A Little Dose of Happiness Ep. 09: Releasing Control & Letting the Universe Do Its Thing

A new episode of my podcast A Little Dose of Happiness is now live. In this episode I dive into the importance of letting go of our need to control. When we’re in a crisis, we cling on to what we think will be best for us, and rule out all other possibilities. This limits us from getting what we may actually need. I know it’s scary, but try releasing some control over your desired outcome.

Stop being outcome focused, and instead, focus on the way you want to feel. 

Do you want to feel fulfilled? Safe? At peace? You likely don’t need to outcome you thought you did in order to feel these things. Focus on the feelings, and be open to what the Universe may offer you.

You can listen to the episode by clicking on this link.

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The 4 Things You Must Do In Order to Face Fear

Today I am reflecting on this quote from the text A Course in Miracles:

 

“The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”

 

This is such a beautiful and relieving statement. I mean, isn’t it a freaking relief to know that you are already filled with love for yourself? A lack of self-love is not keeping you from being happy, it’s the roadblocks (fear) that separate us from love that are holding us back.

Reframing the concept of self-love in this way makes it feel more like a journey, doesn’t it? One where we are forced to confront our fears, develop an awareness of them in order to learn and grow, and then move the heck onto the next fear. But the glorious part about all of this, is that each victory over our fears is a step closer and closer to love.

I understand that confronting our fears is scary. But I also believe that we are put on this Earth to confront them, and that we can’t run away forever, albeit we want to keep facing the same old fear over and over again.

So how can we begin to face our fears?

  1. Stop Running & Just Show Up

Look, I get it. Discomfort sucks. Being in pain sucks. But we can’t keep numbing and avoiding what brings us pain our whole lives. Pain is the Universe’s official Call to Action, and the main reason why we continue finding ourselves in pain is because we are ignoring this CTA over and over again. At some point, we have to accept that our life and happiness depend on confronting our fears and stop running. Don’t worry. You won’t have to rely on your strength alone once you choose to stop and face fear.  

2. Develop an Awareness of Your Fear & Its Triggers

In order to face fear, we need to become mindful as soon as it begins to surface and notice what’s causing it. Are you seeing any patterns? Are you doing the same thing or n the same place every time you become entrenched with fear? Take note of what is happening around you each time. It is only when we develop an awareness of our fear that we can truly start the process of overcoming it.

3. Treat Your Inner Child with Compassion

I’m sure when you get anxious and worried, the helpless child in you comes out. Mine certainly does. Our inner child is very much within us, and resurfaces whenever fear takes over. It’s time to start treating our inner child with love and compassion. We are its caretaker. Comfort it. Honor its feelings. Let it know that it isn’t alone. That the Universe will take care of the both of you.

Meditation, yoga, going for a walk, and other calming activities are also great options to caring for your inner child. Connecting with nature, the Universe, and giving yourself time to play are all key to relieving stress. This also gives the Universe an opportunity to offer you creative solutions to your problems.

4. Choose Love

A big reason why fear has a tendency to “win” in these situations is because negativity is a whole lot louder than positivity. Who do we pay attention to, the man who’s screaming his head off and honking his horn incessantly in a traffic jam, or the woman in the car behind him who’s smiling peacefully to herself?

While it’s difficult to go toward the calm, it’s achievable. We can accomplish this by putting our hand over the area where we feel our fear thriving inside of us, and focusing on our breathing. For every exhale, imagine the worry within you exiting from your body. Maybe a ball of radiant yellow light is growing in place of your fear.

Remember that you are not doing this alone. Let the Universe know you are surrendering your fear over to it through prayer, and feel the weight instantly lifted off of you.

 

Have you found yourself faced with the same fear over and over until it was time to face it? What did you do to face your fear? I want to hear about it in the comments.

#ManifestMonday: Your Desires Are Rarely Physical

Hey friends,

Hope this moment finds you well. I want to create a new series for you all on the subject of manifesting. Manifesting is something that I’ve been able to do since I was a child. I used to visualize my desires in very detailed and emotional daydreams, and sometimes when everything aligned, I would receive what I wanted. I just didn’t know at the time that what I was doing had a name. Only now am I starting to pay attention to the work that I need to do in order to ensure that I’m open to receiving my desires. 

