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Coaching Healing Purpose Teacher Life

Back to Ms. B

Summer Denise is a legend in her own mind.

I go back to work Tuesday and by Wednesday afternoon, it will feel like we never left… but for the first time in my recollection, I really feel restored, renewed and rested. Yes, it is possible to have two months off from the day job and feel like you haven’t had a break (I’m sure those with human children are nodding emphatically). For me, achieving this restored feeling is all about mindset—deciding in July that I had to slow down, committing to myself to be here now and not barreling into the next project, launch or endeavor! I spent a lot of this summer glued to the couch and more time on the yoga mat than I expected… pleasantly surprised with myself.

In the spirit of transitioning from Summer Denise to Ms. Bertolotti, I want to share with you some of the ways I keep it festive through the school year.

  • Seasons & Episodes: Yeah, it’s weird, but follow me here. You know I love a good metaphor. I count the years and days of school as seasons and episodes. This silly tradition started when I was working towards tenure, as a way to cope with the pressure. I thought of myself as a guest star on a show, probably a long-running soap opera. I had a contract for 183 episodes each season and it was my job to rock the role so well that my character would become a series regular and star. It worked. I’m entering into Season 15 this week!

 

  • It’s not a classroom; it’s a disco: There is always music playing in my classroom, just like there is always music playing in our house. In the morning before the first bell, I listen to whatever I’m in the mood for, usually something heavy. Once the din of 7:28 am sounds, every day has a theme, as follows:
    • Hair Metal Mondays
    • 80s Tuesdays
    • 90s Wednesdays
    • Guilty Pleasures Thursdays
    • Disco Fridays

I’m revamping the playlists, so please share your song suggestions. And yes, I dance in the hallways. Judge all you want… or join in the fun.

 

  • First Day Massage: I book a massage for 4 pm on the first day of classes. I started this tradition in Season 1. If I have a tough day, I know there’s relaxation coming. If I have a great day, this is the perfect cherry on top.

 

Okay, loyal readers, it’s back to my book and my lounge chair for two more days. May the spirit of Summer Denise flourish… see you in 10 months! Cheers to Season 15!

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Coaching Purpose

Adulting: Insurance?!

Adulting… you probably saw 10 memes about adulting already today. We laugh about it, sometimes lament about it… but adulting is what we are “supposed to” be doing (I write this just feet away from my guinea pigs, so at least we can say we have our own brands of adulting).

Of the many things that people feel confused about when it comes to adulting is insurance: what to get, how to get it, even what it truly is! So, my loyal readers, I present to you some insights from one of the leading insurance executives on Long Island, Ashley Smit of Borg Insurance Group. Take it away, Ashley:

Someone once asked what I did for a living and I replied I am an insurance broker, and they said they were so sorry for me. In turn I was taken back because I love what I do. The thrill of helping someone save a ton of money while securing the right coverage is a thrill for me. Or helping someone understand the complexities of insurance while purchasing their first home.

When it comes to insurance, everyone is always an expert at the price. Generally, all customers care about is getting the cheapest policy possible. However, price is not something you should base your whole decision on. You want to make sure you have the right coverage. I always recommend purchasing an umbrella policy. This is one of the most overlooked policies. This policy protects your assets. An umbrella policy provides additional liability coverage beyond your underlying home, auto, or boat policies. For example, let’s say someone trips and falls at your home and sues you for $1 million. Your homeowner’s policy most likely has a $500,000 limit. Once that is exhausted the umbrella policy steps in to provide an additional $1M in liability.

Another commonly overlooked coverage is flood insurance. Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the U.S. Everyone is in a flood zone no matter where your home is located. It just depends whether your home is in a low risk or a high-risk zone. Flood insurance is NOT covered on a homeowner’s policy. It is a separate policy. A flood policy covers damage to your building and contents from overflow of water, but also damage from heavy rainfall. For low risk zones, an average policy costs around $500 for the year.

