Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2013 Gratitude

Thanksgiving is here again. I can't believe it. This will be the second Thanksgiving without my Mom. I'll be spending some time up in New Jersey and New York City and I couldn't be more excited. NYC is magical this time of year. Years ago, I went into the City an hour or so after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade had ended and the Holiday Spirit was in full swing! It. Was. Lovely. Rockefeller Center decked out for Christmas is definitely one of the most magical sights I've seen!


It's going to be unseasonably cold, however, and I'm a bit worried as my California-turned-Florida blood has really thinned out! Pray for me :)

I am full of gratitude this year. Absolutely just full! I've been so spiritually connected this year, I've gotten so in-tune with my true self, core values, and life purpose and it makes a world of difference when seeing this life for all of its beauty!

This year, I am grateful for:

+My family - As simple as that. For the family that was given to me and my beautiful fur face, Stella, that has blessed me for almost 3 years now.

+My Spirit Guide(s) - For the signs they've shown me, the pushes I've needed, and for the comfort in knowing I'm never alone. I know you hear me, Mom :)

+Health - Going vegan/plant-based again earlier this year has been such a wonderful experience. I've been opened up to a new world of nutrition and have never felt healthier!

+Life Coaching - I still can't believe this is my profession, my line of work. I'm grateful for life coaching, for the dynamic, rich, substantial difference it has personally made in my life, for the wonderful souls I've been introduced to, and for the promise it gives us that we CAN live a life of happiness as we live our TRUEST potential!

+This beautiful country - I've had the opportunity to travel back and forth by car across this gorgeous land and I consider it such a blessing to have seen so many cultures, terrains, and people! It has opened up my eyes to all that is out there, just in this country I call home. I'm grateful for the people who established this land.

+My Peeps - My chosen family. The people who love me because they choose to. The people whose lives I'm a part of and who are a part of mine despite the distance or amount of time that goes by since our last visit. The people who know me, support me, and inspire me. I love you, guys!

+My life - It may sound cliche but I am so entirely grateful for this life that I have been given. It continues to throw me curve balls all over the place but it's because of those curve balls and all the lessons I've learned that my life has grown better and better. This past year has been the greatest, most enriching year of my life. I developed so many life-changing, meaningful friendships, checked more things off my bucket list than I can even name, and I found my purpose (well, I like to think we met each other halfway!)

Wishing all of those who celebrate, a magnificently happy Thanksgiving! And for those who are missing someone at the table this year, my heart goes out to you. I deeply understand how painful the holidays can be when we don't get to share them with all those we love.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Daily Love

Just two days before I left for Florida, I had the priceless opportunity to help out at The Daily Love Enter the Heart Tour. I'm still pretty amazed that the tour date fell right on the perfect date, at a time when I was gearing up for the official beginning of my own journey as a life coach.

I've talked about it many times before here but I've been reading The Daily Love emails each day for over two years now. Mastin Kipp is the author and founder of TDL and I found him just a few months before the two hardest trials of my life. Through his emails in my inbox daily, I started seeing how I could turn those trials into something positive, and because of that, through a whole lot of work and personal growth, I turned my life into being greater than it had ever been before.

I decided it was time to make my dreams a reality. I moved to San Diego. I found my true self. And most importantly, I found my purpose and my decision to become a professional life coach has been the most rewarding decision yet.

Life has truly been beautiful and Mastin has been a huge light over these years, guiding me there through his insightful, eye-opening, inspirational real-life emails. (If you're not already a Daily Lover, go on over here to sign up today! Who knows? Maybe your life will be changed too!)

So, on a brisk Wednesday afternoon, I headed to a brick building on O Street to help set up for a night of Kundalini Yoga and some powerful awakening and empowerment led by Mastin himself through his Kipp Heart Therapy that he introduced to us. The studio with the sun beaming down onto the old, hardwood floors set a beautiful scene for what was about to become a studio filled with positive vibes and incredible people.

There were massage lines going on, a whole lot of yoga, Love Grace came all the way from NYC to share their absolutely amazing raw, organic, cold-pressed juice with us (their Probiotic Smoothie is one of my favorites!), and of course… Mastin wowed us with his wisdom. There were so many truly powerful and touching moments as we opened up to each other and most importantly, to ourselves.

