focus

Summer Updates

Ok, so it has been a loooooong time since I’ve updated. So sorry!! I have been a bit overwhelmed recently with finding the energy to 1) go to sleep at 9 pm and then wake up at 4 am for work, 2) work for 6-8 hours a day on my feet, and 3) expend so much energy while working.

However, summer is almost over and I will soon be going back to my primary job of music teaching. Yay!!! Just a few more weeks until I will have much more time available again.

In other news, I came, like, *THIS* close to finishing my writing project, when I ran into a major issue that caused me to stop until I am able figure out the solution. Basically, I realized that there was a major overlap between two of my businesses that I needed to address properly so that I would be authentic. After thinking about that problem in more detail, I realized that I would need to spend some time figuring out which of the two audiences and which of the two business structures would be more appropriate for my online writing courses. I had considered designing the course so that it could be used by both audiences and both business structures, but I’m not comfortable with using two completely contrasting business styles for the same product. That would be both inauthentic and a conflict of values.

So, to my beta-group who has been waiting for me to finish – I’m so sorry for the delay! It’s coming, I promise, but I just need some more time to figure this out first.

For my music, I have an orchestra audition coming up in a few weeks that I’ve been preparing for, so hopefully that goes well and I can join a new group 😀

Mainly, I have been focusing on my third business and getting back into the swing of things since I’ve rejoined. I’m still not where I want to be with it quite yet, but I’m getting there and making more progress every day. I’m very happy with my decision to return to the group and to my mentors and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the happiness, positivity, focus, and fulfillment that they bring to me and to my life ❤

In the (very little) spare time that I’ve had this summer, I’ve tried to get out and enjoy nature the best that I can. I made it to both Walden Pond and to the ocean, but both times it was kind of too cold to go all the way in the water. Oh well – still very relaxing!

I actually just came back from Westford, where I went walking on the bike path for an hour and a half this afternoon. So nice!!! I remember when I grew up there, I would walk on that bike path for a good 2 hours each day. I could literally do it every day for the rest of my life and be the happiest person ever.

…so maybe I will! **foreshadowing**

Unraveling

Wowwwwwwwww guys, do I have an update for you!!! I am literally so stunned and excited right now, I almost can’t find the right words to type. There have been so many changes in so short of a time frame, I almost can’t keep up with all of them!

~*~ ~*~ Drumroll please ~*~ ~*~

I have decided to re-join my old business and mentorship association!!! I am literally so excited.

You may be wondering how on earth this occurred. This past March (only ~4 months ago), I left the program and I swore I would never go back. I was so sure of myself and it was definitely the right decision at the time.

Since I quit, I went a completely different direction in terms of my businesses and looked for different ways of building wealth and personal accomplishment that would suit me better. I took online courses in content marketing and holistic healing, as well as joined new groups, and met a lot of wonderful new people with mutual goals and interests.

Furthermore, I spent a great deal of time unraveling all the confusion I had about my old business, new business, and current business. I sat down and really thought through what I wanted to accomplish, what I wanted my life to be like, and how I wanted to spend my time in my future. I started writing my first online course and was very excited about it!

Not only did I unravel the confusion about my businesses, or so I thought, but I also unraveled the confusion about me, what I believed in, and what I wanted my current lifestyle to be. I tried to remember who I was before I had changed myself so drastically and then tried to go back to being that person (“you used to come here and eat toast.” – Sophie Kinsella).

I tried to remember what I had thought was fun, so I remembered a few things that I used to do and did those. I went back to watching some TV shows (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists), some movies (all of my romantic comedies), and trashy romance novels (some unread on the shelf, some favorites). I started listening to songs on the radio and on Youtube. I even added a “fun” budget so that I could go out for dinner if I wanted to, or see friends if I wanted to, or go out and see a show if I wanted to. I gave myself permission to travel, get hot stone massages, go out for drinks, and cheat on my vegan/gluten free diet to satisfy my sweet tooth.

At first, I enjoyed it, but almost as soon as it started, my enjoyment quickly began to dissipate. I found that I wasn’t being replenished or recharged in my energy from doing any of those things, and that I didn’t particularly enjoy them anymore. Yet, at the same time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do instead. So I would just do them, not really having fun, but not knowing what else was fun either.

In the midst of all this unraveling, and learning to be my old self again, I was also doing quite a bit of deep healing. This past December, I learned that I was sexually abused as a 4-year old. I had repressed the memory of it, but at that point I had started to remember it and recover the memory.

This was by far the most terrifying experience of my entire life. Imagine that you’re just going about your day, when suddenly your mind intrudes and attacks you with images of a repressed memory of that nature.

It became all I could think about and focus on. My relationships suffered. My relationship with my mentor, in particular, took the hit. He was the only one who wanted to be there for me during that time.

To be fair, I hardly told anyone about it until after I had forgiven my abuser. But now I look back on that time and I wished that more people would have been supportive. Once I told people, most people just suggested I go to therapy, which made me wonder why I had told anyone at all. Once again, I had just wanted people to provide me with emotional support and be there for me in my tough time, but again I wasn’t really given that by very many people. Again, it was very disappointing. I mean, if there’s ever a time when anyone would be in need, it would be that time, but only a few people reached out and were supportive (for which I’m thankful).

