Welcome to the InnerBrilliance Blog

rosieHi! I’m Rosie, and I want to share my passion for awakening people’s spirits and seeing possibilities. These passions along with my natural inclination to create trust and make connections led to studying and practicing life coaching. I started coaching several years ago and founded InnerBrilliance Coaching in 2007 since I was committed to helping illuminate a path for people to realize their full life potential. I sincerely believe you can design the life you love and feel energized and alive along the way. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to do this too. So, explore with me how harnessing your “inner brilliance” can help you design the life you love!

PMA = A Powerful & Simple Tool for Happiness

 

PMA.  You have to have it…to “have it all” and ultimately feel happier!  So, what is PMA?  It stands for “present moment awareness” – or being aware of and present in the moment.  It helps you stay connected to your truth versus getting caught up in the possible “painful” stories of your life.

Used In Ancient & Modern Times

Ancient wisdom traditions say that the highest form of intelligence is being a witness or an observer of your life (in other words, being aware of your life).

In modern times, research also reinforces the benefits of having present moment awareness or being mindful (i.e., paying attention to the moment).  It brings a sense of peace and sanity to life.

But, I know practicing PMA can feel hard to do.  Some days, I feel bombarded by daily life and the thoughts and feelings that come along with my life’s circumstances.  So, I practice PMA as often as possible.  That wasn’t always the case.  Being human (and a Sicilian human at that), I often used to react (shall we say, at times, a bit overly “passionate”) to my life situations.  Just ask my nieces and nephews about what they call the “Rosebud Incident of 2003.

What if :

  • we could experience equanimity and see that every moment was in service of our higher good?
  • everything in life didn’t have to be perfect to feel like perfection in the moment?

How is this possible?!

Learn the Secret of Practicing PMA…

It’s to not judge what is occurring. And, to accept whatever emotions, thoughts, and sensations are showing up in the moment for you.  This approach to your life can help you experience emotional agility by helping to monitor and regulate your thoughts and feelings.  With this kind of mastery of your emotions, you can make better choices about what you want to think, feel, or do next.

Remember, you give meaning to everything that happens in your life.  Feeling happier OR suffering comes from the interpretation of what happened and not the actual experience.

For example, the other day I felt overwhelmed by all that I needed to get done in various areas of my life (from meet with clients and strategic partners to fix my stove so I can eat a warm meal again:-).  I began to feel self doubt about what to do next.  And, on the deepest level, I felt fear that it wouldn’t all get done.  After identifying those thoughts and feelings, I decided that everything I’m doing and the decisions I’m making are perfect for me.  (Doesn’t even matter if they were not.)  I created a new interpretation of what was happening in my life. That decision (or new thought) immediately relaxed me.

How It Works

When something seemingly upsetting is occurring, we revert back to automatic reactions out of habit. But, if we can remain present in the moment (i.e., focused on our thoughts, feelings, and any sensations in our body), our minds can’t ruminate about what happened in the past or worry about the future.  So, if something happens in your life and you’re noticing a reaction, just pause and practice PMA.

If I didn’t practice PMA (as I mentioned in my example above), I might have allowed the feeling of overwhelm and fear take over.  I would have remembered times in the past when I felt that way OR continued to worry about not getting everything done (a thought about the “future”).  So, if I let my mind wander outside of the present moment, my body would actually feel the upsetting emotions associated with not getting things done.

And, this is when the automatic reaction bubbles up inside of me.  But, when I practice PMA, I can can pay attention to what I’m noticing in the moment (i.e., my habitual response), understand what isn’t serving me well, decide to change any thoughts or feelings, and then move forward with a more mindful or purposeful action (instead of a negative, unhelpful “re-action”).

Science Confirms It Works

Science even supports that my revised “reaction” (i.e., more positive response) to overwhelm and fear can occur.  With the new story (or thought) about my situation, I released chemicals in my body that calmed me (and my mind) down. With a greater sense of emotional balance, I remembered to read a saying I keep near my desk.  It states: “I give thanks for this perfect day, miracle shall follow miracle and wonders shall never cease.”  After reading it, I actually felt excited about the challenges ahead and started whizzing through my projects all day long.

So, PMA helps me to live an inspired life daily, moment by moment. To help you practice PMA, I’m sharing my “Having It All…Made Simple” Roadmap.  It builds on the premise of PMA with additional tools to live a happier life based on what is important to you. If you string together all of the happier moments you experience, you’ll feel like you flow through your life with more ease ad grace. Ideally, this Roadmap will help you learn new ways to experience your life results – - with less stress – - while feeling more enjoyment and fulfillment every step of the way!

If you want to check out additional tools and resources to learn more about PMA, check out another blog post “How To Be in the Present Moment.

How To Be “Present In The Moment”

 

We know being present in the moment is important.  There is even a whole practice called “Present Moment Awareness.”  But, do we really know how to do it, especially when we get embroiled in our busy lives?

Well Known Tool

The most established method to integrate the practice of present moment awareness (or mindfulness) in to your life is to mediate as it ultimately reshapes your brain and proclivity toward using the more developed area of your brain.

 

Below are 2 ways I meditate:

  • A very simple meditation is to set the timer for 5 minutes.  Then, just focus your awareness on your breath and how it feels coming in and out of your nose or mouth.  Or, you could also be aware of the rise and fall of your belly as you breath.  If your mind wanders, gently redirect your focus to the sensations your feeling in your body.
  • If you need more assistance, I enjoy meditations by Deepak Chopra.  He periodically provides a meditation with a theme that lasts for 21 days (which is the minimal amount of time needed to create a new habit).

Additional Tools

You can build on your meditation practice or move forward with practicing PMA with other tools that might be easier to integrate into modern day lives.  For a full description of options, check out the book Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life: The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. This book is designed to help change your approach to your problems and improve the direction of your life by leveraging techniques within mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based living.

Simplest Way to Begin

At the most basic level, practicing PMA can begin focusing on your breath and asking the question “what am I noticing in this moment?” I most often ask the question when I’m emotionally triggered.  Just pausing and identifying my thoughts, feelings, or any sensations in my body immediately calm me.

I also bring in an element of gratitude for what is occurring. I don’t mean resignation to a negative outcome in life.  I just try to “be with” those thoughts, feelings, and sensations.  I suddenly have access to a new and deeper level of awareness that helps me to work through what has triggered me and find a more creative solution to process it.

