Fall 2018 Retreat Recap!

Just last month, we were on our very first Root & Restore retreat. We are so very excited to share our time with you!

We were welcomed into an absolutely stunning home right on the beach in the Texas Gulf Coast. We had gorgeous flowers by Amanda Bee Floral Design to brighten up the space and give it a luxuriously comfy feel. The decor and location of our retreat helped each attendee to feel immediately relaxed and cared for as she walked into the home and took in the scenery on the balcony.

As we started the course material, immediate connections began to form as each woman shared her dreams and motivations for starting her business. This gave each of us an opportunity to connect on a fundamental level, as we opened our time together by getting to the heart of why we are on our entrepreneurial journeys.

The beauty of opening our time together in this way meant that genuine connections happened very quickly. As connections of the heart happened, this led to more in-depth, authentic conversations over insecurities, comparison, and self-care. Furthermore, the retreat attendees were able to quickly rally around a new friend when tears came and frustrations were shared.

As the retreat facilitator, it was such an incredible honor to see each retreat attendee step into the gap for each woman, meet her where she felt inadequate and lift her up to reach for her fullest potential.

The conversations over meals and over course content was inspiring, real, transparent and encouraging. Because of the Root & Restore content, our retreat attendees felt that they could be exactly who they were and use their unique voice to speak life into each woman’s heart.

As we navigated through topic after topic in the workbook, walls came down, vulnerabilities were shared and dreams were spoken into life. Each woman knew that her innermost thoughts were safe in our group. She knew that she could share her big, scary dreams and that they would be held with respect, honor and have life breathed into them. Her vulnerability was honored, not used against her.

Our most powerful session was on Self-Talk, which led to some life changing dreams being shared and incredible goals being put into play.

We were able to dig deep into connecting each woman’s passions with her vision, which resulted in some powerful ideas coming to life that can truly change the world.

One of my absolute favorite parts of working through Root & Restore content with different groups is to see which topic is the one that changes lives. It has varied with each group, but it is an incredible testament to the power of Root & Restore and its ability to help an incredibly diverse audience.

As a result of working through the Root & Restore content, each woman gave as much as she received, she shared her heart and listened to the hearts of others, and each woman saw the power in being vulnerable in a safe space. We saw strength and vision ignited in their hearts and minds and we all left feeling truly honored to have had an opportunity to join in these women’s stories.

 Our gorgeous booklets were designed by  Lynsey Creative  and were absolutely perfect for facilitating our conversation over three days and three nights.

Our gorgeous booklets were designed by Lynsey Creative and were absolutely perfect for facilitating our conversation over three days and three nights.

AS IF THAT WEREN’T ENOUGH, WE WERE TREATED TO THE FOLLOWING AMAZING RETREAT PERKS:

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In-House Catered Meals

We were treated to deliciously made and beautifully styled meals made with lots of love by Chef Alfreda with The Purple Orchid.

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Yoga & Massages

While our bellies were taken good care of, Wilma took incredible care of our bodies and minds by guiding us through a personalized yoga course as well as calming, relaxing massages.

Our gorgeous gift boxes included goodies from Houston-area vendors and were the ultimate in self-care with goodies like bath bombs, candles, sugar scrubs and a gorgeous journal for jotting down every single thought and emotion during the retreat time together. 

We had an abundance of laughter, heart-to-heart moments, some tears and more warm memories than we could count. All of these wonderful times were accented by a gorgeous view and the calming sound of waves on the sand throughout the duration of our time together. 

We all walked away from our retreat weekend with incredibly full hearts and friendships that are certain to last a lifetime.

Life was spoken into our dreams and passions through the Root & Restore content. We also received incredible value on business strategy from Melinda with The Lovely Creative. She also was the amazing photographer during the retreat and we were so blessed to have her! 

As if our time together couldn't have been more special, we were greeted by an incredibly intense rainbow as we wrapped up the retreat and prepared to head back home.

It almost felt like a promise- that as we each went our separate ways back to our lives, that we had been seen, known, loved and cared for and that our journeys were not by mistake.

What a powerful image to wrap up our time together.

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Will you join us for our next retreat? We believe that our time together has the power to change your life and we want you to be in on it all. We can’t wait to celebrate you!