I have been healing from that, as well as from the lack of support from my network. During that healing time, all I could think about was my mentor and how he had always been there for me and how he had believed in me when nobody else did and had not wanted to give up on me. I thought of several instances in the past when he had been a real hard-times friend, in addition to this time.

So I reached out to him and we have been sorting out (unraveling) our issues. It was really rocky at times, but it’s mostly back on track now. We have made a huge amount of progress recently and I have faith that it’s only going to get better.

Meanwhile, I discovered that I had even more repressed memories from my early childhood. Not of sexual abuse, but of other unpleasant things that I had repressed. My new friend performed RTT hypnotherapy on me twice, which was very interesting and eye-opening. Because the two sessions turned out to be related, and fell under the umbrella of another early memory, I decided to combine the 21-day cycle for both of those sessions with a 21-day cycle of my own holistic healing method.

At first, it was a lot to handle to do 3 focused deep-healing recordings a day, but now I think it was just what I needed. I didn’t see many results at first, but now the results are just incredible to me. I mean, I am literally stunned. Read on!

First, in my business unraveling, I realized that my old business had been a key factor in how I had healed. I started to use good products on myself, put good products into my body, and had started to feel better about myself because I had looked and felt better. I had learned about pro-suming and financial ownership. I had a positive and motivational environment of people who said things like “I’m accountable for my own life and I can control my thoughts.” And I had my mentor who believed in me and loved me, poured life into me, and filled me up with hope. I began to miss this business and wish I could go back.

Second, in my personal healing, there was a weekend where I read an old issue of Cosmopolitan magazine from July 2016 and decided that there was nothing of value in it (this magazine used to literally be my beacon of wisdom!!!). Then I went on a weekend trip and discovered that I didn’t like traveling anymore because I just wanted to be home in Boston. Then I watched my all-time favorite movie, Titanic, and had to stop it halfway through because I just didn’t like it anymore and I didn’t agree with the way life was being presented in it.

So while I did “used to go there to eat toast,” I didn’t want to go there to eat toast anymore. I realized that I just couldn’t be the person that I used to be. In unraveling all of my confusion, I rediscovered the person that I used to be, but then I realized that I just wanted better than that. I wanted mentorship and I wanted more intentional relationships where people would be united with me for common business goals and who would also listen to me talk and be there for me in hard times.

Ironically, around this time I learned that submission is actually necessary for the type of close relationships that I want. In my deep healing, I was also working on overcoming that issue from where it stemmed in my childhood repressed memories.

Not only that, but I realized that I had been taking the easy way out instead of learning the relationship skills that I needed in order to have the kind of deep relationships that I want.

This was when I took my first step to get back into the organization (only about 1 week ago). I had a craving to be on the communication system and message distribution list. I also had a craving to learn submission and submit to my mentor.

Next, I found that I had no desire to cheat on my diet anymore. I had been cheating to eat cookies, brownies, cake, chocolate, etc. for some time, but I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted to make sure I prioritized meal prep and ate healthily within the constrains of my diet.

Now, I have no desire to even have cheat meals or vary from my diet plan prescribed by the nutritionist. I realized that when I don’t start the day with enough protein, it sets off a chain reaction spiral, and then the whole diet is compromised. Also, that my lack of meal prepping made it easy for me to cheat and give into sugar cravings.

Now when I have sugar cravings, I crave the dried fruit at Trader Joe’s. So good! I don’t even want chocolate anymore.

Instead of craving unhealthy sweets and chocolate, I started craving to return to my organization and be around the people. I also had a craving for the positivity and motivational environment. Earlier today, I was overcome with a strong craving and desire to listen to audios, go to a board plan, and do meetings. I even was compelled to take extra vitamins. It’s so crazy!!! I have literally never felt this way about it before. This is the energy that I was missing.

So I don’t have everything sorted out yet. I feel pretty comfortable with how I’ve overcome most of my objections to the business, and I feel pretty solid with how my music relates to it. The next step is to figure out (unravel) the plan for how my writing goals fit in with this business. And while I’m stronger in who I am as a person now than I was, I need a game plan to make sure that I don’t lose myself again.

All that unraveling was so exhausting! But worth it.

For three years I had been in the business, learned all the new info, and reprogrammed my mind. However, it was apparent that my limiting beliefs were getting in the way of me accepting the new me and my new lifestyle. Hence, all the pushback that I gave myself over not wanting to make changes, not wanting to listen, not wanting to do this, not wanting to do that. All I needed was to do some deep thinking, unraveling, and holistic healing, and I realized that I did actually want all of it after all.

 

And… Pivot

Hey y’all,

It’s been awhile! So sorry for the long hiatus between posts. When I revamped this blog the last time (lol), I decided that I wanted to create weekly content to share with everyone. Not only was this the right decision in terms of consistency, but also more selfishly it was the right reason because:

  1. I needed to practice being vulnerable and authentic in front of other people,
  2. I needed to practice my communication and word choice, and
  3. I needed to take responsibility for filling my own love tank. While sharing myself– as well as my thoughts, feelings, and ideas– with other people is my love language, it’s my responsibility to give myself love.

Sorry that I fell short here. I have just added a part-time job over the summer as well as another part-time job that will be more long-term. In addition, I have been trying to honor my commitments to play gigs with heavy time commitments that I signed up for back when I was only working 15 hours per week, and trying not to die and/or kill someone as a result of suddenly being completely overextended and overbooked.