You could also ask that question during less stressful times such as washing your hands, taking a shower, or walking through a park.  It’ll help train your brain to stay focused on the moment versus having your mind wander.  And, studies show that happier people tend to be have their mind wander less.

This information is just the beginning to living a more mindful, happier life.  But, the beginning usually is the best place to start:-)

Ready to Look in the Mirror and See the REAL You?

Some relationships can be so rewarding while some can be so frustrating. What if all of those relationships were a gift, a chance to grow personally, evolve your life, and help you relax a bit?  Below is a theory I love about relationships and how they help us in our lives.

Ready to Look in the Mirror

Relationships can be a tool for our evolution and growth because everyone is a reflection of ourselves.  At a minimum, this perspective allows you to be more accepting of yourself and of others.  At a deeper level, you can take on this perspective to open your eyes and ears for messages and opportunities you couldn’t previously see or appreciate.  But, in any case, it all starts with you…

See the Real YOU!

The idea is that the traits we see most clearly in others are the ones that are strongest in ourselves.  The traits we really like in another and want to have more of are within the people we like, or even love.  But, if there are traits in someone that really irritates us, they are reflecting  traits we have in ourselves that we’ve repressed.  We deny these qualities in an effort to ignore we have a dark side and then project these very qualities on to others.  This explanation can help us begin to embrace the co-existence of opposites within ourselves.  And, we can start to see that no one is “perfect.”  This orientation toward others and ourselves helps us to ease our judgments.  In this more relaxed state of mind, we open up to more possibilities in our lives.

Exercise

To further demonstrate this concept, I’m sharing an exercise adapted from Deepak Chopra’s course SynchroDestiny.

  1. Think of someone you really like or love.
  2. List 10 qualities about this person that you love.
  3. Think of someone who irritates or annoys you.
  4. List 10 qualities about this person that you don’t like.
  5. In the answer from #2, mark 3 qualities you find most appealing.
  6. In the answer from #4, mark 3 qualities you find most difficult.
  7. Read the 6 qualities out loud.  You are ALL of these qualities.

Once you see yourself in others, you’ll find it easier to connect with them and maintain emotional well-being.

To learn more about how we can become more open to messages we might not have been able to receive previously, check out my blog postWow, I Must Be Amazing!  Bet you are, too!  Find out…

Wow, I Must Be Amazing!!! Bet you are, too:-) Find out…

What can we learn from our relationships?

You might have heard the saying “what goes around, comes around.”  Or, in coaching circles, people say “You get (back) what you put out in to the world.” Given that I’ve received so much love and support this last month (after my father passing away), I realized I must be exuding a lot of love and hope.

I know you might be thinking I’m giving myself too much credit.  And, if you have nice friends and a solid family, anyone would receive positive sentiments during a difficult time in life.  BUT, it wasn’t all hearts and roses. In fact, the priest who was supposed to reside over my dad’s funeral gave me the most unexpected blow just hours after my Dad left us.

I was at one of the lowest points in my life and trying to be there for my mom when my family and I were talking to the priest about what prayers and songs we wanted for my Dad’s funeral.  I have a hearing problem so I didn’t catch all of the priest’s suggestions.  When I asked him to speak up, he began to tease me about my hearing.  At first, I didn’t think he was teasing because I thought who would tease someone about hearing loss (or blindness, or any disability)?  And, after I realized what he was doing, I was in disbelief and then shock.  Sure, tease me any other time and I might be annoyed.  But, at this moment, I was outraged! (By the way, my hearing genes are from my Dad:-)

So, as we continued the conversation, I was trying to suppress my instincts to put him in his place.  The conversation went on…my brother was sharing some stories about how my dad was a fighter.   At 22 years old, my Dad came from Sicily, learned English, became an entrepreneur, and created the life he desired for his family.  All I kept thinking was how could that priest be so insensitive with me?!

Can we learn something even in our most challenging relationships?

Being the good coach that I am;-), I decided to focus on the present moment and to be there for my family versus taking the priest down (kidding, of course).  Later, I began writing my Dad’s eulogy.  And, it just flowed out of me.  Yet, I continued to think about the priest’s behavior and how my dad would have told the priest how he felt about it.  That is when it hit me.  My Dad’s “driven attitude” was coming through me…as it often did.  I allowed myself to feel agitated and then I did a little self coaching. I know that I get back what I put out in the world.  So, I asked myself “where or with whom am I being insensitive?” Hmmm…I had a few people in mind I won’t share in case they’re reading this now:-)  But, I kept thinking.

This is what I learned about myself…

One person I could have actually been insensitive toward was ME.  Had I been sensitive to my needs in the last few days?   Not really.  So, thank you priest, for helping me realize I needed to take care of myself. And, thank you for continuing to tease me so that I could clearly receive the message I needed to hear (pun intended).

Now, I was ready to hear a deeper message.

Beyond this person being a mirror for me to learn something about myself and my situation, he helped me remember one of the most important points I needed to include in my Dad’s eulogy…that he was a fighter.  (Funny, how I didn’t “hear” this message when my brother spoke about it.)  But, my dad fought hard for his life and he fought hard at the end of it, too.  This sentiment became the opening sentence of my eulogy.  So, thank you priest for giving me the opportunity to remember who my dad was…he would have been disappointed if I forgot to say he was a fighter.

Finally, I received the gift of acceptance for myself and for another.

In the remainder of the eulogy, I went on to express how my Dad loved so hard, too.  You can’t know or have a quality without its opposing side.   Obviously, I’m a sensitive person.  And, I can be insensitive at times, too.  All qualities within us have an existing opposing quality. We must remember this concept to be more accepting of ourselves and others.

Ultimately, this whole process softened me toward the priest and helped me express my Dad’s essence which I hope to do for as long as I’m on this earth.  I was so grateful to experience compassion for the priest and myself.   The funeral ended up being beautiful…the priest was amazing, the songs were uplifting, and the prayers were heavenly.

What about you?

How can relationships serve as a mirror in your life?

What can you learn about yourself when you are with another?

What do you want to express to your world…knowing that the riches of your expression will be reflected back to you?

P.S.  To further explore this concept of seeing yourself in another and how to be more accepting of yourself and others, check out this 3 minute exercise in my blog postReady to Look in the Mirror and See the REAL You?

Self Acceptance & Self Love – How To Get It For REAL!

