How To Get Out of A Rut? Change The Definition.

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The dreaded rut. We all face it at some point (and several friends have shared they've been feeling it lately.) You too? Then read on.

Yes, it's depressing, yes, it causes anxiety, yes, it's demoralizing.  Yes, it downright SUCKS.  It is all of those painful, uncomfortable things. But what if it's also something else, something positive you may not have considered before?

Your "rut" is actually your guide - tweet this!

At its core, a rut is simply dissatisfaction with things as they are.  Your dissatisfaction is trying to tell you something. It's the fork in the road - a sign to change direction.

First things first. What got you here in the first place?  

THE 2 MAIN REASONS FOR A RUT

  1. You're avoiding something (or, pretending not to know - mmhmm)

  2. You don't know what you want

If you're avoiding something...

In all likelihood, this isn't the first time this issue has come up. It's just that suddenly (or gradually) the pebble in your shoe has become too painful to ignore. Face it and do what you (already) know you must. It won't go away otherwise. Worse still, the pebble will become a boulder - that lands directly on you. Ouch!

If you don't know what you want...

It May Take Time. In this world of instant gratification it's easy to seek a quick fix but as ruts go you may not immediately feel better.  Give yourself breathing room because self-beat only exacerbates and extends a rut.  

WHILE YOU'RE WORKING THINGS OUT...

1.  Feed your mind with inspiration - even if you're feeling uninspired. Energy is a powerful thing and as you begin to seek inspiration (inspirational websites, books, Ted Talks, events, music) the EXACT message you need to hear will find you.

2. Surrender. I don't mean give up, I mean give in to the present moment... the place where you don't know what to do and don't have an answer.  Frustration, anger, and avoidance are all forms of resistance - a rope that gets tighter and tighter the more you struggle. Stop struggling and just BE. The answer will come and this too shall pass (especially if you're actively practicing the above.)

3. Set a date.  This one may seem counterintuitive, especially if you haven't found your answers yet, but stay with me.  Declarations are as powerful as dynamite and they can be the spark your psyche needs to shift gears. A date is a goal post - something to aim for. Set one and I guarantee that 1. You'll instantly feel accomplished and 2. watch how quickly you and random occurrences in your life begin to line up.  I dare you!

If you use your rut as a guide and a tool to change it up, you'll create the opportunity to level up.

Think of this as time in the lab - you're cooking up something new.  You've got this!  

I love your feedback, suggestions, and thoughts! Comment below and share them with me. 

Until next time, keep living #thatconsciouslife

5 Ways To Figure Out What You Want

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It is absolutely possible to get somewhere if you don't know where you want to go - but I imagine you may look up and wonder how the hell you got there. It's much more effective to decide where exactly you'd like to go.  

The Universe is listening.  

Your angels and guides are waiting to support you.  In The Universe Has Your Back Gabby Bernstein talks about the universe operating as a Spiritual GPS.  I love that.  We relinquish our desires and we are guided - given hints, signs, and opportunities and sometimes we're redirected.  We are given direction. But, like any GPS - our guides need a destination. Your desire and intention is the address.  

So how do you figure out what you want?

5 practices to get to the heart of what you truly want:

  1. Pray or meditate or both. They both have the similar effects.   

  2. Ask questions of yourself and of others... Ask yourself: what do I enjoy?  When was I most enjoy (read: In-Joy)? Ask your loved ones: What do you see as my strengths and my weaknesses? Where have you noticed me in the zone, in my bliss? Where do I bring you the most joy.

  3. Daydream...give yourself permission to fantasize and imagine a life that brings you an incredible amount of joy. You'll be surprised what you discover when you allow your mind the freedom to roam unbound by "reality".

  4. Journal...set the mood.  Light your favorite candles, pull out objects that hold special meaning to you (mementos, crystals, etc.) and gather them around. Then put pen to paper and let whatever comes flow through.  I highly recommend boosting the energy of this practice by using astrology as a heavenly amplifier and doing this activity during a new moon or a full moon. Full moons are a wonderful time to reflect on and let go of whatever behaviors, beliefs or challenges aren't serving your highest good. New moons represent new beginnings and are an opportune time to set powerful intentions. 

