Things My Dog Taught Me

Things My Dog Taught Me

Last week was the first week since starting my business that I did not write a bog post, as my full focus last week was on saying goodbye to my K-9 companion of 15 years and helping her to cross over.  The subject of this post I called "things my dog taught me" but really, I was her human more than she was my dog. She taught me far more than I taught her in the 15 years we had together. Maliika was my best friend and constant companion through so much. While it was heartbreaking to say goodbye, it's amazing to feel her sweet little spirit still with me and so happy to be free of her old fur-suit that no longer served her in doing the things that she loved in life. 

15 years together is a long time, and in that time she taught me so much. If you've had an animal love in your life, you know what teachers they are. I've been pondering our time together and thought I would share with you some important life lessons that I learned through her. 

Always live in the moment. 
Maliika was such a present creature. No matter what we were doing, where we were going, who we were with, or what the mood was, she was right there with it. While I often found myself worried about what happened or what was coming, she helped to keep me present in every moment we were together. This in itself is priceless. 


Trust your instincts about people. 
Maliika was not a dog that allowed everyone she met into her space. She had good instincts about people. She loved her people unconditionally, but there were some people that she just didn't let in when she met them. These tended to be people that would instantly approach her and want to smother her space before she got a chance to really check them out. You didn't have to do much to earn her love and affection, but you did have to respect her space to earn that. If she didn't have a good feeling about someone, she didn't give them any of her energy, she simply walked away. The people that she did feel good about, she gave her all. As someone who has always trusted people maybe too much, she taught me to have discernment and was a great example in listening to my instincts, especially when new people step into my life. 

Take in the beauty around you. 
Maliika loved taking in grand views. I've never really known another dog that loved to just sit and take it in with all of her senses.  Hiking to an elevation that offered a great view, sitting by a lakeside, or pulled over at a scenic viewpoint, this dog would seriously just take in the view and breathe in the beauty. I know that she felt the same kind of awe that I felt in those moments, and she often kept me there longer just sitting and taking it in.

Pay attention to your surroundings. 
She was always aware of what and who was around us. In our travels together, she often warned me of people or places that she didn't think we should be around when I wasn't paying attention. I know that she helped us avoid some situations, and potentially a very scary run-in with some people at one point when I was busy making phone calls and not paying attention. She's also gravitated towards meeting people that we were supposed to meet along the road or the trail wherever we went. When we are really paying attention to what's around us, we take in all the amazing beauty around us, we meet who we are supposed to meet, and we avoid those that we want to avoid. 

If you are scared of something, let your friends support you through it. 
Maliika and I have been on countless hikes together all over the western 1/2 of the US. (she's traveled with me through 19 states!) She LOVED being out hiking in the trees with me, but sometimes we would encounter a walking bridge on the trail, and she was NOT a fan of walking over bridges! She was slowly encouraged with my hand on her back reassuring her over many walking bridge trails, and she was carried over more than I convinced her to walk herself. (and she was 70lbs) She always trusted me to help her out so that we could continue our adventure. We all come up against things that terrify us on our journeys, even the journeys that bring us so much joy can bring up big fears. Having friends by our side that we trust to support us through the scary parts allows us to keep going. I was always happy to help her through what scared her, and It felt good to help her, just like it feels good for your friends to help you too. Don't be afraid to say that you are scared and ask for support. 

When you can swim, stop whatever you are doing and swim. 
A love of swimming is something that Maliika and I had in common, and we swam in countless bodies of water together. Maliika lived to swim...it was her most favorite thing, and it was hard to keep her out of the water if we were near it. There were so many times that the shore was muddy, the water was cold, I didn't want a wet dog in my car at that moment because I didn't bring a towel with, or whatever reasons I thought that she should skip her swimming opportunity for the day, but she would say screw it - I'm going in! Because she loved it. And in the end, the muddy wet dog in my car on the days when I didn't have a towel with was always worth it for the excitement & smile on her face. There are things in life that we love and that we don't indulge in enough because of reasons that aren't really very important when you think about it....what's a little mud in your car when it comes to moments of pure joy? Whatever you love as much as she did swimming - jump in! 

We communicate more deeply without words. 
Maliika communicated with me better than many people in my life. She communicated with me through energy, through the looks she gave me, through her body language, and through intuition. I'm sure I could hear exactly what she was saying sometimes, and sometimes just a look from her, or coming up to me and laying her head on me in a certain moment expressed a thousand words. We don't always need to know the right thing to say to people. Sometimes just holding loving energy with someone, looking into their eyes with your intention, or laying a hand on someone's back can speak more words than the English language ever could. 

I just realized that I may be writing a book here. The above flowed out of me without a lot of pre-thought and doesn't feel complete by any means, but I think I shared some of the more important things and am going to stop here. 

I hope that through my writing, my sweet girl has bestowed some wisdom in your life as well. 

Squeeze your fur-babies tight if you have them. They are here to love us and teach us for such a short time, and we are so blessed to have them around. 

Wishing you a beautiful week, 


Shelly

Sure Fire Way To Have A Good Day!

Sure Fire Way To Have A Good Day!

How do you start your day?  I'm talking about the first moments you wake up....what do you do? 

How you start your day off is super important! Why? Because your sleep at night is like hitting a reset button. The energy of whatever happened the day before has dissipated, you've given your body some rest, every single morning that you wake is like a fresh start, and how you start your day sets the tone for your day. 

Yes, the first things you do, think, and consume in the morning set the tone for your day! 

I know a lot of people that spend the first moments of their day picking up their phone & checking email, facebook, or Instagram.
I know people that groggily hit snooze multiple times wishing they did not have to get up.
I know people that wait until the very last minute to get up leaving just enough time to throw on clothes, brush their teeth and hurry out the door. 
(ahem....I've been one of those people, and I admit, on occasion, I still am)

If you could spend as little as 10-15 minutes once a day that you know would affect your WHOLE day in a hugely positive way, wouldn't you want to make the 10-15 minutes a priority? And if it felt really good, you are likely to extend that time! 

Most things we do throughout our day are habits. Habits really aren't as hard to create as we sometimes give them credit for. The secret to creating new habits with ease and making them stick is starting small. If you can start by spending just the first 5 minutes of your day doing something that sets a positive vibe for your day, you are going to feel it. It's going to make a difference in how you feel throughout your day, and you are likely to stick with it and increase that 5 minutes to more.

So, if you don't already have a morning routine that sets you off on the right foot, here are some suggestions: 

Meditate. If you are not a meditator, know that this is not a complicated thing. There are many forms of meditation, and it really can be just simply sitting quietly with yourself. You can download a guided meditation app or find a morning meditation on Youtube. You can sit silently and envision your day going perfectly. You can even just lay in bed for 10 minutes and envision this. 

Listen to something inspirational. Maybe you have an inspirational person that really speaks to you, and they have a whole lot of videos online. Put one on as you are waking and listen as you are getting ready for your day. 

Put some music on that makes you happy! Music is soul therapy! I often have the alarm set on my phone to a James Brown song so that I wake up to James singing "AHHH I FEEL GOOD!". 

Exercise or stretch. This can be simply moving to the floor right next to your bed and stretching your body after it's been still for a period of time. It can be as little as 10-15 minutes of exercise. 

Get outside. Having a dog, one of the first things I do when I wake is let her outside, and I often step out with her. There's something about connecting with fresh air, trees, and hearing the birds sing first thing in the morning. Taking a few minutes to stroll around outside, take some deep breathes, and just take in the nature around you can set an amazing tone for the day. 

Read something inspirational. Have a book going that inspires you! Take a little time when you wake to read a chapter. 

Don't look at your phone right away. Here's my thought on this. When we pick up our phone first thing and open our email, messages, or facebook - it's like taking a gamble. We are giving up the power of setting our OWN tone for the day to email & social media. What if the first thing you see is something that is sad or upsetting to you? Is that the fresh start to your day that you want? Make the choice of what your mind consumes first thing. Don't give that power to your smartphone and the web. There's likely nothing that can't wait a 1/2 hour. Get your morning vibe set first!  My iphone now has a "downtime" setting so that I can set times that I'm blocked from screentime. This could be a good way to limit yourself as you are developing a new habit. 

