What is it really like to have ADHD and anxiety?

Why are you thinking so much? Did you take your medicine?

You’re in a great mood, why are you worrying about that?

Why can’t you focus? Use some self control.. Come on.

But you really should be starting this now instead….after you send that email and check on that load of laundry. Oh look, you forgot about that you started yesterday. What should you really be doing right now?

It’s not that it won’t let you focus, it lets you focus on 75 things at once. That’s normal, right?

When you finally get that focus channeled, there is no stopping you. It may be hours dedicated to one task or project.

When you lose the passion and excitement for the task, it’s hard to recreate that type of focus.

When you don’t feel passionate about something, you will do it but it has some strange soul sucking quality to it. Don’t they feel that too?

When you feel nervous about the smallest thing, even though it has no relevance to the situation.

When your room or your house is a mess you literally feel sick to your stomach, and your eyes and brain are darting around the room endlessly.  If you just clean it you’ll feel better.

When you don’t want to have a plan, you’re a free spirit. But you need a plan. You need the steps to follow.  You’re nervous with one and you’re helpless without one.
Continue reading

Make your bed= Change your life?

 So the burning question? Should you make your bed? JK.

Everyone is asking me…How is New Zealand?

I know you are picturing me in wide open grassy fields with picturesque mountains, huge sparkly lakes and perfect flowers in the foreground. Maybe bungee jumping, diving into caves or sipping wine in sunny vineyards? Quintessential adventure traveling in New Zeland. I wish that was the case but the nomad lifestyle isn’t always what Instagram portrays it to be. No matter how positive my attitude is the adjustment into a new country, culture, and lifestyle is never simple especially when you leave everything to sort out once you’ve already arrrived. Bank accounts, hours searching for apartments, flatshares, house shares, Air Bnb’s online and then viewing them only to be told they aren’t available for short term leases or you’re sharing the apartment with 6 other strangers. No wifi, finding new phone plans. This is not a rant or a complaining session, it’s simply a dose of reality because I want to help my readers to understand all aspects of the nomad lifestyle, even the not so sexy parts.


Luckily, my first week in New Zealand did start on a high note. My favorite nonprofit organization, One Wave celebrated it’s 4th birthday last Friday. If you haven’t read my blog before or you’re just stopping by One Wave is a non profit surf organization raising awareness for mental health by dressing up in Fluro gear every Friday and heading to the beach for surfing, yoga, and some serious heart to hearts about what it’s like to suffer from mental health struggles. This organization introduced me to the coolest humans and my closest friends in Australia and I was stoked when I found out for the 4th birthday they were celebrating at the a beach suburb in Auckland, Takapuna, which coincidentally was a 25 minute walk from our Air Bnb. I see you Universe, you beautiful thing.

17668679_10208503793337130_1444831183_o17670852_10208503791617087_908942492_o17692369_10208503792577111_1236552516_o17741365_10208503792937120_1463298416_n17692681_10208503792537110_555814634_o17622886_10208503792217102_1671928058_o

Harry experienced his first Fluro, I got to see my Fluro sista from Sydney who recently moved back to NZ, and we paddle boarded in the serene waters at Takapuna Beach. Nothing could make me feel more welcome than bringing my normal Friday tradition with me to my new home. Harry and I headed to the city for brunch and then entered into the life admin stage. Adulting sucks sometimes.

Continue reading

Confessions of an Over Packer

How does packing for a weekend trip, long vacation, or even a move make you feel? Are you an organized planner? Do you do a little bit each day for a few weeks or do you save it to the last minute?

Every traveler has to deal with the task of packing up their suitcase or backpack for their journey ahead. I am notorious for being a last minute over packer. I analyze every situation that might happen and why I just have to have that extra maxi dress. Not only has packing up this time called into question my packing habits but it also makes me question my relationship with material things in general.

