Want to feel your very best this season? Read this.

As I write you this note, it is snowing outside my window, and I couldn't love it more.

There is something so beautiful and serene about snow. Some people I know are not such big fans of the cold weather change. For me, I try to relish and celebrate it.
Another season unfolding. Another time shift. Another period for renewal.

Whether you are a fan of snow or not, my nudge to you is this:

How can you simply notice what is there?

How can you bring some love and celebration towards it?

How can you notice it for what it is- neither good nor bad?

Then let's apply this same idea to other areas of your life that you may feel a certain way about.

Maybe you are not looking forward to seeing a certain someone over the holidays.

Maybe you are feeling anxious about an event coming up.

Maybe you are worried about overeating during the holidays.

No matter what is it, my hope for you as we settle into this new season is to remember this very profound truth:

What we perceive and think leads to our emotional state.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Our thoughts effect how we show up in the moments of our lives.

If you think that "snow is awful" you are likely to going to start your day immediately in a negative state, feeling down and sad that it is snowing. When we have a thought like that, it leads to negative emotion, and negative emotion creates a negative reaction within us.

The good news is that you do not have to be stuck in this place. Noticing the fact that you are even having these thoughts is celebration #1! Most people are not aware they are thinking these thoughts in the first place (and my friend, I am no exception here, as there was a time in my life I was completely lost in my thoughts!).

When you catch yourself noticing the thought, and after you've celebrated that you have noticed it in your mind, take a moment, and ask yourself this:

How can I think differently about this thought to create a different emotional state for myself?

So, going back to our snow example, I might say to myself, "It's snowing. When I look at it, it's actually quite beautiful." Noticing something about snow I actually do like creates a different emotional state for me. I feel more at peace. I feel less effected and impacted by it's mere presence.

I know I gave you a small, minor example with snow. I chose snow because I hear so many people this time of year posting about how they hate this time of year. I get it. It's cold out, friends.

But at the same time, we must be careful with our thoughts. Our thoughts are the very baseline of how we go about feeling and reacting throughout our day.

So with the simple example of snow, I hope you can notice how even the most mundane thoughts can totally impact our emotional state! And of course, with bigger, more serious situations, our thoughts operate in the very same way.

We have a thought.
The thought creates a feeling.
The feeling creates a reaction.

And my friend, how you show up in this world is very much a direct result of whatever you were thinking in the first place.

So today, my nudge to you is to practice with snow.

And from there, start celebrating any other thoughts you have that you may notice. You deserve to feel your very best feels day in and day out.

I'm sending you giant love.

Top 10 Self-Care Things for Fall

It's fall and I am over here soaking up the chillier temps of my all-time favorite season (you too!?). There is just something about this time of year that calls for all things cozy and with that, I want to share with you 10 of my favorite ways to savor the season through self-care. 

  1. Warm drinks.

    My favorite and current go-to while being pregnant is a decaf latte or a decaf pumpkin spice latte with one pump of syrup. Whether you are a coffee or tea drinker, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy a hot drink to warm you up!

  2. Long, carefree morning walks.

    There is something about a casual stroll during this season that just doesn’t compare to other times of the year. The crisp cool air calls to be enjoyed with a long, casual walk.

  3. Scenic drives.

    This is one of my favorite fall-time activities to admire the changing leaves. I love being mindful while out in nature and there is just so much beauty this time of year with the myriad of colorful leaves.

  4. Pumpkins!

    Over the weekend we picked up a few pumpkins and decorated the inside of our house and our front porch with them. I love the little pops of orange throughout that remind me of the changing season.

  5. Autumn scents.

    This one is big for me because I try to avoid synthetic fragrances, and yet I just LOVE fall smells! So what is a girl to do? Pine cones are one of my favorite ways to get that earthy, autumn smell naturally.

  6. Sweaters.

    I love cozying up with a comfy sweater during this time of year. Currently, all of my hoodies and sweaters are nicely stretched out with my growing baby bump!

