Happy New Year! We’re four days into 2018. How are you feeling about it?
I took the first four to root down and get focused. I’m sure you are now starting to get settled into the flow of things after the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This time of year, I feel like there’s pressure in the air to set a New Year’s resolution and run with it. I’ve taken a slightly different approach this year. I’ve been evaluating my current choices in terms of food, physical activity, and personal development and seeing whether it will be sustainable as a lifestyle. My focus lately has been on wholeness and health from the inside out.
In this post, I’ve teamed up with one of my favorites, Coola Suncare, to share with you my top wellness goal, how I stay focused, and a few tips for the new year!
What is your top wellness or personal development goal right now? Can I help you on your journey?
Photos by John Hohener of JOI YOGI
Do you know how powerful your mind is? I’ve been discovering the power of mindset and thoughts lately. In this post, I’ll share with you how elevating your belief system can shift your world and prepare you to receive life’s best for you.
This is pretty deep stuff but it’s literally been changing my life so I wanted to share it with you.
This post will resonate with you if you want to live life to the fullest, work towards achieving your potential, break unhealthy patterns, and create the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Before we dive in…
Doing the inner work that I’ll be talking about in this post is not easy but it is so crucial to growth and progress in every area of our lives. During the month of October, I laid low and dove headfirst into exploring these concepts and sitting with myself. It’s now a few weeks into November and I’m discovering how valuable this work is, especially as we move into the new year.
There was a point in time a few years ago when I didn’t “want to go there” with my thoughts and feelings. But what I noticed was I would simply find myself in circular thought patterns and situations. Now I’m realizing in order to change our results and eventually our lives, we have to start in the mind.
How to Elevate Your Mindset
1. Release Limiting Thoughts + Feelings + Actions and Replace with Empowering Thoughts + Feelings + Actions
The first step to this work is taking inventory of our limiting beliefs and ways of living.
Take your journal and divide the page by three, on the top half write down “Limiting” and on the bottom half write down “Empowering”.
Then write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions that shrink you or keep you small.
Here were some of mine:
A limiting thought I had -> I have to do everything alone and I can’t rely or depend on anyone to help me.
A limiting feeling I had -> I feel like I have nothing to offer now that I don’t have my corporate job and am not receiving a large steady paycheck.
A limiting action I used to do -> I would replay past situations and beat myself up for how I handled it.
Now write yours.
Don’t hold back and try to dig really deep.
Then flip those into empowering thoughts, feelings, and actions on the bottom half of the page.
Here are mine, Empowering:
Thought -> Asking for help, letting people in, and depending on others is healthy, natural, and life-giving.
Feeling -> I am enough and my resume qualities do not define my worth.
Action -> I accept and forgive myself for anything in the past and commit to no longer bringing it up.
2. Acknowledge the “You Can’t Have That” Voice and then tell it to Shut Up
Our thoughts are talking to us all day long, at a million miles an hour. I started to listen to my thoughts more and run it through a filter. When you catch the voice that tells you that you can’t, you should give up, it’s a lost cause, things will always be this way, take note of it, say I see you, but NO, YOU’RE WRONG.
You will find that once you start making a habit of taking every thought captive, it will be easier to recognize and stop them earlier.
3. Know What You are not Willing to Accept and Act on it
This is where the mindset starts to apply itself. When we commit to releasing limiting beliefs and training our minds, the next step is to align our actions with it. Start to ask yourself what you want in every area of your life -> career + vocation, family + friends + relationships, impact + legacy, etc. and then at the same time, seek to understand what you don’t want.
I understand this is a lifelong journey and what we want will change as we grow, but doing this has been life changing for me. It takes time and intentionality.
Once you have reflected and written all of that down, it’s time to live by it. It won’t be perfect, of course. But as much as we can, if we make decisions in alignment, I’m finding that we will discover a more peaceful life.
Now, the amazing thing is once we start doing the inner work, things start happening. I think it’s because our beliefs start shifting and we realize how worthy we are to receive good things. For some reason there’s this cloud of “oh you have to feel guilty, dim your light, and live small because of what people will think” but I think we’re called to life more abundantly, we’re blessed to be a blessing, and that it should never stop at us.
How to Receive
1. Stay the Course
Something crazy happens once you’ve released your limiting beliefs and make a commitment to yourself. What is it? Things will come up to distract or test you to see if you’ll stay the course.
This literally happened to me two weeks ago. There were two separate things that happened that would have totally derailed me if I had not been on this path.
Maybe you believe only in coincidence and I totally respect that. But it’s still interesting to see sometimes. How things could be going amazing and smooth sailing then a plot twist or curve ball comes.
2. Choose Love over Fear
A few months ago, I did a post on fear. It’s been powerful seeing the shift in my life since then. Fear has less of a grip in my life compared to two months ago, and I think it will just keep going from there.
Everyday we are faced with options, choices, and decisions. I’m noticing that if we dive head first into the fear, we will conquer it and it will no longer have power over us.