When the Answer is "No"

Preface: Most of the time, Root & Restore will be a place of encouragement and empowerment. However, something that is more important to me than lifting people up is being real. I believe with every part of my being that in order for me to be an effective encourager, it is vital that I be genuine and real. That way, when I say the fun, kind things, the recipient of those words knows that they are hearing me speak something that I truly believe in rather than just anecdotal happy words to lighten the mood. 

So, to jump right in... 

A very real and normal part of building a business is being told "no" or watching doors close that you wished would open. If entrepreneurship was an easy path to achieving wild success, everyone would do it! However, it's actually a difficult road that is full of detours, delays and disappointments. 

Part of those disappointments can show up as rejection. A lost bid, a rejected idea, a "change in direction". All are forms of the answer "no" and all have the potential to be a nuisance at best and crushing at their worst. 

Today I'd like to share with you some thoughts on how to deal with rejection- from a lost bid or a disappointed client to losing a client to a competitor.

1. Understand that it doesn’t feel good. 

  • Allow yourself to feel sad over receiving “no” for an answer. It takes time to process the feelings you’ll have over rejection- from relief to disappointment, etc. I believe that in our boss-lady culture, it can be tempting to gloss over our feelings of hurt or disappointment and try to put on a brave face.

You don't have to show the whole world your broken heart or ruined vision board, but it is important to be honest with yourself about how you feel. If you're relieved, that's ok. If you're upset, that's ok too.  If you're crushed, it simply means you are human. 

2. Be kind to yourself. 

  • Being rejected is not fun, regardless of how you look at it. However, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It doesn’t mean you should quit. It doesn’t mean that you have no value. It can be tempting to jump to those types of conclusions, but being told “no” doesn’t mean that the whole world rejects you. It just means that the situation you were wanting to be in was not for you, or not for you in that time. Being kind to yourself and giving yourself room to process your emotions (be it for 5 minutes or 5 months...) is key to moving on in a healthy, effective way. 

3. Protect your space. 

  • I was once told no over two very big projects that were deeply disappointing. I just KNEW I was the perfect fit and the “yes” was so palpable I could taste it. Then, I got a no for both. I was SO upset!! It felt like a punch in the gut and while I knew I’d ultimately be fine, I had to take a minute to protect my space to protect my sanity. This meant taking a step back from specific social media pages for a while and intentionally surrounding myself with things that would lift me up. I took on projects that made me happy and I spent time with people that really knew me and loved me. Instead of scrolling on social media, I spent more time away from my phone than I normally would and found such peace and joy in simply protecting my space. 

4. Try to accept that not everyone/everything is for you.

  • This can be difficult, because it’s so easy to feel like you want to be all the things for all the people. This “no” could have been a case of bad timing: maybe you weren’t ready for the opportunity, or maybe the opportunity wasn’t ready for you! Maybe in 2, 5, or 10 years, things will be different. OR, maybe you will simply grow out of the need for that opportunity and saying “no” now positions you for something that is a much better fit later.

Maybe your business growth would be hindered by the opportunity you’re seeking now and you are being protected for something more significant in the future. I’ve heard the concept that “there is enough success for everyone” and I sincerely believe that’s true. However, the success that someone else has may not fit your life in the same way. That same concept works for why some people get “yes’s” and some people get “no’s”. Your opportunity will come, and it will be the best fit for you. An answer of “no” can be painful, but it can also be a protection for what is meant to come into our lives.

What is meant for you will find you! 

5. Try to find the lesson.

  • Finally, I strongly believe that we are told “no” in life for a plethora of reasons. These closed doors can be deeply disappointing and painful, but they can truly shape us and our businesses for incredible growth if we let them. Maybe experiencing rejection ourselves helps us to be more compassionate and considerate when we have to tell someone else “no” to something. We can be more kind and understand how they may feel.

Being rejected for an opportunity can give us freedom to pursue new, unexpected avenues of our businesses that we might not have otherwise. We never know what growth opportunity is waiting just around the corner!  We can also take the opportunity to learn from our experience. Maybe we were weak in certain areas of our business and this gives us the opportunity for true, honest reflection and improvement. 

We are told no for so many reasons, so many times in our journey as entrepreneurs. It is a difficult part of pursuing your dreams, but it can be a refining part of our journey if we allow it. If we choose to let our experiences of rejection be fertile ground for growth and positive change, these “no’s” can become the very foundation that we build our empire off of. 

