Posts tagged goals
My Three Words to Live By For 2018

Words are powerful and I love them! That is why choosing ONLY three words to live by for a whole year is super hard for me. I try to let the words choose me, which means I change my mind a lot, especially coming into the home stretch, the countdown to January 1.

I thought it might be helpful to look back and see where I have come from since I began this process in 2013. And to my surprise, even though it feels like I duplicate my intentions, so far I have not used any of the same words. Here is the framework of words that have shaped my last 5 years. I am hoping they might inspire you try this process and to choose your own three words to live by.

 2013 -- Simplify, Linger, Appreciate

2014 -- Clarify, Cultivate, Savor

2015 -- Freedom, Growth, Joy

2016 -- Express, Embrace, Create

2017 -- Illuminate, Trust, Thrive

What calls to me in 2018 are words that move me out of my safe zone and nudge me into a year of adventure and additional personal growth. I've been kind of coasting the last couple of years, really enjoying my life and being present to all its beautiful moments and now I feel the need for bit of change. You will see some new workshops scheduled at the studio so I can tap into the passion, talent and knowledge others are willing to share.

Here are my words for 2018: FOSTER, EXPAND & DARE.

Foster- to promote the growth of; to raise or rear; further; encourage.

Expand- to spread, stretch out; unfold; to express in fuller form or greater detail; develop.

Dare- to have the necessary courage or the boldness to try; venture; hazard.

I intend to foster my own growth and the growth of the studio and everyone who walks through our doors. I plan to expand my knowledge of holistic approaches to healing, and stretch myself into new directions becoming a student again. I promise to be bold(er) about sharing what my life's journey has taught me so far, either through my words, art or personal interactions. 

If you are interested in trying this process instead of setting resolutions destined to fail, I have a Three Words to Live By Workshop on Thursday, January 4 from 6-8 pm at the Studio. There is still room for more people to join, click here to sign up.

This process has not only worked for me, it has allowed me the freedom to grow organically in new directions and to be confident about changing my mind, and my direction, along the way.

A New Year's Message from A Grateful Me

Hello lovely reader:

As another year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the twists and turns my life has taken in the past year. As a girl who once attempted to plan out her life, it is almost laughable that a lot of what happened is nothing I would have ever planned. Some of it is nothing I ever imagined I'd even experience and yet it has to be one of the best years ever. Maybe not in the way most people would measure a successful year --- like by how much money I made, or how much I grew my new business, or what new stuff I was able to acquire. Instead I am measuring it by how much happiness was in it, how much love I felt and how easy it was to be fully me.

In 2014 I practiced being present to all the little things that mattered (and even to the ones that didn't seem to matter). I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss a thing. I rejoiced in both sunny and cloudy days, in planned fun and in unexpected detours, and I was able to find the sunny side of nearly every situation. As a result, I felt calm, peaceful and happy nearly all the time. Where I once would have let the unexpected get me down and stress me out, I went with the flow, stayed peaceful within, and paid attention to the greater meanings. And there were plenty of life lessons.

Even when it wasn't all rosy I looked forward to each day and the new possibilities. I watched for signs and remained open to opportunities. The times I was able to spend with my love, my family, my trees, my magic friends, my students and with my words were among the best moments of my life.

I have also experienced great kindness this year. Compliments I never saw coming (which to me are delightful affirmations that I am on the right track), and connections that rekindled or were made for the first time which turned out to be exactly what I needed next. I have been blessed to learn so many new and exciting things, and to put into practice what I have learned to empower others. Not only have I been able to guide them to personal wellness, I get paid to help them feel better in their own bodies. How lucky I am to have arrived in this beautiful place!

I made a lot of time for me in 2014. And as a result I feel like I can breathe again. My three words to live by were Clarify, Cultivate and Savor and in looking back, I believe I really did infuse them into my year.

Clarify: I let some things go this year along with the worry and fear and control I once clung to, and they were really important things: friendships, opportunities, job offers,  responsibilities. Clarifying and letting them go left me feeling lighter and freer.

Cultivate: I have learned some important life lessons in 2014 with the help of some incredibly talented friends and students. Their honesty and willingness to allow me to grow with them has lit my path ahead. One really big lesson that took me many tries to learn was saying "no" to furthering other people's dreams, and fully saying "yes" to furthering mine. I learned to believe in myself again and that is huge.

