There’s this common misconception that in order to be successful at anything you need to be “that person.”
What do you dream about?
What is something that you feel so pulled to that you’re not yet doing/having/saying/feeling?
There have been two major things about my life that I have felt this way about.
Living inside a body that didn’t feel like mine.
Raising Scarlett at home with me.
I’ve talked a lot about how so much of my life was spent inside a body that felt alien to me. I desperately wanted to change it, not so I could finally love it but so I could finally feel like “me.”
It wasn’t until January 2017 that it became a non-negotiable for me. It was finally something that I was going to do instead of talking about doing.
Long before Scarlett was here, I knew that I was destined to care for her full time. There is nothing wrong with putting children in daycare or having a nanny etc.
For 10 years I was a hairstylist. 7 of those years were spent at a company I had originally imagined I would be with until I retired. I didn’t want a barbershop of my own, I never imagined myself to be an entrepreneur.
But then there was her.
And there was me.
I started saying, “Why the fuck not” instead of “Why would I”?
Everything happened rather quickly once I moved my ass. From the time I decided that I wanted to start a meal prep and delivery service to the first delivery was about 3 weeks.
I went back to work after maternity leave the Monday after Thanksgiving. I produced and delivered my first menu the first week of January, and February 25th was my last day as a manager. For months I worked 7 days a week. I cut hair, I created menus, I cooked, packaged, delivered, cried, exhausted myself, fought with my husband, felt like a shitty mom, doubted myself, went to the gym, cooked for myself, planned, cried some more, cooked some more, felt proud, scared, doubtful, hopeful.
And then I woke up and did it again.
And I loved it.
To this day, I would not change the decisions I have made. Not for more money, less fear, or more stability. I walked from a rather nice salary to pursue the things that pulled on my heart.
I took a lot of risk once I took action.
I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
When you decide to become an entrepreneur and also transform your body and your mind, a lot of shit happens.
A lot of really amazing shit and also some shitty shit.
In a matter of 5 months, I gave birth, navigated newborn life, decided to start my own business and set out to make my health a priority.
As aforementioned, it was hard.
It still is.
I would do it the exact same way all over again.
There is something rather empowering about doing the scary shit.
It might not always make sense, you might be tired sometimes, but it lights you up.
I loved my job.
I loved it until I no longer loved it, until it didn’t align with my values and then I stepped away.
What do you value?
I intend on touching on values another time but I think it’s really important to sort of sit with that from time to time.
What are the things that you do because you just do them? You don’t necessarily hate doing them but you do them because you always have and it’s part of your routine?
I drank more than I should.
I didn’t plan my meals.
I didn’t take the time to cook nutrient dense foods because “I didn’t have time.”
I didn’t meditate because I didn’t know how.
I didn’t practice gratitude because “I had what I needed and not what I wanted.”
I didn’t go to the gym because “I didn’t have time.”
I didn’t read because “I was too tired.”
All these stories we tell ourselves.
All these things we participate in even though they don’t feel like us.
I KNEW when I felt GOOD.
When I moved my body, when I fed my brain, when my space wasn’t cluttered.
So why didn’t I make those things values, or non-negotiables?
There’s a million reasons I’m sure but they’re not important.
The truth is, last year I just decided I would.
I decided I could and that I was going to.
The rest is history.
Who knew almost 365 days later, I would be coaching alongside my mentor and my personal coach?
I did because I dreamed about it and put my thoughts into action.
Who knew that I would be almost 100 lbs lighter?
I did because I imagined myself that way.
And so it is.
Who knew that I would be here for all of Scarlett’s firsts? That we would have picnics most days, eat popcorn together in bed after naps and take baths on Friday mornings aka Spa/Pizza Day?
I knew it because I knew this is right where I’m supposed to be.
Who knew that here I would sit on a Monday afternoon, drinking hot tea, reading, writing, staring out into the cold, feeling all sorts of grateful I didn’t have anywhere to be.
But right here.
I knew it because I felt all of these things inside my bones.
This shit isn’t luck, my friends.
This shit is the product of setting the intentions and then moving my ass.
What do you want so bad you can’t taste it?
You know why you can taste it?
Because it’s already yours.
You’ve just got to set the intention and then you’ve got to move that ass.
Sometimes I am messy.
I love hard.
I cry hard.
I am passionate.
