The Story Matters (and you can change it)

The story matters (and you can change it) l ☑️ .

Luxurious. Elegant. Beautiful. 
These are what we know about Chanel. When we read into the story of Coco Chanel, we become inspired by her rebellious, passionate, outspoken, free-spirited character. If we didn't know her story, we'd mistake her for being a snobby, uptight businesswoman. Not everything is as it seems.

Superficially, this is an expensive bottle of Chanel perfume. While the price is certainly not out of reach, I could dab vanilla on my neck and be on my way (love sensuous vanilla!). But I'm intrigued by this bottle of Gabrielle.

Story: "Olivier Polge crafted this Eau de Parfum as an imaginary flower: a radiant and sparkling, purely feminine Chanel blossom based on a bouquet of four white flowers: a rich, enveloping heart of exotic jasmine shimmers with the fruity green notes of ylang-ylang, while fresh and sparkling orange blossom shines through, offering a glimpse of grasse tuberose captured at its finest."

Intriguing, descriptive, and revealing... the story inspires and takes us on an aromatic journey. Likewise, your story can be written stunningly-- it depends on you.

How do you see your life? Do you take for granted what beautiful moments you've witnessed? Do you write it off as all dark and dreary? Do you base your future on what has happened in the past?

Breathe life into your story. Write it while allowing your emotions to pour out, take it through the present, & continue to edit until you've created your whimsically-crafted future. The future hasn't happened yet, so you wouldn't be lying about it- you'd be creating it. What will your story be? What will you create within it?

If Chanel created a fictitious flower based on a combination of what already exists--- and sells this sparkling creation of a fragrance en masse-- imagine the possibilities for your own life! 💛

xx
Liz
liz@lizstrom.com

chanel gabrielle perfume write your story

No Tricks - All Treats

Believe in Yourself 💛 

Yesterday was Halloween, and a very hectic but beautiful day. I met with my amazing clients, ran back and forth from DC, and noticed my body really needing a pick-me-up. I crawled into one of my favorite places to grab a fresh Açaí berry bowl and came across this sign.

Not only did I nourish my body, this fueled my spirit.
On this Halloween, I made sure to treat myself (no tricks).

Fueling our mind, body, & spirit on a regular basis is SO important. In order to keep up with the pace we desire in life, we have to start on a cellular level: hydrate, consume nutrient-dense foods, keep moving, breathe deeply, stretch, etc.

Then, we must fuel our mind: read, be curious about the world, research, ask questions, etc.

Not forgetting our spirit: connect with others, volunteer, pray, sing, speak positively into the universe, love yourself, seek out positivity, and more.

Visiting SouthBlock raised my mind, body, soul vibe higher than I had originally intended, and I'm so glad I visited (again)! What are your favorite ways to fuel yourself? 

P.S. South Block, thank you for the many PBJ Açaí Berry Bowls over these last 6 months!

#lifecoachadvice #goodadvice #beyou#beyoutiful #qotd #qotn #instaquote#beleiveinyourself #believeinyou #empowering#motivation #inspiration #fallinspiration#acaibowl #southblock #lifecoachadvice#dclifecoach #morningmotivation #bestever#instaquote #empoweringquotes#womenempowerment#womenempoweringwomen#womeninspiringwomen #womensinspiration#thursdaythoughts #thirstythursday

  Liz Strom at South Block, October 31, 2018 | Photograph by Rolo

Liz Strom at South Block, October 31, 2018 | Photograph by Rolo

Find Your Oasis

Find your oasis ☑️ 

You’ll find yourself in places you don’t want to be, with people who you may not favor, dealing with situations that are less than ideal. When you’re done doing what you need to do (or even while in the midst of things), find a place where you can collect your thoughts, breathe, and refocus.

Remember your purpose, your core values, and how you want to feel. Do those things that help you to feel the way you *want* to feel, in the places that bring you joy, even if that place is within you...

Pictured: Practicing what I preach! Taking a breather from the hustle of the city in Bryant Park.
Blue lace sheath dress by @keepsakethelabel 

xx

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Blame

When it sounds like someone is blaming you for something, it's a reflection of what's going on inside of them...

There are many instances for which blame is what it is: someone did something / people did something / a group did something. It can be very black and white.

When someone blames you for doing this-and-that, be aware of how you're feeling when you're blamed. The traits we tend to dislike in others are usually traits we do not like about ourselves / our past. The same for those who are placing the blame on you / others. These need to be healed.

