Lifestyle

Quit These Things For A Simpler Life


Life gets crazy. Whether it’s our busy schedules or busy minds, we could all use some time to simplify our lives. Previously, I gave you all a couple lists of things to do to simplify your lives. Now, here’s a list of things to quit to make your life a little more simple. 

1. Trying to be perfect

Whether you’re trying to look perfect, be perfect, seem perfect, or do perfectly, just stop. Art is beautiful and each piece has its flaws. No one on this planet is absolutely perfect. Even Kendall Jenner makes mistakes and stars in terrible soda commercials. 

2. Comparing yourself

I have a hard time with this one. Lately it seems like all I do is compare what I look like, what I have, who I am, to what I see on Pinterest. It’s terrible. And, has only made my life more complicated. To make things more simple, just accept who you truly are and be happy with what you have. 

3. Dwelling on the past

This is another huge one for me. I tend to dwell on my past. A lot of bad things happened back then. But, the only way to enjoy a simple life is to accept what happened and enjoy the moments you’re in. 

4. Complaining

Just don’t. Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful for this life. I complain to myself all day, but if I put it aside like I’m doing right now, I’m able to do what I truly want to. 

5. Waiting

This one I’m working on right now. I stopped waiting to feel like writing and just started writing. I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end of this post and publish it, but I’m trying to make shit happen. Don’t wait around for motivation to strike, just start doing it and motivation may come. 

6. Lying 

Pretty much, don’t be an asshole. Don’t lie to others, even if it’s a simple, “how are you” question. Speak the truth, always. 

7. Pleasing everyone

You will never be able to make everyone happy. I learned this while living in Tennessee. Everyone expected so much from me and I was under so much pressure to be perfect for everyone. Just try and make yourself happy and those who truly care won’t mind. 

8. Thinking you’re not ready

I have this habit of thinking I’m not ready to write. It’s not clean enough, I don’t have a desk, I’m a mess how can I help others, the list goes on. Put aside your doubts and just start trying. Start working on what you think you’re not ready for. You may surprise yourself. 

9. Buying things you don’t need

I had a huge problem with this. I kept buying and buying thinking I needed it all. I don’t. And it turns out, most of it is heading to Goodwill. Buy only the things you need. 

10. Blaming others

I could sit here all day and list the reasons why others are to blame for my problems. But truth is, it’s my response to the actions of others that caused my problems. We’re in control of ourselves, if something is wrong we need to look at us not them. 

11. Overthinking 

I’m fighting this one off right now. I’m overthinking that this piece isn’t good enough, funny enough, or sarcastic enough. I haven’t been able to write in two weeks because I keep overthinking everything. Hopefully this will get me back into writing again. 

-Liz

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How To, Lifestyle

Simple

“Keep things extremely simple.” This is my new mantra for life. It’s good to sometimes switch it up. I love everything about this, it’s so easy to over think and over plan, I know I’m doing it right now. My boyfriend and I laid down for a nap and even though I wanted to sleep, I just couldn’t. It wasn’t happening. I had so many thoughts racing through my head. What to write about, what to pack for vacation, what to wear, daydreaming, everything. I was getting anxious just laying there. Plus, he was drooling on my head. Anyway, he’s still asleep on the sofa and I’m outside in the sun writing. 

Life can get very complicated, even when it’s not. This happens when the thoughts in our heads start to go crazy. And, when you have anxiety it can make it so much worse. We get busy, we over think, we over plan, we come up with crazy scenarios in our minds, the list goes on. So, how do we make life more simple? How do we act on “keep things extremely simple?” Here are my ideas.

How To Keep Things Extremely Simple

1. Give yourself a deadline

When making decisions or working on a project, give yourself a deadline to have it done.

  • Making a decision 

Give yourself 30 seconds to make a damn choice. For the small things, anyway. If you’re like me you’re wondering whether you should write or if you should clean. I could spend hours trying to decide. But, I gave myself 30 seconds to choose. And now I’m writing. For the bigger things, set a time you think appropriate. If it’s something like, whether or not to buy that sofa from Ikea, give yourself an hour. If it’s something like, going on vacation, give yourself a day. Just whatever you do, make that choice by your deadline. 

