My Crop Top

I didn't intentionally wear a crop top on my run today....(honest. I grabbed the wrong shirt)

As the cold wind tickled my tummy and things flapped a little more freely I almost turned back.

What if someone sees me wearing this?

What if they recognize me?

I kept running because I don't run for anyone else...

I run for me.

Running is my self-care.

Running fosters my creativity.

Running strengthens my 'crop-top worthy' body.

Running a mile a day started as a 30-day challenge and has become a renewed way of life.

Ready to start YOUR challenge?

Join me in December: https://form.jotform.com/marijowuellner/december-challenge-


I wasn't ready...

Have you ever read a book or a blog or a quote that just hits you.... the WRONG way. 

So much so that you actually HATED  the message it was conveying. 

I have had this experience with two books in my life.... The first was 'Daring Greatly' by Brene' Brown and the second was 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller.

I read both of these books for the first time about 5 years ago. At that point in my life I was living the hustle mentality and I had every piece of armor on... they were my protective mechanisms. They had served a purpose at some point...

As I read 'Daring Greatly' back then I remember physically rolling my eyes at Brene’ telling me that I should get vulnerable. I was like, sister, do you even know how hard it is to keep people out? I had finally gotten good at keeping my emotions and true self buried deep within...and now she is telling me that I should be doing the OPPOSITE!!

Book Closed.

Put on Shelf.

Armor Back On.

Still Lonely.....

'The One Thing' hit me in the exact same way. Up until reading the book I had been working non-stop... staying busy. I thought Keller was talking crazy when he said that multi-tasking is a lie and that there is no such thing as work/life balance. Again, this book sent me reeling because I was living life completely OPPOSITE than what he was suggesting. 

Book Closed.

Put On Shelf.

Back to Hustle Mode.

Still Exhausted.....

Last year I re-read both of these books. I guess I was ready. 

Living my life with armor on had become too lonely...

Living my life in hustle mode was too exhausting...

The protective mechanisms that I had needed in the past were no longer serving me.

I think it was fear that kept me from being open to these books...I was afraid to look at life differently. I was afraid of looking weak or like a failure. I was afraid of what people would say as a result of my change.

But the fears are no longer holding me back...I have now read both these books multiple times and learn something new each time. I love that they challenge me and my status quo. Now these are two of my favorites!!

Has this ever happened to you? Have to read something that you just weren’t quite ready for?

Get Rid of the Labels

Last night I ran into my gorgeous girlfriend who just got back from a trip to a BIG and bustling city. {we live in a VERY small rural town} She was gushing over this city....telling me how much she loved it and could actually see herself living there. 

I told her that I was honestly surprised. I thought that the city would be too ‘fast’ for her because I always thought of my girlfriend as loving a ‘slow’ life...I told her I always thought of her as slow. (in a good way)

She agreed with my label...

This conversation reminded me of another that I had a few years ago. Someone labeled Xavier as being ‘shy’ and I quickly corrected them. Xavier isn’t ‘shy’, I told them. He may act shy in certain situations but he is not ‘shy’. I didn’t like this generalization of his character. 

So why do we continue to label ourselves and others?

This is exactly what my girlfriend and I did about her being ‘slow’. She isn’t slow...she just has lived a slow life up until now. She had never put herself in a position to challenge this label. She hadn’t experienced her ‘fast’ side. 

What labels have you put on yourself?

🖤 Quiet/Loud

🖤 Intimidating/Meek 

🖤 Open/Reserved

🖤 Introvert/Extrovert 

🖤 Leader/Follower

🖤 Big/Small

🖤 Shy/Outgoing

What if we challenged ourselves to break through these labels....just to see how it would  feel....you may love what you find out. 

This is what my girlfriend did...and look what she realized!!

What could you realize?

XO,

Mari

Do What Makes You Happy

Last week Tom & I flew to Vegas and rode a Harley to Palm Springs.

We got back just in time to make it to Aiden's football game Friday night. After the game as I was walking down the bleachers another momma stopped me. She told me that she just loves how much I travel and what I do for myself. She said that it obviously makes me a better mom....a mom who models living a happy life for her kids.

Whoa!!!

Now I have heard other comments....

...you are going out of town, AGAIN?

...you only work HOW many days in the office?

...are you EVER home?

...do you even WORK?

This comment, amid a chaotic sea of high-schoolers, stopped me in my tracks.

She got it!

She got me!!

I do what makes me happy and as a result...

...I am a better mom

...I am a better wife

...I am a better friend

...I am a better employer

...I am a better life coach

...I am living on purpose

On my run this morning I listened to an interview of Denise Duffield-Thomas. She said, 'Do in life what you love and watch your business thrive.' (Susan Hyatt's Podcast) Denise got that one right!  Once I got out of my own way and started living on purpose BOTH my businesses started to grow AND it all became easier.

Do what makes you happy... you will be all around better.

XO

Learning to Cry


{Learning to Cry}

'If you don't stop crying I will give you something to cry about' - I heard this more than once growing up and I KNOW that lots of you did too.

I remember in 2nd grade falling at recess, the duty helping me up and telling me "not to cry".

I remember crying to my chemistry teacher about the F I got on my first test. With the lack of eye contact and compassion he was silently telling me that crying wasn't acceptable.

Remember 'A League of Their Own'..... there is NO crying in baseball.

We have been taught that crying is bad.

That crying is weak.

That crying is awkward and uncomfortable for all involved.


So I got good, like really good, at not crying. I was a 'suck it up' master. I could push down those feelings and bottle them up. Locked them down, nice and tight.

Looking back, even in my most difficult times, I rarely cried.

Instead I got busy... busy planning and logistically working through whatever 'difficulty' was facing me.

This worked for awhile....

...and then suddenly it didn't work anymore.

I had bottled too much and my body rebelled. It was like, oh hell no girl.... we are not doing this any more...and wham-o.

Panic Attack

And somehow I found Mike, my therapist.

In the first session or two he told me that the best work that we could do together would be through emotion. That we were going to feel all the feelings that had been bottled up. We were going to unlock the emotions.... unlock the tears. 

What a Quack! I remember thinking that this guy was totally nuts.... like totally cray cray. 

Remember, I am master ninja at hiding feelings. I don't cry...I am ridiculously good at NOT crying... and now this whack-o  was telling me to ugly cry all over his office. Ha!

