Find peace within yourself and it becomes outer peace.
Soft. Comfortable. Easy. Outer Peace Studio.
Special thanks to my sister Kyla for helping model these cozy threads.
Special thanks to my sister Kyla for helping model these cozy threads.
I was on a myriad of medications for the first few years. I ended up going off and on these medications until my mid 20s, never feeling like anything truly worked for me. Around that time I went to my very first yoga class with a girlfriend. If you’ve never been to a yoga class, the first few minutes before and after are typically used to relax, ground and center yourself, take cleansing breaths and clear your mind.
Well this was a foreign idea to someone who was used to go, go, go, go, go… My mind is usually in 20 places at once and at any given moment I’m usually overthinking some small task/interaction/conversation/past mistake. You know how squirrels twitch and dart about? Yeah, that was usually me. So when I was forced to sit still, close my eyes and just….breath, you’d think it would do me a world of good…
I was twitchy. I envisioned worse case scenarios. I’d have flashbacks to every time someone showed me animosity. But there was a faint edge of calm that I was grasping at, and while on many days I couldn’t actually achieve it, it always seemed that I was on the brink of something that felt really good. I liked it.
So I tried meditating more often.
I talked to my yoga instructors, I read books, I asked friends. Slowly. Ever so slowly, I began relaxing while sitting quietly. I started being able to truly clear my mind and feel a connection with the universe–with something much bigger than myself. I was able to create an organized prayer, an intimate conversation with my Creator. Dang, it felt good.
Sure, the world and all it’s problems came back when I opened my eyes. But setting them all aside for a few beautiful minutes didn’t make them any worse or harder to confront. Setting aside the world for a few minutes can do so much good for your soul. Focusing on one prayer, one gratitude are the key to creating your calm.
So now that you have a little back story on me, I’d like you to try it for yourself.
Are you a nervous little squirrel like me? Or do you have trouble finding motivation?
Sit upright but comfortably. Place your feet flat on the ground, or sit directly on the ground. You want to be grounded… this is literally you touching the ground. Think of it as channeling energy through the earth.
Decide an intention. This could be the affirmation that you’ll do amazing on that upcoming interview. It could be that you’re searching for the courage to start that workout program. It could be that you want to find a bit of inner peace. Whatever your intention is, hold on to it.
Place your hands on your knees, palms up. Through your open hands, you will be able to receive energies from above, the Universe, your Creator.
Once you close your eyes, move them up and inward. Try to “look” out from the spot between your eyebrows. This is considered your Third Eye Chakra. Keep your eyes closed and take deep, long, breaths.
Breath in through your nose and out of your mouth. Breath deeply and slowly.
Clear your mind. This part isn’t easy. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that when I first started attempting to “clear my mind” I would imagine one of those children’s picture books; the one about colors….
I’d focus on black. The absence of color. If I focused intently on this shade, I’d eventually get to the point where I could stop thinking about everything else.
Next, envision whatever part of you is touching the ground as having deep roots, anchoring you to something much bigger than yourself. Feel all your worries, thoughts and stresses moving through your body and down through your roots, being released into the ground to be recycled. Hold this visual for a bit, then bring up your intention.
Maybe: I will walk into this interview full of confidence. The interviewer will be impressed with my knowledge and personality. I am an energetic match for this position.
Or maybe something like: I choose to cherish my body and begin on the road to creating a healthy, vibrant life for myself. I will honor what God has given me by eating well and exercising as best I can. I am worth it.
Then: As I breath in, I imagine white, happy light filling my body and as I breath out, I imagine all the worries, pains, and anger as a dark wind leaving my body. I will shine with a new, happy and positive light.
Hold this intention while you continue your deep breathing. Feel the feeling of your intention coming to fruition. If you want, speak a few words of prayer to God to solidify your vision.
Open your eyes and bring yourself out slowly. More deep breaths. Move only when you feel you’re ready to.
Focusing takes practice and shutting out the din of the outside world takes concentration. I am confident that practicing meditation on a consistent basis can help with creating focus and calm in your life. This is a way of putting your intention and energy out into the universe. When you are an energetic match for your goals, there is nothing that can stop you!
Obviously, I still have anxiety. Some days I am absolutely unable to meditate because I’m so scatterbrained. It’s on those days that just attempting to meditate actually helps me remember what it feels like to slow down. And that can be so helpful.
Give it a try. Let me know your experiences.
