Archive of ‘Blog’ category

Nine Ways to Feel AMAZING in just 15 minutes a day

March 7, 2016

I have a confession to make:

Things have been really good lately.

Great, actually.

Two weeks ago, I went on a fabulous trip to the Dominican Republic where I held my first-ever business retreat, soaked up the sun, and renewed my vows with my husband, Gideon.

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Renewing my vows in the Dominican Republic

It was absolutely spectacular and one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. And, although I was technically “working” while I was there, it was hardly the type of thing most people consider as work.

The agenda?

Journaling. Meditation. Practicing gratitude. Unplugging. Renewing the mind, body and soul. I had some major revelations while I was there, and truly feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

There’s no doubt it’s directly related to the great mood I’ve been experiencing.

How about you? Have you taken some time to renew, refresh or rejuvenate lately?

Although it can sometimes be difficult to take time out and do something for yourself, it ALWAYS pays off.

Why?

Because when you care for yourself, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING in your life benefits!

Don’t believe me?

Think about the last time you got a massage, played a game for fun or did something else you enjoy.

How did you feel?

My guess is relaxed, happier and at ease. Did you go home and snap at your kids or your mate? Probably not, because you were “filled up” and feeling good – and it’s always easier to deal with life’s frustrations when you feel good.

Now compare that to when you feel frustrated, tired or run down … you lose your temper easier and probably more frequently, right?

Which is why it pays to do things for yourself.

I understand we can’t all go on vacation at the drop of a hat. But, everyone can find at least 15 minutes a day to nurture themselves.

It may not seem like a lot – and I encourage you to take much more – but even 15 minutes a day can have a profound impact on your well being. Especially if you try one of these uniquely powerful self-love activities:

1. Give yourself at least one compliment every day. We know from research that expressing kindness benefits the giver and the receiver; in the case of giving yourself compliments, you are the giver and the receiver so the impact goes even further. This is an excellent activity for women who may deflect compliments more than men and are less likely to focus on their strengths than men. Examples of strengths include: “I am generous” or “I am a fabulous ice skater” or “I am a fantastic listener”.

2. Write yourself a love letter. Are you the person who always remembers everyone’s birthday or anniversary, or gives people cards simply because they are awesome? It’s time to douse yourself with the same treatment! Write yourself a letter or grab your favorite greeting card and express to yourself how wonderful you are! You might feel silly doing this at first and that’s okay. The relationship you have with yourself is directly related to the relationship you have with everyone else in your life. When you pamper and indulge yourself, others will do this for you too.

3. Shower yourself with loving visual cues. Write, “I love you, (name)!” on sticky notes and put them on your mirror, bedside table, computer screen, in your car and as your phone screensaver. You’ll appreciate the nice, loving surprise for days to come.

4. Commit to five minutes of daily journaling every day. Journaling is scientifically proven to decrease stress and increase clarity and creativity. To start, observe your thoughts without judgment and just write. It’s amazing what an effect five minutes has in shrinking worries and fears down to size!

5. Make “happiness appointments” with yourself and always follow through. How? Create a joy list, containing 5-15 items that bring you joy. These can be anything from smelling flowers to taking a walk to spending time with a person you love. Pick one item from your joy list every day and make an “appointment with joy”. Schedule it in your phone and set a reminder. Then, follow through! Within a week, the increased happiness in your life will be evident.

6. Unplug. Commit to unplug from electronic devices once a day and just “be”. Check in with your breathing and your body. You are not a machine, and you need breaks! Your mind and body will thank you!

7. Make a list of your top 10 strengths. This is an assignment I give my students and they rave about how good it feels. Set aside ten minutes today and write down 10 of your best qualities. Then, read it out loud to yourself.

8. Leave toxic situations. Although this one is a little different from the others, it is incredibly powerful. The people you hang around with impact you a great deal and if someone isn’t treating you well and you’re sticking around for it, you’re essentially telling The Universe, “This is okay with me. Bring me more of this.” The truth is, though, you are awesome, and you never need to settle!

9. Instead of looking at the things you’ve done wrong today or didn’t do, look at what you did right instead. For example, instead of beating yourself up for getting to the gym later than you planned, applaud yourself for making it there at all!

Have you tried one of my favorite self love activities?

If not, which one will you commit to do today? Let me know!

I’ll talk to you in a few weeks!

Xo
Jaime

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Why You Feel Unloved (And What to Do About It)!

February 14, 2016

Do you like Valentine’s Day?

Do you love Valentine’s Day?

Up until about five years ago, I abhorred Valentine’s Day. Although I had a few good Valentines Days early in life (thanks, Mom!), most of them went like this:

I wasn’t in a relationship and felt unlovable because of that.

Or, I was in a relationship, but the person I was with was so unavailable it was literally killing me. felt like I was single anyway.

Either way, what was supposed to be the ultimate day of love served as a horrible, in-your-face reminder of how incredibly lonely, unacknowledged and unloved I often felt.

Can you relate? (Click here now and tell me).

