Last week when I was chatting with Beth Hopkins of Shamanuti for an article I wrote for Well Insiders, we got to talking about the things that brought us the most joy as a little girl. Beth told the most beautiful story of how at just five years old, her and her cousin would make floral waters to sell to friends of her grandparents and the local community of the Gardener’s Cottage she grew up in. Each year, she’d wait for the violets and lilacs to bloom, since those made the loveliest waters.
Little did she know that years later her passion for hand-crafting floral waters would lead to the start of her business, Shamanuti, which specializes in natural products utilizing plant-based ingredients found in nature.
It’s funny how our passions as a little kid tend to stick with us, and perhaps maybe we should think more often about what made us happy growing up. I too had a similar story as Beth, and was inspired to dig a little deeper last year when gearing up to leave my full-time job.
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 … Read More!
As the holiday season unwinds, I realize I have many gifts to be thankful for — both the physical and the little blessings that are only felt by the heart. But perhaps the greatest gift of all is that of gratitude.
It’s a gift for yourself, and no one can take that away from you.
When you’re feeling particularly low, down or lonely, gratitude may be one of the only things that can pick you right back up. It’s like a gentle nudge of affection, telling you “Hey, it’s all going to be OK.” And with the snap of a finger, your day can take a complete 180 with the simple expression of gratitude. It’s that powerful.
Gratitude forces you to shift your perspective, to stop, pause and appreciate what it is you have to be thankful for. It helps you open up your eyes and honor the present. It fills you up with love. It gives you hope even when hope seems far away.
So as 2014 comes to an end, I’d like to take a moment and reflect upon what it is I have to be grateful for this year, and I urge you to do the same!… Read More!
One of my favorite quotes (& one that I go back to often) is:
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
Think about that for a second, and I mean really truly deeply think about it.
To me, it’s pretty much saying we’d be a whole lot more happy (and confident) if we simply quit comparing so darn much. Take Facebook for example. You’re having a crap day so you decide to go peruse social media (worst decision ever). Within seconds of logging in, you find that Susie just got the job of her dreams, Mary’s about to start her own business (the same business you wished you started 2 years ago), and Lisa lost 15 pounds with that new diet she’s been trying. Oh, and Jane got engaged. Great, well isn’t that just dandy, you think as you pour yourself another glass of red, tears streaming down your face.
But then again what do you expect when you’re comparing your shittiest of shit days to everyone else’s spotlight moments? You’re setting yourself up for the worst.
You see, happiness comes from the inside, … Read More!
As you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog lately. No, it’s not because I’ve forgotten about you all nor love you any less; rather it has to do with a little pact I made with myself a few weeks ago to LIVE more.
— Rachel Chemerynski (@Healthy_Chicks) February 8, 2014
Don’t get me wrong – I adore blogging & most definitely feel ALIVE & vibrant when I am writing (more on that in a bit). But there’s a fine line between pleasure writing and the feeling of HAVING to write, and I’ve been working on defining that line and setting some boundaries.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this pact to live MORE, and I think it goes back to my initial 2014 intention of making an impact. In order to truly make my mark, I need to stop trying so hard and start living…more.
Living more means stepping back and allowing life to happen, without focusing so much on the how’s, the what’s and the to dos.
Living more means taking … Read More!
Winter blues got you down? Between colds & flu to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sometimes you just want to curl up in a dark hole (your bed) and throw yourself a pity party. If feeling bummed out is becoming your daily norm, don’t you fear! You just need some good ol’ fashioned pick-me-ups to get you back on your Winter A-Game ASAP.
Here are 20 ways to snap out of the winter blues starting right now!
1. Get some sunshine (or a Vitamin D supplement): Yes, it’s true – sunshine really does make you happy! Even though it’s cold out, make it a point to get outside every day so you can soak up some happiness for yourself. Also, check in with your doctor regarding your Vitamin D levels; many of us fellow north-easterners struggle with low levels throughout the winter which can contribute to the sluggishness and general “blah” feeling.