I am impatient.
I am hard on myself.
So much I have learned in the last year.
About love, about business, about friendships, relationships, hardships. I have gained traction in my life. Dug my nails deep into the things I want. l’ve become intentional with my time, my thoughts, my actions and my words.
I have become deliberate.
Make no mistake, I am still fully capable of being a mess.
I am overcome with self doubt, I speak harshly of myself and to myself, I’m impatient with my progress. I get overwhelmed, I question myself, I shut down, I become distracted
I’m okay with my mess. Oftentimes it stems from how much I care about what it is that I’m doing. I took all of 2017 to sit inside my mess, splash around in it before carving my way out.
I said it’s okay to be a mess but you’ve got to turn that fucker around at some point.
You’ve got to co-create with God/The Universe/The Moon/Your Mom (not your mom) to live FULL.
Allow yourself to cry, to rage, to FEEL.
Live ALL. UP. IN. YOUR. MESS.
Crawl up in it, make a nest, have your mail delivered there.
Then, when you’re done, get yourself a
cup of cold water
A glass of wine
A shot of whiskey
Put on some lipstick or throw on some sweats and remember why you started in the first place.
Why did you start? If you’re going to question yourself, simply let it be a reminder.
I am not ashamed of my mess and neither should you. I am an emotional woman and I’m proud of that. Maybe you’re not emotional. Maybe you just get hung-up and moments turn into days. Maybe you’re so anti-mess that allowing yourself to feel makes you cringe.
Whatever your story is, be a mess.
Get back up.
Do it over
Acknowledge your messes and learn from them. Show yourself some grace and then muster up all your lady-magic and clean it up, sister.
Don’t be afraid to make messes. If you’re making a mess chances are you’re creating.
Who the hell knows.
Maybe you just starting menstruating only to find you’re out of peanut butter. You want to shamble over that? Fair.
But then put your boots on and get some more.
At the very least GrubHub that shit like the Queen you are.
It’s going to be okay.
Messes are okay.
You are okay.
The quest to lose weight, to gain weight, to “finally get healthy”, the quest to improve performance or the quest for gains. The self-development quest, the career change quest, ALL THE QUESTS.
There’s nothing wrong with them, we’ve all had journeys of our own.
However chances are if you’re unfulfilled, struggling or never satisfied (and not in a “hungry for more” type of way) you’re not approaching your quest with your heart.
Perhaps your heart is broken.
You better get your glue stick out because I promise, until you start doing the heart work, the rest is going to feel like an uphill battle
Against the current
With a weighted vest.
My heart has been broken before, I get it.
I’ve been lied to
Experienced a miscarriage
Wrestled with addiction
I’ve hurt myself, I’ve hurt other people.
The list goes on.
Your list goes on, I get it.
All these experiences and things and people had left an insurmountable amount of pain on my heart. I retreated, deemed myself unworthy of love. I put on a mask of false security and confidence and declared, “This is it. This is just WHO I AM.”
I call bullshit.
The birth of Scarlett was a sort of rebirth of myself. I know, I know…
Not immediately and not like the movies.
I starting picking things apart, really inspecting parts of my life.
What was serving me? What did I love? What did I NOT love? What did I want?Sometimes I thought about being an entrepreneur. I thought about it for years, sort of day dreaming but then decided it was careless so I dismissed it.
I thought about losing weight.
I was physically uncomfortable in my body and I imagined what I might feel like if I wasn’t so overweight.
What would I look like? How would I feel? Truth is, I attempted it several times over the years. Once I was temporarily successful but I gained it all back.
I thought about running a race.
Doing a ropes course.
Riding a bike.
Hiking a 14er.
Was I physically unable to do these things? I don’t necessarily think so. I might not have been the most efficient but I reckon I could’ve done them.
I wasn’t physically unable to do them but I thought I was because I was physically paralyzed by my lack of self love. That mask I hid behind? It was more like a blanket.
If you’re reading this thinking that you have to lose weight or accomplish XYZ before you love yourself, you’re REALLY missing the mark, my friend.
Go back and read from the beginning.
For so long I allowed my past experiences to write my story. Remember my mention of THOSE people? I was THOSE people.
My mother was a drug addict so, me too.
My parents had unhealthy relationships so, me too.