I don’t know about you, but feeling unloved, neglected and worthless isn’t fun.

Thankfully, I rarely feel this way anymore. If I do, red lights, sirens and the words, “Get Out Now”, start flashing in my head.

So what then is Valentine’s Day like for me now?

Incredible.

Amazing.

SPECTACULAR.

Exactly like it should be.

Consider today, for instance: I woke up and came downstairs and there were not one, but THREE bouquets of gorgeous red roses waiting for me, along with an enormous red gift box and a beautiful card. I was so shocked I actually gasped out loud (my husband told me later it was his favorite part of the day.) After I gasped, I smiled for about 5 minutes straight 🙂 I was then treated to a vegetarian omelet (my favorite) for breakfast and king crab, grilled asparagus and several other treats throughout the day. The thing is, though, this is not unusual for my life. My husband treated me to 3 dozen roses about a month ago, and makes us crab or lobster at least once a week. He also makes me omelets several times a week.

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Am I spoiled?

Perhaps, but not for the reasons you may think.

Sure, I am extremely blessed with an amazing guy and I would never take that away from him. But please understand: we’ve been together for 13 years and he has not done this throughout the entire marriage. I have not always been overflowing with love on Valentine’s Day, either, or on so many other days out of the year.

What changed then? you may ask.

Me.

Yes, me. And yes, I am actually taking the credit for the abundance I now have in my life.

Who does she think she is? you may think.

Stick with me for a minute and let me explain.

Remember when I spoke about all those February 14 holidays when I felt lonely, unloved and unacknowledged? Although I didn’t realize it until a few years ago, the Universe is and was always mirroring back to me the way I was treating myself. For example, all those years when I ran around town tracking down the perfect gift for other people but left myself out of the mix, I felt unacknowledged and sad. The crazy thing was, I had no idea why I felt so bad.

I was a good person, wasn’t I?

Why couldn’t certain people reciprocate my love?

Why did I feel so unlovable?

And then one day, like a bolt of lightning from the sky, it hit me:

My experiences were largely reflecting back to me the way I treated myself.

All of those times I cleaned someone else’s things up but neglected my own? That was the reason I felt alone.

When I worked for hours on a project for someone else and it was hardly acknowledged? It often occurred because I wasn’t giving enough to myself.

When I experienced someone saying something mean or judgmental to me? I could usually trace it back to the critical voice in my head.

Now don’t get me wrong; this is not to say that every single thought you have or every action you take is matched immediately. But – based on my experiences – the Universe reciprocates the majority of your actions.

Take the flower example above. About a year ago, I started buying flowers for myself every week or any time I needed a boost or felt down. I did this without telling anyone, including my husband, so you can imagine my surprise when … he “randomly” began showing up at home with flowers for me “just because” – on the very same day! This has literally happened dozens of times.

Another example of this type of radical self love in action:

There was a time where I felt largely unnoticed in my friendships and like I didn’t have many true friends. I desperately wanted more and did the normal things like reaching out to people, smiling and making small talk, but I usually attracted people who were kind of self-centered … and I couldn’t figure out why. After experiencing this over and over, I finally put my foot down and decided to try something new:

I chose to be my own best friend.

I treated myself like ABSOLUTE GOLD – I bought myself cards and flowers, took myself out to dinner, to the spa, bought myself new clothes, started doing mirrorwork every day, and, anytime I felt down, I took even better care of myself. I wrote myself letters and notes with things I imagined the best ‘best friend’ out there would write or say.

Do you know what happened?

Amazing, supportive, loving people started coming out of the woodwork! For the first time in my life, giving people were attracted to me and my relationships were healthier, balanced and fulfilling.

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Here is an example of one of the ways I love myself: I send myself text messages every day.

Just like I explained with the vision board example a few weeks ago, this is not something exclusive to me; you can do it, too! Interested? Great! It starts by committing to step up the way you treat yourself. Here are a variety of ways to do just that. Then, pick one of them to do THIS WEEK.

Ready?

Here are some common ways to love yourself:

Get your nails done
Get a soothing pedicure
Exercise or join a gym
Go to a chiropractor
Express yourself creativity (this only counts if it’s not for someone else)
Buying yourself some new clothes
Splurge on a new pair of socks, sunglasses or purse
Take a salt bath
Delegate something!
Beautify your living space
Clear your clutter
Use your fine china on a regular day
Order takeout from a fancy restaurant
Create space for yourself in your home that is just yours
Use aromatherapy
Take a vacation!
Buy yourself flowers
Buy yourself a card
Mail the card to yourself! (I do this all the time and it’s awesome!)
Congratulate yourself
Take yourself to dinner
Treat yourself like you would your very best friend
Stop doing things you dislike
Speak up if you feel strongly about something that affects you
Practice voicing your opinions
Leave a toxic relationship
Make a dream or vision board
Do mirrorwork (say “I love you” five times in the mirror today)

Got your choice?
Tell me which one you like best!

And make sure to check out my next article where I give you 8 of my most unique and powerful self love activities!

Have an incredibly awesome and happy Valentine’s Day and a wonderful week ahead!

