Ignite

Words. Are. Powerful.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ The reality is, we all know words can hurt. They can touch us on the deepest of levels, rock us at our absolute core and seep into our hearts. Words can make us feel so good, yet, so small; they can make us laugh, cry, laugh and cry…we’ve all experienced the different effects words can have on us. And yes, while they may not leave a physical mark on our bodies, they can have lasting effects on our hearts.

As a team at Arise & Be, we believe words can compel us to leap, fly, soar even. They can ignite a fire within us to do amazing things. Invoke purpose. Offer support. Restore beliefs. Shape our thoughts. We believe:

Words. Are. Powerful.

Which is why at the beginning of every year, we each choose a word that will evoke change, inspire self-care, offer strength, awaken our hearts, and encourage both forward movement and growth. A word we can lean on in those oh-so-familiar challenging situations, and at the same time inspire us to move towards new opportunity.

Finding the ‘perfect’ word can be a little intimidating at first. As you explore finding your word for 2016, here are a few questions to reflect on:
•What am I longing for?
•What makes me feel most alive?
•What barriers do I want to break through?
•What is keeping me stuck?
•Where do I want to grow?

Sometimes, the words that emerge from answering these questions are the ones we are most afraid to step into. This is where we get to be our most brave selves. To take that leap, to fly and to soar.

Part of our upcoming ‘Find Your Bliss’ coaching retreat focuses on guiding you in finding the best word for YOU and if you already have it, even better! We will give you essential coaching tools that will support you in exploring your truest passions and in living your best life!

Arise & Be’s word for the year is IGNITE! We are super excited to share this with you and see where it takes us! Our hope is to ignite a fire within women to ask bigger, better questions and invite them into living a life of freedom, strength and wholeness.

Ignite

We are SO for you!
-Heather, Sharon, Michaela & Meredith

PS We would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to know what words you might be tossing around or have already chosen!

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PlayorBust

Play or Bust!

I think it’s safe to say that summer is officially here! Kiddos are out of school, the heat has arrived {to stay}, the air conditioner is running {non-stop}, and I’m finding that all I want to do is PLAY! The hard decision making has shifted from balancing school activities, family and sports; to planning adventures, road trips, which beach should we go to? and where can we explore next?

Rough…I know.

But we often forget to make play-time a priority… It takes intentionality to choose ‘play’ time over ‘get things done’ time. And yes, sometimes we just have to cross that to-do off our list {or if you’re anything like me…lists}, and yes, sometimes work needs to take precedence…

My hope for you as you move into summer, is to encourage you to remember what it feels like to play. Find that child-like spirit that lives in all of us and let it burst out of you! Rediscover your heartsong and sing it as loud as you can! Pick that one place you’ve always wanted to go…and go! {And when you get there, don’t forget to send us a picture ( or ), so we can share in the adventure with you!}

And if you need a little kick start…

Here are 6 words I use as motivators to create more play-time in my life:

PlayorBust

Wishing you a summer-time full of good ol’ PLAY-time!!

Hugs!

michaela:-)

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letters

Sharing the love…One love letter at a time.

 Happy February!

Love notes have always been a huge part of my family’s life. We love to leave little post it notes around the house for one another, on mirrors, in the kitchen, in the car, etc…

letters

And on special occasions (ie: Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Father’s/Mother’s day) we tend to go all out with the love letters! Expressing our love in depth through letters & cards.

Recently, my husband raised the “love letter” bar when he wrote a love note to me every single day for a year in 2013. This gift took my breath away. It took writing our little love notes on post-its to a whole new level.

I knew that if I was ever going to read all of these letters, I had to go somewhere where there were no distractions. So, I went to the most peaceful place I could think of… the ocean. It took me an entire weekend to read every single letter… and it got me thinking… First, “How am I (ever) going to top this gift?” and second, “What is it about love letters that make us feel so…well, loved?”

I came to a few conclusions, but in an effort to keep this post a post and not a book (hee-hee), I will keep it to just two:

First, I realized, that I will never be able to top this gift. Accept that & move on (which, if you know me, this is extremely difficult to do, but that’s a whole other blog post in itself)

Second, I realized that the gift he gave me wasn’t about the letters. It was about the act of committing to do this every single day, to show me how much he loved me….and follow through with it. Seeing our life through his eyes… for an entire year… that was his gift to me.

