Understanding How to Be Spontaneous

Little known fact about me – if there was one word that I wanted people to use to define me, it was “spontaneous”

Not friendly, kind, driven, or any of the other arguably better qualities to have attached to your name. No, I wanted to be spontaneous.

For me, being spontaneous meant you took life by the metaphorical… *cough*… and you ran with it. You lived life to the fullest each and every day. You went with the flow and when you didn’t like the flow, you made waves. You didn’t settle for boring or mediocre. You made memories happen, you didn’t let things just happen. You made them happen.

So because of this mentality, I think I always wanted to be unpredictable and open to what life has to offer.

Now, if I’m being honest – and I am being painfully honest and real in these chapters – I don’t always allow myself to give into the spontaneous side of myself. I tend to push things and limits pretty far, then panic, back off, and try to predict and plan. It’s as if I go from one extreme to the other.

So, why do I do this?

Well, I think it’s because as much as I love the day taking me wherever it will, I also strive for balance and stability – don’t we all?

So how do we find that balance?

I think it relates to coming up with a plan (ha) of your wants and must haves. For example:

I want to get married

I want to live somewhere unfamiliar

I want to donate my time to a local nonprofit

I want to always have at least one bottle of champagne in my fridge

I must feel valued in any relationship I have from now on (romantic, friendship, whatever)

I must feel challenged in my career

I must spend at least one hour a week writing

And when you begin to lay out some basic ground rules for your happiness and life, you can identify the areas in which you can be spontaneous. Hell, maybe these rules will help you do just that.

For example:

If one of your “musts” is to travel to a foreign place, perhaps you can talk to your boss about an out of state or out of country opportunity to work in another office. Packing up and moving to unfamiliar territory is pretty damn spontaneous if you’ve been in your hometown for most of your life.

If another “must” is to feel valued, maybe take an audit of the people in your life (friends, family, peers, etc.) and identify those in which you need to take a step back from and maybe others you need to put more stock into. If you’re in a toxic relationship that won’t serve you in the long run but *feels good right now* it’s time to start separating yourself from it.

I used to believe spontaneous meant unplanned but that’s just not true.

I thought spontaneous meant that I had zero plans and whatever sounded good, I went with it. I imagined floating through life and not knowing where I’d end up because I was spontaneous and adventurous and I didn’t want to stop being open to whatever opportunities life threw at me.

Only recently did I realize that I could be spontaneous every day if I chose to but careful in the ways I explore those limits, ensuring that I wasn’t getting swept away from my overall life goals.

If anything, that list of wants and must haves will help you shape your life towards one you want to be living and will serve as a barrier net when you get a little wild.

Think back to that list when you’re thinking about making a drastic change and see if that change will align with any of your overall goals.

If it will, get it.

If it won’t, maybe rethink.

It doesn’t mean stop or to not move forward in that direction – it just means to give it a second thought.

In all things, it’s about finding the right balance – Allowing yourself to explore new limits and let the day take you and not getting caught up in some life roadmap where you can’t stray from the one path in front of you.

(This blog post was taken from a chapter of my upcoming book – stay tuned!)

Stop Making Excuses For Yourself

Yep, going to come out of the gate and hit you with a little tough love on this one
you’ve got to stop caring what other people think of who you are, what you want out of life. and how you spend your time.

Now, you’re probably saying something along the lines of, “Whoooa, whoa. Whoa. Kate, I don’t care and I haven’t said those things to you. So, what gives?”

I’m going to make a blanket statement here and say that if you’re anything like me, or like others I talk to daily, you may have thoughts one of the following thoughts…

“I’ll diet after the holidays.”
“I need new gym clothes before I go to the gym. I don’t want to wear my old, oversized t-shirts.”
“I’m not happy in my job but it’s too much effort to find something else.”
“I want to write but I don’t know where to start.”
“I’m not happy doing X but I’ll probably get better if I ride it out.”

These past few weeks, I kept telling myself, “You’ll blog… later” and “You’ll start that cool Live Inspired Facebook Live series… after the craziness of work dies down.” I kept telling myself that I’d do X when Y was over. I kept pushing things off, and not only Live Inspired related but eating better, moving more, going to bed earlier, etc.

I’m a master of excuses. 

And yet, as I’ve been telling myself these things, I’ve been sitting around not doing anything important at all. I have everything in front of me to eat better, move more, write my blog, pull together a plan of action, and more but yet, I’ve been a slob kebob. Or, even more worse, I’ve been dreaming and making plans in my head on how I’ll move forward to finally put my dreams into action and yet, when it comes to making it happen, I say, “Maybe later.”

Why is this?

If I’m being honest, I think it’s because doing all of these things that I so desperately want to do is exciting but it’s also venturing into some unknown land – and I don’t know what the hell is over the mountain in front of me. I haven’t opened this door/gone down this path (choose whichever cliche you like there – I liked both so I left both) so I’m a little afraid of the unknown.

