3 Tips for Cultivating Vulnerability Every Day

Vulnerability.

It’s a word that Webster’s defines as “susceptible to harm or damage, emotional injury, or attack.” I don’t know about you, but vulnerability can be scary.

Vulnerability is sitting down for coffee with an estranged friend and putting your heart on the line. It’s explicitly sharing your feelings and needs in a relationship that might not be serving you best. It’s looking your loved one in the eyes and telling them how you truly feel.

Have you found yourself running from vulnerability for the fear that sharing your heart and your most honest parts will leave you powerless? You’re not alone.

If you’ve made it to the seed of Vulnerability in your Cultivated Heart journey, you know that practicing intentional vulnerability isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to sow and tend to the most meaningful seeds of your life!

Below are 3 tips for cultivating vulnerability every day that you can start practicing now:

Learn what vulnerability means to you.

Each and every one of you are so unique and irreplaceable. Learn what vulnerability means in your story, and tend to that seed in your life accordingly. For some, vulnerability may mean learning to show and share your emotions more; for others, it’s learning how to tear down walls that have blocked out friends and family for so long.

Write down why the word “vulnerability” scares you.

Don’t give your words power over you – write down why vulnerability scares you, acknowledge those reasons, and then keep moving forward. This section in The Cultivated Heart is the perfect place to lay those words and feelings to rest.

Consciously cultivate vulnerability.

Now comes the true test – cultivating vulnerability in your life. It’s ok to start small – maybe share with a friend how much they mean to you, or call your parent to tell them that you’ve been thinking about them and that you love them. No matter how busy you may be, take time to check in on your heart and take inventory of the feelings and thoughts you’re processing on any given day.

How are you currently cultivating vulnerability? Share your tips in the comments.

 

P.S. Be sure to leave us comment below or tweet us here. 

The Cultivated Heart Guided Journal

The Cultivated Heart Guided Journal
36.99
  •  7.25'' x 8.25'' inches

  •  White pages

  •  151 pages

  •  See SAMPLE PAGES HERE

  •  Inspirational quotes

  •  Hard cover with gold foil detailing

  • Broken down into sections: Planting, Tending, Harvesting, Pruning, Blooming

  • Metal Corner Protectors

  • Bronze Colored, Strong Wire-o binding

i want to sow a fulfilling life

This is a tool, not a lifestyle.

I went to grab my phone, but I couldn’t juggle it and hold the bike handles. I wanted to capture and share this moment. It was happiness. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and my heart was full. This would be so much fun to post to snapchat I thought. As I fumbled to grab my phone, I somehow was aware of just how ridiculous it all was. Why was it necessary for me to share this with everyone? Why couldn’t I just take a picture and let it be? I threw my phone back in the basket of the bike.

 

For the month of September I remained 90% offline. I would check Facebook and Instagram once a week. I rarely checked emails. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt discouraged and angry that my immediate reaction was to live my life through little squares. The constant checking of my email and continual content creation had taken its toll on me. In a month away from the internet here are four things I learned:

 

1. The internet is a tool. It’s not a lifestyle. 

Somewhere along the way you have trained yourself to hop on the internet whenever there is a dull moment. You can’t just endure through moments without snapping a picture and feeling obligated to share it with the world. You maneuver your life to fit into little squares. You share too much, or you share too little. Regardless, you are controlled by the internet. Your motives might vary from mine, but regardless it is controlling you just as it was controlling me.

 

2. It feels freaking amazing just to be present. 

You are distracted. There are moments within the past couple of years where I remember thinking to myself how sad my surroundings were. Both times I was either at dinner with friends and we were all on our phones or I was standing in public looking around at everyone on their phone. Scrolling. Scrolling our lives away, engaging in the conversation now and then. It was sad to me. This past month I have been 100% present. My phone stayed tucked somewhere; usually I forgot where I put it. Photos are precious, but scrolling your life away will never be something you can look back on and cherish. 