Times where I thought things were rough and hard and difficult… he saw beauty, love and growth. Times where I thought I could have done something better… he saw perfection. Times where I felt lost… he saw my destination. Moments in our marriage where we were challenged…he thanked me for being his rock (me? He’s always my rock). Moments where our kiddos were driving me nuts… they were driving him nuts too!

letters2

So, back to my question, “What is it about love letters that make us feel so loved?” Love letters give us an opportunity to express how we feel in depth that the spoken word may never reveal. And, most importantly, it’s the thought, the intention behind the action of taking the time to write a love note… that is where you feel the love. Love is so much more than words. It is an action.

We often think of love letters to be between a man and a woman, but they can be written to anyone. One of my most cherished love letters came from my daughter, Grace when she was {6}:

letters3

Being that this is the month of “Love”… my challenge to you is to write a love note to someone in your life that you love. It can be to anyone! Your mom, your hubby, your BFF, your daughter/son, cousin… and it can be as simple as writing a post-it note, or sending a letter in the mail, or leaving a surprise note somewhere in the house, on their car, under their pillow.

Let’s share our love this month… one love letter at a time.

Hugs!

-Michaela

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explore

RECAP: Explore Your Voice Day Retreat

 

Well!  We did it!  Success!  Arise & Be just wrapped up our last retreat of 2014, and man, what a way to go out!

explore

The Explore Your Voice Day Retreat was spectacular… beyond words amazing. In fact, trying to put words to the feelings and energy that filled the room, the message, and the most uniquely gifted group of women, could never adequately capture everything the day was.

So, instead of trying to put MY words to the day, I’d like to let the beautiful women that attended the retreat do it instead. {Because really, there’s no one better to hear it from:-)}

These are the actual questions we ask guests at the end of every retreat:

– How was the length of time for the retreat?  The facilities?  The food?

I loved it all! The food was amazing.
I feel like everything should have been on Pinterest.
– Laura

– Which activity did you enjoy the most?  Why?

ALL OF IT!  Each bit was equally important.
Great mix of information, thought, processing time.
– Liana

– What part of the retreat was the most challenging for you?

It’s really hard for me to embrace silence or ‘alone time’… this retreat has taught
me the value of this and why it’s so important for me to recharge.
– Lexi

– What was most significant for you about this retreat experience?

The entire event. I loved all the women, stories, speakers and projects.
– Laurie

– How was your experience during space within time?

Awesome! Valuable. I achieved clarity around things
I needed time to stop and think about.
– Melissa

How did this day meet your expectations?

Exceeded all expectations!
– Michele

Any other comments or feedback?

Wow!  What a day! I will not only be back, but will share with others.
– Cristal

With two retreats officially under our belt, the year couldn’t have been any more perfect. We learned a lot about each other, who we are as a team, and have met some truly incredible women along the way. What a gift this year has been!

explore2

The line up of upcoming coaching retreats and workshops for 2015 is looking even more fabulous! Visit our website {www.ariseandbe.com} to learn more! Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

– Michaela :-)

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relationships

9 Tips on How you can honor the {extra special} relationships in your life!

Hi Friends!  Let’s do something extra special for the extra special people in our lives!  Whether it’s your BFF, your partner or spouse, your child or co-worker, sometimes we fill our time with busyness and forget to intentionally make time for those that are most special to us.

Enjoy these 9 fun and simple activities that will bring a smile to your most favorite heart friends and remind them why they are extra special to you!

relationships

Have fun with this! We would love to see how you choose to honor a relationship in your life!  Take a picture and/or post a note and share it with us on Arise & Be’s facebook page!

Hugs!

-Michaela:-)

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fearless

Attracting Meaningful Relationships.

Relationships reflect the deep desire for humans to connect.

They can leave marks on our hearts and speak to our souls.

Some relationships have the capability of creating a synergy so off the charts amazing, the whole universe smiles!

Because when a relationship clicks, a connection is created.

brene

And when connections are created, we as humans thrive.

We attract that which we are.

When we are our brave authentic selves, we attract authentic relationships.

fearless

When we are intentional about being truthful with ourselves, we attract trusting and open relationships.

When we wholeheartedly love and embrace our own perfect imperfections, we attract accepting and loving relationships.

Take a moment and ask yourself: What type of relationships are you attracting into your life? Are they joyful? Are they supportive? Are they challenging? Are they honest?

Enjoy this useful guide to actions you can start today to begin attracting and nurturing authentic relationships into your life:

20things

As I engage on this path of personal acceptance, I’m discovering love in all the little pieces of my heart {the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful}. In doing so, I am in awe with the unique relationships that I have attracted into my life. Some new and some pleasantly awakened, but all built on a foundation of love.

Hugs!
– Michaela

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imperfection

Beauty: I Am Perfectly Imperfect {and so are you!}

Beauty: {byoo-tee} noun- the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and please the mind

My perception of Beauty has evolved throughout my life.

