Peace Out

March 2017 has arguably been the most emotional month of my entire life. It started off with a real bang – getting engaged to the love of my life. It ended with a real twist – getting some clarification as to why my dad has been absent from my life for the past 10 years (will post more about that later).

So I have decided to “take a break” for the month of April. I will be fully detoxing from Social Media, personally and professionally. I will be keeping my social schedule pretty clear so I can focus on myself, my business and spending time with my fiance. And I will be choosing journaling, meditation and working-out over drinking (for the most part). It is so easy to let our schedules fill up and lose touch of the present moment. I want to take back control of that and my life.

In a world where we are ‘seeing’ people’s lives through filters and highlight reels it is difficult to be vulnerable and stay in touch with what is true. I have been very sad, overwhelmed and angry this month but it has been hard to post about that because people are expecting me to ‘be on cloud nine’ since I just got engaged. Well the truth is, my beautiful engagement has brought up a lot of grief. Yes, grief.

Grief is a word that is misunderstood and I have been dedicated to learning about grief through The Grief Recovery Method. At the Grief Recovery Institute ®, they define grief as “the conflicting feelings that come at the end or change of a familiar pattern of behavior.”

Now, it might seem peculiar that such a joyous event could have conflicting sentiments but if you really think about your own life experiences it isn’t that strange at all. For example, when you go to college you are starting a thrilling new chapter but you are leaving behind your friends and home. This results in you feeling excited yet scared and sad. These conflicting emotions come up during all transitions and getting engaged is a transition.

Naturally, when you get engaged people start asking you about your wedding plans. It is easy to succumb to the pressure of planning the perfect wedding and pleasing everybody. Add that stress to the fact that a wedding and marriage is another example of a transition time… and you have hit the mother-load. A wedding is also a life event where there is a lot of focus on the bride’s father (and family).

Do you see where I am going with this?

Immediately after the engagement I started to picture my wedding and some arduous realizations began to surface…

  • My father won’t be walking me down the aisle or giving me away.
  • I won’t have my first dance with my father.
  • My father isn’t going to help me plan and pay for my wedding.

And then just like that, the flood gates opened and the full-blown ugly cry began. Realizing that the typical reality for most brides won’t be my reality brought on a ton of sorrow. How is that for conflicting feelings?

So why am I sharing all of this? Because there isn’t enough vulnerability in this world. Because not enough people realize that grief pops up in a lot of unexpected places and that is okay. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully shed some light and open up the conversation.

PLUS,  I know my millions of social media followers will be devastated when I don’t post for a month ;).

 

So stay tuned my friends.

See you May 1st!

Much love & peace out.

5 Lessons I Learned In 2016

At the end of each year, I like to sit down and reflect on the past twelve months. I am so incredibly grateful for the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship and the following five lessons it taught me this year.

5. Flawless Doesn’t Happen Overnight

The journey to flawless is the point of entrepreneurship. You can’t wake up and be Beyoncé tomorrow. Yes her life is glamorous now but she worked for that. Enjoy the imperfections and progress along the way.

The journey isn’t just about the $ and becoming famous. It’s also about your WHY. If you’re working toward your passion you will start to FEEL flawless and BELIEVE your flawless. Even when you’re struggling to pay your bills because our WHYs are bigger than us.

We are all a bit naive before making the plunge and thankfully so because you don’t have any idea what it’s really going to be like as an entrepreneur. If we all knew the entire picture many of us might not have made the leap and this world would be missing a lot of important influencers.

4. Talking About Yourself Is A Must

Building the confidence is the first step (referencing #5) because you have to feel proud of yourself and what you do before you will feel comfortable enough to talk about it. Also getting in touch with your WHY will help you gain confidence in what you’re doing.

This was a real challenge for me this year. I had a hard time knowing exactly how to tell people what I do. And a lot has shifted about my services and exactly what I offer over the year.

So this ties back to #5 – it takes time; its a journey. Don’t beat yourself up if you stumble over your words a lot or don’t get the elevator pitch perfect the first dozen times. You need to practice to get comfortable and then preach baby preach. Start telling everyone and anyone what you do :)

Also be ready to ask for help. Reach out to all your connections you’ve ever made… which leads us to #3.

3. All Types Of Creatures Come Out Of The Woodwork

I just put a silly sarcastic spin on this title but in all seriousness this one is a freaking life saver.

People are attracted to people living out their dreams and conquering fears. That is why you need to TALK ABOUT YOURSELF (#4) so that you can gain all the support available. #ThankYouSocialMedia

I’ve had people I haven’t talked to in years come out and give me shout outs, share my stuff and tell their friends about what I’m doing. I’ve had people that maybe I’ve only had one or two meaningful connections with tell me how inspiring I am to them.

