A Lesson in Respect

#respect #Love #kindnessAs women, we often demand this thing called “respect”, but do we really know what it means? AND more importantly, are we giving others the respect they deserve? I’ve been thinking about this for a few months now. The difficulty in these thoughts of gaining and giving respect is that I’ve realized (gulp), I am not very respectful to others sometimes. I need a true lesson in what respect means. I need to really embrace it and act respectfully toward others if I expect to receive it in return.

What does respect do for us?

It allows people to let their guard down. When this happens, recipients are more apt to listen to what you have to say. When people feel respected, they feel empowered. Empowerment feels good! Feeling good allows for a more abundant feeling and attitude.

Here are few ways I’ve started being more respectful in my daily life:

  •  Speak positively toward others.
    • This isn’t always easy. The actions of some people can really throw us over the edge. If given an opportunity to provide them feedback in person or through their supervisor, be as constructive and positive as possible. Always speak about them as if they have the best intentions.
  • Remember how small this world really is.
    • Always treat people equally when it comes to respect. From the homeless man on the street, co-workers to executives, these are all members of the human race. This goes back to the golden rule. “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Please note: Treating people with respect is different than letting others take advantage of you; but that is for a separate post.
  •  Keep in mind that everyone has their own life situation.
    • People view the world through their own experiences, personalities and motivations. Sometimes people don’t want to be happy and that’s okay! The moment you come in contact with someone, they could be experiencing something that you’ve never experienced, so do your best to always be kind.
  • Try not to take things personally.
    • As I mentioned, most people have varying experiences in this world, how they are treating you in moment, may have nothing to do with you. I try to remember that everyone is doing their best most of the time and I am easy to forgive and not react. This wasn’t easy! It has taken me years to get here and I have many more improvements to make.
  • Everyone is on a journey.
    • I personally believe that everything that happens to us is a lesson. The good, the bad and indeed the ugly. Some people will trigger us and we may react in anger while some will swoop in quickly and leave behind a trail of sunshine and rainbows that encourages us to change our perspective.

In closing, my advice is to be kind and naturally give others respect as your default position. It will help you feel more connected and respected yourself.

Five Ways to Show You are a Leader

5 ways to be a great leader

Not all projects are created equal, and they shouldn’t be treated that way. Every business, team structure, personality type, and end goal will vary. So how does one learn to be a leader? What exactly does that mean? Here are some important nuggets to keep in mind.

You are defined by how you are perceived

When you walk into a room with the team working on your project, you owe them respect. These are the executors who will be doing all the work. Their expertise is invaluable and their mental state (at least at work) will affect your end result. It is important to let your team know that you will respect their expertise, skill sets, and even their feelings. You must be perceived as a supporting role in their everyday work lives. You must work hard every day to not swoop in and micromanage. You must allow the team to thrive. The team will grow to respect your role as a cheerleader, barrier-breaker, and time manager, rather than someone bossing them around or getting in the way.

You don’t know everything

No matter how many projects you’ve worked on, or how many companies you’ve worked for, there is always something new to learn. Remember that there will always be someone who knows more than you. Embrace it. Be thankful you have someone to learn from. Letting others teach you is a wonderful way to gain the trust of those around you. They will see that you are not all ego, but accepting to a new way of doing things. You will take that knowledge and apply it when the time is right.

Adapt or die

“We’ve always done it this way,” are famous last words. Tried and true, or old ways of doing things, should be constantly reviewed and evaluated. Maybe those ways do get the job done, but could they be better? Are other areas evolving? Do those departments touch your process? Although you are in a convenient position to do so, as a project manager it can be difficult to have the credibility behind you to encourage change. At the very least, ask the questions needed to properly evaluate if the old way is the best way for your project.

“Type A” only gets you so far

As much as we try, we can’t control people’s behavior. So when we think all the T’s have been crossed and the I’s dotted…we could be dead wrong! People are volatile. We’re human. Focus on deliverables and deadlines, but always build in a buffer. If a timeline is tight to begin with, you’re already increasing your risk of not delivering on time and on-budget. Saying things like “No one can get sick in the month of February” is not a viable option…but it would be nice! People are the variable. They will make or break your project and, of course, they’re the area you have the least control over in your planning process. Get used to it!

