Not-enough-ness

Have you ever had feelings of not-enough-ness? A time when you’ve felt you weren’t enough? I know I have!

I know I have!

You know the feeling: I’m not ______ enough (thin, shapely, pretty, successful, etc.). Fill in the blank.

Where do those feelings of not-enough-ness come up for you?

  • Finances
  • Family
  • Body
  • Fitness
  • Business
  • Friendships
  • Relationships

Our feelings of “enoughness” occur because of our thoughts. It happens to all of us. In fact, it’s our thoughts, conscious or unconscious that drive our feelings. Often well before we’re even aware of them.

Whether you’re consciously aware of the thoughts or they’re a product of your unconscious mind, when you are feeling things such as scarcity, lack, pressure, stress, or frustration, it’s because of what you’ve been thinking.

Negative thought patterns develop over time as do the limiting beliefs we create for ourselves. What’s a limiting belief? It’s a belief (fear) that you can’t do something or aren’t enough of something to succeed. Everyone has them!!

They become the dominant voice screaming in our minds just because we aren’t in practice of seeking the positive reframe. Without awareness, those thoughts result in our creation of limiting beliefs. You may better recognize them as; self-doubt, shame, guilt, self-worth, lack of confidence, and self-esteem (non-enough-ness).

So with me, an important fact I’ve noticed when I’m in the feels of not-enough-ness; I’m feeling sorry for myself. A “poor me” syndrome, if you will.

  • Will I know enough?
  • Be good enough?
  • Right enough?

Yup, I’m human. 

It’s a BS story I’ve created for myself. The truth is, when I’m playing into these feelings, I’m either focusing on the past or worrying about some invisible, undefined goal of enough-ness in my unknown future.

It’s a drama my ego loops on replay to keep me safe and the thing is, I’m playing small.

I’m shrinking from the fear of the unknown.

In these instances, I’ve forgotten the appreciation, fulfillment, and gratitude of focusing on the present moment. Simply put, I’ve stepped away from an appreciation for how far I’ve come in my journey and where I’m at now.

I’ll find myself looking for other’s approval or wanting to know if I’ve done something “right.”

It’s a perfectionistic tendency that stems from feelings of not being enough. Beliefs I created for myself at a young age.  Crazy right?

As an example: I loved dancing. Dance class, performances, being on stage, but somewhere along my journey, I placed my self-worth in what others thought of me.

I desperately sought approval in the same place I thought I discovered myself.

Auditions led to “Tell me how great I am by casting me in your show.” Followed by, “I can change my appearance to be whatever you need me to be.” The interpretation? Being myself was never good enough. A limiting belief I created for myself.

I thought I needed to be thinner, taller, different hair, nose shape; you name it!! The cycle began: the endless search for what would make me enough.

In later years,  “tell me what you think of me or “how I could do it better,” “it” became a fill in the blank. First, it showed up in dance, and then later in many other things in my life.

I learned to judge myself far worse than anyone else could judge me.

Until recently, I had never made the connection and a fear of being seen heard and understood developed over time.

The judgment, the fear of not knowing, not being smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough, liked enough became a  pattern that developed. Self-love was not a possibility. I had too much anger at myself as well as frustration, self-loathing, anxiety. These feelings became my routine.

Even though I developed confidence in myself, I still had an issue with self-esteem. I reached for perfection that didn’t exist. A skewed perception.

I didn’t know tools existed that could allow me to change my perception until I was in my 30’s. As I’ve done the work to change my opinion of myself, I’ve identified so many other limiting beliefs that have held me back in life.

As I’d conquer one area; family, relationships, finances, another area would present itself in friendship, business, or body image.

It was time to face all of those beliefs head-on. It was no longer about what life did to me or didn’t do for me. How someone treated me or didn’t meet my expectation.

It was about me. I no longer desired to play the victim. When I realized I was the source of my lack and pain, it was an eye-opening experience for sure! The problem began with me!!!! Ouch!

The good news, though, is that I could become the change I wanted to see in my world.

I’m currently in the trenches diving even deeper into my work. I found a coaching program to help me get there. I’m experiencing more change than I could have ever imagined and I would not have gotten here on my own.

That’s the great thing about life coaching. Someone else can hold your vision for you and see in you what you have yet to discover. We are not alone in our quest. There’s always someone else a step ahead of you to help you.

The beautiful thing is that learning is everywhere!!

When it comes to personal growth, we can always uplevel, expand, learn and grow. It ‘s like an analogy my friend Maru told me once, when it comes to learning about ourselves, we’re like the tip of a mountaintop so high in the sky we’re unable to reach it. There’s always more to learn.

Perspective creates the change we’re seeking. It’s a conversation, an awareness, within ourselves for an instant shift in our thoughts.

Simple huh?!

Of course not!

Why? Because most of us go through life not wanting to take a more in-depth look at why we feel the way we feel or how we think.

It’s never easy to peel back layers and get to the core of who you are. It’s not a quick process. It requires spending time tapping into the vulnerabilities, limiting beliefs, values, head talk, memories, decisions, perceptions, drivers, and identities (masks) we’ve created along the way.

It can be uncomfortable as uncovering them one by one. BUT, it’s also exciting to see past repeating patterns dissolve and the real you emerge. It’s a journey well worth the effort!

