Alyssa sitting on a fence

Learning to say what you want

Which is easier for you? Saying what you don't want or saying what you want?

If you're like most people I know, saying what you want is infinitely harder than saying what you don't want.

Case in point, when your significant other asks, "What do you want for lunch?" Do you say, "I don't know" and then wait for a list to choose from or do you say, "Let's go get Thai food."

In general, saying what you don't want is easier than saying what you want because "I don't want" is a direct answer to one thing instead of picking from limitless options of what you could want.

But going around saying everything you don't want isn't doing anything to help yourself (or your significant other who just wants help picking where to go to lunch).

When you go around clearly articulating everything you don't want, you're giving all your focus and power to those things. You're being specific in the wrong direction.

>>Focusing on what you don't want doesn't help the universe (who is on your side by the way), bring you a fat dose of what you DO want.

Except knowing what you want, especially when you're so used to putting other people first, is d.i.f.f.i.c.u.l.t. I know. AND... I also know that you having wants, dreams, and desires ISN'T SELFISH.

Your wants are just as important as everyone else's you find time to prioritize. ❕

It's time to unleash your juiciest, dreamiest wants.

I believe deep, deep, deeeeeeep down you know exactly what you want. You've just practiced people-pleasing for so long, that your "I want" muscle hasn't been flexed in a reallyyyyy long time.

So, here's how to start flexing that beauty again...

Whenever you hear yourself saying, I don't want to...(insert thing you don't want to do), flip it on its head and ask yourself, "what do I want instead?"

I don't want Mexican food ➡️I want Thai instead.

I don't want to work here anymore ➡️I want to work somewhere where I feel challenged and can be creative.

I don't want to feel like this anymore ➡️I want to wake up with something to look forward to on my calendar every day.

That little word, "instead" is where the magic is. You don't have to know exactly what you want for all of eternity, you just have to know a small piece of what you want *instead.*

I've been using this for the past few weeks and I've already felt a difference. It's becoming easier and easier to say what I want, without all the panic, from the get-go.

A little note for my fellow recovering over-thinkers...

Don't worry about how it's going to happen just yet. This isn't the time to draw on the part of yourself that loves to overthink. Give her a name (mine's "In her head Hayden"), and tell her she's not needed right now. When we overthink before we articulate what we want, what we want morphs into something that feels safe, instead of something that could absolutely be possible.

Try it out today. I believe in the power of this and in you. What you want is important. This life is yours to shape however you like.

With so much love,

xx, Alyssa

P.S. I want us to help keep each other accountable. 👯‍♀️Think of something you know you don't want, ask yourself, "What do I want instead?" and then drop it in the comments and let me (and thereby the universe) know what it is.

 

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Be like Portland. Neon sign that says Portland Oregon.

be like Portland not Newark

I hit the jackpot flying back to Austin last night.

I not only had the extra roomy exit row, I had the extra roomy exit row all to myself.

I was about to "sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight" as the flight intendant instructed, but instead, I whipped out my phone to write you a quick email.

I've been traveling quite a bit lately. Some for work and some for play. (More on that later).

I've been in and out of the Portland, Detroit, Newark, and Austin airports. And Houston, Dallas, LAX, and Chicago-Midway due to layovers.

Out of all of these, Newark is an exceptionally terrible airport.

(To be fair, Terminal C seems okay after a recent upgrade, but Terminal A, where I had the pleasure of hanging out is crap).

The only food options are a consistently slammed Mexican restaurant (due to demand, not deliciousness), a Ben and Jerry's, and a deli.

There's nowhere to sit, it's dirty, and you can't get a decent drink because the Mexican restaurant's bar is constantly full of people trying to distract themselves from how terrible it is with a less-than-natural margarita.

The Detroit airport isn't much better.

It's heavy on chain restaurants and is far from gluten free friendly. But it's spacious, has a few bars for a pre-flight Moscow Mule, and is seemingly cleaner than Newark, so it gets a few extra points in my book.

If it were a hotel, I'd give it 2.5 stars.

The Austin and Portland airports, on the other hand, are noticeably different.

