Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Love Letter to Money

I had the absolute pleasure of attending Cory Michelle's Become Money Class on Sunday (www.liveyourjuicylife.com/become-money).  I've had a lot of negative energy and exchanges around money--and I realize a lot of those limiting beliefs are based on past expenditures, beliefs I've held on to that aren't even mine, and viewing my financial status as scarce versus abundant.  How can I expect to attract money if I view it as a negative institution?  Paradigm Shift.  So in order to start my journey into a positive, healthy relationship with money--I decided to write money a long overdue love letter.  Cory posed the question, "If money was your lover, what would you say to it".  So here it goes...

Dear Money,

First I want to apologize to you.  I've been unfair, I've been distant, perhaps I've even been a bit cruel.  I've often said you're the root of all evil, that you shouldn't even exist, that I wish I could survive without you.  No wonder you don't want to show up in my life--I haven't been inviting you in, I've been pushing you away.  I'm here to make things right, Money.  I'm here to tell you I DO love you, I DO cherish you, and I DO want to play with you.  I want to cultivate a loving relationship with you.  I want to show you just how much you mean to me!  

When I have you in my life I feel free, I feel happy, I feel amazing.  And when you're gone I feel sullen and imprisoned.  I promise I won't say such awful things about you anymore.  I've cleared myself of that negativity and now when I see you I'm just so grateful you are here, all of you, any of you that you're willing to give to me.  Whatever you are willing to give, I am here to receive with open arms.  I'm sorry for being fearful of a life without you, I'm sorry for always telling you that you're not enough.  I just want MORE of you! I want to build a forever life with you.  I want us to work together to grow and cultivate more freedom and experiences in our life.  I want you to allow me to show up for you and I only ask in return that you to show up for me.  

Money--I am here.  I am ready.  I am excited to make a commitment to you.  I want you to fully receive me.  Let's build a beautiful relationship together.  Come play.  Come love.  Come into my open arm, I'm ready to receive.  I'm ready and I'm waiting.

Forever Yours

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Saying Goodbye to 2013

2013 was a whirlwind of a year.  Successes, failures, and everything in between.  I'm using this blog now to record my thoughts, perspectives, successes and failures for 2014.  But before I get into that, I want to reflect on 2013 and give it a proper farewell.  I believe that past needs to stay in the past so that we can continue to move onward and foreward #neverbackward.

