To those trying to do good anyway 


To the ones trying to do good anyway:

The world is a scary place-especially in this place we congregate with strangers behind screens. 

It’s easy to get discouraged with the state of politics, the current state of the environment, racism, and inequalities across the globe. 

But when you look for them they are there. The people spreading light, creativity and joy. 

The single moms working hard and slaying motherhood with a sense of humor and a glass of wine. 

The millennials who might be eating overpriced avocado toast but they are also changing womens lives with nonprofits in Africa. 

The surfer dudes who started a nonprofit raising awareness for mental health and are making serious waves in spreading the light. 

The teachers who are up late at night making crafts, grading papers and worrying about their students and still getting criticized every day. 

The friends who would go to the ends of the earth to help someone they barely know.

The business owner who is helping hundreds of people get out of debt and create a life of freedom. 

The elderly woman who is protesting because she knows one voice can make a difference. 

The mothers who take care of their babies, even if their babies are 6’2 with a mortgage and 3 kids. 

The eating disorder survivor who instead of hiding their story in shame, shares about it publicly in hopes to save a girl like their former self.  

The college student who volunteers their time at the nursing home, despite getting a bad rep as a drunk idiot by most of society. 

Sometimes their voices are faint. They are the light spreaders. They don’t seek attention. They don’t want praise. But they do good anyway. 

When you spend your time finding what is wrong with the world, all your time will be spent. 

It may seem hard to find them at times, but I promise you, the world is full of them. And it’s our responsibility to make their voices louder than the sounds of hatred, darkness and ridicule. 

The negative aspects of society won’t ever go away but there will always be those who are trying to do good anyway. 

Cheers to you- despite all the voices in your head that tell you otherwise- it’s worth it. You’re making a difference. Our world needs people like you. When you are tired, rest. But don’t forget that the world won’t change with force and hatred. It changes with light. Shine bright and keep doing good anyway. 

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.
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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.”

Dear Sydney…

Dear Sydney,

The past week has been overflowing with more reflection than usual for me. If I gave you an hour inside of my brain I assume you would be quite exhausted and possibly terrified. I am celebrating a year of living here in Sydney. I moved to Australia at the end of July 2015 but I went backpacking for two months up the East coast and I landed in Sydney at the end of September 2015, for what I thought was a few weeks. When I moved to Australia it was my intention to live in Melbourne. My teacher besties I met in Thailand moved there and when I visited the fall before I fell in love. I came to Australia not knowing exactly where I would end up, but I had an open mind and an open heart. After a few weeks in the hostel I was running out of money, so I knew it was time to get another job. My job search began and I made the Library of New South Wales my go-to spot. Something about being in a library makes me feel safe and at home.  It was while I was living in this cheap hostel, searching for a job, checking my bank account after every purchase, exploring the city on my own, that I began stressing about the future and if I really made the right decision. I struggled with loneliness and intense anxiety.  I wrote in my blog a year ago how I took myself out to dinner for the first time at a fancy restaurant and forced myself to enjoy my own company, without my phone or any hesitation. It felt weird and uncomfortable but overall, it was liberating.

A year ago I had no idea that at this hostel I would meet the man that I am now in love and happily living with. I had no idea that my passion for health and wellness, helping others, and sharing my journey would turn into such a huge driving force in my career and my life. For all my travelers out there, I know you can understand why traveling makes you so reflective but if you don’t travel much, I would love to explain why. When you travel or live abroad, especially for long periods of time, your life goes into a time warp and months seem like years and days seem like minutes. It feels like you just left home but it also feels as if you have existed in this universe forever. You develop a routine in your new turf because despite the need for freedom and adventure, human beings are all creatures of habits. When you move away from everything you’ve ever known, you are left with yourself. You are left to define yourself, in whatever manner you desire. The people you meet may learn about your past from stories, photographs and Facebook stalking, but a traveler meets everyone at face value, as the person they are today. It’s a beautiful way to approach life and a particularly comforting way to approach people.

