• Emerge-Empowerment-Entrepreneurship-Organic-Toothpaste-Does-it-Work Organic Toothpaste – Does it Work?

    Emerge-Empowerment-Entrepreneurship-Organic-Toothpaste-Does-it-Work

     

    When I first decided to “go organic,” I had no idea how much I needed to learn. I also realized I was probably going to have to decide just how deeply I wanted to go.

     

    When it came to eating out, was I NOT going to eat what was on the menu if it wasn’t organic? Hmmmm…I didn’t want to go THAT far. I was satisfied with eating the majority of my meals at home and eating organic. And when I went out to eat or stayed overnight with friends, I would just eat what they ate.

     

    When it came to health and beauty products, was I going to throw away everything I had, basically throwing out hundreds of dollars, and run out and replace everything with organic products, spending more money???? Hmmm…that didn’t sound like a good idea at all! Already having a mountain of debt, I didn’t want waste money.

     

    So, I decided that, once I was out of a product, I would then get an organic one to replace it and s…l…o…w…l…y migrate myself over. Now, that wasn’t all that easy. As with your typical products out there, some work with our body chemistry and some simply don’t. So, with the products I was using, I had to try quite a few to find something I LIKED that also WORKED.

     

    When thinking about my beliefs and my lifestyle and my habits, I knew I wasn’t going to be way over on the end of the spectrum where I refused anything that was not organic. For me and my life, that is simply not practical and I don’t want to limit or restrict myself in that way. I do my research (LOVE the Think Dirty app    – it’s FREE!), I think about the product, how I use it, and how passionate I feel about whether or not I want that product to be organic.

     

    By this I mean, if it’s something I’m rinsing or washing off of my skin or out of my mouth, I’m okay if it’s not organic, but do want it to be as good for me as possible with as natural of ingredients as possible. Now, if it’s something like an eye cream or a moisturizer that is going to stay on my skin all day, I do my best to make sure it’s organic.

     

    Two things to note: 1) Remember that a company can put the word “organic” in their name, but NOT be USDA certified organic. The only truly American organic products have the USDA organic seal. 

     

    I learned this lesson early on when I used products by a company who had “organic” in their name and they were NOT. 2) Very often, the organic standards in other countries are more stringent and restrictive than here in the USA.

     

    Something important to be on the lookout for in your health and beauty products, including toothpaste, is sodium lauryl sulfate, also known as SLS. SLS is an additive that allows cleansing products to foam up. What is unacceptable to my own tolerance is that SLS has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation, and endocrine disruption.

     

    There are seven ingredients considered to be toxic that are often found in most non-organic toothpastes. They are…

    1.       Triclosan

    2.       Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

    3.       Artificial Sweeteners

    4.       Fluoride

    5.       Propylene Glycol

    6.       Diethanolamine (DEA)

    7.       Microbeads

     

    Again, I try not to be on crazy-ends of any spectrum and I know we’re all going to die from something. My perspective is that I plan to live my life doing my best to stave off things like cancer as much as I possibly can…or at least not encourage it. 😊 So, I do my research and decide what I’m willing to tolerate. I always recommend doing the same for yourself.

     

    When I started trying toothpastes, I was able to find organic ones and very lucky to find ones I LIKE that also WORK.

     

    I tried quite a few organic toothpastes, from gritty powders (like Dirty Mouth Organic Toothpowder) to more traditional pastes.

     

    I found two I like.

     

    My number 2 choice is from Zk’in Organics out of Australia. The flavor and texture are a bit different than I’m used to so that took a little adjusting. The taste isn’t bad, it just isn’t the typical mint flavor you’d find in most toothpastes. The texture is a bit more watery than a typical paste.

     

    My dental hygienist praised how well I take care of my teeth, so I have to believe it’s working well.

     

    This company is Australian certified organic and their products are made in Australia. They are cruelty free and Vegan. Their products are made without palm oil, fluoride, and SLS. Their packaging is recyclable.

     

    The reason I have it as my number 2 choice is simply because it ships from Australia so that makes it somewhat expensive.

     

    My number 1 choice is from RADIUS.

     

    I like both their Mint Aloe Neem and their Ginger Citrus Whitening. The flavor of the mint is, again, not your typical mint toothpaste flavor, but it is pleasant. I’m currently using the Ginger Citrus Whitening and the ginger citrus is very mild and not overpowering. The texture is more like a typical paste with little gritty bits in it that seem to do a good job scrubbing the surfaces of my teeth.

     

    I’m still getting rave reviews from my dental hygienist when I go in for my cleanings so that makes me happy.

     

    This company is USDA organic certified and ECOCERT (an organic certification organization, founded in France in 1991. It is based in Europe but conducts inspections in over 80 countries, making it one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world.) certified, cruelty-free, made in the USA, and women-owned (Woohoo!!). Their packaging is recyclable and their tube size is carry-on approved. Their products are formulated without xylitol (sugar alcohol used as a sweetener); GMOs; SLS; fluoride; saccharine; glutens; detergents; artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, or sweeteners. This list makes me feel pretty darn good about using their products. 😊

     

    As with our body chemistry, our mouth chemistry is different. These toothpastes have worked well for me. If you try them, I hope you like them and they work well for you also. And if you DO try any of them, please drop me a comment and let me know how you liked them.

     

     

    Empower yourself to make healthy oral hygiene decisions that resonate with YOU.

     

    Do you have any organic toothpastes you love? Comment below and let me know.

     

    Be empowered,

     

    P.S. There are affiliate links in here. If you choose to purchase using these links, I will receive a small commission. So, I thank you and do hope you like your products!!

  • Empowerment Book of the Week - 2018 Empowerment Book of the Week – 2018

    Empowerment Book of the Week - 2018

     

    Hey, fabulous ladies!!

     

    Education is at the core of empowerment because knowledge…is POWER.

     

    Part of feeling empowered is directly related to how knowledgeable we feel. This year, I will be sharing with you one book each week that has empowerment at its core. The genres will vary from things like self-development to health and beauty products to mindset to business/entrepreneurship to lifestyle and exercise and many others.