Have you ever filed a claim without really understanding the process? While a homeowner’s policy may cover relatively minor expenses, it is really intended for catastrophic losses. So while a claim may be filed, it may not always be wise to file it. Also, it does not make sense to file a claim if the deductible is more than the cost of simply making the repair. Insurance carriers review the CLUE report (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) which keeps a record of all claims made against a property. Always call your broker first to seek their advice whether or not to put the claim in. Anytime you call the company direct, you are filing the claim.

Feel free to contact me with any questions! AshleyS@borgborg.com

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

You say you want it…

We do a lot of talking and thinking about our goals, our “gets”, our dreams and wishes… and we say these are things we want, conditions we want to experience, situations we want to manifest.

But do you even remotely put in the work? You might think you do. But let’s break it down. Let’s dig deep.

The depth or perceived difficulty of the work will almost always be in direct relation to the size of the goal. If I say my goal is to make a cup of coffee (not quite a goal but follow me here), the work isn’t too arduous. I live in a first-world country, blessed with modern conveniences. I walk into the kitchen, water magically spouts from the front of my refrigerator, I plug in the coffee pot, press two buttons and the goal is achieved. If, say, tragedy strikes and the power is out or I’m out of K-cups, Dunkin’ Donuts is a 4-minute walk from my house.

Now, think about your actual goal… not just your “gets”, your cup of coffee, your next weekend-get-away. A goal. Something that scares and excites you at the same time. Something you are obsessed with. Something you don’t know how it will be yours, but you just know it will be. Get that in your mind. Toss those “yeah, buts” and other noise away. Sit in that goal.

You say you want it. You think you want it. But what are you doing about it?

This morning, I was listening to a replay of The Jason Ellis Show. Ellis and the guys were talking with professional MMA fighter Michelle Waterson. I was half-listening, half-making that cup of coffee, and I heard Waterson talk about living in the gym while training. I paused, rewound and sat down. This was not a metaphorical living in the gym she was talking about. She literally LIVED in the gym when training and starting her professional career. She had a living space upstairs. She would awaken to the sound of fight bells.

She didn’t sit home in the town where she grew up, doing the same thing as everyone else, wistfully thinking of a pro career. She moved and lived in the darn gym. Ellis, former professional skateboarder, shared about living at the skate ramp at a point in his career, sleeping under the ramp.

So, you say you want it. You pine away for it. Maybe you catch feelings in a cycle of excitement, frustration, feeling invigorated, then feeling deflated. But what are you doing about it?

I’m not suggesting you go sleep in a gym or under a skateboard ramp. But I am demanding of myself to take a clear look at my goals and what it truly takes to get there. If you do the same and your first instinct is to sigh and think you’ll never get there, you’re right. But if you write those dreams down on a fresh piece of paper, then close those beautiful eyes and envision your life as it will be when you are in possession of the goal, you will be shown the way. Exhale, flutter those lashes open and take action!

 

I must thank the incomparable Melissa Poepping and the legendary BASi6 program for opening the door for me. But it was up to me to walk through the door and onto the path.

What path are you stepping down today?

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Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose Rescue Teacher Life

Mr. Denise

Get ready for one of the most ridiculous anecdotes I’ve ever shared with you.

You know how there’s always one kid who accidentally calls the teacher “mom” and then gets teased about it for at least the rest of the school year? In 14 years of teaching, I’ve never been called mom. But about 6 or 7 times, I’ve accidentally been called “dad” (and once this year “King” but that was just cute). The second day of school this year, a senior, whom I taught when he was a freshman and a sophomore, passed me in the hallway and said, “Hi dad.” He then stopped, walked back a few steps and said, “I just called you dad.” To that I replied, “Yes, it happens” and we both went about our days.

From that encounter, I started thinking about these verbal slips as more than just a misspoken word.

