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Continually grow as a person and find your work/life balance

Make the Most of Life by Getting Your Badass Attitude On

 If you want to make the most of life, stop waiting and start going after the badass life that you want and deserve because you’re the only one who can do it“Let life be an adventure. Live your life to the fullest, unfettered by fear of the ghosts and goblins of what might occur. Calamity and death happen as well to those who hide from life as to those who squeeze every drop of zest from it.” ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Are you tired of living a humdrum life? Are you ready to do something really impressive? Do you want to make the most of life? Have you had enough of taking it and you want to fight back to finally get the life you want?  Do you want to kick the make-do attitude to the curb and go for the gusto?

Then you want to be a badass! Sometimes we just have to call it for what it is to make the point.

But not so fast…wanting and doing are two completely different things. So do you want it? More importantly, are you willing to put in the dedication, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears to make the most of life? I hope so. Because life is short and no one can guarantee tomorrow. My recent Women’s Retreat in Italy has reinforced the fact that it’s vital to make the most of every day that you live. The ladies I coached were, in their own ways, all badasses too!

How do you become a badass and make the most of life?

The first thing you need to do is give yourself permission to live larger than life. You have to believe that you deserve the best. Then don’t wait for it to come to you. You have to go get it!

Listen to what your inner voice says is most important to YOU (not someone else).

Then write out a “My Best Life Ever List”. What would your perfect life look like? Prioritize it in order of importance to YOU.

Accomplishing one thing may make the next one easier to attain, so think seriously about the order you do things in. For instance, clearing out the clutter and simplifying your life will free you up to bring something really meaningful in.

Prioritize, what is the Number One thing you can do Right Now to begin accomplishing your priority accomplishment. GO DO IT! You heard me. Don’t write it down. GO DO IT!

What’s the next thing you need to do Right Now to accomplish your priority task? GO DO IT!  You’re getting my drift, right?!!!

Making lists is fine, but it’s only when you kick your butt off the couch that you can become a badass and make the most of life.

As you wake up every day, think about how you can push yourself just a little bit more today as you chase your dreams. We’re not looking for huge shifts in your attitude and actions…just gradual, sustainable, baby-step changes.

Listen to your body. If you need to rest one day, that’s okay. But if the need for rest is motivated by discouragement or negative talk (from yourself or others), don’t listen! Get tough with yourself and do just one thing. You might be surprised by how that breaks the dam of procrastination and invigorates you to do another.

A book I’ve really enjoyed and got me going is The Badass Life: 30 Amazing Days to a Lifetime of Great Habits–Body, Mind, and Spirit, by Christmas Abbott. The key is balance: using essential daily practices for the mind, body, and soul. She provides a month-long-program based on building mental toughness that leads to positive daily habits that help you make the most of life.

Why not grab a copy of the book, contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype) with me so I can help you remain accountable during those 30 days. I’d love to be your Badass Buddy!

Learn How to Love Yourself As You Are Right Now

If you don’t know how to love yourself, you’ll never be able to cultivate wellness and balance or make deep and lasting changes, so try these 50 suggestions“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball

“Calgon, take me away!” Do you remember that commercial where a stressed-out woman was able to relax and restore her balance by soaking in a warm, sudsy bathtub?

What was outstanding about this ad was that it gave over-worked women permission to indulge in a simple act of self-care.

Isn’t that a sad commentary about the society we live in? That we need permission? We’re driven by the media to do more, be more, have more. Intimating that what we have and who we aren’t isn’t enough.

On the other hand, it’s refreshing to realize that a bit of self-love can begin to change the quality of our lives. In fact, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, in order to make lasting changes we need to start by accepting where and who we are first.

The way you treat yourself informs others as to how they should treat you. Equally how you treat others reflects on how you feel about yourself. When you make a practice of seeing and verbalizing the good you see in others, then oftentimes you can more easily see the good in yourself.

Do you feel the need of more self-love? Then pick one of the following suggestions and implement it today.

