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Believe Coaching Energy Teacher Life

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 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!

Click here

 

 

 

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Believe Coaching Energy Purpose

Want & Feel

I’m going to push you today.

I was on a call with my coach on Friday and she presented us with an idea that has been swirling around my head ever since:

Are you doing what you want or are you doing what you feel like?

Follow me here… because those two things often aren’t the same, particularly if you’re not getting the results you want in your personal or professional life.

You want toned abs. You feel like lying on the couch and watching season 5 of Schitt’s Creek again. So you lie on the couch. You tear up when David and Patrick get engaged. You look down at your belly and the thoughts flood in: I’ll never have the body I want. I can’t. I won’t. I don’t. I’m so lazy. I’m so this, that, whatever. Maybe the thoughts go into outside blame: this diet/exercise program doesn’t work. I don’t have time. I don’t have help.

And so it goes.

But in reality, dear ones, the external factors are controlled by you. You chose to do what you felt like rather than take a step toward what you say you want. No judgment. Nothing “wrong” with that… just getting aware.

I’ll run another scenario for you: You want more organization in your home. You feel like you have to go to your friend’s whatever party. And you don’t feel like paying someone to help you get organized.

So you chose to spend your time at and your money on what you think you should (or shouldn’t) and, again, you don’t get what you want.

One more scenario. I’m trying to connect with all of you here.

You want a romantic relationship. You don’t feel like meeting new people. You don’t feel like “putting yourself out there.”

Another week/month/year goes by. You don’t get what you think you want because you’re choosing to do what you feel like rather than go toward what you want.

 

And I get it. A lot of the things that we want are big, scary, out of our comfort zones, require us to stretch and change… so we sit in the pocket of what we feel like rather than aligning what we feel and what we want to achieve.

A lot of these things that we want require or simply come to us with more ease if we ask for or pay for help, but we feel like we shouldn’t be vulnerable or shouldn’t spend our money this way.

I said I was going to push you today, so here it goes. Today, just get aware of what you want, what you feel and what you’re doing. You don’t have to make a change, unless you’re called to do so. Just examine it today.

I suspect there are some really bright light bulbs going off for you.

If you’ve gained any awareness today, email me: believeinbunnies@gmail.com

I’d love to hear your stories!

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Believe Bunnies Coaching Energy Purpose Rescue Teacher Life

I’m Not Busy

Don’t get me wrong—there’s lots of activity happening at headquarters but I do not feel busy.

Last week, a dear friend posted a graphic on Facebook, prompting scrollers to describe her life using only GIFs. I have a GIF obsession, so of course I was into this. For this friend, I posted a Green Acres GIF (don’t be surprised that those are sparse) because she’s a Glamazon who lives on a farm.

Several dozens of us reposted the graphic for ourselves. I was having a Valerie Cherish moment, so I picked GIFs from The Comeback for most. Then I waited for mine to roll in.

Of course, most featured rabbits (side note: that overly populated “rabbit island” in Japan isn’t cute to me—those poor rabbits have no care, no food and no shelter. But I know your intention in posting that one wasn’t bad!) and some others featured a theme of Zen, rainbows, unicorns and yoga mats. Then, there were the ones that got me: the ones that looked or even said chaos or chaotic.

Radical honesty: my life does not feel chaotic from the inside. And I sincerely hope I don’t portray that it is chaotic or unmanageable.

I used to feel tired all the time. I used to feel like I had no time for anything, like I was always busy, like there wasn’t enough time in a week to do what I had to do in a day. Ironically, that was when I was working one job, living with my family and not volunteering. I perceived my daily life as one of overwhelm and exhaustion. It didn’t help that I was hanging around with a lot of people who spun that same story in their lives, doing little more than just getting by, complaining the whole way through.

Now, I don’t feel busy because I am clear on what I am doing, why I am doing it and I am faithfully judicious with my time. Time hasn’t changed. I’ve learned to manage my activities. My Green Acres Glamazon is the one who taught me that you can’t manage time but you can manage activity. But even before I knew it in those terms, I was making it happen. The key, for me, is routine and consistency. It’s setting up systems to make it all work with efficacy and ease. I now work that same job, run two businesses, volunteer daily, co-manage a household and sleep 8+ hours a night. I don’t say this to impress you; I say this to impress upon you that you can feel at ease and get it all done. Manage the activity. The time is going to flow on its own.

