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Reflections on Lent Fast 2017: Media

April 16, 2017 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
Lent Fast 2017 was the best one yet!

Lent Fast 2017 was the best one yet!

Oh man it was awesome. Far better than I imagined it would be. Media-free life, how I loved thee. Let me count the ways…

Nam Yoho Facebook No

Nam Myoho Facebook No

1. Dramatic decrease in stress levels. Just ending the deluge of socio-political bad news and taking a break from the day-to-day reality of a Trump presidency was enough relief to make me never want to look back…almost. But hiding is never a good way to face the challenges in life. The fast must end, but so must the stressing out.

Sweet DREAMs are made of this. Who am I to disagree?

Sweet DREAMs are made of this. Who am I to disagree?

2. More sleep/rest. I went to bed earlier most nights, and napped whenever I could. It was glorious!! Some say sleep is overrated. I say, ZZzzzzZZZZzzzz….!!!!

Git-er-done!

Git-er-done!

3. More things done, professionally and personally. Deadlines met. Emails responded to. Calls and meetings scheduled, conducted and followed up on. Amazing focus and productivity are possible when I am not allowed to let my mind wander to the Facebook notifications, the Reddit front page, and Google news headlines. I came into Lent with a lengthy to-do list, and I accomplished quite a lot on it. Doctors, appointments, financial planning, taxes, chores, meditating, organizing projects, and LOTS AND LOTS OF WRITING!

Why yes. Yes I am.

4. More entertained and informed. I didn’t totally give up media. I traded endless hours of Facebook and TV for reading books, listening to music, watching films, and playing games. By doing this, I discovered new things to love. I was not just seeing/hearing/reading the same thing everyone else was discovering via viral media. I still used Google and other websites on an as-needed basis and very mindfully/intentionally, for work and essential educational/research purposes. It was nice to remember what the internet is supposed to be used for. It’s so powerful to be able to have access to real information at my fingertips, whether it be directions to a friend’s house, instructions on how to fix my wifi network, or recipes for a yummy dinner using items I have on hand.

Come and Talk To Me

Come and Talk To Me

5. More conversations. I am way more tuned in to the people I am with when I am not scanning through social media every few seconds. I spent time talking to people, using my actual mouth. And I liked it!

If you read this baby, thank you!! <3 :-)

If you read this baby, thank you!!

6. More connection to my wife. This was the best benefit of all, and worth a lifetime without TV or social media. Those TV- and phone-free after work chats amounted to deeper, more interesting discussions and far more connection than we’ve have had in a while, and certainly in the year and a half since Simeon became a real part of our lives in pregnancy, and now in his first year of life. I am somewhat desperate to keep that joy going once my wife no longer has to keep the TV turned off when I am around. It was an impressive show of solidarity on her part (which she has already informed me WILL EXPIRE when Lent ends.) Maybe I can try negotiating for a few TV-free nights a month. Wish me luck with that!

I am totally winning at this mom gig.

I am totally winning at this mom gig.

7. More engaged in motherhood. I set up a play date for my son. I took my son to so many library story times and park playgrounds. We went to play dates with La Leche League. We took naps together and played with toys, and read books. We took a hilarious Mommy and Me Yoga class. I learned how to make baby food and cooked (Yes, I COOKED) a variety of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners for Simeon with my own two hands. He gobbled them up! I gave him the attention I would normally be offering to my phone by default, posting to or scrolling through media.

Life is what's happening when you look up from your phone.

Life is what’s happening when you look up from your phone.

8. More engaged in life. Just because I was offline doesn’t mean I was unplugged. I stayed plenty busy. I even did something completely random, like tried out for a fashion show in which I was cast as a plus sized model for an event this summer. I had a peanut butter and jelly with mimosa beach picnic with Miki Vale. I hosted a party. I saw an ocean sunset with my family. I LIVED and loved these moments.

The only thing I want to spend is more time with you.

The only thing I want to spend is more time with you.

9. Less money spent. This largely is due to the fact that my wife and I ran a simultaneous spending fast with Lent, during which no money could be spent on anything other than groceries, gas and essential expenses like the rent and bills. No dining out. No casual shopping. And politely declining events and activities which cost money. But the Media Fast notably contributed to my relative ease in not spending, because I wasn’t constantly being bombarded with advertising and other enticing invitations to spend. It was especially fun to find no-cost ways to love life, like going to the park, or chillaxing at a friend’s house.

