We All Feel That Way

I spent the last week and a half with my family. For me, time with family is always an interesting combination of a sweet treat with lots of love, and a battle to show up as myself, not who I was at age 15. In working through that this week, I saw very clearly that my biggest weakness growing up, is now my biggest strength. The thing I spent years being ashamed of and afraid of, is the very thing that is my super power. It is the very thing that gives me purpose in this life. And I’d bet, it’s the same for you. 


Since I was a baby, I was sensitive Jessie, emotional Jessie, moody Jessie. My friends and family used to make fun of me for it, and I witnessed my share of eye-rolls whenever I teared up. I got bullied for being afraid in gymnastics, and was told “get over it” when I was struggling emotionally. I’ve been called dramatic, ridiculous, a bitch, you name it. But the thing is, none of that is all that bad.


Let’s be real - my life has been pretty spectacular. I am incredibly fortunate. I was raised by a family who loves me unconditionally. A family who was well-off, and not only able to put food on the table, but provide me with rich experiences that have helped me become who I am today. To this day, my parents (and other family members) support me in the crazy career I’ve chosen, and despite some judgement, are pretty accepting of my life choices. I’ve never been physically or sexually abused, I’m healthy, and well..I’m white. My life’s been…quite easy, in comparison to many. 


So why all the tears? Why is Jessie so sensitive?


You know the gene that like, covers up your emotions and puts on a fake smile and goes to work as if everything is great? Yea…I didn’t get that gene. My heart is on my sleeve. And besides a couple of mean names, and eye-rolls, I was never stopped. So I think, part of my sensitivity is simply that, I never had to toughen up. I had the luxury to feel all the feelings, and still have dinner on the table. And while I sometimes feel guilty about my fortune, I feel extremely grateful that I’ve been able to use this fortune for good. 


See, sensitivity isn’t just about crying because someone stole your cookie. Sensitivity is about picking up what’s really going on, and having a connection to yourself and others, that many people don’t even see. And while that makes you vulnerable to hurt, and instability, it makes you receptive to so much possibility. And when I describe how I was feeling during a situation that upset me to someone new (a family member, friend, etc), they often say something like, “well yea, we all feel that way.” And that right there, is why this is so special. 


We all feel that way.


We ALL feel that way. 


This sensitivity is not about my own upset, or hurt feelings. It’s about what having the ability to feel those feelings opens up. No, not everyone cries when their siblings get in a fight, but also, not everyone sees that their siblings are deeply hurting, and the argument was based on unresolved pain within each of them. 


So this sensitivity, the thing I’ve been made fun of for and ashamed of for over 2 decades, is actually the source of my power. This is now my light, my purpose, my mission in life. I am put on this earth to be there for others, in their experience of “we all feel that way.” Not to trivialize it (nor to dramatize it), but simply to normalize it. You are not alone. It’s ok to feel that way, because you do, so let yourself feel it. AND, use that awareness and acceptance and discovery to begin to work through it. Rather than waiting for the next big fight to unleash your pain, simply walk through it. Let the tears out or have the uncomfortable conversation - now. And watch it dissolve, little by little. THIS is what I’m here for. 


What’s your story? I’d love to hear from you. Do you go home and get made fun of? Are you insecure about something about yourself? Are you ashamed of something you do, or have done, or wish you could do? Do you feel like you have a deep weakness about you? 


These are important questions. Not to sit in dwell in the problem of being made fun of, or whatever the case may be, but to look that insecurity straight in the face. Really look at it. And maybe, just maybe, that ugly weakness, can be your glimmering gold. It can be the thing that moves you to be you each day. The thing that impacts the people you love and touch. The thing that inspires you to be better for your partner, or your child, or yourself. 


Happy New Year. Let your goals and dreams be based on connection to yourself. Rather than goal-setting to get around your “weaknesses”, why not love them? Goal-set through the insecurity, and into a freedom of sorts. A freedom where not only do you get to love yourself more fully (and therefore BE yourself more fully), but you also know that - we ALL feel that way. Embrace it or not, that’s up to you. 


Xo

Put on some makeup!

My dear friend posted a sticker on instagram, asking if her followers had questions. One, mouthly, follower wrote back, “Put on some make up *puke face*”. 


She responded eloquently and maturely, simply stating that she intends to share her honest self with her followers, and that putting on make up to cover up her beautiful essence does not resonate with her values as an influencer. 


But what the heck? Really? What makes a person feel the need to respond to someone who is trying to engage an audience in a meaningful way (via yoga and self-reflection), and tell them they need to wear make up (a mix of chemicals designed to hide the reality of a women’s (usually) face in order to make it look more doll like? Or fake? Or more “perfect” but in a not-real sort of way)?


Now, nothing against make up itself. I think it can be a beautiful form of artistic and self-expression. However, if a woman NEEDS make up in order to speak authentically…we are in real trouble. 


So what’s the truth of it? Why would someone feel the need to write that?


Well, I can’t say for sure because I have never been actually motivated to reach out to someone to do that. But I believe it is due to their own self-hatred. Their own inability to be with themselves, truly, whether they are male or female. What I do know is the need to write that couldn’t have come from true honesty. It had to come from some selfish personal desire, otherwise, why say it? Why would you go out of your way, to share hate and negativity with someone else, if it didn’t somehow make you feel better or look better in your own head? 


So I ask you - what do we do when someone comes to us like that? Do we bark back? Do we ignore? Is it like my dog, when he’s barking to get attention, I have to ignore it and not give him the satisfaction of a reprimand? 


Well, if we consider the reality, it’s likely that this person, the one that wrote “put on some make up”, is going through something. Perhaps their boyfriend is stalking my friend on instagram, and she was so upset she took it out on her. Or, perhaps it’s a man that keeps getting turned down or broken up with, and felt the need to put down a woman to assert his power. Who knows! But regardless, this comment came from a place of desperation. This comment, is a cry for help. Not that they would know that, or would actually be open to receiving help, but that, it is absolutely a clear sign that they are not ok, in some form. 


It’s important to take these moments as an opportunity to introspect. Notice the moments in yourself when you feel the desire to put someone else down (even if it’s just a subtle judgement in your head). And start to inquire to yourself, what is that really about? Is it really about the other person's lack of makeup? Or is it likely about your own need to be perfect, insecurity of being that vulnerable, and perhaps even envy of being able to be so free? 


When we do that with ourselves, not only do we get the opportunity to inspire some personal growth, and release some negative, even toxic, feelings and actions. But we also get the opportunity to understand another person better. So next time someone does something like that towards you (even if it’s your mother over Christmas !!), you can perhaps empathize with where it’s actually coming from, and know that even if whatever they are saying is “true”, that you ultimately have a choice in how you take it, and how you respond. 