I’m afraid that if I throw myself Live Inspired, I’m going to be vulnerable. I’m going to try a Facebook Live series which puts me front and center. I’m going to map out a blogging plan for the next 6 months so I’m setting myself up for success. I’m bringing my vision and my passion for Live Inspired to life not only for myself but I’m putting it out in the public.

And that’s scary.

When you put something out for public consumption that you’ve created, nurtured, and obsessed over for years – you run the risk of people pointing at you and saying, “Ha! Did you see her try to do that? Hilarious, right?”

I never would’ve thought that my procrastination boiled down to the fear of being laughed at or judged. Which makes me think, is this the reason that many people don’t follow their passion? They don’t go to the gym? They don’t quit their job and open up a bakery?

Here’s (another) big blanket statement but I truly believe that as humans, we’re naturally afraid of failure – knock down, everyone is pointing and laughing at you, gigantic, flat out failure.

This fear of embarrassment and humiliation has been engrained in us for years. YEARS.
Think back to old cartoons or movies you’d watch growing up – chances are you can recall one or a few scenes that went a little something like this: The main character is trying so hard to be cool when they get pants/a slushee dropped on their head/hit in the head with a ball/etc. and they think their life is over.

Everything is now terrible. The character’s reputation or ‘coolness’ is now ruined and they’re mortified to face their peers. Of course, they pick themselves back up in the end but in those moments, those flat out embarrassing moments, the viewer feels sympathy because nobody likes to feel like the laughing stock.

We’ve all felt it (which is why we can relate when a person gets pummeled with a pie) and it’s an awful feeling so as we grow up, we tend to protect ourselves. If we’re not careful, we run the risk of blending into the crowd and doing what’s expected of us. We don’t get outside of our comfort zones and follow our crazy ass dreams because we don’t want to feel that humiliation – we don’t want to be the one everyone is pointing and laughing at.

But here’s the thing – when was the last time you attempted something that didn’t turn out how you expected and you found that you couldn’t recover for weeks or months? When have you pointed and laughed at someone else who was living out their dream and made their lives miserable for weeks or months?

When was the last time someone commented about your old 5K tshirt at the gym?
When was the last time someone told you that your last Facebook status was the worst thing they’ve ever read?

Chances are, it probably hasn’t happened.

We’re our own worst enemies and we’re so ready to tell ourselves that something won’t work (the diet will fail, no one will read our stories, we’ll go bankrupt if we try to start our own business) that we start to believe it.

But when we’re so wrapped up in telling ourselves we’re going to fail and everyone will laugh at us, we tend to forget that everyone else is wrapped up in their own heads.

By attempting something that excites us and/or gets us out of our comfort zone, we’re essentially telling our negative minds to stop talking because this time we’re letting our heart and passion lead the way. And don’t kid yourself – that’s a big step to take.

If we’re afraid of failing or looking dumb, that means we’re taking a leap of faith into the unknown. We’re embarking on some journey where we don’t know what the outcome might be. If we did, we wouldn’t be afraid or spend our time wondering if everyone else accepts our crazy ideas.

You know what that means?

That means that you absolutely, positively have to do the things that frighten you. That fear is your mind trying to protect you from ‘looking stupid’ when in actuality, doing something that excites you but is out of your norm, is exactly what you need to be doing.

You need to follow your passion. You need to take a leap if your heart is telling you to just jump already. If you’re reading this and you know exactly what that little voice is telling you to pursue, you’ve already begun on your journey. You can make excuses and tell that voice to shut it for a little bit but believe me, you can’t quiet that voice inside of you for long – eventually that whisper will turn into an ‘outdoor voice’ and then into full on screaming.

If you’re afraid of looking dumb, that’s normal. If you’re afraid of being humiliated, that’s normal. If you’re afraid of doing something your heart keeps nagging at you to do, that’s normal.

You know what’s not normal? Continually shoving your passion down inside of you just because you’re afraid of what others will think. Stop making excuses for why you can’t do the thing you really want to do for yourself. Stop pretending like you don’t have the tools or the ability to get the tools you need to thrive. If you don’t have the tools now, get them. If you need to figure out a plan to get all the way over that mountain, figure it out. If you want to start dieting and going to the gym, put on your shoes and go make it happen.

Time will never be just right but excuses are aplenty. Stop being afraid. Stop blending into the crowd, doing what everyone else is doing, and just living a mediocre life when you’re meant for more. Listen to that voice and your pull and do more, do better, and be happier.

The Unexpected Outcomes of Traveling More.

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

A few weeks ago, my best friend sent me a text on a Thursday afternoon that changed how I’m going to live out 2018.

It was a simple text that said, “So, I’m going to San Antonio for work next Wednesday. Wanna grab a seat on my flight and join me?” I thought about it for approximately 4 minutes before opening Delta.com into my browser and began my search for the flight I would purchase. I’m a sucker for spontaneity but even this felt a little crazy to me.

But, I told myself at the start of 2018 that this would be my year of travel.

I didn’t want to let myself down only weeks into the year so when she texted me those few sentences I knew it was time – time to make it happen or time to make a lame-o excuse.