Therapy, therapy therapy!

Whether you like it or not, leaders are therapists. Some project managers should probably bill for the counsel they’ve provided during the tough times on their projects. It might not be fair, but this is a common occurrence. Times get tough, vision and direction could change mid-project. All your hard work could be completely thrown away. If you have team members who care about what they do, there will be some emotion. It’s your job to ensure your team is in good emotional spirits to the best of your ability by listening and providing guidance and clarity on next steps. Cheerlead them out of their slump and into a new direction or situation.

DIY Frame Collage


This is an example of a very inexpensive and simple wall collage. You can take the concepts below and create the wall of your dreams!


Get frames that represent the mood you’re going for. I chose white because I wanted a clean look on my beige walls. I wanted the color within the frame to pop as well. Feel free to dabble in multiple sizes, but start with nine pieces. After you’ve perfected nine, you can keep adding on.  FYI- each of the frames you see didn’t cost more than $2.

2. ART

Believe it or not, I used wrapping paper, old cards, scrapbook paper and a bag I received from a salon as art. You can also shop around Pinterest for some free printables. Any paper will do! Whatever inspires you! Here’s a free idea for you… Collect all your favorite pretty shopping bags, frame them and stick them in your closet or master bedroom to add some girly decor to your space.


There is a trick to it! I think nine pieces are great for balance. After I get everything framed, I lay things out on the floor and play around with how it looks. I start with my biggest or favorite piece in the center. Then I put another strong piece on the bottom left. After that, I place my third favorite piece in the upper right. So I have a tic-tac-toe of my three favorite pieces. After that, I play around with the remaining frames until I can see balance and beauty. Then I take a picture so I don’t forget how I laid them out.


You can use hammer and nail or 3M Command  Picture Hanging Strips. Give yourself time and patience when hanging. Refer to your photo as a reference. I hung these starting with the center piece. After that I hung the four corners and filled in the rest based on my photo. Don’t be afraid of things being a little “off” that is the beauty of a collage. I say eyeball it, rather than measure.


I love the collage I started, but there might be a day when I find another gorgeous wrapping paper or shopping bag that I want to hang. I can either add on to the left and the right of my current collage, or I can switch out the papers! Super fun and super chic!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Please leave comments below with questions or share additional tips/tricks.

It’s Time to Organize!

Happy New Year 2015Now that the new year is upon us, many of us find ourselves wishing for a more organized life. I fully support this! AND I can help you start. Getting organized doesn’t need to be stressful. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your first project.

1. Pick your Biggest Everyday Stressor

As an example, if you find that coming home to piles of mail everywhere makes you feel out of control. It’s because you are! Bills could not be getting paid, you could be missing a large check or an important letter. Instead create a mail station or “command center” where you place all bills, magazines, checks, stamps etc.  Ensure that all members of your family use the mail station and put a trash/recycle bin underneath, to quickly discard junk mail.

2. Start Small

If your kitchen needs an organization overhaul, don’t let that overwhelm you. Start with one cabinet or drawer. After you’re done, check yourself. Do you feel energized? Then keep going! If you feel exhausted, stop when you’re done. Then set a date and time for when you will tackle the next project.

3. Consider all who use the space

If you live alone, you’re in control of your own messes or cleanliness. However, if you have a roommate or a family, organization can be easily overlooked if there isn’t a system in place. Get everyone involved who uses the space you’re tackling. It has to be functional for all who use it. It may even be a fun family project!

4. Ask for help

If you find that the project is too much for you alone to handle, call in for reinforcements! Friends, family, or a professional organizer to help take some of the pressure off. Sometimes an outsider can bring in a new perspective that can alter the way you think about or use the space in question.

5. Make it Pretty!

Not only should you be making a better and more functional space, you should also be creating something pleasing to the eye. If you’ve just spent hours organizing your closet, put a cute rug down or decor piece on the wall to make it look even better!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Sitting here on this wonderful day of giving thanks, I can’t help but think of how thankful I am for the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful husband, supportive and fun friends, and an opportunity to share BE with the world.

What more could a girl ask for?

I felt so inspired, I decided to write a little poem for you.


