entrepreneur, Uncategorized

Coconuts on the Beach

 

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In our culture, we are always looking forward – towards our goals, dreams, aspirations. We work each day in the hopes of achieving specific outcomes: climbing the corporate ladder, owning a home, paying off debt, having a family and marriage.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with working for the future, but the problem is that we are so preoccupied that we forget to enjoy the journey.

Consider your path as a timeline; our end goals are just a blip, while the journey to get there stretches out as far as it needs to. We suspend our joy, presence, light and love for 90% of the process. Do we want our joy to be on the straight line, or just a single dot?

Coconuts on the beach

A lot of our culture is fixated on the results of hard work – the instagram photos, highlight reels and coconuts on the beach. But, we forget that life is supposed to be the journey. The process IS life, in itself: growth, change, joy, sorrow, challenges.

Life is not the vacation. Life is every single day before and after it, and also the vacation, each given equal presence and attention.

I have nothing against coconuts on the beach, but it’s not the remedy for life’s challenges. Embrace the journey and remember to enjoy it. After all, that straight line is where you’ll spend most of life anyways

entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Thoughts: Saying NO

Entrepreneurs are generally thought of as ‘Yes’ people. They saw an opportunity, they said yes, and followed through to self-made success. Even in speeches and webinars and books, that first ‘yes’ is always referenced as ‘the beginning of it all’. If I hadn’t said yes…

You get the picture.

For us, we said yes many times in the early days of our business. We said yes to our opportunity, we said yes as we opened corporate bank accounts, filed for a state tax id, met with a (free) lawyer and designed our logo. We said yes to tough questions from those around us, too.

Are you sure you want to leave this job? You have a real future here… 

Are you sure this will work?

Do you have any idea what you’re doing? 

Yes, yes, and yes. Yet, as we progressed as a company, we found ourselves saying ‘no’ much more than yes. We had old friends we barely spoke to that wanted to be a part of our business; acquaintances that wanted to help; companies that wanted to purchase our little seedling of a business before it had a chance to blossom. We said no to professional ‘small business advisors’, to corporate bank loans, to people, to other opportunities, to new accounts, to sizeable amounts of money that would cost us any potential we had. No, No, No, No, No.

Every No is what shaped and strengthened our business into the small, albeit strong fortress it is today. Every no was us standing our ground, defining our business under its own terms. Those No’s define what services we do and don’t provide; what we are willing and aren’t willing to do; the kind of clients we want to work with; how we handle conflict; and who we are as a company.

Even if you’re not an entrepreneur, you have so much power in the word ‘no’. So many people in each of our lives – especially those that know us well – often ask questions in full expectation of a yes. But no matter who is asking or what they’re asking for, you have a divine right to say no.

No, this doesn’t serve me. No, I can’t do it. No, my plate is already full right now. No.

You deserve your own boundaries, space, and peace – entrepreneur or not.

Running, Veg/Vegan

PSA: Instagram is Not Real

How often do you see photos like this on Instagram? Big booty, tight waist, strong arms – but is it real? As someone that’s been hardcore into fitness for 5+ years, I couldn’t understand these images that  kept appearing on my feed – until I played around in front of the mirror and realized its just posing. Booty popped, an awkward twist in the waist, good lighting and a little bit of dehydration and BAM – insta-model approved.

I didn’t grow up in the age of Instagram, so I worry so much about the women and girls that see these images and believe they’re real life. I would never stand, sit, pose, squat or appear this way in person,  so while the photo is me, it is not TRUE TO LIFE. In simple terms, it’s not real.

Instagram can be a great place to showcase and normalize all kinds of bodies, which is why I personally choose to show photos of mine. But when you’re scrolling through your feed and come across an image that seems unachievable, keep these key points in mind:

1.      No two bodies are the same. Even if you eat, sleep, and train exactly like the girl in the picture, it is physically impossible for you to achieve the exact same results because of your (and her) unique size, shape, genes, body composition and metabolism.

2.      These images are often the result of perfect lighting, careful posing, angles, retouching, and even photoshop – not perfect people.

3.      Most of these people are professional models/bodybuilders/personal trainers, whose job is to be fit and look the part. You wouldn’t compare your ability to cook to that of a professional chef, right? So you can’t compare your body to someone who’s full time job is fitness.

4.      Most of these images are selling something. They are carefully curated to represent an ideal that’s unlikely (or impossible) to achieve in order to promote the protein powder/leggings/detox tea/personal training services being offered.

5.      Instagram is a highlight real. It does not, and cannot, depict real life.

6.      Everyone can physically, mentally, and emotionally benefit from exercise, regardless of their weight, size, shape, age, gender, ability, etc. Do not let the images on Instagram deter you from doing something great for you and your body, if that’s what you chose.

7.      Let me repeat it one more time: fitness is for and benefits EVERY BODY.

Okay, rant over.

 

Lifting, spiritual

You Don’t Need a Makeover: Food Freedom Friday


You don’t need a makeover.
Yep, you read that right – no matter your weight, size, shape, gender or age, you DON’T need a makeover. The fitness/diet industry does. 


Imagine if you had a store that sold a single size of clothing – or offered a single, specified entree – or if Jamba Juice offered ONE smoothie?

It’s illogical to sell one specific item because we all know people are different. Some people like berries, some people like citrus fruits. Some people are short, others are tall. 

Yet, the diet and fitness industry gets away with selling us a single ideal per gender – a tall, muscular, chiseled and well portioned man, coupled with a slender, yet muscular, yet still distinctly feminine woman. And they make billions of dollars a year on the mere fact that the majority of the population is physically incapable of achieving the image they’re selling.


