I like writing about all kinds of things, but it seems like I’m most drawn to blogging about interior design…

and INTERIOR design…

Today I feel drawn to the latter, but I never really know what I’m going to feel like writing about on any given day. That’s kind of what I love most about blogging- the excitement that comes with sharing by the seat of your skirt, and not knowing what you’re going to discover or reveal about yourself from one day to the next. It’s exhilarating, and I enjoy the process so, so much.

And speaking of the joys of blogging, I had so much fun (link) partying with y’all yesterday! Your words of the year were truly like sunshine on my screen!

It’s incredibly inspiring to see so much LIGHT floating around out there, and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your words with us yesterday.

Which brings me to my next thought.

There’s this gal I follow on Twitter. Her twitter name is @BethRago and her tweets are always fun to wake up to.

(Surprise, Elizabeth! And thank you for giving new meaning to the phrase, “BRIGHT and early”. Your tweets are delightful, and informative, and appreciated!)

Well, after a couple of tweets back and forth with her the other day, she took sweetness one step further and sent me a really, really fantastic PDF via email. The article she sent is called “10 Rules For Brilliant Women“, and it was written by Tara Sophia Mohr. It’s about embracing your inner bright-and-shiny, and I wanted to share the first four rules here on our blog today, in the hope that you’d be inspired to read the rest of them over at Tara’s site.

1. Make a pact. No one else is going to build the life you want for you. No one else will even be able to completely understand it. The most amazing souls will show up to cheer you on along the way, but this is your game. Make a pact to be in it with yourself for the long haul, as your own supportive friend at every step along the way.

2. Imagine it. What does a knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park life look like for you? What is the career that seems so incredible you think it’s almost criminal to have it? What is the dream you don’t allow yourself to even consider because it seems too unrealistic, frivolous, or insane? Start envisioning it. That’s the beginning of having it.

3. Gasp. Start doing things that make you gasp and get the adrenalin flowing. Ask yourself, “What’s the gasp-level action here?” Your fears and a tough inner critic will chatter in your head. That’s normal, and just fine. When you hear that repetitive, irrational, mean inner critic, name it for what it is, and remember, it’s just a fearful liar, trying to protect you from any real or seeming risks. Go for the gasps and learn how false your inner critic’s narrative really is, and how conquerable your fears.

4. Get a thick skin. If you take risks, sometimes you’ll get a standing ovation, and sometimes, people will throw tomatoes. Can you think of any leader or innovator whom you admire who doesn’t have enthusiastic fans and harsh critics? Get used to wins and losses, praise and pans, getting a call back and being ignored. Work on letting go of needing to be liked and needing to be universally known as “a nice person.”

Pretty motivating, huh? You can find the rest of Tara’s rules at!

I love what she said about looking for the gasp-factor, and doing things that get your adrenaline flowing. Adrenline-pumping activities are definitely something this scaredy cat tends to shy away from, but I love the idea of it, and think I should be more intentional about “going for the gasp” this year.

I also love her suggestion to think about what a “knock-the-ball-out-of-the-park” life would look like. It’s fairly easy for me to “carpe diem”, but maybe it’s time to start concentrating on “carpe d’life”-ing!

Her 4th rule is definitely one of my biggest INTERIOR design dilemmas. It seems that my heart is stitched securely to my sleeve, and sometimes it feels like there’s not a seam ripper in the world strong enough to remove it.

How about you? Are you a skinny-skinned person, too? Should we try to start unraveling some of those stubborn stitches together this year?

(Insert YOU, nodding your head up and down right HERE.)

To be honest, I’m not sure what the first step towards thicker skin is, but Tara’s rule #10 might have something to do with it…

10. Let other women know they are brilliant. Let them know what kind of brilliance you see, and why it’s so special. Call them into greater leadership and action. Let them know that they are ready.  – Tara Mohr

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  1. cathi says

    Thanks for posting this layla. I really identified with the ‘wanting everyone to like me and being thought of as a nice person’ part. I have spent way to many years trying to be someone I’m not because I thought that was who I was suppose to be. Guess what~ God made me and therefore, I need to be ME! This theme keeps propping up in my life so, I must need it! Thanks, again! And, my word for the year is “DO”~ so, I’m off to
    start “doing!”

