This Is Me

I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Adapted from the song This Is Me, The Greatest Showman

How much would your life change if you gently let go of what people said about you? What about letting go of what you believe people think of you? Imagine not welcoming those things into your being, and instead marching to your own drummer and choosing to be seen and making no apologies. Kinda revolutionary. Certainly counter-cultural. Definitely do-able.

Instead of the thought that you are not enough, why not consider a new and more empowering thought? What about the thought that it is okay for people to be wrong about you? Some people are going to accept and love you, and others are not. And that is okay. Whose opinion matters the most? Your parents? Your coach? Your girlfriend? Your boyfriend? Your peers? Society in general? Here's a novel concept: What about your opinion of yourself? 

Since you are going to be judged by others regardless of what you say or do, why not be judged on being authentic you? Risk being misinterpreted. Go all in. Show up. Those who don't like you are going to not like you. That's okay. Know that those that love you are going to love YOU! These are your people. As you cultivate this authenticity, you will grow in confidence and happiness. Guaranteed. As Brene Brown says, 

"However afraid we are of change, the question that we must ultimately answer is this: What's the greater risk? Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?" 

Tomorrow, when you are choosing to post something, choose to post something that is most authentic to you. How'd it feel? What were the reactions? Experiment. Try it out. Practice. Reduce its scariness by actually doing it. Report back. 

My coach, Brooke, encapsulates this concept in a refreshing way: Some people love peaches, some hate them. Who is right?!! It doesn't matter to the peach. Don't stop being a peach just because some people don't like peaches. Be juicy. Be sweet. Be round. Be delicious. Those that love peaches will love you. Those who don't like peaches aren't going to be into you. It's all good. Go live your life around people who dig peaches, and know that in the end, your opinion of you is truly the only opinion that matters. #bethebestdamnpeachintheworld

Happy Thursday, dear ones! ox






Cultivating Happiness

According to the Ancient Greeks, happiness is "the joy that we feel striving for our potential.

I believe that the elevated rates of depression and general malaise in our young adults has a lot to do with chasing happiness the wrong way. Instead of believing that happiness is an outcome to be achieved, an award to be won, or a checklist to be completed, why not consider shifting the paradigm to focusing on the golden nuggets which are all baked into the process? The way you perceive the world, the commitment to the learnings along the way, and the way you engage with yourself and others are much greater predictors of your happiness than a sparkly resume and a specific outcome. 

As my clients attest, It can be a bit disillusioning when you work hard and do all the things that you are supposed to do and happiness remains elusive. But, seeking this kind of happiness is a moving target. You never actually arrive because the bar keeps on shifting. Interestingly, your happiness quotient grows when you become more positive, and choose to see every experience as a progression, an experiment, and a path to getting closer to self. 

Research tells us that 90% of our happiness is how our brain processes everything while 10% of our long-term happiness is what happens in the outside world. In light of this, cultivate more happiness in your day to day by assimilating healthy and productive habits that create a positive ripple effect in your life and the life of others. Here are some daily practices to start weaving in doses of gratitude which create more of that feel-good chemical dopamine:

1) Think of one meaningful experience in last 24 hours. Not anything huge, but something that stands out. In 2 minutes, write down every detail of what happened. Get your brain to remember it. By doing so, it creates connection and meaning in your life. 

2) Write a 2-minute email or text, or place a phone call or have a face to face interaction, praising or thanking someone you know. Do this EVERY day! Research tells us that social support and relationships are huge predictors of our happiness. What are you waiting for?

3) Exercise - move your body at least 30 minutes a day. This routine trains the brain to believe that your behavior matters which paves the way for optimism, and this creates a constellation of positivity. 

4) Meditation - the more time you can spend in silence/stillness and shut off the constant shallow and incessant chatter of social media and the outside world, the more you will have exponential benefits. Try the Calm or MindSpace apps. By quieting the noise around you and shifting your focus to the mind/body connection, you will experience more serenity and clarity. 

Cheers, dear ones! Here's to cultivating happiness on the journey. #lifeisanexperiment #learnasyougo #growasyoulearn #processtrumpsoutcome #gratitudecultivateshappiness










33 Things to Help you Thrive in College and Beyond

1. Choose a college that is a nourishing and good fit for YOU, and quiet the noise of what you believe the outside world is preaching. Listen to your intuition. College is a formative time which will strongly inform your future happiness and wellness, so choose wisely. 

2. Get used to being average. Being at the top isn't always attainable. Plus, it can be lonely up there. 

3. Stay in touch with those you love, and who love you in return. It will help keep you anchored and centered, especially when life turns you on its side. A weekly text or phone call is sufficient. Trust me, you will lose your way every once in a while, and it is a gift to have a safe place, literally and figuratively, to land. 

4. Get to know your professors, especially your favorite ones. They are experts in their field and welcome interaction and inquiry. They're also good people for recommendation letters down the road. Show them who you are and ask them about their journey. It's a win-win exchange. 

5. Face your fear. Go through it. See it as evidence that you are growing and pushing outside your comfort zone. 

6. Live in the ring, not on the periphery. Take calculated risks, and be willing to be vulnerable. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is where the gold is. Staying safe feels good in the short run, but it doesn't further you on the road to growth and success. Take the class that interests you but is outside of your major, talk to that person that you have been wanting to get to know but haven't had the guts to approach, speak up in class even if you feel that you don't have anything to offer, switch your major to what truly lights you up, choose to stay sober at a party and leave early instead of drinking too much and having regrets in the morning. 

