How Tragedy + Perseverance = Empowerment

Today marks the 24 year anniversary of my Mothers’ tragic death.  It also marks the 24 year anniversary of the beginning of my growth process.

It truly amazes me how I can remember every step, every motion, every word, and every emotion of that day 24 years ago but I cannot remember where I set me keys 10 minutes ago.  I can still feel the pain as if it happened yesterday…I can remember the blood curdling screams coming from my pregnant 17-year-old body.  I can remember begging and pleading to everyone in the room to just let me see her….which now I am so thankful they did not give into my pleads. My mother was killed in a terrible car accident and I know that the visual of her mangled lifeless body would have changed me in a way that I may not have been able to recover from .

It took me many years to really experience a breakthrough as a result of my Mothers untimely demise.  I went through several years of depression and a feeling of emptiness. Several years of just being lost.  I was 17 years old when my Mother died.  I was 3 months pregnant and I was marrying the father of my unborn child 2 days later.  I think I lost my Mother when a young girl needs her Mother the most.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I, at 17 years old, didn’t even know how to take care of myself let alone a child…and how to be wife..are you kidding me??????  I was still doing homework for crying out loud….like legit….I was a senior in high school.

If you were to ask me 20 some years ago how I coped and found my way I probably would have told you some bullshit about being strong and working hard and being focused….thinking about that now makes me laugh!  Ask me now how I coped and I will tell you it was because of the leaders, mentors, and the people who gave me guidance.  My Father, my step-Mother, my Sister….they selflessly guided me.  Also, my in-laws at the time.  They had A HUGE impact on my life and I kick myself regularly for walking away from my marriage the way I did.  I divorced my Husband and literally just walked away from everyone.  I was young and scared and didn’t know how to handle things.  I have since apologized to them for my actions and have learned an EXTREMELY valuable lesson as a result of it.  I literally ghosted them….I will never do that to anyone again.  If I make the decision to no longer be part of someone’s life I choose to have the uncomfortable conversation as to why.  Not that I chose not to have a relationship with them I guess I just didn’t know how.  I should have told them that and they could have used their life experience to show me.

At the time I’m sure all those people thought I wasn’t listening….in fact I don’t even think I was listening….like I wasn’t really HEARING them. The point is it still got in my brain…just for later use .  It was through the natural evolution of maturity that I started to call upon some of the input my Dad and step-Mother instilled.  Also, through my growing relationship with my Sister (technically my step-Sister but I feel far too connected to her to address her that way)  who has been a beautiful example of the kind of person I want to be.

What I am trying to say here is that I did not get to this place of clarity for many years.  It did not just magically happen.  I think that is how some people see it though….because they did not actually see my process they naturally assume that I was always this way.  They assume they can never get to that place of enlightenment because they weren’t born that way.  I am here to tell you that NO ONE is born that way.  You become that person as a result of you who you surround yourself with and the stories you tell yourself.

I know that you cannot get to a place of clarity on your own.  It is through learning from others that you obtain that knowledge.  The opposite can also be said…you will get to a place of self-destruction, pain, stagnation, and a feeling of failure by surrounding yourself with the wrong people.  By listening to words of discouragement instead of encouragement, by listening to negativity rather than positivity….that will also take you somewhere…but it is going to take you to a dark place…a place where there will be growth but it will be a place where disease grows…where pain grows…where failure is an absolute.

I choose to use the death of my Mother as the birthplace of where I am today.  My Mother was 39 when she passed…It was nearing my 39th birthday that I had that  “OH MY FUCKING GOD” moment of realizing this was all the life my Mother ever lived.  I can either choose to bathe in pain of her tragic death or rise to the top as a result of it.  It is truly a choice.  It is 110% a fucking decision…..in every possible situation you have a choice…you may not like the choices but you still have a choice.

I made the CHOICE when I had that breakthrough moment nearing my 39th birthday to end my very unhappy marriage….that was the hardest DECISION I have ever had to make.  It was a choice though….either way you look at it….it sucks.  I could have chosen to stay in an unhappy marriage and live a very unfulfilled life OR break up a marriage that impacted the lives of a man, 3 adult children, and a grandchild.  IT FUCKING SUCKED!!!  But, I had a choice and I chose to leave so that I could be my very best self to serve those children better….to serve the my grandson better, to serve my team, my tribe, my community, and ultimately myself better.