As much as I wanted to punch that person in the face (the one that told my friend to put on make up), I also felt their pain. I hope that one day they find the courage to ask for help, or go to yoga :D, and take responsibility for their own fears and insecurities, to be kinder to themselves and others. 


Here’s your monthly reminder: when someone does something that is rude/disrespectful/inconsiderate/wrong to someone else, it is ALWAYS about their own sh*t. That doesn’t make it ok, but it does free up the burden of the hurt, and allows us to be there for each other, even when it’s uncomfortable. 


All love. 

Lookin’ Good

About 3 years ago I went to a seminar called “Landmark”. It’s a 3 day, incredibly transformative experience. I believe it was day 2 where I started experiencing some resistance. The program lead was teaching us about the fact that essentially our whole lives are about “looking good”, but he kept using references like “the fanciest car”, and the “blonde with big boobs”. Those examples, among others, just did not click with me, so I felt safe in the rationale, that’s not me. I don’t do everything to look good. I even came up with stories like I hardly even wear make up, or fancy clothes. I clearly don’t care about looks. Little did I know, this fact would begin to shift my entire life:


Our lives are about looking good for other people (and therefore ourselves). 


Now if you’re a self-development enthusiast, you already know this, and you are probably shifting it already. If you aren’t, you are likely denying that you yourself, are included in this. 


Let me explain. 


Maybe we all don’t buy our fancy car in order to look good, but MOST of us make MOST of our moves in life based, at least in part, on how we will look to others. “Looking good” doesn’t necessarily mean physical appearance. It’s about how we are seen through others’ eyes. So maybe you don’t put on the makeup in the morning to look good for anyone in specific, but you probably put it on in order to be seen as some who “is put together”, or like you tried, or like you care, or maybe even “just in case” you meet someone. And maybe you don’t date the sexy girl just because your friends will think you’re cool, but you probably have some part of you that wants it to work out, or to look a certain way so that people will think you’re lovable, or good in bed, or good enough to have a partner like that, or whatever. 



If you know me, you know I used to be fairly social, going out every weekend and attending events frequently; and now I spend most every night at my house working, or enjoying the evening with a close friend (and my pup). Part of that is simply maturing, but another huge part of it, is exactly what I’m writing about today. It is that out there, in the world, so much is dependent on how you look to other people, without them actually having any idea who you are or how you live your life, that I got overwhelmed when I began my self-development journey. It became too difficult, and to be honest - just plain annoying, to be surrounded by people that were so worried about how they looked, without getting sucked back in myself.


Well, this weekend, I went out to a dance event. And of all dance events, it was a pretty lovely one. It was in order to raise money for a charity, so it was not only for a good cause, but it attracted good people, part of a loving community (which is certainly not always the case). 


I was able to approach this experience quite differently, as it’s been about a year since I’ve attended something like this. I spent much of the evening not only watching the performances, but specifically observing people’s body language, and what story they were really telling, rather than how good their dance technique was, or how much they killed the performance. (I very much included myself in this observation: noticing when I wanted to get on my phone so as not to appear like a loner, or when I was unsure if I should say hi to someone I’ve only met on instagram for fear they would think I was weird, ha!) 


And what I saw was, lots of beauty. 

And, lots of insecurity. 


Many of the performances were riddled with a, ‘I need you to like me’ feeling behind it. And what’s funny is, I know exactly the feeling. I remember when I’ve stepped off stage in the past and thought, damn, I was so in my head worried about what people were thinking - hoping that everyone saw me do that cool solo, or that no one saw my mess up. 


I noticed girls in the bathroom, worried post-performance if their makeup was still on and cute, and boys worried about messing up their steps. And the thing is, this is all fine and normal. There’s nothing wrong with it. But the bummer is that sometimes we don’t realize that we are doing ALL of that work and worry and fear and upset, for the approval of other people. And when it comes to sharing your art, or creating an event that raises money for a great charity, it’s really a bummer when that need to look good actually STOPS you from sharing the full truth, or creating the event from the true intention of serving others. 


(During this event, I also witnessed some of the truest expressions I’ve ever seen, in a way that brought me to tears multiple times (I mean, I’m a sap, but still!).)



So let’s really try to take a look at this in our lives. In full admission that we DO do things for the purpose of looking good, where does it come up? Probably everywhere, all day long, in every action. (Seriously though). Yesterday, I noticed it specifically at the gym. I was training a lot of the muscles I need for handstands. The gym is not usually the place that I actually do handstands, it’s simply the place I strengthen the muscles for them, and other things. So after a set of core and shoulders, I was considering doing some handstands, or some press handstands in the middle of the floor. And I stopped myself. Not because I was tired, or lazy, but because I realized the true reason I was doing that, was to look good for other people. I realized if I had been working out alone, I would not have done some extra handstands on top of my already intense workout. Not that using the eyes of others to motivate you can’t be helpful, but my honest self knew that that wasn’t actually the case for me - it was simply to show off. (I’ve also had times where I DO want to do the handstands to serve my workout, and I’m worried people will judge me, and in that case, I choose to do them anyway! It’s about listening to yourself, not judging what’s good or bad, or right or wrong.)


Where does this come up in your life? How might being more authentic to yourself serve you, and your dreams? 


A reminder that this doesn’t mean wear your pajamas to work, stop taking showers, and be a bitch because all of that could be about looking good. It simply means, notice when you are selling yourself short, in order to attain the potential approval of others, or in order to make sure someone likes you, or in order to not show people your truth. Because in reality, you showing your truth, and owning whatever that is, is not always going to get everyone’s approval, but it WILL get yours. 


Xo

Puppy Lessons

This weekend I learned something pretty profound…from my dog. 


I took him to the dog park, because, lately he’s been getting really antsy around other dogs, so I wanted to let him run around and enjoy (we used to do this a lot and he loved it). I committed to doing some training with him right outside the dog park, to make sure he could listen to me, even though I knew he’d be distracted. So we got there, and before we were even near the park, he was whining, crying, and yelping. I told him his usual command “quiet”. Didn’t work. We parked, I pulled out some treats and repeated, “quiet”. It worked for about 4 seconds, before he was yelping again. 


We did some commands a little ways away from the park. He did OK, but definitely was so uncontrollably excited that not much was working. At one point he let out a huge scream. I didn’t even know dogs could do that! We went into the park, and within 10 minutes, I was dragging him out by his harness. He started snarling, barking, and trying to bite a dog that intimidated him, and he quickly got out of control snarling at a bunch of dogs. I pulled him out, but it became immediately clear to me that his uncontrollable excitement, is the same as his uncontrollable aggression. 


