Month: July 2013

The 20-Something Panic Attack!

Hey My Lovelies,

I began this blog to speak to my 20-something sisters; those of us who feel stuck or anxious or even panicked about the decisions we are making, the careers we are choosing and what we believe is going to make us successful in life. (Btw, what the hell is “success” and how do we know when we have it??? That’s a juicy one I will dive into in another post…cliff hanger!!!)

Lately, I keep running into a phrase that is striking fear into the hearts of 20-somethings all over this freaking city-The. Quarter-Life. Crisis. Duh duh DUUUUUUH!

It seems that this is the point in your life where you look around at where you’ve ended up and decide that you are nowhere near where you thought you would be, that your life is a complete mess, you have no direction and that time is running out! Where is the man, the house, the career and the babies!?!? And if you have some of those things, or even all of those things why don’t they feel right!?

This is where I jump in with a big idea to calm your nerves, my loves.

This generation is something extraordinary. Older generations were expected to have it all figured out and settled by this time. There weren’t that many choices. The 20′s were typically for finding a husband and putting into practice the domestic exercises you were groomed for as a young adult.

But, this is a new generation, ladies.

We have soooo much more available to us now and that is amazing! The challenge is that we are living in a paradox. We want to have it all figured out because we want security and we want to feel established, but we want to have it all and live the life of our dreams. We have endless possibilities and tremendous freedom to CREATE the life that we choose, so naturally that is going to take a bit longer.

Today, our teens are for learning and exposure. We cram all the information we can into our little brains so that when the time comes, we can make (hopefully) informed decisions. Our 20′s are for implementing those lessons and EXPERIMENTING. Now is the time for us to try on those careers that, in theory sounded interesting to us in our teens, to try out this guy and that guy and see what we really want in a partner.

You know how it is. You find an incredible dress on the rack of your favorite store. You’re so excited! You try it on, look in the mirror and it looks nothing like it did on the hanger. Do you throw it on the pile and burst into tears because that was the perfect dress and it didn’t fit!? …Maybe, if you are on your period….but, no! Ridiculous! You keep your eye out and eventually find one that is even better than the one you thought you wanted.

I grew up thinking that I had to figure everything out as quickly as possible and steer my life with an iron grip. Like, once I made those major life decisions I had to stick with them till death-do-us-part or I was doomed. What a fucked-up, enormously pressurized way to live! Not to mention that doesn’t sound very fun. (Obvious not-so-much-of-a spoiler alert: It wasn’t.)

I’m going to say it one more time to summarize and hopefully drive this point home. Our teens are for learning. Our twenties are for experimenting. You know what happens when you loosen your iron grip and start experimenting? Opportunities open up for you. A little crack emerges and a little light is allowed to shine through. The universe is dying to get in and direct you to your ultimate life. We think we need to work so hard to steer our lives, but life flows whether we struggle or not. In fact, struggling will make the journey that much more difficult.

We need to give ourselves permission to live some experiences. If living our dreams is so valuable to us then let’s give our experiences the time they deserve to figure out if they are worth committing our lives to. And I promise you, you have plenty of time once you figure out what you truly want, to make those dreams a reality. My 30-something ladies will attest to this ;)

I usually begin my posts with a few quotes. I only have one today and I’m going to leave it with you here, at the end:

“Don’t you worry child, see heaven has a plan for you.” ~Swedish House Mafia

Boo ya ;)

Keep it real my 20-something sistahs,

Sam

How You are Blocking Your Own Wealth and What to Do About It

“What you give, you get. What you keep, you lose” ~Coach June Jones

Money.

You would think we all just want a heck-of-a-lot of it, right? But, it’s definitely not that simple.  There are a lot of feelings that even just the word brings up for us.

To some it’s dirty. To some it’s something illusive. Some use it to hurt others and still some use it to do tremendous good in the world. Money, sex and food have one thing in common: We all want it and we all pretend that we don’t want it. Admitting our desire seems greedy or taboo.

Why all this shame around money-talk? Money is something that’s not spoken about freely, but maybe it should be. Maybe if we opened up the discussion about money we could start to see money in a different light. I want to talk about money, and this is my blog, so I’m going to talk about it.

Money is just another form of energy. What we choose to do with it, our intention behind money is what makes it good or bad. Financial traders can easily make a fortune and pocket their wealth, or they can follow the example of Paul Tudor Jones, one of the top ten financial traders in history who is also one of the most influential philanthropists in the world. Jones provides over $1.45 billion dollars in grants and initiatives to the poor through his Robin Hood Foundation. Intention is way more powerful than money itself.

Money used to scare me. The fear I felt around money was one that a lot of people feel: it had to do with not having enough. The way I dealt with this feeling of scarcity was saving obsessively. I made a big deal about spending any little bit of money, and while this may not seem as bad as throwing money away, I can tell you it is just as debilitating.