25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before the End of 2013

1. What am I most proud of this year?
Landing my position at prAna.  And not just that--but excelling in it when my boss unexpectedly quit during my second month.  My learning curve was steep but I managed to navigate my position and impress some really important people.  Good job Jessica!  Pat on the back!
2. How can I become a better girlfriend/friend?
I chose girlfriend and friend because I think that's where I struggle sometimes.  As far as my relationship I feel our communication needs to be more open and a lot of that lies with me.  I tend to clam up and hide in my shell when confrontation arises.  I need to learn to speak up for myself in an honest and loving way.  I need to learn to not take things personally (which I've been working on with vocal cues) and to not project my feelings/perceptions on Jared or assume how he will react to them.  
For the friend, I just need to do better.  I find myself struggling to carve out time for friends because I'm trying so hard to carve it out for myself.  So I need to find ways to combine activities that I love with friends that I love.  I need to not project feelings of guilt on myself for not being at home because that's ok.  It's OK to take a break.  It's OK to have me-time.  It's OK to see my friends.    I also need to learn how to talk on the phone--I hate it, but it's a better way of connecting than texts.
3. Where am I feeling stuck?
Trying to figure out what career path is going to make me happy.  It changes often and I still haven't quite figured it out.  I long for more freedom to choose how my hours are spent during the day but for now I need to focus on paying off my school loans and gaining experience.  My 5 year plan is to pay off my school loans, see where I'm at, and reassess.  It's never too late for change.  I need to let go of thinking there is a time limit on things.
4. Where do I need to allow myself grace?With my relationships with others.  I never give myself enough credit for how hard I'm trying or how good I'm doing in the grand scheme of things.  I can always do better but in reality I'm happy.  I'm very happy.  And I need to stop fighting myself on what society deems appropriate or right for me.  Or what my parents think is appropriate or right for me.  Or what ANYONE thinks is appropriate or right for me.  What's appropriate or right for me is up to ME. 
5. Am I passionate about my career?
Undecided.  I hate to say that because I often call prAna my dream job.  And it IS!  But whether or not my career lights a fire in my heart, I don't know yet.  Maybe wholesale marketing isn't my niche.  Maybe I'm meant for something completely different.  I just don't know until I start exploring and learning and keeping my eyes open.  I will figure it out though--I have a lot to offer the world both personally and professionally.  This I know to be true.
6. What lessons have I learned?
I learned lessons in humility (through work), pride (through relationships), and stress management (through life).  I've also started to learn to LET GO.  Of everything from negative thoughts, to the past, to ideas that have been taught to me that skew my perception of things.
7. What did I my finances look like?
This was definitely the toughest part of 2013.  This is where I struggled the most.  Truth moment: my credit card debt climbed from $2k to $5k (although I recently paid it back down to $3800).  We were in the red A LOT in 2013.  Part of it spurs from managing two sets of finances versus one and having shared expenses (and 5 dogs).  However, I've learned and accepted that I'm 27 years old.  I can't live the same lifestyle I did when I was 17 and living with my parents.  I can't afford, want, ask for, or expect the same luxuries.  And I'm learning to be OK with that.  I started a savings plan that should help me pay off my credit card debt in 2014, and I will also be practicing financial mindfulness to prevent us from going in the red month to month.  I've vowed to help Jared get organized with his business and help him manage his financials so that we can be open and honest with each other about finances and learn to grow together in this area.  We both have a lot of work to do, but better late than never.
8. How did I spend my free time?
A little of EVERYTHING.  It seems to me we spend a lot of time watching TV, but when I look back at all of our adventures that's unfair.  We mountain bike, hike, snowboard, ride in the desert, rock climb, do yoga, get creative, hang with our dogs, and hang with each other.  So my free time was spent doing many things INCLUDING relaxing (which I need to accept is ok for me to do).
9. How well did I take care of my body, mind, and soul?
This year was a JOURNEY for me in that regard.  I've started practicing the art of self-love and not being so critical or hard on myself.  I let go of using crappy face wash to control my acne and switched to whole ingredients like jojoba oil and coconut oil.  I stopped wearing makeup during the week and especially on the weekends, unless absolutely necessary.  I've been getting closer with yoga but want to form a more solid relationship there in 2014.  I've started learning how to meditate--something I'm also taking with me to 2014.  And more than anything I've learned to listen to myself, question everything, and surround myself with positivityrather than negativity.  I've also started to gossip less and judge less.
10. How have I been open-minded?
There is nothing quite like a relationship to teach you how to be open-minded.  I think I've been VERY open minded in 2013--moreso than EVER.  I've stopped blindly accepting the things I see in the media and started to question them.  I've stopped judging books (see also people) by their cover.  I've stopped thinking that what society deems appropriate and acceptable might not be true for everyone.  I've stopped thinking i have to have a perfect body to be considered beautiful.  Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it definitely goes deeper than appearance.
11. When did I feel most creatively inspired?
Hard to say--I feel creative often but don't always act on it.  I think my best friend's wedding inspired me a lot.  She is so creative and so amazing.  She makes her visions tangible and I think that's awesome.  It inspired me to let go of perfection and try to be more creative.
12. What projects have I completed?
Yikes--see next question....I completed plenty of work projects...does that count?  
13. How have I procrastinated?
Procrastination is something I was all too familiar with in 2013.  But no more!  2014 is the year of "do things while you're thinking of them...not later".  Something I'm going to try.  I procrastinated on a lot.  But rather than give the gory details, I'll just say...no more.
14. In what ways can I re-structure my time?
I really need to learn to utilize morning hours more.  I can go to sleep at 9-10PM in order to wake up earlier.  I just need to DO IT.  I've accepted that besides dinner, dogs, cleanup, and time with my honey there's not much time for "extra" stuff after work.  But before work I can make time for yoga, juice, smoothies, meditation, creativity, reading, whatever it may be.   Also if i bring my lunches to work that frees up an hour for me to work out, read, have me-time, take a walk, meditate, run errands, whatever I need to do.  That will be key.  Mornings and lunch time.
15. How have I allowed fear of failure hold me back?
Not even fear of failure.  Fear in GENERAL.  I don't know why I have so much of it.  Why I let it consume me the way that it does.  But I need to let go and let live.  I need to rise above it and not let it control my decisions or keep me from trying new things.  Fear is going to have to take a back seat in 2014.
16. Where has self-doubt taken over?
Definitely in my relationship.  Sometimes my inner voice speaks TOO loudly and without compassion.  My goal for 2014 is to love harder and think less about what it all means....to just live and love and be happy and be in the moment.  
17. When have I felt the most alive?
On my new quad.  In the desert.  With no thoughts except HOLY SHIT I'M HAVING A BLAST!
18. How have I taught others to respect me?
I learned to stand up for myself.  I'm learning to speak it up when I don't like something, feel wrong, feel uneasy, feel scared, feel happy, sad, indifferent, etc.  I'm learning it's OK for me to feel certain ways because no one can take that from me.  No one can claim my feelings are wrong or invalid because they are inherently mine.  I just need to learn how to communicate it.
19. How can I improve my relationships?
By putting my phone away when I get home.
20. Have I been unfair to anyone?
I hope not--but probably my friends.  I don't spend enough face time with them.  But I try really hard to be a good friend and I listen when someone tells me how I can do better.
21. Who do I need to forgive?
One of the things I did in 2013 was just that--but it's not for here, it's very private.  
22. Where is it time to let go?
Of the past.  In general.  All of it.  Past discretions, decisions, successes, failures, ups, downs.  All of it.  I want to continue to look forward and look towards the future.  Not hold on to anything in the past.
23. What old habits would I like to release?
Worrying and laziness-ENOUGH ALREADY!
24. What new habits would I like to cultivate?
Meditation, mindfulness, in-the-moment-living and yoga.
25. How can I be kind to myself?
By being as compassionate towards myself and I am with others