The End is Where We Begin

If the past three years of self-employment have taught me anything, it’s that Entrepreneurship is less like a straight path, and more like a wild roller coaster, with its ups and downs, twists & turns.

Farewells & New Beginnings | A Daily Rhythm

I’ve done this, and tried that, tested this, and tweaked that. I’ve gone one way, then turned around and gone in an entirely different direction.

Through it all, I’ve been doing the one thing that (IMHO) is most important for an entrepreneur (or anyone): I’ve been learning; discovering what works, and what doesn’t work, for me, personally.

Sure, maybe some people are tired of taking the (twisted) journey with me… maybe they are thinking, “Would you just PICK SOMETHING already?!” And, that’s okay, because this is my journey. And no, I will not settle for just anything (#sorrynotsorry). I will keep searching until I know, in the depths of my being, that I’ve found what I was put on this earth to do. To those who are willing to stick by me through it all, thank you! I appreciate your patience and support. To everyone else, I wish you well in wherever life takes you. Genuinely, I do. ♥

I have done a lot of soul-searching, testing, tweaking, surveying, and research in the past three years. And, with all of this crazy pursuit, I eventually burned out. I recently found myself utterly exhausted and discouraged, and decided I needed a “time out” — to just step away from the “business” side of things, and give my brain a chance to relax.

Of course, being a dreamer and visionary means my brain never truly stops! LOL

So, I took to my journal to write out all of my frustrations with –as yet– not being able to figure out what I should be doing for my “work”. And, as is so often the case when I journal, I happened upon an insight that renewed my hope. And it all started with the little phrase, “What if..?”

All-of-a-sudden, what had been hiding (in plain sight, no less!) was blatantly obvious. And the fire in me was re-lit.

However, my past three years of trial and error made me cautious, this time. I didn’t want to rush into anything, “just in case” this turned out to be another rabbit trail.

And yet, I have found more to share regarding this new path than any of my other 3 attempts combined! I really do believe that the puzzle pieces are finally starting to fit together, and giving me a clearer picture of what my purpose is supposed to look like.

A quick note on the “why” behind these changes…

To me, the (blog) name “A Daily Rhythm” has always felt slow & steady… like it was about daily practices – “rhythms” – and routines. As such, every time I tried to figure out how to mesh my “ideal” target audience, plus my passionate message, together with my “A Daily Rhythm” site (ADR), I would get frustrated; my “ideals” and the feeling that this site’s name conveyed were at odds.

My true message is far more lively & upbeat than the name “A Daily Rhythm” can handle! Therefore, I decided to completely start over, and choose a new name that fits with the vibe I’m going for.

So, without further ado, I invite you to head on over and check out my brand new site:

alifeunleashed.com

I’m still going to be using affiliate links (to Amazon, primarily, and possibly other sites). And yes, I may still — eventually — offer up some eCourses, eBooks, or other info products. However, my main focus with “Life, Unleashed” is primarily to blog or write about my passion for seeing people learn to live free.

Sometimes I’d really like to grab people by the shoulders, shake them, and yell:

WHY ARE YOU CHOOSING TO SETTLE WHEN LIFE HAS
SO MUCH MORE ON OFFER?

 

No, my life isn’t perfect, and it isn’t (yet) where I’d like it to be. But, I am forever in pursuit of better, because I believe God has promised us that! (see John 10:10)

Enough of my ranting, here… Go on over and read more at my new site!

I sincerely hope that you will choose to join my new mailing list (if what I write strikes a chord with you). If not, that’s all right. Either way, here’s to life’s great adventures!

{shout out to TFK for the inspiration for today’s post title!}

REVIEW: “Loving My Actual Life” by Alexandra Kuykendall

Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me by Alexandra Kuykendall

Alexandra did a 9-month experiment to be more intentional with her life, and enjoy the present more. The book is laid out with each chapter focusing on each month of her “experiment”, somewhat in diary format, chronicling what she learned each month, from each specific thing she chose to focus on (one per month).

I loved Alex’s down-to-earth writing style. And she’s obviously a very busy mama of 4! But that makes her all the more relatable.

Definitely recommend this one.

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Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

REVIEW: Think & Eat Yourself Smart by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier Life” by Dr. Caroline Leaf

Dr. Caroline Leaf specializes in studying the mind (neuroscience & neuropsychology). This book talks about how important mindset is to our health and, specifically, our eating.

A lot of this book talks about how most of what we eat, these days, is food-like products, and not actually “food” in the natural sense.

There are chapters about emotions, gluten, sugar, and brain scans. There are also 21 recipes included at the back of the book, to give you a “kick start” in returning to a more natural way of eating.

