Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 17: How Hope Goes Viral


I once had a boss that no matter what I did, I was never good enough.  I was constantly micromanaged, belittled, and picked apart, regardless of the fact that I increased her small business by $1.2 million in less than a year.  She just didn’t like me and she thought that by using negative tactics, I’d mold myself to who she wanted.  When I left, she threw me a party, to thank me for leaving.  I left relieved but incredibly scared that I wouldn’t be good enough for my new job, and unfortunately, that had a rather negative impact on my entire being, often forgoing sleep to get ahead on the next day, ensuring I was always the top performer.  It wore me out a year later.

I’ve learned a lot since that experience, namely that confidence is everything and if you waver, it leaves you highly susceptible to bullies, and other negative types of individuals. This was a key lesson for me to continue to remember when I eventually became my own boss. I learned a lot about how when other people are controlled by another force, those people, in turn, will do the same to you, whether that’s adhering to another culture, personal work style preference, etc.

Now, imagine working for the world’s greatest boss, where you are encouraged to thrive, think outside of the box, take on new skill sets, and learn from your failures.  He encourages you to keep pushing forward, praises you when you do great things, and helps you become better at the things that need work.  In other words, he instills the hope and confidence in you that you can be great, resulting in great work, and even greater performance.  (Shout out to my current boss, who is THE BEST!)

The reason I give these examples is to show what today’s practice is trying to teach us.  The more we encourage others, and not intentionally try to change them, the more hope and confidence are instilled in them, to be better for themselves and for others.  The more we encourage, the happier we are, the happier we are, the more positive place we are all in.


So whether you are the controller/the great “boss” that encourages people, and/or the recipient of this, it’s important to remember that kindness and encouragement, from an internal place of nurture, are key to instilling the right hope in others.

My ask to you is to find one person you know who could use a compliment and PAY it!  Yes, it must be sincere.  But I guarantee you that that little compliment will brighten both your days and you will soon find that, that happy/peaceful feeling is addicting 🙂


Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 16: Reigniting the Spark of Hope

PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek_HelpingHand_Shutterstock_0

I’m sure you have heard the term “pay it forward” and perhaps, you’ve even been lucky enough to receive unexpected kindness from another.  I constantly hear stories from people I know who were randomly treated to Starbucks, a door was held open for them, or some other act of kindness was paid upon them for no reason at all.  Even I’ve been the bestower and the receiver in my life (I’ll never forget the time I held the door open for an older man and he was so touched that he insisted on paying for my coffee). In turn, I’ve seen my friends bestow countless, selfless acts of kindness on others, knowing that at the heart of it all, we’re all humans who could use a little pick-me-up now and again.

What we don’t realize is that with each act of kindness we’ve either bestowed or received, we are instilling a little ray of hope in more of the human race.  It’s that ray of hope that can flourish into so much more, the more we all pay it forward.

SO – the next time you see someone who could use a brighter spot in their day, or you feel like making someone’s day for no reason at all, do it!  Let’s spread “hope” by giving someone the best gift of all – a smile and a warm heart 🙂


Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 15: The Inner Child Reborn


While I’ve never been to burning man, I absolutely love this photo.  It depicts, so well, what “inner child” truly means (at least to me).

When we were young, we were innocent – free from judgment, criticism, and ego.  We were naive to the world, happily playing outside, dreaming big things.  When we started to get a big older, and understand the difference between right and wrong, particularly as it comes to personal feelings, we started to develop a sense of mistrust in another, perhaps maybe due to some abuse and trauma, which triggered our psyches to eradicate most of our naiveness to the world.  It is through these triggers that we developed into the adults we have become.

As adults, we know the difference between right and wrong, well.  However, we have enough life experience behind us to now choose how we will handle certain situations, as we now understand what it means to place meaning behind something, and what the outcome will be.  But what is so fascinating is a trigger that set off a particular emotion as a child, can certainly trigger that same emotion as an adult.  The only way to change that particular behavior is to remain present and self-aware.