Clarity in manifesting is important. Knowing exactly what you want is crucial, but you also have to know when to be open to new ideas and solutions. And when it comes to manifesting physical stuff, it isn’t necessarily the thing itself that you want. It’s actually the feelings that it bring us that we’re seeking out.

For example: last year I manifested a car. And it wasn’t as simple as, I want a car so I’m going to save up the money and pay for it. No. I had no money to pay a new car. The reason I was clinging onto this borrowed car from my grandparents was because I was convinced I couldn’t afford to finance one.

But alas. The Universe works in mysterious ways.

You may already know this, but last year I was in a horrible car accident. My physical body was okay (sprained my wrist only), but my car and my emotional body were–needless to say–totaled. The costs of fixing my decade old car simply wasn’t worth it. And what’s worse, the car was technically borrowed from my grandparents after my last car became too run down to drive.

While the car was getting repaired, I got a Nissan Altima from a rental company to drive for the time being. I loved this rental car. I loved how clean the interior was. I loved the way the seats felt. Most of all, I loved how safe I felt in it. I had never driven a brand new car like this before. It was a really awesome feeling.

Because of how totaled the car was, and because my insurance didn’t cover collisions (a really horrible and foolish mistake on my part!) I either had to repair this 10-year-old car that was already showing signs of needing more repairs in the future, or buy a newer car. I didn’t have the money to buy a new car, but I also knew I wouldn’t have the money to keep putting into this car. At the time my credit was just okay. I had spent the past several months improving my credit score, but I was still skeptical about my approval rate. I was this close to just re-booking my rental car long term. Seriously, I thought I could be the girl who went through a rental company and got to drive a new and different car every month.

At this point, I was very accepting that I was going to be renting cars for awhile. Maybe permanently.  This was the only way I was going to be able to drive a newer car that made me feel safe. There were actually a lot of perks, too. The company handles all the maintenance, and they do it frequently. My credit card insures the car to an extent, so I wouldn’t have to shell over money to the rental company for insurance. Meanwhile, I was still attempting to find myself my own car to finance, to little success.

Obviously, my limiting belief that I couldn’t afford to finance a car were giving me exactly what I expected: being unable to finance a car.

I even hit up a company that financed old rental cars to people and really thought that this could be my ticket. I was becoming a little more hopeful that I could pull this off, and even got the application process started with one particular company, but then I never heard back from them after I sent them proof of income.

That’s when I got a call from an auto broker. I didn’t even know there could be a broker for cars. I mean, what is a broker anyway? He said he’d gotten my information from a website where I was inquiring Toyota Priuses (usually I would think this was a total invasion of privacy, but now I’m a big believer that the Universe is like a spy. It’s gotta work in invasive ways sometimes). I was told I probably wouldn’t qualify for a Toyota Prius, but he could help me get another car. When he asked me what car I wanted, I truly didn’t know, so I said, “I really like the rental car I’m driving right now. It’s a 2017 Nissan Altima.” Once we were clear on the exact Nissan Altima I wanted (black interior, grey exterior, if you want to know), he asked me how much I’m willing to pay as a down payment and then monthly for the car. I said I could put down $500 even though I so did not have the money. I also felt like $500 was way too low and that they wouldn’t find a dealership willing to accept that. Then I said I could pay $350 a month, and even that felt too high for me. But I figured, if I got this car, I could find a way to make an extra $350 a month. That’s attainable. 

So the broker told me he was going to try to find me a dealer who would approve my application and get back to me.

After the call, I kind of forgot about it. I figured this broker wouldn’t be able to find me a car because that’s what always happened to me. I was constantly rejected. I think at this point I just accepted my fate as the car rental girl. I would find a way to make this work for the time being. I just kept visualizing myself in a safe and reliable new car because that’s what I wanted.

Then the broker called back and told me I got a car. Naturally my response was, “Holy shit.” He got me the exact car I wanted, and I didn’t get rejected. I’m even paying my ideal price for it. Just when I thought my request for a $500 down payment was insanely foolish, they somehow managed to offer me a huge rebate so I only had to pay $500.  I was floored. Plus, I was told the car would be driven to my house TOMORROW (the day my rental car was due back) so I could do all the paperwork and pay then. Talk about divine, right?  