Nourish your physical self. When you wake, drink a tall glass of water. Make breakfast be a way of setting the tone for how you want to eat for the day. If you have something sweet first thing, you are likely to crave more sweets throughout the day. If you focus on something healthy, you are likely to follow that track for the day. (also have much better energy if you start your day off right here)

If you use an alarm to wake, try to adjust your sleep schedule to go without. If you are a snooze alarm fan, work to eliminate that habit. We sleep in cycles. When we wake naturally on our own time, we are waking out of a natural sleep cycle. When you wake to an alarm, you could be startling yourself out of REM sleep....and you are bound to wake up in more of a haze. If you are a snoozer, then you know that it can be kind of agony continually hitting the snooze, falling back asleep and being woken several times. Maybe this means 'setting a screen time curfew' for yourself so you get yourself to sleep earlier. (this is exactly what I've been working on lately, and I can't tell you what a difference it makes to not wake to an alarm most mornings!) If you get yourself to sleep earlier, naturally you wake earlier. 

Please - don't make watching or listening to the news the first thing you do in the morning. I can't think of much else that could set a shittier tone for your day than digesting the problems of the world first thing. Set your own mood first. 

Little changes can make a big difference. When you feel that difference, you are encouraged to stick with it, and add more!

What does your morning routine look like? Are you starting your day off in a way that serves you? 
If you are, maybe there is someway you can build on that? 
If you are not, where would you like to start? 

I'd love to know what your morning routines are! Or if you are making changes, what are they? 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of nourishing rest and bright happy mornings! 

Shelly

 "If Struggling Were The Way To Get There, We'd All Be There By Now"

"If Struggling Were The Way To Get There, We'd All Be There By Now"

"If Struggling Were The Way To Get There, We'd All Be There By Now"


The quote above is from a book I read last year called 'The Trance of Scarcity'  by Victoria Castle. 

This book was hugely impactful for me, and this quote, well....this quote is a powerful one. 

What came to mind for you personally when you read the quote above?
What area of your life have you been struggling in trying to get somewhere and it feels like instead, you are just treading water? .....and you are tired. 

Most of us grew up with the message that you had to work hard and struggle to make it in this world. 

"if there is no struggle, there is no progress"
"Life wasn't meant to be easy" 
"Relationships are hard" 
"No pain, no gain" 
"Nothing in life is free" 


Any of the above sound familiar? 

Is there something that you have struggled with for years?
A part of your life that you always feel like you are straining in?
Has the struggle and the straining helped?
Has working your fingers to the bone in this area gotten you to where you want to be? 

If it hasn't, perhaps it's time to try approaching things differently? 

Where can you soften? 
Where can you loosen your grip?
Where can you LET GO of the struggle and simply allow some ease? 

What does it look like to let go of the struggle and allow ease?
Can you even imagine what that looks & feels like? 

Do you believe that it's possible to get to where you want to be without a struggle?
Is it possible that the journey that feels like a struggle could actually even feel fun & expanding in some way?

I'm not saying here that life should feel like easy street all of the time. We are human, and some things we struggle through. What I am saying is that so many of us are used to being in a state of struggle and have been told our whole lives the lie of 'no pain, no gain' and we have been convinced that things need to feel hard. We've been convinced that struggling through life somehow makes us more worthy and that it's the path to righteousness. The struggle is the way to the things that we want. We NEED to struggle through it. 

I know this because this is much of what I've learned in my life too. I struggle with the struggle myself!  
AND.....I have learned that the struggle is very often not necessary. It's very often something that we unconsciously choose because it's what we are used to. I've learned that often times when I let go of my grip, let go of the struggle, that what I need or want is able to flow into my life with ease. 

What a beautiful thing to experience! 

What if instead of focusing on struggling, we focused on having fun while doing the things we do? 
What if instead, we focused on taking care of ourselves and what's most important to US first? 
What if instead, we focused on allowing things to unfold rather than trying to control everything? 
What if instead, we spent our energy on envisioning what we want in life arriving to us with ease?

No, life is not always easy. There is sometimes a struggle. There is sometimes pain. Sometimes growth hurts a bit. This is all true, BUT - there are many places in our life where we are choosing to struggle when we don't need to. Places, where we can let go of control.
Place where we can stop working so hard and catch our breath. 
Places, where we can let go of the struggle that we have been choosing, and choose a different perspective. 
Places in life where we can choose to allow more ease in. 

My challenge to you this week is this.....

Ask yourself where in your life you are tired of feeling the struggle?
How can you loosen your grip on the struggle? 
How can you let go a bit, and allow some ease? 
How can you adopt a more gentle perspective? 
How can you envision what you want coming to you with ease rather than through struggle? 
What does that look like? What does it feel like?

Journal on this. Act on this. Envision what you want flowing in for you. 

Wishing you the most beautiful week full of ease!


Shelly

What Is The Brave Action?

What Is The Brave Action?

I have a personal inquiry question for you to work with today!

I felt drawn to pulling & sharing a card with you today. This is the card I drew card from my favorite deck of Inquiry cards. I love love love this deck! It feels magical somehow -  always offering the perfect personal inquiry question for the day. I often pull a card to work with for the day. I'll pull a card when I feel struggle around something. I'll pull a card when I'm trying to make a decision. And this deck of cards comes with me to many workshops and groups that I host. 

The card I pulled this morning asks: 

"What Is The Brave Action?"  

Take a moment to gaze at the picture above, allow the question to roll through your mind a few times, and then just listen. Do not overthink. Just open up to your answer. 

What comes up for you?

The beauty of these cards is they remind us that we do have our own answers inside of us. Always. You just need to be able to quiet your mind a bit, put yourself in a receiving mode, and listen. 

So, what comes to mind for you when you ask yourself this question? 

Is there something that you are avoiding in your life? That you are not taking action on? 

Maybe something that you fear failing at? Or something that you would rather not face? 

Something that you feel intimidated by, so you think it feels more comfortable to just ignore it? 

Or maybe there is something that you are handling in your life in a way that does not feel brave - you are taking the easy way out - and not facing that fact? 

Whatever comes to you is perfect - again, let's not overthink! 

NOW.....What IS the Brave Action for you to take? 

What is the ACTION that you feel a bit intimidated by? The one you fear failing at? The one that you feel vulnerable around? 

What is the ACTION that you know could benefit you in the end, but that you have been avoiding for one reason or another? 

NOW.....What do you need to do to take that action? 

Are there steps you need to take? If so, what step can you take today? 

Do you need support in taking this action?  Who can you ask for help? 

Ask yourself - what happens if you DON'T take this action? What will you miss out on, or lose? 

What could you gain from taking this brave action? 

REMEMBER - At the end of life, people generally regret the things they have not done rather than the things that they have. 

You are braver than you think. 

What is the brave action that you will take?


Wishing you a brave week full of action that helps to move you forward to your ideal life, 

Real Acts Of Self Love

Real Acts Of Self Love

It's Valentine's Day tomorrow - a day that we celebrate love. I personally like to think of Valentine's as every day, but this is the day that society honors, so let's talk about love..... self-love. 

There's a ridiculous amount of info out there on learning to love yourself - so much that it can be overwhelming. In my coaching work, I'm a huge fan of action steps. We can read about something, and discuss it until we are blue in the face, but until we apply some action to it, not a whole lot seems to change right? 

I want to share some real acts of self-love that you can work on putting into action....and it's not ALL bubble baths & spa days. 

Here we go! 

1) Yes, bubble baths, spa days, lazy afternoons reading on the couch, taking yourself out on dates are all wonderful acts of self-love. Giving yourself the breaks you need when you need them (or better yet, before you feel like you NEED them) is a really really important part of self-love. Shower yourself with things that nourish you! Know what those things are. Schedule them on your calendar just as you would any other important thing in your life. Allow yourself pampering!

2) Create a habit of positive self-talk. How we talk to ourselves and about ourselves makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, and we tend to be way too hard on ourselves. This habit takes practice. Do whatever you can to remind yourself - sticky notes, daily journaling - anything to keep this at the forefront of your mind. Tell the people closest to you that you are working on this and give them permission to call you out when they hear you putting yourself down. When the inner-bitch pipes up with something to say, engage the inner cheerleader and correct her with loving, positive, encouraging self-talk. Talk to yourself like anyone else you love. Keep practicing this! 

3) Create a life that you don't want to run away from. Yes, spa days & get-aways are amazing, but creating a life that we don't feel like we NEED to run away from on the weekend is key! What does this mean? Work on your list of things you have been procrastinating. Let go of toxic people that drain you. Make lifestyle decisions that eliminate stress. Develop habits that help you to cope with stress. Take charge of your finances. Practice forgiveness & letting go of grudges. Work to simplify your things and your life. Declutter your home & create calming spaces for you to spend your time. Take steps to manage your time well & let go of things that feel like too much for you. 

