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Connectedness

One of my top 5 Strengths from Strengths Finder is Connectedness. This means I am certain that things happen for a reason.

It all started in April when @Shermikathelight posted on Instagram about an event that she would be speaking at in October. From that point forward I knew I had to be in attendance. Shermika and I were classmates in Grad. School. We both had aspirations of starting our own businesses after graduation. I watched on social media as Shermika started her company, going door to door marketing her business. I also had a social media front row seat when things took off for her. I watched in amazement as she nurtured her business into a powerful brand. I knew that in order to successfully and intentionally grow my business on my terms, I needed to gain some knowledge and insight from her. I did just that!

Just over a week ago, I jumped on a flight to Atlanta and I attended #werkprayslay. It was absolutely everything that I’ve never imagined. I mean never, ever. This Women’s Empowerment Conference was one for the books. The colors, the lighting, the details, the information, the vendors, the volunteers, the attendees, the speakers, the hostess, the D.J. and the fabulous visionary @Koereyelle made this a life changing event for me. Before I attended, I had no idea that this beautiful community of women business owners existed.

I have a solid plan for my business now. No more taking bits and pieces of information and trying to figure out how it all ties together. Some of the strategies discussed were, how to land Corporate and Government Contracts, how to Slay Procrastination, how to Change Your Mindset and Secure the Bag, how to Be Your Own Publicist, how to use Video to Slay Your Personal Brand, and so much more! I’m telling you, this ain’t even half of it.

As I said in my previous post, I had a chance to thank @ChefAhki for positively impacting my life after a cancer diagnosis. You can find that post by clicking here.

I can safely bet that I was one of the older women at the conference, but I didn’t feel left out. @Koereyelle and her team did a phenomenal job of making it a safe space to learn and be vulnerable. I even swagged and surfed for the first time ever! (that wasn’t a thing when I attended an HBCU)

Why am I telling you all of this??? Because it matters who you are connected to. My connection with @Shermikiathelight through social media exposed me to a whole new world of confident, brilliant and paid Sistas who are out here doing their thang! It matters who you follow and who you’re connected to.

If you are a female business owner, I highly recommend the @WerkPraySlay Conference. I’m sure planning has already begun for 2020. You definitely don’t want to miss it. I know that I won’t miss it!

One of the top traits of a person with Connectedness as a Strength is having confidence in their gifts, but knowing they do not have all the answers. As a reward for my humility, God made room for me in a place that I didn’t even know existed, and it is a place of overflowing resources!🤲🏾

I won a free Website Copy Audit by Word Stylitz to amplify the impact that I have on my ideal client. April Beverley of @baabwriting will definitely get me all the way together.🙌🏾This brilliant lady is out here commanding coins with the power of her words.

If you are a female business owner looking to connect with a like-minded Sista on the move, email me. I would love to join forces and hold one another accountable to do the #werk!

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The Power of Intention

In 2015, after being diagnosed with cancer my life took on a whole new look. I was terrified, unsure of what was ahead and I was stuck. I was stuck in fear and unsure of what to do next. My doctors couldn’t tell me how the disease originated and to this day, I remember hearing those unsettling words, we’re unsure what caused it, could be stress, family history or, environmental or possibly the foods you consume.

I immediately activated heal thyself mode and began researching foods to eat in order to heal my body. I found a lot of information but had no idea what many of the foods were or where to find them. I was 39 years old and had never heard of Jackfruit or Dragon Fruit. Those weren’t common foods in my hood.

I admonished God to give me the information that I needed in order to live. I asked God to make it plain for me. As I scrolled through Instagram one day, I came across this beautiful sista recording her trip to the Farmer’s Market. She was walking through the market naming fruits and vegetables that I had never heard of. At the end of the video she said, “we’re heading to Whole Foods next.” I had heard of Whole Foods but the closest one was more 30 minutes from my house. I decided to watch the video because if she was going to give me a game plan to live, I was definitely going to receive it.

I later found out that this beautiful soul was a famous Vegan Chef named Chef Ahki. Because of her willingness to serve I gained the ability to eat again with confidence and take responsibility for my healing. Shopping at Whole Foods wasn’t an option at the time but I was encouraged because Earthfare was constructing a store within close vicinity to me. I was pleased to accept a part-time job there. It was an amazing experience because I learned additional information about the foods that I needed to eat, I could talk to my customers to find out the best way to prepare meals and not to mention the nice employee discount coupled with the Reward Points. As time passed my mindset improved and I regained my confidence.