But my panic attack scared me more than the tears so we got to work.

In these sessions I learned some things:

:: that it is healthy to cry

:: that crying is NOT a sign of weakness

:: that vulnerability is harder than master ninja skills to hide feelings

:: that I could actually work through the difficult times by FEELING them (not ignoring)

:: that I never wanted to tell my children to 'stop crying'

:: that I never wanted to make another human feel badly for crying with me

:: that empathy is such a gift to both give and receive

I am still learning. I am still growing. I am still softening. I am still learning to cry.

On Apologies...

Can we take a minute to discuss the both dreaded and craved 'apology'.

When something deserving of an "I'm Sorry" comes up...

...it's both hard to give up

...and it's definitely something we want to hear

Me and Xavier had a pretty chaotic morning today. I had snoozed a few times, we couldn't find his shoes and he was having a rough hair day. Don't judge, you know you've been there  :)

The bus comes at 8:08 and were pretty much ready. I was brushing my teeth at 8:05 when I heard IT...the screeching sound of the bus breaking in front of the house. I ran out of the bathroom, watched the bus pull away and yelled 'what the hell' while toothpaste bubbles spray out of my mouth. Xavier is looking at me with his big, sweet, eight-year-old, brown eyes... in complete fear. I am sure that his little innocent mind was saying, 'OHHHH SHIT....mom is passed. What did I do?'

I see his fear and quickly soften. I let him know that it's all good and that I will get him to school... no need to worry. He suggests that we chase the bus. Now he is speaking my language. Monday Morning Adventure Continues...

We catch the bus a few houses down and the bus driver is a complete sweetie. I ask her what time our pickup is and verify that I was correct, 8:08. She could sense my confusion and so we synchronize our clocks. They were off.... obviously. She gives me her cell phone number 'just in case I am running late again'. (ha ha)

At 8:42, after the kids were dropped at school, I get a text from her:

"I apologize I did a time check with dispatch and my clock was almost 4 minutes fast....I apologize for your inconvenience..."

The apologies were not required. She did not need to text me. It was SO genuine. So sincere.... it got me thinking.

How often do we miss an opportunity to offer up an apology?

I know that Xavier could have used a quick apology when I freaked out when the bus drove away. But I chose not to.

I could be more generous with my "I'm Sorry-s"....

I'm gonna go talk to Xavier about it right now.

Who could use a genuine apology from you today

It's a tough one to think about....

Vulnerability is a Bitch


"Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection."

- Brene Brown

I have been wanting to write a book for awhile and just haven't found the right time or process or courage or drive to actually START. (excuse, excuse, excuse)

A few months ago I stumbled upon a local writing coach and a book writing accountability group. I love groups! I love connecting and relating to other people. This group was exactly what I need to get my writing started.

We meet virtually each week to share progress, challenges and offer encouragement. Last week the coach suggested that it was time that we begin sharing our writing with each other. Up until then the conversation had circled around habits and processes. It was time to get vulnerable and share our 'shitty first drafts'.

This type of accountability was exactly what I was needed. I had written a few chapters and felt ready to throw it out there for some feed back.

So I emailed my 'Intro' to the group.

I sent it on Tuesday morning... crickets all day. Wednesday... crickets. Thursday.... more crickets....

Not a single person responded to my writing submission. Not ONE!

Over the week while I waited I went through the gauntlet of emotions. I got mad, then ashamed, then hurt, then sad, then back to mad.

I was quitting.

Quitting seemed to be the easiest, least messy and definitely less emotional way out of this extremely vulnerable situation. Quitting also didn't feel right. It did not feel like I was being true to myself.

I was so embarrassed to send the email to the coach explaining my feelings and asking for a phone conversation. Putting my writing out there is ONE thing, but telling my coach that I had been hurt was a totally different ball game. It was going to take courage and massive vulnerability.

It was going to suck!

And I did it. I had the hard conversation. I let her know how the silence from her and the group had made me feel... I felt hurt, like a bad writer, not worthy, etc. She listened thoughtfully. She genuinely apologized for her role in this.....then she asked me to share this with the group on our next conference call.

Oh shit....more vulnerability.

And I did it. Again. On our next group call I shared my hurt and asking for what I needed.... feedback.

Really, all I needed was a bit of feedback. Just a little recognition that I had bravely put myself and my writing out there.

That afternoon I got more feedback than I ever expected. The group was so supportive and encouraging.... extremely thoughtful as well. My hurt and shame and sense of unworthiness faded.

Vulnerability for the Win.

If I had NOT sent the email I would have quit the group....

If I had quit the group I would have stopped writing consistently....

If I had stopped writing consistently I would lose my sense of creativity....

...and that would have been devastating

Vulnerability for the Win.

Create a Habit

There are like a million books with theories as to how long it takes to form a habit. Lots of people believe that it takes 21 days. Others say that 66 days is the point when a habit is formed. Still others say that the number is 254........ you get it, the range is huge.

So, I can make only one conclusion with this information: "It is different for everyone." It may take one person 18 days to form a habit and 6 months for someone else.

What's your number?

Had I not completed my August Challenge I would not be able to answer that question. In the past I have started lots of things that never became a habit. I'm usually good for about 10 days and then things come up, I get busy and forget about my new 'habit'.

But not this time! In August I commit to running at least 1 mile every single day and I was bound and determined to see this challenge through. Lots of pretty amazing things happened for me during this challenge, the biggest being that a habit was formed.

Here is my journal entry:

" Day 26: The COOLEST thing happened today... day 26 and my habit has been formed!! Last night I absolutely could NOT fall asleep. I think the last time that I looked at the clock was 2:45..not good. Since I got minimal sleep I gave myself permission to have a lazy day today. As I was journaling it out this morning I committed to doing laundry while watching movies on the couch... all day. And that is what I did. I got all my laundry done and watched 2 movies and binged social media and that's it. When the movies were finished and all the laundry done I went upstairs and put on my running clothes. I didn't hesitate. I didn't have to plan it. I didn't have to get myself all pumped up for my run. It wasn't lingering over my head all day..... It just happened. And I knew that it was going to happen regardless of my lazy day. I realized today that I am now in the habit of running. I am SO excited!!! "

My number is 26, what's yours?

