Option B: What to do when Option A is no longer available

I turned 30 this weekend so I wanted to take this week to reflect on where the past decade has taken me and where I'm going looking forward. 

I've been realizing how much fear I've always had around the unknown and how much time I've spent in my twenties stressed out and scared about what "could" happen. But I am super over being stressed and scared because not only do I not want premature wrinkles, but I want to be happy and content with where I am now. and now. and now. 

I was talking to my girlfriend recently and when we were chatting about our fears she mentioned Alexandra Franzen's article on "plan z".

The gist of finding your "plan z" is that we work ourselves into so much fear around the unknown, around what could happen if we don't get the job, if we lose the job, if our book or product or whatever doesn't sell, if our partner breaks up with us, etc (also known as our "plan A). but then we stop there, without ever really diving into the worst case scenario and THAT is where our fears fester. 

Plan Z is what your plan is if everything in your entire life falls apart.

Right after our conversation I came across Sheryl Sandberg's (the COO of Facebook) new book Option B, which is a similar idea with tons of research on how we build resilience after our "Option A" is no longer an option. 

In reconciling and healing from my own grief from my fiance breaking off our engagement, which was my Option A, I've searched for meaning in ways I've never needed to search for meaning before... I've looked for my Option B and I've been diving into my Plan Z.

I've talked with a father who lost his son to a rare disease, countless people who have suffered from breakups, and searched high and low for stories that resonate with the meaning that I'm bringing into my own life.

I've started to follow Gabby Bernstein when I want to be "spiritual chic" (sounds oxymoronic, I know), but she has a way of straight talking and putting "woo woo" into real life that I totally dig.

I read and listen to Dr Wayne Dyer when I want to feel warm and cozy, like my dad is reading me a bedtime story. 

And I've now turned to voices like Sheryl Sandberg, whose husband's death propelled her into a journey of looking for Option B when Option A, her husband, was no longer there (this interview on the OnBeing podcast that Sheryl does with Adam Grant has so much wisdom around how to face loss, whatever that loss may be for you, I highly recommend taking a listen).

Now that I'm 30 I figure it's about time start believing in something that serves me more than my belief system of fear has so far. I'm choosing to believe the Universe is a kind place that has in store for me so much more than I can fathom in my mind. 

And that makes Option B and Plan Z not so scary, after all. 

Xoxo,

Baya

How to embrace change and impermanence (HTI: Yourself)

As you probably know by now, my fiance recently broke off our engagement and processing the breakup has been one of the greatest lessons tied in with some of the biggest grief I've ever felt. 

the breakup was unexpected and it knocked me on my ass, which I'm sure sounds familiar to you if you've ever experienced loss or grief of any sort. It's usually unexpected and more often than not you sort of get the shit kicked out of you when it happens. 

But here's the thing... when we get knocked down, we have two options: we can either be the victims of our circumstances (and I'm sure we can make a laundry list of reasons why), or we can choose to see the situation as an opportunity for growth - a chance to come out on the other side as a better version of ourselves. 

When I read this article it really hit home -- the ideas of impermanence and acceptance resonate with me so I thought they might resonate with you, too. 

I'm choosing to come out as a stronger, more wise, more capable human being because being the victim takes a lot of work and to be frank, it's just way more depressing. 

I hope you learn something from this article -- I know I did :).

Xoxo,

Baya

How can you tell your partner what you want in bed? (HTI: Your Relationship)

Actually, let's back up a bit here and start with WHY you don't tell your partner what you want in bed. I'll give you one guess (in rhymes with shmear).

Yep, you guessed it: fear. We're afraid.

And somehow we've made that fear our identity. "I can't ask for what I want because I wasn't raised that way." "I'm too scared", "what if he rejects me?" 

Now listen, we could get real heavy into this subject because fear is pretty much the most common emotion we can feel, but I want to stop before I even get started because all it takes is a quick google search to find anything you want to know about the subject. 

So let me just save you some time and get to a remedy: lean into the fear. You don't walk into the fire because you're not afraid, you want into the fire in SPITE of being afraid. That's the only place growth happens. When you let fear paralyze you and become your identity, you've let your STORY win... not who you actually are, but the STORY you've created about who you are.

Now that we know what's stopping us and how to shift it, here's an article written by one of my faves, Relationship Therapist, Esther Perel, on the how's of telling your partner what you want.

So now that you know the skill, the only thing to get past is the fear. 

You've got this. 

 

The Five Principles of Manifesting Your Desires (HTI: Yourself)

Earlier this week I posted a quote on my instagram that said "what you think and what you feel and what manifests is always a match every single time".

What this points to is something I teach and that I've heard from experts from all walks of life. It is our job to feel good first before we get the thing that we want. That is the basis of how manifestation works. Instead of ready, aim, fire. It's fire, ready, aim.

In this article, Gabby Bernstein, spiritual teacher, speaker and author, gives five steps to manifesting. Use this as your playbook and guide. Go back to it as often as you feel yourself being being incongruent with what you want and what you feel. 

Then, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! 

 

 

How to Move from Scarcity to Abundance with These Simple Tools (HTI: Yourself)

Scarcity is a nasty habit, but for most of us it feel more natural than abundance. I'll admit scarcity comes much more easily for me than abundance does. And it's no surprise... when most of us grew up hearing "money doesn't grow on trees" or seeing other people's successes when we didn't feel like we had any, etc. I mean, there are a million reasons why we feel lack. 