How to love yourself:

  1. Look for and put into grateful words (verbally or in a journal) the good you see in yourself every day.
  2. Make a daily practice of complimenting the good you see in others.
  3. Celebrate your gifts. “I make the world more beautiful because of my…”
  4. Point out the gifts you see in others. “You make my life richer because…”
  5. Ask yourself, “Is this kind and is it true?” when self-talk brings you down.
  6. Do an act of kindness every day.
  7. Don’t think in absolutes – “You never…” “You always…”
  8. Look for what you can do rather than focusing on what you can’t.
  9. Be present in each moment and notice how it makes you feel.
  10. Don’t be in a hurry, slow down and really connect with others.
  11. Maintain your optimism and see the good in every situation.
  12. Every day do your best and honor yourself for it.
  13. Practice self-assessment not judgment.
  14. View life as a journey and enjoy the trip.
  15. Recognize that mistakes are opportunities to learn and correct your course.
  16. Don’t impute bad motives to others; see their good intentions.
  17. Reword self-criticism with positive affirmations.
  18. See your progress. “Wow, a year ago I couldn’t have done that!”
  19. Take responsibility for the consequences of your actions, make amends if necessary, and then move on.
  20. Don’t hold grudges but forgive others freely, never letting a grievance fester.
  21. Forgive yourself. No one is perfect, not even you.
  22. Acknowledge and express your feelings without making accusations.
  23. Set boundaries and honor them.
  24. Stand by your convictions.
  25. Don’t be sucked into other people’s drama.
  26. Let go of trying to control every outcome.
  27. Keep in mind the results you want and let it unfold.
  28. Dignify others with their right to decide. It’s not on you.
  29. Cultivate patience, acceptance and courage.
  30. Share yourself with others and be willing to be vulnerable.
  31. Avoid comparing yourself to anyone else.  
  32. Nurture your soul and make time for things that make you happy.
  33. Care for your mind, limit your exposure to bad news, and never stop learning.
  34. Exercise, nourish and respect your body.
  35. Stop self-destructive habits.
  36. Get toxins out of your environment – chemicals or relationships.
  37. Get plenty of sleep.
  38. Schedule time to pamper yourself.
  39. Do more of what fuels your joy in living.
  40. Follow your dreams.
  41. Don’t settle.
  42. Strive for excellence and competence, not perfection.
  43. Surround yourself with people who build you up and inspire you.
  44. Invest in your future and hire a life coach to mentor you.
  45. Keep your inner child alive and foster your sense of wonder and curiosity.
  46. Have fun! 
  47. Find your place of solitude and regularly listen to yourself. 
  48. Be true to who you are. 
  49. Don’t listen to who the world tries to tell you to be.
  50. Keep your sense of humor.

Did you see some areas that could use improvement? The old adage is true, “Practice makes perfect.” So, think about ways to make self-love part of your daily routine. When you learn how to love yourself you will be cultivating wellness on every level and enhancing your efforts to make positive changes.

Please feel free to schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation so we can explore your options. I’m happy to meet in-person, by phone or via Skype.

Do You Love Yourself Enough? Here are 25 Signs You Don’t…

Here are 25 signs that you may not love yourself enough, which is foundational for building a happy, successful life filled with close relationships and joyAs a preteen, did you ever use a daisy to predict if a boy liked you? As you plucked a petal you said, “He loves me.” Then, for the next petal, “He loves me not.”

Kind of sweet but silly, wasn’t it?

Looking back, I think it would have served us better to focus on whether, “I love me or I love me not.” That’s the real foundation for how we live our lives. And it’s often something we don’t get entirely right because of what life throws at us.

Self-love is knowing and accepting that you deserve as much love and affection as anyone else on earth. It means taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs with kindness. Sad to say, many people don’t treat themselves very well.

However, it’s vital that you love yourself enough. No it’s not selfish or narcissistic or egotistical! If you don’t love yourself, you won’t respect, value or honor yourself. You won’t be happy. Why? Because if you don’t love yourself, what’s the alternative? Indifference. Self-hate. Self-loathing.

