Daring to Desire: A Revolution in Planning

daring to desireLast week, I wrote about how I’m breaking away from old-school New Year’s resolutions and choosing a theme word to represent my year. This is the year to TRANSCEND. It’s big. It’s bold. It’s uplifting and challenging and all around inspiring for me. This week we’re going to go a step further and talk about desire.

And discover how desire can lead you back to yourself.

Desire is such a powerful word. We often think of it in terms of secrets. Like, my secret desire to meet my verra own James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser (preferably in the 21st century) and be swept off my feet. Well, maybe I’ll just keep that one to myself. 😉

But desire doesn’t have to be a hidden source of inspiration. In fact, one gorgeous soul is bringing back the power and usefulness of desire, in her groundbreaking book – The Desire Map.

“Feelings are magnetic. Each feeling is a beacon that attracts a reality. Love attracts love. Generosity elicits a generous response…what we focus on expands. So choosing to focus on life-affirming feelings is the surest way to create the experience you want.” – Danielle LaPorte, The Desire Map

Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, is a mind-blowing new approach to planning and activating goals. This is a heart-centered method designed in reverse from what most modern women are used to doing. See, we’ve all be taught to create the goal line or benchmark objectively and then do everything in our power to achieve it. But what if our goals aren’t truly aligned with our hearts?

What if you want to be successful in work, but really don’t want to climb the corporate ladder to get there? Or you want to be healthy and athletic but deeply, intensely hate running and would rather stick toothpicks under your fingernails instead of getting up at 6 am to train? What do you do then? Enter… your desires.

“You need to have Soul-centered goals. You need to go about fulfilling those goals in life-affirming ways.” –The Desire Map

When you choose how you want to feel first, it makes achieving your goals so much more enjoyable and frankly much easier as well. So, you want to be healthy? How about a daily yoga routine that makes your body strong and your mind calm? You want to earn the big bucks and still contribute something meaningful to society? Start your own enterprise and begin making an impact while making your dough!

But how do you begin? Start with deciding which feelings you want to create or build upon for the next year and then mapping out the objective goals flows much more freely. And don’t worry if this sounds difficult, The Desire Map does a wonderful job walking you through figuring out your Core Desired Feelings, which you then use to plan the rest of your year.

The first part of the book describes the concept and helps get your feet wet in this incredible new system of goal setting. Then the second part of the book (my favorite) is a workbook where you journal out all the things you want or don’t want and eventually come to claim your Core Desire Feelings.

“Constant racing for success creates habitual and unconscious goal-setting. We need to re-learn how to move toward our dreams – with the trust and well-placed devotion.” – The Desire Map

I’m a big fan of CDFs now because it gives you something to reach for but takes the pressure off achieving it. That may seem like a contradiction but it’s really not. Say you want to break into a 6-figure income (which seems to be all the entrepreneur world talks about these days!) but you can’t seem to bust through the last barrier. With traditional goals, you start to feel like a failure for not reaching your dream. You start to doubt, fear, and berate yourself for not being a better businesswoman.

Now look at it from another angle. Say you’re desired feeling is CULTIVATE. And you’re bringing that CDF into your work, cultivating relationships, cultivating your skills and learning every day, or cultivating your services to make them the best they can be. Now, if you’re feeling that growth and expansion that Cultivate entails, and you’re still shy of the big 100K by a few thousand, will you still feel like a failure? Or like a woman who’s marching to her own drum at her own pace and building a solid base to grow from?

“Feeling good increases your flexibility, resiliency, effectiveness, and magnetism.” – The Desire Map

Who wouldn’t want to feel good about their life? Suddenly doors will open for you to bring more of those feelings in and success will become inevitable. And any perceived failures won’t set you back, but merely show you the right path to grow into your CDFs. You start working in tandem with the universe instead of trying to force your life into what you think it should be. In the end, you become more fully YOU. And that’s a glorious thing my dear.

Today, I encourage you to get a copy of The Desire Map and start feeling your way to abundance and bliss.

Have you already figured out your CDFs for 2016? If so, tell me in the comments below.

How tarot transforms old enemies into new friends

tarot cardsSince high school and more so in college, I’ve known what a party pleaser it is to have my tarot cards with me and that many people love to have their cards read, whether they “believe” in them or not. When I went to Russia, during my junior year of college, I made the mistake of leaving my cards at home in Denver. I was luckily able to find another deck in St. Petersburg, and although I couldn’t really read the booklet at the time they were a beautiful deck nonetheless.

