Archives For January 2014

Pam, Me & Michelle on New Year’s Eve

Many of us have routines that we do when we start a new year.

Maybe we write formal New Year’s resolutions where we resolve to start healthy routines or to break bad habits. Some of us write journal entries and some of us do things like make a vision board, or any combination of the above.

This year I decided to do a hodgepodge of things that helped me to be introspective and to set my positive intentions for the new year in a way that was thoughtful and would actually be something that was useful.

First, I followed Hillary Rubin’s advice for creating the best year ever and worked on tying up the loose ends from 2013.

So, in December I made a list of everyone I needed to forgive, including myself, and forgave them. I looked at whether I owed anyone anything and if so I paid them back. I worked out a plan to pay off any financial obligations that were still lingering like a bad cough. And I picked areas of my house that I wanted to de-clutter and cleared them out.

I had already intuitively started shedding layers of material fluff at the start of the holiday season in late November. Shedding broken toys, clothes we no longer wore and things, like the mug that had been broken for over a year that I was going to fix “one day” that were just taking up space.

I knew I wanted to start the year fresh with space and room for positive energy to flow into my life. Out with the old, in with the good vibes.

Then I wrote a list of everything I was grateful for.

And when I looked back there was A LOT to be grateful for.

New Year’s Eve Funny Faces & Pics w/ Strangers

On New Year’s Eve, I got my nails done and my eyebrows perfectly coiffed at a brow bar. I picked red polish for my toes which the nail technician told me meant I was going to have good luck all year, according to her mother.

“Everyone always picks dark colors, that’s not good,” she whispered to me her tongue clicking in disapproval.

“But you, you pick red. You’re going to be lucky this year!” She asked if she could add a layer of red glitter polish on the top. I said of course because glitter makes everything better.

I didn’t write any New Year’s resolutions.

Not a single one.

One year I resolved to never write New Year’s resolutions because they never stuck, so I resolved to never do it again. So, I guess I can say I’ve kept one resolution!

Still, I wanted to do something to help me articulate to the Universe my intentions for the year. I had already purchased Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and done it in last year.

I have to be honest and say the first time I did it, it didn’t really click for me.

I jived with the idea of uncovering how we want to feel and then building our goals around how we want to feel, versus setting goals and hoping they make us feel good. But for whatever reason, the exercises didn’t give me any “wow” or “ah-ha!” moments and I kind of felt like it was all hype.

A few days after the new year came ’round I decided to give Desire Mapping another go. I just focused and really put my heart into the workbook with an open mind. I didn’t read the book part and just dove right in to the exercises. I think Danielle is a lovely writer but I just wanted to get to the nitty grity.

And, boom, it clicked!

I should focus my goals on how I want to feel – not create arbitrary goals hoping they’ll do it for me! Yes, I realize that I knew this conceptually before I tried doing the DM-thing for the first time, but this time I just got it. Pow – right in the kisser. Well, maybe not right in the kisser but I just resonated with it.

My core desired feelings for the first half of the year are:

♥ Love ♥ Open ♥ Clear ♥  Abundance ♥ Passion.

I’ve already been checking in with my core desired feelings and, yea, Ms. LaPorte is on to something there. No wonder it’s so wildly successful.

But, I wasn’t done there.

I am someone who likes lists and planning and themes. I love themes, actually. I am the queen of themed birthday parties and such. So, I thought I needed a word to be the theme of the year.

But don’t you already know how you want to feel, perhaps you’re wondering. Yes, but those are feelings. This theme isn’t a feeling. Well, I guess it could technically be a feeling but, before I loose you with all the back and forth, the reason picking a theme or a word is important to me is because it gives you a backdrop to lean on.

If life is a stage then the theme would be the set. The feelings would be the actors and you, my lovelies, would be the playwright. And if you’re totally lost and wonder how many cups of coffee I had while writing this post, here is where I make my thoughts connect so it all makes sense…

I sat quietly with myself and breathed in and out. I considered everything that was going on in my life currently, how I want to feel and what I wanted my theme of the year to be. I waited for the word to come to me and didn’t just pick an arbitrary word that sounded good. And then it was clear.

