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Transcribe Me!

25 Aug

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to for allowing me the opportunity to make extra money on my time and in the comfort of my own home. I know that there are a lot of sites out there that tell you that you can make $30,000 in a month doing something easy and cool, but most of those sites are fake or money making schemes. Transcribe Me! is a legitimate site, that lets you work a contract position (and you actually get paid real cash!)

I work 40 hours a week, so the thought of adding on a part-time job seemed overwhelming. Transcribe Me! allows me to transcribe a variety of files at my own pace, when I can, and doesn’t ding me for not working every day of the week. As we all know, life gets busy and sometimes we just can’t make it to the computer to get things done. I really appreciate that Transcribe Me! understands today’s society and working adults, and gives us the opportunity to earn, save and spend money, while still being able to enjoy our lives on our time.

So, thanks Transcribe Me! for giving me this great opportunity, I love being a part of the team!

If you’re interested in applying for a position at Transcribe Me! go to:


Yay Olive Oil!

21 Feb

This year I have been attempting a lot of new things (see posts below about gymnastics!) and have included trying to eat healthier to that list.  It’s been a journey, mostly discovering that the food I was eating wasn’t really food, but food-like.  I wasn’t getting the nutrients my body needed, and despite my calorie counting I wasn’t losing any weight, gaining any muscle, or feeling any better.

After cutting out a lot of processed foods and added sugars, and incorporating more fruits, vegetables and organic foods into my diet, I am feeling so much better. I don’t feel as tired as I used to, I have more energy, and I’m not hungry all of the time.  I’m starting to listen to my  body and what it needs, instead of stuffing it full of “food” that it doesn’t.

I was super excited to get my first VoxBox from @Influenster ( – check out their website to become an Influenster and get cool stuff too!) which was the Filippo Berio Robusto Olive Oil.  Olive oil is a staple now in my kitchen because it is a healthy oil, and a great substitute for butter, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.

I love grilled cheese and decided to brush my bread with the olive oil instead of frying in butter. I was amazed at how much better it tasted.  Sometimes I felt like my bread was soaked in the butter and it was all I could taste, but the Filippo Berio olive oil tasted amazing, and cooked faster and more even.

So if you’re looking for a good olive oil that is not out of your budget, I would definitely suggest the Filippo Berio brand.  And grill all the cheese you want!!



*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.*

Mindfulnes and Gymnastics Part 2

20 Feb

Some of the most rewarding things in life are being able to do those things that you thought were lost to you forever. But really, the thing that was lacking wasn’t strength or size or muscle, but belief in myself and my abilities.  I didn’t think I’d ever be able to do my glide kip again, a very complicated gymnastics skill that took me several months as a 7 year old to learn.  I thought to myself that there was no way I’d have that kind of strength or stamina again, especially at my age.  The truth is, all I needed was the confidence in myself to just go for it.  And yes, for several months, that glide kip did not make it above the bar, but instead of being frustrated or down on myself, I decided to push myself.

I started doing 3-minute plank holds (not all at once!) to build up my ab muscles, and working out with the intention of building myself up for my kip.  All of those things were key, of course, but it was my very specific and basic intention that made the difference.  I would get my kip by the end of 2016.

Mindfulness gave me the confidence and self-love to pursue those things that I may not succeed at immediately.  I am human and I am fallible and that is a huge gift. And all those times I failed at the glide kip (and still do from time to time), I don’t get angry at myself, instead I reward myself for a job well done and an attempt worth made and move on to the next trick.

Also, it is very possible to do those things you never thought you could do again – go ride a bike, try a basketball league, paint a picture!  None of these things are lost to you, only hidden away, waiting for you to make them an intention again.


Mindfulness and Gymnastics

13 Feb

Recently I started getting back into gymnastics after having been a competitive gymnast in my younger days.  Gymnastics has always been a passion of mine, and being able to experience it again at my age is wonderful!

I started to think about how my passion for mindfulness and meditation plays into my passion for gymnastics and skill building.  I realized the two were perfectly aligned!  In gymnastics, you have to be in the present moment.  If you aren’t, there is not way you can do anything.  All of your being must be involved in exactly what is happening in that very moment.  Take a back handspring, for example.  If you find yourself being pulled into the past or present, that back handspring, becomes a back headspring.

And although there are moments of anxiety when attempting a new skill or doing something on my own for the first time, that anxiety provides me with a wonderful motivation to do it anyway.  There is a great saying, if it is both exciting and terrifying, you should absolutely do it.

Check out my back handspring below!  More videos and posts coming 🙂

A Look Back

24 Sep

Looking back on my previous blog posts has been humbling.  I have come so far in the years in between, growing, learning and developing into the woman I am today.  In those times I thought I had learned what I needed to learned, that I had discovered all I needed to discover and grown all I could.  It is a pleasant reminder that my learning and growing and discovering is never over. Even now, years later, it is good to remind myself that I am and will always be incomplete – but despite that,  I am enough.  I have always been and will always be enough. I love myself.  I love who I am.  I love what I’ve accomplished.  I love the mistakes I’ve made.  I love every experience I have ever had – the good, but maybe even moreso, the ‘bad’ (really, not bad, just difficult).

