14 Exciting New Ways to Kickoff 2014!

Happy New Year!!!! Welcome to the year 2014. Another year that will be filled with greatness. As I was looking over my last year, I discovered how many firsts were completed. How many dreams were manifested. I can’t help but be grateful for what’s come to me and excited for all coming this next year.

Its time for us to keep Breaking The Shell and continue steping out of the comfort zone. Expand the horizons. Check things off the bucket list. Get adventurous. Manifest your dream life. Yolo right?


Here are 14 things you can do to Kickoff 2014:

 

1. Make A Vision Board
Get out all those magazines, glue sticks, and scissors and start scrapping your visions for the year. You can host or go to a party or put on some Super Soul Sunday and make it on your own. Go through the magazines and cut out any pictures and words that make you feel good and represent things you want to happen for you. Paste them on a poster board to hang up somewhere you can see it everyday. Vision boards are amazing ways to get a representation of what’s currently on your mind and an even more amazing way to feel and stay motivated through out the year. Why settling with just a cut out on the fridge when you can have a whole poster of things that brighten your day.

2. Plan a Retreat
Whether it’s for a month, a week, a weekend, or just one night, I want you to plan a retreat that you want to go on this year. Plan it as a family trip, a friends weekend away, or a private getaway for just you. We can all agree that vacations are relaxing and something we all need. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to go with events you’ve always wanted to try. Figure out travel arrangements, where you will stay, your itinerary for the time you will be there, everything from beginning to end. The one thing I don’t want you to do is think about the cost or how unrealistic the trip is. It doesn’t matter if you ever end up going on the trip or not but the idea is to put your dreams into the universe. Who knows, maybe you’ll realize how doable you retreat really is, or maybe someway, somehow it will manifest into your life on it’s own.

3. Start a New Class
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make cakes like a cake boss? Paint like Picasso? Act like Brad Pitt? Or simply just try Bikram Yoga? Think of something you’ve always wanted to try and sign up for a class. Take a baking class, sign up for salsa, join a meditation group, or get a month pass for an exercise class. 90% of the work to starting a new routine is just starting. Not only is this a good way to scratch a goal off the bucket list but it’s also a great way to get out of the house and meet new friends.

4. Try a New Restaurant
Drive down the street and see if there is any place that you never eaten at before. And if you haven’t had that type of food, even better. If you live in a small town and have tried every place, then drive to the next city and see what comes up there. We get so used to going to the same places over and over that we may be missing out on the little gem right in front of our noses. Another good idea is to try a new item on the menu. Start expanding your horizons.

5. Just Drive
Take a solo drive and just drive. Find the road less traveled and see where it takes you. We all have navigation on our phones or in our cars these days so don’t worry about getting lost. Just drive, listen to fun music, and use the time alone to dream.

6. Write a handwritten letter to a friend
And send it to them. Don’t you love getting mail that isn’t a bill. Especially when it’s unexpected. How long has been since you’ve actually handwritten letter? Get out some pretty stationary, write something awesome for someone you care about, even better if it’s someone you don’t get to speak to often, and send it this weekend. Put some glitter in the envelope too 🙂 Glitter always makes people smile.

7. Splurge on a new outfit.
Don’t wait until you reach your goal weight. Buy a new outfit NOW! Splurge on some new shoes that you like or a new dress/suit. Why wait? The future never comes so feel good now!!!  And if there’s something you want that is really out of your range, take a picture of it and put it on your vision board.

8. Put the Phone Down.
Isn’t it awkward these days now when you go out and all you see are people on there phones. I can easily admit that I can be that person. I have been working on becoming more aware and putting my phone down often but let’s plan to REALLY start living in the real world instead of the virtual world in our hands. When you go out to eat, everyone leave your phone in the car. When you’re at home, leave your phone in the room. When you’re in the elevator, TALK to the person in there with you. As great as technology is and the availability of information and communication, ironically it’s enabled us to communicate less face to face. Regain that connection with your fellow humans by becoming present! Maybe even choose to spend one day a week without your phone all day. No matter how much you think you need it, for work, emails, emergencies etc…..remember there used to be a time when we didn’t have cell phones. There’s always a way to figure it out!