  • Projects

If your project doesn’t already have a deadline, create one for it. Whether it’s studying or whatever, create a deadline to have it done by. For me, I like to repaint furniture. So, I usually set a deadline to have it done by the end of the day, or the next day (depending on the size of the project). If I don’t do this, I could spend all month painting an end table. 

2. Simplify your home (or apartment, bedroom, etc.)

When our living spaces are messy, our minds can be messy. It’s kinda like a back and forth thing. A messy living space can create a messy mind. But, a messy mind also tends to create a messy living space. Just, get rid of the clutter. 

3. Three box (or pile) decluttering

Boxes keep things more organized, but I can’t currently get to any of my boxes. So, I’m using piles! When going through things, set a box (or pile) for things to get rid of, things to keep, and one for maybes to go through again at the end. I’ll be doing this today, if I can get my ass going. My best friend’s daughter is raising donations to earn a party for her class, the kid with the most donations gets a gift card. So, there’s my motivation to get rid of as much as I possibly can. I’ll probably go through my closet a third time, just to be sure. 

4. Ask yourself this question when going through things

“Do I truly love this thing?” I truly love my sign that says “Good Vibes Only.” Okay, I spent $70 on that damn sign, it ain’t going anywhere. But something I do truly love would be, well, I can’t think of anything. Damn. Guess I’ve got a lot I can get rid of. The only things I can think of that I truly love are my photographs on the walls. 

Anyway, ask yourself that question with EVERYTHING. Get rid of the things that don’t bring you joy. My rock collection brings me joy, but only certain pieces so, some of that can go. Things I’ve painted bring me joy, but not all of them. Then, there are books I’ll never read, they can go. If something doesn’t make you happy, set it free. Donate it. It could make someone else very happy. 

5. Keep on cleaning

While you’re at it, clean out your closet. Go. Through. Everything. Even the pile of junk on the top you try to ignore. That crap you’ve stuffed in a box (or in my case, a suitcase), go through it. You never see it, obviously you never use it, get rid of that shit! For some reason, I decided to keep a box of cheap ass Valentine’s decorations. Those can go. 

6. While you’re at it, might as well do this

I mean, by this time you’re on a fucking roll. Might as well clean the kitchen! And I’m talking CLEAN it! Go through the pantry, go through the fridge. Get rid of old food, donate the things you can. We’re all guilty of having that one thing in the fridge that expired ages ago but we ignore. Go through the damn food. 


7. Okay, so now you’ve got some free space

Or, maybe you don’t and you need to clear out some more space. Sorry, guys! But, there’s a reason “Man Caves” are so popular. Everyone needs a place to escape to. So, create your own little space within your home. Even if you live alone, create a space that’s relaxing. Right now, I’ve kind of made the patio my own space. It’s where I spend most of my time. It’s where I do 100% of my blogging. It can get messy, but I’m working on it. 

However, when we move into our new townhouse we will have a spare bedroom. I’m freaking out about this. I’m so excited. I tried to convince my boyfriend to let me turn it into a giant closet or fully my office, but we shall compromise (I’ll still have the patio to myself mostly). We’re going to share the space, but have our own spaces within the room. This works for us because we get along so well and I honestly like hearing him talk to the TV when he plays video games. As of right now, the plan is to turn the closet into a game room. That way, I can hide it when I don’t want to see it. I’ll do a whole blog post on this when the time comes, but for now, we plan on putting a tv in the little closet and we will have a sofa and coffee table outside of the closet. I might put something decorative on the doors so it looks nice when they’re closed. On the other side of the room will be my desk and my vanity. Win-win. 

8. Okay, we’re done with the cleaning. So, write a list in your new space. 

Write down a small list of things you love to do. Mine would be:

  • Writing
  • Spending time with Steven
  • Browsing DIY projects
  • Doing DIY projects
  • Shopping at Goodwill

Keep it somewhere you will see it. Return to it when you say you’re bored or you need inspiration. It can be as long or short as you want it to be, but remember, we’re trying to keep shit simple here. 

9. When you’re feeling overwhelmed 

No matter what is causing you to feel overwhelmed, family stress, work stress, anxiety, depression, whatever it may be, start saying “no.” Take a week, yes, an entire week and say no to everything. Any requests anyone wants from you, any plans wanting to be made, say “no.” It’s okay to plan them for the following week if you want, but think of this week of “no” as your own little mental vacation. You’re not fucking available. Sure, stick to the things you already agreed to if you want, don’t be a flake, but for anything new, the answer is no. Simple. 