After watching the Minimalism documentary on Netflix I felt very inspired to try to cut down the amount of stuff in my life. I have lived abroad for almost three of the past four years post graduate school. I learned to live off of one suitcase or even a couple backpacks for year-long stints living abroad but I also have a walk in closet and a whole bedroom full of “stuff” waiting for me at my parent’s home in New York. When I came home from Australia for a visit after a year of living there I felt truly shocked and saddened by the amount of clothes I had just sitting there. In some ways it was really exciting because it was like going shopping in my own closet. There were so many things I forgot I even had but I still had a full suitcase full of stuff I had brought with me. What’s the constant need for new stuff?

I will never be a true minimalist. I like clothes. I like fashion. I think the way we present ourselves to the outside world is important. When I dress well, I feel good. I live a diverse lifestyle and have different wardrobes based on those roles I play. I have my “teacher” or professional clothes, my growing activewear collection and then my casual wardrobe. I struggle with this because I truly do believe in experiences over things. I would way rather buy a plane ticket than a designer hand bag. But when I am packing I realize that I am still part of this material world., I can’t decide how I feel about that. I have donated a lot of things but my ADHD and anxiety lead me to worry easily about freeing myself of too many things. What if I “need it”? I am sure many of you reading this can relate. How often do you ask yourself these types of questions? How often do you go shopping for new things that you “need”? How many things just sit in your closet untouched?

Continue reading

Repacking My Life and My Blog

Never fear, my free form headspace articles have not been forgotten. As my blog has evolved over the past few years, I have felt the desire to do more with it. With daydreams of being a nomad,  I have watched countless webinars and read many blog posts on how to turn your blog into a profitable business. I already have my own coaching business which I began separately from my blog. I started my blog as my passion project, a way to communicate with my friends and family when I moved abroad to Thailand in 2013. I had NO IDEA what would come of it.

At the time, I was graduating with my MA from WVU in Secondary Education with a specialization in English. My BA was in English. Since I was a young child, I loved to write. I loved reading, creative writing, and creating entire fictional universes. I couldn’t understand why my classmates hated writing so much. If the assignment was one page I wrote three. I couldn’t fathom why it was so difficult for most people, but it just came so naturally to me.

Take a minute and think of your favorite teacher you’ve ever had. Every single one of us have “that teacher.” For me it was my 9th and 10th grade English teacher, Chapman. Chap. Chapstick (my personal favorite.) He is a living legend when it comes to teaching and he saw something in me I couldn’t yet see in myself. I am happy today to call him a friend and mentor to this day. In recent years and more stints living in foreign countries, I haven’t spoke to him as frequently as I would like but he will always be someone who I credit for my passion for English and especially writing. He made me believe I had something special, an actual talent. Mind you, both my parents were incredible teachers and my mother was a phenomenal English teacher whom I greatly admire,  but it’s really hard to believe your parents when they tell you you’re “special.” Mr. Chapman was that teacher for me and for that, I will always be grateful. I wanted to pursue this hobby because of him and I’m not sure where I would be without that spark to this deeply burning flame.

In high school, shortly after Chapman’s English class, my best friend tragically committed suicide. How on earth does a 15 year old cope with that pain? Partying. Check. Drugs. Check. Numbing the pain. Check. Writing. Check. Writing was my saving grace. I turned to this former hobby and past time as a form of therapy- an escape. This was really the only healthy coping tool I had at the time. I didn’t share much with others but finally I decided to share something I wrote for the one year anniversary of Corey’s death(which I shared again here for the piece I wrote about the 10th anniversary earlier this year.) I quickly realized that my words could help people. They could reach people. They might even be able to save people.  Then I thought they might be saving me.

Continue reading

Single, Taken, Heartbreakin: Why we all need Self-Love

Valentine’s Day seems to be a day we obsess over being in love and more so being lonely. I have friends who hate Valentine’s day whether they are in a relationship or single. But love is so much more than the feeling that people share in a romantic partnership. How can you love yourself a little more today? Are you sick of hearing about self-love? Are you confused by what people even mean by that term? I don’t care if you’re married, divorced, or a baby right out of the womb- we all deserve our own affection, attention and adoration. Self-love is a necessary component to being fulfilled, challenged and whole. Ultimately, you loving yourself shapes a better world for all of us. What should you remember to ensure you’re practicing self-love today and everyday?

