Need More Focus? Have More Fun.

Picture this:

A friend calls you and with great enthusiasm asks, “Hey, I got tickets to a comedy show on Tuesday night.  Want to come?”

You respond, “No, thanks. I plan on going to Target that night to get my errands done for the week.”

(Insert cricket noise over the phone line.)

Target? Where’s the fun in that?

Don’t get me wrong, I have been that girl that puts her ‘to do’ list as her top priority. Target has trumped spontaneity for me on more than one occasion. Sometimes, there is no better feeling than checking things off that never-ending ‘to do’ list.

But what I’ve come to realize is that while there may be a sense of accomplishment in that, there really isn’t any fun. At the end of my life, am I really going to be excited about all the things I was able to check off my ‘to do’ list?

No. Way.

As I’ve learned to be a little more spontaneous and gone for fun over my ‘to do’ list, a strange thing has occurred: it’s led to more focus. The more fun I am having, the more I actually get done.

This is particularly important for those of us who feel guilty veering from our ‘to do’ list, especially for an act of spontaneity.

This doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that comes your way. Listen to yourself if it feels right or wrong, but do make a point to be open to spontaneity and more fun in life.

And the best way to know if something is really a yes or no for you?

Check in with your body.

When someone asks you to go to the baseball game or concert or rock climbing, how does your body respond? Do you get a pit in your stomach or feel like all the energy drained out of your body? Probably not the best idea to do that thing then. Or does your heart flutter with excitement? Do you feel a bit lighter? These are cues that you really want to do that thing.

Now, whether you are getting the yes or no cues from your body, your brain will quickly jump in and give you all kinds of reasons why you can’t do this spontaneous thing: usually it has something to do with a ‘to do’ list or the ego’s fear of trying something new.

For a more fun-filled life, I recommend listening to your body (as long as you are getting the yes cues).

Here’s how the body/brain battle played out in my own life just recently…

My friend:

“Hey, I’ll be in Carlsbad next week. Want to meet up? I’m taking surf lessons on Wednesday. You should join me?!”


“That sounds like so much fun! Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you.”

Now, my body felt all light with excitement with seeing my friend and checking out Carlsbad.

But my brain immediately went to: “But you’ve got SO much to do – one day off could really put you behind. PLUS, you’ve never surfed before – you won’t be any good. It will probably be super embarrassing.”

In this case I chose to listen to my body and be a little more spontaneous.

Luckily, once I listened to my body, I was able to get my brain in the place that felt really good about it. Sure, I’d never surfed before, but it would be a new experience and who knows, maybe I’d surprise myself with my ability. And either way, I’d be able to see a friend I don’t see very often. If I needed to, I could always get caught up with work on the weekend, but surfing and seeing this friend could only happen on this day.

So, I did it.

And it was a ton of fun.

And I totally sucked at surfing, but it was an experience and I learned a little about riding a wave.

You know what else happened?

The very next day, I got so much done. More than I normally do in any given day.

This is just one example of many where spontaneity and fun have led to more focus, creativity, and breakthroughs for me. I firmly believe that fun leads to focus.

Do something you’ve never done before, learn something new, hangout with someone you haven’t seen in a while, be open to being more spontaneous – just have some fun. It’s amazing what it can do for your clarity and focus.

And remember, anytime your brain tries to stop you in your fun tracks, repeat after me: “Fun leads to focus.”

Now, go have some fun!

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Laura is a life coach, teacher, writer, and lover of all things personal development. She has spent over ten years training & coaching others to be their best at work and is on a mission to help others navigate change to create careers and lives they love. To learn more about Laura‘s philosophies and coaching, check out her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

What Does Living Look Like?

Today, I visited a friend who is in the final stages of a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Like the other dear friends I’ve had to say goodbye to too soon, she is much to young to die. It makes me wonder what sort of balance is out of skew in the Universe. How this could possibly be happening. Something feels so monumentally off when we lose people before their time.

It feels surreal and wrong.

And yet, it’s the most powerful reminder for the rest of us how precious life is.

It made me think hard about what it means to really live.

What does that look like?

On the surface, it might look like pushing boundaries and taking risks; traveling to the ends of the earth to pack your days with an endless supply of experiences.