[[[Foreword: I originally posted this on my personal Facebook on my birthday, September 21st of 2017. The insane feedback I got from it inspired me to post it on my site. I received emails, texts, messages and comments on the original post from so many women in different areas of their lives that in some way or another dealt with the same fears and thanked me for voicing mine. It made me realize that I CAN be vulnerable. It won’t scare people away.
As a fitness & wellness figure, it can be scary to admit that you don’t have it all figured out. In some area of your brain, you’ve convinced yourself that your clients will leave if you show any iota of imperfection. How can I coach other women to love themselves when I’m not sure I’m all that jazzed about myself today? News flash, babes: Everyone has doubts. Everyone second guesses themselves sometimes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect. Somedays I’m freaking out! These women trust me! I can’t let them down! I have to set a good example for them! And there it is: while helping you beautiful babes to your own happiness and health, I am also reminding myself on the daily how to love myself, how to respect my body and how to see the best in others.
Every single one of you is worthy of greatness. Every single one of you deserves love and laughter. Do I feel ashamed to have been upset by turning 30? A little. Ageing is a privilege denied to many. Am I moving forward with a greater love for myself and the good I want to do in the world? Absolutely.
OK, read on.]]]
I always thought I was supposed to have it all figured out by 30. Or something like that. 30 seemed like a distant mark. A milestone you just know you’ll have all these important things accomplished by. It’s all going to happen before I’m 30! All the greatness!
And then you realize 30 is right around the corner and you’re not where you thought you’d be.. Not that you ever really gave much thought to where, exactly, you’d be, but you just knew you’d be doing something world changing.
I won’t lie to you: I’ve cried numerous times in the past few weeks. I’m not a “crier.” It messes up my makeup, makes my eyes puffy… I just choose not to do it. Like, ever. So I’ve been reflecting on the mistakes I’ve made, the missteps I’ve taken, the backtracking, the gazillion “new starts.”
I was divorced at 26. I never wanted children so I figured I was defective somehow. I moved towns/states so often that even I have a hard time telling you where I’m from. I’m awkward, I think too much, I get down on myself too often. I feel like I’m always second guessing myself. I have a strange sense of humor. I get nervous in crowds. I’m always worried that people won’t like me.
Dammit, why isn’t everything figured out for me at 30??
Then last night it hit me: Life is messy. But so damn gorgeous. Every “mistake” I thought I made shaped and formed me into the person I am today. And I love the person I am today. Sure, I’m always striving for improvement, but that’s just what I do. Life isn’t a perfect timeline, at least not for me. I’ve lived in so many states and I love every single one of them for the experiences I gained there.
I’ve met so many people, some I vibed with and some I didn’t. And it’s all beautiful. It’s all life and it’s all mine. And I’m proud of where I am today. Nothing’s perfect, especially that person you see online that seems to have it all figured out—they don’t. And that’s ok too. We are constantly growing and evolving. Isn’t it awesome?
I did this photoshoot because I decided to celebrate the number that has been haunting me and freaking me out for years. I’m happy where I am. I’m happy at 30. I’m happy drinking champagne and smearing cake all over myself, because who the hell cares? Life’s messy. And fun. And you can either fear it, hide under that rock and let that fear limit you, or you can celebrate it. Grow with it. Forgive yourself for the silliness and move forward with love.
And that’s what I’m choosing to do.
Happy birthday to me.
The destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey will take years to clean up. Many have lost loved ones, houses, memories. Many are still being rescued and placed in convention centers, churches, schools…anything that can be a makeshift shelter. As a Texas native living in Arizona, my heart is breaking being this far away. But I am raising some massive cash-ola in my community that I am proud to donate.
I am so very, very grateful to say that all my loved ones are safe at this time. But there are many who are not.
It’s time to spread the good karma around and help our fellow humans.
Please, please consider donating to any of these great foundations. I’ve listed some I know take great measures to ensure the money is spent helping the victims and first responders instead of administrative fees, fundraising, etc. There are many more out there. I urge you to do your homework before donating to ensure your hard earned money is going to good hands that will use it for the highest good.
Rebuilding will take years, billions of dollars and a massive amount of manpower. Please say a prayer for everyone who’s lost someone in this devastation and for the tireless angels who are working around the clock to help their neighbors in need.