2. Take a Cat Nap: Naps aren’t just for tots, after all! Our bodies need more rest and warmth during the winter, so there’s definitely no shame in taking an afternoon cap nat, that is if it’s not at your office desk! Aim to get enough sleep … Read More!
For those of you who don’t yet know, yesterday something incredibly magical and life-changing happened for me: The Boy & I got engaged. And for those of you who don’t know, The Boy’s real name? Jason. Let’s call him “J.”
And now for the million-dollar question, How did he do it? Well ladies (and gents), I’m about to tell you…
On Friday evening we were out in Rockport celebrating our beautiful friends Ross and Megan’s wedding. While we were dancing (and perhaps after a tad too much wine), J asked me if I’d like to go for a run with him in the morning on the Charles before we took off for his mother’s 60th birthday celebration.
I immediately laughed at him and teased him for suddenly showing such interest in exercise. While he most definitely works out from time to time, usually I’m the one pushing we go on runs together more often. He snapped back at me that it’s only going to be fall for so long and we should take advantage of the weather while we can. So I agreed.
The next morning I woke up exhausted and somewhat hungover. J was no longer in bed, so … Read More!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately in order to explore my spirituality (especially when it comes to those old money fears that tend to creep up every so often).
I was recently recommended the book “Leveraging the Universe” by Mike Dooley and since I’m always up for a good read I ordered it on Amazon right away. I’ve been reading a few pages every day before bed/whenever I get some down time so I can truly savor it without rushing through.
This morning at the coffee shop I read through the chapter on “Charting your course” and the author had us answer the question, “What do I want?” Not what should you want. Not what should you do. Not what should you be when you grow up. Just what you want / what you truly want to do. Pure and simple.
I honestly had never thought of that question in such a simple way. Instead, I always clog it up with dozens of questions like “But how will I get there?” “But what do you mean?” “Like in real life or fantasy life?” “By when?” In reality, when you push … Read More!
I live a very fast-paced, go-go-go, give it my all, “you can sleep when you’re dead” lifestyle most of the time (as I assume most blossoming entrepreneurs do.) It’s full of passion, excitement, life and color! Staying up late letting the creative juices flow…parking it at coffee shops for the day to hit last-minute deadlines…taking chances…booking meetings…picking up the phone…showing up…saying “Yes.”
I won’t lie: while it’s wildly inspiring and entertaining sometimes it can be plain exhausting. Exhausting to the point of burn out, fatigue and “enough.” Does that mean I’m not cut out for it? Not one bit.
You see, what I realized lately is that you don’t have to pick one or the other: the “play it safe” unplugged life or the fast ‘n’ furious audacious life. Rather, they can play off each other and you can have the best of both worlds. You can create your perfect blend.
How? By slowing down (when you need to). It’s wonderful to live a life full of wild excitement, but if you suddenly get too wrapped up in being “on” all the time, that may be a sign that it’s time for you to slow down, take a break … Read More!
I used to think that starting over was impossible — it seemed completely out of my reach.
If I over-indulged for a weekend in college, I’d punish myself for being “bad” and “ruining” my diet by starving myself and stuffing my face with sugar-free, low-cal crap.
And if I made a mistake, chose the wrong path or felt “stuck” in a life I didn’t love, I’d think there was nothing I could do about it. This is just how it is. It’s “too late.”
I now know it’s never too late to start over & create the life you want for yourself. With this new mindset, I’ve left jobs that didn’t feel right to me, let go of a toxic “relationship” that was draining me, broke up with the scale, and released the thoughts “I can’t.”
By doing so, I have found a career path that makes me stay up late at night feeling inspired, I know what real love feels like, I have developed a healthy & fun relationship with food and I now tell myself “I can do it” as much as possible.
You see, it truly is never too late. Your life is like a blank … Read More!