Self-Awareness: Understanding Where it Comes From

Self-Awareness: Understanding Where it Comes From

To achieve self-awareness, here’s the best advice I can give to you. Always stay true to yourself. There’s so much crap filtering into our brains on a daily basis, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish our real thoughts from the thoughts we’re hearing and believing from others.

We’ve become so ingrained to listen to what is trending, and what we should be promoting about ourselves through social media at large that we’re all hopping on the “self-help” bandwagon and showcasing of our best traits to the world.

With this boom in the promotion of self-awareness and personal transformation, I wonder if we aren’t – in the process, actually giving up MORE of our identity to societal expectations.

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Tips to Find the Best Swimsuit for You

Tips to Find the Best Swimsuit for You

Society dictates that unless we are fit and have washboard abs, we can’t wear a bikini. If we have a healthy rear end, then we should definitely be wearing boy shorts. Dreaded cellulite (that everyone woman has??) – cover that up with a skirt.

Why? Who’s perfect, and who’s deeming what’s perfect? Perfect is being perfectly imperfect and accepting that you are.

The .01% of the population who are runway models don’t – obviously -- make up the majority. The average size of the women’s population is not a 4 or a 6, or even an 8. Right now, the average size of American women, depending on the sources you read, is between 14 and 18.

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How to learn to love yourself.

How to learn to love yourself.

It’s Valentine’s month. It’s the month of hearts, flowers, candy and cards. We get to shower the ones we love with gifts and grand displays of affection. We want them to know how much we love them. 

So, what did you buy yourself? 

Wait, you don’t buy yourself anything for Valentine’s Day? Why not? I think I can answer that. It’s because you don’t think of yourself as someone you love. You think about yourself as flawed, and imperfect and in constant need for improvement.

Why are we our biggest critics? Why do we autocorrect when someone gives us a compliment?

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Perfection is fear in disguise.

Perfection is fear in disguise.

Congratulations. You've effectively created a safe life built around what everyone else thinks and nowhere close to what you really want.

What does happen if you do B+ work? But you do so much of it that all of a sudden, you're becoming a known name in your field? What if you start getting the attention of others because you're now on the radar.

Ponder this one...What if your B+ work is ACTUALLY most other's A+ work?

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How do you get what you really want?

How do you get what you really want?

A few months ago, I was at a health coaching conference. We were instructed on a partner activity. The activity was to use whatever means possible to get your partner to open up her fist for you.

Being competitive, I did everything to get my partner to open her fist. I tried to pry it open. I licked her. I bit her. I tickled her. I downright wrestled her and to no avail. That fist stayed sealed shut.

After the activity, we were asked what we did. I proudly proclaimed my efforts - thinking I had done everything possible, but the task given was just impossible to achieve.

Then then the next woman at the microphone admitted that she got her partner to open her fist. She was asked what she did to make this happen and she simply said, "I asked her nicely."

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Are you being honest with yourself?

Are you being honest with yourself?

Are you being completely honest with yourself? Being authentic means bringing your entire self to the table and showing your emotions. Authenticity means being 100% you at all times, no matter what you’re struggling with.

I would love to say I have a 100% positive outlook on life and since I can help other women look into themselves and find their greatness, I am living a life of peace rivaling that of the Dalai Lama.

But in fact, the Dalai Lama is quoted as saying: “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity”.

So in complete authenticity and transparency with you, I offer you my emotions of late.

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Clear emotional clutter from your life

Clear emotional clutter from your life

The other side of clutter though, is the figurative clutter. As women, we tend to clutter our schedules with a lot of "must do's" instead of "want to do's". Our lists every week grow longer and longer with things to do for everyone else, we forget - so often - to add something for ourself to our list of things to do.

So if you ever hear me talking about clearing clutter, I'm likely more speaking about the emotional clutter that stands in the way of our optimal happiness. There's a difference between filling your calendar with things you want to do and filling it with things you have to do.

One of those options leads to much more beneficial emotional health.

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Life lessons from a child

Life lessons from a child

It's interesting when we're taught life lessons by little ones who see the world in a completely different perspective than we do. 

Today, I want to share one of my favorite stories with you. This happened last year on October 7, 2017. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoy re-living that moment.

Today, I was humbled. I was humbled by my 6 year old.

I had an opportunity to run my first 5k 16 weeks after breaking my foot. It was my “return to action” race.

It was a small race and looking at the registration the evening before, I knew that I could place, if not win, my age group. Awesome, right? A first place medal to bring  me back into my running mode.

This morning, I woke up in the morning wondering if Cadie wanted to run with me. I knew she could do it, but it was definitely going to slow me down.

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What if I'm just not OK?

What if I'm just not OK?

Let’s be real here for a sec. Life is crazy and wonderful and beautiful and every new experience is awesome because we get to experience it.  We have a life to experience with all these crazy ups and downs and for that, we get to sit back and be thankful.

BUT – let’s call a spade a spade. It’s not always bubblegum and roses, is it? Life downright sucks sometimes. Sometimes, out of nowhere we’re blasted with news or happenstance that just throws us for a loop when we least expect it.

I have a tattoo on my arm that says, “You are exactly where you are meant to be”. That doesn’t mean we WANT to be here right now, it just means that we are here – like it or not.