They're filled with airport versions of popular local restaurants, adapted versions of bars people actually frequent while in the city, shops that house more than touristy keychains, and they have live music.

Patrick and I went to the Austin airport 3 hours ahead of our flight because we knew we could get delicious BBQ and hang at Saxon Pub listening to music instead of having to get our kitchen dirty before leaving.

Here's the difference.

PDX and ATX have managed to make the airport feel like an experience, not a chore.

I mean, check out this fantastic copy I spotted on a sign for a bathroom remodel in Portland.

Make people feel something. A sign with amazing copy spotted at the Portland airport

It's way more creative than the typical, "Bathroom closed for remodeling." It made me stop and take a picture (and not just because I'm a copywriter who is paid to appreciate words in abnormal ways).

It made me *feel* something unexpected.

In this case, it made me chuckle and feel like they cared about my experience as a visitor.

Your work can make people feel something too.

It all comes down to intentional details.

>>You can be like Newark, which is really like my grandma running into Walgreens to buy reading glasses that she knows won't work, but it's a last-ditch attempt because she forgot hers at home.

She doesn't want to buy them there, but she's desperate, so she regrettably forks over her hard-earned cash.

>>You can be like the Detroit airport, which is more like the traditional professional (read: stuffy) business that you know you can trust, but most interactions with them are just plain boring.

It's like going into a LensCrafters where they say things like, "See your best every day with a comprehensive eye exam at LensCrafters." Blah.

>>Or, you can be like Portland. The business with personality, like Warby Parker.

The one that makes people happy to hang around and talk about you because you make them feel something unexpected.

"Good things await you." is the messaging on the box that Warby Parker delivers to your *house*, so that you can try on multiple pairs for more than five minutes and ask all your friend's opinions before choosing the perfect pair. They know what's up.

So, moral of the story... Don't be like Newark's airport (ever). And don't be like Detroit's if you want to stand out.

Instead, be a Portland. Or an Austin. Make people feel something, intentionally.

With so much love,

xx, Alyssa

P.S. Need some help infusing more personality? I'm here for you.

 

Want to make this inbox official? Pop your name and email into the form below. xx

 


Alyssa writing in notebook on couch

This writing trick is as good as peanut butter cups

Consistency can be hard am I right?

I'm great at doing some things consistently... like eating Justin's Peanut Butter Cups.

I eat two of those dark chocolate masterpieces a day. And as a tribute to my adulthood, I eat them before dinner.

I'm not so great at being consistent with working out, remembering to switch my laundry from the washer to the dryer, or taking the Vitamin D my doctor keeps telling me I need to take.

When building online businesses though, consistency is where the magic lies.

That means writing emails, blogs, and generally being prolific--offering up value for your ideal clients all over the place.

But if you aren't clear on who you're talking to or what you're talking about being prolific can feel impossible.

Maybe you've felt like this...

You have a great idea you can't wait to share but the second you sit down to write, all your thoughts vanish and you don't know where to start so you stare at the screen and wait for inspiration. And then all of a sudden cleaning the toilet seems more appealing than trying to write. 🚽

Fortunately, there's a trick (for writing, not for cleaning your toilet).

Pretend like you're writing to a single person.

Preferably a friend or ideal client, someone you feel like you can be yourself with and who isn't going to judge you when you tell them you eat peanut butter cups 7 days a week.

Of course you're going to want to reach more than one person, but the best messages are focused messages and nothing helps with focus more than clearly writing to one specific person.

When you sit down to write, especially if you haven't flexed the muscle in a while, it can feel overwhelming. But if you imagine you're writing to your BFF or that dream client you met last week, it can feel fun and freeing instead of like a chore.

And once you know who you're writing to it becomes much easier to whip up a focused outline.

So, sit down, open up a doc, and do these 4 things to get going (before your brain even goes to the cleaning toilets space).

(**Or because I love making your life easier, snag the template I made for you here. 😉)

  1. Pick one person you want to write to today and type their name at the top of the doc.
  2. Write down the topic you know they need to hear about or want to share with them.
  3. Write your intention for the email/post. Do you want to entertain her, educate her on something, inform her, or inspire her? A combination?
  4. Then write "feel", "know", "do" and ask yourself these three questions: What do you want her to feel after reading this? What do you want her to know? What do you want her to do? Type your answers in the doc.

