Monday, January 21, 2019

My Truths: Everything is a Miracle


My second truth is to see everything as a miracle. Everything is a miracle. And when you look at things that way, your entire perspective on life changes. You begin to find gratitude for the smallest things. You notice the minute details you normally take for granted. When everything is a miracle, life becomes so sweet.

The tiniest things become huge when you look at everything as the miracle it is. Your problems shrink, and those things that feel like they might break you pause for a single second so you can take a cleansing breath and recall how grateful you are just to be alive. 

Yes, sometimes things hurt. Badly. Sometimes the pain is so awful we don't want to live through it. But sometimes we can look at things from a different angle. Sometimes we can use a lens of gratitude to filter our vision. When we take a moment to remember how miraculous it is that we're alive, living the life we're living... Your focus becomes laser sharp. You can home in on the truly important things in your life. 

Generally, those aren't the problems you're focusing on when you're worrying. Through our minor daily struggles, we tend to zone in on the bad stuff. But when we flip the script and count all of our blessings whenever we encounter a problem, we change the way we see things. We can create a different outlook on life. We can see everything as a miracle. Because everything is a miracle.

Seriously. Go back as far as you can in your family tree. ALL of those people HAD to do what they did in order for you to live the exact life you're living. If anything had been different, you wouldn't be you. You wouldn't have the opportunities you have. You wouldn't have the path in front of you and the history you have behind you. Sometimes we want those things to be different, but when we truly get down to it, do we really? How much of your life would you want to change if it would alter your entire existence completely?

Probably not a whole lot. 

So let's spend some of today being grateful for the things we do have. Let's take a moment to view every single thing in our lives and on this planet as a miracle. It's miraculous that we're here, alive and together, right now. So treat every day accordingly and find gratitude for that. 

Vibe high, friends.


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Monday, January 14, 2019

My Truths: Be Positive, Kind, and Productive



My first truth should come as no surprise to anyone. My entire body of work is all about being positive, kind, and productive. So it makes sense that this is the first thing I'm going to talk about this year. 

While I won't say I'm all three of these all the time, I do strive to be all three more and more, as much as I can. Some days, I'm more positive than I am productive. Some days, I'm more productive than kind. And some days, I'm just a mess. It happens. ;) 

But most days, I try to stay present and focus on being positive, kind, and productive. 

Does it always happen? Of course not. We'll talk later about making progress instead of being perfect. That's incredibly important to focus on so you don't get stuck at any given point of the process. But I do aim to work on them as often and as well as I can. 

So what does it mean to be positive, kind, and productive. Let's chat about that.

To me, being positive means staying hopeful. It means believing in the possibility of success. It means keeping your hopes up when the going gets tough. Being positive is about taking those chances when the odds seem stacked against you but you desperately want it anyway. It does not mean never feeling negativity or avoiding any negative emotions. We have to feel what we feel, but positivity means working through it efficiently and effectively, not pushing it down and repressing. 

To me, being kind means showing kindness. It means treating others the way you want to be treated. And it means not treating others the way you don't want to be treated. Plus, it means showing yourself kindness. Being kind and helpful to others is selfless, appreciated, and sweet. But you can't pour from an empty cup and all of that. You have to take care of yourself and show yourself the mercy you extend to those around you. It's a must, not a should. 

To me, being productive means more than just being busy. It means checking those important things off your to-do list, no matter how long they take you. It means making progress on the projects you want to accomplish. It means staying organized and focused on one thing at a time to get things done in a meaningful, impactful way. Being productive is how you achieve what you want to achieve in this life. If there's a will, there's a way to be productive.

These things are near and dear to my heart. They're always a work in progress, and I love discovering new things about them as life goes on. I can always fine-tune my truths as I change, evolve, and grow, and these three basic tenets in my life will change, evolve, and grow with me as I do. They're fundamental to a happy, healthy, compassionate life. And those, above all, are the things I strive to be.

Vibe high, friends.


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Monday, January 7, 2019

My Truths: A Year-Long Deep Dive



Hey, friends. It's been a hot minute since I've blogged regularly over here. Last year was really something, and I let other things get in the way of being consistent on this blog. This year, that changes. I've made a few other words "my words" for the year, but CONSISTENCY should have been it. BALANCE, FOCUS, and FEARLESS won out, though by focusing on those, I will create consistency in my life. 