 

3. Information overload is legit.

Videos here. Photos there. Articles everywhere. Everyone has some piece of mind they desire to share and they use the internet to do just that. I am guilty of that and I enjoy using social media to do that. However, there comes a point where you are filling your mind with stuff that just doesn’t benefit you. I started seeing the same content over and over. I would let minutes of my life tick away while I watched a video on Facebook and then couldn’t even remember why  I got on there in the first place. I didn’t accomplish goals because I let distractions pull me away from really making things happen. Being informed is great, interacting with people online is awesome, but there is an issue when you are absorbing so much information and investing in online relationships, but never putting any of it to use or investing in relationships that are right in front of you. 

 

4. Comparison fades when you are busy living your life. 

The month of September I enjoyed a bike ride, went for a run, hung out with old friends, made new friends, traveled up to the mountains, went on a spontaneous trip to Charleston for a day, painted my bathroom, cooked yummy dinners, went to the zoo, read, watched movies, went to a craft fair, drank yummy drinks, and enjoyed beautiful weather. It was a month of change, challenge, and a full heart.  I wasn’t concerned about what others were doing. That sounds selfish when I type that, but the reality is sometimes you get so sucked into sharing your life over just living it. 

 

Maybe you need to hear this so you can put down your phone and look to your heart when it comes to the internet. What void are you trying to fill? What articles are you reading? How are you spending your time? A fulfilling life doesn’t come from scrolling through the internet looking at other’s lives but from going out and living your own.

Grateful for you, 
Amanda

When Less Is Actually More.

I don’t know about you, but the older I’ve gotten, I’ve truly come to embrace the age-old phrase “less is more.” Less baggage, less worrying, less material things. When I’ve intentionally taken the time to minimize certain aspects of my life, the results have been nothing but wonderful.

If you need to welcome the power of less into your day-to-day life, you’re not alone. We’re all dealing with our own unique breed of clutter, but there are ways to fight it! Below are three ways that you can actively pursue the power of less in your life, and I can assure you that you’ll be feeling a whole lot lighter in no time.

Consider a capsule wardrobe.

If you’ve never heard of what a capsule wardrobe entails, I urge you to drop everything that you’re doing and take a look at the wonderful Unfancy right this second.

Great, right?

Minimizing your closet to a handful of rotating, functional pieces throughout the year may sound countercultural and downright scary, but it pushes us out of our comfort zones, forces us to get creative and instantly streamlines your closet. Capsule wardrobes equal less stress and less fashion overwhelm.


Go on a spending hiatus.

Another great way to welcome the power of less into your life is by taking an intentional spending hiatus. Now, I’m not saying that you should go hungry and go without buying groceries, but I encourage you to write a list of your necessities and non-necessities.

All of those non-necessities? Cut them out of your budget for a month.

Taking a spending hiatus from impromptu Starbucks runs and binges at Target is a great way to remind us of what we absolutely need and don’t need. It’s also a great lesson in intentional spending and saving. Your wallet will thank you later.

Step away from your desk, already!

This one might be the most important point noted in this post. So many of us are living under the myth that in order to be “successful” and “productive,” we definitely need to be putting in more hours at our desks and in our inboxes.

This simply isn’t true.

I challenge you to spend less time at work this week. Whether this means taking a 30-minute break just to get some fresh air or working in manageable blocks of time that will allow you to wrap up work on time, spending less time going at the daily grind is something that we all need every once in a while.

How do you cultivate the power of less in your day-to-day? Let us know in the comments below.

Kelly Halsch: Personal Journey of Vulnerability

Vulnerability. Just the word itself can be enough to cause a shudder, even still after years purposely journeying uphill trying to embrace the long way of walking through fears and putting on a kind of bravery as a suit of armor that too often just feels like added weight. Walking ever upward with tired muscles burdened from the incline, traveling through fog and clouds and pounding rain, sometimes just having to put your head down and tell yourself to just keep moving, one more step.

 

But then as you pause to catch your breath, you look up and see it—the clearing ahead as the sun is shining through. So with a new fervor you continue trudging on this pathway and then all of sudden you can see it all—the trail that had led you up this mountain. The treetops to what had just felt like thick forests, and streams running through golden valleys, and the fields of flowers bursting with joy and life that couldn’t be without the rain. A beauty that catches the heart and makes the arduous climb worth it because you can suddenly see so much that you would never get to behold had you not chosen to embrace this twisty, winding road. And seeing what can now be seen, you realize that the climb is suddenly worth it.

