The Power of Manifestation

It’s been one month since I have written an entry and there is a very specific and exciting reason as to why. However, I will dive a little deeper into that in just a bit. In the final days of 2017, I spent a lot of my time in reflection about the year. Reflecting on current and past relationships with friends, family, and lovers. Where I am in my career and where I would ideally like to go. My overall attitude and outlook on how I approach each moment. When I began to really sit down and highlight the positive, the good outweighed the bad. It created a clear visual to me where I feel accomplished in my life and highlighted the area’s where it needed improvement. Now, if you haven’t been keeping up, I’ve had a pretty big life-altering change that rocked my world and turned it on its head a few months back. Breakups are never easy and it can take some time to really start thinking logically about this transition period. Then suddenly, you kind of just wake up. You start to put all of the puzzle pieces together. The ones you have been collecting for months or even years and once your pieces begin to fit together, it creates a better image of your reality. For me, my bigger picture or reality was knowing it was time to move on and move forward.

One particular resolution I made for myself for 2018 was a vow to being more open to life and what it has to offer. Saying yes to new experiences. Not allowing fear to stand in the way anymore of getting exactly what I want or have always envisioned for myself. No more making excuses and no more bullshit. At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your own happiness. I think partly why we allow fear to take over is because we don’t necessarily believe that we are deserving of these things. We have all heard the saying, “what we feel we attract”. A simple concept that has been lost in translation. Our thoughts and feelings vibrate outward and create our reality. Through this realization and the alluring words of Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata”, I knew I had some big changes to make.

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Spiritual manifestation is an art that I am just now dipping my toe into. For year’s I’ve heard about books like “The Secret” or “The Power of Now” but never really engaged or participated in this mindset. Let’s pause and take a moment to spell out what spiritual manifestation is. According to Manifestation Made Real, it’s the process of bringing what you want into your life by using the Law Of Creation, also known as the Law Of Attraction.

The Importance of Believing
The Impossible Is Possible!

When we talk about manifestation or manifesting your reality, what we really mean is creating a world around you that contains the things that you want, be that people, places, wealth, or any other tangible or intangible thing which you can imagine and which can exist here on Earth.

Let’s just say, after a glass or two of prosecco on a cold December night, I decided to take my fate into my own hands. I pulled out my beautiful leather bound journal, that just so happened to be my journal during yoga teacher training, and began compiling a list of characteristics and attributes that are important to me in a significant other. Surprisingly, this list began to grow at a pretty rapid pace. It was clear to me after two and a half pages of material, I had a good visual of what this looked like. Also, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I set expectations that are too high to obtain. I think to go into any relationship, you have to have a sense of understanding that this person you may put on a pedestal isn’t always a perfect one and that’s OK! That’s what makes things interesting and fun. But there still needs to be a basic foundation of love, trust, intimacy, and honesty to have it thrive. This was the first time I truly allowed myself to feel deserving of all of these things I crave. I spent one too many years trying to change the outcome of a situation and it became exhausting.

As January comes to a close, I can full heartedly speak to the power of manifestation. It starts with waking up every morning and finding gratitude in the moment. I don’t want to spill all of the details just yet and while still being very optimistic, I feel like I’m finally living my life the way I have always intended to. It has been turned upside down yet again. Although, this time, in such a different and positive way. The past four weeks have been so different than my usual routine. New people and new experiences. There are people who are just meant to be in your life and it’s all finally starting to make sense…

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Goodbye 2017

What a really weird year. Where do I even begin? I think I speak for a lot of people when I say this but 2017 you have been one of the most challenging years filled with a lot of frustration and heartache. It’s not always easy, but I am trying to learn from the not so great experiences that this year has handed me. I truly do believe that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we recognize why a certain chain of events has occurred right away and in other instances, it takes a bit more time. I’m still in the latter phase of this process but I know I will get there someday.

I don’t want you to think that this is a bitch fest of all of the “terrible” things that have happened to me this year because it’s not at all. 2017 had some really amazing moments like having the privilege to watch my nieces and nephew learn and grow another year is pure magic. These little people have taught me so much like how to be patient and selfless. For years, I doubted if I even wanted to be a mother myself but this year especially, I have finally come to find that need or urge to want a baby of my own someday. Let me put more emphasis on the word someday. The thought alone is terrifying yet exciting.

