The One Crucial Step To Creating The Life You Want →

Whether you desire your dream job, a relationship that makes your heart swoon or a plump bank account, this practice is guaranteed to help you attract what you want into your life.

It’s so powerful, I recommend people do it daily. It helps you soften your edges. Release any resistance that’s keeping you tense. The bonus is that clarity rises to the surface, and you land in love.

All of this magic begins to unfold with forgiveness.

But it’s not for the reasons you may think. Actually, there are reasons not to forgive. Don’t forgive because you want to sweep important issues under the rug, or to please others. Don’t forgive to sell yourself out in effort to create harmony. Don’t forgive because you think it’s what you “should” do. It must come from an authentic place in order to be effective.

Now, if you’re ready to peel back the layers that cover your heart and clouding your spirit, then yes: PLEASE forgive. Those layers of resentment, anger, sadness, frustration and competitive mindset keep you hostage to fear.

Forgiveness helps you ditch the murky lenses that encourage you to look for flaws or examples of lack and trade them in for a shiny new perspective.

I know, it’s easier said than done.

Maybe you’re bummed about the disastrous business deal you made years ago and still regret it. Or the relationship you wish you’d put more effort into. Perhaps you carry guilt about how you handled your finances in the past.

Whatever it may be, ask yourself what value comes from holding onto those stories for another day of your life? Are they really adding value? Are they bringing you closer to creating more of what you want in life?

I want to gently help you see the answer. It’s pretty simple: no, they’re not. They’re keeping you in the past and likely tainting your present.

Those stories weigh us down. They hold us back from love, expansion, prosperity and feeling the way we really want to feel. It’s time to let them be what they are: history. You don’t have to carry them with you.

Forgive yourself, forgive the way the circumstances unfolded and allow yourself to let go with your whole heart so you can begin again. Move forward with confidence that you hold the power to choose differently this time.

This is where I think a sitting practice for just three minutes can create radical change in your life. The key is to do it more than once — I encourage three times a week to start.

Please, take a comfortable seat and set a timer for three minutes. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then, say to yourself quietly, “I am ready to let go, and I’m grateful for forgiveness.” Then let whatever thoughts and emotions come up rise to the surface. “I forgive ___ for ___. I forgive myself for ____.” Keep forgiving for the whole three minutes.

You may be surprised by what comes up and what you let go of in three short minutes.

Perhaps you feel a little bit lighter afterward … maybe not the first time, but maybe the third or fourth. Everyone is different.

This practice is like tapping into a natural superpower. It’s an act of surrender that helps you land in your natural state of well-being, where infinite possibilities await you.

It’s helpful at any time in life, especially when you’re experiencing a lot of emotions. When you know it’s time to move on and not dwell in them. It’s also helpful when you desire clarity or you feel like there’s unidentifiable resistance to a situation.

Forgiveness is not about dismissing events or people’s words and actions as if they didn’t happen (and yes, this includes yourself). It simply allows you to soften and have more compassion toward yourself and others. In turn, it allows you to see more clearly with a new and loving perspective.

Ultimately, you’re letting go of what no longer serves you. You’re freeing up space in your mind, body and overall spirit for creativity to flow, more joy, more abundance and more ease to listen to your intuition. And that’s truly the best way to start living a life you love.

Did you like this article? If so, please leave a comment below and share with your friends via email or social media.

Here’s the link http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17489/the-one-crucial-step-to-creating-the-life-you-want.html

Sending love,

Ash


Seriously, Let’s End The War With Our Bodies →

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I have a big dream (some may even say lofty) that I want every woman to love the skin they’re in. Yep, every single drop of who they are. This may sound like a tall order, but I believe it’s possible.

The negative self talk, pressure and criticism; let’s finally tell it all to take a hike.

If you’re thinking, easier said than done, I know. I’m no stranger to the pressure women put on themselves to fit the mold.

So I’m going to share a little insight with you, into my roller coaster relationship with my body …

First, the day I decided to no longer be at war with my body; my life was forever changed.

Every single aspect of my life.

I had spent close to two decades calling myself fat, ugly, flawed, worthless and every other brutal and cruel name you can think of.

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon among young women.

