The Letters She Made Me Write

I'm a growth program to uplevel my life with one of Brendon Burchard's personally trained high performance coaches. I work 1:1 with her and I'm on the 6th week of the program. Over the course of these weeks, I've made a lot of changes. Like, an astounding amount of changes in a short amount of time. I say astounding because I've tried to make these changes for years but somehow haven't been able to; and yet here I am, 6 weeks into the program and following through with the promises I've made to myself with relative ease.

These are things I'm doing consistently now:
 - I exercise 5 days a week minimum.
 - I go to bed early and do not watch/look at my phone for at least 30 minutes before lights out. 
 - I get up early every day and complete a morning ritual before the kids wake up.
 - I eat a clean diet with low amounts of natural sugar and virtually no processed sugar; basically I don't put anything in my body that I know will cause me to be tired and depress my mood.
 - I write a bit of a blog post daily so I can tell the world what I'm up to.
 - I plan my week out on Sunday and every night make sure I know clearly what I'm doing the next day.
 - I keep time blocks for my activity (admittedly still working out the small kinks in this).

I was thinking about this list and my past of trying and failing at all of these things. That got me pondering: Why now? How are these changes sticking? Why has it been pretty straightforward for me to get on the horse and stay firmly seated there?

I had a a-ha moment:

It's because I finally decided. 

In the past, here's how the process of me trying to change went: 

 - Have the thought that I want to change.
 - Make a plan to implement the action.
 - Take the action, usually starting on the next Monday.
 - Do the thing for a few days, maybe even a whole week, while resisting it majorly. 
 - Let thoughts of doubt and "is this really that important?" creep in.
 - Subscribe to the story of: "You're a free spirit! You shouldn't have to be so disciplined."
 - Let the action fizzle out.
 - Feel defeated and tell myself that I'll try again sometime later.
 - Pig out, drink too much, sleep in, binge watch series on TV, feel terrible about myself.
- Think that something needs to change.
- Repeat the cycle. 

Does this sound familiar to you? 
 
This was my cycle. For years. This happened any time I tried to implement this list of things I now follow through with, and have been consistent with for weeks.

You may be thinking - for only a few weeks? That's not long enough to prove anything. She's definitely going to fall off at some point. 

The thing is that I feel so different this time around; I know I'm not going to stop. 

Back to the question of "why now?" What was the thing that finally got me to decide?  

I mentioned above that I'm in a growth program to uplevel my life with a personal coach who is working with me 1:1. One of the assignments she had me do was to write letters...the twist is that these letters were to come from the viewpoint of my family members and addressed to me. 

I wrote one from each of my children and one from my husband.

They were to be written as if we were in the future (around a decade from now), and would express from my kids and my husband why they were thankful that I grew my dōterra business and grew myself in general.

The letters weren't long. About half a page to 3 quarters of a page each. Even though they were short in length, what I discovered within the letters was profound.

The words described who the future me was; who I wanted my children to be proud to call mom, and my husband to be grateful to call wife.

After I wrote them, my coach suggested I highlight words and phrases my “family” had used to describe me as a person, or describe attributes that they now had as a result of my influence in their lives. Here’s a few things I highlighted:

Courageous, connected, loving, tenacious, disciplined, positive, grounded, solid, woman of integrity & grit, stay the course, lighthouse, radiating love, determined, does things that matter, sees things through, successful.

I wrote things I wanted to accomplish, do and become. Which, interestingly enough, nowhere in my letters did I write, “Thank you, mom, for binge watching that series on Netflix in 3 days flat!” Or, “Thank you, mom, for sleeping in late every day and waking up rushed and in a bad mood!” Or, “Thank you, mom, for not taking care of yourself and complaining about feeling tired and crappy all day long!”

Because we all know that those things really contribute to kids’ lives. Um…not!

I had an awakening after writing the letters. I saw how I wanted to show up for the people I love the very most in my life. I realized how I needed to carry myself in this world. I knew that the things I was wasting my life away doing were not what I wanted my family to remember my by. The letters showed me that I wanted to leave a legacy of me being my best me.

