mindset

Chin up, buttercup! If you have the post-holiday blues, I've got you covered.

A Seattle stormy day…

A Seattle stormy day…

Now that the holiday cheer and merriment that kept you busy from Halloween to New Years is over, you (or a loved one) may be feeling a range of emotions from relief to sadness to fatigue to explainable body aches.

While we expect the holiday season to be busy, somewhat stressful even, we tend to ignore the emotional aftermath, which can leave us navigating unfamiliar, dark territory. Unlike a physical wound where we would apply a bandage, emotional distress can be harder to acknowledge and therefore heal. As humans we also have a propensity to make our emotional wounds worse by discounting them as something else.

Post-holiday blues are unique to everyone. However, when some basic symptoms arise that seem out of the ordinary, you may want to slow down to evaluate why they may be cropping up.

Symptoms may include:

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue or insomnia

  • Muscle tension

  • Negative self-talk

  • Lack of focus or ability to concentrate

  • Anxiety

  • Hopelessness

  • Anger

Now, if you simply feel off this winter or show any of the above signs, read through the following list to determine what resonates with you. Pick one or two that you can commit to, to help remedy your symptoms.

Be sure you’re maintaining an excellent baseline for your body to function.

This includes:

  1. Quality sleep (ideally 6.5-9 hours) in a cool, dark room; if this is not possible, carve out a time to take a power nap. Most Americans undervalue sleep, yet if the majority of us would get enough sleep and drink water, our lives would be dramatically different!

  2. Staying hydrated by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day; set yourself up right by beginning your day (yes, before your coffee), with a large cup of lukewarm, lemon water to get your body hydrated and active, flushing out toxins that have settled while sleeping.

  3. Eating fresh, whole foods; include vegetables with every meal, as well as some healthy fats (nuts, avocado, coconut and extra-virgin olive oil); skip the sugar and processed foods and drinks. The old adage, “you are what you eat,” is scarier today than in any other modern time. Buy organic meats and know the Dirty Dozen list to avoid breaking the bank on fresh produce.

    People like to bypass the importance of nutrition and focus on the exercise component. I can’t emphasize it enough that you CANNOT exercise your way out of a bad diet. Those abs truly are made (or lost) in the kitchen.

    If this is an area you truly struggle in, I highly suggest you reach to me so that I can help you achieve your body health goals or at the very least outline a plan to help you create healthy eating habits. I have 21-Day Sugar Detox groups monthly or can also coach you one-on-one, digging deeper into the root cause of your health, or lack thereof.

  4. Exercising. This doesn’t have to be intense. Simply start your day with a minimum of 10 minutes of your favorite movements. This could be push-ups in your living room, squats while brushing your teeth, a dance party with your kids, or getting off of the bus or train a stop early to walk to the office, etc. Extra points if you can get outside in natural sunlight while exercising.

  5. Speaking of sunlight, get outside every chance you get. We have a very bad habit of sitting for hours, tucked inside, possibly never seeing the light of day for more than 5 minutes during the winter. By regulating your circadian rhythm, you’ll naturally have a lighter mood. Shoot for 20 minutes outside in the light. Better yet, break up your day with a walk at lunch with your best bud.

Create new  routines in your day that provide proper outlets and boundaries to help you thrive, including:

  1. Breath work – most of us take our breath for granted. Take a few minutes out of your day (ideally first thing in the morning or before going to bed) to slow down and pay attention to your breath. Simply breathe deeply in and out of your nose slowly 10 times or better yet meditate for 10 minutes.

  2. Be grateful – express your gratitude by pen or by voice daily. Finding 3-5 things to be grateful for daily, big or small, has a significant impact on your mental health.

  3. Draw or journal.

  4. Create time for creativity and play; detox from technology and the competing noise from being plugged in. We become more inspired and creativity flows freely in these “white” spaces of time in our day than forcing the hustle mentality.

  5. Get into nature – as noted above.

  6. Exercise – again, as noted above, make this a non-negotiable. If you’re sitting most of the day in front of a computer, be sure to take breaks every couple of hours and walk around the office or go for a walk outside. Getting your eyes off the screen and moving your body will dramatically alter your state and clear your mind, making room for better creativity.

