My body is always tight. Even with my awesome bed (I will tell anyone who will listen about my bed. Ask me. I'm serious.), I find that I still wake up with tension that I carry most days. Between all the computer work I do, picking up my daughter, and trying to get my weekly workouts in, I sometimes feel like I've been hit by a MACK Truck (and no...not a truck carrying awesome make-up).
That's why a daily yoga practice is SO IMPORTANT. It's simply the way that my body holds itself together and keeps working for me. It's also what my brain needs. Learn more about the body-brain connection below and join me on the yoga mat this week. (Well...not literally. You get your own mat. I'll be on mine. Ha!)
Last week I talked about meditation, today let’s talk about yoga.
I’ve been a yoga devotee for over 20 years. Because I struggle so much with turning my brain off, yoga, in addition to meditation, gives me an hour of brain-free time that’s simply divine.
Now, the reason my brain turns off during yoga is because I need to be so focused on my body. Holding the poses takes every bit of energy I’ve got both mentally and physically.
Most of us live sedentary lives; stuck at our desks. Yoga stretches both the body and the mind. After doing yoga, I feel like I’ve just had a massage.
Yoga seems complicated to some, but it really isn’t. All you need is a mat and comfortable clothing. You can do yoga at the gym, in a yoga studio, or at home. There are different types of yoga: relaxing yoga, power yoga and even yoga in heated rooms, but don’t worry too much about the type. Just pick what seems interesting and get started.
You don’t have to do straight up yoga if you’re not inclined. Merely getting up to stretch at regular intervals throughout the day will also give you benefit.
Listen, we communicate who we are. Taking care of your body isn’t some side project, it’s PRIMARY. Whether it’s yoga, stretching or some other method of opening up a body that’s continually overworked, take a few minutes a day to give your body a break.
Check out my Stuff I Love Post below for ideas on how to get started.
I love yoga. Which means I love yoga stuff. What stuff you ask? (BTW, I don’t receive any commission on recommending these products, I just love ‘em!)
First off, I love this yoga DVD called Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that has you hold stretches for a long period of time but don’t require much strength. Perfect for those of us who are tight tight tight, I try to do this type of yoga at least once a week.
If you’re looking for a book to try yoga poses at home, I really recommend this book, Essential Yoga.
If you’re looking for a yogic approach to eating (no, not ayurvedic, just a “listen to your body” approach) I really like this little known book, Yoga of Eating.
Any and all yoga mats will do, but if you’re wanting to try hot yoga, you’ll want a special yoga towel to cover your mat that’s non slip and will catch your sweat. I really like my CORCOPI yoga towel.
My favorite yoga pant? Zella high waist crop leggings. They keep my tummy in place as I attempt the downward facing dog.
Alrighty, you’ve got what you need. Now go yoga!
From their website:
“The Give Back Yoga Foundation supports and funds research-based, clinically tested yoga programs for marginalized populations. We also provide supplies to help kickstart yoga programs, inspiring grassroots social change and community cooperation in under-resourced areas. Join us in sharing the transformational benefits of yoga with the world, one person at a time.”
This organization is helping empower people through yoga. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
A week ago, I was speaking at a conference for female trial lawyers called Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass.
One of the lawyers asked a question during Sunday morning’s Q & A. She asked, “Could you talk a little about self-care?”
My answer? “Sure. My tip for self-care is to design a life you don’t want to escape from.”
In other words, self-care shouldn’t be used as an escape from a life that is soul-sucking.
But it’s not always that easy.
It’s one thing to talk about designing a life that you love, and it’s quite another to actually do it.
For example, what about people who don’t feel they are able to “design their life?” Either due to circumstances beyond their control or because they’re in a period of their life that feels overwhelming at best? (Any parents of young kids out there?)
To that I’d say: You still have choice.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins by recognizing that we often aren’t allowed to choose our circumstances, but we can always, ALWAYS choose our response.
I’ve written about Viktor Frankl before. Viktor was a Jewish man held in a concentration camp during World War II. Viktor was, in the most extreme sense of the word, powerless. He couldn’t leave. He couldn’t change his circumstances. He couldn’t do much of anything.
He could control how he responded to the situation.
He had power over his response. He didn’t need to have control over his circumstances in order to own his personal power. He still had choice even when the Nazi’s took everything else away.
You always have choice too, even when it seems you don’t. When the pipe bursts or your kid is suspended or your spouse leaves or you have to declare bankruptcy, you can choose your response. You can decide, right then and there, how you want to be with whatever is happening. And how you want to be will inform what you do next. All doing flows from being.
