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August 13, 2018

I HOPE YOU DANCE – No, I really do. In a literal way, not so much in a “life goals” kind of way; although I am 100 percent behind that as well.

A couple of weeks ago, a close friend who I hadn’t seen for a few months (she left NYC for Atlanta shortly after her wedding, so we were having a bit of a catchup sesh) asked me how the different areas of my business were coming along and if I was up to anything new. I filled her in briefly on the new online business courses I was offering as well as the expansion of my speaking and writing engagement services and how I was fitting it all together. After a bit of a rundown on the ins and outs of these services, she said, “so, are you just loving it?”

Honestly, I didn’t know how to answer that question. I LOVED creating the courses, I LOVED interacting with other super awesome creative entrepreneurs, I LOVED telling my story and helping others become the best them that they can be. I was madly in love with every single aspect of providing these courses from start to finish, except for one small thing. I hate public speaking. And, as is frequently the case when it comes to things we fear, that one, small, scary aspect puts an enormous black cloud over the parts that I love. Isn’t that just the pits?

My friend’s response? Then why are you doing it?

If I am being real with you, this is always my favorite question when it comes to each aspect of my life, especially the ones that include facing my fears head on. Don’t other people do this on the daily? Is this not what it means to be a human? Doesn’t EVERYONE do the things they fear as long as it’s something they think is important to do? Unfortunately, the answer is no in some cases, and I think that has to change.

How do I do the things that absolutely scare me, but that I know are the things that are going to be best for me in the end? I dance it out. Before each and every public speaking engagement, class or workshop, or even just sharing my “close to the heart” creative work, I flip on the Britany or the Marvin Gaye or The Cure (usually The Cure) and I dance. There is no doubt in mind that I look silly, I am the product of a Father who has zero rhythm and fast dances at weddings by wiggling his heel around on the ground while he swings his hips in the opposite direction. There is no possible way that I look awesome when I am dancing, but I do it, because that is how I get out the negative, scary energy and relax my mind enough to push through the fear.

My suggestion isn’t necessarily that you dance it out if that isn’t your thing (or you are in the airport FREAKING OUT over flying); I am simply suggesting that when you are terrified of something that you want to do,  instead of walking away, try doing something that will change your energy and will make your impossible possible.  There is really nothing that feels better in life than doing something you didn’t think you could do. It resets  your power and teaches you that you are unstoppable.

Those are things everyone needs.

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July 30, 2018

Doesn’t it always seems that when one thing in your life goes wrong, every other part of your experience seems to follow closely behind? You know what they say, “when it rains, it pours.” I have recently begun to wonder if it is me causing the ball to continue rolling downhill or if it is a natural occurrence that happens in the universe (mercury in retrograde?). Honestly, I think it is me. Here is why: Mindset

Sure, my theory isn’t exactly scientific, however; I think there is something to be said for the energy that you put into the world, and I think that the mind is where that energy originates. Think about it this way: if you could magically adjust your mindset when things are on the downslide, would it make a difference to your lifestyle, business, or relationships? Is it possible that your positive vibes would stop that negativity in its tracks and set you on the path to happier days? I think so.

So, when times are tough and you can’t seem to find a light at the end of the tunnel, how can you make a mindset change that will keep you positive and moving forward?

  1. LISTEN TO YOURSELF – If you have had a series of negative experiences and you’re feeling defeated, listen to yourself and know when to rest. We aren’t big on quitting here at The Art Of, but we do adore a good R & R session now and then, and it seems especially needed when its “pouring.” Instead of flashing a fake smile and trying to push through the situation, give yourself a mental health day. Allow yourself to feel the feelings that you are experiencing, but decide that you are going to wash it away at the end of the day and start fresh. Trying to fight your sadness, anger, or negative feelings will only make it harder to set them aside.
  2. EXPRESS GRATITUDE – If you are feeling any level of gratitude you can’t possibly hang onto anger. By definition gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” There is nothing negative in having grace for what you already have in your life that makes you happy. If you are feeling gratitude, express it. Tell your husband why he is so incredibly important to you, call your sister and let her know that she has changed your life just by being born, send flowers, comment positively on a social media post, make a list of all of the things that made you smile today. I could go on and on, but the moral of the story is that if you focus on being thankful, it takes a bit of the sting out of the struggle.
  3. BE BRAVE – I have said this numerous times on this blog and elsewhere, and I still believe it wholeheartedly. One of the very best ways to get your mojo back is to do something that you didn’t think you could do. Go ahead, prove yourself wrong and get some of that power and control back in your life. It’s funny how much easier life feels as a whole when you know that you are capable of enormous courage.
  4. INDULGE IN A GUILTY PLEASURE – Mine is really terrible reality TV. When I am having a bad morning, nothing resets my mind like The Bachelor or Teen Mom (1 & 2). I am on the edge of my seat waiting for Bachelor in Paradise to start up in August. Whatever the small,  joy inducing pleasure, give yourself permission to indulge and enjoy it! You’ll feel immediately better, if only superficially, which isn’t a necessarily a negative thing if you are attempting to reverse a bad mood or attitude.
  5. MAKE A DECISION – Sometimes, the simple act of thinking through a problem and making a decision one way or another can alleviate a good amount of stress. Too often we agonize over decisions or “next steps” because we aren’t sure we are doing the right thing or making the right choice. But, if you make it a point to think through the situation as well as the  pro’s and con’s you can start making moves toward a resolution. There is freedom and strength in taking control of the situation and doing something to make it better. Just make the decision and start.

