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Stress Reduction

Making All Parts of Travel Easeful, FUN and Healthy {Part 2}

Posted on Jul 22, 2017 in Blog, Exercise & Fitness, General, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

On my last blog, I talked about easeful trip preparation, for you and your business, and how to transition and get settled more easily when you return home.  

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on your physical health while traveling. 

For me, my physical health (which impacts my mental and emotional health) is affected hugely by 3 things when traveling – Food, Hydration, Supplementation.  Here are my favorite tips and strategies for feeling both healthy during and after travel. 

1.  Pack Your Own Food and / or Snacks

Best case scenario – if I have time, I’ll pack my own salad or go to Whole Foods (if on the way to the airport) and grab a takeaway salad.  This isn’t always feasible (like only 20% of the time) so at the very least I pack unsalted nuts, nutrition bars, a piece of fruit, a bag of baby carrots and raw chocolate. 

2.  Hydrate Like Crazy!

Drinking water during the flight (and avoiding coffee, soda and alcohol) is one of the best ways to combat travel stress, fatigue and jet lag.  These are the 3 ways I hydrate to keep it interesting, feel great and have something to look forward to on long flights (I’m ALL about having things to look forward to :)

~ Hydrate With Superfoods

One of my favorite ways to hydrate is to buy the biggest bottle of water I can find (after I go through security) and add in Amazing Grass’ Green SuperFood Cacao Chocolate Infusion and 4-6 drops of Sweet Leaf’s English Toffee Liquid Stevia*.  

I then instantly have a full bottle of cold, refreshing, heavenly goodness.  Seriously, drinking this mixture makes me feel SO good during the flight (it’s usually gone in an hour). 

*Both are pictured above and available at Whole Foods or Amazon.

~ Hydrate with Herbal Tea

Strangely, US airlines don’t seem to have herbal tea onboard (international flights do carry green tea), so pack 2-3 herbal tea bags and a glass tea tumbler.  I use our Sacred Lotus Love Tea Tumblers, of course :)  Simply ask the flight attendant to fill your Tea Tumbler with hot water – they don’t mind, when you ask really nicely. 

~ Hydrate with Sparkling Water

 When asked what I want to drink – I always ask for sparkling water.  Another way to keep you drinks healthy…and interesting. 

3.  Bring Treats

If you’ve done my SexyFit™ Nutrition Challenge, you’ll know that I’m a huge believer in having healthy treats to look forward to, and that I also really promote “filling the void”.  Limited options, hunger and boredom make it easier to succumb to eating unhealthy food – so bring your own healthy treats to replace that bag of snack cookies.   My favorites?  Raw Chocolate and Raw Chocolate Macaroons – traveling or not.

4.  Avoid / Minimize

These are pretty obvious (all are dehydrating), but avoid or minimize the following as they make travel fatigue and recovery worse:

  • Salt, Sugar + White Carbs
  • Caffeine + Alcohol
  • Sauces + Desserts
  • Most airplane snacks

5.  Maximize

Airports ARE getting much better these days with choices for healthy options.  I try to eat these foods:

  • Salads + Healthy Dressings
  • Raw Veggies + Greens
  • Raw Nuts + Fruit
  • Healthy Proteins + Low Glycemic Carbs

 6.  Boost Your Immune System

I never go a day without my USANA supplements, but when I know I’ll be traveling, I add in extra Proflavanol C100 (USANA’s Grapeseed Extract and Vit C) 2 days before, during and 2 days after, to naturally boost my immune system.

7.  Never Beat Yourself Up

What fully intend to eat great while traveling, and even pack healthy snacks…but you miss a connecting flight, end up sleeping overnight in a Singapore airport b/c all the hotels are booked, can’t find anything healthy to eat, are overtired, stressed and hangry?  And proceed to eat your way to from Singapore-Japan-USA?

I’ve been there, exactly, as a matter of fact – on a killer flight 4 years ago.  

So, what did I do?  I finally arrived at my destination, drank a huge glass of water, took my USANA MyHealthPak and extra Proflavanol C100 and went to bed.  The next morning, I got up, MOVED in natural light (ran for 20 min outside), ate a healthy breakfast high in protein, drank lots of water, kept my  blood sugar balanced the whole day by eating extra protein and greens, went to bed early and didn’t beat myself up over it.

It’s so important to remember that one day will not affect your overall health negatively; it’s what you do AFTER that matters most.  I love this question as it always helps me get back on track – “what would healthy person would do now?” Be gentle and nurturing with yourself during this one day, knowing that tomorrow you will be completely back on track and feeling great. 

And yes, Tips 1-6 do require a little more planning (packing snacks, herbal tea bags, tea tumbler, supplements), but they help ensure that you have healthy and interesting options (hunger and boredom will push you towards unhealthy food).  

And why not make your trip as enjoyable as possible – and something that you look forward to, even if it takes a little more work on the front end?

Preparation, Filling the Void and Not Beating Yourself Up if you DO have a less-than-healthy travel day, are all part of making travel really work for you.  These days, I love all parts of travel b/c I intentionally create the environment I want – healthy, ease-ful, interesting and pleasurable. 

Over to you! Did this resonate? Do personally use any of the above tips already? What other travel tips help you wander the world with ease, enjoyment and health?  What non-negotiable health strategies that make all the difference for you?

Share here – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies. I personally read every single comment and and always respond – I love to hear.

Miss Part 1?  Click here to read.

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall

PS Think someone would benefit from this blog? Sharable icons on the left :)

 

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Making All Parts of Travel Easeful, FUN and Healthy {Part 1}

Posted on Jul 1, 2017 in Blog, Business Advice, General, Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 2 comments


I LOVE travel – everything about it. Well, almost everything.  NOT the packing, unpacking…and the extra effort it takes to stay healthy.