  5. Give it time.  The inclination is for us to get hung up on time.  Either it's running out or it isn't moving fast enough.  The invitation is to view time as a construct you control. The closer you watch the pot, the "slower" it boils.  Do whatever it takes to shift your perspective.  Actively say to yourself - out loud if you're really in the thick of it - "I have all the time I need" or "I am exactly where I get to be right now."  Or, call a homegirl - there's nothing like a true friend to snap you out of the emotional hamster wheel.  Know that you are exactly where you need to be on your journey in the present moment.  Be there. Breathe there.  Allow yourself the space and time this phase of discovery requires. The most beautiful roses take all the time they need to blossom. 

The one thing NOT to do:

  1. Judge yourself.  Our learned behaviors - picked up from our parents, culture, community, societal norms, and expectations can drown out that inner voice of wisdom and love that whispers your truth to you. Don't shush it. You're hearing the call for a reason and your heart knows what's true. Validate your needs and desires without guilt or shame.

#beautyjoyeveryday

10 Tools To Boost Your Self Worth

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Somewhere inside you know your ideas have merit, you know you're whip-smart, you know your voice and opinions matters.  But, for one reason or another, you don't truly believe it. That lack of belief in yourself results in a cycle of seeking validation and approval from others in order to make up for nagging thoughts like "you're not doing it right", "you're not as good as...", "you don't have it together" - feel free to add your own flavor of self-doubt to the list.  

It all comes down to one thing: you are suffering from a lack of self-worth and the symptoms are pervasive. 

Your Lack of Self Worth Is Causing You To:

  • Undermine your leadership abilities by reinforcing uncertainty (about your words and your actions) causing your brand, business, and career growth to suffer.  

  • Feel bad about yourself, also referred to as self-beat up. 

  • Miss out on what you've always wanted to pursue.

  • Use fear as an excuse to hide, thereby avoiding the effort it takes to live boldly and make a meaningful contribution.

  • Seek validation from others causing neediness, resentment, and desperation - a major turn off.

#FixItJesus!! (or blog, in this case.)  

To help you get down to the work of dissecting the feeling of not-enoughness and strengthening your self-worth, we've compiled the following 10 tools to build your confidence and worth.  They're broken into 4 categories: Videos, Research-Based Hacks, Affirmations, and Books.  Use them to create powerful results in your business and life (minus the exhausting fight against doubt).

VIDEOS

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Ted Talks

12 Ted Talks on Boosting Self Esteem

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Asking For Support vs. Begging (& Other Tales On The Road To Bestselling Book)

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Truth is, even while in the act of asking for all the support necessary to make the book a bestseller, inside I still felt a little like a beggar, going from person to person for a handout. I’m happy to share that has FINALLY changed. 
 
The day of the Tuesday Bestseller Challenge the energy, excitement, shares, positivity, and purchases was overwhelming.  People were right there with me every step of the way – refreshing Amazon, texting, emailing, calling - to see if we had made it to number one.  I say “we” because what I’ve finally learned is that asking for support isn’t begging, it’s about rallying people to a common cause.
 
Your people are in it with you, you just happen to be the one on the field running toward the end zone. Your success is theirs and their success is yours. Your colleagues, family, friends, even the haters - cause really they’re just confused fans (I wish I’d come up with that one) - are all in the stands cheering for their team.

What I Asked For + What To Get Over

I asked my friend how she wrote her book.
Tip: Get over the comparison conversation and ask people who are further along than you are – those doing what you want to be doing.

I went to personal development workshop and attended Bestseller In A Weekend (read: asked for skills). 
Tip:  Get over feeling ashamed if you need guidance to get past a block. Be always a learner.

I fundraised (read: asked for money) on Indigogo to self-publish. 
Tip:  
Get over hiding out. Nothin’ like putting something on the line to hold yourself accountable for following through on a big goal.

I made positive, affirming friends (read: asked for encouragement). 
Tip: Get over mediocrity. If the 5 people closest to you aren’t inspiring you to improve by telling you to lovingly "get ya life!” do whatever it takes to find them (for the record I wasn’t above meetup dot com). Then, tell them your biggest, wildest most I’mPossible (that’s not a typo) dreams and have them hold you to them!

Your Goals + The Gift of Letting Go

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When your path is calling it will require leaving old ways behind to step fully into your purpose. In nearly every case there's a certain amount of pain associated with leaving the familiar behind. But, in my own experience and those of the women whose stories of career transition we'll soon be sharing on The Career View Mirror Project, letting go is the first step to moving forward. 

