MY TRIP TO BALI: 6 UNFORGETTABLE THINGS TO DO IN A RAINFOREST PARADISE

Ever since the idea of creating the life I want was crystalized in my head some time ago, I took it and ran.

I truly push the envelope on the concept on a daily basis and it never seize to amaze me.

One of the things that I decided I want to do in life is travel extensively.

With that in mind, every year I plan at least one major trip. My goal is to increase that to several a year.

Last year I traveled to several spots, including one of my favorite destinations, Italy.

I love Italy so much that I pretty much believe I am part Italian. :-)

We visited Rome (which I absolutely adore), Florence, and Venice (on the top of my list for romantic getaways).

This year, last month in July, I spent almost two weeks on the other side of the world, literally. I visited Indonesia, the island of Bali, with my love.

Most of the time when I travel, I am what my daughter refers to as a “travel-zilla”.

That’s because I love to research as much as possible about where I’m traveling to prior to getting there and then I take off each day like a mad woman because I want to see as much as I can.

I typically plan all the destinations and details of our travels, because I’m a “travel-zilla”.

I booked our entire stay at the Kampung Resort Ubud, where we stayed in a private villa with a wrap around balcony overlooking the natural beauty of the rainforest.

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Much of our time in Bali was spent sightseeing, eating (of course), and relaxing.

Travel allows me the opportunity to decompress, recharge, and get back to myself.

Bali was the perfect place to do all of these.

Because the island is such a spiritual place where everything pretty much moves slowly, it’s pretty hard to feel stressed about anything.

I felt compelled to share with you a few of the things we experienced during our time there that I highly recommend!

1. WAKE UP LATE TO DAILY BREAKFAST, FRESH JUICE & COFFEE

Each day for breakfast I tried something different on the hotel menu, which ranged from the traditional American breakfast (eggs, toast, and fresh fruit) to the traditional Indonesian breakfast (fried rice or fried noodles and freshly squeezed juices).

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2. VISIT THE MONKEY FOREST

We hired a driver for the day to take us to all the best spots in Ubud.

The first stop was to the famous Monkey Forest. To be honest, I was a little scared of these little monkeys. You are given “rules” to follow upon entering their territory. One of which was not to look them directly in the eyes, as this is taken as a sign of aggression and they will attack. While they do sell bananas for tourist to feed to the monkeys, I kept my distance. They can be very belligerent and I was taking no chances. :-)

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3. SEE THE TEGENUNGAN WATERFALL

This is one of several waterfalls in Ubud, but a spectacular experience, nonetheless. It’s a tourist trip, but I didn’t really care. After all, I was a tourist and wanted a tourist experience. It was simply gorgeous and I very much enjoyed it.

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4. GET BLESSED AT THE TEMPLE SIRING- HOLY SPRING WATER TEMPLE

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This is a picture of me getting blessed at the Temple Siring-Holy Spring Water Temple. I was told to wet my face with the holy water three times, drink a sip of the holy water three times, say a prayer, and then have a frangipani flower placed behind my ear for good fortune. But you must believe for the good fortune to come true. This is a traditional Hindu practice. Many people fully immerse themselves in the temple’s water, but I did not.

5. TRY THE KOPE LAUWAK COFFEE (A.K.A. THE MOST EXPENSIVE COFFEE IN THE WORLD)

Well, you can’t go to Bali without trying the Kopi Luwak Coffee. I read about the coffee prior to getting to Bali and even purchased some before visiting the plant. Well, turns out that I did not do enough research prior to taking a tour of the coffee plant because I had no idea what a Luwak was or how the coffee got its’ name.

Turns out the Kopi Luwak is an Asian palm civet, a cat! In short, the coffee is also known as “cat poop coffee”!!! At first, I could not wrap my brain around how this actually happened. But then I was shown the process and even given a chance to sit down with one of the elderly ladies whose sole job is to cook the coffee beans all day.

It was an interesting experience… but I’m not sure if I will be drinking more of this coffee. The taste… it was smooth, yet strong… with no aftertaste.

