When You’re In Your Power

When you’re in your power

Shame, fear and anger dissipate.
You change the molecules in a room.
You bring out the best in everyone around you.
You feel there’s enough–enough time, enough money, enough love.
You refrain from knee jerk reactions.
You feel light and airy.
You attract your desired amount of clients.
You see money in the bank.
You make decisions that are good for you, long-term.
You feel powerful and calm, and at home in your body.
You laugh easily.
You feel like you can do anything, and you do.

You have a world of exploration to do. The answers are all inside. If we had a world of confident, powerful, calm, secure women the entire landscape of American culture and society would change. And it starts with you.

Do You Say Yes! To YourSELF?

Sunday I attended an event put on by Lee Richter a local Oakland business owner with 5 companies including a successful pet hospital Montclair Vet. She invited money expert Loral Langemeier to speak. Loral has a 100 million dollar company.

Loral looked right at me when talking about wealth because I admitted I swore by Suze Orman (who talks about debt as if it’s a sin). And I don’t take on debt ever. Loral said that Suze Orman’s attitude about wealth and debt were not helpful for entrepreneurs. She said that really successful female entrepreneurs are great risk takers.

Loral also talked about women and our feeling that we need to “take people with us.” That means we can’t move forward unless everyone around us gives us the go ahead to do so. But if you are a female entrepreneur you know that often you are doing things despite the frowns from family, friends and strangers.

At the end of the day it’s about your attitude toward yourself and your dreams. Do you say YES to yourself? Do you have that unshakable belief in yourself? Do you give yourself a permission slip to go after your dreams?

Here are ten declarations I received from this weekend’s talk I’d like to share with you. They are meaningful for me because I believe women (like me) need to change their attitude toward money (and making it).

Ten Declarations To Cleanse Your Attitude About Attracting “Plenty

  1. I deserve to be wealthy, healthy and happy.
  2. Wealth comes to me easily.
  3. My money bucket is expanding daily.
  4. A part of all I earn is mine to keep.
  5. My income increases every day–whether I’m working, sleeping or playing.
  6. Ever dollar I spend comes back to me multiplied.
  7. All my investments are profitable.
  8. Money now comes to me in unexpected ways–for the good of all concerned.
  9. I’m always in the right place at the right time.
  10. I love my life!

As your attitude toward what is in the cards for you changes, notice your life change.  I am not someone who puts a great emphasis on money. I value my relationships, my beliefs and my dog above money–and I always have. However I do feel that all women can benefit from feeling worthy, deserving and asking for what they want.

I believe in you!

Give Yourself a Permission Slip: A Message For Women

Successful people go do what they know in their heart of hearts is the right thing without a “permission slip.” This permission comes from an internal unshakable belief in themselves.

Women must realize that they will never be given the permission slip they are waiting for. Being liked will not bring success. The media tells women (and society at large) that well-behaved, manicured and quiet women who don’t take up space will be rewarded.

This is a big fat lie. The media continues to tell women that being liked, being pretty and being thin will bring unconditional love. The truth is unconditional love from others starts with unconditional love for oneself. Women need to start a revolution of self-love. When this happens our entire cultural landscape will shift. When women make a radical decision of self-love the media will no longer have the hold over women and girls that it does. The messages that women need to fit into a specific (unachievable) ideal will be obsolete. Advertisers will finally be frowned upon for perpetuating these myths about women in their messaging.

How Women Climb Ladders (Corporate and otherwise)

Often when you do something innovative or new, people resent you for it. You must continue moving forward despite criticism from skeptics–and I promise you there will be people who do not “like” it. Leaders (like Steve Jobs) innovate despite criticism from others.

How can more women start acting like Steve Jobs, and less like Kate Hudson’s character from “How to Lose A Guy In Ten Days”?

Leadership opportunities go to those who step up to lead. No one can make you a leader. You must see yourself as a leader first. I wonder what this world would look like if women stepped up. If women had unshakable belief in their abilities. If women spent their time going after what they wanted instead of obsessing over their looks and who liked them. Today is the day. I hereby grant you permission to go after what you want.

