Ketchup and Confidence

My Dad used to say, "no labels on the table." In other words, instead of putting a ketchup bottle on the table, put some ketchup in a bowl and serve it with a spoon. That way the ketchup can stand alone in its tomato-y goodness, unattached from a particular brand.

Or maybe it just made the table look classier.

What if we kept labels off people as well?

Would we allow people to stand alone in their own brilliance and awesomeness?

Watch this week's video to find out how the labels we apply to ourselves and others might be holding us back from greatness.

YOU Are Awesome!

Last week, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen for a while. The first thing she said to me was, "You're beautiful!" We had a very short, very deep conversation and I left feeling lighter, free-er and definitely beautiful.

Words can change someone's day.

Words can change someone's life.

YOU can change someone's life.

Watch this week's video for more on giving people what they really really want and allowing yourself to sparkle.

How Can You Dive Deeper? (Lessons From a Sea Lion)

How well do you adapt when the universe throws you a curveball?

I just returned from the Galapagos--an incredible part of the world where we can easily see how animals are regularly adapting to various curveballs--and it got me thinking that animals are often a whole lot better at problem solving than humans are.

I'm still on such a high from the amazing trip and super-excited about all the new knowledge I accumulated that I want to share it all with you right now. Alas, I realize that may be a wee bit overwhelming so I've settled on sharing a story about how one of my favorite Galapagos species responds to a particular challenge. Check it out in this week's video.

Dream Really Freaking Huge, But Keep It Real

I raced in Florida last weekend. It was wonderful and amazing and crazy-hot.

I talked to a lot of athletes after the race and heard so many people beating themselves up.

"It wasn't my fastest race," said one.

"I wish I'd dug deeper on the run," said another.

"I didn't do what I'd hoped to do," said an athlete after accepting his award on the podium.

How do you think these athletes felt when they were beating themselves up?

Shitty. They felt shitty.

So why did they do it?

Because they have dreams--really freaking huge dreams. They are hungry for their dreams. They think about their dreams every day. They work towards their dreams day after day for months and years. They CRAVE their dreams.

And if they keep working the way they've been working they WILL reach their dreams.

But they can't control the world.

They can't control the weather.

They can't control other people.

And they can't control exactly when their dreams will come true.

Watch this week's video for more on keeping it real when your dreams don't come true in the exact way you had planned.

P.S. There's a fine line between making excuses and keeping it real. Keeping it real is empowering. Making excuses is disempowering.

Use Your Hidden Super Power: Make a choice

A few months ago I made a video about calling people on their s*** and how it's one of the most loving things we can do for another person. (Watch that video.)

Today, I'm calling myself on my s*** (because I love myself) and, because I love you, I'm calling you on your s***.

It's time for all of us to start making choices that will make our future selves happy.

It's time for us to pause, check-in and make a choice.

Watch this week's video for a little unicorn bitch slap on choice. And remember: I love you.

The Find Your Awesome Reading List

I'm a word nerd and a book addict. And this week I'm bringing you a list of some of my favorite personal development-ish books.

You may notice that some popular titles are missing. That may be because I haven't read them. Or it could be because I didn't like the book or because I didn't like the writing style or because I found a typo--I'm picky.

"Inspired & Unstoppable" by Tama Kieves. This book is filled with so much brilliance, like this: "I urge you to respect your own divine chemistry. Obey your rebel brilliance. Reject advice that hobbles your nature and race toward liberation instead. Run, run, run-- with everything you have--into everything you are meant to be. You deserve to succeed in your own way, unlike anyone before you, and beyond everyone's wildest imagination, including your own. And our beautiful world will surely thrive because you do."

"Mindset" by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. I strongly encourage everyone to read this book. Dr. Dweck presents her research in an accessible and fun way that will flip your world on its head.

"Warrior of the Light" by Paulo Coelho Yes, "The Alchemist" was wonderful, but this little book is filled with perfect little (one page) lessons, perfect to read first thing in the morning.

"The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer This book is wise and insightful. It will take your awareness to a whole new level.

"Outrageous Openness" by Tosha Silver A little bit woo-woo and totally brilliant (and a really quick read).

"Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown Yes, I liked "The Gifts of Imperfection" and "Rising Strong," but "Daring Greatly" is the book that made me gasp with recognition and cry with awareness.

"52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life" by Andrea Owen I don't like being told what to do and I don't like books that tell me what to do...so don't fret, this book won't tell you what to do. Instead, it will make you laugh out loud. Andrea writes the way I think and says things I wish I'd said. And she's one of the first life coaches I discovered and totally inspired me to follow this path.

"My Year With Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock I think Eleanor Roosevelt is super-cool so this inspiring and funny book--a memoir about following Eleanor's advice to "Do one thing everyday that scares you" for a year--is right up my alley.

"The Dalai Lama's Cat" by David Michie This book (and the two sequels, "The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Art of Purring" and "The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Power of Meow") sounds ridiculously cheesy, BUT it's really well-written. It's a totally down-to-earth look at Buddhism. And you don't have to be a cat person to enjoy it.

