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Authentic Living

How to Show Up — A Guide for Introverts

October 2, 2018

For a self-proclaimed introvert, my schedule tells another story.

Both of my jobs require more than simple passing interactions with humans. Instead, I meet with hundreds of strangers both shopping at lululemon or attending my fitness classes daily. Conversations both surface level and deep, high energy encouragement, and put-yourself-out-there leadership are hourly occurrences. I love what I do, and the fact I get to do it IN HAWAII (I still can’t get over it). But between the work and all the island play, life can get pretty exhausting.

I’ve come a long way in my depression recovery journey, and on most days, my anxiety seems under control. But what many people who haven’t experienced either don’t see is the near-crippling grip mental illness can have on work and even the most simple tasks: getting out of bed, buying groceries, heading into the office, and attending social events big and small — no matter how far into your recovery you are.

Multiply that all by my line of chosen work, and well, I still have my moments.

Whether or not you’ve suffered from depression, mood swings, or generalized anxiety, I am sure you can relate to this — we all have obligations and events in our lives that we lack energy for, or just plain don’t feel like doing. Places we don’t like going to, overwhelming must-dos, workouts we don’t want to do (this deserves a post of its own), and draining social interactions.

Showing up is more than transporting our bodies through spaces and places to be a physical being present in the room. Showing up takes being where our feet are, mind, body, and soul. It takes reeling our minds and our hearts into the here and now rather than remaining in the past on a comfy couch or future when we can return to said comfy couch. It takes energy, energy we don’t always have.

So when the upcoming day seems like a challenge, here are my surefire tips to showing up I’ve put into practice over the years:

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How to Establish a Routine When Your Whole Life Changes

April 30, 2018

HELLO THERE I’M BACK!!!

So between my 6-week shoulder surgery recovery, holidays, moving, and career upheaval, the past few months have lacked any sort of semblance of a routine. I went to bed when I wanted, woke when I wanted, got happy hour and stayed up wayyy past my bedtime when I wanted, even greeted my snooze button with a swift tap a few more times than I’d like to admit in the mornings.

As a self-proclaimed early-riser and go-getter, I was at first disappointed in myself for letting my “healthy lifestyle” habits slide off the table. But in looking back over where 2018 has carried me so far, I’m realizing it is OK to shake up your routine — sometimes it is even crucial.

January and February were hard. I no longer had butt-in-chair office requirements to keep me in line. I didn’t have bosses to report to. I was still the new kid in town, so my social calendar looked a bit different. My day-to-day truly was what I created. While this may seem quite blissful, at times it was very much the opposite:

Like just tell me how someone is supposed to be productive on a Monday when it is 77 degrees and sunny outside, and I am but mere steps from the beach? How do I remain financially stable while studying, schooling, and building my business?

But life is picking up. Here’s how I (perfectly imperfect) stayed sane during the chaos of moving:

Get Clear on Purpose

After years of thought, and months of deep prayer, what I once thought was a hobby is finally becoming my main focus. Teaching spin a handful of times a week has blossomed into a business plan with the intention to help others, specifically young women, lead healthy, vibrant lives free from the confines of lack of self-confidence, bullying, disordered eating, and media expectations. 

I knew there was a reason I went through what I did — years of eating disorders, bullying, depression, and anxiety — and I finally see the why behind it all. I then looked to my talents. I blended the rush of adrenaline from each class I taught, the plentiful endorphins, the sweaty smiling faces of my clients, and beyond encouraging feedback from my studio communities and my sisters to redefine my goals and land me on the legacy I want to leave behind, and just how I was to do it.

Stick to Healthy Habits (80% of the time)

Setting my alarm during the week, getting regular exercise, and cooking food at home keeps my mind and body in check when I’m in a routine upheaval. Instead of letting myself lounge in bed all day or stay up with movies or out late into the night, I decided to get back to a somewhat regular sleep schedule. Our bodies are actually wired for routine and crave habitual snoozing and rising times, so I used the “bedtime” alarm on my iPhone to keep on a regular 8-hour shut-eye schedule.

To fuel my body and keep my energy and spirits high, I attended a Corepower sculpt or megaformer class at Titan Core at least four times a week. This was my space to let my mind unwind while working my body. Not to mention it is a great place to make friends! What I ate was also vital. Sure, I ate out more than I really wanted to. But the nights I spent preparing dinners for friends with enough leftovers for lunch signaled the close of the day in the perfect way, all the while beating away any loneliness I had from working by myself behind my computer.

