Wellbeing

what is your presence in the world?

Presence_3.jpg

It is not about where you are or what you do, it is about who you are when you’re there.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of presence. Who we choose to BE in the world.

Our daily lives are dominated by WHAT’S. 

What do I want to be when I grow up? 

What do I do for a living? 

What type of person do I want to marry? 

What car will make me look successful? 

What do I want for dinner? 

What. What. What. 

But what about WHO?

Who do I want to be?

Who am I really? 

Somewhere along the way who we are seems to get lost in what we are supposed to be doing. 

We morph into a completely different version of our self, that bends and breaks to fit into the pressures of life around us. And our truest self - our purest, bravest, most powerful presence is muted and hidden. 


So what can we do about it? 

I challenge you to reignite the desire within yourself to align with who you really are, and who you really want to be - rather than who you think you are supposed to be.

Start with some questions: 

What is frustrating me about my life right now?

What am I disappointed in right now?

What bugs me the most about my current situation? 

What mental & emotional (and maybe physical) pain have I caused myself because of these ongoing frustrations? 

What am I willing to change? 

What action can I begin to take RIGHT NOW?

What do I want?

What do I REALLY want? As the truest, bravest, most powerful version of myself? 

Who am I? 

Who am I REALLY? 


Once we are able to get clear on who we truly are - and who we want to be - the WHAT’s become a little less relevant. 

If we are able to step into the truest version of ourselves - what we are doing really doesn’t matter, as long as it aligns with WHO we want to be. 

WHAT no long becomes a single idea. 

When we know WHO we want to be, it opens up the possibility of so many WHAT’s that fit into our truest WHO. 

So…who do you want to be?

have you taken stock of your life?

TakeStock_4.jpg

It is only when our life is in true alignment with our values, needs, wants, and passions that we can feel that we have true purpose, fulfillment and power.


When is the last time you took stock of your life?

And not just the stuff in your life. Although analyzing the things you surround yourself with on a regular basis is so important.

But when is the last time you took stock mentally?

When is the last time you stopped to see what was working and what wasn't. What was filling your cup and what was draining it?

We spend so much of our lives in motion that we rarely ever STOP and take time to check in. In this state of perpetual motion - how can we really know what is going on internally with ourselves?

Our lives are designed to move at an alarming rate. And not only that - but we are consumed by consumption. Information is constantly going in - but we rarely take time to pull anything out.

Lately I have been reflecting on this concept of taking stock a lot in my own life.
Both physical and mental.

Physically taking stock of my:
Wardrobe
Possessions
Diet

But also mentally taking stock:
What is draining me?
What is filling me up?
What do I need to remove?
What do I need to remain?
What am I curious about right now?
Do I feel fulfilled? {Emphasis on the FULL}


I find that it is easier to take physical stock of life
.
Perge the clothes that don’t fit anymore, or are worn out. Donate unnecessary furniture or belongings to free up space. Clean up your refrigerator to lose those few pounds that have been hanging around.

But when it comes to taking stock mentally - we just do not make it a priority.

Who really has the time to check in with their mental and emotional state on a regular basis?

Unfortunately very few of us feel that we do. Even though regular mental check-ins could save us years of worry, stress, doubt, fear, and un-fulfillment.


You see, it really isn’t your fault. You were never taught to STOP. You were only every taught to keep moving, keep learning, keep pushing forward at all costs to reach greater success, recognition, and financial freedom.

But when we are living a life that is not filling us up mentally and emotionally - all of the stuff that comes from it really doesn’t do us any good.

All of the money, success and fame will mean nothing if we are left empty in the end.

It is only when our life is in true alignment with our values, needs, wants, and passions that we can feel that we have true purpose, fulfillment, and power.


{So…where do we begin?}

Let’s start by taking stock of the stuff in our lives.

If you are not someone who takes stock regularly in your life - I suggest starting with the STUFF. The physical things in your life. It can be a more tangible exercise that will warm you up for the deeper dive into mentally and emotionally taking stock.

For women, your wardrobe is a great place to start. Our closet is a place of great love, and great weight. Feeling like we have too much, yet nothing to wear most of the time.