The world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. Now, here were some of my biggest take-aways:

"Fear is a biological reaction to uncertainty." Boom.
"Don't make a circumstance your identity." Boom.
And so much more… perhaps this deserves a separate post?

Mastin, you're the man. Thank you for all that you're doing. I'm so grateful that I had the opportunity to help out, hang out and chat (even if he's got jokes about our height difference :) It was a stellar night!

Here's to never giving up on your dreams, to us all being a drop of the Divine, serving others, and always listening to your heart!

I am so grateful for the path my life has taken and the wonderful surprises like this one that happen so perfectly. And I'm even more grateful that I now get to work in this beautiful field of self development, to guide others to live their own purpose and find peace, bliss, and love!

Shoot me an email if you're ready to make some awesome shifts to live your truest, happiest life! I'd love to be your life coach!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Greatest Experience of My Life

Throughout life, I sought happiness, bliss, and a life of peace and love at the deepest level. And I have the tools now to have all of those things. To live a full and kickass life.

This past week has been the greatest experience of my life.

Last night, I sat around a restaurant table, surrounded by the people who have become my home here in Florida. Home is a word with deep, rich meaning to me and I do not use it lightly. But being there in that moment with these people that I have come to know and grow intimately with from a heart and soul level, sharing experiences, acknowledging one another for honoring our truth and for honoring our callings here on Earth, it was something that touched me deeply.

It's a very enriching experience to work among other life coaches as we do the work not only with each other and with others, but we do the work for ourselves. There were moments of clarity, moments of intense breakthroughs, moments of some of the deepest spiritual connections I have ever witnessed, and moments of pure bliss. Yes, bliss.

Through the coaching that I've been doing here, I have received the joy and peace that come with living your purpose. 

I have truthfully never been in such a deep level of gratitude, awareness, and being.

It all makes sense now. Everything.

This is what it means to be awakened. This is what it means to come alive.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Using Fear as a Compass

On Friday, I wrote something that I want to share with you today. I choose today to share it with you because of its significance to me and the growth I have already experienced since then and can't wait to share with you:

I sit here in Orlando, eagerly awaiting tomorrow. Tomorrow is officially the day that I begin my new life coaching journey. I'm nervous. I'm curious. I'm enthralled. I'm antsy. I'm ready. I feel like I'm at such an important part of my life. I'm finally understanding my purpose, my passion. I'm in the best physical, mental, and emotional shape that I've been in in my whole life.

But I have to be honest, in the days and hours leading up to leaving for Florida, there was a sense of anxiety within me. It was really hard to explain and to put into words but it was there and it sat with me until I had my feet in Orlando. So, I started thinking about that feeling. What it was, where it was coming from. And that's when I made the connection to something we talked about on Wednesday, when I helped out at The Daily Love event (which I can't wait to write about!!)

Mastin Kipp (from The Daily Love) says:
Boom. The anxiety/fear I was experiencing was there as a compass. They say if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough and that's exactly what this was. When you have a dream so big and then one day, there it is, staring you right in the eyes, giving you the go-ahead, you're going to have a minor (or major!) freak-out.

It was once I arrived in Orlando, drove around, got accustomed to my new surroundings, and took a deep breath and smiled… that's when I could explain those feelings I had earlier. At the beginning of every new life journey, as we open the door and look back at our old life and into the new one, there will be a few moments right there in between. They're not moments of hesitation or moments of doubt. No, not at all. They're the moments we realize we're defying the odds, or, as Disney would say, "It's kind of fun to do the impossible."

Blow your own mind. Excel higher than the goals you set for yourself. Show that fear/uncertainty/anxiety that you have, who's boss. If you told me ten years ago, or shoot, even five years ago, that I'd be here now, beginning my journey and living my purpose as a life coach, I wouldn't have believed you. So, believe in yourself. What ever your heart is calling you to do, do it. And when you get to that space between the two doors, keep going. 

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Friday, November 15, 2013

I Breathe Deep for My Mom 2013

Soon after I found out about my mom's cancer (less than 48 hours before she died) I started following Lungevity on social media. Lungevity Foundation is dedicated to funding lung cancer research and supporting those affected by lung cancer. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. And in 2012, my mom was one of them.

