About Jamie Yates

Originally a frugalista by necessity, Jamie credits her mother’s and grandmother’s strength as women for her ingrained tenacious spirit, sense of justice and drive to help other women. Her interest in fashion sparked at the beginning of a 7-year career with a fashion jewelry company. In 2012, a devastating car accident refined her focus and purpose in life. She now lives to love God and serve women through trendy trade. In her spare time, Jamie enjoys gardening, yoga, reading, writing and nature. She spends most of her time in California with her big love (her husband) and her little love (her peke-a-poo.)

Listen to Your Inner Voice

trendy trade clothing swap events inner voice blog There is that still small voice that always guides us into doing the right things and making the right decisions – if you tune into it. That same inner voice also tells us when something does not feel quite right. Listen to it. At several times in my life when I had some tough decisions to make or had to take a leap of faith, I let my decisions be guided by that inner voice, no matter how crazy or outrageous the decision seemed to be at the time.

At those times where that quiet little inner voice was directing me, when I listened, everything went well and was perfect. At times when I didn’t, everything became difficult and challenging. Call it intuitive or spiritual, I’ve learned to listen to it and it has never steered me wrong. That’s not to say that our good decisions don’t sometimes lead us down difficult paths, they certainly can, but in those instances it is for our own development, growth or learning.

If this whole concept makes you nervous, start small. Try the concept out on something trivial—maybe a food or clothing change. Wait until you have mastered it before making a career change or housing move – those are bigger so you want to make sure you are hearing it right. Sometimes you won’t always like what you hear. Sometimes it seems to be guiding you to something completely contradictory than what you had planned for your life. It’s ok.

That voice is there to keep us on the right track and help us along on our path. Life doesn’t come with directions, but we are given that inner voice to guide us along the way. Tune in to it – it’s quieter than all the other voices screaming out for your attention and it will never steer you wrong.


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Follow Your Bliss


Maybe you are like me and you have worked hard your entire life to make someone else’s dreams come true, all the while neglecting your own. I have certainly done that – over and over again – more times than I care to admit. A shiny, new, great opportunity sneaks its way into my life and I push my dreams aside all the while reasoning that they will be waiting for me later when I am ready.

Whether it is working for great money or working for a great cause, I have fulfilled visions others have laid out. I have worked for big corporations and I have worked to make small differences in the world around me. I have had everything I thought I could ever want – and lost it all. I’ve rebuilt. Somehow through it all, I have managed to maintain this void of my own unfulfilled dreams, while chasing others’ dreams. And chase them hard I did.

At this point in my life, I am certain of one thing. No longer will I run myself into the ground fulfilling dreams and visions of others at the expense of my own. While I would not trade the experiences I have had for anything, it is also time for me to make this declaration for myself: nothing is worth more to me at this point in my life than being the one unique person I know I was created to be and going after that, wholeheartedly, following my bliss.

Big things are ahead and I could not be more excited! If you have traveled any part of this journey with me, I thank you with all of my heart, and am excited to see what this path ahead holds. I may not do it perfectly, but this time at least I know this path ahead is my own. Onward!

#followyourbliss #trendytrade

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Act Wisely and Judge Less

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At times we all make decisions that we regret. Maybe we were too quick to judge or found out more information later on, that if we had just been patient, would have come to the surface eventually and changed the decision we would have made. We are human, so expect that mistakes will be made and when they are, allow room for forgiveness. Let us make it our goal to more regularly act with wisdom and judge less. Wisdom should be in the foundation of every decision made.

What is the difference between acting with wisdom as opposed to judging? Making a judgment call is, basically stated, categorizing a situation or a person based on your limited knowledge of the circumstances. Wisdom, on the other hand, is preceded by patience and understanding. Wisdom recognizes it does not know all, see all or interpret all correctly. Wisdom also:

• Comes from the heart
• Produces good
• Brings healing
• Takes you where you need to go next

Wisdom, just like any intangible, is always tough to grasp. There is no clear moment when you have grabbed a hold of wisdom. Wisdom is something we constantly grow in — so strive to seek it out. It will not come perfectly every single time, but it is worth striving for.


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Keeping Promises: Let Your Yes Be Yes


What is a promise? When you make a promise, you are giving your word that you will do the thing promised in a timely manner. Problems can arise when you do not keep your promise and the relationship between the two people can break down.