  7. Mums.

    From pops of yellow to deep burgundy, mums have quickly become my favorite fall flower. They are easy to maintain, they smell lovely, and offer up the most perfect shades of autumn colors.

  8. A chilling thriller to read.

    The book club that I am part of recently read the book, Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. This book really got me back into reading just for the joy of it.

  9. Snuggles.

    From your furry friend to your partner to your little ones (if you have them!) fall time just begs for some good old skin to skin. :)

  10. Coffee dates.

    I love seizing this time of year to meet up with my favorite gals for some 1:1 quality life chats. Spending time together with your closest people while enjoying a warm drink sometimes feels like the hug you didn’t know you needed.

So there you have it! While every time is a great time to dig into some quality self-care, I wanted to share with you today some of my current go-to things to help inspire your very own list of self-care things throughout the season. My nudge to you is to pick one or two items on my list (or your own!) that you can commit to doing this month. Take time out for you to really be present in whatever it is, and to label it as part of your self-care. I believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the intentional practice of caring for ourselves- of making it speakable (even if just in our minds) that we are worthy of our own care.

5 Steps to Get After Your Biggest Goals

I cannot even believe we are here in the final quarter of 2018. I love to take a moment around this time of year to check in and assess where I am at with my big picture things. Speaking of, are you feeling clear on your own big picture things? Do you feel a sense of direction with where you’re going and what you’re working towards? If not, no sweat, I got you friend!

Let’s first start by letting this statement ring so deeply true:

Clarity is what creates drive. 

Motivation stems from that place of knowing where we want to be. It is critical to constantly be coming back around to creating clarity within ourselves. We do this by opening ourselves up to exploring what is there within us. What is waiting to come out? What do we really, really want for ourselves? If everything were easy, what would we be doing? 

Once we find some of the answers we are wanting, it is important to remember that our game plan or vision is never ever stagnant. We are constantly changing and ebbing and flowing and therefore it is so important to see our vision in that same lens. For this reason, I set aside time in my schedule to revisit where I am at and write out any changes or updates to my vision and goals.

Want a sneak peek at my personal goal-setting process?

Here’s a snapshot at how to do it:

1.    Get crystal clear on your 4-5 big goals. 

And don't forget to make make them SMART.

2.    Determine one overriding goal.

Among your 4-5 goals, choose the one goal, that if you were to achieve it within the next 5-10 years, you would see and feel the most dramatic impact across other areas of your life. 

3.    Set annual, quarterly, and monthly goals.

Use your overriding goal to set annual, quarterly and monthly goals, and again, make them SMART!

4.    Revisit your goals! 

Set aside time in your calendar to check back in on your goals on a continual basis. Really, block that time off in your phone the moment you do this, otherwise it stays a wish and a want!

5.    Repeat every year!

I usually begin this process around December or January of every year to stay in sync with the calendar year, but you can start it out at any time! With it being August, we are officially in the third quarter of the year. Now I will revisit where I am at with my overriding goal and how I am doing with making movement and traction on the rest of my goals. Do I need to adjust any goals? What monthly goals can I set for the remainder of the year to bring me closer to reaching my overriding goal?

How about you? Do you set goals? Do you want to become a goal-getting machine? Do you have an overriding goal or vision that you feel crystal clear on? Are you intentional about the action needed to get there? 

If you need any support with this whatsoever, I am here. You can always reach out as goal setting is kinda my jam! Together we can figure out some simple next steps to get you closer to where you want to be. And if goal-setting (…and getting!) feels solid to you in this moment, then let’s celebrate that! That alone right there is a big win. 

Here's your nudge to write.

So many times I have sat down in the last 7 months to write. I have crafted uninterrupted time in the morning and taken out little blocks in the afternoon to get my thoughts down into my memoir.

I am writing about my childhood growing up in foster care.

It is a story about mothers and daughters and the long-lasting imprint a mother’s love has on her daughter’s soul. 

It is the realest, and hardest thing I have ever written.

I read this quote by Rupi Kaur that perfectly sums up my feelings: 
 

the thing about writing is
i can’t tell if it’s healing
or destroying me

 

Everything about her words ring true to my heart. (You too?)