Recently I thanked Chef Ahki in person for helping me. I am so thankful that she is willing to share herself with the world so that people like me who find themselves facing challenges we aren’t equipped to handle can gain the knowledge, encouragement and amazing insight to put up one hell of a fight. She got me back in the game y’all!

I am extremely  grateful to be a cancer survivor and I am thankful for life. There is still so much work to be done with cancer research and prevention. Within a year’s time I’ve lost a close friend and two uncles to this horrible disease.

If you ever find yourself in a situation that tests your faith and understanding, simply stop what you are doing, take a deep breath, breathe out slowly and ask God to make it plain.

We’re all standing in the gap for one another on any given day. I am thankful to Chef Ahki for being available in my time of need.

Are you ready to take your position and stand in the gap for the next person, or is there someone you would like to thank for being open, willing and transparent with their calling and information?

Do you need God to make a few things plain for you? It all starts with a change of heart and a made up mind. Follow me next week as I discuss the Power of Intention and the importance of having a written plan.

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Why Journaling Works & How to Do It Better

Do you Journal?  If not, what’s holding you back and if you do, what keeps you going?

A lot of people journal to release emotion and organize their feelings. To be honest, we’re all out here experiencing about 27 emotions daily. That is quite a ride and it’s tough to manage it all. So, what we’re doing is taking the emotion adding to it our daily responsibilities plus the needs and expectations from others and then attempting to get through the day without a method to release. This is the perfect formula for a mental breakdown.

I get it, we want to appear like we have our stuff together with little resistance, add to that this whole self-care trend of “don’t kill my vibe, “don’t interrupt my peace” and “don’t bother me with that”, this leaves us feeling obligated to hold in our emotions.

I’ve found journaling to be a helpful outlet. During those times when I am overflowing with emotions, both positive and negative, journaling helps me to reflect on events, organize my thoughts, release some pinned up energy and even generate solutions. It’s one of the many tools that can be used to re-direct your energy.

There’s another benefit of journaling that very few people notice. Journaling helps you to identify trends. If you journal often and notice a trend of negative or low-energy words and phrases, it’s safe to say you are probably suffering with Imposter Syndrome, self-sabotage and maybe even low self-esteem. If this is you, it’s time for a change in perspective.

I deal with those feelings too. I doubt my abilities, second guess my capabilities and I will overthink a scenario to the very extreme. It’s quite exhausting but I’ve figured out how to manage those feelings.

If you’ve been a member of the Origins of Peace community for any amount of time, you know that our #1 goal is to empower you to get out here and Impress Yourself. There are two reasons why this is important:cropped-origins-of-peace-1-1.png

  1. If you don’t impress yourself, no one else will ever stand a chance of impressing you. This is important for business deals, relationships, money goals, all of that. You must set a standard and stick to it. Example, if you want to be in a loving relationship, you must first love yourself. Impress yourself by doing things you enjoy and going to places that make you happy. This produces impression and excitement. It’s mentally stimulating, and it gets you into the habit of Impressing Yourself so that you will know when others are meeting and exceeding your expectations!
  2. A whole lot of time is spent impressing other folks. You impress your boss when you show up for work and do an exceptional job, you impress your kids by showing up for them daily. It’s time to Impress Yourself!

For the month of November, I am challenging you to use journaling as a tool to change your communication message to yourself! There are 30 days in November. I am giving you 1 word each day to use as a prompt. You will reflect on how the word shows up in your life on that day and compose a journal entry. Your entry can be written or a short video that you keep on your phone. The words that I provide to you should evoke feelings of happiness, bravery, calmness, rejuvenation and friendliness.create-her-stock-office-beauty4

I would love to know how this challenge goes for you. You can find me on both IG and Facebook at Origins of Peace to get the word for the day.

You can leave a comment one either platform to get the dialogue started.

Oh yea, if you’re not on my email list, you should be. Our next gratitude offering winner will be announced on Monday, November 4th. You must be on the list to get included in the drawing! Visit www.melissaarivers.com to sign up. You can see the prize for Monday’s drawing on my IG page.