This blog post is courtesy of the Annabelle that I discovered through those letters.

The woman in those letters knows how important it is for her to get her voice out in the world; and blogging is part of that process.

I’ve said for too long that I’ve wanted to write consistently and up until just a few weeks ago, I didn’t keep that promise to myself. So this is me, keeping my promises and leaning into my legacy.

This brings me to my curiosity about YOU. Are you living your legacy? Are you doing the things that you want your loved ones to remember you by in the future?

Could you say that your life speaks for what you want people to know about you? Even when you’re long gone?

If you’re not clear on how you want to be known and remembered, maybe it’s time you write some letters. ;)

Bridging the Brain Gap with Essential Oils

I went to a class the other night about Emotions and Essential Oils. The guest speaker was a clinical psychologist who uses dōTERRA oils in her practice. The content of the class totally reconfirmed to me that these gifts of the earth are powerful for total body healing; mind, body, spirit. Which is, imo, the only way to have long term peace.

MIND/BODY/SPIRIT HEALING

A person can't heal just one area apart from the others.

MIND: If, for example, you do the work to get your body physically well but don't do anything for the mindset & emotions, then your physical healing won't be long term. Soon enough you'll find yourself in another stressful situation that breaks your body down and makes you literally sick with worry.

I know really negative people who have fit bodies. Sure, they look like they have it all together, but the stress that lies underneath their fit physiques is ready to pounce on their health any moment.

BODY: If you do the work on your mindset but don't discipline yourself to do the things to bring your body to health, then you are going to suffer physically. You might be a really positive person with health issues, but you'll still have health issues nonetheless.

I know many people who love personal development for the mind. They will read books, go to events, know all the positive, profound quotes, etc. But their physical health leaves a lot to be desired. 

SPIRIT: Spiritually, you may be super tight with God. You may feel His presence wherever you go. And yet you may still be a negative nelly and have that health ailment you've been carrying around with you since your 20's.

I know spiritual/religious people with a whole lotta health issues. I believe some wear it like a badge of honor, like they feel they need to suffer to prove to God how pious they are. 

What I'm trying to say is that you NEED to take action to heal all parts together, not just take one area and call it a day.

Here's where essential oils come in. Essential oils transform. I know that they were the catalyst for my own transformation. Some changes were easy transitions; and some changes totally got me outside of my comfort zone.

Change can be really hard, I'm not gonna lie. You have to have a rock solid why for creating the different pathways in your life.

I remember thinking and feeling a few times over many different transformations I've had in my life: "Who am I to be as healthy and happy as I am right now? Why do I deserve this?"

I've since then allowed myself to grow in health and happiness. To receive it and know that I deserve it. And actually, I OWE it to myself and the world to become my best self.

Circling back to that class I took about Emotions and Essential Oils. There are a few different regions of the brain that I'll go over briefly. The first is the Limbic System which houses a few structures. Two of the structures are the hippocampus (associated with memory) and the amygdala (associated with emotions). This is where the fight or flight response fires off; it's the area of the brain that is very active for people who have undergone traumatic experiences. There's no problem solving mechanism in this part of the brain. It's all instinct and reaction.

Then there's the prefrontal cortex, which is the the area of the brain that's associated with problem solving. What the clinical psychologist said was that we want integration happening in the brain between the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex in order to experience greater peace. Guess what? Essential oils can bridge the gap between the two. Feel free to do a happy dance here! :) 

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There are empirical studies happening right now on essential oils. Take this study on lavender and rosemary for example. It shows that the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases after we inhale the scent of lavender and rosemary. 

This is huge, people! Our bodies undergo real life hormonal changes after smelling essential oils. This means that they are not a placebo. Lavender, and many other essential oils are SO bomb for calm! There are measurable changes that happen in our bodies when we have the pleasure of inhaling a beautiful scent like lavender. Think of when you smell a fresh rose and the happy feelings that are triggered in that moment. Or a pine tree, or a fresh cut citrus fruit.

