5 Steps to Living a Passion Driven Life 

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I have struggled my entire life with whether I should have a career I love, or a career I think is appropriate/socially acceptable. I know many people struggle with this decision because it’s not easy going after something that sets your soul on fire. In fact, it’s a lot harder than it may seem. I finally made the decision to dive head first into a life that brings me so much passion and has forever changed my path, and my life. 

I must admit, this was an extremely tough decision. Before I took a big leap of faith in the direction I wanted, I dreamed of a life where I wasn’t bored, unfulfilled, mindlessly working, and spending most of my days in an office. I wanted more. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to make a difference in people's lives. I wanted to spend my days creating, dreaming, helping, and working on projects that meant something to me. I wanted to spend my days doing things on my terms, creating my vision, and watching my life blossom into what I had always dreamed of. Although these dreams were very apparent, I was terrified to make this big change. 

I spent countless nights laying in bed contemplating the pros and cons of both scenarios. I spent nights tossing and turning because I wasn’t happy in my current situation, but I was scared to make a change. I had so many fears that were keeping me paralyzed in a life that I didn’t want to be living. I feared what others would think, not being able to support myself, being criticized by friends/family, and more than anything, failure. 

I imagine most of you have had similar fears. I know it’s not easy pulling the trigger to live a passion driven life. If you want to live a life you love and are terrified to take the plunge, here are a few tips that helped me tremendously with my decision. These tips helped me surrender to my dreams and go after the life I wanted with full force. 

1. Trust Your Intuition

Trusting my intuition is the entire reason I am where I am today. I felt this deep inner knowing that I needed to be doing something else. I surrendered to this internal guidance and knew that the force that made me was guiding me in a different direction. I decided to fully trust this guidance and when I made the decision to follow my intuition, everything fell into place. 

2. Let Go of the Outcome and Be Open to New Ideas

My entire vision for my life is completely different now than when I started my passion based career. I made a conscious decision to work towards my goals, yet be open to new things and let go of expectations. I decided to “grow” with the flow and be fully open to new possibilities, projects, collaborative opportunities, etc. This flow state mentality has led me down a completely different path, which I fully love and support. It’s not exactly where I thought I would be, but it’s exactly where I need to be. When you let go of the outcome, you allow the universe to bring new opportunities your way. They may even be better than you expected in the first place. 

3. Work on Your Mindset

I know this is all the craze these days, but mindset changes everything. When you allow yourself to be open to changing your mindset to positive thoughts, you allow yourself to drown out your negative internal voice (and the negative voice of others). When you work on your mindset, you realize anything is possible and life is a mirror for you to see. What you think is reflected back to you. When you focus on positive mindset shifts, you will see the beautiful positive things occurring in your life. It’s remarkable and so helpful if you want to live a life based on passions and dreams. Not everything will go as planned, but when you put positive mindset practices into your life, the hard times become much easier to deal with. 

4. Make Decisions On Your Own

When you long for a life that is full of passion and focused on what you love, you must learn to make decisions based on your wants and desires, not those of others. I spent most of my life listening to the voices of what other people thought I should be doing, and I missed out on things I actually wanted. I did get feedback from multiple people before taking the plunge, but I also took this feedback with a grain of salt. I made my own decision, based on my own desires, based on my vision for my life. It’s important to realize everyone else will have an opinion about your life also. Allow yourself to be open to feedback, but make the decision that is best for you.

5. Commit to Never Give Up

I wasn’t expecting my passion based career to be so hard and challenging. I also wasn’t expecting it to be so rewarding. I made a firm commitment to not give up, and this commitment kept me pushing forward during the hard days. Some ideas worked and other didn’t, some days were really hard and some days were amazing, sometimes I wanted to quit and go back to a "normal" job. This commitment to myself got me through hard days and helped me focus on creating a life I desire. 

I’m not saying this is for everyone. I am not saying everyone should quit their jobs and follow their passions. What I am saying is that I hope you have enough self-love to fully visualize the life you want. I hope you make a commitment to yourself to dream big, see life on your terms, and adjust your life accordingly. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of daily life. It’s easy to see years go by and wish you were doing something different. 

