Making the most of a fresh start

October 7, 2015

Fresh starts take place in your life every day. We evolve. We grow. We fall down and stumble our way back to find our footing.  The term “fresh start” has a warm, exciting sound to it, but the reality is that something new isn’t always something you look forward to.  Trust me, there have been many times when I go kicking and screaming into a “fresh start” because I would much prefer to stay warm and cozy with what is known.  Sometimes “fresh start” is actually just a very nice way of saying “starting from scratch”…and that can be terrifying.  Change is good, but it also comes with a truckload of worry.

For me, clean slates take a ton a patience.  I have a problem with wanting everything to be PERFECT.  Meaning, I sometimes can’t even get out of the gate because everything isn’t in its perfect place.

Even with this site, it has been hard for me to move forward when it is still in the process of transformation.  There was a huge part of me that wanted to wait until the new layout was done, the books were finished, and I had everything in place.  I was afraid that my message wouldn’t be acknowledged unless it was presented in a beautiful package.  Old habits die hard.

As Julia Cameron says “Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead”.

So, I am here with you, trying to learn that clean slates, fresh starts and CHANGE don’t always come in the prettiest box.  We must be patient.  We must.

Yet, how can you make the most of a fresh start – especially when it’s proving difficult?

What we need to wrap our minds around is the fact that an unfamiliar position or situation serves as an opportunity for us to utilize talents we never knew we had.

It gives you the chance to challenge yourself and see just what you’re made of. Are you ready to do this with me?

Here are some tips I have gathered and depended on to help you make the most of your fresh start:

  1. Embrace it with an open mind. As scary as your fresh start may seem at first, it’s really important that you embrace it with an open mind. You’ve likely seen situations in the past that turned out to be only half as bad as you had anticipated. How many times have you stressed over a possible senario, only to have it go smoothly without any incident?  Anticipation with anxiety can make anything seem worse than it is, so make a conscious effort to keep an open mind.
  • Remind yourself that newness brings with it exciting opportunities to prove your capabilities. Amaze yourself!
  • Less is sometimes more, and knowing less about something you’re about to embark on makes it more rewarding when you conquer it!
  1. Begin with the end in mind. Okay, so your fresh start has you feeling a little nervous and insecure. But have you stopped to consider what you want the outcome to be in the end? By knowing the desired outcome, you can plot the path to getting there.
  • Consider how you’d ideally want the situation to turn out.
  • Assess whether your ideal scenario is actually a realistic outcome.
  • If it’s realistic, start making a step by step plan that will take you where you want to go. Baby steps!
  • At this point, you might start getting really excited about your fresh start. Don’t let the fear of not being perfect get in the way.
  1. Faith is stronger than any fear, doubt or insecurity you may have, so feel free to rely on it when you need to.
  • Remember how your faith has gotten you through tough situations in the past.  Remember your strength. Remember your fortitude.
  • Believe in yourself and everything else will fall into place. I promise you on this one!
  1. Liken it to a past experience. There’s a saying that goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” If you’ve had similar starting points in the past and are here now to tell about them, it means you’ve made it through them!  We do not give ourselves enough credit for the adversity we have forged against.  And if they were anything like your newest fresh start, chances are you’re more than capable of making it through this one.

You have what it takes to make the most of a fresh start and come out with a positive experience to be proud of. It is not always easy, but it is worth it.  Everytime. 

Go after this new situation with all the gusto you’ve got because you know you’re equipped with the tools to win!

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The lessons grief can teach us

October 2, 2015

The Lilypad

Yesterday we watched as another mind-boggling shooting took place; taking the lives of 10 people. I cannot express myself properly when it comes to these massacres.  There is no reason for it. The only thing that I can do is quietly hope for the families and friends whose loss is beyond measure.  Grief and loss shifts every part of you, and you are never the same person afterwards.

Whether it’s the death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job, we all will have moments when life turns on its head. Grief is a normal healing process, as many say, but that doesn’t make it any less life altering. It requires healing to understand these events and slowly try to move on from them.  As I have said before, it is not because “everything happens for a reason”, because that is too painful a thought to bear.  But, these unexpected moments can provide some truths about our lives, and ourselves.  While grief can seem all consuming, the lessons are there to help you rise again. It is during the times of our greatest challenges that we finally understand our strength.

These are some truths that I have come to understand, and hope that it can help anyone who is in the wake of mourning.