The other side of this discovery is freedom. Freedom to be our true selves with the ability to acknowledge and ascertain which thoughts are truthful and when to call BS on unproductive thinking.

What has changed for me?

  • E V E R Y T H I N G.

My self-love, self-talk, self-esteem, deserving, confidence, marriage, relationships with family and friends, happiness, career, and income.

The human brain is powerful!!  Our brain takes the external events of our lives and groups, lumps, classifies, and categorizes everything all of the time. It’s brilliant in the way it learns, processes, filters, deletes, and distorts our sensory information. All of this on an unconscious level.

We have the ability to take all of our misbeliefs and untruths and re-wire our thinking. We truly can do anything we set our minds too.

Do we have to believe the reframing thoughts of “of course we can do it” or “I am enough” right away? No! But we are what we think. Maybe you have heard a similar quote or two in your lifetime?

It’s true! The more we focus on what’s true and not create drama in our minds, the more it becomes our new truth. When we keep repeating the process and working deeper to uncover where the limiting beliefs once began, we no longer give power to the stories we create.

The more we believe, the more we are able to create lasting change!

You can do a lot more than you ever thought possible. Sometimes you just need someone to show you the way. That’s why I do what I do. I love showing people a new way of thinking to improve their lives!

I’m fascinated with the power of mindset and helping others reach goals. Because I’ve done so much work on myself and witnessed the results, I have a desire to teach others to do the same. Especially in the area of health and wellness!!

As I continue to learn, grow and expand my thoughts, beliefs, values, and drivers,  I’m still a work in progress, and that’s okay! We all are. I know I am enough, just being me!

I spend much more time reflecting and acknowledging how far I’ve come instead of tearing myself down. I’ve learned to recognize the patterns in my thinking and yes, a new version of those same patterns still show up in a new form now and again.

Life’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. There is no perfection, just observation.

It’s a much better feeling being able to reframe my thoughts and not fall victim to spending weeks on end in a loop of dread.

I’m not the same woman as I was 20 years, ten years, one year or even six months ago because I process everything differently now. I’m grateful for my successes as well as my errors because they’re all lessons

This is the power of neuro transformation.

So I encourage you when you’ve had enough of feeling not-enough-ness to take a look within and:

  • Let someone see the real you.
  • Take off your masks.
  • Commit to doing the work
  • Appreciate your efforts.
  • Be real

Lasting transformation begins with our mindset and NOW is the time to choose YOU!

Where do you want to begin to create change for yourself?

How can I help you get started?

 

Do You Love Yourself?

The truth is, I haven’t always loved myself. If I’m being honest, it was quite the opposite. It’s vulnerable saying those words out loud.

I’ve been working on this blog topic since March 2017.  Little by little I’d add, edit, delete, save. It never seemed “right” or “complete.” Last week, I began writing. I wrote and wrote about my past,  my present, and all the correlations discovered.

Every time I went back to edit, I had more to say. Memories surfaced, thoughts flowed, and observations connected.

I ended up with near 4000 words. It was no longer just a post, it was the making of my next book!

When I began to uncover what my father used to label “our dirty laundry” my eyes opened to the connections in my current life. Vulnerable topics I’d been avoiding out of perceived shame or fear of what others may think became the exact things I needed to share: a part of my past,  my determination,  drive, who I am now, the reason for my choices in life – my learning in everything.

I believe that by sharing our stories, our unique and different circumstances can help others. Our stories can be what someone needs to hear at that moment to offer hope, courage, and let them know they’re not alone.

Allow me to share a part of my story.

Decades of stress, lack of sleep, skipping meals, over-caffeinating, and overtraining in the gym caught up with me six years ago. The one question I never asked myself, nor quite honestly, cared to consider was, at what risk were these habits to my health later in life?

I found myself faced with adrenal fatigue, elevated cortisol, blood sugar imbalance, insulin resistance, and low thyroid.  I found this diagnosis through a  myriad of menopause symptoms that began in my early 40’s: hot flashes, night sweats, broken sleep, hair loss, weight gain, and fatigue.

Looking back now, it had begun earlier, but I ignored it, much like a healthy relationship with myself.

Developing an unhealthy relationship with food as a teenager, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia became a way of life in my teens. It provided a false sense of control in a world that quickly felt out of control as my mother’s health diminished to multiple sclerosis. It took years of work on myself to become healthy again; not just physically, but mentally.

But even now, decades later, I have moments when I catch myself reviving old beliefs and thought patterns from the body dysmorphia that never really left. Awareness of my emotional correlations and negative thought patterns in body shaming and body image began to reveal themselves these past years.

For most of my life, I convinced myself my figure was much larger than it was when I looked in the mirror. When I experienced my unexplained hormonal weight gain, I realized I still couldn’t see the truth, and I was staring worthiness and body shaming in the face. It seemed as long as I maintained my body at my desired weight/pant size through years past, the internal screaming quieted. Was it perfectionism or pride? Shame or disgust that created my new perception of self?

I promised myself long ago that I’d never go back down the rabbit hole of my unhealthy teenage habits. A promise to myself to never go back to starving, purging, or exercising for hours on end. I kept that promise. But I could feel the panic setting in with a desperate urge to quick fix my weight gain. It was frightening, unwelcome and wasn’t going to happen. I needed a better solution.