So, when I started living around the world six years ago, and knowing I was going to be doing a lot of travel, by choice, I decided that I was going to make even the UN-FUN parts of travel…enjoyable, ease-ful and healthy.

Note:  I’ve written this as 2-part blog so it’s easy to digest and put into action. Today, I’ll give you my favorite strategies for easeful preparing + packing, for your business, and for you when you return home.  On my next blog I’ll dive into how to stay physically and emotionally healthy while traveling.

1.  Eliminate the “Shoot – I forgot my ____, again!”

Keep a running “My Travel List” of the things you typically forget AND what you think of while on trips (this last trip I was wishing  I’d brought my little wooden lemon reamer for lemon water in the am!). Have at least 2 lists as they require different packing strategies:

  • My Travel List – Business
  • My Travel List – Vacation

What’s my favorite App for this?  I use Reminders on my iPhone as it’s super easy to use (example shown above) and I continually add to my lists.

2.  Use Your Subconscious

A week before your trip, designate an area (corner of your bedroom, a chair or even a bed in a spare room) to start collecting things you know you’ll want or need on your trip.

Our subconscious works on our behalf 24/7 – it will think of items a whole week before – so you can employ it to your advantage. All kind of things will come to mind – books, food items, gifts, and those shoes you’ll need for _____ .

This simple strategy helps take the stress, pressure and anxiety out of packing at the last moment. I find I actually ENJOY packing when I spread it out over a week and let my subconscious do a good part of the work.

3.  Create Space BEFORE you leave home

Set up an “out of office” email auto responder to let your clients know you’re on vacation or a business trip. This makes your whole trip more easeful as you’re setting the correct expectations for your clients – that you won’t be available as quickly or readily as you normally are when in your office. This allows for flexibility and breathing room when traveling (which invariably you’ll need) and helps your clients feel included and know what to expect.

Here’s the one I just used for my trip to the US for 8 weeks.  Feel free use / customize for you in anyway:

Hello _____,

Thank you for reaching out! I will be traveling in the US from April 25 – June 23, so my email response may be a little slower than usual. I will get back to you as soon as possible though :)

If you need immediate assistance, please email my assistant at m@cm.com

If you have a USANA related question, please call customer care directly at _____.

Looking forward to connecting when I’m back in the office!

Lots of love,

Carmen xo

4.  Maximize Air Travel Time

I absolutely LOVE flying – the hours when I’m “between time and worlds”. No one can call me 😃, distractions are at a minimum (as long as you have you earphones in) – so I have incredibly focused time for planning, creating, writing, replying to emails and even getting my inbox managed etc.

I use my flying time, what I consider magical time, for creating and getting “caught up”.

5.  Upgrade Your Environment

Get a credit card that gives you air miles for every purchase, and use those miles for flight upgrades and airport lounges. (Some credit cards even give you a year’s membership to airport lounges). I use credit cards for everything*, not only b/c it’s easier for accounting / tax purposes, but just as importantly, so that my money and purchases are working for me, and I’m always collecting miles.

I use miles to upgrade to business / first class and use airport lounges so that I have the best places to work in (strong WIFI, power sources and a great work environment). Another reason I look forward now to ALL aspects of travel is knowing I’ll have a quieter work space AND access to good food (airport lounges almost always have healthy alternatives for snacks).

My two personal favorite credit cards for accruing air miles are: Chase’s United Mileage Club Visa Card (United Airlines + Partners miles only, but necessary to use in countries that don’t accept American Express such as Bali, and it includes a membership to United + Partner Airport Lounges) and both Gold + Platinum American Express Cards (you can put miles towards ANY airline, which I prefer….but some countries, like Bali, don’t accept American Express, so I’ve needed to use a Visa card instead).

Tip: I recently found out about this cool couple and their website which has some really great advice on choosing credit cards for miles: https://www.get.com/

*Very Important: I always, always pay my credit cards in full so that I am never incurring any interest charges. EVER.  Which is a very important part of creating wealth.  You want your money and purchases working for you, not for a credit card company.

6.  Extend Your Trip:

Obviously, extending your trip can definitely create more ease 😃, but what I mean in this example, is to PAD your travel period with 1 day before and 1 day after. This is one of the most important things you can do for your health, personal life AND your business.

For example, for my 8 week trip:

  • Flew to the mainland on April 25 and returned June 21.
  • Used April 24 to pack and organize myself.
  • Used June 22 to unpack and “land”.

Thus, my auto responder said that I was “out of the office” from April 24 – June 23, and I was.

I’ve been doing this for about 5 years (but it took me about 2 years before that to make it non-negotiable – don’t let it take you that long! :). It’s my secret weapon for making traveling both ease-ful and enjoyable. I use the day before to get packed, attend to all personal things and do minor business things that don’t cause more work (I don’t do anything major – i.e. meetings, coaching etc).

I then also give myself a FULL 24 hours after I return to unpack, get organized in my personal life, laundry, plan and the most important part – actually LAND in back in time and space.  If you travel across time zones and countries, this is even more important – to have a day for your body (and soul) to catch up.   

Okay – that’s it for Part 1…health focused Part 2 in the next blog!

Over to you! Did this resonate? Do personally use any of the above tips already? What other travel tips help you wander the world with ease, enjoyment and health?  What non-negotiable travel strategies that make all the difference for you?

Share here – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies. I personally read every single comment and and always respond – I love to hear.

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall
PS Think someone would benefit from this blog? Sharable icons on the left :)

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Bitchy For A Year

Posted on Apr 15, 2017 in Blog, Business Advice, General, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

 

I’ve been irritable for over a year.