     

    Sometimes we can feel empowered in one area of our life, but not other areas. The variety I will be sharing will help you tap into other areas, increase your knowledge, and fuel your empowerment.

     

    I’ll use this blog as the main spot for listing the books and I’ll update it each week with that week’s recommendation. I hope some of them tickle your fancy and I hope the ones you choose to read are truly helpful for you.

     

    To get your copy, simply click on the title or image of the book below.

     

    Week 15: Budda’s Brain by Rick Hanson, PH.D. “If you change your brain, you can change your life. Great teachers like the Buddha, Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and Gandhi were all born with brains built essentially like anyone else’s―and then they changed their brains in ways that changed the world. Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain, and more and more, we are learning that it’s possible to strengthen positive brain states. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of mindfulness practice, you too can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom. Buddha’s Brain draws on the latest research to show how to stimulate your brain for more fulfilling relationships, a deeper spiritual life, and a greater sense of inner confidence and worth. Using guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, you’ll learn how to activate the brain states of calm, joy, and compassion instead of worry, sorrow, and anger. Most importantly, you will foster positive psychological growth that will literally change the way you live in your day-to-day life. This book presents an unprecedented intersection of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice, and is filled with practical tools and skills that you can use every day to tap the unused potential of your brain and rewire it over time for greater well-being and peace of mind.”

    Buddha's Brain

     

    Week 14: Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, Ph. D. “Dr. Myss’s breakthrough model of the body’s seven centers of spiritual and physical power, in which she synthesizes the ancient wisdom of three spiritual traditions-the Hindu chakras, the Christian sacraments, and the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life-to demonstrate the seven stages through which everyone must pass in the search for higher consciousness and spiritual maturity. With this model, Dr. Myss shows how you can develop your own latent powers of intuition as you simultaneously cultivate your personal power and spiritual growth. By teaching you to see your body and spirit in a new way, Anatomy of the Spirit provides you with the tools for spiritual maturity and physical wholeness that will change your life.”

    Anatomy of the Spirit

     

    Week 13: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. “Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us.”

    Big Magic

     

    Week 12: The Pay it Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self by Kezia Luckett, Debbie Cromack and 17 other co-authors. “Have you ever wished that you could go back to a pivotal time in your life and give yourself sound advice? Words of hope, wisdom, knowledge and inspiration that everything is happening for a reason and all will work out. That those failures, challenges and detours that you are experiencing, that have sometimes taken you to the edge of darkness and beyond, will end up being looked upon as some of your greatest, life-defining moments. In this first volume of ‘The Pay It Forward Series: Notes to My Younger Self’ you will be taken on a journey of self-discovery as you read the heart warming, inspirational stories from 18 key women of contribution from around the world, as they pay forward the words of wisdom gained through their experiences of life.”

    The Pay it Forward Series Notes to My Younger Self

     

    Week 11: Daily Love by Mastin Kipp. “Mastin has written a book based on his spiritual experiences in order to help other young seekers discover their own paths. In Daily Love, Mastin shares some of his personal stories of darkness and light, embracing them all as part of his journey to becoming who he really is. He also speaks of various spiritual leaders who have influenced his life, such as Joseph Campbell, Caroline Myss, Tony Robbins, George Lucas, Oprah, his parents, and Jenna (his girlfriend). Giving details about the concepts and spiritual principles they put forth, he shows how these people have helped to guide him to success.”

    Daily Love

     

    Week 10: Tapping the Power Within by Iyanla Vanzant. In honor of International Women’s Day the occurred this week, I’m recommending this powerful book that paves the path to self-empowerment for women. It “will challenge you to stop struggling and start recognizing that it is possible to reconcile your humanity with your divinity. Whether you are a beginner on the path or a veteran in need of refreshment, Iyanla’s prescriptions can support your growth from the comfort of spiritual adolescence to the wisdom of spiritual maturity. You no longer need to settle for the way things are . . . you can open up to the way things can be—if you dare to tap the power within!”

    Tapping the Power Within

     

    Week 9: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Ph. D. LMSW. “Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatly is a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.”

    Daring Greatly

     

    Week 8: Tears to Triumph by Marianne Williamson. “Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom—ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer. As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us.”

    Tears to Triumph

     

    Week 7: Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty, and Relaxation by Sophie Benge. “For centuries, Asian women have relaxed and beautified themselves with exotic therapies derived from the materials of nature; plants, herbs, minerals, clays, and flowers.

    Until now, Western women could only experience these pleasures by taking expensive trips to professional spas. In Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty, and Relaxation, Sophie Benge, an Asian beauty expert, supplies all the tools for experiencing luxurious Asian beauty treatments at home, including inexpensive, easy-to-follow recipes for soothing facials, relaxing aromatherapy baths, invigorating body scrubs, healthy food and drink recipes, remedies for specific ailments, and more. Now readers can spend a lavish day at the spa without leaving their house.

    All the treatments in Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty, and Relaxation are natural and gentle to the body. readers can lie back and enjoy the benefits of a spa in their own homes.”

    Asian Secrets of Health, Beauty, and Relaxation

     

    Week 6: When I Loved Myself Enough by Kim McMillen. “When I Loved Myself Enough is a beautiful collection of wisdom that is startling in its simplicity. By the end of the book, the message becomes clear: loving yourself holds the key to loving others and having others love you. By sharing her insights, the author also shows us how to feel the same sense of peace and quiet joy that illuminated her life. This book began as one woman’s gift to the world, hand-made by Kim McMillen and handed out to friends.” Give this gift to yourself.

    When I Loved Myself Enough

     

    Week 5: Think and Grow Rich for Women by Sharon Lechter. “Women are the future of American business. According to a recent Nielsen report, women will control two-thirds of American consumer wealth in less than a decade. And yet almost all business and success literature is still written for men—dispensing advice that doesn’t take into account women’s unique strengths or address the demands of family life on mothers. Think and Grow Rich for Women is a powerful book outlining a master plan for success for ALL WOMEN.”