While I was in San Diego, I had decided that I wanted to take part in the Lungevity Breathe Deep 5k. It ended up working out perfectly. Because of my recent move to the East Coast, I was happy that my family wanted to take part in Breathe Deep DC which took place on the National Mall on November 2nd.

It was a blustery, cold morning and this California Girl could barely handle it! Talk about a wake-up call! Luckily, my favorite weatherman Doug Kammerer made an appearance AND my niece was attached to my hip, literally, which added some extra warmth :)

You know you're cold when you will gladly carry your three-year-old niece during a leg of a 5k just so she can keep you warm/you can move a little faster ;) The sun finally started to peek through as we neared the Lincoln Memorial. I explained to my niece, Aubrey, that Mr. Lincoln lives there and she asked, "Well… can I go in and hug him?" :)

We each wore a sticker that day that said, "I breathe deep for________" and mine read, "My Mom :)" It was a wonderful experience to be there in our nation's capitol with many other people and families whose lives have been affected by this horrible cancer. To see survivors there. To see the pictures of those lost. To see the smiles and hope from coming together for a cause. It was a beautiful weekend.

I told Aubrey that "Grammie" was waiting for us at the finish line but that we couldn't see her, we just had to wave up to the sky. I know my mom was there, waiting for us, cheering us on.

Not just that day but everyday, I breathe deep for My Mom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Important Week

This is a big week for me, personally and professionally. Personal development has been a huge part of my life, as I'm sure most of you know by now. I can't say enough good things about digging deep into your heart, doing the work, and improving your life!

Tomorrow, the excitement begins. Mastin Kipp, founder of The Daily Love has been a very integral role in my growth over the past three years. I read The Daily Love every day and have found other positive thought seekers, participated in their workshops, read their books, and inevitably decided that a career in the personal development field was exactly where I needed and wanted to be. WELL, tomorrow, Mastin Kipp comes to DC for his "Enter the Heart" Tour AND I'll be joining the team to help make sure everything runs smoothly!

I feel so blessed that this opportunity falls just two days before I leave for Florida for my life coaching certification program. The timing couldn't be any more perfect and I couldn't be more excited for all the wonderful things that are on their way into my life! I am SO excited to meet and work with other like-minded people in Florida and can't even tell you how much I look forward to all the beautiful people that will be brought into my life to coach!

It's an added bonus that I'll be at the happiest place on Earth for my certification: Walt Disney World!!! Disney World used to be a place where I spent time with family and spent even more time with my former dance team family (for national dance championships) and now it gets to be the place where I begin the most meaningful journey of mine yet!

There are still a few tickets available for The Daily Love "Enter the Heart" tour! Let me know if you're attending the event here in Washington, D.C. because I would just LOVE to see/meet you! And here's a blurb about the event in case you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about :) :

"In four concentrated hours of fun – we will go from your head to your heart. We will help you to feel connected to that part of you that literally always knows the right answer. And we will give you the tools of Kundalini Yoga and Heart Therapy to take with you after our time together, so that you can get dialed into your own inner wisdom in a matter of moments."

Check back soon and keep up with me on social media to see how all the self development fun is going!
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@chelseasunset || Instagram!
@LifeisaSunset || Twitter!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thoughts on Waiting

I used to be this way all the time. Whether it was Friday I was waiting on, or Summer, or happiness… I was always waiting instead of enjoying what already was. As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate more of the little things in each day. This helps me appreciate Mondays or even cold, windy days in the middle of March.

And it sure has made me realize how much happiness is truly around us. All we have to do is choose happiness.

While my "waiting" isn't nearly as severe as it used to be, I'm still guilty now of waiting until things are "perfect." My perfectionism gets the best of me during the times when I get overly-particular about one thing or another. But I've been making conscious decisions now to change that thought process when I feel it coming on.