10. Take some time to relax

Start each day by relaxing. This may even give you something to look forward to if it’s hard for you to wake up. I’ve been doing this for months now. No pressures, just relaxing and giving myself time to wake up. Even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, do it. Even if you live in a house with a ton of other people, wake up before them. Or, let them know you need to be alone during this time.

Here’s what I do to relax on a normal weekday:

  • Up at 5am
  • Coffee in hand
  • Ass on patio chair
  • Boyfriend sitting next to me
  • We look at Facebook and StumbleUpon and share cool shit we see
  • I get more coffee
  • We continue to chill
  • I take him to work
  • I come home and keep on chilling
  • Then, I start my day. 

My boyfriend does this, too. He gets up about half an hour before I do and walks the dogs, makes coffee, and watches the news. He likes his news. I love that. 

11. Take a break

This is something I don’t hardly do, but really should. Take a break from technology. Turn it off, put it in another room, whatever. I don’t know what there is to do while doing this, maybe read a book, take a nap, go for a walk, sit there silently staring at your turned off phone until the hour is up. 

For me, there isn’t much else that interests me to keep my mind busy enough while my phone is off. Plus, I never know when my boyfriend gets off of work and I have to pick him up. Sometimes it’s 5pm, sometimes it’s 9am. It’s always a surprise. Which is actually really frustrating when I’m trying to work. But, for me, I take a break from stupid Facebook. Facebook just stresses me the fuck out sometimes. There’s so much stupid shit on there. Sorry, passionate about this one. I’m actually tempted to create a new Facebook just to clean it up a bit. But, I like all the photos I have on it. So, just take break from it, and don’t be an ass and announce it all over Facebook. Nobody cares. Take an hour break, take a week break, whatever. I usually just try not to go on in general unless I have a notification or something really important to share. Or, if I’m just super fucking bored. 

12. The three things

Make a to do list, only list three things. This one is super popular, and I love it. I’ll be honest, sometimes it takes me three days to do those three things, but it helps. Like today, my three things are:

  1. Make a grooming appointment for my fur baby
  2. Do laundry
  3. Deposit a check 

Keeping with honesty, it took me until 1pm to call the groomer’s. I was over thinking and made it seem like this giant task that I just couldn’t do. I went to fill out my mental health bullet journal and decided I wanted to add that to my daily done list. So, I called and made that appointment and added it to my done list. I have yet to do the laundry or deposit that check (which I can simply do on my phone). 


13. Focus on one thing 

When life gets complicated, or you’re making it complicated, focus on one task. Just one. Pick something off your to do list, or something else, and focus solely on that thing. For me, there are two things I can focus on one at a time. Writing and painting furniture. Find something you can focus on and do it. Ignore the bullshit. 

14. Zone the fuck out

When life is overwhelming, zone out from it. Escape reality, in a healthy way. I’m not talking go get drunk or high but, something mindless. Video games, a book, a nap, writing, painting, walking, running, watching tv, whatever the hell you want to do. My favorite way is to write posts like this one. Just zone out from life, ignore every little thing, and just enjoy your time. Reality will always be waiting for you when you return. 

What are some ways you like to make life more simple? Let me know in the comments!

-Liz

Survive The Day, Uncategorized

Surviving a Sick Day

Hello, I just wanted to take a quick moment and apologize for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks.  Thank you all for your patience as I figure out how to incorporate my blog in my life more and more.  I hope to only bring the best content for my readers and I hope you all have an amazing day!

Xoxo, Elizabeth Ashley.


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We’ve all woken up like this at one point.  The story behind my morning begins with a terrible night.  After sleeping off the stress, I wake up to find myself sick with some form of a cold/flu.  From that point on it was one of those, one thing after another weekends.  So, this photo describes it all!  But, how do we survive a sick day when all we want to do is lay in bed and tell the world to, you know, fuck off?