If you don’t love yourself, you won’t take proper care of yourself or be happy. This may manifest itself in the following ways:

  1. You feel bad about taking time for yourself.
  2. You tell yourself you’re not good, pretty or smart enough.
  3. You apologize continually for things that don’t need an apology.
  4. You put everyone else first at the expense of your own needs and wants.
  5. You compare yourself unfavorably to others.
  6. You need permission to make self-care a priority.
  7. You feel guilty about spending money on fun things.
  8. You pack your schedule so full because you can’t stand quiet.
  9. You have no idea what your purpose is or what sets your soul on fire.
  10. You need to know what others decide before you make a decision.
  11. You beat yourself up for past failings.
  12. You think you have no gifts or talents or you play them down.
  13. You’re self-critical, only seeing your flaws and feeling unworthy.
  14. You lack self-confidence, so you never try anything that feels risky.
  15. You find it very difficult to stand up for yourself.
  16. You avoid introspection and soul searching.
  17. You blame circumstances or someone else, never seeing your contribution to a problem.
  18. You often say, “I can’t”.
  19. You need others to validate you – “I’m nothing if he doesn’t approve of me”.
  20. You hide your feelings and thoughts so people don’t know the “real” you.
  21. You feel like you’re just existing and getting by.
  22. You keep punishing yourself over the past.
  23. You neglect your health and appearance.
  24. You quit learning and improving because you think, “What’s the use?”
  25. You can’t trust your gut or intuition as you second-guess yourself.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but you may see the tendency toward viewing yourself negatively. Even well-adjusted persons may experience a twinge or two as they read it. We all have a past that follows us in adulthood. We’re all a work in process.

If you’re not treating yourself with the love you deserve, I’d love to help you discover practical ways for achieving greater self-awareness and self-love. I know how scary this can be, but we can do this together. I’ll be sharing some ways to get started in my next blog post.

Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.

A Letter to My Younger Self – Life Lessons Worth Learning

As I write a letter to my younger self, I reflect on life lessons I’ve learned that are most valuable for living a life of purpose, meaning and fulfillment.“Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself.” ~Thomas Moore

Have you ever written a note or letter to younger self? I’ve found it to be an effective way to develop greater connection and deeper intimacy with yourself. To forgive yourself for past mistakes. To love yourself unconditionally. Which in turn helps you be more open and compassionate with others.

Let me share my letter to my 16 year-old-self with you.


Dear Younger Self,

When you’re 16, everything seems so intense. One minute you’re in the depths of despair and the next you’re over the moon with happiness. That kind of emotional roller coast can be exhilarating, but it can also be exhausting. So I hope you don’t mind if I share some things I’ve learned over the years. If nothing else, it will help me to put these life lessons down in writing.

As I was saying, emotions can be so hard to handle. And you weren’t born with the tools to manage them. You’re not aware of how far reaching this is yet, but parents and schoolteachers can only teach what they know. And they don’t know everything! (Yes, I know you suspected that already!) Their knowledge can even be faulty!

For example, you were taught that some emotions are bad like anger, pain or selfishness. So you feel like you need to choke these emotions back and hide them from others.

But emotions are neither good nor bad. You feel it, so don’t deny it. It’s important that you acknowledge the way that you feel and process those feelings properly, so you don’t get ‘stuck’ with emotions that don’t serve you.

For example, do you remember how you once adored your father, but how he became so difficult to be around? If you stay stuck in those feelings of alienation, you’ll miss out on a lot of wonderful experiences. Not only with him, but with men friends too. It’s important to continually update your emotions. Extinguish the emotions that are holding you back and nurture the ones that help you be the best you possible.

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s selfish and vain to think so much about yourself.” But that’s not true. We all have to cultivate intimacy with ourselves before we can have intimacy with others. Otherwise, you’ll never know who you really are or feel safe revealing your true self to others. If you don’t accept yourself, the good, bad and ugly, you’ll feel fragmented and conflicted your whole life. I want you to accept all your Parts and feel integrated, whole and at peace with yourself.

You’ll come to realize that people have their reasons for what they do and say. We all have beliefs, values and reasons for doing what we do. Some are just more focused and skilled in their journey through life than others.

By being aware that what people do and say is information about them, you’ll get clues as to the way they think. You can use that to identify their IOS (Internal Operating System. You’ll learn more about this when you study NLP.)

More than anything else I want you to slow down, appreciate each experience and notice everything. Free yourself from expecting a certain outcome, and allow yourself to enjoy every moment of life. Be kind to yourself and to others. Be mindful and be thoughtful.

Living a balanced live is a daily task. I’ll give you an example of what I mean… In 2010, I co-developed with my good friend Nando Raynolds, a wellness program called Life in Balance: The Seven Keys. We did this because we realized that most people we see in our practices lack some basic skills. This seemed to be contributing to their anxiety, depression and general life dissatisfaction.