I'll have to give you the details over coffee sometime, but there have been a few "no's" in my life that I truly thought would crush me. I did not feel that I could stand under their weight and getting through a day felt overwhelming and downright impossible. I don't share these things lightly or ignorantly... I know that if you really had your heart set on something and it doesn't work out, it can feel as if oxygen suddenly was in short supply.

This is when it is best to engage in serious self-care and tangible tools for success... care for yourself at your most basic level, meet your immediate needs and let the rest fall into place. 

One final thought: I am no spring chicken... HA!  I’ve seen a lot and experienced a lot in my life. I just want to encourage you that there has yet to be a “no” in my life that I didn’t come to eventually appreciate, no matter how much it hurt at the time.

A dream deferred can surprise you in the ways it does come true, in its own time and in its own way. 

I am cheering you on, friend. I would love to hear about how you handle rejection and how you've come to appreciate how hearing "no" can shape your journey. 

A Measure of Success

How do you know when you’ve succeeded in life? What will it take for you to measure your life as a success? I have friends who are practicing surgeons and Ph.D’s. I have friends who are successfully parenting four or more children and are cultivating real romance with their spouse. I have friends who are completely debt free and have bodies now that would make their 16 year old selves green with envy. I know person after person who, when ranking my accomplishments against theirs, will out perform mine time after time. 

In trying to live what we would consider a successful life, accomplishments rarely tell the entire story. It’s easy to see how we fall short because we aren’t as rich, skinny, popular, healthy or spiritual as the next person. We aren’t as gregarious or well spoken and dang it, I can’t even make sure all members of my house are well fed, much less compete on all the levels with all the people! 

I’ve found that the story often ends in the same way: I will always find someone out there with more accomplishments than me. Someone who has made more of their business than I have and someone who has capitalized on turning their skills into a dream job.

However, when we take accomplishments away and stop the comparison game, we find that we each have our own sphere of influence. We are fully capable of reaching the people in our sphere of influence and the messages we send to them can radiate in ways we never could have imagined. Some of us have Beyoncé level spheres of influence. Some of us have spheres of influence that may touch our partner or our children or our parents. 

Regardless of how large or small our reach goes, the messages we send are still of critical importance. Do we empower the people we interact with? Are we intentional in lifting them up and leaving them better than we found them? In interacting with your 3 clients or your 30,000 clients, the fundamentals are the same. We are all worthy of encouragement and we are all capable of speaking life-giving truth to those we touch. We are able to treat each person like they matter, because the truth is that they do. The truth is also that no one story is more or less important than the other. When we make this a fundamental philosophy of how we run our businesses, customer service does not need to be a notch on a checklist, because it comes naturally. 

Now, I’m also not here to say that you can’t experience disappointment. It can be difficult to see others achieve the dreams that you have. It can be hard to see others succeed in the areas you had hoped for. I don’t have all of the answers, but what I do know is that we all have our own path to take. What is meant for us will find us, in life and in business. If you’re walking through a moment or an extend time of frustration with not being able to reach your goals, it is important to acknowledge that and feel that frustration. When you give it a voice, you empower yourself to walk through why you may be disappointed and frustrated and what you can do to change it. 

The process of business ownership is a journey. It ebbs and flows. As we navigate through the process of building and growing our businesses, it is important to recognize and celebrate the successes that come our way- from each new, individual client to the realization of the big, scary, out of this world dreams that have come true. The small, barely noticeable successes eventually collect to become the big dreams coming to life. Keep at it, friend. you are making a difference by showing up, and that's something I'd call a success. 

Cheering you on,

Catrina

Giving From an Empty Cup

Do you ever feel empty and worn out? Like you're trying to give from a completely empty cup? 

Maybe your heart is totally in your craft, but getting down to the nitty gritty of checking off an endless to-do list can feel just about like climbing the Rockies. You could be feeling this way because you're dealing with something in life that has you overwhelmed or down. Maybe there is a big life change you're experiencing that has you distracted and feeling like you're not yourself. 

It can be so difficult to not want to fight against the the frustration that can come from feeling distracted and out of focus. Sometimes it feels like if you just push hard enough, you can figure it out and break through that wall. 