If you sell an unreachable image, customers will never stop buying. If we all looked perfect, why would we buy powders and pills and capsules and workout programs? There’s no money in the achievement; there’s money in the chase. 

So no, you don’t need a makeover. Healthy eating and exercise do yield a wonderful breadth of benefits, like increased energy, deeper sleep, higher dopamine and serotonin levels, better focus and cognitive function, improved digestive health, and the list continues. But being healthy looks different on every. single. person. Be you, and be healthy if you choose – but don’t let clever marketing and photoshop make the choice for you.

Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: Life Happens for You


In the darker times of our lives, we all ask ourselves the same question: Why me? When everything falls apart, when tragedy strikes, we ask the Universe: “Why is this happening to ME?”

Somehow, in the best times of our lives, when we’re faced with love and abundance and the opportunity to achieve our dreams, we ask the same thing: “Why would this happen to ME?”

Light or dark, abundance or despair, why things happen TO us. But things don’t happen to us at all: they happen FOR us. Tragedy gives way to growth, challenge inspires breakthroughs, and even the deepest cracks allow the light to shine in and through.

When awful things happen, we grow through them and become stronger, smarter, and ironically, more open and honest versions of ourselves. When we’re just  so.over.it., we become more authentic and loving and are able to live true.

The reason bad things happen to good people is to make them even better. To prepare them for what’s next, and create a soul capable of giving more of themselves to the world and encouraging those around them to do the same. There’s a reason the most beautiful, open, loving, and courageous leaders were bred from hardship, hatred and turmoil; it made them better.

Whatever is going on in your life, embrace it; you are growing. Your are being prepared for what’s next, and becoming who you’re meant to be.

Thoughts

Thoughtful Thursday: Personal Growth


I  know I tend to preach a lot about self-love, positive vibes, inner peace, happiness, and all that soulful woo-woo stuff that not everyone is comfortable with. To be honest, my life has radically changed so much since I’ve embraced myself fully – mind, body, and spirit – that I can’t help but want to share that with everyone around me. I’ll preach it from the rooftops, cause that self-love shit is straight up contagious.

Whether you’re on the self-love train or not, the idea of personal growth is a lot easier to contemplate. It’s visible, tangible, and real; personal growth is so contagious that, no matter its roots, it affects your life in its entirety. If you have tremendous growth with health or weight loss, it’s pretty much impossible for you to not cultivate a calmer mind, open heart and greater love towards the self along with your new body. If you grow tremendously  on the mental or spiritual side, you likely find yourself making better choices for your physical self; sleeping more, eating better, and paying attention to your body’s internal cues.

A friend of mine posted this posts’ image and I completely fell in love. When you meet someone truly at peace with themselves, they exhibit patience, health, happiness, and love. The positive, quiet, and calm characteristics that comprise a loving, beautiful soul.

Just like positivity shines through, negativity can’t seem to contain itself either. Anger, spitefulness, jealousy, cruelty, aggression; they’re the negative, chaotic, and loud. We’ve all had a customer or coworker flip the f out on us for no apparent reason and go off on some rage-fueled tangent that makes zero sense. And we all recognize the fact that this has nothing to do with me. That anger or hate or rage are clearly coming from a deep, dark place within themselves.

I’m sending you all good vibes and the strength to deal with the negativity that is inherent to this life and this world.

Bless,

Nikki

Running, Thoughts

Slow & Steady Wins the Race(s)


I’ve never been one to post (or even support) transformation photos. They’re equally discouraging & misleading; simple things like time of day, lighting and filters can turn a normal tummy into cut abs. Along with other nonsense overloading Instagram, like wraps, cleanses and crash diets, transformation photos give the illusion that immediate results are expected & achievable. Its just. not. right.

The harsh reality is that lasting health and weight loss take time, consistency, and a lot of patience. Between these two paradoxes, it’s easy to feel lost, or hopeless, or impatient, angry and frustrated, as many people are. But with enough time and consistency, transformation do happen.

Big magic just takes time.

When we see problems in our lives, we tend to think ‘big’; giving up entire food groups, or food altogether, or thinking we have to run six days a week to look or feel ‘healthy’. In reality, we should be thinking small. It might seem insignificant whether you grab a croissant or a banana with your coffee this morning, but over enough time, that choice has a powerful impact. The difference between the pastry and fruit is thousands of calories and grams of sugar over enough time. That croissant might make you feel sluggish every day, so you drink more coffee or soda and indulge in a heftier lunch. We’re effecting the lives of our future selves, and it’s not even 10 a.m.


I came to this epiphany after finding a Facebook photo of myself after my first half marathon two years ago, exhausted and beaming with pride. Because I see myself in the mirror every day, I don’t notice the subtle changes occurring. I was so stunned by it that I scrolled through my phone to find a picture of me running my last half marathon a few weeks ago – was that really me?

I realized that, because we live with ourselves every day, we don’t see the magic happening. I’ve been running consistently for two years, and my love affair has positively impacted all areas of my life. I seriously cut back on drinking, ate more healthfully and started playing soccer, which in turn caused weight loss and my own transformation. It happened organically and naturally – so much that I didn’t even notice it.

The takeaway: Positive life changes happen with consistency, time, and joy. We improve our lives on our own accord when we truly love what we’re doing. I think we all make the mistake of shooting for weight loss first, when it’s actually just a side effect of finding activities we enjoy and loving ourselves enough to take care of the bodies we live in.