10 Affirmations for Monday

Hello Cuties,

I hope you all had a weekend filled with fun and relaxation. Monday is here, and that means a whole new week to accomplish your goals. Mondays can be long, but they also can be super productive!

As time ticks on, the pressure to start looking for jobs post graduation weighs on my mind. I’m sitting here saying, “what do I wanna be when I grow up?” By this time next year, I will be off into the real world, hopefully doing something I’m passionate about. But, right now, this pressure is causing me some anxiety. I’m too concerned with planning every moment, rather than just riding the waves.

I think a lot of students experience this pressure as they inch closer to graduation. It’s totally normal. I’ve been so busy with school stuff that I couldn’t even create a post last week. It’s killing my creative vibes. So, here I sit wondering what I should share with all of you. I decided to share affirmations. Not only for your use, but for mine also.

Monday is the start of a fresh week. A week you have complete control of. If you are student, take a deep breath and read the affirmations below. If you’re not in school, these still apply. Understand that whatever you are working toward, or even struggling through, will all work out.

10 Affirmations for Monday

I am enough.

I give up freely what is no longer serving me, I release it to make space for what inspires me.

I am creating a life of passion and purpose.

I am worthy of greatness.

I choose to be happy.

Today, I will take one step closer to my goals.

My creativity is a true expression of who I am.

My dreams are much greater than my fears.

All of my problems have a solution.

I am confident.

Ahhh…do you feel ready to tackle the week now?

You can write these affirmations down and read them off as needed. You can also write them on sticky notes and spread them around your home or office. Whatever it takes to keep you inspired and determined.

I understand more than anyone what it’s like to worry too much about the future. But, reading affirmations and quotes like these, calms my soul. Although I love a plan, I do truly believe in every thing working out. In the moment, it can be difficult to understand this but once you are able to take a step back you will see everything is okay. Tackle the big things first, then move through the small ones.

We all feel the pressure of life from time to time. Just don’t forget to breath and see the positives. Trust the process.

Thank you for reading Pretty, Young & Motivated. Make every action intentional this week!

xo, Lyss

 

Women Empowering Women

Hello Pretty People,

The other morning I attended a Women’s Leadership breakfast where a panel of accomplished women spoke on various topics. It was a very inspiring talk and it really resonated with me. The way these women took on difficult challenges to get in the positions they are in today was completely motivating.

As I listened and discussed with the women around me, I immediately thought of Pretty, Young & Motivated. I created this blog to empower other women. I want my writing to be a tool for you. A place you come when you need to be inspired and motivated. My passion is inspiring other women to realize their full potential.

During this breakfast, we discussed what leadership means to each of us. I think being a leader means you chose to be vulnerable. To be a leader, you must be willing to take the first step, even when it’s scary or uncomfortable. Leaders are the people who make everyone else comfortable. Leaders set examples, they are role models for a group or community. Leaders also empower others. They do not compete and they do not judge.

Real Talk

Ladies…I know we tend to be a little judgmental from time to time. Our society has taught us to compete with one another rather than empower each other. I know we feel like we have to compete with each other but guess what? If another female accomplishes something, that does not mean you cannot do the same. It may just not be the right timing for you. If you see a beautiful girl, that does not lessen your beauty.

Flowers are beautiful, but so are sunsets and they are nothing alike. 

Remember this. Flowers don’t stop growing just because the flower next to them is taller. Everyone is on their own journey and we all will experience different things in life.

The Point

Don’t compete with other women. You are still great. We are all great in our own ways. At this point of time, women need to stand together. As we move into the future, we are filling more leadership roles and defying traditions. Be who you want to be and take what is yours. Competing with other women will not benefit you or them. It really just defeats the process of creating more opportunities for women.

We rise together!

Females are strong, beautiful creatures. We are passionate and we listen to our hearts. Although this can be seen as sensitive by some, I believe following your heart creates more intentional actions. Passion will create more than plans ever will.

So, take initiative to be a leader for those around you. Men and women. Stand up for what you believe in. Women have enough critics, so offer compliments instead. Compliment their strength or bravery. Focus on the qualities of people. If we respect one another, it will set an example for others to do the same.

