WHY, WHY, WHY

WHY do you do what you do?

A lot of times we know WHAT we do and HOW we do it, but we don’t always think about our WHY. This week I was challenged to figure out my WHY and I want to share it because it’s something that is important to me. 

 

The INSPIRATION: 

My WHY:

I believe that all humans deserve to live healthy, confident, purposeful, and powerful lives, both physically and mentally, regardless of age, ability, or experience.

My WHAT:

I own an arts company that offers dance and fitness classes,  performances, and artist development workshops. I run coaching sessions for mindful movement.

My HOW:

I take my movement workshops into schools and programs for children to promote anti-bullying, I bring dance to teens with special needs to keep them active, compassionate, and creative, I teach beginning-level dance classes for adults to show them that it’s never too late to start dancing, I offer my movement program as a public class for adults to show people that they CAN love themselves unconditionally, and I choreograph, perform, and direct dance performances to provide entertainment with a purpose.

 

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Wanna know more about what I do? 
I'm the GirlBoss of this arts organization: Ignite Collaborative
I'm the creator and facilitator of this mindful movement program: Jubilee Restorative Movement
 

How to Make a Vision Board That Works

I assume you've heard of a vision board, but if you haven't...

A vision board is a visual aid for manifesting the future you want.

Vision board parties start popping up every January. It's the time to manifest and create your new year ahead. It makes sense. 

What doesn't make sense to me, however, is why the boards created at these parties usually end up looking sloppily thrown together. If this is what you want to create for your life, shouldn't you put a little more work into it's creation? In order for a vision board to be most effective at helping you achieve your goals, you need to see it everyday. You need to hang it in your home. 

Here's how to make a vision board that you'll want to look at everyday....

 

Things You Need:

Poster Board

Markers

Gluestick

Scissors

Old Magazines

 

What To Do:

1. Using a marker, draw a curvy, squiggly line on your poster. (It doesn't have to be just like mine! Make it your own.)

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2. Draw a zig zag line on your poster. (Again, it doesn't have to be just like mine! Make it your own.)

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3. Draw a vertical line on your poster. (You get it. Don't copy mine if you don't want to.)

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4. Draw a horizontal line. 

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5. Randomly number the spaces 1-5.

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6. Now it's time to start decorating! Use markers, magazines, photos, WHATEVER! When you fill up a space, you can use markers to decorate the negative space and make it look more colorful.

 Each numbered space is reserved for the following categories:

1 - Strengths. What makes you strong? What do you do well? What makes you, YOU?
 
2 - Goals & Wants. What do you want to bring into your life this year? Money? Travel? a Home? Friends? Love? Represent it here. 
 
3 - Support System. Use this space for things that remind you of your support system. Friends, family, loved ones. This is space to remind yourself of the people who inspire you and encourage you. 
 
4 - Theme. Take a look at your number 2 space. What things do you want? What ties them together? The theme for your year is the greater intention. All of the things you want and work towards will go back to this theme. Maybe you want abundance, or kindness, or security. For me, I just want more time to do what I love.
 
5 - Letter of Encouragement. Write yourself a letter. It can be as long or as short as you'd like. Give yourself a reason to go after your goals. Give yourself some encouragement for those days when you feel like nothing is working. 
 
EXTRA SPACES-  You may end up with some open spaces. That's great! You have options. You could use those spaces to reiterate your main goals, provide extra inspiration for yourself, or swap boards with a friend and have a friend fill in that space for you with encouragement and reminders! 
 

Here's my finished board! 

beautiful vision board that works

 

I'd love to see what you create!

 

P.S. If you want to be successful, you have to see your board everyday. No excuses. That means hanging it up where you can see it. A great option is to put it in your closet! You have to get dressed everyday (well, you don't HAVE to) so you're bound to see it. 

 

 

2018 is HERE! New Resolutions and 2017 Wrap-Up

Okay, so it's 2018.

Pow. Just like that. I'm so ready for it. I just have a feeling this will be my year. I've felt this for a long time, too. It's like I've always known that 27-28 years old would be bomb. I'm also pretty sure 34 will be bomb, but I'm not quite there yet. Anyway, 2018 is happening and I'm ready. 

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Let's take a look back at 2017 though...

Last year, rather than setting specific actions for my resolutions, I set an intention for the year. My intention was ABUNDANCE. I wanted abundance in my career. I wanted abundance in my social group. 

