When starting a business, there many — maybe even hundreds — other companies out there doing something similar. Take the subscription box industry for example. In the last 10 years or so, there’s been tremendous growth in the industry with thousands of boxes available to choose from and millions of site visits every year.
It makes you wonder how new businesses, in any industry, can survive when there’s so much competition to contend with.
But here’s the thing. Since I launched Pampered Post back in February, I’m impressed by the willingness established businesses have to collaborate and support up and coming businesses. From partnering with amazing premium brands to meeting other women with businesses in the wellness space, I’ve received an abundance of support since I started this journey.
One example of this is the connection I recently made with Nicole O. Salmon. She’s the founder of her own leadership and lifestyle coaching business. She’s offered encouragement and in June she reached out to see if she could include something special for my subscribers. The result was a beautiful water bottle, inspired by her book Speak Your Way to Purpose, that was included in the July box.
Saying that I was grateful for this random act of kindness is an understatement. This subscription box isn’t just a passion for me but it’s also in line with my purpose to support other women. The openness and support I’ve received from other business women doing their thing has reinforced the fact that I’m on the right path and pursuing the right opportunities.
Nicole is a life coach, author, speaker, writer, minister, mom and wife. I wanted to spend some time talking to her about her book because I believe that uncovering and living your purpose is a big part of self-care. Think about, when you know what projects and opportunities to focus on, you’re in a better position to take care of your well-being. You aren’t chasing random options that take you away from your purpose and lead to overwhelm and burnout
In my interview with Nicole, she shares gems on what purpose means, how to stay in line with it once you uncover it and how it all relates to self-care. I had a great time talking to her and I know you’ll love reading what she has to share.
Why is purpose so important to you?
I feel called to demystify purpose for people because a lot of people struggle with the idea of “what am I supposed to be doing?” To these people purpose feels like a far off, unclear external thing that they’re in search of their whole lives and I strongly believe that purpose isn’t a destination, it’s a lifestyle.
The more time we invest in understanding who we really are, walking in that truth and walking in the power of how God has shaped our gifts and our personalities, I believe that is purpose.
When we’re outside of who we are, we can’t get to the places of life that we’re supposed to be.
When we’re in alignment with our natural identity, then life brings us to what I call purposeful pit stops. So rather than purpose being one climactic event or place of arrival, it’s just living from a purposeful and intentional place. This means that we meet the people we’re supposed to meet and we run into the provision that’s already laid out for us. We can’t get to this point when we try to show up in someone else’s shoes. That’s my mindset and my philosophy around purpose.
For me personally, I’ve been unpacking purpose as I’ve gotten more comfortable with myself over time. So as an adult, when I look back I can see that purpose has always left a trail of breadcrumbs so that most things up until this point have made perfect sense. Coming into purpose for me was really just coming into my womanhood, my identity in Christ and being OK with who that woman is.
With these ideas in mind, how did your book Speak Your Way to Purpose come about?
I would have these moments in life where my identity and mission in life felt clear but I was attaching so much of this idea of purpose to how I felt on any given day. Everyone experiences these shifts. One minute we have an exciting revelatory moment and the next minute we’re doubting it.
I found myself going in and out of these highs and lows of feeling clear and powerful to then questioning why am I even doing this. Every time this happened God would give me a scripture, I would hear something, or I would learn something from an experience and I’d be good again.
Then one day I felt God say that if He’s giving me words of life, words of wisdom and life lessons that are lifting me out of the hardships in life, why aren’t I writing these down?
So I began a journey of writing things down so that when I had little Aha moments, I would write them down. The second part of this wasn’t to just write these revelations down but to speak them out loud. God has made his plan for us so clear and rather than going back and constantly asking for direction, speak to yourself. Speak what you’ve been given over your own life. I found that the practice of speaking my way to purpose shortened my bounce back time and helped me maintain my momentum.
Would you say this approach is similar to practicing regular affirmations?
Yes, the book is a combination of affirmations, declarations, and mini lessons. One of my favorites that comes to mind that I mention in the book is the life lesson around the idea that:
“Sometimes people will clap for you and sometimes they won’t, but your purpose is still true.”
How people respond to you can’t be what dictates whether or not you’re in the right place or doing the right thing. You have to be convinced about what God has called you to do.
In the book you mention drawing from your well of knowledge. Is this another way for people to keep moving forward when they have days when they doubt the direction they’re going in?
Absolutely. As long as we’re living life and experiencing new things, we’re learning something. So there’s always a well of knowledge to draw from. The problem is we don’t always hold onto the lessons we learn. This is especially true when we’re going through a rough time and we feel like there’s nothing in the well to draw on. You’d be surprised because it’s probably these people who have the fullest well to draw from because it’s not about the depth of the well but rather the richness of what’s in the well that’s important.
