It's spring! In the Pacific NW, we get early tulips and daffodils popping through, and cherry tree blossoms. People start mowing their lawns. It's warm enough to be out in a light jacket, and the birds start going to town on their annual songs.
Of course, here in the "upper left," we also are the epitome of "April showers bring May flowers." You never know when you'll get caught in a downpour. So, adventuring requires close monitoring of the weather app, and making sure your jacket has a hood (umbrellas are for wimps!).
Still...nature calls to the heart of man, woman and child. It's time to breathe in the great outdoors.
Today’s self-care tip is to remind you to GET OUTSIDE.
I live in Portland, Oregon (well, Beaverton, a suburb) and due to it raining nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY (ok, not every day, but a lot!) this advice is personally difficult to follow.
But as this article reminds us, there are several research-backed reasons to get your ass outside. Among them:
…and even lower overall risk of death. (Death!)
But seriously, do you actually need RESEARCH to tell you what you already know? Being outside is FUN. Isn’t that a good enough reason?
For example, last summer we bought bikes. Nearly every weekend we’d ride our bikes along the Fanno Creek trail here in Beaverton.
Was it good for my health? Yes. Is that why I did it? No.
Being on a bike reminds me of my childhood where I rode my bike everywhere and it’s just plain fun to recapture that as an adult.
Whether it’s research that gets you outdoors or the fact that it’s fun, just get out there.
Spring has sprung, get yourself outside!
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
How can I talk about getting outdoors without talking about Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau?
Published in 1854, Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond. In the book, Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development.
A great read, I highly recommend it.
A huge part of self-care is getting outdoors. We won’t be able to continue to enjoy the outdoors unless things change.
From their website:
“The Nature Conservancy is tackling some of the toughest problems facing people and nature today, replicating good ideas to save many places and improve people’s lives. We are grounded by local experience and leverage our science, real-world solutions and partnerships to influence global decision-making.”
This organization is helping conserve the natural world. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
In a recent convo with a friend, she was using some really harsh language to describe herself and her recent actions. I had to stop her right then and point out that the way she was talking about herself toherself was the voice of a bully.
"Would you talk to ME that way?"
"Of course not!"
"Well, what gives you the right to talk to YOURSELF that way?!"
This weekend, check in on your self-talk. Build yourself up the way you would build others up. Don't be a bully to your inner self.
About a month ago, I talked here in this space about the importance of mental breaks. Today I’d like to remind you to give YOURSELF a break.
But what I mean this time is, lay off the negative self-talk.
Most of us are so hard on ourselves. We berate ourselves for our mistakes, perceived or real, and constantly talking to ourselves this way has negative consequences. In terms of power, it’s a major power drain.
It’s one thing to do nice things for yourself: baths, chocolate, time with a hobby, but none of those things really count as “self-care” if your internal monologue is constantly beating you up.
Give yourself a break. When you’re being hard on yourself, stop and ask if you’d talk this way to a friend. Practice telling yourself what a great job you’re doing, how good you look in that outfit and how grateful you are to have the life you have.
If you’re really committed to self-care, practice being kind to yourself on the inside as well as the outside.
Here’s a podcast episode that might help.
“Remember, you have been
criticizing yourself for years and
it hasn’t worked. Try approving
of yourself and see what happens.”
Alrighty, I’m about to get REAL woo-woo
on you and introduce you to Louise Hay
and her book You Can Heal Your Life.
Louise Hay might just be the pioneer of self-help, and even though I resisted buying this book for years, I finally succumbed and have to say I count this as one of my favorite books of all time. I ALWAYS grab for it when I’m feeling down. And bonus? She has a section on various physical ailments and the thoughts that create them. (I told you, woo woo.) I dare you to look up a few. This woman is RIGHT ON THE MONEY nearly every time.
If you’re serious about getting rid of your negative self-talk, then you’ll buy and absorb this book. I remember reading this line: “Loving the self, to me, begins with never ever criticizing ourselves for anything.” I about fell out of my chair. NEVER criticizing ourselves for ANYTHING? What? Get the book to see how you too, can do this.
This book is life changing. Get it. Learn it. Live it.
Girls Inc. believes girls need a space to learn how to be their best selves and have even created a Girl’s Bill of Rights which includes the right to be themselves, express themselves, take risks, accept their bodies, have confidence and prepare for independence. You can read the Girl’s Bill of Rights here.
From their website:
“The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls ages 6-18 at more than 1,400 sites in 400 cities across the United States and Canada. Our research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring, and guiding girls in an affirming, pro-girl environment. Here, girls learn to value their whole selves, discover and develop their inherent strengths, and receive the support they need to navigate the challenges they face.”
This organization is helping empower girls. To learn more, donate, or get involved, click the button below.
No, I'm not talking about cocktails with the girls. I'm talking about WATER! I've had to really get used to drinking water and build up my habit, but boy...I can't imagine not drinking it now. In fact, I prefer it to other beverages (just don't try to take away my coffee! I'll fight you.) and end up drinking it all day long.