Last month, I was honored to be interviewed by Megan Chappell, founder of TRU by Megan.  Megan’s mission is to make others feel good through physical and emotional shifts…that is, through experiencing movement while finding a more empowering mindset.

And, empowerment can only be built upon a strong foundation – - of TRUTH.

She knows that “truth” is at the crux of feeling good physically, emotionally, and mentally.

So, I’m excited to share what we uncover in our interview including:
  • connecting with your truth
  • accepting yourself plus being ok with where you find yourself in your life
  • and FINALLY experiencing self-love

So why is this important?!

Acceptance and love is the way to experience all you desire!

To learn more about this inspirational powerhouse I’m honored to call my friend and colleague, check out her site http://meganchappell.com.

The Secret to Falling In Love (With Yourself & Your Life)

During February, there is obviously a lot of conversation around love, self-love, and the general topic of having what our hearts’ desire.  So, I was drawn to this quote which reminds us that we have the lead role in experiencing what we want if we could just be who we really are.  Sounds easy!

So, why does feeling happier seem elusive at times if we have so much control?

The Obstacle
What gets in the way of being you?  I can go into the importance of “self-love.” But, “be yourself” and “love yourself” sound like vague platitudes that make me wonder do I love myself?  Sure, I do.  Well, I love most of myself.  Don’t I?  How do I know?

Here’s a way to find out.  Are there areas of your life where you don’t feel satisfied or where you know you could feel happier?  If so, you can ask are you being who you really are…telling your truth? Acting in alignment with it?  Trusting your gut?  Asking friends, family, co-workers, and partners for what you really need and want?  Or, do daily requests and your to-do list take over the direction of your life?

You might realize you’re not being who you really are, but you’re being who you think you should bewhat if you’re the main obstacle standing in the way of feeling more satisfied?

Most often, we wait for our circumstances to change to do what we want or to feel happier, but the shift that makes the most difference in your life is “being” more yourself. This understanding makes the path to being happier and loving your life much easier because it starts with YOU!  But, how can you be more “you” with all of life’s responsibilities?!

The Secret Solution
Well, don’t worry.  I’m going to tell you the missing element to being who you really are and even loving yourself and your life…it’s self-acceptance.

You can stop judging yourself and what you know will make you truly feel happier.  With self-acceptance, you’ll be more aware of and open to what gives you true pleasure and meaning.  With that information, you’ll be better equipped to know what you need to do to feel happier. And, you’ll be inspired to explore more of the exciting opportunities that come up in life.

So, how did we get to this point of not accepting ourselves?  From the moment we are born, we are perfection – - i.e., love and light. (No one ever tells a baby to get a better attitude or to improve their weaknesses, right?)  But, over time we are programmed to question who we really are — our inherent love and inner light – - i.e., our inner knowledge, inner guidance system, and what we stand for OR our sense of self-worth.

How do you learn to “accept” yourself and reconnect with this natural state of love and light — your essence — which is integral to leading a fulfilling life?  By being a good friend to yourself, the way you are to others.  Leo Buscaglia (PhD), states in his book, Love: What Life Is All About, “You can only give to others what you have yourself.” So, by accepting yourself and giving yourself what you need, you’re also opening the door for more acceptance and love for others!

Fall In Love (With Yourself & Your Life)
Below are simple principles that you have heard before, but the greatest impact on your life will occur when you genuinely follow these principles and practice them together.

Discover Yourself
Uncover what has meaning for you (not your family or friends or society).  Honor and live your life in accordance with what is important to you, to ensure you pursue your true purpose.

Support Yourself
Become aware of what makes you feel good and energizes you. Evaluate any factors that contribute to inhibiting your inspiration and determine how to gradually minimize them in your life. Then, fill up your life with more thoughts, activities, and people that bolster your energy and strengthen your foundation.

Respect Yourself
There are many aspects to each of us, all created to help us live in this world. Some aspects (e.g., being in control) may have become exaggerated over time and can do more harm than good. Regardless of their nature, they represent who you are, so it’s important to avoid judgment, appreciate yourself, and embrace them as they serve you well. Simply notice them and ask …what am I meant to learn?

Trust Yourself
Follow your intuition. It is based on your natural inclination. If you are aware of and living in harmony with your true self, your inner guidance system will lead you right where you should be lighting the way for your story to unfold authentically. Trust that you have the answers and you will find them, while you are on your true life path.

Love Your Self
Look at your core qualities and what you stand for in this world, your true purpose. The manifestations of these qualities (e.g. accomplishments on a resume) are temporary; they aren’t as important as your essence which is infinite.

Knowing self-acceptance is key to living a happier and more fulfilling life, practice these principles and be your own #1.  Notice “fulfilling” implies being full or satisfied, in other words enough. You are (good) enough.  You are perfect just as you are now.  With this loving mindset, you are healthier and in a better place to contribute, resulting in all that you desire – - solid relationships, effectiveness, and a quality life.

Let the love in and your light shine!

The Secret To…Live Your Most Perfect Lifestyle!

The secret to a ‘Perfect’ Lifestyle?

It starts with YOU…

Is that really a secret?  It seems to be as I see people judge and shame themselves, their desires, and their approach to life.  So, I’ve created the “Honor Yourself!” Intensive Session.

It’s a half-day adventure and the foundation to envisioning and creating your “perfect” lifestyle and most fulfilling life.  To start, we deepen your awareness about what you truly want to experience (not what you think you “should’ experience).

Knowing what you want (deep down) requires aligning with your true and best self and accepting yourself as you are, perfect in this moment.  With self-acceptance, you’ll be more aware of what makes you happy (i.e., what gives you true pleasure and meaning).  And, you’ll be inspired to explore more of the exciting opportunities that come up in life.  This deep dive session will help you tap in to your REAL essence allowing that energy to naturally guide you toward living your best life ever!

Imagine:

Uncovering NEW possibilities for your life

Being clear on what is important to you (not friends, family, or society)

Knowing where you want to focus in your life

Understanding what REALLY holds you back

Moving past those blocks

Feeling motivated for the future

Learning a new way to create results (so you’ll excitedly pursue them)

When you feel a closer connection to who you really are…you become clear about what excites you and what depletes you while cultivating a deep level of self-acceptance.  You can then design a lifestyle based on your REAL essence, enthusiastic to follow through on goals or adventures you outline for yourself.  Ultimately, you’ll be energized to live your optimal life.

