Upgrade Your Health Goals: Instead of a Goal Weight, Try This

Upgrade Your Health Goals: Instead of a Goal Weight, Try This

Got yourself a goal weight, dream pant size or body fat percentage that you're chasing? Upgrade your health goals with this one trick.

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Conquering Gymtimidation: Five Ways to Quiet Your Insecurities in the Gym

Conquering Gymtimidation: Five Ways to Quiet Your Insecurities in the Gym

If you've ever felt like you need to get in shape before you join a gym, if you feel disappointed that you "only" did the scaled weight, if you're constantly in your own head or if you feel like all eyes are on you, judging your athleticism, body, fitness or life choices when you're in the gym, this post is for you.

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3 Tips For Balanced, Fun + Guilt-Free Holiday Eating

3 Tips For Balanced, Fun + Guilt-Free Holiday Eating

Feel like you need a 30 day detox by January because the holiday treats turned into a downward "f*ck it" spiral? Let's fix that.

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Want More Confidence? Do This.

Want More Confidence? Do This.

The secret to giving you a major rush of "fuck yea" and confidence? It's right here.

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Thoughts on Being My Own Biggest Obstacle + Finding My Power

Thoughts on Being My Own Biggest Obstacle + Finding My Power

Getting in your own way? Don't have it all figured out? Learning how to do it all? Same.

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A Social Media Detox Guide: How to Internet When Everything Sucks

how to stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet

Social media sucks sometimes. Like, a lot. I mean yes it's amazing in so many ways (we wouldn't be able to connect if it weren't for social media, btw), but I think we're all familiar with how quickly it can turn to awesome to... awful.

It can be a struggle on lots of different levels. As a business owner, it's beyond frustrating to not have your audience actually see the content your working your buns off to create. It can be hard when you see the work you poured your heart and soul and endless hours into, launch to crickets; while a random meme or silly post gets a million likes and shares. And between me and you, it can also be disheartening to see other pages grow to hundreds of thousands of followers while they put out butt photos paired with "inspirational quotes", or don't offer real value in any way, while the pages who are working hard on thoughtful content get left in the dust. It's pretty tough to not play the comparison game, even a little.

It's also no secret to anyone that scrolling is a total time suck. I read recently that we check our phones upwards of 150 times a day. A DAY! What we're always looking for in there, I don't know. But I do know that the more we scroll, the less connected we actually feel to real humans in our real life.

And then, there's the actual news in our news feeds. Lately, we have just been inundated with awful story after terrible story after heartbreaking news, and it often leaves us feeling angry, sad, frustrated, or worse: ambivalent.  

I've spent some time talking about social media struggles before, and most recently on this dichotomy of identity: how social media allows us to find our tribe (which is amazing), but how it also tend to split things into black and white. You're either on this side or that side, and there's no room for the actual nuance of the human experience. Let alone, calm, respectful conversation.


I've been really feeling the pull of all of this negativity lately and so I wanted to share some tips with you (and also to remind myself, let's be real) about how to get out of the social media suckfest when it starts taking hold.



1. Set boundaries. (If you have #fomo, remember social media will always be there, and you're not seeing posts in real time anymore anyway, so what are you really missing?) Some ideas:

  • Turn off all notifications so that you're not pulled in by every ping all day long. Decide on check in times throughout the day and stick to them. 
  • Leave your phone at home/in your car while you're in the gym.
  • No screens in the bedroom.
  • Leave your phone in your purse and put it in the backseat while driving.
  • Designate check in times and/or no-phone-allowed times and honor them.

2. Unfollow. You're in control of what media you consume (for the most part). While it's always great to be exposed to people with different views, in order to have thoughtful conversations that expand our horizons and get us out of what can definitely be an echo chamber at times, there's a fine line between positively challenging concepts and dialogues, and pure garbage that does. not. serve you. I challenge you to go into your feed right now and unfollow 10 people who leave you feeling defeated or less than, every time. Be selective and find the people who lift you up, push you forward, and make you feel empowered to take action IRL.