But when I really think about what makes me feel alive, it’s simply being connected to the moment. 

For me, living—really sopping up every last drip of life—is so much more about what I’m feeling than what I’m doing. I’m living when I connect with people, when I connect with nature, when I connect with a beautiful song or a blazing sunset. It’s about presence and gratitude. Being grounded in an experience, rather than having a wild one.

I thought about what I would do if I knew I had only a short time to live, and that was the answer: focus on being connected to everything and every second.

I wouldn’t have to race to see the countries I haven’t seen. I wouldn’t have to load every day with as many social interactions as possible. I would just have to plug in to the present.

The good news is, I can do this now. I can work at this every day so that whenever my final day arrives, there will be no question that I lived.

Today, for me, living looked like blowing off work for half the day to drive to LA. It was about being present on the highway as the cloudless sky and teal spans of ocean passed by outside my window. It was about sitting at the bedside of my friend, touching her arm and telling her stories, as she winds down this life and starts the transition into the next.

It was about feeling everything that came with that situation. The overwhelming sadness mixed with the immeasurable appreciation of knowing my friend, even if it will be for far fewer days than I’d prefer.

When you think about living your life to the fullest, what does it look like for you?

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divider-aboutMelissa Maris is a freelance writer and life coach who specializes in manifesting, dating, stress relief, and creative problem solving. She recently fled the bright lights of Hollywood with her hubby to pursue a more wholesome life in the wine country north of Santa Barbara. Learn more about her philosophies and coaching at

Are You Limiting Yourself with an Either/Or Mindset?

“There has got to be another way.”

I’ve pondered this thought many times in my life from simple things like:

How do I get to the airport in rush hour in the shortest amount of time?

To the most complex like:

How I can live my most happy life because what I’ve been doing isn’t working.

As I’ve done my own internal work and asked myself this question in many situations, I noticed something that was common to my thinking: I had an either/or mindset.

Either it had to be one way or the other. Black or white. Either this or that.

I wasn’t leaving any space for ‘AND’ which offers many more possibilities.

Either/or puts limits on you and has a doom & gloom feeling to it. It can also imply that there is a sense of sacrifice or suffering with your options. For example:

Either I stay in this soul-sucking job and be comfortable or leave and face uncertainty.

Either I fit in and people will like me or I stand out and some people won’t like me.

Either I stay in this relationship and am unhappy or I leave and am lonely.

But sacrifice and suffering do not have to be the case. Often the scarier option, i.e. leaving the job, standing out, or ending a relationship tend to have a negative spin to them because they involve RISK.

The risk doesn’t necessarily go away with a different thought, but if you can get yourself to a better feeling thought, you are more likely to take action.

Remember, these are just thoughts and you can change them by choice.

One way I like to do this is by trying on ‘AND’ for size. It helps the mind expand to other possiblilities like:

I can leave my soul-sucking job and be comfortable in my decision as I find something better.

I can stand out and be myself and allow others to be themselves – whether they like me or not.

I can leave this relationship and feel sad for a while but not hopeless.

Whether you can believe this new statement or not, it at least shows that there are more choices available to you. And to me, seeing more possibilities feels so much better.

Is there a way you’ve been limiting yourself with an either/or mindset?

Look at a thought you have around something that makes you say “There has got to be another way.”

Then, see if you can ‘open it up’ a bit more with an AND statement. How does that new statement feel? (It may feel scary, but just because it feels scary, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It’s just a new way of looking at something. Scary can be a good barometer for stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new.)

These new AND statements can be big shifts in thinking and some may seem impossible, BUT I encourage you to look for evidence that they are possible. You can start by looking at the possibility in others. Can you find evidence of others (anyone, whether you know them personally or not) living your AND statement? When something feels possible, it gives us hope.

Has anyone ever been able to live your AND statement?

I bet so.

Now it’s your turn.

If they can do it, so can you.

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Laura is a life coach, teacher, writer, and lover of all things personal development. She has spent over ten years training & coaching others to be their best at work and is on a mission to help others navigate change to create careers and lives they love. To learn more about Laura‘s philosophies and coaching, check out her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Reasons to Give Your Workout a Rest

I recently took FOUR WEEKS off from working out.  That is the longest break I have taken from working out in probably twenty years, if you count dance and sports as a kid.  It felt great to be back in the gym sweating again. But the lessons I learned during this break felt even better.

