The Year of YES

2014 is The Year of YES!

When you’re offered an opportunity that scares you a little, challenges you, or puts you a bit outside your comfort zone, do you say YES?

Instead, do you feel a tightness in your chest when you say NO? Are you shutting off the voice inside that is saying “DO IT!”? If so, you’re probably missing out.

I’ve started to think about my life as an actual road trip. As I travel, I get to chose which turns I make, how fast I go, and what people I pick up along the way. Make no mistake about it: the relationships you choose to develop will determine your journey. The people you meet along the way know someone that will be your next client, have the sources to take you to the next level, will inspire you, challenge you and offer you chances to further yourself toward your goals. But if you say NO to that coffee date, networking meeting, yoga class, free seminar, audition, or chance to show your skills, well…you’ve decided not to see what’s behind Curtain Number 1, which could be a BRAND NEW CAR!

Okay, maybe not. But, maybe.

I can’t even begin to explain how fruitful the Year of Yes has been for me and it’s only Spring! I’ve done work for free, bartered services and talents, traveled hundreds of miles for a chance at a gig, invested in new equipment, made friends out of strangers–all in the name of YES. Most of these actions have led to new and exciting opportunities for my career.

You only have something to gain by following your highest intuition and saying YES to things that challenge you to grow a bit beyond yourself. One day, saying YES will be our second nature and then can you imagine where we’ll be?

Tell me one thing you’re going to say YES to below. I’d love to hear from you!

You can also find me on Facebook.

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Shoot and Score- The Corniest Title of My Blog Thus Far

I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t feel very “Positively Shayla” today. In fact, I feel pretty much like crap. I had to literally sit my workout clothes outside the shower at 3pm so I would be forced to put them on without leaving the bathroom. I haven’t worked out in over a week and I’m starting to drag. My outlook is 95% more glum if I don’t sweat on the regular.

I’m also in a period of “uncertainty” right now. I have NO idea what the next year of my life is going to look like. I know what I want to accomplish, but a lot of that is going to rely on where geographically I am in the country and that folks, is anyone’s guess.

So, I really needed to write something today. I need to write to get myself into a new feeling.

Recently my boyfriend Nick and I were over at his friend’s house who has one of those arcade basketball hoop games. You know what I’m talking about? With the mini basketballs and such? Well, anyhoo, they have this VERY dramatic whiteboard on the refrigerator that keeps tally of the all-time top scores. It’s serious stuff. The last time we were there, Nick left the high score on the board at something like 103. As to be expected, he was pretty confident about it.

We come back to his friend’s house this next time and whaddyaknow? Someone BEAT his score with 113. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Well, now he had to do something about it. Nick played that game over and over and over for the next twenty minutes, determined to beat the score. And guess what? He did. He left his friend’s house that night with his name on the board and a new all-time high of 116 points.

I tell you all of this for a reason, trust me. While beating a hoops game is all fun and good, the real point I’m trying to make here is 116 didn’t seem possible the first night we were there. No one had ever done that before. It wasn’t until he saw 113 that Nick KNEW he could beat it. He set his sites on a specific number and he accomplished it.

I think there’s something to learn here. We’ve got to get specific about what we want or we’ll never know what we can accomplish. Not only do we have to know what we want to accomplish, but we’ve got to know that it’s possible. Nick saw that someone else had done it, so why couldn’t he? Our long-term goals are the same.

What outfit are you going to wear on which date on the calendar? What job are you going to have next year and how much it going to pay? How many deep friendships will you cultivate in the next 12 months and what will those friendships look like?

Seek out others who have accomplished what you’re trying to do and go do it. Do it better, even.

Let’s take some cues from the bachelor pad board of fame and put our names on the whiteboard! (just let me have it)

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Estroblock Pro: My Acne Miracle

If you know me extremely well, you know that one of my biggest insecurities for the last eight or so years has been my acne. I never had terrible cases, but it definitely affected the way I interacted with people and how social I was at points in my life. In the past couple years it has gotten better, but I’ve still dealt with hormonal acne on the chin and jaw line; cysts that last for weeks and leave long lasting scars. I tried many remedies to no avail.

I wrote a blog a few months ago about giving up ProActive in favor of a natural cleanser and manuka honey and while I am ELATED at the results (my face is younger looking, my complexion more even, my face looks more nourished), it didn’t fix the hormonal acne.

That’s when a friend (or shall I say ANGEL) recommended Estroblock Pro. It had changed my face. It’s a natural supplement in pill form. Not cheap, but my god was it effective for me! Within ONE MONTH of taking the recommended dose (religiously) my acne was completely gone. I haven’t had one single cyst in over two and half months. It seriously is my miracle and I wanted to share this with anyone that might have the same problem I did.

