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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inspirational Coffee Club: An Interview with Julie Clark

As founder of the delightfully invigorating Inspirational Coffee Club™, Julie Clark knows what it takes to savor life to the fullest. Through her Inspirational Coffee Club, Julie shares one-of-a-kind strategies that teach women how to pour their hearts into a life that overflows with fulfillment. Offering a unique blend of strategies she calls her ‘Ground Rules’ for brewing up a life you love, Julie has become America’s favorite coffee break companion.

Julie’s messages emphasize that achieving a life filled to the brim with happiness, fulfillment and success is within your grasp. By sharing her Ground Rules for Life, she provides just the right blend of fun, inspiration and motivation to give your life a boost. Her Inspirational Coffee Club supports you in becoming the woman you've always wanted to become, encourages you to create a future filled with joy and challenges you to savor each day to the fullest!

Julie has developed an innovative approach to applying these Ground Rules—a method she calls ‘Inspirational Coffee Breaks.’ She teaches women how to take charge of their lives, set and achieve goals for the future, embrace risk, savor each day and feel more happy and grateful than ever before. She is the author of a new book: Inspirational Coffee Breaks for Women: 12 Ground Rules for Pouring Your Heart into Life—a unique guide for living that is overflowing with heartwarming stories and rich wisdom to help women discover creative, new ways to renew and revitalize their lives. (And you don’t have to be a coffee lover to enjoy it!) It was recently named a finalist in the ‘Best Books 2010’ Awards from USA Book News, and I was really excited to talk with Julie about it (read more below for a special offer going on TODAY with Julie's book).

Shelly Rachanow: As most everyone who knows me can attest, inspiration and coffee are two of my favorite things so I was really excited to learn about The Inspirational Coffee Club! What was your inspiration for creating it?

Julie Clark: I’ve been a coffee lover since I was 3-years old. My first coffee break companion was my Grandma who taught me a very special technique--dunking sugar cookies into my coffee and the habit stuck! I’ve carried my love for coffee into my adulthood. From my early years of enjoying treasured coffee breaks with my Grandma to the current days of sharing cherished coffee time with my mom and my friends, coffee has played a critical role in my development through the years. I’ve learned that coffee can be such a powerful metaphor for living life to the fullest. So I decided to blend my love for coffee and passion for personal growth into something fun, refreshing and motivating—hence The Inspirational Coffee Club—a unique and uplifting spin on personal fulfillment to help women awaken their potential and get a boost of encouragement for life.

Shelly Rachanow: What does an inspirational coffee break actually look like?

Julie Clark: An Inspirational Coffee Break involves taking purposeful, scheduled time to refill that part of yourself that gets poured out in the daily grind. Let’s face it—the majority of time you spend pouring yourself endlessly out to others—and that’s one of the qualities that makes you so special. You love to put other people’s needs first. But if you continue to pour yourself out to others without ever filling yourself back up, you’ll soon be going through life on empty--overwhelmed, burned out, depressed, stressed, exhausted, and out of touch with yourself. The truth is you cannot be your best self when you are constantly running on empty. To be a great mom, wife, daughter, employee, boss, or friend you must first be a great you. This means you need to keep your body and mind healthy.

An Inspirational Coffee Break can be simply 15 minutes of quiet time for yourself each day doing something the refreshes and refills you. A true Inspirational Coffee Break should not only recharge your body, but it should invigorate your mind and soul as well. Use some of these short spurts of down time to consciously invest in your happiness and well-being. Fill yourself with regular sources of inspiration to help you become a better woman, improve yourself, and get re-inspired for the rest of your life. Regular breaks from the daily grind are essential for a high quality life.

Shelly Rachanow: Can inspirational coffee breaks really make a difference? How have they done so for you?

Julie Clark: Absolutely! I take Inspirational Coffee Breaks on a near daily basis to keep inspired in the hustle and bustle of life and to set me in the right mindset for the day. On any given morning, you will find me alone—taking 15-30 minutes of quiet time for myself in my favorite cozy chair, enjoying my first cup of coffee, filling myself up with something inspirational and positive: a new magazine or self improvement book, passages from my study Bible, an inspiring interview or article, etc. I sit quietly, giving myself plenty of time for self reflection and loving every solitary moment as I relax my body and refill my soul. This is the time when I gain many new insights about my life. In fact, it was during one of my Inspirational Coffee Breaks that the idea to start The Inspirational Coffee Club came to mind and the entire 12 Grounds Rules came flooding out of me! These moments of down time continue to be the times when I get my best ideas!

