4th Grade Struggles + Rebirths

Your struggles should matter most. 

The year is 1983 – my 9th birthday. I close my eyes to make a wish over my homemade cake complete with a real charm necklace to decorate the top (bless my heart for my specific visions and Mom’s ability to create it).

And there I am, in 4th grade, wishing with all my might for my problems to go away.

Perhaps I was a dark realist as a child (I was – there’s really no perhaps about it).  From my earliest childhood memory deleting problems + the boy I was crushing on to love me back were always wished for – on candles, those flowers you blow on, and when the clock was 11:11.

And now, so many years later, here’s what I know to be true:

You cannot wish problems away or fix others people’s problems and think yours will disappear.

Your problems matter.

Now this doesn’t mean I get out of bed saying, “Yeah, I love my problems!” I, like all of you, would ((love)) something to give but in the meantime I need to cope, head on. And this coping has brought on a rebirth of sorts.

A DiStyle Rebirth: the awareness of what is already in you. The feeling that it’s finally possible + taking action to make it so.

It’s like Dorothy’s damn red ruby shoes – it was with her the whole time, she just had no clue. She had to take the risk, click the shoes, and ask for what she needed. 

Wish + DO something.

Old Di Ana would often not birth much but rather analyze/justify her struggles and completely disconnect from the ability to be loved, fix things and let go. What?! That sucks.

Don’t be the old Di.  

No wallowing or feeling so down on your luck. It’s not the sexiest look – I gotta be honest. It keeps us disconnected. And wishing for new problems and not doing something different keeps everything the same.

This past June (my first birthday without Mom), I decided to make a conscious birthday wish (like I wrote it in advance kind of thing) and I am telling you because it came true. My wish…

To be able to have the strength to deal with my current problems head + never give up, take NEW action. (feel free to steal this wish – it’s pretty good).

Wish for strength but take the action. 

You see everyone has struggles. It’s all about choosing to accept yours and work compassionately to understand yourself while taking specific courageous action. And that is how wishes come true.

So this week, think about: What do you wish could be different? What’s one thing you will do differently to make it so?

When you answer these questions for yourself, and welcome to the path to granting you own wish. I live this path. In fact, let me know what you will be doing this week. Email me or leave a comment below. I’m all about courageous action.

What You Have in Common with Super Bowl 50

There is always another choice.

My best friend once said, “There is always another choice.”

I Google translated this in my brain to “you will never have what you desire, so give up!!”  Umm..that’s not what she was saying, that’s what I heard that and went postal. But she was right – I needed to take it down a notch.

There is always another choice.

We have things we desire, right? A job, house, someone we really crush on an want more – we have our ideal, right? And as I watch this playoff game between the Broncos and Patriots, it’s pretty riveting. (Do people use that  adjective when watching football? I do.) The Broncos are playing so hard against these guys and the choices are endless – so many angles to approach winning the game. But at some point, they have to make a bold choice, go all in, and just see what happens.

This is true to life, as well. You commit, see what happens, and then go home to prepare for next time. But too often, we get caught up in all the options. What makes it difficult is sometimes there are too many choices.

We over think and play it safe on the sidelines. 

COMMIT  see your choice through fully.

Here’s the deal: if you don’t see something through, you short change yourself. In football, the players take bold, courageous action – always. If you want to win in love, career – in your whole life – the passive, tentative commitment does not make a Super Bowl champion.  

And listen, if it doesn’t go your way, guess what? You go all in again.

Not making choices, or keeping too many pots burning and cooking nothing creates limitation.

You must trust, even if the sh*t goes wrong, there is always another choice to get you where you are going. Going after what you desire means: you might have heartbreak, lose the business deal, be rejected, etc.

But if you are never experiencing loss, then you are not going all in.

And even if you don’t go to your metaphoric Super Bowl, you have choices you can make to create a next time. Giving up on your dream to cope is simply not how dreams come true.

So…will you get real with me? What do you want most in life? What’s the one thing lacking that you desire?

  • Are you taking courageous action?
  • Do you fully commit?
  • Are you focused on your courageous action or too distracted by other things?

At the time you will be reading this, we now know Denver will be going to the Super Bowl, but Tom Brady is still a Jedi under pressure in my eyes (man did I learn from that dude) and the Patriots will create their version of a next time by going all in – again and again because that’s how you play the game.

And perhaps life really is like football – the more flexible you are to recover when you “lose the ball,” more commitment, bold choices and trust there will always be a next time –  the better chances you have to live your version of Super Bowl Champion.

                        Go all in.                                             there will always be more to come.

