staying-power-hdr

My Balanced, Feminine Approach
to Perseverance
Perseverance is not a word I use a lot. Not because it’s not an important quality when it comes to success, but because it doesn’t have a very fun reputation. I got to thinking about it after a chat with our resident health coach and astrologer, Jenn Racioppi. Jenn suggested I should write an article about perseverance, adding, “That’s part of what most people are impressed with about the Divine Living magazine—that the quality is so consistent week after week for almost a year now!”

As the author of our monthly horoscopes, Jenn may be a little biased, but still I was so grateful and delighted for the feedback! When I told Sam about it, he echoed, “Yes. The sense I’m getting is that people cannot believe we came out at a 10, and we’ve stayed at a 10 month after month—and now we’re approaching an 11!”

For the whole Divine Living team, hearing this feedback was hugely inspiring. We feel humbled. So much love and time and effort has gone into bringing this magazine to life. After talking about it for five years (God bless those friends and favorite clients who listened to me by the tens of hours), to now being on our tenth issue, I feel like—how could I not create it again next month, and try to make it even bigger and better than the last issue?

staying-power-quoteMy gut reaction is that my work does not feel like the major struggle “perseverance” sounds like. I remember vividly the times when work felt truly difficult. I used to work for a high-profile attorney, and I remember getting to the office every day at 8:00 am, and by 8:13 glaring at the clock, feeling like I had been there 7 hours already. That is the kind of heaviness that comes from working in a way you’re not meant to work, somewhere you’re not supposed to be, and I am so grateful to have found another way.

At the same time, taking on all that I do means there are not months of coasting—and truthfully I wouldn’t want it that way. I recently told a friend I had been working a lot, and she replied back, “So your life isn’t all photoshoots?” And the funny part is—those are the hardest work days! I don’t normally wake up at 3:45 am to get to hair and make-up, to walk up a hill in stilettos at 5 am to catch the sunrise shot for the cover. (You all better LOVE our San Francisco week 1 cover, that was pure love for the cause people!)

stay-power-ginaIf anything is the key to my perseverance, it’s purpose. What I persevere in most is my connection to my desires and my passions. This magazine features all of the experiences that truly light me up in life. And, my DLM team is so amazing and precious to me. They are people I respect, appreciate and absolutely LOVE working with, and that makes it a joy to work hard on making every issue as great as it can possibly be. It feels natural because when I feel Divinely inspired and called to do something, I commit to seeing it become successful no matter what. I have high-standards (yes they are higher than all of my heels combined) and I refuse to let everyday challenges knock them down (and there are challenges everyday). I work to always expand our limits and ask for the best from myself and from my team, and I carry this expectation over to my clients as well.

When you look up the definition of the word perseverance, it’s all very masculine: “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” You get the sense that it’s about being indestructible and single-minded. I believe that for women like us to have sustainable success—there’s a missing element here. We have to persevere in not only working and doing, but in nurturing, being, and enjoying life.

To be able to not only create success, but sustain it, you have to be highly in tune with yourself and your desires. If you are, you will never let yourself get close to burnout. When your work is purpose-driven, it’s normal for it to feel like a really intense work-out. You might wake up in the morning dreading it, but you power through the temporary resistance and are rewarded with a sense of pride, accomplishment, and feeling awesome afterwards.

I see so many successful women burning themselves out because they aren’t willing to invest in themselves. I’m talking regular massages, help at home and with the kids, having someone else run those errands, and paying the extra $20 for valet. All these things can seem frivolous, but they add up to major energy drains for some of the smartest and most financially successful women I know. The question here is, how good are you going to let your life get? How much support will you allow into your life? How long are you going to think that YOU have to be the one to go to the grocery store or the post office?

staying-power-quote-2Consistent action REQUIRES consistent self-care! When it comes to my aforementioned photo shoots, I now know to always schedule a day off immediately after even if it’s midweek. I’m never cheap with myself, and I’m always factoring in rest, rejuvenation and fun as essential components of scheduling myself for success. (R&R is not good enough…you have to have fun too!) I’m sharing this not because I do photo shoots and that’s my excuse to go to the spa, and have a long romantic lunch with my husband on a Thursday. You’re working hard too, I’m sure your body could use some extra attention, and that walk in the park with your beloved may be just the pattern interrupt your relationship and business needs this week.

As much as creating this magazine takes from me, I can promise you it gives me so much more. And yet I realize that for me to have this life and create all that I do, it’s not an option to neglect myself spiritually, emotionally, physically, or socially. As my business grows, I allow myself to grow as well, to receive what I desire and the support I need to thrive. Ultimately what I learned about perseverance is that it’s about consistently being the best version of yourself: living, learning, growing, giving, and having a whole lot of fun in between.

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