Consistency for this blog includes a weekly post on the ideas my soul calls true. I will write about the things that make my life kind, that give my life meaning, that help me live to my potential. These are the things I hold dear but don't always remember in the moment. My aim by writing these is to reinforce them in my life and anchor them to my soul. To create these boundaries and cement them as important and essential. I wish to make them a full and inextricable part of my life by explaining them here and talking about them with you.

During this journey throughout the year, I encourage you to speak out about your own truths. I urge you to list yours, talk about them, and reinforce them in your life. I invite you to comment here, on Facebook, and in person about what you think of mine and how you can apply them to your own life. I want to hear your voice as you set your own boundaries, create your own goals, and reinforce your own beautiful truths. I want to know if any of these resonate with you and how they help you craft your own. I want you to speak up and out.

Let's do this, friends. Let's take a deep dive into what's true and what we should hold near and dear to our hearts day in and day out. I look forward to sharing with you and hearing what you think.

See you next Monday (and every Monday throughout 2019). 

Vibe high, friends.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Sabotage

By a show of hands, tell me if you've ever sabotaged yourself.

My guess is you're holding your hand up. 

We all do this, don't we? Whether we mean to or not, we do it. When something really amazing is on the horizon, we mess it up because we're scared or worried. When we're so close to achieving something awesome, we purposely slow down or don't finish the project so we don't fail. Or we start working on something else because a shiny new idea takes form in our brains. Or we take on so many other things and say yes to everyone else instead of ourselves because we need to feel like we don't actually have the time to make our own lives better.

Sound familiar? If so, then keep reading. We need to fix this and make ourselves stand up and show up for our own lives. It isn't easy, but it's worth it to be there for yourself.

For me, it happens a lot with my writing. I decide I want to write a lot more and set some ambitious goals. But then the universe tests me by sending me all kinds of client work. I accept it because 1) I am a human who needs to make money and 2) I love working with my clients, reading their work, and polishing it up for them. But the fact is that saying yes to that work means saying no to working on my own fiction. Even though it sounds like an excuse, it's tough for me to edit someone else's fictional world all day and then write in my own. To put out my best work, I shouldn't do both. So I don't.

So I moved to writing more nonfiction. Problem solved. Right?

Not. Then the universe tested me yet again by throwing another paid opportunity my way. And I said yes because I truly respect what this company is doing and use their website myself a ton. It's really changed my life and the way/how much I produce. So I'm happy to work with them to help them out. But that also means saying no to using my time for my own work.

Cut to this past week where a client missed a deadline so I had some time to catch up on my book - and I wrote it in 4 1/2 days. Not cool, you guys. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm glad I got it done. I'm proud of it and really excited to publish it. But shit. I never want to do that again. I NEED to stick to my plan. Or at least some semblance of it so I don't need to catch up that quickly or be in danger of not keeping a promise to myself.

Which means I need to make new promises to myself.

I'd be lying if I said I'm not enticed by working on projects where I'm guaranteed money when I'm done. But, in the end, my goal is to be paid for my books and make my income from my own work, whether that includes books, videos, courses, coaching, etc. I don't know what all of that looks like yet, but I certainly want it to be from my own stuff. The stuff I create and put out into the universe to help gorgeous, amazing people who want to better themselves like you.

So I HAVE to keep producing work. I can't afford to put my goals and my work aside for money I'll make once right now when my work can be sold to multiple people as many times as people will buy it. I HAVE to stop sabotaging myself by saying yes to everything. I need to be choosier with how I spend my time. I need to work harder to say no to Facebook, email 29846 times a day, etc. I need to remember that not everything is a fire and I can put them out later, not in the middle of work time. I need to trust my intuition more. And I chose not to do graphics for this post because it was preventing me from writing this up. Sometimes you have to change it up and work through it to get to the other side. And here we are.

So I promise to trust my gut. I promise to get more in tune with my intuition. I promise to look out for myself, stay the course, and pursue my future even if it means saying no to something that, on paper, would make sense. I promise to speak up for my health and not compromise it just to go along with the status quo. I promise to make reasonable goals and set a sustainable pace. And I promise not to be too rigid.

It's your turn now. What about you? 

