Consistency over Perfection

I’ve been caught. In some ways I’ve been unable to move forward with simple business phone calls and conversations through fear of messing up the information. I’ve been worried, questioning what if I confuse people, or the event I’ve been planning, even virtual ones, go wrong…

Perfection has been my trap in the past. Perfection has taken from me time and time again. Fearing over living. Stressing over moving forward.

But who can do anything perfectly? There is no amount of editing, preparation, and makeup that will cover writing mistakes, conversation hiccups, and the blemishes on my skin as I’ve tried to get to the weighty place of perfection.

And it does feel like a weight when you live in that room and place of perfection. There isn’t anything fun or enjoyable about trying to be perfect.

After years of letting go of layers of perfection and performance, I realize only a few things matter at the end of the day. In order to reach my goals, I’ve learned that consistency, dedication, and prayer are all I need. I can apply this to my whole list of goals- sports, nutrition, business, and relationships- it matters to be consistent in my behaviors and practice, improving 1% each day, rather than trying to do anything perfectly. I do what I can and let God handle the rest.

The dedication and discipline come into play while remaining consistent.

This is how once more, I’m reaching my goals slowly but surly with Bellia, my new Written Jewels, high end jewelry brand partnership… and with other business and fitness ventures. As I move forward, others around me will learn to see and know that I’m serious in my goals and plans and correlate them with me. I don’t need to do them perfectly, I just need to do them.

Consistency with determination to whatever you put your mind to, and doing it with excellence is key. And in the process learn to give up the idea of perfection.

My encouragement this Saturday morning is this: Let’s stay dedicated to enjoy the process of moving forward with what’s in our hearts to do. This is a way better alternative to holding onto our goals and dreams with a tight fist of perfection.

Life is good– full of joy, fun, and beauty. Let’s live with these things in mind. Let’s embrace the imperfections of each day and learn to walk in peace with a smile on our face, whatever the outcome.

What about you? Does perfection trip you up? If not, are there other mindsets you need to release?

Whatever those mindsets are, let’s move away from fear and choose to stay dedicated and consistent with every day actions. Let’s reach our goals one day at a time, knowing we’ve done our best and tomorrow is a new day, bringing us one step closer to the results we’re aiming for!

“Put the work in now.”

“Put the work in now. You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t.”

A quote by a friend about three weeks ago in a spin class I haven’t been able to shake. She meant it for biking. She meant it for sweating. She meant it for burning legs and lungs. But I can’t help thinking there was a bigger purpose to those words rattling inside my head these weeks.

Work is good. I love work. I really do. It’s a word that never really scared or felt painful to me. It’s a word that I appreciated. Like I could see the end result of my work before I ever started and that was my motivation to put time, energy, and effort into working toward that THING whatever it was.

Growing up, school was my greatest work and feat, but I always made it through those nine months of school and got to live the achievement with each new grade. Then college and grad school. Both rough, but so good for different reasons. Work in finding and starting some sort of career, still discovering what that means, but I love the journey more each year!

What I really want to talk about though is sports. I’ve always loved sports. My parents were big on getting my siblings and I plugged into sports teams growing up. Kids and adolescents have the potential to learn life changing lessons for the good because of sports. Character, stick-to-itiveness, losing, winning, boundaries (what are they, why are they there?), cheating, teamwork, sometimes being in the spotlight, and sometimes giving that spotlight to others, and lastly showing up to practice even when you don’t want to. When athletes reach a level of skill and honing in on their sports that they can be a leader in their community, or even reaching the highest levels of sports by going pro is a great aim for many kids that carry them through to adulthood. Sports are a powerful part of society and I know I’m a way stronger person because of sports.

I learned to push through physical and mental pain and stress, knowing that if I don’t, I’ll be left behind or won’t reach my goals. And this could be goals in anything! Goals pertaining to relationships, my career, finishing my first triathlon, and being able to run a certain distance, but being able to drop the time.

The key is: part of putting in the work is knowing your “why” as I hear so many coaches talk about. Why the days alone training? Why the early mornings and rigid schedules for your career or athletics? Is it for being the best, so recognition? Is it for more money, so maybe financial security? Is it for staying in good health, so as to live your best quality of life? (Your why should be something meaningful and fulfilling; recognition and fame can be flimsy “whys.” They can be easily taken away. Choose your why wisely.)

My friend/spin instructor said it best that day in the spin room: Put the work in now! You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t.

