Make a vision board with me!

This weekend I took myself on a little retreat out of the city. I rented a room via AirBnB and got out of town. I wanted to give myself space to think about the year ahead and find clarity for some personal and professional things (thoughts, visions, worries, plans) that had been swirling in my mind.

One of the things I wanted to get clarity on for my business was if and how I should host a vision board workshop.

As I shared last week, creating a vision board has been a tradition of mine for the past few years. In addition to making my own board, I've led in-person workshops to teach my students, friends and community how they too can create a vision board that actually works (there are some secrets I've learned over the years!).

A new year, a blank slate to create on

A new year, a blank slate to create on

This year I wasn't sure what to do with my vision board workshop - I knew for certain I want to host more in-person events in 2019, but I also knew that many of you are not in the NYC area. And that January can be a busy month as we all get back into the swing of things after the holiday season.

I wanted to offer something around visioning that would serve my community, but also serve me. With this career path I've taken (and with my personality and human design) if I'm not feeling lit up by something, I know it won't be as impactful since my JOB is to lead by example - to live my life in a way that feels inspired and aligned so that you can feel empowered to do the same.

Last week my mind was planning out ways I could do both an in-person workshop AND a virtual one (I'm still a people pleaser at heart) - going through the details of scheduling, if and how much I would charge, how I'd promote, etc etc. But it didn't feel fun.

My gut said to get quiet - to get out of the city noise, and out of my regular routine so that I could better listen for an answer.

And so that's exactly what I did. I booked one night at an AirBnB about an hour outside of the city, arranged to borrow a friend's car and packed my bags (yes, I had multiple bags for a one night trip - c'mon books and food and crystals can't all fit in one backpack with clothes!).

It didn't take long for the answers to come. I spent the afternoon exploring some cute little towns and as soon as I checked into my AirBnB I started journaling. I pretty quickly got clarity not only on the vision board question, but a whole lot of other things with my business and life.

My cute AirBnB room. Nothing fancy, but it did work magic!

My cute AirBnB room. Nothing fancy, but it did work magic!

What I heard about my vision board conundrum was two things:

  1. YES to more in-person events, but not to make vision boards and not this month. I had a whole download (which is what I call thoughts that pour out of my head and onto the page effortlessly, as if they're being downloaded from an external source) on exactly what these events are meant to be and it was clear that the vision board workshop was not one of them. I am SUPER excited for this to play out (and will of course be sharing more details as they come). Click the link in the PS of this email to stay updated on all in person things!

  2. Share the vision board workshop you already hosted this year. What I didn't mention above is that this past Thursday I had the great fortune to lead the women in our Rockstar Coaching Collective group through my vision board workshop. I thought that this would be "practice" for my real workshop. But I realized that this workshop was AMAZING itself - I already did it and recorded it. Why do something over again? Why not just share the recording with you all?

So that's exactly what I'm doing today - I'm sharing my 2019 Vision Board Workshop with you!

This workshop is a recorded webinar so you can watch it in the comfort of your own home, and when it works with your schedule. You can turn it on while you're folding laundry or cooking dinner, or you can round up your art supplies (paper, old magazines, markers, etc!) and begin to craft your vision board as you watch.

What you'll learn in this 60 minute video workshop:

  • My personal story and why I make vision boards

  • Why YOU might want to make a board

  • My 3 tips for making a vision board that actually WORKS

Plus, you'll see my past vision boards, including a very personal one I haven't shared anywhere before.

Watch the workshop here: 2019 Rockstar Vision Board Workshop

As I mentioned above, this workshop was recorded as one of our weekly Rockstar Coaching Collective calls. I've shared a bit about Rockstar before - it's a high level coaching program that I help run alongside Robyn Youkilis. Every week we have a video call - some led by Robyn, some led by me and some we have special guest appearances - that's a mix of health, life and business coaching.

We have one or two spots opening up to start with us in February - if you loved this video workshop, or something on the program website sparks something in you, I'd encourage you to apply. And if you do apply - email me to let me know you've submitted an application so I can make sure we put your name on the top of our applicant list :)

Me showing off one of my past vision boards during the workshop!

Me showing off one of my past vision boards during the workshop!

I hope that this workshop serves you.

If you make a vision board (or if you just watch the workshop) - I want to know! Leave a comment below with one vision you have for the year ahead, or one helpful tip you learned from the workshop.

Year end reflection

I've created a vision board every year since I've been self employed. I love the process of sorting through magazines and allowing myself time to dream about what I want for the year ahead. It's also fun to CREATE a visual reminder of these dreams and wishes.