So here are a few quick questions to ask yourself when clearing out your closet:

  1. Does this make me feel sexy, confident and comfortable {in my experience - if anything doesn’t check these three boxes - it needs to go - because you aren’t going to wear it anyways.}

  2. Does this bring me joy?

  3. Is this part of my personal uniform? The style that helps express who I am. The style that helps me be the best version of myself?

If something does not pass through these questions - it is time to eliminate it from your life.


If you find that you need to add things back in to your wardrobe after a purge - take these questions with you when you go shopping. Make sure you are only buying things that will pass the test. And always remember quality over quantity.

Now that you have finished your wardrobe…


ALL THAT REMAINS IS WHAT YOU LOVE.


Doesn’t that feel amazing?

Now proceed to do the same thing for all of the stuff in your home. Remember to also consider these questions:

  1. Does this serve an important and vital purpose in my life?

  2. DOES THIS BRING ME JOY {this is arguably the MOST important question when taking stock}

Now lets move on to taking stock mentally and emotionally.

I find that the best place to start is to simply stop….and take a look at your life currently.

Don’t think about what you are going to start tossing out of your life. But take a pause and really look at where things are.

Begin with these 10 questions:

  1. What is currently filling up my cup? What gets me excited and raises my energy?

  2. What is currently draining me? What is sucking the life out of me?

  3. What am I curious about right now? What do I have an itch to explore or learn about?

  4. Do I feel fulfilled?

  5. Do I feel full?

  6. Do I feel complete?

  7. Do I feel POWERFUL?

  8. What am I passionate about and where is it coming into play in my life? {if you are unsure of what you are passionate about right now - proceed back to question #3 and get curious. Curiosity is where everything begins.}

  9. What am I really enjoying right now?

  10. What emotions am I feeling most strongly right now?


Once you have a firm grounding of where things are in your life, take a moment to breathe.

{5 deep breaths, in and out. Slowly. Calmly.}

When we stop to take stock of our lives, especially when we are looking at things from a more mental and emotional perspective - it can be freeing and illuminating. But it can also be heartbreaking and exhausting.

So, always know that you have this space to come back to. So pause. To breath. To remind yourself that you are whole. That you are loved.

And even if your life isn’t going quite to plan right now - everything is figure-out-able. Nothing is set in stone. You will never be stuck. And you always have power over your own life.

Now lets move on to couple simple questions:

  1. What do I want to remove?

  2. What do I want to remain?

  3. What do I want to cultivate?

After really digging into the 10 questions above - this should be the easy part. If you really put in the work - it will be clear to you what you want to remove, remain, and cultivate.

It really comes down to putting in the time, and being honest with yourself.


Because this is just about you. And your life.

This is not about your spouse. This is not about your kids. This is not about your parents. This is not about what anyone else thinks about you, your life, or how they think you should be living it.

No one. And I mean NO ONE - Will ever know how to live your life - better than you.


So if you feel at any point that you haven’t been honest with yourself - go back to your 10 questions. Keep coming back to them as long as you need to. Until you have a true, clear picture of your life. And then HAVE FUN!

Have fun tossing out the things that don’t fill you up. Have fun keeping the ones that do fill you up - without any guilt or shame. And have so much fun realizing what you need to cultivate more of in your life.
And that should be the area you focus most on…


…that which you can now bring into your life, because you have created so much space for it to live and grow.


And in the end…

When all is said and done…

And you have put in the work…

All that remains is what you love.

And this is always the way it should be.

do you want {m o r e ?}

Doyouwant_more_6.jpg

Do you want more?
When do you know it is enough? ⠀


The Mexican Fisherman: ⠀

"The American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. ⠀

Inside the small boat were several large fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. ⠀

The Mexican replied, 'Only a little while.'⠀

The American then asked why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish. ⠀

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. ⠀

The American then asked, 'But what do you do with the rest of your time?'⠀

The Mexican fisherman said, 'I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.'⠀

The American scoffed, 'I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could eventually buy several boats. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to the middleman, you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small fishing village and move the Mexico City, the LA, and eventually NYC, where you will run your expanding enterprise.' ⠀

The Mexican fisherman asked, 'but how long will this take?'⠀

To which the American replied, '15 to 20 years.'⠀

'But what then?'⠀

The American laughed and said that's the best part. 'When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich; you would make millions.'⠀

'Millions?' asked the fisherman. 'Then what?'⠀

The American said, 'Then you would retire. ⠀Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evening, sip wine, and play guitar with your amigos!'⠀⠀

{ do you know why you want more? }

the capsule {wardrobe} l i f e.