The whole concept of the travel bug sounded silly to me at first. It sounded cliche and overused and quite frankly, trite. But a harsh reality you face in this world, is that cliches only construct meaning in your life when they are relevant to you. The travel bug isn’t a creature you want to take lightly. Now that I have lived abroad for 2 out of the last 3 years of my 20’s, I am heavily addicted. I am in love with the way it feels to explore new cities and look at every minute moment as something special and worth remembering. I am in love with the feeling of coming and going because it constantly reminds you how good you have it. When I travel home, I see the same city I grew up in with fresh eyes. All my favorites of home become that much more divine and sacred. Even though I have lived in Sydney for a year now, it still feels fresh and exciting to me. When I got my teaching job, experienced a few weeks of summer in Sydney and met my handsome Englishman, I felt an overwhelming feeling of contentment. I felt satisfied, grounded and “home” in a way that is difficult to verbalize. I asked myself out-loud, and many of my friends, “Why would you ever choose to leave this?”

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Loud and Heavy

The past week was full of a lot of important and meaningful days for me. Some hold significance for whole communities and some are simply significant to me, but they have culminated and left me feeling heavy…in a good way. I share a lot about One Wave, the nonprofit surf organization, that I have become a part of since I moved to Sydney a year ago. Every Friday I head to Bondi Beach in my Fluro gear and meet up with the most genuine group of people I have met here in Sydney. We have a group chat about mental health, share stories of struggle and inspiration, bring it in for a group hug and then the surfers head out to the ocean and the yogis practice on the beach. I got involved simply because I saw a Facebook event for sunrise yoga on Bondi beach when I first moved there. I have stayed involved because not only do I love the sunrise beach yoga but I love being supported and reminded how truly important mental health awareness is. Not to mention, I’ve met some of my closest friends there and every Friday we go to brunch together and check in on each other’s week in the most fulfilling and honest way. Everyone who attends is in some way affected by mental health (either in their own experiences or the experiences of loved ones close to them) so it gives me a very safe space to discuss my struggles and to be there for my friends who also are struggling.

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Positive Pain

Pain is such a powerful emotion and one that fueled the beginnings of my passion for writing. Like many of us, creativity was something I always had as a child. I always loved to tell stories to my dolls, about my dolls and I could create alternate universes that I would get lost in for hours. I loved to read stories and then once I developed the ability to write I loved to write them, too. It wasn’t until I lost my best friend Corey in high school that I realized what a therapeutic experience writing was for me and I truly can’t comprehend what my grief process would have been like without this incredible outlet. For the past year I feel as if my blog and the stories I have crafted have given you a very uplifting and positive voice, one that I constantly strive for. I have mentioned before but I feel obligated to again, positive people are not happy all the time.

I repeat, I am not happy all the time. In the past few weeks I have been overcome with stress, anxiety and a multitude of confusing feelings. Instead of stifling them I realize that the only thing more powerful than an uplifting and motivational piece is a stone cold honest one. Usually, when I admit my struggles that is what people connect to. It’s almost as if by acknowledging my own pain I give others the right to feel theirs.

Luckily for me, I have learned and have crafted a lifestyle where I am constantly surrounding myself by positivity and agents for change. I surround myself with good people, motivating podcasts, inspirational books, the life-altering practice of yoga and now I am dabbling in meditation as well. In one my favorite podcasts Magic Lessons by the goddess Elizabeth Gilbert, I was single handedly talked out of my negative thought spiral by one quote from her, “The definition of responsibility is the ability to respond. The definition of responsibility is not how many hours you put into the work week but how well as a human being you are able to respond to life.” I sat there with a gaping mouth and  I dragged my index finger along my phone screen and played it again. Ms. Gilbert? Are you speaking straight to me? I replayed this quote six times until I wrote it safely in the quote section on my notepad and digested the relevance and the power in the simple statement. I am still digesting it’s power.

I am a worrier. I always have been and I am slowly learning that I don’t always have to be. I am a woman. I am a Gemini. I have ADHD and anxiety. I live life intentionally by the seat of my pants. I quit my job and move to foreign countries with my backpack and a dream. I believe so deeply in that fact that life will work out and the universe will send me in the right direction but that doesn’t stop the amount of time I spend worrying. My mind is moving and thinking at every moment of everyday.When I’m not teaching, I’m grading papers, researching lesson plans, creating materials or working on my business, talking to clients, working on my blog, helping people discover their goals, running challenges, reading personal development books, writing notes, creating goal charts, researching travel destinations, reading blogs, stalking puppies and/or food instagrams, are you tired yet? I haven’t even touched on my social life. The funny part is that my whole life I have chose to do this to myself. Since I know I run a million miles an hour, I think I can do a million things and I genuinely want to do them all. But I also can make myself crazy with stress and anxiety and to be honest the past few weeks, I have been fighting so hard to stay away from the constant pile of worries that are piling up in my brain.