  7. Mantras – your thoughts are incredibly powerful. What do you say about yourself; how do you talk to yourself? If necessary, change the self-talk to something positive and/or proclaiming powerful, optimistic statements that start with “I AM _____!”

  8. Level up your squad – Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” To expand on that, 1) you become more like your entire circle of influence, and 2) you should audit the people you spend time with. Are they encouraging you to be a better person? Do they promote healthy habits? Do they help you be the person you excel to be? Do they help you pursue the activities that speak to your heart? Excellence and joy are contagious –make sure you surround yourself with people that make you better.

  9. In the same vain, genuinely connect with people and environment. Unplug your phone. Show up and sit down for family meals. Look people in the eye. Tell people you appreciate them. Look around at the sights and sounds, the architecture and the diverse people, when you’re walking. Listen closely as someone speaks; think before you speak. Stop and smell the roses.

  10. Celebrate little victories – it’s easy to get swept away in the busyness of the season or the work week or the deadlines, but if we don’t stop and celebrate the little wins, we keep plodding ahead with little to no enthusiasm. By nature, we beat ourselves up over perceived poor performance or mistakes. However, when we celebrate our little wins, we are building our confidence, pride in our work, and reinforcing the good behavior that produced the successful result. in contrast to the hustle attitude, it’s energizing. Don’t forget to find people to celebrate with you!

  11. Give – whether that’s giving of your time by volunteering, giving back to the earth by planting a tree, donating to your favorite charity, or purely giving of your time and being present, the ROI is always more than expected.

  12. Give yourself grace. Some days are simply easier than others, don’t beat yourself up. Especially after the holidays, it will take some time to get back to a normal routine. If all else fails, a good Epsom salt bath usually does the trick!

  13. Break down larger projects into bite size, actionable tasks. When you write your to-do list, either at home or at work, be sure to keep your tasks specific, and limit each day with no more than 8 priority items. Tackle the hardest item first to get it out of the way, gain momentum and be more confident moving forward. (remember, we want to celebrate the little victories!).

  14. Research shows that physical clutter clutters your mind and reduces your productive. Gift yourself the best gift this year and purge your desk or your closets at home. Take the one-minute to tidy up at the end of each day.

While creating new habits can feel overwhelming, take one day at a time. Reject the idea that you must do everything all at once and perfectly. Choose one thing to focus on and master it before moving on. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. So, remember one foot in front of the other, no matter how slow or how often you must get up and try again.

All that being said, if your winter blues seem a shade darker, refusing to lift in the days and weeks upon returning to the office, consider reaching out to a mental health professional. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common, legit issue that should be addressed properly. Above all, know that you’re not alone in the process.

A season of expectancy and why to stay in the game.

This time last year, I was a bad-tempered girl complaining I wasn’t getting any Christmas presents. I don’t know who that girl is anymore. I want to be her again because she didn’t know what would be savaged and almost lost. And yet, I don’t want to be her because of all I’ve gained.
— Jo, Little Women

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The oldest of my little women started watching Little Women on her own volition. So last Saturday morning when I stumbled downstairs after sleeping in a bit, I cuddled with my little ones on the couch and listened to these poignant words boldly proclaimed by Jo.

They fell on me like a weight.

So much can change, so fast.

Be it a moment, a month, a year – or three.

Sometimes we’re impatient because we feel we aren’t getting somewhere fast enough; our goals and dreams still seem too far off. And so we quit.

But what if we stayed in the game a little bit longer and refused to give up, knowing that whether or not we succeed, we will be changed; whether or not we were able to physically hold our dream in our hands, we will have gained.

With Christmas 3 days away (side note: what the heck? This was the FASTEST year ever!), I find that despite the hustle and bustle, in the backs of our minds we know the new year is around the bend. We know New Year’s resolutions are thing whether or not we subscribe to them. We know we should be mindful of setting some goals and not let another year pass us by.

We know, but do we plan on pursuing that person we want to become or the idea that has been rattling around in our brain? Or do we let fear hold us back because we don’t want to be disappointed if it didn’t work out in the time span we gave ourselves?

Sigh! It’s ok!

