Reflection: A Tribe Called Bliss

Close your eyes. Prepare to set your intentions. Breathe in through your nose the desires you have for the day. Breathe out the preconceived notions and expectations. It’s time to create your tribe.

I have followed Lori Harder for the past four years. Between living in Nebraska, Ohio and Georgia, she has been a part of my transformation and journey. She does not know it, but she has had a direct impact on my development as a woman. Through her podcast called Earn Your Happy, and Instagram, I’ve felt like I’m right alongside her, in her growth, her challenges and her successes.

We have a lot in common. We both grew up the Midwest, her a Michigan gal, me from Ohio. We were raised in a conservative rural communities, hers a bit moreso. We have competed in bodybuilding competitions. We both have larger-than-life goals! These commonalities helped me connect and want to learn with and from her. I also had set in my mind that one day, I would meet her and work with her.

About one month ago, the opportunity arose! Lori has been promoting her new book, A Tribe Called Bliss, which I heard a bit about on another podcast, and discovered she was doing a book tour around the country. Atlanta had made the list! I asked David if it was OK and fit our budget and he knew I’d been talking about her forever and said “Go for it!”. So then and there, I reserved my ticket.

I experienced a crazy day before the event. A lot of stress at work, followed by trying to get to a gym to train and go straight to the event. I got in a half hour chest and shoulder workout with an insane pump and started towards the venue near Midtown.

I wasn’t sure its location and on the way, my GPS navigation tried to turn me on a closed road and I was almost T-boned when en route. But I made it, early, in once piece, wearing a new sweater dress and boots to stay warm in this brisk fall weather on Thursday night.

I approached the small venue and opened the door to a vibrant energy. Women [and men] gathered around the chairs set before Lori’s presentation began. I had never been to a “book tour” so it was neat to be a part of one I could deeply connect with. And, most importantly, start to connect with the women there to build a tribe.

Lori came on stage in a full length, long sleeve dress, looking stunning. The thing that caught my eye most: her iconic braid and a stunning quartz ring on her right middle finger. I’ve been researching more about crystals and seeing hers, that is a symbol for clarity and a few other things, was just another indicator I was in the right place.

She began with meditation. This is how I knew I was in the right room! We each set our intention for the evening. Mine?

Embrace likemindedness and new relationships.

Lori shared with us her two intentions: make it fun and share her tools to deeper connection. Immediately after, we spent the next four minutes to meet four new people! Nothing says networking like working a room of excited women.

As Lori continued the event, she shared the 7 Sacred Commitments to having real, authentic relationships. A lot of it I have already known and no, I won’t spoil it for anyone wanting to read the book! But, nonetheless, she had quite a few mindblowing quotes.

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.

Wayne Dyer

After her speech, photo opportunity and autographs were a must. A few ladies like Ashley and Stormy I am definitely going to keep in touch with! Some others, I did not get to meet very long but this is the chance to use social media for GOOD and send a quick follow up DM on IG or Facebook.

Sometimes, things happen if they are not meant to be on our path.

Lori Harder

Finding a tribe to flourish with has been difficult. But, I believe my tribe will continue to strengthen and evolve. I know it’s just a matter of time and energy. Give and you will receive.

Lori Harder a Tribe Called Bliss

My current tribe is spread across the country. They are still amazing, wonderful women! And I’ve made it a goal to not lose touch with those in my court. Now, I set course to create another tribe, but locally. I guess that is the give and take of moving around for different jobs and life opportunities.

If it scares me, I need to do it. Grow through it!

Lori Harder
Lori Harder a Tribe Called Bliss

This reflection is not just about the amazing event, but to turning a page into my authentic self. I really resonated with Lori’s philosophy about our true self.

Lori Harder personal definition of authenticity: Give yourself the freedom and grace to show up completely different than you did yesterday.

Going into the end of the year and 2019, you can bet I’m making my tribe a priority. Want to join me in reading the book? Send me an email at strongsweetcaroline@gmail.com and I’d LOVE to start up a little book club.

5 minutes a day can improve your life

It’s only five minutes. You can do it. Just five minutes of your day.

I started meditating in 2017. It was a stressful planting season. Working in corn and soybean sales is no easy job. And I was wearing myself thin. I already worked out, went to bed early, ate a balanced diet and drank water. My sleep habits were OK but can always improve. What else could I possibly work on? That’s when I discovered meditation.

I think I had just finished reading 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris. At first, I was a skeptic myself. But I decided to start with a little goal. 1 minute.

How 5 minutes per day can improve your life by Strong Sweet Caroline

If I could clear my head and mind for one minute each day, that was the start. So, I did that for one week. Easy peasy. I advanced to three-minute sessions. That became more challenging. But, after about a month, I worked myself up to five minutes a day.

Those 5-minute daily meditations changed my life. It was not just a way to clear my mind and open my head space. It empowered me. Here’s how it empowered me and might have a similar effect for you.

  1. I created a rhythm and routine. Each day, I would wake up at the same time, start with drinking a big glass of water and sitting down to meditate. Some might find it odd I meditate in the morning. However, I found that gave me a clearer vision for the day ahead. Others might enjoy meditating over lunch break or before bed. I like consistency and most humans do well with schedule. Otherwise, just make sure to include it DAILY.
  2. Improved focus. It might seem weird, but the attempt to clear your mind and focus on absolutely nothing is pretty refreshing. And I realized that by doing it, I was able to focus better on tasks and projects at hand. There are hundreds of thoughts, images, ideas, people, memories and senses that flood our brains. It’s actually quite remarkable if you can clear your mind for a few moments. By practicing meditation, you practice improved focus. And in your day to day life, it will become less likely you will get distracted.
  3. A method of stress relief. Have you ever felt overwhelmed or in a crisis situation? What did you do to overcome it? You may have heard of people taking deep breaths, counting to 10, etc.? What about spending 5 minutes to close your eyes, level your breathing and focus on NOTHING? It works wonders. Studies also find that practicing daily meditation will lower cortisol and increase mood over time.

How 5 minutes per day can improve your life by Strong Sweet Caroline

These are just three reasons I meditate. Try it out yourself! Once you start the habit, don’t stop. Let your breathing methods grow and improve over time. You can be in complete silence, ambient music, guided meditation video or use the song I do, “Weightless” by Marconi Union. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do. Focus on continued self improvement. For five minutes a day, your personal bliss is worth it.