4) Physically take care of yourself. Create a bedtime routine so that you get yourself to bed and get enough sleep nightly. Create an exercise routine so that you feel physically strong & energetic. Create a meal prep routine so that you are nourishing yourself well even when you don't have time to cook every day. Make the appointments you need to make. Get the massages. Do the things. 

5) Do the work to value yourself & know your worth. Make a list of your best qualities -the things that you love about yourself & the things that those around you love & appreciate. Allow this list to grow! Stop comparing yourself to others (this might mean less time on social media?). Stop saying yes to people and things that you want to say no to so that you can spend your time & energy on what's important to you! KNOW that whatever is a priority for you is worth your time and energy. 

6) Do the work to continually grow. Feeling stagnant sucks. What are the things that you want to learn? The things that interest you? Take the classes, go to the workshops, read the books, join the groups, hire the coach, see the therapist, volunteer, explore & expand life for yourself in whatever ways you feel called to! 

Putting the above into action looks very different for everyone. I'd encourage you to read the above again, and now ask yourself if you were to work on just ONE of these things, which would make the biggest difference for you? How exactly can you put this into action? Make that action your valentines gift to yourself. You deserve it. 

Happy Heart Day!

Shelly

When Is The Best Time To Initiate Some Change?

When Is The Best Time To Initiate Some Change?

January 1st I start going to the gym 3 times a week!
January 1st I'm going to start meal prepping & eating healthier!
January 1st I'm going to start journaling every day to get more in touch with myself!
January 1st.....January 1st......January 1st....January 1st......

Sound familiar? 

While the start of a new year does lend some great energy towards feeling like it's a fresh start and a good time to start implementing some change, I think that there can be TOO much hype around it. The image above I saw online tends to be a common attitude shared as we inch our way into the new year, and lose steam on our intended ambitions. Honestly, January 1st isn't always the best time to implement big changes, as many people are exhausted from the busy holiday season, feeling physically crappy from eating too much sugar and drinking too much champagne, and yet....that date. There's so much pressure on that date! 

So when is the best time to initiate some change? 

RIGHT FREAKING NOW!


ANYTIME Is a good time to initiate change in your life! 
Whenever you are feeling inspired to do so! 
Whenever you are feeling the need for it! 
Whenever you are clear on what it is you want to change & how you can change it! 

I wanted to send this message out today because lately, I've witnessed a lot of comments & memes online similar to the one pictured above. I've had numerous conversations with clients & others in my life around the topic, and I think that it's extremely LIMITING to put such a big focus on January 1st! 

What if we broadened the focus to the whole year? 
The start of each month is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each week is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each day is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each hour or minute is a great opportunity to initiate some change!

RIGHT NOW is a great time to initiate some change. 

So, if you found yourself in the boat of making new years resolutions that fell short sometime last month, or fell short of creating the new year resolutions that you wanted to because you were more focused on the holiday season that you just didn't come up with them....I just want you to know that it's not too late.

Your January 1st can be any day that you choose it to be. It's entirely up to you! 

So, how was your January? Did you set intentions or resolutions & follow through? 
Do you need to readdress? Or address setting some intentions in the first place? 
Do you have clarity on what you really want to change or create? 
Equally as important, do you know exactly HOW to create these changes for yourself in a way that will work for you & your lifestyle? 

I'm SO curious and would LOVE to know your thoughts & experiences on this! 

Wishing you a fabulous & inspired rest of your week! 

Shelly

Even Van Gogh Was A Fan Of Baby Steps!

Even Van Gogh Was A Fan Of Baby Steps!

I came across the Van Gogh quote above recently, and it struck me. 

I work with clients to want to create big change in their life. Whether it's in their health & how they eat, in their social life, their career life, starting over in some way, or working to find balance, happiness, & fulfillment in all the areas of their life. 

It can feel easy to impulsively want to change everything up overnight - Start a new diet, quit your job, or dive right into whatever you want to change. 

While I admire the ambition and energy behind these acts - how often are they sustainable? How often have you started a new diet one fresh morning, and then continued eating healthy the rest of your live long days?!?! How often have you committed to working out 6 days a week starting tomorrow and had it stick? Decided you would keep a clean & organized house from here on out and it magically happened? Decided you're going to act in a self-loving way from now on, and it worked?

Desiring to do things in a different way that increases the quality of your life is a good thing! However, impulsively trying to make these things happen overnight generally is not sustainable. It doesn't stick, and then you once again you find yourself feeling like you've failed and end up having less trust in yourself in the next attempt. It can be a cycle that's not fun to partake in.....even though it starts with the best of intentions. 

This is why I'm a BIG fan of BABY steps towards creating the change you want.

Taking some time to really get clear on what you want to change or create and why is important to you is the first step. 

Choosing to act on the areas of your life that will make the biggest positive difference for you is essential. 

Once you know what you want to change or create, getting clear on the action steps is next. What are the actions you need to take to get there? 

If these steps feel too big, break them down into smaller steps. (baby steps) THEN START! 

Work on the small things - one at a time, every single day.

When you reach milestones, add more.
When you develop a new habit that becomes natural, add another one to work on. 

Rome was not built in a day.
Van Gogh did not create his masterpieces with just a few strokes of the paintbrush.
If you want to REALLY create change in your life in a way that is sustainable and you can carry with you throughout your life, taking one achievable step at a time, and REALLY getting it, learning from it, developing the habit, and then moving on to what is next is key!

This requires patience.
It requires dedication.
It requires wanting what you want, and knowing that you are worth it! 

Having support can be a great help in this process as well. If you find yourself feeling like you are running on a wheel, going through the same motions day after day, and your soul is screaming for you to jump out & start doing things differently, I'm here to help! I love drilling down to what's most important for my clients, and witnessing the change produced slowly and surely as they recreate themselves in a way that sticks! 

Wishing you an inspired week! 

10 ways to increase your energy!

10 ways to increase your energy!

In the depths of winter, it can feel harder to keep our energy levels up. It's dark early, it's cold outside, we might be eating heavier food, and not getting as much exercise, or sun.....

I thought I'd share some solid tips with you this week on keeping your energy levels high! And no, I'm not talking about upping your coffee intake!

There are a lot of simple lifestyle adjustments that can make a world of difference in how we feel and how much energy we have to tackle all we want to in our days! 

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy! 

1) Eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake. I know, I know - not what you wanted to hear. Understand that caffeine addiction is a cycle that keeps you hooked, it can make you crash harder than it picks you up, can cause dehydration, as well as mood swings. Allow your body a break where it's not dependent, and see how you can naturally maintain steady energy. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, try a more gentle version of caffeine, like green tea.

2) Drink more water! Most people are chronically dehydrated. Before you reach for caffeine, sugar, or snacks for energy, drink a big glass of water & wait a bit to see how you feel. And remember that caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you! 

3 )Eat (or drink) your greens! Dark leafy greens are chock-full of vital energy, full of vitamins & nutrients and great for improving circulation & uplifting your spirit & energy levels!

4) Use gentle sweets. If you have a sugar problem (ok, addiction), work on getting your sweet fix in more gentle ways with natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, & brown rice syrup. Eat more sweet root vegetables like roasted yams & carrots. Avoid the sugar crashes and all of the other negative health effects that processed sugar can have on your body

5) Get physical activity. If you regularly get exercise, winter can be a time when you tend to slack off. Pick it up a notch in these months to boost our energy! If you are not in the habit of working out, start small. Even 10 minutes a day, and work your way up! Moving your body is sure to pick your energy up. it can be hard to get yourself motivated when you don't have energy, but push through, knowing it's worth it! 

6) Get more sleep & rest. Know your body, and know how much sleep you need. If you are someone that needs 8 hours a night to really function well, figure out how to make that work. Maybe it means cutting a tv show out of your evening or making some other minor adjustment to your routine. Take time to rest & relax. Take cat naps, & set aside time for really relaxing. When you don't get enough rest & sleep, your body tends to look for energy in other places, and you'll be craving more food than you need as well as sugar and caffeine which can perpetuate the cycle.

7) Evaluate the amount of heavy, rich foods you eat. If you are eating a lot of meat, dairy, carbs, etc, play with your diet, and track how your energy is when you eat less heavy foods & more greens & vegetables. You'll notice a difference!