My favorite takeaway from the book was that, while the common wisdom states that it takes 21 days to form a habit, this is only part of the habit-formation process. It actually takes 63 days to form a habit: the first 21 days is where you start carving new (neural) pathways in your brain, and the following 42 days are needed to cement the new habit.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It requires a medium amount of brain-power, but is well worth the read.

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This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

REVIEW: Unparalleled by Jared C. Wilson

 “Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling” by Jared C. Wilson

Jared’s book is a light look at apologetics: making the case for why the Christian life, or life with Jesus, is completely unparalleled compared to other religions. He even touches on the differences between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

While the book is well-written and includes enough personal experience stories to keep it interesting, I really didn’t feel that this book was for me. It would be better suited to those who have questions about faith, or those who are curious what the differences are between some of the world’s major religions.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Baker Books.

REVIEW: Good, or God by John Bevere

 “Good or God?: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough by John Bevere

John Bevere doesn’t mince words. In “Good, or God?“, he shares the hard truth that what we consider to be “good” is often vastly different from what God would say is “good”.

John touches on topics such as God’s best for us, the devil’s strategies, focus, the lordship of Jesus, obedience, desires, our defaults, holiness, and so much more.

Some of John’s theology I disagree with (eg. it seems he believes you can still end up in hell due to your actions, even if you’ve already accepted God’s gift of salvation). However, overall, this book had a lot of excellent points, and very important reminders. I definitely recommend it.

 

REVIEW: The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren

The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren

(Including insights from Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Dr. Mark Hyman)

Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends are the plan of this book. I loved the majority of what was written here, except for the recommendation to cut out all sugar.

Otherwise, the book talks about how to eat according to your hunger signals (of which I’m a big fan), and about how to put God first in your journey towards health. It then goes on to talk about how to incorporate fitness, renew your focus, and find support for your new, healthy lifestyle.

There are several recipes included in the back of the book, but you can also get The Daniel Plan Cookbook, if you want more.

I enjoyed this book.

 

REVIEW: Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women by Sarah Bessey

Sarah writes in a very down-to-earth way. She even starts out the book by setting the scene: a bonfire on the beach, under the stars. Here, she wants to discuss what it means to be a “Jesus Feminist“.

When people hear the term “feminist”, they automatically think man-bashing, and going braless, and that sort of thing. But that isn’t what Sarah means. For her, a Jesus Feminist is simply one who considers men and women to be equals, even in God’s eyes.

Sarah writes about how it is actually Biblical to view men and women as equal partners — neither one being “lord” over the other. And yes, this view kind of flies in the face of what many Evangelicals have been taught (with the man as the “leader” of the home). I love Sarah’s stance on this, though… and she does a good job of backing up what she says with Scripture.

Somewhat controversial, yes. But, definitely a recommended read.

NOTE: Read more about Egalitarian marriage on Sarah’s site. She has pulled together a bunch of resources for those who want to pursue this further.

 

REVIEW: F.I.T: Faith Inspired Transformation by Kim Dolan Leto

F.I.T.: Faith Inspired Transformation by Kim Dolan Leto

Another book that I chose to use for my personal Bible study, as the focus of Kim’s book is to make God the center of your healthy lifestyle journey.

I got a LOT out of this book! It was super-helpful to my thinking in this whole “get healthy” thing I’m pursuing.

You can read more about Kim’s book, and her story, on her website: www.kimdolanleto.com

 

REVIEW: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer

I used this book as my personal Bible study, and it was a great read. I have many wrong mindsets and strongholds that need to be dealt with, so that I can be free. This book helped bring to light a lot of these, and how I might start going about dealing with them.

I really enjoyed this book. I also really liked that the 30 chapters are just a couple of pages each, so it works to read just one a day.

 

REVIEW: Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

An Essentialist is one who determines what is truly essential in life, eliminates all else, and makes it effortless to pay attention to the essentials.

This book was really great, and I want to own my own copy (I read the library’s copy). It really resonated with me.

To read more about my thoughts on this one, see the post I did at my other site, Life, Unleashed.

 

Review: Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram

Curious Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the God of Possibility by Logan Wolfram

This book details a lot of Logan’s ups and downs throughout life. But, she encourages us to let go of fear, worry, and mediocrity, and to pursue God with a curious faith.

Logan also reminds us to find our identity in God, and to be obedient to the things He calls us to do.

I loved this book! It has really made an impact on my day-to-day, as I’m now finding ways to be more “curious” throughout my life (more open-minded), experimenting and trying different things.

One of my favorite take-aways from the book was Logan’s exercise called “Praying the Opposites” — where you take your negative feelings, look up the opposite in the Bible, and then pray that positive to God. So, for example, if you were feeling discouraged, the opposite would be “hopeful”… so you’d look up verses on Hope.🙂

I definitely recommend this book. Logan’s got a great, down-to-earth writing style, and there’s lots to relate to here.