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Go deeper

When I started this blog I had no idea what it would turn into or if I would even stick to it. I started it a month before I moved to Thailand as a way to keep up with friends and family and share my journey on the other side of the world. Today, my blog is a safe haven for me a place I go to unwind, reflect and make sense of the rapid paced world we live in. Since then I have gone from teaching in Thailand, backpacking South East Asia, teaching in New York and starting my own coaching business to teaching in Australia and growing and developing my coaching business and my writing career. Originally my blog served only as a spot of reflection but the further I advance and evolve as a coach the more I want to integrate my blog to be not only stories from my life but also a source of motivation for making a change in your own life and resources for living the life of your dreams. Before I dive into integrating coaching into my blog I want to explain my journey as a coach to my readers and followers who might see snippets on social media but don’t really understand what I am doing or why I am doing it.

I wholeheartedly understand that the fitness lifestyle whether it is Beachbody, Crossfit, yoga, spinning, BBG, Barre, etc. is taking over the internet and at time it seems overwhelming and maybe even “cult like.” I want to explain to you from my experience WHY I am sharing and what this community and these programs have done for my life. Like most things in life, we observe them at face value. But my words have always given me the ability and the calling to go deeper. The internal strength I have gleaned from committing myself to a healthy lifestyle is part of the reason I have been able to reconnect with my inner voice and I believe one of the tickets to making my writing what it is today. My goal is to use my passion for health and wellness and my passion for writing , connecting and expressing to better people’s understanding and ability to work on their health in all areas: mind, body and soul. Since I am a storyteller by nature, here is a glimpse of my journey into a healthy lifestyle and why it has become such a defining part of who I am.

In graduate school, a friend gave me a thumb drive with all of the Insanity workouts on it. Yes, I am a Beachbody coach who is fully admitting to obtaining my first program illegally. I was in the middle of student teaching(for non-teacher friends, that is full time unpaid teaching) and going to graduate school full time. I was waking up at 5 am every morning after drinking myself into a 4 glass wine coma almost every night. I physically could barely keep my eyes open until I chugged at least two cups of coffee. My stress levels and anxiety were at an all time high but I had tunnel vision for completing my MA in Secondary Education. I had so much built up stress that my temper was out of control and I could snap/ have a mental anxiety attack at the drop of a hat. Due to my schedule, I had basically cut out my exercise routine besides on the weekends but I usually spent those WVU weekends hungover and unable to exercise. This was the first time in my life I explicitly saw how intense the effect of exercise was on my mental health.
I was a former gym rat for most of college but I literally did not have the time to drive to the gym across town, workout for an hour and drive home. I needed something else. After trying Insanity once, I committed to the 60 day calendar and set off on a journey on my own in my kitchen every afternoon. I absolutely loved and hated Shaun T all at the same time. My roommates thought I was actually insane but I could not replace the endorphins and stress relief that program gave me. I could squeeze it in between the end of my school day and my night classes even if that meant going to class with slightly( okay, really) sweaty hair. Since I had the calendar hanging on my wall it was a mental game for me and I literally couldn’t miss a day. Everyone is different but for me, that was motivation enough to stick to it for 60 days. It was the hardest thing I had ever done physically but I was determined to make it work. My friend Amy was posting on social media about Insanity and this “coaching thing” and one post even said she quit her job to do her coaching business full time from home! I was intrigued so I messaged her and then realized that Insanity was part of one of the biggest fitness companies in America that also had so many other workout programs, a superfood shake and a whole WORLD to offer. Not to mention, this was also an opportunity to start my own coaching business helping other people commit to their health and fitness and transform their lives. Long story short, I started coaching just so I could get the new Insanity Max 30 program and Shakeology and wanted to help enough people per month to pay for my own Shakeology. I also had hopes that the second income could help with my student loan debt and measly teacher salary. I had no IDEA what I was in for.

