Monday, May 23, 2016

It's the Small Things

I adore watching my 8-month old as he discovers new things about the world around him every single day. I sit back and think, to be HAPPY and amazed by the little things is truly a gift! When he discovers that the chair or wall can help support him as he wobbles to stand up... or that his voice can go up [and out] a few octaves, especially when he's in his exersaucer... or even that his hands can grab a hold of his toes as he swings his hips from side to side... it's like everything around him is a gift and he doesn't take one of those gifts for granted. This is what I LOVE about children. The world is a blank canvas and they can paint ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they want to because it's their reality that they live.

What a lesson my son is teaching me. I feel so very blessed and grateful to see this every single day. It definitely helps me realize that there is SO much in my life to be grateful. For the days and nights I feel defeated, why not turn the other cheek and focus on the many blessings [like owning our first home or good health!]. Our minds have been trained to react a certain way when things don't go the way we planned. Immediately, I go into thoughts such as, "Things never go in my favor" or "I will never be able to do that again."

Am I the only one that is sick and tired of letting those minimal setbacks dictate happiness?! I want to share three starting points that may help change that negative mindset into a more positive one:

The very first step to changing negative behavior is to acknowledge it... be mindful of what, when and how it occurs. One thing that helps me stay mindful is to actually say something out loud [often, to myself]. It feels AMAZING to say something aloud, rather than keep it trapped in that busy little mind of yours.

Changing the direction of your mentality definitely takes some discipline. Just as in any sport, you don't win games without practicing your techniques and skills. You have to put some time into practicing to change your behavior. Allow yourself some time [probably no longer than ONE day] to be upset, vent or even think about why this happened vs. that. Then it's time to let yourself move on and focus on what's right in your world. Practice this behavior as often as you remember to... every single day!

Being that our brains are trained to react certain ways in specific situations, it can be very hard to break these rules. However, the more consistent you are with acknowledging the positives, basking in that happiness and practicing the shift in your mindset, the easier it will be for you to break the negative thinking.

Although these are not complete solutions to being a happier you, they are definitely starting points for you to use in changing some of the behaviors that are instilled in our lives.

My 8-month old is helping me remember that it really is the small things in life that bring such joy. What's happiness worth to you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Gift to You

:: C O A C H I N G ::  Such a powerful, skillful and patient process to adhere to... whether you are the coach or the coachee. Coaching can take on many different meanings and define various relationships:

// Athletic coaches help enhance skills and perfect a craft at any given sport, while building endurance and strength.
// Life coaches help focus on achieving goals throughout all facets of life.
// Professional coaches utilize a thought-provoking process to help maximize personal and professional potential.
// Career coaches assist candidates in strengthening skills in resume-writing, interviewing, networking, and anything else that may endure a sustainable and enjoyable career.

Although I've been exposed to much of athletic coaching, I've also spent quite some time on the latter... career coaching. I find it quite fascinating helping people discover their passion... their motivation... their desire to work in certain roles for specific organizations.

And so I wanted to utilize this social platform of blogging to offer the gift of coaching to YOU!

Maybe you're a student [or student-athlete], asking:
- What's going to happen after graduation?
- Are my classes relevant to my future career?
- How can I balance practice and workouts with my school work?
- Will I be able to incorporate my athletic career [or education] with my professional career?

Maybe you're re-entering the workforce after "sitting out" for awhile, asking:
- Will my skills and expertise be relevant after not working for this long?
- How do I even begin writing my resume?
- Where can I meet people that speak the same business language as I do?

Or perhaps you are on a quest to start something anew, asking:
- How can I justify leaving my career I invested so many years into?
- Where do I even start?
- How do I really know if I want to explore this vs. that?

Whichever scenario describes your situation best, having a career coach can absolutely help you reach some of your goals and help discover answers to some of those questions you might have. First thing is first... EMAIL me any questions you might have about career coaching. I would be more than happy to discuss what my coaching process entails, and how it might benefit your quest for accomplishing career goals!

What are some areas of your life you think coaching might help?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Balancing in Cleats and Books

Practice, classes, lift, meetings, study table, homework... all too familiar to student-athletes. Whether you're in college, high school, middle school or even younger- trying to juggle life in cleats and with the books is an endless struggle. Student-athletes go through such a straneous process, mentally and physically. They test their bodies in the physical practices they have... they exhaust their mental capacity by learning so many new things throughout class and even in meetings for their sport!

One football player from Dordt College captured an amazing documentary of what a glimpse of his life looks like behind closed doors, in which you can appreciate the hard labor these student-athletes are exuberating!