If you don't know I would highly encourage you to find out. Conduct a little experiment with yourself. Choose an activity that you would like to be a consistent part of your life. Maybe its to journal, maybe its to get 8 hours or sleep, maybe it's exercise.... choose something that you really crave in your life.

Then get after it!

Do this activity Every Single Day... until you don't have to think about it. Until you don't have to plan for it. Until it becomes routine.

Keep track and let me know when you find your number!

XO,
Mari

It's okay to do it alone

When was the last time that you did something by yourself? No, I'm not talking about taking a shower...

...I'm talking about doing something that you wouldn't 'normally' do alone...something that may make you a little bit uncomfortable.

Well... tonight I am doing JUST THAT!

I am heading into my first Adult Hip Hop class. This is actually the first dance class that I have EVER taken... unless you count that square dancing lessons all sixth graders are forced to take. Other than that I am new to this 'dance' thing.

Ever since I watched Lady Gaga rock the Superbowl half time show last year I have wanted to learn to dance. Gaga freaking rocked that stage and I was totally jealous of her moves. (when I get jealous it means something good is about to happen)

So I did some research and found a little studio that offers adult hip hop one night a week.

I told a few girlfriends about this class and everyone's first question is, 'Who are you going with?'. The answer, 'Nobody'...I'm going solo.

Just me walking into a dance class full of strangers with zero experience. Yes, I am nervous! And no, I won't let that stop me!

2001 was the year I learned that it's okay to do things solo. It was the summer that I spent up in Anchorage by myself. I was 19, about to head to Italy for a year abroad and needed to rack up as much cash as possible. My dad hooked me up with a job in a fishing cannery and sent me on my way.... for the entire summer, by myself, in Alaska.

That was the summer that I learned to do things by myself. I took myself out to dinner when we had the rare night off. I took myself to the local church when I had the VERY rare Sunday off. I took myself to the beach. I learned how to spoon and 'grade' a salmon by myself....

I learned that if I wanted something badly enough that it was okay to do it alone.

When was the last time that you did something by yourself?

...I challenge you to try something solo and see what happens.

Also, wish me luck in my dance class tonight. Eek!!!

XO,

Mari

 

 

Hello Accountability

As you may or may not know I am in the middle... day 22 to be exact... of my August Mile-a-Day Challenge. (follow on my blog)

My reasons for this challenge are a mile long, but the main reason I believe, is to prove to myself that I can do it. To see something like this through til the end. To keep a promise to myself. To hold myself to this challenge, to running every day.

 

And that is hard!

 

It is so easy to let myself off the hook.

It is so easy to break a little promise to myself.

 

And that is why accountability is KEY.

Right now I have not just a good excuse to put my challenge on hold, I have a GREAT excuse. Due to wildfires up north the air quality here is deemed 'Unhealthy'. That means that we all need to stay inside to protect our bodies against the pollutants in the air. What that REALLY means is, hello excuse! I don't have to run my mile...I actually can't run my miles, the Google tells me I shouldn't.

So, I post my predicament on social.

My girlfriend messages me right away. "Come be my free guest tomorrow morning @Planet Fitness & I'll run your mile with you!"

Hello Accountability!

Of course I will get up at 4:30 in the morning. Of course I will run on the treadmill (which I hate). Of course I will run my mile with you.

If my girlfriend hadn't messaged me I would have totally let myself off the hook. I would have used this excuse to put my challenge on hold. I mean, it's a really is a great excuse.

But accountability came through for me.

And after running 3 miles on the treadmill at 5:00 this morning....

...I realized that there is always another option.

...that there is always a Plan B.

...that if there is a will there is a way.

...and that having an accountability partner is the bomb.

What area's are you letting yourself off the hook? Is there a Plan B that you may not be considering?

XO,

Mari

Get Your Daydream On...

We have taken a few road trips this summer and each time we go we power up the electronics. It is always a frantic scramble to make sure everything is fully charged...like this weird fear that our kids will get bored or bother us.

We all have been programed to depend on our devices whenever there is a moment of calm. Whenever there is a lull in the constant go-go-go of life we turn to our phones. We fear the lulls.... like...

When we re on a road trip.

Or waiting in line at the grocery store.

Or chilling at a restaurant waiting for the rest of the party to arrive.

...it's like was are too awkward or scary to just BE.

Driving home on one of these road trips I noticed Xavier just staring out the window. We were driving through the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Legit, some of the most beautiful and breathtaking sites ever and X was just taking it all in. Across the car my middle child was hunched over in her seat, ear buds fastened on her ears and binging Grey's Anatomy on her phone. I don't think that she has spoken a word, let alone moved, in over an hour.

And then there was X just daydreaming away. The reason: his iPad had died and he was waiting for a charge. For a few moments he had forgotten about the iPad and was in complete daydream mode. He was happy as a clam in his own little eight year old world... exactly where he should be.

At first I was sad... sad for all the gorgeous scenery that he had missed on other road trips. Sad for his little brain and our over allotment of screen time in these situations. Sad that my daughter was missing all the goodness right outside her window.

And then I was jealous... because, when was the last time I daydreamed? When have I last gotten completely wrapped up in my own imagination.

Don't get me wrong I am up in my head a lot. Thinking of all the things that I need to do. Thinking of all the ways those things could go wrong. Thinking about the past and all the ways that I 'coulda', 'woulda' or 'shoulda' handled a situation. I do this to a fault.

What I'm talking about being up in my head in a good way...

...in a daydream

...in positive way

...in a happy place

...a wistful place

...full of imagination

...full of dreams

I don't go here nearly enough.... time to get my daydream back on!

XO,

Mari

 

Ignite a Passion!!

I love a good challenge. Not in the 'double-dog-dare you' sort of way. I like a challenge that kick-starts a bigger goal. A challenge that ignites passion back into an area of my life. When I wanted to improve my diet I started a 'Smoothie Challenge'. When I wanted to create a morning practice I started a 'Miracle Morning Challenge'. Now I want to get back into running so I started a 'Mile-A-Day' challenge.

Usually my challenges go for 10 days. A sort of mini-sprint towards creating a new habit. Turns out that this amount of time is not sufficient for me and my set-in-stone ways. I mean, I haven't had a smoothie in a year! And since I am serious about my Mile-A-Day challenge I extended then time frame to a solid 30 days.