I thought once my body felt and looked perfect; I would finally feel as ease. I would finally accept and love myself; because perfection would make me worth loving. This affected my work, my daily interactions with people and certainly, my love life.

The day I realized that was all a lie and total bullshit, I flipped my world upside-down. I made a promise to stop looking for the flaws and talking shit about myself on a daily basis.

I decided to be my own best friend.

It took a while to change the habit of defaulting to what needed to change about my body, to simply being happy with what was. The comparison game of looking at other women — what does she have that I don’t? — came to a screeching halt.

So how did I do it?

I consistently chose to love myself over and over again … even when it felt uncomfortable. I was determined to not be the woman in her 80s sitting around with my closest girlfriends looking at photos saying, “What the hell were we thinking? We were beautiful.”

I wanted to appreciate my beauty now, with no strings attached.

And not for the vain reasons you may think … I wanted this because I wasted more hours than I can count trying to control my body based on punishment. By doing workouts I couldn’t stand, eating foods I didn’t like and trying to be someone I’m not … all to feel accepted and loved.

I realized that all of those wasted hours could have been spent fueling my interests, learning about art and my other creative passions and caring for others.

We all know every moment is precious. How we chose to spend them shapes our lives.

Now, those hours are spent nurturing my family and being fully present. Now, I pour my passion and so much energy into a career I love and one I’m proud of.

Now, I look in the mirror and I love who I see.

Since I made this decision, everything in my life feels more rich and fulfilling. I love more deeply in every single one of my relationships.

I spend time on what’s truly important to me. I rarely get caught up in the bullshit. I have meaningful conversations, daily.

Sex is a million times better because I allow myself to enjoy the pleasure and I’m not insecure in my body.

I look at other woman and genuinely appreciate their beauty and tell them so.

I no longer look for flaws. I used to be told that wasn’t possible.

IT IS.

Our bodies will inevitably change quite a bit throughout our lives. We can bet on that. Yet, they’re the hosts of our soul; so why not embrace and learn to love them? Once we do, we inevitably free up our energy to focus on what we’re really here for — to love.

It always come back to love.

Let’s join forces and help other women stop the war against their bodies. Together, we can encourage self-love. We can engage in positive and uplifting conversations about ourselves; rather than negative and depleting self-talk.

If you hear a woman deflecting a compliment, you can kindly say, “Please accept my compliment; it’s genuine.”

Or if she’s talking shit about herself … gently stop her and say, “Let’s not go there; let’s talk about your amazingness; I am much more invested in that.”

We can then redirect our focus on living our passions and giving back to the world with our unique gifts. While supporting each other, every step of the way.

This is a much more valuable way to spend our time.

I hope every woman, not matter what size, weight or color, can embrace and love themselves right now.

For we have no guarantee about how long we’re here this go-around. We might as well love our bodies, the place we call home.


A Simple Exercise To Help You Get More Of What You Want Out Of Life →

So you’re ready to feel naturally energized and do more of what you want, minus the guilt. The only problem is that you don’t really know where to start, because your plate is already overflowing with enough things to do as it is.

The thought of adding one more thing to your load makes you anxious, which quickly leads to putting your big desires on the back burner and continuing with your normal routine.

If this describes even just one part of your life right now, I get it. I’ve been there more times than I can count. But with a little time management intervention, I got clear about why I always felt like I had seemingly endless things to do.

This is when I realized I was doing a lot of those things out of guilt and mindlessness. I was trying to multi-task often, because I thought it was a talent. This led to never giving anything my full, undivided attention.

I was going about my day doing the normal chores, errands and tasks, simply because I was used to staying busy. But many of these tasks were actually draining my energy and could have been saved for later in the week — or just taken off my plate all together.

If you can relate, I want to share this super simple and incredibly effective exercise that was a total game-changer for me.

It’s time to get energized and feel absolutely fantastic, while doing what you really want to do!

Start by paying attention to which experiences you might be exerting a lot of physical energy, without even noticing it. Next you’ll want to become more aware of the actions that naturally energize you.

Write down these two questions on a piece of paper to help you:

1. What energizes me?

Examples: Practicing yoga, meditation, taking time to just enjoy a cup of tea, working on creative projects, having a good laugh with a friend or co-worker, taking a brisk walk, eating a delicious meal, having down time to relax, dancing, painting, etc.

