4 Spiritual Truths I Re-Learned After Having Surgery in Paris

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“Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.” ― Tony Robbins

I’ve been in Paris for over a week now.

But instead of enjoying the sights in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, I’ve been mostly visiting the inside of the Georges Pompidou Hospital.

My plan was to hit the ground running here in the “City of Light” with tours and cooking classes and everything else but instead…

I got hit with a serious nail infection that resulted from a salon manicure I had in Atlanta a few weeks ago. The medical term for the infection is a paronychia and excuse my French, but that shit hurts!

Combine that with the worst jet lag ever and you have a pretty rocky beginning to what was supposed to be a wonderful trip.

It all started with swelling and gradually became worse over the next few days. Of course, my first instinct was to look up my symptoms on the internet and sure enough, it looked and sounded like I had a severe paronychia.

I got an appointment with the nearest “general” doctor, who instructed me to soak my finger in alcohol. That didn’t work AT ALL.

Then, I looked up some home remedies and started soaking my finger in lemon juice and hot water, which helped with the pain but didn’t do anything for the infection that was growing under my skin. I’ll spare you the actual visual but basically, the skin around my nail was starting to look like I had gangrene!

It was time to get myself to the nearest emergency room.

Once I got to the hospital, it took some patience and a divine sense of calm to communicate the care I needed when maybe 1 out of 10 medical personnel spoke any English whatsoever. Using my remedial French and lots of gestures, I finally got in to see a specialist.

The doctor confirmed my biggest fear – the only way to fix the issue was to have surgery on my finger to remove the infection.

***

The night before surgery, I go to dinner at Le Poincaré, an open air bistro/cafe on the corner near my hotel.

The wind is cool as the sun sets on the city like a blanket.

I order steak and frites and eat slowly, savoring every bite like it’s my last meal.

I relish my glass of vin rouge and fall in love with the restaurant’s famous Nutella & Speculoos tiramisu for dessert.

I sip my espresso, annoyed at the situation that’s messing up my travel plans, but I also notice a strange sense of relief.

It’s the feeling of letting go of my need for control. It’s giving myself permission to slow down and listen to what my body needs right now – rest and healing.

Needless to say, being stuck in a hospital in a foreign country gave me a chance to reflect on some important spiritual reminders.

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How to Spend a Week in Cancun

2014-11-26 10.33.49Back in November, I treated myself to the good life for a week in Mexico!

The first resort I stayed at was Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort. This was an all-inclusive resort, meaning all your meals, cocktails and many amenities are included in the cost of your room – even 24-hour room service!

Sandos Cancun was definitely the kind of place you go to chill ALL the way out for a week-long vacation. In fact, one of my favorite afternoons was spent on the beach just eating, drinking tamarind margaritas and falling asleep to the waves.

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3 Lessons I Learned From Hiring An Image Consultant

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Me and my image consultant Liana at her Beverly Hills studio

 

I’m in San Diego right now for another few days of learning, networking and FUN with my business mentor and my fellow mastermind members.

I’m enjoying my last week in California before I head back to Hawaii to soak up the sunshine and not have to wear a jacket anymore.

Last night, me and my girl Kristen had a wonderful dinner at Fleming’s Steakhouse in La Jolla and let me tell you…their lobster bisque is off the chain!

Anyway, today I wanted to share a part of my personal development journey for this year.

I’ve been stretching myself in line with my 2015 theme of “fun, love and adventure.”

I’ve been asking myself how I can show up more fully in my life and in my work – for myself and for my tribe of amazing women?

One of my big investments I wanted to make in myself this year was in the area of self-love – to give myself the gift of looking better and feeling better in my body.

Now that I’m in my 30s, my body is beginning to change and I know my personal style is overdue for a change as well.

Not to mention all the events and travel I have to do for my business, which is requiring me to step it up a bit in the clothing department!

So last month, I hired an image consultant.

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How to Write a Love Letter to Your Future Self

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“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” — Barbara De Angelis

When you look around your life, you have a lot to be grateful for. But you also likely have some areas that you would like to improve.

By now, you probably know that setting goals is a great way to begin the process of creating your ideal life.

But what can you do to lift yourself up as you go through the stages of pursuing those goals?

Well, one of the most creative ways to manifest your big goals is to write them down in the form of a love letter.

No, not to your romantic partner — to yourself.

Here’s an idea.

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3 Magical Steps to Attract More Money Into Your Business This Month

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned since I quit my job back in 2010 is that there is no limit to the amount of money you can make in your business. We are always surrounded by the energy of abundance; we just have to claim it! There is never a shortage of potential clients and customers who want what you have to offer.

Once I embraced this infinite possibility for my life, I began to see so many doors open up for me, especially when it came to increasing my income. This year was the first year that I have been able to earn over $100,000 in my business and I owe much of that success to the power of setting goals, eliminating limiting beliefs and doing the work!

If you’ve been struggling to create consistent cash flow in your business, here are 3 simple, yet powerful steps you can take TODAY that will help you bring in more income this month.

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How to Create a Personal Altar in Your Home (Even if You Have a Small Space)

1545648_866836023342365_2693814071271888944_n As a faithful student of personal growth and the field of positive psychology, I’m a big fan of any practice that invites more happiness and fulfillment into our lives. Over the years, I’ve developed many habits that have enhanced my outlook on life and helped me achieve some of my big goals.

