I’m willing to fear, and still move forward.
Willing to laugh.
I’m willing to cry for everything, and nothing at all.
Willing to say yes, and no, when needed.
I’m willing to go with my gut rather than my guilt.
Willing to examine and get curious.
Willing to dance with ardor and abandon.
Willing to ask. Willing to tell.
I’m willing to hold my body.
Willing to dive in.
Willing to let it wash away and willing to start again.
I’m willing to trust.
Willing to rethink.
Willing to take a moment.
Willing to recover.
Willing to feel it all.
With all my love,
P.S. If you too are willing to dig deep, so am I. I’ve got 3 open spots in my private practice to dive into the above and so much more. If your heart jumped reading this post because you feel both willing and unsure where to start, I’ve got you. There’s so much to share and no waiting on the willing. Let’s go.
Alright, I’m gonna come clean on something that has bothered me for years. Ready?!? The phrase, “quick and easy” meals. Now of course I’ve certainly fallen prey to naming a few of my recipes some combination of this forbidden phrase but it was because I knew you’d like it, and I really wanted you to make the recipe.
My issue with “quick and easy” recipes is not that they are time savers or simple to prepare. That’s all great. The problem is they perpetuate this idea that we’re always running out of time and that we must cut corners around meals to be as efficient as possible with the dwindling minutes in our day. Cooking has become another thing you have to race through, get done and hammer out, letting all possibility of connection and savoring fly out the window.
I believe cooking, like eating and breathing, is a sacred act that requires sacred space and time. When you chop, dice, stir or saute, you have the option to engage all your senses and allow the motions to become a sensual meditation for yourself.
That said, you’ll find most of my recipes are quick and easy. I don’t make homemade pasta or 15 ingredient, multi-step sauces because, well, that’s just not my style. My dishes are like me, straight-forward with a spoonful of sass. And I take my time with them. Yes, I could pound them out in a quick 25 mins and sometimes I do. And most of the time, I want to cherish the experience. Over the years, cooking has gone from a way to control what goes into my mouth and “be healthy” to a welcome respite, something I look forward to. Like every other busy human, I often rush through my day and really don’t like the tight, anxious feeling it fuels in my body. Cooking calms me. It’s not a thing I HAVE TO DO at the end of my day but rather, like a warm bath, a way to come back home in myself.
The below recipe is a new favorite. I’m currently eating it about 3x a week. It’s absolutely a “what’s in the fridge” kinda dish. If you’ve got nicoise olives lying around, throw them in. Proscuitto? Hells yeah. Spring peas? Yes, please. This is not a recipe set in stone, so give yourself some sacred space, slow down and see what cooking creativity comes up.
Caramelized onion, asparagus and chicken saute
½ small onion, sliced into ½ moons
a small spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil
4 jarred sundried tomatoes, squeezed of excess oil
12 thin asparagus stalks, trimmed about 1 ½ inch from the base, then cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup precooked chicken, pulled apart into bite-sized pieces
Squeeze of lemon
Handful of parsley
6-8 red butter lettuce or green leaf lettuce leaves, washed, dried and plated
In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a touch of salt and cook until translucent and a little browned, stirring a few times. Add the tomatoes and asparagus and cook through until the asparagus is bright green. Add the chicken and the lemon, stir and cook until the chicken is heated through. Add another touch of salt and pepper to taste and top with parsley.
Spoon the saute onto the lettuce leaves and eat as salad roll ups. If you prefer you can also tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and eat it as a warm salad. Either way, it’s really good.
The other morning started out benign enough. I was heading out the front door for a run and switched on Pandora for a bit of musical excitement.
I love listening to Pandora while running because you don’t know what’s coming next, which makes it both enticing and dicey. And so it was, while charging up a really intense hill, that these lyrics filled my ears, “You are so stupid. You are so stupid, stupid. But I love you.”
WTF?!? Was this actually a song? Did someone honestly write these lyrics, then record them in a studio all the while thinking, “Man, this is really a great piece of music!” OY. I stopped mid run to give a whole hearty “thumbs down” to the song and then pondered what I had just heard.
I’ve never once called myself stupid, directly that is. As I’ve mentioned before, “stupid” was a forbidden word in my house growing up so its never been part of my everyday vernacular. However, continuing on my run, I began to think of all the ways I’ve indirectly called myself stupid.
Whenever I’ve said:
I can’t believe you did that.
You are ridiculous.
You should know this.
Get over it!
What the hell is wrong with you.
These were all ways of tearing myself down and challenging my intelligence. Granted I didn’t use the word stupid, but the effect of shame and self doubt was the same.
And so now, whenever I start with the “You should know better,” “Why the heck did you do that?” chatter I take a breath and dig around for some kindness.
This week, see where you might be directly or indirectly calling yourself stupid and notice the effect on your body. Do you feel tight, edgy, wounded, sad? Do you suddenly need a snack, a cocktail, a run or a cupcake as solace from your smack-down?
Take a breath, notice where your words cut deep, and like a mother reassuring her child, say to yourself, “I see how much you care, how hard you try. You are doing a great job and remember that life is nothing if not a constant state of learning. Continue on, my dear. You kick ass!”
It was a mellow Saturday night. I had plans to salsa dance but after a heart to heart with my body, I realized nothing would feel better than eating an early dinner, watching a movie and hitting bed by 9:30 pm. Yes, please.