Learn from your grief:

  1. Grief creates gratitude.  This was the hardest concept for me to accept.  You might not be able to see beyond the difficulty of your loss, but grief can help you to appreciate what you had, as well as what you still have. It is a time to reflect, and try to understand how life moves forward and pushes us to our limits.  It’s easy to take things for granted. Grief is a profound way to learn to be more grateful, but the opportunity is there if you are open to it.
  2. Grief can help you engage with your life. It’s very easy to float along without really committing to anything. We all get too frazzled and busy to truly engage. Tragedy can be a wake-up call and remind you to take in every moment.  Ensure that you’re making the most of each day.
  3. Grief can’t be solved by avoiding it. You might try to avoid your grief by staying busy. Men are especially good at this.  But denial can be just as damaging. You can’t stuff your grief into an overhead compartment without something falling on your head sooner or later. You’ll find that your grief will be waiting for you and your sadness will knock you off your feet eventually.
  4. Grief can help you to refocus. Perhaps you spend too much time focused on work at the expense of your family life, or have let your health go due to life overwhelm. Use grief as a time of reflection. Are you spending your time in the best manner for you? Are you truly taking care of yourself? What is it you really want to do with your time? Have you ever thought about it?
  5. Life doesn’t stop. After a tragedy, life continues and 99.999% of the people on the planet are unaffected. Everything keeps moving forward. It can be frustrating and make you want to scream.  When you are hurting, the isolation can be crushing.  But, your life must continue, too. It doesn’t seem fair that the world doesn’t take a timeout for your grief…try to remember that at one time everyone has been broken by loss of some sort. Find someone to talk to who can guide you through the process with compassion and understanding.  You are not alone.
  6. Bitterness only creates more pain. Some of us tend to be bitter regardless of the occasion.  We focus and stew in the anger.  Grief highlights the fact that bitterness isn’t a viable strategy for dealing with life. Find the moments when you can honor how you are feeling, how strong you are during this time, and how you want to move forward.  Grief can facilitate a less bitter view of life if you let it.
  7. You’ll find out who your friends really are. It’s uncomfortable to be around others in pain. But your true friends will still be there for you. The others will find an excuse to stay away. This can also be a blessing.  I have never once looked back toward the people that walked away when my life got “uncomfortable”.  It was the friends that stood by my side, offered support, love, and helped me to laugh again that fill my soul.
  8. You can overcome anything. Your life will eventually recover from your loss, even if you can’t see that now.  It’s surprising how good things can be after enough time has passed. You are a warrior! You can then approach the future with the knowledge that you can handle anything life has in store. You’ll be stronger than you’ve ever been. 
  9. You become less small-minded. After dealing with great heartache, it’s not easy to be petty. The small things become even smaller. The important things become more important. Grief can be a blessing in this regard. Your life has the potential to become richer in the future. There is something incredibly powerful in finally not caring about the mindless chatter or cattiness of others.  You KNOW what is important to you.

Grief gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your life and refocus.  Believe in your strength.  You are not alone. xo

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September 28, 2015


Today is my birthday (38 to be exact). Another year round the sun, and way too many grey hairs to count.  But, I am happy.  Ridiculously so.  Not that life isn’t without it’s stresses or disasters…but, I am happy with myself. And it took forever to be in this place. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I still have a daily battle with my tummy bulge or those dreaded bat wings that have become my triceps…but I am at peace with the woman I have become.  My soul.  My journey. My messy life that is filled with crazy characters and a ton of love.  My god, it took forever and many a battle with myself to get here.  Therefore, I have no shame in saying that I am proud that I landed on my feet, and next to Mike.  I wish I could go back in time and wrap my arms around myself when I was so lost in my 20’s.  I would have told myself to stop living my life based on what others think of me, what stupid boys looked my way, or what size my waist line was. None of that mattered.

I would have said “It will get better. I promise”.

So, on this day I wanted to share with you one of my favorite poems. You can download it here: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann 

Let it remind you of how worthy you are.  And above all, be gentle with yourself. xo

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy. Continue Reading

When life knocks you over

September 25, 2015


It is very easy to say that yoga, meditation, self-help books, “good thoughts” and all that other jazz will make all your wounds better, and will heal your broken pieces…but sometimes no matter how hard you work on your inner peace, the outside world bangs louder at the door.  One of the things that was hardest for me to understand when I was venturing down this road of lovely creativity and self-help was HOW…how can I always find the right zen place in my mind and heart when life comes to knock you upside the head.  It is really hard to be peaceful in your heart when life is shitty.  Let’s be honest here, no matter how many yoga poses or feel better books you read, life can throw you for a loop.  For me, those are the days when a martini (or two) are needed. But I digress…

I am writing this because this very subject was brought up by Danielle Laporte, one of the women who I follow and am inspired by.  She wrote her blog today about how we can still hang onto our hope, our spirituality, and our calm in the midst of that crazy thing called life.  I loved her sentiments and wanted to pass them along.  Remember, be kind to yourself. xo

You get to choose your response to even the things you can’t prevent. When you’re down on yourself because you can’t get over it, when the Creepy Creepertons are on your very last nerve, when you’re tired of being tired, or your heart is in pieces…the best self-help is self-compassion.