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6. EXPERIENCE THE VIEW FROM THE BALI SWING

As our trip was coming to an end, I was still looking for more to do. But my honey was pretty much moving in slow motion by this point. So we compromised. We decided to go something that didn’t really involve him being too active other than watching and photographing me. :-)

We decided on the Bali Swing. This was a fairly new attraction in Bali at the time we were there. Basically, it’s a huge swing that allows you to swing high above the waterfalls and valley with the most breathtaking views. There is even the cutest human size bird nest with even better views.

My only disappointment was that of all days, I chose to wear an “army green” color, which made me blend in with the beautiful scenery. Lol

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Honestly, I could go on and on about our time in Bali. It was so worth travel time to the other side of the world.

Will I be back? Absolutely! It was one of the best travel experiences I’ve had to date.

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3 Reasons Why People Get Stuck In Life

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As a therapist, I am trained to listen to others and help them work through their problem areas.

One of the most common issues I hear from my clients is feeling stuck.

Feeling like they are just in a sinkhole or circling the drain trying to keep from going down.

There are 3 common themes that show up over and over.

Unsure of yourself

When you are unsure of yourself you tend to wait on something to happen before making a decision.

What usually happens in this case is that something will in fact happen and you will then be forced to make a rushed decision because your back will be pressed to the wall with nowhere else to go.

In other words, you have allowed something or someone else make the decision for you instead of you taking control.

Scared of making the wrong decision

Many people prolong making decisions because they are scared of making the wrong decision.

They spend a great deal of time thinking about all of the possible outcomes, worse case scenarios, and how to avoid them.

Thinking things through is absolutely necessary. I highly recommended it.

However, overthought decisions usually end up not being good either.

Overthinking it is simply another way of procrastination to not do what you really need to do.

There is no way to avoid making wrong decisions over the course of your life.

The good news is that once you have made enough bad ones, you make better ones over time because you then know what not to do.

It’s all a part of the process.

Don’t be scared of making wrong decisions.

You can always learn from it, recover, and become wiser as a result.

Expect the worst to happen

I’ve heard many people say things like “every time I try to do something different it never works out.” Or…

“I only end up in a worse situation than where I started.” Or…

“Nothing good ever happens to me.”

Actually, it is all about perspective and energy.

Meaning that if you are a person who always looks at the negative side of everything first, it doesn’t matter what happens, you will always see things as negative or bad.

Doesn’t necessarily mean that what happened was actually bad. Just that it’s the way you chose to see it.

Also, when your expectation is that something bad is going to happen, that is the energy you put out to the universe.

You are almost always sure to get back what you put out into the universe.

It is a boomerang effect.

It’s a little thing called the law of attraction.

The reality is you are never actually really stuck. You always have options.

To avoid being stuck, do the following:

  • Trust your gut to make a decision in a timely manner.
  • Take no longer than 7 days to make decisions whenever humanly possible.
  • Know that no decision will be the wrong decision. You can always recover from something that doesn’t go quite as planned doesn’t go quite as planned.
  • Expect good results and that all will work out for your benefit.

And remember, you are only stuck when you choose not to move!

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear Is A Liar

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Have you ever thought about or wanted to do something but something just wouldn’t let you move forward?

As much as you wanted it, you just couldn’t seem to make a move.

More than likely it was because of fear.

This has happened to me before. Several times.

Each time it happened when I was about to do something new and out of my comfort zone.

All of a sudden everything came to a halt. I couldn’t move.

First I thought it was burnout.

But that wasn’t it. Having experienced burnout before, fear feels a little different.

I realized I wasn’t moving because I was paralyzed… with fear!

Fear rears its’ ugly head for a number of different reasons.

Some of the most common are:

  • Fear of what others may think or say
  • Fear of failing
  • Fear of looking and feeling like a loser

There is a difference between being scared and fear.

When you are scared you can still perform.

You still do whatever it is you need to do, with sweat running down your forehead, knees shaking, heart beating fast and all.

It’s like having your first baby. It is very scary becoming a parent for the first time, but most still do it anyway.

Then there is FEAR.

Fear is quite different from being scared.

Fear is paralyzing.

It stops you in your tracks.

Makes you believe that things are impossible.

It tells you that you will likely not make it through or flat out die if you do that thing.

It keeps your dreams in your head instead of you living them out.

