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I feel fat. I tell myself horrible things all day. What can I do to feel better about myself?

We spend most of the day mesmerized, taunted and eluded by the endless chatter in our minds. Most of us don’t realize this as we take the mind talk (our thoughts) for who we are.

Sometimes the internal conversaion is nice and other times it’s downright cruel.

The cruel days can be the hardest.

“You’re fat! You look old and old is bad. Why can’t those jeans fit you the way they fit your sister. She was always the prettier one anyways. Fatty, fat, fat!”

I think I spent most of my 28 years here on earth hating myself, which is interesting to note. The part that hated “me” is also the same part that loved “me”.

We laugh when we see dogs barking at their reflection in the mirror. Silly dog, we think. Can’t they see they are barking at their own reflection?

Humans are not so different, which is evident by the nature of this question.

Can’t we see our love/hate relationship with our own reflections? Reflections, by definition, are embodiments or represenations of something else; but, of what?

Unlike the pooch that may forget that the “sliding glass door dog” was ever there, our bodies and nervous systems remember the impact of the endless, and at times violent, tauntings of our mind. Over time, we take the thoughts in our heads as some sort of truth.

In Episode 2 of #AskJuanita, Juanita talks about self-love, taking care of yourself and the epic abs of one Janet Jackson. Yes, that bitch did have a 20 pack.

#AskJuanita’s Best Advice?

“You gotta make yourself feel good. No one else will.” (tweet it)

How can I feel better about myself?

First, identify who you are.

There’s a practice I once learned that entailed writing down all the things we are not. 

Your job title. That devastating heartbreak. Your hairstyle. Your Youtube video that went viral. The man that loves you. The woman that doesn’t. Your neighborhood. The new dryer. Your father’s rage. The ever-painful relationship with your mom. Your resume.

You are not those things.

To put it simply, you are not anything that can change or die (tweet that!).

When you have exhausted your list, reflect on what remains, which shouldn’t be much. That is the direction of who you truly are.

Space.

Peace.

Ever expansive silence. The humming of the stars. A presence than can only be known through your body. A sensation and knowing that the mind cannot possibly rationalize, for it goes beyond the capabilities of thought.

This is vastly different than believing you are the sum of your accomplishments or the people in your life.

You may very well have some extra pounds to spare or you may have weight to gain. Or, go figure, you might be just fine.

But how do you know?

You listen. 

Not to the endless chatter of your mind. Let that go. Learn to watch your thoughts and recognize them as as the renegade Wild West that they are. Don’t try to find solace there.

Sink deeper.

First you will feel, maybe for the first time in your life, and at first it may be uncomfortable. Learn to sit with that. It’s just something that needs to be released.

Over time you will witness and the nature of your question will change.

Namaste.

I’m curious to know. What are three things that would be on your list of things you are not? Share in the comment section below. 

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Are your desires superficial?

It’s been a while, beautiful people. I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. It’s been almost a year since I last wrote you and wow, hasn’t my entire world changed in the past 12 months?

Has it been crazy for you too?

In the course of all of these profound shifts, I needed time to myself. To purge. To grow. To move. To reflect. To sit with the painful reality of bidding a previous life goodbye.

Can you relate?

Moving forward, I’m changing how I approach this blog. For a while, I felt trapped in talking only about sales and marketing. While these topics are near and dear to my heart, there are other areas in life I want to explore with you.

I hope you’ll join me.

Without further delay, allow me to introduce you to Juanita, athough as of recently, she’s feeling more like a Francesca.

She’s one of many muses. Wise, straight talking and a bit rough-around-the-edges, she allows me to dive into questions with greater depth, fluidity and fun. Plus, I find her incredibly entertaining to bring to life.

In today’s episode, we discuss the question, “Are my desires superficial?”

How often do you judge your desires? I judge mine more than I care to count.

Buddhism has a beautiful teaching around the concept of desire.

“All phenomena, the Buddha once said, are rooted in desire. Everything we think, say, or do — every experience — comes from desire. Even we come from desire. We were reborn into this life because of our desire to be. Consciously or not, our desires keep redefining our sense of who we are. Desire is how we take our place in the causal matrix of space and time. The only thing not rooted in desire is nirvana, for it’s the end of all phenomena […] (original source here).”

I used to think that desire was a sort of final destination. It was a stepping stone to something final, absolute and complete. To obtain what I sought would act as a remedy to a current problem in my life. In some instances this is true, but these remedies are temporary.

Desire is not finite.Desire does not promise a pain free life, but it will act as a teacher. It’s like the swirling Northern Lights, dazzling you into a trance and inviting you down a path.

Are you willing to move?

What you desire is not inherently right or wrong. It simply is. And beneath those whisperings of your heart are pieces of wisdom offered up to your highest self.

