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Why You Need To Toss Your Resolutions To Create Space

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I remember watching Oprah a few years back. The show that particular day was about making the best use of a small apartment. As a New Yorker, I was intrigued. One couple lived here in New York in a small one bedroom in the West Villlage. When I say small, I mean the space could not have been more than like 400 square feet max. But they loved the neighborhood. They loved the community. And they loved their apartment, tiny closet and all. They’d learned how to make an uber confined space work for them (and their new baby if I recall correctly!)

Towards the end of the segment, the woman shared her wardrobe secret. She said, “I always leave space for new and fabulous items to come my way. Her rule was that 10% of her closet must always remain empty in order to call these new things in. If a piece of clothing came in, another item she no longer enjoyed went out to be sold, donated or simply tossed in the trash if it was in terrible shape and couldn’t benefit someone else. Pretty smart right?

What if we adopted her wardrobe secret for ourselves? What if we applied this technique to our businesses and lives? I personally believe this kind of thought process is mandatory to enable real change, to create space for new and fabulous things to enter our lives.

Most of us know that New Year’s resolutions don’t work yet we make them year after year anyway. They don’t work because they don’t dig deep enough. They don’t address the overarching why. Learning how to coach yourself to see what lies beneath the surface is difficult, and often painful, so we skip it. We say things like, this year I’ll loose 20 pounds or earn another 10K or just be nicer to people.

It’s not any of those resolutions are bad or wrong. It’s just that they are very surface. They don’t actually mean or address all that much.

If you’ve made these kinds of resolutions for 2015, I suggest you toss them. They are going to remain in your way and may even make you feel bad or guilty if you’re not in action around them. Get rid of them, and let’s start over. Let’s clear some stuff out of our lives so we can really start to see what needs to change.

A few days ago I cleaned out my closet, so to speak. I unsubscribed a significant number of people from this newsletter.

Why?

They weren’t reading it. Getting emails in their probably already cluttered inbox was not serving them, and it certainly was not serving me. It’s not much fun to write to someone who doesn’t read your stuff or speak to people who don’t listen. Yet, we all do it sometimes—in our jobs, our personal lives … We think it’s just business as usual. This is the job. This is the relationship. This is the way it is.

NO IT’S NOT!

I’m writing because I want to, because I hope to impart some value and because I want to create the possibility of connecting now or in the future about your business and life. I don’t have to do it. I choose to do it.

So I want you to let go of (or make a plan to let go of) everything that doesn’t serve you. Job. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Friend. Apartment. Clients. That bag of potato chips. Whatever! Just do it.

Trust me you will feel super empowered after you let these things go and open up the space for better things and people to enter your life.

Right now let go of one thing. Even if you’re at the office and it’s the pen that just kinda sorta works, throw it in the trash! I will give you a minute to complete this task …

Ok. Great job!

I wish so much for you this year. May you go after and get everything your heart desires. Happy 2015. It’s gonna be a great one!

 

On Discipline and Consistency {Why I love Long, Boring Plane Rides}

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I started writing this on a US Airways flight to Texas. Unlike my favorites, JetBlue and Virgin, Us Air has no inflight entertainment. That means I had exactly 3 hours of staring at the tray table in front of me. Or I could choose to be productive via my trusty MacBook Air. I chose the latter and worked on a few program I’m refining (more on that soon) and then this post.

I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or anything of the sort but if I’m being honest, I have difficulty focusing from time to time. I’ve talked about my solutions for this before, but it seems distraction has been rearing its ugly head more than usual lately. I want some inspiration. I need some discipline.

For me, the inspiration part, as you probably know by now, comes from travel. It comes from seeing new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. Newness inspires me. Hello Dallas and Austin!

And then there’s discipline. That’s tough. I used to be super disciplined. I was the girl on the dance team in middle school and high school who would practice for hours each night so that I would excel. That discipline paid off for a while until laziness started to creep in. I thought I could get away with not giving 100%. And I did for a bit. Until, one day, after enough laziness and apathy, the whole thing fell apart.

I kind of hate it when things fall apart. Don’t you? That whole excelling at something seems much better to me.

So these days I have to mentally and physically combat my laziness. I have to set a timer for uninterrupted work, or park myself in a coffee shop with my headphones, or call my coach, or get on a plane with no inflight entertainment … But my point really isn’t about how you do it. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how you do it. What matters is actually doing it. Even if it’s just one important thing that gets accomplished that day. Laziness takes a nosedive and you get to feel proud of yourself.

Doing the work is hard. But that’s OK. It’s in the doing that we shine, grow and prove to ourselves what we are made of. And I am a BIG fan of proving things to yourself.

So strive to do the work consistently and with faith that your time will be worth it in the end. This is what I’m working—discipline and consistency. Join me?

 

 

Why We Must Let Go of Expectations

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You may have remembered from my post earlier this year that I was planning a month-long trip to Australia, Bali and Hong Kong. I’d mentioned that this trip was a long, long time coming—something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade.

For a few weeks after I booked my flights, the excitement was intense. I couldn’t wait to plan what I would do, where I would stay and have friends connect me to their friends in the cities I would be visiting. I envisioned a fabulous, relaxing trip full of fun, adventure and maybe even a little romance. However, my expectations were high, and I didn’t account for the fact that real life doesn’t take a vacation.

The thing about expectations is that they rarely lead to happiness. In fact, more often than not, our expectations deliver nothing but disappointment. {Tweet it!}

So when my back went out, I lost my credit card and I encountered let’s just say some not so nice people, I got REALLY upset. All of a sudden the “bad” overtook the good, and it became very difficult to turn it around. My attachment to the way I had expected my trip to go sent me into survival mode, and I spent a good majority of the trip simply surviving until I could make it back to the states.

Sometimes you don’t even know you’re setting absurd expectations. You may mistake them for clarity on what your want, or high standards or whatever, but honestly expectations are just a set of arbitrary guidelines you made up in your head.

I don’t think expectations are entirely bad or useless, but we have to be willing to let go of them at a moment’s notice and deal with the present moment powerfully. Most of us, myself included, aren’t always so good at that.

Despite everything that went “wrong” I don’t want you to think that the trip was a waste. I admit I slipped into that thought from time to time along the way, but each time I did something would happen—I’d meet a kind and beautiful person, I’d experience something I never had before (like surfing in Byron Bay or the hospitality of the Indonesian people or the infamous and quite hilariously random mouse on the plane incident on my first flight over to Hong Kong).

When these things would happen, they would remind me that sometimes reality can exceed your expectations. I didn’t plan for any of those awesome experiences and yet they ended up being the highlights of my trip.

Practice letting go, especially of expectations. Because when you start to master letting go, you will see there is so much to be gained.