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Jason McDonald On Ownership + Recovery + Passion

In this episode Jason shares his unplanned journey from stylist to owner, one thing he wish he knew before becoming an owner, the wisdom found in his recovery and what passion + purpose means to him, and how social media changed everything for him.

Thank you Jason for sharing your inspiring story with us, and pushing through the anxiety to do so… we LOVE you. You can find Jason on the gram at @jason_headstrong 

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Your experience matters. We would be so grateful if you shared your experience with our podcast by leaving a review. It matters to us, and so do you. Thank you- Nina

people passion purpose podcast Aura Mae

Aura Mae On Burnout + Self-Care + Purpose

In this episode Aura shares her journey of moving with grace through two major burnouts, on how self care has become her guiding light and how purpose her purpose to teach brings her joy. You can find Aura at Azarra Salon & Wine on the gram and if you want to take a peek at her life as a food personality, check out Aura Mae Food. Thank you Aura for sharing your inspiring story with us, we LOVE you. It’s good to be Aura Mae! 

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Your experience matters. We would be so grateful if you shared your experience with our podcast by leaving a review. It matters to us, and so do you. Thank you- Nina

Passion Squared Gratitude + Joy

What Comes First? Gratitude or Joy

“For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”  Brene Brown

Over the last 8 years, I have worked day in and day out, on creating a life that would allow me to be present and help others. In the last few years, I actually created an awesome business to serve those I love in a very different way than the status quo.

It’s risky, I mean, in the industry I mostly serve, there is far more interest in learning the latest haircut or color technique. And I get that.

But working with creative small business owners and hairdressers over the last 30 years, there are a few things I know are true;

-Self esteem & confidence is quite low

-Healthy boundaries are nearly non existent

-Anxiety is typically high

-Workaholics are prevalent and even seen as awesome #notawesome

-People pleasing is high

-Saying no is seen as a bad thing

-Self care is the last thing on the to do list

And because of this, many of us are depleted, burnt out, overwhelmed, exhausted, unhappy, self-sabotaging, and loaded with the toxic energy of those around us. #yikes #usedtobeme

So what comes first?

In the quote above, Brene Brown breaks is down perfectly, gratitude comes before joy.

And that is what I subscribe to. Gratitude and peace come first. That is where we will find joy, and that is when everything will fall into place.

Simple concept, but not at all easy to practice.

Gratitude comes from practice. Peace comes from practice. Just like learning the latest haircut or color.

So where do we start?

Gratitude Lists
Every day, take 5 minuets and write a gratitude list. Either on a piece of paper, or in your head, or on your phone, or on a napkin, wherever, whenever, just do it, and you will find an immediate shift in your energy.

Start Saying NO
The most important thing you can do for yourself and others is to take care of yourself, your energy and your space. Start by saying NO one time per week. That NO will give you an extra hour, two hours or even more to breathe, take a walk, read a book, or just sit in stillness.

Practice Healthy Boundaries
Next time someone asks you “Do you have 5 minuets to talk? Say no, but I have time at 3:30.”

If someone interrupts you while you are in the middle of something simply say… “I understand this is important to you, but I am in the middle of something, lets connect back in an hour.”

You see, the more we take care of ourselves, our energy and our bodies, the more we can show up fully and be present for those we serve.

A depleted, exhausted, burnout human is of no good to anyone, whether its you or the team you work with.

So today, I am grateful, for my process (and all the people who helped save my life) and for my decision to share it with the people that I love.

Today I am grateful for the power of gratitude lists, saying no and setting healthy boundaries. Now it’s your turn. What are you grateful for?

Love + Gratitude + Awesomeness-

Nina

Healthy Boundaries header

What You Allow- A Story On Healthy Boundaries

“What you allow is what will continue.” Unknown

In working with my clients each day and engaging with community on the social web, I find one of the biggest challenges many face is in setting healthy boundaries.

Look, up until 8 years ago, to be honest, I had no idea what that even meant. I was living a boundary-less life. I was at the mercy of others energy, desires, moods and thoughts. I was emotionally broken. And then everything changed (with a 35 day treatment program and 8 years of therapy which I am still in today). Even today, I struggle with it. Why? Because I am human. And so are you.

Since I am in the empowerment business, I find nothing more empowering than loving self. And setting healthy boundaries are one of the best ways to empower, love and serve our hearts.

So what the heck are boundaries and how do we set healthy ones? Here is what an article from Psychology Today says about healthy boundaries…

“Boundaries are an inside job. And they have to do, not so much with where others stop but with where we genuinely begin.”

