Luscious Living Podcast: Harnessing Bravery

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Earlier this year, I made a goal to speak more. I wanted to reach a broader audience, but didn’t know how to put myself out there. Recently, I connected with the ladies at the Luscious Living Podcast on Instagram. I love their message and vibe.

Since goals require action, I decided to be brave and ask about being a guest on their podcast. They got back to me and we hit it off. We met over the phone to get to know each other and decide how I could contribute to their audience. A plan and date was set and the episode went live today.

I am excited to share this recording because it was such an honest and open conversation. If you feel anxious about moving forward or want to start a business or feel stuck in an area of your life, I hope this inspires you to take a step towards creating change. Just a tiny step can create great momentum.

Check out the episode here and share with your friends!

Creating a Side Hustle

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Starting a business is one of the most exciting and terrifying things I have done. When I decided to go into business, I had no idea what I needed to do. I just knew I wanted to help people. The idea of coaching was presented to me by a stranger and when I asked those close to me, they agreed that he was right.

I didn’t know where to begin, but the more I thought about it, I realized it was where I needed to be.

One of the questions I ask my clients is “What is something people consistently ask or need from you?” There is a wealth of information in this answer. Each of us have talents and will find that we are asked to do the same favors or asked for the same advice time and again. When I answered this question, the answer was coaching, mentoring or training.

Starting a business was something I would think about, but was afraid to embark on because it seemed too difficult to navigate. There were so many pieces to the puzzle, and I didn’t want to take the time to figure them out, especially while I was working for someone else.

When I finally started my business, I realized that every job I had before gave me tools to help run a business. I noticed where the skills I acquired working for companies were coming in handy and helping me create a business. Each experience provided an outline for a process that I would need to create.

Now, I coach several women who want to start their own businesses. Many who want to start a side hustle before leaving their jobs. I love watching the progression from “I think I want to …” to “I am so happy I started …!”

If you are thinking about starting a business, here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Get clear on what you want to do: make a list of all the things you would do if money wasn’t an issue. Ask yourself: what do people tend to come to me for or ask me often? Look at your list and notice where a potential side hustle could bloom.
  2. What problem do you solve?: Think about all the things that you are good at and think about the specific problem you will solve with your business.
  3. Who is your ideal client?: Write out the attributes, spending habits, specific needs and issues this client faces. This exercise is valuable to help you hone in on who you are speaking to and recognizing your market.
  4. How will I make money?: Decide on whether you will be offering a product or service. Make a list of what your potential offerings will be.
  5. What do I need to start?: Will you need materials, a website, social media, products, a certification, investors? Figure out what you need to do before you get started and make a list and timeline.
  6. Name your business: Once all of the above steps are completed, its time to name your baby! This can take some time and you may find out that someone else has the name. I always suggest making a list of words that emulate what you are trying to say with your business and working from there.
  7. Never stop learning: if you haven’t already, pick up books, take classes, watch videos and surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Owning a business is a never ending education and have resources and a network are lifesavers.

With these steps, you will have a great start to beginning your journey as a business owner. There are many intricacies to having a business, but clarity must come first. It is also important to allow your business to be fluid and change with you as you grow.

If you would like more help on how to make your dream idea into a reality,  check out my business coaching packages to help you get started.

Flow

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I recently traveled to Utah with my boyfriend for a quick weekend getaway. Days prior to the trip, I was laid off from a job that I used to help supplement income. Despite my efforts, it felt like a constant struggle and my soul was not at peace. I tried my best and remembered a lesson my dad taught me “Always do your best and keep your integrity intact.”

I created a deadline to leave in a month if the energy didn’t shift into alignment. Two days after I set that goal, I was called into an office and laid off. I was grateful for my renewed freedom, but disappointed with the way it ended. Although I did not see it coming, I offered gratitude for the manifestation blessing.

So, there I was in Utah about to embark on a hike. As we stepped onto the trail, we were welcomed by a rushing river tumbling through the valley. It was breathtaking. It had been a while since I had seen a river so swollen and rushing. The sound was meditative and never ending, staying with us until we made our way high enough to where the path became snow.

The snow was a surprise as we trudged our way through ankle deep snow trying to reach a lake that we were told was magnificent. Now, I am not a fan of being cold, let alone hiking through snow in summer clothes. But, I knew that I needed to keep going. I complained to my boyfriend who seemed unfazed by the new terrain. He encouraged me as I made my way up the icy hill.

After what seemed like forever, we made it to the lake. It was surrounded by snow and was frozen solid. I had a bit of disappointment because my expectation was a lake surrounded by a meadow filled with wildflowers. I sat down on a rock and meditated. I released my expectations. I released my fatigue. I released being cold. I sat there in the sun for 20 minutes with my eyes closed, just breathing in and out.