But, oh well. It’s all worth it! My finances are now in tip-top shape, and I no longer spend any time whatsoever ruminating about them. If that doesn’t give me the incentive to keep going, I don’t know what will.

Now, if only I could manage to adjust my body clock to fall asleep at 10 pm and wake up at 5 am, instead of falling asleep at 11 pm and waking up at 6 am, then I would really be golden. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet and I’ve been 15 min late to work pretty much every day that I go. (Side note: I am pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have been understanding about this problem and have given me grace about it. So far, only a couple of people have not understood and have drawn the incorrect conclusion that me being late means that I don’t want to be there / I’m not serious / I’m not a good employee).

Anyway, I finally had an evening off where I wasn’t expected to do anything or be anywhere, so I figured I would post an update about how everything is going.

To summarize, I have been working to adjust my self-care priorities to accommodate the tighter schedule. It’s been quite a challenge, but I think once I get my sleep cycle on track then it will be a lot smoother/better.

One thing I have been thinking about lately is how to have more fun in my life. It occurred to me that I’ve changed myself so much that I don’t even know what I consider to be fun anymore. There are things that I used to think were fun, but I don’t really think they’re fun anymore. I’ve been trying to find out which fun things from my past to bring back, versus which ones to leave behind and replace with new fun things (whatever they might be).

Today it occurred to me that the main reason that I don’t know how to have fun anymore is because I am constantly preoccupied with administrative tasks and adulting responsibilities. The reason I discovered this today was because I finally caught myself up on this huge mountain of paperwork and mail that I had been behind on, and then after it was done I had all this free time that I didn’t know what to do with at first. This lasted only a short time. Then I actually practiced my viola more than playing through my warm-up exercises. Then I read a book for an hour that I had been behind on reading. Then I took a walk and got a massage! So good. I really enjoyed that.

On top of all that, I have been slowly revamping my website towards my new business of teaching online courses, and have updated my bio here. I’ve been planning my outlines and syllabuses for the different courses and have started working on course writing and creation. I’m really excited about this new venture and I will share more details soon! I’m hoping to devote more time towards the course creation and filming this summer once my teaching is done in a couple of weeks.

So that’s it! That is the update in a nutshell. I’m really excited for all these changes coming – just need the time to work and prioritize and enjoy it 🙂

How to Listen to Your Inner Voice to Find True Success and Happiness in Your Business and in Your Life

A year and a half ago, I remember leaving work early after a meeting because I suddenly was off-balance, extremely dizzy, couldn’t hear, and had persistent ringing in my right ear. When I went to the doctor, she told me that a virus was attacking both branches of the vestibular nerve in my inner ear, that was causing both the hearing damage and the vertigo. She said that my hearing could possibly return about a year later.

I waited about a year and a half, just to be safe. Then I went to a different doctor for a second opinion and next steps.  He diagnosed me with “labyrinthitis” and told me that he was pessimistic that my hearing would ever return. He said that something must have happened in my life that was a “deep insult” to my inner ear, to cause this problem.

I know exactly what that deep insult was. At the time, I was trying to make a business decision that went against both me and my values. I was trying to partner with people who didn’t like me, who wanted to change me to be just like them, and who were unfairly attacking me, blaming me, slandering my character, and being all around unsupportive. I thought that this was “the only way” to achieve my dreams, and because I wanted so badly to achieve my dreams, I was willing to do it.

I was vulnerable to attack because I had a lot of confusion about my work, my business, my values, and my beliefs, which was a consequence of hopping around to state after state and assimilating myself into different cultures and communities. I had lost myself and didn’t know who I was, what I valued or believed in, what I found meaningful or fun, or what I wanted to do with my life.

Ever since my inner ear was so deeply insulted, I have worked diligently to change my life around and to listen to myself and my inner voice. One year ago I packed my bags, moved across the country, and settled down to live back home in Boston. I also quit my corporate job about a month later to do music full-time. Since about a week ago when I started another job as a barista, I only worked 10-15 hours per week and I really used the rest of my time to focus on myself, my healing, and my self-care. I became stronger mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, though I’m not quite where I’d like to be with my faith. I chose to focus less on my current financial budget, because I had just gone through a very rough time period in my life and I needed time to recuperate and take care of myself properly and nurse myself back to health.

I also spent quite a bit of time building my business. I stopped working with the toxic people and found really amazing business partners who supported me, my values, and my beliefs. I invested quite a bit of my time, money, and energy into building my business, thinking that if I could just get it off the ground, then I would be “saved” financially.

I mean, we all know that person who started a business with $0 in income, who lived on their own and had debt collectors on their doorstep, and yet somehow managed to make it big and pay off all of their debts just in time before the last morsel of food was gone. I figured, if other people could do that, then so could I!

Hah! There is no guaranteed formula for success like that when you run your own business. For me, I was doing the work necessary to grow my business, but I didn’t see any business results. I believe now that I didn’t have the decided heart behind it because I wasn’t fully behind it. I had thought that I was behind it, but I actually wasn’t. (Though now that I look back on it, I actually kind of did want it! It was very, very confusing – more on that later!!!!!). In any event, I wasn’t 100% committed and in alignment, so even though I was doing the work, I didn’t have any results.

