WCW: Elle Deal

It’s the last month of 2018 and I have some catching up to do with my #WCW series. So for the month of December I am going to feature a new woman crush of mine every week! The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

Meet Lauren aka “Elle”

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Lauren and I met at our annual business conference in Nashville three years ago. From the moment I met Lauren I knew I wanted to be her friend. Her personality is infectious, her smile quite literally lights up the room and she has the insane talent of making best friends with everyone. We instantly clicked but as soon as we met I was off to Australia and Lauren was living in Pennsylvania at the time. Luckily, with the nature of our online business and our partnership with the same company, we still spent a lot of time together on video chats, business meetings, phone calls and of course, social media support.

 

Quickly I realized Lauren was not just an ordinary “work friend.” She is like a missing part of me. We bonded over the fact that we were both classroom teachers as our day jobs. We both were passionate teachers who really loved teaching but also couldn’t deny the flaws in the school system and the general dissatisfaction we had with pursuing a career in a classroom forever. Lauren called me while I was living in New Zealand and we had a really long discussion about her gut feeling she wanted to move to Florida. I encouraged her to take the risk, what’s the worst that could happen? She did and she flourished and I got the chance to visit her a couple times before she just recently moved on to her next adventure. I’ll let her take it from here.

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WCW: Jessica Rooney

It’s November 1st but I had to wait till Wednesday to bring you October’s WCW I have a special treat for you. The Women Crush Wednesday hashtag and social media trend is nothing new. But I am trying to reclaim that title not just for half naked celebrities or women you actually know nothing about. The women I crush over are using their womenhood, their voice and their passions to make our world brighter. I have some incredible women in my life so I am honored to share them with you. I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

Meet Jessica.

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Jessica and I met through a mutual friend, Ariella while we were all traveling in Bali. We are all a part of the Facebook community, Girls Love Travel and Ariella and I connected and had been virtual friends for a while when our paths finally crossed in Bali. We were all able to attend a yoga class together. When Jessica and I got to chatting poolside, Ariella was like “yeah, I think you two have a lot in common.” Somehow this escalated to an outdoor shower photoshoot for our Instagrams and I knew I loved her.

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A slice of NOLA: New Orleans Must Dos

A Slice of NOLA: New Orleans Must Dos 

The first stop on my summer travels around the world was back to my home country but to a city I have never been before. Nawlins. NOLA. Whatever you want to call it. I heard so much about New Orleans and I was ecstatic to check it out. I was visiting for my company’s annual summit conference so over 25,000 people invaded the city and hundreds from my team. This threw in a lot of conference-ing into the mix our week there but nonetheless, we still explored the city, ate all of the things, listened to amazing live music, got lost on Bourbon street and left a little piece of our heart there forever.

Here’s a slice of our trip and some must-dos when you are planning yours–

Where to stay:

A big group? Garden District Mansions– I highly recommend checking out the houses in the Garden District on Airbnb. My team and I of 20 girls stayed in a gorgeous home that was spacious, clean, and a short Uber ride away from every area we wanted to go. Not to mention, it was absolutely STUNNING.

If you haven’t used Air Bnb before, use this link( www.airbnb.co.uk/c/susannaha11 to get 30$ off your first booking.

Even if you don’t end up staying there, make sure you wander around the Garden District and check all the houses. They are incredible. You can even take the old  fashioned tram that runs from downtown New Orleans to the Garden district if you don’t enjoy walking a lot.

Solo travelers– If you’re on your own or on a tight budget, I highly recommend staying at Garden District House Hostel. It is one of the nicest hostels I have ever stayed in. Super clean, safe, lovely fully furnished kitchen, outdoor backyard area and very helpful staff. My boyfriend and I stayed there before the conference started and I would gladly stay there again.

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Bourbon Street vs. Frenchman Street– If you ask a local, they will tell you to go to Frenchman Street. I highly recommend it. The music is unbelievable and the bars are fun and lively. Bourbon Street is like something out of movie. There are drunk people everywhere carrying their drinks to-go (Hello no open- container law), live music,  beads, food, crowds. We went one night and one night was enough for us. I think it’s worth it at least to experience it but I wouldn’t spend a lot of time there unless you’re into the college-frat boy-spring break type drinking scene- then you’ll love it.