9. Carry Your Camera Around
And no not your phone camera. Start bringing your point and shoot or your DSLR with you and take some pictures. Capture memories. Get creative. Take pictures of the places you go, the people you’re with, colors and patterns you see, and NOT the food you eat. Trust me you’ll be so happy you’ll have these memories later in life. Get them printed and hang them on your wall  or make a canvas for a friend.

10. Have a Game Night
Nothing is better then having some friends over and playing some games. You can even go back to childhood and have a Connect Four Tournament or Battle Ship wars. Just have fun, laugh, and feel like a kid again.

11. Trade Recipes
Who doesn’t like being able to make new foods. Get a small group of 7 friends and trade new easy recipes with each other. Write your favorite receipe down on 7 different note cards and pass them out to your friends while they pass theirs to you. By the end of the exchange, you’ll have a weeks worth of new ideas to try.

12. Sit in Silence
Whether in your room or on top on  a hillside somewhere, just sit in silence. Close your eyes or keep them open. Listen to the sounds around you, feel the energy in your body, smell the scent of the air. Listen to the thoughts in your head. Just breathe and appreciate the life that you live

13. Clean Up

Go through your closet, your garage, your junk drawers and get rid of anything you don’t need or don’t use. If you haven’t used it in this last year (and know you wont this next year) then get rid of it. If you know you won’t ever have a yard sale just take everything to the Good Will. Get it out your house and give it away. Not only is that clearing the clutter in your place, but it’s clearing the clutter in your brain. You will FEEL more energized because you will free up the energy you spent always “thinking” you needed to get rid of it. JUST START!

14. SMILE
Life is too short to worry about anything else but being happy. Smile…it’s contagious. Smile at a stranger, smile at your family, smile at your friends, look in the mirror and smile at yourself. Smile at your face, your body, your soul. No matter how you were feeling before, I promise, all it takes is a smile to raise your energy level even if just a little.

 

HERE’S TO 2014…A YEAR BOUND TO BEAT THE REST

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How To Create A Heart-Centered Affirmation and Radically Change Your Life!

CatAndMirrorGood Afternoon,

Today I want to talk a little bit about Affirmations and how they can help change your life. If you don’t know what an affirmation is, it is a statement of intention. Something you want to affirm as being true. When we create affirmations, it is a statement we are affirming to the Universe that is expressing the direction in which we intend to move towards.

We all express lots of self talk during the day but the question is… how empowering is it? As discussed on many occasions before, our thoughts lead to our feelings. Repeated thoughts then lead to beliefs. So when you take some time to think about some of the thoughts that go through our head, especially the ones that happen continuously, what are some things you have declared to be true?

“I’m never going to lose this weight”
“They don’t care about me”
“I’m never going to find a good guy/girl”
“My relationship will never get better”
“I don’t have money or time to take a nice vacation

How many of you have thought these exact thoughts or ones that were similar? Can you see how statements like this can cause you to feel disempowered? To feel victimized, like you have no control over your life or your future. My guess is, when these thoughts come up, it doesn’t leave you feeling really good. Do you want to feel good? Do you wan to feel empowered? Do you want to feel like you do have control over your future and have a say in creating the reality that you would like? Changing “I’m never going to lose this weight” into “I am capable of losing this weight” is one thing but let’s go a little further and create a powerful Heart-Centered Affirmation that bring out the qualities that you want to share with the world. Something that gives you power and motivation that will heal and change your whole life for the better. Let’s start manifesting the person you know you are inside. C’mon let’s do it!

There are many types of Affirmations, today we are going to focus on creating a Heart-Centered one which focus on the quality or qualities you want to portray in your everyday life. These next steps are steps from a worksheet I received at school that helped me create powerful statement.