It's ok. I'll wait...

It’s ok. I’ll wait…

10. More awareness. It was so apparent to me during Lent how truly tuned out most of us are most of the time. Everyone is looking down, at their device. Scrolling and clicking. Meanwhile, my head was usually up when I was around others, watching the world and patiently waiting for everyone in it to return their attention to me and their other surroundings.

It's a good thing I have a healthy sense of humor.

It’s a good thing I have a healthy sense of humor.

It’s not like I spent the whole month and a half in the dark. Pieces of bad news still managed to get to me one way or another, whether it was updates on people in my closest inner circle, or things happening in the county (Trump dropped a bomb and there was a school shooting), or the world (chemical weapons in Syria). But somehow I was able to be more receptive to it all when my eyes, ears, and spirit weren’t being beaten up with it virtually every hour of the day.

Where do we go back to here? I know! To FACEBOOK!!!

Where do we go from here? I know! To FACEBOOK!!!

Unlike my other fasts of going without alcohol, Facebook, candy/soda/gum, processed foods, cursing, sleeping in, sugar/dairy/grains, this lent fast gave me far more than it took away. The things it did take were things I don’t necessarily want back. The question now is–what now? How do I re-engage and maintain my sense of inner peace, mental clarity, and hopeful optimism? What boundaries can I put in place around media consumption that won’t turn me back into just another tech-zombie, stumbling through my life thumbing my phone?

I guess that’s a question to answer tomorrow (Easter!) and in the days ahead!

Happy Easter!

It’s my favorite holiday! Because Jesus!

 

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Reigniting My Flame 2016

January 10, 2016 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
wpid-20160110_000513.jpg

Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of attending a workshop at the Monarch School where I work called “Reignite Your Flame in the New Year”. It was lead by my friend and Monarch’s amazing Director of Therapeutic Arts, Rachelle Archer, and her Expressive Arts intern Jamie Rosen.

Gathered in a sacred circle around burning candles, we opened with a poetry reading of Judy Brown’s ‘Fire’.

Reigniting Your Flame

Photo by Rachelle Archer used with permission

We chose images that resonated with how we were feeling in life. I chose this one below, which represents how I feel as a self-described “entre-professional”, wife and mom-to-be, with the weight of the world on my shoulders and back as enormous changes initiated in 2015 come to bear in 2016 to infinity.

CarryingLoad

Carrying the Load: You Got This

Then we created and shared reflections or poems about those images. Mine read: When I am feeling the weight of my world, I need a brace, a massage, a spotter, a cheerleader, a crane, a hand of help, or applause, a lift, a ride. When my life is heavy, I need some light, the sun, a breath of fresh air, or sometimes to simply stop and be there. 

image

We partnered up for an emotional listening and playback exercise. We briefly reviewed some stress management resources and healthy responses to stress before enjoying a wholesome vegetarian lunch together. After lunch, there was an intimate candle lighting and intention-setting ceremony. My word of intention for 2016 is FAITH.

Candle Lighting and Intention Setting

Candle Lighting and Intention Setting

Next was an hour-long art project where we made–or in my case, STARTED making, visual story books.

Visual Story Books

Expressive Arts Activity: Making Visual Story Books

The day culminated in a share-out of our artwork and takeaways from the creative experience.

I describe it all in such detail because I was truly moved by every moment of it. I will admit, I initially attended more out of desire to support my colleague Rachelle, an obligation of friendship that I take seriously. I don’t know why I wasn’t looking for it to help me shift and work through things I am challenged with coming into 2016. Perhaps it’s because I am a life coach and felt a little “been there, done that” walking in. So full of myself.

Walking out though, all of my expectations, for the workshop and for myself, were exceeded beyond measure. I wished I had shared about it in advance and invited others, rather than treating it like “this work thing I have on Saturday”. That was a selfishly missed opportunity that I will definitely make amends for should Rachelle and Jamie offer the workshop again in the future.

When I got home, I thought I would just zone out in front of the TV with my wife like I usually do on a typical Saturday. But my unfinished storybook called to me.

So, I dragged my coaching workshop/retreat/crafts suitcase out of my office and mined it for more materials, posted up in the living room (so as not to abandon my wife and her TV), and resumed work on my story book.