I vowed to make peace with my body and find a better way to take the best care of myself; living beyond obsessive thoughts and enjoying life at a healthy weight. My self-worth couldn’t have been all summed up in body image, could it?

As hard as it was to face that truth, it was great observing on my part. Becoming aware of the pattern, I could choose differently for myself.

It was up to me to become the change I desired. Nobody was going to create that change for me or give me a magic cure to make it all go away. I’d fallen into a pattern of self-doubt, low self-esteem, and lack of self-worth in the past and I became comfortable beating myself up.

I placed my worth on my pant size, the number on the scale, how I looked in the mirror.  My mind conditioned itself to the negative banter. It was the preferred language I fed myself and sadly, it became my truth. It needed to stop.

I had a decision to make: to continue down the dark path or grow. Choice by choice, decision by decision, I dove deeper into my anxieties, limiting beliefs and body shaming.  I started practicing re-aligning my thoughts. I became aware of reframing negative thoughts to a more loving, compassionate thought process about my body, myself, everything around me.

Positive thinking about my body felt foreign. The words felt fake and recognizing the thousands of times my mind drifted toward negativity became overwhelming. I’ve had many failures and successes throughout this process, especially when it came to my thoughts! My inner critic voice was a constant loop in my mind.

Other questions arose:

  • When did I begin to believe all the untruths and negative chatter?
  • At what point in my life did I allow it to take over the majority of the thoughts running through my mind?
  • How many years have I subconsciously and consciously calculated the food going into my mouth or the amount of time I spent exercising.
  • Why was it so easy to ignore the real truth about my body: it was strong, beautiful and capable?

I began replacing desperate thoughts of needing to be thin and reaching an unrealistic body shape with fitness and strength goals. Developing my strength and conditioning in the gym, I also expanded my nutrition philosophy toward eating real food and enough of it. Knowledge is power.

My focus changed; my outlook on life changed. I realized a strength within myself that propelled me forward and helped me recognize I was capable.

Through this process, I began discovering and BELIEVING my worth for the first time in my life. I found love and appreciation for my body for its beauty, power, strength, shape, and ability. Real truth.

Replacing words like “fat” with “fit” and “hate” with “love,” I began to see myself differently. It became easier to accept the positive self-talk toward myself.  New images, new thoughts, new self-talk to re-condition my brain. Witnessing change encouraged me to press forward year after year because my body was something I could be proud of, instead of ashamed.

I fell in love with personal development and setting new goals for myself: reading, studying,  and absorbing whatever I could to better myself – my outlook on life. I realized the power of the mind.

I’ve dedicated the past six years to learn how to correct my health. Learning how hormones, food, rest and exercise impact my healing, my mindset and the ability to bring balance back to my body. Health has been my goal, not weight.

New respect for the human body developed for its ability to heal.  I implemented healthy habits that nourished and cared for my body. The right amount of exercise, more sleep, foods that heal, and a calmer, peaceful mindset, all provided clarity and an ability to look beyond my weight and pant size.

I gained respect for myself and my ability to trust my intuition when it came to caring for myself. I learned to listen to the signals my body was sending. The answers it would provide when I tuned in and trusted it.

I’m not damaged, broken or even desperate because of my hormonal weight gain as I would’ve believed in the past. I’m human.

Many women (and even men) live in this kind of silent suffering. It’s important to know they’re not alone. Our bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and they are all beautiful!! My body could be it’s strong, curvy, long torso self and it was beautiful and okay to be different. We have the power to feel beautiful in our skin because we choose too.

Changing a negative mindset doesn’t resolve itself in a day, week, month, a year, or ten years. It’s an awareness and a willingness to change. Conscious practice of observing and searching for new evidence that loving myself is okay.  I began by calling myself beautiful, even when I didn’t believe it. I “faked it untilI made it”, and you know what?  A transformation began to occur.

I’ve experienced good days and challenging days along the way, but I can now reassess instead of dropping in defeat. I search the drama I’m telling myself for any truth. Is it true? Productive? Or might there be a better truth? When I look in the mirror, I focus on the things I like about myself and stop myself from criticizing what I don’t. It helps me see a more authentic reflection.

Transforming thoughts into real, substantial, confident, kind, compassionate self-talk and NOT believing the bullshit that flows in and out is a daily exercise for the brain.

We decide what fills our mind. Will it be empowering or defeating? 

I prefer the confident, fit, comfortable, authentic version of myself but I’m a work in progress. I’m not willing to accept aging as an excuse to give up on my health goals but rather to learn as much as I can to help not only myself in the future but other women as well. The beauty is in all the learning and tools I have to be able to provide for my daughters’ stability through their body changes as young women.

Pema Chodron once said, “Nothing ever leaves us, until it’s taught us what we need to learn.”

Once I changed my focus and looked beyond the weight gain, I began to notice a permanent change in my mindset and body. The self-loathing softened. I recognized the message coming through and faced it head-on this time.

It’s produced an appreciation for who I am and acceptance for where I’m now. I’m responsible for becoming my best cheerleader. I trust in my inner voice instead of believing my worst inner mean girl.

You know – that inner voice. The gentle voice that is often directing us to what we need. More sleep, less caffeine, healthy food. The sound we often dismiss because we think we know better or don’t want to listen.