Let’s connect!

Melissa

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Remember When – LinkedIn Extension

Sunday’s are the perfect day to gain perspective and gather inspiration for the work week ahead. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur or if you work for someone else, everybody needs a boost of perspective and inspiration. Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate through the noise of social media, the promises of the next best personal development tool and through your own self-limiting thoughts. I like to use my Sunday’s as a day to unwind and replenish on a simplistic level. If I am not attending Church on a Sunday, you will very likely find me in my pajamas all day either reading a book, watching television, hanging out with family or doing absolutely nothing. If you’re a regular follower of my site, you are familiar with my latest blog post, Remember When. In this post I discuss three practices individuals can implement into their everyday routine to live happier.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone of us is having a human experience, whether personally or professionally. In this professional extension to the original post I am providing practical tips about how these same practices can be used to increase productivity and engage your employees on a deeper level. First, click the link above to read Remember When.

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s analyze the three principals discussed in the post:

  • living a life of simplicity
  • being patient with yourself and others
  • extending compassion as often as possible

As an employer, you have an opportunity to elevate your employees experience of work by adding simplicity to your Operations Model. One way to achieve this is to utilize an HR company to handle things like payroll and benefits. By outsourcing your HR duties, you can offer packages to your employees that have greater value to them and their families.

There are great companies in your local area that are ready to assist you.

Another undervalued practice that should be added to your Ops. Model is patience. Having patience with yourself and others can go a long way in business. Think about it like this, your employees each have different strengths and personalities. Some will be introverts; others will be extroverts and then there’s the employee that exhibits both personality types. What’s an employer to do? First, be patient with yourself and know that you will never construct the perfect work environment, there will always be a new study to show the next trendy thing in Employee Engagement. Then, incorporate elements of both personality styles into your business model. Could social events be accompanied by flexible work schedules and work from home options to satisfy both personalities? Could your introvert and extrovert team up to tackle the next huge assignment and play on the strengths of one another? However, you manifest it, practice patience. Oftentimes employees have no idea what it will take for them to truly be happy at work.

The last practice that I want to talk about is compassion. For the purposes of our discussion we will define compassion as being thoughtful and decent with a willingness to help others.

A large part of the population entered the workforce out of desperate necessity and in doing so are placed in positions that do not allow them to have creative freedom. Think about it this way. As a human being, we all know that we need resources such as finances and opportunity in order to survive. When your employee shows up to work each day, they already know what is expected of them, but there’s this underlying element of dissatisfaction that might exist and keep them from performing their best work. Take for instance a young woman who is raising her children on her own due to life circumstances. She accepted a position as a Customer Service Agent, not because her dream is to answer the phone all day, but because she needs a means to provide for her children. She needs resources. As an employer, what if you extended compassion to this employee by offering personal and professional development. What if her goal is to move into management but she has no clue how to acquire the skills that she needs? Being a decent and thoughtful employer allows you to show compassion through teaching and mentoring and receive a highly engaged employee who brags about the company that she works for. It’s a WIN -WIN situation.

One of the services that I offer at Origins of Peace is contracting with local, Small Businesses to offer Goal Setting and Vision Illumination Workshops to their employees for both personal and professional growth. In this hand on, interactive workshop we create real life Goals, craft Vision Statements, construct a Personal Impact Map, develop Action Plans and design Vision Boards. This workshop is great for Team Building and the perfect way to demonstrate your compassion for your employees.

Click the link below to schedule your session or for additional information send email inquiries to melissa.a.rivers@outlook.com.

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=17281589&appointmentType=11491116

Create your Peace!

Through curriculum and creativity, we assist individuals with achieving Mental Clarity, practicing Self-Preservation, valuing Personal Development and Prioritizing Service to Others in their personal and professional lives.Goal Setting Announcement

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Remember When

Can you remember the last time that you were excited by the ordinary? I’m talking about those simple pleasures that we often taken for granted like nature, peace, love and even silence. Oftentimes we find ourselves caught up in acquiring more, achieving more and constantly looking for the next promotion, elevation or fancy purchase that we believe will help us to find happiness.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching my grandbaby experience excitement from being able to play with a lid. As I watched her face glow with amusement, I could only think about how easy it is to forget about the simple things that once provided us with joy.

