How to say no with Grace + Confidence

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No.

It’s such a simple word, yet many of us have such a hard time actually saying it.

For years, I struggled with being able to say no to other people. As an ambitious, people pleaser, I thought yes was what they wanted to hear, and I pretty much banned the word “no” from my vocabulary.

Why?

I wanted people to like me. I was scared what would happen if I actually turned somebody down. I didn’t want to come across as rude. So I forged on with years of saying yes to everything that came my way.

Yes, I can make that deadline.

Yes, I’ll be there.

Yes, I can absolutely do that for you.

Yes, I have time. Of course I have time for you!

Yes, I would love to.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

I said yes to just about everyone and everything that came my way…expect for one important person, the most important person: myself. After years and years of not truly valuing myself, I mustered up enough courage to finally start practicing this whole “no” thing. Heck, I’ve seen others do it before…it’s time I may as well try myself!

I didn’t just say “no” to anything & everything, but with each and every proposition, I began to ask myself, “Is this really something I want to do?” “Is this in line with who I am and how I want to feel?”

With that, it became easier and easier with every phrase.

No, I can not meet you for dinner tonight.

No, unfortunately that deadline is not going to work for me.

No, I’m actually going to be on vacation.

No, I simply don’t have time this week. Can we try again next?

No, right now I do not currently have any interest. Keep me in mind for the future.

No, I’m not interested.

No, thank you.

And the minute I gave myself the OK to say no, endless opportunities began to open up for me, and I began to feel…more free, more me. You see, when you say no to other obligations in which you simply do not want to do, you are actually saying “yes” to yourself. And that right there is where I got the courage to say that little two-letter word loud and proud (with no excuses)!

With every no, I started doing more of the things that light up my soul. I suddenly had more time on my hands to dedicate to my own self-care, and life seemed much less cluttered, much less overwhelming. I started to stay in if I wanted to stay in, I’d spend time with the people I wanted to spend time with, and I started letting go of things that simply didn’t feel right. It felt amazing.

Each and every no helped me build up strength to live my soul’s truth, and to never apologize for who I am.

I wouldn’t call myself an expert, as it’s definitely a work in progress, but I’ve come along way and for that I am proud. You see, saying no doesn’t make you a bad person at all. It’s actually one of the most respectable (and self-respectable) things you can do.

As we close out the week, I encourage you to think about the things you would have more time to do if you simply said “no.” What things/people/clutter are you holding onto that no longer serves your best interest?

                 

Shake Up Your Fitness Routine this Summer at Chestnut Hill’s The Street (+ A Giveaway)

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You know I love a good sweat sesh just as much as the next girl. And with my recent departure from the corporate world, budgeting in the Bean has been my saving grace (in all aspects of my life.) From lifestyle to fitness to grocery shopping, I’m all about keeping my bills low while living it up (even if this means walking to my favorite coffee shop instead of taking the T to enjoy my java!)

So when I found out that The Street in Chestnut Hill was starting up a free summer fitness series, I was sold in a hot second. All summer long, The Street will host complimentary workouts on the green, ranging from yoga to bootcamp. (Fun fact: they’ll even be offering baby bootcamp for you mommas!) And I’m all about shaking it up…variety is the spice of life after all!

If this sounds up your alley (which I’m sure it does!) you’ll want to save the date for THIS Saturday morning June 27th for Street Sweat x Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.

Come get your sweat on from 10:30-11:30am with MOVE Fitness, then join other wellness-nuts for an after party at lululemon athletica. You’ll sample healthy treats made with love by Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, get mini hand facials from skoah, and even get a “VIP” first taste of Juice Press, coming soon to the Street.

In the meantime, I’ve got some other super exciting news for you fellow Boston ladies! I’m giving away some pretty sick gifts compliments of The Street’s fab businesses including:

  • a $50 gift card for a facial at skoah
  • a $50 gift card to City Sports
  • a #StreetSweat workout towel
  • a free cup of David’s tea

To enter the giveaway:

1. Simply comment on this post with your favorite way to MOVE + sweat during the summer

2. BONUS point: Post on twitter “Enter @Healthy_Chicks giveaway and get your #StreetSweat on this summer with @ShopTheStreet http://healthy-chicks.com/2015/06/26/shake-up-your-fitness-routine-this-summer-at-chestnut-hills-the-street-a-giveaway/” and add second comment here once you’ve posted!

