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Resources for Peace

As for the news… Get the facts from your trusted source then shut. it. off. And stay home, if you can, please.

Behold the possibility of the days. Here are some of my favorite resources for breaks and self-care while working from home:

The incredibly relatable and generous Adriene Mischler, star of Yoga with Adriene, will help you find what feels good with Yoga for Uncertain Times, a curated playlist of 34 yoga practices of varying lengths and intentions.

Find that here: Yoga for Uncertain Times

 

Binge watch The Bold Type. While it’s nothing like The Office, Melora Hardin is one of the principal actors in the show. I like to pretend that her character Jacqueline Carlyle is everything Jan Levinson imagined herself to be.

Find that here: The Bold Type

 

My teacher Gabby Bernstein is hosting a free online Anxiety Relief Workshop on Sunday, March 29th at 1 pm & 8 pm ET, with free replay through April 5th.

Get registered: Anxiety Relief Workshop

 

Craving an intense workout? Look no further than Kelsie’s Barre. Kelsie is offering free classes via Zoom… trust, her workouts are like no other!

Find that here: Kelsie’s Barre

 

Revisit that one video that makes you laugh without fail… mine is a clip of a local newscaster who didn’t realize she was still on the air and said something she did not intend for the world to hear. I’m not linking it here because of the language… but I’m playing it now and laughing… not at her but at the circumstance!

 

Scroll through Cameo and brighten someone’s day with a video from a celebrity. I had William Hung, of American Idol fame, send a message to my best friend last week… it was worth WAY MORE than I paid for it! He even sang a custom version of “She Bangs.” Seriously.

Find that here: Cameo

 

And, as always, I’m here for you. Whether you just want to vent, to chat or if you’re ready to set some goals and hatch a plan, I’m available to you.

Book a free call with me: Connect with Denise

 

Much love, always.

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Believe Coaching Purpose Teacher Life

An Interesting Time

The idiom “worried sick” has been around since the 1800s. Worry, stress, anxiety, and fear can lower your immune system. It’s reasonable to concerned as there are so many unknowns right now… but worrying yourself sick over the current situation (or over anything) does not serve you or serve the world!

As schedules and settings change for the upcoming weeks, it’s easy to feel displaced, uneasy, or even distressed. I’m sending lots of love and strength to those who have to make big decisions, like closing schools and canceling events or seasons. I had to decide to postpone a school event last week and it was not an easy choice—and I’m typically the most decisive person in the room!

I, like many of you dear readers, have a change to my regularly scheduled programming for at least the next week. The school where I teach will be closed. I’ll still have some work to do (those research papers aren’t going to grade themselves!) but my days will look and feel vastly different from the typical work week. Peanut will be happy to have me home… at least I tell myself that.

Now… to find the balance between “wasting” the whole week and pressuring myself to do all the things while I’m homebound. And if I feel this way, I’m sure someone out there feels this way, too.

You’ve heard me say it before: You can’t manage time but you can manage activity. So, let’s capitalize on this time of different routines by maximizing our self-care and productivity.

Daily Must-Dos

  • Rest and good nutrition
  • Personal development and study
  • Move! Go for a walk, hop on the yoga mat, whatever works for you
  • Laugh, have fun, dance (if you want to… and you know you do)

 

One a Day for the Next 8 Days (in no particular sequence)

1. Clean off your desk or your coffee table or your dining room table… whatever that one area is that collects everything. Nature’s first law is order.

2. Make 2 phone calls you’ve been putting off. Mine: Grandma and rescheduling the dentist. I’m telling you to keep myself accountable.

3. Clean out the freezer or that one cabinet that needs order in the kitchen.

4. Time for a dream-walk. Tap into your wildest imagination, grab a piece of paper or a journal and plan the ultimate, most over-the-top dream vacation. Nothing is off limits, as long as it doesn’t hurt any other beings! Visualize and write about every little detail… who is there, what do the towels at the resorts feel like, what does the air smell like… take this luxurious exercise in visioneering. The more clearly you see the vision, the more likely it will be that you’ll be sending me pictures from this trip at some point, thanking me for inspiring you. #humble

5. Read. For 10 minutes, 10 pages, 10 magazines… just read, please.

6. Open the closet, the drawers, and wherever else you stash the clothing and accessories. Find 2 pieces you can donate, sell, or repurpose.