“Be impeccable with your word” is one of the Four Agreements in the book by Don Miguel Ruiz (it’s one of my favorites!) Do you keep your promises? Can people count on you to do what you promise to do, when you say you will do it? In order to build a successful relationship, there has to be credibility and truthfulness in your words. People need to know they can count on you. One of the quickest ways to show this is by keeping your promises. The reverse is also true — one of the quickest ways to destroy a relationship is to not keep your promises.

Have you ever had someone ask you to make a promise and you said “yes” and almost immediately you wished your answer had been “no”? Best to go ahead and keep the promise, learn your lesson and be more careful and think about it a little longer next time. But always let your “yes” truly be a yes and your no be a definite no.

#letyouryesbeyes #promises

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Two Steps to Jump-Start Your Efficiency

#wastenotwantnot trendy trade clothing swap events

One of the core beliefs of trendy trade clothing swap events is that if you use what you have wisely you will never be in need. As the old proverb says, “waste not, want not.” It goes hand in hand with being efficient.

Efficiency: preventing the wasteful use of a particular resource

Clothing aside for one moment, one of our most treasured resources is our time. Consider this — you can work hard all day long at spinning your wheels. You are still working hard, but you are not getting anywhere. Busyness and working are not the same thing.

How do you know if your work is efficient? Look for two things:

  • One, you are exerting effort on the right thing with little to no wasted effort and
  • Two, you have something to show for that work when it is done.

When working, focus your energy towards accomplishing a task – focus gets you working efficiently. The work will then end in something – you will have an end product or a result to show for the energy you have exerted.

You can’t do anything halfheartedly and expect to get the full result. Maybe it is just the Midwestern farm girl in me, but I believe hard work pays off and anything less risks breeding entitlement. The reward you seek for a job well done comes to you based on your efforts.

Working does not mean staying busy. If you find you are staying busy, but not accomplishing anything, it is time to reevaluate how you are working. Are you focusing your energy on the right things and in the right way? Eliminate what is not working – discard the waste — and try something new.


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Believe Anything is Possible

Believe Anything is Possible trendy trade clothing swamp events llc

Look up into the sky on a clear night and soak in the view. Those billions of stars, planets and galaxies are all waiting to be discovered and some of them, we have. Humans are living and existing in space — eating, breathing, surviving on the International Space Station. In another decade or so, rockets will be launched into space to asteroids threatening the earth to send them into reorbit so they don’t destroy us. It’s true and in development as we speak. If people have dared to believe that this was possible and have made it happen, how can we ever think that our dreams are not possible too? Anything is possible, if we believe — and that is where it all starts.

Trendy trade clothing swap events were created out of nothing. It came out of a small seed of an idea and the belief that something like this was possible. To date, we have swapped over 3,000 items of clothing at our various events and donated over 1,000 items to charities that help women in need. None of this would have happened if we didn’t do something simply so small to begin with: dare to believe it was possible and take one small step to make it happen.

To accomplish anything, first comes the belief that you can. First, see it in your mind to begin. Then, take the next step to help bring it to fruition. It’s all you have to keep doing – put one foot in front of the other and repeat; one small step at a time.


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You Were Meant to Shine

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If you have ever found yourself excelling at something, only to then find that other people become afraid or jealous, let this be an encouragement to you — keep doing that thing! Not in spite of those that are reacting negatively, but only because anytime we are up to something good, it is natural that we will face adversity.

A light does what it is best at doing – it chases away darkness and brightens up its surroundings. No one turns on a light just to then cover it up or smother it. The same is true of the lights that shine from our lives – do not smother it and do not cover it up. You cannot let unhealthy people stop you from being the beautiful you that you were meant to be. You cannot let their incorrect perspective keep your life from shining.

A healthy person will see your light shining and be encouraged to allow their lives to do the same. Through trendy trade clothing swap events, we are in the business of positive life transformation just as much as we are in the business of swapping clothes. Your life is meant to have an extraordinary impact on the lives of people all around you. You are meant to shine and be an inspirational example for others. Keep shining.