Persevering through tragedy is ultimately what makes you unstoppable.  Surviving that time in my life is exactly what led me to where I am today….and I am damn proud of where I am today.  I am a very good person…I know this because I WORK REALLY FUCKING HARD AT IT.  I am strong, I am independent, and I am empowering.  And I have every single person that has ever been in my life to thank for it.  The people who had my best interest at heart as well as the people who were sucking me dry.  I thank every one of them equally.  The good ones for the guidance to the light powerful side and the bad ones for showing me what the dark side looks like and serving as a bad example.

DO NOT WASTE THE PAIN YOU ARE EXPERIENCING RIGHT NOW…It is your catalyst to greatness…it is the fuel that is going to take you to exactly where you want to go!

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It is my mission to help show everyone just how powerful they are. I need your help in spreading this!

10 ways we as a nation are “numbing out”

After listening to the most recent “couragemakers” podcast (click here to experience it for yourself) I really started to think about how much I continue to numb myself. Although I work really hard on self discovery I still have a long way to go. Today’s episode was called “Challenging The Shit That Holds You Back” with Andrea Owen.

Andrea talked about how when she really started down her path of self discovery how her drinking had really accelerated. How when she really started to look deep within herself and address her pain the numbing became more prevalent. That really made me think about how we numb and all the different tools we use to numb. A lot of which you probably don’t think of numbing agents. Also how we really stunt our emotional growth when we numb ourselves.

Growth really happens in the most painful, uncomfortable, awkward times of our lives. If we numb ourselves in those moments to lessen the pain we are feeling we are really doing ourselves a HUGE disservice. If you can put down the drink, put down the doughnut, avoid the pills, or whatever it is that you are reaching for in that moment and just look that pain right in eye…feel the pain, and yes it’s going to hurt like a motherfucker….but those are growing pains and they are necessary.
First, let’s think about all the different agents we use to numb and how it is affecting us and those around us.

1.) Alcohol
This is a tough one for me because I really do enjoy cocktails…Prosecco is my current drink of choice…The thing is though how is it affecting not only you but those around you. Most people would say “what is the harm in just having a couple drinks”…I am one of those someone’s btw. One thing I start to realize with myself though is after even just one drink…I change. I lose momentum. My ambition towards greatness starts to decrease…I get this “meh, it can wait until tomorrow” sort of attitude. For others, they love the way the drink let’s their guard down but then they don’t know when to stop…before they know it they are slurring their speech and depicting themselves as someone their not which can make them look very unattractive to the people they love most.. Then there are the one’s who think they are “OK” to drive and end up injuring themselves and becoming the responsibility of a loved one. Or maybe get a DUI which again puts pressure on the loved one to drive them to work and everywhere else they have to go.  This can often cause resentment and inevitably lead to the end of that relationship. Or the absolute worst case is tragically taking the life of another human being…possibly ruining the lives of an entire family and more.

2.) Drugs
Drugs come in so many different forms now, Legal to illegal. Anything that is going to change the way you FEEL…masking physical and emotional pain, anxiety, sadness, fatigue…I am not talking about antibiotics here. Anything that if when the effects of the drugs wear off that you feel the emotional pain you were trying to mask with the drug in the first place…that is what I am talking about….Although I do not really think that marijuana is a harmful drug at all and I don’t think that legalizing it would be a bad thing it is still a mind altering drug and it numbs you from the pain you should be experiencing for growth. Which leads me to the other point…you cannot selectively numb….if you numb pain…you numb joy and happiness along with it. If you have someone in your life that loves you…they love all of you…the good, the bad, and the ugly. I recognize that many people suffer from feelings of depression and anxiety but I think many times those symptoms can be fought with a change in perspective, ownership of mistakes, and self-love.

3.) Sex
We as humans are here on earth for one reason and one reason only…Connection. So often we don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to show the people around us who we really are so we feel the only way to feel actual human connection is through sex…I’m not talking about sex with someone you love and have a beautiful relationship with. I am talking about just having a warm body that you are trying to connect with. The problem with that is without that real connection that only comes with vulnerability of the heart you don’t connect anyway and you start to trust people less and less. You start to feel more alone than you did before this “connection” therefore even less likely to truly connect. There can be so much pain involved in this ….I think particularly with women as we tend to get more emotionally attached after sex then men do. When that emotional attachment happens but there is no foundation in which the relationship was formed there is a feeling of rejection when the deed is over with nothing to show for it.