7. Curate a playlist of the songs that fire you up. If you already have a playlist like this, take a moment to edit it or add some new jams.

8. Unplug. Especially as the days go on, we’ll be checking obsessively to see what happens next… Will my job close for another week? Are we back to hugging freely again? Take some conscious time away from tech, an amount of time that feels right for you. Unplug from the screens; connect to you. Just get quiet… no phone, no tasks, just you. Bonus points if you can do this first thing in the morning.

 

We are living in an interesting time… cheers to using this time to grow, to heal, to catch up and to shine! Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy

News Flash: Your Mentor is Human

I have several people I think of as mentors in different areas of my life, some I actually know and work closely with and others who are Friends/Mentors in My Head. A few who started out as In My Head are real life mentors/friends now… which is just manifesting at it’s finest… but that’s a how-to for another day, dear readers.

The other day, I heard one of my mentors say something that snapped me out of alignment… did she really just say that? Is that what she really believes?

In this time of Cancel Culture, where many are inclined to grab their things, storm away, unfollow and lambast on Yelp and any other platform they can access at the slightest unpleasant interaction, I took a moment to pause and ponder:

Do I completely write off everything this mentor has done for me and for my community because of one difference in beliefs?

A resounding no. She is not my guru or my goddess. She’s a person. One of my favorite things about being human is that we have the option of choice. I’m not trying to be her and she needn’t be a replica of me. Sure, it’s cool, affirming, even fun, when beliefs align… but I don’t think complete synchronicity is necessary in any relationship, particularly one of this nature.

We don’t have to agree on every single drop of life. I am fiercely socially liberal. I know it’s not always “recommended” to announce beliefs like that in my line of work but I am unafraid to say that I think every single one of you has the right to be who you are and live this life on your terms, including the right to make the choices that are best for you and your family.

If I relish that right and I work to empower others to embrace that freedom, why would I even consider writing off anyone who thinks differently* than I do?

(*unless they are doing harm… then, we can part ways)

In all of my work on myself, I’ve learned to snap back into alignment, to not let (most) things derail my spirit. Within two minutes of hearing her opinion, I was able to reframe it as just that, something she believes to be true. I believe differently. It’s that simple.

I completely acknowledge that not every situation, relationship, or belief is this simply reconciled, but I do think you can find understanding in even those more complicated or triggering issues through these steps:

  • Know your values. Right them down. Acknowledge what’s important to you.
  • Understand your belief system and convictions. When you truly believe, you have the power to stand confidently, without that frantic or combative nature to convince others to be “on your side.”
  • Take a breath. Cutting someone or something off radically can leave wounds. When you cut a piece of ribbon in half, both sides can get frayed… even if you reattach the pieces, the ribbon doesn’t look or feel the same.
  • Allow others the same grace and acceptance that you deserve in return. You remember that Golden Rule.
  • If you do react in a way that you wish you didn’t, own it. If you’ve been on the receiving side of a harsh reaction, forgive and delete. Mute, unfollow, snooze, take a break, block… tools that exist for a reason!

 

As I write this to you, I celebrate my mentor’s opinions and beliefs… all while still holding onto my own opinions and beliefs. This feeling is far more freeing and happiness-inducing than my (thankfully temporary) anger and dismay a few days ago.

After all… I’m not Judy, thus I cannot judge anyone. Embrace the humanness of your mentors, role models, colleagues, family… Much love.

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Believe Coaching

Yes, You Can.

If you’ve scrolled social media at all today, it’s likely that you’ve seen a motivational quote or 2 or 200. Maybe you have a cute wooden sign hanging in your living room with a positive affirmation on it.