    Think and Grow Rich for Women

    Week 4: Unleash Your Inner Money Babe by Kathrin Zenkina. If you choose to buy the paperback version, you’ll get the Kindle version for FREE! We’ve talked a lot this week about money and manifesting. “Unleash Your Inner Money Babe is a workbook designed to help you let go of your past programming and limiting beliefs around money, and unlock the mindset of abundance and wealth. The workbook is designed to be a fun, exciting, truth-bomb packed 21 day challenge with the goal of manifesting $1,000 by the end of the 21 days.”

    Unleash Your Inner Money Babe

    Week 3: Women & Money by Suze Orman. “Own the power to control your destiny. With her signature mix of insight, compassion, and soul-deep recognition, Suze Orman equips women with the financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome the blocks that have kept them from acting in the best interest of their money–and of themselves.”

    Women and Money

    Week 2: #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. “#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn’t about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It’s about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.”

    #GIRLBOSS

    Week 1: A Year of Living Consciously: 365 Daily Inspirations for Creating a Life of Passion and Purpose by Gay Hendricks PhD.

    A Year of Living Consciously

    Knowledge is Power!

     

    Be empowered,

    P.S. There are affiliate links in here. If you choose to purchase using these links, I will receive a small commission. So, I thank you and do hope you like your books!!

     

  • No more stinky underarms - naturally. No More Stinky Underarms – Naturally

    No more stinky underarms - naturally.

     

    If you’ve ever had “nervous” sweat, you are well aware of the putrid stench that billows out from under your arms, polluting the air around you. It’s all you can smell and you KNOW everyone around you can smell it…smell YOU. And all you want to do is hide in the bathroom.

     

    Oh, yes, I know this all too well.

     

    I was always a nervous kid. And ever since I can remember, my underarms have smelled like 14-day old meatloaf rotting in the Sahara Desert. Peeeewwww!!!

     

    When I was young, I used baby powder, hoping the sweet scent would camouflage my smell; it didn’t. As I got older, I bought into the advertising and used a popular deodorant/antiperspirant, at the time touting the highest percentage of aluminum to prevent odor. This was before I started educating myself on the toxins in many of our health and beauty products.

     

    At one point, I even got electrolysis on my underarms thinking it must be the hair causing my stink. While I LOVE never having to shave my underarms, the stench persisted.

     

    I was well into my thirties before I really started paying more attention to and researching the ingredients in the products I was using and slathering all over my skin.

     

    Now, you can find pretty much anything you want on the Internet. You can find evidence to support just about any side of any debate. What resonates with you will be what you choose to believe. For me, I try not to be an extremist, but rather to be informed and make the best choice possible for me based on what I choose to believe.

     

    Whether aluminum is directly connected to Alzheimer’s disease or not, whether parabens (often in deodorants) are directly connected to breast cancer or not, these are not things I want absorbing into my body on a daily basis. This is my personal choice. There’s a good bit of breast cancer in my family and I’d like to help my tatas stay healthy. 🙂

     

    If you’re looking for a healthier alternative for your deodorant, I’m sharing with you here some of my discoveries. If you decide to try them, I hope they work well for you.

     

    Natural Deodorants

     

    Option 3: Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick

    Schmidts Natural Deoderant Fragrance Free

    For me, this is option 3 because it didn’t do much to stop the rotting smell of my underarms. If you do NOT struggle with nervous sweat, this may be a good option for you. They have a variety of scents as well as unscented. Free of aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens, and phthalates. Gluten-free. Certified Vegan and cruelty-free. You can find it HERE.

     

    Option 2: Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

    Lavanila The Healthy Deoderant

    I like the soft scent of the vanilla lavender. They have a variety of scents, including a fragrance free one for those who are super sensitive (LINK). It works well to address my overly stinky underarms. I have it ranked number two because it doesn’t work long enough for me and my body chemistry. I had to wash my underarms midday and reapply it.

     

    This is also a good option if you do not struggle with the smell of nervous sweat or if you don’t mind reapplying during the day. No aluminum. No parabens. All-natural ingredients. No harsh chemicals. Not tested on animals. No: petrochemicals, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, silicone, synthetic dyes, sulfates, or parabens. You can find it HERE.

     

    Option 1: NATIVE DEODORANT

    NATIVE Deodorant

    This deodorant has worked best for me. They have a variety of scents, including unscented. I like the gentle scent of coconut & vanilla.

     

    In my crazy life of 10-12 hour corporate workdays followed by 2-3 hours a day on my business, ladies, I confess…there are days (sometimes 3 in a row) where I simply don’t have time to shower. Yup, I wrote it, you read it. Basically, I am marinating in my own juices! Fess up, I know I’m not alone. While it grosses me out, it is a reality sometimes (thankfully not very often). And during that time, this deodorant has NOT failed me. It has kept my horrific stench AWAY! 🙂

     

    The only thing I don’t care for is the slight overflow of product on the rim of the stick. When I put the lid back on, it then squeezes that overflow down so it gets on my hands when removing and replacing the lid. I’m a bit of a clean-freak so I wipe it after every use.

     

    Paraben free. Aluminum free. You can find it HEREUse coupon code: HEALTH10 to get 10% off your entire order (minimum order $15).

     

    A couple of things to note:

    1) These are natural deodorants and not organic. They do not have the USDA organic seal. I remain on the hunt for an organic one that I like and that works for me and my body chemistry (aka stinky underarms!). If I find one, you can be sure I’ll share it.

     

    2) These are all deodorants ONLY and NOT antiperspirants. So, they will help with odor, but they will not prevent you from sweating. Our bodies are meant to sweat. Stopping that natural process is not a good idea. Aside from keeping our body temperature regulated by cooling us down when needed, sweating helps us to expel toxins, thus supporting proper immune function and helping to prevent diseases related to toxic overload.

     

    3) I also have yet to find a deodorant that doesn’t leave white residue on the underarms of my clothing.