4.) Shopping
Shopping actually boosts the same neurotransmitters, serotonin, as sex and drugs. When we buy things it makes us feel good which in many cases can be awesome. Anytime you make a purchase so many people prosper as a result of it. The company you purchased from, the creator of the actual item, the paper company that the receipt was printed on, the company that created the bag that you carried your time away in…the list goes on and on. The downfall is, much like alcohol, when is enough enough. We are the most in debt nation in the world for this reason. We max out credit cards, we blow our savings, we take out loans, you name it…we do it… all to just keep buying things that we don’t truly NEED. As a result our families suffer as we are now not able to provide the needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and eduction….or medical needs perhaps. I absolutely believe in buying things that make you feel good but there has to be a limit..it has to just be the things you NEED. Be intentional with your purchases. If you don’t absolutely love it then you don’t need it.

5.) Video Games
Whether they are on a gaming console, your phone, or your computer games can often times act as a distraction from the pain you are feeling. I think a game, when you are intentional about when you choose to play it is awesome. If you find yourself reaching for your phone, computer, or game controller because you begin to feel the tinge of pain when you sit in silence….you have to fight the urge and just feel the pain.

6.) Social Media
This is a major one. Social media has a wonderful place in this world. I will forever be grateful for Facebook because that was the medium in which my boyfriend Heath and I were reunited. The question is how are you using it? Aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and other sites is a sign that you are avoiding something. Worse yet, we like to share the things on social media that make us look really really good….what we WANT people to see. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a couple snap a pic of each other in this really lovey dovey pose with big smiles and pure happiness only to go back to not talking or looking at each other after the photo was taken. We are creating a mirage of what we want people to think in hopes that will make us feel better about ourselves and our lives. All that does is drive us further and further away from connection. Use social media for inspiration, motivation, entertainment…but make sure you are not using it to numb or mask. Unless you are intentionally searching for something or you are posting something that you are really proud of that you think your friends, family, and the rest of the world needs to see tread lightly because you are likely just avoiding facing the pain you are inevitably feeling

7.) Food <——my numbing agent of choice
This is one I can really relate to the most. I have struggled with my weight and my body for as long as I can remember. I love food, I love the way it makes me feel. I love the feeling of being full…not stuffed but full. I wish salads would give me the same satisfaction as pizza did! We need food for survival which is what makes it extra difficult. You can’t just say “ok, that’s it, I’m quitting food”. Food is a must. Unfortunately there is something in a big ol’ plate of nachos that really gives me comfort than I cannot find in a bowl of quinoa and kale. This is something I have really been working on. Identifying when I am truly hungry versus when I am just trying to numb some pain. When I am traveling the road of healthy eating though it is amazing the difference you feel. The energy and genuine happiness you feel. Because I am not filling a void or feeling of emptiness with a sleeve of Oreo’s I am forced to face my demons and identify with where they are stem from….and fight them.

8.) Television
This is very much in the same realm as social media and video games. If you find yourself scrolling through the guide on tv…you are avoiding something. If you reach for the remote, find exactly what you want to watch, and pay attention and enjoy that is different. I think, again, like social media and video games, television has a wonderful place in this world….but you have to be aware of are you just distracting yourself, just passing time??? Or are you engaged with what you are watching?

9.) Over-exercising
I have a feeling there would be some people who would fight me on this but it’s true. Exercise is something, much like food, that we all need. This is also something that so many people avoid…myself included. However, there is a whole lot of truth in “too much of a good thing is bad”. Working out also stimulates that beautiful neurotransmitter, Serotonin. It makes us feel good which is awesome but there are people that are spending 5-6 hours of everyday working out. Our bodies need rest and our brains need to be stimulated. I get it though…nothing makes you feel like you can conquer the world more than working out. But it has to come in healthy doses. Work out, build muscle, burn fat, escalate your heart rate….but be cognizant of when you are just trying to numb out…trying to avoid the emotional pain.

10.) Plastic Surgery
We see this all the time in Hollywood. The most beautiful people in the world go under the knife in hopes of changing the way they feel inside. I can understand how this happens. As I’ve gotten older it becomes harder and harder to identify with the person I see in the mirror…who is that person? Inside I feel like a young 22-year-old woman but I look in the mirror and see the reality, It can be tough to swallow. I am not against plastic surgery….I think if a little enhancement is going to make you feel beautiful go for it. A nose job, breast enhancements, Botox, facelift. Go for it….BUT, if you find that you get one of those done and you end up wanting to go back for more there is a deeper issue there. You have pain that needs to be felt and fought and until you do that there is not enough plastic surgery in the world that will make you feel beautiful. You have to feel it on the inside before you yourself can see it on the outside.

