Fact: Your gifts are not just for you.
They are for every single person who will receive joy and happiness when you deliver them.
For years I struggled with my creativity and how best to deliver what I felt was important. I worried that my knowledge and gifts weren’t good enough, that what I wanted to share had already been shared a millions times over, and that I brought nothing new.
And then one Sunday, I went salsa dancing. I dance every Sunday but for some reason this night was particularly good. The dancers were on fire and I didn’t sit out one song. “It doesn’t get much better than this,” I thought. And as I looked around the sparkling ballroom with dancers of different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ethnicities all listening and dancing to the same music I was dumbstruck with thanks to the musicians.
If these brave artists had not followed their passion, faced their self-doubt and with incredible courage put the pulsing beats of their creativity and soul into music, each and every dancer would have missed out on a chance for happiness. Had they withheld their gifts out of fear or judgement, none of us would have been in that room all dancing in joy, together.
Our gifts are the most valuable way we connect people to one another and to ourselves through a shared experience of the heart.
Sharing our music, our art, our perspective, our cooking, our humor, our wisdom makes them a gift to the world. Our gifts come through us, and yet are not only for us. They are for filling rooms with music for dancers, for filling galleries with art buffs to express their appreciation, for readers to grow and stretch and share their own written words, sparked by ours.
Take the leap.
Know your expression is meant for more than just you. It’s joy is meant to be shared and I’m here to dance with you all the way through it.
P.S. B-School enrollments ends in two days. If you are ready to get your gifts out into the world and make a living doing it, I can’t recommend this course enough. If you decide to sign up you’ll get access to my private study group. You can get the goods here.
You heard it first here. Balance, that ubiquitous thing we all believe we must diligently work towards to attain any semblance of happiness, is bullsh*t.
Nothing is ever balanced. Relationships, work, our bodies, our plates, they are never in a state of serene, balanced perfection. The see-saw of life is never still, balancing evenly on both ends. It teeters up and down, back and forth. As does life, our emotions, our bodies. It’s that motion, that unbalanced, ever-changing motion, that makes the see-sawers squeal with joy.
I recently spoke with a client who was stressed that she was giving her daughter more attention than her son. “I just want to make sure it’s balanced,” she said. I could see the worry in her eyes that she was somehow ruining her son by tending to her daughter. As a deeply loving mother, I knew she was doing the best she could and wasn’t giving herself enough credit. So I asked her to explain how she gives attention to both her children. As it turned out, she was currently giving her daughter lots time because she’s playing a particular sport. What we also realized is that when her daughter’s sport ends, her son’s sport picks up, and it’s then that she spends more time with him.
“See”, I said. “It’s not about balancing out your time with them every day but cycling through each sports season with them. You spend 3 months more focused on your daughter and the next 3 focused on your son. It’s not the same “balanced” time but it’s equal time. It all comes out even in the end.”
I see this all the time in my practice. Clients attempting to do it all, be balanced, all the time.
Right here and now, please take a load off because I’m here to tell you that “perfect balance” is a fallacy.
Something will always be in flux, something just a touch out of whack. That’s OK. That’s what makes us human, not robots.
Peace appears when you know which cycle you are in and that another cycle, the counter cycle to the one you are currently experiencing, will arrive when it’s time.
This week, see if you can stop seeking balance. Instead, proceed with peace knowing that there is a time to work your ass off and then a time to rest. A time to spend with your husband and then a time to be just with you. A time for kale smoothies and a time only for chocolate cake.
Life zigzags, it swerves and makes unexpected turns. Release the need to balance it out, make it an easily understandable straight line and rather enjoy the season you are in. Enjoy the ride because it will soon shift again.
P.S. BSchool enrollment is now open. If you are feeling like it’s the season to get the answers and structure you’ve been seeking for your business, I recommend you sign up. And remember that when you do, you get a spot in my private, online coaching group that will keep you grounded, connected and out of the path of overwhelm. This is my way of thanking you for stepping up for what you really want. It’s not easy. No matters of the soul are. That’s why I’m here and I hope you join us.
Last week I mentioned my major struggles when I was first in business. I had lots of ideas, incredible passion and no idea how to execute my grand plan or make a dime.
(To get the free training series that helped me, click here.)