Capsule_Life_2.jpg

I have always found the idea of a capsule wardrobe to be appealing. 

I am one of those people who never feels like they have anything to wear.
Even among a sea of perfectly
curated clothing. 

I guess it is more the paradox of choice.

Too many choices weighs you down. Down to the point of feeling empty.
Like you have nothing
even when everything is staring you right in the face. 

A capsule wardrobe eliminates choice. 

Not completely.
Just the endless choice that debilitates us as we stand wide eyed and empty
into the all consuming dark pit
of our closets. 

I have a tendency to fill my closet up.

Fill it up with things I only
half enjoy.

A sale dress from that boutique I really can't afford.
3 t-shirts, a bathing suit cover up, and new sandals
from a Target
binge
{therapy} session. 

It is as if the act of filling it up
is supposed to
make me feel whole. Put together.

Not. A. Single. Piece. Missing.
Or out of place. 

But really a full closet of only half loved things, leaves you right back where you started -

naked and empty. 


What appeals to me most about a capsule wardrobe is the idea of
subtraction. 

The idea of removing everything mindless and
unnecessary. 

Leaving you with only the things you love. 

Only what you love. 
That is all that remains. 


Can we apply this same idea to life?

Subtracting the unnecessary. 

Leaving us with only
the things we love?

Because doesn't a space only partially full
of things we love

feel fuller

than a space filled up
with things we hardly like?


 

 

 

 

my eulogy: the sometimes moments of joy

MyEulogy_joy_1.jpg

Recently someone asked me a question. And it isn't a question I haven't heard before - and honestly not something I haven't thought about. The question....

{what do you want your eulogy to read}

This question came about from a discussion on fulfillment. {how do you feel fulfilled} 

Because fulfillment cannot be measured. 

even though we try...

We measure life's fulfillment by wealth, success, things. As if everyone can find a fulfilled life by checking off the boxes on the same simple to-do list. 

But the reality is that fulfillment can only be found from within. 

Fulfillment is a self journey. And no one persons path to fulfillment will look the same. We all have different values that drive our life forward, and that root us to this world. 

But for many...they may not realize this until it is too late. 

When I first started thinking about this question - I found myself falling into the same trap. What would my career look life? What success would I have? What would I leave behind? 

And my eulogy started out quite long. A lovely essay of all I was to live, accomplish, and change in our world. 

But then I caught myself. Was that all my life was to amount to? A list of accomplishments, accolades, and successes? 

There had to be something more, something bigger worth fighting for. 

And that is not to say that the change and love I wanted to shower throughout my life time wasn't important. But it wasn't going to make or break a life well lived. I was just creating my own checklist to start ticking off. 

So I started cutting out the things that didn't really matter.

And my eulogy whittled down to one. simple. phrase. 

I know what you may be thinking - How can you encompass an entire life into one sentence? Don't you want more than that? Don't you want to be remembered for more?   

But I realized that that was the problem. We always want more.

And today, I choose to see that life is about so much less. It is about the small moments. The simple successes. The pockets of time we steal to just live and love those around us. 

And because of that...

My eulogy will someday read...

"She lived a life full of joy, and helped everyone she came in contact with do the same."

Because in the end, there will never be enough.
Enough money.
Enough success. 
Enough recognition. 
And above all else...
Enough time. 

and in the time I have...however long that may be. I want to seek one simple thing...

joy. 

and in every moment that I manage to find it...

I want to give it away to everyone around me

because at the end of my life...nothing else is really going to matter

except for those
sometimes simple, sometimes complex
sometimes quiet, sometimes loud
sometimes calm, sometimes exuberant
sometimes personal, sometimes shared

sometimes moments

of joy. 
 

thoughts on becoming: regain a sense childhood curiosity, imagination, and love for make believe

thoughtson_BECOMING.jpg

Why becoming is better than being.
Why it's ok that you don't have it all figured out. 
And how to regain a sense childhood curiosity, imagination, and love for make believe in our adult lives.