I pulled leftover chili from the fridge, plopped it into a small saute pan over low heat and started scanning my Amazon Prime movie options:
“Love Actually?” Nope.
“Curly Sue?” Nah.
“Adventures in Babysitting?” Watched it way too many times.
“Katy Perry, Part of Me biography?” Could be interesting.
Now I’m not generally a Katy Perry fan. I like her music well enough, but rare is it that I’ll give over my Saturday night to a biography on the drama of a pop-starlet. I have REAL documentaries to watch, you know? And yet for some strange reason I decided to drop the judgement and say YES to a bit of indulgence.
With my dinner now in my favorite bowl and warming my lap I pressed watch now, and in the click of a button, my life changed…forever.
First off, I fell in love with Katy Perry, which is, as stated before, not my style. The last pop star I gave any time to was Alanis Morissette, circa Jagged Little Pill, which was absolutely permissible because she was rageful. Anger shows depth and smells of struggle and struggle provides purpose, which at least gives me a sense of direction.
Katy Perry’s music, from what I gathered, is full blown feel-good-bubble-gum happy. Very far from pissed off. In her live show, which is documented throughout the biography, she changes from one CandyLand outfit and pink wig to another, showers Skittles and Now and Laters on her meet and greet guests and sprays audience members with bubbles. WHA???
My snarky, holier-than-thou, self was desperate to turn the movie off after the second bedazzled costume change however I decided not to let her take over. “Just keep watching,” I told myself. “Let yourself enjoy this.”
And in enjoying it I saw the power of Katy Perry: This dolled-up tartlet is 100%, unabashedly herself.
And then I started to cry.
Three separate times.
Yep, while watching Katy Perry dance across the stage in a candy cane, sparklingly mini-skirt I cried. Not out of jealousy, or competition, or the ridiculosity of it all. Nope, tears shot from my face out of joy in seeing someone in full expression, embracing all pieces of themselves and having the strength to share it with the world. I cried out of recognition, knowing that I am closer to the full me now than ever before.
And I cried, knowing that being us, all of us, though a simple act, is one of the hardest things to do.
We are burdened by pieces of ourselves that make no sense. We judge and cajole the unsightly bits, wanting to discard the things that “aren’t right,” attempting to reach some kind of perfection by having our many parts fall in line like orderly little ducks. Reality is we are all incongruent. We are all amalgamations of “making no sense” and what makes the incongruous parts of us wonderful is that they are uniquely ours, making us…well…US.
We don’t have to put ourselves in any type of box to be loved or accepted. We don’t have to straighten or curl our hair, be perfectly healthy eaters, wear the right clothes, master our to-do list, or have the scale read a particular number to know we are OK. We’re OK, right now.
Granted this doesn’t mean life is a permanent bed of roses. It means as we practice being ourselves, we cultivate an internal life preserver when the ocean of life gets rocky. Tweet This!
We create a steady security in ourselves, knowing that no matter what, as long as we stay true to our personal experience, unsavory bits and all, we can get through anything.
And so I say, thank you Katy Perry for being you. Seriously girl, you are a freak. As are we all, in our own way. Thank you for standing up as yourself for everyone to see. Your strength has reminded me to do the same.
When you forget all that you do and all that you’ve done.
When you forget all the love you have, all the good you’ve gained.
When you forget your core knowing and look outside for validation.
When you forget your body and stuff yourself silly.
When you forget your beauty and say you’re fat.
When you forget your gifts and call yourself stupid.
When you forget YOU…take a breath. Fill your lungs. Feel the air plump each cell and then, remember.
Remember the joy you spread, the laughs you share, the inspiration you offer, daily.
Remember that you are needed, desperately.
Remember the power you hold in your body.
Remember that you, we, are one, all traveling together on this wild journey.
Remember that there is no right way.
Remember that now, this moment, is a good one. Remember, enjoy it.
Remember all that you’ve offered and will continue to.
Remember you are loved, deeply and completely.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking a lot about business and purpose. This is all super important stuff and topics that really get my juices going. And sometimes, yes sometimes, I need a rest from the deep stuff and want to read something light and breezy. Like a post about dressing.
As many of you know, I am a salad queen. I can certainly hold my own in the cooked food world however almost every time I’m invited to a dinner party the immediate follow-up is, “And can you bring one of your Jamie salads?”
I first tasted this dressing when my girlfriend Kathryn brought it to a dinner party. (Truth be told, she wasn’t my friend at the time. I actually met her at the party and it was her salad and this dressing that made us fast friends.) I was blown away by its vibrant color and brilliant balance of tang, tart and sweet. I immediately asked for the recipe and now, almost religiously, make a batch every 3 weeks.
Note: This dressing is not just for greens. It’s for everything. Dollop it on chicken, use it as a dip for sweet potato fries, spread it on a burger, smooth it over crackers and top with goat cheese, or go Jamie-style, and spoon in straight into your mouth. Why not??
To pass this must-make dressing onto your salad-freak friends, click here.
Beyond Tasty Beet Dressing
Inspired by Ottolenghi
1 small beet
A touch of honey
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
⅓- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash the beet, wrap it in foil and bake for two hours, or until very soft, then peel.
To make the dressing, put the beet, honey, mustard, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process for a few seconds, then incorporate the oil at bit at a time. It should be smooth and homogenous. You may not need to use it all. Taste as you go and adjust as needed.
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.