Also, I literally felt like my business took over my entire life. The process I was following was very inefficient and time-consuming, but I again felt like following this proven method of building it was the answer. Part of it was that mentally I thought that it would save me from getting my short-term budget and finances on track, but the other part was that I literally didn’t even have time to think about getting another job; I was just spending all of my time building my business and not getting results.

Once I quit that opportunity a few months ago, I have really been working on getting my life on track. I have been unraveling all the knots of confusion and learning (re-learning) how to be myself. Yesterday, I reflected on how I would see myself if I were looking down from the outside. This is what I saw:

I saw someone who was truly worn out by life’s demands of time and money. Someone who wasn’t present in day-to-day activities because she was always stressing about money and finances, as well as stressing about time management (running late, not leaving early enough, traffic, route planning, scheduling, and making time for adulting responsibilities). All of this greatly took away from my focus and mindfulness in the moment, but the problem was made even worse by constant intrusion – ruminating about relationship problems. In general, I saw someone who continually felt overburdened and worn out, stuck in a routine and not happy, and wishing that somehow life could be fun again.

Hence all of the hours I wasted each morning bed lingering, because all I wanted was peace, security, relaxation, and contentment, which were all noticeably absent from my life. Then the bed lingering would fuel the perpetually running late, which exacerbated the whole problem. As a result of this, I was truly not giving my best to my music students, or to my rehearsals, or to myself in general.

As a result of this, I decided to give my budget a makeover. I put fun things back in my budget, such as hot stone massages, weekly coffees, going out to eat, and seeing shows. I added things back into my budget to up my self-care to the next level, such as regular hair appointments and buying new clothes and shoes. I made a decision to work more hours so that I can afford these new things in my budget, which will not only bring me more money and financial security, but will also bring me more happiness, peace, relaxation, and contentment.

Next, I restructured my daily habits with the time left over from working longer hours and scheduling adulting responsibilities. I streamlined and picked the most important ones, so that I could still take care of myself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I prioritized time on the weekends to build my businesses and to prioritize my success in the future.

Needless to say, as a result of this I feel a WHOLE lot better!!!! After just 1 day, I had WAY more focus in teaching my music lessons then I probably ever have. Also, it helps that my new job as a barista forces me to actually be present in the moment and requires all of my attention. But there you have it 👌

The take-home message here is that this isn’t even about Louboutins – this is about properly taking care of yourself. This is about having fun. I love knowing that I control my own enjoyment in my life. The more I work, the harder I work, the smarter I work, and the more focused I work, the more money I can make, and the more I can provide for myself and make myself happy. It’s not even about anything overtly excessive. It means money to buy new clothes and shoes once they get worn out and have holes in them. It means money to get my hair cut to get rid of split ends. It means money to go out for coffee and have dinner with friends. It means money to treat myself to a hot stone massage once a month.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t some caveats here. There’s a difference between working to have more money to improve and make a positive difference in your lifestyle, and working ALL the time PLUS spending every moment of every day obsessing about money and bills, therefore still not being present in the moment or being able to invest in your relationships.

There’s also a difference between working a job you love and working a job you hate. One of the things that confused me about my old opportunity was the way that they labeled people into “process” and “outcome” focused people. In their point of view, they preferred to work a job they hated so that it would “give them the life that they loved.” They equated it to “shoveling wet horse manure” to get the life they loved. They would also say that they only wanted to work with outcome-focused people, but then insist that everyone follow the same exact process to get to the same outcome.

However, I just don’t see it that way in black and white (or maybe I feel that both the process and the outcome are important). I believe that the process impacts the outcome. If you “shovel wet horse manure” to get the life that you love, you might have a lot of money and expensive things. You might have more time back to spend with your loved ones because the shitty (excuse the pun) job pays more. But you still have to spend however much time shoveling the wet horse manure. Unless you enjoy that process, then you’re still spending a significant amount of time doing something each day that you hate. This leaks into your happiness and mentality, which then takes away from the outcome that you’re trying to create.

On the other hand, “find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” I agree with that and stand by it. It’s important to love what you do and find passion in doing it, so that you can enjoy the part of life that is the process of achieving your ultimate outcomes and goals. Plus, there is more than one process to get to each outcome, so you should pick the process that is the most direct and that makes you the happiest. Only then can you have true enjoyment of your life in both the present and the future.

Which is why I now earn money as a music teacher, musician, and barista. All things I am passionate about and love, all things that I enjoy doing in the moment, and all things that serve me and my current budget. These are not my ultimate long-term goals, but this is why I’ve prioritized time to spend working on my new business.

Right now my new business is just an idea in my head. I need time to actually work on creating my product, my marketing strategy, ironing out all the kinks, etc. I think once I have the chance to really work on it like I want to, feel solid on the path of righteousness for my future, and feel like I can be successful at the same time as being myself, then my hearing will return. It’s unraveling the confusion, finding my way out of the labyrinth, and back into health, peace, prosperity, and security, that my inner voice really wants.

The Breakup Transition Period

Hey guys! It has definitely been a minute since I last posted. Sorry! I have been dealing with a colossal amount of stress recently, so I have not had the opportunity to post.