I am a cisgender female. I wear high heels every day (except on Pajama Day when I don my work slippers). I wear makeup. I have long, layered hair. I don’t have the most soprano of voices but I’ve never been mistaken for a man on the phone. So… what gives?

It’s energy.

In a class, one of my mentors Kerissa Kuis, founder of the University of Wellness, taught us a bit about feminine and masculine energies. As the lesson unfolded, I was immediately reminded of the anecdote I opened with. As much as I look, sound and identify feminine, my masculine energies are overpowering. I lead with my masculine, the assertive, the dominant, because that’s what’s keeps me safe and successful. It’s not a conscious choice, but bringing in the feminine and balancing the two needs to be.

It’s yin and yang, but the classic black and white symbol is balanced… and I’m not yet.

There are benefits to my energies as they are currently. I can handle the toughest animal rescue situations with discernment and detach from the emotional aspect. I can put these personal stories out to the world without (too much) trepidation of judgment. My current energetic state is goal-oriented and gets stuff done.

In doing a little research before writing today, I found a great article, appropriately titled “Balancing Your Feminine and Masculine Energies” by Deganit Nuur. If you know me, you’ll read the Greater Yang section, nodding, thinking, “This is so Denise.” I love reading that a way to balance for my energy type is to delegate. I’ve been doing more delegating in my Rescue and business endeavors and I feel great… now that I’ve surrounded myself with incredibly passionate and capable people.

While I have gel French nails and Hello Kitty merch, I might get called dad tomorrow. And I’m not mad at that. My dad is awesome.

In effort to bring some balance in, I’m reading Rise Sister Rise by Rebecca Campbell. Drop me a comment or an email about what you do to bring balance… Much love.

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Believe Energy Purpose

Wellness, Always.

My coach says, “You will never outperform your self-image.” Her coach says that too. He probably got that wisdom from his coach. Now, I’m passing it down to you. You will never outperform your self-image.

That maxim does not just apply to professional success; it applies to how you feel on a daily basis.

A colleague walked into my classroom on Thursday morning and said, “Stay away from ____ today. She’s sick, had a 102* fever yesterday.” Without blinking I said, “That’s okay. I don’t get sick.” Her response, “I’m not surprised that you don’t get sick.”

Roll your eyes. Feel annoyed. That’s a typical reaction from people when I affirm with confidence that I don’t get sick. (This colleague did not react that way, hence why she gets to hang around. Positive vibes only.) I absolutely acknowledge that there are thousands of circumstances and possibly millions of people who aren’t able to “not get sick” and I do not mean to offend or alienate anyone. I’m talking to the Average Janes today.

Follow me here, Average Janes, and you’ll be using your “sick days” as restorative mental health days.

  1. Believe in your wellness, in positive terms.

I should even kick the word sick out of this conversation. Keep the affirmation “I feel well, always.” Repeat it, believe it, pin it to your vision board. If you allow your mind to worry about getting sick, the worry can wear down defenses.

  1. Sleep. Sleep some more.

The body wants to be in balance. The body wants to heal and be vibrant. Sleep is when the restoration and healing take place. If you tell yourself “I can’t sleep,” your wish will be fulfilled. The subconscious mind cannot reject any thought or idea—it is a yes for everything. So, as you curl up under the blankets tonight, believe in your ability to rest.

  1. Get your food right.

If you put soap in your car’s gas tank, it’s not going to run. You know this. And you don’t do this. Then why, oh why, do you eat food that doesn’t make you feel great and run well?! Do you like your car better than you like yourself? I eat a plant-based diet but I totally acknowledge that it’s not right for everyone (allegedly it can be and the planet would benefit as well but that’s another conversation). If you feel your absolute best every time you eat ____ and your absolute worst every time you eat ____, eat more of the former and less of the latter. It can be that simple.