I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without my treasured Inspirational Coffee Breaks! Its a definite daily ritual I try to never miss. I wouldn’t have near as much energy and optimism to face the day, I wouldn’t be nearly as connected to myself without them. People often comment how peaceful and relaxed I am although my life is busy and filled with responsibility. I just practice what I preach—a daily Inspirational Coffee Break.

Shelly Rachanow: You have some wonderful “ground rules for savoring life.” Tell us more about some of these.

Julie Clark: The Inspirational Coffee Club’s foundational messages are based upon our ’12 Ground Rules for Life.’ These are the 12 themes for which the new book is based on. Four of my favorites include:

Find Your Special Blend—Be True to Yourself: In a world where we’re pulled in so many directions, it can be so easy to get ground down by the expectations and demands of others that we start to lose track of who we even are anymore. Finding Your Special Blend means getting to know the real you again and following the desires of your heart. It’s taking a stand for who you are instead of being what you think everyone else wants you to be. The real source of fulfillment is discovering who you are. You were made to be your own Special Blend. Find and live yours!

Don’t Be Afraid to Burn Your Tongue—Take Some Chances: So many of us are scared to try anything new for fear that we might fail. The truth is, in order to live life to the fullest, you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone and take some risks, try new things and challenge yourself. Don’t worry so much about making mistakes because that’s how we learn and grow. The happiest women aren’t the ones who have made the least mistakes in life; they’re the ones who have tasted all that life has to offer, even if that means burning their tongue along the way.

Take Time to Fill Another’s Cup—Make a Difference: We weren’t created to live for ourselves. We were created to add value to the lives of others. On our journey to fill our own cups, we must also be on the look-out for ways we can pour happiness onto those around us. People tend to feel better about their own lives when they know they are making a difference in someone else’s. Happiness is a natural result of doing something to make someone else happy. Taking time to fill another’s cup is one of the best ways to create a live that overflows with joy.

Leave Room for Cream and Sugar—Enjoy Yourself: For some reason, as we grow older we seem to repress our sense of fun in preference for something called 'maturity.’ It becomes so easy to take life too seriously or become so wrapped up in our day-to-day routines that sometimes we forget to leave time for some plain old fun. Remember to mix a little more enjoyment and fun—what I call cream and sugar—into your everyday life again. Life tastes so much better best when sweetened with fun.

Shelly Rachanow: Your book Inspirational Coffee Breaks for Women: 12 Ground Rules for Pouring Your Heart into Life really helps women revitalize their lives. And there are some exciting things happening with your book TODAY! Tell us what’s going on.

Julie Clark: Today, November 16th, is the official online launch of the new book, and The Inspirational Coffee Club is preparing to give women around the world a desperately needed shot of inspiration. To celebrate the launch, today we’re hosting the world’s largest virtual ‘INSPIRATIONAL COFFEE BREAK’ to help women refill that part of themselves that gets poured out in the daily grind. Anyone who purchases the book today from Amazon.com, will receive an extra JOLT of bonus gifts from over 90 other invigorating authors and entrepreneurs from across the world who can help women improve in all areas of their lives. It’s truly meant to give women from all walks of life a LIFE BOOST! Here’s how you can be a part of it: http://www.inspirationalcoffeebreaksforwomen.com/.

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the 'If Women Ran the World Blog' question for everyone - What would you do if you ran the world?

Julie Clark: Well, first I’d make coffee breaks mandatory! Then, I’d try to inspire people to live each day as if it were their last. So many of us take our days for granted and waste our precious time. We rush through life waiting for some kind of wake-up call before we start enjoying it. I want people to realize that we have no idea when our last day will be so we need to live fully NOW, remembering that each day is a gift. Once it’s gone it can never be recaptured no matter how badly we wish it could. Remember there are no do-over’s in life. A ‘good’ life is not measured by the number of days we live, but by the life we put into those days. Get out there and live now. In other words, pour your heart into it!

For more information or to contact Julie:

The Inspirational Coffee Club™
PO Box 87922
Sioux Falls, SD 57109

Ph: (605) 271-8983

Email: Julie@theinspirationalcoffeeclub.com

Website: http://www.theinspirationalcoffeeclub.com/

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