2. What depletes me?

Examples: Thinking about all the things you have to do, spending too much time on the Internet, checking your phone a hundred times in a day, comparing yourself to others, multi-tasking, etc.)

Do you feel inspired and energized by any of these actions, or do they leave you feeling drained and scattered?

Keep a running list at your desk of anything that either truly energizes you, or depletes you.

And then throughout your days, notice when you are tensing up or gripping tightly. Maybe your scrunching your shoulders while you type on your computer. When you notice this, allow yourself to soften your shoulders, let them slide right down your back and notice how much lighter and more easeful you feel.

How about when you go for a walk or dive into a project you’re passionate about; do you start to notice an increase in your natural energy? If so, great! This means you are tapping into your natural resource known as abundance; it’s always available to you. The key is paying attention to the experiences that help you access it.

As you continue this exercise you will start to notice ways that you are exerting physical energy and how it’s making your day-to-day life more stressful. This awareness allows you to soften, pump the breaks on the tension and feel more easeful in both your mind and body.

Next, I want you to look at your to-do list and with this awareness, ask yourself: What can I take off the list? What really doesn’t NEED to be done right now?

Then start to focus on just ONE task at a time.

This will make such a dramatic difference in your energy. It will take practice however, but the benefits will be reason enough to continue your efforts. You will feel less scattered and more fully present. When you give each task your complete attention, you will be able to feel truly confident and proud about what you accomplish!

Cheers to you for getting out of your comfort zone, switching up your routine and feeling way more focused!


7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Own Business →

 

Taking the big risk to start your own business can create a lovely cocktail of emotions. In any given day you can feel excited, hopeful, scared, frustrated, hesitant and empowered.

I’m going to share with you a few things I wish someone would have told me, so I could have understood that I wasn’t alone in feeling such a wide and unexpected array of emotions. These experiences are quite common when beginning the journey into the entrepreneurial world!

1. The more you make “mistakes,” the more you will succeed.

I put quotes around the word “mistakes” because really there are no such thing. Unless you experience something first hand in business (and life in general), it can be hard to fully learn any lessons and achieve what it is you really want. Naturally, in the beginning, your learning curve will involve figuring out doesn’t work — even those ideas you thought would be an instant success. From there, you’ll learn what you’d love to do more of … and what you’d love to never do again.

2. Sleep is going to come in really handy.

When you’re starting something new, it’s easy to think putting off sleep for the sake of your work will be the recipe for success. But it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for your clarity, creativity and your execution in making sound decisions. So, don’t think you’re super hero if you can pull six all-nighters in a row.

3. You’re going to learn the power of self-discipline.

When you’re at the helm of a ship, it’s really important to understand what actions are on the top of your priority list. There are going to be things you need to say “no” to in a given moment, and that in itself requires discipline. Make sure you take action on what will generate the greatest profit or increase visibility, first thing in the morning. (It may sound daunting, but it will ironically create more freedom).

4. Having FUN must be incorporated into your daily routine.

Don’t leave it just for the weekends. I can’t emphasize the importance of this statement enough. If you’re anything like me it can be ridiculously easy to get into your workflow and let everything else fall to the wayside. But this kind of steady, often grueling work rhythm is not as productive as you may think: it can quickly lead to burnout, which then leads to a long recovery time. Just think: that whole cycle could have been avoided.

So, be goofy and do silly things that make you laugh. Watch outrageous videos that have you and your biz people in fits of laughter for 3 minutes. (I’m a fan of Instagram for this reason.) Bring lightheartedness to the office; or if you work alone, bring it to yourself.

Remember, now you’re an entrepreneur — so now you get to make the rules. Don’t make them so stiff that you forget why you got in the game. Being happy always leads to more success.

5. Saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re a jerk.

Often, people get really caught up in the mentality of having to say yes to everything. This can be especially true for entrepreneurs, just starting to feel the sense of possibility and potential in their business.