Savor: Part of appreciating what is right in front of you is being present to the beauty of everything.  For me that requires downtime to rejuvenate.  I made time to "turtle in" this past year and that allowed me to be the best version of myself. The people in my life deserve the best I have to offer and in order to give it to them, I require a lot of unplanned creative "me" time. I have learned that me being overwhelmed is awful for everyone around me. Keeping myself clear and bright allowed me to shine my best light ever in 2014. I think maybe I accomplished something I have always attempted --- to lead by example.

I wanted to reach out via this post and wish you a wonderful new year filled with love + light and to encourage you to make the changes necessary to bring forth the best YOU! Thank you also for reading my blog. Although I write for me (because that is how I process, grow and learn) I am grateful for every person who comments on the blog (or in person) to say that my words resonate. I am a word girl, and I understand that coming upon the right words at just the right time can be life changing. It is an honor to hear that a few of my posts have found their way to the right people at the right time this past year.

Namaste: the Spirit in me sees, honors and appreciates the spirit in you. Have a happy and blessed new year. My words for 2015 are Freedom, Growth & Joy in case you didn't notice. Have you chosen yours yet? I would love for my readers to hear what direction your life will be taking this next year.

--Terri Spaulding

P.S. Just in case you were looking for inspiration and/or ideas on how to make 2015 a year of forward motion, here is my latest newsletter with upcoming opportunities to come grow with me. Feel free to share this link anyone who might interested. Word of mouth, personal recommendations, and shares are the way I find my proper audience. Many, many thanks in advance.


What Kind of Report Card Do You Give Yourself?

Author's note: This is a post I originally wrote nearly three and a half years ago. It was never published because I ran it by a friend before I clicked 'publish' on my blog, and her opinion stopped me from sharing it. She didn't say anything wrong or anything bad, but her lack of liking it made me doubt myself. And that was enough to stop me from sharing it. Back then I was accustomed to letting doubt creep in at the slightest turn. It was my way of staying safe--of attempting to stay ahead of any possible criticism. Having learned the futility and ultimate failure of this way of thinking, I have since successfully silenced my mean inner critic.

Working with so many highly sensitive people this last year has made me realize that I am not the only one clinging to the false belief that if I do everything perfectly I can remain 'beyond reproach'.  That is straight up crap --and is both exhausting and futile.

Silencing the monster within me took courage and patience. In hopes that a little inspiration may help someone else silence theirs, I am sharing this as it was originally written, without changing tenses or words. Freely. And without expectation. Or inner judgment.

I know it will reach the person who needs it most.


Don’t get caught up in the chase, enjoy what is right in front of you.

How many times have you set a goal for yourself, and then gone after it with gusto. A new diet to shed 15 pounds, a new workout routine to whip your body into shape, a strict budget to save money for something you want to purchase? Whatever the goal you’ve set, it can be energizing and satisfying to have a purpose (and an end) to work towards.

Goals are trackable, achievable and recognizable, both to you, and to others around you. Call me weird but as a kid I always loved getting a report card. It showed me that I was on track. Or that I wasn’t, in some cases. It told me what I needed to work harder on, where my strengths were, and where they weren’t. It was a great way to stay focused and to discern where I stood in the scheme of life.

But what happens to that feeling of being on track when we become adults? Where is our report card? Who tells us if we are on track, or points out our strengths, tells us what we need to work on and gives us recognition for our accomplishments?

No one. We have to do it ourselves. We self evaluate, self analyze, and grade our own performance as mothers, wives, worker bees, friends. And most of us are pretty darn hard on ourselves. How often are we truly satisfied with our accomplishments?

I know I'm not. I always think about what I could have done better, choosing to focus on the areas that need improvement rather than stopping to celebrate what I have actually accomplished. It’s kind of exhausting. Take being a mother, for example. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Even when I'm right, I feel wrong. And I think about all the things I could have done better to handle a situation. Letting your children make their own mistakes is almost impossible to handle gracefully.

So, how can we stop the madness of focusing on our weaknesses and not our strengths?

How about we all try to appreciate ourselves, and our accomplishments a little more...

Really think about that. The next time we start to knock ourselves for not accomplishing something on our "To Do" list, how about we pause and pat ourselves on the back for what we did do instead.  Cleaned the house, filled the cupboards with groceries, helped the kids with their homework, did the laundry, cooked dinner, picked up the new glasses at the eye doctor, returned the videos and library books on time, sent a birthday card to our mother-in-law, well.... you get the idea, right?

Remember your own awesomeness. Celebrate all the little achievements and give yourself some time to smell the roses along the way, instead of hurtling off headlong toward your next big goal. I know I'm willing to give it a go. How about you?