I once did an outdoor obstacle course where the goal of one of the exercises was to get across a 50ft high tightrope by using a series of ropes dangling overhead for support.  In order to move forward on the tightrope, I had to release one rope to grab a hold of the other.

Choosing to hang on would mean being stuck in place, not moving forward or backward - going nowhere.  At the same time, I was terrified to let go.  The distance seemed immense and the idea of releasing both hands to jump full out with no guarantee I'd catch the next rope was too much!  But, I had two choices: remain stuck in place or release my viselike grip and leap. 

I took the leap and here's what I learned:  the toughest part is the space between.  Being completely off balance, up in mid-air, unsure of everything. At the same time, that space between is also the most exhilarating.  Truly present, feeling every single moment, you instinctually, creatively decide what to do next and follow through without analysis.  You come face to face with your own courage as you keep moving, releasing and grabbing hold, again and again, inching ever closer to your destination, you finally understand...

Courage is a practice. - tweet this!

 

 

#beautyjoyeveryday

Press: A Tour of My Home on Apartment Therapy

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Sending a huge "YES!" to the Universe today for fantastic media coverage - my home on Apartment Therapy. Come on in and have a look around!

Check out:

 
  • My favorite DIY

  • Our biggest splurge 

  • My favorite thing in the living room

  • And, most importantly, how I store my shoes! (You guys already know they're a thing.) Let's just say limited closet space made me very resourceful! *praise hands emoji*

 

CLICK THE IMAGE below FOR THE TOUR

 

10 Books That Will Change Your Life

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If you need a shift in perspective to begin approaching life with more positivity and possibility, the following books address different areas of life.  Each will change the way you live it.

1. You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

True transformation begins with healing.  Louise explores how subconscious and unexpressed pain and patterns manifest themselves in dis-ease.  I see this book as the holy grail of transformational work and a great place to begin clearing whatever blocks you from living a fully present life. 

2. A New Earth by Eckart Tolle

If you've ever felt like drama, negativity, or "bad luck" find you wherever you go... or, if you've experienced a bad morning that spirals into a bad day, Tolle's description of "the pain body" will be a revelation. 

3. Colors & Numbers by Louise Hay

"Your Personal Guide to Positive Vibrations in Daily Life" this is packs a one-two punch of numerology and color psychology for high vibes. When I was going through a difficult time in my life small acts, even choosing a daily color, went a long way to lift my spirits. 

4. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Deepak explains how success and spirituality work hand in hand in a simple and digestible way. I keep the pocket sized version in my purse because it has a way of making me feel centered and peaceful - especially when I'm in my go-getter boss babe mode.  

5. Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou

One of the highlights of my life was meeting Ms. Angelou in my senior year of college.  If you need a lesson in owning it, here you go. After reading her poem Phenomenal Woman for the first time, I felt like...a woman, phenomenally.  

6. The Prophet by Khalil Gilbran

Gilbran offers the most beautiful wisdom on all the main areas of one's life. On love: "Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls."  On daily life "Your daily life is your temple and your religion." My very favorite is his quote on work: "Work is love made visible." It's a must read.

7. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

I slept so hard on Gabby B. but after getting schooled by a dose of her spiritual realness she officially became a mentor in my head. Her meditations cause powerful shifts and some of them even come with warnings.   

8. Throw Out 50 Things by Gail Blanke

Without this book I might have moved across the country with a load of physical and emotional baggage.  The things you keep have weight - whether you realize it or not. Blanke goes room by room to help us discover see the difference between the the attachments we have to the things and the things themselves. Freedom awaits. 

9. Super Rich by Russell Simmons

Simmons offers a down to earth take on the Bhagavad Gita and a beautiful perspective on the true meaning of abundance.  

10.  Harry Potter by JK Rowling

The ultimate tale of triumph over circumstance and a reminder to let your inner child come out to play. Who's up for a trip to Hogwarts?!

Bonus:  Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur

If you're struggling to heal deep wounds, going through heartache, getting over heartbreak, or throwing a "thank God it's over" celebration party this book of poems is all the things.  A women's manifesto in four parts: The Hurting. The Loving. The Breaking. The Healing. Rupi Kaur's writing offers the ultimate gift of catharsis.   

Which of these selections is resonating with you (or not) and why?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and preferences in the comments section! 

#beautyjoyeveryday

 

8 Ways To Shut Out The World's Drama and Create A Grateful Home

What keeps you grounded in your home environment? How do you remember to practice gratitude? 