 

For many people, choosing to embrace vulnerability can be utterly terrifying because it means being seen—being open and willing to let others see the heart of you and for you to be able to look deeply into them. Vulnerability has sure felt like an uphill climb in my own life as I have struggled to come to terms with hurts and wrongs that I have carried with me from my past that have taken hold so deep that at times I can close up like a clam and not let anyone else in. It takes intentionally choosing to walk the road of vulnerability and a strength that is so far beyond me, but as I have allowed light to be shed on those dark places within me, I’ve come to realize that allowing myself to be seen by others and truly letting others in makes me a better person and helps me to love others more deeply in return.

 

Here are four things that I have learned walking this steep hill of vulnerability that has led to healthier relationships in my life:

 

Vulnerability helps us call out those false identities we carry and to speak truth over our lives.

When we live our lives focused on past pain we’ve experienced and the struggles that we face, it is easy to believe lies about ourselves and to see ourselves only in light of the circumstances we face. For years I believed my identity was rooted in a very public tragedy my family has had to walk through. It made me feel unloved and not worth knowing when all those around me only focused on this one thing that happened to me. It took learning that I was more than my circumstances and calling out those lies that I believed for too long for me to develop relationships where people can see me for the whole of who I am and embrace me in totality. My truth? I am loved and I am worth it.

 

What are lies that you have believed about yourself, or that your past has shaped you to believe, that you need to lay down? What truth can you proclaim over yourself instead?

 

Vulnerability leaves room for being wrong.

Oh the joy of realizing that it is okay to be wrong, to admit that we fail! For the majority of my younger years, I was afraid of messing up and making mistakes. It led me to pleasing everyone else no matter the cost to myself. But when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we realize it is okay to mess up and make mistakes and say “I’m sorry” without the world falling down at our feet. Because when we find others truly willing to be their vulnerable selves as well, we realize that we all fall down and have moments when we truly mess up. Asking for forgiveness helps ups to extend it to others in return, and admitting wrongs and moving on is an important part to cultivating healthy relationships in our lives. It makes us more humble and compassionate people.

 

Have you ever been wrong? Oh good, you’re human too! Who do you need to seek forgiveness from? Who can you extend a little extra grace and mercy to in your life?

 

Vulnerability looks like pain but feels like freedom.

Being willing to be seen as we are—to be our goofy, ridiculous, flawed selves in a society of too many unasked for opinions can dredge up insecurities and pain in our lives. Being that open makes us feel exposed and raw and naked, and that is terrifying. Getting to that place itself can be an uphill battle of painful memories and experiences that we have to work through. But when we push through the discomfort of being seen for ourselves just as we are, we find freedom in its place—the freedom to be just who we are and to find others that would expect no less than you being fully you. Because what this world really needs is more people just willing to be their genuine selves. The world needs your light, just as it is. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it.

 

What insecurities are present in your life that you need to confront instead of push to the wayside that can help you lead a more open, vulnerable life?

 

Vulnerability helps us look at life with our blinders off.

We all have moments when we are far too completely wrapped up in ourselves. Sometimes it’s because we truly are walking through a season of our life where anything beyond our own circumstances is just too much to deal with. Other times it can be in response to hurts we’ve felt and wounds that are still just too raw. We all have scars we carry, and sometimes instead of just putting a pretty bandage over them, we need to let them ooze and drain so they can be healed instead. We learn so much about ourselves when we allow ourselves to be open, even about our pain. We realize that we are capable of so much more than we ever dreamed, able to see ourselves clearly and look with love into the lives of those around us. Letting others into those overwhelming seasons when life is swirling around us gives us the strength to endure, and equips us to walk alongside others as they trudge up a part of the path that we have already walked before. It builds empathy and love.

 

If you are in the midst of an overwhelming season, who can you go to for support and love? How have the stormy seasons of your past enabled you to clear the fog in someone else’s?

 

The climb is not easy. The way is certainly steep. But when we give it all we have and choose to move forward and embrace vulnerability, then that path that we’re on? If we look to the right and the left, we see others walking the same road, too. So we can band together and weather the trail with our arms linked, journeying forward together through this thing that we call life, taking turns to lead the way for one another. And when we reach those clearings on top of the mountain and look back on the journey that has led us there, the joy multiplies like a current running through the ground as we all look around at one another celebrating this great adventure that we are on together, and it’s good.