Do You Dream Out Loud?

sunrise on BSLGiven a free month, and time to do whatever I want, I’d write a book. I’d write the majority of it at my cottage where life somehow simplifies. I’ve let this little beauty of a “dream” roll off my tongue into the real world a few times lately.Dreaming out loud is something I have done a lot in the last few years, so I am no longer surprised when the person I choose to share my dream with gives me the squinty-eyed look of doubt. Is this just another of her crazy ideas?

I don’t blame them. I’ve had many ideas that never got off go. Truth is: I doubt myself. I use dreaming out loud as a step one process to see if those hearing my idea think I could do it. If they seem confident that I could do it, I get more excited and confident as well. Not an ideal way to craft your future.

“I believe I can fly” is what I chose as my motto a few month’s back.

It is less of a motto and more of a pump-me-up, give me confidence kind of theme song, I suppose. An acknowledgment that I lack confidence in myself to truly deliver on my dreams, and a reminder to myself that I know I have the power in me.

I am still convincing myself that I can truly fly.

Now believing that YOU can fly, and seeing exactly how YOU might do it, is not a problem for me. To me, your path, your success, your dots connect right in front of me --- and mine seem to dissipate with each lift of someone’s eyebrow, just before one of the dreaded questions comes at me, what training do you have in this, what makes you an expert at this, what makes you think you can do this?

I hate questions like that. It’s like the little voice inside of me (the one that is always there, always asking) gains strength when someone in the real world asks me as well, and instantly my dream(s) poof. My confidence goes, and in rolls the next idea.

Why is it so hard to believe in myself?

Yet, the idea of writing a book is sticking. When I stop accomplishing, and take things off my plate, I can feel the urge to write. When doubt wriggles in about whether I have the ability or the expertise, I rationalize that no one needs to read it, I really just need to write it. That makes me feel better. Like I won’t let anyone down if it isn’t good.

But there is something else that keeps pulling me back to a book. It’s the support of those who know me best, those who tell me to just start writing already. The husband that sells his beloved musical equipment little by little to pay the house payment, so I have this time to myself to create.

And it’s the absence of a brow lift or a squinty eyed look from those who love me when I dream this dream out loud that give me confidence that I can indeed do it.

It no longer seems like a dream hanging way out there, it is starting to feel like a dream that wants to get out.

So now which book? Yes, there are lots of words rolling around in this girl’s head. Which book do I write first? A well-known author advises: “Write the book you need to read”.

Great advice, except I have needed to read SO many books in the past few months/years. The one about healing a family from the wounds of their 16-year old son’s toxic dating relationship, the one about getting off the accomplishment train and into your life before it is too late, the one about learning to accept and embrace the grey of life ---and stop seeing it in black and white, or the one about how to go about reacquainting yourself with “you” when you reach mid-life, then fully appreciating and accepting that person.

At the rate I am going, I will have a bookcase full of books I needed to read on my to do list to write.

And maybe, just maybe, once I begin, I will truly start believing that ‘I can fly’.

Do You Ever Stop and Smell the Roses?/ The Art of Being Present

photo(17)Many people speak of happiness as if it is a destination. They think, I'll be happy when....only the "when" never actually materializes because something else always seems to take its place. (Kind of like everyone thinking that when their kids grow up and don't need day care anymore there will be extra money to landscape the yard, or get a new car or...."whatever",  and all the parents out there know that doesn't actually happen.) The money just goes to other "stuff" kids require, like piano lessons, karate memberships, sports equipment, clothes, shoes, phones, etc.

In the past I have been guilty of that kind of future thinking.  The "I will feel so much more organized when I do this, or when I am finally finished with this committee I will be able to start on that." Only the time never actually arrives, there are always more commitments, more things on the to do list, more distractions. And suddenly you wake up one day and you realize that years went by and you don't remember them. Who knew that what I was really doing was wishing away my happiness in the present, for a future time when I might be happy if...?

The notion that I will find happiness "someday" if I just do this, turned out to be a crock for me, a white lie I told myself to feel better, to motivate me and to push me forward. The truth is, I should have just been proud of the things I did accomplish, (without the if onlys added onto them) and let myself be open to enjoying the moment. I should have added some spontaneity.

I wish now for a ton of time back, do overs, to when my boys were little, when my body was able to do more and recover faster, when I could remember things. I want the chance to do it better. I could have spent that time making the most excellent memories with my boys, before they grew into men and no longer wanted time with me, instead of doing all those things that made me feel like I was of value by the amount that I accomplished. Or how clean my house was.