Now, I’ve been a coach for a year and a half and my life has been greatly impacted by the community, the programs and the job itself. I have never been so motivated and dedicated to my health for so long. Sure, we can all go through stages of motivation, a vacation, wedding, reunion or special event that we “diet” for and crush it at the gym but how many of you actually sustain the type of healthy lifestyle you want year round? I didn’t before Beachbody and now I actually achieve that 80/20 lifestyle I desired and I feel happier and healthier than I ever have in my life. I don’t believe my challenges or our programs are the only way to see results or achieve a healthy lifestyle but I know how well they have worked for me. THAT IS THE WHOLE BASIS OF THIS BUSINESS. I have never “sold” anything  because I simply share my experience what I use and have used & believe in myself. I represent these programs BECAUSE I believe in them and I have seen them transform my life and the lives of thousands of coach friends, clients & strangers.

Why I am fascinated by our programs and our community is because the whole AIM of the challenge and my aim as your coach is to introduce a lifestyle that fits INTO your lifestyle. You do not have to be “into” fitness to join a challenge. You don’t have to own seven pairs of Nikes and know everything about macros and clean eating. The whole point of the challenge is to introduce a nutritional guide and simple portion controlled eating system and short but effective exercise into the lives of anyone who is not happy with their current fitness or nutrition level. Believe me, I knew how to exercise before challenge groups but nutrition, forget it. I knew what healthy food was but I had no clue how much I should be eating and of what. I was definitely under eating for a large portion of college and would turn into a junk food monster on the weekends once I had a night out at the bar. Not only does the eating guide give you an easy way to know what to eat and HOW MUCH to eat but the secret sauce of the whole operation, Shakeology, gives you all of the nutrients and vitamins you could possibly need. It isn’t a protein shake, it’s a superfood shake with over 70+ superfoods that gives you natural energy, curbs your sweet tooth and junk cravings and keeps you full. I never drank shakes before Shakeology and I was honestly very hesitant. But now I’m willing to pay 50 extra dollars a month to have it shipped to Australia because I simply can’t go without it. It takes 60 seconds in the blender and sets me up for a nutritionally sound day.

The programs and the products I believe in 100% but the key to any successful fitness lifestyle is the community. The challenges I run every month keep me motivated, accountable and genuinely excited to stay on track and do my best with my health and fitness. This does not mean you need to be or I as your coach am perfect. I have cheat meals and days. I have alcohol. I still have dessert and I admit it to my group. We admit our successes and our failures. The goal is not to all of a sudden cut everything out that you enjoy, it’s to learn how to stick to a healthy meal plan that is sustainable for much longer than 21 days or the duration of the challenge. A little change goes a long way and people rooting for you, giving you awesome recipes and commiserating when your legs are so sore you can barely sit down on the toilet really is a game changer. Not only do you get a “fitness community” you get people who are positive, motivated, encouraging and want you to succeed in whatever you set out to do. Unfortunately, sometimes that is really hard to find. I love giving the opportunity to my friends, family, and new friends I connect to.

Before I was a coach I always thought fitness fanatics were a little vain or superficial and I remember thinking to myself I didn’t care enough to spend all that time to try to “perfect” my body. The more I have learned about health and nutrition the more I know that exercise and eating right isn’t some silly fad. It’s not superficial unless YOU make it superficial. My goals are not based on what I want to look like. They are based on my strength and quite honestly my willpower, self control and mental clarity.

Before I became a coach I didn’t understand the constant selfies that gym goers posted even though I was exercising regularly myself. Now I see that most of the time the selfie is not for the person posting it. It is for all of the people they hope to inspire. Sharing my fitness journey has become such a powerful part of my journey because it allows me to be transparent and vulnerable. When I receive countless messages thanking me for the inspiration or the motivation to get off the coach or cook something healthy or start to believe in themselves, I know sharing is beyond worth it. I am proud to share because I share to bring value to others in any way that I can. So next time you see a fitness coach on Instagram or Facebook, applaud them for lifting people up instead of rolling your eyes. Read the caption. I guarantee it goes deeper than you would expect. Fitness and nutrition is the actual key to LIVING a long and fulfilling life. Your diet affects EVERY part of your life including your physical health (on the inside), sleep patterns, physical appearance, stress levels, mental health and overall quality of life. Exercising shouldn’t be about what you want to look like but instead what you want to feel like. That phrase has become cliche, I know. But seriously, post workout highs and endorphins, you simply can’t replace that.