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Well, start by getting the hell out of bed!  The best outfit to wear when you’re sick is what you’d wear if you were to go take a yoga class.  It makes you feel like you’re about to be productive, but really you’re not going to be doing anything remotely productive.  For me, what I wear benefits my mood in some way.  If I were to have stayed in my pj’s all day, I would have felt even worse.  Sometimes you just need to put on some tight yoga pants that make your ass look good, and enjoy the day.

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The one thing that saves me when I am sick is none other than, hot tea!  I put so much honey and sugar in my tea, it makes my soul sweeter.  Also, you’re sick, who cares what your nail polish looks like?  Take the day to sip some tea, not give a damn about make-up or how presentable you look.  Your ass looks good in those yoga pants, what more could a girl need on a sick day?!  Be gentle to yourself, let the world pause while you heal.

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Being sick is even better when you happen to get your roommate sick, too!  Now you have someone to do puzzles with!  Enjoy time spent with people who care, let them cook for you, let them comfort you.  I was pleasantly surprised when my roommate decided she’d spend time with me, she knows that makes my heart happy.  I was all prepared to be shut off, to step up and take care of myself, then she made my day!  Always take care of yourself, but if you find yourself in the position of having to let others care for you, let them.  All they want to do is love you!

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Now, I know when you’re sick you have no appetite.  I know this because I lost 10lbs while I had a cold.  Don’t let yourself starve!  Now, homemade chicken and dumplings would have probably instantly cured anything wrong with me.  However, when you’re sick you don’t have the energy to make homemade anything!  Canned chicken and dumplings was surprisingly still delicious.  The only soup I will admit to loving is this, thanks to my year spent in the south.  Eat your comfort food, enjoy the warm soup, love the hot tea.  Take a day to step back and take care of yourself.  Be kind to you, you need the love.

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

New Series!

Hello, everyone!  I’ve been working on a new series for you all!  I’m excited to start publishing this series this coming weekend.  If all goes well, I may be able to get you a sneak peek later today!

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The series will be all about how to tackle challenges the day brings.  Some days will have kind of a, follow me vibe to them.  Other days may focus more on one specific thing.  So, keep an eye out for my new series of posts!  For everything from how to survive a sick day, to how to survive a photo shoot!  Love y’all!

XoXo, Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Positive Vibes Only, Please.

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Please excuse my wet hair, this was taken right before being a haircut model at school. 

This past week was a great and busy week!  At school, we had the opportunity to watch a demo by two very respected people in the beauty industry.  Well, I didn’t get to watch, I was too busy trying to not look like a crazy person in front of the entire school while one of them cut my hair!  Social anxiety at it’s best in that moment.  But, I enjoyed every second and love my new hair style!

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Thank you, for my lovely new hair cut!

Wherever you go, there will be someone who disagrees with you.  And that’s what happened to me at the end of my week.  It was a very frustrating moment for me. With any disagreement, it’s best to walk away, and calm your mind down.  Especially for someone with anxiety.  In the moment, it’s easy to assume that a disagreement is negative, it has all the signs pointing to negativity.  I always try to see the positive in every situation.  Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not.  And that’s all okay.  I will not be getting into details, nor will I name, names.  This is not about what went down, this is not about the others in any disagreeing situation.  With this, I am wanting to inspire thought, inspire positivity, and inspire respect.  Do not place blame on others, but hold yourself to a standard of these three things.  The only thing you can control, is your reaction to whatever may come your way.

When you get into a disagreement with someone, they may be open-minded, willing to listen and learn of another point of view.  Other times, they may be closed off, and set in their thoughts.  And that’s totally up to them.  As frustrating as it may be, don’t blame them.  Worry about what is coming out of your own mouth.  What vibes are you expressing to others?

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I like my shoes.

The best way to calm yourself down during a disagreement that is not heading for a positive outcome, is to walk away.  I got up, excused myself, and went and smoked a cigarette.  That was the best way for me to calm down.  I don’t encourage smoking, if you don’t do it, don’t ever do it.  After walking away, you’re in a position of being alone with your thoughts.  Text a friend and rant it all out for a moment, calm your mind, and think from their side.  Understand that no matter what, the best thing to do is to walk away without anger, without hate, only peace.