And, if you’re looking for even more guidance on self love, email me about my 14 Day Radical Self Love Challenge. It’s an inexpensive, easy, AWESOME self-paced video series that will help you open the floodgates of love in your life! Plus, it’s received rave reviews!

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How to Create a Vision Board

February 5, 2016

Wow!

Who knew so many people were turned-on by vision boards?! I received more positive feedback on last week’s vision board post than almost any other one I’ve ever written.

Seriously, I am still responding to the shower of emails and texts I received and I love your enthusiasm! It’s clear you’re PUMPED UP by these little pieces of magic and I can see why – they rock and they work! So much so that I’m giving you more of my top vision board tips today!

Before I do, though, I need to say two things:

1. I underestimated the sheer amount of content I have on this subject, and I can’t possibly cram it all into one post. But … I’ll give you the basics and then some here today! And, if you’d like more info after that, I encourage you to check out my book, Uplift once its released (the content below is pulled straight out of it) and/or my Successful You online course, which has a huge section on vision boarding. There’s also a chance I’ll do another post on vision boards soon, so if you have any questions after reading today’s post ask me!

2. After creating free content for this blog for over a year, I need to scale things back to accommodate changes in my life and career. As much as I love connecting with you, I’ve known for a while I need to cut back so I’m going from weekly to bi-weekly from today on. I never do things without praying and contemplating and this is definitely the right choice for me and you. I care about you and appreciate your support and trust on this matter. And, if by some off-chance you’re upset/angry/bitter and don’t support this change, please know this: I respect your feelings and it’s probably time for us to part ways.

3. And, finally, if you’re new to these parts, welcome! I’m thrilled you’re here and hope you find everything you’re looking for and more!

Alright, now that we’ve got those pressing announcements out of the way, let’s get cracking on the topic at hand … one of my favorite ways to manifest amazing things: vision boarding!

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I made this bedroom vision board two years ago … and had most of the furniture delivered last week! 🙂

What is a vision board?
If you recall from last week, a vision board is a visual, physical item you create to bring your dreams into reality. It’s a form of goal setting in a way; it forces you to get clear on what you want in your life. It also gets you out of your head – the part that can become overly analytical and judgmental – and into your imagination – the place where your creativity and spirit reside.

Why do it?
If you read my post last week, you may recall me saying I’ve manifested several things with vision boards. I was thinking about it, though, and this isn’t entirely true – “several” is really putting it mildly. From furniture to flowers, to deep and fulfilling relationships, vacations, published articles, paid speaking gigs, new clients, money, clothing, hotel rooms, gifts, jewelry and much more, vision boarding has been a gateway to positivity, love and abundance in multiple forms for me.

Again, as I said last week, I’m not the only one who’s benefited from vision boards; I’ve had clients, students, friends and family members – many of whom were very skeptical about the process – create significant and awesome changes in their lives through vision boards, as well. You don’t have to be rich, successful, or even happy to create a vision board. And I should know – I created my first board, which I filled with images that brought me joy, because I was depressed, lonely and anxious at the time and needed something to take my mind off the horrible sad images and feelings that riddled me.

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My very first vision board!

Am I ready?
One of the biggest things I hear when I talk to my clients about vision boards is:

“I can’t do it now. My life is a mess!”, or “Once XYZ situation is cleared up or this is in place, I’ll do it,”.

If you recognize yourself in either of these statements I need you to know two things:

1. You are not alone!

2. This is the best time to put the power of vision boarding to work for you!
The thing is, though, the point of a vision board is not to do it after your life is perfect; the vision board is a tool to help you create the life you want – now!

Start your vision boarding engines!
Are you fired-up and ready to begin your board?

Great! Here are some key things to remember:

1. You can’t do it wrong! an item is important to you, put it on your board!

2. It doesn’t need to be perfect! No one needs to see it but you and it won’t be graded. The important thing is that it gets done!

3. Vision boards are incredibly powerful, so don’t put it on the board if you aren’t ready to receive it!

What Goes On Board?
Like I said before, this is your vision board, and you are in charge. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

You can do it free form – grabbing items that strike your fancy and placing them where you “feel” they go – or you can approach it in a more structured way – by filling the board with items from certain life categories. Some of the more common categories include:

-Health/wellness/fitness (healthy looking foods; the body you want, etc. A picture of the body you want with your head on top);

-Finances (money, bank statements, etc.)

-Fun/recreation/travel (i.e., vacation spots)

-Relationships

-Career

-Family

What to put on the board

Images, pictures, text, stickers … again, it’s personal choice. When we were in the Dominican Republic last month, I found a plastic sleeve from a drink that said “Heaven” on it and it’s now on one of my boards! Sometimes I even draw my own pictures or text. Magazines, photographs and google image searches are my top go-tos for vision board content. And you don’t just have to stick to white paper, either; cardstock, cardboard boxes, colored paper or really anything you can dream up make good mediums.