My vision board for 2018!

My vision board for 2018!

In addition to making my vision board, I also do some journaling around specific goals and intentions for the year.

As fun as visioning about the future is, it's equally (if not MORE) important to also reflect on the past.

The past holds a lot of information for us - things we've experienced, lessons learned and challenges faced. It can be easy to skip over the reflection part, especially if where we're coming from doesn't feel good.

And even if we have accomplished our goals, as a society we place a heavy value on achievement and forward motion, so jumping right into the next goal is more natural for us than taking a moment to look back and reflect.

This week I'm challenging myself to take the time to reflect. I'll be sharing more about how to create a vision board for yourself next week (including a special opportunity to make one WITH me!!) but for now, I encourage you to do the same.

Whether you're traveling or with family, or already back to work, carve out some time in your schedule to look back on 2018. It can be just 20 minutes or perhaps you want to devote an afternoon to reflection.

Your reflection time doesn't have to be you seated in mediation: Sure, you can spend some time with a journal in your home, or you can take yourself to the spa (I do a LOT of great reflection during my weekly acupuncture treatments and whenever I do manage to book a massage), or go for a hike, or put yourself in another scenario that allows you to be with your thoughts.

Whatever you can make time for, I do strongly recommend putting a pen to paper and writing out at least some of your thoughts.


Here are some prompts to meditate or journal on:

What am I proud of myself for doing (or not doing) in 2018?

What goals did I accomplish? How did this feel for me?

What didn't I accomplish? Why?

List out some moments where you felt JOY, passionate or fully alive. What made these moments so special?

List out some moments that felt really crappy. What was it about these moments that didn't feel good?

Are there any WORDS or FEELINGS that sum up a lot of my experience this year?

If you did set specific goals or make a vision board, make sure you look back on them at some point during your reflection.

These are the action items that I created with my vision for 2018:

Ha, look at that second to last to do!


Honestly, if I hadn't looked back on these, I may have focused more on what I didn't achieve, instead of reflecting and seeing what I DID do. And while taking a look at what you didn't do or where you felt you fell short is an important part of the reflection process (see prompts above!), it's often over emphasized.

My challenge myself is for you too: make time to reflect this week. Right now look at your calendar and see when you can fit it in. Shuffle commitments around or great creative - a flight or long car ride can be an awesome opportunity to look back and go in. Just make sure you take a photo of your prior year goals or visions, and a screen shot of the prompts above so that you have what you need to do so.

Next week we'll get into the fun stuff - the visioning and goal setting for 2019! Stay tuned :)

DIY Bath Salts + Sugar Scrub

This past Sunday I had a few ladies over for an evening of arts and crafts. Yes, you read that right. Arts and crafts are definitely not just for kids!

Today I'm sharing the homemade essential oil goodies we made - these are GREAT for last minute gifts, or for a fun vacation week activity.

Beyond the practical, creating something tangible with your hands is really satisfying, especially in a day and age where we do so much with our minds and on our devices.

I've found making time to make things with my hands is critical to balance out screen time. Cooking and baking fall into this category, as do arts and crafts. The last two years I've been building up my art supplies so that I can be creative outside the kitchen. Similar to when I was a kid, I have a basket of markers, pens, stickers, glue, tape, construction paper, etc. I save old make up containers and tissue paper, ribbons and other miscellaneous items that I could use in a future creative endeavor.

Coloring or doodling (or whatever art form calls to you) can be a great way to unwind after a long day, or a fun activity for a rainy Saturday afternoon. If you have kids, AWESOME - get right in there and play with them. And if you don't - invite a friend over to catch up while creating.

Beyond the pure FUN and relaxation that can come with crafting, many activities leave you with cool products - beautifully colored inspirational quotes, jewelry or (as was the case in my home this weekend) homemade bath and body products.

Below I'm sharing the "recipes" for the essential oil crafts I made with my friends this weekend: homemade bath salts and sugar scrubs.

These make AMAZING gifts (I gave out my first bath salt yesterday and the recipient was SO impressed and excited), but they're also fun activities for a quiet winter evening or lazy afternoon

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BATH SALTS

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Epsom salts

  • 1 cup fine sea salt (optional, can do all Epsom salt if you prefer)

  • 1/4 cup baking soda (optional, see note below!)

  • 20-30 drops essential oils

Directions:

  1. Add salts and baking soda (if using) to a large bowl and mix until well combined.

  2. Add in essential oils of choice. If you’re making multiple blends, transfer salt mixture to individual containers or baggies before adding the oils.