We have to be held accountable for our own actions, our own feelings, our own outcomes. Hold yourself accountable.

Do not blame unless you're ready to face those consequences. When you're blamed, take a step back and examine what's really happening.

Heal. Live. Keep going. 💛

 Photography by Juan Pablo Cadenas | IG @juanpsa

Photography by Juan Pablo Cadenas | IG @juanpsa

Xccelerate: Entrepreneurs Moving Forward

We had a fantastic time at XCCELERATE (Entrepreneurs Moving Forward), all thanks to a vibrant group of speakers offering immensely valuable information to workshop attendees! 🌟lizstrom.com | dcbizx.org | #bizvip 🌟

Featured speakers: 
🌟Ramsey Mourad, Infinity Compass
🌟Randall Gafner, Zen and the Art of Making a Morris Chair
🌟Heike Yates. Pursue Your Spark Podcast / HEYlifetraining.com
🌟Aurelia Flores, Athena Digital Marketing Strategists
🌟Cory Brim, Sugar Rim Bar
🌟Eduardo Villavicencio, Gallup-certified Strengths Coach
🌟Wanita Niehaus, Powerhaus Consultants
🌟Liz Strom, Creative Calm Solutions LLC / espressofied .

The next Xccelerate will be an intensive, multi-day set of workshops at the very end of December. Learn how to develop your own business, write your business plan, finance it, market it well, and much more! dcbizx.org🌟 .

  dcbizx.org  | Instagram:  @dcbizx

dcbizx.org | Instagram: @dcbizx

Career Change: Weigh Your Options

Have you been thinking about leaving your job for a new position? Have you contemplated switching fields? Ever wonder what it’d be like to change career paths? Do you feel overwhelmed when thinking about a change of scenery? Sit down for ten minutes and give yourself the time to weigh your options. 

Grab a piece of paper and answer the following questions:
-What would be the pros of leaving your position? 
-What would be the cons? 
-How would you benefit from staying? 
-What benefits would come if you left? 
-What have you been interested in doing for a living? 
-What would you never want to do again? 
-What lights you up? 
-What weighs you down? 
-Who could you reach out to that could provide further information to you in regards to the positions you’re interested in? 
-What are your salary requirements? 
-What benefits are important to you? 

Write down your answers and start looking for available positions, according to your work-life preferences. 

It doesn’t hurt to look around! If your gut is telling you it’s time to leave, listen. If it’s only about more money, think harder... 💛 

xx
Liz Strom

weighoptions.jpg

Getting Lit(erary)

Getting lit(erary) with the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden!

Dr. Hayden's energy is amazing. She is strong, kind, compassionate, idealistic as well as realistic, dedicated to service, witty, a great storyteller, and much more. Sitting with her and listening to her speak of the fascinations within our national treasure chest felt similar to that of a kindergartener's experience during story time. I was completely enthralled by her presence and clinging on to her informative talk about what valuables lay within the walls of the Library of Congress. Dr. Hayden makes you feel as if you are an entrusted friend, just hanging out with her on a beautiful day, telling you about her favorite books (at different times in her life). 

Did you know 26 strands of Beethoven's hair is stored in the LC? Oh, there's more...
Not only will you find 838 miles of bookshelves there, you'll also find amazements like Rosa Parks' hand-written papers, the handwritten Giant Bible of Mainz, a preserved piece of Tom Thumb's wedding cake, Amelia Earhart's hand imprint, Thomas Jefferson's hair, James Madison's hair, and more is coming! Approximately 15K items are acquired daily.

It was an absolute honor to be in her presence, and to hear her stories about all the treasures within the USLC! What a momentous evening!

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I'm Featured in a Magazine!

I'm featured in a premier holisitc-living publication in Northern VA: Aurora Zen Lifestyle Magazine!

This magazine's team is passionate about bringing their readers life hacks for an organic, holistic, healthy lifestyle. The Editor-in-Chief is a heart-centered small business owner with community in mind.  

The article is about why people don't follow through with what they say they'll do, and how to actually follow-through! Pick up a copy to check out this high-quality publication in Northern VA! Don't live in Northern VA / Washington DC, contact the magazine to have one sent to you (click here).

 Aurora Zen Lifestyle Magazine - July 2018 Issue

Aurora Zen Lifestyle Magazine - July 2018 Issue

Celebrate Your Joy

I had the opportunity to attend #CapitalPride yesterday here in Washington DC, and ohhhh how FUN it was to just BE!