I knew in order to give them the down payment, I would have to ask for a slightly early advance from my employer. When I contacted my employer, I told her about the car and she said that she could pay me the amount I needed. The cool part about this wasn’t even that I got approved for an advance. It was that the broker told me literally within minutes of my employer saying yes that I could put my down payment on a credit card. I wouldn’t have to even borrow money from her. I could just use my own credit card. I felt like the car was just being handed to me for free at this point!

So I let the amazing reality soak in: the Nissan Altima I drove around for two weeks and basked in the feeling of security in was going to be my car. This was better than any bright blue Toyota Prius C in the world. And it wasn’t the car that I was excited about getting, because it never really was about the car. It was about the feeling the car would bring me. 

I’m happy to report that the girl who always got rejected and was never able to afford a car, who was terrified of financing a car because “what if I can’t pay for it?” still owns her Nissan Altima and makes timely payments on it. When you really value something, it becomes top priority, so the money is always there for me to pay for it.

Back then, I didn’t think much of the Universe playing a role in getting my car. I just thought I got really lucky. However, I am so certain now that the Universe is always available to help you in super unexpected ways when they know you’re ready to receive.

I learned so many lessons after this experience, and I am such a believer that the Universe knew what it was doing when I got into that car accident. It knew I needed a lot of growth when it came to cars. I’m sure the Universe tried to deliver this message to me tons of times, but I wasn’t open to accepting their call to action.

 This time, I absolutely was. No longer am I the girl who gets handed another grandma-aged loaner car from her family every time the other loaner car has reached retirement. I’m a responsible woman who pays for her own car on time, nurtures and appreciates the hell out of it, and is more educated about insurance to match.

 It’s okay to be dumb, you guys. It’s okay to acknowledge that you need growth. That’s how we become smarter and better human beings. I have the Universe to thank for that. 

And that, my friends, is the key to manifestation. Being intentional about your desires (which are often just emotions disguised as stuff), believing that this desire is within your reach, and being open to receiving your desire in really out there ways.

Do you have any of your own manifesting stories? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

4 Ways to Turn Your Fear Into Faith

Yesterday evening was a total shit show.

I’m not exaggerating here. Last night, I pulled over before meeting up with one of my clients, sat in my car, and started balling my eyes out. Anxiety was coursing through my veins. The fear inside of me had simply grown to be so strong that I had to just give in to it with my tears. During my cry, I expressed to the Universe that I simply couldn’t deal with my situation on my own anymore, and that I needed its guidance. I needed its protection. I needed its love.

In that moment, I surrendered my fear to faith. I accepted that I simply couldn’t rely on my own strength for comfort any longer. And as weak and dis-empowering as it felt in the moment, I didn’t realize that what I was doing was actually very powerful and necessary for growth. 

I want to let you know that the fear never goes away. Fear is very much apart of you as is everything else. But much like fear is apart of you, so is faith. And we can build our faith into something far more powerful than fear. Faith can be a place that we live in, and return to when fear attempts to pull us astray.

After my crying subsided, I realized what I was not connecting to my mind, body, and spirit equally. Even though I was a teacher of inner peace and self-love, by treating my spiritual practice as an afterthought to work and hustle, I had neglected the personal attention that mind and spirit require in order for me to be happy. 

When I came home from work, having had my spirits slightly uplifted by my totally awesome clients, I just knew I had to get to work. I sat down, and meditated, did yoga, and wrote about my anxious thoughts and beliefs in my journal to truly get to the bottom of why I’m feeling this way. I realized that my fear of success and stability is actually causing me to self-sabotage. Why the hell would I want to destroy my own happiness?

Simply put, I didn’t grow up witnessing long term success and stability. My mom and I moved from home to home, always returning to my grandparent’s house when we couldn’t afford to live on our own any longer. In my seven years living by myself in Los Angeles, I discovered I had been sabotaging my own ability to live stably through very, very financially reckless actions. Subconsciously, I wanted to have that same feeling that I grew up knowing–instability.

Thankfully, I had enough strength and will to live on my own in the city I now called home that I always found a way to stay. It was as if the strengths of my fear and growth were in a constant battle with one another.

I’m so so grateful for all that I’ve been through, though. I needed the bad in order to get to where I am now. But in trying to create a better life for myself, I got wrapped up in the eternals to seek out what I truly wanted: abundance, security, and a sense of peace. I needed to accept that I am already filled with an infinite supply of everything that I need now. We all are.

