For the 2019 Powersheets launch, I was in the photo shoot and discussed my journey with Powersheets with Lara Casey, owner and creator. She’s as inspiring in person as you see in video and here’s why.
My Journey with Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner
I bought my first Powersheets intentional goal planner* in 2018 at a really dark time when I struggled to find my purpose. I am a stay at home mom and I have loved being home with my boys for the last 5 years. Before that I worked as an accountant and auditor. The pay was great but the work was stressful and caused my RA to worsen. Life just passed by as my Superhubby and I were in pure “survival mode”.
As my oldest son was approaching heading to college (he graduated a couple weeks ago!), I was really struggling with whether to go back to work to earn more money or continue to stay home and follow my passion for blogging. I wanted so badly to turn it into a business and be present for my family since time is just melting away.
I felt lost like I wasn’t doing enough for my family. Overwhelmed because I had all these things I wanted and needed to do and not enough time to do it all. Drowned in clutter that no matter how hard i try seems to generate faster than I can get it out of the house. Sick because I still wasn’t devoting enough time and attention to my body and health. Incomplete because I felt like something was missing.
So I dug into the Powersheets intentional goal planner* prep work which asked the difficult questions like what identity box I’m trapping myself in, what my fears are, what I need to let go of. And it made me realize that in the context of the joys in my life, what motivates me and what really matters.
I watched Powersheets owner Lara Casey on the prep week videos and she is such a bubbly light full of positivity and life giving grace. She was such a great encourager and motivator to help us find and do what matters most to us, no matter what that is.
Besides watching Lara on video, I also picked up her book Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life*. She shared her journey through her own dark times and how she worked through it. She shared how starting a garden (and becoming an avid gardener now) helped her realize that it’s ok to get messy in the dirt, to grow slow and the fruit of your labors will be worth the journey.
5 of My Favorite Lara Casey Quotes and How they Changed My Life
Here are some of my favorite quotes that Lara lives and shares in Cultivate* and Instagram. These really speak to me and give you some insight into the kind of grace-filled inspiration she exudes and ways it encouraged me to change my life and mindset.
1. “Comparison is the thief of everything.”
For so long, I’ve compared myself to other women and moms I admire. My sister in law who has the perfect house, always tidy, clean and decorated like a Pottery Barn catalog. My other sister in law 9 years younger than me, who is so beautiful with a kind heart and a strong faith. My friend and classmate who is now a partner at a CPA firm, Girl Scout troop leader and juggling it all and killing it. Countless bloggers online who are making that income working from home that I am STILL dreaming about and not at yet.
It’s hard not to get sucked into the comparison trap. So when I saw this quote, it became a new mantra and affirmation for me. Anytime I feel myself downward spiraling into the comparison trap, I start repeating “Comparison is the thief of everything” to myself. Over and over and over until I can convince myself to stop.
I know my journey is different. I know that I’m doing life with an autoimmune illness. I don’t use it as a crutch or as an excuse but Lara has taught me to give myself grace and an affirmation I repeat when I need it. Some days are harder than others. And at the end of the day my most important role is being a strong, nurturing wife, mother and CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) for my family, friends and readers and I’m killing it at that! I have Lara and the Powersheets for helping me find my purpose and new CEO job title because it’s that important to me!
2. “You know all those things you’ve wanted to do? You should go do them!”
It sounds easy enough, right? So why is it that as moms and wives, we put ourselves last? It happens too often and it’s easy to do. We get so lost in taking care of our family that we don’t make time for the things that are important to us. The simple things that replenish and rejuvenate us, body, mind and soul.
Are you waiting for that perfect time to start something you want to do? Once my kid is older, I can travel more. Or read more. Or start a blog or business. Or take up crafting. Or get in shape. Or meet my friends. Or go on dates with my hubby.
Lara helped me realize that there is no better time than now. There will always be some mess and something more important that you can prioritize over yourself. But when you do that, you lose another bit of yourself. You are telling others that you aren’t as important as they are. You burn the candle at both ends with no relief and it’s not healthy.