A large amount of the stress I’ve been feeling has come from a distinct lack of alignment in my life. For some time now (re: a LONG time), I have felt distinctly unsettled in my life. Ever since I moved back to Massachusetts from Nevada, I have been trying to sort out my beliefs and values systems so that I can live my life in full alignment with myself. For those of you who have known me for a long time, you know that in my past I have adapted to my surroundings in an effort to fit in and be liked by everyone. This resulted in me changing myself, my values, my beliefs, and my personality approximately 50,000 times, which gained the respect of absolutely nobody that I was trying to change myself to gain approval from. Thus when I lived in Nevada for 3 years, I picked up some West Coast values that distinctly conflicted (as in… head-on CLASHED) with my East Coast values and upbringing. In moving back home, I have over time tried to find a happy medium between my old and new beliefs, which has proven to be more difficult than I thought.

One of the places that I felt the most pushback and conflict was from my business that I started in Nevada. Despite working hard at it and following the system for 2.75 years and drastically changing my mindset and overcoming so much in my life, I have not been able to generate actual business results and growth. After giving considerable thought as to why this was the case, I determined that even though I generally liked and supported the business model, the work, and the outcome of doing the work, I felt very unfulfilled doing it. The whole time, I had an undecided heart about whether or not it was right, so consequently, none of my hard work actually paid off.

There were two reasons why it was not right.

Reason #1: my authentic self did not fit in with the organization’s culture. BIG TIME! I stick out like a sore thumb. No wonder at times I wanted to kill people over their beliefs and not the follow advice and perspective given to me (heh).

Reason #2: Despite liking the business model, it was not the best fit business model for me. In following this business model, I felt continually strapped for time, wishing I had 10 personal assistants to take care of chores, errands, and administrative work, because I was not willing/able to put my music and creativity on the back burner in order to build my business.

So was trying to do both music and business at the same time, feeling completely overwhelmed, and torn apart in two different directions. Not only two different directions in terms of businesses, but also two different directions in terms of East Coast vs West Coast and trying not to die of internal confusion.

I took a week and did some serious soul-searching. I asked myself what I could do for my life’s work that I would find truly fulfilling on all levels. Something that would truly make me proud and want to scream it from the rooftops so that everyone hears it. My why is still the same – I still stand for pursuing your creative passions and mentoring people in their personal lives so that they can overcome to become. I still believe in cultivating a mindset and lifestyle of abundance in all areas, because everything is possible if you just believe it. Long story short, my external identifying purpose has not changed, but rather the internal process and mechanism has changed. I have now found a new pathway to success that will allow me to realize my goals and ambitions in a streamlined, more unified business model, which is in full alignment with myself, my purpose, my values and beliefs.

As a result, I have enrolled in some online business courses to learn the ropes of the new business model, as well as some online trainings to help prepare me for what I want to do next. It is very exciting time to be learning again and trying something new! I am really enjoying it and already have much more clarity about my new (old; authentic; resurrected) business goals and aspirations.

However, with my recent decision, I am currently in a transition period between my old opportunity and my new opportunity. I have been trying to sort between old relationships and new relationships, old communities and new communities, old daily habits and new daily habits, and old goals and new goals. I have been trying to decide what to keep, what to ditch, and what to resurrect (things that I had ditched at one point but now want to bring back).

In particular, I feel badly that I stopped investing in my personal relationships during the time I spent in my old opportunity. I was definitely not the friend to most people that I know I could have been. Thus I have resolved to invest more time and energy in my current relationships and actually be a good friend again. I’m very sorry if I have hurt anyone or if anyone felt ignored during the time that I was not an active participant in your life. Please forgive me! I promise I will do better this time around.

Anyway, the more of my ducks that I get in a row, the better I feel and the less anxiety I have. But not everything is aligned quite yet and I feel like I’m in the middle of a very messy breakup. (I definitely have NOT been eating chocolate, cookies, and peanut butter, or watching Titanic and crying, or singing/accompanying myself on “Think of Me” from Phantom nonstop….). It’s very difficult and emotional to leave an opportunity, a community, and people you have been with for 3 years. There were a lot of great aspects of that opportunity. There was a lot that I learned, a lot that I gained, and a lot that I hoped that I would learn from it in the future. Right now I have to mentally release a bunch of unreleased potential for that opportunity and shift that potential over to my new opportunity.

Some people don’t understand. They think that I’m completely off my rocker and that I’m making a huge mistake. They think that I won’t be successful in my new opportunity. I know that they’re only saying those things to me and taking that attitude because they’re upset that they had invested so much time and energy into me to make me a star, and now I’m letting them down. But I have to stop pretending to be something I’m not. I have to stop trying to fit in with people and with an opportunity that goes against what I believe fundamentally to be right. Right now, I am making the best choice and the best decision for me. If that means I have to lose people who are very important to me, then so be it. I will be upset, and continue eating chocolate, and continue singing Phantom, but it will be for the best. Friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for a lifetime. Which will it be?

A New Year, A New Hope (lol)

Happy 2019 everyone!!! Hope you all made wonderful New Years’ Resolutions that you actually plan on keeping.

I wanted to share with you my New Years’ Resolution for 2019. This resolution is a special one because it’s actually my second year working on it.

Just so you know, I’ve never done this before. I’ve never decided to have the same resolution two years in a row before. However, this one is so important, and while I have made significant progress in it, I am still not where I want/need to be with it, so I am continuing it again.