So the next time you feel powerless, ask yourself, how do I want to respond to this? In that way you can reclaim your power and continue to design a life you love, even when things seem out of control.
Designing a life you don’t want to escape from begins with owning what you can control and what you can’t. Start by controlling your response to your circumstances. That is where the power lies.
"Quiet please!" I'm not telling YOU to be quiet. I'm telling my brain to pipe down. My brain works overtime it seems; running a mile a minute to manage my time, my focus, my emotions, my communication, etc. Phew! It needs to get some rest and to refresh. Sure, sleeping accomplishes that partially, but the practice of meditation can really launch you into powerful control over your over-functioning mind.
Today let’s talk about meditation.
I bet the minute you read the word “meditation” you thought of someone sitting cross legged, wearing white clothes, sitting at the end of a pier on some tranquil lake.
You probably didn’t envision me, in my sweaty workout clothes, in my cat cave (my third bedroom used for relaxation and meditation adorned with IKEA cat curtains) lying on the ground with a pillow under my knees trying to quiet my racing brain, did ya?
The point is, ANYONE can meditate, and EVERYONE should. Look, I hate throwing the should word around, but ma-dudes, meditation can change your life.
I won’t waste your time listing all of the benefits of meditation that you can easily google yourself. Suffice it to say that if you’re serious about living your best life on your own terms, you should (there’s that word again) seriously consider a meditation practice.
Now notice what I just said. A meditation practice. Because, lordy lordy, does it take practice. Our brains are wired to constantly chatter at us and it takes practice to quiet that shit down. But quiet it down we must if we ever hope to fully embrace this chaotic thing called life.
Look, my brain wreaks havoc with me all the damn time. It’s incessant. That 20 minutes I devote every morning to practicing turning down the noise in my head is essential to my happiness. It’s like putting my brain through the dishwasher. (Ok, that’s kind of a gross visual. Apologies.) After meditating for 20 minutes I feel more ready to tackle my day and I know you will too.
I can’t tell you how many clients, after attempting meditation, complain to me that they just can’t quiet their inner voice. Hello! That’s the point. Meditation is a practice; one you must do every day to get better and better at turning that voice OFF.
Nothing we own can survive being “on” 24/7. The same goes for your brain. Give it a rest. Try meditation. And if you don’t know where to start, check out my Stuff I Love post below.
Inspired to get started with meditation? Great! Here’s a wonderful resource: Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Experience.
I know, I know, it’s Oprah but this stuff is great, and it’s also FREE. Every so often Oprah and Deepak launch a free 21-day meditation experience and they’re offering a new one: Manifesting Grace through Gratitude that begins on March 25th.
What I love about these 21-day meditation experiences is that they focus on a specific topic. Oprah introduces the topic, and Deepak guides you deeper into the meditation before giving you a mantra to use and then letting you meditate before bringing you back. It’s all very structured, which I love. In fact, I’ve purchased many of the 21-day meditations because I wanted to do them over again!
You can register for the upcoming free meditation by clicking below.
From the website:
“The David Lynch Foundation helps to prevent and eradicate the all-pervasive epidemic of trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations through promoting widespread implementation of the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation (TM) program in order to improve their health, cognitive capabilities and performance in life.”
This organization is helping people who suffer from toxic stress and trauma. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click below.
It’s been a big buzz word for a while now. Show up. Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be authentic.
But what does that really mean?
A lot of people hide who they really are from the world, this is true. But I find that even more people use “authenticity” as an excuse to stay comfortable.
I mean, if something is uncomfortable, it’s inauthentic, right?
As we move through life, we create a box marked “me” and rarely deviate from it. Anything inside the box is “authentic” and anything outside the box is “inauthentic.”
But guess what: boxes are limiting. And further, boxes cannot contain the greatness that is you.
We are all changing and evolving constantly. I believe we are here on earth to grow and become the best version of ourselves. If that’s true, then who we are isn’t static. Who you are today isn’t who you will be 2 years or even 2 months from now. Therefore, what’s “authentic” is always in flow.
Change and growth require that you risk, that you be uncomfortable, and that you push the envelope. But you’ll never be able to do these things if you believe that being uncomfortable is inauthentic.
Redefine your definition of authenticity. Instead of using the word as a way to restrict yourself, define authenticity as your process of finding out who you are. In this way, authenticity becomes a journey instead of a destination.
Here’s a podcast you might enjoy on this topic.
How well do you balance it all? Work, Family, Personal Time, Friends. It's hard to feel like you're giving 100% to your job without feeling like you're letting other things suffer. Before you know it though, your energy is completely zapped and you're back to feeling powerless.