Getting help was without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever done for my business….BUT it wasn’t all easy.
Nothing is more terrifying than following our dreams.
It conjures our deepest desires then makes us face our biggest fears. As people forging our own path, there is no end to the criticism, worry, and angst we heap upon ourselves.
We worry about doing it right.
We fear we aren’t doing enough.
We have voices telling us we are unworthy.
We judge and compare and wonder if we should even try at all.
Nothing pulls us out of our bodies and into our swirling brains more than wanting to be expressed and succeed in our work. Our businesses suddenly become a reflection of us and if they aren’t flourishing, what does that say about us?
So how can we follow our dreams without getting stuck like scared rabbits? Just like this:
1) Remember, your voice in needed. You are unique. There is no one on this planet that has the combination of your life experience, lessons learned, insight and perspective. Your story is special because it’s yours and when you share it, you inspire others to step out from behind the shadows and do the same. Your work doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be honestly YOU.
2) Learn best practices. For your industry, what’s the best way to understand your customers? What are the best ways to grow? What’s the best way to build a website? So often we try to figure things out on our own and forget we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Keep it simple and seek out the best practices for your industry so you no longer have to feel like you’re taking stabs in the dark.
3) Dump best practices. I know, I just said to learn best practices. And I meant it. And after you learn them, take what you like and dump the rest. Best practices are important but if we cling to them we forget what makes us unique. We become robots, using the same outline as everyone else. Once you learn the outline, begin to ask yourself, “How can I personalize this? What inspires ME? What’s a new and exciting way that I would like to get to know a business?” For years I thought I had to go by “best practices” and once I let myself do only the things that felt “best” to me, life became so much easier.
4) You are in this for the long haul. Often we want success instantly. The problem is life goes up and down, and all around. As does business. We put so much pressure on ourselves to “make it happen,” yet sometimes things don’t always work out as planned. And that’s actually a good thing. We need time to flush out our desires and make sure they’re what we really want. Remember, you are in this for the long haul and are allowed take all the time you need. If your first venture doesn’t pan out, that’s OK. You have time to try again and the next go round, you have the lessons learned from the first. Take a breath, be gentle and go slow and steady.
5) Get in touch with your gut. The body knows everything yet rarely do we acknowledge what she’s trying to say. As you begin to follow your dreams, continuously check in with your body. What feels good? What feels tight and uncomfortable? How does judgement and criticism show up in your body? Honoring the sensations you feel allows you to come back to yourself, and feel more grounded and centered, which is the place where the best decisions are made.
We all experience fear and resistance. Welcome to being human. The most important thing is seeing where our insecurities and expectations hold us hostage and stop us from reaching out for help when we need it.
If you’ve been feeling the need to get guidance around your business, I cannot recommend Marie Forleo’s BSchool enough. Enrollment opens today and I believe her training is imperative as we expand into the online economy.
I also think BSchool must be done with the right support so you don’t drive yourself nuts with striving, worry, mind-numbing fear and comparison.
The one thing I wish I had when I was in BSchool was an intimate group to keep me grounded. A place where I could voice my concerns about my business when things got scary and get pointed feedback and support to come back to myself and my burgeoning business in a focused, empowered way.
And so this year, as a BSchool affiliate, I’m opening up such a group. Anyone who signs up for BSchool through me will have a place in this select group for FREE. This group is where you will come back to yourself when business gets overwhelming. It’s where you will find a soft place to land when self doubt sneaks in. It’s where you will get insights into how you are treating yourself that may be blocking your business dreams.
BSchool is an amazing journey and my job in your journey is to keep you connected to your core and remind you that in the midst of all the exciting plethora of new information and opportunity, you have a soft place to land.
As I said before, this is my gift to you for signing up for BSchool through me, so if you are considering BSchool and know you may get overwhelmed and need a touchstone, now is the time to do it.
The only way for me to track if you’ve signed up is by using my link, so be sure to click HERE.
I am beyond excited for you and your business journey and I’m thrilled to support you in any way I can.
Biggest love and know I’ve got your back,
P.S. Last year Marie personally asked me to provide my experience with BSchool. Here’s what I said. It’s pretty cool.
