I always used to tell people I have 2 Grandmas. My grandma Ertl was the warm, fluffy grandma who baked amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookies and told bedtime stories. Gosh, I loved that woman so much!
Then there was Grams. Grandma Foster (Mom or Marilyn, as many of you know her) was the spicy, sassy (and classy) grandma who taught me the importance of wearing fashionable jewelry and having your nails done. She always had the cutest (age appropriate) outfits. And she made sure she had a new one for every special occasion. Grams loved to drink vodka gimlets and smoke cigarettes...until she couldn't. Then she made do with red wine and one liners. She was the life of the party because she loved life so much.
Marilyn valued her family and friends, above all else. She always made time for the people she loved. When you talked to her, you knew she was listening because she remembered what you told her and always followed up to make sure whatever you were up to was going well. Grandma was loyal, honest and authentic which made her personality charming and magnetic to anyone who had the privilege of knowing her.
Grandma was always there for us. She showed up to every birthday, reunion, graduation, game and performance she could. Grams wanted to be part of the action and included in all the excitement. And when she couldn’t be there physically, grandma showed her support and told us how proud she was with phone calls and cards. She loved all of us the same amount, but she knew how to tailor her love and express it differently to each of us.
Grams always said what was on her mind. She didn’t hold back. You never had to guess what she was thinking. I loved her independence and wit. Marilyn was unapologetically herself. She approached life playfully with an admirable sense of humor and compassion.
Grandma stayed strong for all of us until the day she died. I think the hardest part for her was leaving all the people that loved her. But the funny thing is, she didn’t actually leave anyone. Marilyn, Mom, Mother in-law, Grandma, Great Grandma lives on in her family legacy...
In my mom, Monica, I see her leadership and love for tradition.
In Susan, I see her incredible strength and empathy.
In Mary, I see her warmth, fun and acceptance.
In Julie, I see her ‘take charge attitude’ and sense of direction.
In Rick, I see her protector and favorite son.
Her grandchildren and great grandchildren carry her spark, determination and zest for life.
During her last hours, we expressed, over and over how thankful we were for everything she did and everything she was. We said our “I love yous” 100 times over. And grandma kept saying, “I know, I know.” She didn’t have a doubt in her mind how deeply cared for and loved she was. Now THAT is a beautiful thing.
I hope we can all feel just as confident that Grandma is in a much better place. I hope you find peace in your heart knowing she’s here in spirit and will continue to make herself known in each of us.
Even when she was sick, Grams loved life. She loved it so much, she didn’t want to let it go. And you know what? You can’t teach people how to love life. You have to dig deep and feel it. You have to open your eyes and see it. You have to open your ears and hear it. So, I challenge all of you to find that same love for life. That’s what grandma would want for all of us.
When I get quiet, and ask myself, “What was grandma’s message?” This is what I hear…
Look for the good in every situation. Express yourself freely. Ask for what you want. Stay strong in adversity. Be there for your family, no matter what. And don’t forget to make regular hair appointments.
I attend a lot of group fitness and yoga classes. Actually, I’m obsessed with working out alongside a bunch of other sweaty people. It’s extremely motivating and a lot more fun than spending an hour on the treadmill. Plus, I greatly enjoy the connection and community.
When I visited my parents over Christmas break, I had no choice but to exercise solo. Don’t get me wrong. Home practices are excellent for many reasons. You go at your own pace and listen to what your body needs rather than submissively following the cues of the instructor. You know… Headstand followed by 30 jumping jacks? Sure! Why not? ;)
The only problem? No one is watching you. You hold the timer. You’re the counter and the coach. Sometimes it’s no biggie. But often times you slack off...at least a little bit. Instead of doing 20 push ups, you do 12. Maybe you skip all the chaturangas and go straight to down dog. You workout for 45 minutes, not 60.
It’s completely normal to act and work differently when you’re with people versus being alone. Duh. But the other day I noticed how particularly hard I was pushing myself in a YOD class. It made me think...I would never work this hard if I was in my own living room.
So I asked the question, “Why do I perform better when I’m in public?” And, “What if I worked like someone was watching...all the time?”