7. Have the hard conversations. Dig deep. Your relationships will reflect this. 

8. Food is fuel, use it as such. Too often, food becomes an emotional buffer that creates a crazy train of short-term feel good, and long-term battle of not being at peace within your own body. Be smart about balance and moderation. And remember, lots and lots of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

9. Question everything, especially those thoughts and beliefs that cause you suffering. You're free to change, and to be fluid with what you think and believe. Nothing is off the table. 

10. Love fiercely.

11. Give people the benefit of the doubt. It's not personal. Some people are going to like you, and some will not. And it has nothing to do with you! It's all about them. Love 'em anyway. Everyone is fighting their own internal battle. 

12. Your health and safety are more important than anything. 

13. Sleep. It is sacred. Honor it. You need it. Without it, you will crash and burn.

14. Find opportunities to grow.  You know you are growing when you are uncomfortable.  Live in the discomfort and know that you will eventually get on the other side of it.

15. If something isn't working for you, shift gears. Pivot. Baby steps. That one small step has the ability to change the trajectory of your life. Be intentional about your daily practices and choices as your daily patterns create your life. 

16. Make time for quiet and reflection. Every.Single.Day. Get your thoughts on paper and outside of your head/body which allows for a different perspective. Shame thrives in the dark. No more hiding. 

17. Choose your friends wisely as they will influence your choices and who you become. I heard recently that you are the average of the five people with whom you spend most of your time. Set the bar high.

18. Celebrate differences and everyone's unique gifts. You will be surrounded by people who are good at things that you aren't, and vice versa. Instead of comparing, consider appreciating the differences. It makes the world better, and you feel a helluva lot better. "Comparison is the thief of joy." Amen. 

19. Ask the question "Who Am I" and have fun living into it. There are a lots of parts within you that are begging for attention and cultivation. Have fun getting to know the light and the dark, and integrating ALL parts of yourself. Nothing is off limits. Learn how to work with it all, and lean into you. And know that you never totally arrive. It's a forever quest to get to know yourself. Welcome to the journey! 

20. Long-distance relationships don't have to hold you back from getting to know others, and experience all the growth opportunities that present themselves on a regular basis. Keep growing. If your signifiant other is the one, they'll be there at the end of the road. Promise. Give each other the breathing space needed to evolve and grow. Everyone wins. 

21. Speaking of relationships, do them in person. Snapchat, insta, and any other similar apps don't count. Be real. See their faces. Read their body language. Learn the nuances and navigate the awkwardness and wonder of in-the-flesh conversation. Drink them in! This is where true connection resides. 

22.  Failure means that you are trying. Failure = learning. Don't give up. Ever. 

23. Along with your major and university requirements, branch out and take some classes that are outside the norm and that are of special interest to you. Expose yourself to new ways of thinking and being as you will develop parts of yourself that you didn't even know existed. You might even turn on a light within that guides you on a whole new path. Regardless, it broadens you and makes you more whole. In the end, that's what it's all about. 

24. Don't be afraid of not knowing. Whether it be a major path or pursuing a relationship. Venture into the discomfort and figure it out. Explore. You'll come out on the other side with more clarity and dimensionality. Substance over fear. 

25. Consider tracking your online time, and limiting your phone/social media time to 2 hours a day. You'll feel more rooted and connected to others, less preoccupied with the what appears to be real but isn't, and more at peace. Meaningful connection is not online. Instead of the internet, go for the innernet. 

26. Focus on the process, not the outcome. There are so many learnings in the actual doing. Stay present and don't carry the anxiety of the future and trying to live up to expectations. Same is true for the past. Drop the guilt. Lighten the load and shed the excess baggage so you can focus on the experience. 

27. Serve. Contribute to the greater whole. Make a difference. It's not all about you. Bring your gifts to the world and shine!

28. Forgive. If not for any other reason than for yourself. It will free you. 

29. Your thoughts are not facts. They are the result of you making sense of your life experiences, the family from which you come, your friends, your DNA, and any other influences. If they are no longer serving you, question them. And if needed, create some new thoughts that nourish and motivate you instead of diminish you. 

30. You cannot control people or circumstances. You can only control your thoughts about circumstances. Manage your emotions and what you make things mean so that you are able to respond as you choose to whatever crosses your path. Contrary to popular belief, you are not at the whim of others; in fact, only you are responsible for your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. No one can make you feel or do anything. This is your ultimate superpower. Use it to your advantage. 

31. Life is hard so why not choose your hard, instead of the hard choosing you? Be proactive. No victim mentality. Own it and take accountability for what you create. Life doesn't need to happen to you. Make it happen for you. It's all in how you approach it. 

32. Expand your perspective, become friends with all walks of life. Different cultures, religions. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, be open-minded. Learn about other perspectives. Ask questions. Be curious. 

33. Be yourself very well. Rock it out. Confidence comes from being authentic and showing up. Find your people. No more fear of failure. Get moving and start shining! The world needs YOU!

Cheers to the journey! x