I had to take a month off from exercise because I had double hernia surgery…not fun. What was even less fun was the pain I felt every time I taught a class or did too much exercise before having the surgery. My body was crying out for help and I needed to do something about it. The crazy thing? I wasn’t scared about having the surgery (okay, maybe a teeny weeny bit)…I was terrified that the doctor said I could not work out for six weeks after!

I was definitely scared of what would happen to my body. Would I gain weight, lose all of my muscle, and reverse all of the changes I’ve made over the years?

But something else was also plaguing me… What if I got used to this new sedentary lifestyle and lost my mojo for exercise altogether? What if I liked all of this extra time I now had and decided I didn’t need to go back to working out?

As it turns out, not all, but most of my  fears were definitely unfounded. In fact, the craziest thing happened. I LOST weight and at the same time, experienced a new found love and appreciation for exercise.

You see, a few things start to happen physically and mentally when you never take a break from exercise:

1. Metabolically, if you are exercising like crazy and also constantly in a caloric deficit, your body will start to hold on to everything you consume. This makes it harder and harder to maintain a low body fat. I never used to think this was true, but I experienced this firsthand with my surgery recovery. I was still eating healthy but oddly enough, I didn’t have to deprive myself as much as I thought I would without exercise.  It was like metabolism was resetting and my natural hunger cues were springing to life again. How many of you have worked out for two hours or more a day and found that the next few days you can’t ever feel “full”? I’ve had this so many times I can’t remember. Take exercise out of the equation and suddenly, I wasn’t hungry for more than three meals a day and maybe one small snack. And I was satisfied. And I could cheat more and not see it the next day. Crazy! More about metabolic resetting here.

2.  Physically speaking, I realized I never entered the maintenance stage of exercise. There are a few theories out there about this and I realize it’s a bit controversial. However, for someone who just wants to stay lean and toned and not necessarily make huge changes in my structure, the extreme amounts of exercise felt like they were doing more harm than good. For example, I don’t need more leg muscle. Yet the amount of exercise I was doing was seriously making me have crazy superwoman legs. Which is fine if you want that, but for me, it was unnecessary. The new me only exercises 30-60 min a day and my physique has never looked better! I’m maintaining the muscle I already have and burning enough calories to stay in shape.

3. Mentally, I have never felt better about exercise than now. Coming from a month break, I am looking forward to and having a new appreciation for exercise. It is something I CAN do now, instead of something I MUST do. It’s also fun to challenge myself with exercises that used to be easy for me. Building the strength to run again is exciting and new again! And it reminds me of how my clients must feel. :-)

4.  I have a newfound thankfulness for what my body is capable of. I know I said earlier that the doctor said this would be a six week recovery. Well, when I went in for my 2 week check up, the doctor said he hadn’t seen such a quick recovery in a long time and I was ready to start doing walking and light exercise. I know that’s because my body was super strong and conditioned before I went in for the surgery. It was used to muscle tear down and recovery. I was proud of this and thankful to my body for responding in such a great way!

All in all, I am so grateful for this imposed break that I was forced to take. My body and my mind needed it. Sure I lost a little muscle and maybe I didn’t look as toned as usual, so that fear was definitely valid. But I was able to bounce back and get that muscle tone back easily and this time, intelligently.

One fear that was definitely not valid was that I will never stop loving exercise and the way it makes me feel. But I am now trying to have a more balanced approach to exercise. A little rest does the body, and the mind, GOOD!

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divider-aboutSelah Victor is a NASM certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, who trains clients in the Los Angeles area. She also teaches group exercise classes at Equinox Fitness Clubs and Fox Studios. Selah is the host of the new fitness talk show and workout program, “C’est La Vie with Selah V!” on Follow her on Facebook and @selahvfitness.

I’ve Been Consuming Too Many Empty Calories

I realized last week that I haven’t been feeding myself very well lately.