Why do we feel so dang vulnerable when we write? Like we are ripping off a bandaid? Like we are opening ourselves up for the world to see when we are the only ones in that moment to see it? Like we might completely fall apart with every word we pen to paper?

Some of my coaching clients have shared their own personal struggle to write in a journal daily. Fellow creative business owners tell me how challenging it can be to open up and share online in their social media posts. 

Writing what is real and true for us is an act of shifting and growing.

When we create space for ourselves to write, we are allowing what is there to come up. And sometimes that can be very scary.

But our words will not break us.

Writing will challenge us to recognize the parts of ourselves that are still hurting or are in pain. 

By creating a space to open up and see what is there, we are essentially saying quietly in our mind to ourselves:

I am worthy of my own love and care.

And what a beautiful, empowering message that is.

What piece of writing is on your heart today my friend?

Have you been longing to journal? Create quotes or poems? Write more authentically on social media? Write a book?

Creating space in your day for yourself to explore your own truths is a vulnerable thing, nonetheless. But you are worthy of exploring your own truths, don’t you think? You are worthy of making them speakable.

Even if you never share what you write with another soul. Simply give yourself permission to get it out. And then see what you want to do with it.

30 Things Self-Care Can Be

I recently came across a post on self-care that MADE me cringe.

The author of the article shared that self-care is so much more than yoga, bubble baths, and lattes, which I resonate with, but did so in a tone that communicated that if you were doing these things as part of your self-care, that you had self-care wrong in some way. The writer listed out that self-care is actually x, y, z, and not a, b, and c.  My rub and disappointment with the piece is that self-care, to me, looks different for each and every one of us.

For the person suffering from depression, self-care could be the simple act of getting out of bed for the day.

For the person recovering from an eating disorder, self-care could be eating a piece of bread and sitting through the discomfort afterwards.

For the mom of three kids, self-care could be taking a mindful moment behind closed doors to quickly regain her composure with a deep breath.

Whether your self-care is treating yourself to a delicious yummy treat, or saying no to an unnecessary purchase because you are saving your money for that bigger, grander, more pressing thing, your self-care is purely yours and I am not here to tell you whether it is good or bad.

Self-care is self-love. 

It is what we express to ourselves that we are worthy of our own care. In my opinion, if you are out there taking intentional time to love on you, to be kind to your body, and to give back to yourself in some way (when you are that person who is constantly giving, giving, and giving to others), then I want to celebrate that, rather than spread a very harmful message that in some way your self-care is less than or not enough.

Articles like the one I am describing just go against the entire core of self-care, which is rooted from a place of love. Whatever manner and way that you are expressing care for your own body and mind in an intentional, self-loving way, is completely and absolutely yours. And so today, I want to share you with my array of self-care things- my very own top 30 list of what I believe self-care can be. Remember, they are simply a tiny sample of some of my very own self-care things.  The purpose in sharing it is to hopefully shed light on self-care taking on many, many looks. It is not a one and done category of things. I encourage you to take a moment to make your own list and see how many you can come up with freely. Bonus points for implementing at least one per day! 

1. Brushing your teeth

2. Making your bed

3. Watering your plants

4. Putting lotion on your body

5. Going for a mindful walk

6. Snuggling your pet 

7. Snuggling your person

8. Writing in a journal

9. Talking with a coach and/or therapist 

10. Taking a deep breath in a moment of distress

11. Reading a feel-good book

12. Drinking a green smoothie or eating a nourishing meal

13. Eating a slice of cake or pizza with zero guilt 

14. Setting boundaries to protect your spirit

15. Speaking your mind

16. Drinking a glass of water

17. Eating when you are hungry

18. Pursuing a passion

19. Volunteering with your favorite organizations

20. Getting your nails done

21. Making your home feel cozy and comfortable

22. Cleaning your space

23. Talking to a friend

24. Taking a shower

25. Taking a long bubble bath

26. Washing your face

27. Setting intentions

28. Smudging

29. Listening to a podcast

30. Flossing your teeth