     

    Here is some research I did for myself. You may find it helpful. Be informed and do your research.

     

    Paraben, Mineral Oils, Petrolatum

     

    I hope you found this review helpful. If you try any of these options, I’d love to know how you make out. So, come back here and share in the comments below.

     

    Get educated and be empowered about the choices you make with your hygiene products.

     

    Be empowered,

    P.S. There are affiliate links in here. If you choose to purchase using these links, I will receive a small commission. So, I thank you and do hope you like your products!!

  • 3 Hours in the Deli Line 3 Hours in the Deli Line

    3 Hours in the Deli Line

     

    It was a beautiful summer Sunday and my boyfriend and I decided to have lunch in the park. So, I ran out to the grocery store to pick up some picnic foods.

     

    I don’t typically get us lunchmeats or cheeses from the deli counter because processed foods are just not healthy. But, we thought it would be fun to make some sandwiches so I headed to the deli counter.

     

    As is pretty typical on a Sunday there was quite a long line. I grabbed my ticket and saw I was number 39…they were on number 17.

     

    I tucked myself out of the way of the congestion at the counter as I heard the exasperation of a woman approaching.

     

    “Ugh, look at this line! I’ll see you in three hours!” she growled to a man I presume was her husband.

     

    I looked over and saw him acknowledge her growl as he turned with two children and walked away.

     

    She stomped over to grab her ticket and grumbled something. She then proceeded to sort of huff and puff, shifting her weight from foot to foot impatiently.

     

    All I could of was the missed opportunities.

     

    I’m not saying that standing in a long deli is fun or we should be happy about it. However, there’s really nothing we can do, but wait for our number to be called and place our order.

     

    This woman missed out on an opportunity for some self-care. Since she was basically stuck waiting, she could have used the time to do some therapeutic breathing (that would have helped to calm her frustration) or say a mantra or affirmations in her head.

     

    And as a mother, she could have used the situation to teach her children how to handle displeasing situations that are out of our control by simply having a positive attitude.

     

    She chose to adopt the life-happens-to-me perspective versus being empowered and 1) recognizing the situation as being out of her control, 2) accepting that it is what it is, and 3) changing how she dealt with it.

     

    We have a choice in every situation in our lives, whether it’s something we can control or something we can’t…the decision is ours to make.

     

    The next time you find yourself in a frustrating situation, be self-aware and recognize, accept, and change how you CHOOSE to deal with it.

     

    Be empowered,

  • A random act of kindness. A Random Act of Kindness

    A random act of kindness.

     

    Each year, I make a point of doing at least one random act of kindness. Throughout the year opportunities just appear. Whether it’s paying for groceries for the person in line ahead of me at the grocery whose out-of-state check won’t be accepted or a buying gifts cards, grocery staples, bath items, and lottery tickets for someone who has been going through a tough time, there are always opportunities that pop up.

     

    Sometimes, my gift is anonymous and sometimes, due to the situation (being in line at the grocery store) it’s not anonymous. Every time, the reaction is different. While I don’t do it for a certain response, it is interesting the different reactions that happen. Some seem in shock and say nothing. Some look at me strangely and say, “Thank you.”

     

    This past weekend, an opportunity popped up. We were out to dinner and our waitress was particularly good. She was pleasant and just the right amount of attentive. I had lost my voice due to a cold and she brought me some Italian wedding soup without charging us. One of the times she walked away, I noticed her pause at an empty table and stretch her feet.

     

    Clearly I had no idea what was going on in her life and she didn’t share anything personal during our visit. Her beautiful face was a bit weathered from life. Though she didn’t complain and was very nice to us, she just seemed…tired. I’ve waitressed before and I know how exhausting it can be to be constantly on your feet for hours, running around serving people and not usually making great money.

     

    When we finished eating, I asked my boyfriend to get the car and that I wanted to catch our waitress quickly before we left. I found her on the outdoor patio smoking a cigarette, checking her phone. When she saw me, she put out her cigarette and apologized, asking if I still needed something.

     

    I asked her to sit with me and told her about my random act of kindness that I do each year. Her eyes fixed intently on mine as I spoke. I opened her hand and put $60.00 in her hand, but all she could see was the $20.00 so she didn’t really know what she was holding. She shook her head and said she couldn’t take it. I pressed it firmly into her hand and told her she could and that she matters in this world. In that moment, her gaze broke and waves of tears came crashing out of her eyes. She threw her arms around me and held me so tightly. I felt her body shake as she squeezed me and sobbed.

     

    I let her hold me as long as she needed. When we released, she looked at me and simply said, “Thank you.” I told her I wanted her to get a massage and make sure they rub her feet. She smiled and let out a chuckle. She thanked me again while holding onto my hands. I gave her hands a squeeze and smiled at her as I left.

     

    I still have no idea what is happening in her world, but I suspect she’s going through something difficult. I also have no idea what she’ll use the money for, but now she has it and hopefully it will help her in some way.

     

    There are people in need all around us. You never know what a simple act of kindness can mean to someone. Open your eyes and you will see opportunities are everywhere.

     

    An act of kindness doesn’t have to be monetary. You would be surprised how big a difference a smile, a hug, or a handful of wildflowers can make.

     

     

    Our world needs more kindness. Be a light in someone’s darkness.

     

     

    Will you join me? What random act of kindness have you done this year? I’d love to know. Share in the comments below.

     

    Be empowered,

     

    P.S. To connect with incredible, supportive, like-minded new female entrepreneurs transitioning from corporate jobs to online coaching businesses, come join my free Facebook group, Emerging Empowered Entrepreneurs, at http://bit.ly/EEEFBGroup.

  • The Bottom of the List The Bottom of the List

    The Bottom of the List

    I love making lists! Grocery lists, Christmas lists, to-do lists, life lists…all kinds of lists! I feel so productive and happy when I check things off the list.

     

    I’m a bit of an organization freak. With my chaotic life, my lists help me prioritize things that need to get done and also keep track of the things I want to get done.