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15 Questions to Ask Yourself

September 23, 2015


This past weekend I went back to camp to give myself a reboot and try to gain the tools I needed to tackle this new work/life change-up.  Because LIFE.  Life is messy, and wonderful and scary.  It takes time, soul-searching, and some life experience to identify your true passions.  I went to workshops that helped find some grounding, and dive deep within myself… actually asking myself what I WANT.  A concept that so many of us push aside because life gets too busy.  One of my favorite coaches, Tama Kieves hit the nail on the head for me when she said “If you’re this successful doing work don’t love, what could you do with work you do love?”.   I want you to answer that too.  For me, I want to connect. I want to share my stories, and hear from other women who have the same hurts, triumphs, and passions. I want to create a space where we can know we are not alone. I want to create a community where I can share the tools, tips and tricks I have learned to get through this thing called life with as much grace and humor as we can muster.

So, here is my very first step in sharing.  The questions below will help you get out of your mind space, and help you to honesty look into your heart.  It is a very cool exercise, and your answers might surprise you.

These prompts are written to tap into your wants, needs, desires, and fantasies. Have fun with them and discover what you can add to your life.  This doesn’t have to be final, and you can revisit these as many times as you need.  They are here to get your mind thinking, zinging and creating.  I have included a printable version of these questions as well,  print it out as many times as you need to, and enjoy finding out what you “really, really want” (as the Spice Girls so perfectly sang).

DOWNLOAD HERE15 Questions to Ask Yourself 

answers to ask

1. What’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do? Consider what would need to happen in order for you to carry through with this long-sought wish. Make a plan and get started.

2. If I could spend today doing whatever I desire, what would it be? Let your mind go. It could be something related to your work, your home, or simply a lark.

3. Where do I really want to live? What city and what type of residence? Perhaps you’re already fulfilling this passion and you do live in your true first choice. If not, ponder the possibilities of moving to a place you’ll love.

4. Where would I like to visit? Perhaps you’re harboring a secret yearning to visit Washington, D.C. or Westminster Abbey in London. The streets of Hong Kong may be calling your name or even the Grand Canyon. Can you make it happen?

5. What do I talk about doing but never do it? In a conversation, you might state something like, “For the last 10 years, I’ve really wanted to take a cruise to the Caribbean.”

6. What are the reasons I don’t go after my dreams? Explore within yourself why you haven’t pursued the life you want. Can you do something differently to help bring your dreams to life?

7. How will I finish the sentence, “More than anything, before I die, I want to ___________?” Say it out loud and fill in the blank. Then, figure out a way to accomplish your wish.

8. What are the things in my life that I would like to get rid of? If you’re discovering you don’t love everything about your life, maybe it’s time to do some “housecleaning.” Make a list of the ways you’d like your life to change.

9. Which people in my life inspire me and why? It’s important to know who inspires you so you can spend more time with them. What is it about them that lights you up so much? Decide to take every step to be inspired more often.

10. If I were to make just one radical change in my life right now to make life better, what would it be? Your answer to this question will really open up your possibilities. Moving to a bigger city might really spice up your life. Getting more education might be a goal—plus you’ll likely make more money.

11. How do I feel when I put all my effort into accomplishing one of my goals? Notice these feelings. You’ll no doubt want to experience them more often.

12. How do I feel whenever I achieve a life goal? Awesome, probably.

13. What’s missing from my life? Answering this question requires considerable soul-searching.

14. Who are my biggest supporters? It’s wise to know the people that will stand behind you and help you pursue your passions, no matter what.

15. Who gets in the way of me achieving my goals? In order to find your true passions, you might be required to disengage from those who wish to counteract your efforts. Continue Reading

A New Beginning

September 18, 2015


The little blog that could…this is my new name for the site.  I never thought that a blog I created out of sheer creative frustration and the need to vent would become such a beautiful calling.  I haven’t looked at this blog since January, when my world was filled with such a tornado of joy, disappointments, illnesses, and the anticipation of my upcoming marriage.  I could barely keep my main beauty blog afloat, let alone worry about my tiny “journal blog”.  I thought, honestly, who in the world is reading my babble?