When I moved to Ukraine after college I was smart enough to bring one of my decks with me. And I also picked up a another more complex deck during my time in London, which is the one I still read with today. I read the cards a little bit in England, but when the cat got out of the bag in Ukraine that I read tarot, that was pretty much my extracurricular activity for a while.

The twist?… I had to do the readings mostly in Russian.  **Please note: I lived in eastern Ukraine where they speak both Ukrainian and Russian, so I was able (mostly) to communicate with the locals.** The most frequent requests for readings came from Kostya, the night security guard (whose day job was a history teacher at a local secondary school) and Sergei Ivanovich, the financial director of the school I taught at.

Sergei Ivanovich and me in Crimea
Sergei Ivanovich and me in Crimea

Although Kostya knew English well enough to have some normal, basic conversations, the vocabulary for tarot was a little more complex than he could handle. Therefore I had to resort to some Russian to try and explain concepts. Kostya and I got by with our special form of Russlish, but with Sergei Ivanovich, who learned his limited vocabulary from the film Madagascar (he really liked to “move it, move it!”), I had to attempt to explain it all in Russian.

As exciting as that sounds it’s actually could get rather difficult. Case in point – one day I was telling Kostya that he fears feeling oppressed but I didn’t know the word oppressed in Russian then (it’s угнетать, in case you were wondering the same thing). 🙂  In order to explain the feeling, using various other words and phrases I could muster, I said something to the effect of “like how the Soviet Union oppressed its people”. Kostya stared at me and asked “Why the Soviet Union?!” I told him that’s what we learned in school in the United States of course. He laughed and said, “We learned that the United States oppressed its people!”

So there you have it… all the world really needs in order to understand each other and dispel misinformation is a little intercultural communication via the Cards. Or at the very least it makes for a great story to tell later on. 🙂

Are you ready to learn more about tarot and start reading for your friends and family? Then check out my new course Intro to Tarot… The Journey Begins

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Dreams without Plans are like Unicorns without Horns

dreams without plans

I’m participating in the Edited Year Blog Party! The 2016 Edited Year Planners are your secret weapons for staying on target with your goals, appointments, projects, and to-dos in a fun and systematic way. Click here to get your planners.

As much as I’m loath to admit it, life sometimes requires more than just fairy dust and rainbows. It requires a plan of how to reach the rainbow and create the fairy dust. And that’s where a good planner comes in handy. Now, I’ve been looking around for a while (ahem… maybe a few months) and found some of the best out there this year. And I’m going to share the best of the best with you!

First things first – I am a planner snob. I admit it now. I LOVE planners but I’m very particular about how to use them and what they should look like. I started using an academic day planner consistently in high school. Back then we got the planners from our school directly, which was great because it had all the school holidays and block scheduling and other fun events around my high school.

Each year in my Humanities class we would go through and write out all of the lessons for the semester at the very beginning of day one. It was great knowing exactly what was due when, and what I had to look forward to for next 3-4 months. I rather miss those days of knowing exactly what was going to happen. Nowadays, you rarely have full three months planned out in such detail.

It makes it much harder to truly experience each moment when it just glides mindlessly from one to the next.

The thing about being an adult is that it’s not as often punctuated by specific gaps such as semester breaks or long holiday vacations. Unless you have children of course but then that becomes a frantic rush to figure out how to entertain them and keep your sanity for the next three months, rather than looking forward to a break for yourself. It’s hard to look forward to anything when all you have written down is little Johnny’s hockey practice and Suzie’s ballet recital.

Yes, planners keep you organized but they don’t instill that sense of fun just around the corner.

Strangely, since joining the real world of adulthood, I haven’t found a planner quite as helpful as those early days. One that was both functional but added that joy and bit of life to my daily To Do’s. As I was looking around for planners for this year I decided I want to do something different than the old school… day and time logs. I wanted to have not just a day planner but a life planner as well.

The best of the best I found are: The Passion Planner, Daniele LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner and Sage Grayson’s Edited Year Planners. All of these planners have the same concept, that life is more than just what you spend your hours on – it’s also about how you want to live your life.