So an example of this is one of my fears is vulnerability. I recently joined a community group at my church and people were given the opportunity to share their life and faith story. My instinct before was to stay surface level and put up walls so people can’t get to know me. So to counteract my fear, I dove straight in and decided to share my story up front. The result of doing that was I experienced freedom, courage, and strength from becoming vulnerable and letting people share in my life experiences, even the sad ones.
It might not be your style to just jump in and run in the direction of your fears, but I wonder if it’s worth exploring for you.
3. Accept Yourself Fully and Feel your Feelings
The last thing that unlocks the freedom to receive is accepting ourselves completely and connecting with our feelings. Again, this is a lifelong journey and we’re always going to grow in acceptance. I’m finding that there is so much freedom in being ourselves. It’s really hard work too, because society tries to put us in boxes and categories.
I’ve realized that who I am is so complex that it would be difficult to fit into a certain mold. You probably feel the same way. It takes a lot of courage but it’s worth it.
It’s not that we need to learn how to love people, that comes naturally to us. It’s that we need to learn how to remove the things that get in the way of allowing ourselves to love and be loved. It’s learning new thoughts and beliefs about what love leads to. For most of us, love has led to hurt, and so we do everything to prevent that hurt from happening again. The irony being that everything we do to protect ourselves gets in the way of loving and being loved. We prevent the very thing we crave most. So please, I beg you. Learn you. Learn what you do to prevent love from happening. And then consciously begin to stop doing that so you can let love flow. Be fierce. Be courageous. And you’ll see that love is the solvent to your pain, you just have to let it flow.
Photos by Dan Burkovskiy
Thank you for reading!
Let’s keep in touch!
Have you ever wondered what your passion is? Do you find yourself daydreaming about making a living doing what you love? In this post, I’ll share with you an exercise that will help you organize your thoughts about your dream career!
I did this exercise last year when I wanted to find clarity and direction in my work life and it really helped set an internal compass towards a long-term vision.
What You Need
You’ll need a journal if you like to write or the Trello app on your phone.? I love Trello! I use it everyday. It’s a virtual board where you can create lists and organize them however you want! Picture electronic post-its that you can move around.
Giftedness – Resources – Dream Job
Know your Gifts
The first step to change is being aware and knowing yourself. Who are you? What are you good at? What are your talents, abilities, and skills??List out all your best qualities.
I knew I had to take inventory of exactly who I was. I’ll share with you a few that I wrote down:
Strong interpersonal skills
Gifted at teaching yoga
Knowing your skillset is so important because this will help you discover what you have to offer to the world and why your contribution matters.
Don’t hold back! Be proud of yourself, your strengths and what makes you unique.
Understand your Resources
We are blessed with so much. It’s easy to forget just how much we have when we are focused on what we don’t have. This list is important because it’s the starting point. With any endeavor in life, you start with what you already have.
Get creative with this list! Include the obvious things but expand from there. Where do you work? Who are you connected to? What activities or organizations do you participate in?
Here were the resources I noted:
Good living location
Network of friends and family
Dream up your Ideal Career
This is the fun part. You get to dream up what you really want! It’s a dream for a reason so don’t worry about being realistic. One day you’ll look back and be excited you wrote everything you really want. Get detailed with it too! What feeling do you want to experience when you do your life’s work? Who do you want next to you? What purpose do you hope to serve?
Here are some things I wrote about my dream job:
Not tied to a desk
Active and physically moving
Inspire and motivate
High interaction with people
Channel my love of fitness, nature, and music
Putting it All Together
Once you’ve written out all three side by side, read them over and observe any common threads. The magic happens when you find alignment in your strengths, your resources, and your vision.
I hope this exercise provides value and helps you on your way to discover your life’s passion and the career of your dreams!
Let’s keep in touch!
Our fears can often paralyze us from action. We’re afraid of a lot of things. Sometimes, the fear is so deeply rooted in our subconscious that we don’t realize we are making decisions that ultimately shape our lives from a place of fear. Why does it seem to have so much power over us? We’re afraid of rejection, of failure, of not being good enough, of getting hurt. We fear not having enough, that our finances and investments won’t grow, that our loved ones could be affected by tragedy. We’re even afraid to realize our full potential and truly succeed at something. These are very real, concrete, and fair concerns. It comes down to our needs. The need for safety, connection, and fulfillment.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. -2 Tim 1:7
Personal Share: Facing my Fears
The second half of 2017 has been marked by facing my biggest fears and acting in the midst of them. At the end of July, I left my career in accounting to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. I worked in financial services for six years- three years in audit for a public accounting firm and three years in investment accounting for an insurance company. I started teaching yoga back in 2014 and got involved with Girl Get Outside?around that same time. Like many of you, I discovered my passion for yoga and wellness. I often dreamed about leaving the corporate world. It would come up in conversations with people and I always shared that when the time was right, I would feel it.
April 2017 came. I felt like God was asking me- Are you ready to go on an adventure with me? Where you have to trust me every step of the way and rely on me for strength and provision? When I first felt that, I couldn’t believe it at first. I was so used to being self-sufficient and loved my career because of the financial freedom it provided me. Then I really leaned into it. And I realized the only thing stopping me were my fears.