Once you know your why, then putting in the work to get there is the next step. My friend/spin instructor said it best that day in the spin room: Put the work in now! You’re only cheating yourself if you don’t. In the moment, though I was on my bike with the music blaring and lights dimmed as most spin rooms are, my mind was on relationships. I’ve definitely missed the mark in relationships for not putting in the proper amount of work. Whether for good reasons or not in the moment, the fact is I and I alone was the one cheated for not putting in the work. I’ve missed opportunities by not putting in the work to have hard conversations and mending frayed relationships with friends and co-workers.

I’ve definitely missed the mark in relationships for not putting in the proper amount of work. Whether for good reasons or not in the moment, the fact is I and I alone was the one cheated for not putting in the work. I’ve missed opportunities by not putting in the work to have hard conversations and mending frayed relationships with friends and co-workers.

Putting in the work doesn’t always look like getting sweaty and “swoll” in an obvious way on the outside. It might look like internal exhaustion and setbacks, but still trekking forward because your goals and dreams matter and you’re standing on your “WHY.” Your why puts those hard days in perspective.

Maybe your goal is to be the top sales person where you work or to earn the title of manager, what do you need to learn and do to get there? Maybe it means saying “no” to late night shows so that you can go to bed on time and wake up ready for a new work day refreshed. If you have actual #relationshipgoals as the trending hashtag circled around the world got posted, what work do you need to put into that relationship now, so that you reach the goal? In some cases the “work” might just simply be stating a prayer to the One Above to guide you in your marriage when things seem to be falling apart.

I’ve learned the lesson of not putting in the work when it comes to various facets of life. On the other hand, I’ve seen the fruit of putting in the work, and the latter is WAY more fulfilling.

I’ve learned the lesson of not putting in the work when it comes to various facets of life. On the other hand, I’ve seen the fruit of putting in the work, and the latter is WAY more fulfilling.

I’m not suggesting that work is all that life is about. It’s not. Life is also about enjoying the good days before you and learning to love the people around you well; it’s about practicing the true art of self-care because you are worthy of love yourself.

However, what I do know is that work is good and when it comes to work, the goals and dreams we hold onto (athletic goals, career goals, travel goals, marriage goals, community goals…) won’t magically appear without effort. And as my friend said that day as I huffed and puffed my way through a 26-mile ride in the studio—if you don’t put in the work now, no matter what your goals are, you’re only cheating yourself.

Jewelry: Telling Stories That Last

There are a few things that I love about jewelry…

  • It lasts—at least the good quality jewelry does.
  • It can be passed on. I have a few pieces of jewelry that came from my mom and both grandmothers that have been in the family. And my own engagement ring from my husband came from the gold of his deceased father. Just amazing.
  • It makes me feel, beautiful!
  • It adds the final touch to an outfit.
  • It sparkles and shines.
  • Anytime I’m asked about the jewelry I’m wearing; I get to tell a story.

I have a few momentous memories from pieces of jewelry that were given as gifts, or that I myself purchased through the years, and when I put those pieces on now, I get to think back and remember.

I get to remember the people who were with me when I bought or received it. I get to think about how I felt in the moment and how it makes me feel now.

A few years ago, my Dad and I were traveling through Europe to Prague and Germany after I finished my master’s degree that I earned from a business school in Spain. I cherish the garnet stone earrings he bought me from a shop owner and learning that garnet is Czech Republic’s main gemstone.

Then, of course when my husband and I designed our engagement ring before we were married. The anticipation I felt when I saw it when he proposed—would it look the way we had planned and wanted? It did. It was perfect.

And then a few months later he gave me a matching necklace that he designed for our first Christmas engaged. Seven hearts for seven days of the week, so I would remember that he loves me every day.

I got to wear opal earrings from my grandmother in my wedding. She is gone, but I had a piece of her with me in the beautiful jewelry she once cherished herself. She was not wealthy her entire life. To have dainty opal earrings, they were probably one of the most expensive things she’d ever worn or owned, and now I wear one in my upper, cartilage piercing all the time. I remember my Grandma, and my wedding day every time I look at it.

I often get compliments on a shell necklace my mom gave me from a trip she took to Hawaii once. It’s special that she thought of me and brought it home. I just love that necklace.

And then on our honeymoon, my husband bought me a pair of coconut carved earrings from a rasta man. So fun being in his country of Jamaica, and interacting with a local, enjoying the fun beauty of his craft in carving coconuts.

Or my trip to Morocco picking out a turquoise ring. MY FAVORITE!

I could go on and on with jewelry that I’ve bought and received on travels and trips and for special events.

Jewelry is SPECIAL.

There is so much more than the sparkles and shininess of jewelry, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of some types of jewelry either!