I was reminded of this quote recently:

{Becoming is better than being}

Having studied art in college - I was always driven by process. Usually much more invigorated by the act of creating, than by the end product. ⠀

But as I transitioned into my professional and personal adult life, this love of process seemed to fade. Instead it was replaced by a need to produce. Results, income, success. ⠀

Things felt more like the means to an end - a ceaseless hamster wheel moving us ever so slowly in a forward direction. ⠀

It took me a while to realize I had lost my love for the process. ⠀

We have heard before that even in goal setting - we often times reap more benefit and satisfaction from the pursuit of a goal, than from reaching the goal itself. Even to the point of feeling empty or lost once a goal is reached. ⠀

Yet we still put continuous pressure on ourselves to keep pushing forward towards the next goal. The next raise. The next thing. ⠀

And we forget to savor the beauty of the in-between. ⠀

That beautiful phase of process where we are becoming that which we wish to be. ⠀

In the recent weeks, I seem to be falling further and further behind on my to-do list and my goals. And that has caused a heaviness. A feeling of less than. A feeling of incomplete. ⠀

As I start a new day, I am looking to instead find the beauty, the grace, and the excitement of the process once again. ⠀

We will never actually be where we are going. Because once we accomplish one goal - once we reached one destination - we are already on to the next. ⠀

If we are constantly waiting to feel complete from finishing our next big goal - we will all be waiting a long time. ⠀

Instead, find the quiet peace within the process. Knowing that each day we are inching closer and closer to where and who we are meant to be. ⠀

*

You are not yet the person you are to become
{and it’s ok}

From the time you were little, you were pressed with the question - {what do you want to be when you grow up?} As if we all should know the answer to this lofty question from the time we are only in grade school. 

I can remember feeling the weight of this question from such a young age. At first it can be exciting as a child - you can do and be anything you want to - all things are possible

But as the years carried on, my concept of this question changed quiet drastically.
{I can only do ONE thing for the rest of my life?}

The weight of choosing just one thing was limiting to me.

As a child I lived off of make believe and creativity. 

One day I was a famous artist painting beautiful works or art on used restaurant napkins or scraps of wood I found in the garage. 

The next I was a great mountain climber, scaling the walls of my backyard jungle gym with bungee cords and rope. 

But as the years dragged on, one by one, my dreams seemed to fade away. If I could only have one, what was the point of spending time imagining the rest? 

For many years I tried sticking to one thing to only ever come up short - feeling a little bit less year after year - wondering what was missing. 

And the truth is - I lost my gift of make believe. I had lost my imagination of possibility for my future. I had gotten stagnant and bored in my one thing.

This happens to the best of us. We lose sight of our childhood gift for creativity and possibility as we age. And for many of us, we get stuck. Stagnant. Bored. From the pursuit of only one thing. 

We get the job. The house. The family. And then….

we stop living. 

We stop dreaming of possibilities. We stop learning new things. We stop using our creativity. We label play and make-believe as childish and settle into our adult lives with contempt and worry. 

But the truth is that we don’t have to live that way. We can choose to live a life of possibility, a life of adventure, a life of creativity, a life of never ending learning. 

Because you are not yet the person you are to become. And if you are one of the lucky ones, you never will be.

*

So how do we regain a sense of childhood curiosity, imagination, and love for make believe in our adult lives?

here are my top...

10 Rituals to do just that.

 

01. Slow Down

As we get older, we start to process information faster and faster, and the general pace of our life picks up to unhealthy speeds. So our first ritual is simply to slow down.

Find space in your day. Even for just a moment. Sit on a park bench, go for a walk, look at a painting in a museum for 5 minutes straight. Slow down your current pace. Because in all honesty, you just can't keep going at this speed. And take a moment to really notice what is around you.