Off in the distance, I could hear a rock falling from up high. I was amazed at the silence of the scenery and the ability to hear a rock falling. The frozen scene created the stillness to be present. I felt at peace.

When I opened my eyes, I saw the lake through a different lens. It was absolutely beautiful. The mountains that surrounded us seemed to provide an expansive nature making me feel so small, yet very powerful. I made it all the way to 9000′ where the sun had not melted a lake yet. I breathed in gratitude for the newfound appreciation and smiled.

I raised my vibration at a higher elevation.

As we made our way back down, I felt renewed and accomplished. Halfway down, the river started rushing as the ground went from snow to mud to dirt once more. The river once again serenaded our hike and I realized that I needed to welcome flow back into my life.

I recognized for my life to flow freely, I had to let myself melt like the snow.

The rigid constraints that I had made to create security and certainty were blocking flow from occurring. I was in my own way. When I take things into my own hands with control, it never really works. I was pushed out of something that wasn’t allowing flow to continue into my life. I noticed what a tight grip I tried to maintain once again.

From experience, I know that the things I hold tight to are the ones that slip away. In this case, it was security and certainty.

The following week, I approached my business with a new-found focus and intention. I realized that when I let go and allow flow to happen, everything falls into place and it is — effortlessly and beautifully. The resistance and pressure I had created blocked the positive energy that was trying to flow into my life.

I was not expecting such a lesson from a river in the middle of the Utah wilderness. But I am so grateful for the raging river and frozen lake that taught me to change my perspective and release expectations in order to allow flow to occur.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.  – Lao Tzu

Reclaiming Time

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I have been struggling with my relationship with time: I feel like there is never enough. When I think back to the days right after I quit my job to travel, I remember the immense fear of “What do I do with my time now?!” As I became more comfortable with my freedom, I felt like I could soar and had no limits. I couldn’t believe that I had created a reality where I could to write, travel and soak up as much sun as possible.

That lasted 2 years. And then I started to get busy with building my business and had to coordinate a schedule again. It was fun and exciting to create something from scratch, but it took up a lot of time. I found myself on the edge of overwhelm.

The frustration that comes from feeling like there is not enough time rob the joy from the present moment.

I found myself no longer enjoying the moment I was in and looked at the time wondering if I had enough to get to the next thing on my long list completed. Then my sleep started to suffer. I would wake up at 3am my mind decided it was the perfect time to think about my schedule and dwell on the feeling of not having enough time.

The feeling of time scarcity created even more fatigue and stress.

I was missing was being in the present moment and embracing what was happening as it was happening. I was spending too much time projecting into the future that I robbed the present moment of my attention. So I decided to break up with my relationship with time in order to rebuild a healthier one.

As I found a healthier way to approach time, I found these tools to help immensely:

  1. Meditation every morning: This grounds me and brings me into the present moment before the day’s events even have a chance to overwhelm. From this new grounded state, I am able to approach the day with focus and intent.
  2. Put the phone down: Having access to the internet, emails, calendars and even time keeps me from enjoying the present moment. I decided to put the phone away while interacting with people in order to fully appreciate their presence and the time we were spending together. I found my interactions became richer and time seemed to feel abundant.
  3. Prioritize tasks: To-do lists are very important to me, but now I make sure that each week, I only write down the “must dos” instead of creating a long list of tasks that aren’t as pressing. When I complete the tasks I set out to do, I realize that I have plenty of time to tackle some of the less pressing priorities.
  4. Make time for myself: All the running around and working made me feel guilty to take moments to myself. But, when I make time for myself, guilt free, I feel more energetic and joyful and time seems to slow down for me when I am not as stressed.
  5. Workout: There is always time to get some physical activity in. Taking walks, bike rides, trips to the gym…can all be fit into a busy schedule. There are apps that have been created to help you get workouts in. Prioritize physical health and the gift will be higher metabolism and more energy to tackle a busy schedule.

The feeling of scarcity that comes from being constantly connected fades when I make time for stillness.

I learned that when I treat time with respect, it doesn’t run out. I feel more abundant with time when I practice mindfulness and step into the present moment.  From this place, I can breathe deeper and notice my surroundings.

Worm Moon

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Spring is soon arriving! As the ground thaws after a long winter, the soil begins to aerate thanks to the movement of earthworms. Underneath, where no one can see their work, worms are creating a healthy environment for seeds and roots to take place.

Even before the eye can behold the plant, important inner work is being completed.