That’s why Written Jewels has decided to become a Brand Partner with Bellia. This jewelry company is about women becoming all they were and are meant to be in the world. They believe women can change the world. They believe that women have value. They believe in the power of beauty—both in the jewelry itself and the woman who wears it.

If you want to tell a story of jewelry that’s life changing and makes a difference to the world around you, check out the Written Jewels Bellia Shop and choose a gift for yourself, or someone close to you that you think would be blessed by the story of Bellia’s values.

You’re worth it. Be Bellia today and continue the story of amazing jewelry and its values that go beyond the surface.

{Q&A} How Being a Mom Pushed One Woman to Choose Crunchi

{Q&A} How Being a Mom Pushed One Woman to Choose Crunchi

At Written Jewels I love supporting women in business, supporting a lifestyle of wellness, and supporting pure products that make a positive impact. Your skin and body matter- they tell a story that the world gets to see, and therefore what you put on and in your body matters too! The story of Monique and Crunchi aligns perfectly with all that Written Jewels stands for. And I hope you take the chance to learn and hear a story of finding confidence in business and spreading the good news of purity in products.

A Q&A with Monique Murphy. She is the mom to two high school boys Quinn and Colin. She grew up in Rhode Island and as a young girl wanted to be a ballerina! She moved to central PA 17-years ago because of a relocation with her current day job where she works full time. She aims to grow her Crunchi business to allow herself the opportunity to share Crunchi and mentor other women to build their goals and dreams.  She loves to spend time with her “village”, and to fill her cup through friendships, yoga, golf, and walking. 

– Juliandra Jackson, Owner and Founder of Written Jewels

Q: What is Crunchi in a nutshell? A: Crunchi is a toxin-free, safe, clean, high-performing makeup and skin care brand that is focused on ingredients that are good for you and perform. Crunchi just celebrated their 5-year Crunchi-versary!

Q: How long have you been working for Crunchi? A: I joined Crunchi in April of 2018. 

Q: Why did you get involved with the company?  A: I found Crunchi when I turned 50!  I was looking for a good lipstick!  One day, my sister and I were talking and she said, you need to get in touch with my friend, she found this safe toxin-free makeup and it is so great, it feels amazing!  So, I reached out and once I tried the lipstick sample and the primer and foundation, I just signed on to start sharing the clean beauty mission.  I didn’t know that the FDA really hasn’t made changes to regulations, and it is really scary the ingredients that can be in our personal care products.

“Due to a lack of regulation, the United States Food and Drug Administration permits cosmetic companies to use toxic chemicals known to be harmful in their products. As a result, chemicals linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, organ toxicity, neurotoxicity, and many other health concerns are hidden in the cosmetics women are using on their bodies every day.” 

Crunchi Website

Q: What most motivates you for offering healthy beauty products to people? A: Being a mom made me think about everything differently, healthier food options, activities; and then as I found myself as a single mom, I found Crunchi to be a new learning path for choosing to take a chance on a new business venture, to show my two sons that even though I was scared, I felt compelled to try and share clean beauty and to do my best. I love that Crunchi has given me the opportunity for them to see me work hard (besides at my FT job) at what I love and to connect with other women and for my boys to also work hard and try new things.

Well, now that I know better, I just feel like I need to educate and spread the Crunchi love about knowing that ingredients matter for your health, and for your families and loved ones. I want other women to jump in and learn more and make healthier choices for themselves.

Q: One product I personally love is the charcoal soaps. What is the purpose of charcoal in beauty products? I’ve been seeing the trend grow wider to include things like toothpaste and shampoos. A: The charcoal facial bar is amazing for those with normal, acne prone or combination skin.  Use this bar to clarify your pores and balance your skin. Charcoal and kaolin clay detoxify your skin, to remove impurities and improve radiance. It also includes organic lemon and tea tree oils to make this facial truly invigorating and a must have!

This bar is perfect for teens and men love them too, so don’t forget to pass this info on to the men in your life.

The best part is that you can maximize your skincare routine AND minimize your environmental impact with our Facial Bars!!  The packaging is comprised of 100% biodegradable and recyclable post-consumer waste paper! These thoughtfully and consciously packaged facial bars skip the plastic, leaving behind a much cleaner footprint and face!

Q: What are some benefits of using charcoal products? A: Charcoal helps to extract the “goop” from your skin, cleaning and removing the dirt and oils.  It takes the grime and excess oils away. 

Crunchi’s Charcoal Facial Bar is the perfect cleanser to clarify pores and balance your skin’s natural oils. Charcoal and kaolin clay detoxify your skin, to remove impurities and improve radiance. Paired with fresh organic lemon and tea tree essential oils, the Charcoal Facial Bar’s scent is invigorating, uplifting, and overall–amazing.

