Monday, May 5, 2014

Do You Really Matter? (You bet you do!)

A universal need for all humans is to know, they matter. People wanna know, do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I matter to you?

We all have those days where we question what we are doing, why we are here, and if we make a difference.

I remember reading somewhere that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. If you are reading this right now, you matter. IF you think you don't, a higher power does. You are worthy because you are here. You don't have to do anything to claim your worth. That was YOURS the minute you entered this world. What happened as you grew up, you learned fear from the world, your closest family and friends and the messages our achievement based society sends.

When you are feeling low, have you ever had someone say "I love you. You are so loved."Or when you are feeling bad about your appearance and someone says, " you are beautiful, you look great," etc. Do you really really believe it? Often times, not. It's wonderful to hear and it feels good but does that feeling last. Not usually. So, we think that we need to hear these things outside of ourselves to feel better, but is that really true? Until you can connect to Spirit or a higher power and to the child within will your feelings about your worth profoundly shift. You have to establish an connection to Spirit and with yourself to know your true worth. Then the comments you hear from loved ones and friends and the relationships you have the work that you do are just icing on the cake of what you already know to be true. The relationship to Spirit and with your heart MUST COME FIRST. Once these relationships are cultivated, you will attract more things to that make you feel less lonely, more abundance, healthier relationships, and a life you love living.

Try these tools this week and get let me know in the comments how they are working out for you! Take action for the next five days. Remember, nothings works until you do. (If you need extra coaching in this area, contact me here.)

1. Create a connection to your heart and to a higher power. In a seated position with hands facing upward, close your eyes and breath deeply yet gently. (It is preferable to do this in the morning before the world needs your light, i.e., kids, job, significant other). Imagine a white light entering the top of your head and flowing from the crown throughout your body until it reaches your toes. You are bringing the goodness of the Universe to you energetically. Let this limitless, divine light of unconditional love fill your entire body. Give yourself permission to receive this light. Let the light illuminate the darkness you are feeling. Let it wash over the parts of your body that ache or that are tired. Feel light in the Light. After all, you are made from and of this Light. Sit for a few minutes basking n this light.

2. Now that you have established a connection to the power that create you , it's time to nurture you. Become your own mother. Become your best friend. Cultivate MEGA compassion and acceptance of your self. Now, in a seated position with your eyes closed, visualize your five year old self. Picture her in your mind's eye. Accept her. Develop a relationship with her. Hold a picture in your mind's eye of the 5 year old little girl, feel her presence or hear her. Visualize this little girl walking up to you. Look at her little face, her hands, her sweet smile. Pull her on your lap and hug her and tell her you are sorry for not loving her, accepting her, acknowledging her. Hold her like the way you want to be loved. It's time to parent yourself. Ask her, what is that you need to have me tell her, to feel loved? Tell this child, you have permission to be seen, heard and you matter. Her answers may be something like" talk to me, play with me for a little bit, hold me tight." Do that for her. Cry if you need to. Laugh if you must. Nurture the inner child within you. EVERYONE has one inside of their hearts that wants to be unconditionally loved and cared for.

3. After you have completed these two exercises, find a picture of your five year old self and keep it in a sacred space or a place you will most see it. As you see her throughout the day, honor her, send her love and compassion, and energetic hugs.

4. Now for the rest of the day, go be of service. Share your gifts with the world. Sprinkle in checking with yourself throughout the day. Take 5 minute breaks of solitude by listening to music, meditating, spending time in nature, etc. And give the best you you can give that day. You will feel the appreciation from others. And if its so happens that you don't, know in your heart you are doing a good job and be at peace that you are doing the best job you can do.

This week, try these tools out and please let me know in the comments below how this is working out for you. Do you feel a shift? Has some darkness been lifted? Has some healing taken place?

Love and Light,

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sometimes you gotta sit with the pain

Everything that is happening to you is really happening FOR you.

OMG - sometimes when I hear that message, I wanna stomp my feet and scream at the top of my lungs. You mean that bad thing that just happened, that right there, is a blessing. Come on, really?

When you look back on your life, you can see how the "bad"things that happened like breakups, accidents, health issues, etc. are really blessings. Brokenness can be the beginning of something wonderful. It feels terrifying and lonely in the onset. You feel stuck, spent, peeled open and raw. Like your heart got ripped from your body as it lies next to you on the bathroom floor. And your wondering if you will ever get up as your reach for the last tissue in the Kleenex box and THENNNNNN you know its time to get up, you're out of Kleenex. :)

In hindsight, when the grief has lifted and gratitude has settled in over a period of time, you see the significance it had in your life and the beautiful influence it has had in the present.

Take for instance, a loved one dying. When it first happens, you are suspended in grief, heartbreak, disbelief, and undeniable pain. Your world crashes and screeches to a halt. There is definitely a grieving process one must go through that is healthy and has worked for so many. (See Elizabeth Kubler Ross writings if you are experiencing this now) After some time (and there is no RIGHT amount of time), the pain lifts (for the most part) and gratitude sets in. You bring back the happy memories and relish in them. You feel the gift that loved one gave you and your heart gets filled to the brim with overwhelming love for the time you did get to spend with them. You got to LOVE them and they got to LOVE you.

But what about when the fateful event happens and you are feeling that pain and that shortness of breath and the aching heart, what do you then?

I have got one thing I know for sure and they are the only ones that work for me. Ever.

Feel your feelings. Get down on your knees and pray and feel it and LET IT OUT. Let the emotions run through you.

I have tried all the outside stuff to fill up the hole in my heart. I have talked to eighteen million different therapists. I have talked to family and friends who are so amazingly supportive. Find the people who hold space for you and don't try to fix your pain. Speak your truth out loud. People are so scared to hear some of your thoughts that go through your head so let it out to those whom you trust. That's why we pay therapists because you can speak your truth and not be judged or condemned for your TRUE feelings. Grief is some VERY heavy stuff. Share your suffering with someone else. You can get emotionally stuck if you bind it up all inside and try to zap it away with status updates and channel surfing.

Push all the obligations aside. Ask for help with all of that stuff. Its just stuff.



Move through it in your own dang time. Your heart will be broke open so many times in your life but its totally worth it. It's all for love. Sometimes we gotta sit through the pain, lay down with it, and make space for it. Your wisdom, your sanity, your loved ones will benefit. Most of all, as your the pain lifts, you can extend the wisdom gained and the ear that knows to a loved one or in a book or in a magazine or to your son or daughter. It will matter. You've lived through it and YOU WILL CARRY ON.

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. "
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Love and Light,

Monday, April 14, 2014

Keep Your Ears Open: Kids are Some of the Greatest Teachers

For the last couple of months or so, I have been hearing, "She copies everything I do! I can't stand it, mommy. Please make her stop, pleassse" from both my daughters. I have heard it a time or two on the playground as well and a few distant memories seem to spring to my mind from my own childhood as I listen to their squabbles.

Imitation is a form of flattery, right?

Hmmmm, so I thought, I would try to have them reframe their words. I asked them to use the word, inspire instead of copy. So when someone copies you, that means, they are inspired by you, they look up to you, and admire the light in you. It's been really cool to see them both experience a miracle as their perceptions have changed from one of fear to love, as a Course in Miracles teaches us. And for most of time, it has been effective.

Last night, I got called out.

My oldest was having a hard time falling asleep last night. So I went into her room to chat and find out why her mind wasn't letting her body rest.

She was telling me, she gets really annoyed when people copy her and today was pretty rough for her, especially. I brought up the old reframing speech and she just wasn't buying it.

"Mommy, there is a difference between copying and inspiring! What you say is not always true. Sometimes people copy me to get more attention than me or do better than me or try to make themselves look better than me so THAT IS NOT INSPIRING!!! I can feel the difference. When I feel like I have inspired someone, then I have helped them."

Come on! Did she just say that?

I just looked at her with starry eyes and thought, "hold onto that wisdom baby, don't let the world take it away from you. Keep it locked up in your heart and guard it. But for now, I will hold (verrry tightly), the key."

What she was describing to me was: INTENTION.