✨Voila! Now you have yourself an outline and know what to focus on.

Here's what that outline looked like when I sat down to write this email:

  • The topic: a simple way to avoid overwhelm when it comes to writing
  • I wanted you to feel entertained. It's Friday after all.
  • I wanted you to know that you're not alone if you find writing consistently to be challenging and give you a tip to get a dose of clarity and move into action
  • And I want you to do this: Feel more in control of your writing process so you can take a step towards being prolific.

Follow these 4 steps as consistently as I eat peanut butter cups and you'll have created more raving fans in no time.

With so much love,

xx Alyssa

P.S. People's grocery store habits fascinate me. What people eat says a lot about them. So, I'm curious, what kind of shopper are you? The weekly or daily type? Hit reply and let me know.

P.P.S. Don't let overwhelm keep you from sharing your ideas. Your voice matters. Snag this template and get creating!


sitting on the porch

Can you sit?

I was leaning over the counter eating artichoke hearts out of the can when my friend Kerason texted me mid-bite. She was asking if I knew what I was going to write yet since it's 5:06 on Tuesday—the day I promised myself I'd send you love notes.

I didn't have a complete idea formulated yet, but apparently, I'm inspired by food because I instantly recalled something I overheard last night that I had wanted to tell you about.

Cue to last night...

As I hopped off my bike in front of the restaurant, I heard a woman say, "Sit. Sit. Can you sit?" She sounded frustrated.

Her dog, who was clearly ignoring her, had no intention of sitting right then and there.

But as I was locking my bike to the "No Parking" sign, her last question struck me as odd.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's something I've said to Jake (my dog) a thousand times when he isn't listening.

But it was in this moment that I realized there may be no such thing as a dumb question, but there are certainly meaningless questions, and this is one of them.

Can you sit?

I couldn't help but imagine the dog as an animated cartoon with a thought bubble over its head saying, "I CAN sit but I don't feel like it, and you can't hear me talking back to you, so I'm not going to."

A more meaningful question to pique the rebel retrievers interest would have been, "Do you want a treat?" Then telling him to sit.

While exchanging treats for commands isn't great dog parenting, it works—and it highlights an important point.

If you want better answers, you have to ask better questions.

The questions you ask are a direct reflection of how much energy you want the other person to put into a response. Meaningless questions get meaningless answers and leave people in a connectionless loop of social scripts.

It's like when the guy at the checkout counter asks, "How are you?"

Do you tell him you didn't get much sleep and you're hungry, but overall it was a good day? No. You say "Fine" and wait for your receipt.

Asking better questions is a really easy way to show people that you care. It's also a really easy way to be a better human.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, right? So when we put more energy into the questions we ask, we're leaving the space for an authentic answer.

If you want to get meaningful information from someone (your boyfriend, your daughter, your client, that complete stranger who is a total hottie sitting near you at the coffee shop) you have to ask meaningful questions.

But since that's easier said than done, I thought I'd give you a few tips on how to do just that.

Here are 3 ways to ask better, high-energy questions:

1). Keep them open-ended.
One of the easiest ways to ask more meaningful questions is to keep them open-ended. Yes/no questions can often feel like an interrogation...which is exactly how I felt when my dad used to ask me "did you do your homework?" (The irony here is that my dad routinely talks about asking better questions with his clients).

2). Add some context.
The problem with broad, overly open-ended questions can be that they're so broad they induce analysis paralysis. Like when Patrick asks where I want to go to dinner tomorrow night... He'd be doing me a huge favor and getting us closer to an answer if he added a little context.

"I'd like to take you to dinner tomorrow night at a Mexican place, which one sounds good to you?"

Adding some context goes a long way so that it's easier for the person to come up with an answer that's going to be useful to you.

3). Understand why you're asking the question. 
This is the most important.

If you're just asking a question to break the silence, chances are you won't spark a worthwhile one--and you're likely to annoy the other person.