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A Definition of True Beauty

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Every woman needs moments where she feels truly beautiful – and not because of what can be seen, but because of what is not so easily seen, except for when it shines through you and out of you and spills over into the world around you to be seen. No matter who you are or what you have been through, you absolutely deserve to feel cherished and treasured.

A scar here, an injury there – life has a way of chipping at us and slowly breaking us apart, if we allow it. If we start out, perfectly sculpted, over time, we can be worn down. As we grow older and find the outward beauty isn’t as easily achieved for us as it once was, we can encounter a crisis of sorts and we strive to hold on to what is fleeting.

Try on this traditional definition of beauty (from dictionary.com,) for size: “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”

Wouldn’t you be intensely pleased if you saw a woman completing living into who she was meant to be? Wouldn’t that give you the inspiration you need to do the same?

The confusion comes because our culture would have us believe that the opposite is true. With the amount of airbrushed magazine covers, beauty cream commercials and multitudes of hair color we can choose from, how are we to believe that beauty doesn’t actually work on us from the outside and move inward? Do I need to look beautiful before I feel beautiful?

Let’s shift our focus and our definition of beauty to that which stays: our inner beauty. Unlike outer beauty, it doesn’t get harder to achieve over the years, it evolves. All those scars, injuries, bumps and bruises – when they heal properly – are a testament to the life we’ve lived and the experiences we’ve had. They hold memories, some good and some bad, but all that are used to develop us into a beautiful being.

If you have been to one of our trendy trade clothing swap events, whether you know it or not, you were noticed for your true, inner beauty. I saw you and absolutely adore you and have seen something in you that tells me you are beautiful. I believe it is when our inner beauty shines through us and out of us that we achieve true beauty.

Be who you were meant to be, from the inside out. That is where you will find your true beauty, when you are living from that place that was only ever meant for you.


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3 Easy Steps for a Quick Spring Closet Clean

3 easy steps for a quick spring closet clean trendy trade clothing swap events

With spring officially here and two trendy trade clothing swap events quickly approaching in San Diego and Phoenix, now is the perfect time to tackle that closet. It can be one of the most dreaded times of year – spring cleaning and having to face all those daunting tasks you’ve been putting off the rest of the year. Outside, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming and inside, cobwebs come down and closets come under attack this time of year.

With just a few easy tips, we hope to help you breakdown this task so it is a little less overwhelming and actually more rewarding. Go through each step, one at a time, and when you’re done, you’ll find space in your closet for all your new favorite finds you are sure to bring home with you from the next trendy trade clothing swap event.


Step 1: Purge

This doesn’t take long and, in fact, should be done quickly. Start at one end of your closet and work your way across and then top to bottom, looking for items that are completely worn out and not usable. If beyond repair, these items should go directly into your recycle pile.

Step 2: Filter

Here is where you will be slightly more attentive to what you are getting rid of. In the same pattern as before, across and then top to bottom, filter out items that are still in good condition, but no longer fit. This is where painful realism comes into play. Too big or too small? These items should go directly into your swapping pile. If an item has sentimental value, store it, but free up the space in your closet.

Step 3: Match

With the work you’ve completed so far, the items left in your closet should be usable items that fit you well. Double check what you’ve done by “closet shopping” and putting together outfits for yourself in advance of needing to wear them. This will also help you take inventory of what items you need to complete an outfit or look. Then, be on the lookout for those items at the next trendy trade clothing swap event.

Our hope is that these few easy closet cleaning tips will help you make the most of what you already have and then also give you a head start on filtering through your closet so you have a bag ready to go when you attend your next trendy trade clothing swap event.



Share pics of what you’ll be bringing on our Facebook event pages for Phoenix and San Diego.

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A Life Repurposed: Audrey’s Story – Part 2

trendy trade blog a life repurposed part 2

Read Part 1 of our story: A Life Repurposed: Audrey’s Story here

Audrey wondered, “Is there a purpose in all this?” With just she and a friend going, the perceived safety of being in a large group was gone, and her curiosity piqued for what might be ahead. So, off she went to Cambodia on a trip that would change her life. There was more for Audrey ahead than simply a chance to help for a week. She came back with an idea on how to create something new and extend her reach beyond her own hands, and into ours and also into the hands of each and every woman who attends a trendy trade clothing swap event this year.