There is no time like the now to make a change and even a small change towards something you love could drastically change your life. Commit to loving yourself enough to realize what you desire, and go after it like your life depends on it. 

Self-Love

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I really love self-love. I love how much it has changed my life and the lives of so many people in the world. I realize it is one of those ambiguous concepts, but it feels pretty relevant in our culture right now. So with all this self-love hype, what does self-love really mean?

First off, self-love has many different meanings. Understand that self-love is different for everyone, but there are some concepts that are universal to us all. 

Self-love means believing in yourself. It means understanding that your past does not define your future. It means letting go of the person you think you should be, while embracing who you are. It means loving your quirks, weirdness, and uniqueness. It means finding love within yourself because external factors will never fill you up completely. Self-love means leaving behind the opinions of other people, so that you can learn to listen to your own inner voice. It means going after what you want in your life because you believe you are worth it. It means surrounding yourself with people who love you for who you truly are, versus being with people who like you for who you aren’t. It means finding compassion for your feelings, emotions, and vulnerability. Self-love means becoming who you were meant to be from the start, and understanding your gifts were given to you for a reason. 

I know that is a lot of information, but self-love means so many different things it’s hard not to include them all. I believe self-love can have an incredibly beautiful impact on your life if you are willing to step into this way of being. So, why is self-love so important? 

Because when you live from a place of self-love everything changes. Your life will become more in alignment with your soul. When self-love is at the forefront of your life, you will be able to increasingly discover your truth and what you were made to do on this planet. When you embrace self-love, you realize you are the creator of your destiny. This concept will help you follow your internal compass, pointing you in the direction of your desires and dreams.

I understand this might be a little out there, this might be a little bizarre for some people to hear. I also understand that the impact self-love has had on my life is beyond words. It has helped me to let go of fear while embracing my dreams. It has helped me to quit a job that wasn’t serving me, to help others believe in themselves. It has helped me release negative relationships because I finally started to believe I deserve better. It has made me stop hiding behind normal behavior, to allow the world to see the real me. The me who loves to help people. The me who loves to create. The me who loves to embrace the unknown, because this really means stepping forward into the familiar territory of my being.  

I cannot say what self-love will do to your life. I can, however, say it will be a journey you will never forget, and one you will never regret. It seems to me that becoming your own best friend really is the key to happiness. You will, after all, spend your entire life with yourself. Make the relationship you have with yourself one of your biggest priorities, because it is the longest and most important relationship you will ever have. 

Love Yourself First

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I do not fall in love easily. In the short 28 years I have been alive, I have only been in love once. It’s not that love isn’t a priority to me; it’s just that I’d prefer to be by myself than be with someone I am not madly in love with. And I’d definitely prefer to be by myself than be with someone and completely lose myself in the relationship. 

Have you ever had this happen? Have you ever been the person who is completely focused on your career, dreams, and passions? You are so excited about your life’s mission and you have dreams to change the world. You have goals that light you up inside and make you so thrilled to get up in the morning. And then love strikes and something drastically changes. 

Well, that was me. The day I fell in love, my whole life changed. I had dreamt of falling in love since I was a kid and once it happened, I couldn’t contain myself. I was completely swept off my feet, and we were like magnets around each other. Almost addicted to one another. Every time I saw him, I’d run and jump in his arms because I was so excited to see him. He was the man I had always dreamed of. The man I would drop anything for. The man I loved so much I wanted to shout out to the world how amazing he was. The first two years of our relationship was non stop love. We were together all the time, and all that mattered was our relationship. 

At the two year mark, something drastically changed. Our honeymoon phase ended, and I realized my goals and dreams had vanished as well. I had turned into a completely different person. I stopped speaking up for myself and kept my opinions at bay. I stopped doing everything I loved, to do things he loved. I ended up loving him more than I loved myself and gave up everything I had ever enjoyed to be with him. Instead of being myself, I was the person I thought he wanted me to be. And even worse, this lasted for another three years. 