Tonight’s Worm Moon highlights the work that needs to be completed in our souls. Allow the light of the full moon to illuminate the places where you would like growth to take root. Clear out the soul clutter that has accumulated and create room for movement.

Soul clutter can look like the following:

  • Hurt Feelings
  • Resentments
  • Attachment
  • Expectations
  • Bitterness
  • Obsessive Thoughts

When we hold on to things that no longer serve us, we stunt our own growth and healing. Vibrancy radiates from the inside outward. Letting go revitalizes and gives space where restriction once occurred.

There have been several things in my own soul that have accumulated as clutter. I realized that I was unable to focus on the amazing things that are happening because I held on to single events that caused pain. By holding onto the new pain, I wasn’t being present for the new joy flowing into my life. I was caught off guard by the whirlwind that persisted through the calm of joy.

I had to decide to embrace the joy and let go of what was no longer serving me to fully appreciate the magnitude of what was happening in my life.

Soul clutter will numb the joy and even the sorrow. We can get so attached to the feeling of clutter that we don’t even realize we are holding on to something negative. It is like hoarding negative emotions; the more we ignore them, the more comfortable they become. In stillness, we can discover the places that need to be moved and aired out.

Here is a good way to locate the places that need clearing out:

  1. Sit in a quiet place and write down how you have been feeling lately. Notice how your body, mind and spirit feel. Take note on how your relationships have been functioning and how you relate to your physical environment.
  2. Write how you would like to feel in each area.
  3. Then note what keeps you from feeling or experiencing what you want to feel or experience. (These are the things you need to let go of.)
  4. Choose 1 or 2 things to let go of tonight. Allow yourself the next month to focus on letting go.
  5. Watch for new growth where there was once stagnation.
  6. Offer gratitude (every single day).

During a full moon, it is important to notice what no longer serves you. Think of the amount of light the moon is reflecting. Use this time to see all the places where clutter has been stored, release it and allow the moon’s light to illuminate the new space so what is meant to be there will find its way.

Snow Moon

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In the depths of winter, a stillness takes over. Snow falls, covering the ground like a blanket. All is white. Even sound is muffled by the snow’s insulation. Layers are worn to protect from the cold and keep warmth inside. The snow remains as long as the temperatures stay low. Winter is the time for shorter days and colder nights.

Snow provides a beautiful stillness.

Tonight is the full snow moon. The cold of winter has lingered and many of us have gone inward; into our homes and into our thoughts. We have put on layers to protect ourselves from the cold as well as emotional walls to keep others out. Some intentionally and other without a thought. Our defenses go up and keep things from getting in, muffling the voices and emotions that want to get through.

The snow moon is the time to notice where these walls are taking place, where the cold lingers and as a few important questions…

What is being muffled, muted or quieted?

  • Is it your voice trying to say the things your heart is dying to articulate?
  • Do you keep up a wall in order to protect your heart from being hurt?
  • Have past hurts caused a cooling down of your desires?

The beautiful thing about the snow is that underneath, growth is still occurring. In the spring, melted snow reveals that life goes on despite the cold. No matter what layer you have put on to insulate you from pain, growth is still taking place.

In order to recognize the transition, melting has to occur. Sometimes this can look like forgiveness, understanding or love. We may need to offer these to ourselves or to others. When forgiveness and love takes place, something melts. Hearts are opened and free to express. All the thoughts that swirl in our heads can lay to rest. There is no more room for bitterness, cold or judgment.

Understanding comes from opening the heart and mind.

Tonight is the perfect time to set an intention to allow melting to occur around the walls you have built. If there are emotions that need to be expressed, express them. If there are words that need to be said, say them, or journal them if your voice can’t find it’s way yet. If your desires have been quieted, do something to add heat in that area of your life and let the melting surface the buried passion.

Growth takes time. Beautiful, strong and vibrant plants are the ones that take root despite the hardships. Spring is coming and the snow is slowly melting. Allow growth to take place and feel the warmth permeate all areas of your heart.

Vibrancy

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Several years ago, I was driving down the street to work. The jacarandas were in bloom. There was a breeze creating a shower of beautiful, purple petals all the way down the street. At the end of the street was San Diego harbor. It was a dreamy morning. Everything was lined up to make beautiful day.

Everything except my energy. As I drove down the street, I felt the strangle of panic take over. My breathing became shallow and I started to hyperventilate. As I parked my car, tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t breathe. I allowed myself to sink deeper and deeper until I was paralyzed. I called in sick from the parking garage and drove home to cry.