You know what… Fear is a liar! A flat out liar!!!

Fear is a dream killer. A life stealer!

The reality is that you really can do and be whatever you want.

And the worst-case scenario that can happen as a result of doing something that scares the heck out of you, which is death (in my opinion), never happens.

As long as something does not kill you, what is the harm of going after it?

So you fail…

The reality is you really didn’t fail. You will always fail forward, landing further than where you began. You simply had an experience that taught you what not to do the next time.

So people talk about you…

The reality is people will talk about you anyway.

According to “people” you will either be a bum who is not doing anything with your life who had so much potential or “who does she think she is???”

These are usually the people stuck in their same cycle year after year because they are ruled by their fear.

So you lose…

The reality is no one wins all the time. It is just not humanly possible.

The people who ultimately win are the ones who have lost hundreds of times first and tried again. This is a fact!

In this world, there are two types of people…

Those that talk about what they are going to do (the dreamers) and those that do it (doers).

Which one are you?

Don’t let fear keep you a dreamer and rob you of living.

Live your life while you can.

Do what you’ve always wanted to do.

At the very least, you’ll have wonderful experiences to share with others.

Write that book you’ve always wanted to.

Start your business.

Move to a different state.

The next time fear shows up remember to let your vision and passion lead and override the fear.

Remember that you have to want that thing more than your fear wants you not to.

Do the thing that scares you. Don’t be paralyzed by fear.

Live as if your life depends on it! Because it does!

 

 

 

 

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New Beginnings

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Happy New Year!

2017 is now underway. Can you believe it?

The holidays were great for me.

I took some much needed time off from work, spent time with family, ate, drank, got a new hairdo, slept, and ate some more.

For many this is the time to look back on the previous year, reflect and come up with a plan on how to move forward.

Often the New Year is seen as a sign of hope and new beginnings.

Out with the old, in with the new.

The thought of having a new start seems so refreshing and liberating for many.

I must admit I too get the same feelings.

I have shiny object syndrome.

I love the newness of stuff!

Only my thoughts about new beginnings are a little different now.

I no longer feel the need to wait until the New Year to begin anew.

New beginnings happen whenever I decide they do.

I believe this to be true for everyone.

When something is not working or no longer serving me I make the necessary shifts immediately.

While the beginning of a new year is ideal for charting out your course for the year, there is no need to remain on the same track if somehow things get derailed.

Make the necessary shifts and change your course as needed.

I am a planner. It is just my nature.

However, I don’t like planning too far ahead because so many things come into play.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe it is essential to set your intentions for what you want to create for the year.

In fact, I highly encourage it.

Only I build in a little flexibility in case I decide to take a detour.

Here’s how I plan for the upcoming year:

On a piece of paper, I make a cross (this gives me four sections).

Each section represents each quarter of the year (I label each by quarter).

This way I get a new beginning once every three months! Hey, I like shiny new stuff!

For each quarter I plug in my intentions, goals and what I would like to do or see happen.

For example, this year I decided I want to travel somewhere for pleasure at least once in each quarter.

So I plug it in the quarter that the travel will occur in.

Thus far I have two trips planned in two quarters of the year, which gives me some planning to do for the other two quarters.

I do this for each area of my life that I want to grow in or change (i.e. professional/business, finances, personal development, health/wellbeing, etc).

It can be in whatever area you’d like.

But most importantly, I leave wiggle room in case some things need to get moved around.

What about you?

Have you planned your year yet?

What do your new beginnings look like?

If you are like me and can’t seem to plan too far ahead, try my way.

Let me know how it works out.

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Feeling Stuck Financially? How To Create Multiple Steams of Income

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A common complaint I often hear from people is they do not make enough money and don’t feel like they can make more for various reasons…

Some of which include:

I have small kids and can’t leave them.

I live in a small town and opportunities are limited.

Oh… and the most common… I don’t have time!

None of which are reasons at all, just excuses.

The reality is none of these are true.

As well as probably none of the other excuses you tell yourself.

After hearing this so many times and realizing I have been creating multiple streams of income for myself for over 20 years (mostly unintentionally), I thought I’d offer some tips.

I first began creating extra income for myself when I decided to purchase my first home at the age of 23.