  1. Feed your spirit with positivity.

Now, many of us can’t or don’t choose to spend our days running through sun-kissed meadows with butterflies and baby goats… but we can replicate those feelings (or whatever lights you up) every single day. Maybe not in every single moment but definitely every day. If you don’t believe me, scroll back to the opening lines of this story. If you don’t think you can feel happy, you won’t. And if you don’t feel well spiritually, physically will follow suit. Read, watch and listen to things that make you feel good. Get comfortable with silence. Surround yourself with people who make you feel comfortable. You know when it feels right. Be bold enough to shut it off and walk away when it feels wrong.

And that, my readers, is how I stay well… and my daily NingXia Red too. Much Love.

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Believe Bunnies Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

Big Picture Master

A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk on organization to a group of entrepreneurs in the wellness lifestyle industry.  In pure irony, the notes I prepared for this talk look like a scrambled ramble of ideas.  The organizer appears messy but gets it all done.  Here are some gems from my notes for you, dear readers:

The key to my success: I know exactly what I want and I let NOTHING get in my way.

I’m a Big Picture Master, a Results-Driven Red (see The Four Color Personalities for MLM by “Big Al”).

I know nothing about running a non-profit organization, but I make a non-profit run.

Take an honest look at yourself and your habits or get a coach to assist you in doing that— it is from here that you get organized.

It’s really cute when people tell you to follow your dream or your vision if you don’t know yet what that is—it’s like telling kids in school to pay attention without ever teaching them to pay attention.  Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for more about this.

Play to your strengths.  Not mine.

I’m never going to be a runner but I run s…

You don’t get organized from a book or from anyone else’s system, if you want to lead.  I don’t know how to get your organized until you know your vision.

Once you have your vision, your dream, your goal, then (and not a moment before) you need:

-executable steps.

-consistency and routines.

-to stop doing stuff that doesn’t work.

For me, it’s committing one hour per day to my business, regardless of how active the day job and/or Rescue was that day, it’s keeping a consistent schedule and it’s TONS of personal development.  That’s how I stay organized.  That’s how I’m the Big Picture Master.  That’s how wellness, abundance and purpose continue to flow freely to me and my family.  Much love.

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Believe Healing meditation Purpose Uncategorized

Retreat Yourself

In late June 2014, I wrote a note in my phone of three simple “I am” statements to set the tone for my summer.  Pushing aside the millions of things to get done and ways to make two months off from the day job count, I set these “I am” statements at the core of my desires for that time.  At the heart of all of the “stuff” I had to do and wanted to do that summer, my true intentions were in these “I am” statements.  I typed:

I am

-reading.

-practicing yoga.

-mindful.

I didn’t even know what mindful meant or why I typed it— it just appeared there on the screen.  I am mindful… ok.  Let that sit.

I found a yoga studio near to where we were living.  I signed up for a month unlimited and then another month unlimited.  I took classes 3-5 times per week for the entire summer.  I am practicing yoga…  finally.  For months before that, I was thinking about it.  And I was telling myself that I “should” be practicing yoga.  But I never seemed to quite get around to it.  I let everything else jump the line and take up my precious time.  All it took was setting that clear intention: I am practicing yoga.  Like magic, I was.

I found two teachers whose style and energy matched what I was seeking in my practice and made darn sure to show up at their classes.  I dove all in, as I’m prone to do.  One of those teachers offered free guided meditation after classes, as the schedule allowed.  I stayed.  She shared about her practices, her studies through UMass. Medical School in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and her “real life” applications of these simple-yet-complex practices.  She had something here.  I hung on every word.

A friendship blossomed.  At the time, I hadn’t consciously revisited my note in my phone with my summer intentions, my “I am” statements.  But I was learning about mindfulness, that word I typed without knowing why.  My new mediation coach and friend recommended books that she was reading.  We started to hang out.  We shared this glorious spark of brilliance.  I knew I found a soul sister in Debbie.  Toward the end of August 2014, while rolling up my yoga mat after one of Debbie’s last yoga classes for the summer, I opened the notes in my phone… and there it was: I am mindful.  I manifested a practice, a coach and a friend with three words.  Don’t question the process.  Be open to being guided.  Set the intentions that are in your heart and take the action steps as they unfold.