During that season,?I spent many nights in stillness, contemplating what this meant for me and my future. I listened to countless sermons and podcasts, read my bible, and prayed. I knew in my heart I needed to take this step to unlock the next level. Almost like there were blessings connected to this one decision. So I took the steps to prepare. I left my job at the end of July 2017.
Personal Share: Learning to Manage my Fears
It’s been a month and a half since I made the leap.
One Sunday, I was so gripped by fear. I hit a wall mentally and couldn’t think about anything else.
I knew I had to get on my yoga mat because that’s where I can quiet my mind enough to really understand what was going on.
Right before class, I wrote down everything I was afraid of in that moment.?
It was overwhelming getting it all down but it was powerful. There’s something about writing down your fears because if any of them are irrational, you can quickly see them for what they are and put things into perspective.
When I got home that night, I wanted to understand fear better and why it got such a hold on me earlier that day. I came across this video from Tim Ferris. While I don’t personally hold everything he talks about in the video, he introduced a really valuable strategy that opened my eyes completely- fear setting.
The Strategy: Fear Setting
Visualize the worst case scenarios in detail that you fear, preventing you from taking action, so that you can take action to overcome that paralysis. -Tim Ferris
Ask yourself, what if I __________? Fill in the blank with that fear that was gripping you.
Write down all of the worst things you can imagine happening if you take that step.
What could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening or at the very least decrease the likelihood?
If the worst case scenario happened, what could you do to repair the damage even a little bit, or who could you ask for help?
I rewatched this part of the video more times than I can count because I thought it was so genius. It helped me organize my thoughts so well. When you’re going through moments of fear, your mind is far from calm and steady. So having it broken down like this made so much sense.
The next question Tim Ferris proposed was,
What might be the benefits of an attempt or partial success? -Tim Ferris
I loved this question because it encourages hope and optimism but in a reasonable way. It gets to the root of the fear which is the risk factor. It’s an objective way to see why it’s worth taking the step to begin with.
We don’t usually consider the cost of staying the same. Ask yourself, If I avoid this action or decision and similar ones like it, what might my life look like six months, a year, three years down the line?
Sometimes we can no longer continue in the same place.
This part of the exercise is so so key. What is the impact? Is the risk minimal or permanent and life changing?
This fear setting exercise is going to stay with me as I journey through life. If I found about about fear setting back in April, I believe I would have came up with the same decision to take the step of faith.
What are some of your deepest fears? Can fear setting help you get unstuck and back on the path to living your best life?
Thank you so much for reading.?Let’s keep in touch!
For a while now, I’ve heard and read about the benefits of meditation. I love to observe and learn from people doing amazing things- CEOs, athletes, artists, and other leaders in various spaces. One thing I noticed was that they maintained certain daily practices. The most common ones were: waking up early, doing physical exercise, and meditating. In my own personal journey, I also noticed the power of thoughts and how they have the ability to change our brain.
I believe our thoughts shape our reality.
Tony Robbins said,
As I started to train my thoughts, I realized that I had more power over them than I previously had. It was amazing to be able to take a step back, observe my thoughts, and filter them through the framework of truth that I live my life on.
Intentional living had become a lifestyle that complemented my yoga journey perfectly. The only thing is, I had a hard time sitting still.
It’s kinda funny because you would think yogis would be professionals at meditating but there’s more to it. When you practice yoga, it is a moving meditation. It’s the best. But it’s another thing to sit down and do nothing but breathe.
With everything going on in life, sometimes the only stillness we experience is when our head hits the pillow right before we fall asleep.
After my recent exciting career transition (more about that at a later blog post), I knew it was time to commit to a consistent meditation practice.
Making the Commitment
The strength of your commitment, lies in pre-deciding what you want.?
I set out to start off every morning with a seated meditation. On the first day, I told myself I would take 10 long deep breaths and that counted as meditation for me. Honestly, those 10 deep breaths felt really long! As I sat there breathing, I felt at more at ease and grounded.
The next day, I came back and added 10 more breaths to it. It was challenging to sit still so I would count each inhale to stay focused. That week, I added 10 breaths each day and got up to 40. I liked that I finally found a meditation routine but I felt like it was starting to be another thing to check off the list. Like okay, count my breaths, and then get on with my day.
Then someone inspiring told me about Headspace. I’ve heard of it before but haven’t used it! It’s a meditation and mindfulness app that has themed sessions designed for people with busy schedules.
I started with the Basics pack. It consisted of 10 meditations that were 3 minutes each.
I loved how simple the app was. The guided meditations are led by Andy Puddicombe’s?and his voice is so relaxing. The app takes you step-by-step and explains mindfulness techniques using the cutest animation videos.
What I noticed the most after two weeks of practicing meditation is how much more calm I have become. My energy is usually pretty grounded but this feels really good. I feel more connected with my emotions. I’ve also noticed I’m able to slow down more throughout the day. I’ve been an observer of my thoughts these days and letting them pass through with more acceptance.