8) Make time to connect in the ways that fill you. Whether its a walk in the woods, meditation, creating art, dancing, or going to church. How do you connect to what's bigger than you? Make the time for it. It's important and lends a type of energy to us that we can't get anywhere else. 

9) Make time for yourself! What are the things that really light you up? The things that energize & excite you? Make time for them. Schedule them into your calendar! Make them a priority!

10) Let go of draining relationships. Yes, the one that popped into your mind when you read the first sentence. See if you can transform the relationships through communicating or setting boundaries, and if you can not, let go. You have much to do in the world, and your energy is precious! Don't allow someone else to drain it and deprive the world of your wonderfulness! 

There are 10 suggestions here. Which ones resonated with you the most? Which ones do you think would make the most difference for you?  Pick one or two to work on over the next week or so, and see what changes for you! 

Wishing you a fun & energetic rest of your week! 

Shelly

Want More Time Freedom?

Want More Time Freedom?

The above picture I took this past week at Woodard Bay, a favorite little local hike that I take regularly. I arrived at the water just as the sun was beginning to burn the fog away. I sat in awe of this beauty for quite a while. 

THESE are the things that I want time for in life. I wanted the time to linger in the moment that day, and I was able to. When I focus on being efficient in the daily "to-do's" I have much more time for these moments. If you read my newsletter last week, you know that this year I am working on developing a healthier relationship with time.

Today I want to share a favorite tool that can work wonders when it comes to being more efficient at work and the daily tasks in life so that you can create more time freedom for yourself to do the things that really bring joy for you!

Have you heard of Parkinson's Law? Wikipedia defines Parkinson's Law as:
 "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"


What this means is that we take as much time is allowed to finish tasks. If we begin something with no end time in mind, it can take a hell of a lot longer to complete than if we do give ourselves an allotted time to complete. 

How can this be helpful? Well, take this blog post for instance. I could have sat down at my computer and spent a lot of time writing this post, picking out & plugging in the picture, proofing it, and posting it.. I like to write, so if I allowed myself, this could have taken me all afternoon. However, If I give myself a set time to complete it start to finish, I can do it, no problem. 

Giving yourself a specific set amount of time to finish things, keeps you on track with finishing tasks in a certain amount of time, allowing you more of your day to do other things! Time freedom! 

When I was in my early 20's and living in Minneapolis with a great roommate, we had this routine when it came time to clean the house. At that point in my life, we were much more concerned about having time to throw parties and going to see all the live music we could, that the house would reach the point where we could no longer ignore the dishes, and the messes, and how gross the neglected bathroom was becoming. We would wake up on a Saturday, fuel with some breakfast & coffee, and then we would give ourselves a certain amount of time to clean the house....an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours -  depending on how badly we let it get out of hand. We would crank some good fast music on the stereo, and start cleansing at opposite ends of the house working our way in. We would dance & clean furiously until the time was up. Was everything done perfectly in that time period? Nope. But it was done, it was fun doing it, and we now had the rest of our Saturday to do whatever we pleased. I had no idea how smart I was then! lol! 

There are so many things in life that we can apply this to, household tasks, work, errands, exercise, big projects & little projects. The more I use this tool, the easier it gets, the better I am at applying a correct amount of time, and the more time freedom I seem to have. 

This tool can also help people who tend to lean toward perfectionism. Do you want things perfect, or do you want them done? Trying to make things perfect can lead to spending way too much unnecessary time on projects that could instead be done so that you can get onto the things in life that are more important to you! 

Where in your life can you put this to use? How much more time freedom can you create for yourself by using utilizing this? 

 Let me know how it goes! 

Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week! 

My 2019 Focus

My 2019 Focus

Did you set some strong intentions for 2019?
Some goals? Aspirations?
A word of the year? A theme? 

I thought I would share with you a main focus of mine this year. We can learn a lot from each other.  I hope that by explaining my focus of the year for you here, that you will garner some nuggets of wisdom that will help you too! 

I usually love going out and celebrating on New Year's Eve, and this year, for a few reasons, I felt drawn to staying in that evening and doing the work of really setting my intentions for the new year. I had been brainstorming them for a while, and that evening I spent time writing them all down and plugging the appropriate actions into my planner. It felt really good. Somehow a bit more magical doing these, finishing up, and meditating around them as the clock brought us into 2019. 

I gave up on 'resolutions' years ago, but every year I DO set intentions, some goals, & focuses for the year, and every year I pick either a word or a phrase for the year. This year, I wanted the focus to be around building a healthier relationship with time. So, the phrase I chose for 2019 is "Making Time My Friend".

Why did I choose this? Well, I'm naturally kind of a busy-body. I have tendencies around making myself too busy & feeling too busy which makes it hard to really be in the moment, as well as hard to feel like I have enough time for the many things I enjoy and am not fitting into my days. Days & weeks seem to fly by sometimes.

I want to be able to slow down time a bit. 
I want to be able to be more present, rather than concerned about the next 5 things I'm doing. 
I want to be able to remain busy and active with the things I love in my life, while not feeling overwhelmed about them - truly enjoying them, and feeling like I have all the time in the world for them.
I want to feel good about the balance of how I spend my time at work, socially, alone, with hobbies, rest, etc. 

I'm ready to shift the scarcity mindset that I often indulge in around time to a full-time abundance mindset! 

So...this year, I am focusing on creating a healthier relationship with time. 

HOW? (Here's the juicy part that I'm guessing you can get some great benefit from!)


  • Here's the big one: Changing the language I use around time. Switching any scarcity language I am using to a language of abundance. How we talk about things, deeply affects how we feel about things. I'll stop myself from talking about being too busy. Rather than saying I don't have time for something, I'll say it's just not a priority right now. That's real. When people ask how I am, I will refrain from responding with "busy!". If I adopt more abundant time language, it will affect how I feel about my time. 

  • I will work to be more mindful and present in moments of my days, rather than rushing through some tasks and days. I'll work on this by deepening my meditation practice and setting the intention to do so daily. 

  • I will keep variety in the days of my life! Little things like taking a different route to the office, or stopping at a store I've been wanting to check out on the way home will help the days feel more memorable, and having more memorable days feels like I DO have more time to do the things that I enjoy in life. 

  • I will focus on getting the things done that are most important to me early in the day, ensuring that my priorities are taken care of so that I don't feel like I'm running out of time at the end of the day, and I'll feel more accomplished. 

  • I am making adjustments to my schedule to better suit my needs. 

  • I am planning appointments & sessions in a way caters to an efficient schedule for me, rather than automatically catering to what works better for others. 

  • I'm getting more organized with lists, and errands so that I'll do less running around. 

  • I'll leave more 'free time' in my schedule that is a specific time for me to do whatever I feel like doing.....leading to feeling more time freedom. 

  • I will let go of perfectionism when I'm leaning in that direction and allow myself to finish things in a timely manner, rather than spending too much time on wanting them to be perfect. 

  • I'll work in more focused blocks of time, eliminating distractions. This will lead to more things done in a shorter period of time, which will lead to more free time to do as I choose. 

  • I will start blocking out more time on my calendar for the things I feel like I haven't had time for. This is a way to make them a priority and reserve the time for them. (Ie: I just planned a short trip in March)

  • Whenever I find myself in a scarcity mindset around time, I'll use my mantra "time is my friend" and I'll take some time to meditate because taking time to meditate increases the amount of time I feel I have....every time. 

Any nuggets of wisdom in there for you? I sure hope so. This is something that I have been working on for a while, and I felt like it deserved a strong focus this year!

What are YOUR new year intentions? I'd love to hear from you!

Shelly

A New Years Gift From Me To You!   💜💙💚

A New Years Gift From Me To You! 💜💙💚

Happy New Year!

Now that the holiday festivities have simmered down.....have you taken time to really honor the last year of your life, and clearly set intentions for the new year? 

I have a gift for you today to help you in doing just that! 

Honoring the last year of your life is important. Why? Because we often don't give ourselves credit for all we have accomplished, and sometimes it doesn't even feel like we have accomplished much in the last year unless we really check in with ourselves and review. It can be easy to have the hard times and the things that we didn't follow through with in the forefront of our mind, rather than celebrating all of the goodness! All that we have accomplished.

All that we are grateful for.

All that we have learned.

All the fun we've had.

Taking this time is energizing and helps to keep us motivated in moving forward!