It is a season pregnant with anticipation after all, and I want to remind you of that.

While I’m most definitely NOT pregnant, the excitement of the season reminds me of my anticipation of meeting my babies for the first time.

In this season of expectancy - of Christmas gift giving and receiving, of fresh beginnings with the coming of the new year - there is renewed hope.

Hope that our resolutions, our goals and dreams will come to fruition, and the new year will magically transform us.

Now let’s get one thing straight. There is no magic! Those hopes and dreams don’t simply happen! It’s a PROCESS requiring planning, discipline, and effort....a certain gestation so to speak.

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Did you know the average elephant pregnancy lasts 640 – 660 days? That’s roughly 95 WEEKS or 22 MONTHS! Granted, a baby elephant is rather large at birth, about 200 lbs to be exact, but that is a long ass time. I certainly would not want to be pregnant for nearly 2 years. No thank you!

But you see, things take time! I’m sure the mama elephant is just as content carrying her baby for 22 months because, like I did, I knew it was going to be worth it, no matter how unconformable I was at the end.

When things don’t come easily or naturally, we’re inclined to give up because it’s harder than we expected. It’s not ok to quit (unless perhaps it was a terrible idea to begin with) but it’s ok if it demands some elbow grease and patience.

Another side note: my second grader naturally loves words, reading and writing. Math, like her mama, is like a foreign language to her. It takes effort. Nowadays math is also extremely different from when I grew up and I have no idea how to help her, nor the time to YouTube how to do it every night. Both of us want to give up. That’s not really the answer though. She needs a foundation in math to continue to make progress. I don’t expect her to be a mathematician someday, but today, I trust that as we put the effort in, we will succeed.

That’s faith. That’s hope.

HOPE changes things....the way you face your day, the way you walk and talk. Hope, a level of unseen expectancy, puts that fire in your belly to look for miracles, to be patient through the trials, and to keep pushing through, turning the intangible ideas in our minds into tangible facets in our lives.

Be faithful to YOUR process. Stay true to your intuition, your values. Don’t let the shiny stories and objects of others - or even your own doubts and fears - distract you. Stay true to you, friend, and find a few friends to celebrate the victories along the way. We must stop and celebrate otherwise we’re susceptible to burnout, or worse yet, not even realize the progress we’ve made.

In conclusion, I’m not saying it will be easy, but I have faith that in a year, when you reflect back on the previous year and look ahead to the next, you will be proud of your growth - the successes and the perceived lows that taught you how to problem solve in a different way. And like Jo says in Little Women, “…I don’t want to be her because of all I’ve gained,” you will have gained a new perspective on where you stand versus who you were a year prior.

Little by little, a little becomes a lot!

So, embrace the rhythms of life (know the universal laws), be generous, love, be responsible (you’re in control, don’t play victim), and take captive your thoughts - unraveling yourself from the lies you’ve believed, the stories you’ve narrated that hold you back, and unlock yourself from limitations.

Enjoy this very merry Christmas season and have the happiest of new years!

I trust you’ll get after 2019 and embrace all that it has in store for you. In fact, I can’t wait to see what you do over the next 12 months.

xox, erin  

 

Do you have a PULSE?


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When in a moment of wanting to zone out on my commute home on an overly packed BART train, I accidentally read an article about mercury going into retrograde soon. Dude, wasn’t mercury just in retrograde?

So yeah, while I’m over here trying to simplify and creatively be the superhero in my life, I guess things could get crazier. However, that’s not where I choose to focus or put my energy.

That being said, March snuck up on me like a ninja in the dark. 2018 is whizzing by and I’ve barely been able to come up for air. I’m bursting to create but I never feel like there is enough time. Yet, it’s time to manifest this whirlwind of dates, ideas, words, and emails that have been swirling in my mind.

It hit me especially this last week when everyone wanted something yesterday. As soon as I began to focus on a task, an email, a skype message, or a text would buzz through and someone needed something else. My mind was ever shifting from this deadline to that deadline, or to this idea scribbled on yet another sticky note, to another line item on the personal development to-do list, to what’s for dinner, to wondering who I could pay to come fold the laundry that’s in a pile on the couch. I’ll skip the many “mama, mama, look at this,” and “MOM! She hit me,” and “I’m starving, I’m going to die,” interruptions, conversations, and fatigued shifts in direction and focus. Phew!