Luckily for all of us, I decided to stay true to what I told myself I was setting out to do this year, no matter how crazy or how spontaneous, if the universe put the opportunity in front of me.

I booked my flights and a few days later, I was heading to the airport after work on a Wednesday evening.

San Antonio was incredible – It was a giant whirlwind of a trip and while I spent more time in airports and in the hotel room than I wanted, it reminded me of some pretty important lessons to take back with me.

Keeping the ‘Travel Mindset’ After The Trip is Done

If you’re anything like me then it’s safe to say that whenever you travel to a new place, you want to do it all.

You wake up early to go explore that city center. You stay outside longer than you would usually because the view is gorgeous. You talk to the locals to ask where they like to go, eat or shop.

You act differently when you travel because you want to soak it all in and get the most out of your destination.

When we were there, we made it a point to get out of the hotel as soon as possible and go exploring. We took an Uber to the Riverwalk and just strolled around before dinner taking in the scenery. We went to a nice restaurant and followed it up with a few different bars to really get the vibe of the area. The next day, we took a recommendation of another girl who was familiar with the area and went to an incredibly delicious Mexican restaurant for lunch that we never would’ve found on our own.

We wanted to see everything, eat everything, and really understand San Antonio rather than just going to places that were close to the hotel.

So, why should that sense of exploration stop when you get home?

Why would you go back to the same hum-drum restaurants that are just down the street from your home? Why do you go to the same walking path every weekend when there are others just 15-20 min away?

When you’re at home and in your comfort zone, it’s easy to fall into a mediocre routine that we can so effortlessly follow with our eyes closed. Open your eyes, like you would if you were in a new, unfamiliar vacation spot, and take another look at your surroundings.

Travel reminds us that there’s a whole other world just outside of our bubble of comfort and routine. It’s up to us to open our eyes and explore it.

The Excitement of an Adventure Encourages Us to Just Say ‘Yes’ and Figure Out the Rest Later

When my friend presented the opportunity to me at first, I started drowning in the logistics of it all:
Will I be able to leave work on time to get to the airport?
What if the hotel doesn’t have reliable wifi?
What if I screw up the time zone change and miss a meeting?

What if this? What if that? Can this work out seamlessly? Should I not bother?

That’s why it took me a few minutes before I was like, “Waaait a second – the universe just handed me an opportunity to travel somewhere completely new and with one of my best friends… and I’m worried about finding decent wifi?”

You can talk yourself out of anything if you try hard enough. That’s why it’s important to hold onto that initial feeling of, “Oh, this could be fun” and just run with it. Believe me, it’ll work out if you want to make it work out.

As adults who have gotten this far in our lives, I think it’s safe to say that we all have real problem solving skills; therefore, we have the ability to figure out how to overcome challenges and problems. Unreliable wifi at the hotel? Great, I’ll grab an Uber to a coffee shop. Worried about time zones? I’ll triple check my calendars as soon as I get there. It all works out.

The rush of excitement we feel when we know that we’re about to break out of the every day habit and get into unfamiliar territory is a great feeling so ride it out and just make it happen. Everything will work out and fall into place. Just go on that trip. Get in your car.
Book your flights and just go.

Travel Loosens Us Up a Little

I say, “Ehhh it’s vacation!” at least 45x per day whenever I’m somewhere new.

When you’re on vacation, chances are you spend a little more when you’re out to dinner to treat yourself. You buy a kooky hat or outrageously tourist-y t-shirt simply because it feels right. You get a little more lenient with your bank account and do things because they make you smile or they make you feel good.

Why is it that we don’t do this in our every day lives?

In San Antonio, I ordered a lobster dinner at a fancy restaurant because it was vacation.
Back in Michigan, I went to dinner with a friend and tried to find what the cheapest dinner was on the menu.

I felt as if I couldn’t splurge on a decent dinner for myself merely because it was the usual place, on a week night, and there wasn’t a ‘good reason’ to. Not because I didn’t want something delicious and not because I couldn’t afford it. Just because it was a normal restaurant on a normal night.

Of course, you should always live within your monetary limits but it’s important to bring this, “Treat yo’self” mentality into your day to day. Because you do deserve a nice meal when you go to a restaurant on a Tuesday night. You should buy those crazy big sunglasses and wear them every day if you like them.

You shouldn’t have to find a good reason to do little things that make your days brighter, happier, and just plain more enjoyable. Bring the, “Eh, I’m on vacation!” mentality into your every day life and keep it going no matter what because you deserve it.

Travel Brings Out the Best in Us

When we travel, we’re excited, happy, and ready for anything. This dulls as we return back to our homes and into our normal routine. But it shouldn’t and it doesn’t have to. By reminding ourselves that we’re in control of how we live out each day, we should strive to bring those little nuggets of happiness that we feel when we’re on vacation into our day to day. A shift in mentality can make a huge difference.

Wants vs. Needs

“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need” – Rolling Stones.