I want women to come home to themselves. I want women to give themselves permission slips to live the lives they want on their own terms. I want women to realize that the princess Disney trope doesn’t bring happiness, wealth or well-being. I want women to slip themselves the permission slip to live outloud.

Mastering Life Change, the Infographic

How well you adjust to change will determine your ability to be successful.

Change can be a friend or foe depending on your willingness to stay flexible and open-minded. When you get too comfortable in your ways, it becomes harder to adjust to new life circumstances. You can make change your best friend by being aware of your own experience throughout the “change process.” Being self-aware is going to be your best weapon in business, and in life.

In this economy in particular, we all need to look at the landscape and see the opportunities, not the statistics.

Last week I wrote a post called 9 Steps to Mastering a Life Change.

Below is the mastering life change infographic we’ve created for you at Artemis.

It is during the darkest times you need to be the most agile, focused and confident. Get support, research answers and believe in yourself. Anything is possible!

Five Tips For Women On Boosting Your Confidence

I am a fan of the type of confidence that is humble; a quiet strength that needs no announcement.

Confidence comes from following a path in step with your passion. Confidence comes from true belief in oneself and one’s work. You know what you are building is powerful–you continue down that path even in the face of skepticism.

Whether you are a female entrepreneur or working your way up the corporate ladder in your job, confidence is essential to moving forward.

Confidence is a funny thing. Some of the most seemingly confident people are actually quite insecure, but have become very good at managing their own fears. While physically looking the part can help, true confidence comes from the inside. It comes from your core. And unshakable confidence is something developed over time (for most of us).

Below are five tips that will help you boost your confidence and help prepare you for any situation.

Five Results-Proven Tips for Female Confidence Building

1. Whisper sweet nothings to yourself. We talk about empathy in the business world, but what about empathy toward ourSELVES?  I encourage you to talk to yourself the way you talk to your favorite pet. How do you react when your pet falls down? Do you swear at your pet? Probably not. That being said, you should be as gentle with yourself as you are with your pet. Or think about how you would talk to a best friend if she were to fall down. It is said that what you believe will eventually come true. If you believe you aren’t enough you won’t go as far. This is true because if you think you aren’t enough you won’t push yourself as far as you would if you thought you could achieve anything. You won’t go for that opportunity, job or guy you think you really deserve. It starts with how you talk to yourself. I want to hear sweet nothings ladies! I want to hear self love from the roof tops!

2. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Confidence comes from preparation. Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Let’s use surfing as an example. If you’ve never surfed before, and you take your board out and you can’t stand up–of course your confidence will take a hit. But if you practice on the beach for a while before you go out there, and study up with some other surfers, your confidence levels will improve. You know you’ve got some tools in your surfer belt to be successful. Get it? Make it easier on yourself by heading out to the waves with the right amount of preparation.

3. Move. I honestly don’t know where I would be without the ability to sweat. Probably on a curb somewhere. Every single day I wake up and go move my body. It gets my chemicals flowing and puts me in a positive place. While I try and abstain from talking about exercise on Facebook, the truth is it’s a really important part of my day. I run with my dog Athena constantly. Running is a great way to get rid of toxic energy. Additionally you get some of the best ideas when you’re running. Take your dog if you can. If you hate to run (like my boyfriend does) I don’t care if it’s aerobics, jumping on your bed, or kung-fu–get out of bed and get moving. You will notice how much better you feel about yourself.

4. Follow your passion. When you focus on the aspect of your job that you love you’re enthusiasm will clearly shine through. If you don’t love anything about your job, you should probably quit. Life is too short. When you talk about why you love what you do, and why it’s personally meaningful, people around you start to light up too. That said even if taking out the trash is your favorite part of your job, find one thing that lights you up and talk about it. People are attracted to other people who are lit up!

