elephant journal

A 4-Step Process to Help You Live the Life You Really Want

woman in hat-purpose-vision-courage

What will you do with your wild & precious life?

That was a question I asked myself 5 years ago when I was living in NYC applying to jobs to work behind a computer 40 hours a week. I knew I needed something more, so I followed my intuition and booked a one-way ticket to California.

Following our intuition is a challenging process, but I promise you it's worth working through. I recently wrote a 4 step process to help you live the life you *actually* want and was lucky enough to be featured on Elephant Journal. 

In the comments, I'd love to hear, are you living the life you actually want? If you're struggling to take that next step toward freedom, start today! Set your intention and watch the magic unfold.


All around me, I see women awakening to their gifts, their power and their purpose.

However, I see many of the same women held back by fear, self-doubt and limiting beliefs.

I see women full with creative ideas but lacking the structure and support to fully execute them. I also see women struggling to fully express themselves and believe in their power.

Growing up, I knew I had a big message to share, but I had trouble speaking up and expressing myself. In high school and college, when all eyes were on me, I would freeze and have trouble finding my voice.

Then, five years ago it became more important to me to become a yoga teacher than to let this fear run my life.

Since then, everything has changed.

I left New York City to move to California and I traveled in India for six months by myself. I started sharing my voice and little by little, gained confidence as a teacher and leader.

Now, life is magical. I teach yoga, lead retreats, give speeches and am even writing a book. I find myself finally living beyond fear. Since starting my business, I’ve guided women from all over the world manifest a new vision for their life. What I’ve seen is:

It takes willingness to face a fear, again and again.

As much as I wanted to avoid it, I realized in order to create the life of my dreams, I had to do what scared me.

People who are living their dreams were willing to step outside of their comfort zone. Somewhere along the line, they had to take a risk. It was really scary for me to move to California, start my business and teach yoga and lead workshops. But the thing is, I was able to work up to it. I gave myself small steps to gain confidence.

Here are four keys that helped me along the way...keep reading here.

10 ways you know the yoga is working

yoga and meditation-clarity-compassion

There are so many lessons yoga has brought to my daily life.

I taught a yoga class recently on this idea: How to Know the Yoga is Working” and was surprised when more and more reasons just came to me on the spot. I decided to make a list for all the yogis out there to remember just how much value our practice has in our lives, both on and off the mat.

1.  You’re less reactive.

Say somebody says a mean word to you and you tighten. In the past it may have turned into low self-esteem, blame or anger, but now you breathe. You notice what is happening in your body. You give yourself a moment.

Before, you may have attacked back, but now you’re able to see the whole situation from the outside. You realize the person may not have even meant that word in a mean way.  You notice the trigger that arises and you let it out with the breath. You choose to act and speak from a calm, centered place.

2.  You let go of your “story.”

You may have been triggered because of a story you carry about yourself. You check in with the people close to you about what your mind is making up. You realize most of it is not even real. It’s made up. With this awareness, you can let it go.

3.  You face your fears.

You begin to see your fears as some kind of karmic inheritance,

“These are the places for me to grow.”

Now you ask yourself,

“What do I stand to gain by not doing this thing?”

You decide to face your fears. Each little fear you face gives you more courage to live as your full self.

4.  You accept yourself as you are.

Your yoga class becomes the place to stop comparing yourself. You stop looking around at all the other people, and start looking within for acceptance.

5.  You take care of your body.

Once you start doing yoga, it’s not too long before you start buying organic produce and drinking green juices. I think healthy eating and yoga go hand-in-hand. When you spend time being so close to yourself, listening to your body, it is more likely you will treat it with care. Your body becomes something you are only given once in this life, so you decide to take care of it.

6.  You stop avoiding discomfort.

It was probably in my first sitting forward bend, Paschimottanasana, that I learned to breathe into my discomfort. I learned that it wasn’t so bad when I used my breath and as soon as I came out of the pose, I felt lighter, more open and flexible. Life is kind of like that. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable in the moment, but we can breathe through it and as soon as we get through the discomfort, we feel lighter and more open. Yoga reminds you to face your discomforts in order to grow.

7.  You embrace vulnerability.

You realize that when you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you create greater connections and more authentic relationships. You let down your guards and allow yourself to be fully seen.

8.  You hold yourself with compassion.

You don’t get down on yourself when you make a mistake. You let go of your ideas of perfection. You allow yourself to feel exactly what you need to feel and allow a great sense of love and compassion for yourself to arise.

9.  You’re grateful, everyday.

Yoga opens you to gratitude. You stop focusing on the negative all the time, and ask,

“What am I grateful for? What is going right in my life?”