HOW TO CREATE A HEART-CENTERED AFFIRMATION

1. Pick a Quality (or Qualities)
In this step you want to think about qualities you want to strengthen in your current life. Attributes that would assist you in outwardly and inwardly calling you forward to that of your true Loving Essence. Something you want to posses more of. One thing we did in class was we sat in meditation for a few minutes focusing on the step and would pick the first quality or few qualities that would come to mind. You can also look at a list and pick one or two that bring a spark to your inner self when you read it

2. Anchor in Spirit by beginning with I AM…..
This is an important step because you are affirming that this statement is already true. You already posses these qualities.

3. Bring your process into the present (NOW)
We can do this by using action words ending in “ing” or “ly”. We can even insert our qualities right here. Example, If your quality is Acceptance then you want to use AcceptING. If your quality is Courageous then you will use CourageousLY.

4. Maintain a positive forward focus
Stay away from using phrases like I AM NOT or any words that are used in the negative.

5. Use energizing and descriptive words
This will help enliven and enrich your affirmation.

6. Include your Quality.
This seems like a no-brainer but sometimes we can get lost in the descriptive vocabulary, describing the traits of the quality that we can forget to use the actual word. If you did not use your quality in action form during Step 2 then make you don’t forget to insert it somewhere.

7. Include both Inner and Outer focus
This means focus on the intentions you want to bring forward from within and outside.

8. Include Enthusiasm.
This will help empower your process and make you feel excited when you think about or read your affirmation.

Here are some examples my teacher gave of affirmations using the guidelines above:

Quality: Trust
“I am trusting my Loving and sharing it openly”
– Inner focus “trusting my loving”
-Outer focus “sharing it openly”

Quality: Surrender
“I am surrendering to Spirit’s Love and sharing my joy with all”
-Inner Focus “surrending to Sprit’s Love”
-Outer Focus “Sharing my joy with all”

Quality: Courage. Strength of Heart. Trust. Authentic Expression.
“I am courageously standing in the Strength of my heart, gracefully trusting and following my inner guidance, authentically expressing my gifts in the world, while sharing the beauty of who I am”
-Inner Focus “courageously standing in the Strength of my heart, gracefully trusting and following my inner guidance”
-Outer Focus “authentically expressing my gifts in the world, while sharing the beauty of who I am

Once you have created an affirmation that resonates powerfully with you, you want to make sure to bring it alive within your Self. You have to know that your quality already exists within your consciousness in its full entirety. To bring overall change and healing in your life you want to engage with your affirmation on a daily basis. Speak it with heart. Write it down in multiple places so you can see it and be reminded of it often. Feel it’s presence and power inside. Hold a clear positive intention to activate and energize your quality within. Visualize yourself embodying your quality and affirmation. Lastly, use your everyday experiences as opportunities to demonstrate your quality and affirmation.

Using meaningful affirmations can have a HUGE effect on your overall life and experience of the world. They empower you to create the experiences you wish to have in your life. They allow you to shift your thinking and program new beliefs which will lead you to take action in the direction you truly desire. Sometimes it may feel weird at first, especially if you’re not used to believing it, but if it holds meaning to you, it will start to transform your overall being. You can create more than one and you can change an existing one as you see fit and as your experiences change. The key is to feel the power and let it live within, therefore to be expressed authentically.

Go ahead give it a try!!! Share your affirmation below, let me know if you need help.

My current Affirmation: “I am freely standing in my truth, sharing my soul courageously with others, thus creating Authentic Empowerment within and all around me”

live inspired!

xoxo,

barista

How To Free Up Your Energy and Enjoy The Present.

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering where all your energy has gone? A couple of months ago I found myself in that place and had no idea why I had been so tired and drained. I thought maybe something was wrong with my health, so I went to the doctors and they took a bunch of blood test, (when I say a bunch, think about 20 viles worth) and like I feared, besides being a bit low on vitamin D, everything seemed fine. I say feared because it’s like I wanted to see if there was SOMETHING wrong so I could then have an answer as to why I was feeling the way I did. When everything came back fine, then I was back at square one not knowing the answer or how to reach a solution.