2017 has also given me a lot of self-growth and confidence. I watched myself step into a more assertive leader in my professional career. I have put myself out there in ways that I could never have dreamed or imagined. For instance, teaching to 150 people on top of the Sear’s Tower (sorry as a Chicago native I refuse to call it the Willis Tower) Skydeck. Never in my wildest dreams of would I have thought I was capable of doing something like that without completely screwing up or backing out. That experience alone was the highlight of my year.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would now have a blog, I would have said you’re batshit crazy! Me? Never! Sharing my idea’s, emotions, and honestly has been one of the most terrifying yet amazing things I could have done this year. I still might not be an expert on how to format my blog correctly or I’m sure my posts are filled with a million grammatical errors but I’m grateful that the content has always come so easy. I think after years of being afraid to speak my opinion or share my ideas, I finally let go and let the words flow.

Re-connecting has also been another positive theme in 2017. In April, I spent seven days in sunny Florida with some of the most incredible ladies a girl could ever ask for. It had been six years since we were all together but it felt as though it was 6 minutes since we last saw each other. These ladies are some of the strongest, most intelligent, badass people you will ever meet and the continue to inspire me each and every day. I am forever grateful to have friends like these and even though we are miles apart, it’s comforting to know that there are people who love and care for you no matter what.

As I sit here in bed sipping champagne and write my final post for 2017 I have to remind myself how incredibly blessed I am. I have a lot to be thankful for this year but I will admit, I am ready to leave this year behind me. Not forgotten just letting go. Let’s see what you got 2018!

I wish you all a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!

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Leaving 2017 like…

 

 

Coping With Heartbreak During The Holidays

It’s that time of year again where Christmas lights and decorations begin to illuminate and bring to life the most ordinary objects. The holidays are customarily tied to cherished childhood memories of magic and tradition. A time of year to take a step back and spend more time with family and friends. However, whenever we are emotionally processing the loss of a loved one, such as a breakup, it’s hard to find light in the darkness. It’s as if something is missing. A hole or gap that we cannot seem to fill.

Recently, my longtime boyfriend and I have decided to part ways after spending six years together. Though we are unsure of what the future holds for us, we know that we are not able to be together at this time. It has been one of the hardest decisions I have ever made in the 28 years around the sun. Letting go of love can be traumatic and gut-wrenching. Though I do not have a crystal ball to foresee how this whole situation will play out, I truly believe deep down in my heart, that the right person will find his way to me. But in the meantime, I must be patient while I figure out how to glue the pieces back together.

As I continue to move forward in this new norm, I have found it incredibly hard be excited about anything, let alone a time of year that highlights joy and cheer. As much as I would love to bury my head in the sand and count down the day’s until all of this is over, I have come to terms that it’s important to find as much normalcy during this transition as possible.

Below are a few suggestions that have helped thus far. In sharing this piece of my personal life with you, I hope to shed some light for others who may be also experiencing a loss this holiday season.

1. Continue On With Tradition.

Whether you find yourself lighting a candle for eight nights or stringing popcorn and hanging tinsel to a tree, know the importance of continuing on with tradition. For myself, the day after Thanksgiving, it’s “go time” for anything and everything Christmas related, including purchasing a tree. I almost opted out of buying one this year. I thought to myself “Who do I have to enjoy it with? Who will help me string lights and place ornaments?”.  After throwing myself a pity party, I realized that tree is exactly what I needed! Just because you may have done things differently in years past doesn’t mean that you strip yourself of something that makes you happy. Traditions are meant to be passed down from generation to generation. However, this idea of passing down tradition also reflects moving forward. Keep moving forward!

2. Stop Comparing

The holidays are also known as engagement season. Last year, six out of the ten most popular dates to get engaged landed in the month of December. From Thanksgiving until Valentines Day, our Instagram pages and Facebook feeds will be flooded with beautifully cut diamond rings and heartfelt announcements. Instead of allowing yourself to feel sadness or even jealousy, find a way to implement gratitude. Be happy for those who are celebrating a special moment in their lives. Their happiness has nothing to do with yours. It’s up to you to find your own happiness within.

There is a Sanskrit word “Mudita” which translates to taking delight in the happiness of others or experiencing vicarious joy. It’s reflected when we can truly be happy for the joys of others. Find a practice of Mudita.

3. Take A Break From Social Media

If you are struggling to find Mudita, try taking a break from all social media outlets. Easier said than done. I think we all, as a society, could benefit from this practice of letting go. I am just as guilty as the next, but we tend to share only the good things that reflect in our lives. Perhaps we even exaggerate the good to create a certain image or perception that deflects from our reality. We have to take a step back and remember that most social media content is a clouded or overemphasized. Not to discredit other people’s happiness or good fortune but it helps to put a closer lens on reality.