Just My Size
How big should a vision board be? Again, this is a personal preference (and I prefer to leave “should” out of my vocabulary 😉 I’ve done boards as small as a sticky note and as large as a poster board. I have several boards up in my house that take up half of a wall. Whatever works for you is the right answer!

What’s Holding You Back?
In my experience, the only thing that can go wrong with vision boarding is choosing not to find the time to do it! Vision boards are incredibly powerful and worth every moment of your time! I’ve stood back IN AWE at the items on my vision boards materializing and I’ve heard countless stories from my clients who have experienced the same themselves. This isn’t to say that all you have to do to create something is make a vision board, but it’s a darn good start!

As I bid you farewell for this week, I ask you:

Are you ready to create your vision board?
Tell me: When will you create your vision board and what will you put on it?

I absolutely LOVE hearing from you so please drop me a line about this post or anything you want to know or share about vision boards. A large majority of this post is directly from my book, so, if you like it, make sure to grab a copy once it’s available!

Until next time, keep smiling!

XO
Jaime

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Steal This Trick of Exceptionally Happy, Successful People

January 30, 2016

Do you like your life?

Would you like to like it even more?

Three years ago, I liked my life – but today, I LOVE my life. I ADORE it! It’s awesome! I do what I love – writing and helping people learn and grow – and I get paid for it!

I have a beautiful, healthy, awesome family; fulfilling and loving relationships; I travel to beautiful places every few months; and I’m in the process of redoing my home!

I spend most afternoons with my amazing husband at Starbucks, where we talk about our days, all of our blessings, play Yahtzee, and plan what awesome adventure we want to take next! I have to admit: if I heard someone a few years ago talking this way, I would think they were ridiculous! It still sounds a little ridiculous as I read it now! I mean, it almost sounds fake, doesn’t it?

Someone who plays Yahtzee and canoodles with her husband every afternoon? No one lives like that.

But the truth is, someone does – me!

I don’t tell you this to brag – anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty private person. I tell you because I feel like I am walking around in a dream (and I am!) and I want to share with you how you can experience the same thing.

And before you say, “That could never happen to me”, “I’m unlucky”, or “You don’t know my circumstances”, I need you to know something:

I’ve heard all of those lines and more from clients and students over the past few years and I’ve even had them myself. And then … I’ve told them to close their eyes and imagine taking those thoughts and throwing them into an imaginary garbage can, where they are carted off and buried deep in the Earth. Then, I’ve instructed them to leave those thoughts buried, and anytime they start to creep in, to close their eyes and do the exercise again. And then I’ve sat back and watched as they began creating their own dream.

Now that you know you, too, are eligible and able to create your own dream, I have another question for you:

Are you living your dreams?

Would you like to?

If your answer is yes, then keep reading. In this post, I’ll introduce an incredibly easy, fun and powerful method for doing just that!

But … before I jump in, I need to clear the air on two things:

1. I owe you an apology. My goal is always to get this message out between Tuesday and Friday every week, yet it’s Saturday evening. I apologize! As wonderful as things are for me, I’m still a human being, and “life” – stomach bugs and field trips and unexpected curveballs – sometimes happens. I’m giving myself a pass and I hope you can, too. If not, it’s probably best for both of us that you unsubscribe.

2. Along with the occasional unexpected hiccups of life, writing isn’t always a simple or straightforward process. (Okay, it hardly ever is.) So although I planned to write about my daily morning routine this week, my thoughts and guidance steered me in an entirely different direction on Thursday – and I followed it. I always trust my guidance – even when it means doing something different than I originally planned and stated – because it doesn’t turn out well for me when I don’t. If you’re the type of person who gets angry about these types of things, it’s probably best for both of us that you unsubscribe. If you feel disappointed, I understand and want you to know I never make changes lightly. I’m doing this because I know this topic is going to be an even better fit for you this week than the morning routine post. And, the morning routine post isn’t completely out; it’s just postponed for now.

Whew! Okay, now that we got the heavy stuff out of the way, let’s jump back in to the fun, life-changing stuff: making your dreams your reality!

Don’t you feel pumped-up just reading that? I know I do!

So although I’ve been living out portions of my dream life for a few years, things weren’t always this way …

In fact, five years ago, my marriage needed some major TLC, I had strained relationships with many of my friends and relatives, and I didn’t feel secure financially. I also lived with fear, anxiety and worry every day.

How did I turn it around?

I couldn’t possibly go through it all in one post – I’m actually writing an in depth book on my tools and practices, so stay tuned! – but I
can offer you information on one of the most effective tools I’ve used:

Vision boards.

Do you know what a vision board is?

Have you ever made one?

If so, I’d love to hear about it!

If you haven’t, here’s a quick run-down of this nifty tool and some pictures of a few of mine:

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One of my vision boards. Many of the items came true within a few months, including my first article with Mind Body Green.

A vision board, sometimes called a Dream Board, is a visual representation of your goals or dreams or things you want to create in your life. I’ve put everything from my dream home and wedding ring, to images of sunsets, birds and flowers on my vision boards. Some people put things like dollar bills or money; photos of people they love; vacation spots; or models with healthy bodies, on their vision boards. I like incorporating inspirational words onto my vision boards – things such as “Joy”, “Connection”, and “Financially Free” – along with images.