People from all around the nation danced in the streets as they rocked their rainbow gear. Vendors provided crowd-go’ers with lots of great freebies and taught attendees about how to live their happiest, most healthiest lives. Free hugs were offered, dance music rocked our Sunday, and people celebrated what matters the most: LOVE and living the most authentic expression of themselves possible.

The bigger your heart, the more it will hold. One thing remains: LOVE IS LOVE. 

Celebrate who you are as a person. Live your life as authentically as possible. Leave a lot of room for learning and joyous opportunities. Notice what’s not right in the world, learn from it, and create ways to counter that in effective, positive forms. BeYOUtiful. 🌟

Xx
Liz Strom

#captialpride #capitalpride2018 #dcpride #beyoutiful#motivationalmonday #authenticity #lifejourney #lifestylecoach#lifecoach #lizstrom #loveislove

 Playing in the rainbow that was brought to Capital Pride by Hilton!

Playing in the rainbow that was brought to Capital Pride by Hilton!

Talk about it!

Talk about it! 🌟
Engage in meaningful conversations to create change. Bring light to subjects that are bothersome and not right in the world. Voice your concerns, listen to others, brainstorm the many ways by which we can make positive waves.

If you don’t speak up, who will? Who else has to endure what you have? Why does it have to go on much longer? What step can you take towards the solution? Who can you reach out to? Where can these productive conversations take place? You are a part of the answer...

---

So very grateful for Thursday night’s discourse at The Wing in Washington DC with Chief of Staff Rhonda Foxx (D) & Chief of Staff Jennifer DeCasper (R), moderated by the wise DeDe Lea (Viacom, Executive VP, Global Government Relations). These women are nothing short of amazing in their efforts to “be” the difference!

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Have a Fabulous Friday, but...

Today, I wrote a post on Facebook and wanted to wish all my friends a "Fabulous Friday", but then it followed with "on a real note". I'm sure we all can say we've felt like doing the same from time to time! Here was what followed...

____

On a real note:
Why aren't you taking care of yourselves? Why are you putting the things off that matter in the long run? Why are we stuck on quick fixes (like putting a bandaid over a cavity)? Why is it difficult to commit yourself to something, whole-heartedly, that would better serve you?

Is it fear? Neglect? FOMO? 
Feeling that you're lacking... on sleep, time, funds? And if so, why do you feel like you're lacking? Is it because you've *not* done the work you need to do--- by either checking in on your health more often? Sleeping the hours you know your body needs? Prepping healthier foods to avoid mindless snacking? Seeking out the pay rate you're worth? 

Or are you doing too much?
Giving other things attention that deserve less attention? Mindlessly "doing" and not planning/achieving? Hanging with people who don't have your best interest in mind? Too much work and not enough play? Putting that doctor's visit last (or not at all)? It's like sprinting without stretching; it will be painful later.

You need to BEGIN with committing to self-care!

I'm not asking you to meditate and do yoga (although these are GREAT ideas). I'm asking you to get REAL with yourself. 

What is it you need to do? What is it you've been neglecting? What are you afraid of? What's missing? Why stay stagnant and miserable?

If you're good--- yay! You've prepped for this!
(If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! 👏👏)

Please. Pay attention to yourselves. Give yourself 5 minutes! Check in for a moment:
-Self, what do I need today?
-What do I know I need to get done to move forward?
-What have I been neglecting that needs attention?
-What do I need to stop doing, for my own damn good?
-Why do I say "yes" to the wild and crazy, which leave me depleted, but don't say "HAIL yes" to the things that would build me up and make me feel better?

Seriously.
If you want to get to the next steps, you have to take it there!

I WANT TO SEE ALL OF YOU GROW & SUCCEED! 
Help me, help you!!! ❤️

xx
Liz
liz@lizstrom.com

 Kristy Yang Photography

Kristy Yang Photography

You Can't Have a Work-Life Balance Without...

During your last moments in life, you won't be wondering what people thought about you. You'll be thinking about how your life FELT to you.

Trust me. I've been at "end of life" stages twice. 

"But Liz, I'm young and not going to die anytime soon."

I hope not, but one never knows, and this is something to think about NOW so you can live your life fully.

You've been thinking about "work-life balance", and if it even exists. Some of you know it does, but can't quite get to it. You've got work, but... do you have a life?