Know why you're asking the question and adjust what you ask accordingly.

For example, if you're trying to understand which social media platform is your audiences favorite so that you can show up there more often, you don't just want to ask, "which social media platform is your favorite?" Asking this way won't help you know if it's their favorite to post on or their favorite platform for connecting with family.

Instead, it'd be better to ask, "Which social media platform is your favorite for business inspiration?" Then, you'd actually know where to focus your efforts to connect.

Engagement, connection, and ultimately, success comes from asking meaningful questions. Investing in how you say things is the best thing you can do to enhance your relationships—with clients, friends, lovers, and your family.

Not to mention, deep conversations are significantly more fun, and you can only go deep when you get meaningful.

With so much love,

Xx
Alyssa

P.S. Want to start asking clarity inducing questions in your business? I can help with that.

P.P.S Is it just me or do you eat strange things tucked in the back of your cabinets when you're home alone too? Please let me know I'm not alone in this.

P.P.P.S. Know a friend who can relate? Forward it to them. Or ya know, if you need a slightly passive aggressive way to let someone know they need to ask better questions...it's good for that too.

Want to make this inbox official?

It’ll be like talking to your BFF about authenticity, gratitude, mindset, and kicking ass in your business. Drop your name & email below. With so much gratitude, Alyssa


donkey standing near flowers

Don't be a Donkey and Other Tips on Avoiding Fear

Ciao!

The day my mom joined us in Italy happened to be the same day as Festa Di Asini—The Donkey Festival (yes, you read that right). A Donkey Derby seemed like the perfect way to help her fight jet lag, so we joined in on the fun.

Here's the thing, the concept of racing donkeys around a small grassy track is hilarious because donkeys are notoriously stubborn. After all, we call them asses.

Some donkeys tore out of the gate to the extreme pleasure of their 2-3 handlers who were running for their lives with the lead in their hand trying to keep up. Others would barely budge from the start line.

The donkeys who looked like they would come in first often came in last because they would suddenly stop and freeze, leaving their handlers to do a persuasive dance of pushing, pulling, and pleading to get them to move again.

I saw 2-3 adults trying to push a donkey along, and it didn't budge. They go when they want to, or when they believe you're leading them in just the right way.

Here's the part where I relate this to your life...

Don't be a donkey. And no, I'm not calling you an ass.

What I mean is this...

Donkeys freeze when they're scared.

Often, we act like scared donkeys (which can turn us into asses). We take two steps forward only to stop where we are and freeze.

We overanalyze, let imposter syndrome take over, try to plan every necessary step ahead, and become obsessed with perfection.

When we're scared, we operate out of fear, and we question the Universe at every turn. But just like the donkey, operating out of fear gets us nowhere.

Here's the thing though, the Universe (who's like your handler), has your back and wants to see you succeed. And yet so often we make it play games—asking it to show us signs or evidence before we'll move again.

We plop down right where we are and don't budge until we have some proof that we're on the right track.

When we stop acting like asses and operate out of faith, believing in what we can't yet see, trusting that one small step leads to another and that the answers will appear as a result of our actions, we open ourselves up to the freedom that is being guided by the Universe.

For the past 2 years, I've been acting like a donkey, letting fear be my handler instead of opportunity.

I've had big dreams and big ideas but every few feet I freeze.

And it's gotten me about 13% closer to my goal of being a badass who inspires women to live intentional, authentic lives and helping them share their stories so they can make a living doing so.

Not anymore.

Just last week, days after seeing the Donkey Festival, I read You are a Badass. Holy eye-opener and a perfect companion to this donkey metaphor. 😉✨If you want to feel like a badass, not just an ass read this book.

I'd seen it in every airport bookstore for months and avoided it. I really wish I hadn't waited so long. It's soo good.

And, it's convinced my stubborn self to trust the Universe in guiding me forward which honestly has been a huge relief because it means I'm not doing it on my own.

I want this freedom for you too, so check it out.