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A recent vision board of mine. The image of the beach looks exactly like the place we just vacationed in the Dominican Republic but I had no idea of that before we got there. I also received a dozen yellow roses in a vase similar to the one above a day after making the board!

When it comes to vision boards, they:
Can be any color;
Include whatever images you want;
Be decorated however you want;
Don’t need to be perfect (the goal is to just do one!);
Include images, words or both;
Like I said before, I love vision boards. They are fun to create and they work! Vision boards are a wonderful form of self care and an efficient way to tell the Universe what you want in life. They are also a fun way to set goals. I make a point to create one at least once a quarter, and encourage my corporate clients to do the same. I don’t hold myself to every few months, though; anytime the thought crosses my mind, I hop to it because I know it’s my guidance giving me a tip. Don’t tell anyone, but I actually keep a glue stick, a piece of cardstock and some images and power words in a sandwich bag in my briefcase for whenever inspiration strikes 🙂 Trusting my intuition on these has really paid off for me, too; just a few weeks ago, for instance, when my family and I were vacationing in the Dominican Republic, I kept hearing:

Create a vision board. Do a vision board. Create a new one.

People probably thought I was crazy when I started saying (to myself):

Here? Now? But I’m already living out this beautiful vacation from one of my vision boards.

But I listened, and I’m so glad I did. You can imagine my surprise and sheer delight when our family received an out-of-the-blue chance to extend our stay and especially when we were moved into a completely different room … one that had the EXACT bed and bedroom from the vision board I made two days before! 🙂

So, are you ready to start bringing your dreams into reality? If so, make sure to open my email next week because I’m pulling back the curtain to show you show you my best tips and techniques, walk you through the process, step-by-step, and show you even more of my own personal boards – including my dream bedroom board, which became a reality last weekend!

If you’re excited and want to get a jump-start, here’s a little homework:

-What kinds of things would you put on a vision board? What areas of your life would you like to improve?

Do you have some thoughts on vision boards or a success story you’d like to share? Tell me! I love hearing from you!

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3 Simple Ways to Conquer Boredom, Sadness and Fatigue

January 22, 2016

Have you ever heard of Blue Monday?

I hadn’t either until I noticed it to the right of my Facebook feed earlier this week. One headline read:

“January 18: Blue Monday: The Most Depressing Day of the Year”.

There’s some controversy about the label – including the validity of the equation used to arrive at it – but I’ll spare you the debate. Regardless of whether it is the most depressing day of the year or not, the truth is this: low energy is a real thing that can strike anyone at anytime, and it is more likely in the winter months. In that spirit, I’m gifting you another 3 ways to uplift yourself this week:

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1. Get creative! When was the last time you did something creative? How did you feel afterward? If you were truly tapping in to your creative storehouse, you likely felt alive, energized and happy. You may have also felt rejuvenated and refreshed, plus confident and light. True creativity feels like something magnificent is moving inside you – and you can usually tell you’re being creative when you lose track of time. If it’s been a while since you’ve tapped into your creative self, consider enjoying one of the following activities:

-Painting

-Drawing

-Dancing

-Writing a story or piece of music

-Designing

Artistic creativity, like the activities above, aren’t the only ways to work your creative muscles, though; any time you engage in building or creating anything new, solving problems or puzzles and looking at things in a new way, you are being creative. As you may know, I’ve been on vacation in the Dominican Republic for the past week, and I’ve been forced to get creative at the beach. Rather than dragging on each day or complaining because we’d done all the “normal beach things” – building sandcastles, playing in the surf, and soaking up the sun – we all put on our creative hats and created and adapted new games, like Beach Skeeball. We also enjoyed playing Ring Around the Rosie in the ocean, I-Spy on the beach and making ourselves into mermaids in the sand. Now that you get the idea, what are some ways you can add some creativity into your daily life to spice things up? Let me know.

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2. Reach out. Feeling down or disconnected? Lost your mojo? Connect with a friend or family member or even a stranger; research says you’ll feel better almost instantly! If this sounds awkward or uncomfortable for you, you’re not alone; I used to have a difficult time doing this. In fact, I used to detest the phone. And calling someone to tell them my feelings? No way! For a long time, I actually believed I “should” be happy all the time; even though other people clearly didn’t operate that way. When I held myself to impossible standards and kept my feelings bottled up inside, I felt alone and unsupported. The thing was, no one knew because I hid it! It actually took me getting physically sick before I started trusting and sharing with my family and close friends. Although I try to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude all the time, I would not be as happy as I am without learning how to reach out and connect with people I trust. Today, I have no problem saying, “I’m going through some changes right now and could rally use your support,” or, “I could use some positive vibes today,” to my husband, mom or a close friend. If this isn’t something you do currently, are you up for giving it a try? Let me know here.