4. The Practice of Gratitude

Since my break up, I have made more of conscious effort to count my blessings each and every day. In past relationships, I always viewed my break up as my world was crumbling around me partly due to my age and lack of life experience. Yes, I have had my moments in the past few weeks of hopelessness. Yet, knowing how truly blessed I am, gives me a good reality check.

A few ways I have been practicing gratitude is through meditation and journaling. Manifesting and writing down everything you find gratitude in your day-to-day, creates a visual and a great tool to reference back to especially when darkness begins to set in. Gratitude can be as simple as a warm cup of coffee or a pair of fuzzy socks. When we really stop to think about all of the ways we are blessed, it allows us to feel a sense of fulfillment, a way to fill that gap that is missing.

5. Surround Yourself With Loved Ones

Nothing helps a grieving heart more than the company of your closest friends and family. I consider myself to be very lucky to have access to some of the most amazing support groups anyone could offer, starting with the love of my family, my people, my tribe. The ones who are there for me no matter what because at the end of the day, they have no choice, they are stuck with me! I don’t know where I would be without them.

Secondly, my yoga community. I’m one of the lucky ones where I don’t view my job as “work” and acknowledge that this concept is a unique one. The amount of love and compassion I have received from not just my colleagues but my friends has been outstanding. I am forever grateful to have a community, like Yoga Six, to lean on.

Also, don’t forget to personally thank those who have helped keep you afloat during a hard time. We sometimes tend to forget that a simple “thank you” or acknowledgment can go along way.

 

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Clean Beauty: You Are What You Eat & Wear

 

Did you know that every 35 days, your skin replaces itself? Your body generates new cells based on nutrients that you may or may not be getting from your diet. However, it takes more than conscious eating habits and daily exercise to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.  It also requires attention on the products we are choosing to use on our bodies. Have you ever been curious enough to check the list of ingredients in your favorite face cleanser or daily moisturizer? Most beauty products do not even list these toxic ingredients because the FDA doesn’t require them to. The United States has banned only 11 harmful cosmetic ingredients opposed to the 1,400 banned in Europe. It takes a whopping twenty-six seconds for chemicals to enter your bloodstream from personal care products such as lotions, shampoos, and makeup. Twenty-six seconds!!! We come in contact with so many harmful substances each and every day without even knowing it. Some of these are unavoidable while others can be replaced with some careful consideration.

It is essential that we continue to talk about the importance of Clean Beauty. Though this concept is a growing one, I am grateful to have access to clean beauty stores, like Credo, right here in Chicago! Credo is a new natural beauty supplier located in the heart of Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.  Credo’s mission is to get people to think about the ingredients and products they put on their bodies. Their brands go through a rigorous screening process to ensure that the product is safe and effective. All products must be clear from any harmful or toxic ingredients. They are also required to have a purpose and most importantly, nothing added! No secrets or unknowns.

I was lucky enough to score an invite to an exclusive event the other evening from a dear friend/yogini/badass/blogger, Lauren Massarella from the Sister Project. These amazingly talented sisters are doing their part by partnering up with local natural beauty suppliers, like Credo, to help spread the word! If you are in the area, check it out!

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I will admit, Clean Beauty can be a little overwhelming especially if you are new to this. When beginning this process, it’s suggested starting your focus from the neck down. Meaning, start with reading the label of your body lotions, shower gels or anything topical you use on the daily. Slowly begin to introduce yourself to a more natural approach. Eventually, like anything else, this mindfulness will just be apart of your daily routine. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive either! Certain products like coconut oil can serve many different purposes.

Though I do love my beauty products and taking care of my skin, the process for me must be easy, simple, and quick. It shouldn’t take a lot of money to complete an all natural safe look. Listed below are just a few of my favorite daily beauty products that are natural and safe to use!

Warning: DON’T BE FOOLED!!! Not all beauty brands who claim to be all natural or authentically green actually are. Also known as “Greenwashing”. While writing this blog, I too was shocked to find that Tarte was one of the “trusted” brands that fall into this category. Do your research!