There are so many reasons that I could use to legitimize and explain-away my crankiness – the state of the world, starting two new companies, challenges in business and life, moving, buying a house, new relationship, reinvention of self…

But bottom line, I’m just cranky.

And, it’s not how, or who I want to be. I know that stress wreaks absolute havoc on my health, weight (hello 8lbs from nowhere) and immune system, as well as my confidence, motivation and relationships. And most importantly, I don’t like how I feel or the energy I’m giving out. It’s not how I want to experience life – or how I want people to experience me.

So, over the next few blogs, I want to share some of the ways that stress has affected me, and what I’ve been doing about it. Some are little things, some are bigger things. But all are things that move me away from being loving and happy, and result in my being resistant, tense…and, well, bitchy.

Assuming the Worst

One of the things I’ve noticed over this past year is that I assume the worst. I didn’t used to be like that, but I definitely have been lately.

There are many reasons why we assume. I personally think that three of the biggest reasons in today’s world are: (1) we live in an ever-increasing fast paced culture, (2) we have minimal bandwidth and are emotionally raw from being constantly stressed, and (3) our brain tries to help and takes shortcuts (assumes), in an effort to give us more time.

But assuming exacerbates everything and not only creates more work for me (un-doing the damage I create when I assume incorrectly) but it also creates more resistance and tension in my body.

Why? Because typically, I’m not assuming the best case scenario, I’m assuming the worst.

It’s natural, and understandable, but it doesn’t have the effect I want – I end up being even more tense and frustrated, which doesn’t help anything.

And it definitely doesn’t support living a life I love.

I’ve noticed that I assume:

  • Anytime I’m rushing. For example – when I speed-read an email on my iPhone, I can completely misinterpret the whole dialogue.
  • In conversations, I quickly jump to conclusions, without asking questions and finding out all the facts (and feelings).
  •  When I’ve had a negative past experience. I’m already tense and resistant state even before I begin a conversation – call centers, banks, business meetings having to do with finances, and things that I feel like I’ve been really clear about, but are showing up again.

Can you relate to any of the above?

So what can we do – besides going to live on an idyllic island in the south pacific with no news, no stress and no challenges?

 

What I’ve been doing that helps:

 

1. S….l…o…w…i…n…g….D…o…w….n

I’ve been deliberately slowing down for 1-2 minutes, 3x’s per day so my body can decompress; so I’m not consistently in fight or flight mode. We’ve got to make time to slow down in today’s world. The faster we go, the more information we assault our senses with, the more tension we create in our body. Slowing down helps our body return to it’s natural state of resiliency and resourcefulness. My go to’s: lying down on my bed, putting on music, dancing, going for a quick walk, taking a shower, getting out in nature and hugging my partner and cats.

2. Reading emails and texts slowly

and with my full attention. No speed reading!

3. Asking questions

to understand the whole picture, before speaking. Seeking first to
understand (cliches are cliches because they are so true) before judging, deciding or jumping in.

4. Trying to assume the BEST case scenario first

This puts me into a receptive, loving space (where magical things can actually happen!) It doesn’t mean that I’m naive or will step over anything I need to address. But it does mean that I’m in a more receptive place – for the actual reality of what is being said, and a solution.

5. Assuming the person is on my side, is a good person, and/or has had a stressful day

(in that case, extra compassion and kindness from me would actually hugely help them), as it relates to the situation. I remember a mentor once said, “if you get asked a question that seems like someone is attacking you, assume that they are a GOOD person just asking questions, seeking to understand – and respond from that place.

6. Breathing

Deeply. A few times. Then I respond.

7. Being Curious

I learned this from a Somatic (body focused) Coach who was all about being curious about everything, rather than making an immediate judgment or decision. (I’m still working on this one as I’m type A and tend to make decisions and judgements quickly, rather than being curious 😃 ) However when I do it, it works.

8. Keeping my vibration high

Music, dance, exercise, getting outside, pets, connection with my partner, contribution, gratitude are all things that help keep my vibration high and counter-act negativity. They help me assume the best scenario, because I’m happy, not maxed out. The happier I am, the more naturally assume all is good around me. It all, ALL starts with us.

9. Self-Care

For me, that means quiet time on my own, puttering, shopping at Lululemon (don’t ask me why, but it soothes my soul), making raw food etc. Because, when we’re sourced, everything works better. Oxygen mask on first. Yes, that massage is always necessary.

10. Addressing my own worries, procrastination and personal challenges

so that I’m not projecting my frustrations on someone else (how many times has the poor bank call center rep borne the brunt of my wrath simply b/c I’m frustrated about additional things).

11. Checking in on my feelings

and not judging myself for feeling the way I do. What am I feeling right now?  I’m feeling irritated? That’s ok. I’m feeling angry and frustrated? Why is that? Oh, because of “xyz” and it’s okay. This is one of the most therapeutic things we can do – NAME the feeling, ask why we’re feeling that way and tell ourselves it’s okay to feel that way. Usually the feeling dissipates, or at least lessens because I’ve allowed it.

Of course, we can, and should, always remove ourselves from situations and environments that are causing us unnecessary stress or harm. We should speak up and out about what we feel strongly.

But there are times in life that simply are more stressful, situations I don’t want to remove myself from and worldwide events that keep happening, whether I want them to or not. And even when I need to speak up and speak strongly, I can do it from a grounded place of love and strength, not heated anger and frustration.

Finding soulful strategies for those moments, that help us feel sourced, strong and loving, not only help our health, vibration and how we feel, but it also allows for more magic to happen in any given moment. And it makes us feel GOOD – who doesn’t want to feel grounded, strong, loving, clear and calm, and able to respond to life and others in that way?

  • Can you relate? Have you experienced this yourself? Have you been more irritable lately, assuming the worst, and jumping to conclusions?
  • When do you assume? Are there patterns for you?
  • What strategies work for you?