This past Thursday, I had the honor of sitting at a full-day retreat of over 100 educators led by my soul sister Debbie and her colleague in mindfulness Cory.  They led us through the practices and applications of this life-saving, life-expanding gift called Mindfulness.  They are the real-deal.  I, who often cannot exhale without checking my phone 17 times, did not even check the time from 7:30 am until 4:35 pm.  That’s the magic that Debbie and Cory shared.

We learned about our relationship to stress, how to be with what is here, how to develop our mental fitness… I could go on and on.  I took 17 pages of notes.  But, if I can share only one take-away with you, it is this: replace resistance with curiosity.  Approach your day with an element of awe and wonder.

Debbie, I bow to you.  I am mindful.

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Believe Energy Purpose Uncategorized

Autopilot

I don’t know if there’s a name for it… that experience where you’re driving but your mind is completely somewhere else and you kind of shake your head and snap back to the present moment, having virtually no recollection of getting where you are, like that total autopilot moment… that’s August for me, every year.  I just realized it last night, as we got into bed and I shook my head fiercely and thought, “Holy stuff, it’s almost over.”   This is my brain on August, autopilot, struggling to get back to the present.

My mindfulness practices are inconsistent—but that’s why they call it a practice and not a perfect, right?  I am routinized and committed to many things so it’s not like I can’t; I just haven’t yet.  But I will.  The struggles are thematic (and I almost blush at calling them struggles because it’s really not so bad in the grand scheme of this whirling world).  I hit speed bumps and roadblocks at similar places and phases, the same way, I imagine, a serial dieter does.  I am aware of my patterns and my inclinations.  I’m here, trying to balance acceptance and growth.

Again, it’s a practice.  I’m finally at a place where I don’t feel like my vacations are too short (those of you who don’t get the number of weeks off that I do can continue cursing at me now—I can’t hear you anyway).  I don’t feel like the days or my life is racing by because I am paying attention on purpose, with purpose.  I’m making it count AND giving myself a giant break that I denied myself in the past.  I’m consciously shutting down the August Autopilot now.  So today, or even just for the next hour, give the autopilot a rest.  Let it recharge—after all, we need it in its highest working order in times of necessity—and be present with yourself.  Take it all in.  Accept your patterns, your habits, your predilections and grow through the elements that could use change.  Be here now.  Much love.

 

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Rescue Uncategorized

More about Masterclass

Gabby tells us to step in fully.  And I’ve been doing that, every day.  I’m stepping in and up, creating opportunities for growth in the day-job realm, going big in Rescue, arms locked with the most dedicated team, and establishing weekly classes for the summer to share our incredible wellness products.  I’ve stepped in fully, basking in the light from root to crown.

Today, I want to share a few more sparkly gems from my massive collection of notes from our Spirit Junkie Masterclass:

  • Lean into appreciation when you see yourself comparing.

Especially when we are flicking through our social media feeds, it is easy to start comparing, which breeds judgement, envy, annoyance, a host of negative emotions.  When you catch yourself comparing her experience, her presentation of her relationship, her possessions, etc. to yours, lean into appreciation instead.  Stop.  Breathe.  Be happy and proud for your friend (and if she’s not your friend, why are you looking at her stuff?).  Find gratitude and appreciation for what you have and what you are experiencing.  Make and execute a plan for change and growth for yourself.  Appreciate your opportunities rather than compare and judge.

  • A movement within creates a movement in the world.

We are making a difference.  It’s easy to miss that, especially if you watch “the news.”  But I know darn well that the light I stand in and spread to everyone I come into contact with is facilitating positivity.  It’s a domino effect, in a good way.  Is there a term for that, because domino effect is making me think things are falling down?  I haven’t had my coffee yet.  But you get me.  Make one person smile and they make another person smile.  It’s network marketing for the spirit.