3. Focus on you. Ever notice how you're more susceptible to feeling insecure about something, when it's something you're insecure about? If you're getting sucked into the comparison game, whether that's in business, body, success or other areas, it's time to help these insecurities in a real way. (Not seeing what everyone else is doing about them). Get in touch with and support yourself with these strategies:

  • Read. Replace your scrolling time with self improvement time. How can you get more in touch with yourself? How can you improve your relationships with those around you? What do you want to learn more about? How can you be a bigger, more complex human? Some of my favorite books to create positive growth are The Happiness Project and Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and Loving What Is by Byron Katie.
  • Move. Physical activity does so much (duh), but the rush of endorphins can often be enough to snap you out of funk all on it's own. Find something that is challenging or zen enough so that you are forced to be in the moment and let everything else fall away around you. Focus in on how your body feels in these moments, and be grateful you have this ability.
  • Create. What wells of creativity can you tap into? Do you love to cook, write, paint, take photos? (And if this sends you into a comparison game all on it's own, I encourage you to go back to step 1 and read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and/or Daring GreatlyShare your magic with the world, it needs it more than ever.
  • Hang IRL. Social media is slippery little minx because it gives us this illusion of connectivity but without any of the real benefits. Humans need social connection; we are just wired this way. If you're slacking on the in-real-life connection time with your friends, your partner, your mom, or literally anyone who you love and who supports you, it's time to pick up the phone and make a date to make that happen. (Or literally just talk on the phone. It's better than scrolling, I promise). Bonus points if you hang outside somewhere. Go for a walk, get some sun, get in the nature. Small acts of kindness for others IRL can go a long way in spreading good vibes and helping you feel better, simultaneously.
  • Ask for help. No matter what's bringing you down (the news, your own feelings about things, or anything else), you don't have to go it alone. As Melissa Hartwig says, when you have moments of courage, tell on yourself. Meaning, share your feelings with a friend, because shame cannot survive being spoken. Don't be afraid to speak up or have a difficult conversation.

4. Take action. While focusing on you is always a noble endeavor, it can help to get outside of ourselves and minds and actually DO something. If you are looking for motivation, put the fucking phone down (your motivation isn't in there, no matter what #motivationmonday might have you believe). Motivation comes from taking action, NOT the other way around. What's one small thing you can do RIGHT NOW that  will be a small step in the direction you want to go or make an impact on what's important to you?  It doesn't need to be a sweeping overhaul, it can be one. tiny. step. Just do something.

5. Shut it down. Now I realize that for those of us who run an online business, this isn't always possible. You can't just shut off your phone for 2 weeks at any given moment. But, there might be some ways to create workarounds. Due to the scheduling feature that every app (except for IG) has, you can spend some extra time up front getting a bunch of your posts ready to go, so that you can carve out a whole day or a whole weekend where you don't log in even once. And if you have the ability to do this at any given time, try it. I deleted Instagram off my phone for a week this summer and it was the most incredible thing I could have done for my mental health. I wrote all about it here.


6. Share your light. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the stuff you're seeing in the news, know that it's ok to feel sadness or grief or anger. Let these feelings sit with you and embrace them. Then, decide how you want to move forward. My best suggestion is this:

  • Channel that energy and create something. Put your voice out there, connect with someone else, share your story, spread your magic. It might seem insignificant, but it's not. The world needs you right now.
  • Get involved. Similar to #5, but in a more community focused way. Take action in a way that matters to you. Donate money, or better yet, time, or find a way to help make an impact. The little things go a long way, so don't be discouraged that you're just one person. Again, the world needs you right now.

And above all else, remember this: 

What you see in your feed is the polished, edited, filtered, best-of, highlight reel. Do not compare your behind the scenes to everyone else's highlight reel. It might look like they have their shit together and figured out, but let me tell you right now: no one has their shit together. We are all just figuring it out as we go. Have patience with yourself.
 