Clearly setting intentions for the new year is important too. Why? Because setting weak, unclear intentions for the new year generally never sticks. Taking some time to really dive into what you want to change, shift, or accomplish and writing these things down in detail along with a plan will help you to keep on track! 

Now, back to the gift that I've created for you! Simply click on the link below to download your New Year 2019 Review and Manifesto! This journaling worksheet I've created will guide you through a thoughtful review of your last year, as well as setting your clear intentions for 2019 in a way that you will actually follow through! 

Here it is: 2019 REVIEW & MANIFESTO

Simply download this PDF, print it out, curl up with something delicious to sip on, and give yourself an hour to work on it. This is some magical time to gift to yourself! 

Wishing you a beautiful new year, abundant in all that makes your heart sing! 

Shelly

PS - Feeling like you could succeed in manifesting all you want in 2019 with some support, rather than going it alone? Drop me a line and schedule a complimentary session with me. You'll likely gain a lot of clarity, and it's your chance to decide if continuing some work with me might be a great fit for you!

One more thing - if you are a woman local to the Olympia area, check out this Group Coaching Experience coming up soon, as well as the New Year New You Day long workshop being offered in a few weeks!

I'm Sharing a Powerful Personal Story With You Today......

I'm Sharing a Powerful Personal Story With You Today......

I want to share a powerful personal story with you today. 

The first time I worked with a life coach, I was in a place in my life where I felt totally stuck in a hamster wheel. I had a decent job I was great at, a cozy home, hobbies, friends, a garden.....all kinds of things that I was grateful for. However....I was restless as all get out. I felt like I was being called for more. I didn't know what. I just knew that I ached for something different...something more.  I knew that I needed to focus on myself & what my dreams were. I was tired of just going through the motions and running in the same wheel. 

After 6 months of working with a great coach, I had grown personally in big ways. I had started living my life differently, and while I can't say I knew exactly what my path was, I knew for sure is that I was very much ready for some really big change, a big break in my norm, and I had mustered up the courage to do something drastic. 

A few months later. I was giving away most of my possessions, and packing up what I was keeping into a mini RV I had purchased. At the start of 2012, I hit the road in my beloved RV (named Tortuga), with best friend (my dog Maliika), and everything I needed to hustle a small side business of making and selling handcrafted jewelry. I gave myself 2 years to live more on a whim than I ever had, to grow, to travel, to experience life outside of the wheel I had been running in, and I had the faith that my little jewelry business would provide what I needed for the time being. Hitting the road like this is something I always wanted to do in my 20's and never had the courage to! My late 30's would have to do.

I traveled. I worked hard vending my jewelry at art festivals and markets. I played hard. I spent quiet time in the forests and deserts of the west. I spent quality time with people that I love all over the country. I learned to slow down. And the biggest lesson of all....I learned to have faith that the universe always has my back so long as I was following my heart.  I grew personally in ways that I could not have otherwise. 

When I was approaching 2 years, I knew it was time to figure out what was next. Spending this time living so differently, really allowed me a fresh perspective and more clarity than I'd had when I was back running in my familiar wheel. I heard a loud intuitive whisper that told me I needed to follow the path of becoming a coach myself. I always knew that I was meant to return to working with people in a meaningful way, and now I felt clear on how. 

Fast forward 2 more years, and I had completed my Transformational Life Coaching Certification, as well as my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification, and I launched my business! 

Since then, the people I have worked with as clients have amazed me....over and over again.
They amaze me with their courage and vulnerability, their tenacity and commitment, their willingness to be open to the process, and dive into the life-changing personal work that they have been craving. 
And mostly, they amaze me as I get to witness them reinvent themselves and create a life that they are so much healthier & happier in. 

Nothing in this world fills my heart more than the work I do with my clients. Really...nothing. 

THIS is why I do what I do.

I do this work.....
Because it fills me up.
Because I know that I was meant to hold the container for people to do their work. 
Because I know that having the support of a coach is a life-changing thing myself. 
Because I know that the clients I work with transform their lives to a much more fulfilling version.
Because I love to dive deep with my clients. 
Because I love to hold my clients up on their journey.
Because I love to provide my clients with the tools and support they need to succeed in creating a life that feels really freaking good for them. 
Because nothing makes me happier than being witness to beautiful, whole-hearted, human transformation. 

We don't have to do this life thing alone. In fact, we weren't meant to. 

Most of us are lucky enough to have the support of friends and family, and having the support of a life coach is a different thing. It's about having a relationship with someone in your life whose sole purpose is to hold you up, to hold your vision and your dream with you, to explore what you really want with you, to navigate the path with you, and to stand by your side as you achieve it. It's all about you, and let me tell you that it's powerful. 

If you are ready to have a personally powerful year, It would be my honor to support you in doing so. 
If you have that itch for something more, I'm here for you. 

Blessings, 

Shelly

What's Your Word Of The Year For 2019?

What's Your Word Of The Year For 2019?

2019 is RIGHT around the corner! 

This brings to mind lots of things...a fresh start, new years resolutions, new goals, new plans, new intentions. 

One thing I've loved doing over the last number of years is picking a word of the year!
(Okay, some years it has been a phrase! This year it was "what lights me up?")

Picking one word for the year can bring clarity and focus to what it is that you want to create in your life!

How to pick a word? Take a little time to reflect: 

What would you most like to set intentions or goals around in the new year? 
What word encompasses the kind of year that you wish to have?
What is one word that could act as a guidepost for what you want?
How would you like to grow? 
What would you like to improve? 
What could you focus on that would positively affect all the areas of your life? 

I invite you to take some time to really envision what you would like to bring into your life in the new year. 
What's a word that encompasses this for you? 

Here are some suggestions for you: 

  • Abundance

  • Patience

  • Gratitude

  • Empower

  • Fun

  • Mindfulness

  • Determination

  • Growth

  • Compassion

  • Communication

  • Ease

  • Purify

  • Simplify

  • Strength

  • Confidence

  • Worthiness

  • Self-Love

  • Connection

  • Spirituality

  • Success

Once you pick your word, there are a few things that you can do to help you follow through with carrying the power of this word throughout the year: 

1) Write about it. Why did you choose that word? What does it mean for you? What will focusing on this word bring for you? How exactly can you implement focusing on this word during the year? (example: if your word is gratitude, one action step could be keeping a gratitude journal or writing daily gratitude on social media.)

2) Speak it out! Tell your close friends & family about the word of the year that you picked and why it's important to you. They can help hold you accountable in keeping your focus with it throughout the year! 

3) Place reminders in places that you will see them. Get out some markers & doodle or print the word out and place them in places like on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, your planner, etc. You can change the background on your phone screen or computer screen. Just be sure that you have some reminders to help hold your intention. 

I'm still working on picking my word for 2019, but I can tell you that I'm feeling extra good about the turn of the year for some reason...anyone else? I'll surely let you know when I pick mine :)

I would love to hear what word you have picked and why! 

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season and a happy new year! 

Shelly

The ULTIMATE Holiday Gift!

The ULTIMATE Holiday Gift!

Are you feeling the extra-busyness of the season? 
Are you spending time finding just the right gifts for the people in your life?
Have a calendar full of extra events, shopping, parties, and get-togethers?

I wanted to take the opportunity today to send out a simple reminder.
We all know this, and it's something that I think is good to be reminded of this time of year.....

What is the ULTIMATE holiday gift?

The gift of your PRESENCE rather than your presents. 


Remember to be as present as possible in this busy season!

This month can go by in a blur if you allow it to...OR it can be a great time to really enjoy yourself, enjoy your family, enjoy your friends, enjoy all of the people around you and the spirit that this season can bring! I'm not talking about the hectic-paced, stress-inducing, shopping and junk food-focused spirit of the season...I'm talking about the quality time together, celebratory, pretty lights, tradition-filled, gifting spirit of the season! 

When you focus on being really present in the moments of this season, you'll find that it is an enormous gift to yourself, as well as everyone around you. 

Life almost always seems to be busy for most of us, so as we make extra time to gather together, breathe deeply, and bring yourself into the present moment as much as possible, really enjoying this quality time. 

Let go of trying to find the perfect gift for people, and focus on being fully PRESENT as the best gift of all. 

Some tips to help your efforts:  

1) Before entering a store, a holiday get-together, or having people over, take a moment to set a strong intention of being as present as you can. Just taking a few moments to set this intention quietly with yourself (or as a family!) can go a long way. 