Kelly Halsch is a lifestyle blogger over at A Legacy of Beauty where she shares snippets of her faith, travels, adventures with autoimmune disease and natural health, and all the ups and downs of life's journey. She is also the author of several inspirational fiction books. She spends a lot of time reading, writing, and enjoying community, and recently launched her photography business. This Southern California gal is really passionate about telling her story and giving voice to others to tell theirs, whether through words or pictures, and finds beauty in the details and the messiness of our lives and how we encourage one another when we come together and are open about our struggles. To connect more with Kelly, visit her on InstagramFacebook, and her blog.



 

How to Say 'No' and Set Boundaries This Summer

I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things for some of us to say only consists of one vowel and two little, scary letters – “no.”

Being fearful of the word “no” comes along with a lot of baggage – overloaded schedules, too many clients to adequately service, lack of time to spend with loved ones and more. Crazy to think that being a “yes-woman” can truly wreak havoc on our lives, right?

If you have a hard time saying “no” and setting boundaries in your day-to-day life, rest easy knowing that you’re certainly not alone. However, there are little habits that you can start cultivated in your day-to-day that will make you more comfortable and confident while setting new boundaries, and I can guarantee that you’ll be feeling more freedom in your schedule in no time.

Ready to set boundaries and win back your precious time this summer? Keep reading!

Start small.

One of the easiest ways to practice saying no and setting newfound boundaries is by starting small. Sure, you might not be able to say no to an important business trip right now, but you can probably take a rain check on an impromptu coffee date invite that pops up during an already crazy day.

The next time your to-do list is seemingly endless and just one more little commitment pops up, say “no.” Your personal time will thank you later.

Don’t make excuses.

For some reason, when we say “no,” we always want to have a significant or lavish reason for saying so. But what if “I can’t today, I need to set aside to call my family back home this afternoon,” or “No, I need to catch up on my online e-course,” would suffice? What if the truth and nothing but it was enough?

It is.

Step away from excuses and become comfortable in cultivating truth within your newfound boundaries.

Keep inventory of what “no” has allowed you to say “yes” to.

Setting boundaries doesn’t come without a reward. I challenge you to keep inventory of what your newfound “no’s” have allowed you to say yes to – whether it’s yes to sitting down to write a letter to a hometown friend, or yes to simply tidying up your house. You’ll feel so incredibly proud of your newfound boundaries and all of the freedom that they’ve allowed you.

Cultivator: Paulene Cruse

cultivator_paulene-01.png

I’m so excited to introduce Paulene Cruse to you all today. Paulene is the talented owner behind creative brand Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design, and just recently delved into her business full-time last month. As a new full-time business owner, Paulene shares her heart with us below, including her daily struggles and triumphs, the motivation behind her business, and how she has begun cultivating tangible seeds of Giving in her life. I’m confident that you’ll learn a thing or two about what Paulene has to say about Giving, and how we can Give in multiple ways – not just ways that come from our wallets. Happy reading!

Q: When did you first launch Leen Machine Calligraphy & Design, and what are some of the inevitable ups and downs that you've experienced as a business owner?

Leen Machine started in 2010 as a stationery shop on Etsy. It was my creative outlet brought upon by laboring over our DIY pocketfold invitations for our October wedding. My dream was to help brides with their wedding details as well. Fast forward to May 2013, and I picked up calligraphy as a hobby. I didn't expect calligraphy to take over my business but I wouldn't have it any other way. Now with Leen Machine, I offer wedding & event calligraphy, custom design, and paper goods as well as teach calligraphy classes.

Since my business is a one-woman show, I have to make sure that I am confident in all that I do. That's easier said than done. In fact, it took me 3 years in business to find out who I am, to own it and to believe in myself. Once I did that, things started to happen. Even now, I have to remember the quote "You are far too smart to be the only thing standing in your way." For years, I hindered growth in my business because I stood in my way. Do yourself a favor and be brave. The worst thing that could happen is to never find out what you're capable of.