The French Quarter– If you love architecture and funky buildings this is the spot for you. It’s the oldest spot in New Orleans and you can find tons of  hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping. I wish we spent more time here because it truly gives you the vibes of the city.

Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral– Right next to the French Quarter- Jackson Square is a bustling scene with street vendors, psychics, horse and carriages. Definitely stop into St. Louis Cathedral and check out the stained glass and incredible architecture. My friend and I actually got psychic palm & tarrot readings right outside the cathedral and it was absolutely mind blowing. I would highly recommend it. The spiritual vibes in New Orleans are very strong and they even do haunted ghost tours of the city (which friends of mine did and really enjoyed.) I’m not here to convince you, but if you’re into stuff like that I would love to share details of my psychic experience.

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Should you move abroad?

 

This is probably the most common and repeated question I am asked. Should I study abroad? I was thinking about teaching overseas, what’s it like? What brought you to Thailand…Australia.. New Zealand?When I sense this reoccurring theme I think… blog post. That’s what happens when you’ve been blogging for this long. It’s easier to just get out all the advice in one fell swoop.

So… you’re thinking about teaching abroad? Dreaming of leaving your boring job behind to travel the world? Want to meet a sexy foreign man and never return? Be careful.. It can really happen! Trust me, I’m speaking from experience here.

So let’s go through some pros and the cons and what I believe you need to be ready for no matter where you go or why.

Pros

Your life becomes a “holiday”— When you move abroad everything feels shiny, new and exciting. You always feel like you are traveling because, well, you are. You feel excited to do ordinary and mundane things and every single day someone comments on your accent. You are an outsider, which to me makes life fresh and unusual. And I love that.

You see so much-– I always say the best way to see a country is to live there. 2 weeks in a country. Forget it. You don’t actually get a real feel for the culture, the people, the struggles, the local spots and the hidden gems. Should you still go if that’s all the time you have? Of course. But the best way to see a country/ area of the world is to just move there already. Stop thinking so much.

You never have to say “what if”— I have had so many older people tell me that they wished they did what I did when they were young. I promised myself I would never be someone who looked back and regretted getting settled down too fast– and I am definitely keeping that promise. I would rather give it a shot and hate it, then never try and just dream about it for the rest of my life.

You gain a newfound respect for your home– You start to love and appreciate home more than ever. You understand what a gift it is to have familiar faces and places. You savor every second with loved ones. You realize how privileged you were to grow up where you did. (in my case, anyway) and you are proud to represent your country-no matter where you roam.

You find out what you actually like– Traveling and living abroad teaches you to actually figure out what hobbies and interests light you up. You can’t travel and see the world while having 17 random hobbies you only do because of your group of friends. You probably can’t get your nails done every two weeks and buy all the latest trendy outfits, but if you’re like me you’ll realize that shit didn’t really make you happy anyway.

You don’t define yourself the same way– When you live in your hometown, home state or even your home country: you are constantly defined by constructs outside of yourself. Your family, your church or religion, your friends, your college, your favorite sports team, your gym or your state. Once you cross the borders, you have to define you. Everything about your past is just a story and a memory. People meet you at face value–who are you today? You can be whoever you want to be. Sure, you never lose those parts of yourself but you get to decide how closely you let them define you.

You realize it’s not the only way– This was one of the biggest things for me. The perspective. The cultural differences. It’s absolutely mind blowing at first. I remember when I first moved to Thailand I felt so sorry for the young children playing in the streets with no shoes. I could tell that they lived in the small area at the back of their parents shop and I felt like I wanted to adopt them and “save them.” I quickly realized they had every single thing they needed and they were as happy as clams. I stopped feeling sorry for them and started feeling sorry for the  4 year old kids, glued to their iPad in the back seat of the Range Rover with 4 nannies and a serious lack of attention and interaction with their parents.

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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.

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What happens when you unexpectedly have to change your entire life?

 

28 days…My boyfriend and I walked out of the hearing room and looked at each other with half relief, half sadness, and a tiny bit of sparkle in our eyes. After a series of unfortunate events and being deceived by his previous employer we knew that his 457 sponsorship visa to stay in Australia was not going to go through. We applied in April of 2016 so basically half of our relationship we have been waiting for the outcome of this visa. We prepared ourselves for them saying we had to leave but actually knowing you have 28 days to leave the entire little life you built together behind is quite terrifying once you receive the email of doom.