2) To bring yourself fully present at any moment, take a few deep breaths. Focus on following that breathe as you deeply inhale and slowly exhale. Just this can do wonders. Want to get really present? Take another moment to bring your attention to each of your 5 senses, 1 at a time. Your sense of touch, taste, smell, hearing, & vision. How do the clothes feel on your skin? What can you taste? What do you smell? What can you hear? What can you see?
You can do this in just a minute or two and totally shift your level of presence in the moment.

3) At get-togethers that you are hosting, with your family, or somewhere that you have some influence on speaking up about it, make an agreement to put phones and devices away! (at least for meals or  a portion of the day) You could even go so far as to have a basket out to have everyone put their phones in for part of the day? At a minimum, vow to keep yours put away so that you are present. People may take notice, and follow suit! The best teachers teach by example you know! 

4) At your get-togethers: Play games, cook and clean up as a team, tell stories! Start conversations that really create connection such as what was everyone's favorite part of 2018? What is everyone most grateful for in 2018? What is everyone's new year resolutions or goals?

5) LET GO of wanting things to be perfect. It's a busy season. There are bound to be things that don't go quite as planned:  Gift projects that don't get finished, your recipe not turning out how you wanted it to, inclement weather creating travel difficulties, a family drama that creates some level of uncomfortable-ness....I could go on. It's just life. This is not the season to strive for perfection. (no season is, but especially this one) when things happen, be like a duck is with water, and let it roll off your back. 

6) When you are out and about in your community, driving, running errands, shopping, and what not....make an effort to be present and grateful in the moments so that you are not spending your time sitting in the extra traffic feeling frustrated. When you are out shopping, slow down just a bit, and be present with the people around you. Think of how much sweetness you could bring to the day of your community retail workers by being patient, present and conversational? (these people work their ass off during the season and deal with a lot of people all day that aren't always pleasant.) 

Keeping a focus on this can dramatically shift how much you and those around you really enjoy the holidays. Being mindful and present is a habit and one that can catch on quickly with a little focus. 

Wishing you a beautiful, fun, and fulfilling holiday season! 

Shelly

cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

Cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life. 

There's a growing trend in the personal growth realm that I seem to be pondering a lot lately. The trend I speak of is what I call cookie cutter programs. Whether it's diet, personal growth, business growth, fitness, etc. 

You are a human - not a cookie. (News flash! lol!) We are not all the same. We have different body chemistry, different past experiences, different emotional states, different belief systems, different mental states, different operating systems....we are all originals, and we are operating from our own way of being. What works for one person might not work for you. One persons nourishing food could be another person's poison. One persons path to healing may not be the right path for the next. One persons method of organization and productivity might make the next feel scattered. One persons operating system may not be compatible for the next. 

If you are reading this, I'm guessing you are someone that is interested in personal growth, wellness, and continually growing as a person in life. As you peruse books, websites, & online programs how often do you take in very specific 'cookie cutter' systems or ways of doing things?

It's wonderful how much access we have to so many different theories, programs, & personal growth information! It's a huge blessing. I share a lot of this kind of info myself in newsletters & blog posts.

The message I want to get across today is that it still is up to you to figure out what works for YOU personally. Take in all the info. Read the diet plan. Take the course. Read the book... AND - know that exactly what has worked for one person may not work the same way for you. As you are on your own personal journey, allow all of this information to be filtered by you. Try things out. Retain the things that work for you, and let go of the things that don't. Tweak the program. Understand that finding your own way is the only way that will really truly serve you the best. 

As I work with private clients, I sometimes find myself working with someone that wants me to tell them what to do. They want me to give them the road map, when I I don't have the roadmap to their life. I only have the map to mine. What I do in my work with clients is help them to create their own map. That includes suggestions, support, tools, and guidance, but in the end, my clients need to discover what the best path is for them, and when they do - wow - it's beautiful to witness! 

When I facilitate workshops on various topics (handling stress, self care, clean eating, time management, etc) my aim is always to present a lot of ideas & tools. Not every idea or tool is going to resonate with every participant, and I know this. I also know that at the workshops end, each person leaves with at least a few things that really resonate with them, that may work for their life, that works with how they personally operate, and that they can go home and explore implementing to see how they work for them. THAT is what I'm going for!

I know that you are not made from a cookie cutter. I know that you are a unique human different from every other human on the planet. My goal is to always supply useful information, tips, tools, and food for thought. What you do with it, is up to you. Disregard what doesn't resonate or doesn't work for you & your life, and hold onto what does. The more you explore personal growth & wellness in this way, the more you really get to know yourself, and the more you grow & create the life that feels just right for you. No one else can tell you exactly how you 'should' be doing life accurately. You are in charge of that! So I encourage you to explore & have fun with finding your own way. THIS is truly personal growth. 

Design a life for yourself that you love to live, on your own terms. 

Be your own guru. 

With love, 

Shelly

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I choose to honor this day by focusing on the name: Thanks-Giving. 

Today I want to talk with you about having a gratitude practice, the benefits of it, and creating a practice that actually produces the best of those benefits for you! 

The benefits of gratitude can be huge. It can support you socially in creating deeper & healthier relationships.  It can improve your immune system, sleep, and overall health. It can decrease stress & worry.  It can be personally growth giving in ways like improving self esteem & becoming more of an optimist. It can improve your emotional state - creating a happier, more resilient way of being.  It can even improve how you operate in your career. 

Over all - practicing gratitude can effectively increase your joy! Your over all level of happiness rises, which obviously effects all areas of your life positively. 

I want to tell you a quick story. Some years ago I was going through a rough patch in life. It was suggested to me to start a gratitude journal and write in it daily as a means to help pick me up. So I did. Once or twice a day I wrote down at least 3 things I was grateful for. About 30 days into the practice, I realized that most days I was just going through the motions. I was getting it done, just to get it done. I would search for things i was grateful for to write down, but I wasn't really creating the space to feel them. I knew that just writing a list wasn't really working well for me, so I switched it up. I took time each day to sit in gratitude. I took moments to meditate on it and 'feel it' rather than write it. This worked for me - and I started feeling the positive effects much more than when I was writing a list. It boosted how I felt daily, and it helped me to keep a positive attitude through a trying time. 

Why do I share this story? 
Well - The title today is how to get the MOST out of your gratitude practice. While many articles will suggest a specific practice that they think works best, what I want to suggest to you today, is to find your own way. What works best for one person, may not be the best solution for the next. You are unique, and only you can know what will be most effective for you. Regularly practicing gratitude does have amazing effects for everyone, and I encourage you to find the way that is most effective for you! 

Below is a list of suggestions for bringing a practice of gratitude into your life. There are many different ways to explore. I encourage you to explore. Start with a way that you feel drawn to. Be self-aware as you explore & something isn't feeling effective for you, try something else. Personal growth is really about personal exploration. One person's recipe for happiness is different from the rest. Find your own! 

Suggestions in practicing gratitude: 

1) The most commonly recommended - Journal. Write several things daily that you are grateful for. If daily feels too routine, maybe a weekly journaling session feels better. Stumped on what to write about? focus on different areas of your life weekly. What are you grateful for in your relationships? Your health? Your career? Your social life? 

2) Express gratitude to others. This one is huge. Contact people that have had a positive impact on your life, and tell them how grateful you are for their part in your life. Call them. Write a letter. Have a visit. Send a card with a thoughtful gift. This can be one of the most powerful practices. 

3) Bookend your days with gratitude. Before you get out of bed in the morning, lay there and think of several things that you are grateful for, and do the same at night as you fall asleep. This starts and ends your day on a positive, grateful note. If you have kids, this could be a great thing to practice with them. If you have a partner, this could also be a wonderful thing to speak out to each other as you start & end your days. 

4) Take moments each day to "feel" gratitude rather than writing it or speaking it. It can be helpful to create a cue for yourself until you develop the habit. Perhaps a favorite rock in your pocket could be a gratitude rock. Whenever you feel it in your pocket, you are cued to take a moment to 'feel' grateful for whatever is happening in that moment. a piece of jewelry like a ring, bracelet, or pendant can work the same way. You'll be surprised how quickly you can create a habit from this practice that happens naturally. 

5) Discuss gratitude with a close friend or partner. Maybe you know someone that is also wanting to create a gratitude practice? Discussing what you are grateful for together can be really effective. Speaking things out can make them feel clear and really sink in. 

6) Create a "gratitude Jar". (This can be a fun project to do with kids as well). Decorate a jar or even a small box of some kind, and daily, weekly, or whenever you feel like it, write down things you are grateful for on little pieces of paper and add them to the jar. When you are feeling low, or like you need a boost, get out the gratitude jar and read them. 