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“I have three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” `Lao Tzu

Today I am sharing 3 tips about simplicity, patience and compassion that may help you live a happier life.

  1. Living a life of simplicity will help you focus on what is important. Let me first start by saying that simplicity looks different for everyone and only you can decide what simplicity looks like for you. Personally I enjoy things with low or no maintenance, little fuss and very little worry. I normally spend more time, money and energy researching a product or service before making a purchase to alleviate or reduce the amount of stress that comes with a lot of wear and tear. Because I am a person who experiences anxiety when things are out of order, I attempt to maintain as much order as possible by keeping it simple.
  2. Be patient with yourself and others. Patience is important because it helps you build empathy for others and accept people for who they are. That last statement is so true but please understand that having patience with yourself is priority number one because it helps you become more tolerant of the different stages of life that you will experience. There will come a time when you feel inadequate. Instead of getting discouraged and beating yourself up remember to exercise patience!
  3. Extend compassion as often as possible. Have you ever found yourself saying, “it’s always something,” or “why can’t I ever catch a break?” The people around you are saying the same statements to themselves. Be kind and extend compassion to the next person because everyone is experiencing life and sometimes life can be tough.

Fill your life with simplicity, patience and compassion to not only live happier but also to live healthier. Incorporating these tips can reduce your stress level and boost your immune system.

In my last post I challenged you to make a list of the people, places, things and experiences that add peace to your life. If you’re not familiar, catch up by reading

Grace & Mercy Have My Back

Now that you have your list, use the following scale to rank the level of peace each item adds:

  • 1-not much peace
  • 2- moderate amount of peace
  • 3-extreme peace

To elevate your Peace Factor spend more time focusing on the items ranked with a 3, determine if items ranked with a 2 can be elevated to a three and consider what changes should be made to remove or redefine items ranked with a 1.

This exercise can be challenging. If at anytime you feel yourself needing support simply email me at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

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Grace & Mercy Have My Back!

If you are new to my page, my name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Creative Peace Coach! In everyday terms this means I am a Conflict Resolution Strategist. I use my gifts of creativity and communication to teach strategies that provide guidance to achieving mental clarity, embracing self-preservation and prioritizing service to others.

Today we are discussing Affirmation #3 from my Instagram 5 Day Affirmation Challenge –  “I am professing my boldness by trusting grace and mercy to follow me, believing that greater days are in front of me and knowing that God is for me.”

I am on a mission of intention to impress myself in all areas of my life every single day.

Screenshot_20190918-161237The inspiration behind the third affirmation is sheer determination. I am creating a new blueprint for how I manage my wellness dimensions, and trusting that things will be better than they’ve ever been.

If you are not familiar with the Dimensions of Wellness, they are: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Social, Occupational and Financial.

I am deconstructing each area and authentically rebuilding. I am shaking things up, moving things around, possibly leaving things behind and definitely welcoming new experiences. My faith walk and “works” are in full affect.

I am trusting God to create new opportunities and new spaces for me, but I also understand that my reasonable service is to put in the work to acquire the newness.

I am definitely ready.

Just the other day, I signed up for a personal development class and mistakenly showed up to the venue on the wrong day. I walked into a room filled with women discussing wealth and investments, professing their love of God and sharing personal success stories about their finances. These were definitely my people.

This diverse group of women welcomed me in to their sacred space and made room for me at their table. Grace & Mercy had my back!

Not too long ago, circumstances made it necessary for me to cash in my retirement savings to pay for routine expenses; mortgage, healthcare, groceries, and all those other things you need to survive. This was an extremely uncomfortable time for me because I held the belief that retirement funds should only be used for living expenses during retirement. I quickly learned that “change is the only thing that is constant,” and I now appreciate doing the work to have the funds available when I needed them most.

When the time was right, I began rebuilding my retirement fund. I prayed for guidance and instruction on how to strategically rebuild my account.

In return, God sent me to this group of women who will educate, encourage and support me along the way.

This was a gentle reminder that miracles happen when awe & expectancy intersect. As the affirmation declares, I am boldly trusting grace & mercy to follow me while believing God that my greater days are in front of me!