I’ve learned the importance of acknowledging each success as well as each failure with an attitude of learning, not shame. No longer beat myself up when my body doesn’t comply. I research what works best for my body, what doesn’t and make a change. I tune into what my body’s whispering.

Becoming an advocate for my health and focusing on my strength in the gym, has helped me repair my adrenal health and improve my hormone balances. It’s taken years of consistency and patience to see progress. My head is clearer than I’ve known but more importantly – I FEEL terrific!

It’s been a lesson for me in acceptance. Accepting all the things my body is instead of all things I convinced myself it wasn’t. A change in the way I see myself.

Life’s not perfect. I’m not perfect nor do I expect myself to be any longer. I only desire to be the healthiest version of myself these days. I have much more compassion in myself and less judgment. I’m no longer at war with my body, I embrace it.

It’s refreshing, trust me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This journey has led me to look inside myself more deeply and honestly than I ever have. In return, I’ve received priceless gifts of re-discovering my self-worth, confidence, and beauty I once believed wasn’t mine to own.

Do you have a similar story? Perhaps my story has resonated with you?

Please reach out. I’d love to hear about it!!

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If you’re interested in learning basic lifestyle changes you can implement into your life toward better health, click here to learn how I can help you.

 

 

6 Remedies To Reduce Holiday Stress

It’s normal during the Holiday months of November and December for stress levels to be at an all-time high. Our to-do lists are long and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Shopping, baking and preparing for gatherings can take its toll on our health this time of year.  But fear not, there are natural remedies for you to reduce that stress right from home!

These six remedies will not only bump up your self-care but also allow you to relax and enjoy this Holiday Season!

1.) APPLY PEPPERMINT OIL:

Peppermint oil is effective against anxiety and restlessness. It stimulates mental activity, clears the mind, and boosts cognition. It’s even great for relieving a headache. Like many other essential oils, peppermint can provide relief from stress, depression, and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing nature. Apply directly to skin or diffuse throughout the house for an inviting scent of the season.

Perhaps you’d enjoy sipping peppermint as a tea instead? Drinking hot tea itself can melt stress away, but with the added benefit of peppermint, it may soon become your go-to stress reliving beverage. This time of year my favorite type of minty tea is Candy Cane Lane from Trader Joe’s. It’s a blend of peppermint and green tea. Delicious!

2.) PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING:

With the amount of tension around the Holiday Season, it’s a great time to remember to take more deep breaths. It’s a great pick me up whenever needed, and you can do this anytime, anywhere. Breathe in through the nose for a count of four, hold for a count of two, then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat three to four times. Keep your breath slow and controlled. Notice how your shoulders release. Notice the tension and anxiety leaving your body.

Was it difficult at first to inhale a full belly breath? Perhaps it felt as though the breath came from your chest? When we are under stress, we tend to be chest breathers. In fact, with our busy lives, many of us tend to stay in this fight or flight state of being throughout the day and night. Remembering to breathe deeply is the purest, most beneficial and energizing form of stress management accessible to us daily.

Slowing down and focusing on our breath can be the beautiful beginning of a meditation practice. For more information on the benefits of meditation and why I began meditating in my 40’s, you can check out my previous post here.

3.) SOAK IN A LAVENDAR BATH:

The luxury of a warm, inviting bath can melt the stress away. Soak in a tub of warm water mixed with two cups Epsom salt and 1-2 drops of pure Lavender Oil. The Epsom salt soothes away tension and relieves sore muscles while the lavender oil relaxes the body and mind with its delicious scent. As a bonus, turn your bathroom into day spa by lighting your favorite candle and enjoy a glass of wine. Divine!!

4.) GET OUTSIDE AND TAKE A WALK:

Next, to breathing, walking is another of the accessible stress relieving activities we have available to us. Heading outside and picking up the pace can help you exercise that anxious energy away. Whether you choose to walk in the morning, afternoon, or evening, this movement opens our senses to nature, helps regulate cortisol in our body, naturally balances our hormones, and clears the mind.

Spending just a few minutes of walking can restore much-needed balance to a stressful day. Why not bring a friend, family member or furry companion along with you to pass the time? Our bodies are meant to move! Walking can be done as much as possible, as often as possible in numerous terrains and locations. No fancy equipment, gear, or machinery required.

5.) SMILE MORE, LAUGH MORE, LIVE MORE

 

Get together with family and friends. Being together and sharing smiles and laughter can boost your mood and relieve stress! It’s easy to get over-scheduled and frantic this holiday season, but remember, we are in control of the stress we allow into our lives and how it affects us. Ultimately we decide how much, when, with whom and how we’ll spend our time. Human connection is worth the effort. In a world overrun with technology, we forget to connect, step away and just be together in the present moment. Take a few minutes to meet for coffee, take a photo together, chat on the phone, or even plan to shop for the holiday’s together. Challenge yourself to smile more throughout the day and see how much it boosts your mood.

6.) GIVE BACK/PAY IT FORWARD

A great way to take the pressure and focus off of our holiday stressors is to give back to others. A donation of time or money can go a long way to make someone else’s life a little brighter. Spread some holiday cheer and send positive energy into the universe by hiding dollar blessings for others to find in unexpected places. Attach a few written Post-it blessing to dollar bills (any denomination) and drop them anywhere to be found with surprise.