Gifts from your soul to the part of you awake enough to listen.

Embrace your desire without grasping for it. Nurture the coals of your heart without trying to hold them too tightly (tweet it). 

In this short video, Juanita gives you the low-down on the “ok-ness” in what you seek. Desires need no validation. They’re your desires. They’re your teacher.

Her best advice?

“Our desire to be famous comes from our wish to be seen. You, however, must first see yourself.” (tweet it)

Tell me what you think: What do you think is the point of our desires? And do you think all desires are worth following? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

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blinded

Sometimes it feels like we are walking in the dark. No matter how hard we try, the answers and solutions to our most probing questions seem to hide. Until we realize one day that the darkness itself is a facade and that we are actually  soaked in light, truth and all we need.

“What we seek on the outside exists within. The search thus begins inside of you.” (tweet it!)

Below is a short video I created entitled, “blinded” that speaks to the twists and turns we as entrepreneurs, and humans in search of something greater, will inevitably experience.

 

“blinded” by Lauryn Ballesteros

I’s not a party without a conversation!

What do you think? Have you experienced a time in your life or business where you felt like nothing worked? Please share what you did to finally be able to “see” your way out of the problem in the comments below.  We are all the teachers here. 

 

 

 

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How can I live up to my potential?

A few weeks ago I asked a dear friend of mine what question or idea was really eating at her. This is what she wrote to me:

I want to know if I am capable of producing on the outside the level of greatness I have on the inside. I fear my stories will hold me back from my calling or at least allowing myself to go to my calling.

I think that is a question of all of us go getter ask ourselves from time to time especially when we’re going through a transition.

After about 20 really bad Youtube attempts to explain this concept, I decided to take my own advice and “just do it”.

In today’s episode of what we shall call LaurynTV for the moment (the name will change at some point), I take a unique approach to this question.

You’re going to meet Maurica, the flamboyant could-be-Latina, could-be-Russia, soon-to-be singer and hear some profound wisdom dropped on the streets of NYC.

But the even bigger message here is that I ask myself the same exact question more than I care to count or admit. This video is part of my journey figuring out if I will live up to my potential and believe me, there are a lot of mistakes including:

  • We forgot to flip the iPhone the right way so it looks extra narrow.
  • I tried to talk to a group of rebel communists in Union Square park. To say the least, that didn’t work (at all).
  • The “FREE HUG” guy at the park basically took back his offer when he saw we had a camera in our hands.
  •  The quality isn’t that great (it looked so much better on my computer than Youtube) and I clearly have lots to learn about videography.
  • It took me almost two hours to get over the fear of shooting and just do it.

But more than anything, I had to face the reality of what I really want to do… capture stories, create awesome–engaging content, make cool videos that give people a life changing experience and above all… have fun.

So this is me figuring all that out and that’s ok. I definitely didn’t get it perfect this time around and you don’t have to either. And over time, you get better!

So now I’m itching to know about you! What are you in the midst of figuring out? Anyone else out there in the middle of an artistic shift? Tell me about it in the comments. I would LOVE to hear about it!

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Eat your cake already.

Today I spent two hours sitting on the phone, chatting with a teammate about the days to come. And as I write this, I’m in a state of bliss, driven to write and share this super important insight, so pardon the typos.

You see, my newest project  S+M goes live to the entire public today. I’ll tell you more about that later if you want to take a look, but onto the major revelations.

And as it so happens, my sister is also getting married. As you might figure, a family wedding and the launch of a new product in the same week do not go together.

You see, my heart wants to be with my family and as of today, I will be… preparing and doing all the things that sisters do when they get ready to walk down the aisle.

But it left me wondering about this  family and my S+M team.

What do you value? Where are you drawing your boundaries? And where do you feel stuck?

What do you find hardest about selling? What is your number one question about marketing your business ?

We have a good reason for asking. Keep reading because we’re going to have a special chance for you to get ANY sales or marketing question answered by Sophie and I for free.

 Plus, you might be featured on our S+M newsletter!

But first I want to share this life-changing revelation from this past week…

I’ve been told more times than I can count that different life experiences have been “once in a lifetime” ones, as if the excitement and growth that come from daily adventures just somehow ends.
Like the adrenaline rush from working with people like Seth Godin or at the American Embassy in Rome or living in communist Cuba for six months never happen again.
That we’re entitled to live life until we’re 30 and then somehow we become fat and old overnight.
Forgotten.

We have babies and then our lives end.

You reach the invisible ceiling of how much money you can make, good fortune you can accrue and interesting people that will pay attention to you.

And all this because of the notion that you can’t have your cake and eat it too, right?

Well who made that bullshit up?

Why are you giving me cake if I can’t eat it?

