Friday, July 18, 2014

Freedom Friday! - Style from Coast to Coast

Happy Friday all! My good friend Ellese Launer just celebrated her first anniversary with her blog Rock.Paper.Glam, where she shares her point of view on the latest fashion and lifestyle trends.  I've known her for a few years now; we met in NYC and both moved out west to pursue our dreams.  I'm so happy and honored that she has shared her experience with us!  I think those of you with an entrepreneurial spirit can appreciate reading up on her journey and how she overcame the obstacles she faced.  Hope you enjoy, and follow your dreams!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who the F*%K am I?!

It's interesting how uncomfortable I am with success.  "Success" is this golden ticket I've been yearning for my whole life.  I don't have a clear vision of what success is for me other than I know I will feel damn good when I am successful!  Success to me is feeling like I have "it"; like I'm "there", and am just patiently waiting to be pleasantly surprised by the other "its" of life.  That may not make sense to you; maybe success to you is a certain figure in your bank account, or a certain lifestyle; it's OK that we have different meanings for success.  I think the deeper question is, do we really want to succeed?

The past few weeks has opened me up to a whole other level.  I feel like I am at the cusp of that allusive success I've been dreaming about.  Problem is, I'm terrified.  Instead of feeling like YES, IT'S ALMOST HERE, I'm like...OH SHIT!  UMMM, I DON'T THINK I CAN DO THIS.  I am so not ready for success.  Are we ever truly ready for it?  I see people I love quit on their dreams all of the time because they are afraid.  A lot of fears are rising to the surface for me.  I've actually turned down opportunities recently because of these fears.  I recently hired a Virtual Assistant to help me promote myself, among other things, and one of the first things he told me was that I need to put myself on Youtube.  WHAT?!  NO WAY!!!  Youtube is for people with actual talent (or lack thereof but have a gimmick), and I have neither.  I mean, do I?  Could I? Should I? What if I actually do have something of worth and value to share with the world?  What if opening myself up to the possibility of not hiding behind my laptop is the tipping point I need to take me to that level of success I've been wanting?

I think my biggest concern is that I don't feel like I'm "qualified" to give any advice. Just like the title of this post I think, "who the fuck am I" to be giving advice?  Who am I, really?  I don't have any fancy certifications or degrees to go next to my name, so what do I have to show you, to prove to you that I am worthy of your time.  I guess the answer is, I don't have anything to show you.  I don't really have to prove myself and my worth to you.  I'm a person that loves to share what I know, and loves to connect people to resources.  I love to show you what I did to break free from a destructive cycle; I love to share what resources I used to get my hustle on when I was broke; I love to discuss how changing my thoughts helped me connect more with my body and environment.  I guess all I can do is just share what I've learned and hope that it can help you somehow on your journey.  I hope and dream that I can be successful by sharing with you what's in my heart and helping you find your way.

Monday, July 14, 2014

You're going alone?!

Yes please, table for one!  
What would you do if you really wanted to do something and none of your friends or family wanted to do it with you? It used to be really hard for me to step outside of my comfort zone and do things on my own, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.  I remember the first time I did something on my own; something that I would never, ever have thought to do alone - go to the movies by myself! 

One of the summers of my teen years (1998; I was 15), ALL of my friends were either working or away on summer vacation.  I was all alone (the horror!). Actually, I wasn't really "alone", but I couldn't help feeling overly dramatic (and alone in the world) as a hormonal teenager.  In any case, I felt alone for the first time in my life.  The people who I had built my whole social life around were not there for me.  I remember the movie "Ever After" had come out and I really, really wanted to see it, but I had no one to go with me (at least not the people I wanted to see it with). That was the moment that started me on the path that I am on now.  I swallowed my pride and went to an afternoon showing of the movie.  I was terrified; I felt like people were criticizing me and judging me for going to the movies alone.  I felt like people would think I was pathetic.  But once the movie started I was swept up in the story, and you know what?  I loved the movie and was so proud of myself for doing something I wanted to do despite my fear of doing it alone.

Little by little I would test the limits of what I could do alone, and found that it's really not that serious.  It has gotten much easier over the years to do things on my own, but don't be fooled, the "fear" and self-criticism still pop up.  This is how it works for me: first if there's something I want to do I ask around to see who would want to do it with me.  If I don't find someone, or if someone bails on me at the last minute, I have to make a choice of whether to quit or continue.  I then find myself weighing the pros and cons of going it alone, and go over the outcomes over and over in my head.  But you know what?  At the end of the thought process I figure that I would be doing myself a great disservice by not doing what I want to do just because no one else wants to do it with me (hence the caption in the image).  Think of all the things I would have lost out on, all of the blessings and opportunities, if I would've chosen to give up because I had to do it alone.  I would have never moved out here all by myself if I were to live my life that way; living your life through others is not living at all- Tweet this!

I don't have a lot of friends out here in San Diego so I end up doing a lot of things on my own. When I first moved out here I was alone - A LOT!  But don't feel bad for me because being alone has been the greatest blessing.  When you're alone you get to really understand yourself.  You have a better chance of hearing/seeing/feeling the blessings in your life.  When you're alone, you are free from the energy and distractions of others around you.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think we should be alone all of the time; I think it's in our nature to crave companionship, but think of how much stronger the relationship with yourself becomes when it's just you, your mind, your heart, and your soul.  You learn to listen more; you become more aware of your physical self (how your body feels) and your spiritual self (your emotions, fears, and desires), free from the influence of others.

The image I used in this post was of me at the beach (I went this past weekend).  It was the first time I had ever gone to the beach alone. I was scared to be honest.  The old fears and criticisms popped up in my head, and I made up a ton of excuses as to why I shouldn't go.  Then (thank God) I decided, the hell with it!  I decided to just show up; no obligations to do anything. All I had to do was just show up at the bus stop, once there the next step was getting on the bus, so on and so forth.  It was all about baby steps and not setting any expectations.  I've taken these steps before, with other opportunities, and every time I've just showed up I've been met with great blessings.  This day at the beach was the best date with myself, ever.  It was so extremely beautiful and calming.  I filled my lungs with the salty breeze and opened all of my pores to the light of the sun.  I was totally relaxed and when I got home I felt super proud of myself and accomplished.  I think the hardest part is showing up, but once you do, you won't regret it.