Ten hours later (at 1:00 a.m.) with only one 20 minute break for dinner, I was finished. It felt like hardly any time had passed. I guess that’s what making art feels like. Writing has been my chosen form of art since I was a little girl. Yet, I can’t think of a time in my life when I sat down and wrote for 10 hours straight.

I am proud of the work, so I took the pictures below, which tells the story described.

I am even prouder of the lasting impact this experience made on me, so I am sharing this reflection and the photos on my blog and social media sites.

If someone ever invites you to do something that sounds a combination of  amazing and cheesy, whether it is to Reignite Your Flame, or to INDULGE in Self-Love (just sayin’! *wink*), my advice is to be open, and try it if you are able. Bring a friend. Or if you want to keep it to yourself, then share the results and impact it made on you afterwards. Perhaps someone else will be inspired to want to tag along next time. 

And for the love of God, if you start a piece of artwork and are enjoying the direction it is going in, commit to FINISHING it, no matter how long it takes.

Always Believing In You…

Love,
Coach KishaLynn

KishaLynn Elliott’s Inspirational Visual Story Book

The Glass Isn't Half Empty, It's Full.

“The glass isn’t half empty, it’s full. True story.” Pullout: Things I Love–God. Myself. My Wife. My Framily. My Life. You.

BE...

“Be balanced and evolving. Be happy, vibrant and perfecting. Be positively brillant. Be healthy, free, beautiful. Be compassionate and loving. Be inspired. Your own opinion counts. I AM awesome.” Pullout: “BLOOM where you are planted.”

The Good Life

“There came a great freedom. Build it and say ‘I spent wisely.’ Sow a smart investment. Reap the benefits. Give. Live the good life. Stay open for business. Joy is not in things, it is in us. It’s the little things you come to love. We’re going! Determination is in our nature. Start smart. Coming home. YOUR HOME. See yourself in paradise. Enjoy.” Pullout: “The way to know life is to LOVE many things.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Ready or Not: Baby

“Ready or Not! You and Me. Baby. Mother. Little fingers, little toes. Family.  Imagine the possibilities. PLAY.” Pullout: “All life is an experiment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I omitted the left page because it reveals the gender and name of the baby my wife and I are expecting in June 2016. We aren’t ready to make that public yet. :-)

Shelli you are my sunshine

“Shelli you are my sunshine every single day! Perfect. An intense and absorbing love. Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be. Love and Pride. Romance. I heart you like XO. Beautiful. When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. Warm. Unity. PERFECT. I love you unlike any other.” Pullout: “Find ecstacy in life–the mere sense of living is joy enough.” -Emily Dickinson

Stay Fit, Stay Fun, Feel Good

“Start every day the right way. Stay fit, stay fun. FEEL GOOD. Whole food nutrition. Staying power. ‘Nothing should be prized more highly than the value of each day.’ (Goethe). The only wealth is life. Energy. Think, don’t smoke. Water–drink it every day!”

image

“Words of wisdom: Learn to think. Track your progress. True friends are those who like you for who you are. Be committed to transformation. Keep the faith. DREAMs come true. You make some decisions with your heart, others with your mind. But every step you take affects your life. Look which way you’re going. Your life is NOW. Believe in miracles. I guess like all things in life, MAKE it till you make it.” Pullout: At the end of the day…the choice is yours.

Well done DREAM Weaver

“Well done DREAM Weaver. Go on and make it happen. Smile, you’re fabulous. The end?”

That’s my story and I am sticking to it…XOXOKL

Copyright 2016 KishaLynn Elliott. All Rights Reserved.

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I Am Not My Weight

January 4, 2016 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

I'm Not Where I Want To Be, But I'm Not Where I Was

I’m Not Where I Want To Be, But I’m Not Where I Was

Hi there, it’s Coach KishaLynn.

I know it’s been quite a while. I am writing to share something that I haven’t shared anywhere, or with anyone else yet.

If you’ve been following me for the past few years, you may know that on my 30th birthday in 2010, I weighed 331 lbs. Horrified that my weight was more than 10 times my age, and wanting more for and from myself, I embarked on a journey for a healthy body. Over the next four years, through regular food tracking, fitness training and nutrition coaching, I lost 120 pounds. My lowest weight got to 212, but on average I was hanging out between 220 and 225 during 2014. During that time, I also started a personal development business, published a book, and got a full-time coaching job working at a school for homeless youth.