I know there are many things that could affect our energy, such as our diet, or simply maybe we’re just doing too much. Sometimes it can even be more obvious than that though. What about just the things we SAID we would do but never get around to. How does that take a toll on our energy levels? Do you have those books you bought that you keep meaning to read but don’t seem to find the time? What about cleaning the garage like you said you would a few months ago? Maybe just buying that plant for your living room that you keep forgetting about?

Living in the world we live in now, where we have so much stimuli going on around us and busy seems to mean we’re important, we get into the habit of over committing or putting too much on our plate. Doing too much at the same time or in each day. Since when did busy mean better?

SpinningPlates

Some people juggle getting kids ready for school, working a full shift, running a few errands, making time for the gym, taking kids to practice, making dinner for the family, catching up on a side business when everyone is asleep, and finally getting to bed, all in one days work just to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow. Then the weekend comes where it would seem to be rest time, and here comes birthday parties, and taking kids to sports or activities, tending to the backyard and cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc. and before you know it, it’s back to Monday. Oh Monday! If this is you, I could imagine how you are tired and where your energy is going. Look at all those areas where your energy is being expended.

Now add on top of that, remembering all those unread books, or that dirty garage, or that corner of the room with the missing the plant. All those internal commitments use energy too and although is seems like it can’t be taking too much energy, it may be taking more energy then some of the things you are actually doing. So even those of you that don’t have a “busy” day like the one I played through above, you still could find yourself lacking energy because it’s geared towards all the unfulfilled commitments you have yet to do. Every time we say we are going to do something and we do not get around to it, that is good energy that we are just mortgaging, unable to use elsewhere.

To get a clear picture of this, I want you to make two lists. One of your current scene, that lists all the things/activites you have going on in which you are physically extending energy to. You can get detailed or just straight forward

example of some things on my list (very straight forward)
*Relationship
*Child
*Job
*Photography
*School
*Son’s Sports
*Reading books for school
*Homework
*Blog
*Planning a party
*Hanging out with friends
*An argument with a family member

you get the point. Any and everything that your energy is currently going to.

Now, make a second list of all those things you said you would do but never seem to get around to it. When I say you never get around to it, I mean not even a little bit. Meaning you can put the gym down if you really never get to the gym, but don’t put it on the list if you only go 2 times a week instead of the 4 times that you want. That’s something that can go on the above list. Make sense? So stuff like, cleaning out your closet, throwing away old papers, etc.

Examples of stuff on my list:
*Books I’ve been meaning to read
*Organizing stuff in the garage
*Cleaning out old toys and giving them away
*Taking the toys from Tyson’s birthday (back in April) to Children’s Hospital
*Juicing again in the morning
*Buy new plants for the backyard
*Buy new bedsheets/comforter for my bed
*Editing pictures from a free photoshoot I did for a family member.
*Helping my son practice how to ride his bike without training wheels.
*Cleaning the trunk of my car

That’s already a lot of stuff and I had way more on the list. But do you get the point? There’s all this energy that is physically being used day to day and then a bunch of energy being used just thinking about all the things you committed to doing but haven’t done yet. NO WONDER WE’RE SO TIRED!!! We’re spinning 100 plates on sticks all while only being able to give each one a fraction of our attention at a time. Not only is that energy drained, but half ass work getting done. Plates will eventually start to fall and now you’ve just added mess to clean up to your To-Do list.  

So how do we clean this up? How do we get our energy back? Well for starters, let’s work on actually completing some of the things on list #2. How about we just remove some plates. Maybe seems a little crazy to basically add on to list #1 BUT most likely the things on list #2 are things that once complete, it’s complete. It’s not ongoing like a relationship or job would be. So why not make all that mortgaged energy useful and then available for your everyday life. All those things you need to do in the future, let em go. You just took some plates off, relax! Remember the goal is to stay present and not drain ourselves by the shoulda/woulda/couldas. Then we can work on completing some of the stuff on our first list leaving us not only more energy but more time to just enjoy what is.