5. Everything you do, do your best. Do you know people who try hard at everything they do? Some people call this a Type A personality or a perfectionist. I have been called a Type A before, although in no way do I see myself as that. I just can’t stomach the idea of not trying. Trust me there are days when I feel that way and I have to talk myself into trying (harder). We all hate to lose, and winning comes from truly applying your focus to everything you do. You’ve got one chance. Make it count!

What can you add to this list? What helps make you feel confident? Please feel free to comment below and share with me.

9 Steps to Mastering A Life Change

There’s nothing like Sheryl Crow’s award winning song “A Change Would Do You Good.” We all have periods in our lives where we realize we need to make change, but we’re not quite sure if we can leave our comfort zones for the arduous trek.

I love this song–it’s a wonderful anthem for how change can be powerful. Everyone can benefit from being a little more empowered.

We were put on earth to live meaningful and spiritually rewarding lives. As an individual you evolve, and benefit from setting measurable goals that keep you focused on a clear path. Every single day you can benefit from bringing you A game. A game can be applied to anything such as a project,  job or event a new relationship or health regimen. Staying focused, engaged and flexible will allow you to continually move to higher ground. While that means different things for different people, I’ve determined that to master any life change there are nine steps to mastering a life change.

When you want to bring change into our life, it almost never happens over night.

While some make success look easy, almost always they have personally gone through their own journey including years of hard work and struggle behind the scenes.

It is my personal belief that to flow with the natural current is to drive in the direction of our individual truth. We have to constantly iterate in our own lives moving with environmental or circumstantial change. Additionally there’s a flavor of necessary change–plain ol’ stuck-in-a-rut and need to change.

And here’s my animation that announces the nine steps with a short example of a “yellow house.”

Here are the nine steps I’ve outlined that lead to any habit change, emotion mastery or attitude change.

1. Denial

You know your life isn’t turning out like you had in mind originally, but you are so stuck in your habits that the thought of not having the crutch you rely on sounds terrifying. You refuse to believe that you have a problem and busy yourself so you don’t have to recognize that things need to change. You surround yourself with people who also lead the type of life that you do preventing anyone from reminding you that this is not the best decision for you.

2. Awareness

You’re getting tired of the same old results from the same actions. You see your life is not changing in the way you want it to. You don’t have the self confidence, groove and ease of life you felt you once had. You see successful people who have what you want and wonder what they’re doing that you’re not doing. You’re frustrated that things haven’t turned out differently, but you’re not quite sure you’re ready to make personal change. You’re starting to understand the “why” of making a change.

3. Research.

You start casually looking for answers. You google, you read books, you follow people who are doing what you want to do, and so on and so forth. With the web this is the easiest part. Most of the questions we have are just a click away. You make calls with people. You have coffees with people. You research events to go to, meet-ups to check out and so on.

4. Contemplation.

You have all the knowledge you need to move forward. Now is the time you are thinking if you are really ready to step out of your comfort zone. This could include going without something you’ve had as a comfort for a long time, or pushing yourself harder than you have. You are deciding if you are ready to make a life-long habit change. You are considering the pros and cons of taking action.

5. Planning.

You start writing down a plan. You create a step-by-step guide for how you will get from where you are to where you want to be. You continue to consider the  “why,” but now unpack the “how.” You take all the best tips from the meetings, research and reading you did and create a tactical plan of how you can apply this to your own life. You create achievable milestones for yourself that will push you forward without making it so difficult you give up.

6. Action

You’ve decided that the results you are looking for are worth the sacrifice or investment that you will have to make. You gather all the information from your research and start putting a plan into action.

7. Reflection

It’s harder than you thought it would be. Can you do this? Maybe you’ll throw it all away and go back to the old way of doing things. But you know you won’t be happy that way. This is feeling difficult, uncomfortable and taking longer than you thought it would. Can I do it? I’ll give it a few more days–and if nothing changes…..