Fast forward 6 years and I am driving down that same street and the conditions are exactly the same. I parked the car and stood underneath the sprinkle of jacaranda petals and smiled. The street was still the same. The trees were still offering their gift of beauty. The only thing that had changed was my mindset and the energy I was choosing to emit.

Think about how a lightbulb is able to shine. Energy flows through to emit light. The exchange of energy with a tiny filament can light an entire room. Cut off the energy and the room goes dim. That is amazing!

We too have the ability to allow energy to flow through us to emit vibrations that invite like towards us. For instance, the regular practice of gratitude creates more opportunities for gratitude. When we give love, it comes back. The same can be said with receiving gratitude and love. When we allow these vibrations to flow through us, we raise our frequency of vibration and therefore are more vibrant.

On the other hand, negative emotions can create the same effect within. A bad day can spiral into a bad week if we choose to dwell on it. The energy that it creates attracts things like commiseration, anxiety and stress. This is not to say that bad things won’t happen…but the energy we allow to flow through us will either brighten or dull our vibrancy.

To live a vibrant life, one has to look at the mind, body and soul. Our minds have great power over us and when we live and react from the mind, we tend to try to rationalize everything. This is where anxiety can take over. If there isn’t an answer or timeline we can create meanings which spiral into beliefs which then create like energy.

The same goes for our body. What we put into it and how we treat it creates vibrational energy that we emit. For instance, the feeling after eating a fresh salad as opposed to a greasy cheeseburger. Its no surprise that eating foods with higher vibrational energy like plants help make us feel more vibrant and energetic.

Finally our soul is our storehouse of energy. This is where vibrancy resides. Creating a routine where there is a connection to the soul is important to nurturing a vibrant life. Books, prayer, meditation, walks in nature, writing, art and stillness all have the power to connect us to our soul and create positive energy.

To create a more vibrant and energetic life, here are 10 things that will help raise the your vibrations and nurture vibrancy:

  1. Exercise
  2. Daily morning routine where you connect to your soul (it can be as short or as long as you like, just take the time to connect.)
  3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Plants have high vibrational energy.
  4. Spend time in nature
  5. Smile
  6. Practice gratitude daily. Name 3 things you are grateful for every day. Write it down
  7. Take time to connect with loved ones.
  8. Breathe
  9. Be careful of what you take in. Think about how you feel after reading or watching something. If you notice that something brings you down, ask yourself: “Is this necessary for me to continue to consume?”
  10. Give of your time and/or resources to help others.

There is a beautiful thing that happens when we start to shine our lights more vibrantly: we light up what was once dark. When we choose to operate from a higher frequency, everything, including you seems more vibrant. This is because the vibration is actually opening the mind and eyes to what has been in front of us all along.

So This is Love

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One year ago, I went on my first date with the man I fell in love with. I had given up on falling in love as the 2016 New Year began. I gave dating it’s fair shot and found myself disappointed more times than I cared to think about. After years of dating (online, set-ups, apps…) I was ready to throw in the towel and date my passport.

During a discussion with a friend who was newly dating someone she found amazing, I told her that I would spend the year single and just focusing on my work and adventure.

“Just give it one more try.” she encouraged. “You have to keep putting yourself out there even through the disappointment.” I told her that I would think about it and maybe try.

I was scared to put my heart out there again and started to feel the comfort of solitude once more. Was this idea really worthwhile?

When I stepped back from the situation, I realized that I needed to get crystal clear on what I wanted. I saw that my expectations created a sense of control that was actually just causing stress. I wanted to intentionally put myself out there and create the heart space for love to reenter.

So this is what I did:

  • I made a list of what I really wanted and what was the most important and started to visualize this man. At first, I thought it was a joke, but the more I dug deep into what I really wanted, I could actually see and feel it happening.
  • I worked on emulating what I desired. (loving, open, compassionate…)
  • I made sure that if I agreed to go on a date, it would only be if the person seemed to align with this vision.
  • I let go of expectations…This is a big one. Letting go when the heart is involved is so so hard!
  • I trusted that the universe knew exactly who I needed in my life.

That was it. I made this decision and on January 27th, I went on a date with the most amazing man I have ever met.

Something inside of me calmed down after our first encounter. It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized my heart had found a home. 

When I think back on all the struggles, heartaches and tears, I see that I was pushing something to happen that I wasn’t really clear on. With clarity and intentional focus, everything else cleared away. There was no question or anxiety when it came to him and we came together naturally.

Getting to know and falling in love with him has been one of  the greatest adventures of my life. When I decided that I was going to get clear on what I wanted, I opened my eyes, mind and heart to whatever that would be.