Well, I got it. I spent the last year working my tail off for my jobs. I switched paths a lot, but eventually figured it out and feel confident in what I do, now. I worked long hours with no pay on projects for Ignite. I spent every second of spare time on work. You probably see where this is going...

I need a break. I'm burning out. Hence the reason for my 2018 resolutions:

1. Read one book per month

2. Travel once per month

3. Cook my way through my Pinterest board

4 Spend more time outdoors

 

I need time for myself. Time for me to learn and grow as an individual. So, this year, my focus is on joy and flow.

 

I will find my joy and flow alongside it. 

 

I have a method for creating my resolutions. Here it is...

 

Step 1: Get a journal and some pens.

Get nice ones. This matters. Psychology tells us that perception is possibly the most important part of completing goals and reaching our dreams. Treat your goals like they are valuable (BECAUSE THEY ARE) and your brain will be more focused on them. If we place just as much value in the goal-setting process as we do in the actual achievement of the goal, we are more likely to succeed. So, get nice pens. Get nice paper. You deserve it. 

 

Step 2: Write down what you want. 

Make it as specific or as broad as you'd like. We will be simplifying in the next step. 

 

Step 3: For each of the "wants," ask yourself "What can I DO to make this happen? What ACTION will I take?"

Statistically, only a small percentage of people who make new year's resolutions actually keep them. I think that's because people focus on the end goal more than the ACTIONS involved in completing the goal. For example, if you want to lose weight, don't tell yourself your resolution is "to lose weight." Instead, your resolutions may be things like "Only eat fast food once per week," "Attend 4 exercise classes each week," or "Stay under my calorie limit every day." Giving yourself an ACTION to DO is easier to enforce and track than judging yourself based on the idealized end goal. 

 

Step 4: GTFO and start DOING it. 

journal for joy
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changing

It's been a busy last few months. I've been feeling kind of down and needed some time to just be with myself. I've been working a lot, but all of the work feels like money work and not passion work. I'm drained. 

It's finally my favorite time of year. November and December are filled with birthdays and holidays and Snow Queen performances and although it's helping to boost my spirits a bit, it still feels different this year. I feel like the weight of adulting is hitting me hard. I feel trapped and slow, like i'm running through waist-deep water. 

I have been thinking a lot about what has changed and what is missing from my life right now. Although I am making more money, and that reduces a lot of stress, I am not making time for myself to do what I love. I keep skipping yoga. I've only been for a bike ride once. 

I need to make a change and get my flow back. I need to prioritize my freedom and my creativity. Here's what is important to me and what I will focus on going forward. These are my new year resolutions, but I'm starting them now. There's no reason to wait until the new year. 

 

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1. Read more.

A few years ago I made it my goal to read a book a month and it was bomb.com. I want to do that again. I've been reading the same book since August, and I have decided I will finish it this month and get back on track with reading. 

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2. More yoga.

I am buying a class pass for my fav yoga studios and the goal is to go twice a week. I want to be stronger. I want to be calmer. Yoga FTW.

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3. Cook more.

I really enjoy cooking. I like that when I'm cooking it's hard to multitask. I am focused and it slows me down. I have a whole Pinterest board of recipes I want to try, and I just got the Oh She Glows! Cookbook, so my goal is to make a new recipe every week. I don't cook at home very often, so once a week for a new recipe is a good goal for me. 

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4. More walks.

I read this article one time about how we focus so much of our social time on eating, but we should go for more walks. I like that. As a dance therapist, I know that movement directly affects your brain. Walking gets your brain moving and increases communication skills, patience, creativity, and is just generally good for keeping your brain alive. 

 



I want to end this little ditty with the things I already do that I want to continue. The things that excite me and keep me flowing. 

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1. Drink tea.

I love tea. I love collecting different kinds. I love creating a perfect brew. More tea. Always.

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2. Travel

I have been lucky to travel quite a bit in the last six months. I've never been one to take trips, but lately I've had a good mix of business and pleasure travel and I really want to keep it up. My adventurous, Sagittarius spirit needs it.

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3. Dance

I've been able to perform a lot and create a lot. I need to keep it up. Dance is my first love and I sometimes take it for granted. 

 


What are your goals? What do you want to add or subtract?

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You're Capable. End of Story.