8. Habit Change

You didn’t think you would get through those first hurdles, but you made it! You’re riding the bicycle. It’s much easier, more fluid, and fun than you ever thought it would be. It comes natural to you and is now part of your every day life. You can’t believe that you did it but you did. Now that you have made this life change, you want to see what else you can change in your life. It’s a no brainer–you’ve mastered it!

9. Mastery.

Your whole life is beginning to change. The way people react to you is so much brighter. You have more energy, you’re attracting different people to you than you used to, and you recognize who you used to be in other people (and you never want to be that person again). Life is great when you believe in yourself.

As a sidenote:
I have personally made a commitment that I won’t help people unless they ask me for help. There is nothing worse than trying to tell a family member or friend they need to change when they don’t want your help. People have to be ready to change, and there’s a process that comes with that.

Your Inner Glow: An Interview with Oakland Photographer Nancy Rothstein

There’s no question that representing yourself in a professional way online can be of great benefit. Having a headshot for your website and your social profiles that is clean, bright and flattering can be a real differentiator. Representing the best version of yourself helps send the right message to prospective new clients, recruiters or potential mates.

What I’ve learned is I grew up insecure about my looks. These insecurities have fueled many of the ideas in this blog and turned into a passion for helping other women feel good about themselves. I always say when I heal other women I heal myself, and when I heal myself I heal other women.

Over time I’ve learned to accept myself and embrace the very things that make me different. I’ve also learned that when I feel happy, I look better in photographs. I believe this is true for other women as well.

It has taken me almost three decades to feel mostly comfortable with myself. Today I know the importance of putting my best foot forward. While there are a million ways things that can go wrong with branding, having nice photos is one advantage that’s easy to take care of. We all need to do the best with what we have.

I’ve recently changed my hair color and I’ve never had professional headshots taken. I recently met a photographer at a NAWBO event named Nancy Rothstein. I learned more about her process, saw her incredible portfolio and wanted to work with her.

Nancy is passionate about helping women feel amazing about themselves, and having that glow come through in her photography. I love working with other women small business owners who are also on a journey to help lift up other women. I can’t say enough positive things about the experience I had with her. She was gentle through the whole process, and a true perfectionist. She made me laugh throughout our photo shoot. She is a true master of light and has an uncanny ability to draw that spirit out of you–and make it come through in your headshot. Learn more about Nancy’s philosophy and views on self esteem in our interview below.

Blake Landau: What is a common reaction you find from clients who are getting their head-shots done for the first time?

Nancy Rothstein: Many people come in saying something like:

I don’t photograph well
I’m not photogenic
I hate photos of myself 
I’ve never had a photo of myself that I’ve liked
I’m really uncomfortable in front of the camera

BL:  Is there a difference between men and women with regard to being self-conscious in front of the camera?

NR: I think it depends on the person. I’ve had both genders [clients] who are self-critical and uncomfortable. Both genders have come in with specific things about themselves that they don’t like. I wouldn’t want to generalize but I do think men are more comfortable with themselves. But I think pretty much everyone has challenges seeing themselves.

BL: Do you have any advice for people who feel insecure about their looks or their weight as far as appearing confident in front of the camera?

NR: Well the first part of that answer is at the root of my beliefs—to remember that your beauty is not skin deep. We’re all inherently beautiful—and it’s our human spirit that makes us beautiful. You know that’s true because you experience someone who is “beautiful” by society and media standards, and you know that it would be possible to interact with someone like that and feel that they’re actually ugly in the way they behave or treat other people. Real beauty is inside of us.

If we remember that real beauty comes from our spirit–and tap into that–we’ll naturally be more relaxed and express our beauty in a photograph. Internal beauty comes out through the face and the expression—it doesn’t matter how much they weigh, how many wrinkles they have, how many spots they have, gray hairs, make-up etc. When a person is shining through their eyes and their expression no one looks at that image and says, “oh they need to lose ten pounds.” They look at it and say “wow what a beautiful person.”