What is your intention when you emulate someone? Are looking to one-up them? Or are you seeing the light in them is a reflection of the light in you? One is a choice from the ego-based mind and the other is a choice from love, from the heart. We are all connected. We are all deserving of success, freedom, abundance and so forth. There is ENOUGH for everyone.

When you admire parts of another person, it's just a mirror of what's possible for you. The key is to be inspired but let your authentic unique traits shine through and be proud of them. Be SO proud of your originality because that is what people are drawn to. If someone is copying you and their intention is pure, consider yourself a marvelous teacher, bettering other's lives. If they are copying you for the sake of competing against you, keep doing you. Do you and do it well. The Universe created you to bring forth your special and unique talents. Brush it off. We can't control how other people behave. Send them love and light and stay on your path.

When you see that others have been inspired by you, can you see that you make the world a better place just by being you? Pretty magical, right?

Stay true to you and the Universe will rise up to meet you.

Love and Light,

Monday, April 7, 2014

WAKE UP!!!- My Messy Beautiful

"Wake up! Wake up, Jensy. Its time to WAAAAKKKKKE up!" My two least favorite words in the dictionary. Put together. In a sentence. Ever. Anyone who knows me, and, even as a little girl, knows you don't wake me up. I get up on my own time and that's just how it is. Friends and family have stories of me swinging punches as I awaken from my groggy stupor. Yeah, not pretty.

That went on for thirty years. HA! YES, 30! Not only did I dislike being woken up but I was "asleep" to life from ages 20-30. I was asleep at the provebial wheel of life with food addiction and overexercising and anorexia.

Ironically, my favorite word in the dictionary is Awakening. I even wrote a book about it.

Now how is it that I can like and dislike a word at the same time? Or how is it that I can like and dislike exercise at the same dang time? And how is it that I can enjoy parenting one day and not the other? Same goes for marriage? Or bananas? You know what I'm talking about, you know, those days when its mushy and brown in areas, and soft or simply you would rather eating spoonfulls of peanut butter in the doorway of the pantry...or is that just ME??

I'll tell you why. Because that's just how life is! OHHH the irony of life. It can be painful and exhilarating. It can be exciting and scary at the exact same moment! OH, I see, that's what the Chinese were talking about when they say yin and yang!

Now I get it... I THINK.

According to Wikipedia, "Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (instead of opposing) forces interacting to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the parts. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, (for instance shadow cannot exist without light). Either of the two major aspects may manifest more strongly in a particular object, depending on the criterion of the observation."

They meant light cannot exist with dark. That up has to have a down. Or a high has to have a low. It just complementary. It just is.

What goes up must come down. A dang seesaw! Nothing is static. It waxes and wanes. Life bends then straightens.

On September 19, 2005, I "woke up" (sort of). After being told to, wake up, thousands of times by friends, husband, family, God, which I met with resistance EVERY SINGLE TIME, I started to AWAKEN to life. I gave birth to my first baby girl.

Talk about messy and beautiful. Painful and Exhilarating. The birth was messy - an emergency c- section due to a contraction that never stopped (Medical lingo: tetanic contraction). And beautiful, because the child was gorgeous and safe and perfect. I brought her home in a messy anxious state. I had read that What to Expect When You Are Expecting book(so I was SET AND READY! Right? Um. No.). The nursery was perfect, pink and pretty. The bassinet was shiny and new. All picture perfect, all except me. It was GO time and I was TERRIFIED. I wanted to run away and hide because now I had to face that life could be beautiful.

Well I stayed scared and relapsed with anorexia that I had suffered with for almost a decade.

Remember how I hate the words, "Wake up!?" 15 months after my first daughter was born, another sweet baby girl comes along. Yeah, Universe, I think I am getting the picture. You are handwriting an invitation to me from my kids that says, "WAKE UP MOMMY! YOU ARE MY MOMMY. YOU ARE GOOD AND WHOLE AND PERFECT JUST AS YOU ARE.I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MOMMY, THIS IS ABOUT US NOW. AND I LOVE BEING WITH YOU.LET'S ENJOY THIS RIDE TOGETHER.COME ON, WHADDYA SAY?"

As an anorexic, my inner dialogue told me I was worthless, ugly, stupid, and my life was ALL MESSY and NO BEAUTIFUL. But my heart started to hear a different message. A more encouraging, compassionate, empowering message.

My girls awakened me to ME. I chose to step into full recovery because this was for US. The Universe handpicked these girls and sent me on my way to recovery and Awakening. Life could be beautiful. It was possible.

Recovery was the messisest mess of all messes. It's still messy but not as much. But it happens to be the most BEAUTIFULEST MESS I have ever experienced in my life. I am so dang grateful for the pain, the nights on the bathroom floor, the tears that could fill an ocean. The mess has become my message.

You see, the messy and the beautiful, are gifts the Universe grants us to awaken us to who we really are. That's all life is. It's a day to day being. Some days life brings you to your knees and you just want to stay in bed, shut the blinds, and tune out all the noise. Moreover, another day could be a three year old knees deep in finger paint, in his nose, on your walls, and on your newly upholstered chair. Yet, yields a finished masterpiece of you and him walking in a field of flowers (as he says)that melts your heart and burns your throat as you are on your way to the ugly cry from love and gratitude. (and ALSO from the damage done to your favorite chair in the whole world.)

Some days, I go to bed and think I am the world's worst mother. I snapped. I fed them leftover chili three days in a row. Or I made the world's worst dinner. I know it. They know it. The dog knows it. But I still make them eat it because I spent two hours thawing, chopping, sauteeing, baking, and rereading the same recipe a trillion times just to make sure I had the measurements right. Mind you, also, during those two hours I have weaved in solving division problems, taking TWO barbies and a DOZEN legoes out of the dog's mouth, had a 10 minute Church session with the girls about how to share and how to be kind and say nice things. And then I think, "did I put the second egg in the mix?" Oh, here, well you guys, here's my messy beautiful dinner handmade by your messy, beautiful mom.

Life doesn't look like a Pinterest board or the mom with the Halloween sweater (that she sewed herself) and the halloween cookies made from scratch that resembles bats, witches, pumpkins all carefully crafted from marshmallow decorated to perfection. Still, I am not against any of that, because I am MAJORLY obsessed with Halloween. The point is, it reminds us that life can be beautiful and that's her beautiful expression (and secretly you know there has gotta be a mess in there somewhere. Right? Please.:)

Or life could look like this: when you are about to put your daughter to bed and you'd rather tuck into a DVR'd Jimmy Fallon episode but instead you have this conversation in her stuffed animal mess of a bed that goes something like this:

Me: "Hey sweetie, I am really sorry I snapped and got mad and yelled and then went up to my room. Will you forgive me?"

Daughter: Mommy, you're so silly. I have ALREADY FORGIVEN YOU."

Yep. Messy and Beautiful all in a span of a few hours. Welcome to Parenting. Welcome to Life.


In Love and Light,

This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

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Friday, April 4, 2014

How to Become an Affirmation Aficionado and Your Biggest Fan

You have heard me talk about Louise Hay before. I adore her and am so grateful for her books and wisdom because it led me to paths of Awakening and to publish my first book with her company. She is the Queen of Affirmations and says, "“Every thought we think is creating our future. ”

You remember Stuart Smalley, the famous fictional character from Saturday Night Live, known for his famous line, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone it, people like me." The skits were hysterical and were a hit for years. It's so freeing to make light of ourselves, right?

But, affirmations may get a bad rap. Yes, it can sound extremely hokey but what's the alternative? Criticizing? That will just get you more of what you don't WANT! You can't talk yourself into self-acceptance by thinking negative thoughts. You have to accept yourself today, as you are.

If you are engaging in negative self talk on the daily, saying things like, "I'm not worthy, I'm broke, I'm ugly and fat and lonely.", the Universe will grant you those very things. It will match your vibration. Now I know you have heard that vibration banter in spiritual circles and it can sound confusing so let me explain to you what that means.

When you are saying negative things to yourself or worse, declaring them to others, there is great feeling behind those words. Your body, your mind, and your soul feels every fiber of that affirmation and will grant you more conicidences, occurrences and serendipities to affirm what you are feeling.