My first home was a duplex where I lived on one side and rented the other (extra income to help me pay my mortgage), which means I became a landlord at 23 years old!

This was unintentional because I knew nothing about real estate, but had someone that saw something in me in that business who took me under his wing and showed me the way.

This led to me purchasing several other properties over the next few years.

Since that time I have moved away from real estate, yet continued finding ways to make extra money to supplement my income.

As a single parent doctoral student, I had to get pretty creative.

There are numerous million and billionaires who do not believe in having only one way to make a living or your fortune.

And I agree.

Whether you just want to make extra money on the side or have hopes of one day being your own boss, these tips may be helpful.

Get creative. Think outside the box. Are there things you do well or have experience in?

You do not always have to be an expert in the area. Just a few steps ahead of the person you are helping.

Some examples of how you could begin creating extra income fairly quickly include:

• Teacher/tutor-
With so many options available now, both inside and outside the home, this is fairly obtainable. If you have at least an undergraduate degree, there are sites like vipkid.us where you can earn extra money by teaching part-time from the comfort of your home. With a master’s degree, you can find numerous universities, some local, some totally online, like University of Phoenix, Capella, and Walden University, which are often looking for adjuncts to teach classes. If you have no college degree, I’ll bet you still know a little more than most elementary, middle school and high school students. You could make flyers and bring to the schools in your area to offer tutoring services. Although it may be a good idea to at least be in the process of pursuing a college degree while doing this.

• Personal trainer-
While it may be good to be certified in this area, it is not necessary. I once worked with a personal trainer and I never asked for any certifications. All that was important to me was could she get me the results I wanted? And she did! In fact, her personal training business grew solely by word of mouth due to the results her clients received. If you have experience in health, weight loss/training and some in nutrition (could be just from your own results), teach others what you did and charge a nominal fee. Talk to your friends, go to your local gym, look like you know what you are doing, talk to people and offer to train them.

• Consultant-
Do you have experience in a certain area that people often need help with? Have you had some success in this area? If so, you are a consultant! Or rather you are considered an expert in that area and able to offer advice (paid). Most times there are no certifications needed to be a consultant, just knowledge and a proven track record in that line of work. Do you have experience writing and getting grants accepted? You’re a consultant. Do you have mostly successful experience in real estate? You’re a consultant. Do you have experience and a proven track record of getting trails accepted in clinical research? You’re a consultant! I could go on and on… but I hope I conveyed the message.

• Photographer-
Have a camera and interest in photography? Offer to take family, school, team sports, holiday, headshot, etc photos whenever possible. Upload the photos to a disk, provide a written release for pictures to be printed and charge a fee.

• Cook/baker/cater-
Do you like to cook or bake? Does it taste good (very important)? I enjoy cooking and baking. Once I took orders for meals that I made in my own kitchen and sold them to my colleagues and where my relatives worked. It went so well that I sold out of plates and had requests for more. Put a menu together of your best dishes and let your colleagues, classmates, church members and everyone you can think of know you are open for business.

Those are just a few ways that almost anyone can use to create multiple streams of income.

The possibilities are endless!

If you seriously want to create additional streams of income for yourself, put your thinking caps on and don’t be afraid to get creative.

Have more you’d like to add to the list? Leave a comment.

Need help, contact me at tiffany@tiffanystewartphd.com

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Think You Can’t Create a Life or Business You Love? Discover 7 Principles That Helped Me…

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Do you ever think to yourself there has got to be more to life than this?

Have you been daydreaming of what a fulfilled life actually looks like, where you are happy, healthy, have everything you need, including freedom and flexibility, doing exactly what you want to be doing?

Maybe you are you a hard worker, fairly smart and accomplished, have a decent job, but it doesn’t challenge you or make your creative juices flow.

Are you at the point in your life where you are starting to ask what your purpose is so that you can get to the business of living it?

If so, I understand. I was there also.

For some this comes very easily. For others, not so much…

A huge part of creating a meaningful life and doing meaningful work is attached to your purpose.

But I know that creating a life and business you truly love comes with a significant challenge:

HOW?

Can you relate to any of this?