Note: to enter the giveaway you must be Boston-based, and /or willing to travel to The Street in Chestnut Hill. I will choose 4 winners by EOD Thursday, 7/2. To check out other fab events offered at The Street (including live performances and acoustic evenings) you can view their event calendar here.

                 

Listening to Your Body + SUP Yoga

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What does listening to your body mean to you?

To me, listening to your body is getting to a place where you can surrender to the “should’s” and let it be. It’s doing what feels right for you, even if it’s not the “right” answer. It’s trusting in yourself to take risks, move in ways you didn’t think you could and quieting any negative thoughts your ego may be shouting at you.

Listening to your  body surely is a process and certainly not something that one can ‘master” overnight. In fact, I think it’s all one big journey we’re constantly learning + growing upon.

Last weekend, I was given the opportunity to try Stand Up Paddle-boarding (SUP) Yoga for the first time with my rockin’ aunt Tiggy on Fisher’s Island. (You can read more about it here via her article on MindBodyGreen)

As someone who has never even stepped foot on an SUP, quite frankly doing yoga on top of that kind of scared the crap out of me. My ego was questioning this big-time…

What if I fall off?

What if I can’t find my balance?

What if I fail miserably?

What if you downright suck at it?

To that, my inner gut came back with, “My dear, what if you shine?”

And so I shushed my ego’s self-doubt, put one foot in front of the other and climbed onto the board. I was going to do this. I was going to trust my body.

I must say, I’ve never felt like such a goddess doing Warrior I while maintaining my balance…in the middle of the sparkling, blue harbor to boot. I felt strong, beautiful and in control. And I was forced to trust my body in a way that I never had before.

Sure my legs were shaking during side plank, and I questioned whether I could make my way into wheel. But I did it. I listened. And I persevered.

I wasn’t trying to impress, do it “right” or be anyone else other than who I was in that very moment. It was living in the present and trusting in your body at its finest. And if felt damn good.

It was absolutely invigorating.

This week, I challenge you to listen to your body in a way you may have never thought you could before. Quiet your mind, breathe and take note of what she’s telling you. Your bod is a lot smarter than you may think.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my 21-Day Beach Confidence Program that starts next Monday, 6/29. You can find all the deets + sign up here!

xoxo,

Rachel

                 

Summer + Beach Body Confidence Program

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Summer.

What do you think about when you hear that word? More importantly, how does it make you feel?

In all honestly, summer actually used to bring quite a bit of anxiety for me. I absolutely hated my body, and slipping into a bikini was my absolute worst nightmare. (Thank goodness for baggy shorts + towels!)

I’d pass on invites to cocktail hours and Mexican night because I was afraid I’d gain weight, and I’d weigh myself up to 3 times a day just hoping the number on the scale would go down.

Only problem was no matter how many times I pinched my thigh fat, kicked the scale, or started yet another diet, my weight stayed the same (or went up!) and my confidence always went down, down, down. So much for the season of love, beach parties and summer fun!

Sound familiar? Oh trust me, I’ve been there girlfriend.

But is this really the way you want to feel? Didn’t think so. While for the most part I’ve overcome these body woes, they can still creep up when least expected. Fortunately, I’ve now learned how to tackle these feelings like champ (instead of let them eat away at me)!

Here’s the thing: negative self-talk does not make us feel better about ourselves. Crash-dieting to get that beach body does not make us feel sexier in a bikini. And comparing ourselves to other women doesn’t do a thing for our inner self-confidence.

It’s all up to you, baby!

I firmly believe that as women we have every right to look and feel the way we want to feel, and the first step is simply being kinder to ourselves and our bodies.

I’m so very passionate about this subject (and have personally struggled for years), that I’ve decided to launch a 21-Day Beach Confidence Program that will run from Monday June 29th – Sunday July 19th!

It’s chock-full of daily feel-good inspirations, guided transformational exercises, journaling activities + lots and lots of LOVE. The best part? I’ll be doing the entire program with you from start to finish along with a group of other women who are ready to ditch the deprivation, dieting, + self-hate this summer and simply enjoy the pleasures of the little season.