Instead of dwelling on the logistics, like the apartment we need to sublet, the furniture we need to sell, jobs we have to resign from, accounts we have to close, flights we need to book, (OMG, my to do list is endless right now) I’m taking a different approach this time. Usually, I would freak out- cry, let my anxiety get all out of whack and take control, be a moody brat to my boyfriend, feel sorry for myself, but this time, I decided to take control. Here is my video announcement of the news.

After announcing our news and getting an outpouring of love and support I couldn’t help but feel grateful. Many people were impressed with how positive I was being. People even expressed confusion by my positivity. How? How can you stay so positive?

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The 2016 Collection: Pain

This week I’m going to hit you with all 7 themes I collected from reading & reflecting on my 2016 blog posts. All excerpts are from past blogs.  Before we move on and chase new horizons, it’s important to acknowledge all we have learned on the current journey.  Hope you enjoy the look back… I know I sure did 

Pain


“I grew up with sadness. It shaped me into myself. I didn’t hide from my pain. Sometimes I definitely drank through it.”

“Today, if you meet me or when you look at me, you DO see a girl who “looks so happy” and for the first time in a very long time, I can say I genuinely am. Losing Corey at such a young age and fighting for myself in the sadness afterwards made me into this person who is not afraid to take chances. I learned my lesson quickly and painfully that our time is so limited and we must explore, absorb and cherish the world around us every single day. So many people don’t have the capability to follow their dreams due to a plethora of reasons, but I am so fortunate that I am capable, supported, willing and EAGER to live a life that matters. For such a seemingly happy person, it feels strange to have such a strong tie to death, sadness, grief and despair, but I refuse to be silent about things that matter. I am here to tell you and to show you that there is HOPE no matter what situation you are in, things will always change and things can always get better. Don’t shy away from how you feel. Don’t forget WHAT YOU FELT.”

” ‘Storms make trees make deeper roots’ Struggles give us a deeper connection to the world around us and to ourselves and successful people become unstoppable when they learn to mold that struggle into a message.”

“The more I learn about people the more I learn about myself. The more I realize how important it is to be vocal about things that hurt us. I genuinely believe on focusing on the positive aspects of every situation but not in a manner that discounts the pain. Pain and hard times are real and important. They teach us a lot about life and about others. Pain, like joy, goes away quickly…”

“What is meant for you never passes you by. Respond to life with courage, compassion and a dose of honesty. It’s refreshing for you and everyone that crosses your path. We all feel pain in different degrees and at different stages of our lives. Pain is powerful. Pain is real. Pain is not something we can avoid but we can construct what we do with it. The choice is yours. I choose to use my pain for you and for me. I choose to paint my pain in words like watercolors on a canvas hoping that slowly the colors bleed into something beautiful, meaningful and worth keeping. The pain isn’t worth keeping but the stories are. Remember that next time you start to worry, respond to life with action and transform the pain into passion.”

“We need to realize that everyone struggles, cries, eats a whole tub of ice cream for dinner (that can’t just be me) but we also need to recognize that we live in a world where so many women are still voiceless. We need to be the voice of reason, respect, and dignity for those women who live in places where they don’t receive any of that. We need to be women who our husbands are proud to call theirs, and our children and grandchildren will be proud of our legacy long after we are gone. We need to think about what we send out into the universe, what we represent and how we make others feel. We need to realize that being all of these things, does not mean we need to hide our flaws, shortcomings and imperfections. We need flaws to be. We need to constantly question who we are, where we are going, and what impact we want to leave on the world.”

“Right now, I feel vulnerable in pretty much every area of my life, but I refuse to lose my capacity to feel that. I refuse to wait until the storm has passed to find the rainbow. I truly believe that the ability to take risks is a double edged sword. When you risk it all, you also risk things not turning out the way you expected. It’s scary. It’s painful. But, fortunately, when you focus on all the abundance still overflowing in your life, the tides will turn and you wash ashore.”