I jokingly told a coworker that I was going to lead a lunch + learn on mindfulness and single-tasking because I was fed up with the barrage of chaos, stacking deadlines, and the feeling of early onset Alzheimer’s, let alone the shame of wanting to sit in silence or take a time out.

Having deadlines is nothing new and can be great motivators, but when your work becomes subpar because there are too many week after week, it’s simply too much.

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And somehow, despite not being proud of the busyness, I get used to it and don’t know how to turn off.

Even on vacation, I find myself checking email unnecessarily because I fear I might miss an important email (even knowing I won’t) and more so, don’t know how to fully relax, because it almost makes me feel like I’m lazy if I actually enjoy myself.

Can we all agree that’s not healthy?

Based on a suggestion, I started reading Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, by Brigid Schulte. When I initially began reading the book, I found myself wanting to throw it across the room with every other page I read. As a woman, and a single mom, I could relate with the author’s frazzled existence and pursuit of leisure and time. Simple enjoyment of one’s life and family -  the elusive balance we all talk about but seldom discover, seemed more doomsday and I didn’t want to read it. I’m more hopeful than that, or so I want to believe. Perhaps I’m just being naïve – or else I need to move to Denmark. Regardless, I kept reading.

She made it apparent that women, especially mothers, have a bum deal.

“Women’s leisure tends to be more fragmented and chopped up into small, often unsatisfying bits of ten minutes here, twenty minutes there, that researchers call “episodes.” ….that’s too short for anything other than a quick item on the to-do list.”

“Mother’s leisure tends to be more interrupted, contaminated by mental noise, and “purposive.”

It seemed like a dead end. This was something I most certainly didn’t want to read about since my pursuit of 2018 is to include more peace and joy, and surrounding myself with freedom and learning from the dreamers and doers, the high achievers, movers and shakers.

Redemption came toward the end of the book, as it usually does.

This nugget of wisdom, and the following tips of how to create the time management, leisure, and freedom we all crave, is golden. Because let’s be honest, at the end of the day, all of our problems are a TIME issue:

[Terry] Monaghan’s approach to time management is simple:

You can’t manage time. Time never changes.

There will always be 168 hours in a week. What you can manage are the activities you choose to do in that time. And what busy and overwhelmed people need to realize, she said, is that you will never be able to do everything you think you need to, want to or should do. “When we die, the email inbox will still be full. The to-do list will still be there. But you won’t,” she told us. “Eighty percent of the email that comes in is crap anyway, and it takes you the equivalent of 19 ½ weeks a year just to sort through. Eighty percent of your to-do list is crap.

Look, the stuff of life never ends. That is life.

You will never clear your plate so you can finally allow yourself to get to the good stuff. So you have to decide. What do you want to accomplish in this life? What’s important to you right now?”

So much grace, with a healthy dose of reality and tough love.

So let’s do it. It starts with you, me, right now. Yes, right now.

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How, you ask?

If Shulte can do it, so can you.

Her trick: “Pulsing — deactivating and reactivating the brain — actually makes it pay better attention.”

Despite the belief we accomplish more when we multi-task, it in fact fragments our time and our thought processes, making tasks take even longer.

We've become a society of lollygaggers, with extended water cooler conversations, multiple IG and FB scrolling every 20 minutes as source of a “mental break,” all the while extending our actual work day.

What if we got our work done in an allotted time frame and allowed ourselves the rest of the day to be free? To actually live, in the moment without thinking about the emails that “need” to be written (hint – they probably can wait), or the dishes that need to washed when our kids ask us to play a game.

This tactic of pulsing allows you to focus on yes, a single task, and follow it through to completion without interruptions.

As a result, the structure of dedicated time allows you to accomplish more, more efficiently.

Much like attempting meditation for the first time, it may seem foreign and excruciatingly painful to sit there for 30 minutes in utter focus. If needed, set a timer and begin with a single task for 30 minutes before you take a break or move on. Most tasks require more than 30 minutes, but begin there and slowly increase the time to 45 or even 90 minutes. Take a short break and come back to the task, or move on to something else. But given that time span, only focus on that one issue – do not be tempted by the black hole of email, or any other “alarm” that sounds.