What this all comes down to is being intentional. Give yourself a few moments every single day to feel your emotions. When you are in the car alone, turn off the radio, put your phone on airplane mode, and just be. For most people this is going to hurt….to actually feel your emotions…it can be excruciating but once you do it…it is the most peaceful beautiful feeling in the world. Trust me on this, I can always feel when I haven’t gave myself a little silence. When I do though, I recognize my value, my worth, my beauty, and my power. You will too!

 

Intentional living comes in many forms…here is what I’ve learned about the latest form I have discovered

It amazes me more and more everyday how many forms intentionality comes in.  Lola, my badass salon, recently fell victim to a ransom-ware attack.  This is when a hacker breaks into your system, encrypts all of your files, and holds them from ransom.  The goal for the hacker is 2 things…1st, hopes that in an act of desperation that you will pay whatever monies they are asking to un-encrypt the files.  Even before all the IT advise of not paying them came through I knew I would never do that.  I wouldn’t care if they were asking a dollar and it was guaranteed that I would get my shit back….I would tell him to go fuck himself….I don’t reward bad behavior.  The 2nd goal is to upload a key logger which tracks all of your keystrokes.  The hacker would be able to see everything you are typing in hopes of getting usernames, passwords, account numbers, and such.  So the ultimate goal is identity theft.  The way it has been explained to me is that in our situation it was a random attack by using the power of trial and error guessing IP addresses until one matches and then they are able to get in.  Not being very tech savvy I didn’t realize that our level of protection against this was very minimal.  I take full responsibility in this.  I should have been more INTENTIONAL on making sure that was the case….lesson learned.  I have now aligned myself with the best of the best in technology to prevent this from ever happening again.

I tell you this story to lead to my point that intentionality comes in all shapes and sizes.  Technically the hacker that attacked us was certainly practicing intentionality unfortunately it was not with good intentions.  Be sure that the intentionality you practice follows the golden rule.  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  Although I do believe that you need to be number one in your life because if you are not in a good place you can’t be great for those around you…however make sure that what you are doing is not directly hurting an innocent bystander.

The other way intentionality was practiced in this story is how the situation was handled by myself and my team.  The moment I learned about what had happened I recognized that there was nothing I could do to change it so we went into full on plan mode.  We immediately devised a plan on how we could reach our guests since we had lost 100% of their contact information, all of our appointments, all of our inventory, all of our history….it was as if Lola never existed.  There was no getting mad, there was no yelling, no crying, no “why me’s”….just inertia to move forward.   THIS IS NOT A NATURAL THING FOR ME….I WAS NOT BORN THIS WAY.  It was through the continued practice of intentional living that brought me to this place of clarity.  If I’m being honest I am actually very thankful for this mess.  It was tangible proof of my growth!  To be able to look at something so monumental and earthshaking and know that you overcame it with grace and dignity is the most empowering, incredible, un-fuck-withable feeling your can every experience.  As a result of this absolutely horrible situation I have become a force to be reckoned with.  I now know that I can DO ANYTHING!!!!

Please use me as the proof that you can be, do, feel, experience, have, behave, live parent, love, learn, and grow in the way you choose…IT IS A DECISION!  And the second you make that decision you become a different person.  Don’t get me wrong there are ups and downs and the key is to only surround yourself with people who recognize the greatness you are striving for.  If you don’t have those people in your life….I will be that person for you.  I know what you are capable of…I know how brilliant and powerful you really are!

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Intentionally Lola, Dopamine Dealer. Here’s my card

Hey kids, I’ve got something for you. You are going to love the way it makes you feel. I’m going to give you just a little taste of it now. Go tell all your friends about it and then come back and see me when you’re ready for more.

What is it that you’re getting a taste of you ask? It’s called dopamine and I’ve got the good stuff! I’ve been getting my supply from people around the world but I just got my biggest and best supply to date and I am willing to share it with you. There’s a catch though. You have to take it and share it with your friends.

Here ya go, open your mind wide and say ahhhhhhh. Here’s a taste.