With the “Honor Yourself!” Intensive Session, we’ll create and uncover:

  • Personalized Declarations – to help you move forward in life and dissolve what holds you back
  • Natural Talents – to easily leverage into YOUR strengths, minimizing the effort you take to get what you want
  • Desired Outcomes (i.e., Adventures) - you want to go for, not boring “should do” have tos
  • Inspiration – to keep moving forward and ways to connect with your intuition

“Honor Yourself!” Intensive Session Details:

I’ll use my specific assessments and proprietary tools to uncover your values, strengths, deepest fears, and best self.  With a comprehensive look at who you are, we can explore YOUR truth to begin to craft a customized lifestyle plan that is perfect for YOU.

Specifically, the Intensive Session includes:

  • 3 Hours of evaluation and refining strategies
    • Creating focus and clarity (with 3 assessments)
    • Developing empowering and motivating perspectives (with 3 exercises)
    • Setting up a new framework for developing goals/desired outcomes (with 1 tool)
  • Total = $600*

*Grab a friend (or three), make a PARTY out of it, request special pricing, and CELEBRATE yourself and your lives together.

To learn more and talk about the “Honor Yourself” Intensive Session, contact me for a complimentary ‘Inspired Life’ Session. We can begin to create a vision for your most inspired life.  Or, go straight to set up a time to meet.

If you’re READY to go deep and IMMEDIATELY integrate your learnings from the “Honor Yourself” Intensive session (into your life), move forward with the more comprehensive program Be “Perfectly” You which is a personalized exploration and journey to re-create AND ‘evolve’ your life based on your truth, desires, values, and what’s perfectly meant or just ‘right’ for you.

I look forward to connecting with you to explore possibilities!

Create it YOUR way this year…here’s why (& exactly how!)

As I’m sure you’ve heard, New Year’s Resolutions don’t work!

I’ve even found that traditional goal setting doesn’t work.  (Yep, I’m a coach, and I just wrote that goal setting doesn’t work…well, traditional goal setting).

What is an enthusiastic, go-getter supposed to do with her life?!

Good news!  This is a great time to tap into the renewing energy of January to…

  • Develop a new vision and paradigm for life
  • Commit to yourself and an evolved way of living
  • Approach 2014 with a WHOLE new way of planning

As my New Year’s GIFT to you, I’m sharing a tool that includes the exercises I use to complete with the past year and then another to help you tune into what can motivate you moving forward.

This new approach is for you if you’re tired of creating goals you begrudgingly pursue by over-engineering your days.

So, if you’re ready to design a lifestyle that allows you to move forward in life more naturally and enthusiastically while achieving results, try out these exercises I use.

Approach and Exercises

This approach will help you re-commit and focus all of your efforts for the coming year!  The exercises are broken out into two parts.  The first is about honoring and celebrating 2013.  And, then there is another exercise to inspire you to go for what you want in 2014!

2013

It’s important to take time to be complete with the past.  This allows you to be in a better place to develop new goals (or as I call them “adventures” or ”desired outcomes” we wish to experience).  Ideally, you can do this review on December 21st at the winter solstice which is an opportune time for completion.

This year, I waited until after the busy holiday season to (officially) reflect on the year that just passed.  So, on January 1st, I was lucky to be in my childhood home in the loving environment my parents created for us.  It was the perfect, cozy setting that feels like a warm hug but still has some Italian fire to it, making me feel alive :-)

I began my process of reviewing the accomplishments, failures, surprises, and learnings I experienced in 2013.  And, if you’ve been reading my blogs, it’s been quite a year!  This evaluation was important for me to be able to learn from and then let go of the past and  create space for a new energy to enter in to my life.

2014

It helps to be aware of what worked and didn’t work in the past so that you can determine how you want the next phase of your life to unfold and how you want to feel.  Use the information from the past to help inform how you’d like to proceed.

With a deeper understanding of how you have evolved and a renewed energy, you can move forward with creating desired outcomes for 2014 that are even more relevant and enjoyable to experience.

This approach helps you go from chasing goals to creating a life that allows you to gracefully (and excitedly) attain life results you adore:-)

Welcome 2014.  Grab your Complimentary Gift Here. Enjoy it and let me know what you think:-) And, definitely DO give this exercise a whirl at home.  (You will be thrilled you did!) Resolutions and the new year hype are long gone…. Now IS the time to set the stage to call forth all you desire and want to create in 2014.  Here’s HOW. Give yourself some time, space and make it FUN. You are WORTH it!

Much Love,

Rosie

 

Had A Party & Discovered My Mission! Who Knew?

Cocktails & Compliments…Honor Yourself…Honor Each Other

So, I’ve decided to really “walk my talk” last month.  And, I never could have expected what happened next.  Bottom line: by living my life and doing what makes me happy, I received such great gifts in return personally AND professionally.  So, here’s the whole story:

For a long time I’ve wanted to have an event where I can honor women in my life who’ve had an impact on me…but I kept waiting for the “right” time to include everyone I wanted.  On December 3rd, I decided to let go of waiting for the perfect time and made NOW the perfect time.  So, I picked a venue, came up with a fun name (Cocktails & Compliments :-) ), sent my guests an invitation, and crossed my fingers.  I only gave my guests 3 days’ notice for a Friday happy hour at the height of the holiday season.  I didn’t think people could attend, much less have time to email me back with an RSVP.  But, the results were magical!

I really didn’t expect the reaction I received from the invitation or the event.  I immediately received responses with so much enthusiasm for C&C, and it hadn’t even happened yet.

I sincerely just wanted to celebrate the amazing women in my life, and this is what else happened…

  • They said they wish they could cancel their other plans (ha! I promised not to tell their husbands or friends they said that:-).
  • They switched plans to be able to attend (even for just a bit).
  • They stood out in the freezing weather to get cabs that never came.
  • They offered me compliments (and even gifts!)…I swear that is not why I had this gathering…but what an amazing bonus!

It’s funny, I coach about life enhancing concepts and obviously understand them.   But, I still get SO surprised when they manifest in my own life.  I often remember to give what I want to receive.  And, although I always LOVE to receive love, I didn’t have the event to receive anything.  But, I sure did get SO much LOVE ;-)

These incredible women reinforced to me that life is not about being perfect, but about how you make someone feel.  When you follow your heart, everything seems to work out AND even for the better.