After all, who wants to be inside eating diet-food and scrutinizing your body when your gal pals are all out at the beach rocking their swimsuits + celebrating life? That’s what I thought.

Are you ready to let your inner self-confidence shine?

The Deets

The 21-Day Beach Confidence Program begins Monday 6/29 (right  before the 4th and my birthday!), and runs for 3 weeks ending on Sunday 7/19.

What’s included:

  • 21 inspirational lessons sent straight to your inbox each morning to start your day on the right foot. When you put in the work, this is where the transformation happens!
  • Welcome program guide packed with guidelines, a few of my favorite nourishing summer recipes, and an HC approved beach-ready grocery list (note: no foods are off limits during this program…more on that later!)
  • Daily journaling exercises + positive mantras to dig deep and create a true shift in mindset
  • Access to private Facebook group to discuss that day’s challenge, share successes + struggles, and stay motivated with other beach-ready babes!  (I’ll also be monitoring, answering questions + keep the momentum going!)
  • Sweet lil welcome goodies sent straight to your mailbox from yours truly ;)

Bonus #1: Free 60-minute kick-off “beach party” conference call held on the evening of Monday 6/29 where I share my story, review the program, and answer any burning questions (everything is fair game!)

Bonus #2: Post-challenge private 30 minute coaching call to celebrate growth, work through any obstacles + discuss next steps

Life Lessons We’ll Cover:

  • How + why you should listen to your cravings (and what they say about you and your body)
  • How to overcome negative self-talk
  • Saying goodbye to the scale for good
  • Listening to your body with ease
  • Dealing with guilt + summer BBQs
  • How to smack fat days in the ass
  • How your body hangups + the scale are holding you back and what to do about it
  • Celebrating summer with pleasure + zest!
  • Taking care + loving up the bod you were given
  • + so, so much more!

Your Investment: $67.00

Sign Up Now

Ready to say ta-ta to deprivation + body hate, and embrace body confidence + self-love this summer? Registration begins today, and the deadline to sign up is Sunday, 6/28 at 7:00pm.

Step 1: Sign up here to secure your spot in the 21-Day Beach Confidence Program!

Step 2: Make your payment of $67 via Paypal by Sunday 6/28 to complete your registration (or click the “Buy Now” button below).


                 

NBGNO Recap: BOOTY + ARM READY

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If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you probably recall my involvement last summer in New Balance’s Girls Night Out campaign, a night for women to socialize, sweat and have fun with their girlfriends! Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to return as a host for June’s GNO event, and I couldn’t have been more honored to dive in.

We all met at the New Balance Boston Experience Store in Back Bay to kick off the evening, and were served Essentia Water (thank goodness, it was a hot one!) and delish homemade granola bars upon our arrival.

[eek, that’s my name on there, minus the extra "R" ;) ]

When I got there, I was immediately greeted by the lovely staff at Regan and New Balance, and then head straight to the back to get my TribeTats on before the girls arrived. I was super thrilled to have them as one of the sponsors, as I absolutely LOVE what their company is all about — self-expression + empowerment, baby! While all the tats were super cute (decisions, decisions!), I decided on the gold feather as they’ve always been super meaningful in my life. To me, they symbolize strength and new beginnings…and what better than to have one on my right shoulder?

The theme of the evening was “Booty and Arm Ready,” focusing on getting our beach confidence up and our arms, booties and minds ready for summer! I love that New Balance shares a similar philosophy as me, recognizing that it’s not all about your looks or how many miles you can crush. At the end of the day, how do you feel and where’s your mindset at? That to me is what really matters most. (More on that in a bit!)

Each GNO event always starts with a good sweat session to get the girls going, with your choice of a fun run or a group fitness class! Tonight, we were in for a special treat with an option to take the Booty + Arm Sculpt Class with New Balance ambassador Sarah Kusch. Our group head off to Titus Sparrow Park in the South End, where we were greeted with our mats lined up and the fabulous Brek.One in the house (er, he park!) spinning live beats.

[Oh hey, Eliza!]

The workout was sweaty + fast-paced, including a mix of squats, lunges, planks, jumping jacks and some core work. It was nearly 90-degrees, so all of us were dripping in sweat and Sarah did a great job keeping us gals motivated!

After the workout, we head back to New Balance to cool down and refresh. It was now my time to “take the stage” and share some thoughts on what being “Booty + Arm Ready” and beach-body confident means to me.