Passion Planner

downloadThe Passion Planner is just that – a place to map out your passions and how to go after them. My kind of planner! My favorite part is the Passion Roadmap. At the beginning of the planner there’s space to really figure out what you want to do with your year beyond getting through it. There’s instructions that walk you through creating your individual Passion Plan. But they don’t leaving you hanging there. Each month and week section has a quick check in and focus boxes as well as places to write out your main priorities for the month or week, work and personal. At the end of each month there are questions to help you reflect on how things went. And throughout the planner there’s space to doodle, write out random thoughts and inspirational quotes with accompanying challenges to keep you motivated. It’s a great planner that has recently come out in a fancy Gold version or Blue. (I’d take the latter, personally.)

Desire Map

Now, I haven’t actually used the Desire Map planner yet, but I did read the book and loved that, so I’m thinking the planner will be a win as well! Danielle LaPorte brands this as the “holistic DAILY planner… This planning system incorporates your soul and your to-do list; your gratitude and your goals; your deepest desires with your day-to-day.”

Now that’s what I’m talking about! The perfect blend of strive and surrender. Action and reflection. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one and start mapping out my 2016 desires!

Edited Year Planners

2016-Edited-Year-PlannersI’ve been saving the best for last here, with the latest and greatest from Sage Grasyon – her brand spanking new Edited Year Planners! These are probably the most gorgeous planners I’ve seen. Teaming up with Kelly Sorenson to create a visually appealing set of three planners, these babies are jam packed with tons of spaces to reflect, plan and plot all you need in both business and personal life. The planners are broken down in to Business Goals and Life Goals, as well as separate Weekly Calendar.

Following Sage’s Life Editing framework, both the Business and Life Goals planners help clarify all that went well and what didn’t go so well throughout 2015 before diving in to planning for 2016. It’s not only beautiful to look at, but helps you really dig deep in to what you’ve created and what you still want to “edit”. I love how much space there is to write or draw or whatever you need to do to get your thoughts out.

The Weekly Calendar has the usual monthly and weekly views as well as space to reflect on the Life Editing process each month. Finally, the quarterly reviews round out this beauty so you can take stock of the year as it’s flying by, rather than just cramming it all in at the end of December.

Seriously, I love, love, LOVE these planners. They’re fun, cute and oodles of helpful prompts to make your year the best it can be. Get yours today at SageGrayson.com.


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New Moon Intentions and How they can work for you

new moon intentions

Ah, the moon. One of those celestial orbs humankind has been fascinated with for eons. Civilizations mark their calendars around the phases of the moon. Poems and songs are written about its power and beauty. The earth and all its creatures are affected by the pull of this enigmatic hunk of floating space rock. And various religions celebrate the might and grace of the moon.

In Wiccan and Pagan traditions, the new moon is a symbol of beginnings and as a blank slate upon which to begin manifesting your desires. It is the best time to plant the seeds for what you want to create in your life until the moon is full again. Now is the time to set the intentions for growth in your life, for the moon’s power will aid you in bringing these wishes to fruition. And trust me – the moon does its part! You just need to do yours.

I’ve been doing New Moon Intentions for several years now and it’s been surprising how they work! Now, I’m not saying you can write down “I want a 2016 Mustang convertible” and expect to see it parked on your driveway on the first of the year. That’s not how it works. In my intention setting, I do ask for material things such as “a newer, better phone” or a “car that will run for years and not harm the environment”. (FYI, I got a new Samsung Galaxy 4 and Honda Civic Hybrid a few months after creating those intentions.) The point is not to dictate to the universe what you want – it ain’t Santa Clause! But to let the universe know what you’re looking for in general while being somewhat specific in what you desire, as in my wish to have an environmentally friendly car.

You can also ask for the non-material aspects in life. I’ve asked for help in creating healthier habits with exercise and food. See again – I didn’t ask to lose 20 pounds by the swimsuit season. I just asked to keep my motivation for a healthier life active through the stresses of my daily duties. And though I’ve had ups and downs and ups again with my weight and healthy habits, I haven’t ever gone back to where I was before, drinking 8 sodas a day and eating Taco Bell or McDonald’s almost every night. I’ve also asked for a job to help pay my bills, and received that as well. Though not necessarily the very next month after setting the intention.