And most importantly, your worth as a woman, entrepreneur, mom, exerciser, and overall human being does not lie in your likes per photo or your follower count. Remember what's important in this world and let the numbers go.
 

Social media can be an incredible thing, and it can (and has!) done so much good. Try to remember to use it as a tool to help better the world and yourself, and don't let the rest get you down.

xo,

Taylor



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In Defense of an Unbalanced Life: Why Somethings Gotta Give

IN DEFENSE OF AN UNBALANCED LIFE

Fitness, sleep, work, family, friends: pick 3. Or maybe more accurately: pick 2. Can we really be the super mom and the CEO and the fittest chick in the gym and the supportive wife + awesome friend, while taking time for self care and recovery, all at the same damn time?

I get asked regularly how I find balance between being a business owner, a wife, pursuing health and fitness, taking time for myself, and more. And it gives me pause every time. Is the idea of a happily balanced life a utopian dream? Is it just an illusion, something we’re told to believe is out there but actually isn’t, like comfortable heels and “one size fits all”?

In my experience, the short answer is yes, it can be done, for some time, for some of us. But the long answer is a little more complex than that. 

You see, over the last few months, I’ve been hustling hard. I’ve been building this here lil business and investing all my time, energy, focus and did I say time? into it, to be able to create a product that can change the lives of my readers. I’m so proud of what I created and the work I’ve done, but make no mistake my friends: it came with a steep price tag.

The process of growing my business cost me my ability to spend 2 hours a day in the gym, 5 days a week. It cost me my ability to make interesting, fun meals. It cost me my weekends, my time with friends, and most of my social life. It cost me date nights with my husband. It cost me the ability to kick back, relax and hashtag self care. (What is a "day off" again?)

in defense of an unbalanced life

Because I was (am!) going HARD. And when you’re committed, on a mission, with Eye of the Tiger metaphorically (or literally) playing on repeat in your head while you’re laser focused on a specific, big, goal, this idea of “balance” usually takes a seat. When you’re giving 100% to something in life, you don’t have leftover effort and attention to put into other things. Because, math.

As the saying goes, “Family, friends, work, sleep, fitness: pick 3”. Meaning, for most of us, you cannot have all of these things working in absolute perfect balance in your life, all of the time. (And especially so when you’ve got a big goal lined up in your crosshairs). Can you decide which 2 or 3 you get to focus on on any given day? Absolutely. But can you REALLY have all 5, all at once, in perfect harmony? 

Those athletes you see at the CrossFit Games, or those entrepreneurs who are out there building empires? Here's the dirty little secret no one tells you: their life is spent committed to those goals, and they most certainly do not have what you or I would consider "balance", at least in their hustle seasons. Because the bottom line is this: anything worth fighting for and committing to is guaranteed to throw your life’s balance all out of whack.

Sometimes this is an easy sacrifice, and sometimes, not so much. It can be hard to see our friends all go out for dinner and drinks while we’re at home with the baby or working. It can be tough to see ourselves put on some extra lbs or feel like we just can’t hang in the gym anymore.

in defense of an unbalanced life

But here’s why this unbalanced life is ok: these are simply seasons of our life. They come and they go, they ebb and flow, and they are ever changing and always evolving. So when there was a moment recently when I looked in the mirror and stood in shock for a minute and came to terms with the fact that I didn’t recognize the body in the reflection, within seconds, I shrugged and reminded myself that this is temporary. This is simply the season I am in, and the price of pouring 100% into something that isn't the gym means my body's gotten a little softer.

(Side note: even in the seasons that I'm feeling fit and strong and lean, I still appreciate those moments for what they are: fleeting moments. I do not tie my worth to the way I look or my fitness, because the only constants about our bodies is that they change. For more on this concept, read my blog post on Embracing the Seasons of Your Fitness Journey)

I don’t sweat it because there will be a time, not too far from now, when I’ll be able to commit to the gym a little bit more. And when that time comes, I’ll be ready.