So please, ask yourself: How long do you want to live? Do you want to run around with your grandchildren? Do you want to go on hikes when you are retired? Do you want to be able to help your children move into their new homes? Do you want to bound up the stairs without breathing heavy? Do you want to look in the mirror without looking away? Do you want to step on the scale and not give a damn what the number says? Do you want to wake up feeling good and go to bed feeling satisfied? I do. I also want to feel purposeful, centered, positive, confident in myself not just in the way I look but the person I am. 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. I made a vow to myself to never be afraid to “annoy” people. If I annoy you at any time, I sincerely hope that you realize that my message is straight from the heart and maybe you don’t need to hear it all of the time but someone does. Someone needed that reminder on that specific day, that they are enough, they can start fresh today, they are worthy of happiness and of self love. You are enough. You can start fresh. You are worthy.

This fall we have an awesome line up of programs and opportunities because Beachbody as a company is continually striving to end the trend of obesity in America and unfortunately the rate of obesity is INCREASING. 70% of Americans are obese. 70 percent. That is absolutely heartbreaking and terrifying to me. I am doing everything I can to spread not only the message of my company but my own PERSONAL message. 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.


Now that you have a deeper look at why I got involved in coaching, I want to extend to you an invitation to be a part of my community. If you stumbled upon my blog or you have been following for a while and you don’t follow me on other social media sites, you probably don’t know how much time and effort I put into helping people achieve their goals but I would be honored and excited to share that with you. If you do follow me on social media and you’ve been tempted to get involved in one of my challenges before but never bit the bullet I have exciting news that you are going to want to get involved in next month’s health bet! Beachbody is so passionate about the mission of ending the trend of obesity in America and introducing this life changing community & program to as many people as possible, they are making a bet for anyone who joins a challenge group in September! The pot is climbing to 2 million dollars and will max out at 3 million!
Here’s how you play:
1. Commit to an at home workout program and join my challenge on our challenge tracker app
2. Workout 3 times a week & track in the app
3. Drink Shakeology 5 times a week & track in the app
THAT’S IT! Whoever completes this will split the pot! I am super competitive and love things like this so I am excited to share it with you. If you have already completed a challenge with me or are one of my coaches you can still participate!! I would love to discuss this opportunity further with anyone who wants more details. You can send me an email at susannahaobell@gmail.com, contact me via Facebook (my name on FB is Susannah Aimee) or any of my social media accounts (my details are in the contact tab).
Even if you are not interested, I genuinely hope that I can inspire you to make small steps and positive changes to improve your health. Without our health we quite literally do not have our life and I don’t know about you, but I would like to stick around for as long as possible. If you have any questions about how I can help you or just about your own journey in general please do not hesitate to ask! Many coaches on my team and I do exciting fitness & recipes groups absolutely free and the more people who join the merrier! Knowledge is power and there is so much out there to help get you on the right track. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope this gives you some insight into my life as a coach and why I am so dedicated to spreading this community to as many people as possible. Remember, like Mahatma Gandhi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” I’m trying to shake the world to go deeper and lead lives full of positivity, self love and the reminder that we all deserve to feel beautiful from the inside out.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, my ear and heart is always open.

Have a Mimosa

I have been in the LAX airport for almost 24 hours. My connecting flight from Chicago was delayed last night which led me to miss my connecting flight to Sydney. Little did I know that there is only flight from LAX to Sydney per day with United Airlines and thanks to poor customer service and my overtired frustration-it landed me sleeping in the airport. Around 5 am I peeled my eyes open, wiped the drool from my neck pillow and half way sleeping limped my way to the United Club lounge. I paid for the day to eat, drink, and lounge in comfy leather chairs as I wait for my flight to leave for Sydney tonight. I was sitting next to two young Australian girls in line at customer service last night who were chatting and laughing saying they were lucky their other friend went a different route home or he would have been pissed and miserable. They were in the same boat I was but just didn’t seem to be letting it phase them. I realized, although I was not their friend, and too tired to even form friendly words, I was the friend being pissed and miserable. I’ve spent 24 hours  in the airport after one of the best month vacations of my life. I’m alive, I’m in great health, my family is loving and supportive, I got to spend time with SO many people who I love dearly,  I have a sexy English boyfriend who is picking me up at the airport and the happiest little life to return to down under, WHAT THE HELL DO I HAVE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT?