Oh, two other cool things happened…

  • We had FREE food delivered to our table (and everything I would have ordered myself if I was ordering it).
  • And, there was a friend who couldn’t attend the event. But she really needed a compliment (bad week).  I meant to email her ALL week, but I didn’t get a chance.  Well, I didn’t need to because I bumped in to her the day before the event.  What are the odds!?  It was the most random meeting and such PERFECTION.  I gave her the compliment in person and she lit up :-)

These pics and quote capture how I felt that night:-)  It was really fun being me…try being perfectly (or imperfectly) YOU.  See what happens!

Another great (yet unexpected) gift I received was realizing what my mission is for my business.  I thought honoring women who’ve had a positive impact on my life was only a deep, personal desire.  But, the reaction I experienced to seeing these beautiful souls acknowledged and loved was addicting.  I know I want them to feel like this all of the time.

In fact, I want these women to know they’re ok just as they are…actually, they’re more than ok.  They’re brilliant beings who light up my life:-)  And, they need to hear this more often. We all do!  So, take note, get ready for some more love coming your way!


 

 

Aligned Modern Health – Awesome Wellness Center

Aligned Modern Health TeamYou have to check out this new, comprehensive wellness center – Aligned Modern Health!

The business savvy founders put the patients’ health care needs first so that the patient can live life to the fullest…by experiencing high quality service from the moment one walks in the door.  Specifically, patients experience the following:

  • patient care first philosophy that sets the stage for the experience
  • customized treatment that helps to change behavior long-term (not just treat symptoms)
  • convenient locations throughout the city

Aligned Modern Health offers – Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy and Functional Nutrition – at three (soon to be four) locations:

  • Lakeview – Southport
  • Lincoln Park – Diversey
  • Lincoln Square
  • Streeterville (Coming this Month)

They’ll also be providing wellness seminars and workshops to bolster positive health care habits you’ll look forward to integrating into your life.  In fact, I’m honored to be partnering with Aligned Modern Health and Dr. Jessie Hehmeyer to present ways for patients to feel better daily and experience a life they love!

We start the informative and fun (really!) workshops in January.  So, come by January 22nd and 29th (Streeterville and Lakeview locations) to learn more about how to start off your 2014 the perfect way for you.

 

Buy Yourself Some Time

Meeting Deepak

Don’t you just wish you could buy yourself some more time?  Maybe $20 for another hour in the day.  Or, is it worth more to you?  Maybe $100?  Ha!  I wish…or do I?  What would I do with all that extra time? Well, as a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever, I would have probably packed that baby up with another activity.  Ohhhh!  Maybe another hour of sleep.  Nah, an activity.

We all have the same amount of time and we can’t change that amount.  So, what is it that we really want?  To get more done?  To get the right things done?  If so, we know the best way to accomplish more of what we want is to get super clear about our priorities.

Then, live life in alignment with those priorities so DAILY activities reflect them…all of the time and not just some of the time.  BUT, what if we’re clear about what is important and try to participate in activities that match up with experiencing our deepest desires?

Why do we still feel stressed about getting our priorities “all” done?

Do we have to change what we do…or how we feel about our situation?

Well, my friend Deepak (who I met years ago as you can see from the pic above) and also saw again last month at the Auditorium Theater, reminded me of a way to feel like I have more time.  And, it’s FREE:-)   He suggested we examine our relationship with time.  He said that if you’re always thinking you don’t have enough, it’ll feel like you don’t and that is where the stress comes in.    Remember, you play a role in creating your life and you have a choice when it comes to how you want to think about it and the concept of time.

So, I invite you to take on a new perspective…”I have all the time in the world.”  I’ve tried this before and it really works!  Just keep telling yourself you have all the time in the world.  Your brain will feel more at ease.  With that sense of calmness, you’ll have access to more solutions – and it just feels SO much better!  (There is scientific proof to confirm this happens:-) Ultimately, when you’re calm, you can be in the present moment, let go of all the “shoulds,” and free up your mind to be more open to new and different answers.

Have you ever tried to find a solution by (1) ruminating over the past OR (2) listing and fearing all the possible outcomes that could occur in the future? How did that work out for you?  Sure, maybe that analysis helped you come up with some ideas on what action to take.  But, better solutions come from a combination of doing that analysis and then “letting go” and letting the answer come to you. Our BEST ideas come to us when we’re happy and feeling good.  Our brain performs optimally when we’re in a happier state.

Bottom line…whether you’re anxious or calm, you’re going to get close to the same amount of stuff done.  BUT, you might get more done or some things done more quickly if you have access to more/better solutions.  If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a productive person.  So, I’m not worried about you trying to “see” time with this new perspective.  You’ll be just fine remembering “I have all the time in the world.”

Try it out?  Let me know what you notice:-)  No rush getting back to me…ahhh, I have all the time in the world:-)

Tough Times? Practice this…

Gratitude

 

As the holidays approach, I get emotional surveying the year…what has gone my way and what has not headed in the direction I hoped. And, this year has been one of the most exciting AND tumultuous years…from going full time with my coaching career (which I LOVE:-) to negotiating my parents’ health care needs.

As I’ve held on to my positivity and appreciation for the process of life, I’ve also felt moments of defeat during the tough times. And, although I know I need to feel my feelings, I’ve thought…how is my attitude of positivity and gratitude paying off?!  It doesn’talways feel better.

That is when I catch myself.  I notice that in those moments of feeling deflated, I’m worrying about what will happen in the future and generally coming from a place of fear.  So, I recover and remind myself that gratitude is a choice and to practice it again. (I call it “practice” for a reason:-)

In fact, scientific studies show that practicing gratitude DAILY improves your emotional and physical well-being.  It makes you 25% happier!  So, it’s especially important to be appreciative of life, during tough times when all you want is to feel happier.

Here are the FOUR keys to practice gratitude and how I did it when I thought about my parents’ healthcare needs:

  • Live in the Moment:
    • In this moment, I choose to focus on the fact that my parents are with us and my family is spending more time together than ever.
  • Notice the Blessing(s):
    • I’ve known that my nieces and nephews are funny, loving, and interesting people.  And now, after seeing how they are going above and beyond expectations to show my parents how much they are deeply loved, I find them even more admirable and respectable.  I’m prouder and happier to know these young adults.
  • Choose an Empowering Perspective:
    • I remind myself of the perspective I took on earlier this year when we first learned about my parents’ health care needs…that we are afforded the gift of time…the opportunity to help them think about how they’d like to live the rest of their lives while we support them every step of the way like they have supported their children and grandchildren.
  • Feel the Feelings:
    • Beyond writing or thinking about what you’re grateful for, you must also feel the feelings associated with what you’re appreciative about in your life.  As I write this, I’m overwhelmed with the love I’ve felt being with my parents, my extended family, and my supportive friends.  I can’t help but be grateful for all of this love coming our way.