Let’s Talk Transformations

It’s not Tuesday, but my headspace is all about transformations. In the social media universe #transformationtuesday has become a beloved hashtag of fitness fanatics, entrepreneurs and motivators. Every Tuesday my Instagram is filled with tons of before and afters. Of course, our eyes are attracted to the photos and usually they are discussing a new fitness program, nutrition plan or diet they have been following. But usually, when you read the caption you find that there is so much more that happens when you shift your lifestyle and take control of your life.

My Transformation Tuesday this week was a little different and I shared a very raw but what I thought was evident story about myself. When you are constantly sharing your journey you forget not everyone has followed along the whole time. I forget that I meet new people both in person and on social media almost every single day. I forget that with all of the growing I am doing I am changing a lot more than I realize each day. I spoke about my internal transformation and the freedom I have gained from leaving behind my “party girl” lifestyle and diving deep into my writing, traveling and healthy lifestyle. If you have known me for a while this transformation might be more apparent to you but I realized it may not be something I have necessarily opened up about. Based on the response to that post and the countless personal messages I received about I feel as if I should elaborate a bit because it seems to me like this is a topic that many women my age and people in general connect to.

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Let me start out by saying, this is absolutely not a post to claim I am a “forever changed person” and I will never drink or party a day in my life. I mean, Cabernet Sauvignon will always be a part of my vocabulary. I fully appreciate a good espresso martini. I can drink crisp ciders in the sunshine. And, yes I will still get down on the dance floor when presented with one. But from a girl who was voted “Life of the party” in high school and started drinking as a young teen, to a crazy sorority girl in college…to who I am now-I feel I have made leaps and bounds with my habits and quite honestly my desires have changed. I used to feel free when I was out dancing, drinking, going to clubs, bars, house parties, and anywhere in between. I went to WVU for heaven’s sake, WE KNOW HOW TO PARTY! I do not regret one second of those memories (or lack thereof) but I have realized that is simply not what lights me up any more. And I don’t know if it was ever truly lighting me up or just helping me escape.

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1,2,3… UNPLUG 

Preface: I wrote this two days ago. Since then the wifi has successfully been installed in my apartment! YES… life &a business is back in order. That same day my Mac Book Pro absolutely freaks out starts flashing a black screen and has to be taken for emergency treatment at the Genius Bar and since I am no longer under my 2 year Apple care plan this could be an extremely expensive hospital stay. My Mac Book is the center of my business, my blog, and my teaching career. 3-5 days without it is a hard pill to swallow. It makes this blog even more necessary and quite frankly ironic. Is mercury in retrograde? I know the supermoon is coming but seriously there is some STRANGE energy floating about. I’ve had so many highs this week but also many setbacks that just seem to keep on being thrown my way. It feels like a great outcry for an increase in my unplugging. I hear you universe, I’m doing my best to listen. Without further delay, here’s the original piece: 
My heart is racing because my Mac Book is at 9 % as I write this. I am down to the wire but feeling the itch of inspiration. Much like the mosquito bites I collected on my camping trip this weekend, that itch is relentless. Let’s see how much I can bang out before this beauty dies. 

For a blogger and online business owner-Wifi is pretty much my blood type. Unfortunately, the wifi is Australia proves time and time again to be stuck in the 1990’s.No offense Australia, but come on, I think I could have faster Internet if I rubbed sticks together and created my own connection. Between wifi problems at my last apartment, moving into a new apartment and getting the wifi set up (only to find out this process apparently takes 2 ½ weeks) and a 4 day adventure in the Australian promise land that is Jervis Bay I have been semi-disconnected for about a month now. Of course, I have data on my phone, I have wifi at work, I can pop to the library or a local cafe, but these all prove to be much more difficult than working from home in my Nike Pros with my apartment that serves as my home gym, office, and restaurant. Not having the access to internet is something that is annoying for most people, but for someone who coaches ONLINE this is panic inducing. For the sake of my sanity, I am trying to roll with the punches, control what I can control and keep calm waiting patiently for tomorrow. 

The lack of wifi has gracefully reminded me how ultra connected we all are at all times. Not only our wifi but just to our phones & devices in general. My boyfriend’s phone has been broken for about two weeks and seeing how inconvenient it is for him and also the people who need and want to talk to him is frightening. 