As always, I love, love, love to hear from you. The BEST conversation happens under the blog from your comments, questions and feedback. Comment here.

Love, love, love,

Carmen Marshall

PS I pulled this from some old notes on a book I love – all 4 points are such great reminders and put the body into a non-resistant, more loving state just by reading them, don’t you think?

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

 

 

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Relax! And Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Blog, Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, Health & Nutrition, Manifesting, Personal Development, Stress Reduction | 2 comments

Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Do you ever wonder how some people seem to came up with amazing ideas, businesses or products? “How did he/she think of that idea, and then implement it?  Why didn’t I think of that (and DO it)?”

And, at the same time, have you ever noticed that when you really need to come up with an idea or solution, you just can’t? When you desperately need an answer, when you’re trying oh-so-hard to figure out something – a blog title, the perfect product to sell, a solution to a problem – your brain won’t act on demand?

Why is that?

 
Well, for all of the above, it’s the same reason. It’s why we can’t find an outfit we like for a party this weekend or tailored black pants for a presentation tomorrow, and yet can find 5 outfits and 5 pairs of black pants we love any other time, when we don’t really need them.

It’s why goals and dream boards don’t work if we continually fixate on them, rather than giving them room to breathe.

It’s why it’s hard to find a solution in an argument if we continually keep talking in circles, rather than taking a break for a few hours.

When the pressure is on and we’re tense, solutions can’t flow to us – we’re too wound up and impenetrable for an idea to come through.  It’s as if we have a force field around us – keeping out good ideas.  In contrast, when we’re relaxed, doing or thinking about something else, when we don’t need that cocktail dress or black pants and when we’re not fixated on the problem or desire, the solution simply “pops” into our mind.

I have found that love and being in a relaxed, non-resistant state (see my video) is the answer for almost everything – from extremes such as major life challenges, to minor things like the title of a blog (which I’m stuck on right now :)  And this same concept of non-resistance and putting the body into a relaxed state, is also how the best ideas can come in.

3 Ways Get Revolutionary Ideas To Magically Flow to You

 
Here are my favorite ways to get my creative juices flowing.  All 3 things “shut down” the thinking brain and involve a repetitive motion that quietens the conscious mind.  We think we need our thinking brain/conscious mind to find a solution, when in fact, it’s the exact opposite. We need to turn it off…and relax.

1.  Go For a Run or Jog

IMG_0209 (1)

…or any exercise that doesn’t require thinking and allows you to “space out”.  Interesting, team sports, a tennis game or even a dance class don’t work as well for this exercise, because your brain is actively involved during each of those.

So why does running/ jogging work?  Firstly, you usually start to feel really good about 10-15 min into the run when the endorphins start kicking in.  When you feel good (why I’m such a believer in doing what makes us happy as it quickly raises our vibration), you’re naturally in a relaxed / non-resistant state and everything flows better, including incoming ideas.

Secondly, the repetitive motion of running shuts down the thinking mind and allows the subconscious mind to start providing answers. It’s as if the conscious mind has to be sent to the back of the room so the subconscious mind can have room to dance freely at the front of the room.

At least 50% of my best ideas have come in while I’m running – ideas for my business, new products, programs, solutions to challenges, team building / leadership ideas.  So…of course I make sure I run at least once a week :))  It helps keeps me fit, healthy (part of my 3:2:1:1 exercise philosophy – 3 cardio, 2 weights, 1 mind-body-spirit, 1 day off), and feeling mentally and emotionally clear – which of course helps in all aspects of life as well.

Important:  You don’t have to run very fast – I only run between 30-40 min, 1-2 times per week, with music, and have a steady, but not super fast pace. Start with only 20 min if you’re new or just restarting exercise.

Action Steps:

  • Schedule a 30-40 min run or walk this week, in your calendar.  Block it out right now in your calendar and commit to trying it for 3 weeks in a row – especially if you’ve never done this before.
  • Run, jog (or walk) quickly enough to get the endorphins going and notice what magical ideas come in.  And how great you feel after, and how well your day – business and life.

Tip:  Yoga also works.  The poses help quieten our mind, we RELAX (non-resistant state) and then ideas can come in.

2.  Wash the Dishes or Take a Shower

Something we all do everyday – at least the shower part, if not dishes ?  Again, it’s the repetitive motion (washing dishes or ourselves), but also the repetitive SOUND and feeling of water that quiets the mind and puts us almost into a slightly trance/hypnotic state (you can wash dishes and get in and out of a shower on auto-pilot and have everything done without even “thinking” about it).

This is again when the best ideas can come in b/c we’re doing something that doesn’t require thinking or effort-ing.  With less effort-ing (important concept for life), our brain literally relaxes, we relax and ideas can flow in more easily.

Less Effort-ing + More Relaxing = Magical Ideas

(click to tweet it!)

Action Steps:

  • Don’t overthink this one.  Just shower or hand wash dishes as normal.
  • Let your mind wander as it wants, without forcing any ideas.
  • Simply notice what ideas come in and be curious. That’s all that is needed. Wait, Watch. Wonder.

3. Lay Down

Let Your Best Ideas Come To You

Ahhh…my other favorite ?  I’ve found this especially valuable for women b/c it relaxes our pelvis + womb – our center of power, creation and life-force.  I image this would work just as well for men though too – as it’s also your center of power, creation and life-force.

I use this not only for ideas, but for anytime I’m feeling stuck, stressed or upset…tired, frustrated…really for everything :)   It is one of the quickest ways to relax the body (putting us into a non-resistant state) – I can feel the tension drain from my body in 30 seconds.  It’s extremely effective and one of the easiest things we can do in any given day – both for health AND ideas.

