Do you stress out about time? Here's your fix.

I used to spend soooo much time freaking out about being productive and not having enough time. As a result, I was always anxious about my to do list, planned everything to a tee, and pretty much made myself miserable. 

It took me years to wise up and figure out what I am about to share with you today. And it is simply this: 

The biggest reason we stress about time is because most of us are living with a false sense of urgency.

Let me break it down for you. We live with the exaggerated belief that we HAVE to get things done by a certain time, or we HAVE to do all the things, or else something bad will happen. And I believe that the reason you either feel like you don't have enough time, feel pressured about deadlines, or feel guilty about not getting things done is simply because your belief system is distorted, and your endless suffering is, above all else, a product of your mind and conditioning.

Let's look at a few different ways this false sense of urgency shows up in our lives. Can you relate to any of these?

1. False sense of urgency: We think we need to get things done sooner than we really do. We think, if it doesn’t happen now or if it takes too long, we're fucked. This happens on a micro level (responding to emails or running errands) and a macro level (getting married, healing a health challenge)

There are only a few sacred things in life that are truly worthy of your urgent attention, and part of our work is to get clear on what those things are.

Reality: The stakes are not as high as we think they are. This happens because we're in the thick of it, so our minds hyper focus on the thing in front of us. We lose perspective. But chances are that when you stop, remove yourself from the situation, and look at things from a helicopter view, you will find that the consequences are not as dire as you think. Even something that seems huge in many ways isn't the end of the world. For example, if you ask yourself, what's the worst that can happen, and the answer is-- I could lose my job. You can always reset yourself by figuring out what you could do to find another job or talk to your boss to manage the situation.

2. False sense of urgency: We put a deadline on things that there are no deadlines for! We think if we learn to meditate, develop better social skills, become more athletic, advance our careers--that eventually we'll hit some type of finish line. So we put pressure on ourselves to get there super fast.

Reality: There is NO SUCH THING as a deadline on human development. That shit is ongoing, whether you want it to be or not, so if you think you’re gonna get somewhere and be done and satisfied with that goal, you are sadly, sadly mistaken my friend. On the other hand, if you accept that this is a life long process, you can live a much calmer, cooler and collected life. 

3. False sense of urgency: We think if we do things faster, it means we’ll be happier!

Reality: When you get to where you want to go, sure you’ll be happy momentarily. But then eventually you’ll adapt to that and you’ll start obsessing and craving the next thing. It’s never ending. Which is why you need to balance these beliefs with the understanding that joy isn’t in the attaining, but in the doing.

4. False sense of urgency: We think if we achieve things sooner and faster, it means we’ll be more successful.

Reality: Things happening sooner does not always equate to better. I have multiple friends who dropped out of college at 19, went back to college in their late 20's/early 30's and are now either working their dream jobs or well on their way, and they've thoroughly enjoyed their lives. They've lived life on their own terms and ended up in a BETTER place than they might have been had they rushed through everything in their 20's. Now they're equipped with a lot more life experience and they're successful not because of their positions in life, but because they've done what makes them happy (which is the true measure of success!) One of these friends is well on his way to being a doctor, and to him, it doesn't matter if he's a doctor at 28 or 48. In the end, does it really make that much of a difference? 

 
Yes, urgency does have energized action behind it and it’s an awesome tool for productivity. However, it also has a frantic aspect to it that driven by anxiety and fear.
 

5. False sense of urgency: We try and do too much. We create unrealistic plans OR plans that, when followed through with, run us into the ground. We think that if we can just fit in one more thing, we'll be more accomplished, more fulfilled. And worse, if we don't perform well, we stress and feel bad about ourselves.

Reality. The truth is, VERY LITTLE in life is as important as your brain makes it out to be in that moment. Wisdom and experience tell us that actually, 7 days from now, you're not going to give a shit about the thing you were SO eager to get done last week. There are only a few sacred things in life that are truly worthy of your urgent attention, and part of our work is to get clear on what those things are. In the mean time, you get may get a false sense of accomplishment from checking off one more thing from your to-do list, but you end up paying a price! The price is your sanity and sense of self worth when you're not "productive." And at some point you gotta stop and ask yourself-- what's more important to you?