2015 came. On many fronts it was a strong year for me. I traveled across the country for business and pleasure. I vacationed in Mexico in January and Italy in September. I developed a new business model around all-inclusive self-love retreats for women. And, my wife and partner of 10 years is now four months pregnant with our first child. All of that is seen and celebrated by my loved ones, my clients, and by me.

What isn’t known (though may be evident to those paying close attention), is that I gained 40 pounds back last year.

Life took its toll in 2015.

Codi, my amazing nutrition coach and personal trainer, moved away in January. I did not replace him with another accountability system. I became “too busy/tired” to work out. I became “unmotivated/undisciplined” about tracking my food. I gained five pounds right away.

We were hit with a major IRS audit in March that impacts our financial outlook to this day. I ate my money fears. Gained another five pounds.

The process of getting my wife pregnant this summer was emotionally difficult and expensive. I ate the anxiety. Then I went on an iCation to Italy in September and ate EVERYTHING. Ten more pounds gained.

Then in November, my father died. I ate the grief and gained 20 pounds in the last two months of the year.

My clothes stopped fitting. Having long purged my closet of sizes 20 and up, I took advantage of Black Friday deals to restock my closet with enough clothes to get through the short San Diego winter. My collarbones have retreated and my old friend the double chin is back in town. Worst of all, I have food allergies that are moderate (corn, dairy, soy) to severe (gluten–wheat, barley and rye). Yet, I continually ate foods that made me sick, knowingly and willingly. I tried to mitigate the discomfort with enzymes and supplements. However, I still suffered from skin rashes, headaches, constipation, stomach upset, and fatigue in addition to weight gain.

Three days ago I weighed in at 260 pounds on New Years Day 2016.

I'm not fat, my wife is pregnant. ;)

I’m not fat, my wife is pregnant. ;)

But here’s the thing. I don’t hate myself for it.

I am big on self-love, confidence and acceptance. I measure my value by far more than the number on a scale. My worth is not determined by the size of my clothes. Additionally, I have a great network of inspiring motivators that advocate against all forms of body shaming. (Shout out to my coach Molly Morrissey and my friend Lauren Marie Fleming and for constantly speaking encouraging truths to and about me.) So I am not beating myself up about the weight I’ve gained. I am in an emotionally good place with myself. Like Mary J. Blige sang, “I like what I see when I’m looking at me when I’m walking past the mirror.” Double chin and all.

I also realize that my weight gain is a manifestation of deeper issues that I need to address. I am off track of my goal to achieve my healthiest body. For me, a healthy body isn’t so much measured by numbers, but by how I feel in my body and what I am capable of doing physically. I know that if I don’t do something, then all the weight that it took me three years to lose and maintain, will come back in half the time.

It’s the first week of the new year, so of course people everywhere I look “recommitting” to weight loss, nutrition and fitness goals. Most of them will be long abandoned and forgotten by Valentine’s Day. Rather than climb aboard this broken bandwagon, this week I have been checking in with myself to see what I really want to do, and “weighing” my options:

  • I could do the Master Cleanse again. (I used to do it every January and June.)
  • I could try a newfangled detox. (Apple Cider Vinegar is getting a lot of hype these days.)
  • I could join WeightWatchers again. (I started my journey there and lost 75 of the 120 pounds on the program.)
  • I could start working out again. (My wife and I got gymberships in October. We haven’t been back to the gym since the night we signed up.)
  • I could try to barter with a personal trainer and/or nutrition coach again. (Hiring one is strictly out of the budget for foreseeable future).
  • I could go back on an intense eating plan, i.e. the Elimination and FODMAP-restricted diet. (I did this last fall NOT to lose weight, but to narrow down which foods were making me sick.)
  • I could do some or all of these in combination. (And most likely fail by over-trying.)

I can’t say I have made a decision on the best immediate path(s) to take. As I was reflecting though, it occurred to me the one thing I should DEFINITELY do: TALK ABOUT IT.

Being a life coach doesn’t make me inhuman, or impervious to the chaos of life, or incapable of making mistakes. Actually, I like to believe that being a coach makes me damn good at all of the above.

What can be gained, by myself or by others, if I hide and pretend that things like this aren’t happening to me? I would much rather openly share my challenge as I work through it. After all, someone could be reading this, right now, and feel better about themselves and their journey because I shared this truth. Or someone could read this and reach out to me with the motivation and encouragement I’ve been needing to get back on track.