Action Steps:

  • Try laying down on your bed, or floor, for 2-5 min (that’s all it takes) at least once a day – to get used to this habit.  Again, notice, be curious.  Wait, Watch, Wonder.
  • Use this super easy practice anytime you feel any negative emotion – stress, tiredness, overwhelm, stickiness…don’t let it’s simplicity fool you – it’s one of the most powerful exercises I’ve come across. Interestingly, the most simple things are usually the most effective.

Now What?

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 9.35.04 PM

When the idea comes in, you MUST ACT on it right away.  This is the most important thing. Most people never act on it – they wait a couple of days and then the energy is gone, they over think it and find all the potential challenges, they tell someone else, who shoots their idea down…and of course they then never do it.

When inspiration comes in, especially anything that makes you feel excited, expansive and energized, you HAVE to act on it right away. You must take at least one tiny little step towards it, that day.  It’s divine inspiration – and if you don’t act on it, the universe will find someone one else to flow the beautiful idea to and through.

Regard any hunch, intuition, or idea that gets your blood pumping as being absolutely precious.  Tony Robbins says, “Never leave the scene of an idea without taking action” which gives a practical twist to a spiritual concept.

Action Steps:

  • Write down any ideas that have come to you this week.
  • Notice especially the ones that make you feel energized, buzzy, excited and expansive.
  • For those, take an action step towards them that same day, and at least 5 days a week until you bring it into reality.

What about you?  How do your best ideas come in? Do you have any questions on the tips above? What do you do to make sure you take at least 1 action step towards them so that your great idea becomes a reality?

Comment here – I love to hear and anything you share or ask will help our whole community!

Eek – our Dance, Life Design + Breathwork Retreat in Thailand, June 2016 is only 2.5 months away! Read about all the details here.

Create A Life You Love Retreat 2017 – we’re pretty sure we’ll be having in Tulum, Mexico!  Get on the list here to be the first to know of our NEW destination and first dibs on registering.  This one will sell out quick!

Til our next blog…

Lots of love,

Carmen Marshall
 

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The State Of Non-Resistance + The Power Of Love

Posted on Apr 3, 2015 in Business Advice, Exercise & Fitness, General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 14 comments

state-of-non-resistance
 

Hello Beautiful Friends!

 
Thank you so much for all of your comments in last week’s video on my blog and YouTube (watch: “How To Shake A Bad Mood”).

When we are in stressful or frustrating situations, we tend to become really resistant to EVERYTHING in life. Thus, making manifesting, creating, and living the life we want to seem like it’s not working or that it’s more difficult than it should be. So, we need to consciously practice being in a state of non-resistance. And then take it one step further, and be in a loving state.

This week’s video blog is really an explanation in response to all of those questions into 1 solution or strategy to try. It’s a little longer this week, but really worth your time (I hope!).
 

How do you know if you are in a resistant state?

1. If things aren’t flowing
2. If you’re irritable, tense, mad at different people
3. If you’re not happy

Today, I’m talking to you about my personal experiences and ways I’ve put this strategy into practice, and then, what happens when you do. It’s truly amazing because when we are able to shift inside – shift our mood, vibration, and energy – magic happens.

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How To Shake A Bad Mood

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 in General, Joy & Happiness, Personal Development, Stress Reduction | 7 comments

 

How To Shake A Bad Mood | Create a life you love with Carmen Marshall

Hello beautiful Create A Life You Love™ friends!

I’ve wanted to shake things up a bit with my blog and really find a way to give you more value, without the internet noise (you know what I’m talking about, right?)

So, you’ll see more short, video snippets from me with real-life advice and actionable tips to implement and help you gravitate more towards Creating A Life You Love™.

Today’s video comes from a question from a friend of mine that I think you’ll be able to relate to AND put this advice to use right away.

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Do You Know What Most Centers and Grounds You?

Posted on Dec 21, 2013 in Business Advice, General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development, Stress Reduction | 2 comments

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I’ve been thinking about and savoring 2013 before we head in 2014, and distilling the absolute core of Create A Life You Love.  

These are some of the questions I’ve been asking:  What are my non-negotiable practices, that most ground and center me?  What have I learned this year that has helped me most relax, feel connected and more easily co-create with the universe?  What do I want “pack in my suitcase” for 2014? 

I love threes.  My brain thinks in 3’s, 7’s and 10’s.  So here’s my 3 non-negotiable practices that most ground and center me:

1.  Gratitude.

For the longest time, I dismissed gratitude + gratitude journals  as being too cliché-ish.  This sounds terrible, but I had never even “practiced” gratitude until June of this year!  It gets worse…I would skip over chapters about gratitude in books to get to the more “interesting” manifesting parts.  (I know – crazy.  BIG MISTAKE :).

Then in a short but beautiful relationship this year, I had a boyfriend who actually PRACTICED gratitude.  Consistently and wholeheartedly.  Every night before we’d fall asleep, he would ask me, “What are 10 things you’re grateful for, from today?”  Or, he would start with his own…using his fingers to count them one by one…and then I’d do the same.

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I fell in LOVE with this ritual and it’s been one of my favorite things to do every night – to consistently practice gratitude – right before I go to sleep.  

This one thing alone has increased my happiness, helped me relax, allow and be more in the flow of life – three things I had been asking for this year.  Along with, how can I co-create more ease-fully with the universe / god / spirit…

How about you?

  • Do you practice gratitude intentionally + consistently?
  • Do you have and use a gratitude journal?  (I just bought one!)
  • Do you share, out of the blue, what you’re grateful for every day with your partner, friends or children?
  • When you have down time – standing in the line at the bank, sitting in traffic or washing dishes – do you start listing off the things you’re grateful for? 

