WCW: Jaclyn DiGregorio

It’s the last month of 2019 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 Jaclyn.

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Jaclyn and I connected on Instagram! I instantly loved her vibe and was very inspired by the content she shared. We arranged a phone call so I could learn a bit more about her business and she could learn about mine. Since then I have followed Jaclyn’s journey on the road of solo entrepreneurship on social media and have been so impressed by her strong messages about diet culture and intuitive eating.

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Let’s Celebrate: International Self Care Day

In honor of International Self Care Day I am taking care of my soul the best way I know how. I haven’t felt quite like myself in months. My business partner and I had a video chat yesterday and as I opened up to her and we quickly realized what was missing for me. As I sat down on the train this morning ideas started pouring out of me and I realized that I haven’t written a “headspace” article in so long or really any blogs AT ALL! 

I won’t lie, for a writer, I suck at sticking to weekly blog posts. Why? I create content every single day for my social media. I create content to mentor my coaching team and in my wellness groups. I create lesson plans & writing activities for my classroom. I often justify not sitting down to write because I know I can’t spread myself too thin and I need to keep the main thing the main thing. I need to focus on tasks that push my business forward.

But I when I discuss mental health, self-care, self-love, and doing what you love- I am immediately drawn back to my words. If you are a writer you understand. If you are a dancer you understand. If you feel called to any creative expression, you understand. Simply put, when I don’t write, I don’t feel like myself. When I don’t feel like myself sometimes I don’t write. Sometimes the very thing that seems the most difficult is exactly what you need.

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Social Media: When will it start to click?

Social media is weird. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. Social media is transforming business, education, social interactions, relationships, mental health, etc. The list goes on. The amount of time that we spend daily on social media would make our ancestors turn over in their graves. #embarassing

This is coming from a travel obsessed blogger and online health and wellness coach. I use social media constantly because it is my job to. #girlboss But just because I am building my business through social media does not mean I can’t be aware of it’s numerous downfalls. Can you say hypocrite? I often feel like a hypocrite because I believe so deeply in deep human connection. I adore people  and experiences that are so fun and consuming you forget to check your phone. But I feel extremely grateful to have a business that is based on social media because I fully understand the nature of the beast. I can proudly own the fact that I need to snap a few shots of my healthy meal for my Instagram. I’m not scared to take a selfie- coming from a girl who used to HATE selfies. I also proudly have business hours and when it’s not that time- I’m not working. I’m the first friend to tell people to put down their phones and be present.

I just read a quote my friend posted (on social media of course) “I’m so pro-selfie. There are so many bigger problems in this world than girls who think they are pretty. One of those is girls who don’t think are pretty.” Selfies aren’t the problem- what we interpret from the selfies, travel photos or lovey dovey couple photos are. The problem is the inability to check ourselves when we are tempted to scroll aimlessly, pull out our phone at dinner or stalk that person who really has nothing to do with us.

Like anything in life, over-indulgence can be fatal. Abusing or feeding into mindless stalking and scrolling on the internet is harmful for our psyche and our brain power. I am tremendously intrigued by how social media affects mental health and I have already embarked on some research that will unfold in an exciting project in years to come– so keep your eyes peeled. But this isn’t from a researcher’s perspective- it’s from a highly empathetic, perceptive individual who happens to build a business on social media. I let creativity take over and this is what happened. I hope this serves as a reminder to you and to all of us.

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Beautiful girl, what are you looking for

How long can you scroll before something starts to click

Yes, that’s a filter- no she did not #wakeuplikethis

We all have bed head, ugly pj pants, and weird stuffed animals

But that couple that is so perfect #relationshipgoals

They’ve been fighting for months

They’re getting a divorce

That #fitspo girl is basing her worth of her likes and her body fat percentage

Those abs required 27 attempts, perfect lighting, posing, angles

He did the deadlifts just for that video and went home

Is that any way to live?

But is that everyone? Of course not. But how can you tell?

When will it start to click?

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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.

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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!