Come on – I can’t not start this blog post off that way.
You’d be disappointed in me if I didn’t.

But honestly, there’s no better way to kickoff this post because that statement, that one simple lyric, is so honest and straightforward there’s little room for muddling up the message.

Simply, it doesn’t matter what we want in life or even how bad we might want it because if it’s not meant to be than it’s not meant to be. Even when we whine loudly and stomp our feet even louder in protest of being denied that very thing, if we look closely… really, really closely… we’ll usually see that there was a reason the universe decided, “nahhhh” as it kindly shut us down.

In most situations that you feel slighted or upset, chances are that you’ll learn from it, take a lesson away, and grow into a stronger human.

But that’s not to say that life doesn’t suck for a little bit once I’m denying the thing I desperately want – for example, I go through stages when something bad happens:

1. My eye twitches a little bit and I whine-yell in my head, “Whyyyyyyyyyy?” and the longer I drag out the y’s, the better I feel.

2. I pout and think, “Wow. But seriously. Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this crap?”

3. I start to accept that while I didn’t want it, it’s happening and I can’t stop it from happening to me.

4. I begin to deal with it. I’m no longer whining in my head but figuring out how to handle the situation in the best way possible with what I have. If I can’t stop it, I’m going to kick its ass in one way or another.

5. I kick its ass.

6. Once the situation is over or close to it – sometimes breakups or being fired or whatever can leave bad taste in your mouth for a while – I reflect back on it. Mainly because I want to think back at how awesome I just was at kicking the bad situations butt.

(6.5. Sometimes I even take an extra few moments here to look at my reflection in the mirror, wink, do some finger guns, and say, “Yeah girl. You handled that with confidence, a smile, and you didn’t let it slow you down. You were pretttttty awesome.”)

7. I try to pull the “good” from the bad situation. This isn’t always easy and it’s not always so straight forward but, again, when you look closely, chances are you’ll be able to find something.

Let’s see this in action, shall we?

Once upon a time, I was in a relationship with a guy and I thought I was in love. Head over heels in love. I mean, seriously. I was into this 110% and while things weren’t great and he had a bad sense of fashion (oh, that was an unnecessary dig), I didn’t care.

Things progressively started getting worse and we just could not get on the same page with each other, no matter what. I’d try and try and try. I made sacrifices, I put his needs first, and I even worked really hard at making dinner one day instead of ordering it in.

But, nothing works. We decided to end things (more his decision than mine if I’m being honest), and I felt like my world was over. I was upset, I cried, and I thought, “Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?”

I went through all of the steps listed above and once the breakup fog was clearing away and I started reflecting back on the relationship, I actually thought to myself, “Whoooa… whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a second. That relationship actually kinda sucked and he was actually kind of self-centered, and pretty judgmental, and he didn’t really do much to fix things or try to repair things like I did…”

That’s when I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more caring, and kind, and giving I was in that relationship. Not just when I was trying to repair what was so painfully broken but rather during other (cough cough most cough cough) other parts of our time together.

It figuratively hit me like a sack of bricks (isn’t that the saying? Did I make that up?) that I had absolutely and totally romanticized the situation. I put this guy up on this pedestal that no matter what, he couldn’t do any wrong.

Or rather, I didn’t want to see any wrong in the things he did and said.

I was so blown away at the idea that this guy had swindled me and when my head was up in the clouds, romanticizing him and the idea of us, he was over there standing on the other side of the room being kind of a jerk while wearing mismatched clothing (another zinger).

It was only after I was removed from the situation, separated my emotions from the situations and actions that ACTUALLY happened, that I began to see the situation for what it really was – a waste of time with someone who didn’t actually care about me in the way I deserved to be cared about.

From that, I saw the silver lining in what felt like the most painful breakup in history.
I learned:

1. No man should ever stay upon a pedestal that he did not climb up himself. Never again will I place someone on top of there – he has to earn that spot.

2. I’m stronger than anything life throws at me (well, or most things at least) and while things hurt really badly, I won’t dwell in that place longer than I need to to feel and experience. Once I’ve learned what I need to learn and have dealt with the emotions properly, I’m getting the hell out of that murky hole.

3. Being so caught up in the fog of something I thought was real but wasn’t definitely caused me more harm than good in the long run. Sure, it was hard on me personally, as most breakups are, but I also saw that I ignored a lot of important things in my life – I took a hiatus from being the friend and the person I want to be for the people who actually deserved my time and effort.

What the actual heck was I doing?

In a relationship, the other person should be building you up instead of looking down on you from that pedestal, helping you see your surroundings clearer rather than fogging them up with lies, and they should be enabling you to be the best you can be both professionally and personally.

What I thought I wanted was that relationship – what I actually needed was the breakup.

After the fog cleared, I was able to figure out that the universe didn’t give me what I wanted for a reason. And that was a hard lesson to learn – I don’t want to downplay that.