Try this:  For seven nights in a row, count out on your fingers ten things that you’re grateful for, from the day.  Comment below to share the magic that WILL happen in your life.  7 Nights of Gratitude = More of What You’re Grateful for + More.

2.  Purpose

This was also the year that I re-defined my purpose.  I’m fascinated with this topic.  My first business in Australia had a strong focus on finding your purpose.  I’ve read many books throughout the years about purpose and passion, and it’s always been part of my message that we need to do more of what we love every day and center our lives around our passions.

This year however, I felt something was missing – I felt the need to re-find and expand my purpose.   So I re-read books, looked at different ways of finding your purpose until I discovered something completely different for myself along the way.  Pivotal. Life changing. 

Freeing + grounding all at the same time. 

I now believe we each have THREE purposes – one centered around our larger personal mission, one centered around our passions, and one Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 9.13.36 AMcentered around who we ARE. 

Discovering and re-defining my purpose (and not having it limited to 1 thing as that always felt like too much pressure!) has been one of the most centering events of 2013.  I write my purpose at the top of my Create A Life You Love Day Planner every week.  BEING + DOING from my purpose every day, is immensely grounding and centering.

How about you?

  • Do you know your purpose/s? 
  • Have you ever felt stuck or limited trying to define just ONE purpose for yourself?

Click here and here for the past two articles that I’ve written about finding your purpose.  They will get you started in FEELING what your purposes are.

We’ll spend a whole day on this in Bali 2014 – Create A Life You Love Retreat and I’ll also have workbooks and online courses coming out soon on the topic – but for now, this will help you start feeling what moves and inspires you. The above articles about should help start the FLOW of your passions and purpose.

3.  Connection to Self + Source

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This is something that I came back to as non-negotiable this year.  Somehow over the past 1.5 years of my global relocation experiment and living in beautiful (and spiritual) places like Maui + Bali, I got out of my routine of breathing and connecting to source consistently every morning.  Being in gorgeous, nature filled countries helped fill the gap, but 1.5 years later, I’ve realized that NOTHING is as good as intentionally connecting with source + self for 5-10 min every morning.  In the shamanic jungle or not :)   

This year, I’ve been asking the big questions – what do I want my life to be about NOW?  How can I partner with spirit ease-fully instead of just pushing to create?  How can I be led and inspired more easily?  Of course – taking time every morning for 5-10 min to just BREATHE (or meditate) was the answer. 

How about you?

  • Have you thought meditation doesn’t work for you b/c you don’t have the time, or can’t sit still for 20-30 min? 
  • Is there anything you used to do, that you KNOW is centering and grounding for you, that you’re not doing right now? 

Try just 5-10 min of just breathing in the morning and weave back whatever most grounds and centers you into you life.  It’s crucial.  And you have the time …especially when it has the power to so positively alter the vibration of your entire day.  The leverage and ROT (return on time) of of 5-10 min every morning is immeasurable. 

What I love about my 3 favorite ways to align, is that it doesn’t matter WHAT is happening in my life – stress, uncertainty, change…when I do these 3 quick, easy things, I’m grounded.  I’m connected.  I’m led.  I’m inspired.

And when I don’t…I’m all over the place.

How about you?

  • Do any of the above grounding and centering rituals resonate with you for 2014?
  • What are your 3 favorite ways to ground and center yourself?

As always, I love to hear from YOU.

Happy Holidays and New Year! 

I’m off to Brazil for Dec 27 – Jan 14th to dance, dance, dance…a Create A Life You Love DREAM of many years for me :)  I can’t wait to share the experience with you!

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…

Love,

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Cut Yourself Some Slack

Posted on Dec 11, 2013 in General, Joy & Happiness, Manifesting, Personal Development, Stress Reduction | 6 comments

We’re entirely too hard on ourselves.  Sure, there are some things that we should actually be tougher on ourselves about (don’t eat that cheesecake if you know you’re going to feel miserable in the morning.  Speak your truth.  If you’re tired all the time, stop going to bed so late and clean up your diet.  Anything you’re always complaining about, change.  Just to name a few :)).  

But I think there are far more things that we should actually cut ourselves some slack in and realize we’ve come a long ways and are doing REALLY well at.Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.12.17 AM

And specifically around things that we WANT to be really good at.  The things we dream about being great at, but question whether we will ever be. 

Case in point.  I want to be really good at Brazilian Zouk.  If you haven’t seen Brazilian Zouk, watch this even 30 seconds of this video.  In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful, connective and soulful partner dance that I have ever seen or experienced.  I’m in LOVE with this dance – it calls to my spirit on every level.

However, I currently suck. 

Or at least I FEEL like I suck :)  Even though I’ve taught NIA and teach Zumba, know I’m a great dance teacher and absolutely love dancing, Zouk hasn’t come as naturally to me.  Not. In. The. Slightest.  

I’ll have a private lesson or social dance with our Miami Zouk group on Monday night and sometimes I feel like, WOW, I’m getting this! And then the next two times I feel like I’ve backslid into the land of the un-co white girl who can’t dance and shouldn’t even be trying.

Today though, I found a video that one of my dance teachers took of me 6 weeks ago.  Nyx videos our lesson every time we dance…and I cringe every time I watch them after he leaves, critiquing myself.  

But you know what?  When I saw the video from 6 weeks ago, I was so MUCH more uncoordinated – ha :)  My hips didn’t move at all, I looked rigid, SCARED and oh so tense! The CURRENT video (while I still don’t look that great) shows my hips moving, me laughing and having fun and relaxing more into my body.  And there are some moves that I even look completely natural in (granted, amidst the moves that I still look like a deconstructed Zouker :))

When I saw that video, I realized HOW FAR I HAD COME in 6 weeks.  Which made me realize how much further I will be in 6 weeks.  And then 6 months.  Then Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 7.03.33 PMin a year, I will probably actually be really good.  And then in two years I will be teaching Brazilian Zouk and helping others realize that they are doing GREAT, that they have come such a long ways and they are going to be an amazing Zouk dancer if they just keep going after their dream.

