Passion Squared #gratefulAF challenge 2018 hd

The #gratefulAF challenge 2018

There is always something to be grateful for.

Last year, we kicked off our annual #gratefulAF challenge and I 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!

So this year, we decided to start a month early. Why? It seems like so many are grateful in November, but we believe in 365 day gratitude so there is no better time then NOW.

This is my story and why gratitude is the center of all that we do at Passion Squared…
In early 2007 I was in the darkest place I have ever been in my life. So much so, that I was planning my suicide. But here it is, 20 fucking 18… I am alive, living my purpose and empowering others to live their’s 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 book Follow 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 that no matter how dark my head became, there was always something to be grateful for.

From there, I was able to keep 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 + teams to join in too. It’s called the #gratefulAF challenge. Each day in the month of October we invite you to practice a little piece of gratitude.

Passion Squared gratefulAF challenge 2018 social art

 

Here’s how it works…

1. Capture your gratitude in action
2. Post to Instagram page or Stories (only if you feel inspired to do so)
3. Use #passionsquared #gratefulAF
4. Tag @passionsquared /@ mention passionsquared if posting in Stories

Click here for the Instagram graphic
Click here and here for Instagram Stories graphics

NEW for this year is our Instagram Story GIF’s! Search the term GRATEFUL to find our grateful logo GIF.

Heart Love Sticker by Passion Squared for iOS & Android | GIPHY

My intention is that after 31 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.

With love + a fuck ton of gratitude-
Nina @passionsquared


BTS of this blog + challenge
Total Time: 4 hours

Building the challenge
Developing the idea and daily themes 1 hour
Designing graphics on Canva.com 1 hour
Editing 30 min.

Building the blog
Writing 30 min.
Editing/SEO stuff 30 min.
Proof reading 15 min.
Designing graphics on Canva.com 15 min.

people passion purpose podcast Nina L Kovner

Nina L. Kovner on Positivity

In this What’s On My Mind episode, I talk about the perception that I am always positive and the tools I use to keep my promise to you and live my purpose.

 

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4 Lessons of Gratitude In Action Passion Squared blog hd

5 Lessons of Gratitude in Action

In the month of November, we witnessed gratitude in action, online and off, thanks to all you passionate + courageous humans who joined our #gratefulAF challenge. Our intention with this challenge was to help you see value in beginning a lifelong practice of daily gratitude.

To be honest, I had no idea when we created this challenge how it would go. November is a “busy” month, yet it took off and took on a life of it’s own, which I am in awe of and so grateful for.

For some context, gratitude is a cornerstone of all that we are and do at Passion Squared, because gratitude both saved, and changed, my life, you can read more about that here. I have seen how gratitude can change everything, as when you are grateful, you are empowered, and when you are empowered, there is nothing that can stop you.

What did we learn about gratitude in action?

1. It’s so easy to lose perspective and so simple to get it back

This lesson came from watching your energy shift as the month went on.
Watching you discover how gratitude changes perspective was awesome. So much of our angst at times comes from a loss of perspective. We get so wrapped up in our own shit that we end up with a distorted view of what is real and what is imaginary. Gratitude is a perspective keeper.

2. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a key to growth

This lesson was apparent from week 1, when we asked you to buy coffee for a stranger and in week 3 when we asked that you buy a meal for someone.
No matter what business you are in, or social circle you keep, some of us are so focused on “playing it safe” that we have stunted our own growth. Nothing in life, or biz, is guaranteed. Failure is inevitable. But if you want to grow, it will be uncomfortable and uncertain. That is where faith + courage come in, and yes, gratitude.

3. When we focus on service to others, we are being a service to ourselves

This lesson was super apparent throughout the month, whether it was when we shouted out our glam squad, or sent a surprise thank you note to a client, to sending flowers to a loved one.
When we give joy, we get joy. When we step out of ourselves, and begin to see the world around us, our hearts expand. We learn about the gifts of compassion & empathy, and realize we are not the center of the universe. This lesson helps us become better leaders, co-workers, companions and humans.

4. Giving is not about getting 

This lesson came from watching you all give of yourselves all month, without asking anything in return. You just gave, and not surprisingly, you got so much back. Getting something from doing the challenge was not your intention. There was no prize, contest, or pot of gold at the end. You simply saw value in making a commitment to doing something different. And that leads us to lesson 5.

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”  John Bunyan

5. Value is in the eye of the beholder

You saw value in challenging yourself. You saw value in being of service to others. There are both biz + life lessons in this one. But the ONE biz lesson I will share is that we must dig deep to understand what our audience and team values. It’s easy to assume they all value the “prize”, but that is not always the case. And if we run and lead our business with prizes, eventually the prizes run dry, and where does that leave you?

Here’s the thing loves. There is always something to be grateful for. We don’t have to wait til November every year to be grateful. And lastly, gratitude changes everything.

From the bottom of my emoAF heart, thank you for stepping up and leading this challenge. Thank you for raising the vibration of your spaces and in turn, touching the hearts, minds and lives of many you will never even realize you did. Thank you for being beacons of light and love. We are #gratefulAF for you.

 

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina @passionsquared

BTS of This Blog

Total Time: 3 hours
Researching + Writing 2 hours
Editing/SEO/Proofing 30 min
Graphics made with Canva.com 30 min

#gratefulAF challenge Passion Squared blog

The #gratefulAF challenge

In early 2007 I was in the darkest place I have ever been in my life. So much so, that I was planning my suicide. But here it is, 20 fucking 17… I am alive, living my purpose and empowering others to live their’s 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 book Follow 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 that no matter how dark my head became, there was always something to be grateful for.