This year, I've refocused my attention to the balance of it all. I've been reprioritizing my activities so that I can have a healthy balance, thrive in what I'm doing, be fully present to the moment I'm living, and walk in my power.
I'm pleased to share this week about a conference where they encourage and facilitate the balance I'm talking about, plus a podcast and organization that are all about empowering people towards their best life.
Today I’m in Marina Del Rey speaking to a group of female trial lawyers who have come together for our 2nd annual Embrace Your Inner Bad Ass Seminar.
These powerful women are learning how to conduct an effective voir dire, opening statement and cross exam from myself and other rock star presenters like Randi McGinn, Courtney Rowley, Theresa Hatch and Dorothy Clay-Sims.
But in addition to trial skills, these women are also:
You rarely see these things at a seminar that includes men. And I think men are worse off for it.
In my work, I help people become nonverbal pros. I believe everyone has presence and that your presence is your nonverbal persona. How you show up nonverbally is how people experience you.
But here’s the thing: presence takes energy. To show up at your best, takes energy. This is true whether you’re showing up in court, as these women do day in and day out, or whether you’re showing up with your clients, your boss or your colleagues.
Energy gets depleted. And until, and unless, you are making a concerted effort to refill your tank, you -won’t- be able to show up at your best and communicate on purpose. You’ll be too tired, too hungry, and too cranky.
I’m so glad the organizers of this event see the value in self-care. Learning is important, yes, but learning with a side dish of self-care is the winning combination.
If you are looking to lose weight (and even if you aren’t) I cannot recommend Corinne Crabtree’s podcast "Losing 100 Pounds with Phit N Phat" highly enough. (You don’t need to have that much to lose to listen. She herself lost 100 pounds, thus the name for her podcast.)
I found Corinne through my assistant, Kristi, and I’ve been binging her podcast for the past six months. (And losing weight to boot!)
Corinne has a no-nonsense style and such a unique approach to weight loss that I share her with nearly everyone I meet. Her work revolves around thought work; she advocates no diet or food or exercise plan, only that you change your thoughts and keep commitments to yourself.
Designed for women listeners, her podcast is ‘da bomb, but men, don’t let that stop you! Kevin listens to her podcast as well.
You can find her podcast on itunes.
Today’s organization I’m highlighting is The Innocence Project.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, The Innocence Project was started by Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. In 1992, they started the Innocence Project as a legal clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. The idea was simple: If DNA technology could prove people guilty of crimes, it could also prove that people who had been wrongfully convicted were innocent.
From the website:
“The Innocence Project's mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.”
This organization is empowering those who have been wrongfully convicted. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click here.
In case you live in a cave, I wanted to let you know that Rami Malek won Best Actor at the Academy Awards a week ago.
And in case you really do live in a cave and don’t know who Rami Malek is, he’s the actor that played Freddie Mercury in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody.
Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of the band Queen (again, for you cave dwellers) and had a spectacular singing voice. His range was thought to be nearly four octaves. Normal vocal range is just under three octaves, so...Freddie was pretty exceptional.
So at this point you might be wondering, what the heck does this have to do with me?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to start taking singing lessons, but what I am asking you to do is expand your range.
Each one of you has something unique to offer. But most people just hang back and stay safe. Instead of pushing the envelope to see what you’re capable of, you stay comfortable. You play Mary Had a Little Lamb instead of rocking out to Bohemian Rhapsody.
Freddie Mercury had a great singing voice, whether he sang a single note or all 32, but man is the world a better place for having heard his full range. He brought everything he had to the stage, and you must do this too.
Because here’s the thing: you’ll never know what you’re capable of until you push yourself to the limit. That means trying new things, saying yes when you’re scared instead of saying no, and realizing that no matter what, you’ll be ok.
Because you will.
Life is meant to be lived. Fully. Completely. What are you capable of? Expand your range by pushing the envelope. Watch and see how your confidence grows as you rock out on life’s stage.
Are you being fed? I'm not talking about actual food (though...I do hope you are also being fed in that way). What I mean is, are you feeding your heart & mind on the things that will strengthen you and increase your inner power? There are so many things that deplete our personal power, that we must be vigilant to feed it and nurture it.
Take some time this weekend to be fed. Do some self-care. Get creative. Contribute to the strength of others.
The Amplify Project was born from the idea of helping you change your communication from the inside out. We communicate who we are, therefore if we want to change what we’re doing, we have to change who we’re being.
(Whoa! Is that like deep, or what?)
My life purpose statement is: I am the microphone that helps people find their voice and amplify it.