Life happens. We get sick, we get tired, we get overworked, we miss out on things we wished we didn't (I'm not talking about FOMO- that's another topic for another day)...

What you should do is concentrate on developing yourself SO HARD, that you won't have the time to ponder others' opinions of you, or if your last moments will be spent pondering your "what-ifs".

But HOW?!?!?

Some of you see that I take development courses, dance classes, get lost and explore cities, am reading 52 books this year, have a business that I love with clients that I adore, hang out with awesome friends, arrange events for people to enjoy and raise funds for charities around the world, and more. Did I mention that I'm a mom, wife, and puppy mom? Oh yeah. There's a LOT more where that came from!

Get busy!

Do YOU! Don't know what "you" is?!? Explore!

What are you intensely interested in? Take classes! Watch YouTube instructional videos. Join a meetup group. Read interest books and blogs. Ask friends to join you on a journey. Dabble! What are you moderately curious about? Same thing.

You get the idea.

You'll be so busy LIVING and ish that you won't have time to think about the stuff that won't matter at the "end".

Yes, I said "ish". Cursing doesn't come naturally to me. Or I curse in other languages. I'll let you decide which one it really is. 😂

Ok, so... LIVE! DO YOU! GET BUSY! 
MAKE WAVES! SPLASH AROUND!
GIVE! LOVE! SERVE! DO! BE!!!
...and ish. :)

 Kristy Yang Photography | John F. Kennedy Center | Washington, D.C.

Kristy Yang Photography | John F. Kennedy Center | Washington, D.C.

Career Transitioning: Earning Another Degree

Career Fact of the Day:
You don't necessarily need to earn another degree to get into another career. There are so many transferable skills you can use that can carry on into other job fields / positions. 

If you need something more, try:
1) Hiring a career coach (Hello! Liz Strom at your service!)
2) Enrolling in individual classes / certifications first
3) Strengthening & expanding your network

For career coaching, contact liz@lizstrom.com

 Photography by Virak Chhang

Photography by Virak Chhang

Let Hard Experiences Shape You

Let hard experiences shape you, even after they’ve broken you down.

From organ transplants to low vision, from heartache to heartbreak, from fading to loss— I decided to find even more strength, motivation, light, love, peace, prosperity, & magic. I was supposed to be in ruins, but instead used what I had left to build something stronger. I am here to create positive impact in this world. 

Believe you can (& you will)! 

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” ~Rumi

 Photography by Tigran Margaryan | Milano, Italy - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Photography by Tigran Margaryan | Milano, Italy - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

Adding A Twist to Your Life Experience

Enhance your life experience.
Add a twist to whatever it is you're doing.
Change things up, however slightly, to create the excitement you need. ✨

“Every atom in your body spins and dances
like a bee around the queen,
like a whirling dervish,
like the stars spiraling in a galaxy.” 
-Khang Kijarro Nguyen 

(Spinning for good luck, in the center of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, Italy)

Photography by the talented Tigran Margaryan of Milan

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Time For A Change...

"If you don’t like it, change it..."
Your hair color, your weight, your career, relationship, direction in which you're moving...

Simple, right?
I get it. It’s easier said than done, but you’ve got to start somewhere--- and what better way than to start with the intention to change something you don’t like?

Deep inside of you, you know what’s for your highest good (& what isn’t). Give yourself the time and space to get to the answers within (they’re there, but just buried under all that “stuff” on top of it)! 

Take the steps needed to create the shift you need to feel like things are “right”.
Anywhere but “don’t like” is better...

xx
Liz Strom

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Rowers? Or Hole-Drillers?

Are the people in your boat:
a) Rowing
b) Drilling Holes
?


Re-evaluation of our circles can make a big difference in our own stress-levels. Hole-drillers increase our stress. Rowers keep things afloat and can even reduce your stress. Even when you think you've been rowing alone (and that there may be no one in your boat), there may be people who are willing to jump in and row when you are tired.

Who are those people in your life?
Why allow for the people who drill holes in your boat? 
Who should you thank for continuing to row in your boat?

Are you in other boats (friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances)?
Are you rowing?
 

 Ocean Beach / Cliff House; San Francisco, CA

Ocean Beach / Cliff House; San Francisco, CA

Moto Z Play & Claria-Zoom: A Low-Vision Dream

I can't see well due to ocular ischemia. Others can't see well due to age, presbyopia, or other low-vision issues. I found an awesome phone app that can help us: Claria-Zoom (on the Moto Z Play)

I've no vision in my right eye, no peripheral vision in my left, and a "wrinkle" in the center of my left eye--- making my vision very low. I was diagnosed with ophthalmic ischemia after having glaucoma surgery in January 2013, and life hasn't been the same since vision loss.