Beyond that technique is very important. You have to choose the right photographer. You want to choose a photographer that can bring your inner glow out. Who can help you to be at east in front of the camera, who can see you for who you are and understand what it is you want to express with your image and be able to draw that out.

There are proven techniques in photography that flatter the subject. In a still image you want to do everything possible to make the image flattering whether that’s lighting, camera angle or composition. Bad lighting can make a model look bad. Additionally we all have asymmetry in our faces. The way the photographer poses you and lights you accentuates the asymmetry or balances it. That’s really important in a still image. When we’re animated and interacting with each we don’t notice that. But real life and a still image are very different ways to be perceived.

BL: How do you help people relax when they’re getting their picture taken?

NR: I have a process that starts before the session in my phone consultation. At that time I talk to the client about what they’re trying to express. What aspects of their personality they’re trying to convey with the image. I also give them homework and have them think about things that relate to the qualities they want to portray in their photograph. In the example of a professional person I might have them think about their favorite client, or the feeling they get from being of service to their clients. It could be a feeling of competence of doing their best work. It could be a virtue they’re striving to embody. It could be anything. I don’t ask them to necessarily share it with me but reflect on it prior to the session. During the session I’m very actively coaching them to reflect on these things and to have their inner experience of tapping into those qualities. The ultimate goal is to create an authentic image that feels spontaneous in the context of a contrived photo shoot. That process which is a combination of mediation and method acting helps the subject to experience something authentic that specifically relates to how they want to be perceived during the session rather than looking at a camera and feeling self-conscious.

BL: Why do you love your job?

NR: I love interacting with people and I love creating dynamic images. I’ve been using a camera since I was seven years old. It ‘s a natural way for me to interact with the world. Lately one of my deepest satisfactions with my work is that I create images that remind people of their essential beauty.

All photos in this blog were taken by Nancy Rothstein. Find Nancy on Facebook and Twitter or her website

Don’t Throw In The Towel, Wrap Your Hair In It

We all have moments where we feel like throwing in the towel. And during these moments–when we’re feeling vulnerable–it’s easy to conjure up images of what women should do when they’re feeling down-and-out. Three things for me come to mind: chocolate, alcohol and shopping.

The truth about all these short term answers….

Drinking is a depressant–it makes you feel up and then shoots you straight down. What goes up must come down. And shopping when you’re upset can lead to impulse buys and unfortunately for many women in America–credit card debt. All of these things provide short highs and eventually long lows. They simply don’t do what we’re told they should do–make us feel lovely and amazing.

So much of what we’re taught is the answer by the media and advertising is in fact the opposite of the answer. These ephemeral activities don’t leave us emotionally nourished, refreshed or invigorated.

A private moment with a quarter pounder with cheese, a dove chocolate or a tall glass of midori sour doesn’t give us internal nourishment. Real long-term success comes from taking care of our spirits. That includes nourishing our bodies with nutritional food and drink. Additionally financial stability is empowering. Rather than shop save money and invest wisely in your future. So I’m here to set the story straight on how to get yourself out of a rut. I beg you don’t throw in the towel, just take better care of yourSELF.

Kim K. having a great time at a party–probably after a long stressful week at work.
Am I the only San Francisco driver to see this billboard?

I’m not here to berate you about what you eat and drink. I’m here to teach you some simple tools during your dark moment that help you to feel enough. Remember, you’re enough!

Here are six tips you can use for when you’re having a “moment.”

1. Having a tough moment at work? Step outside and take ten deep breaths. Work isn’t the best venue for self-expression. It’s not a good idea to let your boss and your coworkers see you having a bad day (but we’re all human and we all have them). At the same time keeping your feelings at bay for too long will distract you from your work. Let yourself feel what you’re feeling in a safe space. Go outside for a walk, even sneak away to the women’s restroom for a three minute mediation. I don’t care where you can find three minutes of solitude–go find it. Your day depends on it. If you can sneak in a work-out, even better. I work out every day to put myself in a place of gratitude. We were meant to breathe deeply, move and emote. Exercise gets your breathing.