You might be a parent of a child who is starting to play sports... or you might be a student-athlete yourself. Whichever the case, there are a few things that you can start to practice that might help overcome some obstacles during these difficult years:

You just might feel like there's something to do every waking minute. To be honest, this is a great lesson for what's to come once you start working in your career field! Every day presents itself with the same number of minutes and hours. It all lies in how you utilize those minutes and where you want to spend that time in order to fulfill the best YOU. If you have scheduled meetings or classes, make the best of those minutes and find a moment to seek happiness in what you're doing. Here's more to say about managing your time in this J&BT post.

There are so many students in the same boat as you that surround you day in and day out (aka your teammates). BUT, if you are able to grab a quick coffee or lunch with someone from your classroom, you can start to build relationships that can steer you in a specific direction for life after sports. Check out this J&BT post for more happs in networking, or this J&BT post for some ideas for convo starters.

3. Get plenty of REST
Sleep is such a sacred thing. Some of us cherish it, while others abuse it. Our bodies and brains recharge at it's best when we rest as much as we can. Put away those cell phones, turn off that tv, and lie in bed with a clear mind. Try not to think about what you have to do the next day, or what you didn't do earlier throughout the day. Just BE... and allow yourself 6-8 hours of beauty rest so you can rejuvinate yourself for practice and school (or work)!

I also recommend a great article titled, "8 Tips for Being a Great Sports Parent" written on Changing the Game Project. He talks about some great insights we can appreciate as parents to support our children who play sports.

The truth of the matter is that you will always have to balance in life. Cleats and books... work and family... time and happiness... children and career... on and on and on. The best thing we can do for ourselves and others is to be as present as we possibly can to whatever it is we are doing in the moment.

How do you balance?

Friday, May 13, 2016

I'm a Stroller Mom

I LOVE working out. I LOVE results. I LOVE getting stronger. I LOVE group fitness.

But guess what happens when I had baby? .... those LOVES were left alone... unfulfilled... shattered. Okay, a bit dramatic, but truthfully I didn't have time to myself to get out and workout. Heck, I wasn't even able to workout indoors with baby in front of me! He would only tolerate the swing for maybe 10 minutes... 15 minutes tops!

The more working out became nonexistent for me, the greater my love grew... and grew... into eventually a NEED!! So I searched high and low for options.

- Should I leave baby in a childcare facility (for the first time ever) while I ran the treadmill or took a spinning class?
- How about leaving him with dad at the crack of dawn while I went to a 5:30am class?
- Or maybe I can get a workout in after I put baby to sleep for the night?

No, no and NO! None of these options were feasible! The universe just did not agree with me at the time.

Hence, the birth of Star City Stroller Moms came into my life. WOW!!! I found a place that resembles a bootcamp atmosphere... with other mommies... AND babies!! YASSSSSS! Being a mommy and working out quickly became a ritual for me and my LOVE for fitness is yet again being fulfilled. I even made it to MOM of the month... WHOOP!

How do you balance fitness and life?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

TBT: Dear 2013 Self...

Reflection is such a beautiful thing! It helps remind you of the good things that has happened in your life... it helps to reminisce about the struggles you had which helped you get to where you are today... it helps you realize the growth you made from where you were yesterday, last week, last month, 5 years ago compared to where you are today!

I often reflect back on my old blog [la la Love, Learn, and Laugh], and laugh, cringe and find myself sad at times. In honor of throw-back-Thursday, I thought it might be interesting to read back on a post I wrote, and reflect on how it impacts me NOW. I had so many moments I shared in my life that were representative of a new beginning. It was a bit over three years ago when I was excited for this new beginning I wrote about in Faith Conquers Fear. I had just finished my journey of graduate school, had my PhD in my hands, and had been job hunting for 7 months at that point. I thought I would never find a job... better yet, my first shot towards my career I had worked and studied so hard for for most of my life!

If I can go back to 2013, I would FIRST hug myself! Then I would give myself some words of advice:

// Enjoy yourself and take a mental break!
New graduates often find themselves in the stressful situation of job seeking immediately after graduating. However, in hindsight, if I would have taken a break to just BE... visit family, friends, travel, and maybe even take up a hobby, I might have just discovered that my next career move would have been something I wasn't expecting.
     TIP: It's never too late to do some soul searching for what you're passionate about and what makes you happy. Even if that means ditching your degree for a bit!

// Explore your options with your "part-time" gig.
Most students work while going to school. I sure did... all throughout my school days. My supervisor, who was also a former professor, knew that I was graduating. However, what I failed to do is explore options of working for her on a more full-time basis.
     TIP: If you're working AND going to school, make it a point to discuss potential career paths while you are investing your time and effort into work at the moment.

// Chit chat with those in your local community.
I talked on the phone quite a bit at this time in my life. Being in Oregon, and my professional contacts being in California, I was on the phone a lot discussing my job-search process. What I didn't realize is that I should have discovered local chapters or groups of memberships I had joined [read here all about professional memberships].
     TIP: Search for opportunities to become involved in your local community. The more you get out there and talk to local business owners, professionals and people you don't know, the more your networking community grows and word spreads about what you can bring to the table!