Audrey spent a majority of her time with Sak Saum (meaning dignity in the native language,) an organization that helps the exploited and vulnerable of Cambodia. They believe in seeing people set free through love so they can be empowered for their future. Sak Saum’s programs include housing, meals, childcare, education and work training. Women are taught skills to enable them to make a living and the products of their work are exquisite handmade items.

Take the story of Mary. This precious woman came to Sak Saum without the ability to see. Unable to do the work in the current curriculum, a position was created that she could do— it was created special, just for her. Someone who had previously been treated as if she had no value; Mary now has a beautiful purpose, unique and special to her and her alone, as she custom creates painted fabrics that are one-of-a-kind and then turned into purses. A life repurposed, repurposes the fabric – all of it ending in something beautiful.

Audrey has pioneered a partnership between Sak Saum and trendy trade clothing swap events, and we are excited to share that beginning this year, you will be seeing these items for sale at our trendy trade clothing swap events; also giving you the opportunity to directly support Sak Saum’s mission by purchasing these items.

Rather than just treating the trip as a once in a lifetime experience, Audrey came back purposefully as an advocate for Sak Saum’s mission and connecting women at trendy trade clothing swap events with a way to help fellow women globally. Trendy trade clothing swap events is proud to support Audrey in her endeavor and we are honored to have been able to witness this idea come to life.

What’s beautiful about this is seeing Audrey’s life repurposed simply because she saw a place where she could help in her own unique way. As she works to support other women whose lives are being transformed in Cambodia, she is undergoing a transformation herself. Audrey says, “Since finding my purpose for the next phase of my life I have become bold and I might even say daring. I am so far out of my comfort zone that I don’t even have anything to compare where I am going to. At 45 years old, I find myself adventurous, doing things I have never done. I have confidence and my everyday movements are with determined purpose. Time is fleeting, and this new sense of excited wonder is so amazing that I don’t want to waste one moment.”

Please join us in encouraging and supporting Audrey and Sak Saum in the year ahead. To purchase these items, visit us at any trendy trade clothing swap event in 2015. Or, buy online at saksaum.com.


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A Life Repurposed: Audrey’s Story – Part 1

a life repurposed blog audrey's story part 1

One small event can be the catalyst for big life change. We’ve seen it happen over and over again at our trendy trade clothing swap events. Within our first couple of events, I began to realize the power of just getting a group of women together in one place at one time. The clothes, purses, shoes and jewelry are all a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong, but simply having the power to reach out and connect with other women face-to-face, is the launching pad for even greater things to happen.

At one of the clothing swap events, I asked one of the ladies if she had found anything [clothing] and her emphatic reply was “I found my purpose!” as she tossed her hand up in the air. I was so excited for her because I knew how important it was at that point in her life. Audrey, a wife and stay-at-home mother for over 20 years was sending her first born off to college and watching her second grow up just as quickly and contemplating what her life would hold next.

A model of excellence, any domestic goddess would lose her crown trying to keep up with this lady. Every room perfectly packaged, every meal carefully cooked, and a house filled with love, it’s the kind of place where you feel right at home the moment you step foot across the threshold. In Audrey’s house, marriage and motherhood are an art and she has mastered it. So it caught her, and everyone else, by surprise that she was now searching for new meaning in life.

She had connected with another woman at one of our trendy trade Phoenix clothing swap events and they began talking about a partnership that could come from the connection. It was a win/win situation and perfectly timed – quite the serendipitous encounter.

What we didn’t know at the time was that the small conversation was only the beginning of an inspiring story with a journey that would take her across the world and back and an ending that is still yet to be written. One thing always leads to another and through this encounter, Audrey found seeds being planted in her heart to prepare her to help women in need across the globe.

Her decision to travel to Cambodia was just as surprising to her as it was to everyone that knew her. Leaving the comfort of her family, community and home was a risk, but going with a large group helped to put her at ease. However, things didn’t stay that way. As the trip approached, the group dwindled from 12 to three and then the day before, just two…

Next week this story continues. Check back then for Part 2 of A Life Repurposed: Audrey’s Story

Register for our upcoming trendy trade clothing swap events here!


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One simple solution: just love

trendy trade clothing swap events just love

If you find yourself fighting a constant battle of relational issues with someone, let me ask, are you loving that person? One simple concept can solve so many of our problems, yet we don’t do it for a myriad of reasons. We think we’re not capable, we think they don’t deserve it or we simply don’t want to. After all, how can you love someone so difficult, mean, abrasive or harsh?