Last year, I wrote the following:

“This year on my birthday, I decided to have a chill night in and watch Legally Blonde, a movie that I have not watched for a good 10-15 years. I watched it, stunned, as I saw a woman struggle with moving across the country and then not belonging there, and then being eschewed from society with a firm hand.

She’s just like me! I thought. But, Elle Woods handled her situation far differently (and more successfully) than I did; she never lost sight of who she was and she learned to be successful by being herself.

On the other hand, I seem to always lose who I am. I am a very open-minded person, and I am very committed to my own personal growth journey, which is an extremely good/bad thing. Throughout my life, I have been in many different places and met many different people, all with seemingly their own conflicting opinions about who I should be, what I should do with my life, what I should believe, what I should value, and how I should act. I always felt like I needed to adapt and change myself in order to fit in with my surroundings and make friends; plus, the perfectionist in me always strove to improve myself to be a better person so as not to disappoint anybody or put anybody off. You would think that those would be great qualities to have, but I’m really seeing now that they are not good qualities at all. There is nothing worse than having every single group of people or association that you join tell you that you have to change your entire being in order to please them and to fit in.

In my personal experience, I’ve found that with everybody always correcting me, and telling me that I’m doing everything wrong, and that everything about me is wrong, it gets really confusing and disheartening. After awhile, I lost sight of myself because I received such conflicting information from all sorts of different people, and I changed myself to please all of them, and then I didn’t even know who I was anymore. But seeing this movie again made me realize that this year, for my New Year’s Resolution, I resolve to just be myself in all situations, regardless of who I meet or where I end up. The first step is to filter through all this bullsh*t and remember who I actually am and who I want to be (“You used to come here and eat toast…” -Sophie Kinsella).

Let me tell you right now the things I am definitely NOT:
-I am NOT a morning person. Every morning, I hit the snooze button for approximately 1 hour and I am the crankiest person in the world before I have had my first cup of coffee.
-I am NOT a structured time-blocking person. Take your restrictive, boring nature somewhere else.
-I am NOT a Christian. Sorry.
-I am NOT a conservative, discriminatory, judgmental person.
-I am NOT a logic person. I enjoy watching romantic comedies and reading trashy romance novels and crying because they’re so good.
-I am NOT someone who wants to punt everything important to me, compromise my values, and be 100% serious to be successful.
-I am NOT an introvert. I enjoy talking to other people, getting to know other people, and hanging out with other people. THIS IS NOT WRONG, PEOPLE.
-I am NOT someone who likes boundaries. People set boundaries with other people in order to control them, and they have no intention whatsoever of following the other person’s boundaries in return. It’s their way or the highway (I find this to be extremely disgusting and disrespectful).

This is what I AM:
-I am ENFJ personality (I decided. My journey has been ESFP to ENFP to ENFJ to INFJ to INTJ back to ENFJ).
-I am smart and creative, but I care more about being creative than I care about being smart.
-I tend to share entirely too much personal info with other people, and that’s ok. That’s how you build meaningful relationships.
-I give people too many chances because I always want to believe the best in them.
-I believe in Hinduism (dualism) and transcendentalism.
-I am loud and obnoxious and enjoy singing and dancing whenever possible.
-I have a really dry, twisted sense of humor.
-I have a work hard / play hard philosophy.
-I will tell you the truth if you need to hear it, and that is NOT RUDE.
-I love all people, regardless of their race, gender, age, and sexual orientation.
-I believe that it’s possible to change yourself if you change your mind. I am literally walking proof of this, so if anybody else wants to quote Einstein at me and say that it’s impossible to change yourself without outside help, you can go f*ck yourself.
-My purpose in life is to be a musician and writer, and to help other people through sharing my experiences and teaching them to love art.

So anyway, that’s it. I am a flawed, imperfect person and that’s ok. 2018 is the year I fully embrace myself for being myself, and I will no longer change myself or adapt to try to fit in with people who just don’t value me. If Elle Woods can do it, so can I. Happy New Year!”

That being said, I did learn, over the past year, that:

  1. It is not healthy to snooze for 1 hour every morning and I am currently working on breaking this bad habit.
  2. While I am neither conservative nor discriminatory, I can at times be highly judgmental of others.
  3. I do lead with my emotions but I can also back them up with logic. I am actually quite practical! Who would have thought.
  4. Good people who have a giving heart will do boundaries correctly. I had to see it to believe it, but there are actually people out there who will both set boundaries correctly and then also respect the boundaries of others in return.
  5. Most people, unfortunately, are unreceptive to blunt and direct feedback. For it to be effective, you have to add some flowers.

Everything else still applies and I stand by it.

Over the past year, I have become much stronger in myself, who I am, what I believe, what I value, and what is right/moral/ethical. However, I still often feel like I have to compromise those things in order to gain other people’s approval. Thoughts I continually think to myself:

  1. Even though I hate the rigidity of structure, I haven’t been able to find the same efficiency as a spontaneous person. Hmm, what to do…
  2. I still need to take some time and occasionally watch romantic comedies and read trashy romance novels and cry. Not to mention, sing and dance and harmonize and do arts and crafts and take long walks in nature.
  3. It’s really, really hard to become an extrovert again after you have been acting like an introvert. Sorry. Working on it.
  4. Still learning how to be vulnerable and share stuff and have it all turn out ok in the end. Hopefully this post goes over well.

