Free ebook!


Hi all!

I have some fun & exciting news!

I developed an ebook & am starting a newsletter!

If you subscribe to the newsletter you will receive your free copy of my ebook!

The e-mail newsletter will provide updates for when Live Meaningful updates and other new happenings on the site.

Once you subscribe, you will receive a link for your ebook download.

The ebook is called: Live Meaningful Reflection Guide: 5 Days to Becoming more Intentional, Authentic, Daring, and Intuitive

When you are finished with the ebook, please comment on this post…your response/feedback will likely influence if I do something like this again in the future!

Click on the picture below to get your free ebook & subscribe to the newsletter!




Are You Putting Enough Joy in Your Life?


This week on Live Meaningful, we are doing a Joy inventory. So, part of experiencing joy, is having gratitude, which I talked about a couple weeks ago. But honestly, there are many, many forms that joy takes and can show up in our life. Sometimes joy shows up unexpectedly and naturally, when we least expect it. But sometimes we need to make the effort to invite joy into our lives.

You don’t need to force it. In fact, joy is not something that can probably be forced. But you may need to step out, and invite.

Listed below are some forms of joy and happiness that are gifts for us to experience in this life. Grab your journal and begin the inventory. I will be asking questions about how you already invite these forms of joy into your life, in what ways they show up, and encourage you to reflect on how you can invite them into your life just a little bit more!




In what ways does peacefulness show up in your life already? What brings you a sense of peace or calm? What relaxes the mind and eases the stresses of life?

Do you gain peace on a walk in nature, hearing the birds chirp and feeling the cool breeze on your face? Do you feel peace when you take a warm bath after a long day at work? Do you experience peace through journaling and sorting through your many thoughts? Is peace found in spending time with those you love? Or is it found in reading an uplifting and encouraging book?
Take an honest assessment of how peace shows up in your life currently, what activities lead you to a state of peacefulness, and how often you allow yourself to engage in these activities. Do you need to allow more peace into your life? More time for relaxation? More time to de-stress? Life can be busy, but where are the little pockets of life in which you could place more peace?




How is excitement showing up in your life? What activities make you feel excited? What is the excitement that will get you out of bed in the morning or keeps you chugging along in the week?

Is it working on a book you are writing? Is it a love for travel and the anticipation of your next trip? Is it a gathering with friends? Is it a creative project you just love?

We were meant to feel excitement in life. To feel excited to wake up in the morning and feel excited for days ahead of us. If life feels dull or stagnant, consider what makes you feel excited and find the spaces in your life where you can allow excitement.




In what ways can you invite more fun into your life? Of course, we are adults and have responsibilities, but just as we make time for respsonsibilities, we also need to make time for fun. The kind of fun that is carefree and makes us feel like a child again. We need to engage in play.

What is it for you? Is it a girls’ night with all your friends full of excessive laughter? Is it going for a bike ride? Is it playing with your kids? Going to a festival? Try to access your inner child to help you remember what fun means to you.

Fun can be anything. Maybe you find things fun that others would not understand as fun. That’s okay! Be honest about what is fun for you, rather than other people’s definitions of fun.

How much fun do you allow into your life currently? Where do you need to add fun to your life and how will you do this?




What completely engages your mind? What could you talk about all day? What could you research for hours, and still be wanting more? What engages your mind and immerses you so completely?

Is it an interest in psychology? Art? Movies? Science?

Find your interest and allow yourself to get lost in it.

Or as Elizabeth Gilbert would say, “follow your curiosity.”




There is no joy in standing still, we were meant to grow. How are you growing in your life currently? What are you progressing toward? How are you changing for the better?

What helps you experience growth? Is it through church? A podcast? Journaling? A book? A mentor? A class?

How can you experience more growth in your life? Which of the above examples could be something you could implement in your life to experience more of a sense of growth? What could you do that would propel you forward into a new version of yourself and your life?




Are you allowing enough adventure in your life? Is there any adventure at all?

What would adventure be to you? Traveling to somewhere new and exploring? Going on a mission trip? Writing a book or a blog? Meeting new people? Hiking?