Where were you three years ago? What would you tell yourself back then based on what you know today?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

FIVE Benefits of Membership

Once upon a time, I used to be brand new. Brand new to my graduate degree... brand new to the workforce... brand new to networking... brand new to the professional world. I remember thinking, "now what??" There I was ready to start talking to people that spoke the same language, but where would I meet such people?

A professor once told me that I was going to have to invest a bit of money into annual fees of professional memberships. What is such a thing... [so glad you asked!]?

Whatever your specialty of work is, or the field you earned your degree in, most likely exists professional groups or organizations that you can become a member of. These types of organizations can provide SO much... as much as you want to put into it or get out of it! Some of these things include:

1.  Free subscriptions to journal articles, including recent research studies
2.  Access to job search banks
3.  Networking events
4.  Monthly meetings [where you can meet others in your field!]
5.  Discounts on annual conferences

I've been a member of multiple organizations within my field that have really helped me become part of a community, no matter where I reside! I love the fact that I can meet new people and start new relationships with others in my field, especially having moved to Nebraska. You never know who you will meet and what he/she can bring to your life... or what YOU can bring to there life!

Need help finding a professional organization in your field? Email me and I'd be more than happy to help you out!

Friday, May 6, 2016


Mother's Day weekend! Every year, I celebrate the blessings of my beautiful mother. This year, I will continue to celebrate her legacy as MY mother and share memories of her with my family. As hard as it may be and as sad as I might feel [especially on Sunday], my strategy is to focus on how she breathed nothing but goodness on me. Nobody loved me like my mom did. She forgave me when times were rough. She praised me when times were high. She scolded me when I was young. She held me as I cried. My mom was and always will be my guardian angel.
Makes me think of how BLESSED I am to be my son's mother. Nobody on earth will love him like I do. When he laughs in happiness, I will laugh with him. When he cries in sadness or anger, I will [almost] cry right there with him. When he feels mischievous, I will definitely be there to course correct. God has picked ME of all people to be his mother... I will take this victory and enjoy every single moment until I take my last breath.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you women out there who love and care for these beautiful children!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Catch Up

I know it's been quiet here on J&BT lately, and I honestly miss having a presence in the bloggy world. I refuse to go dormant as long as I did when I closed the chapter of la la Love, Learn and Laugh. So here I am... ready to make a come back as best as I can!

Questions... I bet you have quite a few of them. So I'll try my best to put my reader hat on and ask and respond to what I think you might be curious about. Starting with the most obvious question of all:

// Q:  Where have you been?
Since my last blog post in December, it's been quite a whirlwind for my little family and I. We were in Frisco for the Husker-Bruin bowl game (which we dominated! WOOOOP!)... then we went home to LA... came back to Lincoln... eventually went back to Cali... and today I sit here from the comfort of my own home in Lincoln (in the span of 4 months!).

// Q:  What's been going on?
When we went home to Cali in December after the bowl game, my mom became very ill. What we thought was pneumonia or even possibly tuberculosis, turned out to be stage 4 cancer that had metastasized throughout her body. Unfortunately, she was called home by our Lord and Savior on January 17th. Almost 5 months later, and it's just as surreal to me as when it initially happened.

Since my mom passed, I've been back and forth between Cali and Nebraska to take care of her personal matters. I've been here in Lincoln since early April and trying to establish some sort of routine, not only for myself but for my little one as well! I'm happy to report that he is now going to bed at a decent hour (7:30pm-ish). Between the time difference, the multiple houses we stayed at, and being on the go, we're marching our way to small wins!

// Q:  How are you feeling?
I would love to think that this has all been a dream and my mom is really still alive today... to check in with me on the phone on her way to work... to ask about the baby... to visit us in Nebraska during football season... BUT the reality is that she is no longer on earth suffering or in pain. She is rejoicing with the rest of our family in Heaven. I have days that I clearly understand that and am totally content. Other days I hold my sadness... my disbelief... my guilt... which is something I'm learning to do each day is to HOLD it not HEAL it [as Jeff Foster would say]. I can't really fix the sadness or the loneliness.... but rather I can just let myself BE.

I try and remind myself that life is much more than the daily struggles we face. Our possessions are not everlasting, the worry or stress we carry doesn't solve anything, finances will always be somewhat of a burden to us. However, these struggles seem so minimal if we can focus on happiness.

How can I live a happy life so that my hubs and son can benefit from the best ME? What can I do today that will help bring positivity into my life? Am I being the best ME that I can be today? These are questions that come across my mind SO many times every single day. They give me strength... courage... motivation- things my mom brought to my life. I am extremely grateful to be her daughter, and look forward to growing more and more every day by what she has instilled in me.


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