I continue to practice mindfulness and meditation, but my focus has shifted to sharing that with others.  Especially those I care about and want the best for.  I hope that my insights, my ideas and my passion will help others to come to a place of contentment and peace – the ability to manage life in the best way possible, and use the tools of mindfulness and meditation to conquer and grow from the difficult.  I also hope that, in turn, I will continue to develop new ways of managing my emotions and thoughts, and continue to find a deeper love and compassion for myself and for those around me.


See Depression For What It Is – Part 2

19 Apr

Life constriction means that you aren’t succeeding in making your life what you would like it to be; your life isn’t producing the sense of vitality, purpose, and meaning that you hoped it would. (The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression. Strosahl, K.D. & Robinson, P.J. (15))

If you ask a person why they are experiencing depression, sadness, anxiety, etc., you are bound to get many different answers. They can range from, ‘my life just sucks’ to ‘I lost my job, my house and my livelihood.’ Depression triggers vary widely from individual to individual for the very reason that depression is an INDVIDUAL disease. No two people will experience depression the same way, for the same reasons or in the same situations. There is no doubt that depression is a very unique and differentiated experience. However, I believe that you can boil the reason for depression down to a very simple explanation: you’re not living the life you want to live.

You’re depressed because you lost your job? Well, obviously you’re not living the way you want. You value success in your work and you enjoy the responsibility of helping others in your job. That has been taken away from you; and now, all those things that you value so strongly have also been taken from you. Perhaps you’ve just broken up with a significant other. You value companionship, love and compassion. And now, all those things that you value in your intimate relationships have been taken from you. Life constriction is what, in essence, triggers depression. Your life isn’t the way you thought it would be or the way you want it; the purpose and meaning you want or had in your life has been (if only briefly) squashed.

I think it is important to understand exactly what triggers depression. Each person has to figure this out on your own as no two people have the same triggers. It is sometimes easier to sit down and think about what might be happening in your life that is causing life constriction or a loss of a sense of vitality. Was it an argument with a friend? Frustration at work? Uncertainty about your next steps in life? Sometimes understanding what is triggering your depression and actually separating out those triggers can help you back on the road to recovery. You have taken an abstract feeling, thought or emotion and given a name, idea or a place to it. It is now effectively something you can physicalize. You can now understand WHY you are feeling anxious, why your chest feels tight, why you feel a ten-pound weight on your shoulder.

One very important thing to remember is that we can’t run away from these triggers. They are there, and it is okay to acknowledge them. Yes, it might hurt, it might cause you anxiety, fear, sadness, etc., but by ignoring what those triggers might be, you are allowing your depression to consume you. Take a stand against your depression and prove to yourself that you are capable of handling whatever negative thoughts or experiences that you may be facing. If you are able to do this, you will finally feel in charge of your own life and you will be able to renew the sense of purpose and vitality you want to have in your life.

See Depresssion For What It Is – Part 1

5 Apr

Even if it’s unintentional, falling into a pattern of avoiding unpleasant or painful feelings and the situations that trigger them is a major cause of depression. (The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression. Strosahl, K.D. & Robinson, P.J. (14))

If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you know what can happen. Instead of getting out of the house and enjoying the weather, or talking a walk, or seeing friends, you would rather sit inside a small dark enclosed space (I always enjoyed utilizing my closet for this activity) and sleep. In fact, sleeping was an escape from depression for me. At least when I was sleeping (albeit I didn’t have nightmares or dream about the things that were bothering me), I could relax and my thoughts would stop for the moment. Being depressed is exhausting. It drains you of almost all the emotional energy you posses – and emotional exhaustion is just as intense as physical exhaustion. And when we’re exhausted, both physically and mentally, our body and mind just want to rest. Now – this is not always a bad thing. Our body and mind need rest to rejuvenate, heal and be ready to take on the situations that we are presented with daily. But too much rest can be a bad thing.

Case in point: Depression exhausts us. It’s much easier and much less tiring to stay inside, watch TV, sleep, moan, cry, etc. But this is one of the WORST things that you can do when you are depressed. It seems counter-intuitive, but going out, attempting to do things with friends and family, and otherwise just getting yourself out of the house, is exactly what you need in helping you to combat depression. When depressed, we try to avoid social situations of any kind because we believe that putting ourselves in those situations will only make us feel worse. What if we burst into tears? What if we have a panic attack or take out our anger on others? These are legitimate fears. But by avoiding these situations altogether, we are only allowing ourselves to sink deeper and deeper into our depressive state.