• You want to truly be happy in your life, not Facebook happy

• You feel overwhelmed with so many responsibilities and cannot see the possibility of living your own life

• You feel hopeless and left behind

• You want to get paid for doing what you love and add to or replace your income

• You are ready to experience a significant shift that involves financial freedom, flexibility, next level success and love

If so, I’ve got some news for you.

One of my gifts is helping individuals reach their goals quickly.

Starting anything new can be overwhelming…

Whether it is starting a new relationship, traveling overseas for the first time, or starting a new business.

But there are 7 principles you MUST know if you want to make a quantum L.E.A.P. in your life and/or business.

Let me explain first…

Just a couple of short years ago, I was a full-time college professor on the academic track.

I had NO thoughts about or experience being an entrepreneur.

My brand or message … well, it was nonexistent.

In fact, my entire life I had always said I never wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Fast forward to today…

I became comfortable in my skin.

Figured out my purpose.

Created a business I love based on my purpose.

Found love.

Traveled to some of the most beautiful, fabulous places in this world.

And coached individuals on finding there purpose, create meaningful lives and start purposeful businesses.

Here are “Seven Principles That Shifted My Life Forever…”

1. Clarity. I got really clear about what “I” wanted. Often times we make decisions based on the needs and wants of others. While there are some circumstances where this is necessary to do (being a parent or spouse), there are other times when we base our decisions on what others think we should do, how we were raised, for the sake of staying in our place of comfort, or any other reason outside of what our gut tells us to do. I figured out what I really wanted for my life, despite the opinions of others.

2. Ask for help. Once I decide what it was I really wanted to do, I asked for help from individuals who were where I wanted to be. You do not have to figure everything out on your own. Asking for help is a sign of strength and intelligence, not weakness or inferiority.

3. Stop overthinking things. It is easy to make excuses and come up with all the reasons why you cannot do something or why it will not work. I made a decision on what I wanted and sprung into action mode almost immediately before the excuses set in.

4. Go for it! I put myself out there despite having virtually no personal brand. Your message and body of work build your personal brand. While spreading your message and work you are also building your brand.

5. Surround yourself with likeminded and supportive individuals. I only shared my ideas with those who had either done it or were on the same path. Allow no room for judgment, criticism, or naysayers.

6. Invest. I invested in myself by getting a coach to help guide and support me on my journey. Yes, coaches need coaches too!

7. Get out of the way and hit GO! I got out of my own way, stopped living inside of my head and went to work. Each passing day and step taken brings you closer to getting what you want.

Are you willing to do what it takes to be your own success story?

If I had not gone through my own process and taken my own L.E.A.P., I would still be wondering ‘is this all my life has to offer’?

Instead of you continuing to wonder also, what if you took your own L.E.A.P.?

I know you too will see major shifts and HUGE results, just like I have been able to do in my own life and business.

STOP wondering ‘what if’ and START creating the amazing life that is awaiting you!

Are you ready to L.E.A.P.?

Contact me at tiffany@tiffanystewartphd.com.

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How I Created Space To Find Love In My Life

A few years ago I settled on the “fact” that I would never find the right person for me or have love in my life.

Like many, I spent years dating.

I did all of the things “the experts” tell us to do…

Make a list of the things you want in a man (which I do recommend).

Go to different places to meet a different type of man.

Try online dating.

Don’t be so rigid or expect too much (as in don’t expect him to have both a house and car… or at the very least, not at the same time)!

And the list goes on and on…

Oh, the stories I could tell about my dating experiences.

I could easily turn them into a #1 box office comedy. That’s for sure!

But after trying for so long, unsuccessfully, I did the one thing I had never tried before.

I gave up! Meaning I surrendered.

Got really clear about who I was and what I really wanted in my life.

Focused on appreciating what I already had.

In doing these things, my list came down to only a few things.

These included wanting to be happy, travel and live my best life.

And the reality was I didn’t need a man in my life to do those.

I have always been my biggest fan. But I became a super fan of me.

Then came the realization that having a man in my life, or not, did not define my happiness or me.

I stopped dating totally for about a year just to focus on being the best me I could be.

Yes, a whole year! I was over it!

It was during that time that I realized I am enough, all by myself.