To summarize:

  • Donkeys are hilariously stubborn creatures. So are we.
  • Stop fighting the Universe if you want to be a badass instead of an ass (metaphorically speaking, none of you are actually true asses).
  • Read You are a Badass by Jen Sincero ASAP if you want to start moving and stop stalling.
  • Then, when you have a burning message you want to share with the world, call me (or email, I'm flexible that way). Helping badasses like you share their story and make money doing so is one of my favorite ways to serve.

Don't be a donkey.

Instead, try to be like my dog who refuses to heel anytime we step foot in the direction of the park. He powers ahead because he knows he's going to get to chase a ball even if he doesn't see it yet (because it's hidden in my back pocket as a last-ditch attempt to get him to pay attention).

With so much love,

XX

Alyssa

P.S. The book links are affiliate links because making money is good for impact. If you don't believe me, read this.

P.P.S. Check out my Italy instagram highlight to see a snippet of the donkey race.

P.P.S. Know someone who needs to hear this? Pass it along.

Photo by Daniel Burka on Unsplash

 

Want to make this inbox official?

It'll be like talking to your BFF about authenticity, gratitude, mindset, and kicking ass in your business. Drop your name & email below. With so much gratitude, Alyssa


alyssa with arms crossed in black dress

Are you asking the right question?

Patrick and I were in a conversation this morning and he said something brilliant. Which isn't unusual by any means, but this one was especially brilliant because he articulated in 15 seconds what many consultants and freelancers spend significantly more time trying to figure out. (He's been on a roll lately). We were talking about his reluctance to dive into technical consulting and he said, I think I realized what my hestiation centers around and it's that I need to make sure I'm asking the right question. Rather than asking, "What can I do for you?" which was my first thought, I need to be asking, "What can I provide you?"

The difference is subtle, but you know I'm all about the subtleties of language. And he has a clear point.

The subtle difference between "What can I do for you?" and "What can I provide you?"

Asking "what can I do for you" leaves room for the person you're helping to define what they need. In Patrick's case, the people he'll be helping won't necessarily know what they need. They know the problem--to an extent--and they know something needs to be fixed. They don't necessarily know how, that's Patrick's job. Asking "what can I do for you" implies that the value of the service is the doing itself. In many consulting scenarios, this approach won't lead to the desired results.

Asking "what can I provide you" on the other hand, opens a conversation around problem-solving collaboratively. It also offers a clear distinction between perpetual doing and providing a tangible deliverable solving a business need--something that is the result of strategic architecture and execution.

The question may not be right for every type of consulting work, but for designers, tech consultants, and other creatives alike, the semantics of this can make a difference in your pitches and how you're expressing your value. Not to mention, it helps set expectations and establish boundaries from the beginning.

Sometimes our biggest battle at biz owners is articulating what we do in a way that feels comfortable to us, changing the questions you're asking clients can help you share your value and increase your confidence in your services.

Want to make this inbox official?

It’ll be like talking to your BFF about authenticity, gratitude, mindset, and kicking ass in your business. Drop your name & email below. With so much gratitude, Alyssa


alyssa arms crossed placeholder image

Get Your Woo Woo On With Solfeggio Frequencies

Hey there,

Wednesday can often get a bad rap, it's hump day after all. 🐪 Smack dab in the middle of the week with no specialty of its ownーother than being right in the middle.

I'm finding this Wednesday has been particularly middle-ish, so I thought I'd rename it Woo-Woo Wednesday and share some magic with you.

Sound good? I thought so, too. ✨

So about the woo, let's get on the same page about that first. There are multiple definitions of "woo woo" but I like this one best: "musings of the metaphysical."

Woo woo encompasses things that seem more magical than logical. Things like: Reiki, energy work, tarot cards, crystal work, vortexes, some people even consider extremely restrictive diets as woo woo.

A logician equates woo to the mystic things lacking substantiated evidence.

And to that, I say evidence schmevidence. Sometimes, the mystery is the power. Plus, people believe in things they don't fully understand every day.

And so, I present to you my latest woo obsession on Woo Woo Wednesday, Solfeggio frequencies.