Choose an item from a giving tree or pay forward a purchase for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop, drive-thru or even grocery store. Also, many shelters are looking for volunteers this time of year. Simple, easy gestures made from the heart to spread hope, positive energy, smiles, joy, and holiday cheer.

So as stress levels climb this holiday season, give one (or more) of these remedies a try. You’ll feel better in no time and find yourself enjoying this magical time of year with more ease and flow!

Comment below on how many remedies you try at home. I’d love to hear from you!!

Do You Invest In Yourself?

Have you ever invested in yourself?

  • A trip to the salon perhaps?
  • Spa?
  • Massage?
  • Exercise and nutrition program?
  • Personal Trainer?
  • Self-study course?

How did you feel afterward? Would you do it again? Was it worth every penny?

I know when I invest in any of those things, I feel rejuvenated and inspired to repeat the action. Sometimes tho, those expenses can add up. How do I justify it?

There are many expenses in life: rent or mortgage, car loans, healthcare, food, activities. Necessities-right? We quickly learn to prioritize these expenses by their value of importance.

Why is it then, that we often discount the importance of investing in ourselves? Our self-care? I believe in the importance of spending money on ourselves for personal growth; Body * Mind * Soul * Spirit. So much so, that I have a savings “bucket” set aside for such investments! I invest the money I earn as a personal trainer into this bucket and spend it on myself. I receive value from working with people on improving their health and I keep that positive energy flowing into a personal investment. Paying it forward, if you will.

It’s not always easy to set extra income aside toward my goal, but I find if it’s important to me, I’ll find a way to make it happen. I don’t consider spending money on myself as a selfish act because it nourishes me so I can be at my best for my children, husband, and life’s unpredictable events.

I enjoy seeing the progress clients make when they decide to take action in their lives. As a strength & conditioning coach, the task of coaching is to help my clients be consistent in showing up, suggest healthy habits to accompany their training, teach safe movement, provide encouragement, and create the foundation for results. Much like any other type of coaching program.

Last Summer, I decided to invest in myself! I invested in self-study courses, certification, and my first experience with a writing coach. I did exactly what I’m asking of my clients, a living example.

Admittedly, when I hired my first coach, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m a driven person, so I couldn’t wrap my head around where the guidance would serve me. Then, it dawned on me: the purpose of a hiring a coach is gaining a helping hand in keeping me on track to meet my goals. Someone to help me stop spinning my wheels! It was the BEST investment I’ve ever made.

In one short year, (while still running our two businesses) I educated myself in self-publishing and wrote and published my first book!

Next, I hired a business coach. In one month, I enhanced my blog into a full blown business website and expanded on the opportunities my published book has provided me. We’ve worked together to align my messaging, branding, social media marketing and coaching packages. Excitingly, I’m now able to bring to you my online mind/body accountability coaching feature!!

Once again, my coach provides encouragement and guidance, while helping me push through any mental blocks that want to stop my progress. Overwhelming feelings come easy when working toward a goal with a full plate. She helps me organize weekly tasks that keep me moving forward with inspired action. Having someone by my side to hold my vision for me and break down actionable steps each week is helpful when I’m unable to see that vision.

I stay on task even with my current obligations and watch the progress add up. More importantly, I don’t waste energy spinning my wheels or filling my mind with worry. I keep moving forward and have a lot more fun doing so!

Each time I move a step closer to my end goal, my creativity begins to flow and confidence builds. By having a system of accountability, I work each week through my resistance, shrinking and especially my ego! (Ego: the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious. It’s responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity).

Man oh man does my ego want to stop me from exceeding and expanding! The lessons of moving past the ego are invaluable to becoming self-aware of our mental blocks. The ability to push through in spite of them builds confidence and belief in the potential to succeed in life. My ego works hard to keep me in a comfortable space and loves to tell me how much easier it would be just to quit. Especially the more I grow and step through the fear. That silly ego wants to interfere and derail my progress along the way. Yup, even coaches need a helping hand from time to time! We just aren’t meant to go through life’s challenges alone. The magic happens when we’re honest and vulnerable!

As I look back over this past year, I recognize I’m continuing to receive a return on my investment; my expansion! A further belief in my abilities and what I’m capable of. Results have come from taking action and moving forward. Each action step inspires me to take another, oftentimes bigger step. I couldn’t have accomplished this on my own. I’m grateful for my moment of self-compassion which allowed myself to seek the help I needed to succeed. It’s been the key to making such massive change in my life and has made me a better version of myself. Priceless!

I wake up excited to see what each day brings. I’m eager for what opportunity may present itself today due to the action I’m taking toward my end goal. It’s an amazing experience to be open to the abundance that follows when I’m open to receiving it. Learning to trust and take a chance leads to more inspired action on my part. I’m proud for NOT letting the fear, negativity, and doubt stop me.

I stop wasting time thinking about the actions I “should” be taking. I knew I needed help. Have you ever felt that way? Feeling so overwhelmed and burdened that you wished someone could just show you the next step. Show you how to break down each week’s tasks to meet your goal?

Have you ever felt that way? Feeling so overwhelmed and burdened that you wished someone could just show you the next step. Show you how to break down each week’s tasks to meet your goal?

That’s what a coach does for you and it can be in any area of life!!

