"The Story of My Life"

I remember reading somewhere that we as human beings can connect in many different ways. And who am I kidding, we don't need to read that to know it, however, the interesting part of the read was how we can connect through our darkness and even more so, we can connect through gossip, badmouthing and complaint.

Done it.
Guilty.
Hand raising emoji.

And we can find humor in it ... at least momentarily. 

It can sound a little like this:

"I cannot believe my morning. I literally tripped getting out of shower, I am talking naked body meets tile floor. Then I am out of mascara and my oatmeal literally just dropped out of my hands on to the floor so I look tired and I am hungry on the verge of hangry. What a morning."

To which the person listening that is working their best to be empathetic and connect with you might say, "Oh girl, story of my life right there. Ugh."

To which you both laugh, roll your eyes at these moments and pour another coffee.

There is comradery in being human, together. Sharing our aches and pains with one another so that we can share a moment of grace, eat humble pie together and cheers a coffee mug or wine glass. It is necessary. 

HOWEVER.

And this is a mighty however, hence the all caps above. I want to caution you with the power of your language. I want to caution you with the power you hold in declaring your reality.

Because when we say those five words, 'the story of my life', we are creating it, asking for the pattern and brining it in. And truth be told, I NEVER hear anyone say 'story of my life' after someone tells a big story, shares a huge goal accomplished or really anything positive. 

It would sound like this in the unicorn universe:

"I am having THE best morning. I got a call today that my stock just rose 10% overnight which means I can buy that new car. And would you know, I really had a great time with my online date last night. What a day".

Person listening with love and celebrating you while also celebrating themselves, "Oh girl, that is the story of my life. Do we have have it so good or what?". 

And I know you just rolled your eyes while drinking out of your glass half empty over there.

I get it.
I did too.

And yet, THIS IS IT. 

This is how we own the power of our communication, the power of our language to actually be the editors of the story writing. A couple ideas to use as the editor:

1) When things get weird, yell out "PLOT TWIST".

2) When the story gets a little repetitive, you might need to request a new chapter of yourself. That is write, I am going all over the book analogies. It might be time to turn that page and start a whole new version.

3) You actually might need a whole new book. 

4) Some people might need to be written out of the story, which creates rooms for new ones. This is tough. This can be hard. And this is growing up.

5) Skip ahead a few chapter, I know some of you do when you grab a book. Try on visioning what the next couple of chapters look like to try on a new possibility. You can do this with vision meditation, vision boarding or even writing a chapter that isn't written yet. 

6) Be so open to a blank page. We as human beings LOVE control. What if we wake up tomorrow and the page is blank and we get to be so open to something new, something we don't even know, someone we haven't even met yet. 

So next time you are about to blurt out those five words in response to someone's story or trying to connect with someone and be funny, careful at being the butt of the joke, at the cost of living that same story over and over again. 

My teacher says that words don't describe you, they create you.

Get creative, get in collaboration, and be open to the story of your life. 

Love,
Jacki Carr

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How We Start Our Day: The Importance of Ritual

We at Rock Your Bliss are big believers in the power of intention and ritual. How we live out our days is how we live out our lives and

A few of our go-to morning "life hacks" that have made big changes for us physically, mentally and energetically.

+ Start phone free. Sleep with your phone outside of your bedroom. This is a great way to wake up for a multitude of reasons - you have to get up to turn off your alarm and you won't wake up and start the mindless scroll.

+ Oil pulling. We both start our day with a tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil for oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for about 5-10 minutes. It draws toxins out of your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.

+ Drink up. Jacki's favorite morning beverage is a butter coffee with a blended mix of cacoa butter, coconut oil and her local Denver favorite Corvus Coffee! MB is maybe Four Sigmatic's Mushroom Coffee biggest fan and doctors up her coffee with coconut milk, coconut oil and cinnamon.

+ Take Your Vitamins. We both swear by SmartyPants' Women's Complete chewy, gummy vitamin. First of all, it's delicious. (MB might be addicted to them!) Second of all, it's packed with Omega 3s, Vitamin D, Folate, Vitamin B12 and CoQ10.

+ Don't Hate, Meditate. Whether it's for five minutes or fifteen, we both try to hit our meditation cushion at least once a day. And we even signed up for a forty day meditation course with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach.

+ Get outside. Even better, go barefoot. There is a beautiful practice called Earthing and the amazing benefits of getting outdoors and connected to the sweet Mama Earth. Jacki knows she is a better human with fresh air in the Rocky Mountains and MB takes major walks around Echo Lake Park in her neighborhood in LA. 