 If they can’t control their excitement, they definitely can’t control their aggression. 




So besides the training tactics that I need to make sure I apply to my pup, why am I sharing this with you?



Let’s repeat that discovery, for humans:


If you can’t control your excitement, you definitely can’t control your aggression/upset/anxiety/fear/etc. 


So although excitement, and passion, lust, and drive might all be positive emotions and experiences to have, if we can’t control them (control meaning to not let it take over), then what hope to we have of controlling the negative emotions? 


I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I would hear a phrase like “control your emotions”, and think, no! I want to feel everything! I thought that controlling emotions meant not feeling them, or not getting to enjoy the goodness in life. And I certainly thought it meant having to try not to let the negative ones seep into everything, and damn near thought that was impossible. But the truth is, controlling your emotions is not about having no feelings, or not experiencing things, it’s about emotional intelligence. It’s about being able to experience feelings, without them taking over you, and ruling the rest of the day, or week, or month. 


(I remember about 2 years ago a boyfriend broke up with me, and I kept expecting to be really sad. I was all prepared to wallow in my feelings, eat ice cream, and veg out….but that rush of sadness never came. Not because I didn’t love him, or didn’t feel sad about it, but because, I had been hard at work to increase my self-awarenes and gain emotional intelligence for a few years at that point. That moment was just a little victory for me; acknowledgement that I was getting stronger!)


So, how do you control your emotions? Or what does that process even look like?


Well, let’s go back to Dojo, my dog. In order for him to be able to socialize safely and appropriately, he has to be able to remain calm when he’s excited, and when he’s scared. So training, for him, looks like me taking him to distracting, exciting places, and keeping him calm, focused, and disciplined. 


Now, we are, of course, more complex than dogs, but - that’s not a bad idea. And truly, this is yoga. (Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or “to control the senses”, in one of its definitions). Yoga asks that you observe yourself, mind and body. You observe your thoughts and feelings, and physical sensations. Observing them comes with two parts: 1) increasing self-awareness and understanding, and 2) not attaching to the observation. Just like Dojo will need to be able to see a dog run by him, and not attach to the possibility of running with him, we need to see a fear drift by, and not attach to the possibility of it becoming real. These two parts together make up an aware person, who is non-judgmental or non-reactive to their feelings, or really any disturbance whatsoever. 



Does this mean don’t ever get excited? No. Does it mean you will stop having fears? No. Just like Dojo will always be affected by the dogs that cross his path, you will always have feelings. However, by controlling them, you get the opportunity to choose how to play with them. Just as if Dojo stays calm while we walk up to a dog, he gets the treat of playing with them, so if you stay non-reactive while observing the thought or emotion, you get the treat of playing with that feeling however you’d like. 


Start to notice when you get hooked on a thought, or emotion. Often, that’s the emotion trying to take over. Trying to get you to indulge in your excitement, or embarrassment, or worry, and take a leap out of your life, into that feeling. And see if you can back up and look at it instead. And if not, at least see if you can state to yourself that you’re hooked on an emotion, so as not to make any big life choices or anything, hah! It will get easier and easier to step out of it, and not have that one thing dictate your whole day. 

Wherever you’re at in this process, keep going. I know I am! 


Xo 

CHOOSE your circumstances.

There’s this story that I often hear, from my friends, students, and even myself. The story is something like, “I can’t,” or “I have to,” or “I have no choice.” These phrases put us in a very compromised position. These phrases imply that some force outside of ourselves has forced us to do (or not do) something. Most of the time I would say this is likely not true, but even when this IS true, this is a pretty powerless stance to take. 


Now, you probably think I’m going to say something like there is always another option, or find a way to make it happen. And sure, that’s a possibility. But let’s go in one more step. When you feel like you are stuck, or perhaps like something happened to you and you can’t do anything about it, or like you have to do something and have no choice, you have three options of how to respond. 


Option 1: remain unhappy with the situation. Complain about how it’s happening to you, suffer, and remain powerless in the situation.

Option 2: decide that it’s not okay with you, and make something happen no matter what it takes (quit your job, leave a tough relationship, save up money, etc). 

Option 3: switch your perspective, and choose the situation, exactly as it is. Decide (or it may even feel like pretend) that you chose this circumstance, and everything about it, and approach it as if that were true. 


These options are mostly about perspective. None of them make your circumstance disappear, and none of them are necessarily “true”, it simply depends on how you choose to look at it. 


I would say, most people choose option 1. It’s easiest to blame something outside of yourself, and continue to be unhappy, although it might suck. Option 2 is probably in second place. People hit the gym because they refuse to see themselves as they are, or cut out friends or family in order to move forward, or quit their job and live in rugged conditions. Option 2 can create some real change. But this third option, option 3, is something special. It’s this balance between 1 and 2. See, it’s not complacency. It’s not just throwing your hands up and being ok with a shitty situation. (Nor is it complaining about the situation). But it’s still not forcing it to change either. It sits in the middle. It’s the space of CHOICE (and truly, of freedom). 


For these purposes, we will define choice as the ability to select freely between one or more options. Meaning, you might technically, not have another option, however, you still can choose freely. How can that be? This is simply a place to stand, a place that allows you to OWN your circumstance (even if it isn’t your “fault”) so that you can continue to choose what to do.


So let’s look at an example. Let’s say you want to start your own business, but you feel like you can’t because of your current, all consuming job (let’s say 90-100 hours a week). And let’s say this job has made it very clear that you will be fired if you lessen your hours, or make a small mistake, or something like that. And let’s say you cannot afford to lose this job because you have no savings, are in debt, and are helping to support a family member. So I would say, the odds of you starting your own business within this circumstance are pretty low. So you might feel like, I have no choice. I have to keep working at this job. I can’t create the career I want. So here are your options:

Option 1: remain unhappy with the situation. Complain about how you want to start your own business but can’t. You have to stay where you are.

Option 2: decide to quit your job and make it happen with your new business ASAP, or up your workload to 120 hours per week, and lose sleep to start this new business.

Option 3: choose to be at the job you’re at. Choose to spend 100 hours per week working, at a job that perhaps is not your dream. 


Now let’s look at option 3. Option 3 doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t magically remove the barrier to your success. But what it does do, is give you back the power. Option 3 may even lead to something similar to option 2, just in a more powerful, less torturous way. 