Which is why when I came across this article on success.com I could totally relate. In it, John C. Maxwell gives us super useful and effective tools to switch up our wiring because after all, that's all that it is. 

Create new habits. Implement new habits. Rewire. Boom. You're basically Buddha. 

Meditation Resource Guide

For those of you who want some resources to support you through your meditation journey, I've put together some of my favorite meditations, suggested reading, recommended meditation apps and lectures from from of my favorite teachers. Enjoy! 

 

First things first.... New to meditation and feeling a teensy bit overwhelmed with a splash of "wtf am I getting myself into?" --- START HERE

Suggested Reading: 
The Universe Has Your Back
The Power of Intention
You are a Badass
When Things Fall Apart
The Four Agreements
The Desire Map (this is more of a workbook, but it's awesome)
A Course in Miracles

Here are some guided meditations I love:
Forgiveness
Manifesting Morning Meditation
Abundance 
528hz (sound frequency)

Lecturers:

If you find yourself wanting to stay in ze mood when you're done with your meditation, here are some of my favorite leaders in the spiritual/self-development space to help you dive deeper into this work. Take your pick, you really can't go wrong (maybe even let your intuition guide you... eh, eh?).

Tara Brach
Dr Wayne Dyer
Marianne Williamson
Sara Avant Stover (for women)
Allen Watts 
 

Meditation apps:

Headspace (there is a nominal fee to use this app)

Insight timer (this is free)

Please add to this list in the comments section! I'm only scratching the surface so if you have more ideas, we'd love to hear them! 

 

 

Setting yourself up for success for the 30 Day Meditation Challenge

As we all know... it's hard enough to do something for a day, let alone 30 days so I've compiled a list of strategies to set yourself up for success right out of the gate. 

Prep your roomies, partner, kiddos, etc. 
If you have kids, a partner or anyone else who lives with you and needs your attention at all hours of the day (moms + dads, I'm talking to you), make sure you give them a heads up. Whether that means hanging a "do not disturb", putting earplugs in, having a quick convo, etc. You know what you need to do to prep the people in your house that you're gonna do you for a bit and that takes alone time :). 

Create a sacred space. Set up an altar.
Find a space that can be just yours for these 30 days. I don't have a lot of room so I just created an altar on my shelf, put a little rug underneath and voila... a space that used to be used for clutter is now where I get all zenned out. 
If you want to learn more about how to create an amazing altar, this is a great (and easy to follow) article.
Also, side note... your altar doesn't need much. I have some stones, a mini buddha, incense and essential oils and other knick-knacky things that make me feel good. You can put absolutely anything you want on your altar.
This is the fun part -- make it yours! 

Know when you plan to meditate.
Give yourself a schedule to start out. Even if the time that you set up for yourself initially changes once you get a little more settled into your practice, start out with something set. Maybe it's 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night, maybe it's once a day, maybe it's in bed before you get up or fall asleep -- it doesn't matter when or where, but this part will be crucial to your success.

Speaking of when and where...
Meditation can be done anywhere. While creating an altar and a sacred space is awesome, you can also meditate in bed, on a hike, at your desk, etc. I meditate for a few minutes in bed in the morning (it actually helps wake me up) and after I've woken up a bit, I transition to my altar to finish. There's no rhyme or reason, just do what's best for you!

Have an accountability buddy

While meditation is an extremely personal practice, this wouldn't be a challenge without some motivation to finish out the 30 days so I'm adding in accountability buddies! If you know anything about me, you know how obsessed I am with accountability as a tool for being effective. 

I know how busy we all are so I've crafted a super easy accountability system, which I've put below. 

Two options for accountability buddies: 

Option #1: Do this with a friend! If they haven't registered yet, make sure they get in before the 31st when the list closes! 

Option #2: If you're doing this challenge solo, head over the the facebook group and look at the people who are in your introduction group. Choose someone from your introduction group and make a new friend (I promise, this community is incredibly badass, so don't be nervous!). 

How accountability buddies work: 

Step #1: Exchange numbers with accountability buddy
Step #2: Every day text each other one simple phrase: "Did you meditate yet?" to which your buddy will respond yes or no. 
Then they write the same thing back to you: "Did you meditate yet?"... and so on

SUPER simple... SUPER game changer.


 

How to Train Your Brain to go to Positive Instead of Negative (HTI Yourself)

I recently came across this Forbes article that I'm absolutely obsessed with and mainly because the action step is super simple.

Want to be more positive and less negative? The article says "negativity will engulf you unless you build yourself a positivity circuit. To do that, spend one minute looking for positives, three times a day for forty five days. This trains your brain to look for positives the way it is already trained to look for negatives."

Boom. Super simple and something we can all easily add into our calendars. 

Speaking of super simple... starting April 1st I'll be hosting a free 30 Day Meditation Challenge so that you can start implementing a simple and effective tool to re-organize your brain and switch up its patterns that are currently in a habit loop. If you're looking for more freedom, healing, abundance or an awesome tool to start manifesting the life you want, this is it.

Sign up for my FREE 30 Day Meditation Challenge!