Recently, I heard Gabby Bernstein talking about ways to snap yourself out of going down a dark negative thought pattern. Wear a bracelet, rubber band, and/or hair tie on your wrist. When you notice you are saying negative things about yourself, snap the band, acknowlegde the thought, and replace it with a new, more positive, healthy thought. Come up with your own positive mantra specifically for you. Some examples might be:

I am happy.
I love and accept myself in this moment.
I am doing the best I can where I am.
I am safe.
All is well.

You may think you are BS'ing yourself because, you really don't feel that way. I totally get that. You know the saying, "fake it til you make it." Well, this is where you gotta insert faith and keep going. At the core of who you are, your soul, is already all of these things. Truly. You were made from love. There has been layers of limiting beliefs that have stuck with you or told to you by the world and others. Not one bit of it is true, you have chosen to engage the monkey mind (ego) and not the heart (soul, Universe).

Whenever you start something new, it can feel uncomfortable and scary, right? Let's take starting a new exercise's way hard at first. Your body has to adjust to the new regimen thrown its way. Your muscles are really sore the first few weeks as they adapt to the new resistantance and movement. You don't release weight right away. But as you make exercise a daily commitment, the soreness eases, physical strength and health develops and fluidity arises. You are in the flow and you are workin' it.

Well, its the same as building your mental muscles. You gotta work them before they can get strong.

Try this for thirty days... really commit to affirming that you are spectacular because you are!

Be your biggest fan! If you won't, who will?

I wanna hear some of your affirmations. What lifts you from a funky zone?

Love & Light,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Surrender, Stillness, and Showing Up

I remember riding the school bus every morning to school. I can sometimes still here Mrs. Shoch honking her bus horn in the direction of our garage so my sisters and I could come running out on any given morning. The bus community was filled with the cool kids sitting in the back seats, the bad kid(s) sitting in the front seats, and me somewhere sitting in between not knowing really where I fit in. This seemed to be an idea that stayed with me most of my childhood.

As a mother of two, the whole idea of fitting in seems to be a waste of time. When you allow yourself to be who you are, you find your tribe. You find your inner circle and your like minded comrades. But who are you really? Our purpose is to extend love, be love, and open our hearts with compassion. When you are a kid, you ARE being love. You love what you love unapologetically until...that one day someone tells "you shouldn't love that, its not cool, or fun, or right,etc." Some stay on their Paths and others do as their wise elders tell them and do as they are told.

Fitting in is living inauthentic life. It feels so good to be who you are.

I love Howard Stern. I could listen to him all day. Do you think he fits in? Do you think by me telling you that, I fit in? I was always afraid to admit that I "heart" him for fear of people thinking I'm obscene, negative, naughty, or rude. The guy is a trip. He makes me laugh so hard tears roll down my face as I driving to pick my kids up from school. He's charming, witty, full of opinions, doing the best he can in his personal life, and living his dream despite the criticism. He goes to a psychiatrist three times a week and practices Transcendental Meditation. All nudity and sexual hijinks aside, he's a pretty decent guy. Sex sells and the guy gets that. Society made the rules, not Howard.

Like Howard, I felt like I never fit in. I wanted to sit with the cool kids so bad. I wanted to be liked so I became a chameleon changing my colors for whomever I was around.

We can feel lost sometimes in a new job, new role (like mom, wife, stepmom, divorce, single parent,etc.) new neighborhood, new environment (like a party, off to college) and think where do I fit in? Check this out, you can find your way in a new space, being unapologetically you.

1. Surrender. Let go of the steering wheel and let The Divine take over. Doesn't that feel so good to let go of the control? Just saying the words "I surrender" just frees up so much space and tension. You do everything you can with what you have, where you are, and by being who you are. And then, surrender the rest to the Universe.

2. Stillness. Pick a time of the day that works best for you and ask yourself the same question St. Francis of Assisi asked God, “What will You have me do today, God?” Secondly, in that moment of stillness, he would thank God for giving him that very ability to serve others. Another prayer that works well is a prayer from A Course in Miracles, that says,

What would You have me do?
Where would You have me go?
What would You have me say, and to whom?

Tune in for the answers. Stay still long enough to hear them. Its a guaranteed downloadable to-do list straight from the Universe.

3. Show up. Write down the answers and take action. We get sidetracked with social media, bringing up old habits and news, future tripping, our vices, etc. 90% of everything is showing up. Just show up. Don't think about it, just get there and take it moment to moment.

By following these steps, you find your community and more importantly, you will be co`creating with the Universe just by being the beloved being of the Light It created you to be.

As always, let me know your thoughts below in the comments. Have you let go of control?

Love and Light,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Spiritual Guide to Overcoming a Fear of Flying

I am not the greatest flyer. Since I was a little girl, I would not go on roller coasters. I was the girl riding the carousel for the fifteenth time while the others I was with were experiencing thrills and fun with drops and twists on the roller coasters at the amusement park. Needless to say, flying hasn't been so good either.

I realize though if I want to experience all of God's goodies in life and to see the fruits of Mother Earth's labor, I need to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. So I face the fear of flying, which this fear can overlap most of our fears, as its a fear of the unknown and a fear of death.

Since reading Anita Moorjani's book, Dying to be Me, where she chronicles her near death experience (NDE) while suffering with cancer, my fear of death has changed. She "died" on a hospital bed from complications with cancer. But, as she details in her book, the moment when she passed away she experienced total bliss, a love, peace, and an intense feeling of warmth, a lightness, all with no fear whatsoever. It just sounds so amazing! Ms. Moorjani has lived to tell about her experience and it has brought millions of people comfort and peace as they navigate their lives.

So last week, I boarded a plane to Arizona armed with many tools from my spiritual toolbox. Here are my tips on how to navigate your way as you leave on a jet plane:

1. Face your fear. When we admit our fears, we take our control back and send the ego to the corner. As we embrace the fear, we bring light and love to the higher self and in the owning we refuse to let it tell us how to run our life. By facing your fears, you take back control.

2. Be present. The anticipation is the worst part. Weeks prior to my flights, I think about what could happen. Then, as I sit at the gate, I think about how much I don't want to get on that plane. In these instances, I center back in and remember to stay present in the moment. I am not on the plane yet, so worrying about it is a waste of time. So I do things that soothe me in the present moment - like loving on my kids, husband, dog, playing games, writing, hanging out with girlfriends. At the airport, I people watch aaannd to my husband's dismay, everyone is a friend so I engage in chit chat with strangers, as I find you can learn something from everyone. That's just the hungry student in me! Find what works for you to center back into the present moment. Focus on what is right in front of you. Let the future-tripping go. Enjoy what is going on in the Now.

3. Say prayers for the pilots and attendants serving the flight. As I board the plane, I touch the jet and imagine a white light surrounding it. I say a prayer to my guardian angels to keep the plane safe and carry it gently to its destination with ease. As I pass the pilot, I send him my prayers as this is his livelihood and what he enjoys doing as his career. I say hello and smile to all the flight attendants servicing our flight. I also pray for every person on the flight. I send them love and light that they get tot their destinations safely.

4. Stay distracted before the plane takes off. When I get to my seat, I get out a book or listen to music or chat with my travel partner about what we are gonna see and do. This gets me excited.

5. Prepare for takeoff. Deepak Chopra is the man! Chopra has a technique you can use as you are experiencing fear. He says, recall a time in your life where you felt overwhelming joy. This could be the birth of your child, getting the job you wanted, your wedding day. Visualize in your minds eye that feeling and let it consume your body. As the plane takes off, it is moving fairly quickly. Experience that exhilaration as you sail into the skies and match it with that mental recess you just visualized. Hold the thought and the feeling of love and happiness as you soar mentally and physically. This works like a charm!

6. Travel with crystals, sacred momentos, lucky charms and/or pictures. I wear a long necklace that has a stone of Archangel Ariel on it. She is the "lion of God" and is the angel of protection. I hold it with my thumb and forefinger and feel peace by her presence. Bring something with you that you love, which you brings joy and peace to your heart.

7. Breathe. When we are experiencing anxiety, we forget to breathe. As you inhale, fill the belly up and out, hold for three, and exhale as you draw your belly back towards you spine. This will instantly snap you back and calm your nerves.