Perhaps you have sticky notes hanging around your workspace with your goals, your mantra, your ways of being written boldly in marker. I look up from my keyboard and see a hot pink Post-it that says, “I don’t allow any interferences.”

Those who scoff at affirmations, at power phrases, at positive quotes just haven’t experienced the magic… yet. Remember, dear readers, that a belief is simply a thought you’ve had on repeat so much that it embedded itself into your subconscious.

The same way you can tell a lie so much that you believe it yourself, you can make a truth come to life. You think, then you believe, then you live whatever you choose to plant into your subconscious mind. It’s time to consciously harness that power and choose the thoughts you truly want. Those thoughts flow into beliefs and those beliefs shape your existence.

You’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Please keep in mind that achieving your goals is not like buying a snack from a vending machine; you don’t press the button and what you want flies straight down to you. Ah… maybe I can play with this simile… maybe this is like a vending machine but sometimes the machine won’t take your dollar right away. Sometimes you have to find a crisper bill or some coins. Sometimes the item gets stuck and you have to shake the machine carefully because you’ve heard that 2 people, on average, are killed vending machines yearly (Disclaimer: Believe In Bunnies does not advocate for shaking vending machines or any large machinery). Sometimes you press the wrong button. Sometimes you find change left over from the person before… jackpot!

Marie Forleo writes, “The clearer you are about what you want to figure out, the better chance you have of actually doing it. Clarity equals power.” So, grab that journal and take yourself on a dream walk. As succinctly as you would press B6 to get a bag of pretzels, write the exact thing(s) that you want. Envision it. Write it multiple times a day. Create affirmations and stick those up on the wall or paint them on a pretty sign. Take those moments of downtime to scroll less and visualize with intention more. Marie Forleo goes on to say, “Once you clarify and commit to a dream, mysterious forces begin to stir that would otherwise remain inert.” From those two quotes alone, you know you want to grab Marie’s book Everything is Figureoutable, because it is a solid guide to putting your great ideas into action.

Whose dream are you living? And even if you don’t crave change, are you feeling your best today? If you’re not, well, why not? And what can you do to feel just one notch better? Or get one step closer to a life that feels right for you? Yes, you can. Yes, you can. Yes, you can.

I believe in you… and it’s time that you believe in you too. Let’s do this together.

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Believe Coaching Teacher Life

Default: I Don’t Know

Instant gratification… every answer literally at our fingertips…

We need not retain or think or reflect or discover and when we do, there’s often some glorious person, standing on the sidelines, judging us as weird or a know-it-all or special for having a deep interest, a passion, as sense of curiosity.

I’m reminded of mic-drop moment that Earl Nightingale shares in The Strangest Secret… that men simply do not think.

Please—we’re saying men here in generality. Substitute in “people” before you start man-bashing (or not… it’s your brain).

I watch this phenomenon in my teenage students. When faced with a task or question, they click into “I don’t know” and give up mode immediately. They don’t give themselves moment or several moments to process, think, consider or get curious.

It’s just “I don’t know” and abandon.

I don’t accept that. I reject that and guide them to choose again.

From there, I watch the look of relief and burgeoning confidence.

This happens, almost without fail, when I ask my freshmen to create accounts on a website our school uses to check the originality of their essays. They type in the web address just fine. I show them where the “Create Account” button is… and then they slam on the brakes. “I don’t know what to do here” is the default response for some because, although they are the most internet-savvy generation, they haven’t necessarily registered for something academic, formal, something with “security questions.” They want to give up and they let distraction kick in right away before curiosity and inquiry. It’s easier to just click over to another website than to take 30 seconds to figure this out.

I never yell. I don’t get frustrated. I don’t fill out the registration for them. I sit down beside every student who slips into default give-up mode and say something along the lines of, “I know that you’ve used websites before where you’ve had to log in. I know that if the hottest pair of sneakers was on the other side of this instead of a plagiarism checker, you would fly right through these fields and questions. You already know how to do this. Show me. Prove me right.” I’ve never met a student who couldn’t complete this task. Some need guidance or more time and I readily give them help. But they can all figure it out.

