Blogging, growth mindset, self-care, successful people, wellness

2017, Loneliness, The Green Eyed Monster, & ME

Happy New Year Tribe!

I am excited to embrace 2018 without pretense.

Honestly Friends, 2017 was a year of intensive self growth and discovery: a redefinition of who I am as both an individual and as a professional. This past year, I was forced to stop paying lip service to my beliefs and truths but to live them fully and intentionally. I have always theoretically believed that my ambitions were limitless and that systemic and societal ceilings only existed to be broken. I have taught others to believe that and now they are also gladiators and ceiling breakers. Through their successes, my faith has soared. In 2017, I had clients and friends that thought:

  1. They could not make the next leap in their career/life.
  2. And…Even if they could make that leap, their finances would not permit them to move forward.

HOWEVER… When they got out of their own way and learned to live with a growth mindset, two of those same fixed mindset folks graduated with master degrees and many of my friends launched businesses that are doing well.

However, as my friends and clients were defying odds, I was noticing something ugly in myself. There was a quiet anger that was building within me. An anger that was an amalgamation of feelings of stagnancy, jealousy and loneliness.

Green Eyed Monster- Jealousy

Despite, my own successes and my growing traction in my field, there were days when I felt betrayed by everyone and everything- my job, my partner, my past, my friends, the lack thereof of community… myself.

I had a moment of clarity when a friend of mine with a niche blog that started well after mine, and within a month, had taken off and surpassed me in followers.

SAY WHAT, BISH???

I was so excited for them and at the same time I was jealous of their successes. It was ugly. I was ashamed.

I had to look myself in the mirror and face the self doubt that was manifesting as jealousy, head first. This wasn’t me…was it? I determined that it wasn’t.

I’m not that Person!!!! I determine who I am and who I want to be.

I have always rejoiced in the success of my peers. Shit- I’ve spent countless hours helping people pursue and obtain their dream jobs or get into their dream programs. At the same time…. This ugliness was a weakness in me that had surfaced.

Why?

I recognized that a part of me enjoyed that I was “the friend that was ahead of the game and had her shit together”. I realized that I had been allowing that praise and the image that other people had of me, to help me feel whole, to feel worthy.

 

 

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I had to fill that void with unconditional love for myself.

I also experienced loneliness in a way that was intense and new to me in 2017. A core value of mine has always been community. Moving across state lines away from my partner, family and friends to live alone and work in an environment that does not value community in the same way that I was accustomed to was incredibly difficult for me. I constantly felt like I was reaching out and trying to make new and meaningful connections that just would not stick. People have their own established lives and friends. No room for me. Not only that, as the youngest administrator, it has been hard to connect with people because of the dissonance between where we are in our lives and life experience. I am closer in age to the students than I am with other staff members.

Through all of this I had to learn how to be alone and also how to be whole despite the absence of a physical community.

I asked myself the hard questions… what makes me tick? What makes my heart smile?

I re-discovered that global service, helping people surpass their potential and writing is wholeness for me. Thus, Live.Laugh.Boss was born and has been a comfort and source of growth for me in 2017.

I learned four valuable lessons in 2017 that I have brought with me into 2018 and hope that they will help you also in your journey this year:

1. My definition of success is mine alone to define.

2. I learned the value of empathy and active listening.

3. I learned that my wholeness comes first and foremost before all else.

4. Community transcends borders, age and mileage. It is mine to make.

With these lessons, 2018 is mine and will be an amazing year because I am a better, more whole person going into it.

Happy 2018 Tribe!

 

Blogging, encouragement, growth mindset, millennials, self-care, work culture, work-life balance

Four Steps to Surviving a Huge Work F*UP…From Experience

Imagine this:
It’s your day off. You are sitting comfortably in bed, reading for leisure, sipping on a pineapple and kiwi protein shake, thinking to yourself how amazing your past week has been. When your phone starts blowing up.

 First call: You ignore it- hey it’s your day off.

Second call: it’s an unknown number….ignore

 Then there are a series of simultaneous text beeps. (Growing concern so begin to reach between the pillows to hunt for the phone)

Third call: IT HITS YOU-BAM!

Your beautiful serene self care day is about to be a memory.

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Tribe, this happened to me this past Friday. I was sitting in bed counting my blessings and looking forward to my weekend of peace, when I received a call from my graduate intern asking me where I was and who was supposed to be facilitating the body positivity presentation for the student athletes and their coaches? You guessed it- Me.

For the first time in my career, I had forgotten to show up for an event. Let me tell you, I have never felt so embarrassed about anything related to work as I did in that moment. All I could think of was how I deserved to be flogged and paraded down the street as people chanted…Shame! Shame! Shame!

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I would like to think that I am not the only person that has ever screwed up or will screw up while at work, so I thought I’d share the four steps that helped me to move forward despite my major work fuck up.

1. Nurse your ego wounds:

a. Allow yourself time to nurse your embarrassed ego. GREAT…1…2…3….WOOSAH. Then agree to forgive yourself and move on. Perhaps, you are like me and pride yourself on being amazing at what you do and this mistake really rocks your self-image for a second or two. That’s okay. Take a moment or two to grieve. Set a timer because long-term grief will not solve the existing problem.