 

02. Try something NEW

As we get older, we often lose our adventurous sprit - our tendency to be spontaneous. In light of this try something new. And better yet, try something that scares you {not terrifies you, but scares you just a little bit}

Hike up a mountain, jump out of a plane, invest in a life coach. By simply trying something we haven't done before - we will automatically invoke that childhood curiosity and excitement.

 

03. Learn something NEW

Along the same lines of trying something new...learn something new. It is so easy to get comfortable in the repetitive nature of our day to day living. We get up and do the same things, got to work and do the same tasks, come home and watch the same shows. So try shaking things up by learning something new.

Try a yoga workout in the morning. Take on a new task at work that is outside your comfort zone. At night - trade your TV time for learning a new language.

When we learn something new, it ignites parts of our brain that grow lazy over the years. Learning something new will ignite that same excitement inside of you that you felt when you rode a bike for the very first time! 

{make learning new things a bigger priority than getting new stuff}

 

04. Get outside

As we get older, we tend to spend more and more time indoors. Whether that be behind a desk, or behind a TV screen. With the exception of walking to the mailbox, or the occasional yard work - most of us do not make outside time a priority. 

But we need sunshine and fresh air to function, and to scare away mild depression. So start making it a priority to get outside every day. And I mean more than just your walk from the car to your office. 

Go for a walk on your break. Eat your lunch at a park bench. Play a game of soccer outside with the family in the evening. Just get outside and breathe in that fresh air. 

 

05. Play Adult Make Believe

Spend some time each day, or each week getting lost in some helpful thoughts of make believe. Visualization has been proven time and time again to have amazing benefits for our brain, and our overall wellbeing. So, just like when you were a kid pretending to scale a great mountain wall or become the next Picasso - take some time to visualize your goal and dreams. 

One exercise I like to play is to think of "my best self" - that is to visualize what it would look like when I was the best version of myself. You can start by thinking of a time that you really felt at your best - or think of what you want your best self to look like in the future. 

 

06. Reframe boring situations

We all find ourselves in boring situations or doing mundane tasks throughout our day. Whether it is waiting in line at the grocery store, or entering figures into a spreadsheet. But we have control over how we choose to see these activities. 

So, how can we reframe some of these mundane situations? First, look for meaning in even the most menial of daily activities. What lessons can you learn? 

Second, ask more questions. Whether that be out loud to those around you, or just get more inquisitive about your surroundings within your own head. Find a sense of wonder in what is around you. 

Third, look for tiny details that others may miss. Look around. Really see what is around you. What interesting details can you find or learn from your surroundings? 

Lastly, make more social connections. Trying talking to those around you. Strike up a conversation. You may learn something interesting or make a new friend. And if you are alone in an office, listen to a podcast. Make a connection with someone new that way. Listen to someones story or advice and let it enrich even the most boring of tasks. 

 

07. Live in the Present

When we were little, we spent very little time worry about the past or stressing about the future. It was all about the here and now. What we were doing in that very moment took up 100% of our attention. We had laser focus that is so hard to harness once we get older. 

As adults we have information and tasks flying at us from every direction. So it is easy to be thinking about the to-do list waiting for us at home, while we are trying to have a thoughtful meeting with a client at work. 

So how do we remedy this? With greater mindfulness. Or rather - just awareness of what we are doing, and where our thoughts are. 

For just one day, try to do only a single task at a time. That means, if you need to finish a report for work, close out all other windows - including your email. Focus on just that one task - everything else can wait. If you are having a conversation with your spouse, put down your phone, and focus on every word that is coming out of their mouth. If you can't completely shut down your running mind, ask questions about the situation or make observations about details you may otherwise miss. 

The point is to do less at a time - stop trying to multi-task, it doesn't work - and focus {really focus} on every task throughout your day. 

 

 

what might this look like if it were easy? tips to add ease back into your daily life

whatmightthislooklike_ifitwereeasy.jpg

This week I listened to a podcast with @timferris and @ariannahuffington {check out @thriveglobal’s podcast}. At the beginning of the podcast Tim was talking about his morning routine of mediating and journaling. And he explained that when he wakes up feeling anxious or overwhelmed - he asks himself the question:

{what might this look like if it were easy?}

This question hit me hard.