Question of the Week #30: Are You Accomplishing Your Life Away?

In the end, what did I really do anyway, except have a clean house-- that no one even remembers? Myself included. (And the truth is they got messed up the next day anyway!)

I still lie to myself. I still think if I got that new computer, I could begin to write the book I feel driven to write. I could start fresh and keep it all organized. If I cleaned the piles of papers and unearthed the hundreds of previously started posts I have on my notepads, I could fill my blog with additional, engaging content.

Even after all my research on happiness and purpose, meaning and fulfillment, I wonder why I still feel the need to have so many things on the back burner --- to get started on someday, instead of just doing what I want to do?  Why is it so dang hard for me to just be?

It just is.

As I work to slow my life down, I do feel more happiness. There are shining moments when I remember that I do not always have to accomplish. Where I just go with the flow and enjoy what is right in front of me. And those moments are beautiful things.

I want there to be more time like that, more times where I do not always have to be doing.

I am listening to the new voice in my head that tells me it is okay to linger, savor, and appreciate.

Maybe that is why I cannot seem to stop taking photos of the sunsets.




On A Lighter Note/ Question of the Week #19

So this week has been pretty busy. And also pretty


I had the opportunity to be a small part of making TEDxGR 2013 happen yesterday. What that team of volunteers pulled off simply blows my mind. I have so many people to thank for bringing their incredible talents to the table and executing it close to perfection. (More on this later).

I'm exhausted though, and way behind on life. So,  I'm taking it easy this week and asking a random question....

Question of the Week #19 / If You Could Own One Article of Clothing From Any Film Ever Made, What Would You Take?

I told you it was random. But when I saw this question I had an immediate answer.

Dorothy's shoes.

I'd want those shoes sit on my shelf and remind me of what can be done when a person puts their own power behind something. Their passion. Their energy. Their vision.

We all have the power within us to accomplish our dreams.

I saw so many examples yesterday at TEDxGR that came to fruition or are on their way to happening. From everyone I ran into: the speakers at TEDxGR, the volunteers, the attendees, the performers, and the core team who pulled it off.

I'm. So. Inspired.

And now equally empowered to accomplish my dream.

In the words of the Good Witch:  "You had the power all along, my dear!"

Tag---You're it!


My 2013 Declaration : It's Personal

photo(2)2012 was definitely a year best described as challenging.

It involved many firsts, a couple of successes, one epiphany, and way too many failures to count. Not my best year ever.

Words like turbulent, tense, & gut wrenching describe a year that seemed to fly by (and last forever) all at the same time. I came to understand how hard it can be to fit in and I tasted the bitter disappointment of realizing that giving something your best is not always good enough.

On a positive note, I did learn a LOT. About me. My strengths. My interests. My passions. My limits. And especially, my shortcomings. I immersed myself in the world of digital printing and caught onto its inner workings more quickly than I ever thought I would. I discovered how much I am energized by teaching. And writing. And helping people maximize their potential.


There was a lot of failure for me in 2012. But I persevered, and stretched myself to points far out of my comfort zone. Our household had unexpected developments, which brought about massive regrouping and tears. Many tears. My biggest mistake might have been in losing faith in myself. That fact alone allowed the good of the year to be overshadowed by the bad. And all of it added to the frantic speed at which the year cruised by.

I missed so many little things. Like conversations about nothing.

Or having a clean house.

The joy of cooking.

Fun and laughter of impromptu game & karaoke nights.

The satisfaction from getting a deal while shopping for nothing specific.

Oh, sleep. I missed so much sleep.

And I missed being happy.

So it is with a huge sigh of relief that I let go of 2012 and all its angst. And replace it with a sigh of anticipation for 2013 and the affirmation that this year will be different. And better. If for no other reason than my approach and attitude will be different. And better. I’m starting anew.


The three words I plan to live and breathe in 2013 are:

Simplify |  Appreciate | Linger

Simplify: To make less complex or complicated, make plainer or easier.

Appreciate: To value, to be fully conscious of, to be aware of, to raise in value.

Linger: to dwell in contemplation, thought or enjoyment; to dawdle; to walk slowly; to saunter along.

Oh, and while I am at it, I might throw in several savors,

… some dawdling,

A traipse or two...

...And at least 1000 dillydallys.

Anyone care to join me? What about you, what will you be doing in 2013?