But I have to say it: if it doesn’t light you up, or you’re saying “yes” purely out of obligation: think twice. You could be using the energy to be spending with the people you love or enjoying some much needed alone time. It will take discipline, but it’s not as hard as you think. Your mind and body will thank you …

6. Working hard is not the same thing as working smart.

There’s no getting around it. If you want your company to thrive, no matter what industry you’re in; it’s going to take a lot of hard work. You will log a lot of hours devoted to your craft.

However, if you learn how to cut out distractions and understand your points of resistance, you will be able to work efficiently and effectively. This understanding alone could save you an enormous amounts of money and time.

7. It’s important to check in with yourself quite regularly to remind yourself why you started.

It can be easy to get so focused on the daily tasks that you forget about the passion and love you have for your work. Don’t let this happen.

Keep a company mission statement at your desk or somewhere you see you it daily. Remind yourself of how you want to feel and the effect you want your company to have on other people’s lives. Have meetings with your staff to keep all of you on track with your mission. Make sure the passion continues to be the driving force of your company!

So there you have it: a few insights that would have saved me hours of worry, stress and likely a few less bottles of wine (I know you know what I’m talking about). I hope you have fun rocking your gifts in life and business in a way that makes you come alive!


How To Do Less & Be More Productive →

MindBodyGreen

Success and relaxation go hand in hand. Really, they do.

I would like to share some secrets with you that will help you approach your day with more productivity and ease. But first, let’s go over what NOT TO DO, in an effort to stop the actions that deplete your energy.

1. DO NOT check social media as soon as you wake up.

It doesn’t matter why you think it’s a good idea; it’s just not. You’re starting your day plugged into millions of people’s lives, along with their opinions. All of this before you’ve even taken a moment to check in with your own needs and desires. This can lead to comparison, jealousy and even anxiety.

2. DO NOT start your day rushing.

I know, this is much easier said than done. Especially if you live in a city, have kids, want to get a lot of sh*t done, have a busy schedule, or you’re just freakin’ human.

Over 80% of the clients I work with used to start their day in a rush. Your actions set the intention for the rest of your day. If you start off at the speed of light, you will likely feel as though you have to rush through everything you’re doing. This is a perfect setup for stress.

3. DO NOT complain first thing in the morning.

If the first words out of your mouth are about something you’re disappointed in or upset about, you’re setting yourself up to look for more things to complain about the rest of your day. And then before you know it, you’ve downward spiraled into full on bitchiness.

So now that we’re clear about a few things that are energy leakers, let’s dive into the three very easy and effective ways you can set your day up for success and feel energized:

1. Meditate first thing in the morning.

I could think of a million reasons why meditation is a great way to start your day, but I’ll try to keep it short. You don’t have to meditate for 20 minutes. I recommend starting with 3 minutes and building from there. Meditation helps you find peace in the present moment, sharpen your focus and increase your energy levels.

Starting your day with a bit of mindfulness is like tapping into your own super powers. Who wouldn’t want that?!

2. Write out a success mantra.

If you want to be successful by your standards you have to believe it’s possible. By repeating a mantra that affirms your desired outcome and feels realistic to you, you are tapping into your imagination and the law of attraction. This is powerful.

For example, “I am a gifted photographer and use my gifts to inspire others to see their beauty.”

It can be really helpful to repeat your mantra in the moments when fear and doubt creep in, to help you stay on track and make your dreams bigger than your fears.

3. Create a NOT TO-DO list.

A not to-do list is so brilliant. It helps you eliminate all of the busy tasks that are distracting you from being more productive, by staying in your area of genius, creating more profit or enhancing your overall well-being.

We can be obsessive about our to-do lists, which can drain us of our energy. But crossing tasks off your to-do list doesn’t make you a better person, so take a few things off your plate to create more freedom. Ironically, you’ll find that your productivity increases when approached with more simplicity and ease.

Get a piece of paper out on a Sunday night (or before your workweek starts) and write out all the tasks you’re not going to do. List anything and everything that is not contributing to your overall well being. You may even begin to recognize some of these tasks can be delegated to others.

Example Not To-Do List:

  • Checking social media several times a day
  • Doing laundry every day (or more often than is really necessary)
  • Judge or compare yourself to your coworkers
  • Taking on other people’s workloads

Alright, now it’s your turn to put this into practice. Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Hey, Sometimes It’s OK To Be Angry & Annoyed →

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I’m guessing that since you’ve landed here on MindBodyGreen, you really enjoy being healthy and having a positive outlook on life.