So here’s what’s important. Everyone experiences times in life when a shift is necessary. If you’ve noticed yourself feeling stuck, stagnant, unmotivated, unimpressed, disgruntled, conflicted or simply not in the mood for alot of *______* (you fill in the blank) it’s time to shake things up.

It’s time to get your energy up, increase your creativity and start doing and enjoying things that add Peace to your life!

So here’s your chance to get involved and start the process of intentionally impressing yourself every single day! I challenge you to take out a piece of paper and make a list of all the people, places, things and experiences that add peace to your life. Be intentional and truthful about what you add to it. Exam your list and take notice of the types of items that are on your list.

Which categories show up the most and which categories are lacking?

For now, just do the work to develop your list and I promise to discuss this process in more detail at a later time. If you have question feel free to shoot me an email at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

If you haven’t already subscribed to my blog and signed up for my newsletter. I would love to have you join my Peace Community!

  • Simply head over to www.melissaarivers.com
  • When the pop-up form appears, enter your name and email address to subscribe to my newsletter
  • You can subscribe to my blog from the About Me page in the bottom right corner
  • You can also follow me on Instagram at: @originsofpeace and Facebook at: Origins of Peace

My 2020 Vision Board and Goal Setting Circles will start next month. Details coming soon!

Until next time,

Peace, Love & More Peace!

Melissa

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Professional Habits To Maintain in Your 40’s That Will Keep You Feeling Peaceful

As a forty-something female professional, there are habits that you can implement or release that will boost your professional self-confidence and empower you to trust yourself more.

If you’ve been in your current position for an extended period of time, you may feel underwhelmed and uninspired. It may be difficult for you to focus on your work and deliver your absolute best. Unless you work for yourself or you operate the family business, this can be a real problem. Depending on who’s watching, you could find yourself in a situation where management doesn’t feel like you take your responsibilities seriously. If you work for yourself and fail to deliver a stellar product, you could appear as an amateur to those you conduct business with.

When I returned to work after recovering from cancer, I was my biggest critic. I felt insecure about my appearance and I didn’t feel on top of my game because personal development and professional training had taken a back seat to my recovery. I was also well over 40 and the corporate workplace was now flooded with Millennials!

Upon returning, there were several things that I did to boost my confidence. Today I am sharing 3 of my signature tips that will help you operate from a place of grace instead of  a place of constant hustle.

The objectives are to be more polished, to trust yourself more and to feel good about who you are!

  1. Develop and implement a morning routine.
    • Wake up early, spend time in prayer, affirm what you want and meditate on the good, positive situations that you are welcoming into your day.
  2. Release actions that are unnecessary.
    • If you’re a woman who constantly apologizes even when situations do not warrant an apology, Stop. Over apologizing makes it appear that you are unsure you belong in the room. When these feeling arise (Imposter Syndrome) remember; you did the work to be in the room and grace elevates you further than effort ever will, Receive It.
  3. Remain Inspired.
    • If you’re not excited by your work, find inspiration in the daily details. Examine your partnerships, goals, expected outcomes and even your clothing and accessories to find inspiration. I recently found inspiration in a pair of beautiful, hand-crafted earrings which where created by Angelique Car, owner of tha dak brand.

      Check out these beauties!

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Are you inspired yet!?!

I’m inspired by the collaboration and individuality of the materials that were used. Each element has a specific purpose and performs a distinct role in the overall design. These earrings simply make me happy and that’s exactly what our clothing and accessory choices should do.

Here’s what Angelique has to say about her designs:

“Each pair of earrings are unique and one of a kind. I allow my creative wave to do it’s thing in the moment. Sometimes I come up with designs that really show what my mood was at that time. I feel like that’s what makes them so special, they are genuinely made with a little soul and a lot of life! I am at a very happy place in my life right now, and I am grateful that I can birth something that allows me to share that with the world.”

I can’t help but think about the individual gifts and talents that women posses. We are strong, resilient, tender and creative all at the same damn time.

At any given point we have the flexibility and ingenuity to pull from those resources to accomplish our goals and to create something beautiful. When opportunities arise for us to combine our gifts with the gifts of the next woman, we can come together and make a beautiful masterpiece, just like those earrings!