What is it?

It’s an all natural compound extracted from broccoli and cruciferous vegetables that helps your liver metabolize bad estrogen that we get from the food we eat and our environment, i.e. plastic. It is basically a detox for hormonal balancing.

According to the Estroblock website:

“Xenoestrogens are often produced by toxins commonly found in our food and homes that, left unchecked, will dilute our naturally produced hormones and cause major health problems such as acne, obesity, or even breast and prostate cancers.”

The best part is, it’s working for many more people than just me! If you go to Amazon and read the reviews, most of them are glowing reports similar to mine.

It probably sounds like I’m trying to sell you on this, but I just feel incredibly passionate about spreading the word.

Estroblock Website

I hope someone benefits from reading this!

Love,

Shayla

 

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SCREEECH. STOP! Don’t ask that question.

February is the time when a lot of us, single or taken, start to reflect on the idea of love. I don’t write about it a lot here because I consider myself FAR from an expert. It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I accept love from other people without questioning or doubting it.

But tis the season! And so I’d like to impart a single piece of relationship advice that I’ve learned recently. It’s one that I think applies to any deep connection, but especially those of the romantic sort. It goes something like this:

Don’t ask your partner trick questions. And if you’re asked the questions- never, EVER answer them.

You know what I’m talking about. Those questions or comments that you KNOW you won’t like the answer to OR you actually already know the answer! Maybe it’s about how attractive another person is, digging a little too deep in the “Ex Files” or forcing your partner to answer the infamous “Can you tell I’ve gained weight right here in this very spot? Look. Look harder. Can’t you see the little bit of fat there? Can’t you see how tight my jeans are??”

I mean, seriously? How are those questions supposed to be answered? If he (or she, just using the two sexes for ease of writing) replies, “Yes, honey, you do look huge. I can definitely see what you’re talking about,” well, hell, you’re crying and mad for days. If he says, “Nope. don’t see a thing. You look exactly the same,” you’re upset he isn’t being honest with you.There is no right answer.

The only good choice is refusing to indulge yourself in this way.

It’s just not fair to either of you. Love doesn’t set traps. Now, when I find myself setting my partner up for failure, I take a moment and decide what I’m really trying to do. Do I have both our interests at heart?

We’ve all got to take responsibility for our feelings. We can’t blame our partners when we know we’ve put them in a lose/lose situation. If you have a habit of starting conversations that you know aren’t fruitful, I challenge you to give them up for a day or two and see what happens to your relationship.

Happy Valentine Month! Keep on lovin’.

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“I’m Not Okay With This” and other scary sayings.

1

“Ah!”

Growing up, I was always the little girl who stood up for herself. Whenever my group of friends would get in fights in elementary school, I was the one who said, “That isn’t what happened! This isn’t right!” or other 3rd grade musings that would inevitably make some portion of the group of little ladies angry with me. I didn’t understand this. It didn’t make sense! Why was I in trouble for simply stating the truth? Why did I become the bad guy for pointing out what was happening?

Because I like having people like me, I learned over the years to soften my expressions. I started saying things that pleased people instead of ruffling their feathers. Sure, sure, I still maintained a loud mouth about so many issues (i.e. marriage equality, C’MON), but when it came to standing up for myself, stating my worth when I was being taken advantage of, I just stopped doing it.

Do I mind if you pay me less than what we agreed to? No, no, perfectly fine! Can I stay later to work even though I really need to go right now? OF COURSE! Anything you need. My time has no value at all. Oh, you’re canceling our plans for the third time in a row? Yah, let’s meet up next week! Cancel again if you want, I really like it!

And, so on.

It becomes even harder to stand up for ourselves when the other person has something we want; whether it be friendship, love, a job, or the big one- approval. Do we risk saying “I’m not okay with this” even if it gets a negative reaction? What if we are totally honest and they rip the thing we want from our grasp? Is it worth it? My answer is: HELL YES.

We are treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated. If we allow someone to take advantage of us from the start, it becomes the norm. This doesn’t mean he or she is a bad person, we’ve all taken advantage of someone from time to time, it just means they don’t know any better. They don’t understand your rules because they aren’t you. Every time you speak up, you create a rule. That way, everyone involved understands when a line has been crossed and issues can be cleared away much more quickly.

And if by chance you lose the thing you want by owning your worth, my guess is, you’re better off any way. Eventually you’ll find the person or thing you need by being 100% your authentic self.

I guess little Shayla was on to something. Since it’s Halloween and all, I’m going to the cauldron to call up my 3rd grade self. She knew what was up.

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I stopped running and then it found me.