If you are really pursuing life with passion. Pursing your purpose. Pursuing your full potential. Pursuing your life’s work. Shouldn’t it be easy? 

When we know that we are on the correct path - when we are doing exactly what we know we should be doing - shouldn’t it be easier? 

Too often, this is actually quite far from the truth. We force our way through our days. Force ourselves to the point where we want to be. Making things hard. 

This question helped to put things back into perspective. Too often we make things harder than they need to be - out of stress, fear, worry, or overwhelm. 

But when we know we are on the right path - there should be some feeling of ease. Not that it should be easy. Pursuing passion and purpose requires hard work and dedication. 

But rather a calming sense of ease - knowing you are where you need to be. 

In light of this new insight, here are my 3 tops ways to bring a sense of ease back into your daily pursuit: 

01. Visualize

When we are feeling anxious or overwhelmed it is so easy to just close our eyes and envision what is might look like if it were easy. Visualize the ideal. Feel it. And know that it is possible. 

Taking a moment to stop fearing the future - and rather look forward to it with an easy excitement. Seeing every step we will take, every obstacle we will overcome, until finally landing at our end goal. 

Or perhaps it is about bringing ease back into a life that has become forced and hard. Close your eyes and envision a time when things were easy. See yourself in a state of clam and peace. 

By simply taking just a moment to visualize things with greater ease, we can completely shift our perspective and the way we approach our day to day life. 

02. You have a choice mantra

This is one of the biggest reminders we all need to hear when things become forced. 

We have a choice to approach our life with ease, or with hurried discomfort. Choose to trade anxious overwhelm for calm ease.

Even when things seem overwhelming. You always have a choice to choose the emotions you hang on to. Choose calm and ease instead of anxious worry. 

Use the mantra: 
I release anxious worry. I choose calm ease. 

03. Take a break

When things get overwhelming our first instinct is to power forward. To push on, regardless of what stands in our way. 

And although it is good to push ourselves forward - we can sometimes fall into overwhelm quicksand. The harder we try to push through, we simply sink deeper and deeper into anxious worry. 

When you find yourself in one of these times - it is best to take a break. 

This may seem impossible when you are overwhelmed by a to-do list. But without giving ourselves breaks - without accepting that grace is part of the process - we will stop moving forward in life and continue to sink down into the quicksand. 

When you lose your sense of ease, remind yourself: 
Grace is part of the process. 

We all love vacations - and I encourage everyone to take at least one a year. But there are going to be other times when we need a break throughout the year. One of the best ways to find some rest can be to show ourselves a little self love. 

Take yourself out to lunch. Go to the spa. Take a nap.

Spend one entire day doing everything you want for yourself - and not just worrying about everyone else (this can be a hard one - but give it a try sometimes. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It is selfless. By taking care of YOU first - you are better equipped to take care of others - making you a better parent, a better spouse, a better friend, and a better employee.)

04. Do something different

We have all felt those times throughout our day when it seems like we are working as hard as we can and just aren't getting anywhere. Or maybe you keep trying to get that next thing ticked off your to-do list but you just can not get into the right headspace. 

Do something different. 

This was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn when I started working for myself. I was always determined to power through my to-do list as quickly as possible each day - but sometimes it just wasn't happening. 

I would continue to force myself through work - leading to limited productivity and complete burnout by the end of the day. 

One of the best things I ever learned - was how to stop doing what isn't working - and try something else. 

You may need to get that report written by 5pm - but if the juices just aren't flowing at noon, take a walk through the park, and try again in 2 hours. Even though you are losing precious work time - odds are you won't get much accomplished when you are trying to force it anyways.

But by taking a break, and coming back to the task refreshed, more often than not you will be able to work faster, with greater ease

Another great way to shake things up is to change your environment. Get out of your office, out of your house - and try a new environment.

Changing up our scenery can do amazing things for our productivity and creativity. Not to mention it can completely recharge our body and mind. 

...

Even the best of us have days where things just feel forced. It is a hard skill to learn to recognize these times before they consume us - and instead show ourselves a little bit of grace. 

shifting emotions in times of overwhelm

shiftingemotions_overwhelm.jpg

The past week or so has definitely been a season of struggle. Overwhelm. Stress. Fear. Self doubt.  