What I wanted, with every single fiber of my being, was that relationship and that’s because I had built it up in my head into something it wasn’t. The universe was like, “Okay, that’s cute Kate but no. You’ve had enough of this so let’s just put a stop to it, ok? Yep… Okay… Stop hugging him so tightly…”

And thank gosh it did. I can truly say that I’m happier, more focused and I’m getting back to the things that make me who I am – aka. finishing up/editing my new book!

Do me a favor and take a moment to think about a situation that you’ve been thrown into headfirst. A situation that was beyond tough. A situation that took a lot out of you emotionally.

Was it a job you wanted really badly but didn’t get?
Was it a relationship that ended before you felt it was ready (like mine)?
Was it a health scare that turned out okay but really sucked going through it?

Now, try to find that silver lining:

After the job passed you up, did you find something even better that you wouldn’t have applied to if you would’ve gotten the first job? If not the job, did you meet some really great coworkers who became friends? Did you learn a new skill or find that you were better at a certain aspect of the job you ended up taking that you didn’t expect?

If the relationship ended prematurely in your mind, did you find a kind man or woman to date after? Did you learn that you don’t need to rely on anyone else for your happiness and now you’re a strong, single badass human? Did you learn what you want and don’t want in your next relationship?

If you had a health scare (and I hate that if you did), did you find that through the turmoil you actually became closer with your family? Did friends come to your side that you thought didn’t care in that way? Did you learn to value the days just a little bit more than you did before?

The universe doesn’t always give us what we want but it does give us what we need.

Next time you find yourself in a situation that feels like it sucks, take some time to whine and stomp and then try to figure out the good you can take from it – that silver lining.

Think about the lesson or the lessons you learn as the gift you get after going through the tough stuff. Those rough patches that tested your character and your strength will truthfully only make you stronger moving forward.

(Side note: Above when I said I was finishing up/editing my new book – this is actually a chapter from it! Stay tuned darlin because I’m going to make 2018 my year)

One Good One Thought.

Have you ever considered the insane number of thoughts and questions that go into completing one single task? 

Take making a pot of coffee, for example. When I wake up in the morning, still groggy with bad hair and eyes filled with sleep crumbs, I paddle down to the kitchen and immediately I’m forced to make so many decisions:

Do I want flavored coffee or the typical Folgers?
Should I grind the beans to get a fresh flavor or am I okay with the ground coffee that’s ready to go?
How much should I make? How much do I realistically want to drink?
What cup should I use?
Will I be in a morning video chat where I need to not use my cup with cats or shirtless tattooed men on them?

For one simple task – making coffee – a gazillion thoughts/questions are running through my mind. And that’s just coffee. Think about other normal activities that you complete throughout the day – deciding what you’ll wear for work, thinking about where you’ll meet a friend for happy hour after work, if you like or dislike that new song on the radio, if you feel like beer or wine during happy hour, what you need to do first at work, what your boss will say when you ask for that day off next month, and the list goes on.

Overwhelming, right? 

Well, there’s a reason this is overwhelming and it’s because according to Psychology Today, “It has been estimated that an average brain has anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of them are believed to be negative.”


So, now put yourself back into the car situation from a few sentences up and instead of thinking about those things, dig a little deeper – your thoughts might be something like the following:

Does this shirt make me look fat? I mean I know I’m gaining weight… I shouldn’t have worn this to happy hour. What if there’s a cute bartender? Chances are I’d mess that up too. I can’t flirt. I’m so painfully bad at flirting… I guess I’ll be alone forever. Which is fine because I want to be really great at my career and go far… but I guess if I’m alone forever, maybe I won’t have kids. I can spend that money on vacations! Vacations… alone.

Okay, yes I know that’s an extreme example but in that example, it’s easy to see how thoughts/questions that we face can take a negative turn and it can take that turn quickly.

It’s pretty damn shocking.

With over half of our thoughts being overtaken by negativity, it’s not hard to fall into the accompanying mindset. You know the one I’m talking about – the one where you think you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not witty enough, and the list goes on.

It would be one thing if we all lived on rainbow clouds of cotton candy, nothing we ate ever made us fat, and we all have low stress-high paying jobs. But, ya know… that’s not quite how life works.

Instead we’re constantly facing challenges each and every day that really stretch us to our limits and encourage us to make snap decisions. That’s a lot of pressure.

So, when our mind is filled with 25,000+ thoughts per day and with – let’s say – 25% of those thoughts being negative, how do we ensure that we’re flipping the odds in our favor?

For me, I’ve found that I need something around me that will give me a kick in the (sweat)pants and remind me that I’m pretty badass.

Because when we’re constantly allowing that voice in our head to speak and fill the space with thoughts and thoughts and then more thoughts, it’s easy to follow down that rabbit hole of distractions and, possibly, negativity. And I don’t know about you but I’d rather my head be filled with optimism and positivity rather than my own self questioning my ability to do X, Y, and then Z.

If there’s something you can do or something you can look at that will shake you out of the mess of things running through your head and remind you to stop, breathe, and then continue being amazing, why wouldn’t you acknowledge it?