So lets say, you chose to work at this job, 100 hours a week, even though you truly want to do something else. And if you chose it - how might you be approaching it differently? Instead of dreading it, or blaming it for your current unhappiness, you might show up to work powerfully. You might take big steps in saving money, or signing up for a business course to do on weekends. You might network with people at your current job, and create possibilities for growth within and outside of the office. So, although nothing changed, your whole world might be different. And maybe in a few months, you will no longer “have no choice” but to stay at this job, but perhaps you will have a plethora of options looking forward. But by not choosing, or rather, by choosing not to take ownership for your circumstance, you run the risk of never getting out of it. 


Choice doesn’t mean you always get what you want. Choice just means, you have the ability to decide how you live your life at any moment. It is not necessarily the truth, it is simply a place to stand. A perspective from which to look at your life. So rather than digging yourself further into the hole, you actually begin to gather the tools to climb out. But without first taking the stance of choice, having the power to get out of it is going to be tough if not impossible. 


In the moment where you feel powerless, like you have no choice in the matter, ask yourself. What if I chose this? What if it was me that chose to get sick, or to get fired, or to be in this awful relationship? How would I look at it then? And then choose it. Own your situation, and watch yourself find the good, the ongoing possibility, and the growth within it. 


xo

Right and wrong. Good and bad. Which are you?

As humans, we do this thing where we have to classify things as either good or bad, right or wrong. As if there’s nothing in between, or nothing else to identify with. As Wendy Byrd says in Ozark (yes I got inspired by the TV show!), we are taught that Adam and Eve were clearly told that they can eat from any tree except for the fruit of one, and they ate it anyway. But what if they were actually just starving, and that was their only available option? Now Wendy is using this to prove that wrong-doing is not so simple. My point is not so dark, but similar in nature.


See, right and wrong, good and bad - it’s a spectrum. What’s more is that, just because something is right for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s wrong (or that YOU are wrong) if it’s not right for you. And visa versa. 




Something that I really like about the yoga sutras (sort of like the yoga bible, the principles on which yoga stands), is that it is written from the view that, rules are not the end-all be-all. For instance, instead of saying, ‘do not kill,’ it writes, ‘non-harming,’ as an intention of living. Meaning, live in a way that harms the least amount of beings possible, including yourself, given your circumstances and personal limitations. ‘Do not kill,’ as an all applicable rule, can be taken so extreme that you can’t walk down the street, because you might accidentally kill an insect. So that rule is not actually accessible, or logical in our life today. But does that mean that all who do not live by it fully are wrong? (I know there are exceptions in these types of rules, but exceptions to the rule is simply adding rules to the already existing rule, without truly looking at the intention behind it.) 


In the book, The Code of The Extraordinary Mind, Vishen Lakhiani talks a lot about what he calls “brules”. Brules is a made up word, that is essentially a combination of the two words: bullshit and rules. I think he’s onto something. There are so many rules that we live by that aren’t applicable to our lives currently. For instance, going to college is a kind of rule that many families/social circles/school systems live by. It is certainly useful and important, but with the expansion of the internet and readily available information, plus new strange “jobs” on the market, a college degree is getting more and more meaningless. Is it really essential anymore? In addition, women were encouraged in the past to go right from their parents’ house to their husbands’ house because women were not expected to work (nor allowed to work in many cases). So the “brule” of needing to find a husband at a young age, was created. Now, we are not only allowed to work, but we are expected to have matching careers to our husband, so that brule is no longer essential. 


So perhaps, we can instead look at the intention behind the rules. As non-harming is to do not kill, safety and success is to going to college. Meaning, if “go to college” was the rule, we get to break it down and look at the heart of it. What is it really about? Let’s say going to college as a rule was developed to ensure safety and success. But now, if going to college not only doesn’t ensure safety and success, but it perhaps even prolongs your ability to develop your career and find success, instead of hanging on to the rule, let’s hang on to the intention: to ensure safety and success. So perhaps, during high school we devote more time to trying new things, exploring job options, and finding your interests, and less time on good grades and high SAT scores. And perhaps, after college there is some more time to self-explore, maybe even other programs, other than college. Not to say that college is not still a GREAT tool and option, but just that the RULE of “you must go to college after high school in order to be successful,” is not actually based on transferable truth. 


All of that being said, let’s go back to the right and wrong thing. Next to what, exactly, are we measuring that distinction? 



A friend of mine is reading a book, The Untethered Soul. He mentioned to me that he felt like the book was saying that what he was doing was wrong, so he was getting defensive. We talked about it, and I asked, “does the book actually say that you are WRONG?”. He said no, and giggled. Of course it didn’t. The book is not saying DO THIS or you’re bad and wrong. The book is saying, consider this way of doing things for this purpose. What would that do for you? Would it enable you to be less emotionally stuck? Would it allow you to have deeper connections with others? Would it make it easier to let go of fear and pain, and help you step up in your life? Yes? Ok so. The opposite of that is not WRONG, it is simply a CHOICE. A choice to do the thing that is less likely to yield the outcomes you desire. 


I was listening to a podcast today and she said something like, life is hard for two reasons. To stay in your comfort zone, and to step outside of it. Meaning, life’s going to be hard no matter what. You can make the choice for it to be hard just to stay in your comfort zone, or you can choose for it to be hard so that you can get the reward! 


So why then, do we jump to right and wrong? Good and bad? I think there’s a lot that goes into this, but much of it is because we feel the need to prove to ourselves (and others) that WE are right, or good. It’s so scary to accept the fact that we might be wrong (and I believe a lot of that is because of how we are taught about right and wrong), that we would rather have this black and white system so then at least we KNOW that we are GOOD and RIGHT. But the problem is, we are actually human. Not only do we make mistakes, but we also have our own internal metric of what is right and wrong and good and bad; and if we depend on some external rules to govern that within ourselves, we inevitably are going to go against our own intuition of what’s really right. So, when we do something that isn’t “good”, according to some brules, instead of owning up to it, we hide it. We can’t accept that we might be “bad” (because those are the only options, good and bad), so we lie to ourselves and to others. We cover it up. I’m not even talking big stuff like murder, cheating, stealing, etc. I’m talking even the little things like, we do something for our own personal gain, even though we know it might hurt someone else, and instead of acknowledging our responsibility, we hide that from ourselves. We use the rules and circumstance to justify our actions. 


What if we just loosened up this right and wrong thing? I’m not saying that everything goes. I’m just saying that, it’s not really about right and wrong, good and bad. It’s about getting SO real with yourself, that the only option is to do the “right” thing, or the thing that is the MOST right for you in that moment. When you are in that place, you make the choice that is the closest to right/good you can possibly make, AND you get to learn more easily when it doesn’t work out perfectly, or you accidentally hurt someone anyway. 