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Charcoal + Aloe Face Cleanse by little barn Apothecary 

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little barn Apothecary’s main focus is to cultivate goods with organic and wild harvested ingredients that are completely natural and simple. I fell in love with this brand right away and have yet to be disappointed by any product I have purchased thus far. My favorite being the Charcoal+Aloe Face Cleanse. Activated charcoal has become a huge beauty trend in recent years. It’s known to pull out pollutants from the skin while helping to heal and prevent breakouts. Aloe naturally hydrates the skin making these two a match made in heaven. A few pumps of this black liquid gold and you are feeling fresh to death!

 

 

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Thayer & Company has been described as the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in America at the time of the Civil War. A 100% vegan company, Thayer’s has been dominating the Clean Beauty business for decades. Witch hazel has been used for centuries to treat acne, redness/swelling, psoriasis etc. With many different fragrances to choose from, the Rose Petal is my favorite! Natural oils found in roses, like Vitamin C, help to retain moisture. I typically use this in the morning and at night to get off excess dirt, oil, and makeup.

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

 
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OK. This stuff is a game changer! Being just a few years shy of 30, I decided it was time to start thinking about an anti-aging. I will admit, sun protection has never really been my thing. As any true Chicagoan knows, the sun is absent for about 6 months out of the year and I am someone who loves soaking up vitamin D any chance I get! A vital element in the production of collagen, vitamin C can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles & discoloration, while offering antioxidant protection from photodamage. A few drops applied to the face in the morning and at night and you will see an improvement almost immediately!

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I’m not going to spend too much time on this since it’s amazing benefits have been exposed by many in the last few years. But have you ever seen the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? You know the Father’s solution to every problem in life was Windex? Well, ladies and gentlemen, coconut oil is equivalent to “Gus” Portokalos’s Windex solution.  An amazing body lotion, hair conditioner, makeup remover and natural lubricant. The list goes on and on and on. This is probably the easiest and cheapest clean beauty product to start with!
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Schmit’s Natural Deodorant

 

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Store bought deodorants are very toxic and harmful to your body. Ingredients like aluminum and parabens are being placed directly onto our largest organ, our skin. Many argue that wearing these toxins are far worse than eating them because they are being absorbed directly into the bloodstream without any kind of filtering. After many of failed attempts with other natural deodorants, I have finally found the only thing that works, Schmit’s! This product has been tested in even the hottest/sweatiest yoga classes and still made the cut. With many unique fragrances to choose from, the Bergamot+Lime is my absolute favorite and leaves you smelling fresh all day long.

Gressa Eye Tint

This eyeshadow is like none I have used before! Gressa Eye Tint is an innovative 100% Vegan formula that transforms from cream to velvet, instantly enveloping the eyelid and providing fault-proof and smudge-free wear.  What I love about this cream is that it’s super versatile and buildable. It can be worn as a shadow or eyeliner.

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Liquid Xanax

What’s that you say? A natural sleeping aid that makes you feel like you just popped a half bar and makes all of your worries disappear? What’s even crazier? It’s a safe and non-addictive alternative to prescription pill! If you haven’t yet explored the magical world of essential oils, I highly recommend starting out with the doTerra blend, Serenity. For those who suffer from stress or restless nights, this essential oil blend helps to promote relaxation and a restful sleeping environment.

But what do you do with it? There are many different ways in using essential oils. A good rule of thumb? A little bit goes a long way! Only a few drops are necessary.

Apply To The Soles Of Your Feet

By applying the oil directly to the bottom of your feet, this allows for the quickest absorption! Because the feet have the biggest pores, they are able to absorb the oil at a faster rate. This essentially leads to the bloodstream in no time!

Keep in mind, some people find themselves a bit sensitive to essential oils. Irritation or even burning of the skin has happened. The bottom of the foot is less sensitive than other areas of the body. It’s recommended to test out here first in order to avoid a reaction.

Diffuser

These little wonders are sold almost anywhere and everywhere now days. Amazon alone has a plethora of different diffusers to choose from. A safe an effective way to benefit from the essential oil and their strong aromas. Follow the appropriate directions to specific defusers. 3-4 drops max is needed in order to achieve the appropriate benefits.

Bathtub 

A few drops of Serenity along with Epsom salt will take your next bath a whole new level! Remember, these oils can be sensitive to certain skin types. Because the water helps to dilute the strength of the aroma, feel free to use up to 5-7 drops. If you are worried about skin sensitivity or were looking to add moisture, dilute the oil with coconut oil or carrier oil.

DoTerra can be purchased online, through a DoTerra representative or found on Amazon. Sweet dreams zzzz….

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