How do you start your day with ritual and intention?

Signe Emdal

Signe is a Danish master technician of building soft & beautiful fabrics with her digital machines. Layers and layers of complicated constructions, physical and non-physical, end up inside her simple World Hugs: Scarves, blankets, tapestries and pieces of textile gold. For 10 years, she's been sharing this gift of beauty and light energy with thousands of people. Costumers keep coming back again and again to get another new scarf to keep them safe and warm. Among fans, her work is often described as 'breathing nature through high-tech textiles'. No doubt her work has strong references to ancient textile making. This summer she is delighted to open up a Studio Boutique, selling both her own textile work and selected home accessories from Artisans across the globe. Her main goal is to give the world a hug and protect the light that is always found there. 

What rocks your bliss? 

NATURE, my work, and my loved ones 

Describe your perfect day.

Sun. Slow morning. Coffee at the studio. Finally that YES email and making money being myself. Meeting at the studio. Break by the sea. Swimming. Dinner with loved ones. Summer evening in DK in the streets. Summer evening at my country house.

When do you feel most creative and alive?

When I am in nature with beautiful people AND when I'm mastering love/selflove.

Share a huge goal you are rocking.

I've just decided to open a Studio BOUTIQUE in a nice room next to my studio. We will open and celebrate our anniversary with a huge reception this summer. This is a very exiting new step for me!

If you could get on a plane right now, where are you going? 

To a place by the sea where I can meet dolphins.

How do you handle setbacks?

I am a very patient person, so I usually just go to the sea or do social things until stuff starts moving again.

How do you come home to yourself? 

The sea, nature, walking, swimming, smiling, watching stuff online that makes me laugh, and hugging. 

What are 3 ways you rock the self LOVE?

1. Setting good boundaries.

2. Being clever about what to share and what not to share

3. Never pushing myself too hard

instagram: @emdalstudio

website: www.emdalstudio.com

Where Is Our Yoga?

Today at the end of my yoga practice, as I laid on my back with my sacrum rooted into the earth and my legs resting up the wall, I finally found myself in a state of ease. I quickly came to realize that it took me an hour to get there.

I had walked out of the doors of home-bound day job into an onslaught of arresting life things. Someone honked at a pedestrian on the street, a collision of screaming brakes and profanity. Followed by my newly fixed car screeching in pain as I pulled away from the curb, an unsettling burning smell emanating from underneath its chassis. I felt increasingly rushed as I tried to decipher if I could fix the situation with enough time to make it to my yoga mat. I arrived at the doors of the yoga studio frustrated, jaw clenched, and totally wound up; exactly the opposite of how I intended to show up. 

As I made my way into my first child's pose, I tried to plant a mantra in my mind, but all I could think about was the evening ahead; when and where I would get my car looked at, my aching wallet, and the stress incurred getting to my mat after weeks away. Man oh man, where was my yoga?

I eventually found it, quietly waiting to greet me after the anger in my body dissipated. I realized as I finally relaxed onto my mat that it's truly an honor to have this practice, to create a space to come home to, to lay yourself bare and vulnerable. I realized that my yoga practice needs me as much as I need it. 

I usually show up on my mat after days, weeks, and sometimes months of being away and expect the practice to deeply nourish and instantaneously serve me. I ask it to do all the work, while I neglect it and pretend that I am a practicing yoga teacher. In all honesty, I've fallen off my yoga wagon and have been fighting tooth and nail to cycle through any excuse to avoid my mat. There is work there, I know from years of a steady practice that sometimes my mat is confronting, but that work is begging for me to engage with it. I've been afraid, and that fear has been inhibiting my self-care, denying my inner wisdom, and actively interfering with my truth. 

My yoga and I, we need to be in a mutual relationship. One in which we both serve to strengthen, create balance, cultivate ease, and calm our inner being enough to get quiet and truly be open to listening. I have been cheating on my practice with my busy life; with my procrastination; with my preoccupation; with my insistence that "this" needs to be done "right now". My practice had been missing me, my body was aching for that connection. I strutted into class tonight and demanded that my yoga should cure my mood, my anger, my frustration, all in 60 short minutes. 

Where is our yoga? 