Faith.

That’s my word of the year – Faith with a capital F.

See, it is Faith that will push me to take actions where I am full of Love. It’s Faith that things will turn out okay that will allow me to feel Open by trying new things. It is the Faith that I can start my own business and create Abundance that I will cling onto when I feel like I’m getting in over my head.

It is Faith that will remind me no matter how many times a heart breaks, it can always heal and Love again.

(I told you it would all make sense!)

And as the grande finale to my “2014 Is Going to Rock My Socks Off” planning, I am going to be hosting a vision board making get-together for a few of the awesome Goddesses in my life.

Something else, Yroko, maybe you’re thinking?

A vision board is something visual to help us remember how we want to feel. It’s manifestation eye-candy that can help remind me of my core desired feelings. It helps me see the things that I want to attract into my life that will make me feel my core desired feelings.

Plus, we’re going to be having mimosas and sipping mimosas with a group of girlfriends while creating vision boards is nothing short of magic.

By starting the year off with strong intentions and such a positive flow, I know 2014 is going to knock my socks off.

And so it is.

How do you ring in the new year?

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I met this one Rap Superstar once in Los Angeles at a party where he was going to perform before he reached super celebrity status.

This was right before the release of his song that would launch him from background noise into full fledged worldwide notoriety. Before he would leave a permanent mark on the rap game.

When I met him, he was wearing plain jeans and a dark colored hoodie. He looked like an average dude – not especially flashy or like a mega rap-star mogul. He wasn’t wearing bling or if he was it wasn’t gaudy. He was nice and polite and we didn’t really have an in depth conversation.

When I was introduced to him I kind of tripped and fell into him. Not one of my smoothest moments.

Me, the day of the concert…. yes, I wore leg warmers over those heels…

I was also wearing leg warmers over pink high heels. It was not the 80’s, but I digress.

He performed his song and it was a great show at a smallish club. He was humble when he forgot the lyrics to one of his songs. He loved the crowd and we loved him back.

Fast forward to now, this Rap Superstar has evolved not only into an international superstar, but everything about him has evolved and changed. He doesn’t dress like just a regular dude, wearing a regular plain ol’ hoodie and Nikes. He’s well groomed, styled and has a level of sophistication that people probably would never have imagined he would have.

He’s on ads for huge companies and he can have and do just about anything. He dates women who probably wouldn’t have looked twice at him before his metamorphosis. He does and says outlandish things. And he makes oddles of money.

So, what did I learn from meeting him briefly for a few minutes in a small L.A. nightclub wearing an outfit that in hindsight was a horrible fashion statement?

I learned:

You Have to Know Who You Are & Who You Want to Become. This guy knew who he was, where he came from and what his strengths were. He also knew who he wanted to be. He rapped about it before it was real. He spoke it into being, much like I did before I got my book deal. He talked the talked, even if he wasn’t fully walking the walk.

And, of course, we are all always changing and evolving but if you’re trying to achieve success or just change your life, you need to know who you want to be. Not just what you want to do, but who you want to become.

You’ve Gotta Believe Your Own Hype. Sure, Freud would probably say that someone who is over-confident is really hiding insecurities and that can be true. But, if you’re not buying what you’re selling then no one else will. You don’t have to be an ego-maniac, but you do need to be secure. You need to believe in yourself and your abilities. You need to believe that you can do and be whatever you want to.

There Will Be Mistakes. Can you imagine how embarrassing it must have been for this Rap Superstar to have forgtten the lyrics to his song? There were other well known artists in the room only a few steps from that stage and this man forgot the words to the song that he wrote! And so it goes, no matter how well you think you know something, we are all human and we will all make mistakes.

