The extended title of this post should really be "Sick and Tired of Resolutions? Here's How to Change the Game with a Clean Slate...and Quit Being Sick AND Tired, Literally!" But that's entirely too long...but too perfect not to share : )
So, it's slightly stereotypical for a lifestyle/ health coach to use this time of year to really hone in on the topic of self improvement, but because it's SUCH a buzz around the New Year, I can't help but chime in!
I have had family, friends, clients, and social media followers come to me saying they’re doing the ______ diet. They either share because they want to know my thoughts, want to "school" me, they're having success, OR (and this is the most common) they want to vent and are discouraged with it. And while I think these “diets” are a great way to weed out some of the common inflammatory foods-- diets like Keto, Atkins, the Zone, Paleo, Whole 30, Bulletproof, etc. I urge you to do your own research. No, I don't mean via Google because you'll quickly get overwhelmed and realize a lot of these popular dietary theories contradict one another. I mean, do your research via trying it and checking in with your body!
As a species, humans have unique bodies, lifestyles, genes—which makes individuals require different things! Some people might actually thrive on certain kinds of dairy, while others could experience a wide array of issues. The other important factor is to recognize your upbringing, the foods you were raised on, maybe the personal and emotional struggles you could be going through.
Frequently, people want to simplify healthy eating by counting CARBS, SUGAR, FAT, and even SODIUM… unfortunately, these aren’t as simple as people want to make them. Not all forms of carbs, sugars, fats, and sodium are created equal. Learning that your body processes these things differently is HUGE. A half of a bagel has approx 24 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of sugar. A cup of sweet potato has 27 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar... so, if we were to follow the silly standard of counting the grams, one would assume the baked good consisting of yeast and processed flour is a better option, right? False. You have to consider the type and quality of the food you eat. The quality of it makes all of the difference on how your body metabolizes it and the overall impact it has on your body.
I have no real issue with popular diets like Whole 30 because I think it has sparked something in some people which results in LONG TERM health…but that’s some people....like a rare unicorn minority. With those diets, you see results after the 30 days, but my question is what is going to insure you keep up with it if you haven’t processed why you were eating imbalanced in the first place? OR why have you maybe tried losing weight but still feel bloated after some meals? So, this is where my services come in. Many people can follow a base of dietary guidelines, improve their body, and never look back, BUT I'm talking to the majority out there. It's taken me years of trial and error to figure out what foods support me and which ones that don't (some of them are even healthy foods) AND, the whammy, why I was totally addicted to forms of sugar and where my dependency rooted from. I would never be able to continue feeding myself supportive foods and stay on the straight and narrow for the past 5 years now unless I truly knew why I was tempted to indulge and dabble in behaviors that aren't supportive of me thriving and how I could change. This isn't exclusive to food, but ALL of your habits.
This is why I came up with The Clean Slate Elimination Detox. It's a super simple, step-by-step guide to pinpointing potential food intolerances, allowing you to also learn about healthy foods you may have yet to explore, AND ways to practice self-care and other positive behaviors.
While it does require discipline-- you will be eliminating the top 9 foods that people are commonly sensitive, allergic, or are intolerant to-- you will have the opportunity to slowly add these foods back into your diet to just SEE how you feel, before and after. While slimming down isn't necessarily the goal, it's usually a happy side effect! So, not only will you reap the typical benefits to eating clean for 38 days (feel lighter, brighter, clearer) you will also be empowered to fully pinpoint and eliminate the foods that aren't supportive of your unique body and may make you feel pregnant, sleepy, achy, or swollen after a meal.
I do have to say, it IS possible to NEVER diet another day in your life! I never thought that would be possible in my world because I have always been a foodie. So, while this detox is a lovely time for self awareness, health, and insight, I am not saying you will be forever changed (just like the other diets I mentioned above) UNLESS you get to the bottom of it all. For more information on what I'm talking about click here to read a related post and here to watch a detailed video!
Okay, onto the exciting part...
Click here to find out what the Clean Slate Detox Program includes!
...or “unlucky” in love, money, LIFE. Also, sadly, sometimes people are taught that because God loves you so much, He puts you through situations where you suffer to learn life’s lessons. Don’t get me wrong— I am grateful that through my pain and unfavorable trials, I have been able to help people. It is so good to always look at the bright side of crap circumstances and piece together the positive from life lessons. With that said: no one is supposed to feel like their fate is to not be able to come up for air, be able to catch a break, never fall in love, or accumulate enough money to live without struggle.