I had a great weekend. Truly. I spent time with friends and family, got to dance, and sing, and led my favorite practice class, Jubilee Restorative Movement. Here I am on Sunday afternoon, though, feeling really down and fighting off some pretty negative emotions. 

We've all been there... that dark hole in your brain that tells you you're not good enough, you're not pretty enough, you're not thin enough, you're not thicc enough. Even though I know this self-talk is normal, it still makes me feel like I am doing the wrong things in my life. How can I be leading these therapeutic Jubilee classes if I can't even take care of my own emotions? Who tf do I think I am?

In class, I talk about how our thoughts and actions affect our bodies. Every part of our physical body, from our muscles to our cells, is affected by our thoughts and experiences. All of the events that make us who we are are literally stored in our cells and they affect our physical ability to move through the world on a daily basis. In my most recent class, I specifically focused on reducing anxiety and negative self-talk to open up our hearts to the world. We spent two hours exploring what it means to open, identifying our negative self-talk patterns, and releasing some of that built-up frustration and negativity. We had tears, and laughter, and even a full-on (semi-controlled) temper tantrum. We spent time revealing the things we tell ourselves... "I'm not good enough." "It's too late." "You're not smart." "You're ugly." Seeing these beautiful humans in front of me write these awful things broke my heart. It broke my heart because I see the opposite in them. It broke my heart because I tell myself the same things. I would never in a million years agree with my friends as they said those things about themselves, so why do I think it's okay to say it to myself? Why do I think it's true for me? 

We worked to release and reframe our minds and ended the lesson with some positive affirmations to help us dry our tears and find a new sense of community and support. I felt great after class and was so encouraged by the positive feedback I got from my students. I went home and changed my clothes and immediately ripped my favorite romper because my butt is too big. Too big. Too fat. Too ugly. I'm not good enough. I'm never going to be good enough. I can't do anything right. This is why I'm not happy. Who the hell do I think I am trying to teach others how to live fully when I have so many fucked up issues? I have no right to help people when I do this to myself. I'm failing at my own lesson. I'm not good enough. I'm stupid. I shouldn't even try to go after my goals. 

Then I stopped. 

I made a conscious decision to find the reality underneath the anxiety. I peeled back the layers of shit one by one and slowly saw a glimmer of who I really am buried underneath. That glimmer of my true self, the Rosy who is kind, and patient, and creative, and resourceful. The Rosy who comes out in moments of true peace. I saw her for a moment. That moment of finding Me reminded me of something so important. It reminded me that I am human. I am learning. I am growing. I consciously chose to apologize to myself for the hurtful words. I chose to love myself in that moment. In the moment when I felt so undeserving of love, I chose to love myself. 

I'm definitely not an expert on this whole "being a successful human" thing, but I think choosing to love yourself in the good and the bad moments is a really big part of doing it right. 

I let out some tears, and then I sat down and I wrote. I wrote this, I wrote an Instagram post, I wrote a text to my BFF. I remembered that my experience makes me more capable of teaching others. It makes me relate, it makes me more compassionate, it makes me kind. I don't necessarily welcome the negativity in my life, but I do see a way to use it for good. I can teach. I can do this.

You can do this.  

Three Steps to Boost Your Body Confidence

How did I fake my way into body confidence? I'll never know for sure if it was magic or an actual solid effort on my part, but for the sake of the lesson, let's go through some tips to fake it until you make it.

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Mindfulness Challenge: Mercury Retrograde, Adulting, and You.

Mercury Retrograde hit me hard this time. Like, real hard. However, coming out of retrograde has hit me just as hard... in a good way. 

For those of you who don't follow the astrological phases, click HERE for some more info about how the moon and planets affect us. In short, Mercury is the planet that is connected to communications, and retrograde is a time when communications break down. It is a bad time to make major decisions because of this communication break-down. During this recent Mercury retrograde, I lost two potential contracts for jobs, contracted whooping cough and a larygospasm to go with it (ummm, blocked throat chakra??) , and had an identity theft scare. 

Since the end of retrograde, I have gained the two contracts back, turns out it was just a miscommunication among vendors and they actually DO want me, and I solved the identity theft issue. Unfortunately, this damn cough is still sticking around, but I'm slowly getting better. 

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Most importantly, since the planetary shift, I have rediscovered direction in my career. I have always known what I want to do in my life, but I've struggled to make it happen. Partially because it is not a career that I can just step into, it's something I have to create for myself and my community. 