I am already filled with abundance, security, and inner peace. So, so filled! I simply needed to reconnect with my spiritual practice in order to remember this.

In case you are dealing with the overwhelm of your own personal self-development journey, if you are feeling like you simply can’t do this anymore, and you want to give up, here are four ways that you can turn your fear into faith:

 

  • Accept responsibility for your current situation

 

We can’t get far in our personal growth by believing that all the bad in our lives is happening to us rather than for us. Through our own actions, we have put ourselves in this situation. But much like we got ourselves in this situation, we can pull ourselves out. Realize that our pain is the Universe’s way of telling us that something’s gotta give. We need change and growth. Accept responsibility, and take action.

 

 

  • Know that you do not have to depend on your own strength alone

 

Simply because we are responsible for our actions and emotions does not mean we have to go through this journey alone. Enlist in the Universe for help and guidance. Developing our faith muscles means having to release control and the need to succeed on our own by surrendering to the Universe. Let the Universe know through prayer that you are ready to surrender to faith. Yes, I’m telling you to give your problem to the Universe. Much like you would ask your parents for help and they would be willing to give you anything you wanted, the Universe will do the same. All you have to do is ask, and believe. Ask with the certainty that your prayers will be answered. This is difficult if you’ve always depended on yourself your whole life. But with practice, you will begin to trust that Universe has your back.

 

 

  • Find your “happy place” & return to it whenever fear creeps in

 

For me, meditation and yoga are my non-negotiables. After yesterday, I simply can’t go a day without these rituals unless I want to be drowning in my anxiety sooner than later. Find the activities that fill you with a sense of security and calm, so that whenever the fear begins to resurface, you know what you need to do to restore your inner peace. You can discover these activities through experimentation. Make a list of the things that bring you joy, pick 1-3 things off that list, and do them. You may find that you gain such a sense of inner calm that you need to perform these activities daily or else you’ll lose your mind.

 

 

  • Change your narrative

 

I think we all have a tendency to look at our own lives from the perspective of a victim trapped in a horror film. We are living in fear and anxiety, and trying to figure out what the heck we are going to do in order to survive, that we are actually attracting the things we are afraid of or want to avoid. By shifting to a positive mindset, one that is open to receiving support and guidance from the Universe and our loved ones, you will begin to attract the things that you desire. By thinking abundantly, knowing that there’s enough wealth (physical and mental) in the Universe to go around, we are opening ourselves up to receive. But by believing there isn’t enough left abundance in the Universe for you, you are closing yourself off from receiving.

 

Are you struggling with fear and faith? What are your tricks to getting out of fear? Share them in the comments, I would love to hear them. 

 

Did you catch my Uncover Your Self-Worth Workshop? You can watch it on my Facebook page now by clicking this link. 

The 3 Self-Help Books That Will Increase Your Happiness

If you already know me, then you know I am a personal development junkie. Obviously, my job is in the field of personal development coaching, however, before I became a coach, I was just starting out my own journey a little over a year ago. I’ve read a lot of self-help books, but if I could recommend only three to anyone who’s just beginning their journey, these would be the three to read.

 

Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life 

By Dr. Judith Orloff

Emotional Freedom had a tremendous impact on my life.

At this point, I had never read a self-help book that wasn’t a memoir or a series of essays. This was a how-to on freeing yourself of all the negativity in your life. As soon as I read it, I knew this was the book I needed. At the time, I was living with a friend who was hardcore draining me emotionally. I figured if Emotional Freedom could help me with at least one thing, it would be how to remain positive when other people are deliberately trying to pull me into a negative head space.

Emotional Freedom greatly exceeded my expectations.

You’ll learn your emotional personality type, how to deal with other people’s emotional personality types, eye-opening exercises to help you release negative emotions, and how to tap into your subconscious in order to understand yourself better. The the rest of the book provides the tools to “emotional liberation,” with each “transformation” (anger, loneliness, anxiety, etc.) getting its own chapter.

I still turn to this book whenever I’m struggling with a particular area in my life. Even if Dr. Judith Orloff isn’t “your jam” as an energy psychiatrist (she can be a bit woo-woo at times), it’s still a great book to have on hand with all of the exercises you can put into action in order to relieve yourself of negativity fast.

 

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be, and Embrace Who You Are 

By Brene Brown

If you don’t already know who Brene Brown is, all you need to know is that she is an angel on Earth. Brene is an author and professor who specializes in shame.