It’s not selfish– People are typically hesitant to take time for themselves. “I’m too busy.” We pour ourselves fully into our jobs, families, lovers and hobbies so that at the end of the day what is left over for us? Nada. It’s not selfish to put yourself first in fact, that is the only way to ensure you are the greatest lover, teacher, friend, daughter, mother, or  coworker possible. You cannot pour from an empty cup. The first step towards loving yourself fully is realizing it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

Continue reading

Should you stop drinking for 30 days?

Dry January has become a pretty trendy health kick in the past few years. For the second year in a row my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try. Being an expat away from your family on the holidays usually calls for an excess amount of alcohol and parties to make up for it. Okay, let’s be real, being a millennial on planet earth usually calls for an excess amount of alcohol and parties. This year I definitely kept it in check much better than previous holiday binge months, but I still woke up on December 31st feeling ready to get back to my healthy ways. If you don’t have time to read this or you want some more details from my experience check out my vlog about this topic here.

Have you ever tried Dry January? What about giving up alcohol on purpose for an extended period of time? If you think.. “I don’t need to do that” or “I could never do that” then those are two warning signs you definitely do. Here’s a closer look at my experience and why you should give it a try.

Physical benefits– Personally I experienced much clearer skin, an increase in energy, a huge improvement in my sleeping pattern, more strength to push myself in my workouts and what I assume was some weight loss (I don’t have a scale.) When you aren’t drinking and hungover you can keep up with your fitness and nutrition goals much easier.  I don’t know about you but I’m not signing up for yoga class and eating a kale salad if I was out until 1 am drinking tequila. I’m not saying 30 days without alcohol will do all this for you but all of these benefits have been agreed upon by most who have given up alcohol for an extended period of time. You definitely aren’t hurting yourself physically.

Mental benefits– As someone who suffers from anxiety and ADHD, when I am hungover my anxiety and ADHD skyrocket. I feel guilty and nervous about the fact that I can’t complete my to do list, household chores and sometimes even get out of bed. 30 days without alcohol left me feeling like a much less scatterbrained version of myself. I felt very  positive and motivated and didn’t feel the “brain fog” that you often experience after a big night on the town. I feel like my thoughts quickly sharpened and I was better at making decisions.

Continue reading

Why you should meet strangers on the Internet

The digital world can never replace in person interaction, connection and experiences. Life behind a computer screen can cause a lot of issues including comparison, unworthiness, and a feeling of “connection” but ultimately isolation. Then why would I tell you to talk to strangers on the Internet? Because in the past year and a half I have stumbled upon a few interweb connections that have changed my life and I want you to at least give it a shot. Here’s why:

You just moved to a new city- When you move to a new city, especially on your own (without a job or a place to live, wait is that just me?) your main concern should be finding a job and a place to live. If you are moving/ traveling abroad this might land you in a hostel where you could meet awesome people, (I met the love of my life) but you also meet a lot of people who are sleeping until 2 pm, partying all night, and complaining they can’t find a job. Let’s just say not the ideal crowd. If you stick to those friends you meet at the bar, you might not have the most motivated, positive, uplifting group surrounding you. CHOOSE your tribe wisely, don’t stumble into them.

IMG_0386

You can find out about events that peak your interest– Last year I found out about an awesome festival called Rad Livin on Instagram. It was full of inspiring stories from young creatives, live music, pizza, donuts and rad people. Their Instagram account followed me so I checked it out and it sounded like it was made for me. I couldn’t get any of my friends to join so I went alone and I made such cool friends and connections. Still time to go this year if it sounds like something you would like, just click this. I also attended many events in Sydney thanks to social media including Nike Training Tour, World Yoga Day Festival and Taste of Sydney. Cool events usually equal cool people and experiences are always worth the ticket price!

Continue reading

How to make 2017 your best year yet

It’s been a week long series of the 2016 collection. I hope this week brought you some insight, inspiration and friendly reminders to find what makes you happy, treat your body right and never stop exploring the world around you.