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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…

Life matters

My headspace is inundated by a topic that has been saturating the media like wildfire in the past few days and really for the past few years. My blog is my space and my words are intended to express my personal thoughts and beliefs. They may be opposite or different than yours, but I expect you to be able to entertain thoughts that are different from your own. If we can not attempt to understand other people’s opinions on controversial matters, we are doomed to this cycle of  hatred, violence, protest and pain. Social media has allowed people an outlet to unload their emotions before they have the time to properly reflect, educate, research and compose themselves. I don’t blame anyone who releases their emotions, especially their hurt emotions, but I do implore everyone to remember that one voice, your voice, does make a difference, whether you choose to acknowledge that or not. What you spread onto the internet has far reaching repercussions for the morale, stigmas, and social movements happening in our country and around the world. Just because some people cannot artfully and respectfully verbalize their opinion does not mean that people who can should be silenced. We need more solutions and we need more voices, stop complacently watching as this horror unfolds.

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I am involved in an incredible online community where women from all over the world join together in their love for traveling. In this extremely active community, we often address the issues of the world and breaking news in a manner that relates and reflects on how it affects us as global citizens and travelers. The conversation was sparked about the recent murders of two African American males in the past two days in the United States and as usual, many different and emotionally charged comments were presented.

Many women posted articles and opinions and a discussion formed about the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the “All Lives Matter” counter criticism. I tried to read the articles and remain open to different perspectives. I read a few articles that I believe are extremely eye opening and  beneficial to read despite your stance on the subject. In a message board on Reddit.com the user, Geek Aesthete, artfully describes that the “Black Lives Matter” movement has an implicit “too” not an implicit “only”. Another blogger, Tyler Huckabee,  at relevantmagazine.com eloquently reminds us how important context is in this campaign. Again, “Black Lives matter” does not need the answer “All lives matter” because that is negating and dismissive to the current situation and context at hand. Huckabee states,“There is a difference between true and relevant”. Charles P. Pierce on esquire.com also acknowledges that All lives matter is not infact an appropriate response or movement and Pierce says,

“ Too much All Lives Matter rhetoric has been shot through with excusing even the most egregious and deadly police misconduct because of the “dangerous job” that police have in controlling not only actual criminals, but the spectral predators in the common mind.”

After reading close to 20 different articles from a variety of platforms, authors, opinions and subject matter and a heated two hour long phone phone conversation with my mom in America, I will humbly attempt to raise my voice in hopes to make a difference.

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Be More…

I wrote this blog post a few days ago. I usually write/edit  my posts for at least 2 or 3 days depending on the subject matter. My message is even more important now that I have received terribly heartbreaking news today that another one of my friends from WVU has passed away far too young. Brad Fagula, you were a hilarious and loving spirit who always knew how to have fun. You were a great friend to so many and I truly can’t believe you are gone. I still think my sentiments for this blog post are very pertinent to my feelings but the sense of urgency for gratitude has increased tenfold. When you go to sleep you never know what or who will be there when you wake up. All we have is right now. Memories and love truly do go on long after a physical body leaves this earth but I pray that my WVU family, Brad’s family and all of those affected by losing someone they love too soon, find peace and strength in this hard time. Our time is the greatest tool and the greatest gift we can give to those we love. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I hope it adds a smile and some inspiration to your day. ❤ RIP Brad

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This morning I am reflecting on how many people have reached out to me in the past few months whether it was about my piece about Corey, a blog post about my crazy traveling life or a fitness related post I have had friends from near and far tell me that they connected to my story, my words or were inspired by my attitude or positivity in some way. Some of these friends consistently like my posts, share or comment on them, but some of them I had no idea even read my blog or appreciated my work. It was eye opening to realize that just because someone is inspired by you does not mean you know it. Just like people hide pain and struggle, we often don’t publicize things that affect us positively. This is not a bad thing. There are many aspects of my life I leave off of social media even though as a writer and an online health and fitness coach it is part of my job to share my journey, we all live the majority of our lives outside the cyberworld.

When I post something I hope to add value to your day, bring a smile to your face, encourage you to work out, try a new recipe, quit that job you hate, or stand up to someone who is making you feel inferior. I am humbled and inspired by how many people respond positively to my story and I urge you to never hesitate to tell the person who inspires you that you feel that way. One incredibly small gesture means more than you know, especially for those of us whose main aim is to help others. The world needs more of that.That being said I am constantly inspired by my coach and friend Amy for helping so many people start their own business and running a kick ass business of her own. She leads with her heart and never gives up on anyone. I am inspired by every single one of you who has reached out to me and told me that I have helped or am helping you in some way. It is not always easy to share my thoughts, but I do it anyway because of the tremendous amount of support and positive feedback I receive. I know it also takes your time and effort to reach out and that in itself is worthy of a “thank you.”

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