Mistakes Are Opportunities for Growth. When Rap Superstar forgot his lyrics instead of trying to play it off, he just coped to it. “Damn, I forgot the lyrics to my own song,” he said. When you make a mistake, it’s usually a good practice to acknowledge it so that you can learn from it.

So, what did Rap Superstar do? He flipped it and started freestylin’ about his shirt and turned a mistake into an opportunity to show us all that he really had mad skills. So, what if he forgot the lyrics when he could make up songs on the spot?

Stay Humble. it seems like when we reach our goals be that to have 100,000 regular blog subscribers or a successful business, or whatever your personal goal is, it can be easy to forget where we come from. We can easily loose sight of who we once were and get caught up in the momentum of our success. There is believing your own hype, which is important, and then there’s just being a total douche. No matter what level of success one makes, it’s important to stay humble or you could loose the folks who got you where you are.

It sounds silly but every time I see him in a an ad I feel a small validation of my own dreams. This was just a guy. A regular guy with a dream that he made happen with hard work and the belief that he could.

Hold fast to your dreams, my lovelies!

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I never used to have a morning routine. In the past, I just woke-up when my alarm went off, sometimes a few minutes before, and stayed in bed until I absolutely had to get up.

From then, I rushed to get the kids ready for school, get dressed, and get out the door on time. It all went by in a blur and sometimes felt like a complete mad dash. It was exhausting!

By the time I got to work I often felt like I’d already done a half day’s work. I also felt rundown a lot, off-balance and frequently sad.

In fact, I dreaded mornings because there was just so much to be done and so little time.

It didn’t help that, more often than not, I was completely sleep deprived so by the time it came time to get back up and do it all over again, I was running on empty.

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There was a time when I cried in the morning in the shower just about everyday.

I was just so tired. There was just so much to do. I just knew that the day was going to suck. I needed coffee.

And, fuck, I couldn’t even put my underwear on before there was a knock on the door of someone wanting something!

There was important information that just could not wait. I needed to hear important things such as, “Mommy, I just want to let you know I’m not wearing this dress as a dress; I’m wearing it as a shirt.”

Or I need to help solve the mystery of the always missing hairbrush, which was more often than not, the last place it was used — in the kids’ bathroom!

The world just seemed…. cruel and harsh. Woe is me, was my morning song. And I had it on replay.

One day, and I can’t recall when, I had enough of the pity-party. I had been reading awesomely inspiring blogs by life coaches and feel good gurus and noticed one thing in particular – they all had rituals. They had rituals for being thankful, and rituals done on Sundays.

And just about every one of them did something in the morning, every morning, to make sure that they felt good. Like her, and her, and her too.

With nothing to loose because, hell, I was already crying in the shower pretty much every morning and that clearly was not working, I decided that perhaps I needed to start my morning off a little better.

Gone where the days when I could get up at 5 a.m. and rush off to the gym, or wake-up and leisurely stroll around the house taking as much time and care as I wanted to get ready without anyone else to think about, so what could I do?

I did the easiest and most simple thing that wouldn’t require too much movement (don’t want to wake a sleeping baby!) and didn’t require too much of anything.

I started meditating.

Before I even got out of the bed, I would meditate. At first, it was difficult to calm my mind. I had trained myself to immediately jump up and start going through my daily “to-do” list so that was my natural inclination. But, I kept at it. I would set a timer and slowly up the time.

By the second week, I was at 10 minutes. My mind was quieter and, lo and behold, my days seemed better!

I felt happier in the morning and I hadn’t even had coffee! Imagine that!

I slowly started to incorporate more into my morning routine and realized that having morning rituals that go beyond having a cuppa jo’ is a way of practicing self-love. We should start our days from a place of being connected to ourselves and by loving ourselves first.

I will admit, this required scheduling in time for me to do this. It means getting up a little bit earlier. My baby still does not sleep through the night so giving up a few extra minutes of sleep is HUGE for me. But so worth it.

