I said yes

One year ago today the man that I love more than anything in the world surprised me and asked me to marry him out of the blue one night and I said yes.. Actually I screamed it.

We are having a nice LONG engagement because we want to enjoy this time in our lives and take our time to plan this significant event. We don’t want anything to be stressful and we don’t want wedding planning to be a nuisance. Everyone loves to say “planning a wedding is stressful” like its a fact.. But nothing is or isn’t stressful, things are what we make them and I’ll elope or get married at city hall before I let our wedding be anything less than a fun, relaxed, joyful day.

We fell in love quickly and got engaged after only 8 months and we will be married in a little less than a year and a half. The fact of the matter is that we are content to live our life on our timeline. I don’t care how long is traditional or what people expect. We live our lives according to what feels right and we will do things in our own time. I encourage everyone to think about these things in terms of their own life. Never mind what you “should” do, or what people “expect.” What do you want to do? What feels right? Do more of that.

Remember that life is one big self fulfilling prophecy.. You will get what you expect. If you go into wedding planning or vacationing or the holiday season with family expecting it to be stressful, then guess what? It will be. Our wedding will not be stressful. We will plan it at our pace according to the things we enjoy and the people who really love us will be there and support us. Until that great day comes we will continue to celebrate our love and our commitment to each other every single day, to enjoy each others company, to go on adventures together, to laugh and to live the life we have always imagined.

Happy one year engaged anniversary fiancé. I could not ask for a better man or a better partner. Your sweet spirit is a blessing in my life and you are part of my heart forever and always. Thanks for your constant love and support and everything you do and everything you are.

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Into the desert

Matt and I are heading out on one of our many adventures and this time we are taking a 6 hour road trip from Los Angeles to Scotsdale Az. Here are some tips I use while I am traveling to stay healthy and fit:

1. Wake up and stretch, do some crunches and choose clothing that isn’t too restrictive.

2. Have healthy foods, low in carbs ( this morning I opted for a sweet green juice from Evolution Fresh). It’s easy to get stuck at the drive thru window on a car ride but do your very best to avoid it. Eating healthy is never more important than when you are spending long periods of times in relative inactivity.

3. Take advantage of rest stops and make sure u get out to walk and stretch your legs and do some light stretching of your neck and back. Make sure to fidget while you are in the car. Don’t sit in any one position too long- keep it moving.

4. Stay hydrated and bring water water water.

5. Smell the wild air and drink in the scenery. On road trips especially make sure to open the window now and again and keep your eyes on your surroundings … Take in new places and enjoy them. In the Information Age we don’t often see much more than the iPhone screen. Exploration is good for the soul.

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Believe it and receive it: The life I live now.

Your brain is the most powerful machine you will ever own. It doesn’t come with an instruction manual but it is in your best interest to learn how to use it; learn to control your mind and keep your thoughts positive. Your thoughts become your life.. and that is the idea that I base my life on. People often ask how I got so lucky in dance and in finding a man like Matt.. but I didn’t get lucky at all- I got educated. I stopped letting my mind run on auto-pilot and learned to carefully control my thoughts. I use positive thinking and visualization to create the things I want. I tell the universe clearly what I desire and the universe brings it to me or in the case of Matt (who I met by driving across the country and moving to California) brings me to it. I know this sounds crazy… but in my own personal life I can promise you it works.

It is not enough to just muse on something.. “I’d like to win the lottery…” You have to genuinely believe in the possibility, all the time, without doubt. You have to learn to silence the sometimes subconscious voice in your mind that says “that’s impossible” and actually visualize yourself with the things you want. Imagine what they would taste like, smell like, feel like… smile and jump up and down like you actually did win the lottery if that’s what it takes… But believe it- and you will receive it.

How do you start?

1.Monitor your thoughts today. How many times a day do thoughts like traffic, debt, or illness cross your mind? Even if you are thinking: “I don’t want any more debt” you are still calling for debt. The universe doesn’t hear “I don’t want”… worry is a way of summoning the things you DON’T want by keeping them at the forefront of your thoughts. Erase the word debt and instead think “I want more money” and ” money comes freely and easily.” Replace all the negative with positive as much as possible. If you are stuck in traffic breathe in and out and refocus your energy. Don’t worry about traffic, or if you’ll pay your rent.. worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won’t get you anywhere.

2. Set a goal and test it.. give yourself 6 months to create something that you really want and believe you can have. Start small at first and work up to bigger things as you get better at this strategy. Think about it every day.. how would it feel to have that promotion or lose those 5 pounds? How would others react when they saw you in that new dress you’ve had your eye on? what will it be like WHEN you have it, not if…and so on..Matt and I keep a vision board in our home that we look at EVERY day. The board has pictures of all the things we want for our lives and I promise you, we will have every single one of them… because we believe we can and because we stay focused on them.

3. Be GRATEFUL. Wake up every single day and while you are brushing your teeth, instead of going through all the things you have to do that day or worrying about your big presentation at work.. go through ALL the things in your life that you are grateful for… A loving family, pretty hair, a job you like, anything. Greatness starts with a grateful heart and you will never have more if you cannot appreciate what you have now. This will put you in a positive place for the day and set you on a good path.