8. Meditate with Mantras and Affirmations. As you are practicing your breathing, repeat mantras to yourself. You can use this one here or come up with one on your own. I used this last week: "I am safe. I am calm. All is well. I am exactly where I need to be. I look forward to all the joyous experiences that await me."

9. Enjoy the flight. For the most part, most flights are fairly smooth. Sit back and watch a movie. Read a book you are dying to get lost in. Look out the window and revel in the Universe's glory and vastness of Mother Earth. Turbulence may occur, you may feel a bump or two, but just as when you drive in your car and experience bumps, planes do too. It's the experience of any mode of transportation.

10. As the plane prepares for landing, use the same steps (4-7)listed above.

11. When the wheels touch down, celebrate! You are about to open yourself up to whole new set of experiences. Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, you are about to take part in an exciting adventure! Traveling allows you to experience new things: new cultures, new scenery, new flavors, new relationships, rejuvenation, and cool adventures! Carpe diem! And you did it, you faced the fear and DID IT ANYWAY! WINNING!

I wanna hear your thoughts on traveling. Could you use these steps to face other fears? What works for you? Let me know in the comments. We can all learn from your voice and experiences!

Love and Light,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Recovery is a Journey Back to the Soul

My latest essay is up on Cameron Diaz's website, Our Body Book. Her book is all about becoming yourself with recipes, workouts and good old fashion wisdom. Love her energy and spirit! Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Theresa Roth

Happy March! Happy Monday! Today I want to introduce you to another Wide Awake Woman. Meet Theresa Roth.

Theresa is the creative mind and creator behind SuperLoveTees. I am personally a big fan of Theresa's as I own two (and more to come) of her super soft, super inspirational tees. I love the fabric so much and the message behind each one. I found her site on Instagram and was immediately sold!! I am very inspired by her dedication to her life's work and her entrepreneurial skills. She has a heart of gold and a eye of amazing design to match!

1. Theresa, tell us about you:

My name is Theresa Roth and I am the owner and designer of SuperLoveTees. I have so much fun with it, and feel divinely led to create these inspiring tees and ship them around the World. It's a lot of hard work, but it feels like play most of the time. The positive energy of designing the graphics, and mixing the paints and hand screening each peace carries me along and then comes back to me when I see pics of our customers wearing and loving their tees.

2. Why did you start your own t-shirt business?

I started my t-shirt business with the intention to spread love and good vibes all around the world. My secondary reason was to be able to create a business that allowed me to quit my full time job, which I did in January 2014.

3. Was there ever a time in your life where you felt stuck and what did you do to pull yourself out? What was your wide awake moment?

I wouldn’t say that being stuck or feeling stuck is one of my sticky points. I have had a time where I felt like I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. Fortunately, I’ve come to learn that those feeling are temporary and if I’m present with the feelings, they always seem to give way to clear skies.

4. How do you deal with stress?

The day-to-day life of SuperLoveTees can be stressful. The reality of selling products that I make by hand is a lot of work. When I’m feeling stressed, the easiest way for me to let go of the stress is to look at what I’m doing and acknowledge that I’m doing the very best that I can do in any given moment.

5. How do you go from thinking with your heart rather than your head?

That all starts with intention and knowing that everything I do is a result of my heart filled intention to spread love. When times get tricky and/or my brain interferes with this process, I realize that I don’t need to have all of the answers right now and that everything is working for me, not against me.

6. What are some of your favorite quotes?

“Let go, be guided, expect miracles” (by Gabby Bernstein). Also, from A Course In Miracles, there is a mantra that soothes my soul: “love is all there is.”

7. What message can you leave us with today to carry us through the week?

One powerful message that I like to impart to people that ask me how to start their own business is to start where you are. Whether that means figuring out what your dream is or chasing the dream that you have already identified, start where you are and every day make progress towards achieving that dream. Over time you will be amazed at how far baby steps can take you.

She really is living a life leading with her heart -- it is so beautiful and inspiring.

And get this, guys... She is offering all Your Wide Awakening readers a 15% discount off ALL orders ALL MONTH LONG! That's right - the Discount Code WIDEAWAKE15 expires on March 30,2014! You gotta check out these shirts and sweatshirts! They are made of the highest quality fabrics and made with a whole lotta heart and soul. Check out to look around and place your order!

Love and Light,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Heather Sayers Lehman

I am beyond thrilled to introduce to another amazing woman who is living in the Light. Meet Heather Sayers Lehman.

I came across her site Enough About Food and knew I wanted her to be a part of this weekly feature. Then as I dug deeper and chatted with her via Skype, I met with a radiant, authentic, quick witted woman you all will fall in love with. And to add to all of this, she did a Tedx Talk a few years ago that will blow you away! Watch it here.

As a Health & Life Coach, Heather helps individuals with weight loss, improve their nutrition, increase physical activity and manage their stressors. She feels that emotional eating is the culprit of most health problems her clients face. She has observed that people make themselves sick simply by using food to cope with grief and loss, solve their problems and keep them company. Through her work and personal journey, Heather’s mission is to help others lose the food and find emotional solace with more effective coping techniques.

In 2010, Heather Sayers Lehman’s path took an unexpected turn when, after their break-up, her boyfriend locked himself inside her personal training studio and took his own life. Suffering from PTSD and a roller coaster of trauma-induced emotion, Heather sought help through various forms of counseling and therapy, which proved ineffective. She turned to art as a means of expressing herself and working through her grief. Randomly exploring different mediums, she discovered that the silence and focus of creating art abated her anger and stilled her mind. The artistic process gave her the greatest peace she’d experienced since her boyfriend’s death. It was then that Heather decided to create a venue to inspire the artwork of others in stages of grief and loss and to display it. The development of and subsequent presentations of the site have brought Heather closer to being the person she wants to be.

After this experience, Heather learned to relate to other's struggles with great empathy and compassion. Every coping mechanism she had ever used, failed her after this great trauma. She had to forget everything that she once knew and build better coping techniques from the ground up. She has transformed this tragedy into an opportunity to help others cope better to lead happier and healthier lives.

Most importantly, Heather is the lucky mother of two phenomenal boys, Lucas and Maxwell, who inspire her to leave a legacy of truth and happiness.

1. Your Wide Awakening is about moving through adversity and feeling our emotions as they present themselves. We all move through in different ways and in different lengths of time. What has helped you move through adversity during various challenges in your life?

I use humor A LOT: appropriately and inappropriately. I find that inappropriate is much more fun. Growing up, my family always used gallows humor which can make the awful circumstances seem more tolerable. When my uncle was dying of ALS, my cousin told him she was going to the other room to get something for him. Unable to speak anymore, he let out a low moan. We spent 45 minutes using an alphabet chart and his blinking to decipher what he was trying to say. He said “I’ll be right here”. He had been bedridden for months so clearly he wasn’t going anywhere. 45 minutes for a laugh and it was worth every second. He let us know he was still kicking in there and we got to release some happy hormones instead of the non-stop stress hormones.

2. You are a Health and Life Coach mostly helping people heal emotional eating. What would you say are some reasons why we emotionally eat?

Simply stated: “Look how this how person is treating me...This isn’t fair....I need to talk to some ice cream about this.”

3. How do you personally deal with stress on a daily basis?

I handle stress by making terribly average/craft store art but I love doing it. I use a lot of phone apps to create my uncrafty crafts. It’s lazy lady crafts! It’s not even good enough to give as gifts, dangit.

4. You did an amazing TEDx Talk about Hope. Where can we find hope?

I did my talk two years after my ex-boyfriend’s suicide in my personal training studio. I lost him. I lost my studio. I totally lost my marbles. Originally, I hoped for a time machine so I could get a do-over. I just wanted my old life back.
Here are three of the ways that I helped myself:
• Somedays, choosing to lay face up on the couch instead of face down.
• Taking way too many pictures of my dog.
• The distinct realization that I have actually laughed out loud again.

5. What are some of your favorite quotes? Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

6. What moves your soul? What makes your heart skip a beat?
My children’s laughter always makes me melt. We all fancy ourselves a funny bunch so we laugh a lot. They both have a laugh that is so quick and genuine. I just love it! Their happiness means the world to me.