For one month I challenged myself to run ONE MILE every single day.

It turns out that this was the best thing that I could have done for myself because on day 12 an opportunity presented itself. An opportunity that wouldn't have come around if I had stopped at day 10.

Last weekend we decided to take an end of the summer vacation to get out of the heat. We planned our road trip to Ocean Shores to build sand castles, boogie board and have a bonfires on the beach. During our beach day, as I watched all the kids run around me I realized that I could actually run my mile here... on the beach.

So on day 12 I did something that I have never done before. I ran on the beach.

I RAN ON THE BEACH!!!

It was such an amazing opportunity. An opportunity that I would have never considered if 1. I had not started the challenge and 2. I finished the challenge at day 10.

Currently I am half way done with my Mile-a-Day challenge and excited to see what other opportunities present itself in the next two week. This is turning out to be way more fun that I would have ever expected.

What goal could you kick start with a challenge?

What area of life could use some passion?

Let me know....I just may join you.

I am always up for a good challenge!!

XO,

Mari

 

August Challenge: A Mile A Day

Day 30: Today was hard, which was fitting, bringing me back to where I started....30 days ago. I woke up with super sore legs this morning from the hike I went on yesterday. Then a girlfriend invited me to do a circuited class at 8:30 at my new gym :) ...which was primarily leg focused. Squats, squats and more squats. So by the time I hit the treadmill to rock my 30th mile of the month I was already tired and my legs were screaming at me. This mile was tough. Tough in a completely different way than the tough it was on day 1. Day 1 was tough because I hadn't moved my body in months... today was hard because I have been pushing myself to bigger and harder workouts. The mile today wasn't the actual workout it was my extra credit.

So many lessons over the past month. I have grown in so many ways... unexpected ways. I can't remember the last time I have finished a challenge that went on as long as this one. I cant' remember the last time I was as proud of myself as I am now. Yesterday I posted my run on FB and someone commented, 'Only a mile?'. Yep, you read that right. Now, if this comment was put up on day 2 or 3 of the challenge it would have rocked my world. I would have been so bummed out and it could have knocked me off my game. But I had 29 days under my belt and over 60 'lessons' learned.... so I was tough enough to handle the comment. Just some proof of unexpected growth!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:30 minute mile (treadmill)
  • Lesson 1: A 30 day challenge will push you and foster some pretty unexpected growth.
  • Lesson 2: Do it... so worth it!!

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Day 29: Went on a super challenging 4 mile hike this morning. We got of the mounting at 10:30 and instead of changing into my birks I kept my athletic kicks on and drove straight to Planet Fitness to get my mile in. Instead of just going home and putting my run off I decided to just get it done. I am so glad I did! Getting my commitments done early is the way to go. It freed up the rest of my day to take the kids to lunch and bowling. Can't believe that this challenge will be over tomorrow. I feel like I am mourning the completion... like finishing an amazing book. You want to get to the end but at the same time you want it to last. Feel like I am falling back in love with running. My heart is full.

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:30 minute mile (treadmill)
  • Lesson 1: Get commitments done in the morning is so rewarding.
  • Lesson 2: Running fills my heart.

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Day 28: I was really looking forward to my mile today. I was cranky after my day in the office and was ready to pound it out on the treadmill in hopes of an attitude adjustment. About half way into my run a nice enough looking gentlemen hoped on the treadmill right next to me.... So this gym, it's not small. I would guess there are about 50 treadmills in the place and this afternoon there were approximately 8 runners using the machines. EIGHT runners and FIFTY treadmills.... and he chooses to run next to me. Argh!!! My attempt at my attitude adjustment was totally thwarted. Damn it! Still cranky....

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:15 minute mile (treadmill)
  • Lesson 1: An attitude adjustment is not guaranteed.
  • Lesson 2: If I want to run alone maybe the gym isn't the best place to go.

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Day 27: When I decided to start this 'Mile-a-Day' challenge I was committed to RUNNING the entire mile. I knew that I was already capable of walking a mile and this challenge was intended to push me.... they don't call it a 'challenge' for nothing. Today I was forced to make a choice: my kids or my challenge. See, they wanted to run with me this afternoon and couldn't hang. One got a side-ache half way in and the other started complaining about her knee. So I left them in the dust to walk their half mile back home while I finished what I started. (they are old enough to walk by themselves) It would have been super easy to walk home with them but I am committed!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:10 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: My kids can't hang.
  • Lesson 2: When I was forced to make a choice I chose my challenge. That is the commitment.

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Day 26: The COOLEST thing happened today... day 26 and my habit has been formed!! Last night I absolutely could NOT fall asleep. I think the last time that I looked at the clock was 2:45..not good. Since I got minimal sleep I gave myself permission to have a lazy day today. As I was journaling it out this morning I committed to doing laundry while watching movies on the couch... all day. And that is what I did. I got all my laundry done and watched 2 movies and binged social media and that's it. When the movies were finished and all the laundry done I went upstairs and put on my running clothes. I didn't hesitate. I didn't have to plan it. I didn't have to get myself all pumped up for my run. It wasn't lingering over my head all day..... It just happened. And I knew that it was going to happen regardless of my lazy day. I realized today that I am now in the habit of running. I am SO excited!!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 11:38 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: It takes me about 26 days to form a habit.
  • Lesson 2: When I listen to music (not a book or podcast) my creativity really gets going!