I can’t help but think of the CrossFit theory of the sickness-wellness continuum: I am thankful that I’ve had some seasons of commitment where I’ve been able to build my fitness baseline up to a high enough place, where I can essentially take 4 months off of the gym and still be “reasonably fit”. And if you’re not there quite yet, it’s ok, your opportunity will come.

This is also why I do feel that if you have the interest and want to see how far you can push your fitness and your physical body, I'm not going to tell you not to. Try all the things, count and weigh and measure and commit (and enjoy it!), with this VERY IMPORTANT note in mind: it's more than likely a lifestyle you will not be able to sustain forever. And why not? It will throw your life out of balance. Is it worth playing and experimenting with? Heck yes, if that's what you want! But don't expect it to be able to stick around forever, so remember to appreciate it for what it is: an opportunity for a season of growth.

in defense of an unbalanced life

It won't be long until the sands shift and our focus must be placed elsewhere, either out of want or out of need. Staying with 100% intensity in one area of life is surely not sustainable, but I believe it to be necessary, for most of us, at one time or another.

Because this is how goals get accomplished, dreams become reality, and real progress gets made. And if there's one thing I want you to take away from this little blog of mine, it's that you CAN accomplish your goals, and anything is possible. But no matter what Instagram may have you believe, being able to do it ALL, all at once, in perfect, happy harmony, isn't a reality for most of us.

Now: Does every waking moment of your life have to be spent in pursuit of something bigger or better? No, no no. Taking seasons to reflect, accept, embrace, and actually experiment with true balance is just as important as the seasons where we are forging ahead. This is paramount. But in a culture where the pursuit of balance is ever present, and we're told to be searching for it and happily maintaining all of these perfect facets of our life in absolute harmony all the time, I want you to know that being off balance is ok sometimes.

When you have the chance to chase a goal or pursue a dream, appreciate it for what it is: an opportunity, and commit yourself to it, 100%. And don’t be scared of gaining a few pounds, missing out on happy hours, or having life become unbalanced, because you know what? In life, the only thing you can count on is change.

So enjoy the current season of your career, of your fitness, of your relationships, of your personal growth.  Accept where you are while you chase the goal on your horizon, even if it's messyIt won’t be long until the winds shift again.


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How to Become Unf*ckwithable in 5 Easy Steps

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Yea, that’s right. UNFUCKWITHABLE. Otherwise known as: Unshakeable. Confident. Resilient. Unbothered by the opinion of others. Ambitious. Fierce. Happy in your skin. Self reliant. Self assured. Unapologetically you. True to yourself in every badass way. Living the life you’ve always wanted. Basically, the Beyonce of your own life. 

How does one become an unfuckwithable woman, you ask? In these 5 easy steps.

 

 

1. FIND YOUR STRENGTH

More often than not, finding your physical strength acts as a catalyst for finding your internal strength. Getting the opportunity to put value in your body’s function rather than form can be a life altering experience for most women. The legs that you hide in warm weather because of lumps and bumps take on a whole new meaning when they are deadlifting twice your bodyweight, running you across a finish line, or jumping you into a feeling of accomplishment in the gym. Your broad shoulders that you cover in tee shirts become precious assets when they are pulling your body up over a bar, busting out push ups like you never thought possible, or stabilizing an impressive handstand hold.

While everyone’s flavor of sport varies (#doyou), something must be said for the magic that happens when a woman picks up a barbell. It’s like she immediately rebels against the society that is asking her to be smaller, daintier, quieter, and is instead intent on being bigger, louder and stronger. This act in itself can set off a domino effect of badassery, making you immediately one step closer to being unfuckwithable.

Move. Push your limits. Get strong. Challenge your body and blow your own damn mind. 