I’m right there with you. It feels good to keep our eyes on the pot of gold life hands us on a daily basis rather than focusing on lack of any nature, right?

Let’s be real, though: we all have days where it seems like life piles one challenge on top of another until the idea of being positive and optimistic feels completely out of reach.

You know, the days where hearing the words “Just let it go …” can bring up a fury of nerves and even more agitation. In those moments, a feeling of unmitigated annoyance can rear its ugly head, and before we know it, we find ourselves dishing out apologies for hurtful things we’ve said to people we love.

We’re human. It happens.

Rather than pretending the anger isn’t there by trying to be perfect and positive all the time, I’ve found it’s helpful to let myself feel the anger. The key is not taking any action on it. It usually passes a heck of a lot faster this way.

On those not-so-joyous occasions, when I’ve wanted to blow off steam I’ve turned to a quick three-minute solution that can actually be funny; especially when you’re with a person who has a great sense of humor.

Of course, yoga class, meditation and going for a run are all great options. This is more reserved for the times you just need to vent and move on. So you can see the golden nugget that has come out of the situation.

It’s a good old fashion bitch fest … with a twist.

This isn’t a bitch sesh that goes on for three hours, because that can be depressing, draining and counterproductive. This is just a quick release. Which is precisely why I came up with a few parameters before I started.

First, a little back story for you. I actually stumbled upon this solution when my husband was having a doozy of a day at work. One fire after another piled up and quite frankly, he’d had enough.

So I asked him if he just wanted to bitch. I could tell he needed to let go of all of the emotions that were rising to the surface. With that single act of encouragement to let go, he did just that. He swore, using every curse word out there and ranted without any filter. Which, as you can imagine, was pretty funny to watch, and by the end of the three minutes we were both laughing hysterically.

The bonus was that he quickly gained a new perspective. Actually, it happened WAY faster than if he had let the emotions stew inside, or worse, buried them. He allowed the energy to move through him, and it led to freedom.

Now, before we go any further I want to be clear that it’s important to do this with someone who won’t take it personally. She must be comfortable holding space for you to get your curse on, as you let go of your frustration. I also recommend reserving this for those moments where you just need to vent, while not making it an everyday occurrence.

If you stick to these agreements, it will likely be both effective and funny.

1. Set a timer (this is a biggie) for three minutes MAX! This way you don’t get all Negative Nelly and caught up in the drama.

2. No name-calling or insulting the person who is kind enough to hold this space for you. Because that would be both lame and pointless.

3. Once the timer is up, you actually stop talking. BAM.

4. After you take a few deep breaths, the other person asks you, “What’s one to three positive outcomes of the situation you were just upset about?” (This is where you discover the golden nugget!)

That’s it. You had your time, you vented, likely swore a lot and had a chance to let go of the energy that was making your blood boil. Hopefully you even had a few laughs by the end.

The point of this is to help you fully feel and release your feelings, so you can move on to a more positive and productive state of being.

I hope you find this helpful on the days you need a good release, a dose of entertainment and maybe even a few laughs. It might just loosen your grip a bit and give you chance to not take life so seriously. We all have our days.

So give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.


Is Your Intuition Trying To Guide You, But You’re Just Not Paying Attention? →

MindBodyGreen

Do you ever feel a bit stuck when it comes to trusting your gut? If so, I totally get it. I know how commonly people say to one another, “Just listen your intuition,” as if it’s always easy as pie. At least I know in the self-help world, that term is thrown around like baguettes in Paris.

But often, and I mean very often, people don’t know how to get in touch with — let alone listen to — this golden gem inside themselves.

Rather than beat around the bush, let’s dive into five simple ways you can listen to your intuition right now (and in any given moment, really.)

1. Ask for guidance.

I don’t mean asking your neighbor what your intuition has to say. Instead, take a moment to close your eyes and ask whatever you believe in (the universe, spirit, god, Buddha, highest self, etc.) to give you guidance. Ask for answers to a specific question, then listen up. Perhaps take it a step further and write down any answers or thoughts that come to your mind.