I confessed to the girls about why summer used to give me quite a bit of anxiety, including my hangup on having “fat thighs” and hiding behind baggy shorts at the beach. Thankfully I’ve now come to realize that it’s simply not worth all the dieting, depriving and body shame I put myself through!

I shared with the group my top 4 simple tips for getting “beach ready” this summer:

1. Ditch the diets: no amount of diets or lemonade detoxing is going to make you feel better about yourself or your body. Instead, nourish yourselves with the foods that work for you!

2. Embrace your body: Honor your body, and appreciate your imperfections! Focus on YOU, rather than your best friend, the girl at the beach in the teeny bikini, or the model in the magazine with the “perfect” arms.

3. Believe you can: You can run that mile, take that dance class, get your body stronger. It’s all up to you, and the more you tell yourself you can do it, the sooner it’ll become a reality.

4. Have fun: I think we take ourselves too darn seriously, sometimes. Make sure to squeeze in some time for play, dinner’s out, romance and summer fun!

After my talk, Sarah shared her story with the girls and opened it up for some Q & A, where we learned how she balances her life as a single mom, where she grew up, and how she got into the fitness industry in the first place. We then had the girls sign the “Believe Board” with one promise to themselves they wanted to hold onto until the next GNO! After all, what better way to stick to your intention than by declaring it out-loud and looking at it every day?

[Mine was all about movement, baby!]

Attendees then mingled + enjoyed freshly made juices from Boston’s Thirst Juice Company, cocktails and light bites…plus some serious arm candy from TribeTats. New Balance even had an “InstaPrint” booth set up, where all photos from the night with the #NBGNO instantly printed out into tiny little take-home photos. Talk about capturing the moment in real time!

[Smiling for the camera with fellow Boston bloggers Jen + Semirah!]

Before leaving, each gal was given a special GNO tote bag to take home with them. And as always, New Balance didn’t disappoint. The bags were stuffed with the latest issue of Women’s Health, a sheet of beautiful TribeTats, a GNO bobble, and some special discounted vouchers. (The swag bags make saying goodbye not as hard!)

It was a pretty solid Girls Night Out if I do say so myself. Thanks to all who attended and made the night so fun!

The next GNO event will be held in July — stay tuned for an announcement next month! In the meantime, be sure to check out New Balance’s brand new loyalty app MyNB, where you can earn rewards points for different activities to redeem fab prizes like bibs for race entries, swag and more. Pretty sweet, huh?


                 

Lazy Ladies Banana Green Smoothie

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Lazy mornings are the best kind of mornings, aren’t they? There’s nothing like starting the day with some incense, journaling and self-care to really set your mindset for the day.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for buzzing mornings too — long runs, brunch with your girlfriends, a 45-minute spin sesh — but lazy mornings have a special place in my heart lately.

And on said mornings, my body really doesn’t feel like cooking one bit. Even the thought of turning on the stove and having to clean the dishes just makes me cringe. That’s where the Vitamix + green smoothies come in to save the day! I’m a “whatever is in the fridge” kind of girl when it comes to recipes, and this simplified banana smoothie did just the trick.

Lazy Ladies Banana Green Smoothie

What Ya Need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • large handful leafy greens (kale or spinach — the more the merrier!)
  • ~ 3/4 c. almond milk; add more or less based on desired consistency
  • 1 scoop of all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. raw cacao powder

Blend together in Vitamix or powerful blender, and enjoy chilled! (Note: If you do not have frozen bananas I like to add a couple ice cubes) Add some chia seeds to kick it up a notch!

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

why i quit my job to go back to working for myself (and how i got the nerves to do it)

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Flashback to about one month ago. I had just landed a promotion at work for my dream company, and was living the high-life — traveling from Boston to New York City to Connecticut back to Boston to DC. “We’re so proud of you!” everyone around me exclaimed. My life was in fast-pace and I was riding the wave…it felt a little crazy but I liked it. I felt recognized, important, like I was growing.

Until it didn’t really feel all that good anymore. The first time I felt things were off was on my plane ride home from Washington DC after I fully accepted this new position. I had this intense, anxious pit in my stomach but couldn’t really pinpoint what was going on. And so I ignored it. “You’re fine… you’re just nervous. It’s natural to be a little nervous,” I told myself. I closed my eyes and shut it out…and landed back to Boston feeling back to myself (well, at least for a bit).