Our love didn’t last, and it makes me sad just thinking about it. This isn’t because I still miss him or because I want to be with him. It’s because I spent too many years investing more in a relationship than I did on myself. I spent too many years trying to be someone that I’m not. And I spent too many years in a relationship because I was afraid to be alone. 

Love is a funny thing. My time with him was one of the happiest times of my life and also one of the worst. Love is blind and love makes you do things you wouldn’t normally do. It makes you act in ways you wouldn’t normally act. For me, it made me a completely different person. 

I’m not saying this will always be the case. I know there is someone out there for me who will enhance my life and support my dreams. I know there is someone out there I can totally be myself around and not lose my identity in the relationship. But you know what I’ve realized through all of this? In order to find my life partner and be in a relationship that fuels my soul, I need to love myself first. I need to take some time and build up my self-worth and realize that my dreams are just as valuable as anyone else’s.

I love love. I think it is the most wonderful thing in the world. I hope that everyone experiences the kind of love I did with this man at the beginning of our relationship. But, I truly believe that love all starts with loving yourself first. And more than anything, that is what I wish for all people. I hope that everyone can find a deep sense of love for the person they are. Go jump in your own arms, be so excited to spend time with yourself, shout out to the world how amazing you are, and be the person you can’t imagine your life without. The world would be a much different place without you in it.

And once you enter a relationship, don’t sacrifice who you are. You have so many unique gifts and talents, and the world needs them. Once you embrace this, a relationship will enhance your life, but it won’t be your whole life. Love yourself first, because it is the most important and longest relationship you will ever have.

5 Yoga Postures to Increase Your Self-Confidence

Do you ever wish you had more self-confidence? Do you ever wish you believed in yourself so much that you lived your life being YOU all the time? Most people do, yet very few people actually utilize their inner strength to the fullest. So why is it so challenging for many of us to appreciate ourselves and live life being excited about who we are? 

Self-confidence is a learned trait. It is a trait that is shaped as we get older. Typically we learn to have low self-esteem based on our past experiences. Fortunately, just as we have learned to not believe in ourselves, we can learn to believe in ourselves. Just like a muscle that you need to strengthen to grow, you can strengthen your self-confidence by working on it on a daily basis. 

There are quite a few ways to increase your self-confidence. One way that is extremely beneficial is through the practice of yoga. Yoga allows you to build strength physically and mentally, let go of anything that isn’t serving you, and dig deep into what is holding you back. If you are tired of playing small and you a ready to step out of your comfort zone and fully believe in yourself, here are five yoga postures to increase your self-confidence and start living authentically and powerfully. 

1) Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana) 

Why: Boat pose focuses on strength, specifically core strength. Core strength is related to your 3rd chakra, your solar plexus chakra, which is your center of self-confidence/self-worth. By strengthening your solar plexus chakra, you are stimulating the fire inside you to take control of your life and increase your belief in yourself. 

How to: Come to a seated position with your knees bent and your chest lifted towards your thighs. Start by lifting your legs off the ground as you stay rooted on your sit bones. Lengthen your spine and engage your core as you straighten your legs. If you have the flexibility and core strength, grab for your big toes and lift your chest towards your thighs. 

2) Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana) 

Why: Goddess pose allows you to take up space and be in a powerful stance. This posture is great for leg and core strength. Finding your strength alone will increase your self-confidence. Plus, the name of this pose itself is one that is powerful, courageous, and determined. 

How to: From 5 pointed star, turn your feet out and sit your hips low. Keep your knees in alignment with your feet and lift your chest so your shoulders stack over your hips. Lift your arms and bend your elbows so your fingers are pointed towards the ceiling. Take a few deep breaths and really feel the goddess inside you. 

3)  Revolved Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana) 

Why: This posture is great for ringing out anything that is holding you back. Spinal twists really help remove the “junk” and allow you to let go of fear and insecurity. Revolved crescent lunge is a physically strenuous posture, but it builds strength internally as well. 