In little moments like this, it would be easy to just yell, “Do it!” or create the account for them… or give them a zero for not having an account. But this way uncovers a channel in their brains, clears the brush from the default path and reminds them that they can. These moments compound to empowerment, resilience, and autonomy that is often overlooked in the default ways we learn to do things.

 

How often do you, dear readers, stop before you even start? Talk yourself out of trying something new, a recipe, an activity, a training, because it’s unfamiliar?

Sure, it’s easy and comfortable to stay right where you are… but you can’t grow there. And I know that you have some amazing feats to tackle and gifts to share.

Working to shift the default from “I don’t know” to “Let’s figure this out!”

Learning… unlearning… relearning.

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

Unbridled

Unbridled. Unchecked. Unrestrained. Uncontrolled.

That’s accurately describes oh so many of the relationships in our lives. Every time you’ve said yes to plans when you wanted to stay home, every time you’ve wanted to pick the restaurant but acquiesced, every time you’ve kept your lips closed when you truly had something to say, you lacked a faithful boundary… to yourself.

I’m good at saying no. I’m decisive. I’m clear on my standards. But, like with most things we discuss, it’s a practice and not a perfect. There are areas, relationships, and situations where I have unchecked boundaries for sure. And thus the Universe presented to me an advertisement on Facebook for a book launch. The book is written by a woman I’ve heard speak before. Her name is Nancy Levin. She worked in events at Hay House for years. She’s written several other books (which I’ve downloaded but haven’t read yet… at least when we hoard digital books, they don’t accumulate dust on a shelf!). I have to admit, I almost scrolled past the ad, as is the common practice, until I saw the co-host of Ms. Levin’s book launch: Gabby Bernstein. My teacher. My mentor. I’m in. One click… ticket purchased.

A book club friend and I went to the launch this past Thursday evening and it did not disappoint. In fact, before I’ve even cracked the spine of Setting Boundaries Will Set You Free, I’ve come to realize that I have more work to do in this area than my ego would have me believe. How perfect to experience this talk and now own this book on the precipice of a new decade.

Levin book.jpg

Here are some highlights from my notes from Nancy and Gabby’s talk:

  • Nancy said, “Everything that we are seeking externally needs to be resolved internally first.”
  • We have to clean up what made us boundary-less. Set yourself a place at the table.
  • Some of us are “living an other-referenced life,” as we function the way everyone else wants us to.
  • Your boundaries are between you and you.
  • Gabby shared a powerful mantra for setting and affirming boundaries: “There is no world where this exists for me anymore.”
  • And here’s the mic drop moment from Nancy: “The biggest myth about boundaries is that other people are crossing them.”

I look over at the yellow and blue cover of this book with anticipation—another tool to level up and live this life my way, in the way that fits my desires, my purpose, my heart. This is a book that will not collect dust on my bookshelf.

Much love to my #boundarybadass2020 fam!

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Believe Coaching Energy

A Blast of Inspiration

The ideas rarely come when you’re sitting, or pacing, and mentally screaming at them to show up. We “hear” when we get quiet, when we loosen the grip…

 

That’s why you’ll have that epic idea while shampooing your hair or why you can play out the best version of a difficult conversation when you’re alone in the car.

I think it was my Reiki healer Lisa who shared this metaphor with me. Allow me to paraphrase. If you catch a beautiful butterfly in your hand and you squeeze your hand tightly in effort to hold onto her, you crush her wings and probably kill her. If you wrap your fingers gently, you can cradle her safely, just long enough to commit her beauty to memory.

It’s touching lightly.

Now I know we aren’t often catching butterflies… but you can catch my drift.

So, I won’t keep you long today, dear readers. Power off the screens. Take off the smart watch, unless you’re tracking your steps with it. Find a few minutes of peace… get quiet and “listen.”

That first thought, that’s intuition. The follow-up ones, the ones that tell you no and why not, that’s ego.