Connections are connections and people telling others about what you do is never a bad thing. Get ready to reconnect with old friends colleagues and acquaintances – it’s really humbling and special. And don’t be afraid to take people up on their offers or ask them to help you.

2. #Blessed

Be grateful everyday. This will not be easy because life as a small business owner is not a walk in the park. But remember this – you chose the entrepreneur life. Take responsibility for the decision you made and be happy about it. Don’t lie to yourself or other but be grateful and be positive.

Realizing how many people support you and admire what you are doing really helps you to keep going on hard days. Remember all those who have encouraged you and been there for you (right #3) no matter how big or small.

1. Do Anything And Everything To Make Progress And Stay Sane

It is all about mindset. As an entrepreneur your mindset is apart of your job so make sure you are working just as hard on that as you are on your budget.

We as humans have the ability to talk ourselves into crazy circles and make ourselves feel worthless. When it’s just you, yourself and you in your business with no distractions that loop can become very repetitive.

You must find what keeps you sane and keeps you moving forward. For me it’s getting coached, journaling, meditating, barre3 workouts, working part time at the barre3 studio, having a team, making time for friends and family…

Just keep moving and doing. Life and entrepreneurship isn’t about perfection it’s about progress. If you don’t do anything you’ll never learn. Reframe the idea of failure into feedback. Use the feedback to be better the next time and the next time.

Now, tell me, what did you learn this year?

An open letter to my Father

An open letter to my Father,

Before I was born, I chose you to be my father and you chose me to be your daughter. You can call it God, Universe, Destiny or whatever you believe. We chose each other in this life.

Religion, society, media and social structure have taught us to believe that the relationship between a father and daughter is supposed to be constant, supportive and joyful. We are taught to believe that a father is supposed to stick around and be there for his daughter. Like most societal beliefs, this ideology was something that someone made up and people started to believe. It is evident that our relationship doesn’t fit the societal mold.  However, just because you chose to remove yourself from my life doesn’t mean you didn’t teach me profound life lessons like so many other fathers do for their daughters.

I acknowledge and appreciate that you did and are doing the best you can as my father. In your efforts, you have taught me to stand on my own, to be an independent individual, to protect myself, to never settle and to accept and love people for who they are without judgement. You taught me all these lessons by removing yourself from my life. I am choosing to believe that you knew you could teach me more by leaving than you could by staying.

Because of your absence I’ve found friends who’ve turned into family. I’ve clung to the family I have with the fiercest love and commitment. I’ve found a man that shows me his love in all the ways you never could. And I’ve been able to see the world in a way that allows me to empathize with a greater number of people.

There is a saying, “you don’t get to choose your family”, but I’d like to challenge that and reframe it. I believe we do subconsciously choose our family and we choose them to teach us important lessons. These lessons are usually life long and will reappear many times throughout your existence in order to aid in your growth as a human. The purpose of these lessons is to get you to the greatest version of yourself. If you hide from these teachings, or push them away you will never experience the deep understanding that lies on the other side.

The lesson I am continually learning from you Dad is that I am worthy of the love I desire. Despite your actions and behavior, I am worthy of all the love in the world.

I’m done running. I’m done hiding. And I’m done with the pain, anger and sadness. I am choosing to learn this lesson and get to the other side.

We don’t have the “normal” father daughter relationship and that has been the greatest gift of my life.

-Your daughter

Letting Go

My word for 2016 is freedom. It took me some time to arrive on this and in the beginning stages of committing to my word, the phrase “letting go” came up a lot. However, to me, “letting go” has a negative connotation around it because when I think of “letting go” I think of releasing lousy feelings or emotions. And when I think of freedom, I feel powerful and expansive. So, I picked freedom over letting go as my word for 2016.

The struggle of deciding between these two words got me thinking about the meaning behind them.

  • Is letting go an antonym to freedom or a synonym to freedom? Do we have to let go in order to experience freedom? Or do we have to experience freedom in order to let go? And what are the best things to let go of?

Thus far in 2016, I have had to do a lot of letting go in all areas of my life.

When we hold onto experiences, conversations or relationships that have adverse feelings associated with them we take up room in our body and mind. I think of the room taken up by these feelings as dense and dark.

As the new year rang in and everyone made their New Year’s resolutions, I had an “aha” moment (if you will). I realized that for the past 9 years I have allowed a dark, dense mass of resentment to harbor a lot of space in my body.