SheThrives unfuckwithable

 

2. TAP INTO YOUR POWER

Too often in life we walk around feeling like we’re the victim of bad circumstance and we just throw our hands up in resignation and say there’s nothing we can do about it. That shit is a cop out, and you can’t be unfuckwithable if you’re living in a victim mentality, period. It’s time for us to make an important distinction. Take a close look around every corner of your life. Everything will fall squarely into one of two categories: the things we can change, and the things we cannot. And if you’re honest with yourself, the things in the Can Change bucket is probably upwards of 90% of what you’re looking at.

We do not give ourselves enough credit for the control we have over our own lives. And the place that control is hiding? Your mindset. You’ve got more power sitting in your own damn mind than you could ever realize, and we’ve got to tap into that well. Don’t like your job? Quit. Don’t like your neighborhood? Move. Don’t like how your clothes fit? Do something about it. Don't like your mood? Change it.

Some changes require more work (and risk-- we'll get to that in a minute) than others, but don’t let the excuses and overwhelm confuse anything here: your life is up to you. And only you. No one else is going to make a change for you, so take responsibility and step the fuck up. And don’t be scared, because it’s the most liberating feeling you could possibly hope for. This is where confidence gets born. Oh and those things you can’t change? Stop fighting with them and embrace them. There’s power there, too.

Own your choices. Take the wheel. Step up to the plate of your own life. Feel the rush that comes when you finally tap into your internal power. 

 

3. KNOW WHO YOU ARE

You might think I’m full of it to sit here and recommend you spending time in the self help corner of your local bookstore, but the wealth of knowledge you will find there is unparalleled. Doing research into who you are can have one of the biggest payoffs in not only your relationship with yourself, but your relationship with those around you: from your mailman to your colleagues to your partner.

How do you respond to conflict? Expectations? Rules? Set backs? Being told no? Do you know the difference between what you actually love doing and what you think you should love doing? How do you show love? How do you tackle to-do lists and deadlines and big scary goals? How do you cope with stress? How do you react to challenge, curiosity, control? How about competition or recognition? Are you intrinsically or externally motivated? Are you drained or renewed by alone time? I could go on. (The Queen of Kingdom Know Thyself, IMO, is Gretchen Rubin, and her books can be an excellent starting place.)

You might just find that you've been more focused on trying to be who you think you should be than who you truly are. No matter what you discover, it's a goldmine.

Research your own damn self. Take every quiz (The Four Tendencies, Myers Briggs, Strengths Finder, Love Language, zodiac, whatever!), read every book, be honest with your introspection. This data is invaluable and can change everything in your ability to enact change, pursue goals, and build an unfuckwithable life.

Closely related and worth noting: know who the people around you are. They impact you in big ways, and as Maya Angelou once said, “when someone shows you who they are, believe them”. In other words, know who’s worth your precious time & energy, and vet your inner circle with care.

 

she thrives unfuckwithable

 

4. STOP APOLOGIZING FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE

Have you ever stopped to count the amount of times you say the word “sorry” on any given day, for any given reason? The average woman is apologizing for everything, all the time: for reaching for the same thing at the same time as someone else, for not hearing someone when they’re mumbling, for being bumped INTO (wtf?), for speaking up, for having an opinion, for taking up space, for existing. Can we fucking stop apologizing already? 

Not only do we NOT need to apologize for the awkward moments in our day that do not warrant an apology by ANY stretch, but it’s time to stop issuing apologies for our strength, for our bodies, for our internal power, for our intelligence, for our ambition, and for knowing who we are. Stop apologizing for living the life you want, and stop handing out your precious fucks to things that don't deserve them-- save them instead for what truly matters. Bending your life over backwards to accommodate someone else's idea of success, beauty, or happiness is no way to live. Do you, unapologetically. 

Anyone who takes issue with the stereotype you’re breaking, the status quo you’re ignoring, the rules you are rewriting, and the noise you are making along the way, is someone who should be schooled, not apologized to. Believe that.

Own your voice. Take up space. Be proud of you. Stop. saying. sorry.

 

SheThrives unfuckwithable

5. BET ON YOU

When it’s time to take a risk, make a change, go out on a limb, face a transition, or gamble on a decision, where are you putting your money? To be unfuckwithable, it’s got to be on YOU, every. damn. time.