You know that thing that you’ve been wanting to do? You hear that voice in your head that keeps nagging you about what you really WANT to do in your life? Well, today is the day. Today is the day that you start making that shit happen and stop waiting for the right time. That “right time” is never going to come.

Today is the day that you start seeking out the other people in the world that have done what you are wanting to do. They are out there but here’s the thing…you have to find them. Find them, talk to them, ask them questions, and then implement their suggestions. Then go back and ask them more questions….not until you have used all the information they gave you last time though. Nothing is going to annoy a great mentor more than a person asking for help and then them not taking action on it.

Find out what books they’re reading. Find out what podcasts and TED-talks they are listening to….then you read those books….you listen to those podcasts and TED-talks. Then start doing the things they are doing. Here’s the thing…because you have a different personality, different look, different style…you could try to do things exactly like that other person but it will be a little different because it will be coming from you. You are going to put your own unique spin on it and maybe even make it better than the original.

Surround yourself with the people you want to be like….that’s how you make shit happen. BAM! I know you’re gonna run out of that little supply I gave you but you know where to find me….I’ll be here and I can give you even more next time. You just let me know how much you’ll need and I will make sure you get plenty. Make sure you share it with your friends too though. They will love it just as much as you do!!!

5 things you can do today to start an intentional life

Whenever we think of starting something new it often feels overwhelming and we don’t know where to begin….then we never do.  Once you have even the slightest bit of forward motion inertia takes over and it gets easier to keep moving forward.  Here are 5 things you can do today to get the ball rolling!

  1.  Write down exactly what you want
    • No matter if it is more money, a better relationship, to lose weight…whatever your desire is write it down clearly articulated.  For instance if you want to make more money how much do you want to make?  How long will you give yourself to make it?  Put a date on it.
  2. Dedicate 30 minutes to research how you will obtain your goal
    • Again using the making more money as our example taking 30 distraction free minutes to research what it takes to make more money.  Is it furthering your eduction to make yourself more valuable?  Is it finding new innovative ways to find more clients?  Is it asking for a raise?  Is it finding a whole new career?
  3. Create a road map
    • Now you know exactly what you want and you have a few ideas of how to get it.  Now it is time to create a road map.  Imagine if you wanted to take a road trip across the country…from New York to California.  If you did not have a map of what highways, roads, etc, you might never make it there.  First create a list of all of the things you know you will have to do.  Then put them in a sequential order.  Chances are as you start using this road map you will add some extra steps and such but the important thing is that you are still moving forward.
  4. Create a schedule
    • Whether you have an old school paper calendar schedule or you use your phone or google calendar schedule in time everyday to work on something from your map.  This may mean that you have to wake up a little earlier, stay up a little later, work through lunch, or bump something less significant from your schedule.  Live by that schedule.  No matter what make sure you do not double book that time you have with yourself.
  5. Mark off one thing on your roadmap today
    • Whether it is making a phone call to get info, purchasing a book that will help you achieve your goal, or creating an area to get this important work done…mark 1 thing off your list.  By doing that you have made your first step towards your goal…whether it is a big step or a little step does not matter….its the forward motion that counts

Now you have the what, when, and how to start living your dream.  The biggest thing to remember here is forward motion….small steps are still steps…you are still that much closer to your goal.  These are small dedications that you can implement today.  Please try it….you won’t regret it.  Also please share your story with me.  Your stories inspire me!

How to start the life you want right now whether you are ready or not

While reading “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” John Maxwell had made a point that blew my mind.  We tend to make “excuses” as to why we are not changing our lives.  Some of them look like this:

  1. I am not ready
    1. The fact of the matter…you will never be ready but you do it anyway.  Just like anything in life the very first time you do something it is not going to be perfect however you will learn a lot from it and be able to implement that into your 2nd attempt.  Again, on your 2nd attempt it will not be perfect but you will learn more and implement those lessons on your 3rd attempt….so on and so forth.  With every attempt you learn and implement.
  2. I do not have enough money
    1. Although you may not have all of the funds necessary to complete your dream in one big purchase you can make the little investments necessary to begin.  Let’s say you wanted to open a gym.  If you need $100,000 to complete the project.  Create your business plan…that is free!  Scour your competition….what are they doing right?….that is free.  Come up with the name, the theme, the mission, the vision, who is your demographic?  These are all free….they are all essential in opening a business…and it is the foundation in which you build upon.  Most of all it is forward motion.  Take steps forward every single day…no matter how big or small.
  3. I do not have the time
    1. Time is something that we all have the exact amount of.  Each and every person in the world not matter who they are, where they came from, no matter how much adversity they face…we all have 24 hours in a day.  There is always time….it’s making the time to do it.  It means waking up earlier, staying up later, working through lunch, and/or avoiding distractions.  It’s a trade-off.  There are very busy people out there living their dreams with the exact same amount of time as you.  Choose to use your time INTENTIONALLY!
  4. I am not good enough
    1. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH….YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE AND HAPPINESS…YOU CAN DO IT…You have to shut down the little evil voice in your head that is telling you otherwise.  Make a list of 100 of your best qualities.  Read them to yourself everyday…..until that little evil voice is so exhausted that he gives up.  If you struggle with self-confidence this may take more than one sitting….take a few days to do it…weeks if you have to…pay attention to all of the things you do well.  All of the things you love about yourself.  No matter what it is….what are 100 of your best qualities?  Maybe your creativity, good cook, beautiful eyes, good singer, proactive, inspirational, good at saving money, good at decorating, great at styling your hair, kind, funny….whatever they are WRITE THEM DOWN….READ THEM EVERYDAY!  You will come to realize that you are an exceptional human being and that the only thing holding you back IS YOU and the little stories that you make up in your head.

What excuses are you making as to why you are not living the life you dream of?  You have everything it takes to be the person you want to be and to live the life that you want to live.  Keep telling yourself you CAN do it.  FAKE IT UNTIL YOU BECOME IT!  I will leave you with this inspirational moment. Fake it till you become it

What is living intentionally?

I was reminded today of how I had a missed opportunity of being intentional.  When I began this journey of creating a blog on living an intentional life I skipped over the absolute most important part….Defining it!  One huge aspect of taking on this new way of thinking is to NEVER assume anything.  Also when you realize that you made a mistake…fix it.  So here I am.  Taking ownership and being intentional with my decision to define a lifestyle that I so passionately believe in.

This blog was meant as a road map to living an intentional life.  If you didn’t have a clear definition of what that was it would seem very undesirable.  We tend to shun the unknown.  Allow me to introduce you to intentional living.

Intentional [in-ten-shuh-nl]  Adjective: Done with intention or on purpose

To be on purpose every single day.  To live a life that happens FOR you not TO you.  When you live on purpose you have a reason for everything you do, wear, say, read, watch.  You’re intentional on where you shop, the products you use, the car you drive.  You create the world you want to live in.  You choose the people you want to surround yourself with.

Because you are taking ownership over every single thing in your life you react very different to obstacles.  When you know you are on purpose and things don’t go as planned you recognize that you have control and can bob and weave appropriately.  The most important thing though is that when things don’t go as planned…you devise a new plan.  Think of it this way.  Imagine a life without the technology we use today…scary huh.  Imagine you are out driving around with no gps…no map…nothing.  You find yourself lost.  You don’t just set up shop in this place because you cannot find your way out.  You keep trying new routes until you find yourself in familiar territory again.  Or you find someone who can help you find your way back.

To be on purpose is to make conscious decisions about everything!  In order to make those conscious decisions you have to define what you want out of life.  Do you want to make more money?  Be specific…how much money do you want? Are you willing to sacrifice the time and energy it will take to make that money?

Do you want a better relationship with your spouse or partner?  What does a “better” relationship look like?  What is it exactly that you want?  More affection?  More quality time?  More help with the kids and home? Define what a great relationship is to you.  Are you willing to give your partner what they need as well?  If you are feeling that you are not getting what you want and need from your partner there is an excellent chance that they are not getting what they need either.  Are you willing to take ownership of your shortcomings in the relationship?  Define what a great relationships is to you.  What are your nonnegotiables?

I have defined a great relationship as one in which my partner respects my feelings…no matter how crazy they may seem.  They know that they are part of a partnership so their actions directly affect me and vice versa.  Someone that is putting just as much into the relationship that they are taking.  Someone that will communicate their feelings to me no matter how vulnerable they feel.  Someone that I can communicate my feelings to and know they will be taken seriously and not used against me.  Someone that is always making sure they are growing and becoming the very best version of themselves.  Someone that has specific expectations of me as well.  I have been very on purpose with my relationship and it is for that reason that it is so healthy.  Have we had our ups and downs.  ABSOLUTELY!!!!  But it was our willingness to communicate that has made us stronger.