To start this process right now, I want you to write one more list. Make a list of things you know you can ABSOLUTELY without a doubt complete this month. We want to take baby steps here to avoid not over committing again. Not only will fulfilling these commitments free up your energy but it will always make you FEEL good for following through with what you said you were going to do. If it’s only one or two things that is totally fine. I want you to win!! If it’s reading a book you haven’t gotten to, something as simple as skimming through the entire book in a few minutes can be helpful. If going to the gym is on your list, just getting there, swiping your card and leaving could make a difference.

Some things on my list I will complete in the next month:
*Go outside with Tyson at least once so he can ride his bike
*Buy new plants for the backyard
*Workout at least 5 times
*Sign up for Oprah and Deepak meditation series.
*Make a blog post at least two times a week

Now go down that list and  enthusiastically talk about and imagine you doing it RIGHT NOW!!! The mind can’t tell the difference between you just thinking something and actually doing it and studies show that if you get in the habit of visualizing, it is more likely that you WILL actually do that thing you are imagining yourself doing. Get excited, get detailed. Go over with a friend your vision, Picture the room, the people involved, the sounds, the smells. Most importantly picture it and feel it. Just witness how much energy you free up this next week or month and only commit to things you can complete. Be truthful. It’s better to not make any commitments then to leave commitments unfulfilled. Not only will you lessen the number of spinning plates but you’ll be able to gear more love into each one, producing amazing results. Keep me updated!!!

the higher your energy level the more efficient your body the more efficient your body the better you feel copy

xoxo,

 barista

Happy Birthday To Me

happybirthdaytomeSo Wednesday was my 29th birthday and boy did I feel special. I found myself continuously thinking “what did I do to deserve this?”, Sometimes even thinking “I don’t deserve this”. Isn’t that crazy? On my birthday of all days, I would think I didn’t deserve the love or gift that someone is offering me.

How do you react when people give you compliments? Instead of saying thank you and receiving the positive energy, many of us tend to dismiss the compliment in some way. We will minimize it or counter it. You may even say thank you but really aren’t taking it in at all. I never noticed I used to do that until someone had to blatantly point it out to me. Conversation went something like this “I love your hair, its beautiful” “Omg I hate it, it’s so thin and damaged, but thanks”. Boom a three in one!

Throughout the day on my birthday I had to consciously think sometimes “you are getting this recognition because people love you and want to express that”. I’m sure I can’t be the only one that has a hard time receiving love. Why do you think it’s so hard for us to receive love? It could be a multitude of reasons I guess but some that come to mind are because 1. We aren’t used to it 2. We fear the vulnerability 3. We don’t receive enough love from ourselves.

We Aren’t Used To It

One reason it could be hard to receive love is because you did not have a lot of positive experiences when you were younger. This lack now leads to a pain surrounding love. Maybe your parents didn’t encourage you as much as you would have liked. Not only that, maybe you saw your friends parents encourage them therefore you built this pain around the fact that you weren’t getting the same thing. In order for us to fully take in love, we have to be able to open our hearts. When you open your heart you have to touch on that bottled up pain that is there. Sadly, our human nature has been to try to avoid pain so we choose to keep our hearts closed making it hard to let the positive energy in. Paradoxically this avoidance will actually lead us to more pain down the road.