I’ve always been a girl who ran the show. Literally. As a child my sister and I put on plays and I was always the director, getting everyone in place and holding the vision for our grand production.
My grandmother called me bossy and outspoken, but I always preferred to think of myself as a “gal with a plan”.
As I grew up, graduated college and entered the workforce, I realized it wasn’t as easy as it was in childhood to run my own show. Employers had ideas about things. They had their own agendas and shows to run and weren’t so interested in my grand plans.
I always joke that I was the worst employee. I wanted to do my own thing and anything else, in my 24 year old brain, wasn’t worth the effort. I always did my work and delivered on time, but never with verve. Never with the passion I was capable of and I knew it, and that ate me up inside.
When the light finally went off in my brain and I went back to school for holistic nutrition and then opened my own business, everything changed. I was pumped to be my own boss, to do exactly what I wanted to do and employ my creative ideas at my chosen pace.
The only problem was I was a brilliant food and body coach without any idea how to build a business. I had lots of ideas but no methodology to test them and see if I was going down the right path. I struggled for 4 years, knowing I could never work for anyone else, yet totally unsure how I was going to turn my business into the impactful life-changing force I dreamt of.
Enter Marie Forleo.
Now, I am not a guru kind of girl. I can be a terrible student because I don’t like to look to other people for answers. I can find the answers I need on my own, damn it. In fact, I knew about Marie Forleo for years before I ever started watching her stuff because I thought, “What does this woman know that I don’t?”
Turns out, a lot.
Marie’s free training program completely changed how I think and work every day in my business. Check out the program HERE. She only opens it once a year and I’m honored to be able to share it with you. Again, it’s free so just do it.
Biggest love and here’s to running your own show!
P.S. Even if you aren’t a biz owner, Marie has some invaluable insights that can easily be brought into your office or organization. Check it out HERE.
P.S.S. Know other people who like to run their own show? Then share this post with them here.
I haven’t had the urge to binge in years though it used to be my primary method of coping with, well, everything.
If I’d had a bad day, come 4 pm, I’d fantasize about all the food I was going to eat when I walked in the front door. Chips, nuts, cheese, crackers, spoonfuls of peanut butter smothered with honey. All of it and probably all at once.
Thankfully, those days are long gone. It certainly wasn’t an easy road to shift my habits of numbing my feelings with food, but it has by far been the most rewarding. It’s given me countless gifts, including the path I now guide my incredible clients down.
And yet, every once in a while, I believe it’s good to get a reminder of where you used to be to see how far you’ve come.
And so, last week I was tested.
What could have caused such a relapse in binging behavior?
THE APPLE STORE ON A SATURDAY.
It was a regular insane day at Steve Job’s brain child. And that was fine. I could handle the crowds. I could handle being bumped into every 30 seconds. I could even handle the fussy toddler reaching for my sickly laptop. What I could not abide however was how, after an hour of unhelpful troubleshooting, I was told there wasn’t much they could do for me.
I saw RED.
I was furious and as if struck by lightning that brings to life things once deceased, I was suddenly obsessed with the chocolate cake in my fridge.
“What?” I thought.
“YES!” my brain replied. “Go home right now and stuff your face with that chocolate cake. You are pissed off, it will feel so good and you deserve it after all this bullsh*t.”
I quickly packed up my electronic menagerie and skirted out of the store. I fixated on the cake the entire ride home.
“I’m gonna eat it straight from the fridge,” I told myself. “Yeah, I’ll shove it into my mouth directly from the tin foil, then lick the wrapping to make sure I get every last morsel. There will be no “zen mindful eating” here. Just plain old-fashioned anger eating, served up cold.”
I walked in the front door, opened the fridge, pulled out the cake and as I was about to rip off the first luscious bite, I stopped.
“Jamie,” a little voice from the my lower abdomen, said. “I don’t really want this.”
“What?!?”, my brain replied. I decided to play deaf. I was locked onto this cake and determined to eat my anger away. I looked at the cake, warming in my hand, the frosting losing its chill from the fridge and again the voice came, “Jamie, I really don’t want to eat that.”
Now what is a food and body coach to do when such a voice appears? Answer it, damn it.
“OK then, what do you want?” I asked shortly.
“I want to punch the crap out of something!!” she said.