Heather offers free 30 minute overcoming emotional eating consultations as well as live speaking appearances, e-courses, and live seminars. Be sure to check out her websites here and here to learn more about her.

Love and Light,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Heather Waxman

Here we are, another Monday! Another Wide Awake Woman! Meet Heather Waxman.

Heather Waxman is a soul sister and multi-passionate entrepreneur. She wears many hats including life coach, writer, musician, and speaker. She released her first meditation album, Soul Sessions, this past December and is the process of writing her first book due out later this year. Soul Sessions is a guided meditation album like no other infusing her angelic singing voice with soulful affirmations and whispering words of peace and bliss.

I felt a strong energetic tug from the Universe to befriend her a year and a half ago and now she is one of my dearest friends in the entire world. She has a desire to make the world a better place through her fierce passion and love of meditation and music and so much more. You'll see as you read below. She is inspiring and full of so much love and light. Her glowing energy just pours from your screens!

Heather, tell us about you:

I am a life coach, writer, musician, and speaker. But underneath that, I’m just a woman who is a happy learner and a hungry student of life. I’m here to share my struggles and victories in hopes that people resonate with them and see a piece of themselves in them. I am committed to helping people connect with their intuition, so they can show up for life as the happiest, most authentic version of themselves. I believe the key to everything you need is already inside of you.

We all share in the ups and downs of life. Was there a moment in your life that awakened you into owning your light?

My wide awake moment came when everything in my world fell apart. I had a horrible eating disorder, was addicted to exercise, hated my job, and was in the midst of witnessing my parents’ traumatic divorce. With everything I did, I felt like a piece of my soul was dying. I think that hitting our version of a rock bottom is often the catalyst for us to really step into our true potential.

One night, I came home from a hot yoga class and my first move was to the kitchen cabinet. I was ready to start a binge session to numb out the pain and anxiety I was feeling in my life. As I opened the cabinet door, something inside of me said, “Don’t do it!” I slammed the door shut and hit my knees. At that moment, I said a prayer to the Universe. I didn’t really have faith but I had a desire to have faith, and that’s all we need. I asked for help to change my habits and become truly happy. The next day, things started to change for me. Every day, I made small changes towards living the life of my dreams.

As we awaken to our light and practice following our inner guide, it becomes more evident that we need to check in and make sure we are thinking with our hearts. How do you practice thinking with your heart?

Thinking with your heart is a practice. That’s what it was for me and continues to be today. Just like we hit the gym to build physical strength, we have to hit the meditation pillow to build mental strength. The single-most important factor that helped me to think more with my heart is meditation. I try to make my life a living meditation. To me, meditation and thinking with your heart are the same, because both are just a manifestation of being present. Start with 1 minute every morning just listening to one of your favorite songs and focusing on your breath. Or you can listen to my guided meditations.

In day-to-day life, if you feel like you’re stuck thinking with your head and want to think with your heart, a great question to ask yourself is, “What would Love do?” You will always intuitively know the answer to that one. Thinking with your heart takes a lot of patience. It’s so easy to impulsively send that text, email, or comment. You have to be dedicated and you have to be present, and that question is a great one to bring you back to thinking with your heart.

How do you continue to lead a miraculous, authentic life?

What has helped me to continue to live a miraculous, authentic life is switching the way I see things. I see things through spiritual sight instead of physical sight. That means I see every situation and every relationship in my life as a teacher. I believe that life happens for me – not to me. Everything and everyone comes to me as love or as a call for love. Remembering this has brought me so much peace and has helped me learn a lot of tough (but profound) lessons in my life.

Tell us, how do you deal with stress?

Stress is all over the place! Especially now, there is so much chaotic energy and things are moving at a faster and faster pace. One of my favorites is a 1-minute meditation that you can do anywhere. You breathe in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and then exhale for 5 seconds. You can do that for one to four rounds. It will instantly bring your stress levels down and help you focus and think more clearly.

Letting my creative goddess shine is another great way for me to reduce stress. Often times, we’re stressed out because there is pent-up creative energy inside of us that needs to be expressed. I love to hop over to my piano and play and sing. Some of my greatest inspirations have come to me in moments when I was stressed and decided to tickle the piano keys. My meditation album, Soul Sessions, was written when I was going through a really tough transition in my life. It really helped me heal.

Do you have a favorite quote?

I have a million favorite quotes. But the one I’m digging right now is an affirmation I created for my upcoming book: “Compassion is the doorway to acceptance.” You can tweet that. ;)

What is one message you can leave us with today?

I have a desire to help others remember the truth about who they are…that they already have everything they need inside of them and that they don’t need to stand under a spotlight to be important. There is a beautiful inner spotlight within everyone that, when we allow it to shine, radiates outward and helps others remember their inherent worthiness. It’s a ripple effect that we are all capable of creating.

So beautiful, right?

Heather is offering one lucky Your Wide Awakening reader, a free digital download of her guided meditation album, Soul Sessions. To win, in the comments below, tell us why you would be interested in receiving her mediation album. A winner will be chosen this Friday so be sure to check back at Your Wide Awakening Facebook Page at the end of the week!

If you would like to learn more and/or work with Heather, please visit her website, and say hello on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Love & Light,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Angela Olinger

For this week's Wide Awake Woman, I want to introduce you to a woman on the move, facing her fears, and healing the world. Angela Olinger.

Angela is a licensed Massage Therapist, Yoga Life Coach, Writer, Artist, aspiring author, and speaker. She is also a mother to three sweet boys! Angela crossed my radar a few weeks ago as a woman determined to help others through her experience and also through her extensive knowledge and application in natural healing modalities.

In 2012, Angela had a transformative moment in her journey which led to her wide awakening. I can't wait for you to read her story and feel her light and energy radiate!

1. What was your catalyst to your wide awakening?

After crawling through life’s ups and downs thinking I could do it all myself I realized I needed help. At my lowest emotional state I saw my doctor needing help and answers. I felt hopeless, tired, emotionally and physically drained, and felt stuck. I frequently asked myself is this all there is to life? I have three beautiful boys I am so grateful for making me feel guilty for feeling this way but I was emotionally starving my soul. My doctor ran a saliva test and handed me the results a week later. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was my diagnosis. WHAT?! This was my huge wide awakening! If I couldn’t turn this around no one could. December 2012 was the beginning to finding me again. I found a life coach who believed in me before I believed in myself. I began taking care of my body and what I was putting in it. As I peeled away all the layers I began discovering who I was and what kind of life I wanted to live. After a year knee deep in self-help books and intense work on myself I realized I knew it was my calling to walk the journey with other people who are going through the same hopelessness that I once felt. There is a beautiful spin that happens when you start to gradually love yourself you find others who support and share the journey with you.

3. How did I start to think with my heart and not my head?

Through much trial and error, I know that when things get overwhelming and I’m faced with a tough decision or stress I feel with my heart and leave my head out of it. The brain serves a wonderful purpose as well as keeping us alive. When you’re head on with chaos your brain will naturally use fear to get you to flee or fight it out. Instead I learned to turn inward and check in with my gut feeling and what my heart is trying to tell me. I’m not perfect but now I trust myself and trust my gut. We all have the answer we need inside we just need to listen. There is a beautiful confidence that develops inside us all when we make decisions based from the heart.

4. What tools do you use daily to continue living a miraculous, authentic life?

The most powerful way to live authentically for me is to be true to myself by trusting my heart and intuition. When I follow what I know is right for me everything falls into place.

5. How do you deal with stress?

I’ve learned to view stress as a tool. Every stressful situation I ask myself what I can learn and what is this teaching me. There are many things that are out of my control. Being a mom with three active boys and dealing with life itself stress is readily available. I have learned to see situations as something nudging me telling me I could use more growth in this area. If my son is testing my patience I know that I must need to work on patience. If a company rejected an article I wrote I know my message will reach the perfect person in another company. I am more open to seeing how the stressful situations can help me grow than entertaining the negative factor. I also take a few moments out of my day to breathe and journal.

6. Favorite quote?

Let go, let flow. This is a quote I came up with years ago and is now something I use more than ever before.