As we kick off 2017 one of my goals is to take my blog to the next level. I’ve had this blog for 3 years now. It started as a minor project, a simple way to keep in touch with friends and family when I moved to Thailand. I had no idea what the course of these next 3 years would be;  how deeply I would fall in love with traveling and sharing my storying, and that I would ultimately move from Thailand to New York and down under to Australia. In the past 3 years I have had my heartbroken and found myself in the aftermath, started my own business, taught 3 different aged students in 3 different countries, fallen in love, met hundreds of new and inspiring souls, went skydiving(twice) , conquered my fear by scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, traveled to five countries, backpacked all around South East Asia and Australia, been published on one of my favorite websites, grew my passion for exercise, yoga, writing and helping people, welcomed my nephew into the world, fallen in love with myself again and again and most importantly felt more alive than I ever have in my life.

 

In 2017, I want to shift my focus a bit, I still plan to keep you up to date with my journey and sharing my story but I want to help you to write your own. Maybe that’s in the traditional sense of starting a gratitude journal or your own blog or maybe that’s just getting in touch with where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going. My focus this year is helping YOU grow. I’ve started my first newsletter to give a monthly bonus to subscribers plus special freebies, offers, advice, etc. Make sure you subscribe to stay up to date! I will reserve special content for the newsletter but it will always fit in with the theme of the blog posts happening that month!

So, in honor of January and goal setting- let’s get your year off on the right track.  Resolutions have a negative connotation because so many people set them and forget them or people say things they think they should change but don’t really feel invested in. I am not sure if you are familiar with the term “S.M.A.R.T goals” but I would love to give the quick and dirty refresh.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T for them to work

S- Specific (what exactly will you do)

M- Measurable (how will you know you have reached the goal)

A- Achievable (something that can be done)

R- Realistic (Is this too big? Can I really do it?)

T- Timely (when will I do this by)

So instead of saying “I need to get in shape” try making a SMART Soul Solution- “I will improve my health by exercising four times per week every week. I will measure my success by the amount of inches I lose and how my clothes fit. I will  mark on the calendar when I workout and check in with myself every month and make sure I’m sticking to my goal.”

 

YOU CAN CHANGE! We all have the ability to change. It’s about being aggressive and persistent in changing our habits. I also love the idea of having ONE goal in all the major areas of your life. Don’t try to change it all at once. Don’t discredit that every day is a tiny step in the right direction. One day doesn’t make or break you but one day plus one day plus one day turns into weeks and months of change. Little by little, bit by bit, you will look back and see how far you have come.

 

No matter what your goals are I have some serious and realistic tips for sticking to them.

 

 

  • TALK THEM OUT. Make sure they measure up to the S.M.A.R.T.
  • WRITE THEM DOWN.  Writing things down is powerful in so many ways.
  • HANG THEM UP. You have to look at them frequently. Above your desk, on your mirror, on your fridge!
  • SCHEDULE THEM IN. Make a plan. It’s hard enough to change habits, without a specific plan it’s hopeless.
  • STAY FOCUSED. If you want it, block out anything that stands in your way FOCUS is powerful.
  • HAVE FUN. Goal setting can be intimidating but shit, girlfriend- working on you should be fun. Have a sense of humor about it and remember trying and failing is better than staying stuck.

 

 

I’ll leave you with an awesome quote from one of the best books I’ve ever read The Magic of Thinking Big by David Joseph Schwartz:

 

“You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself and there is more of you.”

 

Your mind is your most powerful muscle. Cheers to a fabulous new year, but not a new you. We can improve things about you, but remember I like you just the way you are. You should too! There are endless possibilities when you look out into the future, focus those gorgeous eyes on a few and let’s do this thing. 

