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,