Thank you, my friends, for letting me pour my heart out onto this blog

It’s a vulnerable feeling; being so open and stepping out of the fog

Yet, with open arms and kindness, I’ve heard nothing but praise

You give me the feeling of being lifted right into the next phase

Though I know not, what the next phase will be

I am certain you will be on the same ride, right next to me


With love and appreciation,

Heather Marie


Get Positive!

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that radiates into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. This mental attitude will create positive and harmonious results.

Whatever the mind expects, it finds.

Not everyone accepts or believes in positive thinking. Some consider the subject as just nonsense, and others scoff at people who believe and accept it. Among the people who accept it, not many know how to use it effectively to get results. Yet, it seems that many are becoming attracted to this subject, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it. This is a subject that is gaining popularity.

It is quite common to hear people say: “Think positive!”, to someone who feels down and worried. Most people do not take these words seriously, as they do not know what they really mean, or do not consider them as useful and effective. How many people do you know, who stop to think what the power of positive thinking means?

Real life example:

John applied for a new job, but as his self-esteem was low, and he considered himself as a failure and unworthy of success, he was sure that he was not going to get the job. He had a negative attitude towards himself, and believed that the other applicants were better and more qualified than him. John manifested this attitude, due to his negative past experiences with job interviews.

His mind was filled with negative thoughts and fears concerning the job for the whole week before the job interview. He was sure he would be rejected. On the day of the interview he got up late, and to his horror he discovered that the shirt he had planned to wear was dirty, and the other one needed ironing. As it was already too late, he went out wearing a shirt full of wrinkles.

During the interview he was tense, displayed a negative attitude, worried about his shirt, and felt hungry because he did not have enough time to eat breakfast. All this distracted his mind and made it difficult for him to focus on the interview. His overall behavior made a bad impression, and consequently he materialized his fear and did not get the job.

Mathias applied for the same job too, but approached the matter in a different way. He was sure that he was going to get the job. During the week preceding the interview he often visualized himself making a good impression and getting the job.

In the evening before the interview he prepared the clothes he was going to wear, and went to sleep a little earlier. On day of the interview he woke up earlier than usual, and had ample time to eat breakfast, and then to arrive to the interview before the scheduled time.

He got the job because he made a good impression. He had also of course, the proper qualifications for the job, but so had John.

What do we learn from these two stories? Is there any magic used? No, it is all natural. When the attitude is positive, we enjoy pleasant feelings and visualize what we really want to happen. This brings brightness to the eyes, more energy and happiness. The whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even the health is affected in a beneficial way. We walk tall, our voice is more powerful, and our body language shows the way we feel.

Positive and negative thinking are contagious.

All of us affect the people we meet, in one way or another. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through our thoughts and feelings, and through body language. People sense our aura, and are affected by our thoughts, and vice versa. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive people, and prefer to avoid negative ones? People are more disposed to help us, if we are positive, and they dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity.

Negative thoughts, words and attitude bring up negative and unhappy moods and actions. When the mind is negative, poisons are released into the blood, which cause more unhappiness and negativity. This is the way to failure, frustration and disappointment.

Try it out! In order to get on a positive frequency, some inner work is required, since attitude and thoughts do not change overnight.

  • Read about this subject, think about its benefits, and persuade yourself to try it. The power of thoughts is a mighty power that is always shaping our life. This shaping is usually done subconsciously, but it is possible to make the process a conscious one. Even if the idea seems strange, give it a try. You have nothing to lose.
  • Ignore what other people might say or think about you, if they discover that you are changing the way you think.
  • Use imagination to visualize only favorable and beneficial situations.
  • Use positive words in your inner dialogues, or when talking with others.
  • Smile a little more, as this helps to think positively.
  • Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it, and endeavor to replace it with a constructive one. The negative thought will try again to enter your mind, and then, you have to replace it again with a positive one. It is as if there are two pictures in front of you, and you have to choose to look at one of them, and disregard the other. Persistence will eventually teach your mind to think positively, and to ignore negative thoughts.
  • In case you feel inner resistance and difficulties when replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, do not give up. Keep looking only at the beneficial, good and happy thoughts in your mind.
  • It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favorable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly. If you persevere, you will transform the way your mind thinks. It might take some time for the changes to take place, but eventually they will.
  • Another useful techniques is the repetition of affirmations. This technique is similar to visualization and can be used together with it.