2. Decide if your answer to a question is “hell YES!” or “hell NO!”?

Ahh, I’ll admit this is my personal favorite, for obvious reasons. It’s fun to ask, and it’s incredibly thrilling to answer with such a concise answer.

When you find yourself considering what decision to make, ask yourself this very question.

For example, “Do I want to go to ______ restaurant tonight? Is it a ‘hell yes’ or ‘hell no?’” Whatever answer comes up first is your answer.

I just love how delicious instant gratification can be, don’t you?

3. Tune in to your body to see if it’s expanding or contracting.

Our bodies are way more brilliant than we give them credit for. They embody the wisdom of our soul. As a matter of fact, they hold the answers that we often spend way too much time mulling over in our minds, to the point we give ourselves headaches.

Why not use this body intelligence to your advantage and give your mind a bit of a rest?

Ask yourself a question like, “Is it a good idea for me to take this new work opportunity?” Then breathe into your body. As you breathe, does your body feel like it’s expanding (your ribs, your belly, your lungs)? Do you feel a lightness in your chest? If so, this is a “YES!”

Or do you feel like you’re contracting? Do you suddenly have heartburn? Yikes!

Is your chest shrinking, or your stomach in knots? Are you a bit short of breath, or simply feel an overall tightness in your body? If so, you guessed it; this is a big fat “NO.” Or at least a “Nope, not this time.”

4. Take fear out of the equation.

When you take fear out of the equation, you miraculously land in a loving intuitive state. As you may have heard before, FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. When you give yourself permission to trust the answers that come up when fear isn’t involved, you’ll have confidence in moving forward with your gut instincts.

5. Trust that you have the answers inside you.

If this seems a little daunting, that’s OK. Don’t get your panties in a bunch. Take a baby step and consider that you may be able to fully trust that you already have the answers within you. Really think of that as an option.

If you are having trouble with that, let me share a little secret with you.

Before we go any further, please know I mean this lovingly.

You are not the one and only person on earth who was born without intuition; you are not an exception here. We all, every single one of us, has an intuition.

The good news: you can’t get it wrong. You aren’t being graded at the end of the day for your performance in life, and there’s no end destination.

As you strengthen trust in your inner knowledge, you’ll experience more ease, more confidence and more excitement than you ever dreamed possible.

Enjoy the ride.


The One Question I Wish People Would Stop Asking →

MindBodyGreen

If I were to take a wild guess, I bet most, if not all women would be thrilled never to answer this question again:

“So, when are you having kids and starting a family?”

Boom. Bomb dropped and let the scrambling for an answer begin.

It seems in the world of conversation there are a few ‘societal norms’ that go a little something like this:

It starts when you’ve been with a partner for a while and it’s clear you’re really in love. When you find yourself out and about with your lover, the inevitable question arises: “When are you getting married?”

Now, you can’t help but think about your position on marriage, “Are we going to get married, is he/she the one? What if I’m not sure?”

Let the future tripping begin.

As time passes, you get married to that dreamy lover of yours. Then approximately one WHOLE day after the wedding, as you’re relishing your marital bliss, you’re asked, “So, when are you having kids?” BAM, pressure bomb dropped, just begging you to come down from the deeply-in-love high you’re floating on.

The only thing is that this question doesn’t actually stop if you’re married or partnered up, until … well, people see a little one running around with you.

Before I go any further I want to make a few things clear. Yes, I’m speaking from experience, and yes, I’m excited to have children with my amazing husband one day. I have a big desire to be a mama, and I know my husband will be an incredible father.

With that said, I know the weight of that question. And no matter how much awareness I have, it still inevitably feels like pressure.

I can’t help but wonder if the people who ask, “When are you starting a family?” have ever considered the following:

“Oh wait, they just did. The two of them made a decision to live a lifetime together. In that decision, they promised to cheer each other on as they take big leaps in business or personal pursuits. In their hearts they know they’ll weather every storm, together. They promised to be there and comfort each other when one or both of them are grieving. They made a promise to be best friends, to laugh and cry as they create epic memories together. They made a vow to always remind each other what a special gift they are not only to each other, but to the world. They’ve promised each other to go through LIFE together. That IS a family.”

