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We can choose to grow habits of the mind and the heart that will guide us naturally to love and service. We can blossom through presence and good mental habits to awaken our authentic spirit.

Love is the common denominator. Love is the universal energy of the universe.

The human condition is enduring; adversity will forever ascend. The impact of adversity can be an insidious virus or rich nourishment for our souls. We can choose to use adversity as nourishment to awaken our authentic spirit. Our authentic spirit is our love, which we are, and our service, how we act.

Choose to practice courage.

We can practice courage by doing what we are afraid of doing. We can dream big and realize we are destined for greatness even when we have self-doubt. We can be honest with ourselves and with others about our feelings and what we need. We can reach out with love even when we are afraid of rejection. We can share our gifts and talents even when we think they aren’t good enough. We can believe the universe conspires in our favor even if others tell us differently. We can lean on faith like a flower does the sunshine.

When we practice courage we become more courageous. One act and one thought at a time, we muster bravery to reach to our greatest destiny. Choosing to practice courage is the ultimate unselfish act because we are able to give more when we are brave.

Choose to create joy.

We can create joy with beautiful intention by smiling, laughing, being open to possibilities and saying yes to ourselves and others. We can create joy by being mindful with the moment, understanding that the moment is all there is. We can choose to let the good drown out the bad. We are meant to live joyously. Choosing to create joy is how we let our soul shine; it is our delightfully natural state.

Choose to live in gratitude.

We can have a grateful heart by living in a place of appreciation for everything. We can think about, talk about and write about beautiful moments. Everything can be seen as a blessing when we live in gratitude. Choosing to live in gratitude results in a humble and peaceful state of mind where the foundation of our love and service is built.

Choose to be compassionate.

We can choose to see the love in ourselves and others. Remember everybody has a story, including ourselves. We can scatter kindness, refrain from judgment and focus on educating our hearts by caring for ourselves and then for others. Choosing to be compassionate is our tenderness and love in action.

Our authentic spirits and greatest destinies are roused with courage, joy, gratitude and compassion through love and service.

Choose to awaken your authentic spirit.

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Erin is a national speaker and organizational expert on leadership and living joyfully. She has been a leader in the non-profit sector serving children and families for the past 23 years. She is the mother of 4, has 3 dogs, a cat and is an avid reader. She has a degree in Child Development and Psychology, California State University at Sacramento and a Master of Science in Public Service Administration, University of Evansville.

Erin started her own company, Inspiration and Alignment, in 2010 to empower women to believe in their destiny for greatness. Her cornerstones are to practice courage, create joy, live in gratitude and be compassionate. Erin is known for her contagious laugh and her powerful presence both on and off stage.

Erin has a unique gift for public speaking. She is able to actively engage her audiences through genuine messages of professionalism, leadership and strategies for future success. Her mixture of personal stories and proven practices allows the messages to become relevant and applicable for each audience member. Erin is funny, compassionate, enthusiastic, and authentic; all a perfect combination for powerful and moving engagements. Her message is universal: success starts within and is possible for everyone.

For more information, please visit and

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. It seems that no matter how things are evolving, they ARE evolving and changing. Using the premise listed in the piece, we can always make a positive from any situation if we choose courage, joy, gratitude, and compassion as a blueprint. We just have to have enough courage to choose to do so.

  2. Erin, my question to you: How do you get someone who is afraid of talking to people, i.e. lacks the courage, to make the call that they say the desperately want to make?

    1. Hi Werner,
      This is a good question because most of us struggle with taking a step that is scary.
      Here are few strategies that help me and may help others:
      1. Ask yourself what is the worst case scenario. The fact is that in most situations we have made it a big deal when in reality we really don’t have much to lose. This helps remove fear.
      2. Put your foot in the other shoe. I think about how I would perceive it if someone else was to do what I was contemplating. Nine out of ten times I would really think it was no biggie. Reminding ourselves that it doesn’t need to be a big deal for us either is helpful.
      3. Use positive self talk and encouragement. I am worthy. I am capable. I am brave. I am willing to get out of my comfort zone. My intention is positive and my action is purposeful.
      4. Ask yourself what you would tell a friend. Often we encourage our friends but forget to encourage ourselves. Be a friend to yourself.
      5. Remind yourself it will be done in a matter of minutes. I look back on so many things that I was so afraid to do (public speak, try hot yoga, express a feeling, etc.) and now most of these scary things are old hats. It is very liberating to know just a few minutes of bravery can change your whole life and expand your horizons. Make a move. Take a step.
      6. Think about other times when you were brave and how it felt. It is important to go back to our experiences to build our confidence. In most cases, even if things didn’t turn out how we hoped we were still glad we tried.
      7. Talk about it with a trusted friend or colleague or family member. As long as it isn’t downright dangerous, people will help you and encourage you. If they don’t, look for others that will.
      8. Look at it as practice. I use situations like this, making a call I am afraid to make, as practice for the bigger and scarier things in my life. I like to think they are all notches in my belt or gold nuggets in my pocket. It feels good to practice.
      9. Have faith. Have faith in yourself and in the universe. Believe that things are conspiring in your favor and they will.
      10. Make sure you know what you want. When you make choices to practice courage; make sure these actions will propel you towards what you want (peace, good relationships, abundance, integrity, etc.)
      Practice Courage! It works.
      Take a step towards your greatness every day.
      All my best, Erin

      1. These ten steps are awesome and I am proud to say that I follow the majority of them but can always need more work. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all, Erin!

  3. How did you get to be so wise? I know you and I know you truly live those words. Perhaps you could “bottle” those qualities somehow. 🙂

  4. I say this Grace and hold hands with whomever is at my table: “Thank you Love for Creating Life and Thank you Life for Being Love.” Seeing through the lens of Gratitude and Love melts the clouds of doubt away and the Love and Light shines on through. I am happy, happy, happy. 😉

  5. Dear Erin, That was wonderful to say the least.May God give you more time and energy to reel out such inspiring thoughts.

  6. This is beautiful! I’m a Christian and naturally this appeals to me because it paraphrases what I read in Gods Word and strive for. A lot of times it can be a struggle.

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