Can We Do It All? Three Strategies to Help You Regain Momentum

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

This week, a friend sent me a message from Reality SF about the practice of 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!

??Bianca

Resistance Part II: Winning the Inner Creative Battle

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.

How do we win the inner creative battle? The strategies below are from?The War of Art?by?Steven Pressfield.

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!

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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):

Patient

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.

Self Validating

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!

??Bianca

Resistance: What Happens When you Pursue your Dreams

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.

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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):

  1. -The pursuit of any calling in writing, painting, music, film, dance, or any creative art, however marginal or unconventional.
  2. -The launching of any entrepreneurial venture or enterprise, for profit or otherwise.
  3. -Any diet or health regimen.
  4. -Any program of spiritual advancement.
  5. -Any activity whose aim is tighter abdominals.
  6. -Any course or program designed to overcome an unwholesome habit or addiction.
  7. -Education of every kind.
  8. -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.
  9. -The undertaking of any enterprise or endeavor whose aim is to help others.
  10. -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.
  11. -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.

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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!

??Bianca

5 Tips to Pursuing your Passion while Working in the Corporate World

If you clicked on this, there’s a good chance you have a dream you are working towards. You know what lights you up from within. You know all about those early mornings, late nights, and weekends “working” on this passion. I say “working” because it hardly feels like work. You just love it. There’s one thing though. You also have a career. You know, the one you went to school for. The one that pays the bills and then some. The one you’ve invested in for years and actually enjoy when taken as a whole. In this post, I’ll share with you 5 tips to pursuing your passion as a corporate professional.

I’m figuring things out as I go, but it’s so much fun discovering and living in the flow. So let’s go!

1. Vision First

vision-firstDuring my yoga teacher training in 2014, Lacey Calvert?led a little meditation exercise for our group. She had us sit in a comfortable position, close our eyes, and visualize the future. Where does your mind wander off to? What you find yourself dreaming about?

Try this meditation exercise in a quiet and comfortable place. In this exercise-

? Picture yourself six months, a year, three, or five years down the line. Pick one point of time in the future.

??Where are you?

? What are you doing?

? Who are you with??

??How do you feel?

Visualization is such a powerful tool. When you have the vision in mind, you can work backwards and figure out what you need to do now to set yourself up.

Keep your vision or your “why” ever-present. It will?serve as an anchor through the times of uncertainty and doubt. Your vision is your ultimate motivation.

The vision is clear but the process is open-ended.

2.?Nail your Non-Negotiables

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Everyone is blessed with 24 hours in a day. I wish we had more sometimes. Because of that, we have to use our time wisely. Given this, it is so key to nail down your non-negotiables. Your non-negotiables are your primary commitments.?It will take some reflection to assess what is really important to you.

Here are some of mine. I’d love to hear yours in the comments below!

? Do physical exercise (yoga, circuit training, cardio, weight lifting, etc.) six days a week when possible.?

? Attend Rock Harbor?mid-week life group and Sunday service.?

? Stay connected with family and friends.?

Your non-negotiables will serve as another anchor as you navigate your schedule. There will definitely be busier times and you might have to take time away from these primary commitments. I have noticed though,?that maintaining your core priorities is important to?living a balanced life. When you take too much time away from these things, it is easy to feel depleted.

3. Maximize your Power Hour

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Time is seriously so valuable. I’m sure your schedule is full and vibrant! And I know you wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

I am not necessarily a planner by nature, but I’ve learned to plan better to fit in all my commitments. Here’s a short breakdown of my busiest day of the week– Monday.

6:30 AM to 7:30?Take yoga class at CorePower Yoga

7:45 to 9:00?20?Minute sprints or stairs at Equinox?+ get ready for work + drive to work

9:00 to 11:45?Work?

11:45 to 1:00 PM?Power Hour

1:00 to 6:00 Work

6:00 to 7:00 Change + eat dinner + drive to yoga class

7:00 to 9:00 PM Teach yoga class at?CorePower Yoga?(includes front desk time)

Power Hour is that one hour in the day where you can work on your passion projects. Maybe it’s at lunch time for you like it is for me. You’ll often find me at Whole Foods with my Macbook out. You have to find time to fit it in.

An hour a day is a great place to start. If you do an hour a day, in a week you would have worked 7 hours on your passion project. You can get a lot done in that time! 🙂

4. Connect with your Community

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Community makes life sweet. As you pursue your passions while working your professional career, make sure you are staying connected with your family, friends, and other loved ones. They are your biggest supporters and the people you want to celebrate your successes with.?The best part about all of this is you will continue to meet amazing people along your journey! When you start doing things you love, you’ll cross paths with people who also have that zest for life. When you pursue your passions, you vibrate at a higher level and will attract the same energy.

5. Rest, Relax, Repeat

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Someone once said-

If you get tired, learn how to rest, not quit.

Relaxation, self-care, rest, and fun are so necessary. Schedule it.?Spend time in nature. Watch a sunset.?Take it slow. Breathe. Unplug. Listen to music. Sleep. Go somewhere or do something new.

Take a step back from time to time and zoom out. This is especially helpful when you?experience moments of frustration or discouragement.

When you rest, you will feel ready and energized to take on life again!

Take care of yourself.??

I hope these tips were helpful! I’d love to hear other ways you are able to find balance as you pursue your dreams.