My sister can attest to this. A few years ago we went on a trip to Cabo to celebrate her 40th and my 25th birthdays. While we planned and saved for it, once we were there I realized that I underestimated how much I would spend each day. That, coupled with not earning an income for 10 days and rent being due upon my return caused me to Freak Out! Mind you, I have a savings account. I could easily have transferred money over and I would have been fine, but I didn’t want to hear it. I felt overwhelmed and went a little coo-coo. (sorry sis!)

Hind-sight is 20-20. I returned home, paid my rent and realized that my fear about money put a big ugly splotch on my vacation! Not cool at all! I decided then and there to face my hang-up and here is what I’ve realized:

Money can be such a powerful tool, but that’s all it is, a tool. Your intention is what gives money power. What if money meant fullfilling your dreams? What if money meant fullfilling someone else’s dreams? Money has the potential to do a lot of good in the world, but it is up to you to use money in the right way and that begins with how you think about money.

Thinking of money as evil, or greedy does two things. One: you repel money away from yourself, so you will always feel that you don’t have enough. Two: whatever money you do receive will feel so meager that you will clench it with an iron fist and never feel like you can use it on anything other than yourself, even if you want to.

I didn’t like the way that felt so I changed my perspective. I decided that I don’t need to hold onto money with a death grip. I decided to relax so that it could flow freely into and out of my life. And out is not always a bad thing…

Just recently my sisters and I surprised my mom on her 65th birthday with a 10-day trip to Paris and Rome for her and my father. It has been her dream since she was a little girl to go to France, but I knew she would never make it happen for herself, so I decided to make it happen for her. I let the money go freely because I was funding a lifelong dream and it felt amazing!

I can also say that I seem to be attracting more money to myself than ever before. I broke down those blocks I had about money and now it is flowing towards me effortlessly. Go figure!

So what are your hang-ups about money?

Do you squander it like I used to? Are you a shop-a-holic? Do you avoid looking at your finances because you feel your bills are too big and scary?

We all have our issues. The only way to change them is to take a hard, honest look at them. They are ugly. They are scary. That’s why we avoid them for so long. Change that today! Face them! Savvy girls don’t hide from their hang-ups. Savvy girls face them with a warrior stance and kick those money-fears in the face!

Let me know what your hang-up is and tell me your plan to conquer it in the comments below.

xoxo,

Samantha

The Question You Have To Ask Yourself NOW If You Are Serious About Achieving Your Dreams

When I was three years old my mom enrolled me in dance school. The first day I remember hanging on the barre like a little monkey and chattering away with all the other little girls in the class. I was so excited for new friends and ballet shoes with pretty bows on them! I was also excited to learn how to dance. Well, the first thing we learned was not how to point our toes. We learned to stand quietly until the teacher began class. We learned to pay attention and to always look presentable, and we learned how to properly end class by walking up to the teacher one-by-one, curtsying and saying, thank you.

I have a great respect for my teachers and always have. I would even go as far as to say I love the traditions of reverence that have been in place since ballet began, but I also always wondered when I would finally be allowed to choose the color leotard I wanted to wear to class.

Errgh? “What’s she talking about!?”

From my first ballet class to my college graduation I was expected to adhere to a dress code. In college I remember all of us complaining that we still had to wear the same color leotard when real professionals could wear anything they wanted. It may seem like a small thing, but to us, not being allowed to dress like a professional felt like a denial that we were ready for the professional world. It felt like we were not good enough and looking back, I can see that it totally affected how I perceived myself.

Even if you have no dance training, you are familiar with the teacher/student relationship. We identify ourselves as students for 15-20 years of our lives. We learn and grow from those who have come before us and, of course that is an important relationship, and one we should respect.

If we want to be successful however, there comes a time when we have to decide to go Pro.

I heard a phrase recently that completely changed my game. It was a phrase that gangsta marketing genius, and (personal girl-crush) Marie Forleo said changed her game, so you best believe my ears perked up when she dropped this sparkly diamond :

“How would you behave if you were the best in the world at what you do?”

When I heard this my world stopped. And while I was waiting for it to start spinning again, I had ample time to think about how that question applied to me. For me, that question meant,

Are my daily habits supporting my dream?

Am I being an example and a leader in my field?

How am I conducting myself around the people I want to work for?

I realized that I was stuck in the student mentality and no one is going to hire me if I don’t act like a professional.

Going Pro means taking FULL responsibility for your life and actions. It’s a subtle shift with major results.

I made the decision to behave as if I were the best in the world at what I do and guess what!? People are taking notice, namely a certain future employer 😉

Now a call to action. There is no quicker way to manifest change than by putting things in writing.

I want you to imagine you are an expert or a professional at your chosen field. Write down what that looks like. Be as detailed as you want. Have fun with it. Next make a list of all the daily/weekly/monthly things you do to keep you in tip-top form.

Mine include:

Take 2 ballet classes and 2 modern classes per week

Yoga and pilates as crosstraining

Quarterly massages for injury prevention

Anti-inflammatory, nourishing food

Seeing shows regularly for inspiration

Declare how you are turning Pro in the comments below. What steps are you taking to stay at the top of your game?

I’m looking forward to reading your comments!

Until Next Time Lovers 😉

Sam