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Day 25: The fact that I was not able to run outside really put a cramp in my challenge... so yesterday I joined the gym. I ran 2 miles yesterday and 2 miles today and I am 100% caught up! I have 27.03 miles logged so far in the month of August! It has been YEARS since I have logged this many miles. OMG it feels good. I feel strong and alive and in control and proud. All the good feels up in here. Another lesson today...I woke up emotional and cranky. I had a draining day yesterday and it trickled over to this morning. Thinking about yesterday I got a little teary on the drive to the gym. I felt upset and angry and tired. I ran my miles and on my drive home I realized that my attitude had changed. I did nothing but chat with a girlfriend on the treadmill for 25 minutes and felt like a new woman afterward. The effects of this challenge are many!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:30 minute mile (treadmill)
  • Lesson 1: Running can lead to a positive attitude adjustment.
  • Lesson 2: Running on a treadmill with a friend to chat with is WAY easier than just listening to my book.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 22: I am SO glad that I posted on Insta about the air quality effecting my challenge. A girlfriend reached out last night and offered to bring me to her gym as a guest so I could run my miles inside on the treadmill. Let me be clear on this point: I hate the treadmill. The treadmill for me is literally the last possible option, ever! And I am SO SO SO thankful that it was an option today! I ran 3 miles without stopping this morning.... at 5am! So, two things really: 1. I ran the most amount of miles that I have ran in over a year and 2. I woke up at an obscene time to do it. This is dedication people! This is me honoring my challenge! This is my commitment to myself becoming a reality. Oh, also Accountability helps. If I had not told that universe that I was doing this challenge, then my girlfriend would not have invited me to the gym and held me accountable this morning. Accountability helps!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:30 minute mile (treadmill)
  • Lesson 1: Accountability is KEY. Being accountable to YOURSELF and a FRIEND.
  • Lesson 2: Look for other options... when something comes between you and you goal there is always another option.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 19 Undetermined Date: The air quality in the valley has been reduced to 'Unhealthy for Everyone'. The horrible wildfires up in BC are causing massive smoke here and we are hunkering down in doors due to the hazardous air. YUCK! I am super bummed... my challenge, my precious challenge!!

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Day 17 18: Skipped day 17 and doubled up on my miles today. It was the first day, in a very very long time, that I actually felt like a runner. It didn't take long for me to find my stride. I felt confident today. I felt solid and strong. I knew I would run a solid 2 miles without stopping. I had no doubt. 18 days ago I wasn't sure that I would be able to run 1 mile without keeling over. Today I felt like a runner. Looking back to the list of my reasons for launching this challenge I realize that I am already hitting them...endurance, finding my stride, gaining stronger.

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 11:47 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: I am hitting my goals (my reasons for running) already.
  • Lesson 2: Keeping this commitment that made ONLY to myself is such a gift.

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Day 16: Yesterday I hiked 4 miles, then ran my 2 miles and then took a yoga class. This morning I woke up and paddle boarded for 1.5 hours around a local lake. So tonight my muscles were tight as I started out on my run. It felt good to be jogging and stretching them out. About half way into my mile I realized that I was keeping a faster pace than normal. Instead of slowing my roll I decided to keep up with it and push myself through. I kept up my pace and really challenged myself today. It felt good... not too hard, just right. This challenge is exactly what I have been needing. Love it!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 11:22 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Its okay to go slow when needed and push myself when I am feeling up to it.
  • Lesson 2: Habits are being formed... even though I waited until evening to run I never considered skipping it.

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Day 14 15: Yesterday I rested...I did not run my mile. It wasn't because I was super busy and didn't have the time. That would be far from the truth. I made the decision that I would take a rest day at 5:00am when my alarm went off. Lately I have been sleeping like shit, like wake up at 3:00 and not able to go back to bed style. SHIT. So when my alarm went off during a deep sleep I rolled over, reset the alarm for 6:00 and went back to bed. The extra sleep was great but by the time I got home from the office I was exhausted again. I decided to put on my jam jams, snuggle up with my book and take the night off...... of EVERYTHING. Like, kids fend for yourself type of night off. Every part of me needed this little break. I felt zero guilt for not running my mile because I knew that I would come through on my commitment the next day.

And I did. I came through today... day 15, exactly half way through the challenge. I went out to a gorgeous trail at Padilla Bay and slayed 2 miles. It was 7:00 in the morning so the morning fog was just rolling off the water giving the trail spooky feel. The fresh air and solitude was refreshing. Yesterday I rested and today was SO good for it!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 12:00 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Listen to your body. Rest is a good thing.
  • Lesson 2: Trusting my commitment to myself is everything.

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Day 13: I run at the exact same pace as the garbage truck...literally, the EXACT same pace. I set out on my run with the sound of the garbage truck behind me. I snuck a quick back and he was at my house so I crossed the road to let him pass. And he did...he passed me... and then I caught up... and then he passed me again... and then I caught up. Each time he stopped to collect a neighbor's trash I could run up beside him. At first we gave a friendly waves but by the fourth pass we were obviously avoiding eye contact. It was awkward and loud. Awkward and loud.

Lessons & Info

  • Ran 11:57 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: I cannot out run a garbage truck.
  • Lesson 2: Buy headphones. Garbage trucks are loud.

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Day 10 - 12: Yikes! My days of blogging have gotten away from me..so now I have the challenge of summarizing 3 pretty busy days. Day 10 we were on the 1st day of our road trip. I had planned to wake up early and run but our hotel (actually MOTEL) wasn't it the nicest area of town so, fearing for my safety, I skipped out. By the time we go to the next hotel that night at 9:30 I was beyond tired and didn't run. YEP, you read that right... day 10 I missed my mile. I beat myself up about this for appx. 10 hours. Day 11 I woke up before the fam. I had my coffee, got some journal in, read my book and set out on my mile and 'make-up mile'. I ran 2.46 miles without stopping!! It was SO great. I didn't know where I was, so navigating uncharted streets kept my mind off the fatigue. Day 12 was the BEST... like the BEST EVER! I ran on the beach... of Ocean Shores. I ran on the BEACH!!

Lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Check your route before you run... sometimes sidewalks are important
  • Lesson 2: Make-Up miles are okay when absolutely necessary.
  • Lesson 3: New runs and run experiences are amazing.

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Day 9: I wore the wrong outfit today, which made everything wrong. This morning I decided to head out in my yoga leggings instead of quickly swapping them out for the 'real' kind of running pants. The kind that actually holds you IN. As I usually do each day....I turned on my kindle, got Shonda rolling in my ear, started my Nike App and set off. IMMEDIATELY things started to shake and wiggle and jiggle... things that are not supposed to MOVE when you jog. I tried for the first minute or two to hike my pants up over my mid section to offer a little jiggle relief... only to feel is roll right back down after a step or two. This made it worse so I abandoned that attempt. My other wardrobe misstep was my choice of color. I was wearing black yoga pants and a black long sleeve t-shirt. Even though I went early in the morning the sun was still beating down on me. My black attire did not help my already uncomfortable self. Now, I was a HOT jiggling mess. All I could think about was the finish line, HOME! The thought to stop to walk never crossed my mind, only crossing the finish line. That is an improvement over Day 1. Small Wins!