How do you make the unconscious conscious? Meditation, visualization, and keeping it real by not playing the victim. Your subconscious holds most of your power (how you function, behavioral patterns, limiting beliefs) so, tap into your subconscious and snatch your power back! If this feels far from reach or is just plain confusing (easy to be unless you know a smidge about neuroscience), contact me for a complimentary 45-minute lifestye asssessment!
Honoring yourself with proper self-care and healthy boundaries is the only way to truly grow into your God-given capabilities and potential. Imagine you are a plant. If you feed yourself soft drinks, you may stay alive, but will you really thrive? Sure, pop contains water and it may seem more appealing because it comes in a shiny can, it's sweet, and the carbonation makes it more exciting, but it will stunt your growth. Similar to toxic food, people, and behaviors— while they may be alluring, exciting, and make you feel good in the moment, they will also impair your capabilities to reach your optimum height. Toxins reduce your ability to thrive and flourish. So, when you come to a crossroads and you feel your intuition pulling at you, imagine yourself as a plant and remember: you have a choice to opt out of taking in the toxic! You deserve pure nourishment and nothing less— exercise, true love, spiritual warmth, supportive people, clean foods, and the opportunity to reach the sun!
It has been QUITE sometime since I posted a recipe so, I will be making up for lost time by posting TWO!
My intention was to have my travel/ restaurant reviews up and running (since I was eating out more than eating in during my travel season), but I'm not going lie-- I am a little overwhelmed by all of the content I need to organize! So, in the meantime, here is a simple green soup I made up one day and it turned out pretty great. (Yay for beginner's luck.) Happy tip: I ended up storing half of this batch in an airtight container, freezing it, and recently thawed it out after months and it tasted just as good as the first day I made it!
I try to bring my lunch to work as often as possible and because microwaves aren't a personal option for me, I needed something I could enjoy chilled. (Microwaves emit radiation into your food and reduce the amount of nutrients. For more science that is beyond my scope of knowledge and vocabulary click here.) So, not only was this soup a great lunch solution-- so is my Quinoa Kale salad!
This is a recipe I've made countless times for my Radiance Refinery workshops and parties I've been to-- so, it's become a popular one. Like I mention in the video, it's really versatile and fun to switch up your ingredients adding ingredients like peaches, apples, nuts, peppers, feta, etc. To create even more of a crowd pleaser, divide your quinoa in two to three bowls and create a variety of salads for people to compare and enjoy!
*Added note: I am famous for creating meals without measuring ingredients! This is one of the major reasons why I don't post more recipes, BUT I assure you, you can't really mess up these dishes! When it comes to the veggies, I basically add more of something based on my current taste preference, what I have in my fridge, and/or if I'm needing a specific vitamin! I'll add more spices depending on if I'm wanting more of a healing effect-- if you're sick or experiencing pain, load up on the anti-inflammatory spices! If you're feeling a little acidic, maybe reduce the amount of salt. Just smell and taste as you go and you really can't go wrong!
Life is made up of decision and circumstances. Some of these things are within our control and some of them are served to us. Commonly, when life gets rough, people can get consumed with thinking, "why me?"/ "doesn't God love me?"/ "why does this keep happening?"/ "why doesn't the universe have my back?", etc. While these are all valid questions to entertain, they will never equate to relief. God DOES love you...maybe that's why you're going through this horrific situation-- only to refine your level of capability, aka "awesome", for something different. I wouldn't ever considered myself a troubled person, but let's just say that struggle is most definitely not a foreign concept to me.
There have been times when people have tried to lend their support by suggesting that I was special and God was allowing these things to happen because He had SO much faith in me. Well, as kind as that is, it didn't jive with me. A majority of the time, I thought that if that were the case, I just assumed God love me a little less so that I could receive a little relief. It didn't feel right. I wasn't being singled out by God and knew I wasn't the "special" student because we're all created equal. I also knew and know that everyone has one thing in common: we all have our problems. Maybe the scale is different, but they're there. So, I did what I do best and I ANALYZED different theories until I exhausted loads of options.