Finding the silver lining inside the dark clouds is hard at times. Scratch that, it’s always hard to see the silver lining. Especially when you’re covered in doom and gloom with every passing turn.

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Why Food Shaming Needs to Stop

Why Food Shaming Needs to Stop

Remember, eating is deeply personal and your beliefs around food go back far and deep into the early years of your life. It’s almost like politics. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you are share your viewpoint, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong. They just see it differently and that’s not something that just because you say something is going to change them overnight.

Do you know how someone else's genetics are made up? Do you know if they just went to the bathroom to purge after eating something? Nope. Enough said. You do you.

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Are you afraid to be naked?

Are you afraid to be naked?

I’m not talking about the kind of naked you think I am. You know, no clothes, standing out in the open. Sure, that’s scary, but I am talking about being a kind of naked that is even worse than that.

Are you afraid to be emotionally naked?

I’m terrified and I LOVE IT!

Talk about being naked. This is like, full on, total frontal nudity going on here. We won’t be able to hide anything, but that’s what is going to make this journey so effective.

This is scary, right? When you strip away the layers you wear as protection, you begin to feel really exposed to the elements, really quickly. Fear and hypothermia set in really quick and it’s human nature to want to retreat to solace and warmth and stay where it is comfortable.

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Get out of your own head!

Get out of your own head!

Truth hurts here, folks. We're not the best at everything. If we arere, then we may as well be God. 

We're human. But somehow, we're always comparing ourself to other people. Why is that?

Her waist is smaller than mine. She wears a smaller size than I do. She's a better mom than I am. She works harder than me. My boss likes her better, so I must be doing something wrong.

The fact is, we need to GET OUT OF OUR OWN HEADS!!!

There is nobody who is following us around saying, "you're not good enough."

"Did you see she's a size 2 and you're a size 8, you fat ass?"

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What if you've never been overweight?

What if you've never been overweight?

There are a lot of things we dream about and a lot of things that make an impact on us. I know people who have been sexually abused. I know women who are divorced and don’t know how to take the first step in getting back into the dating world. I know women who have been overweight their entire lives. I know women who have children diagnosed with learning disorders. I have friends and family who have struggled with infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth.

In the grand scheme of things, my problems may seem small to handle in comparison – but the reality is, they are my problems and so, to me, they are real and big; just as your problems are to you.

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You don't have to always be strong.

You don't have to always be strong.

Think about one of the most vulnerable of times in your life, yet you stayed strong. This urge to be strong fought against your every human notion to allow yourself to feel emotion, and pain, and denial and all the rising feelings that accompany an adverse time.

What generally happens then, is that we are so strong in the face of adversity, we forget to turn it off.

Everyone marvels at your strength. Everyone comments on how strong you are and that somehow elicits the feeling that we must continue to be strong. We will be strong for everyone around us. We will be strong so we can spare everyone else having to deal with our pain.

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Why are you so hard on yourself?

Why are you so hard on yourself?

By autocorrecting, you’re fueling a negative opinion of yourself and continuing to build up your “not good enough”  status.

STOP IT!

Think of someone you love in your life. Got that person? Husband, kids, friend? OK, now imagine that someone tells you that said person is ugly, or a jerk.

What is your gut reaction? Your knee jerk response is to disagree and defend that person. You don’t see one ounce of what that ridiculously wrong person is saying and you defend your loved one with every fiber of your being.

You don’t love yourself? You can’t defend yourself? You can’t elevate yourself to a status where compliments are real and true?

 

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I was ugliest when I was skinniest.

I was ugliest when I was skinniest.

There’s a time in my life that I keep under a very secret lock and key because it’s too painful to bring it up. But, since we are all on the same journey of self-love and acceptance, I’d love to share one of my most vulnerable stories with you.

Back in the day, I was a figure competitor. I worked out like a crazy woman, ate sometimes no more than 900 calories a day, did 3 cardio workouts a day, all so I could get on stage for :30 before a panel of judges.

I had a sticker on my computer that said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” (That’s not true, chocolate is pretty damn delicious!)

 

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Women: Take Back Your Power

Women: Take Back Your Power

I did everything I was supposed to do for 33 years.

That’s when I realized, I wasn’t fooling anybody. I was on anti-depressants and anti anxiety medications and the tiny little voice in my head that kept telling me I was supposed to be doing something different got louder and louder until I just couldn’t ignore it anymore.

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Do you care what you eat?

Do you care what you eat?

So I went with a couple of co-workers to the lunchroom to get breakfast. I ordered an eggs with cheese and bacon and then (I am not a coffee drinker), I (GASP) went to the fountain soda machine and got myself a Coca Cola. This is MY guilty pleasure. Scratch that – this is my pleasure – there’s nothing guilty about it.

One of my co-workers was absolutely floored that I made this choice. “You’re a health coach, but you drink Coke?” was the question asked.

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Will life get better when I reach my goals?

Will life get better when I reach my goals?

A lot of times, we learn that life isn’t better when we reach our goals it’s just different. There will always be a new goal and there will always be a new way to reach it.

I challenge you to start thinking about what you have tried in the past and why it has failed – whatever the goal may be. Then, look at it from a different angle, a different perspective. Ask someone that you trust to tell you honestly why you may have failed.

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