A note on baking soda: Baking soda is added to the salt blend for soft skin (salt can actually be slightly irritating). Almost every recipe I found online for homemade bath salts included baking soda. However, baking soda is also known to react with some essential oils. I’d skip the baking soda if you’re using glass jars to store the salts, planning on adding citrus oils or may be storing the salts for an extended period of time.

Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar (any kind will do but ideally something organic!)

  • 1/2 - 1 cup oil (coconut, olive, almond, etc!)

  • 15-25 drops essential oils

Directions:

  1. Add sugar and oil to a large bowl. If using an oil that’s solid at room temperature (like coconut oil) you may want to melt or soften it beforehand.

  2. Mix until well combined. You want your scrub to be moist but not soaked so adjust oil and sugar as needed.

  3. Add in essential oils of choice. If you’re making multiple blends, transfer sugar and oil mixture to individual containers before adding the oils.

What oils should I use?

This is where the creative part comes in - YOU get to choose the essential oil or oil combinations for your personal salts and scrubs.

I’ve included some combinations below to get you started.

You can learn more about my favorite essential oils and their therapeutic properties by downloading my FREE Essential Oils 101 Guide here.

Essential oil combinations:

  • Clear sinuses = equal parts eucalyptus and peppermint

  • Relaxation blend = equal parts lavender and bergamot

  • Clear mind = equal parts lavender and lemon

  • Balancing blend = clary sage, mint and tea tree (melaluca)

  • Stress relief = orange, clove, lemon and cedarwood

I solely use the doTERRA essential oils for their quality and sustainable business practices. Click here to purchase doTERRA oils.

One of my intentions for 2019 is to do more with my hands. So I'd love to hear from you:

are you into any arts and crafts? If so, what are they?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Vulnerability

Vulnerability.

This is a concept I've been working on the last year or so, but up until this past weekend it wasn't completely clear to me what it meant to be vulnerable.

I thought being vulnerable meant sharing all the parts of you - not just the pretty and polished pieces, but the imperfect ones as well. I imagined being vulnerable looked like me saying how I really felt when someone asked "How are you?" (not always "I'm good!") and letting myself cry in front of my therapist, or my friends. Or filming a Facebook live without doing my hair. Or wearing a bikini even though I felt far from bikini ready.

More than anything else, vulnerability felt like pain. It felt like exposing a wound, or airing dirty laundry, or blindly trusting when you shouldn't have.

At this weekend's Rockstar Coaching Collective retreat, we listened to an interview with vulnerability expert, Dr. Brené Brown, where she shared her definition of vulnerability.

Vulnerability does not necessarily equal pain.

It does not necessarily equal disclosure (ie sharing EVERYTHING).

And expressing vulnerability does not make someone weak.

In fact, in her research Brené found that vulnerability is the "birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity." And it's essential for true leadership.

Vulnerability.png

Vulnerability is defined as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.

So what is the difference between vulnerability that leads us to feeling a sense of joy, creativity, etc, and vulnerability that exposes us to harm?

There is no cut and dry answer here - only YOU can assess when to be vulnerable.

Sometimes sharing something personal, something raw or something real can be the catalyst for deepening a relationship, or moment of enlightenment. And sometimes that very share can be where someone gets in and hurts you, where you feel betrayed or simply embarrassed.

As the definition states with vulnerability there is risk of being hurt. There is uncertainty of the outcome. And almost always you're exposing yourself emotionally, for better or for worse.

Maybe you've heard the saying:

"The cracks are where the light gets in."

Your damage, your fears, your feelings - that's what makes you human. And ultimately as humans we want to feel like we're not in this alone. That the things we feel and fear are not just in our heads - that we share these experiences with others.

If we had none of those things, if we were perfect and whole and without "flaws" we wouldn't be human. We'd be robots. And I don't know about you but I don't want to cuddle up with a robot at night, or call a robot and talk about my day. Or go out dancing with a robot... you get the idea.

Perfection is boring. Sure it may be safe, but it's boring. Twists and turns and complexities make us dynamic, interesting and human, and allow us to connect on a real level.

Me feeling the positive effects of vulnerability after some 1:1 coaching calls.

Me feeling the positive effects of vulnerability after some 1:1 coaching calls.


So back to vulnerability - you get to choose who you're vulnerable with. Choose wisely. You don't need to share all your stuff with everyone. It's okay to say you're okay if you don't feel like telling your grandma about the messy break up you just went through.

But remember all of that good that can come from being vulnerable. The connection. The empathy. The love.