So, just as the sutras say, rather than confining yourself to a rule like do not kill, (because who knows how many ants you squashed today, not to mention that gross cockroach that invaded your house last week), open yourself up to taking the step of the least harming action possible. The thing that enables you to flourish, while not squashing too many others, with full acknowledgement and responsibility, that you might squash some, without trying. That’s ok. You are human. You get to ebb and flow with right and wrong. 




Notice when you feel like you, or someone else, is wrong. Unless it is very black and white science, I encourage you to question it. Why do you think their way is wrong? Or why are you judging yourself? Is it possibly based on a rule (or a brule), that you are subconsciously living by? Are you able to shift what right and wrong means to you, in order to be more compassionate towards yourself and others, and allow yourself to embody the things that truly call to you, rather than things that are based on someone else’s imposed values of right and wrong? 


Good luck. 


Xo

Why does someone else's success, make you doubt yourself?

Comparison is the thief of joy, they say. I hear that and I think, of course. It makes perfect sense! And yet, when it comes to certain things, I can’t help but do it anyway. 


For years now, I’ve been fully aware that if you are feeling upset about something, it is almost always due to your own insecurity. So, I think it’s fair to say that generally speaking, if you are comparing yourself to someone else and feeling bad, or jealous, or hateful (towards yourself or them), chances are, you are feeling insecure. (If you aren’t yet comfortable with that statement, take some time to dissect it and process it for yourself! This is a huge game-changer.)


But this past week, I realized something deeper. I caught myself feeling a little down when looking at other people’s success. I felt, admittedly, jealous and hurt when I saw other people doing well, which I will say, is not a common feeling for me. So, I went to work to question what that was about. I talked to a friend, I meditated, I journaled, and after letting go of what was worrying me, I realized something pretty huge.


I only feel threatened by other people’s success, when it’s about something that’s not right for me.


In other words, I feel threatened by someone being “really happy”, or “in love”, or “successful” only when it’s based on something I think I should be doing or having or accomplishing, not based on what I actually value and strive for. 


For instance, back when I was focused on being a professional dancer, it would bother me when other people were successful at auditioning and booking jobs that way. Not because I didn’t want them to be successful, but because I thought that’s what I should be doing, and it made me feel bad that I wasn’t. But when I realized that path wasn’t for me, I found success and fulfillment in dance in other ways. And, no longer felt threatened by others succeeding in that way. Because truthfully, booking jobs for me was never about me really wanting the job itself, it was about me needing the external validation that I was good enough. It wasn’t authentic, it was simply an insecurity pulling at me. 


In looking at my life today, I am focused on yoga retreats, teacher training programs, self-development, etc. And in no way am I threatened by other people succeeding at hosting yoga retreats, or leading teacher trainings, or doing life coaching, etc. In fact, it often inspires me and helps me stay driven toward my goal.


So when this comparison feeling snuck in last week, and I caught it, and I realized that comparison only feels threatening when it’s about something that’s not authentic to me, I had an opportunity to check myself. I looked at my values, and my purpose in doing what I’m doing currently. I looked at specifically what was bothering me about seeing other people’s success. What scared me? What made me feel bad about myself? 


I quickly realized it was only about looks. It was about other people looking cooler or more successful because they have more of a following. And as much as a real following is super useful and worth working for - it wasn’t the real following that I was jealous of. It was simply that it looked more successful. 


Ha!


So just like that - I get to check myself. What is my purpose? Is it to look successful? Or is it to be impactful. And while it’s easy to say that of course it’s to be impactful, it’s not always easy to hold on to that truth. 


This week, I get to come back to my truth. I get to acknowledge that, that feeling of comparison is not only about my own insecurity, but specifically it’s about something that is actually not important to me. And then I get to choose. Do I want to decide that getting validation is important to me, and focus on it, so that I can feel better? OR am I willing to stay true to my values, even if it means less validation? 


We know the answer ;). 


Step into your actions with full responsibility. You must be willing to walk forward even if things don’t go as you want them to, as you think they should, or as you see other people doing. If you are not - you will get crushed. But if you are, if you truly are willing to keep stepping external judgement or validation, you become absolutely unstoppable. 


xo.

Take the leap

This last weekend marked my first Take It Off Yoga Retreats Staff Training. I, along with 5 other ladies, took a trip to Tahoe, where we worked together to not only develop ourselves (like we do on every retreat), but to also work on our facilitation as individuals, and as a brand. 


Throughout this weekend, each of us led an activity and a yoga or meditation class. Each of us had a chance to really make an impact on the group, and level up as a teacher, communicator, and coach. It was such an awesome opportunity to experience our own leadership, while still getting to be students for each other. 


By the end, everyone had made such huge strides in their personal growth, and their growth as leaders of their own (future) retreats. But there was a fear that I saw coming up, and after communicating with them, it became clear. The fear was something like, “I can’t lead a retreat if I don’t have my life together,” or, “Who am I to guide these women through this, when I can hardly do it myself?”. 


So here’s the thing. I know this feeling. All too well. I feel it almost everyday, even if it’s only a fleeting moment. And sometimes it really consumes me. 


And, I think it’s an important thought because, we don’t want just anyone teaching us important things like how to love yourself, and to become a better you. So in some ways, the fear is valid. 


However, I think it comes with a misconception, and therefore a limiting belief. The belief is that “teachers” are supposed to be these beings that stand at the front of a class and write on a whiteboard, or put up a powerpoint and give you information. This information is expected to be true, because, well, the teacher said so. But who were your best teachers? The ones who made the greatest impact on your life, not just your grades? Were they the teachers that told the facts the best? I doubt it. Were they the teachers that had the neatest powerpoint? Probably not. They were the teachers that captivated you. The teachers that told stories, and related the information to things that were important. The teachers that weren’t afraid to say, “I don’t know,” and look it up with you. The teachers that were human. These are the teachers that not only communicated information to you, but had you learn and grow. They inspired you to step up in your life, in some way, even if it was simply to do the homework. They taught you how to understand the material, or how to get excited about it. They showed you passion, and you felt it, so much so that you were inspired to move forward. 


So a teacher, is not really someone who passes on information. A teacher, in this case, is like an illuminator. The teacher guides you, and brings to light the things that you need to look at in order to further understand the material. (In fact, the Sanskrit definition of a guru is a person who shines light on the darkness.) The teacher lights up a path for you, so that you can choose to walk through it yourself. But the teacher doesn’t have to be all knowing, nor do they have to do the work for you. Instead, the teacher inspires you to do it, sometimes by not knowing. By encouraging you to dive in to yourself, and understand deeper. In that way it becomes the job of the student, to acknowledge that everything can be a teacher. A successful, growing student is always looking for the teacher in all things.