How to: From crescent lunge, bring your hands to heart center and twist towards your front leg. Work to get your elbow outside of your thigh and twist your heart towards the side of the room. Engage your back leg and press your back heal towards the back of the room. If this is too much for you, take this posture with your back knee on the ground. You will still receive all the benefits! 

4) Crow (Bakasana) 

Why: Arm balances are always a fun way to increase self-confidence. Crow pose is a great way to increase strength, but it is also a great way to let go of fear. Since the posture is focused on being on your hands, you build self-awareness and self-trust while taking small risks. 

How to: Place your hands on the ground shoulder distance apart. Bring your knees onto your triceps as you send your weight onto your hands. Try to lift one foot off of the ground at a time. If you feel comfortable, lift both feet off of the ground and bring your big toes together to touch. Continue to engage your core and roll your triceps in. 

5) Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana) 

Why: Wheel is one of the biggest heart openers in yoga. When you open your heart, you have no place to hide. This posture is wonderful for opening your heart to your true self and letting it shine. It is also a very difficult posture, so you need full trust in yourself to get into the pose. 

How to: Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring your hands by your shoulders with your fingers pointing towards your shoulders. Press into your hands and feet as you lift your hips. Send your chest towards the back of the room and draw your shoulder blades onto your spine. As you come out of this posture, ensure you tuck your chin towards your chest so your neck is safe. 

Self-confidence is something that is learned by external factors, but it is also very important to work on yourself internally. I am a Professional Self-Confidence coach and work with people who are completely ready to peal back the layers of self-doubt and self-loathing so they can let their true light shine. I walk my clients through a journey of self-awareness and self-discovery, which leads to self-confidence like never before. I’ve been in a place where I didn’t believe in myself or believe I was good enough. And it is my mission to help all people see how wonderful they are so they can share their gifts with the world. You have been hiding for far too long. It’s time to embrace your greatness and find self-confidence like never before!

If you want information about the malas I am wearing, check out Mala and Mantra at http://www.malaandmantra.com. This brand is definitely one that I stand behind, as all of their mala’s are made with intention and their product is sustainably sourced. I would highly recommend if you are seeking out a new mala for your practice. 

5 Ways to Increase Your Self-Confidence

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“Self-confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it.” -author unknown 

I have always been attracted to people who exude self-confidence. And I mean this in regards to men and women. I have always been drawn to the people who light up a room, the people who own their talents and don’t push them aside, and the people who are unapologetically themselves. I love seeing people be the best version of themselves no matter what that means. No matter if I agree with it or not, no matter if anyone else does either. The people that just go through life living a life they love because they have the self-confidence to do it. They have the guts to stand up for what makes them happy and this means being unapologetically, self-confidently themselves. 

I used to be so jealous that there were people in the world that could do this. Those people that don’t give a crap what other people think and go through life being themselves, always. Have you ever wanted this also? The good new is, self-confidence isn’t something you are necessarily born with, it is something you can LEARN. Just like building muscle, it takes time and energy to grow. It is something that everyone can have, if you practice and dedicate time to it on a regular basis. 

If you are tired of playing small and you a ready to step out of your comfort zone, here are five ways you can increase your self-confidence and start living the life YOU want. 

1. Mirror Exercise

The best way you can work on your self-confidence is by changing your thoughts. The thoughts you have on a regular basis essentially shape your life. Most of the thoughts you have are so programmed in your brain, that often times you don’t even realize you are thinking them (or how they are affecting you). The thoughts you have regularly could be holding you back from something you desire, but the really cool thing is, they don’t have to hold you back. Start to notice what you are telling yourself on a regular basis. What are a few phrases that you tell yourself over and over again and where do these thoughts come from? Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones and tell yourself the new positive thoughts every single day in the mirror. Look at yourself (maybe even point at yourself) and say, “I am really beautiful!” “I am so amazing!” “I deserve to have a job I love!” Or whatever the new positive thoughts are for you. In order to start gaining self-confidence, you have to start believing in yourself. 