I wrote this to give hope. I waited 35 years to find my person. I speak to women all the time in coaching sessions wondering when love will find them. I did not expect to find a man on a little app who happened to have the same values as me.

Don’t give up hope! When we talked about how we met, we realized that we both did the same thing to manifest each other. He had a list and visualized it too. I could not believe it. What you seek is seeking you.

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety; if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.

-Rumi

I kept this quote close to my heart during my years of searching. So for any of you who wonder “WHEN?!” I hope this brings some peace to the “furnace” of anxiety. Get specific (I can’t say this enough) and then let go of control. He’s out there…and so are you. Find your place of patience and allow love to flow. There is peace on the other side of the struggle.

And to my lovely, intentional man: thank you for manifesting, visualizing and showing me that love is effortless and amazing with the right person.

XO

An Exercise in Acceptance

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Last year I had several lessons on acceptance. There were times where expectations weren’t met and I had the choice to struggle, fight and live with anxiety OR just accept the circumstances and move on. I’d like to say that I practiced the latter with ease, but no, I allowed the struggle to stay real in many cases. It was in these moments that I truly had to open my arms to the universe and cry:

 “I’m letting go now! Please help me move forward.”

I seemed to repeat this prayer often. And you know what?! It was answered each and every time. But the thing is, the way it was answered was not always how I envisioned and this is where I learned the beautiful lesson of acceptance.

The beautiful thing was at the other side of my resistance, was a new plan that I would not have envisioned. When I surrendered to the new reality, I felt everything inside of me relax. I could breath again and my thoughts were no longer hijacked by the anxious grip of control.

The less I resisted, the easier things became.

When you cry out to the universe, it hears you. In fact, it knows exactly what you need. Which is probably why such prayers are uttered from our core, in moments of desperation and anxiety. It is like we try to hold on with every last bit of control until we are left hanging, desperate to find stability once more.

And then, the answers come in; sometimes in a trickle and sometimes in a flood.

When the answers arrive, acceptance begins. In order to fully accept, there has to be an element of remembering where you were before the prayer was lifted. The ego tends to love this tender spot. It can take the temporary relief and decide to take over once again. This is not full acceptance.

One of the hardest lessons to learn is to accept things the way they are and let go of expectations. This is a struggle. It is easy to place expectations on the outcome. When expectations are set, they leave room for disappointment.

To accept is to receive. To receive is to welcome. There is no control here, only openness.

Imagine letting go of a worry and watching it float away into the ether, like a balloon. As you watch it fly higher and higher, you feel lighter. The weight of control is lifted and hands that once held on so tightly are now free to receive whatever is next.

This weightlessness is available on the other side of control. When the answers arrive, squelch the desire to control with gratitude and acceptance. Practice openness and when anxiety wells up, it is a cue that something no longer serves your soul. Release it. Accept whatever needs to enter your life. All will be well.

New Years Intentions

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It’s that time of year to reflect on the past year and plan for the year to come.

For many, 2016 was a year of great transition and change. There was an energy of control vs. surrender swirling about. Some plans failed and others never took off. This left many of us with the feeling of defeat. What started as the best laid plans, began to unravel as the plans were not meant to be.

2016 was a call of resilience and perseverance mixed in with immense joy. In some parts of life it was the best year ever and in others it was a struggle that seemed never-ending. There were beautiful happenings and courageous changes. Many emotions were had and lessons learned. There is beauty in such transitions and we all got through it and celebration is in order.

Winter has set in and new beginnings are on the horizon. It is a time to reflect and plan for a lovely and dynamic 2017.

Before the new year begins, spend some time thinking about what you would like 2017 to look and feel like. Create an intentional awareness by asking the following questions…

  1. What am I grateful for in 2016?
  2. What do I want to accomplish in the next 12 months?
  3. How do I want to feel next year?
  4. What can I let go of that no longer worked for me?
  5. What changes do I need to make in order to accomplish my goals?

After you’ve spent some time answering these questions, you can begin to create intentional goals for the coming year. Instead of creating resolutions that can fall apart as the year continues, setting intentions will take into account what you want to accomplish and how you want to feel. Intentions ask “why” as well as “what” when it comes to goals.

Finally, visualize each goal. See yourself accomplishing and feeling the way you desire. Spend some time each day visualizing each outcome. This is a powerful exercise and sends this desired energy out into the universe.

Remember, what we focus on expands. With a little focus through visualization, our intentions will expand and begin to take shape.

To help create momentum, I have attached a free download below. The intention is to think about different areas in your life where you may want to create a goal. Then, there is room for 1-3 actions steps needed to take to complete each goal.

2017 Goal Planning

May your New Year be filled with hope, happiness, health and love!