And it has nothing to do with the Pop Tarts in my pantry…

What I have been doing is stuffing myself with “empty calories”—using TV or social media or alcohol to numb out after long, chaotic days of work and home renovation disruptions. And then I wonder why I still feel crappy in spite of my nightly “relaxation.”

Brené Brown first introduced me to the concept of numbing out when I took her Gifts of Imperfection online course through (She talks about numbing a little here.) It’s when we try to attain the rest and respite we’re craving with things that simply don’t feed our spirits.

Rather than bringing us peace and lifting us from our pits of stress, these faux fixes just cause us to go numb.

We no longer feel the bad feelings, but we don’t really feel the good ones either.

And after prolonged periods of numbing, you kind of just start to numb out everything—which can really inhibit your capacity to feel joy.

When I took Brené’s class, she had us make a list of the stuff we use to numb ourselves. Mine included the vices I mentioned above, along with blaming, anger, and over-consumption of sugar.

Rather than continuing to rely on these numbing mechanisms, Brené says we need to tap into our “comfort wisdom” to find true peace.

How do you access the “food” you so desperately need of when you realize your relaxation facilitators aren’t working?

Make a list of all the ways your wisest, most evolved self would tell you to unwind.

These are the activities that truly nourish and rejuvenate your soul.

When I became clear on the fact that I was numbing last week, I immediately dug out my comfort wisdom list from Brené’s class. It includes things like “Go outside. Take a nap. Practice gratitude. Do something productive like organizing or cleaning. Read. Breathe and stretch.”

Even just reading the list made my body feel more relaxed.

We all intuitively know what we need to heal from the ills of stress. It’s just a matter of holding ourselves accountable so that we turn that that wisdom instead of the quick numbing solutions, which will never truly make us feel better.

Can you identify behaviors you use to numb out instead of really feeding yourself? And can you come up with a list of wiser, more comforting actions to replace those that will keep your spirit belly full of delicious, nutritious sustenance?

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divider-aboutMelissa Maris is a freelance writer and life coach who specializes in manifesting, dating, stress relief, and creative problem solving. She recently fled the bright lights of Hollywood with her hubby to pursue a more wholesome life in the wine country north of Santa Barbara. Learn more about her philosophies and coaching at

37 Things I’m Happy I Learned By Age 37

Two years ago on my 35th birthday, I compiled a list of the most valuable wisdom I’ve amassed on my journey so far. Two (very growth-inducing and transitional) years later, my life looks absolutely NOTHING like I thought it would, but an interesting thing has unfolded… I’ve become even more grateful for this wild journey called life than ever before. And as I continue to more deeply embody these 37 things, I find myself creating a far more playful, adventurous, and inspired life, full of deeper relationships, laughter, and unabashed creative passion than my twenty-something self could only hope and dream (or even bribe someone) for… Turns out 37 isn’t scary; 37 is now, and NOW is where the JOY lives!

1. What you put out to the world, you get back.

2. There is no point in comparing yourself to others; we are all on our own unique journey.

3. Forgiveness is for you, not the other person. Learn to forgive and you will free yourself from the chains of the past.

4. Truth-seeking is neither comfortable nor popular, but it’s worth it.

5. Lead with your heart, not your mind. Your heart won’t lead you astray.

6. Your life doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. If you follow your heart, it won’t.

7. Life really does begin at the edge of your comfort zone. Push yourself to explore the corners of the earth and that which lies within you.

8. Friends change. Celebrate the good times and let go. Letting go makes space for new people who are in a present time alignment to enter your life.

9. Exercise is always a good idea.

10. On a planet where everything is telling you otherwise, you are enough.

11.  What you resist will persist. What you fear will appear.

12. GO FOR IT. There are no mistakes; the only mistake is doing nothing.

13. Don’t take things personally. It’s not about you. 

14. Humor is the most powerful aphrodisiac. 

15. You can’t change anyone except yourself. Change yourself and watch your world around you change.

16. You create every single person, event, and experience in your life to grow as a spirit. 

17. Like a seesaw, as belief in yourself goes up, competition goes down.

18. Neutrality is the key to consciousness.

19. Every relationship is a mirror. Whatever judgments you have about others are reflecting that which exists inside you. Use your resistances as a map to direct you where you need to heal.