Sometimes it will take several months to receive an answer to your intention. And sometimes you have to be open to receiving things in unusual forms or in ways you weren’t expecting. All you do is put the wish/desire/hope out there, continue doing your part in bringing out the change (if you ask for help getting a job, you still need to send out applications) and then wait for the universe to help you out. I swear by new moon intentions, if only for the fact that it also keeps your goals and dreams in your mind and thus you more likely to act on them and thus make them happen.

So here’s how to go about it. I actually got the idea from an About.com article (go figure!) but I don’t always do the whole candle, clearing, manifestation notebook thing. Just do whatever feels best for you. To me, that’s just having a specific notebook (out of the hundreds I own!) and every month, I read over then rip out the previous month’s intentions and get rid of it (no looking back, just moving forward). Then I write on a fresh new page:

“I accept these things into my life now or something better for my highest good and for the highest good of all concerned”

Or something similar. Then I list all the things, material and non-material, that I want to manifest in the month ahead. And that’s it! Then I put the book away in its place until next month. Now, doesn’t that sound easy, yet uplifting? It is. And it just so happens that the new moon for November is today! How convenient. 😉

Why don’t you try it just once and see how you feel after? And leave a comment below to let me know how it worked for you?

Plant the seeds for growth in 2016

Day 31 of Write31Days:

planting for 2016Alas, my friends, we come to the end of the Write 31 Days blog challenge. Whew. What a month it’s been! I hope that you’ve enjoyed some of the quotes and more so, I hope they made you think. I definitely have more where they came from and will be blogging as usual next month.

For my last trick – I mean quote – I’ll leave you with the one that started me on my latest journey of self-discovery earlier this year. I read this in The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin, back in March and it burrowed into my heart and soul in an instant. This articulates the essence of my deep need for continual education. I would stay in school forever if it was free. I love to learn because I’m happiest when I’m growing in knowledge. (I’m an Aquarius, in case you haven’t guessed yet. We love us some learning!)

Once I stumbled upon this quote, I realized that I wasn’t a super-nerd that loves school itself. I love the aspect of growth it provides. And now that I’ve become an entrepreneur, I will be constantly learning and growing as I create the business and life I want. It’s the best of all possible worlds.

To put this even more in to practice, I’ve incorporated growth into my coaching. I find a lot of times we feel frustrated with life because we’re disconnected from ourselves and the world at large. To counteract that, I use the seasons of life cycle to reconnect to the power and wisdom within. Read more about that process in my Coaching page.

Even in life, there will be times when you need to hibernate before you can start growing again. But all life tends to come back to growing. Death and rebirth are inevitable for sure, but the juice in life is in the growing. Be sure you’re growing in your life and you’ll be happy to the end of your days.

What would you like to grow into in the New Year? Let me know below!

Inspiration on the move (freebie)

 

P.S. Did you enjoy the past month of quotes? Now you can take them on-the-go! I created a free PDF of my favorite quotes, which I call “Inspiration on the Move”. You can cut out the quotes and post them wherever you need a spot of inspiration and encouragement. Get your copy here now!

 

I made it to the Life Editor big leagues! (Guest post edition)

IMG_0792Hi all! I’m extremely proud and honored to be showcased on Sage Grayson’s blog today.

Click here to read my interview.

I want to give a big shout out to all of you who are new to me. Welcome!! I’m Dacia Dyer – a tarot reader and life coach. I call myself an Empowerment Guide because I guide women to find their inner wisdom and power, allowing them to reconnect to their soul’s purpose and live their passionate life.

 

 

Here are a few fun facts about me:

  • I grew up and currently live in gorgeous Colorado but I’ve also lived in Europe for several years (specifically England, Russia, Northern Ireland and Ukraine)
  • I love cats and have my own little cat companion, Leo. He keeps me entertained as I work from home. Here he is being adorable while keeping me company on my desk…20150813_142428
  • I love to crochet and hope to get better at knitting. I’ve been known to crochet bookmarks for stocking stuffers – so if you want one in time for Christmas, let me know! 😉
  • I am a scifi-loving-hobbit-rooting-windmill-chasing dreamer who is just as happy at a StarCon or Renaissance Festival.

Want to know more about me and my coaching? Check out my most popular posts below. And don’t forget to get your free copy of my Daily Empowerment Ritual here.