That has to be the dumbest saying I’ve ever heard and yet it’s followed almost religiously without realizing it.

We’re taught to sit on the sidelines, only use our good china for special occasions and not to buy white because it dirties too easily.

But white is so elegant, our fine china is pretty and some days, we just want to get up and play!

So why are we hoarding cake?

What we teach at S+M is that true success is not about one moment of joy strewn amongst a lifetime of boredom and mediocrity (that’s a tweetable).

It’s not about putting everyone else’s’ needs first.

No, that is a recipe for misery and disaster. Ironically enough, it’s how many people live their lives.

But not at S+M.

We believe that success is about rich experiences. Meeting fellow soul sisters, flying to Rome for the first time and eating gelato and skinny dipping in the ocean.

It’s about feeling butterflies in your stomach knowing something magical is on the horizon and knowing you have a community who has your back!

It’s about growing.

You see, six weeks ago I was a different person. This launch has changed me in ways I can only begin to explain.

Kori, one of our S+M’ers from down under, describes my sentiments well:

“Raw, engaging and brilliantly fun. I have been absolutely blown away by how this course has affected me both professionally and personally. Six weeks of renewal and wake-up! The lived experiences of Sophie and Lauryn highlighted crazy huge amounts of insightful and practical info I was able to apply straight away! These women are total rock stars of the entrepreneurial world! The unique learning model of the course also created an environment for a very open and honest discussion on topics. No space for bullshit here. We discussed, explored and actioned all concepts. I’m now left with actions happening all over the place, effective daily rituals and a brilliant and motivated network of incredible humans who I feel so lucky to have met. Boo-ya!”– Kori Nemme

The truth is I’ve been changed by this experience as much as our graduates.

Just like Kori, at some point in time, I made the leap to a bigger stage, a more abundant mindset and a crystal clear vision for what I secretly wanted out of life.

Before, I just wasn’t as clear no matter how hard I tried (problem #1) and I was afraid to admit what I really wanted for fear of failing (problem #2).

Maybe you can relate.

“I should do this… and I probably should do that. Everyone says I should do this to get ahead.. and well I definitely can’t do that! ”

[boooooo!]

I don’t know precisely when the change took place and I can’t seem to pinpoint the day or time. I can’t even quantify it.

I just know that I’m different and that would have never happened if I didn’t pursue this dream project, now known as S+M.

Happier, wiser, more loved, more confident and with another once-in-a-lifetime experience under my belt that I will cherish forever.

And was it worth it?

Was risking it all, turning down paying clients, saying no to others so I could say yes to myself… was it honestly worth it?

You bet your ass it was.

And that cake?

I devoured it!

Because that is what cake is for… to eat!

And that is what life is for! To connect, experience, relate and do work you’re proud of.

Live into your biggest self rather than hiding behind the socially acceptable version, the one that wears Gap when you really want to rock out a la Rihanna in patent leather boots (oh if we could be so brave!) and the one who yearns for adventures in Tuscany with beautiful Italian men in tight pants (or maybe that’s just my dream).

Well guess what pretty people, today is that day. At S+M we offer you the chance to create the business and the life you want with the freedom you need to be fully expressed.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn in your 6 weeks with us:

  • How to create a winner’s mindset in the best and worst of times
  • When and how to use meditation for sales mastery
  • What being yourself has to do with landing major clients
  • What modern business is actually about (and most people won’t tell you this)
  • Our secrets to closing six figures and beyond
  • Define your client: learn exactly what your customer is thinking
  • How to leverage your personal story for juicy marketing
  • EDGE: Our proven system for selling with ease to anyone
  • How to position yourself as a solution in any business situation
  • How to grow and build key relationships with successful people
  • And lots more…

S+M is all about creating a life and business full of rich experiences. The more alive you feel, the better you will sell. And that’s the bottom line.

But we’re betting that you have questions and we want to hear ‘em.

We want your toughest sales and marketing questions
This is your chance. We want you to send us your toughest, juiciest, wildest, zaniest questions about sales and marketing.

Lay it on us.

Are you stuck? Have you tried everything and it hasn’t worked? Are you clueless as to how to get what you want and make money? Are you unsure at how pleasure and sales relate?

Girl, send those questions in to info@smlaunch.com now!

We are going to personally answer EVERY SINGLE QUESTION and you may even be featured as part of our S+M Entourage in our S+M Newsletter!

Whatever question or concern you have, wherever you feel stuck in your business, you can ask us any question until October 24th, 2013 at noon EST. You are guaranteed to get a response.

Don’t wait. Email us now. We want to hear from you.

And while you’re at, check out what you’re missing over at S+M. Take a look at the full, 6 week business course. 

Cheers, to your brightest, boldest future.

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