It’s funny because while I was driving down to NYC with my parents, I was browsing quotes and musing about my trip and I came across a photo of a dandelion with the quote, “Some see a weed, some see a wish.” I discussed in my post how happy I was that I had the ability to see the worst scenario as a chance to grow and learn. And then, there I was in a shitty situation(a day later) feeling angry, victimized, and exhausted to the point where I contemplated a 5 year old brat meltdown as a viable option for my frustrations. I am telling you this not because I am still angry but because I want to remind myself how easy it is to let trials and tribulations in life overwhelm us. It’s funny, it was like I knew that my future self needed that advice.  It doesn’t matter how happy you are, what job you have , how much money you have in the bank- we all get overwhelmed by the stress and curveballs that life throws our way. Just because I consider myself to be a positive person, does not mean that I am immune from these feelings or situations. What it does mean is that I know how to fix these feelings… quickly.

I went to bed on the airport chairs with my tiny navy blue blankets and my possessions strategically stacked under me in case of criminals lurking in the night. I was still beyond annoyed but thinking about the chipper girls in line behind me just laughing it off and rolling with the punches, I felt even more frustrated because usually that’s me. I woke up to airport staff clearing out everyone from our section because they needed to rearrange the seats. I was startled and half asleep and felt like I was in some sort of homeless person village with all of the fellow travelers in the same boat as me. I woke up surprisingly in a better mood. I realized that this isn’t the worst thing that could happen and gave me a built in day to catch up with my clients, coaches, emails, messages, and now my blog. I’ve watched a few Ted Talks and YouTube training videos from a few entrepreneurs and people I look up to. I spent a lot of time in Podcast land. Sure, I’m a little bored but I’m using it as a positive, focused time to work on my business and myself. And, after a few mimosas life doesn’t seem so bad.  

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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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Leave Your Shadow

I’m passionate about discussing and sharing about difficult topics in order to allow other people to feel more at peace and beautiful within their own skin. It’s easy to talk about happy, exciting things but what we really need to talk about is the hard stuff. My thoughts today are on body image. As a health and fitness nut and coach I am constantly talking about, thinking about working on my own and helping others to have a positive body image. Self love and confidence is one of the MOST important gifts which I hope to instill and inspire in others but also one of the hardest things to attain. I think I have a very unique perspective and one I’m willing to share with you to try to expand your grasp of what it means to love yourself and the journey I went on to get there.

As a child I was the epitome of awkward; lanky, big feet, glasses, braces and of course the infamous unibrow. I was a nerd and a bookworm but genuinely a pretty warm and loving kid. I could play in my imagination for hours upon hours. Luckily, today that still is the case.

In my adolescence I realized that most girls were very concerned with how “skinny” they were. I could eat cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream every night and nothing stuck. I’m not saying this to brag whatsoever, I am simply stating the facts. It is hilarious to me how people can poke fun at themselves for being overweight as a child or in the past but as soon as you mention the opposite problem people want to shut you up real quick. I was teased by friends and strangers about being skinny but I knew I couldn’t help it so I just laughed it off.

As I grew into a teenager I suffered the tremendous loss of my childhood best friend to suicide. She was absolutely gorgeous and “perfect” from an outsider’s perspective. I had countless people ask me, “what did SHE have to be sad about!?” Simply based on the way she looked. Why does an attractive exterior mean that you have an attractive interior? Why should struggling and feeling depressed be exclusive to people who have less appealing appearances? How can people be so ignorant as to not acknowledge that life is NOT all about how we look?

I spent the rest of high school learning what it felt like to look “pretty” and “skinny” on the outside but inside I was carrying so much grief, suffering and pain. I struggled for years trying to cope with the loss of my best friend and sure, I appeared normal and attractive on the outside but my inside soul and mind were in constant turmoil and anguish. I didn’t know what to say when people could only comment (negatively) about how lucky I was about being skinny. Or “shut up, you wouldn’t understand.” How selfish of you to exclude me from the “suffering club” based on my appearance? But, yet again, how is this something that any teenager could verbalize? Most adults still wouldn’t. But you know what, if I have learned anything about life, it’s that it is too damn short to walk on eggshells. I will bare my soul to you even if it’s about topics that are hard to discuss because real recognizes real and I simply refuse to silence my heart now that I have learned how to love myself properly.

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