Q: What is your day-to-day like while managing Leen Machine, and how do you stay grounded during even the busiest of weeks?

I transitioned to having Leen Machine full-time last month and my day-to-day varies. However, my day always starts with spending time with my Bible and journaling in my Gratitude journal. It helps set the tone for the day. Then I eat breakfast, feed our two beagles, Sunshine and Rose, and spend some time with my husband before he leaves for work. I do my best not to go near my desk until my office hours begin.

I definitely struggle with time management and I am still figuring out how to be the most productive in a short amount of time. I thought finally being able to do my business full-time would give me plenty of time, but I really don't have as much time as I thought I would.

I stay grounded during busy weeks by adhering to the office hours I set for myself and not working overtime. I've also learned to break up my day – go get coffee, go for a walk or meet up with a friend – so I'm not at my desk all day.

Q: You recently mentioned in The Cultivators online community that you've been cultivating seeds of Giving in your life – can you tell us more about these changes to your heart and how they came about?

One of the things I love about working in The Cultivated Heart workbook is reflecting and finding out what's truly in my heart. When I came across the Giving section, I was surprised when I started writing things down; money was not the first thing I wrote. For the longest time, I thought giving = money. I found out that wasn't the case for me. My time, my encouragement, my attention, my talents, my words...those are ways I can also give. Money helps, sure, but giving our time and gifts is just as important, if not more.

Since coming to this realization, I've reached out to my church and I'm giving my time and talents to help with Vacation Bible School next month. I've wanted to give back to my church for the longest time. It's so fulfilling to do so and use the gifts that God has blessed me with.  

Q: What's the biggest lesson that you've learned from working through The Cultivated Heart thus far? How do you hope to grow and learn more about your heart in the future?

Working through The Cultivated Heart has shown me, over and over again, that I consider the people in my life the most important, but my actions do not match that value. Having the workbook to physically show me I need to work on cultivating my relationships and being a part of the Facebook group to keep me focused and accountable has really been helpful in making progress.

My goal and hope for the future is a life focused on enjoying the smallest things, showing love to others, and facing the difficult times head on while seeing the good it brings.

Keep up with Paulene and Leen Machine on Facebook and Instagram, or drop her a note at paulene@leenmachine.com.


Sharing The Love

I’m thrilled to introduce Ashley, the creator and passionate heart behind Love Everywhere. Love Everywhere is a mission based on loving others, where personalized, handwritten cards are left in day-to-day places, waiting to be found. I’m certain that a found Love Everywhere note has brightened someone’s day, encouraged others, or even changed someone’s life. Learn more about Ashley’s incredible journey with Love Everywhere below, as well as how launching the project has helped Ashley cultivate seeds of Love in her daily life.

Q: When did you first decide to start Love Everywhere, and why do you think that it’s so important to share love with others on a daily basis?

The idea for Love Everywhere was birthed in December of 2009.  I shared the concept with several friends, and not long after we were out in our city distributing 150 preprinted note cards. Since then, we’ve transitioned into more personalized, hand-written notecards; and we’ve left nearly 3,000 of them in various locations-coffee shops, library books, grocery stores—anywhere we have visited in our day-to-day routines. Our desire is for these quick one or two sentence notes to lift the spirits of random people that might need to receive a kind word just to get them through the day.  No strings attached.  Just love from our pens to paper for someone incredible to discover. 

Q: Tell us what your day-to-day is like while running Love Everywhere, and how do you keep your momentum going during a busy week?

I have two small children who keep me busy each day with activities and requests, but I squeeze in time for Love Everywhere every chance I get (early mornings, nap times and late nights!) I always keep a few pre-written cards in my purse so that if an opportunity comes to leave one behind while I’m out and about, I’m ready! Truthfully without our brand ambassadors we wouldn’t be half as awesome as our Instagram account makes us seem! We are so fortunate to have a great team of golden-hearted people out in the world with cards and they submit some stellar photos through our #shareloveeverywhere tag. As far as keeping momentum going, I think just keeping a heart posture of love is what does it.

Q: Why do you think cultivating love in your life and the lives of others is a non-negotiable, and how do you cultivate love every day?