After talking with my roommate’s mom, she pointed out that this occasion was actually a positive one.  After holding onto it until I got home, I realized that she was right.  It wasn’t positive that there was a disagreement, but in the way I handled it and in the way that I got up and walked back in with my head held high.  No longer angry, no longer hurt, just letting it all roll off my shoulder.  I was able to end my day on a halfway decent note.  And I’m thankful for the way I can see the good in the bad.

And lastly, be respectful, guys!  I mean, come on.  It’s 2016, we’re grown adults, let’s act like it!  If someone has a different point of view than you do, don’t tell them they’re wrong.  Unless it’s something that’s factually wrong like, coffee doesn’t make people happy.  What I mean is, there’s different ways at approaching everything.  Just because someone has a different approach than you do, don’t put them down for it.  Don’t laugh and call that idea wrong.  Because, that’s just wrong.  What matters is the outcome, not the way you create.  In an industry where art is your career, your life, and your passion, you have to respect the way others create.  That’s what forms bonds between artists who can then continue to create masterpieces together!

At the end of the day, enjoy who you are, love yourself.  No matter where you are, or what you’re doing in life; be thoughtful, positive, and respectful.  There are too many people who are not, be the reason someone smiles.

-Elizabeth Ashley

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

When Life has it’s Own Plans.

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I apologize if the quality in this photo is not so great, was taken with my cell phone. 

Before my busy school week abruptly begins again tomorrow morning, 5am, I wanted to share one last weekend post.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I needed a serious study break and for many of you, it’s still a Monday.  However, as soon as I sat down at my table in my favorite coffee shop, I started having ideas come into mind.

The photo above is one that I hold very dear to my heart.  I took this photo in Tennessee, that was the building my ex and I were going to turn into his recording studio.  And yes, that is him.  I’m going to try with all my might to not get too sentimental as I write, as this is intended to be a post looking to the future, and recreating our present lives.

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This was also taken on my phone. 

Sometimes life changes drastically, one moment you’re dreaming of your future.  The next moment, you’re on a plane staring at the Grand Canyon, wondering what will happen next.  These changes don’t happen for just any reason.  They’re not random, they don’t just happen to make you miserable.  Sure, they may seem to come out of the blue, but one day you’ll realize what there is to learn from it.  That is, if you’re willing to learn from it.  I decided to take the drastic change of a break-up and moving across country as a major learning experience.  Yes, it was an uphill battle to get here.  Between the anger, denial, and sadness, it took a while.  But, here I am, willing to share what I have learned.

Through all of this, through the thinking and wondering, I realized my lesson.  Self-care and Self-love.  I stopped caring for myself.  I stopped loving myself.  I had gained weight, I had gotten into a terrible routine, I even began to read so much that I would finish a novel in less than 2 days.  That meant for an entire 8 hours, I laid in bed reading.  I gave up.  Unfortunately, it took me moving back to my home town to realize just how badly I need to save myself.

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Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas. Also taken on my phone…

For anyone who is going through, or has at one point been through, a tough change like this, it’s easy to forget what will help us most.  Taking care of ourselves!  And guess what, that’s exactly what I needed to work on in the first place!  I realized through all of this, that we can’t be our best selves unless we put ourselves first.  I’m not talking in the selfish, I’m more important way, but in the way that’s healthy.  If we’re not okay on the inside, how do we expect to be able to help others?  How do we expect to be successful in our careers?  Whatever it may be, there comes a point when we need to make time for us.

I have this horrible habit, that I know many other people have, too.  Waking up with 10 minutes to spare before we head out the door to start the day.  This is the biggest thing in my personal life that I want to drastically change.  I’m at school when the sun rises, and home when it’s setting.  Those days, I have absolutely no time to myself.  There’s 10 minutes to take care of myself, and that short time is spent cussing myself out for waking up late and being in a rush.  It’s a terrible cycle!

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Yes, I took a selfie in the mirror ceiling at Graceland. Obviously, taken on my phone. Again.

So, my goal is to wake up an hour and a half earlier.  I’m going to use this time to do my yoga, perfect my make-up, actually do something other than brush my hair and leave.  I’m going to eat breakfast, enjoy a cup of coffee, and read the Bible.  One thing I want to start doing is writing a Gratitude List each morning.

What small step do y’all want to make to help yourself?  Let me know in the comments, if you want!  I encourage all of you to enjoy your time, take everyday one moment at a time.  Take care of yourself, love yourself, so you can love others better.