When we open ourselves to gratitude, we attract more of that good.

10.  You come back for more.

When you first start yoga, you may just move through your poses waiting for that sweet savasana. But eventually, your body grows stronger, you tune into your breath and you begin to enjoy your practice.  You wait for that time when you have full permission to let go of the past and future and be fully present with yourself.

This article was also published on Elephant Journal !


5 ways to say "YES" to life

courage-brene brown-yoga-yes

This post was also published on elephant journal

I took a yoga class yesterday and the theme was simply "Yes, please."  Showing up to class in so many ways is a big yes to life.  It is saying, "YES" to look at our emotions, our fears, and thought patterns in order to move past them.

Over the last year I've realized many ways to show up and give life a big "YES," so I thought I'd compile some of my favorites:

1.  Let Yourself Be Vulnerable

I just finished reading the book, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown.  It's all about how to live as a "Wholehearted" person.  Through Brene's research on shame and vulnerability as a social worker, she came to the conclusion vulnerability actually opens us to greater connection.  It's so often we want to see vulnerability in others but are afraid to show it in ourselves, when it is really the key ingredient to leaning into life and feeling connected.  Opening to vulnerability shows us our courage and human-ness.  Vulnerability is the pathway to innovation, creativity, success and a Wholehearted life.  

When I opened myself to vulnerability all I found was how much support was waiting for me on the other side.  Vulnerability has shown me compassion in others, and the strong community I have supporting me.

2.  Treat Yourself to Something Special 

This is one of my homework assignments this week from The Artist's Way.   Being luxurious and treating yourself does not have to be expensive.  A new body butter or even a box of raspberries can go a long way in helping life feel luxurious.  This week I went out and bought myself and a couple friends beautiful handwoven Mexican bracelets. They only cost $1 each and have brought me so much joy in such a small package.  Try buying a small gift for your inner artist child and you'll be surprised what a difference a small investment can make.

3.  Be Flexible 

This has been a big one for me while travelling.  You have to be open to your plans not working out, and be willing to act spontaneously, accept new offers that come your way.

One day this week, I wasn't wearing a watch on the beach, and was disappointed when I realized I was 15 minutes late to the yoga class I had been waiting to go to all day.  I hate showing up late for class, so I let it go. I went to the main pavilion to check my email, when a girl came up to me and asked, "Did you do your yoga teacher training at Yandara in Baja?"  Why yes, I did.

It happened to be a girl I met two years before in Mexico, and suddenly here we were again running into each other in Mexico.  We caught up and she told me she was here on retreat with her yoga teacher from Massachusetts. I told her I missed my class that morning and she immediately replied, "Hold on, I'll go ask our teacher if you can join our retreat for the morning!" She came back and said it would be fine and I got to spend the morning practicing yoga with an old friend.

Sometimes our missed opportunities open the door for something so much better. We need to stay open to what the universe brings to us if our plans don't work out the way we wanted them to.  When we shut the door to spontaneity and flexibility, we shut the door to miracles.

4.  Share Your Needs

On my last night in Mexico, I was planning to go out to a nice dinner with my boyfriend.  We only had enough pesos with us to pay for our room and cab ride the next day, so we went on a walk to the ATM to get a little extra cash for dinner.  When we got there, we found it was out of service. We were told to go to another place, a 10 minute walk away, and boom, there, 2 more ATM's out of service.

There we were without enough money for dinner, and no actual way to get it on our last night.  To say the least, I was feeling crabby.  Michael suggested we walk back to the kitchen of the community where we were staying.  When we got there we realized we had a couple eggs left on our shelf.  Then Michael started speaking in Spanish to the people around, telling them the ATM's were broken and we didn't have enough money for dinner on our last night.  People immediately started sharing their tortillas, tomatoes and avocados with us to fill out our last meal.

I realized we build up these stories, "I can't bother that person" or, "No one would want to help me," when actually, if we are willing to take the first step, be a little vulnerable and share our needs, people are generally happy and willing to help us.

5.  Make Powerful Requests 

This was a lesson I learned a couple months ago after reading Mathew and Terces Engelhart's book, Kindred Spirit. Making requests is empowering.  We need to remind ourselves that the worst that can happen is we receive a "no." Receiving a "no" does not mean we will lose love!  Try using the affirmation:

I make powerful requests as an exercise in worthiness and remember that “no” doesn’t mean anything.  I build my self-worth by making powerful requests and get at least one “no” everyday.

Who knows, you might even receive a big powerful "YES," but you'll never know unless you ask!