  • Outside resistance reflects our inner resistance. Dissolve it with love.

When you are getting push-back, when doors aren’t opening up for you, when stuff seems impossible… all that is holding you back or telling you no or standing in your way starts from within.  When we are faced with rejection and we let that stop us, that stems from inner resistance.  When nothing seems to be going our way externally, that is rooted in something internal.  But please don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up.  Find that inner resistance and dissolve it with love.  Literally sit down, close those pretty eyes, and envision that inner resistance.  Give it a face or a symbol.  Then envision surrounding it with love, pouring love all over it and through it.  Dissolve it with that love.

Oh!  Now I’m inspired to lead a guided meditation and/or Aroma Freedom Technique session about dissolving our inner resistance with love… let’s make this happen.

Much love.

masterclass stuff

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Believe Bunnies Energy Purpose Uncategorized

Do What you Dream

I don’t hate Mondays, not one bit.  There’s not one day of the week that I dislike, dread or groan about.  It wasn’t always like that for me, but I found some ways to make all 365 magical and I’m sharing the groundwork of that with you today.  Some of you are groaning at reading that, but drop the judgement and follow me for a few minutes here.

It crumbles my heart to see posts on social media from people I know and love bitching about what day it is, counting down to the weekend or to some other day, event, whatever that they label as “better” in some way than what they are currently doing.  Are you seriously miserable five days a week?  How is that worth it?

And I can hear you through the screen right now with your objections of “I have to work at this job because (insert reason here)” and stories of bills, debt, responsibilities, etc. abound.  I get it, but your reasons are perceptions.  And I’m here to help you perceive something different, something better.

To start, I’ll paraphrase one of my gurus Gabby Bernstein: Find a way to bring more joy into that day job!  That goes beyond hanging pictures in your cubicle.  If your lunch time crew makes you anxious, uncomfortable and anything less than energized for the second half of the day, STOP HANGING WITH THEM.  I did that two years ago and that simple change, as awkward as it was to start, was the beginning of a better journey for me.  I no longer felt angry at things that were said to me or in front of me.  I no longer felt depleted by the negativity that swirled as I just tried to eat my pasta and drink my afternoon coffee.

Once I created that space for myself, took a bold step in walking away from 45 minutes that eroded at my spirit, the space opened up for positivity to enter my day-job-life.  I shed the parts that didn’t feel right to the best of my ability.  There were certainly parts of the day that weren’t bringing me joy but that I couldn’t change on my own.  Yet, as that aforementioned space opened up, those other things shifted into place.  My work space was moved far away from people and situations that were causing me distress.  I didn’t complain, didn’t ask to be moved, didn’t even know moving was a possibility.  But the opportunity presented itself right after I did my part in separating from the “bad energies.”

Each of these small shifts has opened up opportunities in my life to do what I dream, to do more of what makes me energized and all sorts of fired up.  When my head and heart aren’t consumed with the negativity from others, I can get my work done with more focus and purpose.  Now that my time is spent with more intention, I bring a greater passion to my work, which translates to the young people with whom I work.

Making the time I spend at the day job pleasant and purposeful is the foundation.  From there, the tower of great days, days doing what I dream of, has built itself.  That tower is a high-rise for sure and I envision more floors built every day, ever-expanding.  The mindset shift and the physical shifts that go along with it make what I “have to do” no longer feel like a burden AND those shifts have created space in the realms of time and energy for me to spend with Rescue and with sharing wellness, abundance and purpose with others.

You can absolutely, unequivocally do what you dream—but it takes belief and action.  If you chose complaining and complacency over belief and action, you will stay stuck.  Of course, my way is not the only way, but I’ve shared with  you today how I first cracked the door open that seemed bolted shut.  When you’re ready to know more about how I busted that door down, those parts of the story will come your way.  Much Love.

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