So what about YOU?

  • What do you want to be really good at?
  • What do fear you might never get “good enough” at, that is stopping you from even trying?
  • Who are you comparing yourself to, that is stopping you?
  • Have you quit something recently that you really wish you could do, just because it doesn’t come naturally to you and is hard to learn?

What do you want to be really good at…that you LOVE…that is a DREAM for you?

Never, ever give up on a dream.  That’s your heart, soul, intuition and every part of you, speaking to you.

You can do and be anything that you really want to be – it just takes consistent effort over time.  Most people don’t realize that that one AMAZING song took MONTHS to produce.  That that transformational speaker took years to grow into her speaking ability.  That that successful writer/blogger/youtuber produced great content every week, for two years before she even had a smidgen of a following.

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Remind yourself that the expert in anything was also once a beginner, and that you’ll speed up the process by relaxing, breathing and being your own best supporter.  

And if it’s something that you LOVE…you’ve got time to master it.  

You’ve got your whole life.

But don’t wait.

Start now.

Today.

 

Do you have a similar story?  In your business?  In your life?  Share below in the comments – I would love to hear :) 

Be Happy…Be Vibrant…

Love,

 

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Healing Lessons from a Healing Retreat

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 in Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 0 comments

 

I just returned from ten days of utter bliss at the healing oasis Sanoviv.

Grateful.  Zenned Out.  Uber healthy.  Relaxed.

For the first five days, 24 of our coaches and I detoxed, learned and relaxed during our Wellness and Business Training Retreat.  I stayed an additional five days for my Sanoviv Integrative Health Assessment.  Since I don’t really care for the annual “check-ups” in the US, I go to Sanoviv every three years or so to decompress, do preventative health assessments and to learn any new cutting edge mind-body-spirit health tips that I can add to my coaching, programs and my own health routine.

So what did I learn from this visit to Sanoviv? How can you take the learnings at a healing oasis and use them in “real life”?  How am I doing the same?

#1 Healing Lesson :  The power of women coming to together and how important that is for the female psyche.

Since days of old, women’s circles have provided connection, support and expansion.  It was amazing to see the transformation of 24 women in five days – not just from our raw food detox (and the ability of colonic conversations to shave off weeks of getting to know someone), but also from the bonding and learning from each other.  Rosy cheeks, smiles, relaxed foreheads and eye-corners…some of the tell-tale signs of women enjoying and relaxing into themselves…and into each other’s company.

As a reformed (and still learning) “type A, driven business woman” who used to not make time for hanging out with women (what was I thinking?), I’ve become aware of how important it is to connect my women friends on a regular basis. How good it feels.  How time with girlfriends increases my vibration, which in turn naturally helps both my business and life balance. Connect, enjoy, relax and everything else works better. Novel concept.

How can you use this in “real” life, outside of a retreat, knowing that connecting with women can naturally increase your life and business success?

  • Create a Facebook group for a “tribe” of women that you resonate with. For your five best girlfriends.  Your book club.  Your friends at your Zumba® class.  We created a Feb 2012 Sanoviv Wellness and Business Retreat Facebook Group for our coaches and it’s been so fun to see the dialogue, support, pictures, recipes, questions and tips flying back and forth.
  • Start a once a month get together for women in your area with a different topic each time – Prosperity, Health, Communication, Purpose. Create a “tribe” of women that come together to learn from each other, relax, expand, laugh and play.
  • Join a women’s group that resonates with you. I just started a 5 Week Tantric Dance of the Feminine Power course with a group of women and I can’t believe how happy it’s making me feel.  How much that happiness has infused my business and life.

#2 Healing Lesson:  The power of stillness and how important it is for everyone’s psyche and nervous system.

With stress now being attributed as the one of the leading causes of disease, Sanoviv knows the necessity of creating stillness and downtime.  Curfew was at 9pm, which was welcomed since it’s amazing how tired one is after spending the day getting healthy!  Internet and cell phones are not allowed in the main areas or your room (cell phones don’t work and there is no wi-fi). We could use the internet in the business room if absolutely necessary, but were encouraged to disconnect as much as possible – which was SO healthy for me.   Stillness and non-busyness…hallelujah.

In addition, Sanoviv is built on the old Levi Strauss property and on/around an amazing energy vortex.  You can literally feel the calm, still, beautiful healing vibe throughout the property and buildings. Which is why, of course, Dr. Wentz, founder of my product partner USANA Health Sciences and Sanoviv, chose to build his healing oasis in this exact location.

The original Strauss house is still intact, sits on a third of the property and is home to  the meditation, psychology, piano, library and reading rooms.  As soon as you walk into the house, you feel enveloped by stillness, peace and an immediate quietening of the mind and spirit.  My favorite “part” of Sanoviv, I went there every day with a book and my journal. Staring out at the ocean, tucked up in a oversized chair, I allowed my body to relax into the stillness.  No talking, no where to get, nothing to solve…just to relax and be still.

How can do this in “real” life and not just at a retreat?