I'm definitely not the first person to DIY my career. In fact, according to a lot of research on millennial trends, it's rather common for my generation. For some reason, however, I struggle to find the confidence and courage to make it happen. I play it safe and find myself saying "I'll start tomorrow," a little too often.  

It is this negative way of thinking that keeps me stuck in the realm of almost-adulting. 

I can't be the only person to fall into this mind-trap. It's so easy to look at other people and say, "They are better than me."

I propose a challenge: For the next month, I challenge you to live by the "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" Philosophy. Every time you catch yourself envying another's successes, recognize that there is an opportunity for growth. If they did it, who's to say you can't do it too? Even better, you can now look at their design model and improve upon it. How could you tweak what someone else did to make it a better fit for you? 

 

In my life, I've always been ahead of the game; always the youngest one at the table, always the one to cause looks of shock when I say my age. For so long I remember really valuing my young age because it made my accomplishments look even more impressive. I was impressive because I was comparing myself to others. I didn't find my value from within, always compared to others. Now, at 25, I am getting to the level where my age isn't working for me. I can no longer impress people by saying I'm dancing professionally or I run my own performing company. A lot of 25 year-olds do that and more. It's time for me to stop looking at those comparisons. It's time for me to stop feeling down about what I am not doing, and instead use it as fuel to do more. We can always do more. Even when we think we can't possibly do anything else, there's always more. That's not to say you shouldn't be happy with where you are, I think that it's important to honor your personal journey, but within that journey there is always more if you allow for it. Don't do more because somebody else has more. Do more because you have more. You have potential for more. I have potential for more. Always. More what? Anything. Be true to yourself and your own personal journey, and the "more" is limitless. 

It will be a long road to full-on adulting, and maybe we will never truly feel like accomplished, real adults, but I am finally finding the drive I need to get a little closer.  

Thanks, Universe for putting me through a communication cleanse and allowing me to find my voice again. I'm excited for my new steps. Baby steps. Baby steps out the door. Baby steps into the elevator. Baby steps toward adulting and designing my own life. 

Don't Get Married Unless This Is True

For a long time I was in a relationship with somebody whose qualities made me cringe. The way he handled stress, his inability to think critically, even the way he breathed drove me up a wall. I remember praying that my kids wouldn’t inherit the qualities I hated. 

We were together for six years, and I thought we were well on our way towards marriage and kids and the whole shebang. Things changed, like they tend to do, and about a year after we broke up, I received this relationship advice:

“Marry somebody you want your kids to be like.” 

It's just that simple. 

When I think about past relationships, I realize there were often things about my partner that I’d hate for my kids to inherit. The way he lied to his mother, his disinterest in learning about the world around him, the way he would belittle me when he was around his friends. If I don’t want my child to treat me the way my partner treats his parents, it is a red flag. More so, if I don’t want my child to treat me the way my partner treats me, it’s a HUGE red flag. 

I think it’s easy to overlook issues in relationships because we see so many positive aspects in other areas. I’m not saying everything has to be perfect and easy all of the time, because it definitely is not, but it is important to look at things from all angles. 

It has been almost a year since I received that advice, and I am in a healthy relationship. I can honestly say I would be lucky to have children who are just like my partner. 

 

The Best Advice I've Ever Received

I just met a man who started his morning with 75 handstand push-ups. Impressive, right? It's even more impressive when you learn that he's 70 years old!

When this man sat down next to me in a crowded autoshop waiting room, I wasn't very interested in chatting. I had no idea that he would leave me with the best advice I'd ever received. I had work to get done, and I was already in a bad mood because my car was taking twice as long as I expected. As I feared, the man started talking to me. I told him about my job and listened to his stories about the Italian mob in NYC where he grew up. Before I knew it, I was truly captivated by our conversation. 

As he was leaving, he left me with one of the most inspiring thoughts I've ever heard. I scrambled to write them down. Here they are...

“My wife died of cancer… she lived with it for 25 years. So I know that when you have a body that works, you gotta use it. I use mine, every single day. I haven’t missed a workout since I was 35 and I’m 70 now. This morning, I did 75 handstand push-ups and oh man do I feel it! I’m so sore already! But it feels like strength and life and at 70 years old, any day could be my last. So I do everything I can to use the body I have before I lose it. That’s really something I wish I could tell more people. You gotta use what you have before it’s gone.” 

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