 

 

Why I Changed My Mind About Getting a FitBit

So, I’ve been saving up money for three months, and was really excited to finally be able to buy a FitBit step-tracker, this coming Friday! But, last night, an article came up in my Facebook news feed about why the FitBit, and other trackers, are “bad”.

Why I Changed My Mind About Getting a FitBit | A Daily Rhythm

 

The article’s reasoning was that we have become a society/culture that “worships” health and fitness — we are always focused on trying to meet some cultural standard, or a “health” goal. We are never content to just eat wholesome food, and make sure that we move in a way that feels fun to us.

The article ended by saying that we should ask ourselves WHY we really want to track things health-related (like the number of steps we’ve taken — or the number of calories eaten), and also what we intend to do with that information, once we have it.

For me, I genuinely do want to make myself move more. I sit far too much, and I know that that’s not good for me. The reason I wanted to get the FitBit is because I figured it would challenge me to want to move more.

And yet… I know myself and my own patterns. I know that, more than likely, what would happen is that I would buy the gadget, use it, and be excited about it, and love the challenge — for about 2-3 weeks. Then — just like with everything else — the “fun” and novelty would wear off, and it would be just another “obligation”. And, this Rebel (me) does NOT do well with any form of obligation! As such, the $130 spent on this “toy” would eventually go to waste.

As the article stated, I would be much better off following my own intuition, doing what feels right for me, eating less and moving more, and doing so naturally — not because some device is dictating that I “need” to do this or that. Gradually, I’d end up working my way toward an overall healthier lifestyle… no devices required.

So, yeah — I don’t think I’m going to buy a FitBit after all. Instead, I’ll use the money I’m saving to …hmm… buy some new books, perhaps?😉

“Level Up Your Life” by Steve Kamb – A Review

Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story by Steve Kamb

 

DESCRIPTION:
For the past 5 years, Steve Kamb has transformed himself from wanna-be daydreamer into a real-life superhero and actually turned his life into a gigantic video game: flying stunt planes in New Zealand, gambling in a tuxedo at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, and even finding Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef. To help him accomplish all of these goals, he built a system that allowed him to complete quests, take on boss battles, earn experience points, and literally level up his life.

If you have always dreamed of adventure and growth but can’t seem to leave your hobbit-hole, Steve’s book, Level Up Your Life, is for you. He will teach you exactly how to use your favorite video games, books, and movies as inspiration for adventure rather than an escape from the grind of everyday life. Hundreds of thousands of everyday Joes and Jills have joined Steve’s Rebellion through his popular website, NerdFitness.com, and leveled up their lives–losing weight, getting stronger, and living better.

In Level Up Your Life, you’ll meet more than a dozen of these members of The Rebellion: men and women, young and old, single and married, from all walks of life who have created superhero versions of themselves to live adventurously and happily. Within this guide, you’ll follow in their footsteps and learn exactly how to:

• Create your own “Alter Ego” with real-life super powers
• Build your own Epic Quest List, broken into categories and difficulty levels
• Hack your productivity habits to start making progress
• Train your body for any adventure
• Build in rewards and accountability that will actually motivate you to succeed
• Travel the world freely (and cheaply)
• Recruit the right allies to your side and find powerful mentors for guidance

Adventure is out there, and the world needs more heroes. Will you heed the call?

I really enjoyed this book! I think part of this is because I can totally identify with the concept of “The Rebellion“. As Steve put it in the book, “opting out of the mundane“… and yes, this is sooooo something that resonates with me!

I also truly love the concept of personal gamification … turning everyday life into a “game”… making it fun! Because, Steve is right: too often we take life far too seriously. Play is a necessary ingredient for a fulfilling life — even (especially!) for adults!

In researching more about personal gamification, I also came across Louise’s site, “My Epic Life“. Louise goes into more detail about what it’s like to turn your life into a game. I found her “manifesto” to be most helpful!

I’m actually really excited to create my “alter ego” (character), and to decide which “quests” I’ll complete in order to “level up” my life. You’ll probably hear more about this from me, in the months to come.😉

I definitely recommend this book, especially if you love the idea of making life more fun!

A Quick Note on Creativity

When it comes to creativity — to being creative — so many people are unsure of where to start. They look at others’ work, and it paralyzes them.

A Quick Note on Creativity | A Daily Rhythm

Comparison is the thief of joy!” You need to stop worrying about whether or not your work will be “gorgeous” or “good enough”, or as “good as” so-and-so’s. Just start!

Only by starting can you find your own style, and gain the confidence to keep going. Art isn’t about doing things “perfectly”. It’s about creating … playing … putting YOUR unique spin on things!

And that is enough.