Inspire yo'self

and others


February 2014

Diamonds In The Rough

I listened to a story today from a man who overcame alcoholism and depression. He had gone through a series of one bad incident after another after another when he couldn’t take it anymore and decided to try to take his own life without success. He described his feelings as having a blanket put on him again, and then another one, and then another one, on and on where he found himself with not only ten blankets on him but hundreds. This was where he saw no other outlet and tried to take his own life. Not initially after this incident but shortly after, he received help and is now alcohol free and living life again without being under all of these blankets anymore. The most inspiring part of his story to me was how he now helps others live life without being stuck under their own blankets. He does volunteer work and his job is now in the helping profession.

I sat for a moment just looking at him with my head spinning, just thinking of how cool and awesome it was to hear his story and find out what he is doing now. It was like he was a helper all along, even during his “bad” moments, he just needed the extra help to get all of those blankets off of him. He needed help. And he found help by helping others.

I describe him as a diamond in the rough. I love those diamonds in the rough. They are the ones that inspire me. They are the ones that come out of nowhere shining brightly. And it’s not even them displaying their lights to show off, they just shine so brightly that you just know they are something. They just gosh darn shine so darn bright.

I guess that’s why I am attracted to those people that keep to themselves, those people that have a whole different way of thinking, those people that are quiet and in order to get to know them, you have to dig deep. But you soon discover that the deeper you dig, you find this beautiful diamond and you get to help them polish it and clean it. You get to help them see themselves as more than a diamond in the rough. Then you get to watch them see it for themselves. Then you get to watch them just shine.

I love diamonds in the rough.

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc


Be A Fan….For Everyone

This one is an oldie but newbie on wordpress.

I heard on Sports Center that the Seattle Seahawks are one of the hardest teams to beat at home in the NFL. They have not lost a single home playoff game in ten years! I also read that the Seahawk fans set a world record for the loudest outdoor stadium in the Guinness Book of World Records this year! So I started to think, what sets them apart, what is it about this team that makes them so hard to beat? So I did a little research on this. I found out lots of interesting things about this 12th man and such, but the most interesting thing to me was what an architect by the name of Jon Niemuth, who helped designed the stadium had to say. Jon said, “The noise was really a happy accident.” He has been asked to incorporate noise into other projects of his but it is “proved difficult.” According to Ken Belson, “An engineering firm that created acoustic models determined that fans were what made buildings loud, not necessarily their size or shape.” Niemuth says, “A roof helps, sure, a dome helps, too, but it’s the fans. I would love to say we were geniuses when we designed the building. But all we did was create the canvas. The fans painted it.”

I thought this was so awesome. The Seahawk’s fans help make them an unbeatable team on home field. The size and shape of the building isn’t what really matters, it’s the fans. Who wouldn’t want fans like that in their homes? Fans to cheer us on, root us on, believe in us and help us when our enemy is trying to beat us down.

The truth is, we need these types of fans in our everyday life. And, we need to be these types of fans to the people we come into contact with every single day.

Everywhere we turn today, we are bound to find negative news, negative posts, complaints, and feelings of selfishness in regards to thinking we deserve so much more than what we are getting right now. But, I have to ask, “Why all of this negativity?” If being positive and good-willed towards people at random and in general, makes us feel better, them feel better, and think better of the world, then give me some more of that! I mean, look at what the Seahawk fans can do for their team!!! Their fans are a HUGE support for them and if they were taken away, I guarantee they would play differently.

Be a fan……for everyone. Then watch them play better.

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

29th Year Project

Before I turned 29, I was thinking of what I could do as my last year in my twenties. I decided I wanted to live out my last year in my twenties the complete opposite way I lived out my first year in my twenties. My first year in my twenties was filled with nights of binge drinking, sleeping through the days, waking up to eat, shower, and do the same thing over. So, I wanted to do something completely different. I decided to spend my last year in my twenties reading one book a week for 52 weeks. This isn’t that far of a stretch for me because I love to read and always have but, the discipline was keeping up with reading one book a week; soaking up all the knowledge that I could in place of all those brain cells I had killed in my early twenties sounded to me like a great way to live out my 29th year. I will keep an updated list, in this blog, of all the books I have read every month. If anyone has any recommendations, please send them my way! I primarily stick to non-fiction. I am not in need of books to read but am always looking for a great next read.

1) Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
2) Teach With Your Heart by Erin Gruwell
3) Eat and Run by Scott Jurek
4) Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
5) Impossible Odds by Jessica Buchanan
6) The Power of Your Subconcious Mind by Joseph Murphy
7) Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
8) The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
9) The Chase by Alley Vesterfelt
10) Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen
11) Don’t Shoot-One Man, A Street Fellowship, and The End of Violence In Inner-City America by David Kennedy
12) Start by Jon Acuff
13) Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
14) Debt-Free U by Zac Bissonnette
15) The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric
16) Sway-The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by the Brafman’s
17) Contagious-Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger
18) No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year In The Life Of Juvenile Court by Edward Humes
19) Guilty By Reason Of Insanity: A Psychiatrist Explores The Minds Of Killers by Dorothy Lewis
20) How Full Is Your Bucket: Positive Strategies For Life And Work by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton
21) Cash For Kids: Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and A $2.8 Million Kickback Scheme by William Ecenbarger
22) Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong
23) Jesus>Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, And Being Good Enough by Jefferson Bethke
24) When A Child Kills by Paul Mones
25) A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown (A Memoir)
26) Cut by Cathy Glass (About fostering children)
27) David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
28) The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and A Fortune Sharing Your Advice by Brendon Burchard
29) The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist’s Notebook-What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Love, Loss, and Healing by Bruce Perry
30) Break Out by Joel Osteen
31) The Charge: Activating the Ten Human Drives that Make You Feel Alive by Brendon Burchard
32) How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
33) Secrets of The Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
34) A House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout
35) How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of The Story of My Life by Scott Adams
36) Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein
37) The Barefoot Executive by Carrie Wilkerson
38) Give & Take:A Revolutionary Approach To Success by Adam Grant
39) Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek

Good Readings To You,
By TLE with tlc

Ready, Fire, Aim!

I read this quote the other day, “Ready, fire, aim!” I thought it was really neat and dead on. We always hear, “Ready, aim, fire!” but then of course we miss the bulls-eye. Does anyone ever get it right on the first shot? I don’t know but I highly doubt it. So how do they get it right….finally?

We always think we have to have everything figured out before we can make a move. Perfection for so many of us is our highest goal. But here’s the thing, if we spend all of our time trying to be absolutely perfect, then what are we really learning? Do we even know where our target is? Do we even know where we need to readjust and fire again? We have to fire first to see how off we are. Then we can aim more so at our target.

I get caught up in this thinking all of the time. I am learning to catch myself in every moment though. I may see a person I admire and think of how “lucky” they have it or how “blessed” they are but I then quickly remind myself that if I could hear that person’s story, I most likely wouldn’t think they are so “lucky” or “blessed” anymore. I would see the horrific things they may have had to endure. I would see the frustrations, anger, and heartbreaks they went through before finally achieving their dreams. I would see the numerous times they chose to fire away just to gage where they were so they knew where they should aim. I would see all of the people that didn’t believe in them in the beginning and how they still marched on. I would see the few people that did believe in them and how that was enough to keep them going. I would see how at one point, no one believed in them but all they needed and all they ever needed was God to believe in them. Because of course, we should all know that calling you have on your heart is placed there purposefully by God, for God to use you. Others may look at you like you are abnormal or trying too hard for something you’re never going to get but what they don’t know and what they can’t see is your heart. They don’t know YOUR heart. Only God does. Don’t let anyone try to tell you your dream is wrong just because they can’t see it. Don’t think you have to justify your dream to anyone other than God. They can’t see what only you can see and what only you know.

God sees it. God knows it. He is the only one that matters.

Playing for an audience of One,
TLE with tlc

“Good writing succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else’s head.” ~Malcolm Gladwell

When Your Day Sucks

I don’t remember where I came up with this awesome idea but I am telling you, it works.

Whenever you feel like giving up or quitting (might be the same thing as giving up) or turning the keys back in or flipping the bird to your dreams or screaming at your husband that your life is going nowhere (I’ve never done that) or just need some extra umph in your life for the day that sucks; I advise you to take a shot of faith.


Grab a shot glass from your cupboard or use a small glass, pour water in it, believe it is faith, and take a shot.

The key is to really believe it is a shot of faith you are taking.

Then, watch how your day gets better.

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc


Did you know that the root meaning of the word inspired means “God breathed”?

I learned this today.

I immediately began to think about this. I get inspired easy and for the most part, it is by other people’s stories. Stories of how they overcame an obstacle or battle. Stories of how they fought hard to get to where they are. Stories, stories, stories. I am always inspired by other people’s stories.

Now that I know the root meaning of the word inspired, I will now think of it as God guiding me, prompting me, and speaking to me to MOVE…..and keep moving.

The next time you feel inspired by someone or something, use it as a guide or prompt from God or the universe and keep on moving.