So, I forgot about it and walked away.  I dove head first into my messy, beautiful life and decided that I needed to change. I wanted to learn how to listen to that voice inside me that told me to “STOP”.  Instead of barreling through the discomfort of failed business ventures, or family illness with a steadfast “It will all be ok”, I decided to face it head on and STOP living in denial. It has been difficult, confusing, healing and beyond uncomfortable to come face to face with the frustrations and fears that I have been stuffing down for years. Yet, it has been worth it. Totally, amazingly worth it.

But, here is the funny thing, as I walked away from this blog it began to grow.  Woman read my stories and wrote me that they felt a universal YES when reading about my struggles and tiny triumphs.  They understood. They wanted to know where I disappeared to.  They wrote me to come back and continue to write.  This little blog has continued to grow…just as I have.  There has been no bigger sign to me than this.  We all want to walk together, hand in hand, and learn from eachothers triumphs and failures.  We need to know we are not alone.  That is why I started this blog in the first place.  I simply got lost along the way.

So, for the past year I have been putting all of my focus into life and business coaching, communication lessons, meditation, and journaling (with a lovely dose of wine, cheese and the occasional martini…because let’s be honest, those three things make life better in every way).  I wanted to make sure that instead of letting life suck me down the rabbit hole, that I was going to find a way to climb back up…come hell or high water.  So, this has been my learning year.  It has not been easy by any means.  We are all filled with questions on a daily basis, the type of worries that keep us up at night (ladies, I KNOW you have a busy monkey mind the minute your head hits the pillow).   Mine have been a flurry of:

-Can I change careers after 17 years

-Can I take care of myself while taking care of the ones I love

-Can I learn to be a wife who communicates instead of retreats or blames

-Can I practice gratitude on a daily basis instead of allowing myself to focus on the negetive

-Can I have the courage to start from scratch, in business and in life

-Can I learn to love the messy, emotional, and sometimes too sensitive person that I am

-Can I love the wobbly, jiggly belly that is a reminder of my illnesses and feel confident with who I am regardless of my waist size

Yes, I can. Yes, I will. Yes, I will fall down.  BUT I WILL GET BACK UP. 

AND YOU CAN TOO.  We will get back up together.

And now is the moment when you ask me “what’s next?”.  Ahhhh….so many good, brilliantly scary, and amazing things.

For the past two months I have been working on this site behind the scenes.  We are almost finished with the new layout, and content that we will be bringing to you come October.

-Interviews with some of the most incredible women in the industry, who have guided me and helped find my voice

-Weekly reflections, and inspirational quotes that will give you a lift when you find yourself frazzled

-Life hacks, workbooks and guidance on how to find easy tips to get through the most frustrating of days (martini and cheese not included)

-Books on getting you through your daily tasks, whether it be in business or life

-Workbooks on helping you grow your confidence, and project the amazing, strong and gorgeous human you are (this is a big one for me!)

-Sharing some of the resources I have counted on to guide me, encourage me, and elevate me

I want this site to be an place where you can find a story that makes you feel not so alone, and gives you the resources on how to survive life and business without making yourself crazy.

It is a journey, and we can do this together.

Here is to my new beginning.  clinks wine glass, and gives a huge sigh of relief Continue Reading


December 6, 2014


I haven’t posted in quite some time, and for good reason.  Everything fell apart.  Business deals, plans that had been seemingly set in stone, and ideas that I had put all my weight into.  Even my computer decided to crash! Yep, everything just went kaboom.

Thank. God.

The one thing I am beginning to realise is that life will knock you to your feet if you are hell-bent on running in the wrong direction.  And I was.  I wanted so desperately for things to work out according to Plan A, and to be done on time and to perfection.  But life doesn’t work that way.  I wanted things to work out with my business so much that I ignored red flags because I didn’t want to believe that I could have put my trust in a business partner that I instinctively knew wouldn’t hold true to his word.   I knew the whole time.  The. Whole. Damn. Time.

Life intervened, and everything blew up.  And you know what?  It is ok.  It is ok because there was a huge part of me that needed everything to fall apart so that I could sit down and figure out what I REALLY wanted.  The prospect of money can fog everything, and there is something healing about having to start from scratch.