Well that answer was startling and awesome. What better way to get out the anger festering in my body than by punching it out? My body’s a genius!
I grabbed my gym bag, dropped the cake off at a friend’s house (he was all too happy to take it off my hands) and spent the next hour in kickboxing class.
Here’s what my “almost” binge reminded me.
Whenever we are overwhelmed by emotions, anger, sadness, confusion, loneliness, rather than stuffing them with chocolate cake, chips or any other food pacification, let yourself move it through physically. Take a wooden spoon to a pillow and lose your mind, punch it out at kickboxing, walk it off around your neighborhood or dancing it out at hip hop class. Whatever. Just let it out.
I never thought violence would be a weapon in my arsenal against emotional eating but I can tell you, it does wonders. Punching, kicking, yelling and screaming are some of the quickest ways to prevent getting sucked into a numbed-out emotional eating vortex.
So, the next time you’re pissed and suddenly nothing sounds better than cookies, cake or ½ a loaf of bread, trying punching something first.
Let your emotions out and move them through you. It may be exactly what your body was craving in the first place.
Big love and here’s to kicking ass,
January is a time of resetting. Even if you aren’t going on juice cleanses or crazy diets there can be an internal asking for food that makes you feel clean and good, rather than the overly sweet, way-too-rich food of the past months.
In the last few days, after weeks of eating more desserts and dairy than usual, my body’s been asking for a break. A gentle reprieve, shall we say, to get back to the foods that really make her feel her best.
So here’s what’s been on my plate as of late that makes me feel super satisfied, alert and connected to my self.
Lots and lots of kabocha squash.
If you aren’t a fan, you soon will be and if you do know this very special squash, then you know what I’m talking about.
Besides having an incredibly thick, rich texture it’s also quite sweet. A perfect medium to give you sweetness on your tongue without it needing to come from sugary sources.
Here are some recipes to get you started.
(Wanna share these recipes? Do it here.)
That said, my 3 favorite (and easiest) ways to eat kabocha squash are:
1) Cut the kabocha into quarters, scoop out the seeds, rub the center and outside with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Scoop out the soft center and throw it into an omelette or mash with sauteed garlic and onions as a side dish.
2) Save the roasted skin of the kabocha and dip it in tahini sauce for a sweet snack.
3) Cut the kabocha into quarters, scoop out the seeds, cut the squash into 1 inch cubes (it’s up to you if you want to peel it), mix with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 350 for 40 minutes. The cubes are delicious to eat on their own or as an addition to soups and salads.
One the quickest ways I settle back into my body is to get in the kitchen and cook just for me. I hope these recipes inspire you to do the same.
I was on the phone with my mother recently, chit chatting as we do almost every day. We talked about my sister, my father, and as usual, what she had just put in her mouth that she was chomping on in my ear. As we regaled each other with our insights over the past 24 hours I suddenly said, as if it were a decree from heaven, “I f*cking love my LIFE!!” (My mother and I have a very loose policy with language. The woman’s first word as a child was sh*t so there’s really no where she can go from there.)
Anyhoo, after declaring my love for my existence my mother took a breath and said, “You, my sweet girl, have a very charmed life.”
What?? Me?? A charmed life? No way. Sure, I can muster incredible gratitude for what I have but “charmed”, that seemed a little excessive.
We soon got off the phone and I let her words sink in. Charmed. Charmed.
There is magic in that word. Something other-worldly that you can’t control. Out-of-body, almost. And then I began to think about my BIG, bizarrely charmed experiences of the past year:
Selling the house
Finding my apartment
Leasing a car
All of these things could have been an utter disaster. Yet they weren’t. Emotionally painful and sometimes soul-wrenching. Yes. But logistically? A breeze. The divorce was a relatively clean break, the house sold quickly and in one week I found both the perfect apartment and a car I loved (and could afford). These are not typically charmed experiences. In fact, these are some of the most stressful things people go through in a lifetime.
And I did it all. In one year. And it was charmed as hell.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And here’s what I came up with.
I gave it all over to something bigger than myself. I let go of terror. I let go of fear. I completely relinquished control.