     

    Each workday, I make a list for both my corporate job and my business, Emerge Empowerment. I prioritize the non-negotiable items that absolutely must get done before I go to bed at night. Then I draw a line and add some items I’d like to get done if I have time.

     

    The weekends get a different list and the list…is rather long. Similarly, it gets lines for things that I have to make sure get done, like grocery shopping, and then there are the house projects or things I’d like to get done, like touch-up painting spots on the living room walls. Often times, I end up with a couple lists, one for each day.

     

    I go about my workdays and weekends getting things done that need to get done and crossing them off my lists. At some point, the list just gets messy. And with my itch to stay organized, I decide I need to consolidate and refresh the list. So, the items not crossed off go onto a fresh sticky-note and I add anything new.

     

    There is something troubling about list-making though. When writing and rewriting and rewriting again the same things over and over, it can seem as though you’re not accomplishing anything. This can lead to feeling defeated and we go down the dreaded path of judging and ridiculing ourselves for not getting enough done.

     

    The other day, as I wrote down, “-cut stickers off window candles” for honestly probably the 40th time, I STOPPED. “Ah! I’m tired of writing this down week after week after week!” In that moment I decided not to rewrite the three items at the bottom of the list.

     

    Instead, I completed them!

     

    And, oh, my goodness did it feel amazing!! Who knew how great it would feel to get those things DONE?! Now, they were not at all a priority. But they were these insignificant things that kept nagging at me. And they were things I knew weren’t going to take huge amounts of time. They were just things that were unimportant that I simply didn’t feel like doing, but wanted done. Completing them and NOT rewriting them on my list felt so…cleansing.

     

    Are you a list-maker? What’s on the bottom of your list that you can do and stop rewriting? Bring up three items from the bottom of your list and just do them. You will experience a fabulous sense of accomplishment! And then…celebrate!

     

    “Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.”

    ~Thomas Carlyle

     

    Share below at least one of the items from the bottom of your list that you plan to knock off and never rewrite again!

     

    Be empowered,

     

    P.S. To connect with incredible, supportive, like-minded new female entrepreneurs transitioning from corporate jobs to online coaching businesses, come join my free Facebook group, Emerging Empowered Entrepreneurs, at http://bit.ly/EEEFBGroup.

  • Beauty Products - Does Organic Matter? Beauty Products – Does Organic Matter?

    Beauty Products - Does Organic Matter?

    This week, I had two friends experience breast cancer scares. Both of them found a lump in their breasts. And while Emerge Empowerment is about business, at its core, it is about empowerment. And do I want to remind everyone that what we put ONto our bodies is just as important as what we put INto our bodies. Hearing just a bit about each of their stories touched my heart and I felt compelled to write today’s blog.

     

    By now, most of you know that I have had cystic acne since I was in my early twenties. If you haven’t yet watched my first-ever YouTube video where I talk about my skin issues, you can check it out by clicking HERE. And if any of you have ever had skin issues of any kind, you KNOW the physical pain and emotional embarrassment that comes with them. Your confidence suffers, you want to hide, and you surely are NOT feeling empowered.

     

    Since the onset of my acne, I tried so many different possible solutions, both topical and oral. If there was a cream I could slather on, I slathered. A masque, slap it on me. Toothpaste on my pimple to dry it up, why not?? That one left a scar…I don’t recommend it. Oh, the systems and washes I tried. From Proactive (twice) to the plethora of options from Hollywood’s beautiful women, I ordered it and used it. Even though they didn’t all promise to crush my acne, I hoped they might help. Nothing did.

     

    Off to the dermatologist I went for more salves and lotions…AND, pharmaceuticals. I’ve been on probably most of the antibiotic options (tetracycline, minocin, etc.), birth control, Accutane (twice), some stinky Sulphur pill, and anything they recommended. So many drugs into my body for so many years.

     

     

    Nothing helped…at least nothing long term.

     

    Most recently, for the past 6-7 years, I was on spironolactone. It was the only thing I found that worked well and long term. My skin was…finally…normal. I even received compliments and was stunned every time. Still, it was a drug. And the more I learn about my body and what I put into it, the more I decided it was time to be DONE with drugs just to have normal skin. I knew the medicine was impacting my body in other ways…why else would I need to get bloodwork done every so often? Yikes!!

     

    While sitting in a doctor’s office one morning perusing a magazine, I happened across an article where the author’s story very closely mirrored my own. She went completely off of dairy and high glycemic foods. I had stopped most dairy long ago because it upsets my stomach and it isn’t all that good for you. So, cutting out the cheese I ate occasionally wasn’t a big deal. I try to eat pretty healthy so didn’t eat many high glycemic foods; again, not difficult to cut them out entirely. So, off I went to try my new “diet.”

     

    I weaned off of my medicine as I made the dietary changes. After about three months…my skin was still clear!!!!

     

    Hooray!!!!

     

    At about month four…pop, pop-pop, pop-pop-pop…back came the pepperoni-face. My heart sank. The pimples were painful, I felt ugly, and I didn’t want to be seen.

     

    At the age of 46, I thought, this HAS to be hormonal. Come on, I have wrinkles already! Can I just deal with one OR the other?! J And so my journey led me to a holistic gynecologist.

     

    As I’ve gotten older, I have started researching more about the holistic world and learning so much about the toxins and chemicals that are not only in the foods we eat, but also in our health and beauty products. So, it was important to me to find a holistic approach to dealing with my acne. Our plan is to address my digestive issues and my doctor believes I may see an improvement in my skin with a reduction of the acne. And onward I go with my journey. I’m taking a probiotic and a holistic supplement called Berberine to help heal my “gut,” as the doctor’s like to refer to it. Every now and again, I’ll share with you my updates…good or bad.

     

    Alongside of my skin journey, I continue to explore and research more about what we put ONTO our bodies being just as important as what we put INTO our bodies.