My most popular posts:

And if you don’t know Sage Grayson – you need to! She’s a Life Editor and helps her clients edit their life. Whether you want to create a business, or improve your health and wellness or if you just need a dose of encouragement and gentle butt-kickin’ – she’s your lady!

Click here to read my guest post on Sage’s blog and hear how I started slowly to turn my life around in a simple and easy way that created BIG results.

Thanks to Sage for all her support and tips on editing my life to its fullest!

Unlearning Old Lessons – Marketing in the New World

Unlearning Old Lessons-Marketing in the New World

When I was in college, I did my minor studies in Business. I hadn’t intended to at first. It was only because my semester spent abroad in Russia bumped my Russian language minor credits to fulfill a major that I thought about studying business. It wasn’t my passion, but I thought you can’t go wrong learning about business as that’s what the world runs on.

Although I wasn’t in love with business per se, I did love one particular group project which was creating a business idea from scratch and hitting all the key components. From initial market research, to budgeting, all the way to how you’d market your new product or service. I don’t think my team was terribly clever, as we just created another Asian fusion restaurant, but it was fun nonetheless.

The not so fun part was learning about marketing (well, and finance – but let’s not even go in to that!) Marketing seemed this Goliath-sized monstrosity that was too large to battle successfully with, but had to be dealt with daily to reach your clientele and profit goals.

Now that I’m starting my own business, I have to once again wrestle with the old Marketing Monster. But times have changed drastically! Where do I even start? With printed flyers slipped under doors in my target audience’s neighborhood? Or how about a 1/32 page ad in the local newspaper – do we even have those anymore?

Without trying to date myself too much… erhm… college was a while back. When these were the most common marketing strategies taught in my class. In fact, my freshman class was the first at DU to be required to bring a laptop with them to school. Can you fathom that now?

Yes, we had the internet, but for the most part AOL still reigned supreme and MySpace was just starting to become a thing. Oh my! Facebook was a dream. Twitter hadn’t even been thought of yet. And YouTube? Please. But now, this is how communication flows. Not by paper and ink. But through screens and notifications.

I’m not trying to sound like an old fogey here (though some days I really do feel like it). I’m just putting it out there that navigating ALL the varied social media outlets in order to communicate with your client can be beyond daunting at times. But I do keep trying. I even did my first few Periscope videos a few weeks ago. Even old(er) dogs can learn new tricks!

Here’s the thing though – what platform do I use for what and when? It’s hard to know when to Periscope something when you could just Tweet it. Or maybe a nice longer blog post will be better than Tumblr. Instagram an image versus Snapchat it. Update my LinkedIn profile or my Facebook page. I start to feel like Drew Barrymore in He’s just not into You.

It’s soBe on ALL social media hard to know where to start and what to focus on. I feel like I need to….

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I’m sure that’s not the answer. If nothing else, I will be exhausted like Drew and want to throw my hands up and give in. That’s why I’m taking April Bowles-Olin’s Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing course on CreativeLive.

​I just watched the first lesson today and I’m already feeling more calm and confident about marketing in a new world. Yes, navigating these strange new waters can be hard. But it’s harder still to go it alone and without a map! That’s why I highly suggest you too RSVP for her CreativeLive course and start getting a handle on your marketing plan today! I’ll see you there.

CreativeLive-Blog-Tour-Image

“This post is a part of the Double Your Followers blog tour to spread the word about April Bowles-Olin’s upcoming CreativeLive course. Does hearing the word ‘marketing’ make your armpits start to drip with anxiety? Are you terrified of sounding salesy or like you have the personality of a dead blowfish? If so, come join me and 2,500+ entrepreneurs who’re taking April’s latest CreativeLive course, Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing. You can RSVP and watch for FREE. Yep, free. High fives, wildflowers, wine samples. Who doesn’t love free?

Now it’s your turn… what’s your biggest marketing struggle? Let me know in the links below.

At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

At the Corner of Dichotomy and Juxtaposition

As many of you know from the last post, I’ve recently returned from Stratejoy Summer Camp, hosted by Molly Mahar. It was 5 days of ridiculous fun, light-heartedness and deep reflections – just my kind of vacation!

The timing of the trip was very interesting for me. In a way it was just right, as I was dealing with a very recent death in my family (more on that here), and needed some space to sort out the vast array of emotions I was feeling. But it was also a rather difficult time to be on vacation as the guilt of not being at home at such a hard time kept rearing its head.