We hear popular phrases encouraging the consumption of all of the caffeine and all the hype music and all of the messages telling us to just keep pushing until we make it. However, what if sometimes, (not always), but sometimes, the answer is to just give yourself permission to rest? Permission to close the computer, put down the paint, NOT edit the pictures and take a day to just be? There are times when pushing through can be completely appropriate and VERY useful. There are also times when giving ourselves the space and grace to rest can not only recharge us in a significant way, but we can also position ourselves to do our best work. 

I encourage you to give yourself permission to rest and recover as you need to- as often as you need to. Sometimes this looks like a quick trip through the drive-thru at your favorite coffee shop to give you a pick-me-up. Sometimes this looks like taking a day off to rest and recover and spend time with the people you love.  

The work will still be there, as will your talent and the demands of this amazing job you've created for yourself. Maybe, just maybe, you'll do better work faster because you're doing it from a place of investment in yourself rather from giving from an empty cup. 

Cheering you on, always. 

Catrina 

Confessions

In the vein of being vulnerable, I'd like to share a quick story with you- something that requires me to be open and honest with you. 

I am in the middle of a major life change- my family just recently welcomed our second son into the world. As a second-time mama, I have been so excited for this big life change but also fully aware of how much of my whole world will be affected. I still remember the days after I brought our first son home from the hospital and how I truly felt that my world had been completely turned upside down. 

When you're trying to launch a business and prepare for a baby at the same time, there's alot of humbling that can happen in the process. You don't have all of the energy you might have had otherwise and balancing work, dreaming, planning and implementing with new-mama brain and a very active toddler can make small tasks seem nearly impossible. 

All of that being said, I had a plan for something big to happen in my business before the baby came. My husband, being the wonderful man that he is, lovingly convinced me that maybe, just maybe, the timing wasn't right and that blindly pushing towards my goal could potentially cause more damage than good. 

Y'all... I didn't handle that conversation well. I didn't handle it well at ALL. I wanted so badly to reach my goal, to plan my event, and ride off into the sunset of new motherhood with all of the recognition and accolades that this event would bring. When I was held accountable and faced with the (correct) decision of letting that go (for now), it genuinely hurt. I was disappointed and frustrated. I was mad at him for being right and mad at myself for not seeing it on my own. 

This experience, which, if I'm being totally honest, took a few days to get over. It left me feeling bruised and deflated. However, it reminded me of how hard it can be as business owners to let go of short-term goals that feel so important to best accomplish the long-term goal.

In an effort to feel like we've got control of our businesses, it can be tempting to focus on the little things as a substitute for the big things. It can feel easier to focus on a flawless social media account than it is to dig into our insecurities and dream big dreams for our businesses. It can also feel easier to take on the clients that aren't your ideal instead of raising your prices and saying no to projects that don't set your soul on fire.  In my personal case, it was easier to focus on planning a big party than it was to admit to myself that I should focus on building the foundation of my business and let that be enough for now. 

However, pushing ourselves to go to the uncomfortable parts of owning a business (bookkeeping, goal setting, networking, etc.) can make us more well-rounded business owners and can help us to see areas of success that we might not have otherwise. 

Allowing ourselves to let go of what feels like the big things in order to build a solid foundation for our business can be so hard to do, but can be such a worthwhile investment. I know that this is much easier said than done, because it is a huge struggle of mine as well. It's so much easier to focus on the things that come naturally to us than the things that are outside of out comfort zone. Similarly, it is so easy to focus on the goals that feel good to accomplish and come easily versus the ones that are more time and labor intensive, but that take our business much farther than we might have imagined. However, in choosing to stretch ourselves and say "no" to the smaller, easier goals in lieu of the bigger, more intensive goals, we are truly investing in ourselves and our business growth in lasting ways. 

Cheering you on, friend. Always. 

Catrina

Vulnerability

Have you ever struggled to make eye contact with the person in front of you... your heart is pounding and and your mouth goes dry because you're trying to find the right words to say? You're about to share something big with them- something you've never said out loud but that means SO much to you. You're about to take the leap and be vulnerable. 

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is hard. It's terrifying and keeping to yourself feels safe. It feels like you're betraying your instinct to self-protect, and what if your vulnerability isn't received well? What if they don't get the weight of what your heart is trying to say, or what if they just don't care? 

But.... what if they do? What if your choice to be vulnerable shows strength and truth, because we really can't do it all alone? What if your vulnerability shows and the person you confide in utters some of the most powerful words in our language, "me too"? 