2. Get Rid of Toxic Relationships

Okay, this is one of the hardest, yet one of the most effective ways to gain confidence. My all time favorite personal development quote is, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” (Jim Rohn). Are you spending your time with people that build you up, that believe in your greatness, and that love you for who you are? Or are you spending time with people that are draining your energy, who are pulling you down to their level, and who are influencing you to be someone that isn’t in alignment with your values? Start to take note and adjust accordingly. It might sound harsh, but if you are spending time with the latter, you probably need to cut some people out of your social circle and get some new, empowering friends. 

3. Do Things You Love and Do Them Often

What makes you light up? What makes you really, really happy? It can be anything from spending time with animals, to test driving cars, to being in nature, to making sculptures. Go spend time doing things that make you smile and feel alive. If you aren’t sure what lights you up, think back to what you loved as a child. Often times we suppress talents and things we loved when we were children in our adult life. And most of the time, the things we enjoyed as kids are still things we enjoy now. But, no matter how busy you get, spend time doing things that set your soul on fire. 

4. Stop Caring What Other People Think

Easier said than done, right? How many times have you not done something for fear of what someone else would think of you? How many times have you pushed your dreams aside to stay in alignment with what society, your family, and/or your friends want you to do? Stop that, right now. Caring what other people think is one of the biggest ways to kill your dreams. And one of the biggest ways to kill the person you are inside. Go let your light shine and don’t let anyone else have power over you. Your dreams are your dreams. And you are who you are for a reason. Go show the world what you have to offer! 

5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you lack self-confidence it is easy to stay in your comfortable shell and keep put, even if it means being unhappy. One way to increase your self-confidence is by getting over your fears. And a fantastic way to do this is by getting out of your comfort zone regularly. Write down a list of all the things you would love to do, but are too afraid to do them. And every single day, do one of those things. They don’t have to be big at first, it could be something simple like smiling at a stranger, or standing in a different spot than you normally do in an exercise class. Do small things to get out of your comfort zone on a daily basis, and then start to tackle the larger ones that mean the most to you. 

If you struggle with self-confidence and want support in this area, reach out to me for an initial coaching session. Let’s pull back your layers of self-doubt so you can practice self-love on a daily basis, and exude self-confidence like never before!

4 Ways to Kiss Body Image Issues Goodbye

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Loving your body can be really challenging at times. Most women at one point in time have struggled with body image issues and feeling confident in their own skin. Some women feel extremely self-conscious about their bodies all the time and for many years, I fell in this category.

For me, it all started when I was 14. I never felt like I fit in at school and was constantly teased by people about my appearance. I also grew up dancing and there was constant pressure to be smaller, and have an amazing body. This would lead to being featured in more dances. I was getting all this feedback from my peers and my dance coaches to change my body and the way I looked; consequently my eating disorder and body image issues lasted 9 years. I grew up “learning” that people would like me more if I was prettier and skinnier and it was really hard for me to break this habit.

Now, if you know me or have seen pictures of me, you are probably thinking why the heck did this girl have any issues? Frequently, people compliment me on my body and my looks. Most people don’t understand that body image issues and eating disorders have almost nothing to do with your actual size or body shape. They have to do with how much you value yourself and how much you believe you are worth. They are a byproduct of hating yourself on the inside, and thus, being reflected on the outside.

If you struggle with negative body image or have any sort of eating disorder, you know making the change to recovery is really scary. And no wonder it is scary and hard. It is something you can control and it probably has been a part of your life for a very long time. Change can be scary, hard, and uncomfortable, but you know what is more scary? Living with it for the rest of your life!

My road to recovery started when I decided that enough is enough. I was extremely tired of beating myself up all the time and not loving my body or loving myself at all. The pain was too great and I made the unwavering decision to get better. Now, this doesn’t mean there weren’t hard days after this, because of course there were. But, I knew, without a doubt, that I couldn’t take this any longer and I needed to get better. Once you make this decision, it becomes a lot easier!

After I decided I couldn’t take it any longer and that I had wasted too much of my time not loving my body/loving my life, I started doing a few things that really helped in my recovery. Doing these things ultimately gave me the ability to finally love myself and love my life.