I monitored craigslist without panic. I researched without anxiety. I completely believed that no matter what, it would all be OK. That any and all outcomes would be OK and even if they weren’t, that would be OK too. I had faith that what I needed would show in whatever form it was meant to and that it would all be a big adventure.
It comes down to perspective. To faith. To trust that no matter what, you will be cared for. You will be OK.
Biggest love and here’s to all of our charmed lives,
P.S. A charmed life starts in a space of love and trust. If you struggle with trusting yourself, trusting that it will all be OK, it’s time for us to talk. I have 2 spots left in my private practice and I’d be honored to show you how truly charmed life can be.
Ever woke up feeling fat and guilty?
Your eyes pop open and the first thought that hits you is a tally of everything you ate the night before?
Your mind races remembering the cookies, fudge and wine you let slip down your throat like their only true home was in your belly. Lying in bed you pinch your stomach, convinced its gotten bigger and definitely flabbier, overnight.
While brushing your teeth you make a host of new food resolutions. Today you are only eating greens and drinking water. Your resolve is firm. The only solution is that you and your body must PAY.
Holy heck do I know this scene well. I lived it, daily, for years. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas or Easter or simply a sunny day in July. My food guilt was ever present. The holidays just made it worse.
All year long, every morning was like January 1st with my new food resolutions to eat SUPER clean and be “really good” that day. And by the afternoon, after a minor slip up of a gluten-free cookie or two, it was all over. Almonds, heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter, popcorn, and organic chocolate went down my gullet at lightening speed. I’d go to bed super full and sick, totally pissed at myself and promising that tomorrow would be different.
I’d wake up, almost unable to move under the weight of the guilt that covered me. I was embarrassed by my lack of control and determined to do better, which came with it’s own weightiness of expectations.
I know I’m not alone in this merry-go-round of binging and depriving. The cycle makes perfect sense. If you make a mistake and eat crap then you’ve gotta get super aggressive and restrictive with your body so things will change.
Food and body guilt is a major theme with my clients. There is not a woman on the planet who doesn’t feel guilty about what she eats or how her body looks at one point or another. However, what makes my clients different is they KNOW this behavior isn’t good for them. They know it makes no sense to feel guilty about their food or be ashamed of their bodies, and they battle with themselves because they desperately want to feel differently about themselves. The problem is they just don’t know where to start.
I know you are really good at hiding your thoughts of feeling fat and using food as control. And I also know, in this new year, you don’t want to feel bad about your body the way you have every year before.
If you want the constant food and body crap to stop, contact me here. I have 2 open spots in my private practice and I would love to guide you towards the peace you so want that you aren’t sure how to get.
In the meantime, I have a very simple practice for you that I give all my clients who struggle with the binge/restrict cycle.
The next time you wake up feeling guilty, pissed or aggressive with yourself for not eating “better”, for drinking that third glass of wine, for indulging in that bowl of popcorn or last piece of cake you were going to throw out, write a thank you letter to your body.
Yep, you read that right. A thank you letter. When we are so busy shoving things into our mouth and then being angry at ourselves for it, we forget that our body is digesting it all, as best she can.
Thank your body for always showing up.
Thank her for being such a trooper when you eat more than she’s asked for.
Thank her for telling you when she’s full, though you sometimes don’t listen.
Thank her for waking up every morning to start again.
Thank her for being YOURS.
So tell me, what’s on your thank you letter to your body?
Its never easy to thank your body when all you want her to do is change. That’s why I’ve opened up both the women’s reading circle for a Return to Love and 2 spots in my practice. I want to give you options and have you know you don’t have to do this alone. All you have to do is show up. I’ll take care of the rest.
Ever notice come January, every third person you meet is doing some sort of cleanse or detox? Believe me I get it. In fact for the last 4 years I’ve run my own cleanses and detoxes to great fanfare.
And yet there’s one thing I’ve noticed. Like with other resolutions, cleanses are often done because you’ve decided in your New Year wisdom that there is something wrong with you. Perhaps your food has been wrong, your body is wrong, your addiction to sugar is wrong. Whatever it is, the impetus behind the cleanse is that you’ve gotta change, FAST. In other words, you’ve decided you are NOT ok as you are.
What a brutal beginning to your year!