6. False sense of urgency: We rely on this false sense of urgency to get shit done because time is a great motivator. We fear that if we don’t hurry and hustle, the opposite will happen-- that we’ll spiral out of control and muck everything up. So we create strict (often unrealistic) deadlines for ourselves that cause us rivers of misery.

Reality: Yes, urgency does have energized action behind it and it's an awesome tool for productivity. However, it also has a frantic aspect to it, driven by anxiety and fear. And one reason we cling to this is because we don’t trust ourselves enough to follow through without strict deadlines. So we set crazy goals and we start to feel like our life is one continuous deadline. The opposite of this is developing trust and self efficacy that you will get things done in the right time, and also create more realistic, relaxed deadlines that create a sense of excitement, not fear.

Ultimately what I am trying to say is this:

  • It's OKAY for you to relax. Your world is not going to fall apart if you don't get XYZ done "on time"
  • It's OKAY to slow down and take your time. Rushing and being efficient is not what's going to make you happy and successful
  • It's OKAY if you're not exactly where you want to be right now. You're exactly where you need to be right now.

I am not saying you should be irresponsible or make excuses when you don't follow through with things. But the next time you're stressed out about time, I want you to stop and really get to the bottom of what you feel and identify your false beliefs. Ask yourself-- "Whats' the worst that could happen if this doesn't get done today?"

When you learn to spot false urgency, you will get better at not just managing your time, but your well being and quality of life, too. It's an incredibly powerful and liberating tool, and at the end of the day, that is really what I want for ya'll- to live a life feeling more happy and freee!! <3 <3 <3

My Weekly Spiritual Practice: AKA How I Connect With My Soul On the Reg

My spiritual practice helps me live a life in which I feel like my actions and my soul are moving along together down the right path.

There was a time when I had totally strayed away from any belief in magic and forgot what it felt like to feel connected to my soul. The other day my friend asked me HOW I practice my spirituality and it totally reminded me of when I first started on my spiritual path. I didn't really know what the hell I was doing, and also had questions similar to his. So here's what I told him, and I'd like to share it with ya'll in hopes that it might inspire or help some of you in starting or strengthening your own spiritual practice.

Why you feel so damn tired when you should be feeling LIT

Do you ever feel DRAINED when you feel like you should have more energy?

You're generally healthy and you've ruled out common culprits like lack of sleep or food allergies. And still, you can't figure out why you're so damn tired all the time?

Do you wish you had more energy, so you could stop being so crotchety and be more on your toes? 

If so, then this vlog is for you. 

In this video I cover:

  • Some not-so-obvious reasons why you might feel drained, even if you're getting a full nights rest 
  • Ideas for tracking where your energy is going so you can make change
  • Actions steps you can take to preserve your energy and feel more vibrant, invigorated, and alive in you everyday life!

Your energy is one of your most precious resources! So it serves all of us to start paying more attention to where our energy is going, and how to use it wisely! It's just another way you can start up-leveling your life.

WTF Does It Mean to Surrender and How Do I Do It? A FAQ for Dummies

The word "surrender" is thrown around a lot in the personal development & spiritual world. If you aren't familiar with the concept, then it probably sounds like trash-language that new-age people throw around haughtily. And if you are familiar with the process, then you know that it's a really hard thing to do, regardless of where you are on your path of becoming a badass! 

Why this is relevant to you: Because learning how to surrender is one of the most important things to learn if you ever want to experience and achieve anything meaningful in life and stay sane, well-adjusted, and prosperous in the process. Because any time we're up against anything we truly care about, our egos go into overdrive. We feel vulnerable, and as a result, we try to avoid, protect, be in denial about or control everything. Inevitably, this fails us. If you don't learn to surrender in these moments, you simply feel more pain. Surrender will move you from pain and confusion to relief and clarity. 