As promised, I have one more bonus tip for you.

  1. BONUS – Find your passion and cultivate it.
    • Peace is my passion. With my passion I choose to teach conflict resolution strategies to women that provide guidance for mental clarity, self-preservation and service to others. I also create courses that empower women to trust themselves more! This is my passion and how I use it. To discover your passion, grab my e-book; Design Your Happy Track To Peace and schedule a Consultation so we can chat!

If you are interested in learning more about Angelique and her upcoming fall collection, check her out on Instagram at: @thadakbrand or shoot her an Email at thadakbrand@gmail.com. You can also find her on Facebook at: tha dak brand.

If you’re a female business owner or simply a female with a positive and uplifting message to share, let’s link up! I would love to feature you on my blog and learn more about what you’re up to.

Create Your Peace!

Melissa

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Affirm To Nurture Your Relationships

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Affirmation #2I am creating true relationships and lasting connections by being grateful for each encounter, providing support without compromising my boundaries and holding space for us to evolve.”

I wrote this affirmation while thinking about the complexities of relationships and how self-love is a direct reflection of how we love others.

I am a firm believer in self-preservation and protecting my peace by properly managing my circle of influence but I understand fully that my relationships and how I show up in them are a direct reflection of how I show love to myself.

If I’m constantly telling myself that I am inadequate or lacking in certain areas, I will feel that I have the authorization to speak those same inequities into the lives of others.

This is completely false.

No one has the right to infuse their personal self-doubt on anyone else.

Affirm to Nurture Your Relationships.

  1. Decide today that you will speak better to yourself, think more highly about who you are and begin to value your own opinion.  By doing so, you create a nurturing foundation that will be the basis for all of your relationships
  2. Set boundaries that create positive encounters. Make a decision to stop interjection your unsolicited opinions in other people’s lives. Nine times out of ten, nobody asked you…so stop. Leave something to the imagination.
  3. Express gratitude when someone shares their time, energy, knowledge and love with you

Remember: Your thoughts, words and actions should be for your greatest good and to be of service to others. Hold thoughts and actions toward others in the same regard.

Create your peace,

~Melissa

 

 

 

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Affirm to Love Yourself

Hey PeaceMakers!

I hope all is well for each of you and I pray that life is being kind to you.

Recently I held an Affirmation Challenge on Instagram.  I shared affirmations with the hope of  helping to build self-esteem and combat self-sabotage. You can click here to view the affirmations that I shared. Feel free to incorporate them into your daily self-care routine.

If we aren’t already connected on social media, I invite you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook. My handle is Originsofpeace on both.

I want to take a look at each affirmation, starting with day 1 and understand how each should be used.

Affirmation #1 – “I am creating self-love by reciting positive words, thinking loving thoughts and setting standards that protect my mind, body and spirit.”

Caring for yourself involves performing actions that protect your well being. Your thoughts, actions, ideas and self-talk are all part of self-care.

This week, I encourage you to think big, bold and confidently when it comes to practicing self care. Do your thoughts need to be re-aligned, is there someone or something that deserves a NO, or do you simply need to appreciate yourself more.

I like the thought of self-care through self-appreciation. What three things can you celebrate about yourself? What are you good at? What have you accomplished? What are you working on? Have you been a positive influence to someone lately? Whatever it is, appreciate all that you’ve accomplished or all that you have in the works!

These are the first steps to cultivating self-love.

As a monthly practice of gratitude, I am gifting subscribers on my email list with a full size package of my custom herbal tea blend and a mug.

To ensure that you are included, go to my website: www.designedbymelissarivers.com. 

When the subscribe form pops up, enter your name and email address. The drawing is being held today, September 2 and the winner will be notified via email.

September Focus and Mug Giveaway

Lastly, start thinking about how you want to finish out the year. Did you make goals earlier in the year that you have yet to fulfill? Is it time to revamp your wellness goals?

I am a firm believer that wellness of mind, body and spirit is the necessary foundation for achieving your goals. My ebook, Design Your Happy Track to Peace is available on my website for a 20% discount. Use code LABORDAY at checkout.

“you have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.” ~Dodinsky

Until we speak again, have an excellent day and make peace your top priority!

~Melissa