(Well, that would be super creepy, Greta…)
The point is, when you’re ‘on stage’ or ‘showing off,’ you tend to put in more effort.You feel held accountable. Your performance seems more important when observers are present.
And the truth is, people are watching. Whether you like it or not. Someone, and probably more people than you realize, are paying attention to you. And if you’re working towards a bigger audience or more followers, expect that number to grow and grow.
Everything you do (or don’t do) matters. The work, or lack thereof, makes a difference. If you want to be impactful and influential, it’s important you pay extra close attention to your thoughts, words and actions...every moment of every day.
TAKE (POSITIVE, INSPIRED) ACTION!
Just for today, pretend you have a devoted admirer shadowing your every move.How would you show up? What kind of awareness would you bring to the table? Try it out! ...Just for one day.
Not too long ago, I was cheated on and lied to by someone I deeply cared for. This was a devastating and somewhat traumatizing experience. As expected, my broken heart went through the 5, agonizing stages of grief. It was extremely difficult. But I can confidently say I made it to the other side and I’m feeling better than ever.
I've truly accepted my situation. Actually, I thank my lucky stars everyday it happened at all. Had I not gone through what I did, I wouldn’t be living the amazing life I am right now.
Look. I’ve found gratitude and acceptance amidst pain and betrayal. But that doesn’t mean the case is closed. The final step to ‘getting over’ and ‘moving on’ is...forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a toughie. The biggest misconception about forgiveness is that it’s for them. Truth is, when you choose to forgive, you make that decision for yourself.
And when you’re ready to clear the air from your consciousness, it doesn’t mean you have to be friends with, much less communicate with the person you’re forgiving. You don’t have to tell them you forgave them. And you definitely don’t have to trust them.
It does mean you want to let go of what’s no longer serving you. And you commit to releasing the old so you can make room for the new. Forgiveness is actually an act of self-love.
Holding grudges hurts you more than your offender. The person who wronged you might not even care how you feel. Chances are they’ve blocked it out of their mind. You’re the one still worried about it. And all that negative energy towards the past can and will continue to build up causing physical, mental and emotional health issues if you neglect to do anything about it.
That’s why I encourage practicing forgiveness every single day. Make it part of your meditation practice. Simply imagine the person you want to forgive and send them a message of forgiveness. In fact, you can do this exercise right now.
Let go of the narrative. Do it for your own sake. Forgiveness doesn’t right wrongs. Rather, it heals your heart so you can open it once again. It allows you to move on from a place of love instead of fighting forward from a place of fear.
Who or what do you need to forgive?
Remember: Forgiveness is for you, not for them.
Usually when I’m hit with a burst of inspiration, motivation or a great idea, my first thought is something like…
Wow! That would be so cool. How could I do that?
Followed by this thought…
Well, that probably wouldn’t work.
Or this thought…
It’s actually kind of a stupid idea. Forget it.
Sadly, what could’ve been my next great invention or best selling book ends up disappearing into the abyss.
When this happened to me the other day, I wondered, “Why?” Why are you so quick to shut yourself down? Why is your first instinct to push it away?
The muses of creativity visit you often. They arrive when you least expect it. They stop by with a purpose just for you. In dreams, visions or driving down a snowy highway...they come.
But instead of listening and taking action, you submit to your excuses. You’re dominated by doubt. It’s more comfortable resting in resistance. Even though you know avoiding the call for too long ultimately leads to deep discontentment.
What's stopping you? Why don’t you grab the pen and paper? Make the phone call? Submit the application?
What’s in your way?
I can’t figure out who, but someone once said, “I believe every person has a million dollar idea inside of them.” So what sets the achievers apart from the non-achievers?
I think a big problem with not achieving your goals is that you’re afraid of your own potential. It’s scary to consider what would would happen if it did work. Subconsciously, you worry your life would change (even though you desperately want to switch things up). You’d have to field unwelcome opinions and criticism. They’d see you come out of hiding. They’d treat you differently...
The work is the scariest part of all. Ideas are cheap. The follow through is the gateway to freedom. When you silence the negative voices and push through, the result is happiness. Doing the work is what makes you successful. Saying, “Bring it on!” Instead of, “Turn it off!” is the practice of great healers, artists and entrepreneurs. Thing is, everyone would be a billionaire if they knew they could kick the work’s ass.
