California together, shared living space, and thus shared life space.  I am forever grateful for that college encounter on our dorm floor and the countless memories we have shared.

What I wanted to let you know is that who you are has and continues to shape who I am everyday.

Your life is an ultimate adventure.  Spending a year in Australia to currently hopping around Europe – your ability to dive headfirst into life is inspiring.  I love reading your writing, sharing with my friends that you are my best friend wandering around the World and I am so proud of you for living the life you want.  I triple dare all of you to read Al’s radical adventures here, and I wish you luck to try not to pack your suitcase to meet her in the upcoming romps across Africa, Italy or Greece.   Al, you remind me daily to live the life I really want and remember that life’s too short not to make it happen.

You are the voice of reason, the organized part of my brain that is missing, and you tell the truth.  Thank you for standing for me in all these years, for staying on this friendship rollercoaster even when the drops and turns got gnarly, and for telling me how it is like it is.  True friendship is honesty and that is something I have learned from you. 

As my own travel agent and organized to the hour planner, you are the master.  I literally bow down to your ability to organize a group trip, plan the daily activities and crunch those dreaded numbers.  I am truly in awe and so lucky to have you on my life team.  My ideas are mere thought bubbles of fun until you sit down and book a flight, find an adventure and say “hey, let’s go”.  You inspire me to get into action.  Have an idea and plan it out, Jacki!

You are just fun.  If we are together, I have no doubt in my mind that it is going to be a damn good time.  Always.  Dance moves, funny voices, laugh till tears,  memories relived, movie quotes and more; you’re energy and radical spirit is something I always want to be around.

To be honest, you are always right … and in the right way.  You think things through while thinking of others.  The compassionate side of you is what always makes you right.  I honestly feel for the husband you wrangle – he will undoubtedly 87% of the time be wrong, lose that knowledge battle and apologize later.  Its your intuition, your core values and knowing yourself.  I am inspired to be right…like you, in the right way.

You are a teacher.  A life teacher.  You are never one to just give the answers away.  Whether you know it or not, who you are provides lessons to all those around you.  I am inspired by your ability to drop the ego and allow someone else to step forward, find the answer and succeed in a spotlight.  True grace. 

As I look back in my memory files, flip through my photo albums, and click through facebook of our 244 pics, I smile.  Filled with gratitude for a best friend like you.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally and sharing life space with me.  Alex, thank you for inspiring me everyday to live  an adventure-filled life, to know my values and keep me in check, and for leaving me to hop the World.  I have never learned more. 

As you continue to rock in this life, keep being who you are. And I promise that I will do the same.

Inspired,

Jacki Carr

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