As females, it’s our job to stand up for one another. Together we are stronger.

xo, Lyss

Picking Yourself Up After Hitting Rock Bottom

Hello Pretty People,

To be honest, I’m tired of talking about the negatives that have been occurring in my life. I’m in control of this, but I also like to share these struggles and low points because I think people need to realize we all have them. Trust me, I know it can feel like you’re alone during these times. But, you are not.

I’ve been super negative lately. My outlook has been pessimistic and my intentions have not been positive. I have allowed the negativity to take over my mind and body. I haven’t religiously exercised in almost 4 weeks, my eating has been “meh” and my attitude has been the worst of all.

Many of my readers come to PYM for inspiration and tips on living a happy life. Well, it hasn’t been that lately. I’m very sorry about that, but I think it’s important to share these hard times with all of you because I want you to know I am human too. I’m not going to create fake content to please everyone and make you believe my life is perfect. Because it’s not. No one has a perfect life, no matter how much you may think so.

So, as much as I want to drop the topic, I have to address it one more time because I have not been myself and it would be unfair of me to act that way. I write to share the highs and lows of life. If I only share the happy moments and the good stuff, you will probably just think “she’s lucky”. We all experience points in our life that feel like we are battling the demons alone. These past few weeks have been some of the lowest points of my life.

I’m not going to cover that up or try to make it something less than it is. I’ve experienced great pain in my heart.

Here’s the deal.

You can…scratch that, I can either pick myself up and move the fuck on or I can sit and suffer. It’s harsh and I’m sorry for the vulgar language, but it’s the truth. We all make this choice everyday. I do know how easy it can be to feed negativity with more negativity.

Hello!! That’s all I’ve been doing over here.

Another harsh reality…

You’ve only got you. You have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. No one else is going to do it for you. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t people who will be there to support you or be a shoulder to cry on. But, at the end of the day when you’re alone and crying in the shower, you’re the only person who can pick yourself up. People can blab your ear off with mushy BS but you are the one in control. Until you realize that, you’ll spend your days crying and throwing yourself pity parties. This will make your life snowball out of control.

Crash your own (pity) party.

You are going to have to be the one to crash the party. No one will be able to do it for you. Once again, people can cheer you on and guide you in the right direction but you have to be the one to quit the BS.

I know when things actually suck, it’s tough to be a Positive Polly but you have to trick yourself. Your bad vibes will allow more bad vibes to feed into your energy. It sounds cheesy but it’s legit. If you can’t be positive about your own self, try to be super kind to others. Compliment your friends, buy a stranger coffee…do something that allows good vibes to flow. Getting caught up in lots of negativity is a vicious cycle you do not want to be a part of.

Cut the BS and don’t let negativity win. You are stronger than that!

This is the point I have reached, and slowly I am seeing the weight on my chest lift. I’m taking control of my attitude and the negatives I have allowed allowed to make home in my life. Although many of the negatives in my life the past few weeks have been out of my control, I have allowed them to occupy my mental space. Life does suck sometimes but listen carefully. I said SOMEtimes, not all times.

It’s okay to breakdown. It’s okay to not be okay. Life happens, our inner strength is tested. It can be hard to manage things on our own. Take the time you need to be sad and process the negatives, but don’t let them ruin your life. There is far more good in life than bad, even when it feels like the world is against you.

Cry it out, fix your mentality and move forward with a badass babe vibe. We’ve made it this far. Our strength will be tested time and time again, but each time it will be a little bit easier.

Don’t let a negative mindset hold you back. Most of all, never give up.

xo, Lyss

How to Boost Your Confidence in 3 Steps

Hello Babes,

Feeling stuck? Skin feeling dry from the harsh winter air? Motivation running low? You may be falling into a slump, and it’s okay, I am too. I know how difficult it can be to stay confident & positive all the time. Being a young woman in a judgmental society is already a challenge, then adding personal criticism on top of that is almost inevitable. How can you feel your best when the universe is all wrong? Well, this may be the root of your problem. I know what it’s like to fall in this “poor me” slump. You blame the universe for all your problems.