I am a firm believer that all people deserve to feel valued, heard, loved…and that everyone has amazing qualities about who they are that make them worthy of loving. I never want anyone to leave my company without feeling as if they were heard and valued.  Cultivating love every day…I think it ultimately starts at home. Being kind to the people you love the most can actually be extremely challenging! But starting at home, creating an environment of love and respect...it leads to joy…and that’s the best feeling in the whole world (especially when you share it with someone else!)

Q: What's next for Love Everywhere, and how do you plan to keep the momentum going behind your amazing brand?

Currently we are adding to our awesome list of brand ambassadors and also looking for more collaboration opportunities to put as much love out in the world as possible! I think momentum is built by sharing stories of love and we hope to be able to do that a lot more, too! We will also be releasing some limited merchandise items throughout boutiques across the US and online soon!

P.S. Be sure to leave us comment below or tweet us here. 

3 Ways to Make Progress on Your Heart

The Cultivated Heart officially launched over two months ago, and wow, what a ride it has been! If you’ve been actively participating in responding to your workbook and chatting along with us in The Cultivators Facebook group, THANK YOU.

Of course, it’s never too late to make the most out of your own, special journey to see your way through The Cultivated Heart. So, take a moment and think – what has your biggest triumph been while writing and reflecting your way through The Cultivated Heart? What has your most sobering, serious revelation been?

Below are a few ideas for taking inventory of your progress so far and turning those reflections into actions. Which idea will you be implementing in your Cultivated Heart journey moving forward?

 

Plan a coffee meet-up.

I don’t know about you, but conversation flows best over coffee. Plan a coffee date for you and a close friend – or a group of friends also working through The Cultivated Heart! – and hold intentional conversations regarding the state of your heart and mind in your favorite coffee shop. One of the most important facets of growing intentional relationships in your life is taking things offline – a face-to-face heart-to-heart will always resonate more than a text message.

 

Host a webinar.

Alright, alright – sometimes life gets hectic and an in-person meeting with your fellow Cultivators around the country just isn’t realistic. It’s time to get tech-savvy! Host a webinar through a service like Any Meeting and get ready to chat progress, intention and goals. Even better? Invite friends who have not yet started their Cultivated Heart journey to fill them in on the great self-discovery that comes along with each workbook.

 

Journal your progress.

If you’re not yet at the point of feeling comfortable verbalizing your progress through The Cultivated Heart, don’t sweat it! Journaling is just as productive in taking inventory of your progress and has the added benefit of serving as a point of reference to go back to in the future. My recommendation? Create a special page in your journal divided by two sections: “Where I’ve Come From” and “Where I’m Going.” These two columns will serve as great places for you to chronicle all of the amazing progress that you’ve made since flipping to the opening page of The Cultivated Heart, and will also serve as a friendly reminder that there is still progress and pruning to be done.

 

P.S. Be sure to leave us comment below or tweet us here. 

4 Ways to Master the Art of Pruning

When you hear “pruning,” you might think about working in a garden, or at least I do. Luckily, pruning doesn’t just apply to beautiful flowers, but to our lives and hearts as well.

If you’ve reached the Prune section in The Cultivated Heart, I’m so proud of you! For some of you, pruning might be the most challenging section of The Cultivated Heart to work through. When it comes to intentionally removing dead or living parts of your life, it’s natural to deal with a wave of emotions.

Because of that, below are 4 ways to master the art of pruning – I hope you find them helpful!

 

Quit the comparison game.

Easier said than done, right? Totally. Once you identify the three people that you compare yourself to most in your Cultivated Heart workbook, consider stepping away from social media for a few days. I’m talking completely, utterly cut off – delete the apps from your phone if you must. After a few days, reevaluate and ask yourself if you found yourself playing the comparison game less during your social media fast. If the answer is yes, it’s time to make a change!

Dive deep into your relationships.

That friend who takes little digs at you. That guy who makes you feel like there’s always room for improvement. Take inventory of the relationships in your life that are making you feel less-than-great and take a long, hard look at whether or not these are relationships that you should continuing pouring your heart into. If they aren’t, it may be time for a little pruning session.

Face your fears.