So how can we slowly, gently and carefully allow ourselves to move forward? Take things one step at a time. You don’t need to go to a concert with hundreds of people or a state fair with millions of screaming children if you’re already feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of venturing into the world. Maybe just take a trip to the store or visit a close friend. One of my favorite activities when I am feeling down is to go for a walk. I really enjoy walking the trails at the local state park and I find myself feeling better and better with each step I take. It may not seem like a lot at first, but it will help you feel better, and you will have more courage to take the next step in beating your depression.

Create A Context For Change

17 Mar

The first principle to follow in stepping out of your depression and back into your life is to understand that you can only start from where you are, not from where you would like to be. (The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Depression. Strosahl, K.D. & Robinson, P.J. (9))

Depression is a tricky little bugger. It has perfected the ability to trick us into thinking that depression is normal, never-ending and bigger than us. It is phenomenal at convincing us that life is a constant let-down and it colors our perceptions with pessimism and self-loathing. In the past, whenever I attempted to ‘fight’ this depression, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into it. And once I had all but sunk into the quick sand of this disease, I gave in and accepted that depression would forever be a part of my life and that I would just have to deal with it. THIS COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

I’m not saying that dealing with and getting out of depression is easy or simple. Quite the opposite. It is an absolutely obnoxious experience. It takes dedication, support from family and friends, perseverance and a quiet understanding of yourself and how you operate. But the most important aspect of pulling yourself out is to believe and know that it takes time. ‘You can only start from where you are, not from where you would like to be.’ If you attempt to step out of your depression from where you’d like to be – well, I guess you wouldn’t be depressed and then why would you need to step out of it in the first place? Where you would like to be is a wonderful goal, a great finish, but it’s not the starting line. You have to accept and understand that you have to start with where you are now – and that might not be very attractive, but it is essential.

You can’t expect yourself to be happy and bubbly within 24 hours of ‘fighting’ your depression (nor should you ever expect that). And that’s okay. Its okay to still be hurt and angry and frustrated; but you have to keep persevering and committing to the end goal of finding a way to overcome your depression. Consider your ‘fight’ against depression as a marathon (yes, one of the 25 miles ones). Consider your current self the starting line and consider the ‘you’ you want to be as the finish line. Now find the support along the way to help to get you there, just like runners get water to keep them hydrated and have fans cheering them along the way. Find your water and your fans and push yourself to the end. It’s tough, you’ll get tired, you’ll want to stop or give up, but when you cross the finish line, it will be more than worth the journey you took. And you will have proved to yourself that depression is NOT bigger than you and it can’t beat you!

Mindfulness and Awareness PKN 12/2

10 Jan

The Mind and Its Demons

10 Jan

The mind is a many splendid thing. Except when it is not. Especially when it is not. The mind is both great and terrible, both intelligent and absolutely dumb and it both helps and hurts. Let’s face it…our mind can be our greatest enemy and our best friend. And that’s YOUR CHOICE! But wait — is it really your choice? I mean doesn’t the mind make choices? So in essence wouldn’t that mean your MIND makes up its own choice about whether it is its own greatest enemy or best friend?

Whoa. Too much.

Let’s get a couple things straight. We often consider our minds and ‘us’ to be one. We are what we think, what we feel, what we perceive, etc. Society has a brilliant way of convincing us of these ‘truths’ – it’s most certainly not something that is built into us or a natural way of thinking.

You are not your mind. Your are not your thoughts. You are not your feelings or emotions. They are A PART of you. But they are not the entire essence of who you are. And this is where we get trapped – caught – overwhelmed. Well by God if my mind says I’m a complete failure at life – THEN I MUST BE! Your mind says a lot of things – and the majority of them are not true. The mind is a great and wonderful liar – it has perfected the art of insincerity. And that’s the FIRST ‘truth’ that you can actually believe in.

Now – when I say mind here – I really mean your reactive mind. The mind that is really good at numbers and solving problems and keeping us safe. But the reactive mind is not so good at dealing with emotions and responses and overwhelming feelings. It thinks it’s amazing at these things – but it’s not. Sorry mind – hate to break it to you – but your strengths lie in helping me pass physics and cross the street safely. Which is VERY HELPFUL – but just not when it comes to mindfulness.

But the wise mind – the wise mind is YOU. I don’t even like calling it a mind at all. I consider it the essence of who I am. The me that has been there my whole life – observing – without judgment – since the day I popped out onto this great and wonderful earth. The wise mind is – well, wise. It’s wise in the sense that it is completely and unconditionally true to YOU. It does not serve your perceptions, your environment, your social circle or your experiences. Yes, it definitely takes part in these events – but it never allows itself to be drawn into them. Or rather, the essence of you does not allow yourself to be drawn in. Yes – try and wrap your ‘mind’ around that 🙂

So – what do we do then? Well, we begin by recognizing that the essence of who we are is there within us at all times – we just need to utilize tools and experiences to help us reach it. And that’s where mindfulness and awareness come into play. These are the tools that can help us discover our true self and tap into the wise mind that can provide so much comfort, understanding and knowledge.

Enter the Mindfulness Zone my friends – or as I like to call it – the Zone of Awesomeness.

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