step out of your comfort zone

Taking steps out of your comfort zone is pivotal for your own evolution and growth. You cannot become a bigger and better version of yourself unless you are willing to stretch beyond what you already know.

Growth facilitates happiness. We experience fulfilment when we grow in ourselves. When we feel that we are progressing, evolving and becoming more, we develop a higher level of confidence and pride. This is what makes us feel alive. This is where the magic happens.

3 STEPS TO HELP YOU JUMP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

1. SAY YES, AND THEN FIGURE OUT HOW

Many of us continuously say no to opportunities that are presented which are outside our comfort zone. We may say ‘I could never do that’ without even really contemplating it. Or we use delay tactics and say ‘I am not ready yet. I need to learn more/have more money/have more experience etc. before I do that’

Get in to the habit of saying yes. Even if you have no idea how you are going to do it, just say yes and figure out how later. You are never given more than you can handle. You have attracted this opportunity because you are ready for it. It has been designed to help you grow.


2. MAKE PEACE WITH YOUR FEAR

When we experience the feeling of fear, many of us try to run away from it. We either avoid the actual activity that triggers our fear, or we do whatever we can to suppress the feeling with some other activity such as eating, watching TV, going shopping etc.

When you feel fear, sit with it. Allow yourself to experience it fully and actually determine where it is coming from. Ask yourself “What am I actually afraid of?” “What am I afraid will happen?” “What am I afraid that I will lose?”

Acknowledge your fear for what it is. It is just a feeling. It is just a feeling that has been created by what you are thinking. Once you can see it for what it is, it will lose its power. Being able to be conscious of your fears then gives you the ability to change them.


3. CHANGE YOUR STORY

If you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone, it is likely that you have created negative association with the idea of it. All successful people have found ways to feel positive and excited about stepping out of their comfort zone, rather than afraid and tentative.

Start telling a new story about what it means to live outside your comfort zone. See this situation as an amazing learning and growth opportunity. Feel excited about the fact that you will be becoming a bigger and better person.

Speak kindly to yourself, and love and support yourself unconditionally. Tell yourself positive stories about other times where you have succeeded in challenging situations. Cheer yourself on, and say ‘You can do it” or ‘I believe in you’.

Connect with why it is important for you to take this step. How will doing this help propel you towards your goal? How will it lead you towards the life of your dreams? How will it enable you to achieve everything you have ever wanted?

Check out the full post from Jessica Ainscough’s Wellness Warrior.

recipe | raw cacao+coconut bites

I am a girl who LOVES rich, decadent, dark chocolate. And despite my best efforts I almost always indulge in a little something sweet before bed every night.  For me, there is definitely an emotional comfort and a simple pleasure in a small bite of chocolate before I wind down for the night. For months I have been in love with these delicious raw tarts which I buy from Whole Foods. And believe me, the Chocolate-Mint Miracle Tart is truly sinful. But because I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and trying new recipes, I wanted to attempt a raw dessert myself. And these Cacao + Coconut Bites are simple, easy to make and the best part is you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry.  So, when you find yourself without your nightly treat to satisfy that sweet tooth, these can be whipped up in no time.

The recipe does call for Coconut Oil. Which I use for almost everything, but because I know some of you have already told me that you have no idea where to start with this oil, I wanted to give you a quick run-down. Coconut Oil is a saturated fat that for the most part can be used for cooking at high heat. (But be aware, there are some that are not made for high-heat cooking).  It has a consistency similar to butter at room temperate, so melt it slightly if necessary for cooking or baking.  Depending on which variety you buy there may be a very slight coconut flavor, but it is so mild that it has never impacted the flavor of what I am making. It is easier to digest than most oils and studies show it is good for aiding in weight-loss, boosting immunity and helping to relieve stress. As an added benefit it is also a wonderful moisturizer and can be used on dry skin or hair. I use it on my cuticles almost nightly. (Of course, I recommend keeping a separate jar for kitchen and personal use!) I prefer the Fresh-Pressed, Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil.