A typical weekday looks like this for me:

4:30 am: Meditate, write, reflect, sometimes yoga

5:15 am: Get ready for work

6:45 am -2:30 pm: Work the day job

3:30 pm: Reflect, regroup, straighten up the house

4:30 – 7:30 pm: Volunteer work, business work

8:00 pm: Sweet dreams, babies.

 

With routine, I can get everything done and feel a flow, feel at ease. There are days that vary from the quick list above, for sure. Things come up but since I have a solid routine that works for me (my way is not for everyone!) I’m able to manage special events, the unexpected or whatever else life can throw at us.

I know many of you, dear readers, are still retching at the thought of getting up at a time that begins with a 4, unless it’s to catch an early flight somewhere. You don’t have to follow my way! This is what works for me. I am far less effective at anything I attempt to do, particularly writing and “brain work” in the evening. Remember there’s nothing wrong or weird about being a night owl or an early bird. Know thyself and soar.

I promise that there’s little chaos, and when it does creep in, I know how to breathe, step away and manage it. You too can feel at ease and feel like you’re getting it all done, whether you do one thing or all the things. Overwhelm and exhaustion does not have to be your story any longer.

 

Ready to set up your routine? I’m here.

Click here

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angels Believe Coaching Energy Healing Purpose

Spirit Junkie Live: The Afternoon

In August, I shared with you three takeaways from the morning portion of Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Live. As we are just a smidge over a week away from the release of Gabby’s new book Super Attractor, today I am sharing with you my three favorite takeaways from the afternoon session of that beautiful day.

  1. When you’re “blocked,” you’re feeling unworthy of love.

You can blame it on outside circumstances. You can blame it on the government, the economy, the attitude of your partner… heck, you can even blame it on the rain (great, now you’re singing…) but the blocks you are experiencing are rooted in feelings of unworthiness. Most likely, these feelings are subconscious and those subconscious feelings and beliefs are the ones that put up the most intensely rooted blocks. Feeling unworthy is a separation of love.

Reprogramming time: This is not the time to beat ourselves up even more. This is a time for awareness. Recognize those feelings of unworthiness when they show up. Instead of just writing off another week of skipping the gym or of putting everyone else first as just how you are and how things will be, take a moment today to get quiet and dig deep. It is likely (I’m learning for me that it’s definite but I have to let you unfold your own journey) that your blocks are an absence of love and an absence of faith in yourself. Just get aware today. When you’re ready to release the blocks, I’m here.

  1. Trust that you don’t have to do it all.

Controlling is a block. The need to do it all for yourself, for everyone, the need to make it all happen… when Gabby was talking about this, I felt like my spirit was on fire. This is my story! How did she know?! I don’t need you. I don’t anyone but my parents and my uncles. Those last two sentences are programmed so deeply in my subconscious. And I completely honor and love that I have those four people who never let me down and taught me to never let myself down. But, darn… doing it all is a lot of pressure…

Reprogramming time: Let your support in. This is my biggest block, so we can work on reprogramming this together. Gather around, superwomen who do it all. Just for this moment: give it all up. Surrender. Trust that you don’t have to do it all. Trust the universe. Trust that there are other people who will support you… you just have to learn how to pick ‘em. And, yes, I have some guidance on that too, when you’re ready. But for now, just take the next moments to let tasks go undone, to let someone help you, to exhale with an audible sigh and say “Universe, I let your support in.” Repeat as needed… and watch the magic happen.

  1. Quotable moments

I leave you with some quotes from Gabby, sans Denise-commentary. Drink them in. I want you to feel these words without my interpretation.

“You will be taught what you’re meant to teach”

“You don’t have to have pain to have purpose”

“In that imperfection, you have more to teach”

 

Local loves: The spiritual/personal development book club that I co-host will be reading Gabby’s new book Super Attractor over the next 2 months. We’d love to have you join us! Message me for information.

Click here

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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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Believe Bunnies Energy Healing Purpose Rescue

Why I Stopped Eating Meat…

and why I’ll never bug you to do the same.

You know those memories that are like movies in your head? This is one for me.