So here I am, Coach KishaLynn, 260 pounds (again) and size 20 (again), saying: “Yeah, me too.”

I still love myself. I AM manifesting my healthiest body, day by day, goal by goal, step by step. But I refuse to do it by acting like the journey is linear. It isn’t, it wasn’t, and it ain’t ever gonna be, for me, and for most people who have enough integrity and self-confidence to tell the truth.

There you have it. I leave you with the great lyrics of Kina’s “Me”:
I’m just me
I’m enough
With myself
I’m in love
I’ve been weak
I’ve been low
Now I’m strong
Now I know
I’m just me
I’m enough
Nothing less
Nothing more
I wish everybody could just
Feel this kind of love.

Always Believing In You…xoxoKL

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

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Update on Coach KishaLynn’s Lent Fast 2014

March 13, 2014 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

 
A quick #‎Lent2014‬ update. I am proud of myself that I’ve been successfully eating a clean, healthy
Phytochemical Berry Smoothie--It's What's For Breakfast!

Phytochemical Berry Smoothie–It’s What’s For Breakfast!


diet of whole, unprocessed foods since Lent, and have continued my pre-Lent, post-allergic reaction eating plan, which includes abstaining from ALL sugar (except fruit), most meats (except seafood), most grains (except rice), starches such as beans and potatoes and NO COFFEE. Also, I’m chuggin’ water everyday like I just hiked the Sahara! (Shout out to Christopher Robin from Integro Health).

As I said last week, the proof is in the kale! My body is healing itself, I feel nourished (not sick) after eating, my skin is almost back to its pre-allergic reaction state, and yes, the number on the scale is smaller (215 if that matters to ya!). It’s been a long time since I felt this good. Perhaps even forever. 

Since it’s ‪#‎ThankYouThursday‬, and since I’m incredibly grateful every day of the week, I’ve gotta thank my wife, Chef Shelli, who has managed to make seafood and veggies a culinary luxury this past week! I’m so blessed to have you boo!! 

Chef Shelli whips up fish and veggies for dinner

Chef Shelli whips up fish and veggies for dinner

The biggest challenge so far has been eating food that is alive/raw. I’m eating more cooked whole foods than I intended. Produce pretty much sucks right now in terms of quality and flavor, and my stomach doesn’t digest raw veggies very well. So, I think I bit off a little more than I can (not) chew by fasting from dead foods. That’s ok–I’m still sacrificing/abstaining from plenty and learning a great deal from it. And, I’m sticking to everything else in the program, including drinking water and fresh homemade smoothies only and not chewing gum. *sniff* 

Luckily, I haven’t been craving anything (except gum), nor do I really miss or dining out or any processed foods I used to eat. I’ve been able to plan ahead, and bring my own snacks and meals to restaurant meetings and outings.

Again, I’m very proud of myself. If you’re doing anything to contribute to your own state of health and well-being, via Lent or otherwise, then I’M PROUD OF YOU TOO. Cuz this shit ain’t easy…and it’s rarely fun. *back pats all around*

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Coach KishaLynn’s Lent Fast 2014

March 2, 2014 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

Lent

It’s the season of Lent (March 5-April 17, 2014). I will be continuing my annual tradition of participating in Lent as a non-religious personal development practice.

Over the years I’ve fasted from all types of things I enjoy, such as alcohol (2009), candy, soda and gum (2010), Facebook (2011), sleeping in (2012), and my who could forget my iPhone/iPad Lent Fast of 2013. All were difficult and yet satisfying in their own ways.

This year my Lent fast will be from DEAD, PROCESSED FOODS! With that said, for the six weeks of Lent I will only consume foods that are:

WHOLE: Foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from preservatives, additives, and other artificial substances. Foods that are a product of nature/grow that way.

Basically, barcode-free food–no boxes, cans, bags, bottles, tubs, or packages.

Exceptions:

  • Plain rice–brown or wild. No white rice. No “seasoned mixes”. The only ingredient listed should be “Rice”.

  • Raw Kombucha

  • Seasonings–salt, herbs and spices. Read labels–no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.

  • Healthy fats–Extra virgin olive oil and organic coconut oil only

  • Other packaged whole foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, in limited amounts. Again, no more than 3 ingredients should be listed on any labels, and they should all be whole foods.