4. Focus on the big picture and have THICK skin: If you find yourself huffing and puffing over every day’s little disturbance you have gotten off the beaten path. Smile at the person who cuts you off in traffic, speak to people gently and with kindness even if they don’t deserve it right then, create an environment of positivity and change your environment, don’t let it change you. If you see someone struggling, ask if they need help. If you see someone upset look at them with understanding and say “rough day?” If you can create an atmosphere of understanding, empathy and positivity you will create a pathway for the universe and the people around you to bring those things right back to you. What goes around comes around… so send the right energy around.

5. TRUST in the plan: This takes practice. There is a reason not everyone is thin and wealthy… you have to train your mind EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY.. just like you keep your body fit in the gym you have to train your mind the same way. When negativity slips in, and it will, be forgiving of yourself, replace the thought and move on. Trust that if you don’t see results in 2 days that you need to stick with it. Remember that things don’t always come to you the way you expect them to. For example: maybe your visualization is that you want to make $100k this year. Stay focused on that. Maybe the next month, you’ll lose your job. Your mind wants to rationalize it and talk you into quitting on your goal- its hopeless, your unemployed.. you’ll never make 100k now.. right? wrong. Often times we are not on the path to the things we want and asking for the things we want means accepting that we may need to be re-directed. Maybe its time to hunt for a new job, or become your own boss or open that store you’ve always wanted. Take the events in your life as signs and listen to them.  Don’t always assume the worst.

You may not be convinced yet.. but hey, sounds like it might be worth a try huh? it is- I promise 🙂

…Fear itself…

Fear is a negative emotion like anger or hate; Fear is a state of mind and it is as simple and complicated as that. When you realize that you are in control… in control of all of it, your whole life… the negative, the positive- the good the bad AND the ugly.. When you realize that your mind and your thoughts create your reality… only then will you know freedom and only then will your life really begin.

Growing up I dealt with some pretty serious anxiety disorder that was triggered by specific factors, some inexplicable, like public transportation. The mere thought of taking the train was enough to send me into a full blown panic attack. My response? I avoided the things that scared me, avoided them like the plague. While I was in this state of avoidance, roughly 11 years, from 6th grade until my senior year of college, my condition disintegrated- rapidly. Avoiding the things that scared me made the fears bigger and bigger until they got so big that they consumed me completely. I wasn’t myself anymore; I was fear. I had become fear itself.

I embodied negativity all the time and I drew negative things to myself. All I knew was worry. Worry that something that scared me might cross my path that day. Worry is a dangerous thing. Worry drains all of the hope your mind has of creating positivity and replaces it with something useless and bleak. What you worry about consumes your thoughts and the thoughts in your powerful mind become the truths in your life. If you worry about debt, you will accrue it and so on and so forth… and so I did, I accrued more and more anxiety and more and more fear until I barely wanted to wake up and face the mess I had created in my own mind.

My life became a carefully orchestrated dance in which I avoided the world as it was and lived only in a “safe zone” that I had made for myself. I knew every exit, every bathroom, every fire escape within a 40 mile radius of wherever I was standing and I slowly slipped into a state that was not like life at all, but more like death or what I imagine purgatory would be like. I went along my day like a trolley car rolls along a track. No meaning or purpose other than to avoid anxiety and panic… movement without intention.

What’s more? MOST of the people around me had no idea that I struggled with this every single day. That it was making my hair fall out and making me a lifeless drone. I don’t know what was worse, the fear or the secret. I sought help a few times, even going as far as to see a hypnotherapist. Everyone I spoke to about it could do the same thing, they could help me get to WHY I was anxious… but couldn’t tell me what to do now! They gave me a few tactics, like counting to ten when I got nervous, but you try counting to ten while your freaking out. I could barely breathe, never mind count. Aside from prescribing medication, which I refused to take, no one could help me. At first, I was angry. It was everyone else’s fault. WHY couldn’t they help me?…. and then it occurred to me…it was because I would have to help myself. I had made myself sick and I would have to heal myself as well… and that is precisely what I did.

I am writing this entry because so many people that are in the grips of depression, panic, anxiety, insecurity, addiction; people who live in darkness and silence every day while they fight this huge battle in their own mind; don’t realize that it is as simple as flipping a switch and turning the lights back on. It was hard for me to assume responsibility for my illness while I was consumed by it. It was hard to ask myself why I was so anxious and who had done this to me and then only be able to point the finger back at myself.. but let me tell you, when I finally did, when I finally realized it was my own decisions and choices and my own mind that had led me down this dark hole, I realized that I was also powerful enough to pull myself out.

You can get better and you can heal yourself. You have all the tools you need to save your own life- the problem is that they are also in your mind, where your illness lies. The trick is to live day by day and to every day select one thought that feels a little better, a little less like fear or sadness and a little more like empowerment. Slowly but surely, one hand after another, climb up out of the darkness and never give up. The more you face fear the smaller it gets… it’s really cowardly that way. The worst thing you can do in your life is to avoid the things that feel bad or scare you. You must always be brave enough to look fear in the face and not compromise your life. Assume responsibility. Live boldly and be OK with not being perfect. If you have a bad day, forgive yourself and go to sleep. When you wake up in the morning, start over. Eat Healthy, surround yourself with people you want to be like, people who bring out the best in you and make you laugh, read a book, smile, breathe in and out, enjoy the sun, exercise, listen to music, run, and remember life is short. Don’t waste a decade of it in darkness like I did.. don’t even waste one sacred second of it that way… it might be the last second that you have. Spend it wisely.

You are powerful and you are brilliant, whoever you are, wherever you are.. and don’t you ever forget it.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”