And what’s more is, often the teacher’s personal experience, as they are learning and growing themselves, serve the students further. 


So this fear of not being good enough to share knowledge or growth - what is that? 


I mean,


Tony Robbins talks about how if it weren’t for his mother abusing him, and him being very stuck in a victim mindset - he wouldn’t have been able to create big change in the world.


Ed Mylett says that he believes it is because he is actually very insecure, shy, and anxious, that he can really connect with people, and inspire them to grow. 


For truly, seeing the person in the gym who is super buff, doing everything perfectly, and looking sexy while doing it, is not nearly as inspiring as the person with one arm, showing up to the gym and putting in hard work, regardless of their circumstance. 


It is your “flaw” or “defect” or “setback” that qualifies you for the job, actually. Not the other way around. 


Now of course that’s a pretty vulnerable way to be. And, there may be a long way to go before you can really be impactful in the way you desire. But, how do you get there? 


You begin. 


Take the leap. It is in the leaping that you get to experience your own strength and courage, and begin to develop a deeper faith in yourself. 

Your setback is your way IN

I was listening to a podcast with Ed Mylett the other day, and he said something (well a lot of things, but one thing in particular) that struck me. He said, so often when we are trying to achieve big goals or take big business steps, we hit a bump in the road, a challenge, or a set back, and we think it’s a sign to stop or quit. We think, clearly the universe does not want me to do this so, I guess it’s not for me. When in reality, these moments are a sign to continue




A few weeks ago, I was preparing for my upcoming Take It Off Yoga Retreat, like I have been every few months for the past 2 years. People were interested, and signing up, and I was excited. And then, all of the sudden, the sign-ups stopped. People dropped out. People were still interested, but I was getting flooded with reasons as to why this retreat won’t work for them (money, schedule, priorities, you name it). When it came time to decide if I’m going to proceed with the retreat or not, I was forced to really look at what was going on. I realized that the two people signed up for the retreat were new yoga teachers, looking to apply their skills and do something meaningful.


One morning, while reading, I paused to reflect on my goals for the retreat. Since the first retreat, I knew I wanted to expand. I didn’t want these retreats to be about ME leading them, I wanted them to be about what they represent: the taking off of layers that hold you back. The freedom and self-love they empower women to embody. And I knew I couldn’t accomplish that mission on my own - not in the way I saw it. So from the beginning, I saw other yoga teachers, leading Take It Off retreats all the time. So...why wasn’t I doing that? I mean, logistically, I knew why. I was doing it, just very slowly. Bringing on one intern at a time, and sort of figuring out the process, not really knowing where it would go. But what’s the real truth? The truth is that I was afraid and uncertain. I thought maybe what I’m offering is not good enough to teach it to others. I thought maybe no one would want to join.


All of the sudden, the epiphany hit me. This November retreat is not meant for me to lead another group of students. This retreat, is for the training of new Take It Off facilitators!


On Thursday, myself and a handful of yoga teachers and self-development leaders embark on a 4 day journey into self-discovery, leadership training, and cohesive team building, and I am beyond excited. :)



This process was a little scary. I mean, not having enough people to do a retreat has never happened before. I could have felt like I should quit, like it just isn’t for me anymore. But that’s not the truth. So, I allowed myself to remain open, ask myself questions, and look for improvement. And had this not happened, this opportunity for expansion would have been missed.


What’s more is that, if I had simply led this retreat, like I usually do, I would have not had the push to make a change.



A setback isn’t a way out. A setback is a way IN.



I think sometimes we forget that growth lies outside our comfort zone. I mean, how many times have you heard that? And yet, we forget that that means that growth is uncomfortable. Period. Doesn’t mean you don’t get better at handling it, you certainly can, but it never is simply comfortable. That defies the very definition of it. So when life/the universe/your business/your relationship throws you a curve ball, or something that’s really disheartening, look at it as a sign that you are growing. It is FOR you. You GET to step into the challenge because you are ready for it.


Was this process easy? No. Comfortable? Hell no. Was it what I planned? No. Does that mean my life is terrible or I’m really struggling or I need help? No. It means I’m growing. I’m in the gym of life, doing a couple extra reps past my burn out point, and it’s hard. But I know it will ultimately build my strength, and my ability to be impactful.



Your challenges are your blessings. Your setbacks are your boosters. Your uncomfortability is the source of your growth. Lean into them. Love and trust yourself so much that you know you can step through it. Let it be a magnific part of life and growth.


Xo

But what are you actually willing to fight for?

Last week I went to an audition my agents sent me. It was a dance audition, for a decently big company, so I expected there to be a lot of people there. Often, I opt out of auditions that I believe will be cow-calls, or a ton of people. But this one was asking for dancers like me, and it was a decent amount of money which I could really use right now, so I choose to go and see how it was. The night before I mentioned it to my friend and he said something like, “cool, and you can always leave if there’s too many people.” I casually said, “Yea!” But in my head I was thinking, no no no, I don’t leave auditions. 


So here’s the deal. I’m a dancer. I moved to LA to dance professionally. I love dance; dance has been my life to some extent for more than a decade. However, I found a new self with yoga. I discovered a leader that I didn’t know I had in me. I uncovered a whole new level of self-love, that when I was really into dance, just wasn’t there. And, over time, the things I loved about dance like working my body hard, and getting choreography down, and getting picked for a dance team or a job, were just not as important to me anymore. 


It’s been a hard 5 year battle of - am I actually a dancer? I’ve struggled with feeling like, I’m giving up if the answer is no, and that’s not ok. And if the answer is yes, damn…I should probably try to book some jobs. And yet, every time I focus on taking dance classes with important choreographers, and train in the way I know I’d need to, I hate my life and myself. I live in fear, a fear that I now understand to be fear of being not good enough. It’s so intense, that it’s not sustainable. In the past, I’ve felt like, that’s a fear I need to push through. I’ve felt like, I’m not good enough to even say I’m a teacher unless I’ve not only pushed through that, but also booked big jobs. 


Phew, what a story to live into. 


But here’s the truth. I am most myself when I’m teaching. And, as a teacher and a business owner and a leader, I get feelings of fear, and being not good enough ALL THE TIME. And yet, it doesn’t make me hate myself. It doesn’t make me hate my life. 