Six ways to Leverage Your Transition into Fall Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine

If you're like me, letting go of summer can be hard. The approach of Fall has always felt like the end of afternoon recess. The shorter days signified the end of short shorts, rooftops, open windows and watermelon. Don't get my wrong, I love Fall. It's my second favorite season. But I could never seem to make the transition without feeling like a was losing something, without feeling just a little bit anxious. Luckily, I've since learned that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, changing with the seasons is like, a thing. Meaning, there are all these wonderful and feel-good ways to flow and transition with time that not only support your physical being, your mental and spiritual well being as well. How cool is that? 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), summer is ruled by the element of fire, which is symbolic of vitality, outgoingness, and physical activity. In the summer, you need less sleep, crave lighter foods, and the sun and vitamin D spike people's energy and spirits.

Fall on the other hand is ruled by the element of metal. Metal in TCM represents communication, mental stimulation, organization and structure. As the nights start to get longer than the days, your body turns inward, and naturally you become more introspective, thoughtful, maybe even nostalgic. This can be a beautiful thing. With awareness of how you're feeling and a planning, autumn becomes the perfect time for creativity, inner fulfillment and working on personal projects that you meant to start in summer, but never did because you were at the beach every weekend.

How does one leverage the season to feel and be their best selves? Here are some suggestions for you to pick and choose from. Doing a combination of these things will help you transition with the season, rather than against it, and can also better position you to enjoy winter when the time comes.
 

  • Protection from colds: In TCM, every season is associated with an organ, and each organ is connected to specific emotions. The organ most associated with fall are the lungs, which are affected by sadness and grief. Your lungs effect your skin, respiratory system, blood circulation, and immunity. So if your lungs are overworked, either because of the dry, cold weather, or from the natural feeling of grief that comes from the seasonal transition, you will be more susceptible to sinus problems, colds and illness. In addition to eating lubricating foods, avoid dairy and wheat, which often aggravate the respiratory system. Also keep your chest and neck warm in chilly weather, invest in a netti pot, and practice deep breathing exercises.
     
  • Activities: Answer any cravings you have for creative pursuits. Leverage the season to act on inspired ideas and cultivate inner satisfaction. Read, write, paint, research, produce. If you're feeling introspective, embrace it, and use this time to create a deeper understanding of your inner workings. Some of your most successful and fulfilling projects might come from your ability to get organized and focus on these ideas right now. 
     
  • Cleanse: Autumn is an optimal time for cleansing, to help you let go of things you no longer need and transition into a new phase. Cleaning out your your large intestines in particular, which needs to be clean in order to function optimally, will help strengthen your immune system to prepare for the cold weather. And in general, a cleanse will leave you feeling more energetic, clear and calm. A cleanse can be anything you're comfortable with, but make sure to do it in early autumn, before it gets too cold. You can do a vegan, whole foods diet, eliminating processed food, meat, diary, sugar and wheat for a week, for example. Or you could try a 2-3 day juice cleanse, depending on what you're comfortable with.
     
  • Diet: In general, you want to eat foods that will produce a healthy flow of body fluids to combat the increasingly cold and dry air. Shift from eating raw summertime fruits and veggies to seasonal autumn foods which, as mother nature would have it, are the exact foods your body needs to stay in balance. Some lubricating foods you can begin to incorporate into your diet in moderation are nuts, seeds, olive oil, sesame oil, butter, pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pears, apples, honey and grapes. If you have access to these Asian delights, lotus root and white woodear/ white fungus are great too. These foods will help keep your lungs and skin moist to counter balance the changing atmosphere. 
     
  • Mindset and emotions: Resisting the flow of what is natural leads to tension and discomfort. This tension can show up internally (anxiety, stress) or externally (illness, body aches and pains)- one way or another, resistance will make itself known to you. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things you love about fall and enjoy them. Walks in park, cooking warm stews, or nights spent indoors playing board games with friends are all things we can take pleasure in. If you find yourself feeling particularly sad, embrace your emotions. Take this time to work out unresolved grief so it doesn't weaken your immune system and show up as a cold two months down the line.
     