Having faith in your ability to succeed, adapt, or ultimately make it through any sort of risk is paramount to an unfuckwithable life. Sure, the what-ifs can go on for days, and the consequences could be dire, and the loss could be great. You might fall. But, what if you fly? When it comes down to the wire and it’s time to take a leap, you’ve got to jump, and know that no matter where you land, you’re going to be fine (in fact you’ll probably be exactly where you need to be). There will always be a safety net to your leaps of faith, because YOU, my dear, are the net. 

Trusting your gut and believing in yourself enough to take action can be scary at first, I’ll grant you that. If you’re not there yet, simply repeat steps 1-4 until you start to feel it. (Or read this great list of tips for getting out of your comfort zone). And when you feel it, you’ll know.

You’ll have a deep rooted confidence in who you are. You’ll feel empowered and know you can pursue anything you want in life, no matter how scary, daunting or risky. You'll listen less and less to the naysayers and the haters and more to your own mind and your own gut. You’ll understand that no matter what the outcome may be, and no matter what you may lose, you will never lose yourself, and that is your superpower. 

 

You’ll be confident. You’ll be strong in every sense of the word. You’ll know what’s worth giving your fucks to and what should roll off your back. You’ll be a leader. You’ll have harnessed your power. You’ll be a force to be reckoned with. You will be unfuckwithable. 


PSST

THESE 5 THINGS ARE THE BACKBONE OF WHAT I TEACH. If you like what you’re seeing and are ready to go from a passive consumer of this information, to actually IMPLEMENTING it in your life, come join me in She Thrives Academy:


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A Few Thoughts on Identity, Community + Social Media: Who Are You?

Who are you?

You might be inclined to answer this with a list of your hobbies or day job: a weightlifter, a lawyer, a vegan, a runner, a teacher.

But what if instead, you answered this with qualities about yourself that are intrinsic? With things that cannot be taken away from you? After all, you may decide one day that you want to leave veganism. Or you get laid off from your job. Or you suffer an injury and cannot train in your sport. What happens then? What happens when the thing we sink our identity into is stripped from us? 

Who are you then?

As marketing guru Seth Godin once spoke about in a TED talk, the internet has done incredible things when it comes to allowing people to find their people. Their community. Their tribe. 

He says, “tribes are [now] everywhere. The internet was supposed to homogenize everyone by connecting us all, but instead what it’s allowed is silos of interest… People once on the fringes can find each other, connect and go somewhere.”

As someone who has a business in the digital space, and is working every day to build and foster an online community, I know this is true, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities the internet has afforded me. 

I think about the friendships I’ve made, the relationships I’ve built, and the way my own life has been shaped and impacted by things or people on the internet. It’s pretty remarkable stuff.

I thank my lucky stars every day that I am a part of such a supportive and welcoming community. And I’m forever grateful to the magic of the internet for allowing these niches, these little tribes, to exist, because they enhance our feeling of acceptance, belonging and purpose— which are all fundamental to not only our quality of life, but our health.

Last week I wrote about why I dropped the label of “paleo” when explaining to people how I currently personally eat. I was really surprised to see just how many of you resonated with this, and I loved chatting with so many of you about your own journey to find a label-less diet. 

I can’t help but notice an interesting dichotomy. One where we are itching to embed ourselves in a community of likeminded people, to connect and deepen an area of our identity, and one where we are liberated by tossing out anything that could pin us onto one specific idea or premise. 

So where are we supposed to land? How do we navigate the need to find our tribe but not let it define us? And in an age where the internet -- the good, the bad and the ugly-- reigns as king, how do we figure out who we are, without growing into a polarized, oversimplified, dogmatic and unbendable symbol of the things we identify with? 

If we take an honest look, is there maybe an instance where our allegiance to a community, identity or ideology overrides who we actually are in our day to day lives? And whether we realize it or not, are we sinking our identity into and defining who we are by these constructs? Or are we really honoring our true selves?