So last week, I went to that audition. I got there, and I stood in line. A line that wrapped back and forth through a large studio, down the hallway, and out the door. It wasn’t insanely crowded like some auditions are, but it was definitely a couple hundred people (and the company was looking for 6 dancers total). So I thought about it. I looked around at everyone else’s faces, and I very clearly felt, this is their job. It’s not mine. So I left. I left feeling empowering, not defeated. Not like, how dare you, Jessie! Which is what I would have told myself in the past. No, instead I felt, for the first time, that that was not my battle to win. So not only should I not be there for myself, and my authentic truth, but I should not be there trying to take someone else’s win! They deserve it. They are working for it. 


The next day I was texting people, inviting them to my yoga class, the one I’m hosting on my own. Hosting classes on my own is a little scary because what that means is I’m paying for studio space, and I’m not sure if anyone will show. It’s a risk, and it’s emotionally taxing. So, I was texting people, and I kept getting responses saying no. For whatever reason (busy, sick, work, etc). I took a big sigh. I thought, geez. This is a lot of rejection. And then something clicked. Auditions are a lot of rejection! I mean, every successful dancer (or actor or singer or artist of any sort for that matter) will tell you - make sure you have thick skin. Get used to hearing, “no.” We know this story. But I realized, that I’m not willing to go through the rejection for dance, because, deep down, I know it’s not for me. I’m literally not good enough, but not in a self-deprecating way, just in the true way of acknowledging that that is not where I spend my time, my energy, my love. It is not truly what’s important to me. But for teaching? For leading and building a community? For facilitating personal growth and transformation? For helping people love themselves more and more? HELL YEA!!! 


Now does that mean I don’t enjoy dancing? No. Does that mean I won’t go to auditions that are right for me? No. But I feel a huge release in acknowledging my path, and where I should push myself. When I experience fear in my yoga retreat business, or my teacher training, there is no part of me that shy’s away. There’s only drive. Determination to figure it out, and move forward.


I understand that a big part of this journey is simply maturation, age, understanding myself better, like any human does. But I’m sharing this specifically with you guys, because, everyone makes decisions for inauthentic reasons. ALL THE TIME. EVERYONE. Old and young. Smart and dumb. Experienced and ignorant. WE ALL DO IT. And it’s important to continue to check in. To continue to say to yourself, ‘do I really want this? Or am I choosing it because I think I should? Or because I used to want it? Or because someone else told me it was the right thing to do?’ 


As Marty Byrde from OZARK said, “I’m just saying that any decision made, big or small, has an impact around the world.” :) 


Check yourself. Are your decisions authentic? Are they actually serving you? And if not, be willing to look at why. Be willing to make the change in your life that has you step out of having to do things that aren’t right for you.


It took me 5 years with dance, so, have patience. 


But, start. Start now. 


Xo

I'm hard on myself. You?

Hi I’m Jessie, and I am extremely hard on myself. If I had to name one trait of mine that is my biggest strength and my biggest weakness, this would probably be it. Because I am hard on myself, I am incredibly determined. Giving up is not an option (I honestly don’t even really understand what that means). When I set out to do something (fully), I accomplish it. Because I am hard on myself, when I don’t do my best, I don’t let it go. When something doesn’t work out the way I want it to, I tend to take it personally. When people don’t respond or show up how I would, I get upset. 


In Landmark (a program I did a few years ago), they call it a “strong suit”. It’s a trait that you learn from a young age that has helped you get far in life, AND sometimes holds you back. (What’s yours? You probably have a few!)


Yesterday I had a weird day. A day of somewhat random self-doubt, annoyance/frustration, and feeling not good enough all over the place. I say random because - there’s no specific incidence that triggered it, no one said anything mean, I’m not failing at anything big…just kind of random. Or perhaps an accumulation of little things. And through the process of being a little off balance, I learned some things. 


1) I have a natural ability or instinct to be tough on myself, and push myself. That is something I can either protest, or accept. 


2) This “hard on myself” trait does not define me. As in, it is not ME, it is simply a trait that I have. It comes up from time to time, and occasionally takes over and makes me upset, but ultimately, I get to decide how I look at this trait. It can be awful, or it can be useful. Through this, I found gratitude. 


3) If I weren’t so hard on myself, I would not be the teacher and facilitator I am today, and forever growing. There is no way I would be able to break things down so specifically, and care deeply about how people are understanding it. If I weren’t so hard on myself, I would not be so hard on my students and they would experience less growth. This trait is incredibly useful. 


Today, it hurt me. But I love it no less. And what’s more so, is I love myself no less. 


If it weren’t for my fears, my insecurities, my breakdowns, I wouldn’t have nearly as much to share with you all. I wouldn’t be able to speak authentically, and from experience. I have lots more to go, but today, I am grateful for these moments of self-doubt, self-disgust even, so that I can step through them and encourage others to do the same. 


And tomorrow, is a new day. I get to give myself grace, and trust that I will continue growing (because trust me, I will). 


How do you handle those feisty characteristics? 

Xo

I'm not doing enough...

Insecurities are these crazy things. They are anxieties or uncertainties about ourselves, that become influential in the way we see ourselves, and therefore in who we become. Which, without further investigation, already seems pretty insane. Why would we let an uncertainty dictate who we decide to be? And yet, we do. 


Insecurities are actually quite smart. They know that, because humans are intelligent and strong, the only way they are going to survive is if they have evidence that proves them right. In other words, humans are going to simply move past the uncertainty, if proven otherwise. So, insecurities are on a mission, to prove that they are worth listening to. They are on a mission to disprove evidence that shows they are not real. They are on a mission to stay alive. 


Put in everyday language, an insecurity such as, “I am not thin enough”, begins to take over the human that it occupies. It begins to hunt for evidence that proves that the human is not thin enough. So every time a date rejects them, they add it to their list of evidence. Every time an item of clothing is too small (regardless of the size), they add it to their list of evidence. Soon, this insecurity gets so powerful, that it simply becomes true to the human. And once it’s “true”, everything is seen through that lens. 


Where this gets even more twisted, is now, the human that occupies this insecurity, is hooked on it. As in, because it is continually being proven, it needs to continue to be true, or else the human will lose it’s understanding of reality. So, even if it’s not true, as in clothing fits and looks fine, the human will begin to morph reality to fit this insecurity-filled-truth. So, they might sabotage a date, or they might actually gain weight in order to be “not thin enough”. The insecurity staying in control may seem like a bad thing, but see, with the insecurity in control, the human GETS to be right about how fat they are. They GET to be safe. They GET to BLAME the “truth” of the insecurity, for the reason to why they are not happy, or successful, or in love, etc. The insecurity grabs all the power, and therefore the human doesn’t have to take responsibility for it. 