So, now I am at the point of surrender.  I have let go and simply allow myself to take a break and take care of myself.  I can’t control my path, just as much as I can’t control the people around me.  But, I can decide to release and surrender into this moment and give myself the chance to see what the next steps are.  I believe that things will fall into place now that all the debris has been swept away.  Hell, even my computer has a new hard drive and a clean slate!

Maybe I need a new hard drive.  I think it is about time to reboot.

The Fall

October 25, 2014


There are moments that can knock us off our feet. You can pretend that you don’t see it coming,  but you would be fooling yourself….because we always know when the fall is about to happen.  For me, it happens when I am running on empty both physically and emotionally. Trying to please everybody and failing miserablely. It can start with misunderstandings, or miscommunications, and often entails me trying to avoid a confrontation at all costs. Until the fall is inevitable,  and feelings get hurt. Sometimes so much that you feel broken for days, and you feel like a fool because the tears won’t stop.

The sad part is that it could have been avoided. It can always be avoided if we are honest with ourselves and the people we love. But we run from confrontation until it exploads out of us like a raging storm and we say things we don’t mean.  We hurt eachother because we no longer know how to speak to eachother without frustration and blame.  Friends, family, and lovers… happens to us all.

The hardest part is the aftermath. The day after the tears, when you have to pick yourself back up and try to fix the broken pieces.  You have to hope, you have to absolutely believe, that love will heal everyone’s wounds.

Because we hurt eachother.  It is inevitable and heartbreaking. But love is stronger than those moments when we are weak and say horrible things we can’t take back.  That is what gets us back up. That is what keeps us moving forward.

“We like to pretend that our generous impulses come naturally. But the reality is we often become our kindest, most ethical selves only by seeing what it feels like to be a selfish jackass first. It’s the reason… we have to get burned before we understand the power of fire; the reason our most meaningful relationships are so often those that continued beyond the very juncture at which they came the closest to ending”.
-cheryl strayed

Leap Of Faith

October 9, 2014


The picture you see of a crazy woman leaping off a very tiny pole… that’s me.  Yep, that is me flying through the air after taking a very scary jump off a very TALL pole.  A pole that I had to climb.  A pole that I was told represented what I wanted to overcome in my life.  And I climbed that pole as I was shaking and scared and wondering how in the world I was going to hoist myself up onto the tiny round platform. It represented me pulling myself up, standing tall on shaky ground and taking a chance to leap forward toward what I want I life.  All leaps in life are scary, but this was one of the most emotionally and physically terrifying things I have ever done. It was my “Leap of Faith” and to say that it changed me is an understatement.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? Because I am not someone who normally leaps off poles, or jumps off ziplines.  That was me when I was in my 20’s….now, not so much.  Life and fear has gotten the best of me in the past few years.  To be honest, life has taken a big chunk out of me, and I wanted to reclaim some of my old fearlessness, passion and chutzpah.  So I went away to camp. You heard that right!  I went away for a weekend retreat for women at Campowerment.  It was the best decision I have made in a very long time (except for saying a big fat YES to marrying Mike. That is the world’s best decision……but I digress).

I had read about Campowerment and the founder Tammi Leader Fuller a few weeks back and was struck by her passion for providing a space for women to get back a little “me time”.  A place where girlfriends, mothers and daughters, or single ladies looking for some space could go and find a way to recharge, refresh, and find their strength again.  Because let’s face it, we are all drained.  We are all being pulled into thousand different directions.  We are all too damn tired.  All. The. Time. 

The camp experience brings together experts from all over the industry teaching you how to find some peace in your daily life, whether it be with yoga classes, business strategies, wellness seminars or creative activities.  I spent four days reigniting my soul.  I made vision boards, I took journaling classes, a class on organization (who doesn’t need that help!) and  I listened to some of the most powerful female coaches who moved me to get my act in gear.  And yes, I ended the weekend by facing my fears and taking a very giant leap of faith.

This time at camp is something tremendous and necessary for every woman I know.  This is something to share with your best friend, your sister, or simply go by yourself.  I went alone and walked away with some amazing new friends.  Yes, I was nervous and afraid…but isn’t that the point? To move forward toward something that is unknown because you need to be woken up! You need to be able to feel reignited.  You need to let go and allow yourself to breathe again.

Mike has said I came home a new woman, and although I am not sure if that is true, I can say with all my heart that I found that 20 year old girl inside me and got some of my fearlessness back.  I found my spunk and my spark again.

All by going back to Camp.

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