3. Try something new. Variety truly is the spice of life. So, the next time you find yourself in a funk, put this old cliche to work and change things up! Even the simple act of eating a new food for breakfast, taking a new route to work, or brushing your teeth before you wash your face may provide you just the boost you need during your morning or evening routine. What is one easy thing you can do starting today to change up your life?

Speaking of routines, I receive so many questions about mine – What time do you get up? What kinds of things do you do? What do you eat for breakfast? – that I’m giving you a peek into my typical morning routine very soon. And trust me when I say – it’s anything but normal.

Talk to you soon!

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Three More Funk-Busting Techniques You Need to Know

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January 15, 2016

Is it winter where you live?

How are you coping with it?

I hope well.

If you’re not, or you’d like a little boost, take 2 minutes and read this week’s short post. In it, I give you 3 more easy, inexpensive, practical ways to break free of the blues, or bust out of any sort of funk. So many people reached out after last week’s article that I decided to do a part 2.

Okay, so let’s dive right in!

Busting out of a funk … is it even possible?

Absolutely!

How do I know?

I’ve done it thousands of times.

Despite being relatively upbeat and positive, I still experience things like the blahs every once in a while. The key for me is having an arsenal of tools to choose from and launching them into action when needed.

I want you to be equally equipped, so I’m sharing 3 more of my faves with you today:

1. Get into the groove. Music is one of the only things out there that completely bypasses the ego – meaning you can shift your energy at lightspeed. Just make sure you don’t listen to sad music; that’ll take you down just as fast. In my opinion, the more light and upbeat the tune, the better. Personally, I love the types of songs you hear at weddings that everyone knows, such as:

Hot, Hot, Hot
Conga
The Macarena

I also love songs that help me laugh and not take myself so seriously 🙂 Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” came on the other day, and I immediately adopted it as the new theme song for the critical voice in my head! Now, whenever that voice attempts to tear me down, I start hearing: “We’re not gonna take it! No, we ain’t gonna take it! We’re not gonna take it, anymore!” It’s awesome!

2. Spice things up. Literally, start adding spices to your life. One of my favorites is Bath and Body Works’ Orange Ginger Energy lotion. One whiff of this zesty, upbeat scent zaps me wide-awake. I also love that it comes in a body wash and wall scent, too. Not a fan of orange or ginger? Cinnamon also packs a punch – and it speed up metabolism, too. Shake some in your coffee or tea or try a stick of cinnamon gum. Hot sauce or plain old pepper are two other scents that will give you a boost!

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3. Brush it off. Did you know the simple act of brushing your hair or your dry skin can improve your mood? It’s true; researchers have known for some time that dry skin brushing increases circulation, improves mood and eliminates toxins. Plus, it’s great for your skin! I bought a dry skin brush a few weeks ago and used this practice a few times and have noticed a definite improvement.

As I mentioned last week, one of the best ways to bust out of a funk is by taking a vacation; I’m currently in the Dominican Republic with my family and can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to my husband, “Gosh, I am so glad we booked this trip,” Even if it’s just for a weekend away or a pedicure, consider getting some R&R for yourself, too. Then:

Drop me a note and let me know where you went;

or:

Send me an email and tell me which of these tricks is most appealing to you.

Have an outstanding week and make sure to check out my message next week; I’m launching a new series and it’s perfect for anyone who wants improved relationships!

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Three Science-Backed Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

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January 7, 2016

Have you ever experienced the winter blues?

It can happen to the best of us. In fact, research shows 20% of people suffer from the winter blues at some point in their lives. Your chances are higher if you’re a woman, you’re between 15 and 55, or you live far away from the equator.

As someone who has suffered from the winter blues and its more serious counterpart, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I know how isolating and dark these conditions can be.

Whether you’ve ever experienced the winter blues or SAD, there are times when everyone needs a little pick-me-up – and that’s exactly what this article is about: 3 easy tricks to use the next time you feel down. Here they are:

Trick #1: Go where the sunshine is. Literally, seek out the sun. Plan a vacation or, if you can’t afford one, spend time in the sun when it’s out. If, like me, you live in a northern state where sunshine is scarce during the winter months, consider light therapy. I received my first Happy Lite as a gift about 15 years ago and it had a considerably positive effect on my mood and energy levels in the winter. I bought another one two years ago and my well being improved again. Light therapy is the top treatment for SAD and the winter blues, with approximately 85% of people experiencing positive benefits.

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Trick #2: Color Your World. Buy some yellow flowers and put them in a prominent spot in your house. Daisies are happy, positive and a great choice. I love to buy a dozen and split them up in little bud vases all over my house, so wherever I turn, there’s a gathering of flowers to greet me. If flowers aren’t your thing, consider adding some uplifting colors like yellow, orange or anything that pumps you up to your house or workspace in the form of a pillow, throw or frame. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables, too, and try to add more color into your wardrobe.