At thirty years of age, here is what I've come up with. I could have been born with an internal quest to seek a life of "normalcy". Let's be real, the closest thing to "normal" is if you're participating in a stream of societal expectations, charged generational ideals, and (I hate to say it because I don't ever want to be misinterpreted for hateful, but) functioning similar to a human robot. You can't blame this ever-growing species of human because it looks like it would be pretty uncomplicated to subscribe to a life of siding with the majority, holding beliefs that don't rock the boat, and living out your days as if your actions don't matter or contribute to the ripple effect in the universe...(selfie stick in hand). I can see the appeal because I am a completely different species of person on the total opposite spectrum. Being a highly sensitive person alone makes me a rare minority. But I am a person who realizes how much of a change one person can make. The ripple effect is real. I was able to see this in action when it was brought to my attention during my schooling with IIN. The longer I was on my wellness journey, the more frequently I would realize that my friend's and family's pantries had become VERY similar to mine, stocking a lot of my favorites. This may seem little, but it isn't. What these people eat means the world to me because it adds years to their lives and if they share it, the ripple effect commences! I honestly think some of it is persuasion, but a majority is through osmosis! (Real quick: again, I am not thinking I am superior to anyone. I honestly look at some people and envy that they are entirely content living their way and are totally unaware of this notion altogether! It can get exhausting being on the other side of it!)
When I decided to make bold moves by going to FIDM and then, going to IIN, there was something stirring inside me. I couldn't accept the status quo and get a job that didn't make me feel like I was REALLY living. Like I was REALLY being of service. My saying this doesn't mean that almost every profession on the planet doesn't have a very necessary place in this world. We need people who are passionate about ALL vocations...otherwise our society would experience imbalance/ lack. For me, personally, this is just quite essential. God placed this specific mission inside of me. Living against the grain isn't easy-- it brings up all sorts of things that make life feel sort of like an uphill climb. It makes "safe" feel unsafe because while I know it's the cozier choice, I still feel the urge to choose the risk. It's sort of like on Disney's Beauty and the Beast when Bell is on horseback, trying to find her father and she comes to a fork in the road. One route looks pleasant and promising and the other looks dark and dangerous. Regardless the appearance, Bell chose the less obvious choice. This decision resulted in her being held captive and at this point, many people (including her), could have sat and asked "Why God? I listened to my gut and I'm just trying to help-- so, why is the universe doing this to me?" Well, her time at the castle wasn't always easy, BUT it resulted in her "happily ever after". I know I really took that fantasy scenario and ran with it, but it's very similar to my point...if I ever get to it!
Again, life is made up of decisions and circumstances. It's all about perspective, following our intuition, and making sure we make the best of situations we find ourselves in. Your story can impact your life in a big way. You can blame the world for your circumstances, or you can sit and see the lesson in it. You can use these pages in your life as the fuel that will drive you to success. If life serves you sad, make sure you embrace happiness that much harder. When life sends you unpleasant people, appreciate gracious people that much more. If you find yourself in a downward spiral, stop and dream up a better outcome for yourself. See yourself in a different life and take the action steps that will lead you towards that direction. Maybe you are someone who feels like you're at a dead-end and don't have the resources to get out-- sit and write out baby steps and focus on the things you DO have control over. Decide to make a shift, own responsibility of your life, and the universe WILL open up doors for you. Again, it's all about perspective. When you're looking for it with positive intent, it will present itself to you.
SO, for those of you who have felt like you've had it rough: if you're someone who lives an alternative lifestyle and feel drained or like you've missed out on what life has to offer, know that you're not alone. You ARE a special breed of human and it's SO great that you're not content with living like the majority or within the confines of common. It's not that God doesn't love you OR that God loves you more, it's just that He has sent you on a mission that takes a certain person with your special traits and life experience. A person with tenacity, with heart, an imagination, and PASSION. Some of these things could be the very characteristics people have judged you for or have told you that you need to be more practical or take it down a notch. B-o-l-o-g-n-a. That's only because those traits aren't relatable to them-- so, it doesn't make sense to them, which can sometimes make people uncomfortable. Why life could seem like it's against you is because this current world isn't really cut out for you. (My mom would say, it's like how lefties feel in a predominant right hand world.) BUT, even though, the world doesn't really accommodate our kind, it desperately NEEDS them. So, when life feels hard and you feel stuck, keep moving forward. See the beauty in your struggle because with struggle comes lovely things like breakthrough, personal evolution, and progress!