It's in our cars, our relationships, our noisy neighbors, our teachers, our minds, our faults, our joys, our conversations, our failures, our lessons, our fears, our work, our feelings, our homes, our world, and in so many places beyond our mats. I truly believe that yoga will take care of us, but only if we are willing to participate in our relationship with it. 

As I sit here humbled, brought to my keyboard with words of anguish and an unsteady recommitment to my own self-care, I want to remember that my yoga is in each and every breath. It's now. And now. And now. Yoga will only participate in our lives if we engage with it. If we recommit to the work that happens when we step onto our mats we can cultivate and create our best selves. The world, with all of its anger, confusion, frustration, and disappointments needs us to be living and breathing our yoga to help create connection, compassion, inclusion, empathy, kindness, and love. 

Try, just try, to stay humble and curious when you sit, stand and play on your mat. Come to it with a generous and humble spirit and I promise you it will reveal a way to that nurturing lifeline. Trust in that, dearest ones. I will do my best right alongside you. 

-Jenny Lynn Wood

It's Okay to Disappoint People

I grew up in an Iowa farm town of 5,000 people. It's an idyllic place really, with tree-lined brick streets and huge Victorian houses. People often wave at one another just passing on the road. And if you're sick, someone will certainly bring you some homemade chicken noodle soup.

I was raised to care about others. I was raised with strong family values and work ethic. I was also raised to be a major "people pleaser."

I brought this with me wherever I went. Need a ride to the airport? Ask me. Want to move in for free for two months? I'm your girl. 

It never occurred to me to pause. To pause after something was asked of me. To pause before I committed to yet another thing. And the pause is oh-so-necessary.

One of my good friends Janine, a very successful business owner, said to me, "I know that I'm going to disappoint someone every single day and I accept that."

When she said this, which was only a few weeks ago, I'm pretty sure my jaw hit the ground. 

Be okay with disappointing people? How freeing.

Often my fear of letting someone down actually gets in the way of me doing exactly what I need to do. First for myself. For my career. For my family. For my inner circle.

When we consistency let what's urgent or frantic override what's important to us, we are living someone else's life. We practice to prioritize that which is essential to us. 

How can you practice presence and lovingly disappointment someone along the way?

- Mary Beth LaRue

A Gratitude Scan

I had an a-ha moment with gratitude today.

One of those moments that tripped me up, followed by guilt and then sweet intentional action. 

Let's rewind. The way I have been living in gratitude lately has been this notion of giving thanks as a list in my head, some times written down, some times said in the bathroom mirror, and most times only in my mind. 

To be honest,it kind of feels like a selfish gratitude, a coveted gratitude, all for me. Which do not get me wrong, I know that is important work and keep doing it. 

Yet. 

My a-ha moment this morning was the realization of the other side, the GIVING OF THE THANKS. Give it out there! Say it, say it louder. Even louder.

So this morning, I did what I am calling a Gratitude Scan. I scanned my mind, I scanned my experiences, I scanned my health, my goals, the present moment, my success and learnings. I scanned all that is the present moment and I asked, who is there to thank in this moment?

And I listened for the answer. 

NOTE: You can absolutely be the answer!

And within my own scan, there they were.

Two brilliant faces that I so love. The beauty that is Katie Horwitch of WANT: Women Against Negative Self Talk and the beauty that is Nicole Antoinette of Real Talk Radio. Clear as day, they came to my mind.

And I realized that these two women had taken time out their dynamic, brilliant, purposeful life to speak with me a while ago on the phone about how to start a podcast. Mary Beth and I were in the beginning stages of podcast creation, you know those beginning stages when you are like "Where in the eff do we even begin?"... I called both of them as major podcast geniuses and I asked for their wisdom, I asked for their tools, their resources and all the hacks on how to create a successful podcast. I took notes, all the notes and we had a place to begin with the support of these amazing women. 

And our Rock Your Bliss podcast launched. It is alive! And doing so well!

This morning, I sat down and sent an email thanking them for their time, the space to connect and their willingness to share and support our vision!

And it felt incredible. I did not need a response. I did not need anything back. What I needed was for them to know that I am thankful for them, they are appreciated, seen and so heard. PERIOD. 

And instead of putting them on my gratitude list or saying it in my mind and sending over the energetic waves (which is great, too!), I sent them a note, well, an e-note. And, I said it out loud. 

Can you do a gratitude scan today?

THANK YOU. All heart. Give it out. 

- Jacki Carr

Gratitude. Give and Receive. Photo X Ashley Turner

Gratitude. Give and Receive. Photo X Ashley Turner