Whether it’s a business coach, a visibility coach, a health coach, life coach, or mind/body, accountability coach. We each have our areas of expertise with one common purpose, to serve. To help you get from where you are now to where you want to be. A person to provide tools for success and be there for you, to break down actionable steps each week toward your goal. Someone to supply much-needed accountability and encouragement along the way.

I’ve really liked investing in people who’ve been where I’ve been and who reach out for help themselves along on their journey. A person who’s always learning and continues to explore ways to expand. A coach who enjoys sharing and teaching from their own experiences.

Personal growth happens when we desire to change and decide to take inspired action to make that change happen.

Now it’s my turn to help you! My purpose as a mind-body, accountability coach is to help you work through any blocks you may be experiencing. We’ll work together to shift your thought patterns, align your self-care priorities, create healthy habits to integrate into your daily routine and guide you toward identifying and living your passions in life so you can be your most authentic self!

Ladies are you:

  • Considering ways to add positive energy in your life?
  • Looking for ways to reduce stress and breathe deeply?
  • A mother of children growing older and not sure what to do with the time on your hands?
  • Working all the time and not sure where to begin working on you?
  • Taking care of everyone else around you but not making time for yourself?
  • Noticing a lack of confidence in yourself?
  • Noticing body changes that no longer respond to the things that worked for you before?
  • Are you looking for sustainable habits to improve your quality of life?

Do you:

  • Want to make changes in your lifestyle to help you feel vibrant and full of energy?
  • Wish you felt better than you did in your twenties?
  • Desire more time in your schedule to prioritize yourself and reach your personal goals?
  • Yearn to feel beautiful in your skin?
  • Want to make time to be living your passions and dreams?

Are you ready to take inspired action? If you’re a woman in your late 30’s or beyond and you’ve said yes to any (or many) of the above, I want to help you! Work with me to get from where you are now to where you want to go. I want to help you feel better than you did in your 20’s and stop feeling anything less than your most authentic self!

Connect with me for a FREE 20-minute Discovery Call to see if we’d be a good fit for each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Began Meditating In My 40’s.

Do you meditate?

I didn’t always. In fact, until this past four years hadn’t ever considered it! But, can I just tell you how happy I am that its a part of my life now?

Often, if you aren’t familiar with the practice of meditation, it’s often misunderstood as only a spiritual or religious practice. Although it’s commonly incorporated into a spiritual or religious practice, it’s also used as an effective calming tool to reduce stress in our lives.

Meditation has been a way to reduce the stress response in my body. 2008 became the beginning of a five year series of stressful events in my life. It seems by the time we reach the age of forty, many of us begin to experience massive storms in our lives. I was no exception. I experienced everything from losing my home, my business of 25 years, and five family members over that five year period. Stress had taken its toll on my body. (You can read more about that here.)

I was anxious, not sleeping, my hormones were in a rage, and my cortisol levels were through the roof. Beginning a meditation practice for myself, I developed a tool for learning to breathe through challenging, stressful events in life. By using this stress management tool, I began healing from those effects. It also brought clarity to my mind when times were not stressful.

It was difficult at first slowing down my pace enough to sit still for two minutes at a time. Who has time for that, right? There’s so much to do in the day – but then, slowing down is the point! I began allowing myself those few minutes each day to be still. I soon appreciated that I didn’t have to do anything in that short amount of time and I liked it. A lot. When I finished each session, I felt refreshed and sense of accomplishment. After a while, it became easy to increase the minutes of my sessions.

I’ve enjoyed using a few simple meditation apps on my phone. I found a free meditation app called Headspace that introduced me to guided meditation. The host, Andy, has a soothing and comfortable Australian voice. His voice quickly became a welcomed “friend” when it came time to meditate.

Within that app, I also discovered a sleeping meditation series. It changed my world! No longer would my head spin and thoughts bombard me when it came time to sleep. I could relax deeply and focus on my breathing, allowing my body to prepare to sleep.

The app made it easy to create consistency in my daily meditation. I began testing more apps to see which I liked best. Learning to breathe deeply, having an easy way to meditate, and calming my mind and body has been a game changer in my life.

As a result, I believe anyone over 40 should be incorporating a meditation practice into their day. In fact, at any age! It’s never too early nor too late to learn to let go, breathe and relax. There are so many benefits:

  • Meditation reduces stress.
  • It improves concentration.
  • It encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • The practice increases self-awareness.
  • It increases happiness.
  • Meditation increases acceptance.
  • The practice benefits cardiovascular and immune health.

I want you to discover these benefits too! 

Download my FREE PDF here: EASY MINDFULNESS MEDITATION TECHNIQUES-

In this resource you’ll find my top five mindfulness meditation examples for beginners; including a list of my all time favorite meditations! If you’re new to meditation, this is a fantastic resource for you to test the waters.

Let me know how it goes in the comments below. Enjoy!!

 

Do you know my story? …It may surprise you.

It may surprise you that an impromptu trip to Hat Creek, Ca last week, inspired me to share a bit of my story with you.

As I settled in with my fishing pole next to the beautiful mountain creek, I listened to the birds singing and the water rushing around me. I soaked in the sun’s warm rays on my shoulders. Perhaps it was the peacefulness of my surroundings that inspired my contemplative mood. Perhaps it was my deep breathing and relaxation that brought me clarity or being outside without a full plate of have too’s for that moment.