Loving someone doesn’t mean putting yourself in harms way. You don’t have to be constantly subjected to unhealthy words and circumstances. Loving someone in a healthy way comes from a place of compassion and it’s not always easy, but it is worth it. If you can get to a place of realizing why that difficult person acts the way they do, that is the beginning of compassion, which is the beginning of love.

Think about a time when someone showed you love, even if you didn’t deserve it. How did it feel? Now, how would you feel if you could extend that same understanding to someone else? If not for them, for yourself? To get you in a place of being able to manage through difficulties.

If we would widen our perspectives we would see that the answer to so many things is to just love, even when it’s difficult. Amazing things happen when you choose to show compassion to someone even if it seems they don’t deserve it. You could impact them in a life-changing way just by setting the example — just love.


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What is a beautiful exchange?

trendy trade clothing swap events a beautiful exchange blog

What makes an exchange beautiful? We believe that an exchange is beautiful when both sides involved in the exchange win. It’s not beautiful if someone comes out ahead at the expense of someone else. That’s not an arrangement we want any part of and so at each trendy trade clothing swap event, you will find a series of beautiful exchanges.

The primary exchange is the clothing that is being traded. Item-for-item, you’re attending and trading clothing, accessories and other items you don’t use for items you will use. That’s beautiful and just plain smart too! You are spending less, saving more and making the most of what you already have by exchanging unused items for items you will love to use. That’s beautiful.

A secondary exchange that happens is a product of the clothing swap events. Without fail, we have a surplus of clothes and we have found a way to make the most of these as well by helping women in need right here in our community. At the end of each trendy trade clothing swap event, unclaimed items are donated to a local women’s charity. They receive the clothes, which become a valuable resource for helping to transform lives, and at the same time we are given the opportunity to feel good about helping other women in our community.

One of the most beautiful exchanges that is made during a trendy trade clothing swap event is through product sales. The only items sold, and not traded, at a trendy trade clothing swap event are handmade items from Sak Saum and Living Hope Maternity Home. They offer us a beautiful product to use and enjoy and in exchange, we can pay for that product knowing that money is being used directly to change lives. Yes, you can get the same thing at a store, but here we know exactly how our money spent is making the world a better place.

Another beautiful exchange is the exchange of knowledge and encouragement that happens among the women at our events. Whether it is between the women that are attending and sharing uplifting conversations and encouraging words with one another or our vendors and local women business owners providing education about their products and services, beautiful exchanges are going on all around during our trendy trade clothing swap events. Local women business owners have been selected to attend and share their knowledge, products and services with attendees. You are getting information, products and services from a quality vendor and being connected with women that can become a valuable and knowledgeable resource for you at the same time. We love seeing the doors that open and new opportunities created for women when these types of connections are made.

There are layers upon layers of beautiful exchanges happening each time we gather for a trendy trade clothing swap event. The impact ripples out into the world around us and we’ll spread the impact as far as we can reach. Each time you attend, you are also supporting women locally and globally, just by having an afternoon of fun and walking out the door with new fabulous favorite finds – that is just plain beautiful.


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Stop waiting for permission

trendy trade clothing swap events blog permission

Some people call them pipe dreams, lofty goals or think “someday” they’ll get to it. Whatever “it” is for you, don’t wait for permission. Maybe you have an inspiring idea or are tossing around a dream in your head, but the timing doesn’t seem right or the people aren’t there to help or …. (name your reason.) What are you waiting for?

With deeper reflection you may find that possibly what is holding you back is that you are waiting for someone to appoint you to the task, when in all actuality no such person exists. Take that first step outside your comfort zone and be the first person to believe in your dream.

No one can give you permission but you. If you are not breaking any laws and it will not hurt anyone, don’t wait for permission. Get started! Once you do, things have a way of falling into place. It just takes you giving yourself permission to dream and then permission to act on the dream that is uniquely yours.

Still not convinced? Then get started anyways, you have our permission.


