24 Hours of Faith

About a month ago, after being at work for about an hour on a normal Tuesday, I had an urgent meeting put on my calendar and a short, vague email from our CEO. My heart was pounding and I had a gut feeling about what was going to happen but there were so many people from all areas and ranks in the company that I kept telling myself it couldn’t be what I thought it was going to be. As usual, my gut was right – that was my last day at Sovrn. Although, I am heartbroken to lose a home and family, I am confident that there are better things to come. 


I am currently reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. This book sounded perfect given the timing and I have had Gabby Bernstein on my list since listening to a few podcasts she was a guest on. I’m glad I picked it up – because it is exactly what I need during this time of unknown. My favorite theme from the book is that love is the opposite of fear. To exercise this, Gabby urges the reader to live “24 hours of faith”.

“For the next 24 hours, walk through life leaning on your faith in the Universe. When something feels in sync, celebrate it as a moment of alignment. When something goes wrong recognize it as a detour in the right direction, offering you guidance and support. Choose to see all that occurs as loving guidance. Forgive your negative thoughts and actions and immediately return to your faith statement.” (I’ll be honest – I didn’t actually write my own faith statement but it is usually something with a  “Everything that is meant to be, will be” feel.)

The best thing about this exercise is you only have to commit to 24 hours for this to change your life. All your mind needs to heal is a little observation. The second you start noticing negative thought patterns and actions, you start re-programming those away. I truly believe that you receive the energy you put out so if your mind is filled with negativity, you’re going to get it back. Fear isn’t going to get you anywhere so you might as well have a little faith. 

I’m choosing faith every moment I can to keep my mind on the light of the situation. I’m feeling very grateful for this time off. I’m fully embracing all of this alone time and unraveling myself. Although I’m craving the routine and friendships of office life BUT never having to put a bra on is pretty great.  I’m trusting that the universe closed this door for me as a push in the right direction. (The *right* direction is still pretty unclear and I change my mind almost every day. But instead of my usual “I know everything” approach, I’m allowing the path to unfold, taking advice as it comes, and remaining open to everything.)

Usually this big of a change would be too much for me to handle and I would freak out then try to control/rush the process. I know I’ll find an awesome job that has everything (and more!) I loved about Sovrn. I don’t have control over how and when so I’m just going to keep moving and learning along the way. I will control the things I can control and keep faith that everything will happen how/when it happens. And enjoy every last moment of #funemployment because having this much time off is so precious 😉 Stay tuned on the blog – I have a lot of great content planned and no excuses to blow it off! 

Have a great day friends and every time you start to worry – remember you are exactly where you need to be! Sometimes it’s exactly where you wanted it to be and sometimes it’s a detour but I guarantee you’ll learn something. Isn’t that what life is really about? 

Blended Coffee Concoction

Coffee and I have had an on again/off again relationship in the past. Junior year of college I was drinking 3-4 cups a day and could PTFO as soon as my head hit the pillow even if I drank a cup at 6 PM before starting homework. These days, coffee is more of a treat. However, some days, when I’m anticipating a never ending to-do list, I need a little help.


Inspired by Bulletproof coffee, here’s my recipe for a frothy, power fueled cup of joe that won’t leave you tweaking out. Cold brewing your coffee reduces the acidity. The fat helps your body process the caffeine better and cacao is a great source of magnesium to keep you calm!

  • 1 cup of hot cold brewed coffee (I brew mine in a French press in the fridge for 24+ hours)
  • 1 tsp of cacao powder (the raw form of cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp grass fed butter (grass fed is a must – you get dense nutrition from the grass the cow ate)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or MCT oil
  • A dash of maple syrup or stevia
  • 1 scoop of collagen (this is what creates the dreamy froth and it’s great for your hair, skin, nails, and sealing the lining of your gut!)

Put everything in the blender and blend for 20ish seconds. Serve in a mug. 

Best enjoyed slowly, with no pants on, while setting your intentions for a great day! 

PS this makes a great healthy hot chocolate too – just sub coffee for warm almond milk 🙂

Fight or Flight

When I first started researching anxiety, everything clicked. The biology of it was really important for me to understand so I could forgive myself for not being able to just turn it “off”.  The bit that has stuck with me the most is that when your body senses danger (whatever you have anxiety about), it triggers a fight or flight reaction. You have to make a quick decision to either put up your fists or get the hell out. This reaction is obviously very outdated as it was developed in a time where we were living in the wild and needed to be able to protect ourselves in dire situations. An increased heart rate and rush of adrenaline is your body’s idea of helping you when you detect danger. 

In the modern world, the danger our brain detects is no where near as dire as a life or death situation with a bear. The “danger” we detect day to day is not life or death yet we still experience the bodily reaction as if it were. For me, understanding this was what allowed me to heal myself. I started recognizing patterns in thought and separated out “me things” and “anxiety things”. (Before I go further, I feel the need to say that this is boiled down. The path of healing from mental illness is not liner and there is no destination really. I have good periods and bad periods and that’s how my life is going to be. I have lots of tools to help me feel “normal” but I’m human and I make sure to forgive myself for that. You should too.) As cliche as it sounds, I wasn’t able to truly be myself until I realized that anxiety was ruling my brain. 

This whole fight or flight thing has been on my mind lately. As I’ve blogged about before, I had a really hard winter. I was mentally not doing well and I was getting a nasty cold like every other week. I think it took me being sick 3 times in one month to finally realize that taking care of myself was more important than going out. ANYWAY, my discomfort in myself projected itself as discomfort in my life. I not only wanted to move to a new city, I needed it. It was the only thing I could picture that would make me happy. I immediately started planning, making timelines, researching, etc. It was really exciting and felt good. Whenever something wasn’t going my way in the present, I would find comfort in thinking about my future life in a cool city. (San Francisco was at the top of my list and probably will always be there – love that city ❤️) For a while, I was really proud of myself for this plan. I have always wanted to move and a year from now sounded like the perfect time. (For anyone who doesn’t know – I grew up in Boulder county, went to school at CU, lived in Denver for a year and now I’m back in Boulder.) But the “perfect timing” turned into “This is the only time I can do it so I have to do it.”

Having a goal and working toward it is healthy. However, it is so easy for them to take a turn for the worse. My goal became unhappy when I made it this beacon of happiness. When I realized this, memories of me doing the same thing rushed back. In college, I latched on to the post-grad life to be my happiness. In high school, I looked to college whenever I wasn’t happy. When I have anxiety, my first reaction is to get out, “flight”. This is probably where my commitment issues stem from but that’s for another post. 

The thing about happiness though, it can only be experience in the present. Thanks to Elkhart Tolle and The Power of Now book (seriously – everyone needs to read this), I understand that the present is the only place you can be and experience life. Having that understanding AND putting it in practice is a struggle but so fucking worth it. Right now, my only goal is to make my life now the best it can possibly be. I have made a commitment with myself to be 100% here, right now. I’m still going to move some day, I’m just going to let the universe work that one out for me.

Strength in Saying “No”

Saying no is not something that comes naturally to me. Part of it is because I am part of the FOMO generation. The other part of it is I have this deep rooted fear of being forgotten. I think that if I say no to things, I’ll stop getting invited and eventually wind up with no friends. 

I’ve made an efffort to notice my thought patterns for the past few years but in the past month, I’ve committed to just being an observer. My perfectionism makes me want to “fix” the thought patterns right away. But I’ve noticed that just being an observer is more powerful. Interrupting your negative thoughts with criticism just feeds the negativity. Taking a neutral observer role to your thoughts allows you to notice patterns, both negative and positive. When I have a good thought, I make sure to notice it and I expresses gratitude in my mind for it. When I have a negative thought, I just think about where it came from and why it’s there. Then I make an effort to follow it up with the positive thought and try not to get lost in the analysis. Noticing my thought patterns has made it easier to change and meet my goals for myself. 

During the week, I have no problem spending time alone and have gotten better at saying no. I still have a hard time with Friday and Saturday though. I’m an extrovert so I am drawn to people and spending time alone is less natural. I need alone time but it’s hard to say no to fun stuff just to be alone. I know everyone talks about this, but it is SO true: you need to put your needs first. What you probably haven’t thought about is that you have to put your needs ahead of your fears. I have a hard time saying no because of FOMO and the fear of being forgotten but when I socialize when I’m not really feeling it, I just get pissed off and mad about spending money. 

Last night, I committed to staying in and hanging out with myself. FOMO thoughts came up but instead of entertaining them, I let them pass and focused on myself and my goals (spend less, eat/drink out less, more meditation and journaling). Once I got past my fears, it felt so good. And I woke up feeling great. I went to an 8:30 rooftop yoga class and had a great practice. I wasn’t hungover or bloated from eating out or guilty about how much money I spent. 


You CAN have too much of a good thing. Life is all about learning how to stay balanced. Find strength in saying no to the things that don’t align. Above all, stay present. 

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Interrupt With Gratitude

I wrote this about a week ago but haven’t posted it yet because it felt really fragmented and not done. I just listened to a great interview of Vanessa Van Edwards and vulnerability was a topic that kept coming up. Vanessa talked about how scared she was about her upcoming book launch. I feel the same way about every post I do on here. Her 3 truths she shared were “Vulnerability is sexy. Own your weirdness. Your confidence is contagious.” Although I feel like these pieces of my story are worth sharing, I look for imperfections and convince myself not to post.  (I have more drafts than I do published posts 🙈) Tonight, I realized that this blog will never take me anywhere if I can’t get over that. I hope this inspires you to do something you’re scared of too! In the spirit of this post, today I am for the strength to be vulnerable. 

I am writing this on a plane to Baltimore to celebrate my Papasan’s life. He passed last week unexpectedly. The emotions come in waves. One moment I’m sad and crying and the next I’m laughing about a memory then things are normal for a while. The tears come out of no where. I am overwhelmed by the love and support from those around me.

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Everyone keeps asking me if I’m “okay” and I can honestly say that I am. Normally, these intense emotional events spin me out of control and have a major effect on my anxiety, but all of the work I’ve done with mindfulness and spirituality has helped me give myself permission to just be. I keep second guessing it because I am so used to fighting a battle inside and projecting an “I’m great!” image. But I actually am “okay”. I am feeling a lot of sadness and grief, but that’s okay. There are moments when it’s hard to be at work or around friends, but that’s okay. Feelings of guilt pop into my mind, but that’s okay. I’m feeling everything as it comes with no expectations or timelines for myself.

I follow a lot of inspirational, motivational, self care, etc. accounts on social media and a quote that is always popping up is “Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.” I think we can apply this to any tough emotion that we experience. Let yourself feel what your feeling, fully. THEN interrupt it with gratitude. Look around you and be specific about what and who you are grateful for. You can make a mental list, journal, say it to yourself, whatever… just do it! This shit works – seriously – take it from me, a textbook emotion bottler.

I’m coming off of a pretty rough winter. For various reasons, I was dealing with a lot of stress and anger. I would easily become frustrated when my go-to, feel-better things weren’t working. I was sick with a cold off and on for a few months and felt very disconnected from myself, my body, and those around me. I took this as a sign that I needed to make some changes that were more major than just working out and eating right. I needed to nourish my soul and make my mind a more hospitable place.

A friend at work suggested I read Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s been recommended to me many times and I knew I needed a change so I finally did it. I think everyone should read it but if you’ve ever identified with my struggles with mental health, you need to read it (or listen to the audiobook like I did). I’m not exactly sure how to sum it up but Tolle basically takes the teachings of Buddha and applies them to modern challenges. The main take away is that all experiences happen in the now and worrying about past/future just takes away from experiencing the present.

Be present. The easiest way to start is next time you’re listening to someone, be fully there, and listen without the intent of replying. Express gratitude. Say “thank you” but in specific ways. Hug extra tight. Love hard and don’t be afraid to express it. Make the most out of today, because now is all we really have. That’s what’s going to change the world.

 

I am grateful for every moment I got to spend with my Papasan.

I am grateful for every memory of him I can hold on to.

I am grateful for being able to spend time with my family even though it is unexpected circumstances.

I am grateful for all of my loved ones, both living and passed.

I am grateful for every day I get to spend on this Earth.

Curry and Life … it’s all about balance

Much like life, a good curry is all about balance. You throw together a lot of opposing flavors and somehow it comes into this delicious, unique flavor that warms your mind, body, and soul. To me, it is the ultimate comfort food. It’s my go-to when I don’t know what to cook because it almost always tastes good and I can kinda be on auto-pilot since I’ve made it so many times. I basically forced myself to cook this on Friday because I needed to cook my chicken before it went bad. I didn’t have all the ingredients I normally use so I got creative with this one and I was so happy with how it turned out, I had to share. Also, start buying bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. SO much better than breasts.

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This past week was a doozy. Just one of those weeks that I’m sure we’re all familiar with. By the time I got home on Friday, I was so drained that I knew the best thing for me would be alone time. But since it was a rough week, it took a long time to break through the “bad day barrier” and actually enjoy the night. I did not have the energy to do anything that night but I knew that cooking and eating a good meal would make me feel better.

While I did feel better after cooking and eating, I still felt weird and unfulfilled and couldn’t think of anything that would make me happy. This is where the importance of balance comes in. Every emotion you have is important, including the bad ones. While it was uncomfortable and not an ideal Friday night, I sat with all my shitty feelings. I let myself be pissed off. I let negativity marinate because it felt like all I could do in that moment. While I felt like Friday was a fail, I woke up to a beautiful, sunny Saturday, went for a run then went rooftop drinking with friends. To me, that’s balance.

I felt so conflicted because none of my go-to self care rituals sounded appealing. It got me thinking about this blog and how I feel like I have a duty to “practice what I preach”. I get so hung up on my goals and where I want to be that I rarely take the time to appreciate how far I’ve come. I’ve been on this mental health journey for 3 years now and have made incredible progress. Old Morrie would have never poured her feelings out for anyone on the internet to find and I certainly would have never discussed my weaknesses, not even with those closest to me.

I would love to tell you that I went for a run and took a bath and turned my bad day around but I didn’t. I was so exhausted that I sat on the couch with a glass of wine and my bong, cried about E V E R Y T H I N G then did my best to turn off the worrying part of my brain. I’m hesitant to talk about the darker realities of my life because most of the people who read this blog care about me and I don’t want them to worry. But as a 23 year old, who has no idea how the fuck to do life sometimes, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The past couple months have been rocky for various reasons. As I look back, I have handled the most recent challenges with more grace and strength than I would have a year or two ago. There will always be challenges standing in the way of my balance but the more I overcome, the better I will get at staying in balance.

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This is not as much of a recipe but more like guidelines. Adjust to suit how many people you’re serving and your tastes!

Here’s what I did:

Heat up a cast iron pan with olive oil (if you don’t have one you can use any oven safe pan or just use a regular pan and transfer to a oven safe dish) then brown the chicken thighs on each side. Add in the veggie mix (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, curry, turmeric). Put in the oven at 425deg for about 40 minutes. You want the veggies to be soft and the chicken to be cooked through. To be honest, I didn’t actually time how long it was in there and this was after a bowl and glass of wine so I could be wrong. Just check it and trust yourself to know when it’s done. If you use bone in, skin on, chicken thighs, they’ll stay moist so it’s hard to fuck this one up.

Meanwhile, in the blender, combine: handful cilantro, 1 cup of coconut milk, sautéed mushrooms (about a cup) and a small jalapeño (if you’re not into spicy, don’t use the seeds or veins), 1 1/2 tbs curry powder, dash of cinnamon, dash of cumin, salt and pepper, clove garlic, small piece of ginger.

Plate the veggies and chicken and top with sauce.

For all my veg friends: the veggies + the sauce is so good too.

 

 

A Funny Smoothie Story

A couple days ago I made a smoothie that had a flavor reminiscent of stomach acid. I decided that the puke-y flavor was because I accidentally poured half the bag of frozen pineapple in the blender. I made a couple of my work friends try it, we all laughed and moved on. 

Fast forward to this morning, the next time I made a smoothie. This time, I made sure to use an appropriate amount of pineapple. I went to the store last night so I was excited to use all my new purchases. I make the smoothie and take a sip. IT TASTES LIKE PUKE AGAIN. At this point, I’m like “How the fuck does this keep happening?” It definitely wasn’t the pineapple this time.

I’m racking my brain to figure out what it could be. The frozen fruit definitely wouldn’t have gone sour. The kale I bought last night was fine. Then it hits me – it’s the coconut milk. I look at the carton and it’s not expired but you have to use within 7-10 days of opening it. Mine had been on there for more than double that time. -__-

Use this as a reminder to pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. 

Here’s the smoothie:

Took two sips then poured it down the drain 😦