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.
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?
Gorgeous photography courtesy of Julia Trotti. Find her brilliant work here!
View more of our Creative Lifestyle posts in the archives!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Hormones are chemical messengers in your body. They’re created in the endocrine glands and secreted into the blood for your tissue and organs. They affect every process of the body, including growth, mood, sex drive, reproduction, hunger, sleep, emotions and metabolism. They’re like messengers telling the body how to function. When hormones are imbalanced, a slew of health problems can ensue.
We give hormones a bad rap, complaining about how terrible they can make us feel. But the truth is, we should embrace them. When our bodies are hormonally balanced, we function at our peak: speedy metabolism, deep sleep. Start by familiarizing yourself with how you feel—pay attention to mood and hunger changes—to learn the language of hormones. Drink plenty of water, get fiber in your diet, go to bed on time and make time for fun! All these things help balance your hormones and regulate your inner world.
Sometimes hunger may not be as simple as your body’s physical need for food. And it isn’t about your willpower (or lack thereof), either. According Sara Gottfried, MD, hormonal messages swirling in our bodies can cause cravings. Always need a dairy fix when PMS-ing? Turns out, dairy contains casomorphins, an opioid that keeps you addicted. By mindfully tracking how food makes you feel, you can recognize true hunger versus emotional cravings your brain is looking to satisfy. Try sitting with the craving for a moment. Ask your body, “Do I really want ice cream, or am I trying to cope with a feeling?” Sometimes you really do just want that bowl of cookie dough! But sometimes you’ll identify a different need that a hug, a walk or something else can satisfy.
Our culture is inundated with cleanses, and sometimes it’s great to give your body a reset, but balance comes from eating the right foods. Dr. Gottfried explains that clean, organic, vegetable-based diets help stabilize and maintain healthy hormone levels.
We’re not here to knock those who like to indulge in a drink or three. But as much as we enjoy alcohol, our bodies need an occasional break. A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that booze can affect estrogen levels, blood sugar, hunger and bone density. According to the Global Healing Center, eating lean protein (eggs and fish are great) can also help eliminate unwanted estrogen and balance liver levels. Carrots, turmeric and grapefruit are also known liver boosters.
We can all agree sugar is terrible for us. Studies have shown that it’s a drug, it’s addictive and it generally leaves us feeling unsatisfied and lethargic. Insulin decides how to take energy from the foods we eat and what to do with that energy. In her book Younger, Dr. Gottfried explains that when we give our bodies too much sugar, insulin can turn from our fat-burning best friend to our fat-storing enemy. Unfortunately, sugar triggers reward centers in the brain and gives us little spikes of dopamine (that feel-good chemical). When we overdo it on sugar consistently, our bodies begin to crave more to get that same high, creating a hormone imbalance that can trigger overeating and in turn lead to shame and guilt. The reality may simply be a hormone imbalance.
Estrogen is the hormone we credit for making us women. We’ve foundthat it’s the messenger that tells the female body to be female. But too much estrogen can cause weight gain, water retention and other health problems. One cause of excess estrogen? Red meat. Yup, it’s true. That burger, as delicious as it is, may be causing estrogen pollution in your body. Dr. Gottfried explains that in our current food system, meat is often packed with steroid hormones, which can drastically affect estrogen. In addition, diets high in meat are often lacking in fiber, which is a tool for stabilizing estrogen. The bacteria needed in the gut to digest large amounts of meat may be a culprit as well, as estrogen decreases in those with meatless diets. So if you’re struggling with weight gain, bloating, mood swings or headaches, consider reducing the red meat in your diet.
Many of us turn to coffee as our daily upper, but caffeine also elevates cortisol, which happens to be a key hormone for storing fat. According to Dr. Gottfried, cortisol is sometimes referred to as the stress hormone, because when it is too high, it can rob you of joy, steal your sleep and take over your weight. If your stress levels are high, that cup of coffee is the last thing you should reach for. Sip on tea or water with lemon instead.
Make it a practice to listen to your body. Go as far as asking, “Stomach, why are you upset?” It may sound silly, but it’ll slow you down enough to become mindful of what may be going on internally. And move! Dr. Gottfried says that exercise and even laughter are known to stabilize hormones and create more of those endorphins that keep us feeling great.