So Lara’s quote helped me realize that it’s ok to go out and go do the things you want to do! It may look different than how you planned it but you are still making time for what matters to you.
For me, I make a standing appointment with my girlfriends to meet for lunch or dinner once a month. We eat at Panera and head to Barnes and Noble afterwards to browse and chat about books. It’s not expensive but it’s so rejuvenating to me to feel like a woman and not “just” a mom.
I also was a chronic night owl and read The Miracle Morning* and started waking up at 5 am everyday just so I could have time for me. What I do in that hour or two before my family wakes up changes but it always involves coffee.
Sometimes I’d read, or journal, or blog. But the point is it is MY time to do whatever I want to do. And it’s priceless, precious and so motivating. By the time the kids get up, I’m ready to devote my whole heart and mind to them and whatever it is we need to tackle that day. I feel lighter, more fulfilled and more purposeful when I’ve had some time just for me to begin the day.
Admittedly it’s rough at first to wake up at 5 am but then I looked so forward to my “me time” for the things I wanted to do that it became much easier. Now, I hardly have to hit the snooze and need my “me time” almost as much as I need my coffee…almost. Those things I’ve wanted to do, I’ve gone and done them!
What would you do if you had a few free minutes? How can you find some time for you?
3. “Start right where you are with what you have.”
So this one ties in well with the previous quote because you need to start making time for yourself and those things you want to do now. The time will never be perfect to start so start right now where you are with what you have.
When my girlfriends were having trouble getting away for a dinner together, we didn’t cancel on each other. Instead, we started a Harry Potter book club and brought our kids with us. They had all read the books anyway (it was me and my friend who hadn’t). I made puzzles and trivia questions for the meetings. It wasn’t what we planned but it ended up being so much fun in a completely different way.
So, do just one thing just for you today. Let the kid watch a show, or while the baby is sleeping. Take a mental break for yourself…flip through a magazine, watch a funny movie, drink a cup of hot tea or coffee and finish it while it’s still hot, phone a friend, make a date with your significant other for after the kids are in bed (Netflix is great for that), do a puzzle, read a book, dance with your headphones on.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, or expensive or elaborate. Simple, meaningful and doable are what you need to help you feel more like you. Start with 5 minutes of me time and you’ll see you’ll find yourself and be a better mom, wife and person for it.
4. “In fact, it’s in the imperfect—the dirt—where things grow. Not despite the mess and tension, but right smack in the middle of it.”
Motherhood is messy, am I right? It goes without saying. But there are beautiful things to learn from the mess and the journey if you take the time to listen and notice.
When my middle son was born and my RA was at its peak, I was so overwhelmed, stressed and felt under appreciated and undervalued at work. I had these loooong to do lists and felt like I made no progress no matter how hard I tried.
I was at rock bottom and talked to the doctor about depression medicine. But I was already poisoning my body with the meds for my RA, I really didn’t want to add more to the mix. So before I filled it, I was determined to find a better solution.
So as I rocked my baby to sleep, I simply thought about all the things that went right in my day. A precious drooly toothless smile. A hug from my oldest son. A good meal I cooked. Money I saved at the grocery store clipping coupons. A productive day at work. A thank you from my husband or my boss. Every night I rocked him to sleep and I’d think about my small victories and I’d fight those bad thoughts with happy ones.
That’s when my Small Victories mindset began. Slowly I replaced more negative thoughts with positive ones. I learned to forgive myself and others for long held regrets (I now have a strong no regrets policy). Replace my glass half empty to a glass half full mentality. Always look for the positive in a world of negativity. Lara’s quote reminded me to find the seedling growing amidst the dirt, it’s there if you take the time to look.
5. “It’s ok to grow slow.”
Thank you, Lara, I love this one! In a time when we are pressured to do more, sometimes it’s nice to just go slow, take a breath, enjoy the one life we have to live with the people who mean the most to us.