And if I never had another date again in my life, it did not mean there was anything wrong with me.

Settling was no longer an option just for the sake of being with someone.

Just when I got nestled into my new realization that I would be single for the rest of my life and when I was not jet setting somewhere, I would take up residency in my daughter’s guest house once she got married and had a family (she was 14 at the time), it happened…

I met my love. We’ve now been happily together over two years.

And as it turned out we had known each other over 20 years.

Here’s how I created space for love in my life:

– I let go of the constant thoughts of not having someone and became appreciative for everything I had.

– I became okay with me. Just me. And knew that I was enough by myself.

– I became happy by and with myself and did not expect anyone to bring happiness to me.

– I focused on my life being full with what I had and not the absence of what I did not.

In short form, I loved me first.

And by the way, he has all the things I had on my list!!! Score!!!

You too can create love or whatever it is you want in your life!

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How I Saved 30K In One Year

One of the ways to creating the life you want is through having financial freedom. Or just having a little room to breath financially.

Although I have always been pretty smart with my money and a good money manager, there have been times when I’ve been strapped for money and had to tell bill collectors to get in line with everyone else to get their money.

Hey, things happen to the best of us sometimes. Often, with no warning at all.

But here is how I saved thirty thousand dollars in one year.

First, I changed my money story.

That consisted of doing a few things.

I stopped using negative language when it came to money.

By saying thing like, “I’m so broke” or “I never have any money”.

Even when someone asked me for a loan, my response was never “I don’t have any money”. It was usually, “I don’t have any money to give you”.

In other words, I stopped speaking about my money from a poverty perspective and started speaking of it from a place of abundance.

And like a magnet, money started flowing to me.

Next, I put myself on a budget… a real budget. Which meant some real changes.

By following the spending plan I originally came across from Oprah’s Debt Diet (Housing 35%, Savings 10%, Transportation 15%, Debt 15%, Other Living Expenses 25%), I was able to save thirty thousand dollars in one year.

A common mistake I see many people make is trying to budget within their current situation.

That’s not a real budget if the percentages listed above are out of alignment. If any of my expenses went over these numbers, something got cut.

To do this, I opened several different bank accounts and separated my money according to what it was to be used for.

For example, I had an account just to pay my rent and household expenses, another account for gas and maintenance on my car, another account only for savings and an additional account for everything else.

I lived in an apartment, instead of a house. I drove my paid off car a little longer. And shopping splurges… well… NO! It didn’t happen.

I picked up a side gig and did some consulting work for extra money.

Every extra dollar I made went into my savings account.

That’s how I was able to save thirty thousand dollars in one year.

And while your situation may be different from mine, there is no doubt in my mind that you too can have abundance in your life and create the life you want.

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How To Stop Giving Your Power Away

When I landed my first tenured track position as an assistant professor I was overjoyed!

I was full of excitement and so proud of this accomplishment.

During my first year on the job I remember thinking that it was the best job I’d ever had – OMG, I was so lucky!

However, soon into my second year on the job that excitement began to fade away. I was in the full thrust of academia and boy did it get rough.

I stopped enjoying my job and began to think to myself “Is this it? Is this all that my life has to offer?”

I became disenchanted with academia because I noticed a common theme surrounding it.

It was the theme of constant competition, overly critical judgment and never being good enough.

In academia about 99% of your work is critiqued and judged based on someone else’s criteria.

Students critiqued my teaching. Reviewers critiqued my conference proposals. Editors critiqued my writing.

As a matter of fact, some academic journals pride themselves on rejecting up to 90% of articles submitted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely not opposed to receiving feedback on how I can become better.

However, this is quite different. Somehow in the world of academia it has become someone else’s job to tell you how great you are NOT.

I began to not feel very smart or accomplished.

I began to question everything I ever thought about and became very uninspired.

The last straw for me came when I was denied promotion to the associate level by one committee based on the judgment of others.

Not the criteria of the university, but solely on the judgment of those on that particular committee.

Although I persevered in that process and was awarded promotion to associate professor, it sent my thinking in a different direction.

While this may be different for everyone in academia, that was my experience.

It led me on a journey of self-discovery.

I began to ask the questions:

Is this my life’s journey?