7. What do you want to be remembered for?

My free loving spirit, my optimism and belief that it is possible to live the life you hold in your heart. I want the world to know that no matter what situation you are living there is hope, it does get better. Life is meant to live not in fear but passionate love within yourself.

Hope. Hope changes everything. It brings light to a rainy day. It brings optimism to an unhappy moment. Thank you Angela for sharing your story.

Angela offers international life coaching for adults and teens and meditation for young adults. Visit her website and her Facebook page to learn more about her!

Angela would like to extend a free life coaching session to one lucky reader. If her story resonates with you, please enter! Please leave a comment below if you would like to be added to the free giveaway. We will announce the winner this Friday on Your Wide Awakening FB page so stay tuned!

Love and Light Always,


Monday, February 3, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Jeanne Verger

This week, we are featuring Jeanne Verger as our Wide Awake Woman.

I met Jeanne Verger recently online. She owns a jewelry company and the pieces glowed in my Instagram news feed that day I came upon her page. A click to a click to another click led me to her. (We all know how that goes!) I landed at her website and I knew at that moment, I needed to know her and introduce her to all of you!

Here is Jeanne Verger's, owner of Jeanne Verger, Elegant, Empowering Jewelry, story. Inspiring indeed.

Tell us a bit about you:

For the past 10 years I have worked as an advertising and creative director at Warner Bros Records and for a full-service advertising agency. I loved every minute of my advertising career but a few years ago I started on my journey to inner well-being and my spiritual path. I unlocked many doors that I had never opened in my life up until that moment. My desires in life shifted and that little girl who loved being the creative designer showed up and was ready to express herself within my heart as an adult.  I listened and took the scariest leap of my life. I left the title and security of being a creative director for other brands and devoted my creative expression to share what I stand for in my life…which is love, self-expression, inspiration, seeing the beauty and potential of others, and serving as a reflection for their own transformation

What was the catalyst to Your Wide Awakening?

About 6 years ago, I started to ask the deeper questions in life, like what is my purpose, how am I showing up in the world and are there deeper layers to who I think I am? Once these questions started, they never stopped. In 2006 I was introduced to an amazing Master’s Degree program for Spiritual Psychology at the University of Santa Monica. In this program I was able to awaken a part of me that I had not yet discovered. A part that was more interested in uncovering my gifts, talents and loving heart while unlearning conditioned ways of viewing the world. I blossomed in this 2-year program and it was the greatest gift I have ever given myself.

I believe everything happens for a reason. Each path we choose, each path we don’t choose… they all take us to our learning lessons, our life’s curriculum. The moment I started to ask the deeper questions of life, my life changed. It took me many years of unlearning old ways of being and replaced them with updated more empowering thoughts and views that gave me a new purpose in life. By knowing who I am, trusting my truth and staying open to taking a risk, I understand that life is all about the journey and not about the outcome. If I did not take the time in my life to do the inner work, my creativity would not have had a safe place to be developed and my jewelry business would not have been born.

How did you go from thinking with your heart and not your head?

My first thought to this question is that I have learned the art of taking personal response-ability for my thoughts, actions and words. I make a conscious choice everyday to live from my heart and to let go of negative energy right away. By understanding that everyone is this world is doing the best they know how to do, I can have compassion for how each person in my life shows up. When I do start to feel the energy of either fear, being accused, personally attacked etc….before I react, I take a deep breath, try to separate my emotional feelings and see the facts of what is going on. Once I am able to drop my emotional charge, I then approach the situation from a balanced and solution-based place in my heart.

What tools, spiritual and/or practical do you use daily to continue living a miraculous, authentic life?

A few tools that I use in my everyday life are heart-centered listening, not taking things personal, trusting my voice and that what I have to say and express is vaild and important and seeing the loving essence in all. When I use these tools daily, my day unfold with grace and openness.

I have a beautiful morning spiritual practice where I wake up at 5:30am, I make myself a hot cup of ginger tea (sometimes I indulge with a cup of coffee) and I have a combo of practices. I start with a 15 min meditation which then leads into chanting the Maha Mantra on my harmonium, which then leads into writing in my journal and then I read a few pages from a spiritual book of choice. Sometimes I will also start my day with a few Sun Salutations and yoga poses when I am not going to the gym that day.

By having this consistent morning practice, I start my day connecting to spirit, my highest self, my body, breath and soul. I then am filled up to go out into the world and share my heart with everyone I encounter.

How do you deal with stress?

I handle stress in my life by eating healthy food, doing yoga, meditating, stopping many times during the day to take a deep breath, keep my thoughts pure and positive, spending quality time with friends and family and always following my heart and intuition. When all these factors are in full expression in my life, stress just does not have room to fit in and if it does, it only lasts for a short sec.

What is your favorite quote?

“Peace comes from within. Do not see it without.” – Buddha

I love this quote because it always reminds me to go within to resolve all challenges and find my inner guru.

What do you want to be remembered for?

I choose to be remembered for the way I shared my love and inspiration with others by setting an example of living love in all I do, to be remembered for my playful and light-filled spirit and to be remembered for creativity and heart-filled endeavors.

What role does your jewelry play in the spiritual lives of those who purchase and wear your pieces?

The juiciness of life lives in the present moment and when we keep our thoughts positive we can create from a more grounded and powerful place in life. By wearing my empowering jewelry, you are reminded that you can attract anything your heart desires by holding a positive vision through repeating a daily affirmation. When faced with decisions, challenges or negative situations, touch or hold your necklace and feel the healing properties of the gemstones combined with your personal affirmation, knowing that you have the strength to move forward with grace and ease.
My mission is to support and celebrate your life through jewelry designed with positive intention that serves as an anchor to remind yourself that you are living your highest self-expression and purpose in life.

Just love it! Her intentions are straight from the heart!

Her heart is so open that Jeanne is giving away a Happy Buddha Bracelet to one lucky Your Wide Awakening Reader! Buddha’ means ‘Awakened One’ - By wearing the Buddha it is a reminder of our own inner path to enlightenment. Tiger’s Eye is the perfect gemstone to assist in clear vision, seeing the world more perceptively. Wear these two together and you will rock your spiritual path with clarity, love and openness.

Size fits wrists 6.5” – 7”

To enter, please follow Jeanne's Instagram page and/or Facebook page as well as leaving a comment below as to why you would like to win a Happy Buddha Bracelet! On Friday, we will be announcing the winner on Your Wide Awakening's Facebook page so keep your eyes peeled!

Look forward to hearing your responses.

Love & Light,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Kelly Ross

Helllllo my friends. Pleased to introduce you to a star, a gorgeous spirit with a radiant heart, my girl, Kelly Ross.

I have known Kelly for over 20 years. We went to high school together in VA and crossed paths again VIA Facebook (VIA Vibration!) while she resides in Oregon. She inspires me from afar and I know you will be inspired too!

Kelly launched her own line of organic skincare last year with booming success!! TASTYFACE Organics.

She desired to fill a GIANT void she noticed in skincare.

Kelly has had a passion for health and nutrition, and whole organic foods for many years so she started rigorously studying up on other environmental/household/cosmetic considerations.

What she found scared the crap outta her.

She saw that we are putting all kinds of toxic junk on our bodies and in our homes. The FDA does not regulate the cosmetics industry. Pretty much anything goes. Cosmetics companies use intense artificial preservatives, shelf stabilizers, and the like to maximize profit and sales potential. The FDA website has numerous posts about the potential carcinogenic connection from parabens, endocrine disruptors in phthalates... And the labels often lead us to believe we are buying something "natural". Or even "organic". Or at the least, NOT completely toxic! She took a stand to no longer accept this for her or her family.

She started doggedly searching for skincare that she really wanted: TRULY clean, organic, awesome skincare and cosmetics that still do the heavy lifting of cleansing, moisturizing, refining, beautifying. But without the unnecessary and potentially harmfully side effects of those “other” ingredients. A multitude of research, consulting with amazing experts - including aestheticians and hair stylists, and crazy long hours in the TASTYFACE kitchen!