Phew. 


Sometimes, this happens really dramatically. Most often, it happens subtly, constantly, with small insecurities here and there. 


Lately, I’ve been struggling with a fun one. It’s name is, “I’m not doing enough.” This particular insecurity is sneaky, because it’s just a branch of my usual “I’m not good enough”, but it’s taken on a particular costume, making sure that I am constantly stressed about not working hard enough. Now, you’d think a thought like this would make me work harder. And, in some ways, it does. But let’s look beneath the surface here. What really happens is I work in a way that serves to prove to me that I’m not doing enough. 


For instance, this week, I’m beginning a new class that I am hosting myself. It’s a little scary because I am the only one responsible for if anyone shows up, and how it goes. It is a big step for me personally, it is something I am very excited about, but is also something that gets me afraid of not being good enough. So, enter insecurity. I see, or have seen, over the years, evidence that proves to me (or my insecurity) that I am not doing enough. Evidence such as, I am not as financially prosperous as I’d like to be (therefore I am not doing enough), or I am not as reputable/marketable as I’d like to be (therefore I am not doing enough), etc. So because of this existing evidence, and the truthfulness I feel (deep down) about this insecurity - it has power. 


My first class is on Wednesday, so on Monday, I felt a little pang of fear about the class. I realized, OMG! I haven’t choreographed or prepared or advertised, ah!! It’s going to fail! After a brief meditation and journal session, I realized, oh right, my insecurity “I’m not doing enough” is looking to prove itself right again. So it’s hoping I don’t do enough, and my class goes poorly, so that I can strengthen this negative belief. If I hadn’t caught it, I might have procrastinated until the last minute, proving to myself that I surely am NOT DOING ENOUGH. 


Luckily, I caught it, and have spent the past few days excited about creating these classes, and, about stepping out of that insecurity. But, it’s easy to see how these sneaky beliefs pull us down. It’s easy to get hooked on them! And live in the land of fear + proving the fear right. It becomes a vicious circle. And even if it’s subtle, it causes us suffering, little by little, and it exacerbates the fear so that other steps and other changes in life get difficult as well. 


It’s funny, I was thinking of writing about this concept, before I saw it really concretely happening in my life. So, I encourage you to take this concept on. What does it really mean to you that insecurities look for evidence as proof of their truth? Let it soak in. Acknowledge that insecurities like validation, and then start to notice where you may be embodying this cycle.


The good news is - you get to choose. Do you want to prove your insecurities right? Or do you want to stand for your SELF. You don’t have to BE your insecurities. Start to step out of them. 


Xo

Everything is FOR you

For the last 11 weeks, I have been hosting my first very own 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program. I spent about a year and a half writing the 400 page manual, creating the syllabus, and planning and prepping. On Sunday, I had 13 students graduate, and become yoga teachers. To say I’m proud doesn’t even begin to explain how I feel. 


What was particularly special was not the fact that they can now teach yoga, although that was and is SO exciting, but that I think they really got what this yoga thing is. They understand how to apply it to their life, and to live it. They understand how to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. In fact, by the end of the weekend, they so powerfully reminded me of something I had taught them throughout the training, that I feel compelled to share it here. 


Everything is FOR you


This is a concept I talk about a lot. I believe this is fundamental and essential to self-growth in any way, because as soon as you can start to see things as lessons, or eye openers, or challenges that help you grow in some way, the whole world shifts. My teacher trainees impressed me by coming back to this throughout the program. One women shared about how it felt like they could not fail during my training, simply because of this frame of reference. Because if they did, “fail”, it was seen as a learning opportunity, which felt safe, supported, and growth oriented. 


So how can we take that into our lives? Because truly, life can be just the same.


Well, yesterday, this concept was really present for me, so I shared it with my morning class. (If you’re a yoga teacher or a life coach, you know that, whenever you share something, that something always comes back to you!) So of course, when I finished class, I checked my phone and saw that I had a cancellation for my upcoming Take It Off Yoga Retreat experience. I’ve had various people interested over the last month or so, but only one sign up. And there she went. This was followed by a meeting with a student that was going to enroll, who also shared that she is not quite sure about signing up. That, in addition to having a lower-than-normal crowd for my upcoming Info Night, woke me up. 


Now, I will admit I was a little sad and fearful about these cancellations, among other things that hit me throughout the day. However, I quickly came into the lens of everything is for me. I knew the answer wasn’t to get upset and worried, try to fix things, or get hasty and make any decisions. The answer was to step back, and listen. What is this trying to tell me?, I asked. What about my energy needs to shift? Or what decisions or changes do I need to be open to? How can I create what I want, authentically and powerfully? These shifts are not for me to get upset by, or get held back by. Rather, these shifts are an opportunity for me to check in. 


Now, I go to work. I journal, I meditate, I open myself up to receive. AND, I keep working towards what I’m building - my retreat. I’ve already uncovered some really big discoveries, and I know I have more to go. That is my mission this week.


In the meantime, if you haven’t already, it’s time you check out my retreats. Take It Off is a brand that I created after being sick of fears and insecurities holding me back, and finally seeing how to rise above the grip they had on me. I did a nude photoshoot in nature one day about 2 years ago, and the power I felt from stepping through all those limiting beliefs was incredible. And the love I felt looking at my photos, and seeing myself as I truly am, for the first time ever, was life-changing. These retreats are about that. Changing lives. And not because your life is currently bad, but because you deserve to live a life you LOVE, in a body you LOVE. This retreat is about figuratively and literally taking off layers that weigh you down. This retreat is about getting to the roots of what hold you back from being fully you, and actually starting to get rid of them, so that you can embrace what you want and who you want to be in this life. Through the lens of seeing that everything is for you, this retreat is not an escape, but rather, an opportunity to look your fears in the face, and through love and responsibility, transcend them. 


Imagine what could be possible without the “I can’t do that, I’m not good enough,” story, or the one about how you have to look a certain way to get what you want, or perhaps, the one that says “no one will like me.” Without those stories ruling your subconscious life, you are unstoppable. 


As one of my beautiful teacher trainees shared, “I’m not a fool and think I’m invincible now, however, I feel a lot more comfortable knowing and acknowledging that mental blocks are a real thing, and no matter what they are, you’re capable of overcoming it, whatever it may be.” 




This week I’m listening for what’s there. What’s there for me to see. 


Are you? 


Xo 



Check out retreat info HERE.

If you’re interested in simply talking about this stuff in person, come to Info Night this Thursday (tomorrow) October 4, at 8:30 pm. RSVP by emailing me HERE, and I’ll send you the address.