2. Don’t dive into your career stress, take a bath. The funny thing about advertising is we are often taught that when things get stressful, we should reach for a drink. We are taught that a private moment with a chocolate bar is that one panacea that will make us feel strong, competent and happy. The truth is food and alcohol are not the first things women should grab when life gets stressful. A bath can be a wonderful activity that can be nourishing, relaxing and rejuvinating. If you’re feeling like diving into your cabinet to down a box of Madeline cookies, a warm bath (with salts too) will nourish you (and there’s no guilt). Hot baths not only soothe your mind but your muscles too. Hot baths soothe the lungs, heart, stomach and endocrine system by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal chord.

3. Allow yourself to feel and process. Women need time to reflect on their lives, their careers and their relationships. There is nothing wrong with letting out a good cry if you need it. Crying helps us release. Crying balances our chemicals. Journaling can also be a great way to stay on top of your moods. By writing down how you feel, you take a load off–even if it’s a note on your iphone or your ipad. Jotting your emotions down can feel amazing.

4. Get a coach or therapist. All too often women don’t have boundaries in their lives. Families and friends cannot always help us in the way that we need. For many millennial women, our moms end up taking on the role of BFF–but at a certain point as women we need to find our own safe space to talk. When women don’t have boundaries in their lives–especially with private information–problems start to happen. By having an objective person like a coach (or even a therapist) you are better able to keep boundaries with your family, your friends and your coworkers. A coach can help you unpack your dreams and goals, and provide a step by step process on how to get there. Encouragement and support is provided along the way. Coaching is not therapy, and therapy is not coaching–however in both venues a woman is provided a private and safe space to vent. All women need a safe space to vent without concern for boundaries. Keep in mind referrals often provide the best coaches and therapists.

5. Write down what you feel proud about. Anything can look like a failure in the middle. Many successful and high achieving women are very hard on themselves. By giving yourself a pat on the back and putting on paper what you’ve accomplished you will have a different perception of where you are. Women have around 60,000 thoughts a day. Can you imagine if even 1/10 of these thoughts were “you’re lovely and amazing and you can do anything”? That’s not the case for too many women. For many women turning the majority of thoughts from a place of fear to a place of yes can be difficult.When you feel good about where you are, your next move will be a positive one. We need more persistent, calm, confident women out there so we start to see the numbers change at the top. Look at all that you’ve accomplished. Write it down. Then keep going!

6. Catch a lack of email etiquette? Back away from the computer.  Ahhh technology. You have made it so easy for us to send quick messages to one another anywhere in the world. But perhaps this is a blessing and a curse. Most people haven’t studied email etiquette, and most people just aren’t very aware of how they come across in an email. How can I emphasize this enough….Get a rude email? Someone offend you by being brief, demanding and demoralizing? Turn off your email. Get out of there. Take a few hours to go away from the computer. Learn to not respond (or postpone responding) to rude messages. Just because someone sends you an email doesn’t mean you need to respond right away. The email offender probably was never taught how to practice email etiquette. This is not about you, it’s about them. This is probably how they talk to themselves–rude, abrupt etc. Be the standard by practicing email etiquette.

Remember, don’t throw in the towel. Take a bath and wrap your hair in it!

Are you in the Bay Area? Join me for a memorable workshop August 11th to “Empower You.

10 Things Happy Women Do

I wrote a post last week called “Why Women Feel Like Crap About Themselves.” A lot of you read and commented on that post. That is news to me that I need to write more about how to not feel like crap. I know there have been times in my life when I felt amazing and times when I felt like…crap. So here is a list of the top ten things to do to feel great. If you can take one nugget here and apply it to your life, I will be a happy blogger.

1. Getting involved in the community.

We women are connectors. While not all of us are the same personality profile eg. extroverted versus introverted, most of us benefit from getting out there and meeting other people. The best contacts, friends, clients I’ve made have all resulted from going out. So leave your house, get out of your sweatpants and go get involved with your local community. I joined Team In Training East Bay six months ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It was the best thing I could do to get involved in my new Oakland community.