In light of this, I wanted to take some time to discuss overwhelm.

At times, our emotions can completely consume us. And it is up to us to pull ourselves up and out of the darkness. 

But even in times of utter breakdown, we have to remind ourselves that there is hope. We have a choice. We have control. 

In light of this season of overwhelm, here are the top truths I have to remind myself when I am feeling consumed by stress, anxiety, and fear: 

01. All things come in waves. 

Everything comes in waves. Cycles. Ebbs and flows. 

Even happiness. 

This simple reminder helps us to remember that it is ok to feel the bad - along with the good.

We are going to have times that negative emotions of stress, fear, self doubt, or anxiety completely overwhelm us. And when that happens, we can take a breath and remind ourselves that we are not broken, and we are definitely not alone. The bad comes with the good - but they all come to an end. 

02. Quiet your mind.

{This is my saving grace.

When we are utterly consumed - emotions race through our minds at a terrifying pace - pulling us further and further down into the darkness. 

The only way to stop the downward pull - is to quiet the mind. 

To stop just the spiraling of thoughts. 

The best way to do this - is through mindfulness. 

Now don’t leave just yet. This doesn’t mean you have to meditate. 

Mindfulness can take several different forms. The goal is to simply quiet the mind, by slowing down and simply listening. 

One way you can do this is to sit down - with your eyes closed or focusing on a point in front of you - and take a few breaths. Once you are relaxed, simply see what pops into your head.

Resit from having any opinions about the thought. Just be an observer. 

{Then let the next thought surface. And the next.}

If you find yourself spiraling into other thoughts, bring yourself back to observing. 

You can also do this through journaling. Just start writing. Write whatever you are thinking and feeling. Let it flow out of you - releasing it as you go. Once you feel empty - go back and read what you wrote. 

By shifting our perspective from the driver, to the observer - we are able to look at our emotions in a different way. A lot of the time - we peel back enough to reveal the core of the problem - without even realizing it. 

By becoming the observer we can slowly peel away thought by thought. Emotion by emotion. Until we land on the true source of the problem. 

This time of controlled focus. Of quieting our mind - and simply listening - can be overwhelmingly therapeutic. 

As you peel back each thought and feeling - let them go. And when you get to a core emotion - spend some time working through it. Where did it come from? How can you move forward without it?

By becoming a quiet observer of your own mind, you can begin to pull yourself out of even the deepest depth of emotional darkness.

03. Everything is Momentary.

Even when negative emotions are triggered by an event, circumstance, or thought - that first initial emotion only lasts a few minutes or even seconds {not days or years}. 

But we expand it much further by ruminating - connecting it to other times we have felt the same way - and fears about how we may feel it in the future. This causes us to spiral downwards into a dark headspace that can be hard to crawl out of. ⠀

We spiral into our emotions, and build upon the negativity. 

This is a hard truth to swallow. As many of us have felt times where we are lost in emotions for days, weeks, months or even years. 

But the key take away here is that we have a choice. 

We have to remember that even the most consuming of emotions will end. And we have control over how long we allow ourselves to feel these emotions. 
 

04. You always have a choice. 

When we are consumed by negative emotions {fear, anxiety, overwhelm, anger} it is easiest to look elsewhere for the cause. We look to outside circumstances or events to justify why we are feeling certain things. ⠀

But the hard truth - is that even in the most horrific of circumstances - we still have the choice to choose our emotions. 

When you are having a bad day - you can quickly turn it around by simply choosing happiness instead. Take a few moments to recognizes where you have had moments of happiness or calm in your day. Spend just 5 minutes making a gratitude list. By shifting your thoughts from negative to positive, you can completely change the path the rest of your day follows. 

At times, emotions overwhelm us. In the event of a panic attach - or even the death of a loved one. We can feel completely out of control. But even in our most tragic moments, we still have the power to reach within ourselves and choose a different emotion. To swap overwhelm for calm. To swap anger for joy. 