The past year or so I’ve played the part of a wellness & fitness coach in my community. I have helped people lose weight and find their specific formulae to loving themselves. It’s made me feel amazing. I love helping people. I feel called to it. I worked as a bartender for years while in college. What is a bartender, if not a life coach of sorts? Alright an enabling life coach, but you get the picture. Letting them hash out their life’s woes over a cocktail or two, I’d offer any advice a worldly 21 year old could. Sometimes all people need are to be heard. I realized that helping people made me happy. It took me many years to get my career back to where I found that purpose, but that’s a story for another time.
So, lately I’ve been feeling just…..meh. I haven’t been excited about my work. I haven’t been excited about my writing (something I’ve always loved to do) and I have been eating terribly. I’m talking, “I know that processed cheese dip is going to make my stomach pissed off at me, but I’m going to eat it anyway because….screw my stomach.” Yeah. Self. Destructive.
When I was 21, due to riding horses my entire life, having a genetically bad back and a car wreck, I found myself unable to walk and basically missing a disc in my back–my vertebrae were rubbing together. I had surgery to fuse the two vertebrae.
As a result, a lot of pressure is being put on the vertebrae above my fusion and now that disc has degenerated too.
I also have a pinched nerve in the middle of my back.
I also have two injured and healed rotator cuffs (shoulders).
I also have a weak knee that aches on occasion.
Yep, I’m a total mess.
Dealing with this new disc problem has been weighing on me lately. Not being able to get to the gym in over two months is taking its toll. My stomach is bloated, my shoulders hurt and crunch, I feel sluggish. My stomach is in absolute disarray. My mind just isn’t there though. I COULD figure out a workout plan with specifics defined by my physical therapist and eat well to help my body. But I haven’t.
I’ve been feeling limited. And sorry for myself. I’ve gotten down on myself. I’ve been self destructive and I’ve been self pitying. I knew I needed to STOP IT but I’ve had that stupid little voice in my head telling me what’s the use? It led me to not wanting to work, not feeling capable of helping people because HOW COULD I WHEN I FEEL THIS WAY?! I felt like a fraud when I said things like “self love!!” while dissing on my own body.
One night, Brian insisted that we get in the pool. I am not normally a pool person and I hadn’t wanted to get my hair wet or have to re shower or whothehellknowswhatotherexcuse. My back hurt too much. All I wanted to do was lie on the couch and browse Pinterest. But he talked me into it, telling me it would be good for my back. I knew full well he was right. When I got in, he came over to me and lifted my feet from the pool bottom. He held me there suspended in the water and the weightlessness I felt, that immediate release of pressure on my injured back…. I suddenly realized how selfish I had been behaving.
I bawled like a baby.
I’m starting to tear up even writing this. For one of the first times in months, I felt….nothing. No pressure, no pinched nerve, no pain. I was floating and it was amazing. I knew I should have done it earlier. I just don’t like pools and I made that my excuse.
I was too miserable being miserable that I was missing all the signs to STOP IT and GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY and give myself some relief. Brian knew I needed it. He’d known it all along. But I was so stupid and self sufficient that I didn’t need to listen to him. I was lost. I was hurting. I was continuously getting down on myself for feeling bad.
It’s a vicious cycle. I was down because I was hurting. And because I was hurting I didn’t want to go to the gym. And because I didn’t go to the gym I was down. And it made me hurt and not want to go even more. HOW STUPID. Even a fitness coach needs a reminder sometimes. Self pity is an easy cycle to get into.
I’m too this or I don’t have that. What you’re really doing is excusing bad behavior. You are justifying it to yourself. If you had a friend, would you be OK with them giving you these justifications?? That they just don’t feel like it?
Floating in my pool was the best thing I had done all week. Being there in the moment, enveloped in the arms of the man I love, I cried like a baby in amazement of not one thing hurting for the first time in a long time. Sometimes it takes a midnight swim to make you realize how stupid you’ve been acting. We are all capable of great, amazing, stupendous things, if only we’d get out of our own way.
So I’m approaching my business in a new way. As R.E.M. sang, everybody hurts sometimes. Instead of letting it control my life and my motivations, I’m taking the reins and using it to find new ways to get through to my clients. To maybe sing a different tune that will resonate with someone who my message hasn’t before.
I’m done being selfish. Let’s talk about your goals. I’m here to help you chase them down. Not quite sure? Let’s talk about your excuses, then. Email me, comment on this post, find me on Facebook. Always remember, you’re worth it. I’m blowing up some floaties right now, I’m heading out to the pool… Because I’m worth it too.
So much love,