Gorgeous photography courtesy of Julia Trotti. Find her brilliant work here! 

View more of our Creative Lifestyle posts in the archives!

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July 29, 2018

As much as I want to be the type of person who coasts into Monday morning clear-headed, meal-prepped, and organized, with an early bird workout under my belt — and on time for work — I’m not. I’m the person waking up late after hitting the snooze button multiple times, groggy from my “just one more episode!” late night Netflix habit, scrambling for breakfast, and gulping coffee in the car.

No bueno. This latter approach is stressful, annoying, and rarely sets anyone up for success at the start of a busy week. That’s why I sourced the six best things to do on Sunday to make your weekdays somuch easier.

1. Look at your calendar.

There’s nothing worse than realizing you have five meetings in a row on a given afternoon, or you forgot about meeting your friend for lunch. On Sunday, look at your calendar for the next several days with intention. Are you traveling? Do you need to cancel, add, or adjust anything? What’s missing from your to-do list? Reviewing what’s already on your schedule in the coming week makes you feel more prepared to handle it.

Also, remember to make time for the good stuff: a date night, wine with your bestie, walks with your dog. It is easy to plan, plan, plan for all the things you *have* to do, but you’ll go crazy if you don’t create space for a little fun.

2. Do just a little meal prep.

You don’t have to go all Betty Crocker and spend your last precious weekend day slaving away in the kitchen, I swear. However, you will benefit from doing a little meal prepping on Sunday. And everyone is different: some people like to cook a whole bunch of meals at once and then freeze them, others make a plan based on what’s in the fridge or pantry, and some of us (ahem) simply make it to the grocery store (or order online) for the basics. This not only helps you eat healthy throughout the week, but removes the hassle of having to figure out what to eat at 8 pm after a long day or needing to stop at the store for more milk mid-week.

3. Tidy up.

Notice I didn’t say clean. By all means, if you like cleaning your living space over the weekend, that is a fantastic time to break out the vacuum and mop — but if that feels like too much, especially after a solid Sunday Funday, simply tackle all the clutter in about 15 minutes or so. Clear off the kitchen counter, wipe the bathroom mirror, fold the blankets on the couch, put away your make-up bag, get rid of the receipts spilling out of your purse, et cetera.

Wherever your eye catches a glimpse of messiness, just straighten up for a couple seconds until your place looks semi-presentable. Trust me: nothing’s worse than rolling out of bed Monday morning and immediately seeing the laundry basket of clean clothes that’s been staring you in the face for five days.

4. Make a list for Monday.

Half the time I arrive at the office after a weekend, I don’t even know where to start: E-mails? Google Drive? My planner? Text messages? Making a quick list or plan for Monday morning, when you’re cool, calm, and collected on Sunday, will help you prioritize accordingly and be more efficient to begin your week.

 

5. Go to bed early.

I repeat. Go. To. Bed. Early. This allows you to wake up fully rested on Monday, which sounds like a small thing, but it is not, my friends. I can’t tell you how many Mondays have been a total waste because I didn’t get enough sleep. I know, you wanna stay up and scroll Instagram forever, but put your phone down, turn off the lights, and catch some z’s. Even better if you have clean sheets!

By hitting the hay earlier than usual, your body, mind and spirit will thank you (and probably your friends, parents and significant others, because listening to someone bitch about how Mondays are the worst is a total downer). If you find it challenging to go to bed early, try giving yourself an extra hour to wind down before bed.

 

6. Relax (Seriously).

I’ve been guilty of maxin’ and relaxin’ all weekend only to arrive at Sunday night with a serious case of the blues, and I’m probably not alone. To combat this, many people suggest shifting most of your weekend tasks to Saturday, so you can free up Sunday for self-care. Attend an extra-long yoga class, read a book, eat healthy, catch up with a friend, take a hot bath, do a face mask, see a movie — whatever feels semi-indulgent in a way that still allows you to start the week fresh and prepared. (Note: day-long mimosas seem like a good fit, but the Monday hangover is the worst, so choose wisely!)

Original Content and Images courtesy of Julia Dellitt for The Everygirl. Find the original article here!

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July 29, 2018

Hormones. They’re messy and telling and can create either incredible balance or complete terror within our bodies. The word hormone is actually derived from the Greek word impetus—and hormones indeed have the power to either activate or inhibit our cells and organs. But just because something is powerful and often unpredictable, it doesn’t mean it can’t be controlled. Many things, like diet, impact our hormonal balance both positively and negatively.

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