So, I have to go ahead out "out" myself. Particularly because of the last few blog posts. Not only were they posted in MAY, they were also on the topic of self-care. While that has continued to be a running theme in my life, I have to confess that I haven't earned many gold stars in this area as of late. I could definitely get gold stars for worrying about not getting enough self-care, but actual implementation: nope.
When I moved from Oklahoma to LA, I felt like I was in a storm/ time warp/ twilight zone/ hell. I was very consciousness that this time of my life would bring inevitable stress, but trying to alleviate it sort of felt like trying to meditate and get in enough exercise while there was literally and figuratively a flood happening. Everything that I knew well-- every routine, familiar face, my grocery store, squeezing my nieces (my self-regulation vices) all of it sort of got swept away. This is by no means me feeling sorry for myself because this was entirely voluntary/ self-inflicted because it was my choice to move, but the multitude of change that I had just brought on was (and still is) extremely uncomfortable.
Before I go into some of the things that have gotten me through this in one piece, I suppose I could give a little insight to the subtext as to why this was/is "uncomfortable". (Please note: I am speaking from my personal point of view and while I am absolutely sure non-HSPs probably feel a very similar way being put in these positions, I am just giving a little insight to my experience in my "special" body.) Being a highly sensitive person, my nervous system is extremely receptive to sensory/ nuance/ energy...meaning, my fight or flight mode/ sympathetic nervous system is a little trigger happy. Change in my environment means a lot of "potential danger". The more you become acclimated to a person, space, etc., you are able to process those "features", deem them safe (or not), and you are then able to come down a little and not feel so uptight and/ or irritable. Which, again, is how most humans function, but, for HSP’s, it’s all intensified.
Within the first few months of being back in LA, I acquired a fast-paced job, moved into a new apartment...after three intense weeks of searching, had someone I've known for a long time show their true (murky) colors, and found myself in a very tight schedule with very little free time. All the while, I am trying to give myself grace as I try to process, self-regulate, and come back into my body more than not. (..And keep a social life, try to maybe date, and not starve my little elderly pup, Eloise, of deserving TLC.)
I felt led to accept an exciting job where I travel half of the month and while I am unclear if this is my premature death sentence or a potentially valuable challenge, it gave me the idea that I can share my journey to staying mentally sound, physically fit, and well-- all while traveling for work (and play)! I will go more into this exiting content later, but today I am going to chat about some of the things I have done that have been extremely instrumental to making a healthy/ stable transition. Yes, I do feel that if I didn't implement these steps, the stress would have been significantly more brutal.
First, some obvious “symptoms” and red flags to look out for that might indicate that you may be living at a pace/ mind space that could be detrimental your spiritual life, personal life, and literal lifespan: when you’re feeling a little out of body, unfulfilled, tense, you have a hard time connecting, OR you find yourself looking back on previous days and can't quite picture the details and the days seem vague. Any of these sound familiar? Here are some significantly useful habits you can implement to make you feel a little more sound, secure, and present.
1. Find Time to Breathe. Like, really breathe. Those great diaphragmatic breaths where you breathe in and your stomach expands and when you breathe out, it goes back down. (Reading this description could sound elementary and instinctual, but until I studied "basic breathing" in school, I didn't realize that my body didn't do those things until I started practicing. I would force my stomach to push out, even though, air wasn't actually filling my lungs and continue until I caught a full, natural breath. To this day, I still have to frequently check in with myself and make sure I'm doing that.) REAL breathing is a great way to signal to your body that you're not in danger. You could be safe on your couch watching Netflix, but if you're taking shallow breaths, chances are, your body is still in fight or flight mode. When you're functioning with your sympathetic nervous system, or "fight or flight", you're in survival mode. Your body doesn't care about secreting regulated hormones, repairing damaged cells, digesting, etc. It's purely functioning to survive, releasing cortisol. This is why when you’re stressed, you’re maybe a snacker or don’t have an appetite at all-- due to your bodies' inability to release the proper amounts of your "full" and "hungry" hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Another popular repercussion is having overly active bowels or your elimination is slowed down (or off altogether). One of my favorites is looking haggard— which is how your friends clairvoyantly ask you if everything is okay because they can see it on your face— your cell turnover rate has lulled. So, this cliche tip to breathe is actually THAT important because you want to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, “rest and digest” mode, so your body functions like it's supposed to..