Is Your Stressful Job Worth it?

Every job has some level of stress. We all know that and what may be stressful to one person may not be stressful to another. Only you (in all your glory) can really determine whether or not you find your current job too stressful. However, there are some considerations to take into account as you do and whether or not it is worth the stress.

Take a look at the factors below. If any of these areas are extreme or you are hitting remote stress in most or all categories, they may be causing you too much stress.

These factors include:

  • Travel
  • Outlook/Potential for Growth
  • Deadlines
  • Work in the public eye
  • Competitiveness
  • Physical demands
  • Environmental conditions
  • Possible hazards
  • Own life at risk
  • Life of another at risk
  • Meeting the public

Using the above criteria, you might be able to pinpoint exactly why you think your job is so stressful (or perhaps why it’s not).

Is Your Job Worth it to You?

Most people don’t need a scale to tell them that their jobs are stressful. If you are are stressed out by your job, it might be worth considering why you are stressed out, and whether or not it is worth it. The job of air traffic controller is generally accepted as a stressful job, but many people keep at it because it pays pretty well.

When deciding whether or not your job is worth the trouble and stress, here are a few things to consider:

This is the biggest one. How much are you willing to stand if the pay is good? Another issue, of course, is how much you need the money. In some cases, people are trapped in stressful jobs that they hate because they don’t have anyplace else to turn. It’s important to look for ways to take control of your financial destiny if you ever want to get out of these situations.

In some cases, a stressful job may come with mediocre pay, but great benefits. If you get great health coverage, an employer match for your retirement plan, and a good number of paid vacation days, it can be worth staying on.

Your work environment, and the autonomy that you get might be a consideration. As a general rule, jobs with a high degree of autonomy spawn a sense of responsibility and greater job satisfaction.

How often do you have to work, and what sort of work is involved? Do you wish that you didn’t have to put in such long days? Do you wish that you had a set schedule? Or a more flexible schedule?

In the end, you need to decide what makes a job worth it for you. There’s nothing wrong with being glad that all you have to do is punch in for eight hours a day, and then go home and enjoy some time with your family — without needing to think about your job. On the other hand, if you want more flexibility, and you look for something else in a job, you might be better off considering a career change.

The Balancing Act

A healthy life balance is not only essential for happiness and well-being; it can be a huge boost to your productivity and career/business success too. A well-balanced person has a far greater ability to focus attention and energy on attaining their goals, taking productive actions and moving forward in a meaningful way.

The big question is…What does life balance actually mean? What would a balanced life look like to you? And how the heck do we go about achieving it in the midst of our cray-cray schedules?

There are a few steps you can take to change what’s not working. This will help you get back some control and balance in your life. And once you start seeing results you’ll be better equipped to maintain that equilibrium. The key is not to try to change everything at once, but to make tiny adjustments over time and decide what works for you. Eventually you will have a whole new set of positive life habits and you’ll never look back! BAM!

Balancing Strategies:

Use the “off” button

Disconnect on the weekend. I hear the excuses already, but try it, at least for one day or even a few hours each night. Put the phone down and turn off the computer. Give your work brain a rest. Bonus: Spend the extra time actually interacting with your family and friends!

Trim, trim, trim

It’s a given that if your life is overflowing you will never be able to achieve balance and manage it all. It’s just not possible. SAY NO everything that is either not essential or doesn’t add something valuable to your life. Be ruthless!

Pay attention to your health

Seriously, girl. Don’t blow this off! You know what you need to do. Your health affects the quality of your life and your work. Trust me, you are far more productive and happier when you get enough sleep, eat a little healthier and fit in some type of activity. I don’t need to Facebook stalk you to know that!