-Elizabeth Ashley

DIY, How To, Make-Up, Uncategorized

How To: Clean Your Make-Up Brushes

I’m one of those people, you know, the kind that has never a day in her life cleaned her make-up brushes.  Ever.  Yeah, it’s something I should be embarrassed about but, a lot of people don’t do it.  There’s those of us who just aren’t that into make-up, they don’t think to wash their brushes because it’s just not that important to them.  Then there’s some of you reading this who are in the fashion/cosmetology industry and your jaws just dropped and you gasped.  How could someone not wash their brushes?!  Well, if you’re like me, it’s because you just didn’t know how.  I have some brushes that have years of make-up on them, then I have some that are fairly new.  I decided that I would try out a DIY make-up brush cleaner, and let you all know how it worked!  And by the way, it WORKS!  Like I said, years of make-up on these things; they’re all clean now!

DIY Make-up Brush Cleanser (with products you probably have at home):

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  1. Grab some dish soap, if I had the option I would have used Dawn Simple, that name may be wrong, but it’s the one without dye in it.  Also go ahead and grab some olive oil.  I also put 3 drops of Lavender oil in with the mixture, but that is optional.
  2. Put in the soap and the olive oil, mix together.
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Please ignore my chipped nail polish!

3. Dip the make-up brush in the cleanser.  I actually had to go back and mix up some more, lots of brushes!  But, if you don’t have too many, you should be fine.

4. After that, swirl the brush around on your hands, get it wet with warm water at the sink, and keep swirling it around until all of the soap and make-up is off.  You’ll notice the water getting clearer.

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5.  Lay your brushes on a clean towel, reshape them to their form, and prop them up so the water does not get into the brush handle. And you’re done!! Yay!

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this simple DIY how to.  If you’d like to see more of these, let me know in the comments!

-Elizabeth Ashley

 

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Original Inspiration.

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Today I’ve been struggling with what I want to write.  I woke up today knowing that I wanted to get out of the house and drink coffee.  Okay, I wake up everyday knowing that!  I also knew I wanted to write a post for you all to read.  My original goal was to write a fashion post for tomorrow inspired by Audrey Hepburn.  I didn’t get done what I needed, due to it being an insanely crazy week.  So, I’m going to make up for it by posting a bunch this weekend and bringing y’all the fashion post next week!

I sat down and just started typing, rambling on and on until it didn’t make any sense.  Usually, I do this about 4 times before I type something I enjoy.  Thankfully, it only took one time of craziness before I came to a topic.  Inspiration.  I am in love with inspiration.  You can use it to create better works of art, to create a better life, and just about anything else.  Whenever I am lacking in inspiration for my blog, I go right back to the original source of it all, Free People BLDG 25 Blog.  I love the clothes the company makes, but even more, the inspiring posts that they produce.

I feel that it’s important to always go back to that first source of inspiration, it’s what made everything possible.  If you can’t physically get to it, go to it with your memories, this is about the one way it’s acceptable to revisit your past.  Bring you back to where you started, humble yourself.  Everything has a starting point, don’t forget it.

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A great way I’ve found, and I’m constantly trying to improve on, is to remain simple.  Let inspiration grab a hold of me and take me where it wants.  I tend to over-think everything, I read into others’ actions too much, and it makes me miserable.  The best thing to do is to sit back, calm your mind, and live in the moment.  Don’t worry about the future, set your goals, and live day by day working towards them.  By remaining in a simple state of mind, you’re allowing inspiration to sink in and you can enjoy it.  I’m not over thinking what I’m writing, I’m letting it take control.  When I go back into class on Tuesday, I won’t over think about my group photo shoot, I’ll let what happens, happen.  I’ll share my ideas, and let them mold with my teammates’ ideas.  I’ll enjoy creating with them, and I’ll enjoy the outcome of the final product.

So, let’s let inspiration helps us better ourselves.  Let’s let it take control for a moment, find the inspiration to make that healthy change in your life, or to bring you back to what you love.  Find the inspiration to be better at work, or to be a better parent.  Live every day with love in your souls, and inspiration in your heart.  Smile, find the reasons to be happy.

I wonder how many times I said the word, Inspiration in this post?

-Elizabeth Ashley