As we allow ourselves to be open and vulnerable with people who we trust and care for, we give space for authenticity to grow. As uncomfortable as vulnerability can sometimes be, it opens the door for genuine relationship to develop. It gives the other person the freedom to share their own insecurities and concerns, which are deeply personal to them. As the freedom to be authentic is created, the ability for genuine connection is strengthened and we are able to begin to form trust in our relationships. True trust, where we know that the friends we have can love and support us when we are at our very best and at our very worst. 

Vulnerability is never easy. It is scary and uncomfortable. In a world where we can be easily tempted to post perfectly curated squares and are motivated by likes and comments, vulnerability can seem like the last thing we want to do. However, it can be a vital part of  helping us to develop true, lasting and genuine relationships. What steps towards vulnerability can you take today? 

Your Worth & Your Voice

Have you ever completed a creative project or job and gone to share your work on social media, only to have those familiar pangs of doubt rise up and make you hesitate before hitting "publish"? Or, have you proudly showed your content on social media and looked forward to the engagement your post would receive, only to scroll down and see someone who posted the same thing you did, only sooner, with better styling and a wittier caption? Oh, the frustration that sets in. 

Sometimes those feelings can lead to a deeper sense of unrest, where you wonder if your work is even worth it. Is what you have to say good enough, or valuable enough to stand out? Some days, and really, if I'm being terribly honest, most days, I feel like the answer to that question is a resounding "NO". It takes courage to put your work and your heart out into the world. It takes heart to think of something meaningful to say to accompany that perfect little square that is supposed to represent an entire project or job or workday.

Hear me say this loud and clear: It is difficult to share what you have to say with the world, only to see someone else do it "better, faster. stronger", as Daft Punk says. It can feel like a punch in the gut and it can take the wind out of your sails. 

However, those feelings aren't a reflection on reality. It certainly feels real, and seems real, but the truth is that no one can do what you do. No one can be who you are and no one can speak with your voice. Why? Because there is only one you! You were made on purpose and you were made uniquely. Your set of circumstances that have led you to creative entrepreneurship are a culmination of gifts and experiences that you and you alone possess.

How do I know this, and I don't even know you? Well, because I know that the same is true for me. As we put our gifts out into the world in the form of creative work, we are creating unique content that is worth sharing. As you are true to your creative passion and your voice, your work becomes a reflection of that voice, and no one can duplicate that.

Are there details that can be refined? Sure. Are there strategies that can be implemented to help us all become more skilled business owners? Absolutely! However, there is nothing that can compare to the uniqueness of your voice and the beauty that is created out of your passion for what you do. Never forget that, and never let it be snuffed out. The world is waiting! 

Onward,

Catrina 

A New Year, A Fresh Start

New Years are synonymous with fresh starts. The calendar is clean, the year is fresh and we are all full of hope and determination. Resolutions have been made and plans are set in motion. The clock strikes midnight, Auld Lang Syne is played and we're off to the races!! 

Then comes a new day (or, in my case, lots of days, which add up to weeks and, huh.. looky there... a whole month!). With new days come disappointment. We mess up, we don't meet our goals and we're back to feeling like we don't measure up or that we're doomed to repeat our normal mistakes. 

For me personally, I err on the side of people pleasing. I want to make everyone happy at the expense of myself and the people that I love the most. I've learned that this is simply something I can't do- I can't make everyone happy by doing all the things for all the people. I'm not chocolate, after all. What I can do, though, is invest in myself. I can give the people around me the best of myself by setting healthy boundaries and giving myself permission to rest when I need to. I can learn to say "no" and *try* to be OK with how people respond to that. (Can we all just agree that it's MUCH harder to actually be OK with the results of our saying no than it is to say we're ok with it??)

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When I do those things, I put the investment that I would normally send OUT back IN. I invest in myself with the goal of putting myself in the position to give from an area of health and rest rather than depletion and overexertion. 

This year, I want to encourage you to choose YOU. Let's not choose ourselves in an overtly selfish way, but in a way that gives the guarantee that as we are well, we love others well. In the spirit of giving our best to our clients, partners, coworkers, employees and community, this is an investment that will give us the most effective returns, time and time again. 

You are worth it. You, my friend, have always been worth it. 

Onward,

Catrina