1) Meditate

This has been one of my biggest avenues to loving myself. I started meditating every night with a positive manta that got my brain thinking differently. If you struggle with negative body image/disordered eating, you are probably telling yourself negative things constantly (I’m ugly, I’m fat, I’m not beautiful, etc). The sooner you can remove the negative mind chatter the better, and mediation is a great tool to help with that. Try turning your negative mantra into a positive one and mediate with it daily. Some examples are, “I am beautiful”, “I am enough”, and “I am perfect just the way I am”. When meditating, say this phrase to yourself over and over again. The cool thing about your brain is when you start saying something to yourself regularly, you actually start to believe it!

2) Find Gratitude

Think of a few things everyday that you are grateful for about your body. This can be really simple at first, such as, I am grateful for my beautiful hair. It also helps to realize what your body is doing for you on a daily basis. You have two feet that allow you to get around this world, you have two eyes that allow you to see the beautiful things around you, and you have two arms that allow you to hug your friends and family. Start finding gratitude for your body on a daily basis.

3) Listen To Your Body

This can be a hard one, but start to notice what your body needs. Do you need to eat three meals a day? Maybe you need to eat five. Are you eating because you feel like you have to, or are you eating because you are hungry? What is your body craving and how can you give it what it needs? Also, listen to your body in regards to exercise. Are you exercising because you feel like you have to even when your body is exhausted and screaming for rest? Or are you exercising when you feel good and because you enjoy it? Your body is very smart, and you are very smart. Start listening to what your body needs regularly.

4) Realize You Are Worth It

Often times with eating disorders you can feel like you don’t deserve to love yourself and your life. This is far from the truth, so start to tell yourself you are absolutely worthy of an incredible life. You have every right to love your body, love yourself, and love what you are doing in this world. Life is too short to be constantly worrying about your next meal or when you are going to exercise. It’s time for you to realize you are worthy of having the best life possible!

If you are ready for change, I have a three-month program that works with women who have eating disorders/body image issues. I am not a weight loss coach, but I am a self-love coach. I can help you realize how amazing your body is so you can stop dieting/over exercising, and start living the life you want to live. Life is beautiful, amazing, and so much fun. Your struggle doesn’t have to exist. You are worthy of change, and I’m here if/when you are ready!

As I was hiking the other day, I stumbled upon this sweet little beach that was completely vacant. I sat on the  rocks directly across from it, fully taking in the peace and beauty in front of me. I started thinking about everything I am grateful for and my list was so abundant. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it causes people to think about what they are thankful for. It is so easy to get stuck in what ISN’T going right that sometimes we forget what IS going right. Today, and every day, remember to give thanks and find gratitude. Think of 5 things you are grateful for on a daily basis. I promise the rewards are endless from this practice :) So here are my 5 things! 1) I am grateful for morning coffee with almond milk cause it’s oh so tasty 😊 2) I am grateful for the amazing friends and family in my life 3) I am grateful for laughing until my belly hurts 4) I am grateful for yoga, cause duh 😉 5) I am grateful for the many mountains and oceans that have shared so many adventures with me. What are you grateful for? #blessed #thankful #attitudeofgratitude #lovelife  (at Bermuda)

As I was hiking the other day, I stumbled upon this sweet little beach that was completely vacant. I sat on the rocks directly across from it, fully taking in the peace and beauty in front of me. I started thinking about everything I am grateful for and my list was so abundant. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it causes people to think about what they are thankful for. It is so easy to get stuck in what ISN’T going right that sometimes we forget what IS going right. Today, and every day, remember to give thanks and find gratitude. Think of 5 things you are grateful for on a daily basis. I promise the rewards are endless from this practice :) So here are my 5 things! 1) I am grateful for morning coffee with almond milk cause it’s oh so tasty 😊 2) I am grateful for the amazing friends and family in my life 3) I am grateful for laughing until my belly hurts 4) I am grateful for yoga, cause duh 😉 5) I am grateful for the many mountains and oceans that have shared so many adventures with me. What are you grateful for? #blessed #thankful #attitudeofgratitude #lovelife (at Bermuda)