What is your version of adventure? Is it in your life currently? Why not? How could you put more adventure into your life?




Where do you find a sense of purpose in your life? Is it being a mom to your children or an aunt to your nieces or nephews? Are you a role model? Are you a mentor to someone? Do you share your wisdom with others? Are you a teacher of some sort? Do you volunteer somewhere? Do you help others in some way?

What makes your life feel like it has purpose? Is there something you could be doing to give yourself more of a sense of purpose?




What lights you up and makes you feel totally alive? What can you not get enough of? What, when doing it, makes life feel meaningful. What do you absolutely love to do?

Is it art, photography, or writing? Is it a creative pursuit of some sort? Is it helping others? Is it travel?

Identify that passion and make sure that you are making time for it.




In what ways do you experience a sense of discovery? The “aha!” moments of life.

Is it while you journal? Is it taking a class and learning something new?

What does discovery mean to you? Is it in your life? How could it become more a part of your life?




Life can become very practical and very day to day, and sometimes that causes us to forget there is such a thing as amazement and wonder. When have you had this feeling before? When was that last time you had it?

Looking up at the stars in the night sky? Looking at the ocean? Traveling to another country?

It is those moments, when you take a step back from the everyday tasks, and see what a miracle life really is.

How often do you have these moments? How could you invite more moments like this into your life?



Authenticity/Being Known:

One of the truest forms of joy, is the experience of being known completely. Being known and appreciated as your truest self.

Maybe you have this with your partner? Your best friend? At your job? At your church?

If you don’t feel you have a place where you can be authentic, and “known,” go on a search to find this place. Find your tribe. Where could you find the people who might be similar to you? Where might be a place where your authentic self could show up and be appreciated?




How are you on a quest in your life? What is your mission? What is this journey you are on? A quest for knowledge or wisdom? A quest to help others? A quest of self discovery? A quest of self-improvement? A quest to share your gifts in the world?

If your life does not feel like a quest or a journey, how could you make it feel a little bit more like this? Is it a shift in your perspective or a shift in how you live your life?




What forms of pleasure do you allow into your life? Is it that warm bath after a long day at work? It is allowing yourself to eat your favorite ice cream every once in awhile? Is allowing yourself to sleep in? Is it spending all day in the sun and forgetting about responsibilities for awhile? Is it getting lost in a book and reading for hours?

Sometimes pleasure sounds like a bad thing or sounds overly self-indulgent. It is only a bad thing in excess. And honestly, pleasure stops being pleasure if you do it in excess. But, we should all be able to allow a little bit of pleasure into our life.




We were designed to create.

In what ways are you inviting creativity into your life? Do you allow space in your life for the creative process? What kind of creativity calls out to you? Writing? Art? Photography? Cooking?

Find your creative passion and allow space in your life to express yourself and engage this creative side of you.




Although it is important to allow for pleasure and self-care, we must not forget about kindness. There is great joy in kindness. Helping a friend work through a problem. Helping someone in need. Donating to a cause you care about. Volunteering at a homeless shelter.

How are you experiencing the joy of kindness? How could you experience it more?




As I said, there is a whole article on gratitude from a couple weeks ago, but it is so important, I could not leave it off this list.

How are you practicing gratitude? How are you making sure to be thankful for the everyday moments of your life? How could you develop your gratitude skills and experience it more in your daily life?



As you can see, there are many ways to experience joy in this life, and this list could go on. Sometimes we chase after big life changes to add more joy in our lives. This is not a bad thing, but sometimes big life changes aren’t always possible. The good news is, by taking this joy inventory you can reflect on your everyday life and be intentional about creating more joy filled moments.

Joy can be found in the margins of life. There are a million tiny little moments in our life, but these little tiny moments make up our whole lives. Why not fill these moments with joy?



My Favorite Resources for Life Change!


I recently was asked what resources inspire me. There are far too many to name, but I will list a few here. I may be adding to this list as time goes on.