I could get intense here and pour my heart out about what particular experience caused this harboring of resentment …. but ‘aint nobody got time for that. Instead, I will fast forward to the lesson and save the drama for another day. 😉

The bottom line is… crummy things happen in life and we can’t control anyone else’s actions. The only thing we have control over as human beings is our own actions and emotions. I decided I was done feeling angry and resentful. Those feelings weren’t serving me anymore and were sucking valuable energy and time out of me.

So what allowed me to let go of the anger? Forgiveness.

You know I love me a good flow chart so… perhaps the flow chart looks something like this then…

  • Forgiveness → Letting go → Freedom

Nine years is a long time to carry animosity around. Carrying it around wasn’t changing the situation and it wasn’t affecting the person I felt the animosity towards. It was really only hurting me.

Is there someone you are holding resentment towards? What if you let it go? What would you gain from letting go of the resentment?

Letting go is a process. I know I have a way to go but I am already reaping the benefits of letting go. I feel as if a large weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that I can breath deeper. I feel more zen (and if you know me personally, you understand what a big deal this is).

You might be asking yourself right now, “how in the world does this qualify as blog post about the life of an entrepreneur?”….

Well, it doesn’t….

No, just kidding.

Experiencing more freedom has been monumental for the success of my business. I find it fascinating how resentment in your personal life can hold you back in your professional life.

Since this shift happened on New Years, I have had the two most successful months in my business thus far. You can call it a coincidence if you want, but I am certainly not!

Freedom is space, opportunity and movement which everyone needs in order to grow and expand personally and professionally.

It starts with the decision to forgive. It is your choice.

Another fun coincidence (or Divine happening as I like to call it) … my favorite song for the past 3 months has been “Let It Go” by James Bay (like so obsessed, I choreographed a lyrical dance to it and I don’t have any real lyrical dance background).

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Is vulnerability the key to success?

Does being seen, telling your story and being honest about your feelings make you run and hide? There is nothing easy about laying it on the line and speaking your Truth. I was reminded of this last week when I launched my first ever website!

In the creation of the website, I felt super confident. A dear friend designed it and he understands my taste and knows a great deal about me so I wasn’t really being exposed in that portion of the process.

Monday, December 7th came around and I started to contract, hide-out and make excuses why I shouldn’t launch the site. I told my friend (the web designer) and my business mastermind group that I was going to postpone the launch due to some minor edits that needed to be made. Well, my friends in this mastermind group aren’t about hiding out – AT ALL. They called me out and forced me to announce my website on Facebook and Instagram.

Leading up to pressing “post” I had knots in my stomach. I was incredibly nervous but I hit the button and then… exhaustion, fear and sadness came over me. I was stunned at my reaction but I couldn’t get away from the urge to literally crawl into my bed and just hide.

This entire scenario got me thinking about vulnerability.

What really is vulnerability?

  • Vulnerability – capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon.

I did feel hurt in that moment of releasing my website out into the world. Not because I didn’t absolutely adore my website and not because I was getting negative feedback but because I was exposed. My story, my journey, my words were out there… in cyberworld for anyone and everyone to see. I had ZERO control over who would view my site and the opinions they would form. And if you know anything about me, I do enjoy control. (Yes, I am working on it).

We all have blocks and limitations around “being seen and being fully expressed” because it triggers fear in the brain. This is ironic because in actuality the only thing we desire as humans is connection. True, deep connection only comes from authenticity and openness. We will open this can of worms in another blog though ;).

Back to the story…

The feedback I received from friends, family and peers was

  • “I feel like you are talking to me when I read your website. It just feels like you.”

That got me thinking, what if I had not put it all on the line? What if I had tried to sound different or act like someone else? Would the reveal of my website have completely flopped if I didn’t truly open up and create it from my heart?

I mean I am not a psychic but my prediction is YES it would have been a complete dud.

So…. is vulnerability the key to success?

I have really come to dislike the definition of success over the past several months. It is so cliche and does not focus on anything besides money and approval BUT for the sake of this blog post…

  • Success – the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.

‘Termination’ is not existence in any sense if you are a success because success is an ongoing journey. Just as getting comfortable with being vulnerable is an ongoing journey. It isn’t like you ride an elevator to the “success” floor, get off and never go back down to the lower floors. You are constantly tinkering between floors… floors higher AND lower than success.

So if we can start to think of ‘being wounded’ (from the vulnerability definition) as ‘favorable and prosperous’ then perhaps we will accomplish our goals’ (from the success definition).

When we create from our hearts people receive and resonate.