It took me the first night and next morning to begin reconciling my guilt over the death and my joy for being at camp. It was one question asked at our first morning reflection session that helped me bring peace to my tumultuous heart. The question Molly asked was, “Where am I not allowing myself to be a juxtaposition (being and “or” instead of an “and”)?

At the time I couldn’t answer it and left that space in my journal as a “TBD” entry. Then we had our “quiet hour” where we couldn’t talk to anyone else and just had to sit with whatever thoughts or emotions the reflection session brought up. I have to say I LOVED quiet hour!!

(ASIDE: As a naturally quiet and contemplative person this was probably my favorite time of the day and I highly recommend everyone to start instituting something like it during your day. Even a quiet 15 minutes will bring more peace to your life.)

Anyways, during my first quiet hour, I felt something unresolved in my heart and had to figure it out before I could be completely immersed in the joy of summer camp. I finally realized that it was my conflicted feelings of my grandmother passing.

Obviously, I was horribly saddened by her death and couldn’t believe she’s really gone and at the same time I was glad she is no longer suffering. I was also glad to be enjoying my time at camp rather than waiting and watching for her final breath (as I had been a couple weeks before).

For some reason my head couldn’t combine all those feelings in to a coherent concept. I thought that if I was glad at her passing then I was a horrible person for wishing her dead. But if I’m only sad at her death then I’m completely selfish for wishing her to still be in this world but in great pain. How can you choose between that?! Either way I sounded like a total bitch.

Then I had a moment of clarity and decided to just talk to grandma and let her know what was up. I spoke to the wind, knowing she hear it, and said something to the effect of: “I’m so sorry you’re gone but I’m glad you’ve moved on to the next world. However, I can’t focus on that sorrow right now as I have this thing to do and I want to enjoy it while I can.”

And not so surprisingly I heard her reply (she always was one to get the last word in). She told me to do what I had to do and not to worry. I had permission to be both incredibly sad and deliriously happy. It was all okay.

It was okay to be “and” instead of “or”. I didn’t have to choose then and I don’t have to choose now. I can be saddened by her passing and glad that the agony is over for both our sakes. Other contradictions I now reclaim are: that I can love being in nature but not a hard-core nature girl. (Five days of camp was quite enough for me, thankyouverymuch!)

I can love to sit and watch tv or read books for hours, but also love getting up in the morning to do yoga or walk or dance even. I can be sentimental and keep all these little keepsakes but also detest clutter and keep a clear and organized home.

As Amin Malouf points out in his wonderfully complex book, In the Name of Identity:

None of us has to choose to just be a mother or an employee. A wife or a daughter. A businesswoman or an artist. We are always all of these things. Yes, sometimes one will take precedence over the other, but they don’t ever exclude each other entirely.

So now it’s your turn… where have you not been allowing yourself to be a juxtaposition? What “or” in your life do you wish to turn in to an “and”?

Finding Quiet in a Busy World: 4 Ways to Give your Brain a Break

Find quiet

Sometimes the world is just overwhelming. Our modern society with all its convenient technological advances is certainly wonderful when we want to connect with friends and family scattered all over. Or collaborate with colleagues in different corners of the earth. However all these constant connections and interactions can leave little time to center and quiet oneself. It seems like we’re in a nonstop state of information overload and I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode from everything that’s running through my head. From to do lists to late night Pinterest scrolling, there’s has to come a time to just stop – put it all aside – and clear out my mind.

So here are 6 ways to do just that. Beyond the obvious unplug and walk away avenue, these are some quick ways to pull your head out of the virtual cloud and plant your feet back on the earth.

Meditation

Of course everyone recommends meditating to center yourself and calm the mind. For too many of us this seems like the most daunting and thus inaccessible way to ground and center. However, meditation is no more than focusing on one thing, usually your breath. A lack of focus is a sad byproduct of all our amazing technological advancements. But I challenge ANYONE that they can focus on their breath for at least one minute. Try it. I dare you. I bet you’ll feel even a smidgen calmer. And if one minute can do that, imagine working up to 5, 10 or even 30 minutes!

Leisurely walk

This is one of my particular favorites as I live in a beautiful place for walking and hiking. The walk doesn’t have to take you far or up a mountain (unless you want it too). Just around the block is enough to clear out your head of all the swirling thoughts that usually demand your attention. If you have a friend or furry companion, it’s even better! Call up a girlfriend and have your usual gossip time on the move, or give Fido a huge treat and take them to the local park for some quality time. You’ll quiet your mind and have fun with one you love.