And that’s where the Amplify Project began. You’re the amplifier; one cord runs from you to a microphone. This is how you get your message out to the world. But another cord runs from you to your power source; the things you plug into to help you stand in your power like your wants, values, goals and dreams.
So when talking about self-care I want to ask you, what are you plugged into?
If you’re like most people, you’re probably plugged into your phone, your device, your T.V., Facebook, Instagram, etc…
There’s nothing wrong with some downtime, that’s not what I’m saying. But when actual technology is all you ever plug into, that’s when you begin feeling depleted.
I, for example, took a break from social media several months ago. Outside of engaging with y’all, I’m barely on social media these days. (WHAT? George Bush died? I had no idea!) Before I quit, I’d find myself fuming about something someone said on Facebook, or angry about something in the news, and I was tired of feeling so pissed off all the time. So I quit.
Look, what you feed your body determines how your body feels. It’s the same for what you feed your mind. If all you’re plugging into is celebrity scandals, Facebook rants and political infighting, get some balance!
Instead, try taking care of your mind by plugging into what feeds you. That could be great literature, a movie that makes you laugh, the latest self-help book or an uplifting podcast. Heck, it could just be…SILENCE.
Plug into what feeds you. Body AND mind. This power business isn’t for amateurs. Self-care is what helps you TAP into your power.
"Creativity now is as important in education as literacy."
- Sir Ken Robinson, TED2006
Here’s something to plug into this weekend! A favorite TED Talk of mine.
I had the pleasure of hearing Sir Ken Robinson speak a few years ago when we were both speakers for the National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference.
I had been a fan of his for years and meeting him was a highlight for me.
In this TED Talk (it might actually be the most watched TED talk of all time, it was at one time) he talks about the importance of creativity, and how schools are designed to kill creativity in students.
Thought provoking and extremely funny, it’s a must watch.
The It Gets Better Project aims to turn this around by letting LGBT youth know there is help available and they are not alone.
From the website:
“The It Gets Better Project inspires people across the globe to share their stories and remind the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth that hope is out there, and it will get better.”
This organization is helping LGBT youth find and use their power. To learn more, donate, or get involved, visit: https://itgetsbetter.org/
Last week I finished my book.
I had planned to finish it in the fall, but then I extended my deadline to the end of the year. At the end of the year, I told my publisher I needed one more month. At the end of the month I asked for two more weeks. It was due by 5 p.m. last Monday and I sent it to my editor at 4:59.
The moment I hit send, I started to cough. The next morning, I woke up with a nasty case of the flu.
Yes, it is a bummer, but it’s also my pattern.
Every.Single.Time I push to finish a project, perform a big seminar or just get through a particularly stressful period of my life…BAM my body takes me out.
It would be easy to think that this is “just the way it is” but something is going on. Something I need to figure out.
What’s your pattern?
Maybe you always date men that are mean to you.
Perhaps you quit every job you take after being there a year.
Maybe you start taking care of yourself and then quit a few months in.
My pattern is so ingrained I could set my watch to it. I push push push, and then get sick. Rinse and repeat.
Patterns are dangerous because they’re like computer programming going on under the surface. They run our lives without our input or understanding.
The Amplify Project was born from the idea that we communicate who we are. After years of working with people to help them change their communication I realized that skills were not enough. It was going to take going deeper to really figure out why people were communicating the way they were in the first place.
If you really want to live into your power you’ve got to unearth your patterns. What keeps happening in your life over and over again like clockwork? Instead of letting it run its course uninterrupted, get curious. Knowing your patterns is the first step.
For me, I’m taking my pattern to my coach immediately. I want to untangle this and STOP GETTING SICK. (Ugh. Flu. It’s the worst.)
And good news! For a limited time, we’re offering free Power Up Sessions with Coach Kevin so you can begin looking at your patterns. Start with our FREE COURSE and you’ll get an email directing you on how to schedule your session with Kevin. Already taken the free course? Click here to schedule with Kevin directly.
Bring your pattern into the light. Patterns are a power drain. Disconnect from your pattern and TAP into your power.
Isn't it interesting how sometimes a remembrance of an experience from our youth can just hit us square between the eyes? It's like my childhood-self is trying to teach my adult-self a lesson. Those moments serve as yet ANOTHER reminder that power has ALWAYS been within me and only needs to be (re)tapped into.
Read the rest of my Power Up Newsletter for the complete story, along with a plug for my favorite movie and a spotlight cast on another movie that will most assuredly change the world!
