The value of resistance

Yesterday afternoon I was on a call with a client, Katie - she's a coach and we used our session to talk through a new program she wants to launch this fall.

When we started our coaching call, she mentioned having a ton of resistance to this program. "It sounds fun" she said "but I'm just feeling stuck around it."

During our call, I led her through a meditation (I start many of my longer coaching calls like this!) and then we shook out all the details for her program. We took the ideas and thoughts that she had swirling in her head and made them into a tangible, action oriented, realistic plan.

I have a ton of experience with online marketing and launching programs through running my own business and supporting Robyn in running Your Healthiest You the last 4+ years. It's FUN for me to share some of the tips, tricks and best practices I've learned with my entrepreneur and aspiring entrepreneur clients.

There's value in looking at your resistance.

Sometimes we feel resistance because there's something in our plan or action that isn't aligned with our spirit, our best intention or higher self. But sometimes we simply feel resistance because we're walking into new territory and we need someone to help us find our way.

For Katie, the resistance was a combination of both. She was doing something new, yes, but through our session we also discovered that she wasn't planning to charge nearly enough for what she wanted to offer through this program. The price point didn't match the service, or the target customer.

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There's value in looking at your resistance.

Today I want you to look more closely at a new business project, a family matter or food/health change that you're feeling stuck around. I know, I know - this may be a big ask for a summer Friday, but hear me out (or mark this email as unread and come back to it on Sunday or Monday).

Below are some questions to ask yourself to get un-stuck. You can ask yourself these questions in a meditation, via journaling or call up a friend and have her or him ask you the questions out loud.

Bonus tip: Notice which inquiry method most appeals. I'm a huge fan of journaling, but some people do better actually talking through an issue.

Questions to ask yourself when you're feeling stuck:

  • Is this the most aligned plan of action for me? If no, what feels more aligned (or how can I feel more aligned with this)?

  • Is there something else about the scenario or problem that I need to know in order to move forward?

  • Is there a piece of my plan that needs to change?

  • Do I simply need more time? Am I putting to much pressure on myself to just get it done?

  • Do I need external support? If so, who is the best person to help me out?

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Towards the end of my call with Katie, I mentioned that I too had a project I was feeling a ton of resistance around (hint: it's something I mentioned in my last email).

I'm going to use these exact questions to dive into my resistance and find clarity around why I'm feeling stuck and how to move forward. I think I have an idea what's going on, but sometimes our resistance isn't exactly what it seems, there's usually a layer deeper (like with Katie and what we discovered about the misaligned price of her program).

If you use these questions and find them helpful, I'd love to know!

Leave a comment below, or better yet, share a photo or video on social media with your insight or aha. Make sure to tag me @emilynachazel so I can see your inspirational posts!

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Tips for a better winter

One of the most interesting concepts I've learned throughout my years studying nutrition and wellness is that our bodies (and lives) are cyclical in nature. We, like the moon, have phases, some of which repeat on a predictable basis.

And just like the pull of the moon influences the tides, our bodies are impacted by these different cycles and the different seasons.

Today I want to share a little more about the season of winter, the season that we in the Northern Hemisphere are currently experiencing (and experiencing HARD - it's in the single digits in Brooklyn as I write this).

I used to hate winter. I despised the cold and wanted to just put my head down and push through it as quickly as possible. I still prefer warmer temps (there's a certain freedom that comes with them when your main mode of transportation is a BIKE), but once I learned to honor the season for what it WAS instead of trying make it look or feel like a different season, I learned to really love this time of year (okay... maybe not LOVE but at least LIKE and appreciate).

Plus, by leaning into the winter-ness of winter, I'm better able to appreciate and use the energies of the other seasons when they come around.

Me embracing winter - ie home early, snuggled up with a heating pad + good book

Me embracing winter - ie home early, snuggled up with a heating pad + good book

So how does one "lean into" winter?

First, let's take a moment to think about what we associate with winter. This will give us some insight into the role of the season, and some clues for how to best use it's energy.

Here's what I think of when I think of winter...

Winter. Cold. Staying in. Gathering around the fire. Sleeping. Reading. Hibernating. Finding warmth. Comfort food. Less growth. Fewer hours in the day. More darkness. More blankets. Quiet. Reflection. Clarity. Coziness.

The cold and quiet is not "bad" - it's just different, especially for our go-go-go society. If we expect ourselves to operate on the exact same schedules as we did when we had 14 hours of daylight and temperatures in the 80s, it's going to feel hard.

If instead we work with these natural tendencies, if we use this season as a time of rest, reflection and getting in touch with our selves, not only will we feel more in harmony with the world around us, but we'll be better prepared for the energy and expansion of spring when it comes around.

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

Restorative yoga is amazing this time of year.

Beyond food there are also activities that are better suited for these cooler months. Below I've listed out some specifics to give you some ideas, but these lists are not exhaustive. Feel free to use your own intuition and what it's telling you is best for your body based on what you've read here.

Foods to focus on:

  • Warm foods (especially baked, slow roasted and stewed)

  • Root vegetables

  • Soups

  • Warming spices like garlic, ginger and cinnamon

  • Cooked whole grains (brown rice, oats, barley)

  • Kidney beans and black beans

  • Food from the oceans like deep sea fish (halibut, swordfish) and seaweed*

Foods to avoid:

  • Too many raw foods (too cold)

  • Excess fruit and sweets

  • Overeating in general (we naturally move a little less this time of year so our diets should reflect that decrease in physical activity)

  • Ice water

Activities:

  • Yoga (especially slower practices with longer holds like yin and restorative yoga)

  • Reflection practices like journaling and meditation

  • Breathwork (to move energy without having to be out in the elements)

  • Staying in. Yes. Do less, especially on week nights. Meet for an early meal or invite friends over so that you're not out and about late.

  • Salt baths*

  • Use a heating pad, especially on your lower back (to focus on keeping the kidneys warm)**

*According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Winter is associated with the element of water which is why these foods and activities are recommended this time of year

**Also according to TCM this is the season of the kidneys and bladder. The kidneys are said to store our chi or energy, which can be depleted easily this time of year if we run ourselves down through poor food or lifestyle choices. 

Whether you live in a climate that feels traditional seasons or not, you can still explore the concepts and tips that I shared above - there is a shift in energy that happens even if the weather changes aren't as noticeable.

For more in depth advice on eating and living in tune with the seasons, I highly HIGHLY recommend this book: Staying Healthy with the Seasons

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

My favorite book on living in tune with the seasons.

If anything I hope what I shared in this post has given you permission to go a little easier on yourself this time of year, or at least take the next few months as an opportunity to slow down. To do a little less and spend more time reflecting on where you're at and where you want to go in the year to come.

Wishing you a cozy, quiet and introspective winter!

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 :)