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Love people more, love stuff less

trendy trade clothing swap events love people more blog hdr

It breaks my heart to see people loving things more than they love people. It’s seemingly our default response when we feel someone or something has wronged us. We turn our attention to the tangible for comfort – the career that hasn’t yet let us down, a shopping trip to fill the void, or a drink to help us feel anything other than what we’re feeling.

Right about now you may be hunting down the irony to be found in the fact that the girl that organizes clothing swap events compiled of hundreds of items of clothing and accessories (all so materialistic, right?) is professing to love people more than stuff. But, please allow me to open your eyes to this – the “stuff” is our way to loving people.

Some people can only be reached through their things or reached when those things have disappeared from their life. They’ll spend all day shopping and will never know the value of people until they’ve lost everything they have.

Please hear me when I say, it’s not about the stuff – it never has been and it never will be. For us, it’s about helping women. It’s about helping women make the most of what they have and it’s about helping women help other women. We love people and the stuff is our way to them to be able to do that.


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Surrender actually can be sweet

trendy trade sweet surrender blog

I never understood why surrender was so sweet. As a former control freak, if you wanted to get me anywhere close to surrender, you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming to it. Nothing about surrender ever felt natural, or sweet, until now.

Think about your options. If you don’t surrender, the only other choice is to keep battling it. Constant opposition is exhausting. Constant opposition steals focus from more important things that should be getting your attention.

So, I give up! When I say I give up, I mean I am relinquishing full control, which means I no longer own this problem. I so badly don’t want it that I keep trying to, with force, keep it at an arms length at minimum — or at most — actively try to to push it out of my life. It’s constant battling. If I don’t make that choice on my own, eventually I will wear myself out trying to fight it, and then at the point of exhaustion I will give up.

When nothing else works and we’ve tried all we can try, we give up and surrender. Most of the time it’s the last thing we do when it should be the first. If it’s the first, we save ourselves so much grief, energy and in some cases, resources and money. We become so tired of “it” so sick of “it” so desperate to be done with “it” that we just finally fall in exhaustion and give up. That’s the point of surrender. We decide to be done with it. We’ve fought until there is no more fight in us.

We’re not giving way to it, we’re simply choosing to loosen the tie that it has on us – and that is what can be so sweet about surrender. It detaches us from that thing that we never wanted in the first place.


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Take inventory of something less tangible

trendy trade clothing swap events clear the clutter blog 54

We’ll always encourage you to take inventory of what is in your closet and then bring those unused items to trendy trade clothing swap events to exchange. But, at this time of the year, we also want to encourage you to take inventory of something a little less tangible. We all live with beliefs, ideas, thoughts and attitudes that are cluttering up our mind, placing restrictions on our lives and holding us back from experiencing the best that life has to offer. It’s time to take inventory of those thoughts that no longer help us and then trade them for thoughts and ideas that do – here’s how.

Step one: Observe and notice

The first step is to notice them. Become aware of those moments when something small starts to set you off and you begin, mentally, to spiral downward. At first, you may not even realize that you are consistently living from a place of constant irritation with yourself or other people, but the more you attempt to become aware of it, the more you will realize how many thoughts need to be swept out of your mind and resolved once and for all.

Take note of beliefs, ideas, thoughts and attitudes that keep you from believing the best about yourself and others. Some indicators of those types of beliefs would be: consistent frustration, irritation, upset, anger, resentment, and annoyance. You do not have to continually operate from such an un-empowered place. What purpose does it serve?

Step two: Keep or discard?

The second step is to decide to keep those thoughts that empower you and then discard or replace the ones that don’t. Maybe you have held on to a certain thought, belief, attitude or idea for a long time because for some reason it worked for you. But, it might be the case now that it no longer does. Time to let go and find a new, more empowering way of being.

Still having difficulty letting go? Let me offer an example. If someone in my life is being difficult, I might be tempted to take that personally and head straight into the downward spiral of believing their bad attitude has something to do with me. If you have a relational mess to clean up, clean it up, but if not, give the person the benefit of the doubt – you never know what they are going through and you don’t have to make it about you.

Here’s the beautiful thing…

The beautiful thing is that once you take inventory and get rid of the beliefs, ideas, thoughts and attitudes that no longer serve you, your mind will be free to live from a place of strength and love. It might be a battle, but it’s a battle worth pursuing because in the end your mind will be free and clear and there will be plenty of room in there for something new and empowering to come in.