The Gifts of Imperfection is all about finding the beauty in and appreciation for the life you currently live, and how to “cultivate courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.”

This book lives up to its name. While I was reading it back in early 2017, I developed so much gratitude for my life, and through some of the exercises, I crafted my dream life (believe it or not, the one that I’m living now). The Gifts of Imperfection truly taught me the power of imperfections, how we all have them, and how they make us unique. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s struggling with fulfillment and joy in their present lives.

 

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

By: Jen Sincero

I bought You Are a Badass for my mom’s birthday back in January of this year. She added it to her wish list on Amazon, and I was so excited that she was curious about personal development that I bought it for her.

This book surprised me, though. At first, it seemed like an introduction to self-help, so of course, after having read tons of books at this point, I didn’t think I needed it. I gave it a chance anyway, and started reading it one day while visiting my mom. I resonated with it so much, I asked my mom if I could borrow it!

What I loved about this book was Jen Sincero’s take on personal development. She is so aware of how woo-woo so much of this stuff spiritual personal development stuff can be, it’s so refreshing to see her laughing about it along with you. Jen also doesn’t put herself on a pedestal like some of these other self-help authors do. I feel like I could have a fun conversation with Jen. She’s both a teacher and a friend.

I’m also a big believer that the best teachers are the ones who were right where you are once. Jen is the epitome of a student of personal development. She went from rock bottom broke and unhappy to rich, living her life’s purpose, and sharing her gift with others so that they can become successful, too. You can actually feel her pain when she discusses her past struggles. I couldn’t recommend this book more to anyone who wants to grow both financially and spiritually.

 

Have you read one or all of these books? What are your favorite self-help/personal development books?

Boundary Setting for Health & Happiness Mini-Course

Hello Friends!

I wanted to let you in on some cool news. My Boundary Setting for Health & Happiness Course is now open for enrollment and is on sale for a very limited time.

This course is all about becoming a better boundary setter through:

  • Increasing your self-esteem so you can start saying no to others with confidence
  • Discovering what matters most to you so you can start prioritizing the things that light you up, and cut out what doesn’t serve you
  • Releasing shame and the fear of rejection so that you never feel guilty for honoring your needs and desires again
  • Developing the tools & techniques to setting your boundaries in a respectful way so you can easily decide what to say no and yes to

I really hope that you choose to sign up for this course. I’m so passionate about setting healthy boundaries and love sharing my wisdom and experiences with others so that they can establish their own healthy habits for a joyful life.

If you sign up before Wednesday (the day the course officially releases), you will get $100 off both the course, and a private session with me if you choose this option at checkout.

If all of this sounds perfect to you, you can purchase the course by clicking this link and choosing your preferred payment option. And let me know in the comments if you enroll. I’m so looking forward to hearing from you!

Happy Sunday,

Beck

Self-Care Sunday

For this week’s Self-Care Sunday, I took a trip out to the Palisades to visit The Self-Realization Fellowship at Lake Shrine. My goal while visiting Lake Shine was to focus on the present moment and minimize any thoughts that involved my past and future. It wasn’t easy. I kept thinking about getting home before it got dark, and that I had to grocery shop before I got home or I wouldn’t have anything to eat.

This task wasn’t easy, but I’d say 95% of my thoughts while at Lake Shine were present-oriented. I really took in my surroundings. The lake. The ducks that were on one and couldn’t stop quacking. The tourists and other visitors. I even brought my library copy of The Power of Nowthat I read some pages of while I was there. Such a perfect book to read in the most peaceful place in Los Angeles.

It’s amazing how you’re instantly alleviated from stress and anxiety when you just live in the present. It was refreshing to know that I didn’t have to look at my phone to check the time. I had a whole day to spend on myself, and time simply didn’t matter.

Afterward I made an impromptu visit to the beach. It was the perfect way to cap off my trip. I’ve never been to the beach while the weather was so warm out. I was sun-kissed and loving every minute of it. I mean, aside from the fact that the sun cancerous.

I also received a gift from my mom today–a cute little mini backpack I had on my Amazon wish list. It was a great bag to have with me on my trip this afternoon.