Generally speaking, 2019 will be the year that I finally become comfortable in my own skin. I will truly embrace myself for being myself, flaws and imperfections and all. I will learn how to be myself despite pressure from others who want me to change. I will be able to retrain my thinking of personal growth from perfectionism to mastery and be able to distinguish a good change from a bad change. This will be the year that I will shine bright like a diamond.

Align Your Purpose(s)

In my last post, Become a Master of Time Management, I discussed how to organize your schedule for maximum efficiency. Not only that, but I gave advice on how to incorporate your “sub-goals,” or daily habits, into your schedule in order to work towards achieving your life goals. But what do you do when you have multiple life goals that all seem to conflict and collide with each other? How do you move forward in all areas when you seemingly need 28 hours in a day instead of 24? Read on for some tips on how to Align Your Purpose(s).

For me personally, I have always been double-, triple-, even quadruple- and quintuple-minded. As a musician, writer, and business entrepreneur, I have always had many goals and ambitions for myself and my life. In addition to my professional goals, I also wanted to prioritize the more common and widespread goals of living a long life and being a responsible person. As a result of this, I have always found it hard to focus on and prioritize just one thing.  So confusing! No wonder I had issues fitting everything into the same day.

To make matters even more confusing, when I first started thinking about goals and time management, I was trapped in a standard 9-5 corporate job which actually ended up taking over my entire life. I therefore had no time or energy left over to actually work on my goals at all. In spite of this, I stayed at my job because “I needed to earn money to pay my bills so that I could work on my passions, goals, and dreams.”

Unfortunately at that time, I did not understand the vital flaw in this logic. Maybe I did understand it on a subconscious level, but that didn’t mean that I actually knew what to do to fix it. The result was increasing frustration, irritation, and helplessness with my life on the surface and not understanding what was causing it.

Step #1: Prioritize Your Values

The first thing I did solve this problem was to compare my ideal list of values (how I would like to spend my time) with my actual values (the way that I was actually spending my time). My lists looked like this:

My ideal values:

  1. Living a long life
  2. Music
  3. Writing
  4. Business
  5. Job
  6. Housework

My actual values:

  1. Job
  2. Living a long life
  3. Business
  4. Housework
  5. Music
  6. Writing

Writing these lists, as you can see, was pretty jarring. It woke me up to the fact that I was, for the most part, prioritizing all the “responsible” aspects of life and was not really delving into either of my passions. No wonder I felt so frustrated and unfulfilled! I decided to do something about it.

Step #2: Quit Your Day Job

I know, this decision is not for everyone. That being said, it was definitely the right decision for me. I realized that if I wanted to live a life of true authenticity, I needed to make my music and writing more of a priority. So I rid myself of the largest time-sucker of all: the 9-5 job. Once I quit my job, I decided to earn money as a professional musician and as a business entrepreneur.

Once I quit my job, I felt much more comfortable and secure in the fact that the life that I was living was far more in alignment with my values than it had ever been previously. That being said, I still struggled with music goals vs business goals, and I hardly ever had time to write.

What was causing this problem? Each category had its own goals, sub-goals, and daily habits, there turned out to be not enough hours in the day to prioritize everything at the same time. Even though I tried my best to streamline, combine, and shuffle things around, I still felt too overwhelmed to fully focus on everything at the same time because I felt like I was way too overly extended to be successful in everything.

For example, I would make some success with my music in piano, but then my viola would suffer. Or I would prioritize my viola and my piano would suffer. Or I would have it on track with both instruments, but then I would never go to the gym. Or I would have the gym on track at the same time as the housework, but not do any music. Or I would have the gym and both instruments on track but neglect the housework. That’s not even mentioning my writing or my business. Sheesh.

See? Too many variables. No good. All it did was make me upset with myself for not being able to consistently follow through on anything because I had too many things going on at the same time. Because of this, I still felt deeply unsettled and unsatisfied. While I had made a large amount of progress, I had not yet achieved perfection (lol).

Step #3: Establish Mutual Purpose

Next, I decided to really look into each category and see if they were all truly important to me. Then I asked myself why they were so important to me and what was my purpose that was driving me towards completing goals in each area.

When I answered these questions, I still said that yes, all of these things are f*cking important. Clearly. Even though I still wished that I could hire a personal assistant and/or marry a hot husband who did all the housework, so that *I* didn’t have to be the one to do it, it was still important to me that someone did it.

Housework aside, what was really interesting when I completed this step was that I actually did manage to establish a mutual purpose behind my goals of living a long life, music, writing, and business.

My Mutual Purpose:

  1. I want to overcome to become. I want to overcome the negative, toxic, and scarcity experiences from my past to become a happy, healthy, and wholesome person who lives a life of abundance.
  2. I want to use my knowledge and experience to help others overcome negativity and toxicity and also live happy, healthy, and wholesome lives. I want to break others out of scarcity mindset and help them also live lives of abundance.

I was both relieved and pleased to discover that I was actually using three different channels to achieve the same mutual purpose. However, this still did not solve my problem of not having enough hours in the day and not being able to achieve long-term consistency in any category.

Step #4: The One Thing

While I had established that all of my goals were noble and that they all did serve the same mutual purpose, I had to take a good, hard look at each category to determine the order and the level of impact for each. Which one category allowed me to facilitate success in the other categories? Which category helped me the most in my own overcoming and healing process? Which category helped me the most in my quest to help others?