I understand it can sometimes feel like that, but the moment you start blaming outside sources for your feelings, that’s the moment your confidence will start to tank. You have to keep an open mindset and disregard the negativity that is trying to break you down. When you are confident, you begin to vibe at a different frequency. People and things below you may try to knock that because they will see your happiness. The key to being confident and staying at this level is to continue loving yourself and spreading positivity.

So, if you are feeling stuck in this rut and need to reconnect with the universe, here is my advice to you:

Be Positive & Spread Kindness: 

It’s a lot easier to be confident when you are positive and kind to others. Whenever I am overly sassy and walking around with a “poor me” attitude that only influences more negative energy. The negative energy then feeds my soul and makes me feel more “blah.” Being kind to others makes your heart feel good, and it also makes you feel happier overall. When you fill your thoughts with positive vibes, you will allow for more positivity to enter your life, and how can you be insecure when you are constantly positive?! It’s all about your mindset and understanding that your happiness is your choice.

Create a Daily Mantra:

Finding an inspirational and positive mantra to start your day with is really great for keeping your confidence levels up. You can then refer to this mantra/quote throughout the day. I love a good quote, and I decorate my life with them. I put them on my vision board, as my phone background and in my agenda. They keep me inspired and positive! I challenge you to find three mantras or quotes that inspire you.

Surround yourself with happy souls:

This is one of the most important steps to keeping yourself inspired, and though I encourage self-love and self inflicted happiness, it’s good for you to surround yourself with inspiring beings. When you are surrounded by other inspiring people who are killing it, this inspires you to be better and encourages more positive vibes. I have found myself in situations where I am living with, or surrounded by very negative energy, and I can see its impact on my mood. But, when I have attended a workout class or grabbed coffee with a good friend, I find that my positive energy rises. Trust me, that feels much better than negative energy.

Something to remember with this step is never be discouraged by someone elses successes, envy feeds negativity. When you choose to surround yourself with motivated individuals, you may sometimes feel less than them but that is a poisonous way to think. Think about all you are accomplishing in the present, you must focus your energy on that not on envying others. Allow these people to inspire you and keep you motivated, not discourage you and create jealousy.

If you are able to follow these three steps on a daily basis, you will find it a lot easier to keep your confidence up and your positivity flowing. I know this time of the year can be a struggle for many, but keep calm and be confident, you’ve got this!

Thank you all for reading today’s post! Remember that you can subscribe on the right of the page to stay updated with PYM.

Stay positive!

xo, Lyss

#Girlboss: Elyse Welcher

Hello Beautiful Souls,

I am so happy to be bringing the #Girlboss series back because it not only embeds the exact message I want to portray on my blog but it’s also so fun to meet all these wonderful women. It’s been way too long since I have been able to write one of these but I am thrilled to restart this series. Since it has been awhile, I will give a little run down on the purpose behind the #Girlboss series. I originally started this series on my old blog. The main idea behind #Girlboss roots from the actual book called #Girlboss written by Sophia Amoruse. My goal is to interview women who have made an impact on the world, this could be locally or nationally. Sophia Amoruse built her own empire through opening an Ebay shop, and her company “Nasty Gal” is thriving today. I want to highlight women like Sophia. I want to share their successes, but also look back on their pasts to show my readers that anyone from any background can become a #Girlboss. I want these women to inspire my readers, therefore, I search for these women in all types of fields. I personally created this series to put women that deserve recognition in the spotlight. I strive to empower other women on a daily basis, and if I can bring that theme to my blog, I am accomplishing my goal.

So, today, I present you with the very first #Girlboss on Pretty, Young & Motivated: Elyse Welcher. I can ramble on about how amazing Elyse is, but I’ll let her tell you.

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What’s your story?

I am a maker, designer, and dreamer that likes to challenge myself and make things happen. I own two businesses; one, Littlewings Designs, is a lifestyle brand of handcrafted accessories for the self-empowered and creative minded featuring handbags, personal leather-goods, and leather jewelry. I also co-own a store and studio called Parliament, which is a collective of independent businesses that I run and own with my husband Jake, also a leather-worker, and our best friend and business partner Megan, a weaver and fiber artist. Parliament features the work from our handcrafted brands (Littlewings Designs, Harbinger Leather Design, and Adventure Textiles) as well as the work of 8 other West Michigan based makers with similar values and aesthetic.

