WHAT DOES GIVING BACK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

Why should I or how could I... give back? Have you ever asked yourself that? No big deal if you haven't but I can assure you it's a worthy investigation for your soul. 

The secret to living is giving
— Anthony Robbins
Inspirational Addict Blogger and Wellness Influencer Andrea Bogart talks giving back with recent Sonoma Fires on her mind as a new Sonoma Mamma with Erik Almas

Are you a helpful human? I’m a helpful human. I know I enjoy doing things for others. I'm sure we can share in that confidently right? I also can admit there have been times in my life where I thought I was too broke and way too busy making ends meet to give back in any sort of way. I snarled at street beggars and would think to myself “do better, try to get a job, I am”. I wasn't compassionately thinking about what their story may be. Those were very limiting beliefs. I am happy to say, that young and narrow mind of mine has expanded quite a lot since those days. It’s hard though… sometimes you just don't see how to help others if you’re struggling yourself. Let's grab a little insight together on this.

Ask Yourself A Few Things

Is there a cause you know your heart is drawn to? What are your passions? If you had a million dollars to spare what contributions would you want to make? What do you care about? Where would you like to make an impact? What does your spirituality look like? Feeling inspired yet?

The Northern California fires that just blazed in like a hurricane over wine country and my new home have given me reason to pause. I'd like to take how abundantly blessed we've been through it all and find ways to give back for those who've lost so much. I've never had to emergency evacuate before. Nor consider the safest decisions to quickly make with a newborn and partner you love dearly. I've never had a home of my own that I had to think about loosing so fast. I tend to think anyone who has experienced this would agree, you very quickly realize the only thing that matters is your families safety. While it's difficult not to implode with sadness when there is so much suffering in the world, you can shift a lot by focusing on gratitude and sharing that energy with others. Incredible strength has come from our Sonoma community in group and individual efforts. We've returned to signs of thanks for our firefighters and first responders posted everywhere and a sense of warmth engulfing this town with supportive conversations, smiles and waves to every passing neighbor, offers for home cooked meals, places to stay and introduced to loads of resources where people can help in a multitude of ways. Examples of giving back surrounds us.

Inspirational Addict Blogger Andrea Bogart and wellness influencer in Sonoma talks giving back after Sonoma Fires. 

I joined The New Hollywood; a501c3 non-profit organization which is dedicated to supporting socially conscious storytellers and change-maker’s in 2014. I was so inspired by this group of women from the first meeting we had. They all have incredibly busy lives and manage to successfully wear several different hats AND are part of charity organizations doing a wonderful job supporting things they are passionate about. I got curious about how I could do more to give back and what that could look like for me. Inspiration is always a helpful tool when it comes to taking action yourself. Being a part of this group, hearing about what so many others do on small and large scales gave me insight to look and see how I could do the same. It's infectious. 

Get Your Wheels Turning

My passions for teaching yoga, writing children's literature and acting have lead me to give back in all those areas by volunteering my time with aligned programs. These are really enjoyable ways to give back for me. What do you love to do?

If time is not available but monetary donations make more sense in some instances, I like to know what percentage directly get's given to the cause. Don't be afraid to get clarity on that. Watch out for things that say "some proceeds or a portion of" if you in-fact would like to know your offerings go fully into what you're supporting. 

I love doing a major house cleaning a few times a year and donating requested items to the Veterans. They will pick up boxed or bagged goods at your door and you can schedule it. What may not be of use to me anymore may be extremely useful to someone else. This is a great one for kids to participate in when cleaning out toys. 

Depending on your spiritual path and what your practice is... prayers cost nothing and are filled with intentions and love. Our family is especially grateful for all the prayers sent our way during the past few weeks and we plan to keep that prayer train moving. There is a lot of healing knowing there's positivity being sent your way, not to mention what you can put out there for others. We often have our greatest healing happen when we take that which feels heavy off of ourselves and redirect it into love and gratitude you can share. 

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Thank you for stopping by Inspirational Addict... If you have any comments or fun you'd like to share with me please do. It's lovely hearing from you guys. Sending lot's of love out there into the world. Blessings and hugs.

XO ANDREA

 

 

Inspirational Addict Celebrates One Year... I'm Sharing Tips, let's cheer together?