What do you need to work on to make sure you don't sabotage yourself anymore? What promises do you need to make in order to live a life you love so much more? Let me know, and tell me how I can help hold you to it. :)

Vibe high, friends.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pace

While I struggle with several things, this one could take the crown. I don't know about you, but I'm an "all in or all out" kind of person. All or nothing. So, last year, when my friend and dental hygienist asked me how many days a week I should start flossing to build the habit (I should have already had), I didn't hesitate before saying, "Seven." I'm either all in or all out. None of this "three days a week at first to start" crap for me.

Guess what though? I followed through. Because that's the thing about all-or-nothing people. We agree, we make a plan, and we follow through. Even if it kills us. Which somethings can come close if we're not careful. And that's why PACE is so important to consider. Flossing takes a minute out of your life, so it's not a big deal to add that to your nightly routine. But bigger things? Those lofty goals we want to pursue? Yeah... Those need careful consideration when it comes to the pace we decide to go with.

You need to adopt a sustainable pace or you'll run yourself into the ground.

I wish I could tell you that I didn't learn this the hard way. And I wish even harder that I could tell you I've learned my lesson and always set a sustainable pace from the get-go. Unfortunately, those would both be lies. I've learned the very hard way, and I'm still learning. Sometimes it's easier than others, but other times I just want to rush into things headlong and accomplish them as soon as possible.

What we forget when we do that, though, is that we'll miss out on the beautiful journey as we go from point A to point B. Reaching your goal isn't the only incredible part about embarking on that voyage. Experiencing life and enjoying the process - those things are so valuable and often missed out on when we rush and let perfectionism, overwhelm, and then guilt take over.

So slow the hell down, okay?


It's OKAY to take things slower than you think they should go. It's okay to start from the ground up and learn lessons along the way. It's okay if it takes you five years when it took your friend two. It's okay to make mistakes, change tactics, and even decide that a goal isn't right for you anymore. It's okay to slow down and enjoy the journey.

What isn't okay is working yourself to death. If you love your work, go for it. But remember that we MUST rest, eat properly, move our bodies, and generally take care of ourselves. You won't last very long if you're constantly GO GO GO and not refilling your tank. It's not okay to run yourself ragged. Exhaustion is not a badge of honor. It's not a competition to see how much more you can get done than the next person.

Life is meant to be enjoyed - even when you're in the thick of a goal or a deadline.

One thing I've needed to remember is that we can't take anything with us when we die. Not our money, not our status, not our accomplishments - it all stays here on the physical plane. Sure, it'll be here long after we're gone, but what good is it to you if you're dead? Enjoy life NOW. You won't get another chance like this to experience the things in your life exactly how they are right now.

So the best advice I have for you is to find a pace you can sustain. If you love what you do and want to do it for a long time, your pace must suit your health. You can only do what you love if you're healthy enough to do it. So taking care of yourself must be added into the equation. Exercise and proper nutrition do not go into the "if I have time" categories - they must be taken care of first. Only then can you accomplish everything you want to accomplish.

Take care of yourself, people. 


What I suggest is to take a look at your calendar for the month. Write down anything you've committed to already: meetings, appointments, work, dinners, kids' activities. Then pencil in time to take care of your body and your mind: exercise, meditation, gratitude practice, your morning routine, self-care. THEN include the goals you have. If they're so big that you need to cancel some meetings, appointments, or dinners, reschedule events, find someone else to shuffle the kids from practice to practice, do it - but only do it if you feel good about it. Don't regret not going to that family reunion and having a fun time because you were bogged down with this goal you've lost sight of and doesn't feel good anymore.

Reevaluate everything you've planned for your goal and decide if your pace is sustainable for the long term or if you're going to drive yourself crazy in the short term to get it done. Be VERY realistic with yourself. Remember that life happens and we get sick, hurt, and/or surprised by emergencies. Be a little more flexible with your all-or-nothing mentality and allow yourself a break if you miss a smaller goal on your way to a bigger one. Be friendly with the terms "adjust" and "no."

And, sure, feel free to be strict with yourself. Don't let the goal slide because you didn't feel like doing it. That's not a good excuse. Though I may advise you take a good, hard look at a goal if you don't feel like working on it. Have firm, steady reasons for WHY you're extending yourself the way you are, and then go for it. But make sure the pace you're setting from the outset is one that won't run you straight into the ground. Build habits you can live with, not ones that exhaust you in the end. Nothing is worth having to bounce back from that kind of unhealthy behavior.