From there, I was able to keep 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

November seems to be the month people remember to be grateful, so I decided to create a simple challenge for you and one I hope you invite your community + teams to join in too. It’s called the #gratefulAF challenge. Each day in the month of November I invite you to practice a little piece of gratitude.

Passion Squared #gratefulAF challenge art Insta

Here’s how it works…

1. Capture your gratitude in action
2. Post to Instagram page or stories
3. Use #passionsquared #gratefulAF
4. Tag @passionsquared /@ mention
passionsquared if posting in stories

Invite your community + team to join us!

Click here for the Instagram graphic
Click here for the Insta Story graphic

My 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.

With love + a fuck ton of gratitude-
Nina @passionsquared


BTS of this blog + challenge
Total Time: 4 hours

Building the challenge
Developing the idea and daily themes 1 hour
Designing graphics on Canva.com 1 hour
Getting feedback + editing 30 min.

Building the blog
Writing 30 min.
Editing/SEO stuff 30 min.
Proof reading 15 min.
Designing graphics on Canva.com 15 min.

Its All In Your Head Passion Squared

It’s All In Your Head: My Truth About Anxiety

“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” Steve Maraboli

(this post was originally published on February 10, 2014. I have gotten so many requests recently to discuss the topic of anxiety I chose to update it today)

Anxiety sucks. And its real. It can rob of us so much joy. It can paralyze us and isolate us. I am continually asked about this topic as I have shared openly that I live with anxiety and panic disorder, and on Saturday, a beautiful member of the Passion Squared community asked that I share some ways that I have been able to deal with it.

First and foremost, I am not a doctor. Duh. But I am in treatment and continue to battle this crippling condition, successfully (most of the time), thus, my ability to speak on the topic from MY experience.

Lets begin with the definition of generalized anxiety disorder explained by The National Institute of Mental Health…

“All of us worry about things like health, money, or family problems. But people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are extremely worried about these and many other things, even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. They are very anxious about just getting through the day. They think things will always go badly. At times, worrying keeps people with GAD from doing everyday tasks.”

So yes, it is all in our head, and for us, the fear and worry are very real.

The following are the ways that I treat my anxiety today…

1. Therapy
I consistently see a therapist. Knowing that I have a mental disorder, I have accepted that one of the best ways to keep my head straight is to treat it. When we have a physical health issue, we see a doctor. Mental health is no different.

2. Eating + Exercise
One of the best pieces of advice I was given that works for me was about keeping my blood sugar regulated, meaning, eating some type of protein every 3-4 hours. In addition to that, I am very mindful of how much I mix caffeine and sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE espresso and drink it every morning. But I do not drink Venti Iced Mochas (sugar mixed with caffeine). Now on the exercise front, it works. And while I am not yet to the point where I do it consistently, when I do, my anxiety is greatly reduced.

3. Vitamin B
Again, I am not a doctor and am not saying what works for me will work for you, but keeping loaded up on B vitamins has absolutely helped me. And when I am not staying loaded up on B’s, I can feel the difference.

4. Music
Whenever I am absolutely freaking out, I throw in my ear buds and listen to meditation music, Zen type stuff. It seems to really help calm down my heart rate. At the same time, if I am getting ready to present in front of an audience and cannot catch my breath, which is often, I will listen to my fave hip hop song, it seems to work for me as well.

5. Gratitude + Meditation + Prayer
One of the things I have learned about anxiety is that it can go from bad and to worse the more we focus on it and all the things we are fearful of. When I make my gratitude list, for just that moment, I get out of my head. It works. Same goes for meditation and prayer. Now, I am not religious, but I do my own kind of prayer. The meditation thing, I do by listening to meditation music as mentioned in #4.

6. Take A Walk
I know, I get so angry when people are like…”Just take a walk, you will feel better.” OMG, do you have any idea what I am going thorough right now? But in all seriousness, removing myself from the current environment, just for a few moments, helps. So if you are at work, walk outside. At home, move to another room. Anything you can do to change your environment can help.

7. Give Someone A Hand
This is a big one. The more we focus on our fears, the more fearful and anxious we become. So again, like the gratitude list, its good to get out of our own heads. Helping someone out, a co-worker, a boss, a friend or neighbor helps me get out of my head, and move past the anxiety I am feeling in that moment.

8. Medication
Now again, I am NOT A DOCTOR. I am only speaking from my experience and plead with you to go back to point 1, see a mental health professional and together, decide what the best treatment for you is. I have chosen not to be consistently medicated. Reason being, I tried, and I had disastrous results. My choice has been to work my ass off to battle this disorder the most natural way I can. However, I do have a prescription for a medication that I take ONLY when I am in a serious and debilitating attack. I am proud to say, I only have to take this 1-2 times a month, at most. And it is always a last resort for me.

9. Healthy Boundaries + Creating Space
Last but not least, I have created a space of peace and calm in my world. I have removed toxic people, toxic places, and most toxic things. I have sacrificed a lot to do this, but as an adult, I get to choose. And so do you. This could mean saying NO more, pairing down that to-so list, removing projects that are overwhelming you, staying offline from time to time, etc. It is a choice. As hard as that is to grasp.

Living with anxiety blows but we do have a choice of how we are going to let it control our lives. And like anything worth having in life, it takes work.

A big shout out of love + gratitude to Duke Strange, who inspired this post.

If you are looking for some daily inspiration and help with keeping you on track, sign up for my Love Notes Daily, one of the most loved services I offer.

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina