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The personality flaw most women have

I’d be lying if I said that past few months have been easy.  Becoming a Mom is rough sh*t.  And I’ve found myself from time to time putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect.

To be the perfect Mom
To be the perfect Wife
To have the perfect Life
To have the perfect Body

It can be all consuming.  But luckily, I’ve done enough personal work and have visited this place of perfection (you’ll read about one particularly low point below) enough that I know how to deal with it.

I’m so happy to give you today’s Throwback Thursday because it touches on this topic that so many of us struggle with.  If it’s anything I’ve learned, perfection is not all it’s cracked up to be.  You’ll see what I mean:

Today, I want to give you a window into my personal life that I’m pretty embarrassed to reveal.

My reflection scowled at me with disgust as I was getting dressed.

I felt so fat.

Yep. Fat.

My inner bitch came out with guns blazing. She told me that feeling fat was the unacceptable flaw that could ruin everything: my business, my relationship, my beauty. Toast. What would I have if I lost the one thing I had worked so hard at getting? A body I loved.

I was a puddle of grief, embarrassment and panic.

Luckily, my higher self (aka soul, intuition, inner light), the part of me that helped me heal from emotional eating in the first place, was able to talk some sense into my inner bitch relatively quickly.

She reminded her that weight gain is a sign that something is out of balance, that an emotion, a need, a void, requires tending to and nourishment. There was something to learn in all of this. I reminded myself that weight is just a big red flashing sign that something is seriously wrong. It was the arrow pointing to where I needed to focus more energy.

So I’ve spent the past month being curious about the lessons my body was teaching me, trying so hard not to cancel all social activities and go on a juice cleanse, because just getting rid of the “fat symptom” feels like the easiest thing sometimes, even for me, and I teach this stuff.

But my higher self knew there was a lot to learn from the discomfort and rushing to get out of it was only going to send me right back to feeling like shit.

So I sat and let myself feel fat for several days. It was incredibly uncomfortable. I hated it, but honestly, it turned out to be an amazing process

Here’s what I learned:

Our definition of perfection is masculine. We define perfection as linear. Our goal is to go in one direction towards a specific end point and when we reach it, we strive to stay there.

Masculine perfection is unwavering, stiff and permanent… I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a penis, so that’s not gonna work for me.

The feminine version of perfection is ebb and flow, expand and contract, wild, and unpredictable. Think of the ocean, tides, puberty, pregnancy, giving birth … always expanding and contracting, rising and falling. An exhilarating roller coaster.

Perfection is not about straightening out the roller coaster, it’s about strapping in and knowing that’s it’s going to be a wild ride. Ups and downs, dizziness, nausea. But when you expect it, it’s not so maddening, in fact, it can be really fun.

There’s nothing imperfect about gaining a little weight, or maybe not losing enough. It’s part of the ride. And the key to healing is forgiveness, love, learning from the falls and knowing how to start moving (slowly) back to where we know we feel our best.

Your task for the week is to accept your “imperfections” as normal, and still hold a vision for your ideal.

It’s so much more fun to be human, than it is to be perfect. Tweet it.

I can tell you from experience, that adopting the ebb and flow as perfect is incredibly healing. As I became more comfortable with the uncomfortable, looked for the lessons and continued to engage in my amazing life without rushing into a diet, my body responded lovingly by letting go of the weight that no longer served her.

Love,

Sarah

See what they’ve accomplished in just one year

We’ve been thinking about something and have been itching to share it with you…

Here’s the thing: Most people think that the key to having a successful life and business is hard work and making it all look good.  If we just bust our asses enough and put our best face forward, voila! Success.

But what we’ve learned over the years is that it isn’t about looking good, it’s about feeling good, and it isn’t about hard work, it’s about vision. {click to tweet}

We’ve been watching and reading the feedback from the women who invested in joining us last year, for LIVE FREE 2013, and marveling at how much they’ve accomplished in less than a year with their focus on feeling good and having a clear vision.  In celebration of them, and of our collective power as women, we wanted to share their stories with you…

“I’m coming To LIVE FREE again to revel in the fact that what I created last year in my 3 year vision has happened.  I’ll be 8 months pregnant, which is something I envisioned.  We moved to California, and I totally went for it in my business, leading a live retreat and launching a 9 month mentorship program.  I can’t wait to see what comes out of this retreat!”  - Angelina DeWeese

“The biggest thing for me in attending this retreat was that I already knew quite a few of the women attending, but what was amazing to me was how I met so many other women and connected with so many of them.  In fact, reflecting back as I say this, I just realized that over half of my clients over the past year, I met at LIVE FREE last year. What was so great though, is that I didn’t just meet a lot of potential clients, a lot of the women have turned into friends as well.  It’s just been this magic circle that has created itself in my life and I can’t wait to attend again this year.” – Jen Blackstock

“Prior to the retreat, I was just finding my footing after a brutal break-up and an ensuing waterfall of emotional crap (no other way to say it!) in early 2013.  This retreat peeled back so many layers that I didn’t even know were there.  For the first time in my 32 years, I am finally feeling comfortable being seen.  Truly seen.  I realized that I spent so much energy trying not to stand out – whether it was dressing plainly or wearing safe makeup, not taking the lead on something at work, trying not to do anything different than my friends or colleagues (or hiding it if I was).

Post-retreat, I am rocking the lipstick every time I go out, I dress in a way that makes me feel fabulous (as I write this at a cafe in downtown Palo Alto I have a cute maxi skirt, tank top, hair curled and bright lipstick on – hello world!), I am comfortable being me in every situation (though still working on it to make it more comfortable), and I have completely blazed my own path with work – something I never thought I could do.

The ripple effect of the retreat has been far reaching into most areas of my life – in fact, I can’t think of a particular area that is untouched by my experience in Sonoma last fall.  It was truly and honor and a privilege to have been a part of this amazing weekend.”  -Emily Nelson

“My life looks completely different from the one I was living 9 months ago when I showed up to LIVE FREE. I’ve made the leap out of my cushy corporate job and into a life of wonder, play, and alignment with what I really want in this world. I am no longer exhausted at trying to be the version of myself I thought people wanted me to be. My marriage is more playful and honest. My friendships with women are deeper and authentic. My relationship with my body is one of love and respect. And I’m running my business with focused intention and ease. And it all started with LIVE FREE.” -Becca Piastrelli

Watch this and get to know some of our LIVE FREE 2013 alums:

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We’ve decided to keep registration open for a while, because so many of you have asked for more time, and we want to fill the room with women who are really ready to stop the “someday” conversation and start creating the life you want now.  After talking with so many of you, we know that’s who you are – women of action.

We really believe that this weekend will be the catalyst to create the clarity and motion you need to have the success you want.  While this retreat is filled with fun and pleasure, there’s nothing fluffy about it.

The deadline to register for 3-payments is August 22nd: RSVP HERE

If you’re hoping to come but haven’t made it happen yet (or you still have questions), hit reply and let Danielle know right away, so she can help you figure out the details… Let’s be honest, we’re more powerful than we give ourselves credit for!  If your heart is called to be there, we know there’s a way.  Let us help you figure it all out.

Love,
Sarah & Nisha

The gift every woman has but rarely uses

intuition

I used to pride myself on being pretty smart.  I could argue my way out of most things, bang out a 10 page paper in college in a night or figure out how to build a website.  I was a talker, a thinker, an executor.

When I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I started to meet a bunch of “hippies” who wore a lot of hemp, took wheatgrass shots and had their cards read.  I was judgemental to say the least, and felt completely separate from that way of life.

But part of me was super jealous.

They were so relaxed! They were “go with the flow” women and seemed to have life handed to them on a silver platter.  I wanted some of their secret sauce.

So I started rubbing elbows with the granola girls and studying what made them different.  When they spoke about “divine alignment”, “fate”, “being guided” I was fascinated.  How?  As I continued to dig, I realized that all of this “magic” came from one place, their intuition. They all swore by following their intuition, that it never let them down.

I was bummed.  I didn’t have an intuition.  I wasn’t at all psychic and I didn’t receive divine guidance.  I was a thinker.

But my new friends assured me that every woman has intuition, it’s built into us.  Over the years we’re just taught that ‘reason’ is more reliable than our intuition, and we slowly lose the ability to hear that still, quiet voice.

So I set out to build my intuition.  Here’s what I learned:

1. Your intuition lives in your belly.

This made sense to me.  My reason lived in my head, and my intuition, literally my gut instinct, lives in my belly.  My issue was that I was completely disconnected from my body, so I started a practice of putting my attention in my belly during a meditation, massaging my body with body wash in the shower, and talking to her nicely during the day.  Once I created a relationship with my body and my belly, I could start to hear her (my intuition) a little bit.

2. Your intuition has a specific way of talking.

Once I had enough stillness in my life and was connected to my body I could start to hear a small internal voice.  Whenever I was trying to make a decision about something, let’s say whether or not I should take on a client that I was on the fence about this is how it went in my head:

‘Reason’ said in a loud, bossy slightly panicky voice, “Of course you should take her on, you need the money, you can handle her, you can handle anything, even if she’s a pain, it’s only a few hours a month. Just do it, don’t be lazy.”

‘Intuition’ said in a soft, quiet voice, “It’s not right.”

That’s it.  Simple, calm.  No back up.

3. Just because she’s quiet doesn’t mean she doesn’t know her sh*t.

Even though I could start to identify the voice, it seemed like an idiotic idea to take her advice.  She has no back up, no reasons and was not based in reality.  It seemed so wishy washy, so unreliable.  But I was committed to developing this part of me so I decided to just experiment.

I decided that for a month I would base all of my decisions off of my intuition, even when it seemed like the worst decision in the world.  I figured even if I made horrible mistakes for a month, nothing in that time frame was unfixable.

So if my head said “go to the party’”, and my intuition said “stay home” I stayed home.  When my head said “take that job” and my intuition said “don’t take it” I said no.  When my head said “it’s too much money” and my intuition said “it’s worth it” I made the investment.

Everytime I followed my intuition I wrote down the scenario, the gut instinct and what happened as a result.  I wrote things down like I had a great night at home and my friends said that party sucked anyways, I passed on the job and my dream job popped up two weeks later, I invested in this program and made four times the money this month.

My intuition was consistently helpful and always lead to more opportunity, even though the decisions I made rarely made sense at the time.  These examples became my proof and my reality.  I could now clearly see a pattern and I was able to trust that quiet voice.

At the same time I thought back to the times I chose reason and recalled outcomes of exhaustion, disappointment and a feeling like I had wasted my time.

So if you’re craving more clarity, more magic, more intuition I hope you can see that it’s simple to cultivate and I swear, it is by far the best tool in my box.

In the comments below, I’d love to know about a time that you’ve followed your intuition and what the outcome was.

Love,

Sarah

Are you growing so fast you’re leaving your partner behind?

growingsofast

Whenever I start a new round of my signature program, Live More Weigh Less Mastery the women are all concerned about one thing: losing weight.  And like clockwork, six weeks later, after they’ve actively created a life full of fun, are learning to love their job or are looking for a new one, working on their inner mean girl, discovering their purpose, honing their spiritual practice and sprucing up their look they are all concerned with one thing: I’m doing all this work on myself and my partner/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend is doing nothing. How do I get him/her to get their sh*t together?

Can you relate?

It can be a little scary, growing so much that you feel like you’re in this completely new space and you have no one to share it with because your partner is stuck in 2013.

All of the sudden you feel like

…they don’t understand you anymore.
…no matter how many times you explain to them what they should do to be happier they just keep doing the opposite.
…you’re no longer attracted to them.
…you wonder if you should be with this person anyways…

It’s a slippery, dark and twisted place to go, but if you’ve done any personal growth work, you’ve so been there.

I know it can feel like you’ve tried everything and talking to them about it is like banging your head against a brick wall, but I bet there’s one thing you haven’t tried.

When I first discovered the wonderful world of nutrition, self-help and spirituality I was a total junkie.  I went to lectures multiple times a week, joined groups, read tons of books and listened to audio lectures around the clock.  When Jonathan came home I’d tell him all the things he shouldn’t eat, ask him questions about his spiritual practice, talk to him about manifesting and asked him to meditate with me.  It didn’t go over well.  What I saw was a woman who was trying to share with her partner all the amazing things she was learning and he was being a resistant ass.  What Jonathan saw was a woman who thought he was broken and needed fixing.  Not a fun thing to come home to everyday.

What I was trying to do was fix him, drag him along and teach him.  It didn’t work.  I realized that when I was with my self-helpy friends I was the best version of myself.  I was grounded, thoughtful, vulnerable and accepting.  But when I was with Jonathan I was still naggy and unsettled.  Part of me wanted Jonathan to “grow” so I could be the same with him that I was with my new friends.

What I actually needed to do was just BE the new me around him without telling how to be different.  I needed to do less teaching and more showing.

Tweet it: If you’re growing so fast you’re leaving your partner behind you need to do less teaching and more showing.

I started to say things like “can I tell you what I learned today?” and I’d get all giddy and share with him how I wanted to change my life.  I talked about how happy I was, and how good I felt eating better.  I became easygoing, light and fun to be around.

Without the pressure to change, Jonathan slowly started to show interest in self-help.  He’d ask if he could read a book of mine or if I wanted company to a lecture.  I just appreciated him, said yes, and let him have his own experience.

A few months after this shift I asked him what changed and why he stopped being resistant.  He told me that I just seemed so happy and he knew that in order to be in a deep relationship with me, he had to get on board.

Now let me be clear, Jonathan never became some self-help junkie like me.  Where I’ve read 100 self-help books, Jonathan has probably read three.  But the key is that we are both committed to being happy.  I trust him to do it his way, which is more about going to the gym, working hard and watching football, and he trusts me to do it my way, which is about reading a lot of Marianne Williamson and going on retreats.

So here’s what I want you to do:

1. Understand the difference between men and women.  I drew some sweet pictures to illustrate my point.  When it comes to self improvement, women are all over the map.  One day we feel like we’re on top of the mountain looking down on our partner thinking, when is he going to get here?

pic1

The next day we’re back to eating cookies and cream ice cream out of the carton.  It can take different kinds of spirituality, a week long silent retreat, a new wardrobe and a reiki session to feel like we’ve “made it”.  As a gender, we are up and down, this way and that… and that’s what makes us awesome.

Men are the opposite, they pick a goal, chart out the best course and slowly, steadily march on.

pic2

Although it may seem like we’re way ahead of the game, often you get to top of the mountain (your goals) at the same time.

pic3

2. Stop teaching and fixing and start showing and sharing.  Be the best version of yourself, get vulnerable, talk about what makes you excited.  Lead by example.  Give no tips, ever.

3. If you do this for months and your partner is still stuck and miserable, I believe it’s ok to say something like this, “Babe, are you happy?  Though we are both going to go through down times, we owe it to each other to put in an effort to be happy so we can be great partners for each other.  Do you agree?  Do you want to be happier? What do you want in your life right now? (asking is key) It doesn’t matter to me what you do to be happy, but it’s important to me that you try.  I want this to be the best relationship it can be.”

In the comments on the blog I’d love to know:

1. If you struggle with this and 2. What are you committed to doing to help you feel like you’re not leaving your partner behind?

I can’t WAIT to jam on this with you.

Love,

Sarah