It is no coincidence that the day I am writing and posting this blog is the very day I went to my first business conference! The room was filled with close to 100 women (and one man – Hi Chris!) who are passionate in the pursuit of their dreams. And can we talk about the speakers?! They were strong, kind, smart and beautiful. So it was the perfect day for me to write a blog about some of the women who inspire me! My hope for this post is that you can start using your time as a “content consumer” to fill yourself up – rather than leave the content world (ie. podcasts, blogs, instagram, etc.) feeling empty. It is possible. And the best part is that YOU can control what you listen to, who you follow, and what you read! It was a practice that was life-changing for me these past couple of years.
I left Facebook back in 2016 because the feelings I got from it were significantly negative. I personally felt like Instagram gave me a new start, because I could pick and choose who/what I followed. Eventually, however, I started the mindless scrolling and realized the same emotions were starting to stir (whhhatt?!). This time it was not from hyper-political posts or passive-aggressive news articles, but through absolutely no fault of their own, it was from other girls/women. I would look at one of their posts and suddenly feel inferior. I would feel like I needed to have cuter clothes, constantly have eyelash extensions, be travelling nonstop, or have the perfect backdrop for every single picture. My focus suddenly became on what I didn’t have, rather than being grateful and joyful with what I do have. But the solution was simple! I unfollowed them. That didn’t make them a bad person, but I had to protect “me.” I needed to start following people or things that filled me up. So I started following inspiring, encouraging women, nonprofits, local businesses that I had actually met the sweet faces behind the business names, etc. Suddenly, social media became a source of joy for me again. So I will share a few of the incredible women who bring so much light to my life via social media.
The first woman I want to share I started following years ago, after a horrific tragedy struck her life and showed up on my feed. Her name is Helen Elizabeth (Peters/Strickland). Helen was a former Miss Arkansas USA, and her late husband, Craig Strickland, proposed to her on stage for the world to see! They had a gorgeous wedding, and she was the biggest fan of his country band, Backroad Anthem. Less than a year into their marriage, and just days after Christmas, Craig and his best friend passed away from a boat accident while on a hunting trip. The most heart-wrenching part was that he was “missing” for days before they found his body, and she eventually joined the search party. I was captivated by this story not primarily because of the sheer tragedy of it, but because of her. She was a young woman who had just lost the man she loved most, and yet, she shared her strength through her faith. She didn’t first share it years later. She showed the strength through the hardest hour, through her greatest times of pain. And she created a space for people experiencing pain, grief and loss to feel less alone, seen and loved. Over the years, it has been incredible to see her transformation as a young widow into a motivational speaker, podcast hostess, ministry leader, and even a new bride again.
This is one many of you may now know, Mrs Rachel Hollis! It’s no coincidence that I feel like she’s my best friend, and my best friend since childhood was also a Rachel. If you look at her now, you would see a powerhouse of a woman: one who has four kids, an incredible marriage, a thriving multi-million dollar company, two New York Times Best-Seller books, a QVC clothing line, and I’m sure a hundred more things. But my favorite thing about her is that everything she has now, she worked for. She didn’t just work for it all by being in an office 70+ hours/week, but she worked for it all by discovering who she truly was deep down. She shares about her traumatic childhood, what it was like growing up in a small and small-minded town, how it felt having expectations of quitting her work just because her husband’s work was keeping them financially-sound, how she struggled with her relationship with her body, how her family was stripped down to the bone during their adoption process, and so much more. Her road wasn’t easy, much like most of ours aren’t, either. Her story in every way takes you through an audit of your own life, and challenges you to live into who you truly are. Once you do that, your foundation is unshakeable, no matter what circumstances life throws at you. She once said that she does not want more followers, but that she wants to inspire more leaders. She’s throwing a party a level up, but she wants everyone to join her! That’s what I love about her.
The last I will be sharing with you today is Jordan Lee Dooley. I will be honest, I initially just loved that she was a midwestern gal with some chickens who seemed to be doing some really good things in this world. So I gave her a follow, and I am so incredibly glad I did!
She was what one person recently called an “expander” for me, in that she is someone who has paved the path that is very similar to what I aspire to follow. She shows that it is possible to achieve the dreams I have in my head, because she has done it. Like me, she seems to always have many projects going on or ideas that she is pursuing. But when you have this kind of personality, it becomes difficult to stay grounded. There has to be purpose in your day-to-day, because that day-to-day is what leads to your growth from year-to-year. She she wrote a book about it! It’s call “Own Your Everyday,” and it is incredible. It made me feel like I was talking to a good friend about how to realistically live out a life of purpose. It didn’t feel like she was talking to me from a stage, but rather, sitting across the coffee shop table with me.
I encourage all of you to do an audit of the media content you consume. Maybe it’s the books you read (or in my case, listen to because commuting in Phoenix..am I right?), the podcasts you listen to, the people you follow on social media, or the radio stations you listen to. Truly ask yourself how you feel after consuming it. If it doesn’t pour into your cup, don’t consume it. Pouring into your cup may be that it gives you rest, a good laugh, encouragement or inspiration. These were just a few of the women I choose to consume content from because they bring me joy, laughter (thank you Rachel Hollis for being ridiculously relatable), inspiration and feelings of warmth, friendship and hope. If you keep following all things inspo&grace, you’ll find many more of the people and things that inspire me!
Have an incredible week, friends. Remember that Monday is like a mini new years!! – (credit to someone on social media as I scrolled through and thought “oh that’s goooddd!”)
XoXo Lindsey Sholtis
Helen Elizabeth: https://helenelizabethspeaks.com/blog/page/1/
Rachel Hollis: https://www.landofmom.com/blog/getting-real-with-rachel-hollis
Jordan Lee Dooley: https://www.blissdomconference.com/jordandooley