When Kevin saw the locket and what was in it, he said to me, “Wow, your mom carried a locket with a picture of you in it?” I said no, it was my locket from when I was a kid.
He said, “You must have really loved yourself back then to carry a picture of yourself around!”
He was making a joke, but it got me thinking. Most of us wouldn’t think twice about carrying pictures of our loved ones or expressing our love for them, but ourselves?
Self-love sounds all gooey and new age-y and whatever else, but here’s the thing: if you don’t love yourself, nothing else matters.
In order to give to your kids, to your job, to your spouse, to your friends, you have to have something to give. When you love yourself enough to take care of yourself, when you tap into your values and your wants, when you take action on your dreams and desires, that’s when you have stuff left over to give to others.
Being the best version of you begins with loving yourself, just as you are.
We think it’s vain to love ourselves. But love ourselves we must. You’ve got to be the biggest cheerleader for your inner team.
YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF YOUR POWER. Not money, not career, not accomplishments, YOU. And if that’s true (it is) then you should love the hell out of yourself. Carry-a-dorky-picture-of-you-around-your-neck-love.
You are enough. Just as you are.
When you love yourself, you take care of yourself. Period. All self-care begins with self-love.
Instead of getting all serious on you this weekend, and since this part of the newsletter IS called “Stuff I Love Sundays” I’m going to share with you one of my favorite movies of ALL TIME: Steel Magnolias.
Steel Magnolias is based on a true story and the movie was made after the stage play became a huge hit.
I’ve probably seen it 3000 times, but I still ugly cry at the Sally Field cemetery scene.
I recently took a FB quiz asking what Steel Magnolias character I am. I’ll let you watch the movie and guess. (Ouiser, I was Ousier.)
A PERFECT movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon, funny and tragic at the same time. As Dolly Parton says, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!”
A trial attorney, Cajardo is also a gifted actor, and he is on a mission to produce a movie, Blackface: the story of nobody. Cajardo wrote, acts in and directs the movie. You can watch the trailer by clicking below.
Cajardo isn’t just out to make a movie, he’s looking to change the world. This movie is about so much more than blackface; it’s about the masks we all wear in order to hide our true selves, so we won’t get hurt.
Cajardo’s movie is now on Kickstarter: they need to raise $80,000 by March 22nd and if they don’t get it (I just learned this is how Kickstarter works) they don’t get ANY of the funds they raised. Please help if you can. I love this man and I love what I’ve seen so far of the movie.
Have you taken my FREE COURSE yet?
Without personal power, your dreams remain unfulfilled, and your goals, unmet. Power is what helps you realize your potential, and live a life of purpose.
That's why it's CRITICAL that you realize the immense power you possess, right now. Power lives within you, waiting only for you to TAP into it.
Goals are great. Necessary even.
But when you use your goals as way to put off living your best life NOW, that’s when they become a problem.
I love goal planning. In fact, I love planning of any kind. But it wasn’t until I realized that I was waiting to enjoy my life until I hit my goals that I realized this was all kinds of screwed up.
I kept telling myself, “I just need to get through this week,” or, “I just need to get through this month,” and then I finally realized THIS IS IT! If my every day existence wasn’t what I loved and enjoyed, something needed to change NOW.
I’m not suggesting that you must love every moment of your life. There are times you have to do things you’d rather not (like clean the toilet) or deal with people you’d rather avoid (like my accountant.)
But what I am saying is that if you’re putting off your happiness for some imagined future you think is better, you’re wasting precious time.
Life happens NOW, not in the future. Goals are fine, but not if they promise some fantasy life that you think will make you happy while you put off being happy right now.
What feeling do you think your goal will bring you? That’s what you’re really after, not the goal itself.
If you’re trying to lose weight so you’ll feel better in your clothes, go buy clothes you feel good in right now.
If you want to write a book because you’ve got great ideas you want to share with the world, share those ideas right now.
If you want to make more money so you feel financially secure, cut back your expenses and start saving so you can be more secure now.
Buying new clothes at your current weight, sharing your ideas or cutting back your expenses won’t stop you from losing weight, writing a book or making more money. In fact, they’ll probably help. But what they’ll do for sure is put your power back where it belongs: right here, right now.
Screw your goals. Focus on what your goals tell you about what you want, and focus on getting that NOW.
Life’s too short. Live in your power today.
Take my FREE COURSE "Three Things You Can Do Right Now To TAP Into Your Power" to get started on your path to your best life.
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Sari's passion is to help you TAP into your power from the inside, out. "Power Tools" provides real talk that gives you tools and reminders for tapping into your power instead of giving in to your excuses.