I grew up Grand Rapids, MI, the older of two children. I was always a creative kid, and my parents always encouraged me to try anything I really wanted to take my hands to making. I learned to sew and got my first sewing machine for Christmas when I was 7 years old; from there, I never really stopped sewing. I was really into stories, and story-making, writing, plays, adventure games, and was constantly making props, costumes, clothes, for my (or my extensive American Girl Doll collection) stories and hijinks. As I got older, I applied the same skills to making clothes for myself, costumes for theater productions at my high-school, and formal gowns for myself and my friends. I also was really into band and played the flute, as well as wrote a book. I always had liked single-focus challenges, like the practice of learning to play an instrument, that art of mastering making clothing; I blame it on being a perfectionist. I was also really hard on myself when it came to grades and pushed myself academically; my parents encouraged me, but I was definitely toughest on myself.

I wanted to go into fashion after high-school, and after a year of completing my Gen Ed locally in Michigan, I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design to pursue my fashion degree. It was there that I really grew into the designer and business owner I would later become. At first, it was incredibly tough. I was a good student and pushed myself in high school, but I was among some world-class professors and creatives, and it really pushed me to grow. The fashion department was particularly competitive, which made me just keep pushing to work with new techniques and materials. I also got a first-time look into the reality of what a “fashion design” career meant, and was horrified by both the waste of the fast fashion industry (where most fashion grads end up working) and that you never actually make anything! I couldn’t wrap my head around being in a cubicle sketching on a computer for the rest of my life. It was during this first year at SCAD and coming to these big realizations, that they revamped their fashion department and added an Accessory Design BFA. I took the intro class thinking I would make it my minor; it was so hands-on, all based on making, working with materials, and then translating into sketches and documents for production. I found my niche; it was so process oriented, and I fell in love with making bags and shoes. I found a unique voice in my work as I immersed myself, and Littlewings Designs was launched as my senior capstone collection. I was also so lucky to have very supportive mentors and professors who encouraged me to forge my own way rather than heading to NYC like everyone else. 2010 was the unluckiest year to graduate with a creative degree; two years after the big crash and into the Recession, every creative company was on a hiring freeze or laying people off, and my class was competing against two classes ahead of us vying for those intro level jobs. Between that and the climbing success of Etsy and online sales, I said, screw it. What do I have to lose?

I moved back to Grand Rapids a year after graduating (I spent a year in Philadelphia as a free-lance stylist for Anthropologie), and in 2013 I launched Parliament the Boutique as a studio and storefront for my Littlewings Designs. That’s also when I met my husband, Jake, and it was pretty clear it was meant to be. We’re born two days apart in the same hospital, both leather-workers, both entrepreneurs. He and my best friend Megan were both so instrumental in launching Parliament, and as their creative practices grew alongside mine, we knew we needed more space and a bigger studio. That’s when Parliament became the collective it is today, run and owned by all three of us, and representing work from other local makers.

What inspires you?

So much! But conversations, traveling adventures (large and small), and the materials themselves that I use to make my work. Fellow makers and the process of making, of creation. Also, the Law of Attraction. The idea that unlike how society tries to mold us into believing that we are powerless, we are actually very in control and have so much influence over our own lives. I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to “give it all up,” and be left at the whim of the world. Rather, we do luckily get to have so much say over our own lives and destinies, that those few instances where we don’t are rare invitations from the universe to learn and grow. We can change, alter, and influence our daily realities in accordance with our own will. So once you know what you want- what you’re truly engaged in “willing into being,” through your daily actions and energies- you can make it happen. I’m a big fan of the Law of Attraction, and that idea of constantly co-creating the life of your dreams along with the flow of the Universe recharges my inspiration battery daily.

Favorite quote?

A couple different ones:

1) This is from the Holstee Manifesto (and video, which is truly amazing:

“Life is about the People you meet, and the things you create with them. So go out and start creating- life is short! Live your dream and share your passion.” – The Holstee Manifesto

2) “Don’t think, just do.” -Isabella Rossellini, SCAD Commencement 2010.

Isabella Rossellini is an actress, model, writer, and filmmaker who spoke at my graduation ceremony in 2010. This was specifically in reference to your creative dreams- don’t overthink! When they light up your mind, just do them, and don’t let anyone get in your way.