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Trick #3: The Power of Scent. Have you ever cut a slice of a lemon or an orange and held it up to your nose? Isn’t it energizing? With their zesty, uplifting essences, citrus fruits and scents can be just the help you need when you’re feeling down. Fortunately, it’s easy to get your hands on a citrus scented product, whether through essential oils, lotions, soaps, air fresheners and more. One of my favorite ways to bring sunshine into my life in the winter months is through a large “Hawaii – Honolulu Sun” candle from Bath and Body Works. Within minutes, I feel like I’m on a beach! It’s quick, inexpensive and it works. Plus, along with boosting energy levels, citrus scents like lemon are also proven to improve focus and increase productivity. If you’re not a fan of candles or body products, use the real thing: cut up some slices of lemon or lime and add them to your water.

So there you have it: 3 of my favorite ways to beat the winter blues. If you enjoyed this article, please let me know! And if you know someone who would benefit from it, please pass it along.

Now, I’d love to know:

Do you ever experience the winter blues? Which of my tricks are you most likely to try?

Have a great week!

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Is Your Mind Making You Miserable?

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December 30, 2015

Do you ever let the garbage in your house overflow?

My guess is no.

Like most people, when your garbage can is full, you probably throw it out into a larger garbage can outside. Then every week or so, a garbage company comes and picks it up, right?

Have you ever thought about what would happen if you chose to stop taking out the garbage at your house?

If you just decided one day, for whatever reason, to let it pile up?

It would look unsightly, your floors and living area would be cluttered, and certain parts of the garbage would become moldy, stinky and rotten. Yuck! Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

I don’t think most people would last long in a house full of trash, yet this is EXACTLY what most people do with their minds; instead of emptying their heads of the mind trash of negative thoughts and beliefs, judgments and other things, they allow these things to build up. And up. And up. Eventually, the environment of their mind becomes like that moldy, stinky, rotten garbage-filled house I mentioned above. It’s not the best place to foster positive thinking if you know what I mean. Yet positive thinking is ESSENTIAL for happiness and peace.

I believe anyone can learn to become more positive – I did it myself – and there’s a lot of research to back up that belief.

It’s easier than you might think. I have hundreds of tools I can share to help you become more positive, happy and peaceful, and today I’m going to share one of the most effective with you: I call it the DIY Mind Sweep. I’m sharing this one today because I’ve been on a real clutter-clearing kick and it’s the end of the year – a great time to let go of old, outdated things.

Okay, are you ready to learn an easy, practical trick anyone can do at any time to lighten their stress and irritation in just a few minutes??

Great!

Here goes:
1. Grab a sheet of paper and something to write with or open a new Word document on your computer.

2. At the top of the paper, write today’s date and “DIY Mind Sweep”.

3. Underneath the header, write down anything that is bothering you, from minor irritations such as the grocery store being out of your favorite cereal to major issues like losing your job or a relationship breakup. Some basic ground rules: do not worry about spelling or if what you write down makes sense. You may write full sentences or you may just write words that don’t even appear to go together. Just let it flow. Really allow yourself to be as open as possible and do not judge yourself. If you do, try not to judge yourself for judging! I recommend setting a timer for 5-7 minutes on this one, but you’re welcome to go longer if you feel the need.

If you do this once a day, you will see your life change DRASTICALLY. Just like your home would change drastically if you allowed your trash to overflow and then you decided to pick it up, your mind will change drastically if you start cleaning it up. You will start seeing patterns in what you write and what bothers or triggers you, and you feel confident and better about yourself from spending a few minutes on this a day because it is a caring, nurturing and loving activity for yourself. And anytime you give to yourself through a caring, nurturing, loving activity, you will see this mirrored back to you from the outside world. I can’t explain how it happens, it just does. And it feels amazing!

Along with doing the DIY Mind Sweep every day, I recommend doing it weekly, quarterly and yearly. I think of these as “proactive maintenance sessions”, kind of like when you have a fall or spring clean up at your house to get rid of debris that falls outside the parameters of your daily sessions.

Whether you create a daily Mind Sweep right now or one for the end of the year, I encourage you to take a few minutes and go for it! It’s a beautiful gift to give yourself anytime, especially at the end of the year!

What “mind trash” do you need to let go of for 2015?

Personally, I need to continue letting go of a need for approval, and second-guessing my writing topics.

How about you?

I love hearing from you – it’s always a highlight of my day – so drop me a note telling me that and anything else in this article that may have helped you. And if you have a friend who may enjoy this, please pass it along and encourage them to sign up for my newsletter.

Happy New Year!

XO
Jaime

P.S. You are awesome and I am so glad you’re a member of my community! Here’s to you and a fantastic, abundant 2016!

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How to ACTUALLY Have a Peaceful, Happy, Restful December

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December 18, 2015

I never thought I’d say this, but December 2015 has been one of the most peaceful, joyful and restful months I’ve ever had. Not only am I not stressed or exhausted; I actually feel rejuvenated!

Yes, rejuvenated!

What’s led to this increased serenity?

It wasn’t a 3-week hiatus in paradise. And I didn’t win the lottery.

But I did tweak some things this month and it has paid off. In a major way.

Would you like less stress and frustration in your life this month? I think you’ll discover creating it is easier than you might think.