We also have a Charcoal Body Bar. It’s comprised of organic essential oils and toxin-free ingredients, the Charcoal Body Bar cleans, moisturizes, detoxifies and exfoliates without exposing you to potentially harmful toxins found in conventional cleansers. Ideal for most skin types, this bar is gentle enough for daily use.  Advocates have also used as a shampoo, and loved it!

Our skin absorbs much of what it comes in contact with, making what you put on your body just as important as what you put in your body.

Q: What would you suggest to someone when wanting to switch to natural beauty products, but are unsure how or what line to go with?  A: I would say that making the switch is important because we know what we eat, and try to stay healthy that way, is just as important for what we put on our skin. I would advise to take small steps and keep moving in the right direction by reading labels. There are a couple apps that Advocates use, in addition to our amazing Crunchi website where you can find a list of BANISHED ingredients, which are ingredients you should be looking for to avoid in your products.

We encourage people that are looking to make the switch to clean products to start with our “trifecta”-  the Smart Primer, our Beautifully Flawless Foundation, and the Flat Top Brush to apply.  But with the growth that Crunchi has had in these 5 years, and with the mask wearing everyone has to do, I would say that the skincare line has grown like crazy and starting with the facial bars, our Daylight AM Moisturizer and follow that with Sunlight SPF30, that really takes care of your skin with nourishing ingredients.  Here is the link for people to learn more and share with others to spread the clean beauty mission.

Q: Anything you would like to add? A: It is a true gift to be a Crunchi Advocate. It is more than extra income, it is a sisterhood that I didn’t know I needed, and an education at the tip of my fingers through Crunchi.com, and our Advocate community. I love being part of this team and knowing that I am helping others with healthy and safe choices for themselves and those they love.

New Ventures: It’s a Bellia Life

At Written Jewels, I’m excited to share an expansion to what I do and offer the world with all that Written Jewels stands for. Instead of staying focused on just the written part of what Written Jewels stands for, we’re expanding to ACTUAL jewelry too!

https://belliaworld.com/writtenjewels

Written Jewels has been a living, growing venture since its inception in 2014. Originally it was a place, an outlet for me to write and share thoughts in a slightly vulnerable way. Then it grew to become focused on encouraging young women in their 20s-30s through the lessons of life I learned. The life lessons I wrote about were a conversation between myself and those read the “written jewels of hope” to get insight and encouragement.

In 2019, I then turned those writings to Written Jewels the book in order to reach NEW audiences. A beautiful coffee table book that I was excited to design in order to repurpose. I was encouraged by the positive feedback I got, and hopeful as Written Jewels expanded even more.

One thing I can’t seem to get away from writing about is health and wellness. I want to see people healed, and I myself have found freedom from overeating and food through the years. A number of products I use, have helped get me to a place of wellness: Juice Plus+, Kannaway, and Young Living Essential Oils. These are healthful products that I use daily, and the groups of amazing people I’ve met through using these products in my life, have brought a sense of well being and community that I can’t be selfish with. Hence, starting my own “Written Jewels Wellness Lifestyle” online, social group for people to learn from and be encouraged on their own wellness journeys. The goal? Inspire healthy living around the world through proper micro nutrition, CBD products, and essential oils which actually promote wellness at a physiological level.

Now, the new venture. Under the Written Jewels umbrella, I decided to become a brand partner with Bellia, a beautiful, exclusive jewelry line where jewelry is made in three countries- Spain, Mexico, and Italy- I am in awe over the expansion and alignment I’m finding to add products to Written Jewels beyond nutrition and wellness products.

I’m eager to see women gain confidence. I’m eager to see women embrace beauty. Inside and out. Written Jewels now has ACTUAL jewels to enhance its own growing brand, thanks to Bellia. And now I get to spread joy and happiness through the gorgeous, exclusive line only at Bellia.

https://belliaworld.com/writtenjewels

The alignment I see through how everything we’re about at Written Jewels is amazing to me. And I hope YOU, reader, will check out the jewelry, knowing that when you purchase Bellia jewelry, you are getting one of a kind jewelry, unable to be purchased anywhere else—JUST LIKE YOU.

You are one of a kind. The Bellia mission statement: Jewelry can’t change the world, but the woman wearing it can. And that’s how myself, as the founder of Written Jewels hopes you walk away knowing, feeling, and embracing when you make a Bellia purchase and put on your jewelry.

So take a look today.

Shop well, be well. And Be YOUtiful with Bellia!

Juliandra Jackson, Founder of Written Jewels

https://belliaworld.com/writtenjewels