I was standing at the counter of the kitchen/living room/bunny room combo in our first house, sometimes referred to as The Little House. I was cutting a packaged chicken breast and I stopped. I looked over my right shoulder at our boy Tater Tot, our first born. The thought flashed through my mind: Why am I spending all of my free time saving one and now I’m slicing and eating another?

Taking meat out of my diet never, I mean never, occurred to me. Paradigm, our mental programming, has meat as a part of our diets. That’s just what we eat, right? I never thought about it beyond flavor and enjoyment before. It never had a face before.

At the time, I was volunteering for maybe a year or two with the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group. At this point, I was spending 7 or more hours per week volunteering, between answering emails and phone calls, covering shifts at foster homes and other various tasks. In addition to working full-time, 7 hours is a big chunk of “free time”—that’s more time than I was watching shows on Bravo in a week! So, there I was at the counter, one hand on the chicken breast, one hand on the knife, one heart and one mind at a turning point.

From that day, I gradually removed animal products from my diet. First went the white meat, anything remotely resembling the little loves we rescue. Then, everything else started to go. I just didn’t want it anymore—just didn’t make sense for me anymore. I could no longer make a value distinction between a dog and a cow, between a rabbit and a chicken, between a cat and a pig. I value them all the same now.

And that’s just the thing. I value them… my values. And my values do not have to be yours. I will never bug you to eat the way I do. I would have never made this change and definitely would not have stuck with it so faithfully if I didn’t have a meaningful reason, a true “why” behind it all. Please, do what feels right for you. Eat foods and make choices that take you to the best version of you, that make you feel happy and energized. If you are eating something that causes you physical pain afterward, it might be time to put that down and make a different choice. And that applies to what it is and to quantity!

Making the change to a plant-based diet was far less difficult than the paradigm will have you believe. And I’m happy I made my transition before this influx of processed “vegan junk food” hitting the mainstream shelves now. Delicious, sure… but not necessarily nutritious. My label-reading-ninja skills come into play with food as much as they do with personal care and household products.

Living my life my way… and always respecting your choice to live your life your way. That’s really all it is. That’s simply why I’ll never bug you to stop eating meat, to foster an animal, to do anything that you’re not necessarily interested in doing. Trust, I am nothing but delighted when I hear that someone is making a choice that honors the life of a living thing, but I know darn well that if anyone tried to force this way of eating and thinking on to me, it would have been repulsive. To paraphrase my coach Melissa, people don’t dislike change but people do not like to be changed. And to quote the guru James Hetfield, “Life is ours… we live it our way.”

Much love.

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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 Healing Purpose

Now Read This!

My dream life, which I live from time to time and will live full-time some day, consists of coffee, quiet, sunshine and reading. I’m often asked for book recommendations and am known to ask people what they are reading.

“What are you reading?” will be a standard question on the talk show I’ll have some day.

As Summer Denise gets extra time to turn the page, I thought this is the perfect time to share three must-reads from my mental list of approximately 6 million books that I think everyone should read!

  1. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Have I gifted you a copy? If we are close in real life, I probably have. This little book is such a life-changer. The content, the agreements, are so straightforward that you almost feel like you must be missing something when you first read it. You are not missing anything—these truly are four simple agreements that, when you hold them with yourself, your life just feels lighter and better. The people around you will notice it too.

If you’re not super-spiritual, fret not. I think of this book as entry-level spirituality. And I’ll be surprised if you only read it once.

  1. The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Loyal readers, you knew Gabby would make an appearance on this list. She’s my teacher, my friend-in-my-head… I have the honor of working with her in person again next month and I’m beyond inspired. Her work has set me on this beautiful path of living in my authenticity and becoming one of the happiest people I know.

Recently, someone asked me how I first “found” Gabby and, while I pride myself on having an exceptional memory, this I cannot remember. I guess the universe just put her work in my path. I’m glad I listened.

  1. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

I had to get a work of fiction on here and this is one that has both literary merit and accessibility to the non-English major. It is also the only work for which I can say without hesitation that the movie is as good as the book. For real. So treat yourself to both.

 

Once you get through those three, let me know; I have 5,000,097 more books to recommend to you. Oh, and while I have you… what are you reading?

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