     

    Have you ever read the label on some of your health and beauty products? I know, who has time for that? I never used to be a label-reader…until now. Let me help you out, there are tons of ingredients listed that you can’t even pronounce that are basically harsh chemicals and other toxins. Scary, huh? There is breast cancer in my family so I have a heightened awareness of parabens in the products I use. Click on the link below to see some research I did on my own that you may find useful.

     

    Paraben, Mineral Oils, Petrolatum

     

    After looking at the ingredients in some of the products I used regularly and learning about their hazardous impact on my body, I was, quite frankly, terrified. Now, don’t freak out and start throwing away all your products to run out and buy new ones…you’ll go broke! But, DO educate yourself.

     

     

    Run some of your products through the Think Dirty app. This app is amazingly informative! And they are partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund so I don’t feel like I’m being duped by any particular brand that might be paying them to advertise. In the app, you can scan a bar code to see that item or enter a brand name and it will show you products by that brand. It will also give a rating: 0-3 is green meaning pretty clean, 4-7 is yellow meaning it’s in the middle of clean and dirty, and 8-10 is red meaning…dirrrrrrrTY!!! When you find a product you use and see that it’s yellow or red, you can click on “Our Picks” and they provide options in the green category for you to consider. The “Dirty Meter” will show you a scale of three measurements: 1) carcinogenicity, 2) developmental & reproductive toxicity, and 3) allergies & immunotoxicities. Clicking on “Ingredients,” will show you what ingredients are impacting the Dirty Meter scale. Some very interesting information can be learned on these tabs.

     

    I have chosen to go organic with my health and beauty products. It’s a choice I made because I want to live healthier and not have toxic chemicals absorb into my skin causing who knows what health problems. I haven’t jumped on the crazy-train and you don’t have to either. As products you currently use run out, simply see if there’s something else you can replace it with that’s less harmful and non-toxic.

     

    It has taken some time to find products I like that work well for me, but I have. One line I love is Juice Beauty.

     

     

    It has the USDA Organic seal and that makes me feel like I’m using some pretty safe products. While the certification to be considered “organic” in the United States isn’t as stringent or restrictive as it is in other parts of the world, I still feel good that they have gone through this important process.

     

     

    I will admit that I don’t care for all of the products in Juice Beauty’s line. As you now know, I have difficult skin and some of the products simply don’t agree with my skin type. But, I do love the products that I’ve found that work well for me. And, while I can’t guarantee they’ll work for you, I can guarantee they’re at least worth a try.

     

    It is important to note that I am not affiliated with Think Dirty or Juice Beauty and I do not get paid by them. I’m simply sharing my experience in hopes that it might help you.

     

    When we educate ourselves, we are empowered. And when we are empowered, we make better decisions for our health and our lives. Do some research for yourself and use the information you find helpful. Small changes can make big differences in our lives.

     

    Read your labels, get educated, and make empowered decisions about the products you use.

     

    Comment below and let me know what natural or organic products or brands you use and love. I’m always looking for great products to try!

     

    Be empowered,

    P.S. To connect with incredible, supportive, like-minded new female entrepreneurs transitioning from corporate jobs to online coaching businesses, come join my FREE Facebook group by clicking here: Emerging Empowered Entrepreneurs.

  • Entrepreneurship - The Emotional Turmoil and Living Your Purpose Entrepreneurship – The Emotional Turmoil and Living Your Purpose

    Entrepreneurship - The Emotional Turmoil and Living Your Purpose

    Many of us seek freedom when we transition from corporate America to being an entrepreneur. Freedom to be our own boss. Freedom to have our own schedules. Freedom to live a life we desire.

     

    We desire this freedom so badly that we push ourselves…hard. We endure the mental anguish. We push through the physical torture. We can almost taste the freedom on the other side.

     

    Often times, our corporate jobs lack that magic ingredient that makes us feel like we’re serving a purpose in life. We feel empty. And we know we’re meant for something more. Something than has meaning and adds value to our lives and the lives of others. This burning, passionate desire drives us to become an entrepreneur.

     

    And so we set out on our entrepreneurial journey. Balancing our corporate job with our new business and family and well…life…will present challenges and stresses, but with determination and motivation, we follow our hearts to live our purpose.

     

    5:00 AM…the alarm goes off. I lay still and drained. My first thoughts are filled with how to prioritize all the things I need to get done for my corporate job before I can even think about working on my business. My body instantly sinks more heavily into the mattress and my heart follows.

     

    I force my limbs to move, letting my legs dangle from the side of the bed. My head hangs as though a sandbag is wrapped around it.

     

    Melancholy swells inside me.

     

    I put on my workout clothes and drag myself to the treadmill. The stretching feels good and I feel the blood begin to course through my body, waking me up. I do enjoy my treadmill time. It’s treasured me-time. My spirits lift as I step onto the belt and hit start.

     

    My legs move and my body and mind become alert. I say my prayers and start my mindset work; replacing old stories in my head that no longer serve me with powerful, positive thoughts of person I truly am and the life I’m creating for myself.  Joy, calm, and confidence spill into my body.

     

    Energy ignites me while my mind focuses on what steps I will take TODAY towards creating the life I want through my business. I say my mantras and affirmations and I visualize what my life will look like and how I will feel. My body floods with happiness and my soul feels free.

     

    As the seconds tick down on the treadmill, I feel my legs and arms tighten as the dozens of tasks awaiting me at my corporate job come surging like a tidal wave into my head. The sting pinches at the base of my head, sending what feels like electric shocks down my neck and shooting through my spine. Hopelessness veils over me.

     

    I shower and head to the prison of my corporate job. The imaginary shackles bind me to my desk through endless hours of conference calls…meaningless conference calls. I churn through inaccurate data, babysit the work of others, and fumble with the broken tools we have to use.

     

    I answer one email and 10 come in. Conference calls are back-t0-back for six hours and we’re not supposed to multitask. Text messages fly in rapidly. My heart races as my workload piles up. I stare at the number 520 next to my inbox and my chest tenses. Five hours into my day, I realize I haven’t gotten up from my desk and when I go to move, my joints are stiff.