Minimize toxins

By that I don’t mean chemicals (though that might help too.) Minimize the negative influences around you. Avoid toxic people (complainers, whiners, poor attitudes.) If you can’t completely avoid them, at least minimize contact and tune them out as much as you can. Surround yourself with positive, supportive, can-do people whenever possible. (I use earbuds at work to drown out a few “toxins”)

Spend time with YOU

Making time for you is probably the hardest thing to do for the typical overworked and overwhelmed person, but it is crucial for lowering stress, increasing happiness and encouraging creativity. Some things to try; meditate, write, sketch, do some yoga or simply sit quietly for a few minutes each day and do absolutely nothing. You can do it!

Relationships are important

Set aside quality time with your family and friends. Don’t just sit in front of the television, really connect and pay attention to those you care about. Make a date with your significant other, have coffee with a friend, play a game with a child. Really get to know the people around you.

Treat yourself

Get a pedicure or a facial. Better yet, schedule a massage (even if it’s from that creepy guy at work who keeps offering them to you…okay, inside joke.) It doesn’t need to be costly; a glass of wine, your favorite coffee or tea, a delightfully scented candle or beautiful flowers will make a huge impact.

Explore your world

Take a walk and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Take a new route, visit a new town or try being a tourist in your own. Attend a local performance, play amateur photographer or go to the park and watch children play. They really know how to enjoy life!

Expand your awareness

Take a class, learn to paint or try something new that you’ve always wanted to learn. Read a book that sparks your interest or try listening to uplifting music. Find what interests you.

Remember fun

You know, that thing that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Laugh, joke, play, find your sense of humor, subscribe to a daily joke or look for Chuck Norris jokes on the internet.

Are You With the Right Person?

You know you’ve asked yourself this question. Is he really the guy for me? Am I really the right match for him? As humans, we are always looking for intimate connections with others. We could be looking for an intellectual, sexual or emotional connection. So, how do we know when we have found that right person?

First thing’s first! In my personal opinion…it is extremely important for you to know who you are. What do you really like to do? What do you stand for? What foods do you like? Do you despise the circus? Things like that. Your partner has to be willing to want you with all your quirks and nuances. You are one of a kind and deserve to be loved for it. Never forget that, girl!

Another important factor is understanding the difference between want and need. When we enter the territory of needing someone, then a dependent relationship starts to blossom. Wanting someone implies that you would still lead a happy and successful life without that person, but it would be so much better if they were around. Ask yourself, if what you are dependent on in a relationship disappeared and was no longer available, would you still want to be with that person? If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” then you may want to closely evaluate your feelings for your partner.

Thirdly, we must lay our differences out on the line and talk about them openly. Core beliefs are beliefs that are set in stone and will not likely change. For example, your overall moral stance, religious viewpoint, the way in which you spend your money, the gender role expectations you have of yourself and partner, etc. It’s important to first self evaluate and then discuss your beliefs with your partner. After all, it is usually “irreconcilable differences” you see in the script of divorce papers. If you find yourself avoiding talking to your partner about certain subjects, this could potentially lead to an explosive argument once the elephant in the room is finally discussed. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your partner, remember you can respect their point of view without agreeing with them. If you are arguing on a regular basis, then you may find yourself in the need category rather than the want category.

“Our best match is supposed to be our best friend, it’s important to have most, if not all, core beliefs in common.”

Most importantly, ask yourself, what does your partner bring out in you? Do they bring out the best in you or the worst in you? If you are going to spend your life with someone, it’s important that the person inspires you to be the best version of yourself. If you are with someone that brings you down, holds you back from accomplishing dreams, or if you feel like you have changed for the worse since you have been with them…then it’s time to ask yourself why you are still there. It’s easy to get comfortable with someone and have what you consider “normal” start to skew. Take a few steps back and really try to look at your relationship as if you are an outsider. Even better, pretend like you are looking at your good friend’s relationship. What do you see? What advice would you give? Then, take your own advice.

Even more importantly, take a close look at your sex life. Do you feel like yourself when you are with your partner, or are you stepping outside yourself to either dissociate or please them? Do you feel sexual chemistry with your partner, or has it become a chore? Look at the quality of the sex vs. the quantity. Having a sexual relationship with someone is what differentiates us from friends and lovers. There is nothing more intimate than completely being yourself during sex and still feeling loved and wanted. Let it all out there, expose your insecurities (i.e., make-up free face, fat rolls, hairy moles, birthmarks, hairy backs, etc.). If you can be vulnerable with “your lova”, and feel 100% comfortable, loved and adored, then you just might be with the right person.