For years – even through my early 30s – my parents could say something to the effect of they were disappointed in me, or lecture me on something with “that tone”; and I’d immediate revert back to a childhood response that was less than adult.  It was weird to me because I’d never react that way to someone else.  As I got older and started to see my friends become parents, my perception changed, and I started putting myself in my parents’ shoes.  It was then that I realized if my “Inner Child” is going to come out, it should only be for the fun stuff.  Here are some examples:

  • My mom still has an Easter Egg Hunt on Easter… and it’s still super competitive
  • We still rip through presents at Christmas like kids, with the same excited reactions when we see what we get
  • When my mom or dad announces they are taking us on a trip, all four of us girls jump up and down like giddy 8 year-olds
  • When a sister and myself get together, we tend to revert to childhood foods, snacks, drinks, and movies, desperately wanting to wear feet pajamas

The point with bringing up these examples is, finding that inner child to have a good time with, helps bring you back to your true self.  That wonderment and excitement you felt when you got the toy you wanted, or someone was proud of you for doing something great, etc. – that feeling deep down is something you want to hang onto and find more of. It’s that feeling that brings out the best in us, enlightens us, and affects others.  It’s something that keeps us young, and keeps us reaching for more.

To conclude, if I could still get away with playing with my Barbie collection and building lego mansions, while dreaming of starting (another) business, I would.  Instead, I have to give a shout out to Lisa Frank for developing “adult coloring books”.  You’re my hero.  I’m going back to my pillow fort now…



Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 14: Living by the Light of Hope


“There are over 7 billion souls on this planet, all with a different way to live in the light.” — Deepak Chopra

When Deepak said this, during my meditation this morning, it reminded me of just how different we all are – that we, as individuals, are unique from one another in our hopes, ideals, customs, cultures, etc.  It’s these differences that make each soul special in a unique way, and touch all of our lives, whether we know it or not.


I love traveling to different parts of the world, experiencing different cultures and customs.  It’s an almost indescribable feeling to allow the entirety of your being to immerse itself into a different world, so far from your own.  To be able to remain present and experience something perhaps slightly outside of your comfort zone, is exhilarating.

I’ll never forget my travels to India and what that did for my soul.  I was 100% in a different part of the world that held extremely different ideals and customs that required a shift in my thinking, and in my presence. When you go to any part of the world that is unlike your own, if you’re able to remain open and present, your experience is even that much more amazing!  I realized that over a billion people can exist in a country, in harmony, simply be remaining focused on themselves, while accepting that each soul they are surrounded by, is simply living their life as well!

When you think about this and apply it to your own life, you start to take stock of who you are and what you contribute to this world.  Don’t think you’re contributing?  You are!  Here are some examples of how:

  • The clothes you wear – you have an individual style that was an inspiration from someone, who was inspired by a different culture, location, era, etc.  However, when you wear those clothes, you are exhibiting a unique style that’s exclusive to you!
  • Any hobbies you have taken on – While many of us can have the same hobbies, we each bring a unique contribution to it!  No two people will paint the exact same way, dance the same way, debate the same way, etc.
  • The thoughts we contribute – No two people will apply the exact same meaning to a situation.  Each of our contributing thoughts will be delivered in a different tone, in different words, with a different level of education.
  • Life experiences – No two experiences in life are alike.  It’s our experiences that contribute to the overall world we live in.

Understanding that you ARE contributing to the world we live in, regardless of how big or how small, shows that you are living in the light – your own light – that helps to make this world brighter!

As a feel good exercise, list out some of your unique contributions and read it back to yourself.  Celebrate that you are a unique light in this world that is making a difference!





Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 13: Finding the Key to Renewal


Whether we know it or not, we are growing and changing every second of every day- whether that be mentally and/or physically.  We forget that each second that goes by is one second we will never get back, as it’s sent off to join all the other past seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years that we’ve lived.

We’ve all heard the sayings, “Don’t waste your time” or “life is too short”.  When you put into perspective how fleeting our lives are, it reminds you of all of the times you could have been doing something more positive in your life, or at least something that would better yourself in the long run – we all do this.

However, as the saying goes, “there’s no time like the present” to start anew…

That’s the greatest thing about time – it doesn’t matter if it’s right this second, 30 seconds from now, or even tomorrow.  You can always start anew – ALWAYS.

I’ve heard friends of mine say, “Yeah, I would have loved to have done (x) but it’s too late now – I’m too old to do it.”  Tell that to the myriad of senior citizens out there who have accomplished great things later in life that we would have deemed “too old” to do.  For example,  a couple of years ago, Doreetha Daniels became a college grad at the age of 99. Alternatively Kimani Maruge didn’t begin primary school until age 84 in Kenya. John Glenn was the first man to orbit the Earth in space at the age of 77.  Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until age 76. And the list goes on.  What all these people have in common is that they realized they are never too old to start something – they don’t see time as having passed by – there is always time to go onto doing something great.  Thus, YOU have no excuse 🙂

The more we realize that life is precious, the more we want to live a great life, full of beautiful stories.  The more we want this, the less time we want to waste, and the less we want to remain the same.