Applied to the family side of things, this can be accomplished with family rhythms which provide an organic approach to creating structure around reoccurring activities built into your day. This works especially well with kids who need to know what comes next as a sense of well-being and safety.

Meal time is a good place to start. Turn off all electronics and focus on your food, each bite, and the people sitting around the table. Talk to them, ask questions, and get to know them!

For example, in our house:

  • Friday is our Picnic movie sushi date night, where we make homemade, nothing fancy sushi, pick out a movie, pull out a towel and eat dinner picnic style on the floor while watching the film. Ok, yeah, this one involves a movie, but we it’s really the only time we have the TV on for more than 10 minutes.
  • Saturday mornings are for waffles or scones and sausages before ballet classes.
  • Sunday mornings are for farmer’s markets and church.

It’s in these little moments where the extraordinary can happen.

Not only can this time be more focused because we’re somewhat on autopilot due to the rhythm we created, but we also allow our brains to sit happy with the single task rather than jarring, redirection every 5 seconds attending to this thought or that email or that person’s emergency.

The world will not end if we slow down.

The weight of another’s crisis, is not a burden we’re called to carry alone. You’re not Superman.

The laundry pile and dirty dishes don’t have a heart and soul like the child that simply wants to play a game with you. It can wait, your child cannot.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard

Don’t waste it away with a frantic brain in a sea of deadlines and busyness. Pursue purpose and passion, and create the space and time to love on those that mean the most to you. What’s the point of running the race, burning out, and forfeiting your precious time?

It’s up to you my friends. Seize the day and seize your life.

Why you should set your expectations low, low, low (and the easiest damn salad recipe)

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Does anyone talk on the phone anymore?

In the age of texting, Instagram, FB messaging, and skype, when was the last time you had a phone conversation?

There are times I certainly avoid it, for sure. Yet reminiscent to my junior high days, when I would pick up the phone the second I got home to talk to the same people I had seen all day, there are a select few I’m more than happy to talk to, old school style, for hours.

Just last night I talked for nearly two hours to a dear friend I’ve known for 25 years (what? seriously how old am I?), as she drove home from a work trip. We ran the gamut of updates, laughed, sighed, dreamed, and overanalyzed, as girls do. What was more a nod of releasing our expectations and control over external circumstances and people, we laughed over setting our goal of low expectations for 2018.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big dreamer, ambitious AF (overly so), but what I’ve come to realize is that to stay mentally in the game, I have to LET GO of external expectations, especially when it comes to people.

I can only control my thoughts, my actions, my responses, my dreams, my life.

I’ve heard it before, but have you?

All that you have at the moment,
you’ve attracted by the person you are

Does that bring a grateful smile to your face, or a punch to the gut?

I was recently reading Jim Rohn’s “Leading an Inspired Life.” Though simple and straightforward, the reminders of how discipline, whether the focused attention to or the lack of discipline, will sow the consequences of either action and growth or neglect and stagnation. It’s simple, but we easily choose comfort, fear, excuses, and carelessness over growing in our habit of discipline.

None of us have control over the external matters in our lives, but we can control what’s internal, especially the 3 pounds of flesh between our ears. Pick up a book and learn something new, take a class to up your game, bite your tongue if you have to stop yourself from speaking unhelpful words, whatever it is, redefine your success by taking whatever step needs to be taken.

Take heart and have discipline. Period.

Quite simply, begin by taking baby steps. And by all means, don’t lose the momentum by letting fear or laziness in. It’s far too slippery of a slope.

Rohn highlights Ben Franklin’s three principles of success:

  1. Number one: big achievements come one step at a time, one day at a time.
  2. Number two: you have the power to mold your life. You can make it whatever you want. You can shape it and reshape it.
  3. Number three: success is measured through pleasure. This is the key principle. You’ve got to be happy along the way. You’ve got to learn to give yourself a pat on the back. You need to tell yourself, “I’m proud of me today!” You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process.

If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend it. I may have highlighted every other paragraph. It’s just that good.