Trick #1. Live joyfully. Simple, yet doing things you enjoy isn’t always the easiest thing to do – especially during the holidays when parties, gift buying, and a whole host of other things are beckoning for your attention. But don’t allow the increase of outside influences to rob you of doing the things you enjoy or you’ll end up regretting it, and possibly having a good deal of resentment at the end of the month. Do you like going out to eat? Make reservations. Do you prefer a certain type of music? Turn it on and crank it up. Is there a certain person who always brightens your day? Call them up and have coffee. Whatever brings you joy, make it a priority TODAY and watch your joy meter shoot up. On the flip side, give yourself permission to opt out of things you don’t enjoy. Hate movies? Give yourself a pass to stay home even if everyone else is going. If going into a shopping mall is excruciating for you, order your gifts online instead. If there’s a certain person you feel uncomfortable being around, honor yourself and stay away.

Trick #2. Express yourself. Do you have a hobby or something you really enjoy? Painting, writing, reading … or anything really – as long as you enjoy it and you do it for no one but yourself. Got one? Great. Now, make time for it.

Every day.

But I don’t have any time, you may think. That’s part of the reason I’m stressed.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, making time for yourself and expressing your creativity and talents will actually create more time in your life. Plus, it’s a great mood booster, lowers your blood pressure and helps in a whole host of other ways. While I can’t tell you exactly how it works, I can tell you this: this trick has transformed my health, my relationships and my career in just 10 minutes a day.

Trick #3. Give to yourself. While it’s great to buy for and do things for other people, don’t forget you! Whether it’s a hot bath to soothe away stress, getting your nails done, or buying yourself flowers or a card, one of the quickest ways to feel happier and less stressed is by loving yourself in a radical way. If you’re bitter because you never receive the gifts you want at the holidays, do something different this year; go out and buy them for yourself. Wrap them up exactly how you wish your spouse or kids would do it, and enjoy opening them. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that radical self love attracts radical love. If you start cherishing and honoring yourself every day, you will see the same things mirrored back to you from the world.

Could you use a little more peace, joy or rest in your life? Which of these 3 tricks can you commit to trying this week?

Happy holidays!

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The Gifts of Disappointment

struggling-with-disappointment

December 8, 2015

Have you ever been really disappointed?

Maybe you planned an expensive party and no one showed up. Or maybe you fell in love and then discovered the other person didn’t feel the same way. Or maybe you had your heart set on something big – a dazzling new house or a better job – and it just didn’t work out.

Last week, a friend of mine described her feelings of disappointment beautifully in one word:

Ouch.

Ouch is right. Disappointment can sting – especially if, despite doing everything “right”, you still didn’t get the house, the job or the mate.

It’s easy to think:

Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong?

When my friend shared about her disappointment in her life recently, I immediately felt her pain. I could feel her ouch. All I wanted to do was take it away. I knew I couldn’t; instead, I thought of my mom, the best listener I know.
What would mom say? I asked myself. Then I responded the way I thought my mom would if I had confided my own disappointment to her.

As I drove to the gym the next day amid a soft snowfall, I thought about my friend again:

I hope she’s doing okay today. I hope she knows I’m thinking of her.
I wish people I cared about didn’t have to experience this pain.

“Wait a minute!” a high-pitched voice suddenly said.

“Disappointment isn’t all bad.”

Not that bad?!? I thought.

Painful flashbacks of college rejection letters, not being invited to the “cool” kid’s party, and discovering someone I trusted had used me, flashed through my head. Then, the biggest disappointment I’d recently suffered – not winning a writing contest – arrived front and center.

As it entered my mind, I could almost hear my heart screaming, “Are you sure you want to go there again?”. When I discovered I’d lost, the pain was excruciating … it was as if I’d received a beat-down and then had my heart ripped out. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to wear a bag over my head.

But then something strange happened: the sting started going away. Eventually, I bounced back, stronger than before. So much stronger that I entered the contest again.

I lost again, and it stung. But not as much.

And it also came with some incredible gifts I wouldn’t trade for the world – even winning.

As I rounded a bend in my car last week, a huge smile graced my lips. At that moment, I realized something amazing:

I hadn’t lost at all.

I’d gained courage, strength and resilience from that experience and all the other “disappointments” in my life. Instead of seeing its gifts, I’d spent a lot of time focused on the pain of disappointment.

Yes, disappointment hurt, but eventually the pain subsided.

I’m glad I didn’t win, I whispered aloud.

“Wow”, I said under my breath, hardly believing what had just come out of my mouth. – but it was true. As much as I had wanted that publishing contract, I could honestly say that if I had to do it again, I would take the experiences I gained from losing over winning the contest.

Sure, it’s much easier to talk about the positive side of a disappointment when you’re not in the thick of it, but after a few years of looking at the good aspects of the “bad things” in my past, it’s become second nature to see the benefits instead of choosing to stay in the pain.

Dropping expectations helps a lot, too – without those, disappointment can’t take root.

How about you? What positive things or traits have you gained from the “disappointments” in your life?

Have an outstanding week!

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