Lessons & Info

  • Ran 11:45 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: What you wear during a run is of utmost importance.
  • Lesson 2: Getting the run over and done in the morning ROCKS.

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Day 8: Today I ran THROUGH my mile marker...I ran 1.31 miles and it wasn't hell. It was almost easy. The only hard part was my back pain. It isn't an injury-injury, it's more like my joints waking up from a VERY long slumber. Waking up cranky and letting me know that they don't appreciate this new challenge. Still, I ran through the dull ache. I ran through the mile marker. I ran through the voice in my head letting me know that it would be okay to stop. Today was the best day yet!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 11:50 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: A habit is being formed...I didn't even hesitate to start my mile today.
  • Lesson 2: My body is stronger than I have given it credit for.

 

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Day 7: I would like to dedicate Today's mile to two amazing women.  First, I would like to recognize the hilarious and brilliant Shonda Rhymes. Shonda wrote the book 'Year of Yes' which I started listening to on audible today. Usually I run while listening to a podcast...but I haven't found one that I am really loving. I need something that takes my mind off the mile. This. Book. Did. Oh, it is so funny and I honestly can't wait to listen again tomorrow during my run. (did I just say that I can't wait to run??)

Secondly, I need to recognize my girl Teresa. I was texting with her, complaining about the heat (84') and my back ache and all the things that were keeping me from my run. She told me about this book... told me to say YES and to get it done. Thanks sister, I needed that!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran 11:57 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Children's chewable Tylenol works great in a pinch.
  • Lesson 2: Text someone who won't let you off the hook when you want to let yourself off the hook.

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Day 6: I took my own advice today AND didn't procrastinate. I ran early, done by 6:50. Total rockstar status! Today is going to be super busy. I will be speaking to a group of 35 sixth-graders all about confidence (which I am beyond nervous about). In order to show up 100% I got my mile in early. I woke up at 6:00 and got it done. It feels SO good to not have my mile looming over me for the rest of the day. To sit here and sip my coffee, done! As good as I feel right now, the run wasn't so great. I am NOT a morning person and apparently NOT a great morning runner. I was super slow and NOT by choice. There were at least 3X during the run when I almost talked myself into walking because I was so tired. This mile was the hardest one yet. YUCK.

and....I did it!

Day SIX complete!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 12:21 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: I like getting my run done early in the day.
  • Lesson 2: I want to feel strong and alive during my morning runs. This will take practice.

 

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Day 5: Today's mile was not necessarily 'hard', just 'off'. We had early morning soccer games so I decided to squeeze my mile in 'later'. We went out to  lunch after the games at which I had a beer (22 oz) so I obviously needed a nap. I love napping...I just hate waking up from a nap....I always feel super groggy. So, I got my groggy self 'run ready' and set out for my jog. It was either the beer or the nap (probably both) that had me feeling extremely uncoordinated. It was plain awkward. It wasn't hard I just felt like a blob running. Like my muscles were still in nap mode and wouldn't firm up.

I jiggled my way through it!

Day FIVE complete!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 11:43 minute mile.
  • Lesson 1: Beer + Nap = interesting run
  • Lesson 2: Running in the afternoon is harder than just getting in done in the morning.

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Day 4: Its Saturday. I woke up slowly at 7:00, made my coffee, started re-reading 'Girl, Wash Your Face' and jotted a few notes in my journal. At 8:00 I headed out for my mile. The kids were all still sleeping and I was enjoying my relaxing Saturday morning...that vibe continued with me on my run. I took it slower. I noticed things. I enjoyed this mile. Today is the first day I woke up sore (probably due to the super aggressive run I had yesterday). Instead of ignoring my sore muscles I concentrated on them... my shoulders, my biceps, my hamstrings... all sore. I am working my body in new ways. Ways that yoga and walking doing touch. I had forgotten that a quick run can be an awesome full-body work out. Today I am grateful.

I did it!

Day FOUR complete!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 12:04 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Running is a full body work out.
  • Lesson 2: It's okay to go slowly.

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Day 3: I am a glutton for punishment and also a master procrastinator. I knew today was going to be super busy... with 2 coaching calls and 3 kid soccer games...I wasn't going to have a free moment until late. It would have been absolutely brilliant of me to wake up a tiny bit early and get 'er done, but no, I'm not that smart. I waited and waited and waited until the last possible moment. So, after the final soccer game I race home, threw dinner in the oven, put the kids in front of the Xbox and race out the door to run my mile. P.S. I am having family over for the dinner that I threw in the oven. On the bright side I ran this mile super quick since I had company waiting for me at home. I cut my time by another half a minute which gave me a wicked side ache and also made me feel like a total badass. I am liking this challenge.

I did it!

Day THREE complete!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 11:20 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: I run faster when company and a beer is waiting for me at home.
  • Lesson 2: Procrastination sucks.

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Day 2: I seriously have no clue how I beat yesterday’s time by 40 seconds!! I woke up sore today and because I’m cray I met 3 girlfriends at 6 a.m. for a little 3 mile hike (which was amazing). I decided to squeeze my mile in right after the hike to avoid multiple showers. So when I started I was already tired. My thighs felt like elephant thighs and each weighed a ton.  Usually at this point I would have decided that today would be a good day to just walk it out...but you know, I committed and shit.

So, I did it!!!

Day TWO complete!!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 11:50 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Decided ahead of time that I would run the entire mile.
  • Lesson 2: Elephants can run too!

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Day 1: Getting myself up and out of bed was harder than I thought. I snoozed about 4X and when I was finally out of bed I had to scramble around the house for my running gear. Yesterday we came home from vacation so half of my clothes are in the laundry and my running shoes were still in the suitcase. 

Once I pulled myself together and my feet hit the pavement I felt good...like I used to feel when I ran...invincible.... Which lasted appx .74 of the mile because at that distance I hit my first hill. Also, my first podcast ended. So I had to get BOTH my second wind AND queue up my next podcast.... while continuing to slow trot.

Right about the time that both those things happened I hit my second small hill... this was at .90 mile. So the last minute or two was NOT fun.

As soon as the kind woman on the Nike App notified me that I had hit my 1.00 mile mark I smiled and slowed to a walk.