A few days later, I was setting my career goals for the next month, quarter and year and that familiar feeling came back…this time much more fierce than before. As I looked at the year ahead, I literally couldn’t write out my goals…I was experiencing writer’s block in its truest form. They just weren’t there. My heart wasn’t there.

Again, I ignored these thoughts. “Just go back to them later,” I told myself. “You’re probably just tired.” And I continued to go back to work. Work helped me numb out to these thoughts that, quite frankly, scared me a little bit. “This is crazy!” “What would people think of me?” “Stop being so ridiculous!”

The next day, I was walking home from a long day of work and heard a little voice in my head telling me to sloowww down, to stop, to listen. I rushed home to my apartment, threw my work bag down and ran straight to the bedroom. I closed the door behind me, tossed my shoes aside, and climbed straight into bed.

I closed my eyes and took several deep breaths in + out. Slowly, my mind began to quiet…and my thoughts became more clear. It was the first time in months that I truly allowed myself to be alone with my thoughts. Like really alone with my thoughts.

I pictured my life one month, 3 months, 1 year down the line. And what I saw was not the life I was currently living + chasing. I saw myself feeling free, spinning around through fields of sunshine. I saw myself writing in little, eclectic coffee shops and journaling by the sea. I saw myself coaching + inspiring other women…sitting in circles getting deep with our desires. I saw travel and joy and romance and love and peace.

I opened my eyes and it suddenly became so crystal clear to me what I needed to do. I realized the one + only thing holding me back was my fear of what others would think of me. I heard my mom’s voice saying “But what about health insurance?!?!?!?!” I heard my dad asking me if I really thought everything through. I heard my friends saying “Huh? I thought you loved your job!” I heard my coworkers being disappointed in me…and feeling that I let them down. I heard my husband telling me that I am young and have my whole life to run my own business. I heard everyone around me laughing, and asking, “How the heck are you going to make money?”

And then I heard my own voice saying I want to feel free. I am limitless. I know I have the rest of my life to follow my dreams, but I want to start right now. I can do this. I need to do this.

However, my current lifestyle was blocking me from truly getting what I longed for…from feeling the way I wanted to feel. So I let go. I let go of the salary, the benefits, the safety net and took a big, giant leap into the unknown.

The ironic thing is, I’ve never felt more sure of myself. Yes, I’m scared. Yes, it’s not going to be easy and some days are going to be harder than others. Yes, I know this isn’t the traditional, logical, make-sense decision. And I’m beginning to be OK with that.

Flash-forward to today: This past Friday was my last day at work, and today marks the first day of the rest of my life. I’m feeling so many emotions but above all I am feeling a giant burst of inspiration. I haven’t felt so myself and so alive in quite some time now, and that makes me so deeply happy to know I am getting back to my roots (slowly but surely).

Now when people — be it relatives or strangers — ask me why the heck I quit my full-time, salaried job (with perks! and benefits! and glitz!) I tell them the truth: I was craving freedom. I want to live more. I know that I have this deeper purpose in life to empower other women to FEEL GOOD + re-discover joy. My happiness is 1,000 times more important to me than money, and always will be. I need to follow my heart; in fact I don’t know any other way to live. And I know things will work themselves out… they always do.

So, hello again my friend…it may have been a while but I. AM. BACK. Expect to see a lot more going on over here — more writing, more inspiration, more coaching, more juiciness, more of me! I’ve got a lot of little, fabulous things up my sleeves for you all and I couldn’t be more excited to share them with you…now let’s do this.

XoXo,

Rachel




                 

NBGNO EVENT ANNOUCEMENT: BOOTY + ARM READY

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Boston ladies, summer is here (well almost) and it’s time to embrace the beauty of the season! And what screams summer like cocktails, bumpin’ beats, movement, and spending the night mingling + laughing with your best gal pals?

Fortunately you can do all of that and more at Boston’s next New Balance Girls Night Out event! Find all the important deets below. Oh, and did I mention I’ll be hosting again? ;)

WHO: You! Grab your best gal pals or show up solo to make some new friends for summer…is there really a better way to kick off the season? I’ll be the host of the evening — you can find me all mic’d up likely wearing my NB fresh foams! And New Balance Ambassador + bad-ass Sarah Kusch will be leading you in a booty + arm workout like no other. Get ready to sweat!