Our well isn’t dependent on how we feel about our life and our current situation because who we are is not the same thing as where we are. For example, sometimes we look at where we are and think that because we don’t have enough money right now we’re poor. It’s important to remember that these aren’t the same thing. Not associating where we are with who we are requires discipline. So instead of saying “I have no money so I’m poor,” we can instead look at our life and pull out nuggets that allow you to see the richness of your life.
Life has taught us something, even if we’re not on the other side of it yet.
The well doesn’t mean here are all of my successes, it means here are all my learnings.
In your book you also share a few tips on how to maximize the reading experience. For example, you mention journaling. Is this something you suggest people do to stay connected to their well of knowledge?
I’m not an avid journaler but I do believe in writing things down. I personally write while I’m on-the-go so when I’m hit with a moment of inspiration, I write as information and insights come to me. I’m a very kinetic learner so on the days when I feel like I’m not sure if I’m having an impact I’ll write down what I’ve been doing so that I can see it.
For example, I’ll write down how many women I’ve talked to through my business this year. Even if they don’t sign on as a client, if I’ve spoken to them and touched their lives, that matters. Or I might write down how many new clients I have or how many events I’ve spoken at to help me see that I’m making progress.
When you’re not experiencing a good situation, you become mentally hijacked by your emotions and you interpret your life incorrectly.
You think your well is empty when in fact it’s full and rich.
How would you say speaking your purpose plus writing down and visualizing current life situations help with self-care?
I’m good with rest and I’m good with taking a break and pampering myself — like booking a day off and going to Niagara-on-the-Lake — but an area of weakness is my health. When you talk about pampering and relaxation, I make the time to get that done.
I’ve found that:
The greater the grasp you have on what you’re supposed to be doing in life, then you know that if your physical body isn’t well, you can’t do what gives you life.
For me that’s where self-care and health intercept.
Would your advice to women be to find what they’re lacking and build a routine around that?
Yes, for sure. Three thoughts that I have on this are:
- Figure out what self-care is for you because what is relaxation and rest for one person may not work for you. For me, I can just sit by a fountain because water is so calming for me. Music also creates an atmosphere for me so listening to upbeat music or worship music helps me relax. The key is to try different things until you find what helps you find relaxation quickly.
- Self-care doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Sometimes we don’t take the time we need to pamper ourselves because we say we don’t have the money but there are simple things that you can do. Fragrant aromas comfort me so whether it’s having an aromatic oil that I can rub on my temples or burning my favourite candle, I’ve found that this helps me. You can do something that has no price tag attached to it.
- Self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Sometimes we think that we don’t have the time to get away, we have our kids or we have no vacation time or we have too much to do. This shows that people underestimate the value even thirty seconds of stillness in the middle of chaos, in the middle of the kids screaming, can have. When my son was younger, I would get home from work and he knew that mommy needed fifteen minutes of quiet time. This helped me move on to the next part of my day. Or even now when I’m in my office, if I haven’t had the time to take a break I’ll turn the lights off and shut off the brightness from computer screen and take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to be still. Finding pockets of time to be still is so valuable.
Sometimes we treat self care as an emergency. When there’s an emergency and we have to break glass to get to the fire extinguisher, that’s how we treat self-care. You have to make self-care a lifestyle and you have to be intentional about it. I build it into my calendar so that I make time for family and my non-negotiables. Taking that time to practice self-care changes my life for the better so I’ve set aside a budget for it and even my husband checks in to make sure I’m taking that time.
If money is a concern, then you can incrementally save so that every few months you can do something special just for yourself.
Be intentional rather than waiting until you get to your point of burnout and then feeling like you don’t have the resources to take care of yourself.
What other advice can you offer moms who want to do a better job of balancing lifes responsibilities and their commitment to self-care?
Plan your time. What I found was happening for me was because I’m involved in so many different things in so many different spaces, I would start to feel overwhelmed and burnt out and feeling like things were colliding.
I realized that the reason I felt this way was because I was planning in compartments. For example, if you have a 9-5 job, you’ve got your work calendar and then you have your personal calendar. On top of that you also have calendars for social obligations and extracurricular activities.
My solution was to start planning a year in advance and think about major events that I can anticipate every year — like appointments, deadlines, events, birthdays, and anniversaries — and add them to the calendar. So before I start to vision and goal set for the year, I can already see what parts of the year are heavy.
This approach means that you can see what parts of the year have the potential for the most stress so you can plan your self-care accordingly and manage your responsibilities more efficiently. This planning process is very visual and it lets you see the different areas in your life at once so you reduce the feeling of overwhelm.
Also, don’t feel like you have to fit everything you have to do or would like to accomplish into one year. See it as being blessed with so much overflow that the ideas and goals that come to you are pushed into another year. How amazing is that?!
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