LIVING: Foods that are organic and mostly raw/still alive.

Exceptions:

  • Seafoods–FRESH (not canned) fish and shellfish permitted, prepared cleanly (baked, poached or sautéed in healthy fats).

  • Soups made with fresh, organic, whole food ingredients

HOMEMADE: Fresh foods prepared by hand in a kitchen.

Exception:

Because I know of at least two occasions where I’ll be traveling during Lent, I’m permitting the sole indulgence of limiting dining out to no more than 3 times during the Lent fast. Whole and living requirements still apply for dining out, so make it count!

DRINKS: Water (80 ounces or more per day), smoothies consisting of fresh, whole, living food ingredients, and unsweetened herbal teas only.

SOUNDS FUN, DON’T IT!?!?

LOOK AT ALL THE FOODS I CAN EAT!!

LOOK AT ALL THE FOODS I CAN EAT!!

Yeah…so, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Suck

  1. crybaby

    Lent isn’t supposed to be easy–the spirit of Lent is to fast–deny oneself of certain pleasures for the purposes of personal purification and greater spiritual good. In some ways, it’s meant to suck.

  1. This is going to require me to use more focus and planning to make creative and strategic use of my time and money resources where I’m already struggling to manage both.

  1. Most people I know don’t fast or observe Lent. So on top of being surrounded by people that are eating all the stuff I can’t, I’ll constantly be explaining why I’m not and dealing with peer pressure!

  1. I can’t chew gum. :'(

But on the other hand, here’s Four Reasons Why This Will Be Awesome

  1. I won’t feel sick after eating!

  2. I will very likely lose weight, even though that’s not the overall goal.

  3. I’ll be more mindful about eating.

  4. I’ll learn to cook more.

BestLentEver

What I Intend To Take Away From This
Every other Lent fast has been a temporary experiment in discipline, restraint and self-exploration. This year, I am using Lent as springboard into a permanent new lifestyle of clean, healthy eating of REAL food. The idea is NOT to go back to eating and drinking shitty crap on April 18. Rather, my aim is to develop a new habit of preferring and choosing to eat foods that nourish my body and make me feel great.

I’m excited! I’ve already been eating a highly restricted diet due to a serious food allergy reaction I suffered from in February, which effectively served as an “ease-in” to Lent and a new nutrition lifestyle.

I’m gonna chew all the gum I can over the next few days, then it’s on!

I’m sharing this in case anyone out there wants to either join in with me, or be a supporter by checking in on me occasionally and cheering me on (or at least not tempting me to break the fast). Who’s in!? Please comment below, and feel free to share this and spread the word.

I don’t do very well blogging my reflections during Lent. If you want to keep up with how it’s going, then look to social media for regular updates, especially on Facebook. I’ll use the hashtag #Lent2014 in related posts. :)

Create a beautiful day!

Coach KishaLynn

 

LentasaDiet 

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Freedom-MANIFESTED!

June 26, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
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This is a wonderful day. Today in America, gays and lesbians, including my wife and I, are celebrating an ULTIMATE This Stuff’s Working! Moment.

The United States Supreme Court has outlawed the Defense of Marriage Act and upheld the ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

As I said on social media today: WE GOT OUR FREE!!

It’s like getting a rainbow check in the mail!

I don’t care who you are, where you are, or what your political or spiritual beliefs are: if you can’t support LOVE then your life isn’t as beautiful as it could be.

This isn’t a coaching blog post, but it is a real one, a true one, and the proudest blog post I’ve ever written.

I remember how it felt to wake up after Election Day in 2008 and find out Obama was elected (woo hoo) and Prop 8 passed (oh my God NO!) Five years later I can finally breathe again feeling equal. We are standing inside of history.

One day, my wife and I will be able to explain to our children how their mommies were some of the first to claim equal rights to marry in California, then stand through the fight when they were snatched away for others, and remained standing in love and solidarity until victorious in our state and country.

That is AMAZING. We will be talking about this day for the rest of our lives.

Of course there is still a fight left to fight (hello Voting Rights Act ruling)–there always will be. But we needed a win, and we got it.

This Stuff’s Working!

With Pride,
KishaLynn

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Do You Love Yourself?

June 20, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
20130620-112416.jpg

A few weeks ago my friend Shayla Logan told me about this online challenge called 100 Days of Self-Love.