I personally use and loooove the products. The products are rich with all natural ingredients, like organic coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter that make my skin soft and glow. No stripping my face of its natural oils with all that water and ingredients I cannot pronounce! It's exciting to have a product I use everyday that I believe in and know that's its healthy, clean and made with love. Kelly is a bubbly burst of energy with a radiant soul and a smile to match! She is super passionate about putting a safe, ethical product out there so we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we are doing right by our bodies.She exemplifies an Awakened Woman. A woman who takes a stand, makes a change, pushes through fear and pursues her passions.

Kelly, tell us about you: I am the mother of a very sweet little boy... the light of my life. I have a PASSION for health, yoga, hiking, art, the beach, and especially whole, organic, locally-sourced when possible foods. I am the founder of TASTYFACE Organics, a small-batch, handcrafted line of organic skincare.

We all share in the ups and downs of life. What has lead to the path of Awakening? It’s been an ongoing awakening. For the longest time I thought, “I get it now! I’m cured! Phew, so glad I don’t have to go through THAT feeling again” only to find myself back in the same patterns, the same negative thought processes, the same chain of depression/anxiety/stress. The truth is, yes, in my life there have been some traumas, divorce, the scariness and exhaustion of single, full time parenting. But for me, those events and circumstances can very easily become crutches. So I have to be careful to watch my intentions. I struggled before and I could struggle for a lifetime. It’s really about making the choice. Day in and day out. That it is more painful to stay the same than it is to change. The choice to every day wake up and commit to the best possible energy, the best possible attitude, daily exercise, eating well, laughing, connecting with loved ones. It’s the whole picture and all of the pieces do matter. And you know what? Some days just totally suck! Some feelings are terrible! I’m finally learning to create space for all of it, instead of shoving it down or blowing it off. I’m not awesome every day! No one is! But I can try. And then I can wake up tomorrow and try again.

How do you go from thinking from your heart rather from your head? Well, this is a tough one for me. I have a ton of heart AND I’m a classic over-thinker. This has led to sometimes debilitating bouts of self-doubt and self-deprecation. It’s an ongoing lesson. Hiking, trail running, walking on the beach, laughing with a friend, and yoga all really help give me that kick in the pants. Shake me out of my head and into my environment. Also, certain mantras help here. “I am not my thoughts” is a good one. I also remind myself that simply because I can think something doesn’t mean it has to have power. I wholeheartedly believe in putting out the best energy and when I can’t, I have to switch focus or walk away from certain situations or relationships. I’ve tried thinking my way into and out of problems and that is plain old crazy-making. Ultimately, the more space we create for listening to intuition and heart, the closer we get to our truth. It can be misleading, though – fear can totally sneak in and it can be easy to mistake that nagging/sinking feeling for gut! The key is to watch it closely, see where it goes. I’ve learned time and time again that if it’s coming from ego/monkey mind/crazy talk in my head, it’s time to slow it down and get my shit together.

What tools, spiritual and/or practical do you use daily to continue living a miraculous, authentic life? This is definitely a work in progress. Daily, I try to focus on the next right thing, over and over again. Drink the water. Eat the food. Nurture, nurture, nurture. Breathe. Slow the heck down. Part of my “to do” needs to include a physical outlet and my own quiet time, every single day. If I go without them, I feel it quickly. It could even be a 10 minute yoga practice or a quick walk with the dogs. I know the times I’ve suffered most with depression and anxiety, I can reflect back and see that I was forgetting to take care of my soul. I definitely learned to think and move as a child, but didn’t know how to take care of ME, the real true me. So it’s a process. It is helpful to take space and breathe.

How do you deal with stress? First, I had to decide to quit the drama hook. Stress is addictive. Here’s a little story. A few years, I was told I had adrenal fatigue. I was working full time, my son’s father moved out of state, I was full time single parenting, and busting my tail at Crossfit as an outlet. I was pushing hard most of the time. I thought if I kept moving, kept hitting everything hard, I’d feel better and maybe find peace. And you know, it really worked. Plus I made amazing friends at Crossfit who I wouldn’t trade for the world. (And in a lot of ways got to connect with a whole community of people committed to a whole/real food movement, aka paleo)

And then it didn’t work anymore. I was running myself into the ground, not resting, not nurturing myself, listening to my body, taking time to just be and sit and not push for fixes and solutions and answers. I was addicted to being in motion and stressing! And then I quit gaining strength, I was winded every time I ran, had splitting headaches, and felt generally awful. Everything in me was saying to stop. I ignored it. And then some blood work showed that my cortisol levels were a hot mess. So I woke up and I stopped. And slept. And started a yoga practice. And evaluated how to prioritize myself and ask for help. And how to stop depending on my stress as a part of my personality. And now I’m back to sprinting up hills and lifting heavy weights, and that feels awesome.

What is your favorite quote? I am a quote ADDICT but one of my favorites, and definitely my mantra right now is “Fortune favors the brave.” And: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”

What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered for bringing light whenever I can. Whether that means lightness through my pretty childish attempts at humor or illumination on a topic I’m passionate about (by blabbering about the importance of organic, non-toxic skincare), or light in the sense of positivity. Suzy Sunshine! Of course it’s not rainbows and lollipops all of the time. But laugh. Be easy. Have fun. Life is fleeting. I’d want to be remembered as the girl with a giant smile who lived every inch of life, with everything she had, and with a ton of love and passion.

Don't ya just love her? AMAZING!

She's so amazing that she is ALSO giving away a body scrub and body butter set to one lucky Your Wide Awakening reader!

Entering is super easy: tell us why you are interested in winning an all natural, organic skincare combo to take care of your precious skin in the COMMENTS BELOW!

Extra Optional Entries: (leave a separate comment below for each entry please!)

Follow @tastyfaceog on Twitter
“Like” TASTYFACE Organics Facebook Page

AND IN ADDITION TO THAT!...Kelly and the TASTYFACE Team are offering all Your Wide Awakening Readers 20% OFF all orders until Thursday, January 30 at midnight EST by using the COUPON CODE: AWAKE20. I, for one, will be taking her up on that offer for this thirsty skin! :)

Giveaway and coupon code ends Thursday, January 30 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified on Friday so be sure to check your Your Wide Awakening Facebook page!

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. The giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada Residents only over the age of 18. Entry is determined by leaving comments at the blog. Retail value of prizes is approximately $35. Odds of winning vary and are determined by total number of entries. Contest ends 1/29/14 at midnight. Winner will be chosen at random and will be notified by Your Wide Awakening Facebook page. If winner does not claim prize within 72 hours, another winner will be chosen. Prize will be sent by TASTYFACE. Void where prohibited by law.

And if you are interested in being featured as a Wide Awake Woman, contact me at or Your Wide Awakening FB page. It would be a real treat for all of us!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Shannon Kaiser

Happy Monday to all of you, my friends! Today is a great day because we get to meet another inspiring Wide Awake Woman! Her name is Shannon Kaiser. Shannon Kaiser has been labeled a modern thought leader on the rise by CafeTruth. She is the author of Find Your Happy, an Inspirational Guide to Loving Life to Its Fullest, and a five-time contributing author to the International best-selling book series Chicken Soup for The Soul. She is an inspirational travel writer, motivational speaker, life coach, creative director, teacher and the founder of the popular website, rated top 100 self-help blogs on the internet, by the Institute of Psychology of Eating. Shannon lives in an inspirational life by breaking down walls of fear and I know you all are just gonna love her!

Kaiser tells us she was living a depressed life and desperately desired a change. Here's how she changed her life and embraced her Wide Awakening.

1. What finally changed for you to become awakened? I left my successful advertising career (having worked at Saatchi & Saatchi X & Saatchi & Saatchi on client accounts: Frito Lay, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi, Cover Girl, Olay and Crest) to pursue my passion of writing. I was ready to step into my new life as a travel writer and author. I remember going into the bathroom in my office and having a "spiritual surrender" moment with myself, sobbing, asking, "What do I really want?" I was asking the Universe for help as I was in utter despair and desperation. There is such beauty in the breakdown. Clarity comes from that. I wasn't happy. I was depressed, fighting a drug addiction and eating disorders. I knew there was a better way. There had to be something more, something better.