20. There is nothing like a dog’s love.

21. Be Grateful. The more grateful you are, the more you get.

22. When you lie, the only person you are fooling is yourself.

23. Real happiness only exists in the present moment. If you are anxious or fearful, you are in the future. If you are resentful or sad, you are stuck in the past.

24.  There is no greater power than spiritual truth.

25. Dance, Dance, Dance. Whatever you do, don’t stop dancing. 

26. Everything is energy. And the energies we don’t see are more powerful than the ones we do see.

27. Ingesting toxic substances makes the whole world seem dim. Genuinely happy people do not destroy their bodies every weekend in the name of fun.

28. To have complete trust in a romantic partnership is the greatest gift. It frees your mind of worry, making way for inspiration. I’ve yet to find anything as fleeting or as satisfying as inspiration.

29. Make art, music and love as much as possible.

30. We don’t attract what we want; we attract who we are. Don’t look for an amazing person to come into your life. BE an amazing person.

31. Perfect is an illusion that stunts your growth. Life is messy, it’s a process. Say yes to life and dig in. 

32.  Net worth doesn’t equate to self-worth. Authenticity, vulnerability, and integrity do.

33. Chronic ailments of the body are connected to unbalanced thinking in the mind.

34. Be THE BEGINNER! As The Beginner you get to accesses your freedom, which activates your passions, which leads you to your purpose. 

35. A life without purpose is a life of despair. Purpose is different than drive. Drive may bring in the big bucks, but something will still be missing. A purpose driven life creates an abundance of meaning and  fulfillment and prosperity.

36. There is magic and power in BOLDNESS. Fully commit to what your heart truly desires and the universe will conspire to help you make it happen. 

37. Change is one of the few things that remains constant. Welcome it.

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Emily Pereira is a Spirit Nature Certified Advocate, speaker and author who has inspired woman all over the world to connect more deeply with their adventurous, creative, and playful selves. She believes that being The Beginner is the powerfully simple (yet forgotten) way to access your freedom, activate your passions and discover your purpose, so you can create a juicy life you truly love. Her work has been featured on The Daily Love, The Elephant Journal, I AM THAT GIRL and Intent. Sign up and Receive her FREE e-book The Ambitious Woman’s Guide to Dreaming BIG andCreating a Wildly Fulfilling Life! Connect with Emily on her Website, @emilybegins on InstagramFacebook or Twitter.

Are YOU the One Getting In Your Own Way?

“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: never lie to yourself.” – Paolo Coehlo

I have a confession: for most of my life I was much more comfortable being in the background.

I hid in my life – who I was, what I thought, what I really liked. It’s not even that I was doing this intentionally; it just became familiar to me so it was a natural role for me to fall into.

I tried my hardest to the fit the mold of who I thought I *should* be rather than who I really was.

But as I’ve gotten to know myself better it required me to get really honest with myself about who I am and what I wanted to do in the world; it required me to stop hiding.

My mentor recently said to me, “You can’t be big when you’re playing small or hiding.”

And I have big intentions so no more playing small or hiding for me.

Here’s a hint: if the word should shows up frequently in your vocabulary, ie: I should be with this type of person or I should have this type of career, you are likely being influenced by outside opinions rather than listening to what you really want. Bottom line: you are getting in your own way.

One of the biggest ways this played out in my own life was in my career. I thought I *should* have the big corporate career when deep down I knew that my place in the world was to help people as a life coach. I tried to fight this for a long time but it always came back to the fact that coaching felt like absolute freedom to me, while the corporate world felt draining even though I thought I *should* be able to just deal with it.

The biggest hurdle I needed to get past was myself – my own judgments of not following the *shoulds*and feeling uncomfortable for a little while as I unlearned this idea of needing to fit in.

I started to see how fitting in actually wasn’t comfortable. I felt worse, not better when I played this role. And this role actually stemmed from the fact that I was scared to step out into this new person because of what I thought others may think.

But at the end of the day, like most things, this actually had nothing to do with other people and everything to do with me. The only person that was really stopping me from being who I really am was – ME.

I was getting in my own way. A lot.

I was judging what I really wanted to do because I was worried that others would judge it. Funny how that works, huh?