The idea is to start expressing love for yourself each day in a public, visible way, for 100 days straight. Each individual starts on their own, rather than all at the same time, brilliantly creating a perpetual garden of self-lovers, some on day 90, some on day 9, etc. Shayla even created a Facebook group where these self-lovers could unite and support each other.

This concept awesome in its simplicity and its impact.

When I heard about this, my response was, that’s great! However, I’m pretty sure my people are tired of hearing how much I love myself. I mean, I’m a pretty self-centered person. Me, myself and I are in my top 5 favorite words. (Perpendicular and Conquistador are #1 and #2, FYI…) So, how could I embark upon this challenge without appearing that my ego has totally run amok to my people, and quite honestly, to myself?

Shayla told me that this expression of self-love is not about vanity, conceit, or ego. Those things are superficial. This idea is about unearthing the true self-love that is innate within us, buried under mounds of self-loathing.

I took that in, realizing that my fear of what others would think about me joining this challenge was really a manifestation of self-loathing. I don’t feel confident about how confident I am!

I sat on that for a minute. It was really “deep” (and I don’t really use “coachy” terms like that!)

I didn’t join the challenge. But I did join the Facebook group and start watching others self-love. I really enjoy reading Shayla’s and others daily self-love posts. I have seen all kinds of different, wonderful, humorous, authentic things being appreciated.

It occurred to me that 100 days is a long time. Over that time, there may be some superficial, ego-riffic posts of self-praise on some days. Other days, it might be hard to come up with something to love. That’s probably where the magic lies in this challenge–connecting to love where there is a disconnect and being forced to go beyond the surface of what is good and true about yourself.

Aha! I said. (Another “coachy” term I don’t really use.) I get it now. I will start the challenge.

Will…as in future tense. As in not immediately but soon. As in, haven’t done it yet because…

Because I’m waiting on a Monday. No, a Sunday would be better. Darn I forgot to post Sunday so I’ll just wait for next Sunday. No, Monday is really a better day to start. Oops I didn’t start on Monday…and now it’s Thursday.

Isn’t it funny the little games we play with ourselves when it comes to starting things that are good for us? It’s like that old conversation around when to start eating healthier, or when to begin a workout routine. It’s ridiculous! There’s nothing special about Sunday or Monday. No one is keeping track but you!

Today is a great day to start 100 days of self-love! Just like today is a perfect day to begin eating healthier, start working out, initiate daily meditation or any other thing that is good, helpful, and can push us to the next level-our best self!

I firmly believe that it only takes 30 days (or less) to completely change your entire life. This challenge has three of those cycles plus almost another two weeks! By the time I reach Day 100, I know my life will be very different–I’ll be a new age (33), it will be a new season (Fall), and those are just the changes I’m SURE of at this time.

I look at my life today and see all kinds of evidence that more self-love is needed. I want to find it, and I want to share it with my people. Not because I’m a narcissistic maniac. But because…well, I think Rickie Byars-Beckwith and the Agape International Choir say it best in their song “I Love Myself So Much”:

I love myself so much
That I can love you so much
That you can love you so much
That you can start loving me.

The idea is that self-love spreads love to others. I really and truly get it now!

So let’s begin. Day 1 of 100 Days of Self-Love.

I love that I love myself so much.

Want in? To join 100 Days of Self-Love, just start sharing and counting an expression of self-love daily on your social media pages, your blog, via email or whatever ways fit best for you.

There’s a hashtag for it: #lovemerevolution.

There’s a Facebook group for it: 100 Days of Self Love.

Here’s more info from the pinned post on the Facebook group:

This campaign is one that anybody can join at any time. It is a campaign to shift the common collective away from self-loathing and over to self-loving. I believe that self love is an innate instinct that we have lost. It is time we reclaimed it. That is what this campaign is about. As we share our reasons why we believe we are valuable upon this earth, it will bounce off each other, it will spread, it will reflect itself in the group consciousness and we will feel the change. We will start to value ourselves more as humans and bring that honoring into our political and social systems. These are needed changes. These are timely changes. It is time. I love myself. Do you? If so, share why you are special. Why you matter. In doing so, we are changing the whole world!-Jackie Barros VanCampen

Hey, if you haven’t heard it today yet, I LOVE you. Love me back by loving you, and spreading the word!