  • Have a self-professed no cell and internet day. (Or 1/2 a day if that is too scary).  Sundays work great for this.
  • Don’t think you HAVE to answer your cell if it rings. I never answer my cell unless the call has been scheduled or it’s a close friend/family member.  Even then, a lot of times I will let it go to voice mail so I can respond rather than “react”.
  • Take time to sit for 5-10 min on your own. Journal, breathe, read a book – whatever it is that calms you.  Every day, do something for 5-10 min that encourages you to be STILL.  To slow down.  To feel your breath, your body and and your feelings. This is one of the best things to do for your long term health and enjoyment of TODAY.  And remember, “if it’s not scheduled, it’s not real”- Marie Forleo.  So schedule your 5-10 min like an appointment. I guarantee that your physical health and your emotional spirit will thank you for it.  You will ENJOY your life more today. I know this from personal experience.
  • Slow down the things you usually rush. For example, when I return from any outing or errands, typically I’m rushing to get out of the car and get everything put away as fast as I can.  By the end of my whirling dervish ten minutes, I’m exhausted.  Try this…slow down the very thing that you’re rushing.  Imagine that you’re a “Zen Maven”.  Notice how much it relaxes your nervous system and that it creates enjoyment in the moment…which is what it is ALL about.

Well…that’s not all I learned, but this is as long as I want my blog to be today!  Stay tuned for more tips and Sanoviv recipes coming up….

Love in-depth nutrition and mind-body spirit wellness training? Join me for my SexyFit™ Spring Detox Online Nutrition Program. You’ll have access to all my best health and lifestyle training, coaching calls with me and an uber supportive group of like-minded women to cheer you on.

Register TODAY to secure your seat (we had 131 participants for our January challenge from five countries!)

Here’s all the info:

March Spring Detox SexyFit™ Nutrition Program

Getting You Healthy, Happy and Vibrant in 30 Days!

Sunday, March 11 – Monday, April 9th (Prep Week starts March 3rd)

  • Registration Ends Tuesday, Feb 28th at midnight
  • Lose 5-15 lbs in 30 days, healthily and learn a lifestyle that you can do for life.
  • All Participants with receive their login details on Saturday, March 3rd to start with Goal Setting and Prep Week content.  The full 30-Day Program starts Sunday, March 11 with our prep call, and the 5 Day RESET Cleanse will start on Monday, March 12th.
  • Read the 30-Day Program Details here
  • Space is Limited, so register now.

Be Happy….Be Vibrant…

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5 Great Ways to De-Stress

Posted on Feb 27, 2011 in Health & Nutrition, Joy & Happiness, Self-Care, Stress Reduction | 1 comment

Stress is related to 99% of all illnesses.  “In addition to the trademark tight shoulders, irritability and clenched jaw, day-in and day-out stress wreaks havoc on our eating habits, wears down our immune systems, leading to colds and disease, and even turns hormones and nerve chemicals topsy-turvy, contributing to weight gain, memory loss and depression” – Food & Mood by Elizabeth Somers.

How does this all happen in your body when you are stressed?

When you are anxious or stressed, the body produces adrenalin (your fight or flight hormone) which stresses the adrenal glands and compromises the liver & brain.  Cortisol (the yucky stress & fat storage hormone that encourages the body to accumulate fat, especially around the middle) is also released – which causes a drop in serotonin (the happy chemical) in the brain.
This leads to depression, irritability, heightened insulin levels, & around-the-clock craving for sweets and fatty foods. Chronic stress also unleashes a barrage of free radicals that damage your body & brain cells – killing brain cells by the millions.  You literally “stew” in your own soup of hormones.

What can you do to daily De-Stress?

Write down 3 things right now that make YOU feel peaceful – and do them at least 10 minutes per day or whenever you feel stressed.  Practice letting adrenalin and cortisol subside – not grow in your body – it will help your health immensely! 

Here are 5 of my favorite ways to de-stress:

1. Be a Corpse. Lie down on the floor.  The “corpse” pose is one of the BEST ways to de-stress the body and mind.  (If you want a laugh and are brave, lie down beneath your cubicle at work – who knows, you might encourage someone else to de-stress.)  By lying on the ground – your body can actually “let go” and release physical tension – which allows stress to literally melt out of your body.  When the body relaxes, the mind follows.

2. Let Oxygen Help. This is actually my favorite form of meditation – breathing for 10-15 min in the morning.  However, you can do for just 1-2 minutes when you’re stressed…simply close your eyes and BREATHE – in and out…it’s so simple and it so works.
Oxygen helps the whole body de-stress and slows down/halts the production of adrenalin and cortisol – also why exercise works so well.  You can’t always go for a jog when stressed, but you can take deep breaths anywhere, anytime :-)  Close your eyes and breathe and let your whole body relax.  Visualize the adrenaline and cortisol fading away….

3. Connect to Good Energy. Sit outside in nature, touch a tree or a flower, look at something beautiful on your desk at work.  Connecting with nature or beauty gives you energy when you most need it.  Hugging a pet or someone you love does the same thing.

4. Take a Break. Listen to soothing or happy music or read a book/magazine for 10 minutes.  Take a BREAK for your body and mind – transport your body to a peaceful place for 10 min and allow the hormones to subside.  Get a cup of tea and just relax for 10 min.

5. Stop and THINK/FEEL. Ask yourself good questions.  “Why do I feel stressed”?  (Close your eyes and breathe for 1 min before doing this – it helps the whole process). Is it really that bad and what can I do about it right now to make me feel better NOW. What’s the worst thing that can happen and is it really that bad? Have I felt this way before and did it work out in the end? How could I feel good about the situation?  Can I choose different thoughts?

If it is something you HAVE to do, realize that you have a choice to be relaxed while you do it (and happy), or stressed and contributing to bad health (which is probably worse than whatever you are stressed out about.

Bonus Tip!
Eat & Drink to support balance in the body and brain. Drink lots of water and make sure that you’re eating 5 small meals/snacks per day that are low glycemic.  Keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day helps stress immensely. Don’t drink coffee – it only heightens agitation and stress levels, as does sugar and high glycemic foods. Choose calming herbal teas, water with lemon/lime etc.

Be Happy… Be Vibrant…

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