As a child everything was beautiful. I always felt beautiful. I was a princess, weren’t we all? My innocence didn’t know there was any other way to feel other than beautiful. My heart song sang as loud as it could.

As a teenager I began to feel less and less beautiful. As my body changed, so did my perception of beauty. I began to feel judged by others, which eventually led me to judge myself. I would flip through the pages of YM Magazine and try to figure out how I could look like the models on the picture perfect pages. I thought, ‘If only I could have: bigger boobs, skinnier legs, smoother skin, thicker hair, flatter stomach, fuller lips, smaller feet, then I will be perfect. Then I will be beautiful.’

As a woman, I’ve come to understand, that Beauty; true, authentic, genuine, everlasting, unconditional beauty; isn’t in the picture perfect pages of the magazines, but rather, Beauty is in the imperfections that make me exactly who I am.

imperfection

It’s in the wrinkles around my eyes.

The lines around my smile.

The stretch marks on my body.

The grey in my hair.

The scars on my heart.

The freckles on my face.

The curves around my edges.

The dimples on my cheeks {and not the one’s on my face!}

As my perception of beauty has evolved throughout my life, I see beauty in my every single day. In everything I see and touch and admire. In every unanswered prayer and daily coincidence.

Don’t get me wrong, the teenager in me still judges, just as the child in me still sings my heart song. The difference now, is that it’s no longer one extreme or the other. It’s perfectly imperfect.

Wayne Dyer says it so clearly:

Wayne Dyer

May I be the voice that says ‘Your beauty is perfectly imperfect.’

Now, what imperfection can you transform into beauty today?

Hugs!

-michaela:-)

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Doing It Afraid

“Doing It Afraid”

{Title inspired by A&B’s biggest advocate: Margo Souza}

For weeks and weeks I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking, trying to find something inspirational to write about; and for weeks and weeks nothing has come to me. Plain and simple, you can’t force inspiration. So, I waited….and I waited…. And I waited….

And I {finally} found it!

Well, she found us, to be exact. Margo Souza: entrepreneur, author, speaker, contributor. Margo walked into our lives with a pep to her step and a steadfast belief in our grassroots organization, Arise & Be. She is teaching us “how to fish” rather than “handing over the fish on a platter.” Priceless. If you don’t know who she is, Google her! Her accomplishments and achievements to the community are countless. In the mean time, let me share a little tidbit about this amazing 75 year old woman that you won’t find on Google.

Margo Souza

In the early 60’s, Margo left everything behind and {fearfully} drove to Seattle to pursue her goal of getting her degree. Despite her car breaking down en route, having no money, no support and being completely terrified and alone, she could have chosen to turn around at any moment, but she kept on going. This was just the beginning of Margo “doing it afraid”. From there, she went on to achieve many more accomplishments {ie: check out MooMilk.com} and touch the lives of countless people along the way.

Doing It Afraid

Now, at 75, Margo is entering an entirely new stage of life. She is wholeheartedly giving back. Inspiring women, encouraging and supporting the arts in local communities, promoting leadership to the up and coming generations and fully living up to her giftedness of being a “conduit to success” for others.

This whole “doing it afraid” concept really got me thinking. Doing it afraid? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Why would I want to do something afraid? Why not stay in my bubble and do what feels comfortable and safe? Why would I choose to embrace such an unpleasant feeling?

And then it all made sense.

As I sat and thought about all the things I’ve done in my life that have been scary, heck, downright terrifying! {going away to college, surprise! I’m pregnant!, purchasing our first home, starting my own event planning business, buying our first car, being in debt, enduring two miscarriages, homeschooling our daughter, picking up our family & moving to Spain for 3 months, running a ½ marathon, running a marathon, having a home birth, saying “no”, paying off our debt}. All terrifying, all magical, all a part of my story.

It hit me! Had I not chosen to face these moments head on, fear and all, and do it afraid, I would have been choosing to not actively take part in my journey. What I’m doing right now, at this very moment is pretty scary. All of it. Stepping into a new business endeavor with three incredible women. My heart wide open. I don’t have all the answers or know what is to come. Yet…. I’m doing it and I’m doing it afraid.

My wish for you is that the next time you are faced with a giant decision, a monumental change, or searching for the courage to stand up for something great; that doing it afraid will no longer be a scary something in your mind. That it will instead be an identifiable something! Recognizing that the being afraid part isn’t a sign to turn away and run, but in fact it’s the opposite. It’s the sign of a door opening, a new chapter; asking, begging, pleading with you to be brave and step into your best life:-)

Now be afraid! And Go Do!

Hugs!

-Michaela:-)

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