WHAT: The theme of the night is “Booty + Arm Ready.” Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a fitness model or have arms sculpted like the celebs to join in on the fun. In fact, it’s quite the contrary! To me, “booty + arm ready” has much more to do with your mindset than it does your physical appearance. After all, it’s how you HONOR + FEEL in your body that matters most!

Fun fact: did you know that for the longest time I would actually leave my shorts on at the beach (and risk that horrid tan line) because I was ashamed of my body? Not any more! Make this summer about stepping outside your comfort zone, finding your inner confidence and rocking that bod. As I constantly say on the blog (and to all my girlfriends), “Learn to embrace your body.” Once you do, life is a lot more fun! (More on my story at the event…)

WHERE: Right at the New Balance Experience Store on Boylston St. Take the t to Copley Square + walk (or run) on over to 583 Boylston St. I’ll be there to greet you at the door with the biggest smile (and maybe a hug too!)

WHEN: June 11th at 6:00pm sharp…I better be seein’ ya there!

WHY: Because what’s better than spending a night out surrounded by passionate, inspiring, strong ladies? Seriously, though. Plus, you’ll have the chance to get some body art from TribeTats, healthy cocktails + apps and swag galore! Oh, and did I mention BREK.ONE will be spinning beats to set the mood for summer fun?

Update: This event is now full, but I will let you know if any more spaces become available! In the meantime, you can learn more about New Balance Girls Night Out + get all the deets on their meetup app here. (It’s pretty sweet — you can map your runs + meet up with other gals in the area for your very own GNO!)

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

What If Less really is more?: A Small Good Thing {A Review}

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Do you believe that you have to work  60-70+ hours a week, buy all the nice things and have a steady job with a salary (and benefits!) to be fully happy? Got the whole work hard, live hard thing a bit backwards? Feel like you always need to do more, more more?

I sure did. I thought that if I worked really hard, made good money and got a “real job” I’d be all set for life.

Only problem? I was listening to everyone else, except the most important person: myself. Rather than listen to my heart & keep the whole “In think I can” mentality, I allowed others to constantly tell me I “can’t,” I’m crazy and that my big dream, entrepreneurial ways are “not the way to make money.”

But is there more to life than that? I have a tiny voice is my head saying there is… and I’m willing to take the risk and get super vulnerable to find out.

The other week, I gave my notice at my “real” big girl job (with salary and benefits and the whole sha-bang!) to pursue my dreams in working for myself again. The thing is: I loved my job, I adored my coworkers, and on most days I considered myself quite lucky. However, it quickly became my life & I was literally living to work. It’s almost like I was consumed by it, and I just couldn’t put it down.

When I took some time + got real with my emotions, it was clear to me that I had to let go…I had to trust in the universe a little.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that way of thinking…more power to the 9-to-5ers and those who’ve found work they truly love! But for me, it just never felt quite right (even when I actually landed my “dream job.”)

During this exciting (and anxiety-ridden!) transition, I was given the opportunity to preview the documentary “A Small Good Thing” by Pamela Tanner Boll.  With tears in my eyes and my heart wide open (aka I was an emotional mess) I decided to pop it on one cozy evening to watch with my husband. After all, what did I have to lose?

Wow. All I can say is wow. Talk about good timing!

The 70-minute film is set in the breathtaking Berkshires, and follows the unique story of five people who have chosen a “simpler” path to life: a yogi, a social work student, a farmer, a community activist, and a beautiful couple raising their family on a farm. It takes you on a journey from start to finish, flashing back and forth between the stories highlighting their personal way of living + “day in the life” sort of speak.

The whole premise of the film is that in a material world where everyone feels the need to follow the “American Dream,” there is indeed another way to do it. (Oh, and make enough money to get by too.) The experts discuss that while our standard of living has improved over the past few decades, unfortunately our happiness levels have indeed plummeted.