What time is it? Check your phone. Do you have that appointment tomorrow or Friday? Check your Google calendar. Need your alarm? Grab your phone. What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? Weather app. How much money did you actually spend on your bar tab? Online banking app (if you’re brave.) Are you going to be late for dinner? Text your friend. Need directions? Google maps. Need to find a local grocery store in a new town? Google. What time does that pharmacy close? Google. 

How many times a day do we rely on our phones, wifi, internet, Google, etc. for all of life’s needs? How much do we rely that other people will have these luxuries as well? When we text someone, when expect them to reply pretty quickly. So much so that we have to apologize and explain WHY we didn’t answer even if it’s only a few hours later. 

Man, technology is AWESOME but it is also very overpowering. I am genuinely sad and scared by how dependent we are on our little devices. I live in probably the last generation who knows what it is like to live in a world without cell phones and I am still part of the crew who were infiltrated by cell phones by about 7th or 8th grade. I remember what it’s like to call someone’s house and have to ask their parents politely if you could speak to so and so. I also remember having boys call my house and my dad answering or even worse, if they called too late and he proceeded to tell them so. AOL dial up internet, YUP. These seem like they were so far away and now I can’t stand living in a world that doesn’t have 4G or 5G speed wifi. Well, I can… But I chose to start a business that is run online, so it kinda made my ties to technology even stronger. 

I admit my dependence but I don’t do this to moan and groan without a solution. I don’t do this to claim a holier than thou attitude. Parents moan about “kids these days always on their phone” and then you hang out with a group of 50 somethings and they are all clinging to their iphones with the classic one finger, reading glasses on the tip of their nose swag. It’s a societal thing…not a generation thing. And the scariest part is- the kids who are growing up in today’s world are just taking our lead.
They are following what we are doing at a much more impressionable and tender age. The job market and the business world is expanding to the online marketplace in all career fields. It is extremely common for people to have side hustles online whether it be fitness, makeup, skincare, jewelry, leggings, consulting, selling goods on Etsy, you name it. Technology is not going to stop. We need to learn how to take a stand for ourselves and our society. How do we use it as a tool to enhance our lives not a means to control it?
These are some tips that I have learned, lived, experimented with and am still trying to implement. I would love it if you joined me in a quest for a technology rich life but also a life rich life. Nothing in the world can replace actually digging your toes in the ocean, smelling fresh mountain air, bear hugging your bestie, looking in someone’s eyes and FEELIN’ them, the sound your glasses make when you clink them after an important and beautiful cheers. How can our social media, technology obsessed world take a step back and appreciate the small things right in front of our face?

Have a cut off time
. There should be a certain time at night before you go to sleep that you (and your partner if you’re in a relationship) cut the ties to your phone, iPad, laptop, or any other gadget you have. Talk to each other, cuddle, read a book, or just get to bed early. We are all guilty of scrolling and staying up late but my boyfriend and I literally will say to each other, “OKAY, NO MORE. We’re cut off.”

Take Now & Post later
. I am all about pictures. I love photography and I love capturing memories. I am always the one to ask a stranger to take a photo and also the one to shamelessly force people into a group shot. So I am not hating on the photos but I am a take now, look/ post/share later. If you are at an amazing beach, concert, mountain, or travel destination, of course you want to take a pic but take them and forget them until LATER when you’re back at the hotel, on a 10 hour bus ride, at a layover in the airport, etc. If you take it quickly now and then you look later it’s like enjoying it twice. You rule the photos, the photos don’t rule you. I hate seeing someone in an amazing location spending 25 minutes changing the filter and scrolling through pics they JUST TOOK! It’s right in front of you, look up!! 

Dinner Date= No phones
. Despite a quick snap of my brunch before I eat it (foodie probz) if I’m sharing a meal with a friend, family member or lover- I stick to a no phone policy. Why go out to eat if you aren’t going to talk to each other? Of course there are exceptions, if someone is supposed to meet you, an emergency, an SOS text, but come on for the most part everything can wait 1-2 hours until you finish the meal. Some of the best conversations and memories of my life have happened around a table, eating good food, drinking wine, talking about dreams, the universe, how to change the world and sometimes, still talking about food while we eat other food. Okay let’s be real, with my people about 80% of the time is spent also discussing food. Live in those moments. Cherish them. 