"The First Rule of Ten" by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay I've read four of the books in this series and I admit that the first one may be the most formulaic, but it makes sense to start from the beginning. These entertaining detective stories center around a private detective named Tenzing ("Ten") who used to be a Buddhist monk. I love the way these books make mindfulness a part of regular, busy, western life.

Happy reading!

Take Off the Muumuu

I'm human.

I hang out with other humans.

And sometimes I get caught up in their drama--even if I'm the one inventing the drama.

It's awkward and uncomfortable, like wearing someone else's clothes--a scratchy sweater or a muumuu. It doesn't fit and it sure as hell isn't flattering.

Watch this week's video to find out how I got myself wrapped in a pretty snazzy muumuu this weekend.

The Key to Happiness

I hear it all the time. People are worried about the future. They're stressed about an upcoming event. They're worried about something that might happen. They're concerned about something that might not happen. Or beating themselves up about something that already happened.

How's all that worrying working out for you?

What IF you had nothing to worry about?

Watch this week's video for a challenge that will help you spend more time being happy and less time worrying.

Why Failure is Impossible

There's a common belief that life is pass/ fail, that there's a "right way" and a "wrong way" to do everything.

I happen to believe that this belief is complete BS.

There are a million "right" ways to do everything.

And if you are committed and raw and vulnerable and real and put your heart and soul into something, you really truly can't fail. Find out more about why I think failing is impossible in this week's video.

What the Hell is Joy?

Joy is something people seek. It's something that many people believe they'll never experience.

And yet, joy is YOU.

Joy isn't just an emotion. It's a state of being. It's a way of showing up. It's a full-body sensation.

Joy is living.

Joy is connecting with nature and with inspiring people.

Joy is passion fruit sorbet.

Joy is dolphin diving in the ocean.

Joy is reading a really good book.

What is joy to you?

Watch this week's video to learn more about joy and to accept a little challenge from me.

The Magic of a Month

TRUST
TRUST

Humans are magical creatures. When things aren't going well, we suddenly believe we can predict the future.

Whether we're injured, ill, in a crappy relationship, struggling with a project or just bumming about a stretch of cloudy weather, we tend to believe that it will never end.

And what happens?

We heal. We repair the relationship--or extract ourselves from it. We finish the project. And the sun comes out.

It gets better.

And yet, no matter how many times we learn that, we still have a tendency to think that this time will be different, that perhaps the sun has finally run out of light.

It hasn't.

It's just that we forget to trust. We forget to trust in the magic of a month or a year. We forget to trust that the sun will come out when we're ready for it.

It will happen.

When things are shitty, follow these simple steps:

1) Accept. Be aware. Observe your situation and accept that it is what it is. No judging, just acceptance.

2) Do work. Do any work that needs to be done. That work may include grieving, resting and asking for help--or it may mean digging deep into your soul. You'll know what has to be done. Do it.

3) Trust. The universe really truly has your back--although it sometimes has a wacky way of showing it. Trust in time. Remember that time moves super slowly when you're in it. But, when you look back on this period of suffering and growth, that month or year will feel like an instant.

The sun will shine again and so will you.

And for those of you want a visual reminder of the magic of a month:

July 20: I got a really bad blister during a triathlon.
July 20: I got a really bad blister during a triathlon.
August 20: Almost all healed.
August 20: Almost all healed.

Who Makes the Rules?

When I first got pneumonia, I felt heavy with guilt for not following the "rules."

"Send out a newsletter every week," they said.

Nope.

"Use your Instagram challenge to lead into reopening your group coaching program," they said.

Didn't happen.

I felt like a bad business owner for a few hours until two things dawned on me: 1) Those weren't my rules. And 2) Since when do I follow rules?

And that's when I realized something very important about rules. Find out what that was in this week's video.

Seek the Holy S*** Moments

I don't believe in bucket lists.

I believe that if you want to do something, you should do it now. Unless it's something that requires preparation. If that's the case, take the first step right now.

So you want to do an Ironman? Can you swim?

Take that first step.

So you want to write a book? And when was the last time you wrote anything other than a text or an email?

Take that first step.

Embrace your big goals. Find those goals that make you say "holy shit" and relentlessly pursue them. You've got this.

Watch this week's video for more on that "holy shit" moment.

I Want YOU to Inspire Me

Early on in our lives we're taught not to brag. It's rude to brag.

But what about sharing?

In my opinion, the difference between bragging and sharing lies in the intention. When someone brags about an accomplishment their intention is to make the listener feel crappy. In a sense the bragger is saying, "I win and you lose."

Sharing, on the other hand, is all about spreading joy and inspiring people--and that's the topic of this week's video.

Being a Beginner

-In the beginner's mind there are many

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

-Shunryu Suzuki

I choose to be a beginner. I choose to let go of expectations and embrace curiosity. I choose to be open and enthusiastic. I choose to release judgment and be open to possibilities.

And I choose to do all of these things in my race on Saturday.