First and foremost, we must decide that we are sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s not until we make that decision, we can move forward and begin to grow.

Next, think about all the situations are you in today, in biz and in life, where you are struggling with boundaries.

Could it be with a client wanting to get “squeezed” in or wanting access to you 24/7?
Price bartering?
Unreasonable expectations?
Doing things we actually do not want to be doing?
Could it be with a team member who totally disrespects your culture and vision, or you, or other team members?
Not being able to let go of toxic people, team members, clients, relationships?
Could it be that you find yourself in total burnout mode more often than not, due to feeling “bad” and not wanting to say no to anyone?
What about online? Succumbing to the obnoxious behavior of cyber bullies?
Getting sucked into rants and awful news?
Following people we don’t really want to follow but we feel we “must”?

OMG, the list could go on and on. And where the dance begins, is in learning that healthy boundaries are not about putting up walls, but in creating a permeable “fence” that allows us to practice self care, thus my choice for the above image, a beautiful fence on the beach, which both protects and accepts.

Here are some affirmations that may help you in your journey to learning to setting healthy boundaries. And let me be clear. This stuff is not easy. Far from it. It’s super uncomfortable, for reals. But each time we set a healthy boundary, it gets easier. One boundary at a time.

Awesome Boundary Affirmations
I set healthy boundaries to be more loving to others and myself.
I will say NO to others and say YES to myself.
I am perfectly imperfect, and so are the others around me.
I am a courageous and loving human.
I am in control of how I choose to respond and react to others.
I cannot control people or their actions.
I respect my needs and myself.
I teach people how to treat me.
I will put my oxygen mask on first, so I can be present for others.
I create space in my life so I can breathe.

If you struggle with setting healthy boundaries, it may be an issue of co-dependence. One of the greatest books I have ever read on this topic and one that helped me is Codependent No More by one of my favorite self-help authors Melody Beattie. Click here to learn more.

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina

A Land With No Starbucks

A Land With No Starbucks

“Sometimes we are so focused on the things we want, we miss out on the things we need.” Unknown

When I first saw my new favorite place on Facebook, the home of my Aunt & Uncle, I had no idea if I would ever get there, nor less did I know the impact it would have on my state of being.

You see, I have been so wrapped up in life, and moreover, my business, and have not had a real “off the grid” break in years.

So when the opportunity arose, my Uncles surprise birthday party, and knowing I would get to see a big part of my East Coast family, I was all in. No, it was not the ideal time to take off, no, it was not in my budget, but yes, it was the best decision I have made in a long time.

Little did I know, I would be arriving in the land of no Starbucks (or Coffee Bean, or Uber, or cell service) and boy, what a shock to my system that was.

Many of us get so hung up in what we want, or think we want, or think we need, that we can lose sight of what we really need; love, connection, family, air, reflection, relationships, you know, the stuff that matters.

So how does one live in the land with no Starbucks? Simply. And beautifully. And purposefully.

While I did prepare a bit by bringing my travel French press, I did not have any espresso to put in it. Thankfully, my cousin was in a much more populated area when I inboxed her asked if she could stop by Starbucks so at least I could have my morning espresso, and she graciously obliged my addiction.

But my routine of what I think I need and want went sideways from there. What do you do when you cannot make a phone call? Or have no wireless connection or limited connection? You breathe. That’s what.

Many forget the day of having nether of those things, and yes, we all survived. Generations of awesome humans survived with far less than what is available to us today. And while I LOVE the social + digital web, as being a core of my business, and love how it can empower the people I love, I realized how much we are tethered to our devices, and missing out on so many beautiful things, like life.

I am not one to say put down your devices, I would never and will never believe in that, but what I do know now is that we all need to disconnect. And I can speak for “us all” as I work with people every day who are stressed, filled with anxiety, “too busy” to do important things, overwhelmed, etc.

Think of it this way and play a little game that goes like this…
Want: Starbucks + cell service
Need: Rest + recharging our batteries

Want: To do everything on my to-do list today
Need: To create awesome, quality work

Here is my challenge to you (and to me). Put down your devices. One a week, or a few times a month. And if you cannot seem to disconnect on your own, travel a few times a year to a place you are forced to, like I was, and just be present. Look up. Look around. You will not even believe how beautiful a land with no Starbucks can be.

Love + Awesomeness-

Nina

PS: A huge shout out of love + gratitude to my entire East Coast fam for making my week “off the grid” so awesome. I love you all so very much and cannot wait to come back (travel French press included)!