Stop and listen to nature

Along the lines of strolling along, is taking a brief moment to listen to Mother Nature. Nothing grounds you better than listening to the earth itself. You can do this on your walk, or even just open a window where you are and see how many sounds you can identify. Do all the birds sound the same? Can you hear the wind rustling leaves? And if you’re in the city, listen to the cacophony that is the fascinating hustle and bustle that is urban living. This can be another kind of meditation.

Laughing, aka watch cat videos!

And finally, my absolute favorite – laughter. Find something that tickles your funny bone. This can be anything from reading a Buzzfeed article to looking over some DYAC, or my go-to for hilarity – cat memes and videos. Any animal really, but I’m a cat lover and I think they’re the best at ridiculous antics. Right now though I’m obsessed with this hilarious dog who’s really pissed he had to have a bath. It’s best to put a time limit on this one, or else you could go down another rabbit hole of information overload in a totally different vein.

Whichever you choose, just take a few minutes out of your busy day to reset your mind. This will help you not only get through the rest of your enormous to do list, but it’ll also keep you focused on what’s important in life – living it. Yes, it’s great to read all the most recent updates on your friends from middle school or to find the absolute perfect recipe for guacamole, but in the end you’re disconnecting from yourself and your world more than connecting with it. So take a breath, go for a walk and come back with fresh eyes and a quiet mind.

What do you do to reduce information overload? What calms your mind the most? Leave me a comment below with your suggestions!

And just because I cant resist… here’s the angry bath dog. Haha, kills me every time.

Reclaim Your Gutsy Girl-ness

Gutsy girl

A few months ago I was reading over the “The Gutsy Girl’s Guide to Success”, from Molly Mahar of Stratejoy and listening to the radio. Suddenly I registered what song was on – it was Rihanna’s “Right now”. When I finally tuned in I heard “Tomorrow way too far away, And we can’t get back yesterday, But we young right now, We got right now, So get up right now, Cause all we got is Right Now”. It was one of those moments I know the universe is giving me a little kick in the pants.

See, when I graduated from college at 23 with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree (slight bit overachiever, yes) many of my friends went straight off to get their careers started so they could pay off all those pesky loans they had accumulated. With two degrees already I also had tons of loans, so what did I decide to do? Move to London of course! Without any contacts or job prospects, I got a 6 month work visa and bought a one-way ticket. It was my first big Gutsy Girl move and it was a-MA-zing!

When my work visa ended there, I took another journey east to teach English in Ukraine. This time I took a flight and hopped a train by myself to make my home there for 5 months. After those grand adventures, life kind of took over. I couldn’t defer my loans any longer so I had to get one of those “real jobs” that pays the bills and start working on all that grown-up jive. Several years of the kind of life where you only live to work, worn me down to a terrible kind of survival mode.

But this year is different, as I mentioned in my last post. I’m emerging from my cocoon of survival to become the beautiful butterfly form of my middle-thirties. I’m Reclaiming my Gutsy-Girl-ness and so can you!

My problem really began when I started to buy in to all that talk that the “real world” had rules and you need to follow them in order to get anywhere. Kind of like that old board game LIFE, where you had a certain couple paths you could take and you couldn’t really veer off them after you choose. There was college, job, marriage, kids; all piling in to that little (pink or blue!) car. Wow. How symbolic is that?!

Well now even that old board game got a revamp and there are other paths you can take. Don’t want to go to college? No problem! Take a gap year to explore the world. Don’t want a heterosexual marriage? Easy-peasy, have a same-sex marriage instead! The world has most definitely changed since my parent’s and grandparent’s generation. It’s cliché for sure, but cliché for a reason. Somewhere along the line, I got lost on the path to my own personal success and joy but no longer.

I’ve come out of the dark and reclaiming my light again. I can’t say I’m moving back to Europe for my third time yet, but by starting my own business I’m venturing out on a path that’s all my own and embarking on a journey no less terrifying and excited as traveling across Eastern Europe by train (remind me to tell you about the interesting border crossings).

What about you? What are you doing to reclaim your Gutsy Girl-ness? Leave a comment below to let me know!