7) Gratitude meditation. Make gratitude part of a daily meditation practice. Think of the things in life that make you feel comfortable & safe. Think of the people you love and send them love & gratitude in your practice. Think of the things that bring you joy. 

8) Take a gratitude walk. (this is a favorite of mine) Take a walk and dedicate the first 10-20 minutes to finding things to feel grateful for around you. Treat it like a walking meditation. Take in the beauty around you & find gratitude in the natural world. Find gratitude in the ability to move your body. The more you practice this, the more things will come to you. 

9) Make a gratitude collage. Feeling artistic? This can be a great exercise, creative outlet, and something that you can hang in a place in your home that you will see often. Maybe it hangs next to your bed, where it's the first thing you see everyday. 

10) Watch this video and take a cue from this girl. OMG - this is hands down one of my very favorite viral online videos of all time. THIS little human has her gratitude practice mastered. Take one minute to watch this - I promise of will put a smile on your face! 

Do you have other practices that help you to foster a feeling of gratitude? What works well for you? I'd love to hear from you. 

Wishing you a beautiful day of Thanks-Giving with your loved ones!
Thank YOU for reading and being a part of my journey :) 

Shelly

turning what's broken into something valuable

turning what's broken into something valuable

Let's reevaluate 'broken' today huh? Perspective can be everything.
Let's explore a different perspective than we usually take on things that feel 'broken' in life. 

I had session recently with a client where they referred to something in their life as 'broken'. 

When I heard these words, I Instantly saw the image above in my mind. The image above is the Japanese art of Kintsugi, and I think that it's an amazing metaphor to work with when it comes to things that feel broken in life. 

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer made with gold, silver, or platinum. 

The philosophy of Kintsugi is beautiful. (yes this art form has it's own philosophy!). In Kintsugi, the breaks and the repair is honored as part of the history of the piece of pottery. Rather than decreasing the value of this object, (as we often do with anything broken) it's actually seen as much more valuable & beautiful, for there is not another piece of pottery in the world with these exact same breaks & repairs. The history & story of the piece is unique, and the mended cracks viewed as beautiful. 

Kintsugi teaches us the beauty of scars.

Kinsugi celebrates the damage, because through the damage, beauty happened in the fixing that wouldn't be there without the breaks. 

Kintsugi embraces the imperfect.

Kintsugi does not hide the breaks, but rather highlights them. The breaks add uniqueness, character, and precious metal making the vessel more prized, more valuable. 

When things feel broken in life, it's easy to feel despair. We can have a tendency to be hard on ourselves, angry at others, feel like a victim in life. 

The philosophy of this art form can teach us so much in this area. When a piece of pottery breaks, it maybe shocking. It may crash to the floor. For a period of time the broken pieces might not make much sense. It maybe confusing to put them back together. The vessel may not be functional for a period of time. It may not be able to serve in the way that it did before it was broken. And when the art of Kintsugi is introduced to the broken pottery, and the pieces are fuse back together with precious metal, the vessel is again functional in all of the ways it was before. It looks different. It's more beautiful. it's more unique. It's more valuable. It has a story. The cracks are not hidden, but they are treasured, for they tell a story. They add a history that has value. 

Apply the above to life. Maybe something feels broken right now. Maybe there is something that you are working on - fusing the cracks back together. None of us are immune to feeling broken in life in one way or another. Breaks in life happen to all of us. When it does, remember the image of the art of Kintsugi in your mind. Know that when you assemble the pieces back together, that your experience is not something to hide, but something to be treasured, and celebrated. Your life experiences are part of your story, part of your journey. They are part of who you are. We change through our brokenness. and when we apply self love to our healing, we always come out of it more beautiful, more wise, more precious in ways that we can't always imagine at the time of the breaking. 

Wishing for all of your cracks to be filled with gold, and your vessel to be strong, and beautiful.

Shelly

It's time to start thinking about this!

It's time to start thinking about this!

welcome to November! Yes, it's November already! Crazy right? 

As we approach the end of 2018, do you know what kind of magical, amazing things you want to create for yourself in the new year? 

It's time to start thinking about it!

Intentions are important. Without intentions we tend to wander aimlessly. Living a life with intentions means that we are focusing on what is most important to us instead of the aimless wandering, and you know that that means? A life that feels good, fulfilling, authentic, & joyful! 

I had a birthday this week! I tend to treat my birthday like my personal new year. I take time every birthday to really take stock of what has happened in life in the last year for me, how I've grown, what I've learned, etc. I use it as a time to check in with myself, AND I set intentions. After I have really evaluated my past year, I take some time to think about what I want the next year to look like. Since my birthday falls in November, I usually use this time to begin to set goals & intentions for the actual upcoming new year! And let me tell you....I'm feeling excited about the new year! How about you? Are you thinking about it yet? 

I'd encourage you to take some time to think about what you want 2019 to look like for you. Now is the time to do so! Starting to think about this now means that you are giving yourself time to really get clear on what is most important to you. When you are clear on what's most important, and create a plan, you are much more likely to follow through. Getting clear now allows you time to set yourself up for success!

Maybe you are not the "New Years Resolution" type of person? I'm not either. Why? Because so often a 'New Years Resolution' is something we say we are going to do every day starting in the new year, or something we are never going to do again starting in the new year.....just making a statement & promise like this usually is not successful in the long run.

What IS successful? 

Getting clear on what is most important to you! What would make the biggest difference in your life? What really needs to change? What do you really want? 

Once you are clear, plan a course of action, and think about what you need to succeed! For example - do you want to start eating healthier so you feel better?  Just saying you will do it is not enough. Goals to travel big in the new year? Some planning needs to happen. Setting yourself up for success means thinking about what you need to get ready and to follow through!

Thinking about having some accountability around your new year goals & intentions is important as well. We tend to follow through when we have accountability support outside of ourselves! 

So this is your prompt to start daydreaming about 2019! What is it that you want to change, create, or manifest for yourself in the next year of this wonderful life? I'm guessing that you are not craving aimless wondering.....so start getting clear. Start setting intentions. Start setting yourself up to follow through & intentionally create the life that you love to live! 

Shelly

PS - Want some support? My biggest passion in life truly is my work. There's nothing that fills me more than supporting my clients in creating lives that they love to live. We need to be intentional designers of our life if we want to create this, and there's no reason that you need to do it alone. Creating change is SO much easier with some help. Finding clarity on what is most important to focus on is the first step. Just drop me a line to schedule a complimentary session! I'd love to offer you some of my time to support you in getting crystal clear on what you really want to accomplish, change, or transform in life in the next year, and a plan to follow through! 

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

Happy Halloween!

I prefer treats over tricks, so I've got a treat for you today! 

I'll be honest....I've never really paid attention to ' Oprah's favorite things' list that she puts out every year, but I saw something online about it the other day, and I thought....hmmm.....I've got favorite things to share too! And I think that they're pretty damn good things :) 

I could list a hundred I'm sure, but below is a solid dozen for you. 

All of the things on this list support me in living a cleaner, greener, healthier, & personal growth focused life.
I'm sure there are some gems in here for you! 

Food:

1. The Minimalist Baker. 
This Is hands down my very favorite food blogger. All of her recipes are plant based, and use minimal ingredients that are mostly quality whole foods,. Most meals are ready in about 30 minutes. She makes healthy eating easy, fun, & delicious. I share a LOT of her recipes in newsletters & social media. 