Until next time.

??Bianca

7 Habits of Confident, Successful, and Content People

Confidence | Success | Contentment

These three states of being are universally sought after. If you’ve ever met someone who exudes these and more, you’ll know what I’m talking about. They are magnetic and curious about life. You want to spend time with them because their energy inspires you. They achieve success in any endeavor. In this post, I’ll share 7 habits you’ll find these people engaging in everyday.

How do they do it?

In my opinion, there?is no secret formula to this. While this seems to come naturally to some people, I think everyone can tap into the most?confident, successful, and content versions of themselves.

A year and six months ago, I read a book that truly impacted my life. This book was The Slight Edge?by Jeff Olson. My brother had just read the book and gave it to me during a time in my life where I felt stuck. I felt paralyzed because of life events that were outside of my control. The book set a framework for me and gave me practical things to think and act upon.

Let’s dig deeper.?

The Slight Edge‘s premise is this:

Your philosophy creates your attitude, your actions, your results, [which]?creates your life.

This book made it clear to me that I played an active role in the life I am living.

The people on the upper half of the slight edge curve are the cause of what happens in their lives. They view all the forces that brought them to this point– God, parents, teachers, childhood, circumstances, you name it– with gratitude and appreciation and without blame… The people on the upper curve take full responsibility for all the choices they make in their lives and in their work. ?

You and I have the ability to think, reason, and make small and big choices everyday. These choices, however small they seem, are actually the building blocks?of our lives. You multiply the impact of these choices when you factor in time.

Because of the effect of time on repeated actions, your moments truly count.

So let’s get to it!

7 Habits

The Slight Edge?lists the seven habits below and I’m adding some insights that I’ve observed and experienced. As you read this, you’ll realize that you probably already do these things. These habits are ingrained in us! But something special happens?when you become aware of them and can intentionally practice them as you go. This list applies to any area of life: fitness, relationships, career, you name it- the list stands.

1. Show Up

This is first for a reason. It’s been said that showing up is half the battle. This is where?the rubber hits the road; where our best intentions are tested. Preparation is key here. Make it easier for yourself by setting yourself up for success:

? Big presentation at work the next day? Finalize your talking points the day before and pick out an outfit that makes you look and feel your best!?

? Attempting to get up early to work out? Pack your bag the night before to keep yourself from making excuses. Then once your alarm goes off the next day, visualize the post-workout endorphins you’ll feel and you’ll definitely get out of bed.?

2. Be Consistent

If showing up is where the rubber hits the road, consistency is the fuel in your car on the road trip to your dreams. From what I’ve observed, consistency is the not-so-secret ingredient to success. When you commit to doing the thing day in and day out, the results will speak for itself.?Your talents and skills will develop even more as you put in the hard work. Yup,?even on days you don’t feel particularly motivated to.

? Make a realistic plan and stick to it. Figure out your “why” and you will persevere through anything. Don’t quit.?

? Life happens, so give yourself grace.

3. Have a Positive Outlook

This one is my favorite. Positivity is a muscle. Work it out.?I think positivity starts with gratitude. It requires seeing the good in the midst of the struggle. It is a posture of humility, hope, and openness. Positivity is knowing deep down that things always have a way of working themselves out. Positivity doesn’t mean you’ll be smiling?24/7 and you’ll experience no negative emotions. Your positive attitude is tested best when things aren’t going your way.

? Practice zooming out of the situation at hand and reframing.?

? Learn to reflect before you react.?

4. Be Committed for the Long Haul?

Oh, time. Some things just take time. I’ve always believed that time is neutral. It isn’t good or bad; I think it depends on what you’re doing with that time. Malcolm Gladwell came up with the 10,000 hour rule: the key to success in any endeavor is to put in about 10,000 hours of practice. That’s?a lot of time!

? Patience is everything. Life has a natural ebb and flow. You can’t force or rush things. Sometimes we just have to learn to be still.?

? Break it down to smaller portions of time that you can manage -> x minutes each day, x times every week.?

5. Cultivate a Burning Desire Backed by Faith

Jeff Olson said it best-

A burning desire backed by faith means deeply, passionately wanting to get somewhere and knowing — not hoping, not wishing, but knowing that you’re going to get there.?

You have to want it. You have to believe you can.

6. Be Willing to Pay the Price

Opportunity costs for days. There’s just no getting around this one. Since there aren’t any shortcuts and you have to show up and be consistent over a long period of time, you’re going to end up with choices. This is the most challenging part of the process because you are going to have to say no to good enough so you can say yes to the best.

? Find the balance that works for you. People might not understand your journey. It’s not your job to make them understand or obtain everyone’s approval.?

? Prioritize and make time for what’s truly important. Value relationships.

? Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. -Craig Groeschel

7. Practice Integrity

There’s nothing more attractive than a person of integrity. Strength of character is absolutely timeless. CS Lewis defined integrity as “doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” No one is perfect and we are all works in progress. Know who you are and be you in every setting you find yourself in. Align your actions with your words.

? Trust your intuition.

? Choose purpose over popularity. -Craig Groeschel

I hope you enjoyed reading about the seven habits of confident, successful and content people through the framework of?The Slight Edge. How do you live out these habits in your own life? I’d love to hear your insights!

??Bianca