Awe it's been another Soulful Sunday for me, how about for you guys? Are you ready to rock this week? I feel your smile getting bigger... well keep it up, I need a cheer section because I'm celebrating and I'm bringing you guys with me!

Photo By Erik Almas in Amsterdam

Photo By Erik Almas in Amsterdam

One year of sharing INSPIRATION as a blogger has me super giddy! The blessings of world travels, snapping photos everywhere go and journaling my fingers off is supplying me with a blog library filled to the brim. I’ve experienced joy in writing like I never knew I could and it feels darn good to pay forward the things that help me in life with the hopes to inspire even just one person.  My dedication to writing has improved and I’m thrilled to keep it up! It has not come without challenges, frustrations, mistakes and resistance at times but I've been accepting that as part of the process of learning. The support with Inspirational Addict has been such a gift to my soul. All the partnerships, comments, likes, shares, insights and some incredibly beautiful e-mails have touched my heart in ways you can't imagine. It's exactly the kind of community and connection with all of you I was looking forward to. THANK YOU for sharing pieces of you back with me.  

The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible
— Maya Angelou
Photo By Erik Almas in Kovalam, India

Photo By Erik Almas in Kovalam, India

I remember, for years…literally years, writing in journals, “start your blog.” Constantly brainstorming names, subject matter, ideas, lessons, passions and writing a lot, but never doing it. I was researching how to start a blog forever it seemed. So as I celebrate one year, I'm proud to say "I finally did it!!"  It took some helpful resources and hunkering down with a plan to figure out how I'd get the first one published. 

Do you have anything you want to celebrate with me? Of course you do… these are the treasures that we can build more inspiration, love and enthusiasm on! So think of something your proud of AND let’s cheer together! We all have daily wins... big and small, cherish them and use them as building blocks of goodness to take you higher. I know you have aspirations, brilliant ideas and goals you'd like to put energy into, right?  As we close another year it's such a great time to think about 2017. What amazing things are you going to accomplish this upcoming year? These basic tips can help get you going and be applied to anything that you're going to get focused on. 

Tip #1: brainstorm as a free write what you'd like to accomplish

Give yourself some freedom here. Set your timer for 10 minutes and jot down all the things that come to mind you'd like to see in 2017. After your timer goes off, circle one that instinctually feels most important to YOU. Just start with one. You can circle your top 10 later doing the same process for each.   

Tip #2: Outline briefly what it will take to get there

When you can visualize and see it written, you will take those steps to make happen. Let there be as many steps as there needs to be. This will help you get clear on your commitment. 

Tip #3: create accountability for yourself

This is potentially the most powerful part. Whether you grab a buddy and have check-in's or you jot down deadlines for your steps... you must hold court and do your best to be accountable. Remember it's a process lead with positivity and patience if something isn't fully met.  Having a partner, friend or family share this experience is a great way to bond and support one another.  

Several things lead to the extra nudge I needed to launch Inspirational Addict and it all circulated around me taking hours for a few days to sit at a coffee shop with the book "Your Best Year Yet". You've probably heard me mention, The New Hollywood, the women's goals and philanthropy group I joined in 2015 as well that's been an integral part of my growth and dedication. In support of what My Best Year Yet offers, TNH provides a useful guide book that I choose to put in that same effort with and NEWSFLASH; It's going to be available to the public in 2017.  Breaking down the year into quarters and what I'm going to focus on each quarter with my partner is a great way to see accomplishments and not overwhelm yourself. Between the support with this group of incredible women and with Erik, my fiancé and I always communicating about these things, really listening and offering assistance on how to help... I'm feeling like one blessed human whose thriving and being held accountable in a gracious manner.  I see my life unfolding not perfectly and not with every goal I wrote down being checked off but so filled with love and happiness and 90% are things I wrote, visualized, prayed for and kept positive thoughts about. I'm grateful for an incredible year. 

So hop to it over the Holidays... have some fun, create YOUR 2017 in writing, with vision boards, send yourself a long VM recording... whatever works for you! 

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Photo By Erik Almas in Delhi, India 

Photo By Erik Almas in Delhi, India 

Are you an Inspirational Addict too? Lend me your comments on what that means to you if so? I'm excited to have you all continue to be a part of this piece of me that hopes to blossom more and more and see this community of LOVE grow into something really special for us all. 

XO Andrea