My entire life I’ve been on the move. After college, I didn’t spend more than a few months in one city before I was jetting off to another! Sometimes it felt like progress because I’d be moving for a job or leaving to go on a multiple city tour, but there were also times that I just felt like nothing was happening in my life, so I better leave to go find itMaybe I’d move to California or Mexico or go teach in Europe or move home to Indiana?! It would be awesome for awhile. Change has always been exciting for me. After awhile though, the same sinking feeling of being unfulfilled would start to sink in. I wanted another change and another, never actually finding what I wanted.

My latest move brought me back to my roots; in good ole’ Southern Indiana. I felt like it was the right move for me and I had this gut feeling that it was meant to be.  Well, it was meant to be alright, but I had NO IDEA what I was really in for. What this move did for me was force me to stay in one place for an extended period of time. I got a job. I made commitments. I made promises. I rooted myself for awhile. There have been moments over the past year where I’ve thought “What have I done? I’m trapped!”  I felt the urge to run away. The beautiful thing is, I couldn’t. I had to stay and feel the growing pains. You see, before, whenever I felt the pains start, I wouldn’t let them finish. I’d get my fix of change to satisfy me until they started up again. This time, I stayed and waited. I waited and waited and waited for the feelings to pass. And they did.

It wasn’t long until I started searching right where I was for my answers. I started making things happen for myself WITHOUT changing my latitude and longitude. The result has been remarkable. I have made more things happen for my career, love life, body and mind in my freakin’ hometown than I did in four years traveling in over 25 states and 3 countries. Whhhat? It’s true! Because I forced myself to feel all the feelings, I reaped incredible amounts of growth.

Now, I’m not saying that I won’t be traveling and exploring in the future. I’d personally like to see every surface of the globe in my lifetime (I think it’s reasonable). I’m just expressing the miracle I’ve seen in my own life; waiting out the hard stuff, to get to the good stuff. Ralph Waldo Emerson says it best:

 “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”

Mmmhm. Good stuff, Ralph.

And I don’t think he’s only referring to physical travel. I like to believe he means all kinds of escapes. We use different methods of escaping our realities everyday.  We use relationships, the internet, our work, our friends, food, alcohol, you name it! We use it.  I’m finding that the more I sit and wait out the hurt or discomfort, without making any drastic decisions, the more powerful I eventually feel.

Hill Harper is another incredible mind. He said:

“The most effective way to heal is to “grow” through the hurt, and that takes strength, courage, and commitment. “

Oh, Hill, you have a way with words.

We must find the strength and courage to commit to the wait. We have no idea what exciting gifts are around the corner, but they gotta know our addresses to find us.

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I want to be Nice.

My friend Michelle posted a Facebook status that really grabbed my attention last week:

“Let other peoples’ blessings be your blessings. And others’ joys be your joys.”

It really stopped me in my tracks. As one who is constantly trying to reinvent herself and come up with new ways to find happiness, being happy for others seems like it should be a no-brainer. If I’m really honest with myself though, I have to admit that there are days when I take other peoples’ successes as if they are my own failures. Our social media society sets us up to view the best moments of others’ lives and “like” them. But, do we really like them? Or are we secretly envious or beating ourselves up?  Why do certain posts get under our skin?

Particularly as a female, I’ve noticed a trend to try to find the worst in another female’s best. Somehow it bonds us, reassuring us that perhaps we are still worth something even if we don’t have what they have or haven’t done what they’ve done.  I’ll be the first one to admit I’ve engaged in these conversations. But one thing is fo sho’: This doesn’t actually make us feel good.  There’s no real fulfillment in it because we know deep down it’s not helping us grow.

I’ve written before about perspective and choice, because we always have one, and I believe what we focus on will grow and manifest in our lives. If we try to bring others down, ultimately, we are doing just that to ourselves. By reaching out and supporting our friends, family and acquaintances, we are literally saying to the Universe and ourselves- Bring me some of that! 

Another key factor in recognizing and celebrating the joys of others is the community we are creating. Who and what we surround ourselves with today will be what determines our tomorrow.  If we engage in negative conversation, we are opening the door for more to flow into our own lives. We are training our minds not to look for opportunity, but to look for obstacles. Conversely, by stepping out and telling someone how excited you are for them, how wonderful it is to see them so happy, and so on, you are creating an atmosphere of opportunity and positivity for yourself. I know in my own life, I will always remember the people that have cheered me on along the way with sincerity. And ya know what? I cheer them on, too! It’s an awesome cycle to begin creating.

To break it down simply, it feels better to be nice. Doesn’t it? Now, old habits die hard and I still catch myself thinking or saying things that aren’t doing anyone any good, but hopefully being more aware of it and practicing being a cheerleader for others will someday be the norm. 

Who can you cheer on today?

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