I’m very appreciative of what meditation has done for me in terms of being so in love with life, that I’m literally the kid in front of the TV, eager to see what happens next.  It’s possible for you too!

Meditation Day 12 had you listing out what you wanted to change for the better, and then putting a plan together for how you do it.  Today, take one of those fears and START making the change!  Believe it or not, taking that first step is you already on your way to a great self-renewal!


Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 12: Finding the Courage to Change


In the first 11 days, our practice has been focused on looking deep within ourselves, pulling out what it isn’t working, and beginning to figure out what it is that we truly want with our lives – what will shape us into the human beings we want to be.

In this practice, we are now focused on finding the courage to make this change.

Letting go of the “old” can be incredibly scary.  Perhaps you tried at some point in your life, and it was met with a negative reaction, or even a failure.  Perhaps that one moment made you realize you were “better off” being the way you are.  What makes trying again so hard is the fear of reliving the pain from that experience.

But what if I told you that you would never have to relive that particular pain again because you actually grew and learned from it?  What if I told you, you have the power to not make the same mistake twice?  If we never experienced pain and set backs, we would never grow as human beings – we would never evolve into the best version of ourselves.


So how do you get started?

  1. Meditation is absolutely a must.  It will help you to learn to ease your mind and find a place of peace.
  2. Write down a list of fears you would like to conquer.
  3. Write down steps you know you could take to start easing those fears – even if it’s little, and make sure to add a reward you would like to give yourself, once you’ve conquered it.
  4. Each month, pick a fear you would like to work on – meditate on it, and take the steps you’ve written down.
  5. Make sure to journal, each day, about what you’re feeling and the progress you’ve made.
  6. When you’ve conquered that fear, REWARD yourself!

Following this process is guaranteed to get you on the right track to giving yourself the utmost courage to change into the person you want to be!


Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 11: Compassion Changes Everything


I remember when I was about 7 or 8 years old, I came home from school one day, complaining to my mom that a classmate was picking on me.  My mom asked what happened, and I explained that the girl got mad and said I couldn’t hang out with her.  My mom’s first response was, “Maybe she’s having a bad day or something is happening at home.”  It turns out, I was just an extremely sensitive child, and no one had a clue what to do with me (I digress).  But, those words stuck – my mom was teaching me compassion.

It’s not an easy thing to show – especially when you’re faced with a seemingly negative situation or person that dampens your mood.  You want to blame them for ruining your day or a particular moment, so as to shift the blame and feel better (pain avoidance).  Instead, we need to show selflessness and compassion and ask the other person if they are okay, or if there is anything that you might have done to upset them.  Chances are, it’s not you, and that they are battling something that caused a projection.

Humans are funny creatures.  We create complications where things can be simplified.  We put meaning behind things that are neutral, creating conflicts.  We project negative emotions onto others because we want to offload pain.  And all those things are EASIER than simplifying our lives to a state of peace, ease, and happiness.

Because of my mom’s words, I’ve always had a genuine interest in other people’s stories.  I’ve learned so much about so many that when I hear someone complain about another, I let them know that all is not what it seems, and to cut the other person some slack.  Having compassion isn’t just about trying to make an alternative excuse for someone else’s behavior – it’s getting to know who they are, accepting and appreciating their differences from us, and genuinely understand their position in life.

I’ve come a long way since the days of the playground, opting to choose friends who are like-minded, but accepting and understanding that everyone else has their own path in life.  I’ve learned to appreciate the beauty behind our differences, using it as a tool to expand my own mind and heart.

Compassion is one of the easiest, selfless (and cheapest) things to give another.  It heals souls and hearts.  The more we can show compassion for each other, the happier we all will be!




Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 10: The Reality of Inner Strength


After going through this meditation, I was honestly a little taken aback by Deepak’s intro before he dove into the meditation.  I realize that this meditation was created out of the need to help millions of people who felt complete despair after the election, but was hoping the political agenda behind it wouldn’t truly be revealed.

Then came the mention of “Why does one person appear to get all the power, while millions of others give it away?”  This was followed by a message to stand tall, speak your truth, and take responsibility.

While this can be translated into everyday life, it was still too much, too soon and certainly not right, considering meditation teaches us to not judge.

As a human race, we have unfortunately become very fragile.  Between most of our lives being spent/displayed on the Internet, reality shows being the normal thing to watch, and more kids growing up latch key; we’re in a society of weaker-minded, lost individuals that don’t know how to find their inner strength to actually DO things that will make a difference in this world.  No, I’m not saying ALL humans are like this but certainly, there is a very large shift, particularly with this newest generation.  And instead of doing something to curtail it, people find it easier to shut it off by taking on the burden for the other, in order to move forward.  It is this horribly repeated cycle that is causing a generation of lost souls.