But, while I didn’t have the power to change others opinions on anything, I did have the power to change my own beliefs about my *shoulds*.

Are there ways that you are judging who you are and what you really want to do? Or, are you falling into the *should* trap like I was? Make a commitment to stop trying to change others opinions – let them be who they are. The only opinion you need to change is your own.

Stepping into who you really are as a person and what really lights you up can be scary – terrifying actually…

But, you get out of your own way by changing the only person you can – yourself.

And that comes down to trust.

Trust yourself enough to know that:

  • You are your best advisor – those feelings you have about something you are meant to do or what really lights you up are real. Follow them.
  • You are exactly where you need to be.
  • You have the power to change anything in your life – it just takes the decision and commitment.

Trusting in yourself builds confidence and from that you are able to step out in new ways in your life that may have once seemed impossible.

It may feel uncomfortable at first but the freedom and joy you experience by learning to let go of others opinions and trust yourself is well worth it in the long run. It’s absolutely necessary if you are standing in your own way.

And the more you step up in your life and learn to trust yourself the more you start to see that you were the person you’ve been waiting for all along.

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Laura is a life coach, teacher, writer, and lover of all things personal development. She has spent over ten years training & coaching others to be their best at work and is on a mission to help others navigate change to create careers and lives they love. To learn more about Laura‘s philosophies and coaching, check out her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Where’s Your Head?

Last week, I found myself cleaning kitchen renovation mess for the zillionth time, and the next thing I knew, I was on the computer Googling “Sisyphus.”

If you’re not familiar with Sisyphus, he was a king in Greek mythology who thought he was more clever than Zeus. Zeus, of course, disagreed… As punishment, Sisyphus was tasked with having to roll a boulder up a hill each day—but just as he was about to reach the top, Zeus would enchant the boulder and make it roll back down. And so, Sisyphus would begin again from square one the next morning. And every morning after that.

In my mind, I was Sisyphus.

Me and my yellow rubber gloves and cleaning rags were rolling boulders up hills every dang day. I had a story in my head on repeat about how infuriating and hard and not at all fun home renovations and clean-up were.

When we tell ourselves stories like this over and over—building bulletproof thought patterns—we’re actually rewiring our brains. 

We’re creating neural pathways that are paved with frustration.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like my brain to be filled with unicorns burping up rainbows. Not Sisyphean stories of dissatisfaction and defeat.

So how to twist the mental wiring back to something that feels better than a frustrating story? 

Seek evidence on the contrary.

For me, this meant looking for reasons why cleaning dust and dirty hand prints in the kitchen again represented wonderfulness, ease, and fun. As I tried to reframe my story, I admitted to myself that the work I was doing wasn’t actually hard. I wasn’t sweating or straining. I wasn’t doing math… The objects I was cleaning were beautiful—marble and glass and stainless steel. I recognized that creating the end product—a glimmering new kitchen—was kind of fun after all and would be extremely enjoyable to look at when it was all done. I realized that it was really only the second time I had cleaned that particular area of the kitchen, not the zillionth. And finally, I remembered that I had asked for this. I could have chosen to keep my old kitchen, but I (and my husband) wanted to upgrade. Bed made. Lying in it.

Do you have any stories of defeat on repeat in your head right now? 

Before this, some of my old favorites were:

I’m never going to meet the right guy.
The guy for me doesn’t exist.
I can’t find a job that pays well.
Working for myself is difficult.
Living alone is hard.
It’s going to take forever to get to where I want to be.

It was only when I consciously started seeking evidence on the contrary of those—trying to turn them around—that my actual life turned around.

Seeing starts with believing.

And belief starts with a story.

What new stories are you going to use to pave your neural pathways?

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divider-aboutMelissa Maris is a freelance writer and life coach who specializes in manifesting, dating, stress relief, and creative problem solving. She recently fled the bright lights of Hollywood with her hubby to pursue a more wholesome life in the wine country north of Santa Barbara. Learn more about her philosophies and coaching at

How Do You Live

Today marks the second anniversary of the passing of one of my closest friends, Sadath Garcia. His death was an earth shattering reminder that this precious life goes by in flash. Everyone who knew Sadath seemed to take a look at their own life and ask, “What would I regret if it all ended today?” Since then, so many of us have taken big leaps in our lives. We’ve stepped a little farther out of our comfort zones, worked harder at fulfilling dreams, deepened our connections with loved ones and stopped taking the unimportant stuff so seriously.