I also wonder if people ever use the “you just never know filter” before they ask the question about kids and family. As in, you just never know if that woman is having trouble getting pregnant. Or she may have just learned she can’t get pregnant.

She might even be devastated right now because she just had a miscarriage; and the thought of having to answer that question one more time makes her run to the bathroom and ball her eyes out.

Perhaps that woman is grieving a major personal loss of a family member and just isn’t ready for another major life event right now. It takes all she has to remember her own strength in any given moment.

Maybe that woman is really digging the fact that life seems to finally be flowing pretty easily for the first time in her life. So she would really like to ride that wave for a while before having children.

Or maybe she honestly doesn’t want to have kids, despite societal norms, and she fears saying that out loud because of the potential reactions to her own truth.

You just never know if she has decided to wait awhile simply because she can.

My point is, PLEASE allow women to bring up their desire to start a family when they’re ready. It is a very private and intimate matter, along with being one of THE major life decisions one can ever make.

So, please think twice before you bring it up in casual conversation, even if it’s with the sweetest of intentions. I promise women will appreciate it.


10 Ways To Make Your Confidence Soar Right Now →

MindBodyGreen
You’ve probably heard it a million times, “confidence comes from within.” Yet, there can be moments, that sometimes last for years when we forget who we really are and where exactly that confidence resides within us.

If you would like a little jolt of joy today or perhaps you’re ready for a whole overhaul of your confidence follow these 10 steps and you will be soaring before you know it.

1. Do what you say you’re going to do.

Your words have a lot of power, especially if you say them with intention and integrity. As you become mindful of what you say you’re going to do and back that with action, it will help you trust yourself more and that will extend into your relationships.

2. Dive into some self-care practices.

Nurture yourself, go to the beach and take a nap or read your favorite book, take a bath, carve out an afternoon to read your favorite magazines, cook yourself a delicious meal, go for a walk. Slowing down helps you get in touch with your needs; when you’re able to tend to them, you end up being more in tune with your inner voice. Bonus: You end up feeling refreshed and can more easily tap into your creativity.

3. Write yourself a love note.

As corny as this may sound, it works. When you’re able to remind yourself of how much you are loved, you remember that love is always present in your life.

4. Practice a gratitude meditation.

One of the most important practices is gratitude. It reminds us of all the abundance life is already filled with, and that it’s ALWAYS available to us. It shifts our perspective from fear and lack to love and abundance. I highly recommend doing gratitude meditations once a day. Set a timer for at least 3 minutes, perhaps even 5 minutes. Take a couple of deep breaths and then allow yourself to think of all the things you are grateful for in life right now, there is nothing ‘too small or big’.

5. Be gentle with yourself.

You’re the only person you’re guaranteed to be with for the rest of your life, so start being your own best friend now. Act accordingly.

6. Do something you’re scared of.

Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can really do the trick. You can show yourself what you’re made of.

7. Write down one to three things you are passionate about and go do them.

You’ll feel more confident when you’re doing what you love. Why? Well, because when you spend more time acting on your passions, you feel more in sync with who you are and what uniquely lights you up. As this understanding grows and you give yourself more and more permission to be yourself, the more you love who you are. You stop fighting to fit a mold that doesn’t fit .

8. Be of service to others, and be generous.

Generosity always feels good when it comes from an authentic place. It can be anything; kindness, food, opportunities, clothing, money, experiences, etc. Give confidently from a place of fullness, while remembering there’s always more where that came from.

9. Wear something you feel sexy in.

Yes, this is for the fellas, too. And ladies, if you can’t find an outfit you dig, sometimes wearing a fun lip gloss or lipstick really can brighten not only your face, but your whole mood. This isn’t about being materialistic; it’s about tapping into your personality and expressing it with your outfit. I like to think of fashion as an artful expression of who you are.

10. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I love you.”

We seem to easily express those three words to our loved ones often throughout our days, which is a very beautiful thing. Yet we often forget to look into our own eyes and say, “I love you.” Cultivate that self-love and let it extend outward.

Now, go soar.