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b. Confront your worst case scenarios:

Write down the worst things that could happen because of this mistake. For most of us this is the easiest part. It goes hand in hand with the momentary self-loathing. Will you be fired? Will you lose respect? Will people think you’re a joke now?

PHEW! THAT WAS PAINFUL. Okay, now let’s be realistic. How much of this is likely to happen? Be honest with yourself.

 Write down the likelihood of each outcome based on the severity of this mistake. Now, that we are being a bit rational we can move on to the next stage.

2. Move on and a Plan to Fix the Problem

Moving on is never easy but with a bit of self-reflection and analysis, it’s possible. Ask yourself the tough questions.

· Why did this mistake happen?

· What steps did you take or not take that led to this particular outcome?

· How can you prevent it from happening again?

-What can you do differently moving forward?

· What steps can you take immediately to ameliorate the issue?

3. Own up to your mistake. Apologize to those affected. Let them in on your plan to rectify the issue.

4. Take your steps to do better and take care of yourself

Oftentimes, mistakes are made because we are tired or careless. Make sure that you are taking time during your day to take active breaks and to stretch. When you take care of your body and your mind, you will make less mistakes in the future.

At the end of the day, I rescheduled the event and sent an apology letter to the student athletes and coaches. The following Friday, not only did all the participants show up to the event; they bought friends with them. We had a lovely workshop with apology cider donuts ( a little harmless bribes never hurt anyone.) My reputation was not damaged, and all was still right with the world. The students and staff made it clear to me that they appreciated my honesty about the mistake and the way that I handled it actually encouraged them. Real people make mistakes. It is how you come back from them that matters.

Be encouraged, Tribe.

millennials, self-care, Uncategorized, work culture, work-life balance

Surviving Trump Sh*t-Storms w/ Radical Self-Care

Happy Almost Fall Tribe,

For many of us Fall is back to school time, whether you are a student, parent or a faculty/ staff member at a school or university. For me, late August and early September is a time to think retrospectively about the previous year, both professionally and personally, and make concrete decisions on ways to improve my life during this school year. I decided that this year, is my year of radical and rebellious self-care, where I put myself before all else.

Why Rebellious Self-Care?

Because… As a society, we are told to put our careers, families, and (fill in anything else here) first, before we take care of ourselves. We are taught that self-care is limited to two places in our lives: 1) As a luxury, or as 2) Reactionary Recovery for when we are amid crisis or after the fact.

I call BULLSHIT!

SELF-CARE is for every day. It is preventative care, the oxygen mask that keeps us sane, productive, happy and functional.

Not only is Back-To-School the craziest time of year for me professionally but the past two weeks have literally been political hell: Trump is repealing DACA, North Korea is testing hydrogen bombs, Hurricane Harvey is out here wiping out whole towns in Texas, Trump is preparing to withdraw from free-trade in South Korea. I mean, every day the world feels like it’s ending.

Although I was fazed by these overwhelming events, I was not defeated by them nor did I feel the need to call in “human” to work every time I read my politics feed.

Why Not? I had a self-care plan in place so that after my two weeks of professional and political hell, I could rejuvenate myself before the stress could truly build-up and set my school-year off to the wrong start.

How?

Pre-scheduling my personal days and/or vacation days. I anticipated when my most stressful weeks would be and pre-planned self-care day, before the fact. Every day, if anything went wrong or I felt overwhelmed or exhausted, I had a little secret to look forward to — my planned self-care weekend extravaganza.

I thought I would share what that my pre-planned self care weekend often looks like.

SELF CARE Weekend SCHEDULE:

Labor Day Weekend: Invited friends over for a sleepover to play games, drink wine and catch up.

Labor Day: Fruit and Veggie picking at the local Farm, afternoon of chic-fil-a, shopping and ice-cream with family and friends.

Labor Day Evening: Begin preparing for radical self-care day by cleaning my house, doing laundry and meal-prepping a big delicious, nutritious meal to last a few days. Lemon chicken, mushroom pilaf, sauteed veggies, and grilled salmon. (I do this for two reasons, I can’t truly relax or self-care if my house is a mess and I did not want to take time away from my self-caring to cook.)While dinner was cooking, I reviewed, wrote and pre-scheduled any work emails that I knew would need to be sent out the next day.

SELF CARE DAY SCHEDULE:

10:30am- Wake up and do a little in bed stretching and meditation

11:00am- Lit some candles for a Luxurious shower and hair wash. Oil my scalp and deep condition my hair

12:00pm- Make and eat delicious yogurt bowl

12:30pm- Casually finish folding laundry while watching Master Chef

1:15pm- Read for fun and write this article

3:00pm- Core workout and stretching

4:15pm- Deep tissue massage and body scrub

( Note : I have a massage fund that I save up $10 every two weeks or so for when I do need an emergency massage. There’s money already available.)

7:00pm- Warm and eat delicious dinner that I prepped the night before while watching Weeds

8:00pm- Sensual bath with candles

8:30pm- Self-pedicure

10:00pm- Hop into bed, do some light reading before bed

10:45- 15 minute guided meditation for deep sleep

11:00pm- Lights out

Self- care days do not have to be expensive. Many of these activities require light planning and can be replaced with more affordable options such as self-massage or massage with a partner.

Your body, and your mental health is important. Put them first. You are worthy of self love. Don’t wait till you are stressed to take care of yourself. By then, it’s often too late and waiting makes the events harder to enjoy.