Vibe high, friends.


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Overwhelm

Overwhelm. This is a huge problem for people-pleasers (like me) and empaths (like me), but it can be a huge problem for anyone. We say yes to a lot of things and then set goals we could probably reach if we worked nonstop. We take our best days and turn them into the standard, but that pace isn't sustainable - yet we don't seem to care. Then we fall behind, and the more behind we get, the more we fall into despair. And then, at the bottom, we sink into that mode where nothing at all gets done, we don't see the sunlight for three days straight, and just getting out of bed is a win because we've made ourselves physically sick.

Ugh.

Maybe it's not that extreme for you, but maybe you read that paragraph and knew exactly what I was talking about from experience. Maybe you've been right in those shoes. Or maybe you're there right now and wondering what the heck to do about it. Maybe you're a perfectionist through and through and can't get out of the rut that is feeling like a failure all the time because you didn't do things just right.

So how do you deal with overwhelm?



It isn't easy. It becomes this trap you keep falling into if you don't change your behavior. It turns into a mess you can't seem to find a way out of. Every day, you fall more and more behind on the things you wanted to accomplish, yet you keep saying yes to things because they sound like good opportunities on the surface. Maybe you're freelance and you need clients to stay in business, so you accept every project thrown your way. Been there, done that - it's not pretty.

If you're like me, you set these crazy unattainable goals. You think you can achieve them because, on your best days, you can produce like a maniac. Which means you set your targets so high that missing ONE day is devastating to your progress. Then you recalculate and realize you need to add MORE to your BEST in order to hit that goal. But that's nearly impossible to do without crashing. So what do you do?

The answer: focus on your needs.

Yes, you need clients. Yes, you need to create content. But those aren't needs in the basic sense. You need rest. You need food. You need exercise. You need to recharge. You need human connection. You need to grow and learn and evolve, and there's no time for any of those things if you're stuck in production mode. You have to break the cycle. Then you need to change your behavior.

Because things around you will not change unless you do. 


You have to go back to the fundamentals and make sure your true needs are being met. Then go from there. Let go of worry and say yes to the things you truly want to say yes to. Say no when things don't feel right to do. If the money from the project won't be worth what it's going to take to earn it, NO is a perfectly good word to pull from your vocabulary. But, if you're feeling jazzed at the thought of working on something, go for it! The money (since I'm sure that's part of the boiled-down reason of why you overwhelm yourself in the first place) will follow in some way. Trust in the universe.

I've found more abundance in my life by simply not worrying about it all. The more we focus on what we want to happen in a positive way, the more it'll come to you. But if you focus on the lack, you'll find more of the lack. Stay positive, y'all. It can seem frivolous and too rose-colored-glasses sometimes, but I swear it works.

So where do you start?

My suggestion is to start with your breath. Take a deep one, put your hand over your heart, and remember why you're here. This life is meant to be filled with experience. So this overwhelm is part of your experience. You are meant to experience this and learn from it. Grow from it. Evolve your systems and methods of production because of it. So FEEL it. Don't be afraid of it. Lean in toward it and get everything you can out of it.

Is it showing you that your pace is unsustainable? Have you set goals you can't reach while taking proper care of your health? Are you saying yes to things you don't even want to do, things that are negatively affecting your mind and body? Learn from this overwhelm and switch things up. Show up for yourself and accept flexibility. Maybe even develop routines and habits (discipline) to get out of the rut. Figure out what's reasonable for you so you can work with joy and peace and still take care of yourself.

Then set proper boundaries. Write it all out if you have to so you don't forget, too. Make sure you're clear with yourself when it comes to what you'll accept and what you won't. Dig deep to find what feels right for yourself. Feel free to get feedback, but in the end, you're the one who has to live with the decisions you make. So you should be the final say in what you'll put up with, accept, and work on. Reinforcing your self-worth can be huge for this.

In summary: take a breath, get reasonable, and set boundaries.


It may not be easy. At all. And it may not cure the overwhelm completely. You may backslide and end up in an overwhelmed state later. For now though, it'll make you feel better, which will help you take better care of yourself. Drop the worry and let things flow to you. Forcing them to happen only results in friction and frustration. So take a deep breath, figure out what's reasonable, and set the boundaries you don't want to cross any longer. Put one foot in front of the other as you pay close attention to your health and build yourself back up to a person who can do more as you grow.