  • Implement herbs and supplements: 
    • Burdock Root is great for cleansing out the liver and lungs, and also supports skin health. Can be drank as a tea.
    • Comfrey: Comfrey root, taken as a tea, soothes intestinal linings and helps get rid of toxins in your respiratory system.
    • Ginger: Great for clearing the lungs and acts as a great stimulant for blood circulation. Can be taken any which way.

What I Experienced at a 10-Day Silent Meditation

Here is a mega over-simplified version of my first 10-Day Vipassana Meditation experience. Vipassana is a silent meditation course, in which students wake up at 4:00am, meditate for 11 hours a day, and practice "noble silence" (aka- zero talking or communication with any human being) for 10 days. In the process, you shed yourself of distractions from the outside world so you can experience what it's like to live in solitude, and focus on going "inwards." This requires an extreme cutting-out of a lot of normal, everyday things, such as eye-contact with other people, books, journals, outside food (no caffeine for sugar, folks), exercise and of course... technology of all kinds. Needless to say, shit is intense. 

I once had someone tell me that attending a Vipassana course is as close as you can get to taking the very powerful psychedelic ayahuasca without actually ingesting anything, and I believe it. In other words, it's a surreal and powerful experience that's impossible to capture with the limited human language. However, I do think there are some common things that happen to people throughout the course, and I've tried to describe a few of them below. If you're interested in learning more about Vipassana, or if you're simply curious what it might be like to live in solitude in this extreme way, come on down to my first vlog post below!

 

Now, I'd love to hear from you. Are you interested in trying a course like this? What scares you most about meditating for 10 days straight? Do you have any questions about how it all works? Comment below, and let's chat! 

Up Your Poop Game, Up Your Health

I’m going to start off my blog by talking about one of my favorite topics of all time: Poop. Why? Because I have the maturity level of a 10 year old and poop is funny. Also, who doesn't love a good poop? A solid (but not too solid) poop is God’s way of giving us a little something-something to look forward to everyday (or in my case, up to three times a day), while simultaneously clearing out waste from our system.

But I get it, not everyone’s moves are so smooth, and the reasons are a-plenty; Stress, IBS, poor diet, age, a sedentary lifestyle, chronic illness, the list goes on and on. Which is why I am so excited to introduce the Squatty Potty, a simple yet effective tool that will ensure your legs never fall asleep on the toilet again! This little bench, which slides perfectly under your porcelain throne when not in use, will improve the quality of your bowel movements, regardless of if you’re a poop pro or a poop- no.  It’s seriously one of the most effortless and cost effective ways to add a little bit of comfort and health into your life, which is why I can’t help but gush.

Why and how it works: The thing is, we're animals and animals are not really meant to poop sitting down. The 90 degree position of our hips on the toilet jams our colon, which constricts our natural flow. But by elevating your legs with the squatty potty, you emulate a squatting position, which of course is more natural (think cave-man days) and thus all the crap comes flowing out effortlessly.

For those of you who have trouble on the pooper, you know that getting blocked up can be super uncomfortable. That's because your body is literally storing waste in your system that it wants to get rid of, but your digestive system can't run effectively. On the other hand, a clean colon leads to:

  • Clearer skin and healthier hair

  • Increased energy

  • Improved concentration and alertness

  • More efficient nutrient absorption into the bloodstream

  • Decreased risk of colon cancer

  • Improves overall detox systems

In any case, I could go more into the science of it, but why bother when you can have this insanely entertaining unicorn break it down for you instead.

 

Another plus? The squatty potty makes for the BEST present. For the person who has everything, this could make an awesome Christmas gift. I got mine as a gift, and Istill laugh when I think about it.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just for people who suffer from constipation. My diet includes a shit ton (pun intended) of fiber, so I usually don’t have any problems in this area. But still, I find comfort in having this little guy around, knowing that I'm freeing myself of all the little extra bits that may not make it past the gate otherwise (i.e. mystery cheese). As one reviewer on Amazon so accurately put it, "It's amazing what a good dump in the morning can do for the human soul." Preach.