  2. says

    We have so many arrogant idiots in here, I’d better to become one to keep up with them:) Love the rules. Will read more of her posts!

  3. says

    Thank you so much for the lovely compliments! I am so happy you loved Tara’s piece as much as I did and absolutely LOVED reading the comments for this post! I am so inspired when I hear other people feeling moved by the encouragement of others. (I hope that made sense..) The support of a community is great for your heart and soul and I really feel your site embodies a positive space where people can gather and share their thoughts and ideas. Keep up the great work! And thanks again. I am truly touched. :)

  4. Geri says

    Hi my fav blogger friend.
    Not sure what personal critics could be about you that would
    ever be negative or hurtful.
    You are the most honest, creative, and centered person in my opinion. You have a beautiful life that you took chances to attain. You have a soul that God is so proud of. You have a spirit that soars and sings each day.
    I am much like you though so I get. Now that i am older it seems I never have those doubts or hurts. My friend once had the best advice ever for me when I was about your age. She told me”consider the source”. Light bulb moment. Since that day I am not effected by most negative comments. Only fam I guess, which they never do, could make me feel sad about myself.

  5. says

    I love this. I am very thin skinned and often find myself getting my feelings hurt about all things in life. I have been working really hard on telling myself not to get offended or hurt by certain things that happens. I seriously sit there and tell myself to breath, calm down, and let this one roll off. It helps :)

    We should all be encouraging each other. There is so much room for all creative outlets!

    Thanks for posting this. What a great way to start the day!

  6. says

    Layla: So true, I know I’m much older than you and have had years of experience to toughen my skin, but honestly it’s a daily choice for me. I can get ‘crushed’ with the best of them. I love that song by Casting Crowns “Voice of Truth” it says: “…To step out of my comfort zone
    To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
    And He’s holding out his hand

    But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
    Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed
    The waves they keep on telling me
    Time and time again. ‘Boy, you’ll never win!’
    “You’ll never win”

    But the voice of truth tells me a different story
    And the voice of truth says “Do not be afraid!”
    And the voice of truth says “This is for My glory”
    Out of all the voices calling out to me
    I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth”…

    It’s so true, I have to choose to listen to the truth and not be afraid. Little Bit from

  7. says

    I agree Little Bit! I love that Casting Crowns song. Its not always easy but listening to the Voice Of Truth…. always brings me more joy , because its said without murky motives, just LOVE.
    layla i love your take on Interior Design, the internal type. I enjoy this blog……inspiring in so many ways. Thx!

  8. says

    What a wonderful post. I thought you were going to talk more interior design – and then it turned into the real “interior design” of your soul. I will go and read her other “brilliant women” rules…but the ones you posted brought me new insight. I always write on other blogs when I think the authors have really done something truly brag worthy. I want to let them know how special they are. And when I get a comment or an email from another blogger about something I’ve done – I am on a high note all day (so I do love to return the favor).

    I love the one about “what it will feel like to knock one out of the park.” I am going to keep that in my mind for today…and beyond.

    All creative people wear their hearts on their sleeves – so it is hard to grow a thicker skin. You are creating with all of your heart and soul – so when someone says something negative – it really hurts. It’s not like accounting or some other professional where you can separate yourself from your output. I am growing a bit of a thicker skin – but I think this is coming on because of age. When I was 20, 30 or even in my 40s…I would break in two from someone’s criticism. If someone doesn’t like something I do now – I really care a lot less. One good thing about growing older!

    Thanks for your posts – and I adore your illustrations. Wish I had your talent for that!


  9. says

    What a great post! I just want to say how inspiring it is to see a blogger so passionate about what they do. You give some great insight and tips! When blogging, some people find it hard to open up, and others have a very easy time with it. Glad to see you express so much passion in what you do!