 

img_6055

 

The 2016 Collection: Sharing Your Story

Sharing your Story

“Your influence is endless. Just like heart disease, cancer, alzheimer’s, you name it, mental illnesses can be deadly. People who suffer from mental illnesses deserve awareness, respect, support, empathy, sympathy and love. It doesn’t just affect those who suffer but anyone and everyone who cares about them. No, you may not understand what it’s like, but do you have to understand what it’s like to have cancer to be compassionate towards people with cancer? Of course not. I have so many friends and family members who are suffering or have suffered. I see you, I feel you and I am here for you. Our mind, our body and our spirit all work as one and each entity of us deserves the utmost tenderness, compassion and respect. I don’t want my story to leave you feeling sad, I want it to leave you…feeling. Because that to me is the ultimate kudos for my story and my “why” , to bring about feeling. We feel things when they matter, and this matters a whole lot to me. In my heart of hearts, when you read this I want you to feel like you matter. Because you do. Everyone has a story and every one matters.”

“We live in a world where what matters MOST does not matter to most.”

“When something truly matters to us not only do we voice our opinion on it but we also live in a manner that manifests those core beliefs.”

“I accept the world we live in will always put people in a box and small minded people will mimic this behavior. But I decided long ago that I would follow my heart, my passion and lead with good intentions and morals. Sure I’ve made a million mistakes along the way, but I have never regretted for one day who I am, what I stand for, and what I represent. I am so happy that my words give me a way to share this mindset with the world, my friends, family and strangers passing through my blog or digital universe. I’m asking you to live above the stereotype. Accept that it will happen. But prove them wrong.  Tolle brilliantly stated, “Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life- and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”  Don’t waste your time with worrying, follow your gut and don’t regret a thing. Look at anyone you encounter as a friend first, if they prove themselves to be an enemy, still prove them wrong with the way you live. So… stereotype me, I dare you.”

“We all want to feel like we aren’t in this thing alone. It is a beautiful feeling when you can make someone else believe they are not alone and usually all that requires is listening to them. We all have that power.”

I want to inspire people to:

  1. Love themselves above all

  2. Value their dreams and FOLLOW THEM relentlessly

  3. Not give a damn what their neighbor thinks of them

  4. LET GO OF WHO THEY THINK THEY SHOULD BE/ THOUGHT THEY WERE

  5. Expand their mind as frequently as possible

  6. Treat their mind, body and soul with tenacious tenderness. Cut yourself some slack

  7. Express themselves. Write it down. Scream it loud. LET IT OUT

  8. Sit back and smell the roses OFTEN

  9. Stop buying things and start buying plane tickets

  10. Do what you say you will do ALWAYS

“The stories inside of me are not something that I feel as if I can survive without telling. That may sound extremely dramatic to those of you who do not have specific creative calling(that you are aware of) but to me it is plain and simple. Like the feeling of hunger, excitement, joy, or sleepiness. The feeling to create is plain and simple for me and it is relentless. The more I listen to it, the freer I feel.”

“Committing myself to my health and fitness has been a catalyst for change in every area of my life. I feel like I would be doing a huge disservice NOT to share everything I have learned and experienced. Once I saw how sharing my journey, not just with health and fitness but with navigating life as a 20 something in our society, impacted others and inspired others I made a vow to myself to never stop sharing.”

“Coaching has taught me how important it is to share your journey and story, not just the triumphs but also the struggles. Not only has my business given me the platform to reach out and connect and talk to people every day but it has reminded me how badly I need to share what is within. And luckily for me, expressing myself in words is a talent of mine and one that I desire to pursue for my entire lifetime. I am just a girl who is trying to remind people that being healthy is so much more than having muscles or a flat stomach. Being healthy is a commitment to yourself from the INSIDE… OUT. You need your mind, body and spirit to feel healthy and each area deserves time, attention, relevance and respect. The journey takes so much self awareness, acceptance, actualization and confidence so no wonder we have trouble doing it alone. I am here to remind you that you don’t have to.”

“I find it fascinating how people are so reluctant to talk about subject matters that are painful, powerful, but undoubtedly important. Why should we brush over the surface of matters instead of diving in deep?”

“My words are my weapon against the future, my cure for the past and my ticket into the present. Sure, I can think about the past when I write, I can still dream about the future, but the magic happens when I sink my teeth deeply into right now. It’s my space. It’s unbelievable how often we hold the ticket to our own success. It’s like we are locked in a jail cell with the key around our neck screaming for someone to let us out. If only, we took the time to look down and into ourself, we would see the power has always been with us.”