What do you want?  Be specific.  Define it!  Create a road map to get there.  Move forward every single day….if you get lost….reroute!

 

Fake it until you become it in Pleasantville

This thought came after thinking about the TedTalk “Power Poses” by Amy Cudy.  If you haven’t seen it make a point to watch it (after you’ve finished reading this beautiful little piece of enlightenment of course) To watch this video click here

Amy Cudy talks about a personal experience in which she was involved in a terrible car accident that left her with major head trauma.  As a result, her IQ had dropped substantially.  This was a huge deal for her as she had always been identified as gifted so she felt that her identity had been stripped away.  Many of her professors and loved ones had basically told her that should rethink her career goals because “it just wasn’t going to happen for her”.  Thankfully she was incredibly strong-willed and kept on her path in spite of her set back.  Although it took her twice as long as it took her colleagues to get through school she did it!  Nearing the end of her education she had to do a talk in front of a group of  people and fear was telling her that she couldn’t do it…That she was “not supposed to be here”  When she approached her professor about backing out her professor basically said “oh hell no, you’re going to do that talk…you are going to fake it and then you are going to take every single talk you can and keep faking it until you realize you’re not faking it anymore and you are just doing it”.  After years go by and now she is teaching, one of her students approaches her and says “I can’t do this..I’m not supposed to be here”…This was a very emotional moment for Amy because she realized that she didn’t feel that way anymore.  So she basically told the girl “oh hell no, you ARE supposed to be here…tomorrow you are going to come to class and you are going to give the best comment”  and the girl did.  So basically what both of these women did was they faked it until they became it.  That is so powerful!!!  This is something that I have been practicing for a while now however I am taking it to the next level.

The past few months have been filled with such tragedy.  It seems to be happening constantly.  A few years ago I gave up watching the news because I realized that it just made me sad.  Then I found myself using the phrase “ignorance is bliss” very often.  I totally believe that to be true.  So, what if we just faked the entire life we wanted to live until it BECAME the entire life that we wanted to live.  What if you basically lived your life with blinders on?  You didn’t even consider the outside world even for a second.  What would happen?  Well, first thing that would happen is you would start attracting people who had those same sort of philosophies.  The second thing is that all of the people that were against those philosophies either begin to change their philosophies because you’ve inspired them or they drop out of your life. Sure they will think that you have become some kind of asshole but guess what you have those blinders on so you don’t see a damn thing.  Half of the battle is won at that point.  Here is an example…I want to live in a world were everyone is compassionate, kind, and empowering.  I want to live in a world where everything is beautiful.  Where I am not judged for carrying a few extra pounds..where it is ok that the house is not spotless all of the time..where people won’t label me a drunk if I have a glass of wine (or two) with lunch.  A world where everything I want is acceptable.  Well I think that world can and does exist.  The more and more I make these decisions that this is how I want to live my life the more and more it happens.  Here is an example…I see people making ignorant comments on Facebook that do not align with the perfect little “Pleasantville” that I live in…I unfollow or un-friend them….bam..they no longer exist in “My World”.  I patron a restaurant that does not treat all sexes, creeds, religions, and nationalities equally…I leave and take my business to a place that does.  I only visit the places that align with my core values, wear clothes that look phenomenal on me,  eat foods that I love, talk to people that make me want to be better, read books that make me smile and grow my mind, watch television that touches my soul and makes me happy.  I make a clear concise decision to do what makes me happy and a better version of myself.   So let’s just say that the love of my life makes a decision that affects both of us that does not align with my philosophies…well there are 3 options but all 3 of them come from us communicating respectfully with one another.  I explain to him how the decision he made makes me feel…based on that conversation we make a compromise and back to pleasantville we go.  The second is that he explains to me the reasons behind his decision and how it makes him feel…we make a compromise and back to Pleasantville we go.  3rd and finally is that we both explain how we feel we realize that neither one of us is wiling to compromise…I ask myself “is this something that I can deal with for the rest of my life”???  “Am I wiling to align myself to his way of thinking”?  If yes, back to Pleasantville we go and I never look back because I made that decision OR I make the decision that I am not wiling to be part of this decision and back to Pleasantville I go, alone.  We have choices in every possible situation that we face.  Then we have the choice on how we react to it.  There is absolutely no such thing as finding happiness….only choosing it!