It’s time to give fear the boot. The first step to eliminating your fears is to acknowledge them, and realize that they don’t hold power over you.  I encourage you to write down your most intimate, irrational fears in your Cultivated Heart workbook, and then completely prune them out of your life. Chat over your fears with a friend – verbalizing fear is another great way to acknowledge and move past it. I can assure you that once you prune away your worries, you’ll be ready to bloom!

Do a spring cleaning.

It’s the perfect season for spring-cleaning, so roll up your sleeves and purge the old clothing, trinkets and items that you no longer need. A life of simplicity is a happy one, and pruning away the clutter in your life will make a huge difference in your happiness and productivity levels.

P.S. Be sure to leave us comment below or tweet us here. 

#deartwentyyearoldme

Dear Twenty Year Old Me, 

On May 5th, 2012 I ranked in the top 10% of my senior class and received Magna Cum Laude from the #3 ranked school in Georgia. Through endless night in the library I have balanced 3 jobs and school over the past 2 years and fully supported myself. I have faced many struggles and everything that I have been through has made me who I am today. I have an amazing boyfriend and friends who have stuck by my side when I have put them last on my priority list with school and work taking the front seat. Despite all of these achievements, after 4 years I can look back and say I am appreciative for the hard working person I am today, but no one will remember what you did or what your GPA was, but they will remember how you made them feel and the memories that were made. Four years go by in the blink of an eye and I had some wonderful times with some wonderful people. I can only hope I made an impression on their lives as they did on mine. So live it up and remember that life is short so don't waste it stressing about a test or a grade. It all works out the way it should in the end.

Much love, 

22 years old Amanda

May 5th, 2012

P.S. Be sure to leave us comment below or tweet us here. 

 

Welcome to The Cultivated Heart.

 The Cultivated Heart is meant to help you sow a fulfilling life by cultivating your heart.   Photo by: Chloe Giancola Photography

The Cultivated Heart is meant to help you sow a fulfilling life by cultivating your heart. 

Photo by: Chloe Giancola Photography

Hi there, and welcome to The Cultivated Heart! We’ve been working over the last couple of months to create an experience – not just a product – that’s going to change hearts, and in turn, change lives.

My name is Amanda, but a lot of people know me as The Creative PorcupineThis name stems for the fact that I use to be a porcupine. I found myself always pushing away the important for the unimportant. I continued this pattern through college and afterwards, ultimately hurting a lot of relationships in my life. I was unhappy with the story I was writing and ultimately saw the negative in every situation I was in. Perfectionism destroyed relationships as happiness escaped me because I refused to be happy until I reached a certain point in my life. 

This is me today. My heart is full of joy as I continue to cultivate it to become a better person. I am not the porcupine I use to be. I value people more than ever and realized after reaching goals that life is meaningless without fruitful relationships. 

If you’ve found yourself striving, running toward the false notion of “perfection,” or constantly comparing the current state of your life to that of others, you’re not alone, and you’ve come to the right place.

 

To celebrate the launch of The Cultivated Heart Workbook, we’re here to share a few quick tips about how to make your workbook work for you, and how to make the most out of your new favorite product.

1.) Be prepared to grow.

 

The Cultivated Heart wasn’t created to be an easy, no-brainer experience – this workbook serves as a tool for growth and self-exploration. Your workbook is your personal haven – write in it, carry it with you wherever you may go, jot down people you need to love on. If you’re not committed to being 100% transparent with yourself while working through The Cultivated Heart journey, it won’t serve you the way it was created to.

2.) Take time to reflect.

 

Completing The Cultivated Heart isn’t a race. We want you to take your time and thoughtfully reflect on each page, soaking in your words and feelings, and maybe even giving yourself a pat on the back for discovering something new about yourself! Whether that means taking a day off between completing sections to reflect or setting a schedule to spend time with The Cultivated Heart, it’s important to slow down and make the most of these pages.

 

3.) Get involved online.


One of the unqiue parts about participating in The Cultivated Heart is the fact that you’ll have the opportunity to become involved in an online community rooting for you and your amazing progress! Engage with The Cultivated Heart’s online community and share special milestones that you’ve reached throughout the workbook. We can’t wait to get to know you and see how your heart changes over the coming weeks and months.