Finding Your Life Path + Having Fun in the Process: A Q+A with Life Coach Ashley Cebulka

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I’m blessed to be surrounded by some of the most amazing friends in the world. I derive inspiration from them daily, and especially from my dear friend Ashley Cebulka. She is a phenomenal life coach in Charleston, South Carolina, who helps people create the life they love. She was there with me in the beginning of my finding out my own personal motto, “Aim true.” She continues to be a driving inspiration force in my life and I am thrilled to introduce you to her.

Kathryn Budig: I enjoy your sparkly, positive attitude that carries over to your life coaching. Can you describe your coaching style?

Ashley Cebulka: First, I am all about having fun. We cover a lot of ground in my programs and sometimes it can involve addressing some heavy topics in life in order to bring the light to surface. I try to infuse fun and laughter into every session and encourage my clients to not take themselves or the stories that are weighing them down too seriously. This ends up making the whole process more easeful. Also, at the core of what I do with every client, is help them listen to and trust their intuition; while also helping them rediscover their unique life purpose. Every one of us has a different and unique reason for being here. I find when my clients remember their unique purpose; they end up giving themselves more permission to shine and really be themselves. Their confidence starts to soar and they approach their life with a different level of appreciation. From there I encourage them to create a life with their purpose at the center of it and their passions leading the way.

KB: You often say, “Create a life you love.” It’s even become your motto, or mantra. What does it mean to you?

AC: I believe we are creating on a moment-to-moment basis with our thoughts, and where we decide to direct our energy. When I say create a life you love, I hope it encourages people to take a moment to really ask themselves, “What do I want in life?” and “What I am doing to help create that?” Once they gain clarity, it’s about noticing if they’re placing not only their energy, but also their actions toward creating that vision. Are they surrounding themselves with people that support that vision? Are they saying “no” to things, people, or situations that take them further away from how they want to feel on a regular basis?

It’s really easy to get caught up in a reactionary state. Where you constantly feel like you are playing catch up to life and the series of events that just unfolded. Yet, that can change once you carve out time to listen to your intuition. As you lean into listening and trusting your intuition, you will find that you end up naturally taking more inspired action based on what feels good, and that creates a positive chain of action in your life.

KB: What are some common challenges you witness people overcome as they create a life they love?

AC: I’ve encountered many people who think they have to struggle their way through a career to eventually find some happiness in it. They often believe they have to pay their dues and around the age of 40, they may find some relief—as in a salary increase, the shiny new corner office, or simply just hope they’ll eventually like what they do.

As we dive into our work together, they often realize they have been basing decisions in their career on “should” bombs, meaning, what they believe they should do, rather than what they really want to do. Once they realize they don’t have to fit into some box, they really start to come alive to possibilities. Then they end up making transitions that feel really good and dive into work that they love which then encourages them to live out their purpose everyday.

KB: How did you discover your own path?

AC: I am a really passionate person, but in the past I didn’t know how to direct that enthusiasm in a positive and productive way. I found myself thinking “there has to be something more to this life than just working hard and having fun on the weekend.” As I studied life purpose work and discovered my own unique purpose, I felt like I finally gave myself the green light to fully be me and dive head first into what I’m passionate about rather than reserving it for after work hours. I inevitably became more focused and quite frankly more fun to be around. I changed my career, started doing workouts that actually felt good rather than forceful, and surrounded myself with people who supported my vision. A lot of my insecurities fell away, because I was no longer trying to force myself to be someone I wasn’t.

So to say it was a relief would be an understatement. I used to be scared of listening to my intuition, I used to be afraid of “What if it’s wrong and I make a mistake?” Once I made the decision to really trust myself, I started to take more risks; I became more optimistic. Ever since, I have enjoyed my life so much more.
KB: What are some helpful ways people can figure out what their passions are right now?

AC: I love this question! A quick trick is to answer the questions below and my guess is you will find some insight into what you’re naturally passionate about.

1. What could you have fun doing for hours without even noticing time pass?

2. If money were no issue, what would you spend your days doing?

3. When was the last time you felt really joyful, and what were you doing?

Kathryn Budig is the celebrated yoga teacher behind AIM TRUE, a regular writer for Yoga Journal, and presenter at YogaJournalLIVE!.