 Listen to signs
. If you can’t find wifi that works and you are traveling and you really want to ______________(insert semi emergency here) I believe the universe is telling you to LIVE IN THE MOMENT. Sure, you miss your peeps back home, you wanna check your inbox, your email, Snapchat, etc. But the world still turns without you. And you may waste your whole trip searching for wifi. Even if it is work related, it is not the end of the world if you take the day off or find wifi at a later time. 

Be purposeful. My business has been my greatest lesson for this. Most people spend some time every day online. For some people it’s on social media, online shopping, researching travel destinations, blogging, chatting about various topics, reading articles or watching YouTube videos. I don’t know about you but sometimes I actually frighten myself by how easily I can waste time on the Internet. I also have learned how to be focused and intentional with my time online. If I only have 2 hours to work my coaching business, I do the essentials- the vital things that serve my clients, my coaching team and potentials and then I GET OFF. Staying focused and being intentional about what you are doing online cuts down significantly on the amount of time you need to spend connected. 

Force yourself to unplug. Hey, maybe you can’t do it for a whole week or even a weekend but everyone can unplug for an evening or even chunks of time. Unplugging is hard for me, every single time. But every time I find clarity, inspiration and a sense of rejuvenation. I am more excited to use technology when I return to it and more aware of how beneficial it is not to be glued to something you need to charge 24/7. I am huge advocate for hikes, camping, coastal walks, etc. because being in nature is one of my favorite ways to bring me into the moment. 

Constantly Question: If you find yourself caught in a rapid stalking circle on Instagram or lost on your 37th youtube video from a blogger from Iceland who is learning how to play the guitar (not an actual example just sounds random enough for emphasis) ask yourself WHY am I doing this? What value is this adding to me? What could I be doing that is more beneficial or interesting for me? There is nothing wrong with using the internet and technology for entertainment but I personally would rather be spending it fueling my mind with positivity and inspiration than agonizing over which color bodysuit I should buy for my perfect weekend outfit for 2 hours. Don’t give in to MINDLESSNESS. 

Technology is a tool to enhance our lives not a means to control it.

And remember, like the writing goddess Anne Lamott once said, “Almost everything will work if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.”
 Let’s unplug our technology rich life more often and tune into that life rich life that is waiting for us. 1,2,3…

The flow knows where to go

This week and weekend I experienced the feeling of flow so many times that I felt as if I needed to pinch myself. But when you experience flow.. you go with it. C’mon we learned that when we were like ten.  While I was teaching on Monday, a few of my students seemed to be showing tremendous progress from where they started. I felt excited for them and so proud. Hearing and watching someone transform their language, communication skills and confidence is incredibly rewarding. Not only did I feel fulfilled in my teaching job but I had an awesome week with my coaching business as well. I started a new fitness challenge and have another engaged and fun group of women who are making positive, sustainable changes to their health and nutrition. Guiding people through the process of change and believing in the power of their body and especially their mind is so satisfying. I also experimented with going live and sharing some of my thoughts to inspire those who follow along with my journey. It is incredible what a difference it can make for people to hear your voice and feel connected. I am excited to have yet another medium in which I can express myself and impact the lives of others.

Balance is a continual struggle for me and I think it is the true elusive desire of most people. This week the weather has been getting very warm in Australia, which is the complete opposite of the other side of the world. Not only does this make the balancing act of work an play more difficult but this serves as my humbling reminder that we are not all there is. There is  a whole other hemispheres, planets, galaxies and who knows what out there and we are just a mere blip in the radar. But in our day to day life we often get trapped into narrow minded thinking. We get sucked into feeling like our problems are certainly the end of the world and our successes are something that must be celebrated by everyone who knows us.

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.

 You answer to yourself.Personally, I am a very harsh critic. I will be massively successful in all areas of my life.  I refuse not to be. Being mediocre is the most terrifying fate in my book. Sometimes I let this drive me to be a workaholic but thank god I have learned to channel both my workaholic and my free spirit simultaneously. It’s not easy to do this. I continue to struggle with balancing work and play.

But I try to break my life into 1 hour increments. What can I do for the next hour that will be the most beneficial for me? Now, beneficial sometimes means for my business, my mental health, my relationship, my blog, my sanity, my teaching job. If I don’t have an hour-I break it down into half hour segments. It is amazing what you can do when you utilize the time in your day the way YOU want to.

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