My current routine looks like this:

1. Morning Meditation –  I aim for 20 minutes. I can’t always get a full uninterrupted 20 minutes, but I do what I can. If for some reason Lovebug wakes up before me, I do a shower mediation (explained below). Something is better than nothing.

2. Journal – I keep a journal next to my bed. After I meditate, I journal. I don’t aim for a page count. I just write. Even if I can’t meditate, I try to journal. This is something that can even be done with a toddler calling out, “Wake up,” to everyone in the house. (Well, really she says, “Way-bup,” but you get the idea.) I make sure to include gratitude in my journal entry in some way, and ask the Universe to help guide me to be of service. I feel like by asking to be of service I am setting a positive intention for the day – to be the Love I want to see in the world.

3. Sing – Everyday I sing the “good morning” song to Lovebug right after I wake her up or right when she wakes up. Since I’m away from her all day, it’s nice for both of us to have a quiet moment together.

4. Oil Pulling – This is something I have great spells of doing and then can go a week without doing it. Oil pulling is a way to help detox the body and is good for oral health. I do it while cooking breakfast for the kids or packing lunches. I nod or write down instructions if I need to interact with anyone and by now everyone is used to me doing it. Being a mom means I’m a multi-taking rockstar!

5. Shower Meditation – I always do a shower meditation even if I’ve already done my 20 minutes. It’s like a feel good insurance policy! This is very quick. I simple take three minutes and close my eyes and breathe. I imagine that the water is white light washing over me and through me and washing anything icky away. When I open my eyes I usually do a little Beyonce shimmy to remind myself that being in my skin is pretty awesome, then I turn off the water and get out feeling good!

6. Drink Warm Water With Lemon – I usually do this on the way out the door or as I’m making my green smoothie. It takes a few minutes and makes my body feel good. If I’m feeling extra spicy, I may add a little cayenne. If we’re out of lemons then I’ll just drink plain water. The reason I drink warm lemon water is to help hydrate and alkalinize the body. It is said to help aid with digestion, energy levels and can help if you have problems getting things “moving,” if you know what I mean.

And that, folks, is my busy mom morning ritual recipe for a kick ass day!

It does not take a lot of extra time. I only get up like 30 minutes earlier and some of the things can be done while I’m doing other things, like getting Lovebug dressed or cooking breakfast.

The change in my mood and overall happiness has been astronomical. I feel good pretty much every morning. Even if I initially wake up in a funk, I usually shake it off by the time we’re out the door. I don’t cry in the shower or feel sorry for myself, and I’ve noticed increased energy.

Since I feel better in the morning, that means that more of my days feel better and happier. I am more present. I feel in control and that mornings, which used to feel frazzled and like another job, are now joyful.

You can play around with your routine and see what works for you. At one point, I tried doing Sun Salutations (yoga) but that took too much time and I just wasn’t digging how tight my body was and how forced the movements felt. So, I trashed it.

Here are a few things you can do to get a morning ritual going that’ll up your energy and the quality of your days:

  1. Listen to music and dance in the shower while you suds up.
  2. Meditate.
  3. Journal.
  4. 50 squats while you brush your teeth.
  5. Dry brushing before your shower.
  6. Listen to personal development or audio books while you cook breakfast or make your coffee.
  7. Go into your backyard and practice grounding (touching your bare feet to the Earth).
  8. Pray.
  9. Make a gratitude list of three things that you’re thankful for.
  10. Look in the mirror and tell yourself “you’re gorgeous,” or “i love you,” or “you’ve never been more beautiful than you are today.”
  11. Check out your naked body in the mirror after your shower and focus on a part of your body you love for two minutes.
  12. Make your hallway a catwalk and strut up and down after you get dressed channeling your inner Naomi Campbell (but keep your hands to yourself!).
  13. Pick a morning theme song and sing it.

Do you have morning rituals?

I had a friend who always seemed to be in drama. Something negative was always happening in her life.

She was often fighting with a boyfriend, breaking up with a boyfriend, arguing with her family, or having difficulties with people at work or other friends.