My favorite part was the story following a husband and wife duo — Jen and Pete Salinetti – who live on a farm as way to connect with the community + make a living doing it too. Maybe they aren’t millionaires…but they are happy. Maybe their kids don’t have ALL the toys…but they are overflowing with joy + a zest for life. Maybe they don’t shop at Whole Foods and fancy boutiques daily, but they are full with an abundance of love (and farm-fresh food waiting for them at the table). Maybe they don’t work stressful, long hours in an office…but they are changing the world one day at a time.

Maybe less really is more…and there is more meaning to this crazy, beautiful life of ours.

After watching the film, I went to bed feeling incredibly moved, inspired and a sense of comfort. It was almost like a little voice was telling me, “Hey Rach, it’s all going to be OK.” Simply put, those people were “my people” and it totally spoke my language…big time. (Just watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean!)

I truly don’t know where this next chapter in my life will take me, and I’m slowly becoming more & more OK with that. In the meantime, A Small Good Thing gave me that extra reassurance and boost of confidence.

What I do know for sure: I’ll write a heck of a lot and will probably go ahead and finally self-publish that book that’s been on my vision board for years. Maybe I’ll kick off this new journey with a retreat to Kripalu in the Berkshires to simply get a way + “digital detox.” And there will most definitely be a lot more laughs + love with my husband.

The rest is still uncertain, but I do know I’ll be living hard…and that to me is priceless.

P.S. Want to get your hands (er, eyes) on A Small Good Thing? You’re in luck. It’s playing next weekend Sunday May 31st at the Berkshire International Film Festival. Snag your tickets here! (Trust me, it’s worth the $12 + so much more!)

XoXo,

Rachel

                 

On Learning to Listen + Trust in the Universe

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I have a confession to make: I worry a lot.

Like a lot, a lot.

As an empathetic, emotional cancer-the-crab, I have this innate sense of concern for myself + others that’s pretty darn hard to shake. It’s not necessarily a bad thing (I think everyone in my family including my husband to some extent appreciates the constant reminders to drive slow during a snow storm and call me immediately upon their return. Well, maybe.) Regardless, it is a part of who I am.

Of all the worries in the world, the one that sticks with me most is fear of the future. I can’t help but wonder, “Are we all going to make it through this crazy, beautiful, fabulous life OK?” And in a world of constant surprises + wonderings, it drives me absolutely mad to NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. If only I had a crystal ball…

Is this rational? Probably not. But it is who I am, and I’m learning to embrace that.

When I went to an energy reading a few weeks ago, the therapist said something that really stuck with me: “You have a fear associated to there being no real ‘guidelines’ to your path. The universe guides you based on your energy. Why would you need more than that?’”

BINGO.

She hit the nail on the head. As someone who is so resistant to structure + guidelines (I seriously despise any sort of rigid formality), there’s some part of me that also ironically fears the unknown when it comes to my life path.

Am I making the right decision…?

Did I make a mistake…?

What does the future hold for me…?

And what about money…can I be happy AND wealthy?

Will everything work itself out…?

But, what if…?

Last week, I made a pretty major life decision (more on that another time), and I had so much noise (and yes, worry) in my head that it was difficult for me to just listen…you know, truly listen within. Rather than listening to my heart, I found myself listening to other people + my own self-doubt a.k.a my ego. But once I was able to quiet my mind and really trust in myself, my decision became 100% crystal clear to me.

My energy had shifted. My worries had began to drift away. And even though I was still in the same exact situation as moments before, I was no longer afraid. It’s funny what a simple shift in perspective can do, isn’t it?

I was then brought right back to my energy session a few weeks before.

The universe guides you based on your energy. Why would you need more than that?

The words continued to play over + over again in my mind. I found them rather comforting, and enchanting at the same time.

You see, in a world of ups + downs, twists + turns, ebbs + flows, we may never know what the future brings. And while yes, this can be scary at times, it’s also pretty darn exciting. As long as you are clear about what it is you truly want and how it is you want to feel, the universe will guide you in the right direction. That right there is pretty darn enlightening.

I’ve never been a super “woo woo” person (although I do love my oracle cards and tend to embrace my inner hippy from time to time) but I am a firm believe that when you begin to open up yourself to the universe, it will fill you up with joy + abundance.

As I embark on this next journey in my life, I know me being a worry-wort isn’t just going to go away overnight…and that’s OK. However, I am going to work on learning to listen + trust in the universe (and myself). After all, what do I have to lose?

                 

 
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