I feel empowered too. If my day ever feels stressful or an issue comes up, I know I can always come back to my breath.
This is the beginning of my meditation journey but I see this becoming a lifelong practice. Today, I tried a ten minute one, and it didn’t feel long at all!
Tips for Meditation Success
Schedule it in your Daily Routine
Include it as part of your set routine, just like showering and brushing your teeth. I meditate right after getting ready in the morning and before leaving for the day. It usually helps to do it in the morning since fewer things tend to come up and you have more control over your time.
Find Your Ideal Place
Choose a quiet space and meet yourself there everyday at the same time. I meditate in my room on the floor. I get up early so the house is quiet and it’s still dark out.
Set the Mood
Find something comfortable to sit on. This helps so you won’t be fidgeting as much! I love my Tushies meditation pillow in Fearless. I bought this one when I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship last month. It symbolized the intention I wanted for myself, which is to be fearless. I leave the lights off in my room and turn on my Himalayan sea salt lamp that my roommate got me for Christmas. I’m a fan of the scents lavender and tea tree so I have this aromatic oil from Tea Tree Hair Care, an?unscented coconut oil?which mixes well together, and a lavender lip balm both from Organic to Green. These help set the mood and you can even light candles or have an essential oil diffuser going!
I hope this post sparked your interest in meditation and intentional living. I couldn’t wait to share with you because of how I feel from just 3 minutes of meditation a day for 10 days. I’m looking forward to keeping it going! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you meditate?
Let’s keep in touch!
One of my favorite things is sitting down over a cup of coffee to hear people’s stories, wisdoms and dreams. Kelsey and I got to do that last week with yoga instructor, blogger, business owner and great conversationalist, Bianca Bonus. After we got settled and talked about how awkward the heights of our chairs were (short and angled funny), we clicked record and documented one of the best get-to-know-you conversations I’ve had. Here’s the play-by-play:
Tell me how you got into yoga in the first place.
Growing up I did ballet, and I loved it. I got really flexible through it and it involved a lot of discipline. Then I moved here from the Philippines in 2001, and when I moved I couldn’t find a ballet studio that I really liked, so it just kind of fell off. So for a while, from then through college, I didn’t do anything really active. I wasn’t into fitness at all.
My undergrad was in accounting, and when I graduated, I started working for a company with really long, stressful hours. One of my coworkers there invited me to my first yoga class. It was a heated yoga class with weights – they call it “sculpt.” I remember looking around and thinking people were insane?- they were amazing. I was on my mat sitting down, because I was going to pass out [LAUGHTER]?and I was just like…?These people are cool. I’m going to come back, because I want to be that strong one day.?I was really inspired by them, since I was so physically out of shape at the time.
So I used the “free week,” the rest of that week and then I signed up for membership.
After two years of practicing, I ended up leaving my first accounting job, and my “quitting present” to myself was to sign up for teacher training. So I did that and got certified at Core Power, and I’ve been teaching for more than two years now.
Wow, so did you start blogging right away or did that come later?
No I didn’t. It was a really organic process. I launched my blog this past October.
Oh that’s so recently!
Yeah it’s super new! The thing is, my fitness journey started with yoga, and then somewhere along the line I came across this fitness movement called BBG. So I started getting into that and I started doing weights too and more circuit training, intensity training… and that led to me hosting meet-ups in Orange County. I would post about the event on Instagram and then people would show up, and we would all do yoga and BBG together.
What gave you the idea to start doing meet ups?
I lived by the beach, so I would bring my weights, my yoga mat, my music… I would have this whole set up, and then I would just workout every day there. Sometimes some friends would drive in to join me just for the day, and I thought,?I bet other people would want to do this.
I think fifteen people came to the first one, and it was mostly my friends and my co-workers, and then our biggest one ended up being a hundred people, and we had corporate sponsors. So it was all through Instagram, and through doing those meet-ups I met some fitness bloggers. And then I think just being around what they’re doing made me so inspired: how they would collaborate with brands and use their blogs to inspire people to move .
I think I have a voice in terms of sharing my love for yoga, and not just that but also the spiritual side of yoga, and making people think and question things a little bit.
So do you post mostly about yoga or also about other healthy-lifestyle things?
Right now, I usually post on three things: yoga-related tutorials or how to’s, entrepreneurial/intentional living type things, and then I did one food related post.
Do you find a big connection between yoga and other healthy-lifestyle choices? Are there any specific things that you find impact you the most?
Yeah, totally. Exercise and food. All those years, I wasn’t doing anything physical at all, so I was very sluggish, I had no energy… I would eat so badly. Every junk food you could possibly find, that’s what I would eat for lunch and dinner. It was so bad! I wasn’t overweight, but I knew that internally I wasn’t in shape.
But when I started doing yoga, I think my body just wanted to eat better. I cut out dairy and fried food. It’s not perfect, but I told myself that’s what I was going to do. And then my skin cleared up, and I wouldn’t get sick as much.