Look. You are a creative genius. You are a one-of-a-kind creature. You are unstoppable. It's time to get out of your own way and push through.
The next time a muse taps you on the shoulder and you have an aha moment? DO SOMETHING. DO ANYTHING. TAKE THE FIRST STEP.
Here's to living the life of your wildest dreams!
I used to single-handedly run my business. At the time, this made perfect sense. The work I was doing could easily be managed on my own.
As I acquired more clients, I created a lot more work for myself. The growth was exciting, but eventually it got to be too much. Along with working a full-time, corporate job, I was putting in 15-20 hours a week with my company. Besides that, I was teaching yoga and attempting to maintain a healthy social life. Even though I needed to, I wasn’t willing to give anything up.
Unsurprisingly, all this added up to feeling pretty burnt out. The fiery passion that used to motivate me began to fizzle and fade. The worst part was the inability to give 110% to my employer, my customers or my students. It felt like I was never doing enough. I was rarely, if ever satisfied in any area of my life.
I caught myself slipping and decided to do something about it. My current method was simply unsustainable. I knew if I was going to realize my big dreams of running an impactful, successful business, it was time to start delegating.
Finding, hiring, managing and keeping good employees is no joke. You want trustworthy, hardworking mind readers (amiright?). But the truth is, no one’s perfect. And to grow, you have to experience some growing pains. Part of that process includes detaching from your baby and passing off some important responsibilities. Building an empire is kind of like dating. You have to kiss a few frogs before your find your prince.
I was lucky enough to snatch up the perfect girl to join my team. She’s my cousin, Katie. And I feel so thankful for all she does for me. Bringing her on was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. But I had to do some work before I even considered hiring and training someone in.
Do you think you’re ready to grow your team? Admittedly, I’m not an expert on hiring or management. But through experience, I’ve learned a few things about acquiring your first employee and how to keep them and you happy in the process.
Here are 3 tips I hope will help you out:
Only you know when a good time to start hiring is. Get clear on your big picture vision.What kind of company do you want to run? Small, medium or large? Figure out where you can let go and let someone else help you out. Then go back to the 3 tips I gave you and start your search.
Here's to building beautiful businesses and helping as many people as possible!
In my business, I have the privilege of working with extremely inspiring people. They’re artists, healers and teachers. Collectively, their intention is to make the world a better place.
These incredible folks are also small business owners. Naturally, they need to make money to keep their doors open and put food on the table. Therefore, sales and marketing are essential for their success.
Many of my clients have shared their distaste for self-promotion. They feel sleazy and gross trying to get people to buy what they’re selling. It’s difficult for them to talk about their strengths. Spreading the word about how wonderful and life-changing their services are makes them uncomfortable.
It’s not that they don’t believe in what they’re doing. Rather, they think their experience and credentials are enough.
Shouldn’t the beautiful space speak for itself? Hello! This location is PERFECT. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come here?
There’s TONS of scientific evidence backing up the benefits of the practice. Obviously, everyone needs yoga in their life. And I’ve been teaching for 15 years!
Look. You can be the most amazing acupuncturist, yoga teacher or massage therapist in the world. But if you fail to execute a communication strategy or hand out a single business card? You’re going to have a really hard time sharing your gifts with those who need you most.
Yes, your current customers will refer you to their friends and family. You’ll get a few drive-bys. Someone will find you online.
But if you want substantial growth? You need to commit to a sales and marketing strategy aimed at reaching more people, faster. Create an email list and start a monthly newsletter. Post on Facebook or Instagram a few times a week. Attend networking events. Find out where your dream clients are hanging out, and meet them there.
I get it. You’re not ‘business minded.’ You hate social media. Writing isn’t your strong suit.
Well, guess what? There are 10’s of 100’s of people waiting to hear from you. By not selling yourself? You’re doing all of them a huge disservice. Don’t keep quiet and patiently wait for potential customers to find you. Understand that by persuading and encouraging people to give you a try, you truly are making the world a better place. Let this understanding motivate you to put yourself out there!
Take what works and leave the rest. I hope this helps you communicate to the world how truly amazing and inspiring you are. :)