What is a more empowering perspective you can consider – especially during a difficult situation?  Start by focusing on this very second of your life and ask yourself what is one nugget of positive truth.

Be “Perfectly” You Program

What if You Didn’t Have to BE Perfect to Create YOUR ‘Perfect’ Lifestyle?

Imagine:

Feeling a closer connection to your real essence

Becoming crystal clear about your innermost desires

Creating a deeper level of self-acceptance and appreciation for others

Radiating your truth confidently

Making decisions effortlessly

All aspects of your life flowing more easily and in harmony

One thing I KNOW for sure is that WHEN a woman aligns and connects with who she really is…. she exudes an unstoppable energy that IS magnetic.

She can AND will:

  • navigate life more gracefully
  • experience her deepest wishes
  • be way more passionate + inspired in her life, career, relationships & choices.

The Be “Perfectly” You Program is a personalized exploration and journey to re-create AND ‘evolve’ your life based on your truth, desires, values, and what’s perfectly meant or just ‘right’ for you.

It is an opportunity to:

  • Discover who you really are - your strengths along with what gets you excited, feeling happier, and more motivated.
  • Uncover what holds you back – past conditioning, self-limiting beliefs, and what depletes your energy.
  • See new perspectives – that allow you to propel your life forward
  • Channel your energytoward the’ right’ aligned priorities and choices for you.
  • Learn to hold your visionwhile allowing your life path to unfold before you.

I’ll leverage my specific assessments, proprietary tools, and coaching processes and customize the ‘perfect’ path for you to explore your truth, embark on your journey plus, enjoy your entire adventure.

Program Details:

  • 3 months*
    • Month1: Three Discovery Sessions
    • Months 2 and 3: Three (50 min) Sessions
    • Throughout: Emails and brief phone calls (in between sessions).
  • Total = $1,650 (Payment Plan Available)

So, if you’re ready to delve deeper into YOUR perfectly-inspired life, let’s start with a complimentary ‘Inspired Life’ Session. We can begin to create a vision for your most inspired life.  Here is a link to learn more about this complimentary session or click this link to go straight to set up a time to meet.  I look forward to connecting with you to explore possibilities!

My True Confession: I nap (yes, daily!)

Ok, I ADMIT it…

It’s true.  I nap MOST days of the week.

Yes, DURING the work week!

And, it is EVEN scheduled on my calendar.

Plus, I have discovered just the perfect way for me to nap so I can get the MOST out of it(i.e., being more alert, improved functional performance, and better cognitive memory processing).

As recently as a year ago, the opportunity to nap during the day seemed like a dream to me. (A BIG one at that!) I was VERY hard driving in all areas of my life to achieve my ‘so-called’ goals – (which ironically DID include having a more balanced, peaceful life.)

The thought of a nap seemed ABSOLUTELY unheard of, not to mention..sooo TABOO in our American culture.

However, when I was younger, visiting relatives in Sicily, they napped every SINGLE day (in the middle of the work day) after our mid-day meal.  When my relatives suggested a nap to me, I thought it was pure craziness.

I, of course, fought it and went to the other extreme of doing something very active – riding my bike, playing soccer, anything to show them how wrong it was to nap.

Then, one day after an amazing meal (which happened daily in Sicily:-), I decided to indulge in a nap!

There it was..the turning point for ME! It was brilliant, enjoyable, refreshing and ohhh… so easy. (Now granted, I slept way too long to ever be productive later that day, but it didn’t matter because I was on vacation.)

From that point,  I associated it with a luxury that I was ‘only’ allowed to enjoy strictly on vacation.  And,  it seemed so inappropriate to take that kind of break while I was working or in my ‘regular’ life.  I mean ‘how dare I’?

Then, as my schedule became more flexible and knowing all the benefits of napping, I was inspired to figure out a way to integrate this positive ritual into my life as of recently.

Napping is now the hot buzz… see a recent news article below.  Many of the tips in there are HOW I got started to designing my ‘perfect nap’ and working it into my daily lifestyle  including:

  • Keeping my nap to 20 minutes – that’s optimal for me
  • Drinking espresso before I go down to avoid feeling groggy (rest assured, the caffeine won’t kick in until around the time I’ve set my alarm to wake up)

The results are JUST magical.  I wake up feeling refreshed, feeling good, and ready to get back at it and really ‘in’ my life for the remainder of my day.

Plus, rather than labeling a nap as a ‘only on vacation’ experience, I’ve incorporated my nap in as a daily pleasure that lights me up and it helps to nourish my mind & body.  This little mid-afternoon re-boot is now a requirement for me to live an inspired life where I have so much more happiness, energy, and balance…it’s become more than just a ‘little luxury’ that I allowed myself to indulge in once in a while.

Life is FULL of many daily pleasures that we can ADD in to support us more so in our lives…. they can refuel us, nourish us, or bring a sprinkle of joy that makes are own lives that much more fulfilling.

What ritual or experience can you add in daily that will make a big or small impact on your life now?

See “The Perfect Nap” article for more tips on adding in napping… and be sure to let me know how it goes.

And, desire to get deeper into YOUR perfectly-inspired life… one that adds little luxuries, pleasures and more meaning daily?  Join me as I guide you AND design with you. To learn more, check out my complimentary “Inspired Life” Session. Or, to get started right away, click here to schedule a time to meet for the complimentary session.

Your Inspired Life: A Complimentary Session

Life Intention Session

Have it all? Yet, exhausted trying to keep it all ‘going’?

Want it all? But, tired of chasing it or having to do more to even get it?

Not even sure what ‘it’ is anymore?

Maybe it’s because…

  • You’re hiding behind your shame (from the past or a perceived failure)?
  • You’re playing by the rules only to keep coming in second place?
  • You’re so focused on improving one area of life that you’ve lost perspective on how to have a full life?
  • You’re ignoring your talents and dreams so you can hold on to your “stable” (if that even exists) career?
  • You’ve lost sight of how you want life to be while living on someone else’s terms?
  • You’re staying in relationships that feel draining and unsatisfying to feel “safe” and comfortable?