2. Find a Not-So-Guilty Pleasure...or two. One of my very favorite scenarios is to cook while listening to uplifting movies or music, accompanied by chilled wine glass of KeVita (fermented coconut water). This originally became a habit because I wanted to "come down" after work by drinking something without alcohol when I quit drinking for a year. I now prefer this ritual because it contributes to my health and is still an extremely effective way to relax. So, I'm not saying go grab yourself a KeVita, but take inventory of the things that really give back to your body and allow you to feel at ease. Whether that's evening strolls, drawing, crossword puzzles, ANYTHING--- so that if you find yourself out of your comfort zone, you're able to come down, without compromising your health.
3. Get Moving. I can't tell you how often I've blogged about or told clients this somewhat obvious, but under utilized little gem. You might hear it a lot because the stats are right-- working out is one of the most effective stress relievers, a great way to pump your endorphins, and press the reset button. When I travel or find myself in a state of stress, I run. I bring my running shoes because I know the consistency of working out is so healing for me. No matter where you're working out, if you're able to become centered, it will trigger that same state/ mindset, no matter where you are (literally and figuratively).
4. Implement Routine. To some, this could seem very boring. I'm not saying shut down your spontaneous side, but routine can be a great way to bring familiarity to an unfamiliar place or time in your life. While I love supporting local, independent shops, one of my best travel tips is: the second you touch down at the airport, map a Whole Foods. You can find one in most major cities, either near the airport or your hotel. Since most layouts are fairly similar, choosing a grocery like Whole Foods will actually end up saving you time— not to mention the obvious perks of having healthy snacks handy when you’re on the go. I know when most people think of Whole Foods, they don’t exactly think “budgeting”, but this little routine will also end up saving you money! Grabbing some quick $3 breakfasts (like superfood oatmeal cups by Vilgilant Eats and Purely Elizabeth), $1 bottles of spring water, transportable fruits like apples, pears, plums— not only allows you to stay on a healthy path, it also reduces the temptation of grabbing a $4 acidic SmartWater from your mini fridge or a processed snack from a vending machine or convenient store. I also highly suggest grabbing a green drink, low in sugar (4ish grams a serving), to alkalize your system and help combat travel stress.
During my move, I have loved discovering new places, but when I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed, you have no idea how comforting it is to walk into somewhere like a Sprouts-- anywhere I can go to avoid unnecessary stimuli.
In order to master these tips, you must first challenge yourself to devote time to be still. Time to check-in and pay attention to what does and doesn't work for you: activities, foods, etc. By doing this, I was able to find the very things that bring me to a state of homeostasis. (And, also, things that lead me to the brink of spiraling.) This custom “wellness formula” is invaluable when you're entering a time of stress, change, upheaval. Take inventory of the things that help you self-regulate and feel whole and authentic... and do what it takes to make sure that you’re living on that level. It’s the most self-honoring thing you can do!
Do you have any self-regulating routines?! Please share in the comments section below!
I recently dropped one of my tried and true philosophies...and paid for it! Even when (especially when) you're overwhelmed and busy, self-care is imperative. These videos are slightly tricky to follow because they're from my Instagram stories and I usually lose my train of thought because the videos stop after 15 seconds SO, I will fill you in...
I have been desperately been trying to adopt a much more simplified lifestyle when it comes to STUFF. I can't even call it "minimalism" just yet because I attempted it before my move and I failed miserably. I ended up having two garage sales, sold stuff on Craigslist, and Facebook marketplace, gave things away, and donated two trucks full of decor and home goods! YET, somehow, that still didn't get me to the point of reaching "minimalist". Why? 1. Apparently, I'm not cool enough. (Totally kidding, but, really, I'm going to have to redefine the term and make it my own...I'm a stylist. I can't own three pairs of jeans and I'm not sorry.) 2. Because it took me three solid days of moving and three trips in a small U-haul van to clear out my house. This eventful topic will be a blog post on its own because I want to share my tips and lessons learned for those of you who are looking to shed some pounds...not on your body this time, but in you home and consciousness!
During those three days, plus the previous days I prepped for my move after working full days, I didn't really invest the necessary TLC in my honor...and I felt it. Without going into too much detail, it probably took me two full days before I came back into my body. No bueno.