Go with the intuition. I can’t wait to hear about what your next move is.

Much love.

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Believe Coaching Purpose

Cheers.

I don’t journal daily. I vision cast and write about my goals and the movement I’m forging alongside you beauties but I don’t write about my day or my feelings with consistency… except here.

I do keep a precise calendar. You can’t manage time but you can manage activity. You’ve heard me say before that I would make a great personal assistant… and I am a great one, to myself.

As I sat down to write to you today, I flipped through the 52 weeks of 2019 in my calendar. I looked over everything I did and everything we did together, dentist appointments to yoga classes, coffee dates to Iconic and Young Living Convention. The year whipped by and, boy did we get a lot done!

My vision, what I’m working towards, what I’m “getting done” but will never actually be done, is to help people work through the pressure and develop themselves fully to in turn better serve themselves, their families and their communities. I work to reaffirm to you that you matter, that you spend so much time and energy supporting everyone around you– it’s time to support yourself! I work to slow down and surrender on my own journey, to “do” less and go deeper… for me, with you, for every being.

You can set a resolution. You can write down a goal. You can put down those practices as trivial and useless.

Or you can join me in the movement.

As I crack the spine on my 2020 calendar, I’m inspired… inspired to see and to hear about the peace you are bringing into your daily routines. I am eager to hear about the milestones you reach and the new goals you set for yourself as you find and use those beautiful metaphorical wings that have been poised to open up for so long now. I sit here motivated to serve, to support, to light the way for you, especially in those moments where the darkness creeps in.

And mostly I sit in gratitude, as many of you reading this light the way for me so very often.

I’ll grab a pencil when I’m done here today and start to fill in some magic for 2020 on the calendar. I’ll also grab my treasured teal marker and circle July 18, 2020… you can do the same and then smile with anticipation to find out why… I love a teaser!

In the meantime, take this as full permission to take care of yourself. You don’t have to wait until the clock strikes midnight on Tuesday into Wednesday. You can start this very moment. Chances are you’ve already started, so take this as a moment to re-up, step up and shine. Dream big and know I am here to walk the path with you. Let’s shine together.

Cheers to another magical year. Much love!

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

Envision

“I bet you’ve got an idea-to-reality story, too. A time where you had a mere thought about something you wanted to see, do, create, experience or become—and you eventually did it.” -Marie Forleo

The universe leaves clues. These clues show us the potential power we have.

No clue what year it was… I guess I could try to figure it out but it really doesn’t matter. Just know that it was sometime between 2002 and 2010. I was walking up to a pizza place in the town where I grew up. Parked out front was a silver Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG. 55 has been my favorite number since childhood so I chalked up the attention to that. As I walked past the car, a thought popped into my head: I will have an E55 AMG one day.

I scoffed at that thought. I never wanted a Mercedes (don’t get me wrong, I love cars… but that just wasn’t a make on my wish list) and an AMG… that’s some sort of upgrade that I don’t need driving to and from work. But the thought popping into my head like a fact, not a latent wish or desire but a fact, that I would have this car one day was undeniable.

July 2010, I connect with the Bunny-Daddy. We start to hang out, eventually start to date. The car in his driveway: a silver E55 AMG.

Now, the one I saw in the pizza place parking lot years prior was not driven by him—different body style and he was driving a Mini back then. But there it was in his driveway and a year later in our driveway, the E55.

The universe leaves clues.

It’s a knowing. Just like the feeling I got as my mother made a right turn onto the campus of Sacred Heart University for a visit and tour in 1999. Sitting in the passenger seat, I just felt it, knew it—I was going to school here.

I only applied to that one college. I wasn’t wasting my time on other applications and essays. SHU was my school. This was a non-negotiable. I could have questioned, doubted, allowed circumstances to derail me. I could have worried about admissions, about not challenging myself enough, about tuition and housing costs, about not giving myself options… but I didn’t let that what-if worry way of thinking interfere with my mission. With that commitment to myself and my goal, everything worked itself out beautifully, including scholarship and work opportunities that supplemented a portion of tuition and housing. And thank goodness I didn’t back off of my dream—I met my best friend at SHU, my sister.