     

    While listening to a pointless conference call, my mind wanders a bit to my business as an idea for a blog pops into my head. A spark of pleasure tickles me and I jot down the idea on a sticky note.

     

    “Where are we on that, Debbie?” The question jolts me back to my cell and my heart sinks again.

     

    And throughout the day, this emotional roller coaster hurls me around like a rag doll, stealing my freedom and robbing me of living my life…my purpose.

     

    Finally around 9:00 PM (and often times later), exhaustion forces me to stop. Now I can devote some time to my business. I check my 300+ emails, follow up on my social media platforms, and start working on the blog idea I had jotted down earlier. My brain in a fog, creativity escapes me.

     

    And suddenly, I feel very…alone.

     

    The online world has quieted down at this hour. I feel stuck and end up popping into the Facebook groups of some mentors I follow. They have tons of followers. Their messages are enlightening and inspired. They’re posting frequently and all over the place.

     

    “How am I ever going to accomplish this and be successful?” I wonder. “What am I doing? I don’t even know what I’m doing? There’s no way I can do this.”

     

    The fears and doubts I worked so hard to wash away in the morning with my mindset work have come blazing back with fury. All of the old stories that, “I’m not good enough,” “I can’t,” and “I’ll never make any money,” rage through me.

     

    In my state of sheer fatigue, I allow defeat to steal my purpose and smash my desires. Tears blur my sight.

     

    For a moment, I wallow in the self-pity. But ONLY for a moment.

     

    “No!” I determine zealously. “I will NOT let this be my existence,” I vow to myself.

     

    “I was put on this earth to make an impact. I was put here for a purpose. To help women find the power within them. To help them know and feel their worth. To help them transform their lives and create their own successful businesses. To help them build a life they fall in love with every day. To help them achieve their freedom. And to achieve my own freedom,” I remind myself.

     

    “I will NOT give up. I will NOT give in,” I promise myself.

     

    And now I want YOU to make a promise to yourself. NEVER, EVER give up…EVER!

     

    Life is filled with ups and downs, this we know. The transition from corporate America to being on entrepreneur will try to chew you up, spit you out, and stomp all over you.

     

    But, you…YOU are brave, you are passionate, you are empowered!! You have such great strength inside of you. Tap into it every day. Practice your mindset work every day. You have the ability to power through all the negativity. You control your mind…your destiny. And I believe in YOU.

     

    You are capable of all that you desire. Live your purpose.

     

    What purpose are YOU living? Please share below. Let’s keep each other going!

     

    Be empowered,

    To connect with incredible, supportive, like-minded new female entrepreneurs transitioning from corporate jobs to online coaching businesses, come join my free Facebook group, Emerging Empowered Entrepreneurs, at http://bit.ly/EEEFBGroup.

  • Small, focused steps can lead to big, empowered impact. Reiki Principles for Our Health and Happiness

    Small, focused steps can lead to big, empowered impact.

     

    Our world is full of stress, we are riddled with anxiety, and our pace is often in a constant state of fast-forward such that quieting our minds at the end of each day seems unattainable. And wrapped up in all of this negative energy, our health and our happiness suffer.
    As defined on Reiki.org, “Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.”
    Today, I’m pleased to feature Rebecca Syx, RN MSN as my guest blogger. Read below to learn how to change your focus one step at a time and, over time, feel the larger, healthier, happier impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

     

    The 5 principles of Reiki

    Just for today, do not be angry

    Just for today, do not worry

    Just for today, be grateful

    Just for today, work hard

    Just for today, be kind to others.

     

    I love the snarky Facebook posts from parents about laundry and yoga pants and wine and making it until bedtime. Their irony and sarcasm make me laugh and hit close to home. But if I sit and think about it enough, they also make me feel so sad because these hilarious quotes and memes are many times based in a cynicism which roots deep. This can bring one to wonder how they can survive another day in the hamster wheel of life where you are just struggling to keep your chin above water let alone keep your house clean and survive until bedtime. This became more apparent to me after my first Reiki attunement.

     

    There were several emotions stirred up in me during that weekend which caused me to evaluate several aspects of my life from a new perspective. I especially identified with the 5 principles of Reiki because they were familiar to me from my religious upbringing. When I was considering ways in which I could bring Reiki with me into my everyday life, I realized that I could infuse the 5 principles into my routine and, in turn, reap great results. By focusing on loving myself and loving others, I know great achievements are made.

     

    So what if, instead of focusing on the hamster wheel cynicism of the daily grind, I focused on infusing the 5 principles? Don’t get me wrong, I identify with the snarky posts. But I was open and willing to take an honest look at how I was spending my energy in speaking about my life. Words carry so much more weight than we realize many times.

     

    For example, instead of saying “I can’t wait until the kids go to bed” I would say “I am so grateful for this full day even with its challenges and even though I’m exhausted from living this day so well.”

     

    The change in focus from making it to bedtime (not focusing on the present) to feeling tired from living so well (gratitude for a full life) shifts perspective. It seems so small. But when mindfulness is placed on tone and your words are intentionally focused on gratitude and love and kindness, larger shifts begin to occur.

     

    My husband and I both work, he at a crunching-numbers desk job and me as a night shift ICU nurse. We are also raising three beautiful young children. In the middle of all this we are working to meet all of the usual standards of taking care of each other, taking care of our marriage, making sure our kids are getting the right nutrition from the right things and that they are in the right activities, attending to our faith, working out, eating properly, etc. etc. etc. No pressure, right? Right. This is where the challenge started for me.

     

    “Just for today.” How am I supposed to manage the schedule of a family of five “just for today?” I like to plan. And not only just plan, manage every detail. With that detailed focus, however, comes some other tendencies. Tendencies to rehash things that were said or worry about what could possibly go wrong. This form of anxiety, Type-A, organized—whatever you want to call it to soften the label—feels like it has been a part of me for my entire life. So living just for today, in moments, with gratitude is something that I work on every day. Some days I crush it and some days not so much. Some days it is easy to be present, be slow to anger, let go of worry and control, be grateful, not complain about working hard and be kind to others. And other days I fail miserably.