I became overwhelmed with the need to share my story with you. “It’s time”, I thought, to share my “why”; to share why reaching out to others and sharing my message is important to me.

I’m passionate about prioritizing self-care. I’ve always believed in taking care of myself. I learned first hand the positive benefits from proper nutrition and lifting weights for my body as I’ve aged. I’ve also reaped the benefits from having those same healthy habits in place when stressful life storm’s rolled in.

When our storm hit, it became clear that there was more I could be doing to manage stress. There were many more areas of my life I could improve upon to take my self-care even further. So I added further tools to my survival toolkit. I learned mindset, perspective, and passions in my life are additionally important as nutrition and exercise. I also learned a great deal about new ways to manage stress thru MORE sleep and the practice of meditation.

These tools not only served me well during stressful times but also help in the shuffle of daily life too. I’ve spent the last 10 years learning, experimenting, implementing, and living by example with these tools in hand. I’m now sharing these tools as a part of my message because it’s so easy to fall apart in times of stress if we don’t.

Stress damages the human body. We live in a hard, fast paced world where stress is more abundant than ever. Many people experience stress with finances, technology, lack of sleep, kid’s schedules, long days at work, etc. It’s impossible to get rid of all the stress in our world, but we can make a choice to be better at reducing it. That’s why it’s never too late to take care of our health with tools that make a difference in our daily habits and help us create a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits that mitigate the stress in our lives and help ourselves and our families thrive.

Do you struggle with prioritizing your self-care and finding ways to manage stress? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

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Interested in reading more about my story? Grab a copy of my book Stronger Than The Storm.

Want to learn more about how a Mind/Body Accountability Coach can help you get on track to prioritizing your self-care? Click here.

Want to join my all female Facebook Group The Timeless Beauty Tribe? It’s a community where we share the conversation in self-care topics, mindset, passions and beauty tips and would love to have you there!

 

 

The Mood Boosting Mirror Trick

It’s Summertime and I want to share something with you that I feel passionate about… it’s all about the thoughts we have when we view ourselves in the mirror.

Here’s the thing

When I wake up in the morning and see my reflection make-up free, I often think “Auuggh”… dark circles, a pasty face and then there’s my hair going every which direction. I’d be lying if I told you I enjoyed my reflection first thing in the morning.

But it seems for many of us when we see ourselves in the mirror our first reaction is “yikes” as we hone into all the perceived imperfections. It got me thinking that all these negative comments that go through our head when we see ourselves in the mirror can’t be good for not only for our self-confidence but for setting the stage on the remaining thoughts patterns about ourselves the rest of the day.

We wouldn’t say those things to our friends or loved ones so why be so critical and hard on ourselves? Rather than being our best friend, we’ve become our best critic!

BUT that’s all about to change…

Today I’m calling you to action: Join me on a 3-day challenge that will leave you feeling like the very best version of YOU! It’s time to let that negativity go!!

Welcome to the 3-DAY REFLECTION CHALLENGE!

It’s simple! Here’s what WE do:

Step 1. Every time we look in the mirror (or catch our reflection) we smile. (Even if you don’t like what you’re wearing or you’re having a bad hair day) we have to smile.

Step 2. While still smiling, we find ONE thing we find pleasing about ourselves – this can be either something visual or something that makes you feel proud for being YOU. If we look objectively we’ll have the ability to find the beauty in our reflection.

That’s it! Two simple steps- but if you’re willing to step up the challenge a little, see the bonus step below.

*BONUS STEP: 

Take a fierce selfie with that winning smile and find three more things you love about yourself in that pic!

**If you’re in need of some selfie-taking tips… check out this post from my Facebook group The Timeless Beauty Tribe.

The proof is in the science…

1.) Practice thinking positive thoughts when we see our reflection.

Researchers estimate we humans think up to 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, 98% are repeated from the day before. Some research has even suggested 80% of our thoughts are negative. Eighty percent! Scientists believe that 95% of our emotions are determined by the way we talk to ourselves throughout the day.

The sad fact is that if we do not deliberately and consciously talk to ourselves in a positive way, we will, by default, pick out the negative. That’s why it’s so important to keep reminding ourselves of the good stuff and developing new habits in our self-care. View that positive talk as a muscle that needs flexing daily. Over time, that muscle will grow strong and be at its best.

No one else is responsible for controlling our self-worth but us. When we begin thinking positive thoughts toward ourselves, confidence grows. Inner confidence, beauty, and self-worth grow from acceptance. YOU are worth a lot. Embrace YOU!

2.) A smile a day.

Did you know there are neurotransmitters called endorphins when we smile? Endorphins help us lower stress levels and handle making us happy. When we move the muscles in our face, those movements are interpreted by our brain to release these chemicals (endorphins).

The brain doesn’t differentiate between a fake smile or the real thing. It interprets the positioning of the facial muscles the same way. This is known as the Facial Feedback Hypothesis. The more we stimulate our brain to release endorphins the more often we feel happier and relaxed.

So by practicing a smile at our reflection, our brain will start associating happy chemicals in response to the visual cue of our reflection. Done repeatedly over time, this will not only create a new healthy habit but you’ll notice how you feel about how you look will dramatically improve day by day over the 3 days. Plus, smiles are infectious!! By building a new practice of smiling at self, we’re more likely to flash those pearly whites when we’re away from the mirror. We begin to pay forward a smile that brightens someone else’s day too!