I've also been reading a wonderful book by Arielle Ford that says to "savor the waiting." I keep that little piece of awesome wisdom not too far back in my mind and I've noticed a tremendous difference. If I'm waiting at a stoplight that's taking longer than normal, I glance up a the beautiful colors of the Fall trees here on the East Coast. If you're waiting for that perfect ______ (fill in the blank: business opportunity, relationship, number on the scale) remind yourself that you truly live a good life right now, and give it up to the Universe. And, while you wait… savor every moment. Enjoy that time by doing something else that will lift you higher. Remind yourself that when that thing does arrive, the time will have been so worth it and you will have learned so much.

And it's then that you'll realize happiness is one thing you'll never have to wait for. Just choose to be happy today, and everyday :)

Happy Friday, friends :)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What I Do to Get out of a Funk

I tend to be pretty hard on myself and, believe it or not, I often find that I can be my own worst enemy. If I do something or don't do something and end up disappointed in myself or expecting better results from something I did, I get into a real funk. And I am not the type of person to just "snap out of it." However, over time, I've figured out a couple different things that turn my bad days right around:

1. Decide that life is too short.
     As soon as you remind yourself of this, it's a lot easier to get out of that darn funk. You're having a bad day. Tomorrow will be better. Remind yourself of how small this matter really is in the grand scheme of things.

2. Get some fresh air.
     It's a proven fact: Sunshine makes us happy. Go get some Vitamin D whether you go for a jog, walk, or drive. A little breeze through that pretty hair of yours will make you feel better.

3. Be kind to others.
     This is the one that really helps me the most. A gesture as small as holding the door open, letting a car (or three!) go ahead of you, or complimenting a complete stranger. Make a difference in someone's day and I assure you, it will make a difference in yours!

4. Create a gratitude list.
     Take 5 minutes and write down 5 things you're grateful for. This will help refocus your thoughts on the good!

5. Be inspired.
     The final thing I do, is read, watch, or listen to uplifting words. I usually turn to The Daily Love or watch one of Gabby Bernstein's spiritually empowering videos. Surrounding yourself with positivity will surely zap that negativity away.

So, there you have it! 5 things to try next time you find yourself in that less-than-pleasant funk. What are your go-to ways to snap back into positivity?

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Final Part of the Cross Country Trek

Day Three of the journey West to East was the worst. Not only did we automatically lose an hour due to the time zone change while driving from New Mexico into Texas but there were two absolutely devastating truck accidents that day. The first occurred just an hour after leaving that morning and caused one of the worst panic attacks I've had. While driving along I-40 just over the border in Texas, we spotted people standing in the shoulder and median of the freeway and countless trucks at a sudden and complete standstill.

My heart rate skyrocketed as I had no idea what had happened or was currently happening. All the cars and trucks ahead of us slowed and put their vehicles in park. This was not good. Truckers around us were taking their dogs out to walk and the driver behind us got out of his car, went into the median to look down the way and mouthed, "Holy ____." We had no idea how long we'd be here and the lack of wifi signal on my phone in this desolate section of Texas and no local radio station reports left us unsure what to expect. About 30 minutes later, we spotted a medivac circling far up ahead. I had a feeling it was an overturned tractor trailer and kept thinking, "I just hope everyone's okay, I just hope everyone's okay."

We continued to sit on the freeway. When you're in the middle of nowhere on the only freeway (let alone road) around, it's a rather odd feeling. There's no back road to take and you certainly can't just turn around and go the other way when you're trying to make it to the East Coast. All you can do is sit. And pray. Suddenly, about an hour later, the trucks started moving and about half a mile up, I saw the horrible sight. A tractor trailer ripped apart on the right shoulder. I'm sure many of us know that feeling you get in your stomach after passing something like that. You think about what happened. If they are okay. You think about their families. Where they were going. And what would have happened if you left twenty minutes earlier. It's horrible.