Striving to create that ‘certain’ life is NOT worth it nor is the stress, anxiety, & most likely, all the suffering & struggling that goes along with it!

Go from hard driving, aiming for the alleged “right” answers to spontaneously, naturally knowing EXACTLY what to DO next to create the life you love that is perfect for YOU!

The RIGHT life awaits. The REAL you can shine.

Let’s Delve Deeper – Your ‘Perfectly Inspired Life’ IS Possible.

More Pleasure, More Meaning, More Flow.  All blended to create More Joy Daily. All on your terms.

Join me as I guide you AND design with you.

Get started with my complimentary ‘Inspired Life’ Session.  Click here to learn more and set up a time to meet.

All Natural Snack Tastes Like Dessert! YUM:-)

Check out my favorite new snack bar!

As some of you may know, I’m 100% Italian.  Being Italian means you can NOT sacrifice flavor for health.  Good news is being Italian often means we eat healthy foods that taste delicious.  When I don’t have time to  cook or when I’m someplace that doesn’t have whole, fresh foods (i.e., airplanes, conferences, or even  vacation), it’s frustrating to indulge in an unhealthy snack (if you’re not in the mood;-).

So I’m grateful my friend and fitness expert Megan Chappel, from Tru Harmony Yoga, introduced me to  Mark Beier and his MARK Bar.  Mark is also a fitness expert who knows his nutrition.  He created these  MARK Bars to be 100% natural and great for a pre or post fuel workout.

And, I’m addicted…Mark Bars taste like dessert, and I love eating them knowing I’m nourishing and fueling  my body.  These are a must have in your diet for anyone who wants to feel and look good from the  inside out.

These bars are also getting amazing reviews and accolades from major health organizations.  In addition to finding these bars sold at major fitness centers, The Institute for Health and Healing, a division of the California Pacific Medical Center, is partnering with MARK BARS! They’re offering and recommending MARK BARS as a healthy, low glycemic snack to their patients.

If you want to learn more or buy some, go to www.MarkBars.com.

 

Trick Your Brain to Believe You’re Worth It

Self Love

As we know, many of us struggle with putting ourselves first.  Obviously, this is due to negative thoughts we have associated with being our own #1 priority.  This topic came up when I was working with a client to help her genuinely believe that acting upon her feelings and desires – - even though they appeared to conflict with another person’s desires – - was in everyone’s best interest.  Logically, she knows this is true, and we re-framed her negative associations (with putting herself first) to be more positive because she’s worth it!  After she was more aware on a conscious level why putting herself first was imperative, I wanted to find a fun and motivating way to help her subconscious believe being #1 is acceptable.  (I hope it goes without saying that I don’t mean selfishly dismissing other people’s needs.  If so, we can have another post about that topic;-)  In any case, I wanted to find a visual that reminded her she needs to be considered #1 from her perspective so others would treat her well, too.   And the “We’re #1” visual seemed perfect to help seed the new belief while keeping sabotaging thoughts at bay.  The visual had to serve both purposes because whenever we try to change our views on a topic, our negative self-talk gets louder.  The negative talk aims to convince us to maintain the status quo and believe the same way we’ve always believed because our brain is comfortable when it’s dealing with familiar territory.  If I gave her a visual that focused only on her, it might make her think about her deeply embedded negative beliefs associated with being her own priority.  Ideally, the “We’re #1” image served as a reminder that we ALL need to be our own #1.    She didn’t have to question or doubt the belief that we all need to take responsibility for prioritizing ourselves and our happiness in order for everyone to win.  Therefore, using a little trickery (or in this case, taking a baby step) toward defining and rooting a new, more empowering belief is ok.   You and your brain will thank you for it.  So, what small step can you take toward embracing a new belief that will serve you well?

Science Explains Well-being

Dalai LamaI went to a panel discussion Wednesday moderated by Arianna Huffington to hear the Dalai Lama and Richard Davidson (PhD) speak about Science, Happiness, and Well-being.  Davidson shared 5 interesting facts science teaches us about well-being:

  • Well-being is a skill you can harness if you practice it.
    • Research shows the brain can change its response to experiences and with training.
    • So you can harness well-being through various techniques.
  • Well-being is inversely related to your mind-wandering.  So if you’re not focused, it’ll be harder to feel happier.
  • When your brain is at ease, your body is at ease or can have less “dis-ease.”
  • There are 3 components of well-being:
    • Equanimity (emotional balance): the ability to return back to baseline after a stressful event occurs.
    • Mindfulness/attentiveness: related to point #2 above, with more focus that can be achieved through mindfulness, you’ll experience less suffering and therefor can feel happier.
    • Generosity: research shows you can feel more/similar positive feelings when giving as you do receiving.
  • We have an innate disposition for well-being and generosity.
    • Research shows that even babies 6 months of age have a propensity towards cooperative behavior.

With this awareness, what can you do to practice more well-being?  Can you take a new action every day for the next 40 days?  I’m doing so as a part of Tru Transformation 40 Day Makeover (transforming through movement, mindset, and meditation).  Good luck and enjoy your new found well-being!

5 Tips for Success Video

Check out this video describing 5 Tips for Success.

They are briefly summarized below:

1. Believe in all the possibilities.

  • Look at all options and believe you can go for any of them.

2. Be confident you can overcome obstacles.

  • For example, when you go for a drive, you know there might be traffic and other cars, but you trust yourself to get to your destination.

3. Take action.

  • Any action – it can always lead you closer to what you really want.

4. Don’t procrastinate.

  • The pain of doing something now can outweigh the pain of doing it in the future…until the future is here. Then you’re “forced” to do something but it won’t be as well executed as it could have been with more preparation.
  • If you still can’t motivate to go for your goals, then refine your goal.

5. Focus on your goal.

  • Be clear about what you want.

With strong conviction and focus, you go for it!

Hope you find these tips motivating!

Not Achieving Your Goals? Maybe It’s Time To Change Them?