It can be a note that you keep on your desk that says, “Keep being a Rockstar.” It can be a list of affirmations you keep in your phone in the notepad app to read out loud when you’re about to go into a big meeting or have a tough conversation with a loved one. It can even be as simple as a wearing a lucky pair of socks when you just need that extra little boost.

I don’t know exactly when or why I decided to start wearing and stacking what I call ‘power bracelets’ but I’ve been wearing these babies for about a month now and I can’t stop. It’s like I’m collecting Pokemon – can’t stop, won’t stop.

I’m currently stacking a dainty gold bracelet that has the words, “Good Vibes Only” in script with a Lokai bracelet for balance. And because I love the reminder, the balance, and the way that just looking down and breathing re-centers me when I’m having a moment, I just purchased an absolutely stunning bracelet from The Crystalline Moon for focus and intention.

I know, I know… it’s starting to sound pretty hippy, right? 

I get it but here’s the thing – I don’t want to lose you here JUST because that’s my thing.
It absolutely, positively does not need to be yours. 

You know what does have to be yours? Any sort of note, trinket, bracelet, sentence in an app, whatever that you can look at when you’re stressed, overwhelmed, upset, or depressed that can anchor you.

I want you to have something that you can turn to in a moment of need to remind you that you’re a badass rockstar that can’t be stopped. That you’re a good friend who has to have a tough conversation only because you care. That you’re going to earn that raise. You’re going to be a better partner in your relationship. That you’re not your environment or your situation. You’re more than a moment of defeat or panic.

That you’ve got this.

I want you to have something that breaks though the negative thoughts and puts something positive into that moment. 

Because with an abundance of negative thoughts crowding our mind and vying for our attention as we’re also being bombarded by messages in our Facebook newsfeed, Instagram stories, coworkers, peers, and everything else, it’s easy to lose your positive mentality and confidence.

Find what works for you – what gets you to stop, breathe, and center yourself – and keep that around you for a few weeks. If you try looking at it when you’re in a panic and it doesn’t work, go ahead and put it away. Then try something else that might work.

It’s not rocket science and it’s not something that only a few people can experience.

Take control of your days and your thoughts and ensure they’re working for you – those thoughts are building you up, encouraging you to work smarter, and to run full steam ahead towards the goals you have. To stop you from getting sidetracked or distracted by “the tough stuff” or negativity.

Because you’re more than negativity. You’re better than the negativity. 

P.S. Quick shoutout to The Crystalline Moon
My bracelet wasn’t able to make the header photo because it’s not yet in my possession BUT I didn’t want to leave it out because look at this gorgeous piece… *drool



You’ll Always Get the Same Results…

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” 

I’ve repeated this cliche statement about a thousand times to about a thousand clients throughout my professional career. It typically spills out of my mouth when I propose a new campaign, plan of action, or platform that the client is unfamiliar with. In situations where I’m recommending something out of the box or new to them, their first impulse is to push back because they’re not sure if doing something new is the right move, even when data tells us otherwise – drop off in organic traffic, decrease in leads, whatever the case is.

That’s when I need to pull out this statement and explain why I’m recommending what I am, the results we can expect, and then I always end it with – “If we go down this path and it’s not producing the results we want or that we’re expecting, we change our course of action. That’s all.”

And then, because they trust in the process and in me, we move forward strategically.

I’ve dealt with this scenario more times than I can count between the hours of 8:30am and 6pm, Monday through Friday. But, as I was catching up with a friend of mine on the phone today, I found myself saying that phrase to her.

My simple statement, the exact one I’ve said over and over and then some more, made me stop and realize that I was missing a huge opportunity in my life. 

I’ve never once applied that statement to any other part of my life – to my relationships, to my own career, to my own passions.

I said this as I was talking to her about relationships and the type of men I usually date. And believe me, I’ve got a type – in the entertainment industry, who like to party, who have tattoos, and who typically like other things (cough cough themselves cough cough) more than they like me.

And I kept wondering why my relationships never seemed to work out… 

Of course they kept ending because I kept dating the same type of guy. I kept putting myself in those “all too familiar” situations. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Without stopping to take relationship audits, career audits, whatever audits in your life, you miss out on seeing important patterns – are you constantly dating the same type?
Do you continually find yourself unhappy in the jobs you accept?
Are you always backing away from the hobbies or passions that you find yourself drawn?

Are you holding yourself back or holding onto your comfort net because you’re scared of what others might say or what might happen if you fail?

I’ve been reading the book, “Emotional Agility” by Susan David and there’s a section in this book that has stuck with me these last few weeks. She explains how important it is to: Recognize your patterns; label your thoughts and emotions; accept them; and act on your values.

(Please note: I’m about to copy and paste random sentences and sections of this article to prove my point so if this is interesting to you, I’d recommend checking out the full article from Harvard Business Journal)

“The first step in developing emotional agility is to notice when you’ve been hooked by your thoughts and feelings… When you’re hooked, the attention you give your thoughts and feelings crowds your mind; there’s no room to examine them. One strategy that may help you consider your situation more objectively is the simple act of labeling. Just as you call a spade a spade, call a thought a thought and an emotion an emotion.