Who has the right to give me permission to be who God created me to be?

Who has the right to tell me how much money I am worth getting paid every year?

Who has the right to dictate how happy and fulfilling my life is?

And the answers are simple.

No one outside of God and myself has that right. It is up to me access the gifts placed inside of me and allow them to manifest.

This is when I gave myself permission to live my life on my terms, with no apologies to whoever did not like it.

I started my business and did not ask anyone what anyone thought about it because frankly it did not matter.

I created multiple steams of income for myself even when others said no one would pay me to do what I do.

I stopped giving others power over my life and gave myself permission to step into my life’s assignment.

How to Stop Giving Your Power Away

• Ask yourself, what are you really great at? What it is that brings joy to you when you do it?

• Follow your path without asking someone else what they think. Who cares what someone else thinks of your life’s assignment? No one else needs to approve of something that has already been given to you.

• Be your own cheerleader. Following your own path may not be the most popular choice. That’s okay. Learn to cheer yourself on even when you are the only one on board.

No one will tell you how great you are when you don’t believe it yourself.

Believe in your greatness first and others will have no other choice than to follow suit.

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How To Break Free From Toxic Relationships

One of the things that keep so many people in bondage is having toxic relationships.

Toxic relationships are like cancer.

They eat away at you until there is nothing left.

They usually happen with people who are very close to you.

These relationships can be disguised as friends, partners, spouses, siblings and relatives.

Because toxic relationships usually occur with those who are close to us, it is sometimes difficult to recognize when they are no good for us.

Toxic relationships take away so much from you. They drain your energy, creativity and self-esteem.

They don’t always involve fighting or arguing.

They could just involve someone who brings out the very worst in you.

Most people cannot determine when these types of relationships are toxic, which makes them difficult to identify.

On the surface these relationships look fine, even friendly on the outside.

For example, here’s an email that was sent to me:

“I was in a toxic relationship for 15 years and didn’t even know it. It came in the form of a friendship. A very close friend… or so I thought. This friend and I had been through a lot together. Marriages, divorces, children, moves to different states, etc. We did a great deal of things together and had a lot in common, and we always had a great time. But throughout our 15-year friendship I always noticed something strange about her. She was never very consistent with me.

Once very early in our friendship she just stopped talking to me out of the blue for about two years. I was very puzzled and racked my brain trying to figure out what I had done or said to lose her friendship. I could not come up with anything, yet I was still willing to apologize for it simply to have my friend back. But the only thing that had happened was that I bought my first house, got married the next month, and had a baby the following year. I was certain that could never have been the problem.

When she did decide to start calling again I was going through a very difficult time in my life. And wouldn’t you know it – we became the best of friends again. After my life got back to “normal”, our relationship became strained again. My good friend stopped inviting me to hang out with her and her “new friends”, became very distant towards me for no reason, and never really had anything good to say to me or about me.

Over the years I tried having conversations with her to let her know what I was noticing, but she denied it, yet it kept happening. I have so many similar stories about this so-called friend that it embarrasses me to admit how long it took me to really see it for what it was. I had been in a toxic relationship all this time and did not even know it.”

This absolutely sounds like a toxic relationship.

Does this sound familiar?

If so, here are some tips on how to release toxic relationships from your life and make room only for those that serve you best:

• Evaluate the relationship by asking, how do I feel when I am with this person? Are they supportive of me? Do they make me feel good when I am with them? If the answer is no, ask whether you contribute negatively to the relationship. If the answer is still no, follow my next steps.

• Ask yourself whether it is worth having a conversation with this person about how you are feeling. If you have tried to have the conservation before and never seem to get anywhere or things never really seem to change, it may not be worth having the conservation, as it will likely only cause you more headaches.

• Promptly end the relationship on your end. Remove them from your inner circle. Stop taking their phone calls, responding to text messages and absolutely do not allow yourself to be around them. When someone is no longer in your inner vortex they lose they ability to be toxic. Continuing to keep in contact only keeps the toxicity in your life and then you start to play a part in it.

Remember, toxic relationships do not have to be violent or turbulent to be toxic.

They can look friendly and still cause as much turmoil in your life.

All toxic relationships are worth losing.

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