2. Imperfect Produce
I've been using this food delivery service every other week for a few months now, and I love it. They work directly with farmers and sell both overstock produce as well as 'ugly' produce that simply doesn't meet the cosmetic standards of grocery stores, and often goes to waste, even though it's just as tasty and nutritious as 'pretty produce'.  I feel good about doing my part in saving some of this ugly produce from the dumpster. Wasting good food sucks! You can order a box of organic veggies for about 30% less than in the store, You get to pick what's in your box, and they deliver right to your door. Click on the link below to get $10 off your first box:
 http://imprfct.us/kbpux
 

3. Green chef
Mostly for fun, I've tried a handful of the meal kit delivery services, and I love green chef. Why? Mostly because almost all of their ingredients are organic (something very important to me)  costing only pennies more than the others I've tried with non-organic ingredients. The recipes are creative & delicious. For someone wanting to learn to cook healthier with whole food ingredients, this can be a great thing. For someone like me that loves to cook, it's a fun way to try new recipes I wouldn't otherwise. It's also a super easy way to grab a bag of ingredients, and head to a friends house to prepare a meal together, OR something I'll utilize when I head to a cabin on the beach for a weekend so that I don't have to do the complicated food shopping & packing that usually goes with such a trip for me!
Click on this link to get $25 off your first order: http://greenchef.com/invite/xmzwbb
 

Home & Body Products: 

4. EWG Product App
When you are wanting to live a cleaner & greener life, it's hard to know what to shop for! We can't always believe products packages that boast to be green, healthy, toxin free, natural, or any other statements. It's good to remember that these statements really have a lot more to do with marketing than with actual ingredients. It's up to us to really know what's in our food, home products, & body products. That's why I LOVE this app from the environmental working group. You can scan products, review the rating, and then make the best choice possible with ease! Download here: https://www.ewg.org/apps/

5. Beauty Counter
Do you have any idea how many toxins are in the skin care products and make-up that you use? You likely don't want to know. If you are ready to switch over to a line that you know is clean, healthy for you & your skin, as well as healthy for the environment, then this is a great line. (the EWG recommends this line as one of the cleaner ones, and they have done their homework!) I'm also really happy with everything I've ordered. The quality is fabulous, and I'm surprised how long they last! 

6. H2O at home
When it comes to home cleaning products, H2O @ home has my highest praise! I've only just begun to collect their line of house cleaning products, and I love them all. Many of them allow me to do a thorough job cleaning with only water! Everything is extremely environmentally friendly - clean for you, your family, & the planet. Bonus - the items I've acquired so far actually make cleaning a lot easier! They also carry clean personal body products. My lovely friend, Nancy is an advisor, and would be happy to answer any questions for you, educate you on the products, and even do an in home demo if you are local to the surrounding Olympia area! 
Phone: (360)259-5518
Email: ncbroach@gmail.com
Website in the link above.

Personal Growth/Lifestyle: 

7. Inquiry Cards
I LOVE this deck. It's a beautiful deck of cards with personal inquiry questions on them. I use them when I work with clients privately, in groups, and in workshops. I use them at home by pulling a card for the day, or by pulling cards around a topic in life that I'm struggling with or trying to make a decision around. They can be a great way to have intentional conversations around the dinner table, gathering with friends, or as a way to get acquainted & build rapport in a group. Self inquiry is always a great thing. My deck has been used and used to much delight!

8. Insight Timer
This is a meditation app that is fabulous! Thousands of guided meditations for free, as well as a meditation timer with calming sounds. I use this app almost daily. There's now talks available on the app as well as courses you can purchase. 

9. Passion Planner
I LOVE this planner. I received my planner for 2019 recently, and it's the 4th year in a row that I'm using one. It guides you through setting goals for the year & dispersing the steps to meeting those goals throughout the months. There's monthly check ins, and so much more. If you are looking for a planner to not just keep your schedule, but to guide your year to accomplishing all that you want to, this planner is for you. 

Shopping: 

10. Vivobarefoot Shoes
I really don't like wearing clunky shoes...I have sprained my ankles to many times to wear any kind of heels &  I hate how hiking boots make me feel like I've got blocks strapped to my feet. I'm a minimalist when it comes to shoes...I love to feel as barefoot as possible. I feel like I move more naturally, keep posture better, and feel a lot less clumsy. After getting some vibram barefoot shoes, I was sold on the barefoot sole style of shoe. (Not the 5-finger ones. I was never into having my toes separated!) Vivobarefoot sells great quality shoes with barefoot soles allowing you to feel as barefooted as possible, even in hiking boots, or thermal winter boots. I got a pair of their hiking boots recently, and I feel like I'm frolicking in the forest with them, without the weight & clunk of regular hiking shoes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes. I've never had a pair of hiking shoes that I feel like I can dance in! And this is a good thing, because I like to dance on the trail sometimes :) 

11. Pact  - Fair Trade Organic Cotton Clothing
I hate how disposable clothing is these days. Also how much of it is made of plastic! Plastic that we are wearing against our skin, and is ending up in our water ways from washing, and filling our landfills. I won't even get into supporting sweat shops in purchases, but I needed to at least mention it. I like to feel good about the source when I'm purchasing new clothing. I also want it to last, rather than show a lot of wear after a few washes. Pact is a fabulous company offering fair trade organic cotton clothing made in small batches. It's quality stuff that you can wash & dry over & over without showing any wear, and it's soft & comfortable as all get out! Their prices are great for the quality of the clothing they sell, and they have good sales. All of my 'basics' are slowing coming from this company....underwear, socks, tanks, bralettes, tights, t-shirts, etc. Click this link to get 20% off your first purchase: http://fbuy.me/kIN89


12. The beach (as pictured above) Just go to the beach. It's so good for you!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about any of these, and I'd love to hear about your favorites too! What are your favorite products that help you live a healthy , clean, green, & happy life? 

Cheers to an amazing week! 

Shelly

a very important key to personal growth

a very important key to personal growth

What's one of the most effective personal growth tools? 

Journaling.

Do you journal? Maybe you have in the past? Or maybe it's something that you just never got into?

Maybe when you think of journaling, you have an image in your head of a teenager laying in bed, belly down, feet kicked up in the air, and writing with a glitter pen in a little book that has a lock & key? Ha! If so, know that it's so much more than that! ( I used to be one of those girls by the way!)

I firmly believe it's one of the most effective personal growth tools you can utilize. 

Its free, it takes little time to do, and the benefits are wonderful. 

It's like having a great conversation, only the conversation is  all to yourself, without the outside influence of others,

What are some of the benefits of journaling? 

  • It's a way to check in with yourself. 

  • Self exploration. 

  • It can help alleviate depression, anxiety, & stress. It can help alleviate stress & anxiety by taking the time to think things out, find clarity, identify causes of issues, and help to you come to conclusions on how you really feel or how to best handle a situation. 

  • It can be great for sparking creativity.

  • It can be a fabulous tool for personal check ins & self analysis around any area of life - work, health, relationships, etc. 

  • It allows you a place to describe experiences you've had & to process them. 

  • It gives you a way to hold memories of important happenings in your life. 

  • Journaling helps you to clarify your thoughts & feelings. 

  • It helps you to get to know yourself better, building a stronger relationship with yourself. 

  • Regular journaling can help you to solve problems more effectively and more easily settle disagreements with people in your life.

  • It's really some of the cheapest (okay-free) therapy you can get if you dedicate yourself to it. 


How to journal? 

  • Journaling does not need to follow any kind of particular structure, unless you create one that works well for you of course, then maybe it does! 

  • Always keep your journal private - for your eyes only. This really allows you to easily let go and allow what wants to come out, come out, as you have created a safe space for yourself to do so.

  • As you write, let it flow out, not worrying about spelling, grammar, or punctuation . Just write!

  • Unsure of what to write about? Take a few minutes to close your eyes, check in with yourself & ask yourself some personal inquiry questions. Ask yourself what's most beneficial to write about today? What's up with you today? 

  • If you don't already journal regularly & want to give it a chance to see how you benefit from it, give it a little time. Dedicate yourself to journaling daily for a period of time. You don't need to start with a lot. Even jotting your thoughts down for just 5-10 minutes a day can be helpful . 


If you feel stumped on how to start, or what to write, here are some cues you can use. 

  • Write down 3 things that you are the most grateful for in your day. 

  • Write the following for the day: Something you are proud of, something or someone you forgive, and something you are grateful for. 

  • Write to yourself as if you are giving advice to a friend. 

  • Write a letter to someone that you don't plan to send, simply to express yourself & find clarity in how you feel.

  • Ask yourself one of the following self inquiry questions: 

    • What if I wasn't afraid? 

    • What lessons did I learn today?

    • Am I happy with how I spent my time today? How could I do better? 

    •  What am I ready for?

    • What brought me joy today?

    • What felt like a struggle today, and how can I best support myself here?

    • What needs attention in my life?

    • What is my body trying to tell me?

    • What are my strengths?


If you journal regularly, you already know all of the above, and maybe you could add to the list of benefits? If you are not, are hesitant or plain reluctant to it, I encourage you to give it a try for a period of time. Give it a solid shot, and see how it feels after a while, If you decide it's not the best practice for you, then at least you tried something new, and likely learned something from the experience. It's always good to try new things & explore new avenues of growth!

Wishing you a fabulous rest of your week!

Shelly