The same week I was reading Rohn’s book, Bedros Keuliian was interviewed on Shawn Stevenson’s Model Heath Show. This interview was hard core and I also highly recommend you listen to it for inspiration. He says it best, “if you want to be a high performer in life, in a relationship, in your diet, in your fitness, in your business, in anything, at work, you've got to be disciplined, structured, and do the highest value stuff first. Take care of yourself...to me discipline and structure equal freedom…I have more freedom because of structure and discipline than I ever had before.

Boom.

Create structure in your life and carve out the time for the most important items that align your life with your values and mission. For me, it’s waking up early to meditate, pray, and to exercise; to meal prep on the weekend to eat healthy all week; to read and listen to podcasts to continue to learn.

At the end of the day, when you align life with your values, you show up as the best version of yourself. You’ve taken care of yourself and feel good in your skin, you vibe higher, you spread more love and joy. In effect, you create more and radiate. You’re contagious.

So, set your expectations high for your dreams, but release the expectations you have for everyone else. Let them be themselves. Forgive, accept. Forgive and accept yourself.

Be generous with your kindness and love. Be you.

P.S. If you’re all about inspirational talks, I also recommend Simon T. Bailey’s talk on “This Is What’s Holding You Back From Brilliance”:


“It’s not who you are that holds you back from brilliant success,” Bailey says. “It’s who you think you’re not that holds you back. And sometimes we focus on who we think we’re not instead of who we are.”

"Find an environment where you are celebrated not just tolerated. That environment should invite you to be a vitamin not an aspirin."

Now that you'll be kicking some ass, you'll need a quick, healthy salad to keep you going. Better yet, if healthy eating is a goal of yours, start by little habits such as starting your day with room temperature lemon water, or swapping one of your meals to include double the veggies you typically eat, such as this salad, the world’s easiest damn taco salad, with ingredients from Trader Joe’s:
 

Easiest Damn Taco Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • Arugula or favorite green mix
  • 1 cup tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 4 mini sweet bell peppers, diced
  • Black olives
  • Chicken
  • 2 tbps Salsa Verde
  • lime wedge for an extra kick
  • 1 Sliced green onion, optional

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix all of the ingredients with the salsa verde
  2. Squeeze with lime and garnish with green onion

 

peace and joy


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Freedom.

That was my theme for 2017.

I embraced freedom by letting go of a lot of shit that was holding me back. I took hold of the uncomfortable and put myself out there. I’ve been brave. I’ve been scared. I’ve been nervous. I’ve been disappointed when my expectations looked different than my reality.

I faced a lot of fears, stepped out of my comfort zones, and took an extra bite of courage to do things I never thought I'd do.

From business goals to flops. From relationship giddiness to sadness. I’m proud of myself for accepting the challenge to dream and grow; to let freedom provide the space and grace to show me the way.

Despite the ups and downs, and constant noise, there’s been a lot of knowledge that has seeped into these bones and grey matter. There’s been a lot of growth. And for that, I’m grateful.

The crazy thing about this journey of life, is that as much as we may want others to hold us accountable, offer encouragement, or even do some of the work, it all comes down to one thing:

IT’S ALL UP TO YOU!!

You, me, we are 100% responsible for not only the outcome, but the process. What kind of effort are we putting in? How are we showing up every day? Are you walking in integrity even if you lose?

You can respond like my 6-year old does after I tell her to do something, with, “I forgot!” But let’s be honest, the response, the procrastination, the dilly-dallying you (and I) do is really just fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of disappointment. When you set a goal, or there is risk involved in your decision, it’s only natural to have those emotions. But that’s where the magic happens. That’s when you learn about how powerful you are, your values and character, and how you have the choice to embrace the opportunity to fly or stay still.

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I’m no superwoman. It certainly wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. 

Despite the growth and excitement, there have been polar opposites. There have been hardships. Potential clients and business relationships went cold. I’ve let people down. I’ve let things remain unsaid. I’ve held back. I’ve let fear build a wall, keeping others out. Phone tag with "big guy" went silent. I’ve completely spaced on Christmas gifts and arrived to the party flustered and empty handed. Heck, I even forgot deodorant once, on the hottest day of the year. Yikes!