RAW CACAO + COCONUT BITES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut (whole foods or other health stores carry this)
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder (you can use natural cocoa powder if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp of nut butter or a handful of carob chips

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the coconut, cocao powder and rolled oats together in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon (and nut butter or carob chips if using). Stir well until mixture is coated evenly. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes (this step is not necessary, but it does make them easier to handle). Line a serving plate with parchment paper. Make 1 inch balls using your hands and then set them on paper-lined plate. Place in freezer to cool for about 40 minutes until they have hardened. They can be kept in the refrigerator after the time in the freezer. Enjoy with a nice hot cup of mint tea before bed!

images in this post are personal photographs | kindly credit this site if used

the BEST version of YOU

One of my very favorite bloggers, Connie Chapman recently shared her thoughts on becoming the BEST version of YOU. Something that struck a chord with me on so many levels. Far too often, I find my dreams, ambitions, needs, wants and desires get pushed to the side and neglected. Today my intention is to love, support and nourish myself. Click here to check out her full post on becoming the best version of you.

1. LOVE, NOURISH AND SUPPORT YOURSELF

2. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

3. FOCUS ON THE GOOD THINGS

4. GIVE YOUR BEST TO ALL THAT YOU DO

5. DEDICATE YOUR LIFE TO WHAT YOU LOVE

6. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

monday motivation

I was reminded by a dear friend today the importance of accepting and facing challenges. I have no doubt, that maintaining balance and peace are imperative to living a happy and fulfilled life. But, truthfully what would life be without challenges to help us grow, re-evaluate and become stronger?  Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body, and challenge brings truth to the heart. So even in the midst of a difficult time; face the challenge head on, embrace the emotions you feel, and release your fears so that you may move forward bravely.

feeling fortunate

photograph taken at lake hartwell, south carolina | kindly credit this site if used

I took a trip back home to beautiful South Carolina last week and spent an incredible 5 days with my amazing family.  While the trip was a whirlwind trying to see and spend quality time with everyone; it was a meaningful visit for me, and I truly cherished each precious moment. As I was on the plane heading back to Los Angeles, I found myself feeling incredibly blessed to have the genuine support, love, and encouragement from those who mean the most in my life.  In that moment, I was reminded of something so simple… Surround yourself with those people who want for you be truly happy and who believe in your dreams. It will make all the difference in the world.  Wishing you all a beautiful and inspired weekend full of Love + Light!

awe + appreciation

personal photograph | kindly credit this site if used

Being that we recently observed Earth Day, I felt inspired and humbly reminded of how truly awe-inspiring and breath-taking our world is.  Be gentle with the Earth, take delight in its many pleasures, and remember to open your eyes and discover the beauty in every new day. Wishing you all a beautiful Monday!!!

breath of fire

One of my many goals for this year, is to really tune-in and listen to my body…its needs, its wants, its desires.  And one thing I have recently discovered about myself, is that the way I start my morning does strongly impact the rest of my day. In recent months, I have given myself 10 extra minutes to wake-up, be present and take a little “me” time before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. A few months ago, I read a post on energizing yourself first thing in the morning while still in bed, before your day starts, through a series of very intentional breathing exercises. While I have been practicing the breathing technique for several months now, I discovered this morning that the rhythm and pace of the breath also makes a huge difference in the overall experience for me. Today, I needed to feel a little extra energy… so it was strong, fast-paced breathing that I needed. While other days I seek a sense of calm or peace and find the very slow, methodical breathing does the trick. Give the Breath of Fire a try and see what works for you!

Below is an excerpt from The Well Daily, one of my go-to resources for inspiration and information in all things wellness:

It’s called Breath of Fire, and all you have to do is pair a few vigorous inhales and exhales with a subtle, fast-paced contraction of your abs. In less time than it takes to get up and turn on the coffeemaker, Breath of Fire will warm your body and cleanse your system. Plus, taking a minute or two to focus (instead of springing out of bed at the first ring of the alarm clock) will send you into your day feeling calmer and happier.

Sit comfortably and try this to raise your internal thermostat.

  • Take three deep breaths in and deep breaths out.
  • Inhale through your nose.
  • Exhale the air out of your diaphragm forcefully through your nose, pumping your navel center in toward your spine.
  • Strongly inhale through your nose, again strongly pumping your navel center in towards your spine.
  • Repeat at an even pace for about a minute.

As you get used to it, try increasing your speed. If you start to feel light-headed, scale back—you should feel nothing but invigorated and totally ready to make the most of your day.

You can check out the entire post on Breath of Fire, here!