It may be scary, especially if you're used to NOT sharing, but I want to encourage you to feel the fear and do it anyways, within reason that is. You may be surprised at what your grandma knows about messy break ups :)

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Hi my name is Emily and I love gifting.

I went through a phase in my life where I poo-pooed on the whole holiday presents thing. I don’t love commercialism and the gross excess that often goes into the holidays - the hours and hours of shopping and the overcrowded malls (and the stress that comes along with that!!), the gifts you end up returning and presents just for the sake of presents and omg ALL THE WRAPPING PAPER. So much wrapping paper. I didn’t want to participate in that.

And I kind of didn’t for a few years. I said “let’s just give each other the gift of our presence” and left it at that.

And while presence and quality time are better than any gadget or new item of clothing in my book, I missed gifting.

I enjoy thinking about the people I love and spending time finding a gift that feels true to them and their spirit. And I love that moment when someone opens a gift that you did spend time and energy picking out - the happiness (and sometimes surprise!) on their face is magical.

I realized that just because I didn’t believe in the commercialized Christmas or Hanukah experience didn’t mean I couldn’t participate in the holiday gift giving tradition in a way that felt good and true for me.

So my gift guide this year includes both experiences but also things. My hope is that this list provides you with some intentional ideas and inspiration for gifts you’ll give (or receive!) this holiday season.

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PALO SANTO ROLLERBALL

Palo santo is a tree that grows on the coast of South America and is related to Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal. In Spanish, the name literally means “holy wood” and is known to be healing and energetically cleansing. I burn palo santo (the wood) in my apartment regularly to clear the air, but you can’t burn things in all apartments (or offices, or subway cars…) so I was very excited to find this palo santo essential oil.

To be clear: I’ve sampled a number of palo santo oil blends before. I don’t love the blends as I find they smell more like other things, not just palo santo. This “smokeless blessing” anointing oil by Brooklyn-based company Highborn is the real deal.

A SESSION WITH A HEALER OR INTUITIVE

Likely if you’re reading my blog, you’re at least a little bit interested in the “woo woo” things like astrology, tarot and energy work. If you’ve been curious in trying out one of these healing modalities, a session is a great thing to ask for as a gift.

It can also be a fun experience to do with your friends or loved ones as a shared gift. Last year my girlfriends and I decided to book an evening with an oracle as our holiday gift to each other, and it was AMAZING. Not only did we get to spend time together, but we also had an unforgettable experience that we may not have pursued on our own.

Here are a few ideas (plus some personal referrals) for healer experiences: tarot reading, astrological birth chart reading, oracle session, private or small group yoga, Universal Health Principles sessions (contact me for booking).

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A book that was meaningful to you

Gifting a book that was particularly meaningful to you, or that you feel would resonate with the recipient is a THING gift that also acts as an experience. You can chat about the book as your loved one reads it.

For some of my favorite books, check out my FAVORITE PRODUCTS page.

A CRYSTAL OR CANDLE

Like a book that has meaning, it can be special to give a crystal with specific properties or a candle that’s meant to be burned with intention. Again with this gift (and with many of the gifts on this year’s list) it shows that you really thought about the person in selecting the items.

My favorite crystals: amethyst (for protection), quartz (for clarity) and citrine (for personal power and creativity). I suggest actually going into a shop to pick out crystals as often specific stones will “speak” to you.

My favorite candles: House of Intuition candles

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A Magazine SUBSCRIPTION

Another gift that keeps on giving: a magazine subscription. I’ve been gifted both Yoga Journal and Runner’s World - each month when I received the magazine I would think about the person who gifted me the subscription. So nice!

A PRINT OR PIECE OF ART

Art is not the easiest gift to give because it is SO personal, but I’ve found smaller prints can make lovely gifts. I love Archie’s Press - they have cool prints of major cities. A fun gift, especially for someone who’s just moved. Archie’s Press also has fun prints of body parts, the zodiac and more.

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ESSENTIAL OILS + DIFFUSER

Everyone in my family gets essential oils as some part of their holiday gift, and no one complains. But really, essential oils are such a wonderful gift - they feel like a luxury item, but are also super practical since they can be used in so many ways.

If you’re looking for a full gift set, I’d suggest purchasing a few oils and a diffuser so that your gift recipient can immediately enjoy the oils in their home.

If you’re the crafty type, you can purchase a few oils yourself and make custom blends for your loved ones. This is what I do and not only is it super fun, but people love the personalized gifts!

To learn more + purchase essential oils, head here.

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That’s it for this years list!



Need more gift inspiration? Check out my guides from previous years:

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2016 Holiday Gift Guide