For me, putting positive things into my life daily has been key to gaining a more positive and inspired life. I fill my early morning coffee time with encouraging articles. I fill my half hour commutes to and from work with encouraging podcasts.

What I have found is, the inspiring voices of others start to get stuck in my head. I get to work and there is stress, workloads, paperwork, problems etc. My mind wants to get all worked up and stressed. But the positive voices of podcasters, bloggers, and authors are stuck in my head.

You can only do your best.
You have unique wonderful skills, even if everyone doesn’t recognize them.
You owe yourself self-compassion.
There is hope. There is inspiration. There is beauty.

I recently heard the comment made on the Jess Lively show, that sometimes we have to “borrow the thoughts of others.”

This is so true.

Sometimes we are down. We are broken. We are hopeless. We are uninspired. We are discouraged.

And in these moments, we must borrow the thoughts of those who are hopeful and those who are inspired. We must let them help us remember the joy that we have forgotten.

Below are just a few of the resources that inspire me. Also, there are few journal questions to reflect on at the end of this list. Enjoy!


Positivity, Gratitude, Happiness, Self Compassion


This is a website dedicated to cultivating healthy mindsets. Each article is backed by scientific evidence. I read their articles every morning before work. I have started many healthy mindset habits because of this site!

Help Me Be Me Podcast

I love the Help Me Be Me podcast! This podcast has been one of the most helpful podcasts I have come across in regard to cultivating a healthy mindset. This podcast focuses on topics of gratitude and positivity. This is one of my staples for morning commutes and a great go-to if I am feeling down and need a quick pick-me-up. Highly recommended!

Allison Fallon

Every blog post Allison puts out seems to resonate with me so deeply. She writes a lot on mental health and the healing effects of writing. Also, she always has many wonderful resources she provides with her posts. I read her posts every Monday morning to start my week and they always provide a wonderful source of inspiration!

The Jess Lively Show

This is a podcast I just recently started listening to. Jess discusses topics of self compassion, intuition, gaining clarity in your life, and living out your dreams. A great inspiration for my drive into work!

Happier Podcast

This is a podcast dedicated to developing healthy habits and cultivating happiness. Very practical and helpful solutions to implement into your everyday life! Also, Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth have great dynamics on the show, so it is a fun listen as well!

The Top Five Movement

This website is actually a very recent discovery for me. It is a website all about developing gratitude habits. I am still in the exploration phase of what this website is all about…but am definitely excited about it and eager to learn!


Simplicity, Minimalism, Meaningful Life

The Minimalists

I have been following the minimalists for quite some time now. I have learned so much about the power of letting go of the stuff that holds us down in order to find freedom and a meaningful life! These guys are full of wisdom!

Becoming Minimalist

This is another blog focused on finding freedom in letting go and re-focusing us on what is truly important in this life. Many great articles on this site!


Anxiety, Stress, Depression

The Confident Mind Podcast

A great resource if you struggle with social anxiety or any other type of anxiety.

The Anxiety Coaches Podcast

Another great resource for those who suffer from anxiety!

Do One Thing Different – Bill O’Hanlon (Book)

This book was a wonderful source of inspiration for me in a very difficult time in my life. Not only was it a source of hope, but it also gave many practical tips to help me out of that difficult place!

The One You Feed Podcast

A podcast full of conversations on topics of depression, anxiety, and living a life worth living. Much wisdom to be gained from this podcast!


Introversion, High Sensitivity

Introvert, Dear

Many many articles to help introverts and highly sensitive people live their best possible life! So many helpful tips and advice on this site!

Katherine Mackenize-Smith

Life and business coach dedicated to empowering introverts. I especially recommend her book Shhh… An Introvert’s Guide to Creating An Exceptionally Beautiful Life. I read it in one sitting. It was such a wonderful “feel good” resource that made me feel at peace with myself and my place in this life.



The Robcast Podcast

Always has wonderful spiritual insight. A deep thinking podcast I listen to on my morning commutes.



Again, these are just the first few that come to mind. There are so many more!
If there are resources (books, blogs, podcasts) that you have loved or have inspired you, please share them with me in the comments below! I would love to hear about them and be inspired by them too!