     

    What I have learned over my first year of being a Reiki practitioner is that we are all learning this process. Many of us want to have these principles come easy to us every day and this is where change occurs. The realization of this desire and the mindfulness to keep the principles in the forefront of our busy, overworked, multitasking minds is where positive change is birthed.

     

    When you tack on the “just for today” at the start of the precept, it does take some pressure off. It doesn’t say “don’t ever worry.” Just start with today. And some days I will change it to “Just for the next hour, do not worry” or “Until lunch, be grateful.” Some days this is all one can do. Take the day in steps. This is the way to change mindset over time. It eventually becomes easier to release old ways of thinking and old habits and patterns. While saying “I’ve always been this way” is certainly a safe reason to justify ways of thinking, it doesn’t mean change is impossible.

     

    Small steps in manipulating and breaking thought patterns will eventually lead to bigger changes. If you can break the cycle of anxious, angry, ungrateful thoughts even just once you become that much stronger than the pattern. Over time, it will become easier and easier to break the cycle and you will gain a better sense of control of the “ways you have always been.” This is certainly possible and I can say that because I have done it in my own life.

     

    So maybe start today. Actually, definitely start today. Choose one little principle and make it your mantra for the day, for the week. Maybe just start with an hour. Wherever you start is perfect because this journey of mindfulness and gratitude and love will sweep you off your feet eventually and before you know it things will appear radically different. The once mundane and seemingly insignificant appear magnificent. No, it will not be a perfect journey. There are days when I lay in bed beating myself up over how I could have done things differently that day. But those times are becoming less and less common. Those thoughts linger for shorter periods of time. And I realize that the implementation and focus on these precepts has brought great positive change for myself and those around me.

     

    The ripple effect of this type of change—based in love—is where major change starts. Begin today by promising to love others and yourself. Sprinkle in some gratitude. Release worry and fear and anger and see beauty in the daily grind. You are worth it, dear one.

     

    Learn more about Rebecca and her work at Greater Good Wellness.

     

    Small, focused steps can lead to big, empowered impact.

     

    Let’s do this together. Comment below and let me know what principle you are going to implement in your life starting now. I am a worry-wart. So I will start with, “Just for today, I will not worry.”
    Be empowered,

  • Entrepreneurship is a journey of self-discovery. Entrepreneurship – The Mental Anguish

    I remember when I was young and thought about what my life would be like. What kind of job I would have. Would I have a family? Where would I live?

    I was a happy child with a creative mind, a caring heart, and a thoughtful soul. And I loved helping people, it made me feel good. As I got older, this desire grew and I got my undergraduate degree in psychology/sociology/anthropology. I loved learning about how people work inside their brains and how I could help them feel better. One thing I knew for sure was that I did NOT want to work behind a desk all day in an air conditioned office.

    And guess what? Yup, that’s exactly where I landed. Since I was not encouraged to follow my dreams and my hopes and desires were squashed, I let go of any fantasies about the life I desired. And I followed a path that was supposed to set me up for life.

    I got a corporate job with a pension, 401K, and benefits plan. I also went on to earn my MBA. And I loathed every minute of my life. The stress became unbearable, the hours insanely exhausting, and I had no life outside of work.

    All I had set myself up for was an early death.

    And for the first time in my life, I decided it was time to follow my heart. I made the decision to be an entrepreneur. And I was filled with passion about something that would actually have a positive impact on this world. I would finally be helping people. And I was lit up inside.

    Though my 12-14 hour days didn’t leave time for much else in my life, I let my passion drive me. I stayed up late, got up early, and sacrificed any moment of available time to dive into my business. I spent hours upon hours Googling, YouTube-ing, and DIY-ing everything I could to figure out the whole online entrepreneur thing.

    I kept researching and learning; taking online courses and participating in challenges. I interacted on Facebook groups and social media platforms. I never knew I was going to need to learn how to be a photographer, a marketing genius, an advertising mogul, a brilliant copywriter, a savvy salesperson, an IT expert, a branding wizard, and so…much…more!!

    Hours led to days. Days led to weeks. And I wasn’t get very far. And I definitely wasn’t making the money because I wasn’t selling anything because I was spending all my time trying to figure out what I was even doing! Any hopes of being able to leave my corporate job were thwarted by overwhelm.

    Fog filled my brain…complete and utter mental anguish. I had lost sight of my purpose, the reason I started my business in the first place. How was I going to help others when I couldn’t even figure things out myself? Fear and self-doubt slithered their way in and I lost faith in myself. And no revenue was coming into my business. Working my corporate job and throwing myself into my business only to be unsuccessful; despair had set in.

    Finally…I found the missing piece…mindset.

    I had been so confident as a high-achiever in my corporate job, doing my research, analyzing my data, and presenting my findings…no problem. My “value” came from producing delieverables, which had nothing to do with believing in myself.

    What I realized was that I needed to work on me before I was going to see any success in helping others. I needed to learn how to heal myself, believe in myself, and allow myself to dream again. I needed to learn house to reprogram all the years of crappy programming I had allowed to control my life. That old programming has us telling ourselves the most awful things, creating demons inside us. I had to go on a journey of self-exploration and learn how to live without judgement. To learn how to love myself and know, unequivocally, that I am worthy and I can help people find their own worth.

    I reframed the use of my time and focused…every day…on mindset work. And within one month, my life began to change. I started making the right connections with people who could help me learn exactly what I needed to know to be successful in the online space. The right opportunities started popping up. I found amazing resources. And I felt exhilaration fill me! The fog cleared and my path was clear.

    The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one. But when you focus on transforming your mindset to serve you rather than hinder you, blissful, magical things begin to happen.

    Your life is what you make it and it all starts with YOU.

    There are many ways to work on our mindset. Please share one of yours below.

    Be empowered,

    To connect with incredible, supportive, like-minded new female entrepreneurs transitioning from corporate jobs to online coaching businesses, come join my Facebook group, Emerging Empowered Entrepreneurs.