The universe works fast when we are faithful to our dreams.

I went to bed one night last spring, asking the universe for a way to make the one-on-one coaching program my incredible business coach offers work into my budget. The very next day, my coach announced a small group program that fit perfectly into my budget and gives me not only great access to her wisdom but a group of like-minded leaders to soar with.

I asked and I received.

I share these stories to remind you that you have this power. The universe, God, spirit, whatever aligns with you, wants every single one of us to have the best possible experience here on this mortal coil. But you have to do your part.

Sure, the Mercedes story is just a cute one, just a sign from universe that if that thought can come true, the possibilities abound. (And in case you are wondering, no I did not date the Bunny-Daddy for the car. A used Mercedes does not a relationship make!)

I’m reading Everything is Figureoutable with my spiritual and personal development book club. That’s where I came across the quote that starts this story. If these touchstone moments, a mode of transportation, a college experience, a life-and-business enhancing coaching program, can manifest their way to me… my friends, the possibilities are endless. But you end them before they begin if you limit your thoughts, if you halt your efforts, if you fall victim to distraction, if you don’t believe just how magically powerful you are.

I believe in you… and I do believe that 7-year-old me who just knew she would own a Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction pinball machine one day will be jumping for joy in the next few years… I’m making it happen.

 

Ready to start manifesting magic in your life? It’s time for a call, my friend.

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Believe Coaching Purpose Teacher Life

Organized.

Nature’s first law is order. Without order, you are cruising toward chaos. In chaos, you stifle or completely crush the amazing experience you are on this earth to have.

I’m not self or professionally diagnosed OCD… far from it. Trust, there are disorganized piles and areas in our home. Also trust that I know those areas are not performing at their best, but I give myself some grace and know that I can do it all… just not all at once. Work in progress.

Speaking of work, I work my teaching job, my businesses and coordinate Rabbit Rescue with epic organization. It might look messy in the middle at some points—long-time readers may recall the struggle of the messy desk. I have it under control now. It took working with a coach to get that in order, WELL WORTH IT!

People often marvel at how I organize and how I manage, produce and batch activities. We all have our strengths and we contribute best to the world when we refine and use those strengths! Today, I’m sharing with you some of the tools that I use to stay in order. Please know that grabbing these things does not translate to change in your personal or professional world. You have to find what works for you… and I’d love to help you figure that out!

But in the meantime, here are four things I use every day:

  1. Lined Post-its

As much as I’m cool with mess, I like lines to write on. I often write across several lines or hold the sticky note on an angle but I like that the lines are there. Top tip: when making lists, keep them to 3-5 tasks. Lists of 75 things to do are just overwhelming. Do it. Ditch it. Delegate it.

  1. Pencils

Basic, I know, but I like being able to erase and I like that pencil comes from the earth… gets me rooted. When I’m firing off something quick, I gravitate toward a mechanical pencil. When I’m journaling or outlining a talk, I like a good old-fashioned wood pencil, Ticonderoga brand whenever possible. An ample eraser is a must.

  1. Markers

A fine point Bic Marking or Intensity gets me going. I set my calendar for the week on Sundays, usually right after I’m done writing to you and I use this collection of markers. I’m not a strict color-coder but I like having the variety to make even the mundane pop.

  1. Timer

Time management is a misleading term. We can’t manage time; it flows on its own! But we can manage activity. Without the timer, I’ll scroll and waste time! While it’s good to wander sometimes, we have some epic work to do, saving bunny lives and upgrading human lives. I use the timer to keep me focused when answering emails or scheduling social media posts. I let creative time flow without a cap but I always set the timer when I’m getting stuff done!

 

I’d love to know what you use to keep it all together and organized! Comment or send me an email: believeinbunnies@gmail.com

If you’re ready to find what works for you, I’m poised to help you. Schedule a call today!

Much love!

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