What’s your Super Bowl action this week? Are you committed to seeing it through? Email me or leave a comment below.

What “I Could Care Less” Really Means

Nobody cares about what you do. They care too much about what they need to do.

I cared about how I was perceived. I’m only human.  But I only seemed to care about the small population I deemed as “key holders.” These people had access to my dream jobs or friends I deemed as experts on things. And while we are being real – many were people I just wanted acceptance from because they had something I felt I was lacking in my life.

I would say, “I could care less” but the truth is, I cared more than I realized.

The truth is we all care on some level of what people think and that’s OK – I’m never about extreme ways of dealing with ideas. It’s when we care too much or completely disconnect from that fact that we all want to be understood. And the honest truth is …

WE ALL CARE a little. #EmotionalIntegrity

Emotional Integrity – When you admit your feelings, even though it’s vulnerable and makes you want to vomit a little. (This is the textbook definition, by the way.) And our emotional equality happens when we have more acceptance and own our worth.

Emotional Equality – the equality we can control because it’s not based on what you look like (another textbook definition). For example, I can’t make myself taller but I can make myself more accepting of myself and others. No need to be better than or less than – it’s all about being emotionally equal. We are all worthy.

We must cultivate our own worthiness. But how??

Focus on what you think and DO what matters most.

Find those little pockets where you need to be more honest with yourself (emotional integrity can hurt a bit, but pain leads to growth. I promise). We are all fighting an uphill battle, it’s just everyone is mostly focused on themselves, so just fight yours. Worrying about what the other dude thinks of your battle can get you shot and I don’t want you dying in battle. Know what I mean?

We are all human beings doing our best with the skill sets we have.

Nobody cares about what you do, they care too much about what they need to do.

Just Do You.

Where can you accept yourself a little more this week? What’s one specific step you can take to get closer to your own emotional equality? Email me or leave a comment below. I want to know!

Shift Happens!

I did almost everything single thing on the list below – to myself and others – and what I realized is I was f**ng miserable. They were like little mind magnets – something bad would happen or someone would trigger me and one (or all) of these were in full effect:

Blaming. Comparing. Needing to be right. Needing approval. Dwelling on the past. Trying to be perfect. Gossiping about others. Saying, “I’m too old…” Saying, “It's too late…”

Save this list somewhere. I even made it into an image you can download. Awesome, right? And notice if you are doing even one of these. Remember it’s totally ok …  it’s just a way you are coping right now. The cool part is we can change the way we cope. But you have to know what you are up to.

So…what are you up to?

What do you do when you get disappointed, fearful, or sad? And know where you can go. Here’s what shifts can become possible …

 

Blaming can become forgiveness. Comparing can become focusing on yourself fully. Needing to be right can become listening more. Needing others approval can become trusting you are enough already. Dwelling on the past can become committing to living in the present. Trying to be perfect can become charting your progress. Gossiping about others can become talking honestly about your own life. Saying, “I’m too old…” can become seeing how wise you really are. Saying, “It's too late…” becomes knowing you are exactly where you need to be.

And I made this as an image, too. So download, add it to your camera roll, and start living it – right now.

Make your a-ha moment not just a head nod – make it an action.

Know Thyself + Do Something Different

So what’s one thing you can do differently this week? I believe in you and I want to know. Email me or leave a comment below.

The Word You Need Most to Save Your Life

She had to learn to bend so she didn’t break.

I had a client almost lose her marriage because she was missing this ONE word in her life. And as I think about it, I was too. I remember asking my client, “Do you want to be: right, controlling, and perfect or happy, free, and accepting?”

She cried. She was broken and her marriage was minutes away from divorce.  

It was then I realized she needed to start living this word…

flexibility

And full disclosure this key word profoundly changed my life, as well.

What does flexibility mean? It means being less controlling, forgiving myself, learning to manage disappointment and know when my expectations were a little nuts. It has changed my world in  love, business – in my whole life! Being right, controlling and perfect just wasn’t cutting it for me. Yeah, it felt familiar, but it wasn’t really giving me the life I wanted.

Rigid leads to alone, but safe. I wanted to be free and accepting so I could really be happy.

There is a distinction between safe and happy. All I ask is that you know what you’re up to and choose to have a little more flexibility with yourself when you make a mistake and with others when they do, too.

We are all human and flawed.

So if you want happiness, start here:

  • Let go of needing to be right. Do you want to be right or happy? People always answer, “Happy, of course!” But if you really want it, then you gotta kick being right to the curb. You have to call yourself out when you see it creep in – picking a fight, looping your point over and over in your head, and choose to gently remind yourself that this is not giving you the life you want.
  • Be honest with what you do want. Live integrity. For me, this means knowing when I sit in my defenses to cope and lie to myself because I don’t think it’s possible to live another way or change is impossible . But infact, adapting more acceptance, kindness and flexibility towards yourself and others is how you actually get what you want, and things do change.