You won't be stuck at this beginning forever, just like you won't be stuck in overwhelm forever. But you have to start somewhere, and it might as well be from the bottom. By doing that, you'll have a much bigger and better appreciation for the top once you reach it.

Vibe high, friends.











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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Positivity

Positivity is my jam, y'all. So much so that I've created a platform centered on it. All of my work revolves around being positive, kind, and productive, and after years of publishing journals for you to work with, I've started publishing actual books. And the first one, naturally, is about positivity.

But why? Why be positive in a world full of chaos?

It's not always easy to do. Being positive can require more mental energy until you build that habit of always looking on the bright side for the silver lining. But, once you've done that, it'll be so much easier to automatically find the positive part of each situation. You'll see what you can learn and how you can grow instead of wallowing in the parts that went wrong.

Being positive helps you evolve and live a happier life. Both of those things are very important to me, so I've built my life's work around helping others get there. I have lots more coming on the topics of positivity, kindness, and productivity (because I believe they're all interconnected), so stay tuned. For now, let's dive into how to get there.

What ways do you use to cultivate positivity?


Some of my favorite ways include setting intention, building a gratitude practice, and looking at everything as a blessing. All three of these combined have guided me toward a more consistent positive outlook that reduces stress and worry and improves my sleep, my overall health, and my desire to be kind and productive.

Setting intention is important because it helps you set the tone for the day. To set an intention, close your eyes and picture your day ahead. You can use actual visualization for this and see in your mind's eye what you want to happen that day. How will your interactions go? How will you use your time? What kind of attitude will you adopt? Will you have structure to your day? Think about these things and repeat a one-line phrase in your head that will set your intention. It can be something like, "Today, I will be kind to others and stay present in all moments," or "I aim to be productive and keep a smile on my face all day." Whatever you want to focus on that day is your intention, so set one wisely. I have a whole journal based on this very idea too!

Building a gratitude practice has become SO crucial to me. This is something I do literally before I even open my eyes in the morning. Once I'm awake, I go straight to thinking about things I'm grateful for. I aim for at least three, but I usually have no problem thinking of more now that it's become a habit. It started slowly at first, but the more you use the third technique I mentioned above (looking at everything as a blessing), you start to find it much easier to list things you're grateful for. You can write them down to keep track if you'd like. In fact, all of my journals have a place to list three things you're grateful for each day. It's been a staple in them since the very first one, and I don't see that ever changing. Gratitude is extremely powerful when you fully let it into your heart.

Looking at everything as a blessing is the final piece of this puzzle. When you view everything you go through and everyone you meet as something beneficial in some way, things change for you. You no longer lament about how things aren't working out how they're supposed to. You no longer get caught up in negative thinking patterns. Instead, you see things for what they are: stepping stones to the next version of you. Seeing things as miracles means you default to finding gratitude and appreciation for what is instead of what could have been. Find the miracle in everything and you'll always move forward.

Set intention. Be grateful. See blessings.


There are SO many other things you can do to find more positivity in your life. You can also meditate, regularly do yoga or other exercise, work on eating for nutrition, get out into the sun/nature each day, and many other things to build a positivity practice. Anything that helps you reframe your attitude to a positive one, that reminds you how beautiful life is, can help.

One of the things I'd suggest is checking out my new book. I know, I know - cheesy sales pitch here. But I wouldn't pitch it if I didn't think it could help. Writing it helped me view positivity in a whole new way, and I'd be remiss if I didn't spread the work I do, because it's all about finding more positivity, kindness, and productivity to be the best YOU you can be. That's what I want to see from you as I work on it with you.

And it's called YOU! You: The Positivity Alphabet


Each letter of the alphabet is represented by three words that I believe describe positivity. I make the caveat that you WILL NOT be ALL of these things ALL the time. I'm certainly not. It's just not possible (or maybe it is and that's the story I'm telling myself). But you CAN work on them individually to make the whole of you more positive and kind. And, thus, more apt to be a productive member of society. It's good all around, really. So start with a positivity practice to live a happier, healthier, calmer life. And if you need more suggestions or help, I'm always an email away.

Vibe high, friends.


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