Meeting with Powersheets owner Lara Casey – a Total Fangirl Moment
Needless to say, after following Lara and Cultivate What Matters on Instagram for nearly a year, I was a total fan and truly believe that Powerhseets and Lara Casey helped me cultivate the life I want to live. So when the 2019 Powersheets* launch photo shoot applications opened, I jumped at the chance to apply.
Now I’m a complete introvert. I can be more open about my journey when I hide behind my computer and write. But face to face encounters, especially with authors who are my rock stars, is terrifying to me. But before I convinced myself out of it, I pushed beyond my comfort zone and applied because I knew it would be worth it. I didn’t honestly think I would be chosen.
But, my two younger boys and I had the honor of being selected for the photo shoot so we spent one hot summer day in Chapel Hill, NC (one of my favorite places) at The Farm. We were pampered with professional hair and makeup for me and wardrobe stylist with cute clothes for all of us to wear during the shoot.
I felt like a model but more importantly was the immense joy, laughter and inspiration I got from Lara and her team. Everyone was so encouraging and in a world where so many try to tear you down, this group of women lifted me up to such heights that my face actually hurt at the end of the day from smiling and laughing so much. My heart was full and I got teary as I told Lara face to face how much the Powersheets helped me find my purpose when I felt lost and what was missing in my life. She responded with a kind and warm thank you to me and signed my copy of her book.
I have followed Lara and the Cultivate What Matters team on Instagram for the last year and they are always full of encouragement, they have not wavered from their mission to help and inspire women to live fulfilled lives with what is most important to them and I know they’ve helped me make positive changes in my life.
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Exciting News – The First Ever Cultivate Your Year Live Event!
This year I’m so glad excited that in addition to their Making Things Happen 3 day event in the spring, Lara and the Cultivate What Matters team are hosting their first ever one day Cultivate Your Year Live Event* in December. It will be a day to fully complete your 2020 Powersheets with Lara’s expert coaching and so many other goodies to sweeten the day. Here’s what you get with your ticket purchase (straight from their website):
2020 PowerSheets! Your choice of (1) 2020 One-Year PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner and our best NEW accessories (over $100 value!) Reserve your cover choice before they go on sale to the public!!
- A full day of hands-on goal coaching led by PowerSheets creator and best-selling author Lara Casey. We’ll walk you through your PowerSheets page-by-page!
- A seat at a close-knit table of likeminded women led by a seasoned PowerSheets user. Ask your questions and get inspired in real time!
- A hands-on vision board workshop with expert Amber Housley.
- All of your office supply dreams come true! Choose your supplies from a wall of our favorites!
- Access to the Cultivate Pop-Up Shop with exclusive holiday items for sale.
- Surprises, treats, and inspiring experiences throughout the day.
- Invitation to an exclusive 1-hour group goal coaching call post-event with Lara to get the most from your experience! This is ONLY available with your Cultivate Your Year ticket!
- Delicious lunch and energizing snacks throughout the day at the beautiful Carolina Inn.
- The MOST fun in-person goal-setting day you’ve been needing!!
EVERYTHING above is included for your early bird ticket price of $429! Valued at $2,000+, this is a deal that will make your whole year!
The last couple years, it was tough getting the prep work done before January 1. So I love that this event will allow me to dedicate one day in December to get it all done and be ready to hit the ground running on my most important goals on January 1st. I’m seriously considering getting a ticket because I believe whole heartedly in this company that inspires and encourages women. I think the experience can be life changing if you do the work, are willing to dig deep and be honest with yourself about your fears and overcoming them so you can achieve your dream life.
You can get your early bird ticket to Cultivate Your Year here* and before the time and tickets run out! The sale ends in 3 days and they are expecting it to sell out! Come, be inspired by Lara and Cultivate What Matters in your life starting now! Maybe I will see you there! Lara gets me pumped up to follow my dreams even at a simple photo shoot, I can’t wait to see what she can help me dream about and chase after at this Live event!