Six years ago we kicked off our annual gratefulAF challenge and had no idea the impact it would make. Like, WOW. Each day I saw you, our passionate community, light up the world. A big shout-out of gratitude to all of you who participated over the years. You have sparked so much fucking joy for those you serve.
We are doing the challenge again because let’s be honest, we need this and the world needs this.
Below is my personal story and why gratitude is the center of all that we do at Passion Squared and how it can help you with perspective, awareness and even possibly help change the chemistry in your brain (here’s a study!)
In early 2007 I was in the darkest place I have ever been in my life (until late 2019 which you can hear about here). So much so, that I was planning my suicide. But here we are, it’s 2022 and even with all the heaviness, confusion, grief, and stress, I’m still alive, living my purpose and empowering others to live theirs too. How did this happen? It all began with gratitude.
Of course, there is so much more to the story which I share in my bookFollow Your Heart, but it was learning about the power of daily gratitude that made me realize that I had more to do on this planet (and so do you!) and that no matter how dark my head became, there was always something to be grateful for.
From there, I was able to find perspective, and perspective allows me to get through just about any hardship, sadness, or loss. It was this quote that changed it all for me, which is tattooed on my left arm to be sure I never forget that gratitude saved my fucking life.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
We created a simple challenge for you and one I hope you invite your community and teams to join in too. It’s called the gratefulAF challenge.
Each day in the month of November we invite you to practice a little piece of gratitude and kindness. There are so many folks to share our gratitude for and many people to help, particularly small businesses. It truly is the little things. You never know who is in desperate need of your light, love, and support.
How To Participate
Start date: November 1, 2022 (however you can begin anywhere, anytime!)
1. Capture your gratitude 2. Share your gratitude to your Instagram or Facebook page or Stories (only if you feel inspired to do so) 3. Use #passionsquared 4. Tag@passionsquared/@ mention passionsquared if posting in Stories
5. Follow @passionsquared if you see value in what we share
Click here for the Instagram or Facebook Stories Challenge graphic Click here for the Instagram/Facebook Stories or Reels/TikTok 30-second quote video Click here for the Instagram Reels or TikTok cover image Click here for the Instagram/Facebook Stories size weekly gratitude list template Click here for the Instagram/Facebook square size weekly gratitude list template Click here for the Facebook/Instagram/Blog square-size Challenge graphic
To use our gratitude gif’s for your Instagram or Facebook Stories or anywhere, search the termPASSION SQUAREDunder GIFS in Insta/Facebook Stories or ongiphy.com
Our intention is that after 30 days you will feel how much gratitude can change your perspective, your energy, your brain, your biz, and your LIFE and you see the value of a daily gratitude practice.
How will you incorporate this challenge into your business and life? We would love to hear your gratitude ideas!
On October 9th, I turn 56 and per usual, I am deep in my feelings. You see, I should not have made it this far, and honestly, I never imagined I would. However, I believe in a higher power and purpose and do not take lightly that there’s a reason. Whatever the reason is, I do my best each day to wake up with gratitude and continue to love, support, and serve those in my care.
Last year, I wrote a list of 55 Wisdoms (and recorded a podcast with my bestie!), and this year, while I attempted to write a new list for 56, the truth is, the new list sounded much like last year’s so I’ve added one more and am sharing this list with you, again.
My intention in sharing this is for you to feel seen, understood, and loved. And just maybe, something on this list will help you feel more joy.
Take what resonates, and leave the rest. And if you feel someone would find value in this list too, please share.