Now I try to stay active 6 days a week, and I usually eat very clean. But today I had doughnuts because you can’t say no to Sidecar! I don’t really eat doughnuts but when they’re Sidecar….?! Today was a bad example [LAUGHTER AND AGREEMENT ABOUT SIDECAR ALL AROUND].
But that’s good, it seems like you’ve found a good balance of living healthily, but not becoming obsessed with every little thing.
Yeah, some of my friends count calories and track macros… That doesn’t work for me – I feel too restricted, I guess.
Do you have any workout tips for someone who can’t afford a gym or just wants to workout at home?
Bodyweight exercises. So burpees, jump lunges, jump squats, pushups… Even just those gets your heart rate going so fast and if you do them really fast, it burns a lot of fat.
Are there certain brands for food or clothes or equipment that you specifically recommend?
For shoes, I like Asics for cross training and running. I did a half marathon and I ran with Asics, and they were really supportive.
Your mom does yoga with you sometimes right??
Yeah, so one time there was a yoga retreat in Bali that I wanted to go to….So, actually let me back track… I was in my office, scrolling through Instagram and Yogagirl posted a picture for a reatreat in Aruba with all this beauuuutiful water, and I was like dude, I should just go! why not!?And then I went to Aruba, not even knowing where it was at first, and went to that retreat.
So then when I started talking about this other retreat in Bali, my mom wanted to come with me. So I said, “Okay, well you need to start doing yoga.” And for her birthday I bought her a plane ticket, and we went to Bali together on the yoga retreat. So she got into it because of that retreat. She’s in her 60s.
Do you do videos on your blog?
Yep! I haven’t decided if I want to do more instructional videos yet, where I am actually talking and teaching, but that’s something that could be in the works!
What is your vision for your yoga classes and for your blog?
The kind of yoga I want to do is very athletic, and I always picture it outdoors. Along with Girl Get Outside, which is a company I own with a friend, we want to do yoga retreats.
Wait, so you own a company?!
Yes! So it’s called “Girl Get Outside” and the whole thing is to inspire women to pursue the outdoors. For one, I think the outdoors holds something very special because I feel like that’s where God communicates with me. It’s powerful. You just realize how small you are when you’re out there.
How I got into it is kind of a long story…?but the girl that taught my Business of Yoga lecture at Core Power is the one who founded Girl Get Outside with a friend. They hosted these Instagram challenges where for one week, you have to do one specific thing each day and post a photo. So I did it, and I won one of the challenges. After I won the challenge, she asked me if I wanted to be an ambassador for Girl Get Outside, and I said “I’d love to.” Time went on and they both got married, etc. and decided they didn’t have time to do it anymore, so they asked me to manage the social media. So for a while I was the one curating their feed and posting photos which was really fun for me. Eventually we met up and she said, “I was thinking about what kind of company you should start, and it’s Girl Get Outside. Do you want to buy it from me?” and I was just like “WHAT? You’re selling me this?!” I was just floored. I couldn’t believe it at first, and she was selling it for a really good price. I sat on it for a while, but then the door opened up for a good friend to work with me on it, so we split it and now we tag team the work.
So what do you guys do through that?
It’s a blog. But we are currently working on getting a shop up. So we’ll be selling water bottles, stickers, tshirts and tanks, and eventually our main thing is going to be retreats and outdoor adventures.
Looking back, I never would have thought I would be teaching yoga or even blogging… it’s like nothing I ever thought I would do.
Were there any times that were really challenging for you physically or emotionally?
The biggest thing that propelled this path that I’m on was a really really difficult breakup. Two years ago, I was in my lowest point. I am a generally happy person, so when I was in such a low place, I didn’t know what to do. It was very foreign to me. I knew I needed something to get myself into a regular routine, so I found this book called the Slight Edge, and it talked about little disciplines every day that inspired me a lot. I think from just putting things into action and not staying stuck, all of these things started happening.
I went to Life Care Counseling too. I had to face a lot of things I didn’t want to and push through the pain. I look back today and realize I learned so much from all of that. I mean, I would never be here if it weren’t for that… I guess I’m better for it.
Do you have any tips for people who want to workout but can’t stay motivated? And also any tips for other entrepreneurs?
So the first one – tips for trying to stay motivated: I think one thing is just taking it one day at a time, because sometimes we just have these giant goals. We’re like I want to lose 25 pounds or I’m going to cut down to 18% body fat…?But I feel like it has to be little by little because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and then you feel like I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m going to quit.?So I think just being really kind to yourself, but also pushing yourself harder is important. And commitment too — showing up every day, even when you don’t want to. Because that’s the only way you can change habits.
And your second question for people who want to start something: I never once felt like I was ready. Even with teaching yoga… I didn’t like speaking in front of people before I taught yoga. When you’re up there it’s like oh my gosh these people are here, and they’re just sitting there looking at me. But teacher training got that fear out of me. And with those meet-ups when there were a hundred something people… I just don’t get nervous anymore. So I think it’s just,?starting.