Anyway, I frequently hear people plead their case as to why they haven't tried daily meditation, cleaner eating, or just fit in that warm and delightful "me" time-- and it's usually because work has been crazy, their kids have a lot of activities, they've been traveling, etc. The reality is, the more hectic your life is, the more imperative self-care is! Being mindful of balance and being mindful of just being mindful is HUGE when it comes to health, happiness, and genuine wealth.
Similar to why flight attendants instruct you to put on your oxygen mask BEFORE helping a loved one, you cannot give from an empty cup...or in the context of the airplane, you cannot save someone else's life if you yourself are incapacitated!
As always, I must close by saying that this is a constant evolution. Do I meditate, exercise, oil pull, call my family, spend time with friends, and cook 3 balanced meals each day? Nope. But opening up your consciousness to these truths each day is everything and will allow you to slowly reach a new spectrum of balance and ease!
Today holds a lot of significance for those participating in Ash Wednesday. If you don't practice Catholicism, you may be wondering "what is today?!" Well, click here for a great explanation.
While I'm not catholic, this year, I have decided to give something away for lent. Many of us self-soothe with a variety of vices. Anything that you regularly seek comfort from can sometimes be a slippery slope. Sometimes, seeking solace from people can create lofty/ false expectations that can easily lead to disappointment and/or co-dependency. Gravitating towards certain "comfort" foods can obviously equate to weight gain and/ or poor health. Running to substances like drugs and alcohol is never a great choice. If your vice of choice doesn't support optimum health-- you're only supporting a bad habit and an itch you can't really scratch. If your vice REALLY worked then you wouldn't continuously be reaching for it. (Writing this makes me flooded with tedious exceptions and clauses because it's a whole different thing when you replace nonsense with a happy alternative. Ex: I replaced wine after work with KeVita. People who smoke should consider "breathing breaks" instead of smoke breaks. These replacements are still technically a crutch-- so, simply consider being mindful of the fact that you're dependent on something to feel different...but, again, if it's healthy, that's okay.)
These vices not only allow us to feel a different way, but by doing that, you're also participating in escapism. This is where MY lent devotional comes into play. For weeks, I have been pretty overwhelmed and while I can handle stress much better than I used to, I noticed that I was watching a lot more TV in the recent month. I don't actually have cable, but I do purchase seasons of shows via Google Play and I stream Netflix. This is probably typical post-work behavior for most, but I have found myself really only wanting to watch reality TV. If you looked at the seasons of shows I've bought (that I spent actual MONEY on), I would probably be a little embarrassed because it's such trash! The image used for this post is an actual screenshot of some of the titles in my Google purchases. BUT, for me, reality TV is the most satisfying form of escapism because I am truly able to zone the eff out. Not only do most females over analyze, I am an introverted female, who is ALSO a highly sensitive person....whose profession partially requires analytical efforts. (sigh) So, for me, I own the fact that I watch garbage television because I get to quiet my conscious, finally. With that confession comes some more honesty-- I am realizing that I am trying to distract myself and avoid life a little via reality TV. I am about to experience a lot of change and some of this change requires loads of planning and a lot of it is utterly out of my control. Neither of these things are something I am totally comfortable with. I am using TV to escape and avoid some stuff that I really should sit with. Not because I should be all consumed, but because I shouldn't be all consumed. I need to feel it, look at ways to shift my perspective, control what I can, and give the rest to God.
So, tonight is the first night with no TV! I am allowing myself to watch lectures and the occasional classic movie because they light me up so much, but I am going to rely on God to get me through this time of transition-- not the dramatic lives of the elite. I will also have the opportunity to use my evenings writing more (ahem) and really sift through the rest of my stuff so that I can move with more ease and LESS....well. I was going to say less clutter, but I think just LESS sums it up.
Yay, God! I am replacing one empty thing and I will be replacing it with blessings...I can just feel it! STAY TUNED.
Giving something up too? Let me know in the comments below!
