Toilet Paper and Lessons In Respect and Listening

The late afternoon sun beamed down mercilessly on the shield of our sunglasses as my husband and I strolled through the track of a local high school in our neighborhood. We were scheduled to meet some friends there for an evening run.

Ok. Let's be real. My friends and husband actually ran. I huffed and puffed my way around the track, trying not to cry, while daydreaming about a burger. With fries.

I was recounting to my husband the details of a meeting I was recently a part of in which I walked away feeling as if I was not truly listened to.Though I knew in the back of my mind that this person had a stellar resume of accomplishments that truly deserved some sort of trophy, I couldn't help but feel slightly disrespected. It reminded me how important it is to be a good listener, regardless of what status you reach or what position you hold, higher or lower that the person sitting across the meeting table. That it makes a real difference in both business and personal interactions, can make or break a deal, can form an important connection or not.

My husband has worked in the corporate world for awhile, so needless to say, he's experienced his fair share of situations in which the concept of respect and listening to folks from all levels/positions was no where on the meeting agenda. In response to my after-work lament, he nods in understanding and sums up the importance of respecting people in one simple sentence:

"You know, the most important person at a hotel is the one who replaces the toilet paper."

Wisdom at it's finest, folks. We all know we never want to be caught without toilet paper.

Happy Wednesday!

Motivation vs. Inspiration

Motivational speakers, motivational messages, motivational mugs, motivational cheers.


Now, I'm not trying to knock motivational messages or anything like that. It helps some people, and to each their own - far be it for me to criticize.

However, for me personally at least, I think there's something much more captivating, something much deeper, and more awesome and impactful overall, when you're inspired.

As a business owner, I have had my share of ruts/the days in the "middle" of the journey that make me wish I was at the destination point, the season where suddenly it's all easy sailing, the point where I wouldn't have to push so much or be prone to eating so much chocolate in the middle of the afternoon.

It's in those moments that what I need most isn't necessarily motivation or a rah-rah-rawrrrr cheer but rather some heart-shifting inspiration. The reminders of why I began this journey to re-define beauty for women through my photography. The reminders of why I willingly take on the challenges because it's making an impact for something bigger than me. The reminders of how a God-given dream and talent can change the world around me. That kind of inspiration.

One of my favorite photographers is New Zealand-born photographer Sue Bryce. And on an evening that was headed towards "rut-ville", I watched this video she created and was once again reminded why I am inspired to center my work around photographing every woman, celebrate without inhibition, the message that she is beautiful.

Hope you are inspired by this as much as I was.

Happy Friday!