The opposite of control is acceptance—not acting on every thought or resigning yourself to negativity but responding to your ideas and emotions with an open attitude, paying attention to them and letting yourself experience them. Take 10 deep breaths and notice what’s happening in the moment… When you unhook yourself from your difficult thoughts and emotions, you expand your choices. You can decide to act in a way that aligns with your values.”

So, the way I’ve used this in my own life is by identifying those moments where I immediately react to a text, a sentence, a situation, or whatever emotional. I get upset. I get stressed out. I react before I can think – send an angry text back or say something I don’t really mean because I’ve been taken over by my emotions.

Instead of reacting immediately, I’ve made the decision to stop, breathe, and then move forward appropriately. 

I can’t even tell you how often I’ve used this tactic and how it has helped me make smarter decisions.

And I’m bringing up emotional agility because here’s something that I guarantee – when you realize that you need to make a change in your life to get a different outcome or to put yourself on a new path, chances are you’re going to feel afraid, doubtful, or scared of what’s going to happen, what people will say, and how they’ll react.

That’s your being trying to protect itself from looking dumb. It wants to keep you in this safety net of comfort and mediocrity because if you push yourself, you’re walking on the path of unfamiliarity. And despite what your being is trying to tell you, that’s a great place to be. It means you’re doing something new. You’re challenging yourself to live a happier/more fulfilled/better/whatever life. You’re finding out who you are when you’re faced with fear or uncertainty. You’re not settling for the same old stuff.

So, when you begin to feel those things – stop, breathe, recognize that your emotions are taking over, and then move forward appropriately. What I hope for you in this situation is for you to recognize that you’re just scared of the unknown but that I hope with everything that you also decide to explore that unknown.

Whether you decide to face fear now or months or years from now, you’re always going to have to face it at points in your life. It’s how you tackle it that matters. It’s about recognizing that it’s just another emotion and you don’t have to become what you feel – you can separate yourself from the things you’re feeling and then move forward based on your values or your beliefs.

Recognize that fear is just fear and it’s not going to dictate your life or your happiness.

Don’t let it control you – if you want to write more but you’re scared of what people will think of what you have to say, start a blog anyway and share it with friends before you’re ready to. If you want to become a photographer, dedicate a few hours every weekend to go take some photos and open up an Etsy shop.

Happiness and fulfillment typically lives on just on the other side of fear and discomfort.

But to make a change, a true change, to live the life that you’re yearning for – you’ve got to put yourself into new, exciting situations. You have to follow your heart when you’re not sure how everything is going to work out. You have to ignore the haters and the people trying to tell you that “it’ll never work” and you need to push forward.

Whatever you want to do will likely be scary but it’s up to you to not hold yourself back.

If things don’t work out how you hoped, then just take what you’ve learned and try again. Very few decisions are final – keep trying and trying until you find a way or a path that will work for you to get you to where you want to be.

If you want to get a result that you’ve never had, you’ve got to tell fear to gtfo, because you’ve got chances to take and things to accomplish.

Too much.

It’s always…
Am I saying too much?
Is this too real? Is it too overly sensitive? Too harsh? Too not enough?
Are these words too weak to really convey how I’ve felt? Are these words too diluted?

But after weeks of not writing because of worrying about “too” – I’ve decided it’s more important to speak than to worry if it’s too much or too little.

Florida, oh sweet sweet Florida… it’s not what I had expected.

In fact, it’s the opposite of what I had hoped for when I was jumping into this new adventure with wide eyes and an open mind.

What I wanted for those six months was clarity, freedom, and to find some sort of inner peace or sense of spirituality that spoke to me. But instead, I was beat down, challenged in ways I had never imagined, and felt lonelier than I could’ve expected… but was I expecting too much?

Those six months were tough.

The one thing I yearned for was to feel free and yet, I found myself feeling the opposite. I found myself tied down into something that unexpectedly bloomed in front of me but instead of this situation helping me in my journey to grow, it kept me bound. And not just bound, but I felt my inner spirit, my joy, my happiness withering away.

Instead of following my goals and my aspirations, I followed lust. Infatuation. I followed this idea of ‘fate’ that I twisted and turned and molded into what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t what was – it’s what I wanted so desperately to see… is that too romantic?

I fought every day for my self worth. I gave everything I had, and then some, to prove I was worthy of a love that didn’t ever exist. In a way, I knew I was going against everything I set out to do but felt as though losing a piece of myself was worth it for this man… for far too long, I was too blinded. 

And in the end, I was made to feel as if I was the idiot, the one who wasn’t enough and would never be enough, the one who was selfish.

The carefree, happy, woman who was excited for adventure, went missing for a few days… weeks… months.

And – you know what – this lesson, this beach-filled extended vacation, these last six months were worth the tears, the questioning, the hurt.