Daily rituals or a look into your typical day?

Everyday looks different for me; I rarely have more than two days in a row that are the same. Sometimes, I’m in the studio, actively making my leather goods and bags. Other days, I’m doing all business management work- communication with clients, promoting, selling. Sometimes, it’ll be a Parliament day, and I’m merchandising the store or out on the road selling product at a show. Since no two days are ever alike, I try to maintain a couple of personal rituals:

1) My daily “session.” I set aside a chunk of time, usually an hour at night, for a quiet sacred session. This includes stretching and yoga, journaling, and meditation. It’s a deeply personal practice and space, and it recharges me emotionally, mentally, and even physically; it’s like running a “defrag,” of the head and heart before going to sleep.

2) I have been working to implement the “Getting Things Done,” model of productivity, pioneered by David Allen. This weekly organizational and planning method is very list and action-step based, and essentially creates a system to dump everything out of your head and onto pages, lists- whatever kind of delineated space- where is is thus captured and no longer triggering and/or distracting you from the task at hand.

Who is your role model?

On a local level, Rose Phillips of Conscious Clothing  an organic and handcrafted clothing brand based out of Rockford, MI. She has made a full life career of her business, while managing to both maintain her high levels of quality and construction, while also being a mom to 4. She makes beautiful clothes and happens to be a beautiful human inside and out; I look up to her and hope that I can follow in similar footsteps on my journey!

On a larger level, Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge. She not only is a fabulous spacial designer and DIY crafter with fun, impeccable taste and style, but she also is such a strong leader among creative women. Between her feminist and LGBTQ activism, the positive digital space she creates on her blog, and being a pioneer of the design-blog movement, she is truly a power-house!

Is this where you thought you would end up?

Both yes and no. I had a hazy idea of what it meant to be a “designer,” and own a “fashion,” business when I was young that in some ways it feels like that dream, but other times it is so different. Did I see myself coming back to Grand Rapids, meeting my husband here, being a leather-worker with a shop specifically? Never. But did I think I would run a business… yeah, I’ve always had an inkling I would do that. And be a Girl Boss. I never could see myself working for someone else. I always imagined myself in charge when I was young, and that’s where I ended up. You could say I created my own reality that way.

Career or life advice for others?

Get out and live somewhere new! Whether in college or after, learn to find yourself in a new space and place. When you never leave home, it can be hard to fully grow, as your experience becomes a reflection, an echo-chamber, of so much of the same social programming that you grew up with. I learned so much about myself, my preferences, my creative style, by leaving Michigan for awhile. It’s not to say don’t ever go home after… but take some time somewhere else. You may fall in love with it, or you may learn just how much you loved home after all.

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I met Elyse, and the Parliament team, last Spring when I interviewed her for a local event going on in Grand Rapids. I was instantly inspired by her style and authenticity. Being a person that wants to go into the Fashion industry, I found it interesting to hear her perspective. I found their studio and boutique to be so quaint and unique. I recently reconnected with Elyse to not only ask her to be my next #Girlboss but also to discuss me being an intern for Parliament. I am excited to announce that I will be interning with Elyse and the Parliament team next semester doing Marketing and PR for the store. Parliament is a growing company and I cannot wait to be apart of that. After interviewing Elyse for this project, I could not be more thrilled to work along side her. She is a successful business owner, beautiful artist and authentic person; I feel honored to have the opportunity to learn from such a hard working and inspiring woman.

If you want to check out Parliament, which I highly encourage you to do, I will add some links here:

Facebook: Parliament the Boutique | Website: Parliament | Instagram: Parliament the Boutique

Parliament is undergoing some amazing changes, you do not want to miss out on their journey, so be sure to follow them now and check them out if you visit Grand Rapids.

Thank you all for checking out the very first #Girlboss on PYM. I cannot wait to continue my search for bright and intelligent women. If you have a recommendation for my next #Girlboss, please feel free to reach out to me and tell me. Don’t forget to share this post with friends and subscribe, if you love PYM. I hope you all have a spooky Halloween weekend and I’ll see your gorgeous faces on Monday. As always, thanks for reading!

Be the game changer.

xo, Lyss