In other words, are we practicing what we're preaching?

 

While I’m still figuring this out in my own life, and am quick to tell you that I certainly do not have all the answers, I think there’s a few ways we can begin to tackle this.

One is the pursuit of self knowledge and thoughtful introspection. We can do this a few ways, but my favorite way is reading (my favorite books are here). The more we can learn about ourselves and the way we respond to people, circumstances, expectations, rules, and set backs, the better off we are, in general.

The benefits of this include a better sense of how to improve our lives; how to create habits that stick, how to get ourselves to do hard things or face difficult situations, how to better connect with those around us. It also brings a sense of confidence and even power. After all, knowledge is power. The more we know, the more we can do with it.

We can take note of how we handle conflict, we can listen closely to the space between what someone is saying, and how we hear it. We can think about the ways in which we express ourselves, the ways in which our fears and insecurities show up, and the ways in which we empower and lift those around us.

We can collect the qualities about ourselves that live beyond a title, or Facebook group, or hobby.

The things like how we (really) support and connect with our friends and family, and those closest to us. How we (really) talk to and engage with those who don’t agree with us. Objectively tuning in to the lenses through which we view the world at large, and the small decisions we make every day. 

The ways we use our voice, and the things we stand for. And the things we don't.

And in a time when social media and the internet as a whole is just a finger pointing screaming match, I think these pursuits hold even higher value. 

The comfort and closeness of the ancient pursuit of connectedness is a worthwhile cause, and finding our tribe can fulfill us as humans in real, valuable ways, and can give us a sense of purpose.

But knowing who you are, outside of your job and your hobbies and your sport and your diet and your neighborhood and your Liked pages and anything that could be taken away from you at any given moment in time, is where the really important work happens.

Learning about these intrinsic qualities, even as they ebb and flow and grow and dissolve, is paramount. These are the pockets where we should be planting our precious self worth and our identity. These are the gardens where we should be watering and weeding and tending to. These are the qualities about ourselves that even though may evolve over time, cannot be stripped from us overnight. This is who we are.

 

If you aren’t thrilled with what you find under there, or it's difficult to sit with, or you're afraid what you're going to uncover? That's ok, and is part of the process; and I would argue where your energy to strengthen and improve yourself should go-- first.

And if your answers are just a pile of contradictions or you still aren’t quite sure, thats ok, too. In fact, that’s my whole point. Because we are nuanced, and multi layered and difficult to understand sometimes— difficult to define, to pin, to label, to throw into one camp or put into one box.

This is where we figure out how to become bigger, better, stronger, fuller, and ultimately happier humans. This is also where the rubber meets the road with our purpose.

Our ability to enact change on a bigger level, to make a mark and impact lives, to leave the world better than we found it,  to see our life's purpose through -- it all begins with us

Yes, our tribes and our communities are certainly a facet of who we are, and it’s a beautiful thing to see and experience these connections be made. And yes, our external habits and hobbies and preferences are an important part of us, too. They make us interesting and diversified and smarter.

But when we shut out all the noise and lines and forums and labels and the social media, and you are alone with yourself in the dark...

Who are you?


 

 

 

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Stop Waiting: How Those "Last 10 Pounds" Are Holding You Back

When you imagine yourself getting coffee next week, or going on a vacation next month, or paying your taxes next year, you probably imagine yourself being just a little bit better off than you are right at this moment, even if the event in question is boring or not that fun (taxes being case in point). Maybe you envision yourself as just a little less stressed, or a little more fit, or making more money, having better hair, or somehow just a little bit happier in some metric valuable to you. This, as it turns out, is something we all do all the time without even realizing it.

I recently read about a study which said that when humans imagine their future, they almost always imagine that they will be happier in the future than they are right now. This fact really struck me as interesting and quite profound. And while I think this is actually a wonderful and totally natural phenomenon, I also know that there are real ways in which this holds us back.