My body was already trashed so why not continue to trash it? For so long I watched women that I admired with their confidence, their experiences and thought, “Man, if I could just lose the weight or (insert here), THEN I could finally love myself.”
You see, it wasn’t the weight-loss that made me fall in love with myself, it’s when I made the CHOICE to.
When I started dissecting my life and declaring, “Why the fuck not”?
When I stopped settling in my career because being an entrepreneur was “too risky.”
When I stopped telling myself that my life script was already determined.
When I took action.
I made the CHOICE to love myself. What was I supposed to tell Scarlett when she was older? That I loved myself when she turned 3 because I finally deserved it?
I don’t think so.
The cool thing about loving yourself is that it’s like a muscle, and the more you work it, the more efficient it becomes.
Hey, I’d be lying if I said that each pound lost wasn’t a victory for me because it absolutely was. But it was more than seeing the scale trend down.
It was a celebration of “Look what I can do. Look what I can accomplish.”
If I could commit to that, what else could I commit to and accomplish?
I could leave a career I no longer loved.
I could cut ties with people and things that no longer served me.
I could expand my knowledge, skill-set, job title etc
The bottom line? I could literally do, have and be anything or anybody I want to.
Why? Because I took action.
I insisted upon loving myself. On the good days, the shitty days and all the days in between.
Loving myself became non-negotiable.
I operated different when I made the choice and took action.
It was and still is like a domino effect.
I demand more for myself in all the best ways.
The Bitch is still around, you know the one.
My critic, my negative self-talk, my doubter.
What’s different now is that in those moments, I insist and expect myself to check in with my heart.
I don’t love myself because I lost some weight or because I left my job or because I started a business.
I was able to do all those things when I decided to love myself. The lumps, bumps, grey hairs, freckles, the potty-mouth, the impatient, the anxious ME.
Some days are harder than others. Sometimes I throw my hands in the air and declare tomorrow to be better. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I throw fits.
But I rewrote my fucking story.
I am actively changing my legacy.
The legacy I was so caught up in for so long.
I’m changing my legacy for my family, for my daughter and for every person that needs a daily reminder of “Yes the fuck you can.”
You want to lose weight? Start by loving yourself. Change the way you talk to yourself.
You want to leave your job? Start by loving yourself. Remind yourself all the things you’re capable of.
You want to be in a healthy relationship? Start by loving yourself and don’t let anyone have you unless they love themselves just as much.
(SELF) Love is all you need.
When is the last time you said thank you and really meant it?
Not “thank you” in passing, mumbled under your breath when a door was held for you. Not a sarcastic, “thanks” when you were given a speeding ticket either.
When is the last time you REALLY said Thank You like you and your entire life meant it?
If you can’t remember, we ought to do something about that.
When did you stop being grateful?
Perhaps we never were all that grateful to begin with.
Make no mistake, desiring more for yourself, your life, your bank account, your family etc doesn’t mean that you don’t live in gratitude.
I’m talking about THOSE people.
The ones with the worst luck.
The ones that can’t ever seem to get it together.
The ones that swear that the entire world is genuinely out to get them.
They have the case studies to prove it, just ask them.
I started digging up my own bones sometimes last year. A self-help book here, a podcast there. I figured, “What the hell did I have to lose”? The answer was nothing. Or was it?
I read the woo-woo, the “what the fuck did I just read”, the too cheese-ball and in between, some really solid stuff. What if we started saying Thank You when we got hurt?
What if I said Thank You when I received another bill? Got stuck in traffic? Got sick?
I gave it a go.
Turns out, it’s really hard to feel lack when you sit and say (or write) out-loud, all that you’re thankful for. No matter how small or trivial YOU think they are.
Pens to write with.
A washing machine.
The list goes on…
My point exactly.
You know when you stub your toe and then it just seems like you get kicked in the dick the remainder of the day?
I had one of those days not too long ago.
I smacked my head on the edge of my dresser, I burnt my forearm taking a pan out of the oven, I sliced the corner of my mouth open eating almond butter out of a to-go pouch.
Literally, in the span of 2 hours.
After screaming, “OKAY” loud enough that Scarlett then started yelling “KAY” I stopped what I was doing and I just said Thank You.
I just said it and it shifted my focus inward where I was then met with my really kind and gentle inner voice saying, “What the fuck is your problem”?
Aside from the corner of my mouth bleeding, not a whole lot.