2. How did you get the courage to leave your job and face recovery from food and drug addictions? Trust and Faith in the uncertainty. There was no other way. I just took it day by day and was patient with myself. I believe in Divine Timing. The time was right. I wanted to follow my joy route and that is doing what my soul needs. Being a travel writer was my soul's calling.

3. What does it feel like to go from thinking from your heart rather that your mind? I started to not blame anyone or anything for my life. I became accountable to me and took full responsibililty for the direction of my life. When I make decisions from my heart, it feels like a warm comforting sensation like a cup of hot cocoa or a hug from Grandma. It just feels safe.

4. Your website is called play with the can we live a more playful life? Spend more time in nature. Take mental moments and engage in "recess" like we did as children. Also, use your imagination to take future field trips in your mind of places where you wanna go and experience heaven on earth. It feels like heaven in the moment.

5. What are some spiritual tools you can pull out when dealing with stress or chaos? Ask for help! The more I ask for help, the more I am guided to a more fulfilled life.

6. What are some of your daily mantras? Stay present. Be okay with where you are. And be aware to the fact that everyone you meet is a teacher. I ask myself, "What can I learn from him or her? And lastly, know that I am supported and loved and being guided at all times.

To learn more about Shannon, visit her website here. Shannon offers life coaching, seminars, and is currently working on her second book. You can also find her blogging at, The Daily Love, and The Huffington Post to name a few. :)

Love and Light,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What Language Does Your Heart Speak? Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages

In the last few weeks, this book has popped up in my conversations with clients and friends, so I feel called to share the info with all of you. Many years ago, I watched an Oprah Winfrey show with an author, Gary Chapman who wrote the best selling book, The Five Love Languages. I remember watching couples dish out their concerns with one another on the show and finding no resolution. Chapman told these couples they just didn't understand what language the other hears.

Often times, in our relationships, we bump into conflicts. We can't understand where the other person is coming from. Conflict is simply a call to love. A call to be loved. So when someone is lashing out or withdrawing or causing distress in our lives, you simply aren't speaking their love language. If you want to cultivate that relationship, then it's important to know what language their heart hears. It may seem totally off the wall to you that is how they feel loved but if we have compassion and understanding, relationships can flourish.

The Five Love Languages

1. Physical Touch - The need for cuddling, hugs, kisses, sex, holding hands. This person feels loved most when making direct physical contact with another.

2. Acts of Service - The need for helping with chores, errands, work, parenting, often times, without being told to do it. This person feels most loved when their partner/family member/friend has helped with a chore or ran an errand or made life a bit easier in some way. Their heart is warmed by the care and thoughtfulness.

3. Receiving Gifts - The need to receive physical gifts as tokens of your love expressed. This person feels most loved when receiving gifts. Their love bucket gets filled when others show thoughtfulness by giving gifts that matter to them.

4. Quality Time - The need to spend special time with out distractions and interruptions. This person feels most loved when their partner/family member/friend spends time with them doing things they love to do while giving them their undivided attention.

5. Words of Affirmation - The need to hear compliments, praise, encouragement often. This person feels most loved when their partner/friend/family member offers support through kind and encouraging words given authentically.

Chapman offers a quiz on his website, that is super helpful to understand your own love language, your relationships' languages, and even your children's love languages.

In my own life, I can see how some of my conflicts have played a role in not understanding the other's love language. I rank neck and neck in high scores with Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. (side note: If your partner is speaking your love language often and you still aren't feeling loved, chances are you are not speaking this love language to your own heart, so be sure to be speaking your love language to YOURSELF. Self- love must be cultivated too. Its not your partner's job to do that for you.)

So when I go to give love to someone, many times, I have spoke my personal love language to them and it didn't work! WHAT?!??! They couldn't hear it as clearly as others! Its not the same for everybody. Nope! That's where the compassion and understanding piece comes in. Even though its not how you feel loved, you must see it from their side and work on speaking their heart's language.

Receiving Gifts is last on my list. For one of my daughters, that's hitting a Grand Slam in the Love Field. She beams and hugs and jumps up and down when you take the time to give a gift that she really loves. It was hard for me at first to really get it. You can be fluent in other languages too. She also hears the language of quality time very well. When she receives gifts and spends uninterrupted time with me, I know her love bucket is filled and runneth over.

Chapman's books have changed many, many lives, including mine! If you feel called to take the quiz, check out his website and let me know your thoughts.

What language does your heart hear? What language does your partner's hear?

Love and Light,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wide Awake Woman: Katie DePaola

Welcome to the first installmant of The Wide Awake Woman! I can't wait to share with all of you the first gorgeous ray of light to the blog. Meet Katie DePaola:

I met Katie through a Divine intervention.(as all things are!) We both attended the Daily Love's Heart Therapy session hosted by Mastin Kipp in DC last November. I saw her posting on Instagram below some of the pictures from the event and knew I had to know her. Her positive energy and delightful spirit could be felt through cyberspace!

Katie is a Life and Business Coach. Most of her client's conversations center around the areas of business, relationships, creativity and self-love. Her office is in Washington, DC, where she calls home. Her focus is to help her clients clear blocks and create the lives they want by focusing on the core principles of beauty, self-care, gratitude, choice and desire.

In addition to coaching, Katie owns her own organic spray tan business, Whole Glow. Katie says, "inner and outer beauty are the core values of Whole Glow, and we’re working to build a holistic health and beauty haven for women. Whole Glow started as a spray tanning company in 2012. We are grateful to witness the instant joy this 7-minute treatment brings to women (and men!). It is the quintessential way to get your glow on."

Katie epitomizes a Wide Awake Woman. Katie has had some obstacles in her life and has overcome them. She is a goddess of inspiration. She is brave and bold and pours her heart and soul to her life's work. She lives an authentic life. As a child, she claims that she struggled with the pursuit of perfection and its resulting anxiety, starting at five years old. While her kindergarten classmates slept, she spent naptime obsessing over her crush, the morning’s Kumon test and her teacher’s next gold star.

In her early twenties, she found tools like yoga and acupuncture which helped immensely, but the game of compare and contrast continued on. Someone always had a smaller waist, better downward dog or less wrinkled forehead. She still did not feel good enough.

Deep inside, she knew the truth—that we are all perfect just as we are. But at the time, she didn’t have the inner power to see herself that way. She was still obsessed with fixing herself. The ironic part was that we are never broken. We are just afraid. So she unraveled her fears. And now she is helping others do the same!

What was Your Wide Awake moment?
January 7, 2012. I watched a Gabrielle Bernstein lecture on YouTube called, Eff It, Let's Go! This lecture gave me the courage to make a big change. I had hit rock bottom and knew I needed to make a big shift. I started running a spray tanning business out of my apartment and very soon after we opened our first location in Washington D.C.

When did life coaching become part of your business equation?
Spray tanning is a great step towards feeling beautiful, but we wanted to help our clients discover their inner glow too. We believe a real glow involves a much deeper conversation about who we are being in this life and what we are here to do. As an organic spray tan business, we are physically spraying our clients from head to toe, which means you have to take off most of your clothes as we apply the product. That can leave a lot of women in a very vulnerable situation. Some women cry and are deeply ashamed of their bodies. With our holistic approach, women come in for a spray tan, share their stories, and leave with advice. One of my rules in the spray tent is: no self deprecating talk is ever allowed.

What is the goal of each session with you?
My job is to help my clients find their inner and outer beauty. Once we uncover that and unravel the layers, we are able to create more of it in the world by letting their light shine. A woman's ideal life is absolutely possible! I play so that I can be part of the process. So that I can understand personal development on a microscopic level and partner with the people who want to bring more magic, beauty, innovation and love into the world.

What are some daily tools you apply in your own life to maintain balance?
On my cell phone, I have positive affirmations that pop up throughout the day. Also, I love to paint, dance and art journal.I dig green smoothies, meditate on a pillow, free write and juice as often as I can.

What is your favorite quote? "You are the one you have been looking for."

If you are interested in a coaching with Katie, contact her here. If you are local to the Washington DC Metro Area, be sure to check out Whole Glow for your spray tanning needs!

Love and Light,