This week we're talking about all the great work water does in our bodies and the need for it throughout the world. Plus, we take a look at creativity as it bubbles up inside us through one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. Get yourself a glass of water, sit back and let's POWER UP!
Drink your water.
If you want to be a focused, clear communicator, drink that water down. Water and brain function are intimately linked. Lack of water can cause memory lapses, problems focusing, fatigue, headaches, trouble sleeping, depression and more.
Over 70 percent of the body is composed of water. Every function in the body is dependent on water, including the activities of the brain and nervous system. Studies have shown that for every 1% that you dehydrate, you will have a 5% decrease in cognitive function.
I don’t know about you, but in my job I need to be clear and focused. Now, do you need to drink a gallon of water a day to get the benefit? Not necessarily. You just need to be drinking more water than you probably currently are.
I personally try to drink 72 – 96 ounces of water a day. I fill up my water bottle first thing in the morning and sip it through the day, attempting to refill it two to three times.
Yes, I have to pee all the time, but people ask me all the time about my skin (it’s pretty awesome) and I feel so much better when I get all my water in. Bonus? It helps you lose weight too.
Drink ya water. I’m serious. It’s simple but can have a MAJOR impact on your cognitive functioning, not to mention your health. If you want to be powerful, you’ve got to take care of your body.
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life,
a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a
lot more interesting life. Living in this
manner — continually and stubbornly bringing
forth the jewels that are hidden within you — is a
fine art, in and of itself.”
I love books. So a majority of the Stuff I Love Sunday posts will be sharing my favorite books with y’all.
This week I’m sharing Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. For anyone looking for a little more creativity in their life, this book is a must read.
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for the best seller Eat Pray Love, but in this book you’ll learn how to break out of your ruts and really go for it, whatever “it” is.
Give it a read and let me know what you think.
charity: water is working to change that. 100% of every donation goes towards bringing clean water to people in need.
From their website:
“charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. We’re on a mission to change that.”
This organization is helping empower people through access to clean water. To learn more, donate, or get involved, visit: https://www.charitywater.org/
"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.
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.
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/
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.
"I should be doing more writing." "I should work out more." "I should(fill in the blank)." All these "SHOULDS" just fuel the unnecessary and unproductive presence of guilt that hangs over our heads. I took back my power over "the shoulds" this last weekend. Read about it in the Self-Care Saturday section.
Then, dig deeper into your WANTS with an article by Mark Manson that is sure to challenge your thinking around those wants.
Top off your weekend with expanding your awareness of those that are less fortunate in your community and across the nation. Be inspired by the good work of our featured Power Organization.
Get powered up!
Last weekend was my husband’s birthday. The year before was his 40th, and I surprised him with a 4-day trip to New York City. We met friends for drinks and 2 hours later a car pulled up and took us straight to the airport. He had NO idea. (I know. I’m awesome.)
This year, however, he had a cold. And all we wanted to do was have a few days to lie in bed and do NOTHING. (Seriously. We considered leaving the front door unlocked so the food delivery guys could bring our dinner straight to our bed. We decided against it in the end.)
My parents agreed to watch our daughter (cause they too, are awesome) and Kevin and I had our blissful do-nothing weekend.
If you read about some of the most important scientific breakthroughs in history what you’ll find is that they often occur not in a lab or during focused thought and study, but when the scientist or innovator was taking a break.
Research backs up the importance of mental breaks. Researchers found that a particular set of scattered brain regions consistently became less active when someone concentrated on a mental challenge but began to fire in synchrony when someone was simply lying in an fMRI scanner, letting their thoughts wander. More research documented the same kind of coordinated communication between different brain regions in people who were resting. Many researchers were at first doubtful, but further studies by other scientists confirmed that the findings were not a fluke.
In other words, the brain is anything but idle when resting. Mental breaks allow the brain to make sense of what it has learned.
Each week seems to be busier and busier. Full of good things. But busy. The reminder to BREATHE is apropos and timely! Power Up your weekend with some good, deep breaths, and some laugh-out-loud reading. Plus, if your plans include doing the KonMari method to you closets, consider a donation to the power organization in our spotlight this weekend.
When I talk about breathing to my clients I always hear, “Breathing? Aren’t I already breathing?”
Yes, but probably not well.
Current research suggests that most people:
Breathing well does MANY things for you. First, it’s just plain good for you. It improves your circulation, gives you more energy, and releases tension. But in terms of communication, breathing is both communicatedand contagious.
Meaning, how you breathe gets communicated to others.As a wise person once said, “Authenticity shows people whoyou are, breathing shows people howyou are.” (Me! I said that. It was me.)
In addition, your breathing has the ability to affect how others breathe. That’s because people take their breathing cues from the speaker. So if you’re giving a presentation, running a meeting or simply having coffee with a colleague, you have the power to affect the breathing of whoever you’re with.
To get better at breathing start by becoming aware of it.Your body knows what to do. Whenever you focus on the breath, your body slows down and starts breathing slower and lower. Start by setting aside some time each day to focus on the breath, and I’ll give you more tips on breathing in upcoming Power Up posts.
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.