When you want to start shifting your emotions - take small steps. When you are deep within the grasps of overwhelm, it can be challenging to pull yourself up immediately to joy. Shift rage to anger. Anger to regret. Regret to indifference. Indifference to calm. Calm to hope. Hope to joy. 

We may not be able to control everything that happens to us — but we do have the power to control how we emotionally respond.

05. Finding peace. 

One of my biggest reminders when consumed in times of stress and overwhelm - is to remind myself that there is always a place to find peace. 

This can be a physical space - naturing being my favorite place. There is a quietness in nature that soothes our souls in times of stress. 

Find a quiet place to listen to the ocean waves, or the trickle of a mountain steam. Lay down in a field of grass and listen to the wind softly make its way through the blades of grass. 

When in nature, the best way to find peace is to activate your senses. To pull yourself out of your own head, and get lost in the sights, smells, sounds, and feels of the natural world around you.

The biggest thing to  remember is that we can take ourselves to physical spaces that ignite peace - but in the end, peace comes from our own acceptance within. 

We have to choose peace within ourselves. 

#truthbomb: I am exactly where I need to be. {but sometimes I completely break down}

#TB_needtobe_breakdown_4.jpg

I am exactly where I need to be.
{but sometimes I completely break down.}

Sometimes I completely break down, because I am not where I want to be yet.

I have goals. I have plans. And when I look in the mirror and realize I am far away from accomplishing them, it can be crushing.

The weight of not being there yet, can be completely debilitating.

{I just freeze in the overwhelm.}

That path of getting from where we are, to where we want to be is tricky. 

For most of us, the overwhelm will stop us in our tracts - before we ever get where we want to be. Things get too hard, too messy, too uncomfortable, too ugly - so we give up. But the reality is, that no real change can happen without at least a little bit of discomfort. 

Discomfort = Growth. 

Just as a baby has growing pain - we will all experience some discomfort when we are trying to create real and lasting change in our lives. This discomfort is NOT a sign to shy away or give up. But sometimes, it can get a bit heavy. And when it does, it is important to know that you are not alone. We all break down.

When these moments of breakdown happen - I have to stop.
I have to stop and remind myself that I am exactly where I need to be. 

Life is a journey.
You are never actually going to be where you are going.
Because once you reach one goal, you are already on to the next.

{If you ever really feel like you’re there then I promise you are doing something wrong.}

True growth - and true beauty - happen in the space between our goals. The space that few get to witness. The pain, the hard work, the tears, and the complete and utter shutdowns.

In this space things get messy. And we more often than not, experience unbelievable doubt. 

It is so easy to get swept away - is this what I am supposed to be doing? - am I on the right path? - should I have taken a different turn?

Doubt is normal.
We just have to remind ourselves why we started to begin with. 

At one point in your journey you had inspiration. You had drive. You had a vision. And when things get really mucky - you just have to take yourself back to the beginning. 

Once we remind ourselves of why we started in the first place - we can begin again. 

We have to find a balance between reaching for our future goals,
and knowing that today is all we can control. 

Today you are exactly where you need to be. And today, you are going to make strides to get where you want to be. You are powerful. You are infinite. And you already have everything you need inside you.

monday motivation: you have to nourish to flourish

MondayMotivation_nourishtoFlourish.jpg

I know this may sound like one of those overused mantras - but there is a lot of truth in it. So many of us just try to force our way to where we want to be in life - without thinking about ourselves along the way. 


If we are looking to grow or change, the most important thing we can do is to nourish ourselves - both body and mind. 


Most of us know what we need to do to nourish our bodies properly - even if we don’t do it all of the time. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, sleep effectively. 


But when it comes to nourishing our mind, most of us struggle. Taking care of yourself - nourishing so you can grow - goes far beyond the body.

If you want to truly grow, you need to remember to nourish your mind as well. 


Check in with yourself and see how you are nourishing your mind. Are you challenging yourself with daily reading, or learning a new language or skill? Do you practice regular reflection? Goal setting? 


Most importantly - are you giving your mind needed rest? Getting proper sleep. Walking in nature. Finding silence or contemplation in an act like meditation. 


This week - think about taking care of not just your body, but also your mind.

{If you want to grow in your life and business - your mind is you most important asset - treat it accordingly.}