Yesterday, I wrote of the need to find yourself first before bringing someone else into your life.  Today, I’m asking for you to reach deep down inside yourself and pull out your greatest strengths, examine them, nurture them, and then USE them.  Each one of us has amazing gifts to share with the world, and there should be no shame or fear in pursuing them – even if it’s a side hobby.  Are you someone that by day wears a suit, really wishing you were at Burning Man, artistically expressing yourself through costume?  DO IT!  Share your artistic brilliance with the world!  Are you someone that really wants to spend more time helping those less fortunate (or even just the general population), and know you can make a difference?  What’s stopping you?  Or, do you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly and know you are better than that?  Step up and be “better than that”.  These are just a few examples but the point is, there is no need to live your life in fear.

So what happens when you come out from the shadows:

  • You are at peace
  • You are strong
  • You no longer feel anxious
  • You feel the world is full of endless possibilities – and you take advantage of it
  • You are able to take on any challenge life throws at you, and you welcome it

I know it’s so much easier said than done, so start small.  Take a class in something that interests you – even only if it’s one time.  Or, if you feel bogged down emotionally, there’s no harm in seeing a therapist – no one has to know but you.  If you can go totally out of your comfort zone and you need a true break, take a drive somewhere, stay the night in a hotel, and just relax – pamper yourself! Start getting to know who you are and learning that you’re your own BFF.  Treat yourself with the same care you would treat others.  Before you know it, you’ll be that kitten in the mirror, staring at a lion 😉


Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 9: How to Truly Trust in Yourself


Have you ever felt at war with yourself? You know, totally avoiding yourself altogether and instead, seeking out distractions to quiet that nagging lost feeling?  Or, do you wait for someone else to tell you what to do, how to behave, etc. because it’s easier than figuring out things for yourself; yet deep down, you feel it goes against your beliefs?  If you said yes to any of these, and you were to justify it, you would say, “because it’s just easier” or, “I have too many other things going on to work on me right now”.

Deep down inside, you want to be healed but that comfortability of remaining “broken” is far easier than taking the hard road of spending time with YOU (since you are the only person you truly have to live with the rest of your life).  It’s called learning to trust yourself and it’s one of the HARDEST things to do.

Why am I being so harsh to day…

All too often (almost everyday, including today), I see people walking around in a daze, rushing from place to place (oftentimes glued to their phones), just trying to get through their day.  I hear about them going on dates and never being satisfied, oftentimes finding mundane excuses for why “so and so” isn’t good enough for them.  I hear them constantly complain about their lives and how they’re too busy for “xyz”, while they are at their 3rd event of the evening, needing to be seen.  I see them plowing over people to get what they want, not really caring how it affects others, oftentimes blaming/manipulating others when they speak up.  It seems to be so bad, especially in major cities, that I have a hard time ignoring it.

People who are accustomed to taking the “easier” negative route, find themselves waking up in the morning, completely miserable.  If they didn’t bring someone home and/or are inebriated, they’re going to bed unhappy as well, silently wishing they could just have a peaceful night in, without “being in a million places at once”.   This, my readers, is you being a stranger to yourself, and it’s completely unhealthy.

I’ve been there myself – needing to be seen, blaming everyone else for everything that feels “unfair”, and generally feeling crappy all the time, as though the whole world will forget who I am if I don’t make “x” appearance.  Thousands of dollars, several illnesses from being run down, and 15 lbs. later, I learned it doesn’t matter.  I felt lost, out of control, and broke.  The worst part: when I had to stop going out so I could recoup my losses (financially and physically), I had no idea what to do with myself.  I cried a lot, freaked out a lot, and felt raging jealously that I missed that night’s big soiree and not one soul bothered to text, saying I was missed.  I felt irrelevant and angry.

About four years ago, I had an awakening.  If I felt ugly on the inside, certainly it radiated outward, which means others could see what I was feeling.  I knew I was better than that, and that so much more was meant for me.  There was no way I could live a full life under the conditions I gave myself.  So… I purged… about 1,000 people I didn’t know on Facebook; old blog posts on local happenings that sparked certain feelings; clothes/accessories (which I consigned) that I could’t afford because I wanted to not be seen in the same thing twice (I made a few thousand from consigning); friendships that weren’t friendships at all (I distanced myself); crap food I was eating; alcohol (for a while), and about a hundred other things (exaggeration) that were not going to suit the life I wanted to live.  Was it hard?  Immensely.  Was it worth it?  Completely.