Sadath had a dream to make a difference in this world and I’m starting to believe that he is still contributing from the other side of the veil. His death has encourage so many people to live their life on purpose. Below is the original blog that I wrote last year about my beloved friend and the special campaign that we started in his honor. It’s a brand new year and perfect time to take stock in how you live.


One year ago today, I lost my dear friend Sadath Garcia. He was just 30 years old and had the biggest heart, gentlest soul and best laugh. It has not only been in his death, but also in the way he lived and loved that has continued to remind me of how truly precious life is and that we can’t take a single moment, lesson or loved one for granted. Sadath never did and now I aspire to do the same. That morning, in the hospital room with Sadath, I decided that it was time to turn up the volume in my own life. Just a few months later, I left my full-time job, started HR and Career Consulting and co-founded Mimosa Lotus. It’s not lost on me that today I am writing about Sadath on the very website that his death and legacy gave me the courage to bring to life.

As a child of immigrant parents and the first person in his family to go to college, Sadath wanted to make real change in this world. He was attending law school at UCLA when he died. He was one of the very few selected to intern at The White House in the summer of 2012 and deferred law school for a semester to work full-time on the Elizabeth Warren campaign in the fall of that same year. More than all of that and his many other accomplishments was the way that Sadath truly loved life and all of the many people that he called “friend.” He planned parties for everything and everyone; concerts, picnics at the beach, brunches and birthdays. He even made us throw him a going away party before he started law school just down the street from where we lived!!

Sadath was so beloved by all of us that as soon as he passed away, we formed a group to carry on his mission and legacy. We’re creating grants and scholarships in several of the schools that Sadath attended because of being chosen for similar financial awards.

And today, on the one-year anniversary of his death, we began the How Do You Live campaign. It was actually inspired by a shirt that Sadath wore in the picture with me below. Sadath has been a constant reminder to everyone that knew him that we have to live with purpose and truly celebrate our lives everyday.

The How Do You Live campaign simply asks you to do something that exemplifies the way that you want to live and share it on your social media sites with the hashtag, #HowDoYouLive. It’s the true stories in life that inspire us all. Acts of kindness, bravery and living life to the fullest are the cornerstones for positive change. When you share your story, you WILL affect someone’s life the way that Sadath affected ours.

We hope that the How Do You Live campaign reminds you that every step taken with purpose benefits not only you, but also the world around you. So today, sign up for that painting class, call the person that’s been on your mind, give a sandwich, dollar or even just a kind word to the guy you pass on the street everyday, feed a random parking meter, forgive, love and spread joy your own unique way.  It’s a new day.  It’s a new year.  How do you live?

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Must Read: Slim For Life by Jillian Michaels

“You can’t get clean on yesterday’s shower,” a dear friend said to me not too long ago. I was going through a bit of a funk, needing new inspiration to break through some plateaus, both physical and mental. This quote struck me to my core, as I realized the same tricks and tools I had been using to motivate myself and to raise my spirits just weren’t working anymore.

As luck would have it, I stumbled across Jillian Michaels’ “Slim For Life”. This was not just another diet book; it was a manual with practical, straightforward tips that anyone, and I mean ANYONE, can apply. I found myself remembering some of my old “rules” that I had let slide over the years. For example, I used to be a fiend about telling the maitre d at a restaurant not to bring bread to the table. Or the simple discipline of not eating carbs at night. I had somehow let small little things like this slide back into my life, one little cheat at a time.

I was also really impressed and informed with the precise outlining of strength and cardio training. It inspired me to take a good look at my current routine and shake things up a bit! One of the things she really advocates is HITT–High Intensity Interval Training. I added it back to my routines and BAM — just like that my body was tighter and more defined in a matter of weeks.

It was great getting refreshed and going back to a lot of the things that got me in shape in the first place! This book truly made me feel that I will always be “Slim For Life” if I continue to practice these disciplines.

divider-aboutThis Must Read is from Selah Victor, who you can follow on Facebook and @selahvfitness.