Because when all was said and done, I realized yet again that the universe didn’t give me what I wanted – it gave me what I needed.

Because in these six months, I realized that nobody else has the power to define my worth, my value, my inner strength.

I found it within myself despite the words I had heard.

I dug deep inside of who I am and I pulled out the strength to walk away from something that didn’t serve me anymore. I realized that I have the ability to leave and with that, I ran. I ran even when every part of my heart wanted me to stay and see if “maybe things could work” but knowing they never would. Knowing that he would never change his view. Knowing that I could never be me when I was there… is that too survivor-y?

I learned that being alone is crucial to recognizing who you are and who you want to be when no one else is there to cheer you on or there pat you on the back. That it’s up to you to set the boundaries you need for your own heart, head, and well being and that it’s up to you stick to those boundaries. Stick to them when it’s hard. Stick to them when someone else doesn’t understand. And stick to them especially in those moments when you know you need them the most.

I learned that I’m in charge of my future and if I cry more than I smile, I can leave. I have legs to walk away. I have the strength inside of me to block a phone number. I have the ability to not respond to pleading texts to come back.

And you know what? You can too. You can stand up for what you believe in and you can walk away from the things that you don’t need in your life… is that too preachy?

And through this experience, I’ve finally discovered that I need to do what I need to do to be the best version of myself. This isn’t about you, it’s not about that cute guy who winked at me in the coffee shop, it’s not about this idea of a man that I once knew.

This year. This journey. This experience. This Florida adventure. This is about me. 

I’ve started writing gratitude lists to help myself see plainly that bad days are just bad days, not bad months or years. I’ve read self-help books that taught me how to be more emotionally agile. I’ve spoken affirmations on a daily basis. I’m about to create a damn vision board for 2018… is that too hippy?

I’ve realized that I need to write when I don’t want to share – those are the moments my keyboard needs me most. Because in Florida, I was scared. I was scared to sit down and tell you how I felt and what I was going through. Because I was scared you wouldn’t understand – or perhaps I was scared you would and that you’d try to make it all better from hundreds of miles away when I just needed to cope with it myself… is that too selfish?

I’ve learned that I don’t care about societal norms – I don’t want to keep quiet about my experiences.

I want to tell you about how my gratitude list has helped fight back tears when nights are hard. How bad relationships are tough, and heart breaking, and can run you into the ground – but then I want to tell you that even when you feel stuck, you can get out. And I want to help you pull yourself out of that dark hole. That shit is hard and life is hard but darling, that’s no excuse to give up. To stop trying. To not read, learn, craft a future because it seems “silly” to write lists or craft boards.

This year, it’s about me. 

It’s about sharing more than I hide. It’s about shaping my own future so no one else can barge into my life and shape what they want for me. It’s about being my own damn hero. To making my own adventures. To taking my key back. To saying “no” when I need to – even when I don’t want to. To live, love, and experience to the fullest but not for anyone else.

This year, I hope to write. To share. To be real. 
I hope to write when it’s hard, when it’s easy, and when I want to and when I don’t. Writing is what makes me who I am and that… well, that’s a big part of me that I lost because I was scared. Scared of how I’d be perceived. Scared that I let you down because I took this journey of a lifetime and part of me feels as though I’ve failed. I stayed inside and I stayed in a bad situation and I stayed inside of this shell I wasn’t proud of.

And, that’s the easy thing about life, isn’t it?
It’s easy to be scared and decide, “Nah… Not now. Maybe I’ll do/say/attempt that later but not right now.” And then, we don’t. We refuse to change, to grow, to do what terrifies us to our core.

That’s what I did for days… for weeks… for months. 
I hid behind my fear – fear that you’d judge me for not taking full advantage of the sand and the sun in front of me. For falling into something so serious so quickly. For giving up a huge of myself to someone else for the sake of “maybe this will be good” when all I do is tell you to never, ever give up yourself for another man, person, experience because dammit, you’re all you’ve got. And yet, there I was… doing exactly the things I warned you not to do. So, I hid. I stopped writing. I stopped blogging. I stopped sharing. I shut off a huge part of who I am and what makes me happy and you know why? I did it out of fear.

But, not this year… I refuse to be held down again.

This year is mine… is that too confident? 

Just kidding. It’s not too confident 😉

This year, I hope with all that’s inside of me that you’ll refuse to be afraid – you’ll do the things that scare you. You’ll take adventures even when you don’t know what lies beyond the “yes, I’m going to do this.” You’ll be the  person who lives for you, you’ll do what your soul tells you to do without second guessing. My hope is that you’ll rally for yourself. Be the person you want to be – you’ll take moments to reflect on the good and bad of 2017, make moves to ensure you’re setting yourself up for a happy year filled with love and kindness.

Please – take time for yourself. Take time to set your boundaries, to find the strength inside of you to say no, to not be afraid to be alone, to jump into an adventure that presents itself even when you’re scared. To fight for what you believe in, to be kind to those who are different than you are, and to be the best damn you that you can be… is that too much?