My point exactly.
It’s sort of like when your kid screams as if someone is plucking out her eyelashes, one at a time, when you’re putting her clothes on (just me?)
Your eye starts to twitch, your brow may even get a little sweaty and mid-scream, she suddenly get hiccups.
The hiccups then cause your baby girl to fall into hysteric laughter, almost as if she’s in total disbelief herself.
Naturally, the sheer ridiculousness of the last 3 minutes then causes you to join in on the laughter.
You’ve both forgotten all about how you “Just couldn’t even” a mere 18 seconds ago.
Living in gratitude, which I’ve come to believe is as an art, has become an active practice in my life. Every morning I spend roughly 10 minutes writing down everything I’m grateful for. The big, the small and the not yet here. I say Thank You for my coffee, Thank You for my lungs, Thank You for my life, Thank You for my clients, you get the idea.
If this sounds like a bunch of Burning Man, washed up, hokey bullshit, you might be one of THOSE people. Maybe you’re not but I encourage you to be honest with yourself. Is your world falling to pieces every five seconds? I can ask that question because I was that person at one point. If it is, and you are, start being grateful. If your constantly butting heads with God/The Universe, take the 10 minutes out of your day to learn the lesson and move on already. Rewrite your story by changing it instead of wallowing in it. There’s no coincidence that you’re shambles everyday and saying Thank You just might be your ticket out of Shamblesville.
Nothin’ but (tough) love, baby.
That, and all the gratitude.
Oh the cliche.
The first time I really had an a-ha moment was the day I saw Eat Pray Love in the theater. I was nursing my head and body after a two-day bender completed at a music festival.
The heat, the booze and the MDMA had leeched my serotonin levels. Watching such a film nearly sent me into an existential crisis.
I take it back.
It wasn’t an a-ha moment. I imagine a-ha moments to be profound.
Life changing, earth shattering.
This was more or less a combination of dehydration and depression. I remember sinking back into my theater seat, tears streaming down my cheeks knowing in my heart…
This isn’t my life.
The story ends there, for now.
It wasn’t THE a-ha moment but rather an a-ha glimmer. Not the first, not the last, but a memorable mark of many.
So many times throughout my life had those glimmers. As a child I would lay in bed, listening to the music coming from my mother’s room get louder which meant 1 of 2 things.
Drugs or strange men, often times both.
I would lie there, the blankets up over my head and know that that life didn’t belong to me.
When I was a teenager, long before I discovered the know-how or impact of self-love, I would stare down at my naked body. It was riddled with fresh wounds and healing scabs from physically harming myself. It was abused by men and mistreated by me and the drugs, booze and food I used to stuff my feelings. I knew that I was living in a body that wasn’t meant to be mine. I was uncomfortable in it, physically and spiritually. I often times looked into the mirror and saw something completely different.
As an adult, as my career moved forward it felt good but I still felt I was missing something. Once I got pregnant with Scarlett and after I held her for the first time, I knew that a corporate lifestyle wasn’t meant for me. I felt a longing in my stomach and a tugging on my heart. I was making more money than I ever had before and still I felt lack.
I had spent countless hours and days daydreaming. Imagining myself in certain places, feeling a certain way, looking like I wanted to look, loving myself entirely.
One day, it made sense and I thought to myself, “why not”? Why not me? Why not my family? Why not have, see, do and feel everything I want to. What’s stopping me?
I did two things. I took action and I kept the faith. Truth is, everything I’ve done I’ve literally leaped into head first. I gave myself a year to transform my body, my head and my heart.
I vowed to myself I would fix my relationship with food.
I started a business serving people and I left a career I was no longer in love with. I fell in love with myself and the life I was building for my family and I.
The decision I made to get my certification in nutrition through Precision Nutrition came naturally. I gravitated towards helping women and mothers going through the same struggles I had and I wanted to show through my experiences all of the possibilities.
Losing almost 100 pounds hasn’t been easy.
Starting a business wasn’t easy.
Leaving a comfortable and stable career wasn’t easy.
Being a mother, entrepreneur and getting my certification wasn’t easy.
But they were all the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I ask you, what is serving you in your life right now that you can create more of? Also, what is no longer serving you? Sit with that today. Make a list, get intentional and really figure out what’s lighting your fire. Ain’t got no fire? You better ignite one.