First of all, I laughed out loud when I wrote this title because even though it's extremely dramatic, it's not too far from the truth! In my quest to get my 30's off to a good start, I decided to go full tilt into my consulting business without much of a doubt. I had a strong strategy in line, I had a keen feeling LA was my future, and I pursued my dreams. Well, as most of us know, "we plan and God laughs". I will not go into a spiral story about how hard my life is because that's just ridiculous, but I also wouldn't say my life has been a bed of roses. For the sake of authenticity, I always speak my truth-- even when it puts me in a slightly vulnerable state...especially considering the social media world we live in where we show the public our "highlight reel" (most of which is staged). Well, that's just not my jam because I don't think that serves anyone. So, my personal preference is to keep it real and the wiser I get, the more I really want to air that all out. (Especially in my line of work-- I feel like our primary goal is to encourage others. SO, I don't think it's very productive to paint a perfect picture of yourself for people, simultaneously saying you're going to help them tap into their true, authentic self!)
So, on to my story, in the attempt to build a bit of a financial cushion, gain more exposure, and do something I love dearly (style), I recently got a job at Saks Fifth Avenue. I first have to say that the inner workings of this corporate company is quite impressive. Second, I have to say that by taking this position, I was able to learn A LOT about myself. Exposing myself to a once extremely familiar environment made me see just how much I've changed over the past few years. Actually, not only that I've changed, but that I've been able to really get to know myself, truly. Just being in that job role for a short period resulted in old anxieties coming up and with them a pile of food cravings (particularly my blast from the past, tried-and-true comfort food: Chinese take-out).
At first, this irrational behavior totally caught me off guard and I almost resented the feeling that I'd lost contact/control with my centered-self, but looking at it now makes me realize that by having this experience, I am able to relate to my clients that much more. There is value in remembering what it was like to feel like I sort of "needed" to eat/ drink __________. I was also watching myself opt out of daily forms of self-care! WTF was going on?!
One thing that didn't waiver was my ability to check-in. I felt off, fuzzy, disoriented, and far from myself so I was able to stop and ask myself what was going on. Apart from the obvious (working in retail and doing my consults meant I was working every single day), I realized that it was my intuition and basic human needs that were crying out. I had lost focus on what really matters and that is being a Lifestyle Consultant. I know that without a doubt helping people optimize their everyday by way of clean living is my calling.
I was so consumed with getting to point B that I had lost sight of the reason why I was wanting to have that cushion-- to be doing what I LOVE doing: helping people...and in order for me to do that, I have to be in my right mind/body/soul. I do still wholeheartedly believe that assisting people with their wardrobes does help them by making them feel a level of confidence, getting the most out of an evening or an event, being able to self-express, but there is a fine line. Absolutely! (Click here for a more in-depth entry on this topic.)
I also realized that to support my highly sensitive self, I really shouldn't overwork and in the process of overworking, I shouldn't decide to skip out on taking care of myself when it is the most opportune time to do so! Another whammy: I should honor my unique traits by opting for a more supportive work environment...one that is a little more controlled. P.S. If you're interested in more on the subject of Highly Sensitive People and finding the right workplace, this book is great!
Going into this situation, I could have told you what would happen, but I thought it could be an exception...maybe. Sort of like when you think drinking that third or fourth drink THIS TIME will be okay.... when is it ever okay?!
So, in conclusion, this experience was a wonderful opportunity to really FEEL these life truths:
1. It is never an okay idea to drop self-care. You need TLC in many forms: exercise, being in nature, good magazines, pampering, etc.
2. Cravings for foods that don't contribute to your health, also don't contribute to your goals or self-esteem. They are signs that you are out of balance and that you want a pacifier (a hug, a jog, a different job, a nap). The urges feel SO legitimate because they really, really are. Your serious life upsets that cause silly cravings are as legit as it gets. The key is to focus on the serious life upsets. Until you do this, your wires will get crossed and you'll think that they're "serious" cravings and your solution lies in indulging in that food when, really, it's never the answer.
3. HONOR YOURSELF. When you hear that sweet voice in your head and feel that pitter-patter in your heart, and the flutter in your gut-- that doesn't mean you are doomed! Get quiet, listen, validate, and make a change. (Or make steps towards making a change...do what you can, now.) You are more than worth it. If you feel as if you've lost yourself in the mix of life and stress, do whatever you can to evoke that real you. For me, it's classic cinema, words of inspiration (particularly lectures from IIN), listening to Elvis, meditation, reading about my Myers-Briggs personality traits...anything that you can immediately identify with, that will allow you to breathe, and make you feel validated.
Stay-tuned for more brutal honesty about my exciting life adventure! The goal is to get to LA by spring and I'm not going to assume it's going to be easy or simple, but I know it will be eventful! And that's exactly the desire God has put in my heart! xo