We continued on our way, passing into Oklahoma where we took a little break in OKC as rush hour was already quickly approaching. Just East of OKC, we saw signs on the shoulders saying, "Wreck ahead." While I think it's wonderful that the state of Oklahoma utilizes signs like that once emergency crews have arrived to caution drivers, it was again, another sad sight to see. A tractor trailer that crashed and whose cab was burnt so badly it was unrecognizable. While sitting in that backup, I learned the news about the earlier accident. The tractor trailer had veered right and into the shoulder going Westbound on I-40. He over corrected, flipped into the median and landed in the Eastbound lanes which is where we were. Sadly, the driver lost his life…

Experiencing life and the loss of life in any aspect is always such a wake-up call. This was my fourth cross country drive and I was just so grateful to be safe. That day, we ended up losing a total of three hours from the time change and backups. It was a long night, as we finally stopped in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The sun rose that morning, bursting through the horizon and welcoming us to what we hoped would be a happier day. I didn't know it at the time, but I'd soon fall in love with a city I had been to before. One of the cities I least expected to fall in love with: Nashville. It was in Nashville that I felt the first whisper of crisp, cold air on my skin and in my hair. I found a little lunch spot in Music Row that really ticked my fancy.

Edgehill Cafe. It's a fun coffee house place with an eclectic industrial feel on the inside accompanied with some deliciously fresh food. Plus, they had a ton of vegan options. My hipster heart immediately fell in love with this cafe, its vibe, its eco-friendliess and I almost just stopped right there and moved in down the block. My veggie + hummus sandwich was so delicious but I think it was the super fresh kale salad that really blew me away. So, there's a definite possibility that this non-country-music-loving girl may invest in some Nashville real estate...

I dig you, Nashville. I really do. You surprised me. Again.

There was a slight chance, I'd make it to the DC area without having to spend one more night on the road. Slight chance. But then, just over the Virginia border, once the sun had gone down, it began to rain. We were still five hours away, so we called it a night and guess what. As soon as we exited the freeway, I saw something in the sky. It was white and drifted around ever so peacefully.

It was snowing.

And it was magical. There's no better way to be welcomed back into your home state than a completely unexpected and unseasonal snowfall. And yes, I did get out of the car, throw my hands up and put my head back and I took it all in :)

Virginia's nature continued to astonish me the next morning as the sun rose in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There is no doubt that I was deeply inspired by the natural beauty of my home in San Diego. But it sure was refreshing to see the beauty I was greeted with on the East Coast. The changing leaves. The colors and shapes of the clouds. The crisp air. There is no better time to drive across the entire United States than in the Fall. I saw nature at its finest. 

My cross country trek #4 had been completed.

It was almost time for the new journey to begin.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Driving Cross Country: Breaking Bad Style

Arizona captured my attention as it always seems to do so effortlessly  However, the state I was most looking forward to was New Mexico! As soon as you drive from Arizona into New Mexico, you're greeted by some of the most beautiful rock formations I've ever seen. New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment and between the beautiful rock and majestic skies, I'd have to agree.

I also realized that New Mexico was probably the last place I would be able to find some authentic Mexican food as I traveled East. So, thanks to Yelp, I found a place in Gallup, NM a bit off the freeway that did not disappoint. It was a total hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the middle of a neighborhood run by the sweetest family. It was also probably the spiciest food I have ever eaten. El Metate Tamale Factory. If you're in Gallup and looking for home-cooked Mexican food, this is a must!

Then, onward to Albuquerque where I had big plans: To live the Breaking Bad life. For those who don't know, the stellar show Breaking Bad is filmed in ABQ and there are many iconic locations throughout the city where major events happen. I just couldn't drive through the city without saying hello to Walter White and Jesse Pinkman! So, I stopped by the White Residence...

Apparently skid marks from filming were still visible on the driveway until recently. I also read that the couple who lives there is super sweet and often come out to take pictures for fans! Last year, I stopped by Doghouse, the hot dog stand that Jesse frequents on Breaking Bad. It's pretty interesting to drive past so much desert land, thinking of so many of the scenes where crazy things went down on that show. I can't even tell you how many times I quoted the show and pointed out which vehicles just had to be "DEA Agents." Listen, I'm a Breaking Bad fanatic...

I think I'm the only person who loves Albuquerque as much as I do. What can I say? Cities in the middle of nowhere really intrigue me. We stopped for the night in Santa Rosa, NM where there is zero wi-fi signal. Let me rephrase, there is zero wi-fi signal from Eastern New Mexico, all the way through Texas. Also, even the people who worked at the hotel were talking about Breaking Bad filming locations. That show sure brought in some traffic!

Next week, I'll be sharing the final leg of the trip. Find out then which city I very surprisingly fell in love with! Any guesses?