Last tip before you go…

When you take the time to nourish yourself from the inside, the more you’ll glow on the outside. It’s not about being vain or thinking that you’re perfect – because nobody is. It’s about knowing you’re incredibly worthy of all that life has to offer and reaping the rewards of living your best life possible. You’ll feel better on the inside and visibly beautiful on the outside by taking action on a just a few simple steps.

Be proud, be confident, be your fierce self and live the story of your own unique life.

Ready to join me on this 3-day reflection challenge?

Connect with me and let me know if you’re up for the challenge by posting a photo of your fierce smiling selfie and hashtagging #3DayReflectionChallenge on my Instagram @innerstrengthbeauty

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If you’d like further practice retraining your negative thoughts? Grab your FREE copy of my Mindset Advantage workbook below!

I’ll Be Speaking at SPARK Chico

Have you heard of SparkChico? Get your tickets now to this amazing live event coming to Chico, CA Aug 12-13!! Come see Rachel O’Rourke and more amazing women leaders ignite that fire within to be the best version of yourself: mind body and spirit!

SPARK is the experience of the year for women who want to ignite the fire within themselves. Local and International speakers will own the stage to elevate your thoughts, guided meditation sessions will expand your awareness (even if you’re not spiritual!), dance breaks will ensure your vibes stay high, and the sisterhood bonds that your vibes will create will leave you with lasting friendships for life. This is a two day, elegantly catered, truly transformational experience. 100 Max attendees – do not miss out!

Date: August 12, 2017—August 13, 2017
Time: 10:-00 a.m -5:30 p.m.
Event: SPARK Chico – A Flawed Female Live Event!
Topic: A Flawed Female Live Event
Venue: Chico Women’s Club
Location: 592 East 3rd Street
Chico 95928
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

https://www.facebook.com/events/596633360534107/

Want Great Skin At Any Age?

I’m often asked, how do I keep my skin looking fabulous? I had to think about it for a bit because what I’ve found works best on my skin isn’t an expensive cream or youth serum, acne solution, or wrinkle reducer. In fact, I’d like to attribute my youthful appearance to my olive complexion, Italian genes, and smart sun exposure. However, my beauty secret is much simpler – it’s great self-care: sleep, stress management, staying hydrated, good nutrition, exercise and using natural oils on my skin!

Yup, nothing has worked better on my skin than natural oils: coconut, olive, emu, avocado hemp and jojoba oils, to name a few! I know, I know, I used to think using oils on my skin was bad too, but it turns out, our skin is made up of oils and thrives on the nutrients provided by them. This is why these oils absorb quickly into the skin and don’t leave a greasy, shiny layer behind. Why would we want to work so hard to strip out of our skin the actual nutrients it needs to thrive?

I switched to natural skincare just about seven years ago now, and I’ve really liked how my skin looks and feels. With continued use, I began noticing a smooth, dewy appearance to my skin and wrinkles much less visible. (Yay for those of us over 40!!)


I recently performed a test against a well-known beauty line for two months to see if it could produce any differing results. Not only was it more expensive, but I hadn’t noticed any significant difference in my skin.

Just after two weeks of going back to the oils, I noticed the tone and texture of my skin improving once again. This was proof enough for me!

Today, there are numerous companies conveniently packaging products with all natural ingredients but price points vary. I’ve been using Dragonfly Traditions for over three years now and instantly fell in love with the product line!

It was a pleasure to meet Phoebe Collins face to face at Paleo Fx last year.

Phoebe is the owner of Dragonfly Traditions, a natural skincare line that’s not only effective but affordable!! My morning and evening skincare routines are simplified and I feel good about using natural products that are nature’s medicine on my skin. Products with no added chemicals, preservatives, additives, and especially, no endocrine disrupters. Click here for a list of each oil used, what it does for your skin and what use it’s best for.

You’ll find information on her website about how to use each of her handmade products as well as an included pamphlet with each purchase. I also LOVE that Phoebe makes herself available for any questions you may have – all you have to do is reach out!

I believe in this product so much that I’m proud to announce Inner Strength & Beauty has teamed with Dragonfly Traditions to be able to offer you a special discount code on every purchase!! Simply type in the discount code BEAUTY to receive 10% off every order!

AND… we are having a PRODUCT GIVEAWAY!!!! Pheobe has three amazing NEW products I’m absolutely crazy about – HB5 Serum Gel, Vitamin C Scrub and Oil Cleansing Pads. We’re giving away one of each of these fabulous new products to three lucky winners drawn on June 1st!

To enter, simply “like” and “share” this blog post with family and friends. All “likes” on this post will be automatically entered to win!

You can find a complete list of other fabulous natural skincare products here.

Summer will be here soon. Now’s a great time to get your skin clean, moisturized and prepped to soak in some Vitamin D from those sunny Summer rays. Be sure to also check out Pheobe’s great warm weather products: All Natural Bug Spray, All Natural Deodorant (which works amazingly and is the absolute best natural deoderant!!) and her fantastic Lip Shimmer too.

Happy Shopping 🙂

Do you use oils on your skin? Have questions? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!