It’s a race that I’ve done before—twice, actually. Both times I raced as an Elite. I went into the race as an experienced triathlete with high expectations for myself. The first time I had a blast, but last year’s race was a lot less fun. I went into the race with a lot of calf pain. I wished for a pain-free run, but secretly hoped to be pain-free and super-fast. I was lucky enough to experience a pain-free run, but my performance was far from what I had planned for myself. I beat myself up about it, but before I could redeem myself, I had a stress fracture. In my mind, what was supposed to be a fun race came to mark the beginning of a year of injuries.

I won’t be racing as an Elite this year. I’ll be racing as an age grouper. This race will be the second triathlon of my “comeback” season. The first one was pain-free, but nowhere near an outstanding performance. I felt tired—sluggish feels like an understatement. I felt disconnected from my body. I felt lost. At times it was miserable.

And yet it was a gift.

Because of that race (and the week leading up to it), I knew something was off in my body. I sought help and found it—along with an awesome doctor who was the perfect person to help me through this journey.

I had been right. Something—in fact, a lot of somethings—was off in my body. After last year’s stress fractures, I had decided to go off the birth control pill in February. My body was taking a while to get the hang of producing its own hormones after years of relying on synthetic ones from the pill. And my extreme fatigue and sense of “off-ness” at my first race this year was a result of extremely low hormones. But there’s more.

I have a genetic mutation—I’m homozygous for MTHFR. That means I can’t convert folic acid into something that my body can use. Missing this key process leads to a number of things, including low dopamine, low ATP, and even asthma. It also can lead to high levels of homocysteine, which can in turn lead to a heart attack or stroke.

That miserable race may have saved my life.

This isn’t something that I can “cure,” but I can take supplements to support my body’s needs. I’ve been doing that for a week now and I feel better already. But this is a process. I’m evolving.

If I were a professional athlete, I likely wouldn’t race until I was stronger, fitter and faster than I was before my injuries. I would hibernate until I was ready to be seen.

But that’s not how I roll.

I believe in being seen. I believe that we’re all in this together. I believe in playing. And I believe in curiosity.

It’s hard to release myself from expectations. And yet it’s freeing. Yes, I want to have the race of my life on Saturday. That’s how I want to show up to every race. But this time is different. This time I’m committing to racing with a beginner’s mindset.

I’m going into this race with curiosity. I’m freeing myself from expectations and I’m embracing the journey. I’ll be racing with a full heart and a whole lotta gratitude. I’ll be racing with wonderment, wondering what my body is capable of and allowing myself to be open to surprises. Most importantly, I’ll be racing knowing that my body is on the path to getting healthier.

I See You

I SEE YOU

We are social creatures and yet sometimes we can feel so alone. We are intricately connected with other people and yet sometimes we struggle to ask for help. We encourage children to reach for the stars and dream big and yet, as adults, we suck it up and struggle on with our less-than-awesome lives.

It's time to STOP all of that.

You are not alone. You don't have to do it (any of it) alone. You deserve a team. You deserve the best.

Speak up. Ask for help. Seek answers. Advocate for yourself. Share your experiences.

We're all in this together.

This week's video is a little love note from me to you.

 

The secret ingredient

Change...

YOU are a change-maker.

You have the power to free yourself from anything that doesn't serve you.

You have the power to CREATE your life.

You have the power to change your life--and yourself.

But change takes more than power. Change takes practice. Change takes commitment. Change takes consciousness.

We can't change our thoughts by flipping a switch. Just like learning a new skill, changing our thoughts is a process. And it's not an easy process. It's a process that requires patience and dedication. It's a process that requires awareness and willingness to fail. But the most important factor in changing our thoughts is the topic of this week's video. Click below to watch it.

Be Brave

Be brave.Just be.

Being a badass means being brave.

It takes bravery to jump out of a plane. It takes bravery to quit your job. It takes bravery to hike the Appalachian Trail. And sometimes it takes bravery to pick up the phone.

But sometimes the bravest thing you can possibly do is sit still. It takes bravery to slow down. It takes bravery to be present. It takes bravery to unitask.

And it takes bravery to really truly see yourself in all of your perfectly imperfect awesomeness.

And that's what this week's video is all about.

How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Crush your comfort zone with curiosity

I love snuggling up in my comfort zone just as much as the next person, but I also believe in GROWTH. I believe in stretching my boundaries and challenging my mind and body. I believe in scaring myself shitless (safely) on a regular basis. I believe in awesome.

I believe in doing one thing that scares me every single day. Sometimes that scary thing is making a phone call. Some days, it's signing up for a race. Some days, it's pushing myself in a work out. Some days it's being outrageously vulnerable. And some day it will be jumping out of a plane.

And the more scary things I do, the bigger my comfort zone gets. I remember when teaching a core strength class scared me (and then I taught for 6 years). I remember when hiring a virtual assistant scared me. (I did that last week and I can't imagine my life without her.) I remember when swimming 4.4 miles across Chesapeake Bay scared me (and then I did it and I have the cap line to prove it).

To see that classy cap line and learn more about my techniques for breaking out of comfort zones, watch this week's video.

And then I want to hear from you. What's your relationship with your comfort zone?