At the time, ride-share apps made it into the world, Audible became my go-to source for "reading", magnifiers could be found in every room of my house, and I used TV-sized computer monitors. My iPhone had some great ways of increasing fonts and changing color schemes so that I could better see my phone, in addition to using reading-classes... then, CLARIA ZOOM (app) danced its way into my heart. The only issue? It's not available on iPhones, only Android devices...

Transitioning From an iPhone to an Android Phone
I am married to Apple products, and will probably continue to use Apple desktops and laptops, but can imagine myself using an Anroid phone (gasp!) after having tried the Motorola Moto Z Play with the Claria Zoom app. It's just so much easier to use when your vision is impaired. I would depend less on magnifiers, and God forbid I should leave them at home, not being able to see my phone at all.  Hello, Moto! 

Features I Noticed Immediately

  • I can wave my hand above my Motorola Moto Z Play and the time will appear in a large font immediately. I like that I don't have to search for a button to see what time it is.

  • The SIM cards are located in different places, but the Motorola Moto Z Play has a slot for an SD card, and one is included with the phone (sweet!).

  • The Claria app makes things HUGE (yay), so I don't have to use my magnifiers at all to make a call, text, search for contacts, take a picture, email someone, etc. 

  • When I tap twice too fast, the zoom/magnifier enables and it drives me nuts. I had to turn off the magnifier in the settings area of the Motorola Moto Z Play. It especially drives me crazy when I'm trying to delete a few characters at a time by pushing "back/erase" too fast. I also have this same issue with my iPhone when I tap too many times by accident. Off, magnifier, off! 


Claria Zoom
The Claria Zoom app enlarges all of my selected app icons, buttons and fonts, like email, text, call, contact list, Facebook, YouTube, etc. So immensely helpful. I can see the widgets without any magnifiers, which gets me to my emails / texts / calls without having to use any magnifiers at all.

My iPhone can make things larger, but Claria Zoom can make things much larger, more bold, and zooms in to the tiniest of detail so that I may see what others have been talking about. Everything is bigger and bolder: GPS (YAY because I can't really see street signs!), all websites that I visit, all apps I use, and I can even have web content spoken to me!

Differences in Accessibility Features
iPhone v. Android: Many are the same, a few are slightly different, but both offer the same accessibility features. There are better explanations and comparisons in each phone's manual, I'm sure. These are what I noticed while using the phones.

  • VoiceOver / TalkBack
  • iPhone: "VoiceOver": Triple-tap on the home button
  • Android: "TalkBack" must be enabled in your settings. It will also read out loud who's calling, if you set your phone up to do so (in settings).
  • Zoom 
  • iPhone: double-tap with three fingers at the same time 
  • Android: Enable / disable in settings
  • Magnifier
  • iPhone: To activate, triple-tap on the home button
  • Android: Enable / disable in settings
  • Display Accommodations
  • iPhone: Change display options in your settings area. You can change the color layouts, in case you're color blind to some colors and not others
  • Android: Change display options in your settings area. You can also select different color options to find what suits you best.
  • Speech-to-text/write
  • iPhone: Use the microphone button at the bottom of your keyboard
  • Android: Tap the search button, then tap the microphone button to help you find what you are looking for / what you'd like to write
  • Font Size / Larger Text (same in both phones)
  • Increase Contrast (same in both phones)

Overall, the built-in Android accessibility features on the Moto Z Play are good--- or perhaps even better and user-friendlier than the iPhone.

f you have low-vision or decreased vision, I highly recommend trying out this app on an Android phone, even if you are an Apple products lover (like me). It takes away the need to carry different types of magnifiers with you (just to see your phone), and just makes life that much easier.

Additional advantages of Android devices and the Moto Z Play are that there are more options and lower price. The Moto Z Play with a large 5.5' screen is available for only $450 compared to $769 for an iPhone Plus. 

Ooh, and the battery! Did I mention the battery??? No more recharging throughout the day like I do with my iPhone (at least twice a day)! The Moto Z Play battery easily lasted me two days without recharging, and I use my phone a lot.

hank you, RAZ Mobility! 
www.razmobility.com

xx
iz