Fifty Six Wisdoms at 56
1. Be where your feet are.
2. The power is in the pause.
3. Perfectionism is a myth. So is balance.
4. Find your rhythm.
5. Your rhythm will change like the tides. Surrender to it.
6. Cherish folks while they’re still here.
7. Make time for the shit that matters. Everything doesn’t matter equally.
8. The journey is short and quick.
9. Do the inside work as early as you can so you can feel more joy while you’re here.
10. Prioritize your “someday I’ll…”
11. Real confidence comes with self-awareness and experience.
12. People are complicated.
13. Allow others to have their own experience.
14. Give yourself and others grace.
15. Love is the foundation and compassion, and empathy are the walls.
16. Some days, weeks, months, years and decades are gonna be rough, hold on.
17. Release the resentment yet hold on to the lesson.
18. Compassionately honest has a more positive influence and impact than brutally honest.
19. Never stop caring.
20. Integrity can get lonely at times. Have it anyways.
21. Remind yourself often why you get up in the morning.
22. You are worthy of feeling joy.
23. Listen more than you talk.
24. You can be humble and also confident.
25. Blaming and shaming affect your own self-esteem.
26. Try to stay out of judgment. And when you go there, ask yourself why.
27. Lead with love.
28. Healthy boundaries build confidence and save a fuck ton of time and angst.
29. If you’re angry, take a time out, go within, and sort it out.
30. Most folks are scared.
31. You don’t know everything and you never will.
32. It’s ok to say I don’t know.
33. People will break your heart. Don’t let it harden you.
34. Tell people you love them, often.
35. You are not broken, you are a perfectly imperfect human.
36. You can’t un-ring a bell. Think before you speak.
37. Self-awareness comes with desire, curiosity, and time.
38. Stop waiting for the apology, it likely will never come.
39. Do the work upstream and spend less time fixing shit downstream.
40. It’s almost never about you.
41. Humans are inherently selfish.
42. Be generous with your gifts.
43. Your journey is yours to travel, design accordingly.
44. Not everyone is gonna understand you.
45. Some people are mean. Be kind anyway.
46. Life is hard. Business is hard. It’s all hard.
47. Managing your own expectations is the hardest.
48. You have no control over experiences outside of yourself.
49. Focus on what you can control (YOU!)
50. Daily gratitude lists help us with perspective
51. You can be grateful and also sad, angry, depressed
52. Do everything possible to retain a beginner’s mind
53. Your purpose + value are not tied to your productivity
54. Slow down enough to catch the magical moments
55. All folks really want is to be seen, heard, and loved. And that is not hard to do.
56. You can change your mind and perspective when you get new information, however, only if you care enough to do so.
I would never have made it here without you. It is an honor and privilege of a lifetime to empower you to make more aligned decisions and feel more joy in your journey. Thank you for your trust, support, and love.
With love, a fuck ton of gratitude, and in service to you- Nina (they/them)@passionsquared
PS: One wish that I do have this year is that give generously, through your time, actions, or money, to support vulnerable and marginalized communities. They need us. They need our compassion, empathy, and understanding now more than ever. Thank you.
In this episode, Nina shares their frameworks for both decision making and creating awesome client agreements, two critically important tools for you to simplify your life as a leader and creative small business owner. The truth is you likely spend way too much time, energy, and stress not making decisions, avoiding problems, and feeling resentful when clients show up late, cancel at the last minute, or do not show up at all. Clear, detailed agreements, along with a framework for making decisions and solving problems are your bestie. You can find the Decision Making Framework here and the Creating Awesome Client Agreement Framework here. You can find us on the web here and on the gram here. You can learn more about A School here. Thank you so much for listening.
In this episode, Nina share’s some insights into why some brands stand up publicly and fight injustices in our world and why some choose not to. This episode is not about politics, it’s about clarity of brand story, vision, and values. It’s about the choices you make as a brand in relation to what your people value, whether it be clients, team members, or tenants if you are leading a lease-based business. It’s about aligning your actions with your brand promises. Thank you so much for listening with an open heart and brain. If you would like to keep the conversation going, you can find us on the gram and on the web.
NOTE: This is our first episode after 6 months, and there were some glitches, lol. We decided to keep the glitches in the episode to honor being perfectly imperfect. Perfection is a myth. Repeat as often as needed.
The awesome news is your clients are respecting your Safe In Our Salon Agreements + Protocols and canceling their reservations if they feel ill or have been exposed, the not so awesome news is you may be having a trauma response to your 2020 experience. If this feels relatable, you are not alone.
In this episode, Nina shares some thoughts on how to navigate the current cancellation surge you may be seeing in your salon, some resources, and tools to care for your mental health and wellness. Consider taking a look at your lapsed client list and reaching out to the people who’ve been too busy and forgot to make a reservation who are healthy and would love to hear from you. Thank you to @hairbrained_offical and to @flamingoloungehair for inspiring this episode. You can find us on the gram and Facebook @passionsquared Thank you for listening. And remember, do your very best to be where your feet are.
If you are a salon owner, you can learn more about A School here.