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

FOLLOWYOURBLISS

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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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.

#wastenotwantnot

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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.

#anythingispossible

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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.

#liferepurposed

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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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