With Girl Get Outside, I felt like I didn’t have time and I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I think if you put yourself out there, God sets you up for it basically…. I mean… it’s hard to talk about all of these things without putting my faith into it because I can’t really take credit.
Thank you so much Crea Mag for the space to share my story.
Can we do it all? In this post, I’ll share why I took a blog break in January, how I balance my investment accounting career + yoga teaching + GirlGetOutside + fitness + friends, and?three strategies to help you regain momentum in all your pursuits.
I’m back! I missed you in January. I took a break from the blog the first month of 2017. January is the busiest month of the year for my team at work. Knowing this, I wanted to be fully present for my team. The first few weeks after 12/31, my team works a few holidays and weekends to meet our deadlines. (If you’re curious, the investment prices get locked in and that’s when my work begins.)
I spent some pretty long hours at work (thank God for my standing desk and Spotify premium). There were more than a few days where I skipped my morning workout because I had to get to the office early. The winter bod situation was getting pretty real. Haha! To add to that, there were days and weekends of rain, which made it difficult to create content outdoors. You can say I had moments of frustration.
I wanted to be working on my craft, creating, sweating at yoga and the gym, moving #GirlGetOutside forward, and so much more.?
In those moments, I learned a few things. When we experience feelings of frustration?or defeat, I discovered that mindset is everything. Your circumstances may stay the same but the way you frame your situation can make all the difference.
So here are three strategies that helped me get back to my flow and I hope you find these helpful too!
1. Zoom Out
To me, balance is achieved on a weekly, monthly, or even an annual basis. I had to tell myself-
Hey, when taken as a whole, you are still able to work on your passions and goals, it just won’t be for two hours a time. It may very well be 5 minutes a day.
I feel like it’s important to take a step back sometimes. Because when you’re in the weeds day in and day out, little setbacks and minor inconveniences seem so much bigger than they really are.
Think about your last three or six months, or the last year. Would you say you are experiencing?more and more balance, freedom, and fulfillment in your career, creative pursuits, and relationships? If you’re?on the path you want to be on and you’re taking the steps (even the smallest ones), that’s?what counts.
2. Think Abundance, Not Lack?
The earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have, and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be. – Amy Poehler
I 100% believe that living out of a place of provision is the key. It’s easy for me to access lack-driven thoughts. To be honest, those creep up regularly. My most predominant lack-driven thought is, I don’t have time. What would you say yours is?
In the beginning of this post, I talked about sharing how I balance work, teaching yoga, GirlGetOutside, fitness, and keeping up with family and friends. I think abundance is how. I feel like this season of my life is teaching me to trust in God and live in His provision. It’s really been an adventure so far and I’m truly grateful.
I also know that sometimes we can find ourselves in dark places where the last thing we want to do is think about abundance. I think our pain isn’t purposeless. Your resilient spirit won’t let you quit. Dig deep in those moments.
3. Create Silence
Silence humbles us to listen in a noisy world. -Reality SF
I find that it is so important to press pause. Because of my schedule, I find myself going most hours I’m awake and not around people. It takes conscious effort to stop and find inner stillness.
Silence helps us tune in. We meet ourselves where we are at that moment. Often times we’ll find some interesting thoughts or feelings bubble up to the surface when we’re quiet. Let’s try 2 minutes of silence before bed and see what happens.
So, can we do it all?
I would say yes.
Just not all in one day. 🙂
Thank you for reading! If you connected with anything I shared, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
In this post, I will share strategies to overcome resistance based on?The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. As promised, this post is the continuation of my first blog?where I talked about what triggers resistance in our lives. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you check it out here and then come back to this post.
The more you love your art/calling/enterprise, the more important its accomplishment is to the evolution of your soul, the more you will fear it and the more resistance you will experience facing it.
Have you ever put something off for months??The War of Art?has been on my reading list forever and I finally finished it yesterday. I think I procrastinated so long because I was slightly nervous to find out what?Steven Pressfield?had?to say about overcoming resistance. It’s like the point of no return, right? When you find something out, you can’t unlearn it. Haha!
Well I finally overcame my own resistance to finishing the book and I’d love to share with you what I learned from it.
Win?the Battle by Turning Pro
Steven Pressfield says we will overcome resistance when we turn pro.
The professional plays for keeps… To the pro, it’s his vocation.
Whatever your craft is, I think this is the turning point in your journey where you decide you’re all in. So how I interpret this is not necessarily quitting your full-time job (although it might be for you). I see this more as a mindset shift. To me, this is a lifestyle.
To share with you all, my craft is the integration of where I am at this moment: finance professional, yoga instructor, fitness enthusiast, and blogger. What is your craft??If you are currently reflecting on what makes you passionate in life, check out my post on discovering work that you love?here.
Once you have found your craft, there’s a decision you have to make. That decision is, are you ready to go pro?