Essential oils help to bridge the gap between the brain areas by calming the limbic system down enough so that it lets down its guard and allows the prefrontal cortex to step in. 

Feeling good mind/body/spirit can become reality for you. You just have to get started and trust that you don't have to see the whole staircase to take that first step. Your journey can begin with simply opening up a bottle of essential oils and smelling the wonderful scent from the bottle. 

My progression in my health has been a decade long one now. And it's not stopping any time soon. I've DECIDED that my mind, body and spirit are important enough to nurture. Not just once in a while, not just when I have gone off the deep end and need an intervention; it's important enough to develop and care for daily. 

So my question for you is: Are you ready to bridge the gap? Are you ready to be well in mind, body and spirit? If you are, I have a solution for you in the form of wonderful gifts of the earth. Connect with me here. I would love to chat!

 
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Choosing a Guiding Word for 2018

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I chose a word this year to act as my guide. Whenever I feel like I'm drifting with no solid place to land, this word is my compass to redirect and show me where to go. If I'm caught in a dilemma and don't know what answer to choose, my word will decide it for me. 'll ask: what answer will bring me closer to my guiding word? And a choice will be made. My word for the year is Connection.

I've asked the people I mentor to choose their guiding word. It's easy to say: Just pick one! But I've discovered some people are stumped with the process of finding their word. To make it easier, I'll outline the process I used. 

Divide a blank sheet of paper by drawing a line vertically in the middle. On the top left write 'Do Not Want' and on the Top Right write 'Do Want.'

First, I got clarity of what I really didn't want any longer. To do that, list at least 5 situations on the left side of the paper that you no longer want to experience. These have to be really stressful things you've been experiencing that you really want to get rid of in your life. Some examples:

I don't want to be in debt.
I don't want to be overweight.
I don't want to get mad and shout at my kids.

These are very general. Please use your own specific 'don't wants.' To the right of each item in you list, write the feeling that is attached to the situation that you no longer want to experience. Example:

I don't want to be in debt. - stressed out and anxious
I don't want to be overweight. - unattractive and unconfident
i don't want to get mad and shout at my kids, - guilty, ashamed, I'm a bad mom

Close your eyes and see yourself in all those situations. Sit with the feeling. When I did this I used essential oils to bring it up to the surface more. Feels bad, right? Crazy thing is is that you most likely have been letting the energy of those thoughts and feelings course through your body on an auto setting without being aware. It's easy to let our 'don't wants' rule our lives without question. Your guiding word will help put a stop to that.

Next up, fold your sheet of paper in half so your 'Do Want' side is face up and you can write on it. Write at least 5 things/situations that you DO want to experience. Examples:

I want my marriage to be respectful and peaceful.
I want to laugh with my kids more.
I want to lose weight. 

If you notice, these aren't SMART goals. Meaning that you're not being specific with them and attaching a certain date or number such as 'I want to lose 10 lbs. in 3 months.' SMART goals are the recommended way to plan for a goal but we're choosing our guiding word today so we're not focused on execution; we're focused on the feeling we want in our life.

Next up - you probably guessed it! Write how you'll feel when those situations unfold. Example:

I want my marriage to be respectful and peaceful. - loved, supported, part of a team
I want to laugh more with my kids. - lighthearted, loving, good mom, fun
I want to lose weight. - beautiful, worthy, vibrant, healthy

Now it's time to close your eyes and sit in that version of you. I used an essential oil to get clarity. Really feel into her. Who is she? What attributes does she have to have in order to feel this way? Who is she? What does she exude in order to feel these positive feelings on a daily basis? Take ownership. The life you want to live always starts with you. 

Open your eyes, and on the back of your paper, list, in brainstorm fashion, all the words that came to mind as you imagined yourself as the person in the "I want" column.

From that list of words, choose your word! You can take some time to process all of it, meditate on it, really get connected to the word that you choose. 

This process has served me well and helped me come up with my word for 2018, which is, again, CONNECTION. 

I'm so glad you connected with me on here! If you found the post to be valuable please drop a comment! I would love to hear from you. <3