Oh, and it’s my cat Dupree’s eleventh birthday! Ever since the day we met, we’ve been inseparable. We just belonged to each other instantly. Dupree is a big ball of crazy and I’m so happy I’ve gotten eleven wonderful years with this baby. I’ve never known love so unconditional (on my end, at least), and even though he’s kind of a jerk, I know he loves me at least a little bit.

A great quote I read from The Power of Now:

Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as is you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.

I’m going to do my best from now on to accept before acting.

Please enjoy a photo set from my Sunday!

How did you spend your Super Bowl Sunday? Did you take a moment this weekend to do something kind for yourself?

Segue Saturdays: A Segue Into Routine

Every Saturday, I will post an excerpt from my weekly newsletter, A Segue Into Certainty. If you like what you’re reading, consider subscribing.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve sent out a newsletter, and I promise that this time I plan to make this a weekly ritual. I’ve wasted too much time trying to provide my readers with the “expected stuff” (book reviews, career updates, etc.), only to figure out that all the expectedstuff felt wrong. While being a young adult writer plays a big role in my life, writing young adult doesn’t even touch the surface of how I spend my time. Pretty much all of 2017 was dedicated toward self-improvement and cultivating self-care. I was forced to grow in uncomfortable ways. I know these changes were critical for me, but change at any magnitude is hard, and I’m finally in a place where I can talk about it and attach a lesson to the struggle. That is the stuff I want to share with you. So for my first revamped newsletter, I want to talk about the five things I try to do each day to bring joy and fulfillment into a life filled with too much existential awareness and a little bit of anxiety (which is getting better).

1. My Five Daily Tasks

After reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Bene Brown, I 100% agree that the best we can do is find joy and fulfillment in the everyday small stuff. Happiness, even contentment, is so temporary that it’s useless to chase either of them down until we’ve finally “snagged” them for good. It’s just like chasing after a guy who’s not that into you (which, I’ve been there many times, so I can provide this analogy to you with confidence). So, I’m not dating that incredible good looking improviser I asked to be my practice group coach in order to get him to ask me out (but I was this close to sealing the deal), and I’m also not happy all the time. However, I’m glad that I’ve found these five things that fill me with the proper dose of gratitude each and everyday:

1. Meditation

Meditating has become the best part of my day. I try to do it as soon as I wake up. I’m still a relative beginner, and only meditate about 10 minutes a day, but this is the one task I plan to make a daily habit out of. I just feel the mental and physical benefits of meditation. I’m calmer under stress, more compassionate of myself and others, and am so much more aware of my body’s needs. I’ve dabbled with both guided and open-ended meditation and love them both. If you’re new to meditating, I suggest guided practices to start out, then you can transition into open-ended meditations if you want. I started out meditating for two minutes a day, and now those first two minutes fly by during my sessions. I like the Calm app and Insight Timer with Andy Hobson.

2. Yoga

Yoga with Adriene has become my go-to daily yoga practice. I am definitely not a handstand yogi, probably never will be. But Adriene is a humble instructor who’s turned me into a yogi for the mental and emotional benefits. She has hundreds of free videos on Youtube and provides her viewers with a monthly calendar with a “practice of the day” to make finding the perfect video all the more easier.

3. Writing

Back when I wrote A Fantastic Mess of Everything, I wrote 3 days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) at the same time every morning and had optional editing/writing days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These days I keep to a similar schedule (I write Mon/Wed/Fri as soon as I make my morning coffee), and I work for no more than two hours to avoid burnout unless I’m having a rare breakthrough that morning. I still keep my Tues/Thurs as optional days as to not feel guilty if I have too many errands to run or I prioritize rest to writing. Surprisingly, I get a LOT done on this schedule. Plus, it’s totally realistic and attainable.

To read how I’m incorporating exercise and journaling into my daily routine, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, A Segue Into Certainty. Delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Do you have any daily rituals that bring you joy and fulfillment? Share them with me, I’d love to hear them.

Leaning Into Discomfort

I was hoping to get my blog post in before midnight, but since I was busy working all day I will allow this one slip of my 28 days of blogging. (And so early on in the month, too! 😫).

I’m going to keep this post brief. Today I found myself especially irritable. On Thursday I had negative experience at work that left me distracted and jeopardized my ability to coach well and to have fun while teaching. Instead I felt on guard, insecure, and most of all ashamed. Then today I felt that my time had been disrespected by an employer who showed up twenty-five minutes late when they knew I had a hard out time. On top of that I’m worried about my family’s health and well being and my own financial stress.