Now there is one tool that I’ve been wanting to incorporate into my life for a long time…a personal altar! There are a lot of different variations out there, but a personal altar is essentially a sacred space in your home that serves as a “spiritual center” where you can focus on being your highest self. It also consists of specific items meant to invite positive energy into your life. Last week, I took the time to gather all of the items I needed to set mine up and I can already feel the powerful spiritual shift it’s made in my living space.

Here are some basic guidelines you can use to create your own personal altar…even if you have a small space!

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6 Powerful Ways to Practice Self-Love

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“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.” – Jo Courdert

This week, I hosted a powerful teleseminar with guest speaker Candace Thoth, a personal transformation consultant, wellness expert and former crisis therapist. Candace shared some useful concepts and exercises to help us practice self-love in our daily lives. If you missed it, you can sign up to get the call recording, plus a special link with all the self-love resources and exercises that Candace shared with us!

Click here to get the call recording

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How to Take a Vacation (Without Feeling Guilty About It)

Happy African American Woman Dancing on Beach One thing I hear a lot from the hard-working women in our community is how difficult it is to take a vacation. Many of us already work long hours at work or in our business, yet for some reason have trouble taking a break! If it’s been years since you’ve given yourself the gift of a proper vacation, read on for some tips to help you step away from the laptop or plot your much-needed escape from the cubicle.

Schedule Time Off from Work Far in Advance

The best way to ensure you take your vacation time is to sit down at the beginning of the year and map out the times you already know you want off. It might be useful to think in terms of seasons. Plan to take some time off during the spring, summer, winter, etc. For instance, no matter where I worked, I always took off from my job for a few days every spring so that I could attend the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville. And for the last 3 years in my business, I’ve taken off at least one full month for vacation at some point during the year for travel!

Most people want to spend extended time with their families during various holidays, so you can plan around those as well. If you’re taking time off from your business, block off time in your calendar for the dates you want to get your R&R. If you’re taking time off from your job, make sure you submit your leave request as FAR in advance as possible so your supervisor can approve it in a timely manner. That way, you can work together to make arrangements for other staff or an assistant to cover your responsibilities and take care of clients during your time away, if necessary.

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How to Create an Inspiring Morning Routine

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Does your morning routine consist of staying in bed as late as possible while barely making it to work on time? If you’re like most people, your morning might go something like this:

  • Alarm goes off.
  • Hit the snooze button (at least three times).
  • Lie there and think about how much you don’t want to get up. Or moan and groan about how much you hate your job.
  • Shower.
  • Get dressed.
  • Run out the door with a honey bun (or nothing) in your hand.

With so many people starting their day off like this, it’s no wonder there’s constant grumbling in the mornings. How can anyone expect to have a great day when their morning routine is rushed and filled with negative thinking? Getting the day off on the wrong foot can sabotage your entire to-do list and prevent you from making progress on your goals. But what if you could change your life simply by developing an inspiring morning routine that sets you up for success?

About a year ago, I started to create my own morning practice that included healthy habits and positive thinking. As I began to follow this routine more and more, I noticed that not only was I feeling better mentally and physically, but that I was also able to focus on my goals and get more done throughout the day.

Here’s the outline of my own practice, with some tips for how you can incorporate this routine into your day as well:

1. Wake up one hour earlier. I don’t consider myself an early riser, but I do feel more inspired to get things done when I wake up before 8:00am. Set your alarm to go off an hour earlier than usual as you’ll need extra time to accommodate your new morning routine. Of course, going to bed earlier makes this task easier!

2. Get up immediately. Avoid lying there and thinking negatively about your day, life, job, challenges or anything else. Instead, get your head up off the pillow quickly before you convince yourself that five more minutes won’t hurt. It helps to place your alarm clock or phone on the other side of the room. That way, you’re actually forced to get up to turn it off.

3. Drink an 8-16 oz. glass of warm water with lemon. Or leave a bottle of water on your nightstand if that’s more convenient. Just be sure to get your water in as soon as you wake. You’ll feel less groggy and ready to get moving! Plus, it’s much easier to continue the act of drinking water throughout the day when you get a head start first thing in the morning.

4. Meditate or pray. Take 5-10 minutes to meditate or pray. Being still or spending time in worship will put you in the right mindset to face the day. My simple meditation process includes reading the daily passage from Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, then sitting in silence on my yoga mat by the window.

5. Prepare a healthy breakfast. It’s hard to focus on your goals when you miss the most important meal of the day! Try a quick, nutritious meal each morning, Some of my favorite “ready in 10 minutes or less” breakfasts include: fruit smoothies, oatmeal with bananas and almond butter, scrambled eggs with sauteed kale or Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and granola.

6. Exercise for at least 15 minutes. Take a walk, jump on the treadmill, do a full workout in the gym, etc. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do as long as you get your body moving! I’m not a big fan of the gym, but I enjoy taking walks in the morning as the whole world seems to wake up with the sun, especially the birds!

7. Shower and put on something that makes you feel good. Take a hot shower or warm bath after exercising. Choose one of your favorite outfits or wear a beloved piece of jewelry. For instance, I often wear a gold ring with a small rose engraved on it because it was a gift from my grandmother. Whenever I put on that particular ring, I feel her love and encouragement throughout the day.

This week, try to develop a morning routine that will help you to stay positive and focused. The practice outlined above will likely take you at least 60 minutes to complete. If that’s longer than you can spend, simply come up with an abbreviated version that works for you. For me, putting in the effort to develop an intentional morning routine has definitely had a significant impact on my productivity. Give it a try and see how it changes your day!

Leave a comment below: Do you have a morning routine? Which activities help to put you into a positive and productive frame of mind for the day?