I did it!

Day ONE complete!!

Lessons & Info:

  • Ran a 12:32 minute mile
  • Lesson 1: Lay out my gear the night before.
  • Lesson 2: Keep my cell phone far away from the bed to avoid 'snoozing'.

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Background: Two days ago I was on vacation, rocking my bathing suit, enjoying a cold beer, feet dangling off the boat into the water and chatting it up with my girlfriends. My friends do this group athletic training and were telling me about their current challenge... to run ONE mile EVERY single day of the month of August. Although I am not in this coaching group I committed to this immediately.

This is the EXACT challenge that I have been craving... simple & effective.

Here are my reasons for joining this challenge:

  • Endurance -  I used to LOVE to run and since I have stopped my endurance in all things has diminished. I want to be able to register for a 10k and run it with ease.
  • Mind - running clears my mind and lowers my stress level.
  • Business - I get my best ideas while I run.
  • Energy - Right now my energy level feels low, I know that when I run it increases.
  • Body - I crave a strong & healthy body.
  • Soul - When I am in the flow, running feels like a meditation. I used to LOVE getting into this flow.

XO,

Mari

    Don't take NO for an answer....

    Yesterday Tom and I took the kids on a day trip to Lopez Island. We had a killer brunch in Anacortes at Dad's Diner and took the afternoon Ferry for our 3 hour Kayak tour (got a sweet Groupon deal).

    We packed the sunscreen, the bathing suites, the extra clothes and cooler full of necessities. Since our ice machine isn't working we needed to stop on the way. After brunch we were running a bit late so we just hustled over to the ferry dock which is where I realized that we had forgotten the ice.

    This is important because 1. I like my beer and 2. I like my beer cold.... this problem needed to be solved pronto!

    So, we are sitting in a packed ferry line surveying our options and suddenly the skies opened and rays of light illuminated the sign above the Ferry Terminal 'Mini Market'...(slight exaggeration).

    We march over to get a bag of ice.... time is of the essence, at this point as my beer is only getting warmer and warmer.

    Tom walks up to the Mini Market attendant and orders. She promptly tells him that bags of ice are not available....they are just NOT sold there. WHAT?!?!

    I turn to walk away and sulk... what am I going to do now?!?!

    Tom is persistent. He asks if she could make a bag for us...could she improvise and make something happen? She thinks for a minute and says, 'Yeah, I bet I could make something work'.

    He didn't take NO for an answer and got the bag of ice and I get a cold beer!!!

    So, what does all this mean?

    It means, don't take NO for an answer!

    What do you usually do when you are told NO?

    Do you quickly back down and walk away?

    Do you give up super easily like I was going to?

    Do you even APPOLOGIZE for asking for what you want in the first place?

     

    ...or do you push on, ask again and find another way?

     

    I learned that if you REALLY REALLY want something you can find a way.... even if you are told NO at first.

     

    I challenge you to PUSH ON.

    If there is a WILL there is a WAY.

    Go after what you want.

    Be Persistent.

    Get it Girl!!!

    XO, Mari

    P.S. I would love to hear your stories of persistence. When have you not taken NO for an answer and gotten what you wanted?

     

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    Play the Dominoes!

    This past weekend we took the family to an out of town soccer tournament for Ea. We decided to make a little vacation out of it and stay the night at a hotel instead of commuting 2 hours each way to the games.

    It turned out to be the best decision ever. The hotel was in walking distance to the fields, it had a sweet outdoor pool, gazebo and outdoor grilling area. Instead of spending 4 hours a day in the car we had drinks by the pool while the kids swam. It was SO GOOD.

    There were about 5 other families staying at the hotel and we had a little gazebo grill party on Saturday night. The kids ran around playing hide and seek while all the parents got to visit and relax.

    While we were enjoying our gazebo party a woman came up to the group. She said that she was from out of town, staying at the hotel all summer on a work assignment and wondered if anyone wanted to play a game of dominoes.

    Get this....She approached a group of 10 strangers who were sitting in a pretty closed off circle and asked for what she wanted.

    You may think that this is no biggie, but to me this was super BRAVE!!

    Watching someone go after what they want, big or small, is such an inspiration!!!

    How many times do we (I) not ask for what we want due to...

    ...fear of rejection

    ...fear of being embarrassed

    ...lack of confidence

    ...fear of someone saying NO

    ...self doubt

    I dare you... no, I double-dog dare you to...

    ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.

    Go after your dreams.

    Chase those goals.

    Play the Dominoes!!!

    P.S. I would love to connect over on Facebook or Instagram. Hit me up!

    get REAL!

    About a month ago I was out to dinner and ran into a girlfriend. We shared a quick hug and a few words to catch up...the encounter lasted about 4 minutes. Later in the evening I received this text. 

    "I just want you to know how much I appreciate that because you are so authentic about who you are, I feel comfortable being authentic with you. It felt great to  be able to tell the truth about how I'm really doing, instead of hiding behind the mask that I have to put on in public. XO"

    This text meant so much to me...basically an acknowledgment of all the inner work that I have been doing. 

    If you know me, even a little, you know that things like vulnerability, authenticity and transparency are WAY hard...they are hard for most. I find that putting up a strong facade is so much easier. I find that playing ‘tough’ is my go-to coping tactic. It’s easier. 

    My 'inner' work is starting to pay off...slowly. The reading, journaling, coaching, therapy, laughs and tears are taking effect.

    So, how do we become more authentic, more 'REAL'?

    Here a few suggestions that have worked for me:

    1. Get clear on your values: when things get tough or uncomfortable you can use your values to guide your actions

    2. What are your goals: journal out what is most important to YOU and why achieving this goal is a priority

    3. 'I am enough': use this mantra or affirmation when you start to compare yourself to anyone else

    Thank you sweet friend for sending me this text...one of the best gifts I have been given. 

    XO,

    Mari

    P.S. If you would like to dig a little deeper into your Values & Goals please schedule a FREE 'Reality Check' here: https://mw-coach-realitycheck.youcanbook.me/

    My Inner Pamela

    That time I channeled my inner Pamela Anderson (Baywatch Pamela not Playboy Pamela).

    Anyway, it was amazing and you should do it too... because positive body image and self-love and all that.