19 Ways to Organize Your “Hot Mess” Lifestyle

While being a Hot Mess can mean many different things, being organized means being able to find things, not tripping over piles of laundry, and feeling less chaotic. It is a good thing to strive for, but it shouldn’t “own” you. Here are some simple ways I’ve found to get your act together and be less stressed on a daily basis.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Writing down and making mental note of your top 3 tasks to get done for the day will help everything else fall into place.
  2. Make an easy to-do list. Use tools like Toodledo to make mini checklists and always have it in the palm of your had through your mobile or tablet. Don’t worry about digging through your purse to find that scrunched up post-it note that you may have just shoved your gum into. We will get to purse organization on a different day. 😉
  3. Keep a ubiquitous capture device. At work I use sticky notes, at home and on the go I use Evernote. It’s really nice just to get that idea or task out of your mind and onto something else where you know you can retrieve it later.
  4. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is great most days, but it is best to finish what you start and get through as much as you can. It will make you feel like you accomplished more. If you’re anything like me, there are days when I felt busy all day, yet got nothing done. That is an example of a day full of interruptions and losing control of my time.
  5. Do it now. Don’t put things off. That will stress you out, girl! Get it done when it is fresh in your mind and then take that pen or stylus and check that bad boy off your list!
  6. Say no. You can do it! Set boundaries and don’t try to be the hero. Do what you know you can do and set boundaries for what you can’t.
  7. Use the recycling bin/trash basket. Organizing unnecessary items is wasted energy. It is amazing how much more in control I feel just by tossing out my trash, scribble posty’s and gum wrappers at the end of every work day.
  8. A (good) place for everything, and everything in its place. Get a trash can within arms reach of your desk, keep your post-it notes handy, get a pencil holder. Have fun with organization bins and containers in your home. Use organization as a way to showcase your personal style. Check out The Container Store for ideas. (OMG, I love that place).
  9. Put it away now. The single and most simple thing you can do to stay organized is to put whatever tool, item, clothing, bag, hairbrush etc., away immediately after using it. You will always know where everything is and you will never waste time looking for something.
  10. Keep a to-do list that syncs with your mobile phone (so you can add stuff as and when you remember it). And make sure every item has a due date. Both Toodledo and Evernote can sync to your phone.
  11. Change. It forces unimportant things into obsolescence. It brings down any method or idea that isn’t timeless. It brings up newer and more important things that you and others can’t resist anymore. Best of all: it’s an organizing tool that operates itself. You just have to embrace it.
  12. Take control of your time and priorities.
  13. Sort at the source. The mailbox is a perfect example. The only things that should enter your home are bills, letters and checks. Reading materials should go in your office or reading area.
  14. Color code. I’m a visual person, and I find that color-coding my lists and calendars minimizes the time I have to spend looking at them. This worked well when I was in school. I dumped every class syllabus into Outlook, and then color-coded every class period (blue for paper due, yellow for quiz, red for test, etc). It took awhile to set up, sure, but then for the rest of the semester I only had to glance at Outlook to get a very clear idea of what kind of week I was going to have.
  15. Write down, execute and clean up as you go.
  16. Bring back ups. Pen, notebook, tablet, computer, whatever! I always bring two ways to take notes just in case something loses power, breaks, runs out of ink or gets stolen by my unprepared co-worker.
  17. Have.. less.. stuff. Simplicity is key. You don’t need clutter. You don’t need a mess! Have what you need and constantly get rid of what you don’t use regularly. It is just “stuff” and has the potential to cause you stress.
  18. Delegate. Learn to trust people with critical tasks in all areas of your life. When you learn to effectively delegate tasks you actually find that it is easier to keep the stuff you can’t delegate better organized.
  19. Do what works for you. Whatever electronics or paper you use, make them work for YOU not the other way around. Does Outlook really have to stay checking your email every 5 minutes? REALLY? And, little Missy, do you have to be checking it every time it updates? Probably not. You’ll get a lot more done if you check it a few times per day.

Remember “You control your life.” What a beautiful life it is!