Create Home, Wherever

I am a homebody. I love having my space, my place of peace to rest and a launch pad for my mornings. But in Hawaii while still recovering from my financial hit from the last year means getting scrappy and flexible when it comes to living spaces. When at my sister’s house I organized my few articles of clothing in my little red-painted studio (dubbed Casita Aloha), dolled it up simply with a bath mat and toothbrush holder and set of towels and cheerful shower curtain. I made my bed daily, even though it was just an air mattress. I taped a few of my favorite prints to the walls and placed a mood board collage on a shelf.

When I am couch surfing, I carry along my favorite pillow and blanket, earplugs, an eye mask, and my favorite essential oil. Settling in these days looks a little bit different from I imagined it to be (though to be honest, I am not entirely sure how I pictured it…). Until I find my dream rental (at a dream rental price, manifesting hardcore!) all I need is my toothbrush, a quiet space and a good friend to lend me a place to lay my head.

This is what I want you to know about my depression

February 23, 2018

It can be risky to publish posts like last week’s. But lately God has been granting me more and more opportunities to speak up about my struggle with mental illness. This truth has helped tie authentic relationships even tighter, while allowing me to seek help and support, and partner with others in the hurt so they know they aren’t alone.

Well, I promised things would get real around here. So today we’re getting even more real, if you will.

There have been moments this past year when I have not wanted to wake up the next day. When I wished I could lie down for a nap and let the world slip away. When I thought my heart was literally going to explode in my chest. When I thought it was possible for me to drown on oxygen. When thoughts I never even knew humans were capable of having ran wild through my head. Like someone else was controlling my brain. Scary sh*t.

It didn’t make sense to me, and it certainly didn’t make sense to my loved ones as I pulled away or put my walls up.

I heard multiple stories this week (including my own) where family members and dear friends wanted to know what they could do to help, who wanted to understand what mental illness actually looks like. I felt the tug to share my honest experience here.

From my perspective, from my experiences, this is what depression can look like: waves of happiness and laughter followed by the crushing blow of helplessness, exhaustion, disinterest, and darkness. Even for me, who many describe as generally joyful and engaging. Who appears to be thriving. There are weeks, there are days, where I may experience this seemingly unending and inescapable darkness.

But it isn’t all just like that. There’s more to our story. Know someone suffering through depression? Here’s an insight into our lives, and how you can be supportive through it all:

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Hanging Out My Dirty Laundry

February 16, 2018

Growing up I heard a saying: don’t air your dirty laundry. We were taught to handle our scandal behind the scenes, smile, brush the bumps from our ponytails and conquer the world. I believe it is a generational thing, keeping the struggles behind closed doors. But as our channels of communication multiplied and facebook and Instagram happened, so did our sharing.

All this sharing, however, can pose its own set of problems. I’m a strong believer in living authentically — but as we all know (cliché, cliché) the Internet is where we turn to paint the prettiest pictures of ourselves.

I’m guilty as well. I live in freaking Hawaii. The best beaches in the world where people travel thousands of miles to vacation at are now my home beaches. I get paid to snuggle dogs. I get paid (sometimes) to write. I hike in scenery right out of heaven. I love it. I’m living a dream.

Moments I post are filled with joy, wonder, adventure. They’re my attempt to share some of the excitement and beauty of my island life.

Yet not everyone gets a peek behind the scenes. Not everyone sees the dirty laundry before it’s hung out to dry. Being away from the hustle of the city has given me plenty of quite time to reflect and get honest with myself. And when I did, here’s what revealed itself:

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Not Just Vacation — My First Week on Oahu

January 22, 2018

It has been 3 weeks since I boarded a plane with a one-way ticket and crossed the Pacific to the little island of Oahu. WUT.

hiking with dogs in hawaii

The first few days were a vacation with my sister Kendall around and Katie in town— we joined Kendall’s friends for nights out to dive bars and house parties, rang in the new year at a Gatsby-themed soiree, soaked up some sun on the beach, drank too many mai tais, and got fresh ink on the North Shore. Our musical friend Peter even island-hopped over from Kauai for a brainstorming sesh and yes, a few more mai tais. We went out in Kailua and Waikiki. Spent too much money on expensive appetizers. Got my honorary first sunburn.

Vacay life, ya know?

But not all island living is sunshine and coconuts.

north shore pipeline surfing

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