Entertain me for a moment and do this: instead of imagining the things you know you’re going to be doing in the future (getting coffee, taking a vacation, paying your taxes), I now want you to imagine the things you want to do in the future. The things you fancy yourself doing, the stuff that you wish you could do right now but you're waiting on the right time for. What are those things?

Maybe that’s something small like wearing that hot dress in your closet, or booking a photoshoot for yourself, family or business, or asking that person out. Maybe it’s something bigger like actually starting that business or side hustle. When you imagine these things that you want to do, do you hear a voice that says something like, “I wish I could do that now, but I’ll be more ready for it later”?

I wish I could wear a crop top now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I have a flatter tummy. I wish I could start my business now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I have more time. I wish I could book a boudoir shoot now, but I’ll be more ready for it later when I’m in better shape. I wish I could try CrossFit now, but I'll be more ready later when I'm more fit. I wish, I wish, I wish. Later, later, later. 

And we do this so self assuredly, like we know that "later" is the perfect time, and when later comes, we'll be so ready to do the thing. Have you ever noticed that "later" almost never seems to arrive when you think it will? ... Or at all?

If we were to dig a little deeper here, I think we'd find that these "laters" are actually a dismissal of an insecurity we haven't quite faced yet. The truth is that we're likely struggling with our feeling of worth; we don't feel smart enough, or supported enough, or thin enough or the list goes on.

What is it, really, that makes you feel unprepared, right in this moment? Take that answer and dig into it. Like, realllllyyy dig into it. Get to the messy, ugly, tough-to-face bottom of it, because that shit will set you free. If it's support you need, reach out to your loved ones. If it's self confidence you need, invest in building that for yourself. If it's permission you need, you already have it. 

Friends, we have got to STOP WAITING and START doing. STOP waiting for the last 10 pounds to disappear. STOP waiting for your schedule to magically open up. STOP waiting for some far off illusion of you being more ready, more happy, more fit, more ANYTHING, and do the thing NOW.

I mean, have you ever really stopped to think about the sheer length of the list of things that you’re waiting for some “perfect” time to actually do? How much of life you’re leaving on the table because of those last godforsaken 10 pounds? How much you’re risking actually never experiencing in your time here on earth? 

Because, guys, that’s the real truth to this. How long have you been waiting for those last 10 pounds, for that open schedule, for that perfect time? My guess is, it’s been a while. Why would you continue to wait on these trivial matters (that may or may not ever actually happen), knowing damn well that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to you?

Knowing that you passed up photos with your newborn because you were carrying some extra weight (that was used to nurture and grow and birth an entire human)? That you work out in long pants on that 100 degree July afternoon because you have some cellulite (that is a natural part of that powerful body that you’re in the gym growing and building in the damn first place!)? That you never pursued your passion because you were afraid you would fail (when you know so well that even failure trumps not trying)?

If you were advising your friends on this matter, you’d shout from the rooftops about how ready they are now! How wonderful it would be to see them forge ahead! How proud they’d feel of themselves for trying! How they are an inspiration to those around them!

But when it’s us, we decide we’ll wait. And I’m just not into it anymore. It’s time to do the damn thing.

AS RAFIKI SO WISELY SAID, "IT IS TIME."

AS RAFIKI SO WISELY SAID, "IT IS TIME."

Ask that person out. Take that class. Work out in a sports bra. Start that blog. Wear that bathing suit. Book the photoshoot. Use the damn nice china! 

And do you want to know why? Because YOU ARE WORTHY OF IT NOW. Let that marinate around in your mind. Say it aloud. You are worthy of these things right at this very moment. You are smart. You are strong. You are capable. It’s just your mind holding you back, and it’s time to kindly ask it to sit the fuck down.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us, and no matter how much we like to think that we’ll be happier, more prepared, or more worthy of what we want in the future, the time is now.


Deciding to just get out there and do scary things can be hard at first, especially when you still don't feel "ready". I made a course to help you do it:


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