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc

Choices & Excuses

The other day I was on the phone talking with a friend I truly admire. She had moved out to California about a year ago but lived in the Midwest for 32 years of her life. She said something to me, that continues to resonate with me, as we were talking about the weather there and here. She said, “You know, I lived in the Midwest for the first 32 years of my life and have been out here for a year now and the first thing I realized and at the same time is hard to grasp is that we all have a choice to endure the freezing cold winters or wake up on the beach in warm weather year round. I can’t believe I chose the cold for all those years while people were choosing the warmth.”

Our conversation was about 3 weeks ago now and I continue to think about it. It also reminds me of the time I was in Chicago at a party for a charity I ran for in the Chicago Marathon and I was talking to a woman about life. I told her I had always dreamed of moving to Chicago and her response was, “Why haven’t you?” My words came stumbling out, “Well, I have a good job back home and a house and I have family and….”

What was coming out were excuses. All excuses.

I continue to think of these two moments today.

We all have choices. Lots of us also back up everything we want to do but aren’t doing with excuses. But take away those excuses and it goes directly back to our choices.

What are your excuses?
What are you choosing?

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc

“Hey! I see YOU, I notice YOU and…..”

There is an elderly man (about 90) that lives across the hall from where my office is located at one of my work sites. I am not sure of the full history of this man but I believe he had a stroke a few years ago so he can no longer speak very well. It is very hard to understand him so the majority of the time I am guessing what he is saying although sometimes I am able to make out what he is saying. This man does not have an actual job but he makes his own jobs. For instance, he collects cans and turns them in for a profit. When I say he collects cans, he travels around the local area on his bike or 4-wheeler searching for cans, collecting them, and then turning them in. He also loves to eat at A&W and Culvers. Every afternoon, when I am at my work site, he will come strolling in with a huge grin painted on his face along with a bag from one of these places in his hands. He always looks at me with this big smile and says something about his excitement for his lunch. Every morning when he notices I am there, he looks at me with, of course, his big smile and says something like, “Hah hah,” followed by some words I cannot make out. Although I do not know what he is saying to me, what I do know is that he is overjoyed with happiness that I am there. He always makes me smile.

This man always makes me feel special and loved. Every single time I see him. But, he uses no words! He tries to use words but since I don’t understand him, his words don’t impact me. Not like his facial expressions or his actions do. And this man inspires me! Even though he is in his nineties, he is going strong. He may not be in the best health, he lives alone, I never see family come visit him (just caretakers) yet he is always full of life and spunk. With that great smile on his face.

My point; we don’t always have to use our words to make others smile or know that we are happy to see them. Sometimes just giving a big generous smile alone is sufficient. Sometimes just giving someone a hug is enough to give them what they truly need. It is just that point of “stopping” what we are doing, enough to notice someone else out there in this world full of faces, that says, “Hey! I see you, I notice you, and I think you are awesome and amazing and don’t you ever stop being you!”, all without using words. I can just picture it. I am in a hurry but I recognize someone I know and even though I don’t have enough time to stop and talk, I still give them a huge wave with a gesture of “I’m running” and I point to my wrist for gesturing time. All the while giving them a smile. And sometimes it’s just seeing someone at a store or church or school or work or wherever from afar, and simply just giving them a wave with a smile. It all points back to a, “Hey! I see YOU, I notice YOU, and I think YOU are awesome and amazing and don’t YOU ever stop being YOU!”

Love & Blessings,
TLE with tlc

What Is This?

Some of you may find yourselves in this story…….

It was the weekend and it was the first weekend in a long time that my husband and I had nothing going on. Absolutely nothing. And naturally since we had nothing going on, I decided to try to fill it with a bunch of “somethings”. My husband didn’t understand what I was doing since he really wanted to relax, stay home, and enjoy the nothingness of our weekend. I decided to plan a lunch date with some friends and have my nieces over for little while. After being busy all morning, going to lunch with friends, having our nieces over for a few hours, and then cleaning up the mess that was left behind, I finally sat down. Right away I asked my husband what he would like to do now. He looked at like I was nuts. He just wanted to relax.

He told me to get my comfy sweats on. I did. I asked him again, “What would you like to do now?” He said to sit down on the couch. I did. He told me to recline the couch. I did. Then he handed me a fruity cocktail drink, lotioned up his hands, and started to give me a nice, oh it felt so great, foot massage. I asked him, “What is happening? What is this?”

He said, “Honey, this is happiness.”

I think we all need reminders to just relax. Life is busy; some days more than others. But, we should all remember that sometimes happiness is found in those days where it is not busy, we can kick our feet up, not feel guilty about it, enjoy a drink of our choice, and just relax.

This is called happiness too.

Love & Blessings,

TLE with tlc  

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