    ...and self love is hard, at least it is for me when I am not rocking my 'goal weight'. I know all the tricks (gratitude journal, affirmations, meditation, etc.) but sometimes it is just plain hard to love myself in a bathing suit.

    A little tip: surround yourself with peeps who love you Just The Way You Are... love is contagious!!

    Two weeks ago this is what helped get me out of my funk and into this sexy red one piece.

    I was down in Scottsdale for a girls weekend. Truth be told I wasn't very excited about the trip because cellulite, back fat and zero thigh gap... and these chicas were like Fuck That!!

    There was ZERO time spent in negativity. No talk about diets, macros, calories. It was Ah-Maz-Ing!!!

     

    Take me up on my little tip. You won't regret it.

    XO, Mari

     

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    Therapy

    I feel empowered to share something super vulnerable today... 

    I have skirted around sharing this, dropping little hints here or there, thinking these were enough...today I’m gonna get a little more open. This is just a start and we will see where it goes from here....

    So I see a therapist regularly. His name is Mike and he is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time. 

    I had a major panic attack a few years ago and my primary physician prescribed anti-depressants and work with a therapist for recovery. At the time I was annoyed with this and felt all sorts of yucky feelings...like, “Hello, do you know me? I don’t have anxiety or depression or panic attacks!!” Oh the shame and self judgement I felt. Now I can tell you that it is by far the best healing work I have ever done. 

    HEALING- when you hurt your ankle you work with a physical therapist for recovery. You don’t question this line of treatment, it is ‘acceptable’. 

    Why is it that when we need help healing the wounds of our mind we resist the treatment with a psychotherapist?

    Back then I did not understand this reasoning and I hid my work with Mike out of embarrassment and shame. 

    Now I believe the more we share the more we begin to see that we are so much more alike than different. That lots of us struggle with mental health challenges including anxiety, depression and panic attacks. And that the treatment of mental health is just as important as the treatment of physical health. 

    After a few years of therapy with Mike I am off my medication but I don’t ever see myself stopping our 1-1 sessions. At this point I feel like this continued work is esential for my growth and development. 

    That’s it for today...I’m sure I will have more to share at some point. #livingonpurpose

    Where do you thrive?

    Yesterday I had one of 'those' sessions with my coach. When you end with a BIG Ah-Ha take away and are ready for action.  The call started out like they normally do... rattling off all the things that I wanted to work. We quickly realized that I had too many areas to focus on in the hour (this is normal for me) and that we needed to narrow it down to the ONE that would have the biggest impact. Here is what we uncovered after an intense conversation:

    A big area that I have been beating myself up about is my progress in life.... yeah, it's a big one!

    ...I should be farther along with my blog.

    ...I should be farther along in my coaching career.

    ...I should be farther along in my weight loss journey.

    ...I should be farther along in my book.

    You get it!

    Elise asked how these limiting beliefs have shown up in the past and what techniques I have used to advance my progress.

    I told her that normally I just force myself to put my  'head down and focus!

          'And how has that worked for you in the past' Elise pushed.

    '...well, I guess it works for the time being.'

         'And has that been sustainable... this 'put your head down' and get after it approach' she pushed further.

    'Damn you!' - really this is what I said - 'You are right.... this isn't working for me. It works for awhile but then I burn out, loose interest and quit. What do I do?'

    Then she asked, 'How do you get motivated, where do you find your inspiration?'

    ...and it dawned on me, my Ah-Ha....I get motivated to take action when I am around other people. It rarely happens when I am by myself.

    As an extrovert I draw my energy from other people. Even if I am sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant not necessarily talking or socializing with others I still feel their presence. I still draw energy and inspiration from them. Even if I am on a walk listening to a podcast I feel and feed off the inspiration that the speaker is providing.

    So today, instead of going to my home office to write this blog post I am sitting in a crowded bar. I don't' know anyone here and other than the occasional assistance from the bar staff I am on my own. Yet, I still feel energized and alive... not something that I get very often writing at home

    Where do you feel most energized?

    How do you get inspired?

    In what environments do you thrive?

    If you are like me right now and needing a little motivational boost I challenge you to find your 'spot'.. go somewhere that is most conducive to what you need. Don't revert back to the old habits and patterns that are not sustainable. Go somewhere that makes you smile.

    XO,

    Mari

    (Some Of) My Favorite Books

    As a coach I can work from anywhere... no matter where I am at I always have a book (or 10) with me during a coaching conversation.

    Growing up I hated... like really hated anything that required a book. During 'silent reading' I would sit at my desk and day dream...eyeing the kid next to me so I knew when to turn the page of the book that I wasn't reading. Not exactly sure how I got through school but I managed to squeak by.

    These days I am basically having an affair with whichever book I am reading. The book goes with me everywhere and I sneak in a page or two whenever I can.

    Oh how I love a good book.

    Getting lost in a good mystery or romance novel is bliss and as a coach I love learning the tips, tools and best practices of the experts. These books are my teachers, mentors and coaches. I am constantly referring back to a book for guidance... as a coach and as a student.

    This is one of the reasons that I love being a coach...I get to share the knowledge that I have gotten from these books with my clients.

    On days like today where I sit here surrounded by books, chatting with a client I feel most grateful...

    Here are some of my favorites:

    Self-Helpy:

    • Brene' Brown Anything:
      • 'Rising Strong'
      • 'Daring Greatly'
      • 'Braving the Wilderness'
    • ''Girl, Wash Your Face' by Rachel Hollis
    • 'You are a Badass' and You are a Badass at Making Money' by Jen Sincero
    • 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck' by Mark Manson
    • 'Present-over-Perfect' by Shauna Niequist
    • 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller
    • 'The 4 Disciplines of Execution' by Sean Covey
    • 'Tattoos on the Heart' by Gregory Boyle
    • 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin

    Pleasure Reading:

    • 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' by
    • 'The Nightingale' by Kristin Hannah
    • 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins
    • 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho
    • 'Red Sparrow' by Jason Matthews
    • 'The Alice Network' by Kate Quinn
    • 'Game of Thrones' by George R.R.Martin
    • Beneath a Scarlet Sky' by Mark Sullivan
    • A Man Called Over' by Fredrik Beckman
    • 'The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto' by Mitch Albom

    Happy Reading!

    XO, Mari