Don’t forget, we’re human. We have ample daily opportunities to remember this point. We’re not perfect and most definitely still a work in progress. Whether you're looking to lose weight, learn how to cook, travel more, pursue a new relationship, quit your job, tuck these little truths in the back of your mind as you live with intention:

  • Ask questions to understand.
  • Don’t assume.
  • Live in the now.
  • Let go of your past.
  • Pursue growth.
  • Don't lose sight of hope.
  • Keep the faith.
  • Read. Read. Read.
  • Forgive and offer grace.
  • Keep it simple.
  • It's starts with you.
  • Love.
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I’ve heard it time and time again, 2017 was the fastest year ever. In 365 days we may be saying the same thing about 2018. However, what resolutions and actionable baby steps are you dreaming up to make 2018 a different game than 2017? What is your picture of you thriving?

I'm working up a few goals based on my values, but my overall theme for 2018:

Peace and Joy

Whatever may come, I want to receive as a gift and be at peace with myself, the process, and the outcome. Hopefully I can also spread some joy along the way as well.

Shine bright friends, it's contagious!

Happy New Year!

 

 

Where do you want to go? How much do you want to risk?

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Change is hard and typically uncomfortable. Despite really, really wanting a particular outcome, the process can be overwhelming. So we cling to what we know, our habits, even if they're preventing us to reach our goals. It's "safe."

Do you feel that?

Let's talk nutrition for a minute.

What's holding you back from getting off of your meds, or incorporating more veggies into your meals, or losing some weight, or nixing the late night binges? Where are you stuck?

There are a lot of quick tricks and programs, shakes, and fad diets. Are you confused and simply want to throw your hands up in disgust and confusion?

While there may be some unique aspects of your lifestyle we would need to address, with some basic and honest assessment, we can work together to get you on a path toward health.

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We don’t need to have superhero powers, but we do need to be the superhero’s of our own lives.

You ARE in more control than you think! Have you forgotten that? I’m here to remind you that you’re not alone in this process, it’s possible to change, and there are people (like me) that would love to walk alongside you!

I began this post thinking I would go in one direction, but hey, the beauty of being the author is that you can change course. And so can you.

I’m not going to dish out all of the reasons the 21-Day Sugar Detox may be good for you. I’m not going to spout off that you’ll more than likely need at least 30 days to get in a good groove. I won’t berate the point that it’s going to take some mindset, and some weekly prep. You may also want to cheat on Day 11. That’s human nature. Reality. And to some degree you most likely know that; that may be why you don’t start.

That’s the beauty of having the accountability of a coach. You have someone to lean on, to reach out to, to vent to. I won’t coddle you and enable the nonsense, but I will lead you. No judgement, only compassion as your cheerleader, wanting to see you succeed.

I know, you probably have a thing, a party, a birthday, a wedding, a trip. Right?! So committing to 21-30 days is rather iffy. But it’s all choices. What will you choose today?

But how? 

Let’s look at your goals, based on the structure of your day: when and what you eat, how much sleep you’re getting, your stress levels, your fears, your exercise. Give me the information and I’ll do all of the heavy lifting to produce a plan. While it will be up to you to follow, like i said before, I will be your cheerleader, and I’m here to change what doesn’t work.

Decide what to be

Based on the heading (can you name that tune?!) of this post and the following line from The Avett Brothers song, "Head full of fear/road full of promise," I’m all about the music these days. However, I thought this song lyric was relevant to close with:


DECIDE WHAT TO BE AND GO BE IT

 - Avett Bros

But in all seriousness, I'd love to help you pinpoint the sticky spots and provide you with tools to create new habits. If you have any gentle nudging to make a change, let's talk it out! 

 

P.S. All of my nutrition clients get extra special goodies from me. But you’ll have to sign-up to find out what they are.

Also, if you want a sneak peek into the food you’ll eat, which is not sad at all, check out my IG as well as the 21-Day Sugar Detox guidebook

Cheers to new beginnings!

 

It's all grace.

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It's easy to blame others.

My computer. My kids. My boss. The other driver. BART delays.

Yet most of the time it's me. Ok, lately it's been been my lame, "vintage" computer that needs some updating. But even that falls back in my lap. I'm the common denominator.