When you saw her and asked how she was doing her response usually started, “Girl…,” with a big sigh and then continued with a litany of drama-filled events that had happened in her life that day.

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If she wasn’t the center of drama, she was talking about someone else’s drama.

It got to the point where it was hard to be around her because she only talked about something gloomy, or was making light of someone else’s misfortune. After a while, it became a total buzz-kill to be around her because she carried a cloud of negativity with her.

And yet she could never understand why bad things were always seemed to be happening to her.

What my friend didn’t realize is that she had a drama fetish. On some level she got off on drama. Drama fed some area of her life that she felt was lacking. She was addicted to the high she got from it. The worst part, like many addicts, she didn’t even know she had a problem.

I’m no therapist but I think that when we’re surrounded in drama it’s because we either intentionally create negative situations because we don’t feel we are good enough, or we are not in touch with our feelings and drama is a way to feel something, or we’re looking for attention (Love).

If you feel like you are constantly struggling with drama in your life, you may have a drama fetish. Here are some things to help you figure out if you get off on drama and simple tricks to help establish more positive thought patterns.

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Sign No. 1: You Complain More Than You Talk About Good Things

Sure, life can be hard and we all have moments when complaining is how we deal with our feelings. And that’s totally cool. But if you find yourself complaining to your friends and family about things in every conversation, you may be addicted to drama. By complaining continually, you’re breathing life to whatever that problem is. You are allowing it to grow because the more you talk about drama, the more you attract the negative energy and circumstances since what we focus on is what continues.

Solution: Go On A Complaining Detox

Start with one day a week and make a conscious effort not to complain out loud to family or friends all day. Instead, speak only of the good things that have happened in your day. Even if it was a shitty day (and, yes, we all have them), focus on whatever good there was be that finding the perfect parking space, or eating a great meal. And if you can’t find something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Once you’ve done one day, try two days of no complaining and then a whole week. The more you go without complaining the better you’ll feel. I’ve tried this and it works.

Sign No. 2: You Have At Least One Relationship That Is Always In Conflict At Any Given Time

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Are you often at odds with someone in you life? Maybe one week it’s your mother and the next week it’s a friend or your significant other? Do you have relationships that cycle in and out of conflict where things are either wonderful or you’re having problems? If you’re frequently in conflict with people around you, especially those who you care about, there is a high possibility you’re digging the drama.

Solution: Break The Cycle

Sometimes it’s better to have peace than to be right. The next time you sense a potential argument over something silly with a friend or family member consider whether it’s worth it. Even if they’re totally wrong, do you really want to fight with them? If you are harboring anger or frustration towards someone break the cycle by forgiving them. Don’t ask for an apology just forgive and move on.

Sign No. 3: You Love to Gossip

Talking about other people’s drama and problems can seem harmless. It can also have a kind of “Mean Girls” fun to it to talk about what’s going on in someone else’s life. But if you really enjoy gossiping about others and can’t wait to share the newest bit of gossip with your BFF, you’re loving the drama and may even be creating more drama by discussing people behind their backs, or sharing information you shouldn’t be sharing.

Solution: Keep Your Mouth & Ears Shut

When you have the urge to gossip or talk about someone else just don’t do it. Even if you know your BFF would totally want to hear it and it’s just so juicy that it’s dripping off the tip of  your tongue like peach nectar, keep your lips sealed. Try to remember a time when you were the subject of gossip and remember that the person you’re talking about it a person with real feelings. Do you want someone getting off talking about your dirty laundry? Probably not.

If someone wants to share gossip with you, it doesn’t mean you have to listen. You can politely change the subject or flat out tell your friend that you don’t want to hear it. Gossip is negative and you feed drama when you engage in it. Not to mention, if someome talks to you about someone else, it means they’ll talk about you to someone else.

Being a Drama Queen is a habit. You can break it just like any other bad habit by making a conscious effort to change the way you react in situations. Instead of getting off on drama, get off the drama.

Do you have any tips for avoiding drama?