So, this week, ask yourself: Where are you completely inflexible?  Is that inflexibility rooted in compassion, understanding and growth? Or is that inflexibility how you cope to not be disappointed?

I hate being disappointed but flexibility helps us manage the hurt to grow and heal. Just sayin…

Email me or leave a comment below. I want to know.

Remember…

FLEXIBILITY allows for a new outcome.

How Jessie J Saved Me

Mom died and Jessie J saved me. Both parts of this statement are true. I always say, “Turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs. There are so many opportunities to thrive.” But this past month, faced with my own grief, I found myself saying, “Um, no. I don’t think I can do this thrive thing.” And then I found my way to Jessie J.

There I was trying to find a playlist on Spotify (mornings suck sometimes) as I made my way into the shower, when I remembered my editor, Marisa, saying, “Jessie J will change the world.”

I started to play her song – “Ain’t been Done”- got in the shower and, honestly, came out another person. Seriously.

As I was listening and just letting the water drip down, something shifted. I decided that, this time, I’m doing it like it  “ain’t been done.” And this list of “I will…” flooded my mind. I will get in the best shape of my life, I will have the best relationships of my life, I will write this damn book, and I WILL inspire others to take the journey with me.

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As I sobbed my eyes out to “Big White Room,” I realized I don’t have to be in the big white room alone; I can grieve and also choose to live, at the same time. Umm … do people do that? Well, I do. Jessie J is showing me that I can choose hope as I learn to cope.

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So Project “ABD” has been in full effect for a few weeks now…

4 Things I’m Doin’ Like They Ain’t Been Done

  • I am not eating my feelings. Historically, I eat my feelings. But when Mom passed, I got a trainer instead. I am getting up early, journaling feelings to Mamabear (as opposed to sleeping in and getting a hot bagel next door after late nights with Ben & Jerry). My goal: Cope without gaining weight. It’s possible. Who knew?! And I am so damn proud. I am doin’ my body like it ain’t been done.
  • I am not being a crazy, needy person in my new relationship. Listen, if there was a time I wanted to be extra needy with my man, it’s right now, folks. But instead, I am learning how to cope more on my own, communicate my fears as opposed to silently feed them, and I give the relationship space. Instead, I am letting myself grow while taking it slow. And I actually feel my relationship is super healthy. I am doin’ my relationship like it ain’t been done.
  • I am stopping my procrastination cycle. My pattern: let things pile up and then in a stress induced, overwhelmed state, I try to get everything done in a day. I often create my own difficulties. So I am pacing myself, immediately identifying when projects start to pile up – can even be my clothes on the floor. (I often undress and walk away – workin’ on it.) And now I pick two things to do. My pick “2 To-Do” strategy makes me feel like a rockstar and often leads to doing a little more than I had planned. I am doin’ my daily life like it ain’t been done.
  • I am loving sex. My friends always come to me to discuss sex because I am always open to talk about it. It’s a fun topic, and I know a thing or three about it. Currently, I am with someone who is ridiculously generous, which is something I am honestly not used to.  I have had passionate, amazing sex but nothing this generous and intimate before. I am way out of my comfort zone of control. I am much more of a giver than a receiver. Period. So I am choosing to be a student of sex. What?! Be a student of something I historically have been the expert on? Yes. Feeling comfortable enough to say things like, “Teach me” or “Help me do that better.” It’s amazing to see you do not need to be the “expert,” you just need to be willing to talk and learn. I am doin’ sex like it ain’t been done.

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I look at it this way – you can read about tennis for years but if you don’t get on the damn court and play, it doesn’t matter what you read.  And I share this all with you because I don’t think I am the only one who says, “I got this…” and finds themselves out to sea with no life jacket. When in reality, if we just asked; if we just started talking about things and making a plan, things would get better – from how we view our bodies, our relationships, our sex lives – our whole lives would be better.

And isn’t that the goal of living? To just get better at life? Well, for me it is. DiStyle is all about looking at life like this…

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So what will you do like it “ain’t been done?” Now… go do it. And let me know what it is. Leave a comment below or email me. Thank you for the reminder Jessie J. I am perfectly incomplete but I am determined to create my masterpiece. This will be the best chapter yet.

P.S. Listen to Jessie J. Pop her on a playlist with these three songs and change your life: “Ain’t Been Done”, “Masterpiece” and “Big White Room”. #Action

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