In case you thought Oprah's gratitude journal recommendation was purely a feel-good practice, studies have shown that gratitude improves our immune and cardiovascular systems.

Recently, The Greater Good Science Center a UC Berkeley partnered with the USC on a study to research the effects of gratitude on the brain.    Gratitude is more than a just nice thing to do.  It supports health and well-being so much it can extend your life expectancy.  Which means you can enjoy a longer and more joyful life simply by remembering to be thankful for what you have.  

If you're like me you may already practice miracle morning, yoga, or journaling.  Add that to the responsibilities of making life happen, on most days we're already doing #teamtewmuch.

So, the question I'm exploring in this article is how to be grateful without adding another task to an already full To-Do list.  Well, friends, I'm here to tell you there is a way to practice gratitude that doesn't involve another activity. Can I get an AMEN?!

Gratitude Spaces are areas in your home that infuse mindful moments into your day. - tweet it!

They are physical reminders to say "Thank You" to the universe.  Here are some ways to decorate your spaces with gratitude in mind:

Colorful Art - Combine art and color for a double dose of therapeutic impact.

Gallery Wall - Incorporate photos of friends and family, a reminder you're not alone. 

Photos of You - Hang images of yourself enjoying favorite moments, people + places.

Meditation Space - Create a simple and peaceful area to be still and return to your breath.

Love Altar - Find space in your bedroom (nightstands will do) that honors you.

Desk - Organize and decorate it in a way that inspires you to get to work.

Creative Space - Pay special attention to the areas in your home where you create - which means making something out of nothing. Whether its cooking, dancing, painting, sketching, or scrap-booking, everyone is creative and creativity is for everyone.    

Spirituality - Elements that honor your preferred belief system can be infused into all the options above. Whatever your connection to source, God, the universe, Buddha, Jesus, etc., I advocate bringing that into your home through photos, quotes, art, statues or books.  The intention here is to know that you are supported even when it doesn't seem so, and that no matter what you're going through all is well.  A reminder that The Universe Has Your Back (also the title of Gabby Bernstein's latest book!)

#beautyjoyeveryday

10 Tips That Prove It's Never Too Late To Change Direction *Featured*

 

As a supplement to that article, I want to share one of my favorite talks from author Elizabeth Gilbert on the hummingbird vs. the jackhammer on Oprah's Super Soul Series.  She explores the idea that as creatives not only is there no shame in exploring a variety of careers but taking the winding path can be liberating and empowering. 

Ultimately, it's certainly a challenge to change careers but it doesn't have to be a struggle.  

#beautyjoyeveryday

Life is messy, and that's okay.

Go ahead, say it out loud.  Now say it again like you're at least attempting to mean it.  Now close your eyes, inhale deeeeeply, breathe out sloooowly, and say it a third time. How did that feel?  

When I say it, my brain immediately hits me with a billion comebacks.  Somewhere in the area of 'hell no, it's not ok' and 'you're crazy'.  But, after a losing battle with perfection that had me stuck in "same self-beat-up different day" when it came to my goals, I decided to consider what life might feel like if I embraced this foreign and very uncomfortable concept.  

It means I'm not any less if the house is messy, because I can clean it this weekend.  I'm not a failure if I bomb my first interview, because I'll improve.  I'm not doomed because I haven't hit six figures since starting my business 4 years ago, because everyone starts somewhere.  I'm not a lost cause if I haven't found the love of my life yet, or a sucky mom if... and so on and so on. Yup, start contemplating the idea of embracing the mess, and things get really real - real quick.  

You might end up face to face with all the things about yourself, your relationships, and your life you've been holding to an unreachable standard of perfection.  There's that word again; holding us hostage to some version of who we should be, causing us to devalue who we are.  Perfection is the greatest trick of all because it doesn't exist, and if we continue to seek it...well, hamster wheel anyone? 

The only sane solution is acceptance - releasing our attachment to what it's "supposed to look like" and being grateful for what is while working on being our best selves.  (Sorry, the growing doesn't get to stop.) 

Sure it's a challenge, but it's worth the two incredible things that happen when we take our energy away from the guilt, shame, and stress we feel when things don't look the way we think they should:

  1. We enjoy what we have.

  2. We focus on what we want to create.  

Acceptance is a light in the dark, helping us find order in the chaos and mental space to plan our next big move.

Now say it again until it really starts to ring true - because it is.

#beautyjoyeveryday