As it turns out, all of that “clutter” was a ridiculous amount of noise that led to a massive fear of being judged – something that I used to be highly sensitive to.  I felt I needed to conform to a certain societal standard in order to have the “right” friends, when in actuality, everyone was doing the exact same thing.  I literally handed over the power of my life to people who were handing over theirs in return.  Imagine a bunch of lost people running around, drinks in their hands, having meaningless conversations, feeling just as run down as you!

Buckling down and focusing on things like my job, my company (at the time), my novel/blog writing, my travels, my diet/exercise routine, my meditation practices, and my close friendships, completely shifted me to the person I love being, as well as into a place of life I want to be in!

I’m not saying it’s all perfect but it’s damn near close for this point in my life.

SO… if you’re stuck in a rut, feel as though you need a life change, or you just need a way to incrementally move onto better things, start small.  Think of one thing you’re afraid to do because it seems to painful to do it, or you’re afraid people will judge you for doing it, or you’re not sure how to do it, so it scares you.  Google it – learn how to do it, see who else in this world has done it, what their outcomes were; and then make it a priority to do it.  I promise you that if you do, it will become addicting and next thing you know, you’ll keep on conquering those things, and it will shape you into the human you want to hang out with for the rest of you life.

To close this out, here are some of my own personal shifts:

Fear: Never being able to afford a home  What I Did About It: Got rid of the luxury car, saved a lot of money (not going out much, keeping expenses low) = I purchased a home!

Fear: Traveling to Asia because I was scared of being unable to read signs/speak with locals What I Did About It: I’m lucky to have a travel partner who 1/2 his family is from India – we went for 16 days, and it was amazing.  Note: Almost everyone there speaks English, and most signs are in English as well.  Now I want to go back

Fear: Taking more outdoorsy trips because I’m scared I’m not physically capable of handling it – you’re always supposed to go to the beach, right? What I Did About It: Booked an Icelandic vacation in the dead of winter and toured the Golden Circle.  It was freezing but it was exhilarating – we’ve booked a trip to the midwest for week-long outdoor adventure this summer!

Fear: Never being good enough to write my novel What I Did About It: Found my groove and decided to plow through it.  I’d rather do that and get rejected by a ton of publishing companies than wonder “what if” I actually wrote it?

Fear: Never being good enough for the “right” person What I Did About It: Started meditating to learn to trust my instincts.  It worked – my other half is the best man I’ve ever dated, and it’s because I took the time to listen to myself





Healthy & Beautiful, Meditation

Meditation Day 8: Activating the Hope Inside You


When you hear “trust that the universe has a plan”, or “trust that the universe will reveal the answer in time”, what is your initial reaction?  Is it to scoff at it, thinking you need more immediate answers?  Or, do you trust that there is a plan and it WILL reveal itself when it’s time?

If you’re like me (impatient and stubborn), the first will ring true and certainly, I know many others that are like me as well.

We are in a fast-paced society where almost everything is “on demand”.  There’s no need for patience because there is always a sense of urgency.  The more access we have to things, the less we stop to appreciate what has already been given to us, as we’re already onto searching for the “next thing”.

I love telling this story of when I had a really difficult time choosing between staying in San Diego and moving back to D.C. (I know, rough life).  I had just moved on from a relationship (that came with me from D.C.), and I wasn’t sure if staying in San Diego, moving to L.A., or moving home, made the most sense.  I was literally two weeks out from needing to be out of my apartment and a friend of mine said, “You’ve done everything you can do to make the decision.  Now let the universe handle it.”  It was hard to hear because there were so many logistics to schedule.  But, he was right.  A few days later, and the answer was clear: I needed to move home. At the time, I had no idea why but now I do.  I am back with all of my friends and family, I have a wonderful boyfriend, and a beautiful home that I purchased.  While some might say I could have any of those anywhere, I know I’m right where I’m meant to be.

I believe that the universe is full of grand, wonderful surprises that will delight us if we let it.  In other words, going with the flow allows us to be full of a positive hope with many happy outcomes.  It’s something I’m glad I learned to appreciate.


So how to put this into practice…

There’s no real easy way to just start trusting one day, I know.  So I invite you to do something you should not do often.  Take a look at a situation from your past.  Think about what you learned from it, and where you are today.  Think about what you know you would never do again and this time, what has gone right. THAT, right there, is the universe giving you what you need for what is meant for you right now.  Take away the positives and use them for the greater good of yourself in the future.  The more you can get in the habit of appreciating even the tough stuff, the more open you will be with going with the flow, and appreciating the plan set out for you.