If you’re ready, Steven Pressfield talks about the principles a professional lives by. He says that these are principles we already practice at our “traditional” jobs. You and I will apply these in different ways but I think the ideas behind them are valuable. Here are a few:
1. Show Up Everyday
I think everyone has that innate sense that tells us we can’t miss work or show up too late. We don’t really give ourselves a choice.
2. Show Up No Matter What
This is similar to #1 but this hints at showing up even when we don’t feel like it. We have to listen to our body. But sometimes we have to take the split second to ask: do I genuinely not feel good and need to rest or am I facing resistance?
3. Commit for the Long Haul
Your journey, interests, and creative pursuits will change as the seasons pass.?I love that life is a journey of learning to love ourselves, love others, and live well. Once you go all in, it becomes a lifestyle.
4. We Accept Remuneration for our Labor
We are here not only to have fun and contribute our gifts but to earn a living.
5. Resist Overidentifying with our Work
We must build our identity in something much deeper than our circumstances, resume qualities, where we live, the things we are surrounded by, and the list goes on.?It is worth asking the question: What am I building my identity on and is it shifting sand?
6. Master the Technique of our Work
Practice, practice, practice. This is where time and discipline come in.?Nothing comes overnight and many times you will work and no one will see anything for a while. But you know you’re working on your craft. We have to start somewhere and doing little by little every day counts.
7. Have a Sense of Humor about our Work
I think having a good time should be part of every moment. If anything, we should be professional fun-havers!
How Do you Know You’ve Turned Pro?
Steven Pressfield says you know you’ve turned pro when the following qualities become a part of you (just sharing a few here but they are all so good):
We live in such an instant gratification world. It’s so easy to want everything yesterday. Once you turn pro, you almost always live in a state of delayed gratification. But you can’t let it frustrate you. Trust the process. I wrote more on the timing of life here.
Acts in the Face of Fear
I think pros just do it. From what I’ve observed, the more a thing scares them, the more they do it. It’s almost like a compass. We can prepare to our best abilities but then at some point we just have to do it, even as we’re shaking inside.
In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield shared a long list of fears we face daily. But you know what he said our biggest fear is?
Fear that we will succeed. That we can access the powers we secretly know we possess. That we can become the person we sense in our hearts we truly are.
I was mindblown when I read that. I’ve always felt that fear deep within?and it’s crazy seeing it articulated into words.
Asks for Help
Asking for help is something that comes from a place of humility. It’s letting go of pride and tapping into the wealth of knowledge and resources around you. It requires vulnerability.
Does not Take Failure or Success Personally
This one is so good. And really hard to do. It’s staying grounded and being one level detached from your work, so that if it is received well or poorly, your self-worth and identity won’t rise and fall with it.
This one is also one of my favorites. You have to cheer yourself on and I feel like you can’t live for the validation of other people. That’s our own job. It’s not about the number of followers, likes, or comments. It’s getting our validation from within and knowing your worth. This?goes hand in hand with our identity.
When I first read these concepts, I had to take a few days to simply absorb it. It’s a lot. That’s a high bar. But I’ll end this blog post with an excerpt from The War of Art that serves as an amazing call to action.
Thank you for reading. I hope this connected with you somehow. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Until next time!
You’re about to find out!
What’s a Snowball Party?
I had the opportunity to?go on this adventure and I’m excited to bring you in on the fun. If you know me, you know I’m always up for new experiences and I love connecting with people so I thought this would be the perfect way to spend my Saturday night!
What’s a snowball party? Yeah, I was wondering the same thing too. Here’s how it works!
So with the concept down, I was?ready to go. Lululemon emailed saying they would get in touch Saturday afternoon to tell me where we were supposed to meet?our fellow Snowballers. I love surprises!?Can you tell?
At 2:56pm I received this text.
So fun! 🙂 I made my way to West Hollywood and got to enjoy golden hour on my drive. I arrived at the meeting spot and?quickly found the other two Snowballers. Yep, we actually did scratch our heads!
Our first mission was to go to a department store, dress up in Christmas outfits, and send the Snow Patroller our family photo.
We did just that! We sent our Snow Patroller a selfie of us wearing red and gold ponchos holding up Christmas garland and a sled. True story. Too funny.
Then our next clue came in and asked us to go to a sports bar where we had to say “snowball” to the bartender. The bartender led us to a booth with three other Snowballers. What once was three had become six.
We got to know our new friends over drinks, appetizers, and an icebreaker game that had us reveal a scandalous secret that no one would guess just by looking at us.?But we won’t talk about that here. 😉
When in LA…
Our adventure continued, which included but was not limited to: singing Christmas carols on the streets of LA with a red hat out (guys, I found my next side gig), giving genuine compliments and hugs to strangers as we walked by, competing in a relay race in a random parking lot (our team won of course), going to a climbing gym where hot whiskey cider was served, and enjoying the company of the other Snowballers as we multiplied in size.
I later found out that other groups were assigned different missions such as yoga at the park, decorating cupcakes, and other fun?stuff.
Our final destination was the Lululemon Melrose location.