2. Toastmasters

My life changed when I joined Toastmasters. If you’ve read my blog before, you already know this. Sorry. Toastmasters connections are magical because the people there are interested in working on themselves–they are naturally compassionate and non-judgmental. Toastmasters is an organization that changes lives. It gives people confidence, it teaches them how to be better speakers. Everyone can benefit from going through the course and getting their Competent Communicator award.

3. Exercise Daily

I work out every day. Most people might think this is crazy, but exercise has been a constant in my life for the last decade. I depend on exercise to be happy, to stay sane, and burn off all the cake (it’s usually not cake but you get what I’m saying). I exercise in the morning, and if I don’t get my work out in I don’t feel right. I have no clue how people work desk jobs and don’t work out. If I didn’t do this I would implode.

If you don’t currently work out don’t be intimidated by other people’s regimen or goals. Do what feels right for you. Even if that’s just 15-20 minutes a day. Eventually you can build up to more time if you are interested to do so. If you are looking for motivation a great way to start is to get a work-out buddy or join a local walking/running group.

3. You Are What You Eat. 

There was a period when I decided to only eat Weight Watchers meals. Oh man I felt so sick. All the chemicals and microwave food. I wasn’t sleeping well during that period either. I saw a picture of myself from that time and I look very washed out. It’s hard for me not to believe the chemicals in the food weren’t making me sick. Now I go to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday and we eat a lot of produce and generally healthy food. I do cheat (I eat a small dessert every evening) but I am done with processed food for the most part. Remember the diet industry is a ten billion dollar a year industry, and a lot of that is processed food. That is not what I call “health food.” Part of this is eating a good breakfast every morning that starts your day off right. I notice if for some reason I skip breakfast I end up eating more at night, and snacking. Lastly, don’t starve yourself! Generally restrictive diets lead to binging. Some people just “forget to eat.” Whatever your reasoning, don’t go too long without a snack. It will hurt you down the road.

4. Self Affirmations

Self-Affirmations are a great way to focus your mind. I went to a meditation last weekend with a group of about 30 women. We read these affirmations aloud. Feel free to take a few to help you get through your day. Read them out-loud to yourself.

5. Meditation

Every morning after I start boiling the water for coffee, and toasting my one piece of whole wheat peanut butter toast (with banana) I go sit on our couch and meditate. I do this for five minutes. While five minutes isn’t very much time, it is the most important five minutes of my day. During this time I focus my intention and relax. I do this before eating, or showering, or exercising or anything. I do only five minutes because for me that’s achievable. You need to set goals for yourself that are within reason. These five minute moments makes a significant impact on my week.

6. Get out of your sweat pants and go out!

I said it before but I can’t stress this enough. Get out there and meet people.

I’m a homebody. I love being in my cozy clothes. I hate sitting in traffic, I hate wearing uncomfortable dresses and commuting to an office. I know this about myself. I also know every new friendship I have forged here in California, every new client I have signed, every new relationship (the one I’m in) and good memory has been created by me leaving the house. You know that cheesy bumper sticker “Life starts at the end of your comfort zone”? It’s sorta true. We are social beings, not meant to sit on Facebook and Twitter all day waiting for our lives to start. Put your technology away and go out and meet people.

7. Build something.

I love to cook. You know that because it’s all I talk about. I love chopping and using my hands to create something to be enjoyed. Cooking isn’t for everyone but I want to emphasize here that any project where you are creating something is gratifying. While most corporations don’t have any kind of “arts and crafts day,” just because we’re not kids anymore doesn’t mean we shouldn’t build things and have play in our lives. I don’t care if Color Me Mine is lame to most people. It’s fun. Get your hands dirty.

8. Dogs

Dogs have a very neutral and gentle energy. Even seeing dogs walk by at the park can really just neutralize angry energy. If you don’t have a dog, and you are feeling down, go walk a friend’s dog, go to the dog park, watch YouTube videos of dogs. I’m not kidding. Dogs are man’s best friend.