I felt angry. Frustrated. Hopeless. Anxious. Like I attract very specific people and behavior and this is all my fault. I brought all of this upon myself. Even the things that didn’t have anything to do with me. Somehow I found ways to feel guilty because of them.

Thankfully, instead of blowing up, I vented to my therapist about the way I was feeling. I confided in a couple of friends. None of these people provided me with answers, but I didn’t need them. I just needed someone to listen and relate.

Thanks to The Craving Mind, one of my February reads, I refrained from my usual food binge or compulsive Amazon purchase. I simply forced myself to sit with and EXPERIENCE the emotions that were coursing through me. As excruciating as it is to acknowledge the awful inside of you–we can all agree it’s far easier to distract ourselves with instant gratification–it’s when we confront our fears and pain head on that the most progress can be made.

As great quote I read recently by Jonathan Fields goes:

“The butterflies always fly when you’re pushing into something that matters deeply and that requires growth. The reframe is to learn to experience the sensation as a signpost that cool things are happening and lean into it, rather than as a signal to run.”

It is so important to walk toward the scary parts of life. If we aren’t uncomfortable, we aren’t growing.

And you know what happened when I sat with the pain? The jumble of negative emotions inside of me disappeared. I’m still affected by all of this week’s events, but my mind is clearer and I’m ready to tackle it all with reason and compassion

As Fields says, I’m ready to lean into it.

February Goals

Happy February!

I don’t typically create monthly goals for myself, but I feel compelled to create fun, 30-day challenges every month this year. For February, I have a few goals in mind:

1. Blog daily for the next 28 days

2. Dive deeper into my meditation & yoga practice

3. Start paying off credit card debt

4. Establish a sustainable work-life balance

1. 28 Days of Blogging

If you’re subscribed to my newsletter and blog, you may have noticed that this is my third consecutive post. I really want to be more active on my blog and share my self-care journey with, others with the hopes that maybe you can take what I’ve learned and implement some self-care for yourself.

I’ve never had a set blogging schedule, so it’ll be interesting to see if I can do it!

2. Deepen My Meditation & Yoga Practices

I’m super excited that I’ve finally returned to a daily meditation routine, but I can feel my body craving more. I haven’t quite decided how I plan to incorporate more meditation into my day. I may do both a morning and evening session, or challenge myself by sitting longer in my practice. It would be fun to work up to 20 minute sessions that don’t lead to falling asleep.

As for yoga, I try it fit it in daily, but only in 20-30 minute practices. This month, I want to dedicate 2-3 days a week to some challenging, hour-long sessions.

From back backs to hip openers to mastering the crow pose and handstand, there are so many things within yoga that I want to improve. I know it’s all a matter of picking one and sticking to it.

3. Pay Off that Debt

Last year was an amazing year for me financially. I had eliminated my credit card debt and had the credit to get myself a new car. Unfortunately, I was in a toxic living situation that I knew I was emotionally ready to leave. This last minute move put me back into credit card debt that I’ve been putting off paying off until I had more money put into savings.

So in February I want to begin paying that off debt using the snowball method.

4. Design My Ideal Schedule

I’m terrible at putting myself before others. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been concerned with disappointing others, so I agree to do things I don’t really want to do to avoid conflict. This has carried over heavily into my work life. I gave so much of my time and energy to others and wasn’t taking care of myself.

I daydreamed about what my ideal work schedule would be when I finally had the money to work less and when I finally was in this phase of my life, etc. One day, I just asked myself: If I want more time off, why do I have to wait for a future that may never come? Why can’t I just ask for what I want?

I’ve worked hard last year to create a schedule that allows for time for rest and self-care. I’m already reaping so many benefits from working less. My days are slower and I’m able to appreciate them more, which is what life is all about, right?

I have one more freelancing gig to part ways from to achieve my ideal work schedule and I’m ready to take the leap of faith and put in my notice this month. It’s a bit of a scary venture, and as much as I’ve loved the freedom of freelancing over the past two years, it simply isn’t stable and is usually just plain stressful. I’m retiring my days of chasing checks in exchange for a few extra hours a week of stable work. I’ll anticipate a regular paycheck arriving right on schedule, thank you very much!

Do you have any goals for 2018? What are you doing to center your work-life balance?