We walked in and the first thing I saw was the incredible spread of small bites and juices (yeah, I kinda love to eat). It was pretty amazing. But once I zoomed out, I saw the design of the Melrose store. The store was sleek, modern, and elegant. Lululemon laid out a campfire-like scene. There was live music in the form of a passionate singer jamming out to cover songs. We mingled for a bit. It was great to see familiar faces and Instagram friends.
Marcus Buckingham & The Love and Work Movement
Then we took our seats and got ready to hear?Marcus Buckingham speak. Here’s a quote taken from his website that provides a quick glimpse into his perspective:
?My hope and dream is that you find a life in which you get to express the unique spirit that is You, in the most intelligent, most contributive, most meaningful way possible.?
This perspective is so meaningful to me because lately I’ve been in a season of intentionally stepping into?the gifts and abilities I’ve been blessed with. Mr. Buckingham’s words resonated with me because of the journey I’m currently walking.?The timing of life can be pretty spot on sometimes!
I sat there in stillness listening intently to Mr. Buckingham share his heart. Here were some of the things that stood out to me:
We all are unique
Marcus Buckingham shared that each person is unique. He said our uniqueness is the key to our contribution to the world. He talked about the moment he?realized how different he was from his brother and sister even though they were all raised in the same home. I was drawn in when he talked about his sister who danced for a prestigious ballet company, which was one of my?dreams when I was little.
Then I started to think about my own siblings and just how different we are too. My older sister?is softspoken, caring, and such a good mom. My older brother is artistic. He loves to draw and once pursued a career in animation. He also plays guitar and sings. My younger brother?seems to do it all. He is an entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and aspiring recording artist/music producer.
Take a few moments to reflect on your uniqueness. What moves you?
Weave your life and work using the Red Threads of Love
Let’s turn love into contribution – then we all win.
I believe that once you discover your unique talents and gifts, you have to find ways to share it. Moving beyond ourselves is the key to living a life of purpose. So when Marcus Buckingham started to talk about the Red Threads of Love, I was all ears.
He had us picture someone who was living their best life- someone who’s life was vibrant. In his words, what these people?had in common was that they took all the red threads of the stuff they love and decided to weave all of those things together until their whole life “blanket” was made up of red threads.
It was so cool to hear Marcus Buckingham describe these red threads?because it’s what I’ve been reflecting on and working towards these past two years.
You may not know but I have a career in investment accounting. I love how intellectually stimulating it has been to learn about the investment industry these past five years. But halfway through, I found yoga and realized that connecting with people was my gift. So since then, I’ve been on this intentional living journey where I use what I’ve been given and the place I’ve been planted to hopefully inspire those around me to live out their best life.
Take what you love and turn it into something useful.
I’m?learning every day and hearing Marcus Buckingham share his insights on this was confirmation that I’m on the right track.
How Do you Find your Red Threads?
Have you ever been in love?
Marcus Buckingham asked us that. He said that people who are in love experience these feelings: time flies when you’re with that person, you think about them when you’re apart, and you can hardly wait to see them again.
Marcus Buckingham shared that we experience those same?feelings with the red threads of our work and creative activities.
He gave us a call to action. He said to do this for a week: every time you’re doing something and you experience those feelings of love, write it down. These may very well be your red threads.
It doesn’t mean every task or job we do will be life changing.
I think the hope is that over time, we can weave more and more love into our lives, and extend the love to those around us.
Thank you for reading! I hope this post sparked something in you today. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
There’s something that happens when you start moving?in the direction of your dreams. You will experience resistance. It’s not one specific thing you can see or name, it’s mostly a feeling. In The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, resistance is:
an energy field radiating from a work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.
In this post, I’ll talk about what triggers resistance and how I’ve experienced it in my own life. My hope is that you’ll start to see it in yours too.
I felt resistance a lot more than usual this past week. With every yoga class I teach, each Instagram post I share, and each project I work on, there’s a little voice in me that wants to shrink back, not share, not open up, not be vulnerable, and not put myself out there. It wants me to stay safe and not create.
Have you felt this too?
What triggers these thoughts and feelings?
The War of Art?outlines 11 activities that trigger resistance (in no specific order):
- -The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
- -The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
- -Any diet or health regimen.
- -Any program of spiritual advancement.
- -Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.
- -Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
- -Education of every kind.
- -Any act of political, moral, or ethical courage, including the decision to change for the better some unworthy pattern of thought or conduct in ourselves.
- -The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
- -Any act that entails commitment of the heart. The decision to get married, to have a child, to weather a rocky patch in a relationship.
- -The taking of any principled stand in the face of adversity.
In other words, any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.
When I first read this list six months ago, I was floored. It became so clear to me why some days felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill or swimming upstream in a river. If you’re reading this, I know for sure you are engaging in three, four, or even five of these activities on a daily basis.
Once we are aware of the negative forcefield that prevents us from creating, we can look it in the eye and push through.
What ways do you experience resistance?
Resistance can be overcome. Stay tuned for a future blog post?on ways we can break through. Thank you for reading!