January comes and with it washes in heavy hopes that THIS is the year you’ll finally get your shit together. You’ll finally step into your potential and change into the person you are supposed to be. The intention set for your year to come becomes: I am not good enough.
And so whether or not the cleanse works, you lose weight, you get the raise, win the race, or finally kick sugar to the curb, the theme of constantly needing to change to be “enough” is ever present all year long.
I am completely uninterested in feeding into this cycle.
And so this January I’ve decided not to run a cleanse. And not because I don’t think they are helpful to getting back on track if you feel gross after too many cookies and champagne.
I’m not running a cleanse this year because I am tired of encouraging you to think you need to change to be OK, to think you must be different to be loved.
What if this year you let go of the inevitable disappointment that comes with crazy expectations and you returned to love for yourself?
Now I know this is a wild idea.
Wild and really good.
And so to expand upon this wild idea of liking you exactly as you are, I’m opening up a women’s reading circle.
Here are the goods:
6 women and me reading the classic A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. This book is amazing and laden with the gems you’re looking for in this new year.
We’ll meet as a group for 6 weeks, on a tele-call for 60-90 minutes to share and discuss and I’ll provid pointed coaching on the text for that week.
The cost is $350.
The calls start Thursday, January 23th. If you want in, simply email me here and tell me why.
As you can see, this is a very small group and I did this on purpose. I want to dive deep into how to return to love for our bodies and for who we are, as we are. This kinda growth is best in intimate, safe spaces.
I also want to provide something special to you in the new year and I simply felt another cleanse wouldn’t cut it.
This is the good stuff and honestly, this group is going to be far more cleansing than any green juice could ever be. To claim your spot, tell me why you want to join here.
Biggest love and here’s to you stepping into love for the YOU that’s already here.
Let it be said right now…everyone needs a vacation. It doesn’t have to be long or extravagant but we all need time away to find ourselves again.
I just got back from a week in Mexico which was the first vacation I’ve ever been on. Seriously. The reasons why I’ve never taken myself on vacation is an entirely other blog post but I will say this, I had a very hard time justifying being that good to myself. Sure I’d get away for weekends and I traveled with family (which is NOT a vacation, by the way) and I’d still be checking my email, answering client calls or thinking about the 15 things I should be doing for JamieLiving.
During my Mexican retreat I didn’t check my email or my phone and I didn’t once think about work. It truly was a Christmas miracle. I let myself just be me, Jamie, without all those things that I thought defined me. What I discovered was that it’s the downtime, the reflective relaxing that brought me back to myself. We think the accomplishing and weight loss and exercise and eating right defines who we are. We think it shows people what really matters to us. And though those are all reflections of us, our upbringings and societal shaping, they aren’t WHO we are.
You’ll reconnect with the true you that’s been hidden under so many layers of supposed-to-be’s. And the miraculous part of vacation is that when you come back, you are re-energized for your life.
Life seems easier, softer. Suddenly you have more choice in how you want to feel than you did before. The possibilities of how you want to engage in your day seem numerous, rather than the knee-jerk, “hurry up and get it done” pace you were pushing before you left.
For this New Years, give yourself the gift of a vacation.
Now this doesn’t have to be a fancy endeavor. In fact, a vacation is simply something that takes you out of your fast-paced, numbed out, everyday routine.
A vacation could be:
Lunch at your favorite spot, ALONE, phone/text/email free
Walking on the beach
Dinner and deep-belly laughs with girlfriends
Waking up without an alarm
Not checking email for 7 days
Here is what a vacation is NOT:
Throwing a party
Attending a party
Time off work to get shit done around the house
Getting your shopping done
Planning your New Years resolutions
With all the year-end running around, do yourself a favor and plan a vacation. Give yourself 30 minutes or 5 days to breathe, recharge and come back to YOU. The real you, that only shows up when everything else is quiet and still.
So tell me, what’s your vacation going to be?
One of the coolest things that came to life during my vacation is a project that I’ll be rolling out in January. It’s mission is to help you return to that deeper, calmer, more tenderly connected and loving self within. So don’t worry. If this is a tough task for you, I’ve got you covered.
Biggest love, thank you as ALWAYS for being a part of the JamieLiving community, reading and sharing and I’ll see you in 2014. Have an amazing New Year!