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This E-Book Will Help!

May 22, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
Shouting From The Rooftops about A DREAM Comes True

IS THIS THING ON-ON-On-on….?

A little birdie whispered in my ear that I need to get bolder and louder about the benefits of my book, A D.R.E.A.M. Comes True: 5 Steps to Planning and Creating Your Personal Success Story NOW! I thought I’d give it a try here on the blog…ahem. *clears throat*

MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!!!

IF YOU DON’T HAVE A PLAN,
this book will help!

IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN FAITH,
this book will help!

IF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOAL IS GOING NOWHERE,
this book will help!

IF YOU’RE SUFFERING AT A JOB YOU HATE,
this book will help!

IF YOU’RE AN EMOTIONAL MESS RIGHT NOW,
this book will help!

IF YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET ANYTHING DONE,
this book will help!

IF YOU’RE READY TO GIVE UP ON DATING,
this book will help!

IF YOU NEED MONEY TO BUY THINGS WITH,
this book will help!

IF “SECRETING” IS ATTRACTING YOU JACK SQUAT,
this book will help!

IF YOU WANT TO MARRY BEYONCE,  
Sorry, this book can’t help with that. Nice try though. 

OK, so clearly I’m no marketing genius. I’m just a passionate coach who has written a powerful book that teaches a proven system that can help you live the life you want. In it, I’ve given the best that is in me to serve you and others. Life is too short and beautiful to live in a nightmare. You can have, do, and be more! 

It’s all in the plan! I have a D.R.E.A.M. for you, and it’s just waiting to come true.

If you have everything you could ever want in life, that’s great. I’ll bet you have a friend or family member that doesn’t! SHARE THIS BOOK WITH THEM!

ADCTBestseller

 

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Practice Makes Perfect…or Just Makes You!

April 16, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott

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I don’t remember much from my High School French class–the least of which is much of the French language. However, I did take one thing away that I’ve never managed to forget.

My teacher stood before the class and boldly declared: C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron.

He said it meant practice makes perfect.

I was pretty sure that the translation wasn’t literal, so I looked it up and found something that held so much more meaning for me than the cliche platitude I heard all the time.

The translation of the French saying was: It is blacksmithing that makes the blacksmith. Or, it is forging that makes the forger.

Few of start out pursuing perfection. Most of us just want to be what and who we want to be and are wondering how to become that. Once a decision is made on a Desire, it is up to you to practice the being, doing or having of that thing until it is manifested.

Practice makes perfect? Sure it does.
But being makes you be, doing makes it done, and having makes it had too regardless of how perfect or imperfect the result is.

Expand your vision. Look beyond the world of cliches. Find out what life really means and how stuff really works. Mold the platitudes to serve your purpose. Practice makes perfect becomes:

Coaching makes the coach.
Writing makes the writer.
Speaking makes the speaker.
Loving makes the lover.
Giving makes the giver.

And so on.

Screw perfection. Just get in the habit of doing and being first and you may soon have perfection and more.

When we see an athlete or musician perfectly execute a challenging routine, we know it came from practice. But their practice started with a decision and a commitment to be, to do and to have. Have you made that decision yet? Are you committed? Are you ready to forge?

C’est en forgeant qu’on devient forgeron.

Go forth and be made.

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Image Credit: Weightwatchers

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How To Talk To Fear

April 12, 2013 - Author: KishaLynn Elliott
ROLL THE DICE!!

ROLL THE DICE!!

We’ve all experienced moments when we are TRULY frightened by something. Like it or not, fear is present for a purpose. Usually, it’s to save our lives from danger or harm.

Often though, fear is just there for the sake of being there. It isn’t serving you by saving you. In fact, it’s harming you by stopping you.

Try this the next time you are afraid. Stop and examine the fear more closely.

If you’re in no apparent danger, then don’t run and hide from the fear. Don’t even fight the fear. Simply call it out:

Hello fear. Why are you here?

If fear doesn’t seem to have a good reason for being there, then kindly show it the door.

If it persists, then say, “I’m sorry, but I have other things to do. Tag along if you insist, but I’ve gotta go.”

Then do what you were afraid to do anyway. Go on. Nothing bad will happen.

Robert Anthony wrote:  We fear the thing we want the most.

What are the things you want most, but are afraid to have?

Image Credit: SXC: Hisks

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