The 2016 Collection: Finding Your Passion 

Finding Your Passion

img_5910


“The more I encourage others to take risks, take action and live the life of their dreams the more I continue to do it myself.”

“ Being healthy, active, busy, soaked in sunshine and helping other people as much as I can fills me up”

“No one has an idea and knows where it will take them, they just fight for that one idea and let it evolve naturally.”

“ ‘Being enslaved by the exigencies of life and by our constitution does not preclude the possibility that we can feel free. We experience freedom when we choose a path that provides us both meaning and pleasure.’ Although life itself is full with responsibilities (especially this whole adult gig) when we are choosing what life we make our own it is much easier to feel free and satisfied.”

“Never let someone else’s view of what you SHOULD do with your life steer you away from what you want to do with your life. Even if that means you are saying you don’t know what you want to do. Why is everyone so scared to admit they don’t know what will satisfy them in their career? Why can’t people just say they haven’t found it yet, but they are still actively searching? I respect someone who is constantly trying to better themselves, taking risks, making mistakes, pushing themselves to live a life that fills them with passion much more than someone who pretends to be satisfied by mediocrity.”

“Through The Power of Now I am realizing what all of my passions have in common. Writing, exercising, traveling, children, helping, talking; they all require all of your attention. They force you into the now. I could get lost in my mind FOREVER. I need extremely interactive outlets to channel my Being into being.”

“Creating a life that you love is a tiring roller coaster ride of grit, resilience, inner strength and determination. But loving the LIFE in you, bringing yourself to life, that all lies in the power of now. Our power is infinite but we must tap into ourselves and listen to our hearts, and remember to enjoy simply being. Adventures are by far my favorite thing, so I choose to make an adventure of now.”

“Cheers to having the courage and living the life you imagine and the humility to CHANGE THAT PLAN if it isn’t what you want anymore. Life is simply too short to do anything less. Make it count.”

“I love surrounding myself with good people, not people who have it all together, people who graciously accept not having it all together and always provide an open ear and open heart. I love inspiring(verb) people and I love inspiring(adjective) people. I love moving my body, connecting my mind, body and spirit and challenging myself to expand. People often talk about growth, but the most interesting part about growth for me is I haven’t gotten bigger, I have simply gotten closer to the voice inside my heart. My growth has expanded my mind and my perception but it has lead my back into myself. “What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.” I choose to focus on growth, happiness, adventures and most importantly helping others to do the same.”

“Listen to yourself and what makes you feel at home. If you haven’t found it, keep looking and keep your mind and heart open so when it arrives you won’t be too jaded, frustrated, or scared to find a different home.”

“I think people spend too much time worrying about finding their “passion” and not enough time feeling it out. When you do a job or an activity that you are good at and that brings you happiness, you feel joy. You feel flow. You feel satisfied. You feel on top of the world. DO THINGS and if they feel good, keep them. When they don’t make you feel good, don’t do them again.”

“I am learning to let go of my over analytical mind and accept that finding your passion in life is not a direct flight. We are human beings. Passion evolves as your life evolves and life is a measure of your ability to adapt your behaviors and actions to match your ideals for success and happiness.”

“But here is the thing, although we think we matter a lot, in the scheme of things we matter very little. Some people use this as an excuse to live on a small scale. I view it as the opposite. I use this fact to propel me forward into my future with as much passion, action, adventure and chutzpah as humanly possible. In the end, the only one who knows if you lived the life you are capable of is you.”

“If you haven’t stopped and asked yourself these questions in a while (or maybe ever) please do it now. When do you feel the most like yourself? How often do you do that activity? Does your work incorporate what makes you feel flow? When is the last time you went for an adventure? What is the most beneficial thing you can do with the next hour of your time? Are you living a life that suits you ? Are you experiencing flow more than you are experiencing hardships and pain?”

“Many people don’t take the time to figure out what they actually want, that’s why they never get it.”

“Don’t give up and do not be stagnant. Unless you are bursting with pride and happiness about the life you are creating, you gotta find what is missing by trying something new.”