As I continue to refine my goals and warm weather is approaching in Chicago, I’m trying new tools to stay focused and energized. Since studies show keeping track of what you do helps modify behavior, I thought I’d try one of those apps that helps keep track of the food you eat. I kept coming across the “Lose It!” app in various publications. So, that sounded like a solid one to use. You start by putting in information about yourself including the health goals you want to achieve. The app even helps you figure out how you can achieve certain goals. So, I started the program the app suggested.

After a couple of weeks of using it, I haven’t achieved my goals. So, why am I writing about this app and tracking what you do to achieve goals? Well, I’ve realized that maybe my goals were misguided. After keeping track of the food I ate, I realized I might not need to eat less (as the computerized app suggested), but instead I should be more mindful of the kinds of foods I eat. (I always thought I ate enough protein, but now I realize the amount isn’t in the appropriate proportion to my carbs and fats.) This is good news since trying to eat less didn’t feel right, and I wasn’t motivated to stick with that behavior throughout the week. With my new perspective on what I ate (i.e., my behavior), I’m modifying my goals (not because I gave up on my original goals) but because I discovered a goal that is more in line with what is important to me and found a better way to achieve it.

So, are there goals that you might be trying to achieve and not succeeding? Maybe your goal isn’t right for you or your approach is off. For example, do you think you watch too much TV or spend too much time out socializing? Maybe the amount of time you’re doing these activities is just fine, but you should re-look at what types of programs you’re watching or if you’re spending time with friends who truly energize you. So go ahead and set your goals, but build in time to check in with your goals and assess your behavior. With a greater awareness of my behavior, I was better able to create more appropriate goals that are truly based on my values. Ultimately, these kinds of goals take less energy to pursue, are more motivating, and allow me to be happier in the end. After all, isn’t that the point of a goal?

Take Care of Yourself First…

At first, this comment can sound selfish.  But we all know there are times when it’s best to put yourself first.  Why is it that airlines tell you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping your children?  Obviously, if you’re taken care of, you can better take care of your kids.

What if this applied to all areas of your life and during all times?  This sentiment is especially important during the holiday season.  We rush around and try to wrap things up (literally and figuratively).  We can end up feeling worn out and depleted.

I was recently reminded that life doesn’t have to feel that way.  The other day, I met a dynamic and warm entrepreneur at a networking event.  I found out she owned a salon – Pelle Sana Salon.  We connected immediately since I knew what the name of her salon meant in Italian.  “Pelle Sana” means “healthy skin”.

Kristin (Pelle Sana’s owner) reinforces the importance of maintaining healthy skin.  You’ll receive customized, individual treatment in her studio.  And the bonus is that it truly feels luxurious even though being healthy is a basic value we would benefit from keeping in mind.  So, it’s a win-win situation!

Take care of yourself.  Check her out – http://www.pellesanasalon.com.  Your skin will thank you for it.  Your family and friends will too.  And I have a feeling you’ll be extremely grateful as well.  What have you done lately to keep yourself healthy?

Get Clear on What You Want, And Get It!

When I prepare for holiday shopping, I make a list of what I want to buy for family and friends.  Over the years, I’ve found that if I’m very specific about what I want to get, I can easily find it.  I’m even looking forward to hitting the stores – or these days, going online – to shop.   (And I’m not a shopper.)  Once I’m at the store, I feel like my trip flows easily.  I even get ideas of what to buy for those whom I wasn’t sure what to get…and these ideas seem perfect for them (not a random impulse buy).

This same method of thinking about what I want and “easily” getting it applies to what I want in different areas of my life.  When I take time to think about what I want (e.g., a more connected relationship, a more peaceful home environment, etc), I find myself feeling closer to friends and feeling like my home is truly a sanctuary.  The clarity surrounding what I want to happen in my life helps me notice when it’s coming my way or new ideas of how to get it.

And just thinking about what I want can make me happy and feel good.  When I’m feeling happy, I’m more likely to be motivated to take action towards what I want.  So, what do you want?  Write it down or say it out loud and notice what happens.

If you’re not sure what you want, treat your life experiences as opportunities to “shop” for what you like.   Get out there, try some things on (whether it’s a new form of entertainment, a modified version of your career, or a different type of friend).  Be aware of how you feel while you’re “trying these things on”.  If you feel happy, it’s an indication that you’re close to figuring out what you want and that means you’re even closer to getting it more consistently.

Need an energy boost? Reach for the “cookie” jar.

Researchers agree that we have a set point for our individual happiness (with 50% determined by genetics and 10% determined by circumstances).  That leaves a 40% opportunity to impact our happiness.  So, how can you be happier?

Although we can set goals and have a passion to achieve those goals, we might need some daily rituals to help us maintain motivation or even boost it at times.  If you know what makes you feel centered and inspired (e.g., meditation, affirmations, deep breathing), weave them in to your day similar to a class you signed up for (and schedule it in to your calendar).  Or do them first thing in the morning so it can set a positive intention for your whole day.  You could even reprise one of your morning rituals during the day to revive that  positive vibe from the morning.

If you don’t like routines, then write down your favorite energy boosters on separate pieces of paper and put them in a jar/container.  When you start to feel your energy drain, reach in to your jar for something you can do to boost your mood.  Let me know what happens after you try it?  Just remember, your energy and happiness is within reach!

An Easy Way To Feel Happy

Check out this study featured in Self magazine on how you can feel happier and spread the cheer to others….http://bit.ly/cQdrh.

17 Tips to Feel Your Best

I just read this great article in “Body and Soul” magazine about how you can feel your best.  The article is a compilation of 17 “tips” to feel and stay healthy.  It explains how all of the information out there can be overwhelming.  Sometimes, I feel like trying to be healthy can be exhausting!  But to feel energized as you implement health practices, read these tips and go to wholeliving.com for more information on how to be and stay healthy.  Enjoy!

  1. Listen to Your Body
  2. Get Your Daily D (Vitamin D)
  3. Practice Forgiveness
  4. Lean on Your Friends
  5. Get Moving
  6. Just Breathe
  7. Power Up Your Breakfast (with protein)
  8. Get To Know Yourself
  9. Eat Whole Foods (not processed)
  10. Meditate in the AM
  11. Be Grateful
  12. Have Some Fun (Try these tips with a friend)
  13. Reach Out (to someone when you are feeling stressed versus hunkering down)
  14. Change the Channel (tune out negative news or people)
  15. Don’t Fill ‘Er Up (Stop eating when you feel satisfied but could even eat a little more)
  16. Be Fearless
  17. Be One With Nature