Since early spring, I've been saying I lost my groove after Christmas - 2016. Yet it's still missing, nine months later. While some mighty fine things have come to fruition, I'm still in shock it's already September. Now the pressure is on.

Or is it?

I guess you could say since completing my Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification in December, I've gone into double-time work mode. Working from 8-5, single parenting, commuting close to 2 hours, cleaning, cooking, working my side gigs at night and on the train. It seemed feasible, until I didn't want to do it anymore. The passion faded.  

I'm far from perfect and recognize my flaws, yet when I've lost myself in the muck and mire of being an adult, clocking in and out of the daily grind, and having minimal fun, I'm not a great coach. When my own health has become a weak bystander, how can I coach others on their healthy habits? When I'm tired and impatient, how can I be the best mom I desire to be? 

No doubt it's a catch-22. I'm working hard to achieve the outcome of defining my own schedule, being my own boss, and ultimately being more available for my daughters. But the process I've created is not sustainable. No one is winning.

 Jim Rohn says we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Hmmmm, okay. Well, I spend 8 hours surrounded by engineers, that I don't necessarily engage with. I live with two irrational, selfish creatures who use incessant tactics to gain my attention. Time with my friends is brief as life beckons and pulls in other directions. So who is shaping my environment, for better or worse?

That being said, I was blessed to spend Labor Day weekend with some really cool people at a mastermind event. For two days I surrounded myself with wicked smart entrepreneurs, and let me tell you, it was not only inspiring but there were definitely game-changing sparks! 

If you know Sean Croxton, you know he dropped some truth bombs about the power of our mind, fear, setting intentions and taking action. If you need daily motivation check out his Quote of the Day show. I promise it will set the tone to have a kick-ass day. 

Dave of PaleoHacks, whipped us into shape when it comes to website basics and blogging.

Ella, from OnairwithElla, talked about Impostor Syndrome, how to crush fear, and how to take action to daily choose and create a life that energizes us. 

Jake Ducey, whom I had first heard on the Sessions, was every bit as hippy as I expected him to be, and it was awesome. Reiterating Ella's discussion, he focused on the PROCESS, the daily steps we need to take in the process to create the outcome we want, without getting hung up on the outcome. Developing a practice of process will get us there.

Getting back to GRACE.

Christine Hassler, who I also first heard on the Sessions, capped our event with some incredible coaching. My time with her, as well as witnessing shifts in others, allowed me to recognize it's ok to take a step back. I had been going, going, going, trying to prove I could do it all. All for what?

People effing love to tell me how amazing I am for doing it all as a single mom. Lead in questions, always start with, "I don't know how you do it, but it seems to be working!"

Actually no, it's not working. It's lonely. It's hard. It's sad a lot of the time. I'm constantly moving money around to pay bills. I don't get as much sleep as I'd like to be a nice person. There may or may not be a pile of laundry on my couch or still in the dryer at all times (is there a service for someone to fold my clothes?). I'm not able to do a lot of things. It's not ideal. I can't really say it's working, but I'm grateful we're functioning and I can provide a roof over my head, and yummy food to eat (most of the time). 

Not that I needed permission, but Christine articulated it for me. It's ok. Perhaps you're burned out and you need to take a step back. Reevaluate this is your time - that you can invest in the process, which is time consuming, all consuming, and sometimes hard. It's ok to wait, there is nothing to prove RIGHT NOW. Don't miss out on the NOW by forcing something else.

And like that, the pressure was off.

I'm not giving up, in fact, more than ever, I'm more excited to work with clients. However, the pressure was released.  

That's good stuff right there! 

As my wonderful friend can attest, as I was texting her up until I walked into the conference room, I was nervous to attend the event. Was it going to be worth it? Did I even belong there? What the hell am I doing? 

In every sense it was worth it. I highly recommend bschool and a mastermind event with Sean and his pals. If for nothing else, to enjoy the bootchcraft and interesting conversations that come after your hard days work absorbing new knowledge. 

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So what are you afraid of doing or not doing? What's holding you back of sharing the unique gifts you've been entrusted with? Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Who is your tribe of 5? I want to know!