So we created a simple and methodical way to learn and practice skills like mindfulness, self-care, self-compassion, setting goals etc. The main point of our program is that progress depends on our daily focus and consistency in practicing those skills. The good news is that you never need go it alone. There’s always support available if you’re open to it.

As a final thought, please don’t fall into the trap of focusing on perfection. It’s impossible, so don’t waste the time or energy. Instead strive for competence. That’s what will bring you the greatest satisfaction and joy.

I’m proud of the woman you’ve become. Your desire to learn and grow has made my life rich. Thank you for that.

With all my love and appreciation, Maria


Writing a letter like this allows you to spend time with the person you once were, which can be enlightening, healing, and soul nourishing. I’d love to hear what this exercise reveals to you. Please feel free to share your most valuable life lessons with over on my Facebook page.

Parts Integration – How to Stop Self-Sabotage and Cultivate Internal Harmony

Use my Tea Time exercise that’s based on NLP Parts Integration Technique to create internal harmony and end inner conflictAre you plagued by self-sabotaging behavior? For instance, you want to lose weight but you keep turning to that carton of chocolate ice cream for comfort. Or you want to be a successful manager, but you rub people the wrong way, or unwittingly create drama so you’re always putting out fires.

Self-sabotaging behavior occurs when different “parts” of your self are conflicted. You want success, but a Part of you doesn’t believe you deserve it. You want to be healthy and fit, but a Part of you self-medicates unhealed emotional wounds with comfort food.

Even if you somehow manage to ignore the needs of one of your Parts, you’ll still suffer from lack of harmony and integration. The result will be suppressed emotions and unmet desires.

On the other hand, if you learn to use a Parts Integration Technique, you’ll be more congruent, empowered and clear in your decisions and actions.

You can teach your Parts to holistically work together in an exercise I call the “Tea Time” exercise. (You can find the “Tea Time” exercise by clicking here.) This NLP based, Parts Integration technique lets you see what’s going on under the surface. It creates harmony between Parts of your unconscious mind, so that all of your values, wants and needs are in alignment.

What are the benefits of doing the “Tea Time” exercise?  

Parts integration stimulates self-awareness. We are never just one thing. Even if one Part is smaller, when you dismiss it, it can cause imbalance internally. The “Tea Time” exercise is a great tool for understanding and accepting internal contradictions. For example, if you’re an extrovert, identify your smaller Part that has a strong need for alone time. A person that spends all their time with others and no time by themselves might be trying to avoid feeling lonely or being with their thoughts.

Parts integration assists in goal setting. Sometime you might struggle with conflicting goals and priorities. Identifying and naming the Parts in conflict can stimulate a useful internal dialogue that acknowledges all aspects of yourself. Goals formed with awareness of internal conflicts are less likely to be sabotaged by rebel Parts.

Parts integration uncovers resource states. One of my clients, a resolute introvert, wanted to become more comfortable with public speaking, yet he felt resistance to feeling exposed. He has a powerful message and an amazing personal story to share. He’s also articulate and has a warm presence. Inside, a great speaker was waiting to be unleashed.

As he prepared his next presentation, I suggested: “Can we have some Tea Time? Imagine the Part that wants to share your powerful message and state its positive intention. Now give voice to the Part that doesn’t want to feel vulnerable in front of a crowd and state its intention.”

When he could see that both Parts wanted something positive for him (the first part wanted to him to share his mission; the second one wanted him to be safe) he felt more understanding and ultimately at peace. When the time came to give the talk, he stepped fully into the role of public speaker, sharing that he felt vulnerable. He really connected with his audience and his talk was extremely powerful. He still uses the Tea Time exercise to continue to discover different Parts and cultivate inner peace and integration.

Parts integration fosters balance. We often want to hide, squash, deny Parts of ourselves we don’t like. If I value being kind and available to other, I might want to deny or squash the Part that seems selfish or self-centered. Using the Tea Time exercise can help us discover that the part we are not acknowledging is attempting to create inner balance between being other-centered and self-centered. In fact, our system is always organized to seek equilibrium and stability. This exercise can foster a sense of wholeness, integration and overall wellbeing.

If you’d like some guidance on how to use NLP to address an internal conflict please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).

I’m also thinking about developing a NLP training online. Are you interested?  Send me an email and I’ll keep you posted on my progress toward completing the course. I’d love to hear from you.

Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.


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