Another way of thinking about it is like a row of dominoes. Which domino is the most powerful that, if you could knock it down, it would result in the others also falling down? This is what I set out to find.

When I completed this step, the results were pretty shocking. I realized that while in the past I had achieved great success in my overcoming and healing process through my writing, I actually was now currently achieving better results with my personal growth through my business opportunity. While I still enjoyed writing, I realized that it no longer served me to write novels the way that it did in the past. Thus I decided to put novel writing on-hold for the time being and instead write about personal growth in this blog. See what I did there?

For my music, I realized that while I am currently making a difference with my students and with my performances, I will be able to make even more of an impact when I have the funding available to create my own Grand Performance Academy. In starting my own music academy, I will have control of the environment and culture, so that I can ensure that I am only teaching students (and parents) with the right attitude and mindset of abundance. Therefore, in order to become more selective with my music, I realized that I needed to first focus on building my business. The change and movement that I will make in the music industry will therefore be a byproduct of the results of building my business.

As a result, I decided to focus and concentrate first and foremost on building my business. Not only does building my business help me with my first goal of overcoming to become, but it also helps me in my quest to help others overcome to become. Not only that, but down the line I can make an even greater impact and change in the music industry once I have the finances in place to be able to do so.

Therefore, my order of priorities has now shifted to the following:

  1. Living a long life
  2. Business
  3. Music
  4. Writing
  5. Housework

Which therefore made it possible to streamline all of my daily habits and fit them into a 24-hour day, actually even less-than. Ironically, since making the decision to focus more on my business, I have since spent more time playing my instruments, going to music concerts, and writing. I call that a triple-minded success!

The Six Main Self-Care Areas for Adults

If you’re like most adults, you struggle greatly with finding balance and meaning in your life. You might be asking yourself, “Who am I, really? What is my purpose in life? How can I serve and give back to others? How am I supposed to accomplish my life’s purpose at the same time as working a full-time job, managing my home, maintaining good relationships, and taking care of myself?”

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, the majority of us were not taught how to balance our lives in school, nor were we taught how to create a meaningful life, legacy, and impact for ourselves. That being said, don’t let this deter you! Regardless of what age you are, there is always a chance to start fresh and change your life in a positive direction in order to produce the best results possible. All it takes is some prioritization, focus, determination, and diligence, and balance will be yours. As long as you maintain an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change your mindset, then the world will truly be your oyster.

So what is the best way to get started? There is a lot that goes into balancing your life, as well as many questions to ask. “How much time should I spend working? How do I build my financial empire? How often should I cook and clean? How often should I go to the gym? How often should I see my friends and family? How often should I work on my to-do list? How do I make good decisions? How do I manage and prevent crises? How often should I take a break, relax, and de-stress?”

Those are just the questions that apply to your life in the moment. There are also larger-scale questions to think about, such as, “how much time should I spend thinking about life in the moment vs life in the big picture? How do I achieve my goals in life at the same time as taking care of myself properly? When is it appropriate to be selfless and when it is it appropriate to be selfish? How much of my time should be spent trying to excel in this life, vs how much should be spent preparing for the next life (in a spiritual sense)?”

If a there’s a lot that goes into balancing your life, and there’s a lot of questions to ask, where do we even begin? How do we even begin to tackle this complicated problem?

To start with, I will share with you the six main self-care areas for adults. In order to achieve balance in your life, you must master the following areas:

  1. Self-Care. If it is your goal to serve and give back to others in life, then you must first be able to serve and give back to yourself. Take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually, and see your ability to help others soar. Self-care is the foundation for living a lengthy, prosperous, and vivacious life.
  2. Mindset and Attitude. If you would like to maintain healthy relationships with others, you again must first start with yourself. Cultivate an abundance mindset of selflessness, patience, grace, empathy, and forgiveness (after all, isn’t this the attitude that you would like others to take when they relate to you?). Take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a person and work to improve yourself as needed.
  3. Much of our stress in life comes from unhealthy, toxic relationships. Become a master of good conflict resolution, boundaries and standards, expectations, laws, and rules of society in order to maintain good relationships with others. Be prepared to snip or limit the time you spend with others if necessary.
  4. Learn how to make better decisions in your life that will achieve the optimal result. Employ critical thinking skills (what a lifesaver!) to navigate personal and professional issues. Learn how to prevent crises from happening in your life and how to mitigate them once they do.
  5. Time Management. Much of our stress in life comes from poor time management skills. Take back control of your time, instead of having your time control you. Organize your schedule, to-do list, goals, thoughts, and mind. Streamline for better efficiency and set realistic goals for easing yourself into your schedule. Allow time for planning and reflecting in order to improve your system.
  6. In addition to better managing your relationships and your time, you should also spend some time in self-discovery mode. Much of our stress in life comes from lack of alignment with ourselves in our lives. Spend some time determining who you are, what you stand for, what your purpose is, and what your goals and dreams are. Once you know all of this, just go do it! Seek full alignment with yourself and start today.

With a complete mastery in all of these areas, you will significantly manage and reduce the amount of stress you feel in your life. Not only that, but you will be on track to achieve greatness in your life and you will be able to set out to help others. There is no better balance than being relaxed, healthy, happy, and set on a vision!