9. Wear Flattering Clothing

How many times a day do you walk by a glass window, look in the reflection, and think “oh God I look awful.” First of all, I recommend you try and stop judging yourself when you walk by these windows. Just don’t look next time. Do you see guys looking at their profile and saying “oh my butt looks so big!” No they aren’t. In addition to not judging yourself in the mirror, I recommend you wear clothing that’s flattering and you feel comfortable in. If you have clothes that are too tight, that make your thighs or butt look big, don’t wear them. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful. That doesn’t mean you have to go buy a new wardrobe, but if you wear clothes you feel good in, you will walk taller. A lot of women have great bodies but don’t highlight them well with the right clothes and as a result, they add pounds. If you don’t know what looks good on you, take a fashionable friend shopping or go to a store and get a personal shopper to help you. It’s really important that you feel like you look good. Also, throw out your skinny jeans. You are never going to fit into them. Get rid of them!

10. Spoil yourself a little.

When I lived in New York I was always exhausted. To give my “broke-ass” a treat I would treat myself to ten minute shoulder massages while I got my nails done. It was a dollar a minute. You can’t beat that.

A lot of us carry our stress in our shoulders and back. A massage can help get the lactic acid out of your back and make you feel better. It’s also a welcome replacement for chocolate or booze, another comfort to the stressed out career woman. If you can afford it I recommend a nicer massage, but if you can’t ten minutes of shoulder work can really leave you feeling refreshed.

Ok so that’s it from me for today. Go take on the world!!

Double Dare, A Story of Fearless Women

Double Dare is a documentary that follows the stories of two famous American stunt women. The story follows Jeannie Epper Wonder Woman’s stunt woman and Zoë Bell stunt woman for Xena, Warrior Princess.

Zoë Bell grew up on Waiheke Island in Auckland where she became studied competitive gymnastics, Taekwon-Do, dance, high diving, scuba, and track and field activities–everything that would provide her the chops to do something like...Kill Bill. Bell began her career in 1992 when her father treated a stuntman for a head injury and came home with a phone number for her to call. [How about that for an example of how preparation meets opportunity?]

Uma Thurman and Zoë Bell on set of Kill Bill

Jeanne Epper is known as possibly the greatest stunt woman in history. She performed stunts in over 100 feature films and television series and is perhaps best known as Lynda Carter’s double on the Wonder Woman series (see photo below-she’s on the left). Her family lineage traces back to a colonel in Napoleon’s army. The Epper family pioneered stunts in Hollywood tracing back to the old Hollywood classics. Her entire family is in the business. Today she provides mentoring for other younger women in the field (including Zoë Bell as you will see in the short below).

The Qualities of Fearless Women

Zoë and Jeannie have full confidence. They push themselves. They have fun. They don’t complain. They don’t take themselves too seriously. They take rejection well, get up, dust themselves off and keep going. They’re emotionally fluid people who let themselves feel. Their emotional fluidity contributes to their physical grace. They move light on her feet.

I was so inspired by this movie Double Dare partially because I’m an adrenaline junkie. I am addicted to snowboarding and ran a full marathon last year to raise money for cancer. Once I moved to NYC on a whim. My happiest moments are when I’m pushing myself physically, mentally and spiritually and proving to myself I am stronger than I think I am.

I loved Double Dare for two reasons.

1. These two stunt women are now part of a small group of women who are trying to make change by supporting each other in the industry.

2. It’s a wonderful example of mentoring. In any field that is male-dominated it is so important that the older women mentor the younger women–even if there is no financial gain for them.

This movie was moving on so many levels. There are so few examples of women in media who are highlighted for how they push themselves and things they accomplish on their own terms. We need more content like Double Dare that illustrates how successful women get to where they are, and depicts actual real women who have overcome challenges–and how they continue getting back on the horse, literally.