1. When do you find yourself most needing to “borrow the thoughts of others?” At work? At home? When you are stressed? When you are discouraged? Reflect on the times and situations when your thoughts are at their worst.

2. What area of self growth needs the most focus for you right now? Do you need to focus more on positivity? On gratitude? Self compassion? Do you need to build your confidence? Do you need to learn coping skills to deal with anxiety and stress? Do you need to be inspired to live out your goals? Reflect on what areas feel the most important to focus on right now.

3. How will you implement your own routine in which you put the positive thoughts and voices of others into your own life? Take into account the times/situations when you need it the most and the areas of self growth you need to focus on, as you described in the first two questions. Brainstorm how you will implement these practices into your daily life.





Gratitude is a hot topic theses days.

And for good reason.

However, I will be the first to admit, when I started seeing all the articles and research about how practicing gratitude affects happiness, I was skeptical.

It wasn’t that it didn’t make sense. Of course focusing on the positive would cause you to feel more positive. But I guess I was skeptical about how big of an impact the gratitude research was promising.

Over the past year I have probably read/listened to over a hundred books/blog articles/podcasts on the topic of gratitude. And as much as I rejected it, it crept into my mind, and I started practicing it.

It changed my life.

I would have a frustration at my job, but instead of dwelling on this, my thoughts would switch to, Wow how lucky I get to come home to my husband whom I share such good times with.

Or I would notice a sunset, a blooming tree, or a bird singing and find an appreciation for it.

Previously I have had a habit of getting really stuck in the nostalgia of the past or the worries of the future.

But sometimes, when I am practicing gratitude, I think,

These are the good ol’ days. I am living in them right now.

Another reason I was previously skeptical about this whole gratitude thing, is because I thought I would have to pretend to be grateful for something I wasn’t actually grateful for. I learned you don’t have to do this.

It is more about savoring.

Not everything in life is wonderful. But find the things that are and savor them.

Notice them.
Say thanks for them.
Meditate on them.
Think about them.

I know there may be many different faith/spirituality traditions reading this blog. I personally come from a Christian context, and a verse I have always loved is in Philippians 4:8 (NIV):

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

We were never meant to dwell on our fears, our problems, or our hang ups. Anxiety and problem solving can be tools to guide us, if used properly. But we were never meant to dwell on such things.

We are meant to dwell on what is lovely.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. Phillipians 4:6-7 (NLT)

It is my belief, that we were designed to be in a spirit of praise, of thankfulness, of gratitude. And when we do this, there is a peace that overcomes us. It is not easy to be grateful always, it is a discipline for sure. But I believe when we do this, there is a peace we are able to access that is like no other.

And when we pray, I believe we should pray with a hope and an optimism. If you do not pray, then when you journal, journal with a hope and an optimism. I know it can be cathartic at times to get all the negative emotions out, so I am not saying there is never a time for this.

However, if all of our prayers or journal entries are about how much we hate our life, we likely will not feel a peace afterward. But if your prayers/journal entries are focused on the joy you are experiencing now and the joy and circumstances you are hoping will come, then this will bring you a peace that passes all understanding.



1. What are you feeling grateful for right now in this moment? A happy memory? The weather? Your family? It can big or small, serious or silly. List 5-10 things. Take some time to reflect and savor these things.

2. In what ways do you allow anxiety and worry take away peace? How could you make changes in this area?

3. Take a minute to think about your anxieties and concerns for the future and the things you don’t like about the present. Now journal in the lens of hope and optimism. No complaining, no feeling sorry for yourself. Journal about how you would like these situations to transform and allow yourself to have a hope about this. Not only is hope more enjoyable, it also makes it more likely to happen.

4. How will you begin a practice of gratitude? Jot down the first few things that come to mind.(Some ideas are keeping a gratitude journal, doing a daily gratitude meditation, going on gratitude walks, or listening to podcasts focused on gratitude and positive thinking)

Wishing you many moments of peace and gratitude..