I think a good way to try to heal this part of you is to go back to the memory of that little boy or girl and give them the love you wanted. It’s even better if you have specific memories in which you clearly did not receive what you needed. If you felt your parent did not show you the love you wanted, know that it does not mean they didn’t love you. Maybe they didn’t get the loved they needed when they were younger therefore have a hard time expressing it just the same. Tell yourself “Even though I did not receive the love and encouragement I wanted, I choose to love and encourage myself”

The Fear Of Being Vulnerable

As mentioned above, to fully receive positive energy we have to be open to it. Being open can feel totally exposing. When someone would give me a compliment, it felt awkward to sit there and just accept it and say thank you. I felt naked. Someone was “seeing” me so  I had to cover up by counteracting the compliment. Whats wrong with being seen? I can’t help but hear the voice of the crocodile hunter… there’s me mate right ova there. so here’s what we do, we gotta give ye a mighty compliment aye, when ye accepts it that means ye trust us now right…well now that we have that trust there we have the opportunity to pounce on that mate there when they aren’t looking at us and eat em right up…oh yea and then spit er right out because ye taste bloody horrible! (ps: dont know if Australians say “ye” i just made it up haha

Oh yea, people can then sense your weakness then pounce when you’re not ready, and then when they can really see you they will reject you… so you MUST stay guarded at all times right? We’re not zebras in a field of hungry lions. We are humans and deep down we seek love but again we  want to avoid pain. Being open means being vulnerable which means being susceptible to pain. Well the great thing about pain is that it is a function of your own perspective. Practice being vulnerable. The fear of vulnerability often feels like you have something to hide, so start sharing stuff. Even if it’s just to yourself in the mirror for now. Let it all out…the good, bad, and ugly…and then guess what… LOVE YOURSELF!

We Don’t Love Ourselves Enough

I would say one of the number one reasons it’s hard for us to receive love is because deep down we don’t feel worthy of it. Of course we all like to think we love ourselves but think about how you show love to yourself. Is saying “ugh my hair is so thin and damaged” loving yourself? Is talking negatively about your body loving yourself? Is telling yourself you’re damaged loving yourself? If we can not receive enough love from ourselves, when someone else  is giving us love we tend to have an inner conflict. What they are saying or doing is not matching up to out internal beliefs. In this case, one of two things will happen… we will either let our own negative belief win, OR we will exchange the negative belief for the positive one. Being that we’ve been wired to take the easy route, keeping whats already there is usually what happens. So time to practice the latter fo the two. Exchanging the negative belies for positive ones. We can start by the beliefs we have about ourselves. Each morning try to say something positive about yourself. Then list reasons why this is true. Smile at yourself. Hug yourself. Dance, Sing, LOVE YOURSELF. Love yourself as if you were a friend, because in reality you should be your own friend.

I can admit, I had to remain pretty aware throughout the day on my birthday in order to fully receive all that was coming my way. And guess what, IT FELT GOOD!!! Could you imagine that. Receiving Love FEEL GOOD! So this barrier we’ve built around our heart to avoid pain actually has blocked love in the process. Silly us!!! My birthday present to myself was letting love in!

Try it!!! Be vulnerable, Love yourself, and Get used to it and I promise you, it will feel great!!! Happy Birthday to me.

xoxo,

barista

From Thinking to Writing/Speaking

Ever go through something in your head and know exactly what you want to write or talk about but can’t form it into words? It’s almost as if your head speaks a different language then your mouth knows. This happens to me often and the main reasons it’s so hard for me to write. My brain is very active and I am always thinking and putting things together until it makes sense to me but then when it comes to letting it out, I just can’t put it into words. It;s weird because when I am thinking it’s obviously as if I am thinking in English but then how come the words I’m thinking can’t be just transferred onto paper or come out of my mouth?

Anyone else, especially bloggers, have this problem? If so I would LOVE to hear some ideas of any things you do to help you express exactly how you feel or are thinking into words? Is there a process you go through that helps? It can be very overwhelming to feel like you have so much to say or explain, and so much going on in your head yet feel like it’s just suck in your head. Maybe I dont prepare enough before I write. Maybe I should take notes thruogh out the day. Maybe I should have a ritual. I dunno!!!

This is where I am at right now and would love to learn what other people who may have similar issues may do to make the process easier.

Thanks xoxo,

barista