Yesterday, I came off a call feeling agitated. No one had said anything particularly agitating, and it was likely the least stressful of the calls I had taken all day, but I couldn't shake the feelingーagitation station was happening all up in me.

You know the feeling, right? If you're anything like me, it probably feels a little like PMS. Only, I wasn't PMSing.

So, in true internet fashion, Google led me down a rabbit hole of terms like absorbing emotions, empaths, and sound healing. And at the heart of sound healing, lied Solfeggio frequencies.

The first headline I saw was, "Solfeggio frequency DNA repair." Obviously, I clicked.

Do you know what they are? Given I just learned about them yesterday I have a limited understanding, but here's what I've learned thus far (it's Woo Woo Wednesday after all).

Remember in The Sound of Music when Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp children are singing, "Do a deer, a female deer. Re, a drop of golden sun, Mi a name I call myself, Fa a long, long way to run...?" Well, the syllabic scale they're singing is known as solfege and it was invented by a monk in the 11th century to make it easier for people to learn sight-singing.

Those notes also make up the basis of an ancient scale with each note said to correspond to a hertz frequency with its own quality:

These are the Solfeggio frequencies:

  • UT – 396 Hz – Liberating Guilt and Fear
  • RE – 417 Hz – Undoing Situations and Facilitating Change
  • MI – 528 Hz – Transformation and Miracles (DNA Repair- This is the frequency used by genetic biochemists to repair DNA.)
  • FA – 639 Hz – Connecting/Relationships
  • SOL – 741 Hz – Awakening Intuition
  • LA – 852 Hz – Returning to Spiritual Order

The site linked to a YouTube video with the sounds, so I plugged in my headphones and gave it a go. Within a few minutes, my attention was suddenly drawn to my legs and I noticed they were ever so slightly vibrating. After a few more minutes, I felt calmer and more mentally focused.

I tried it today, too.

I was frustrated with myself knowing I needed to write and feeling annoyed that I've been so stuck getting started. I played a video with tones at 396 Hz and again started to feel better.

Now, we already know music has its own effects on stress. So I'm not saying I'm feeling better because this is a magical scale.

BUT...here's the thing about woo woo things in general. It makes it easier to focus on things we don't normally see.

We move at such fast paces these days that we forget to notice the small things around usーlike all the energy that's being moved about on a daily basis.

So, here's my (mostly) sound logic on why I'm okay believing that these scales might hold some power...

We're all made up of energy.

Energy is what keeps us going. It helps us move, helps us think, helps us connect. It can't be created or destroyed. We're vibrational beingsーthe physics and metaphysics agree. Sound is a series of vibrations. Vibrations influence everything about humanity and our encounters with the world because everything is made of vibrations.

So at the end of the day, regardless of whether or not each frequency impacts the specific element claimed above, what I like about it is that it makes me pay attention to things it's easy to forget aboutーlike the fact that everything I do is a series of vibrations.

While listening, it was much easier to feel present in my body.

I'm not going to become a solfeggio researcher, (except for the additional googling I did to tell you about it on Woo Wednesday) but so far I like incorporating this into my day.

We all want more energy. But maybe, what we're really asking for is to know how to harness our energy. If this gets me a step closer to that, I'll take it.

If it does absolutely nothing else, I like feeling grounded to something that has been around for much longer than our time. Longer than social media, longer than TV, longer than Headspace. It feels like a way to be more conscious of our bodies and be more mindful without having to sit on a pillow and meditate for hours. I'm on board with that.

So, since it's Woo Woo Wednesday, take a listen for transformation here, relationships here, guilt and fear here, or just the binaural beat itself here. Then, let me know what you noticed or how it made you feel. Where did your attention shift? What did you notice?

Embrace the woo with me for a few minutes, k? After all, isn't questioning what's real and what's not the purpose of believing in something anyway? And, if nothing else, it's pretty music.

Get your wonder on to get you over the hump. ✨🐪

xx,

Alyssa

P.S. Want love letters from to sweeten up your inbox weekly-ish? Drop your email below.


mental illness mental brilliance cover

Podcast Interview: Mental Illness Mental Brilliance

mental illness mental brilliance cover

 

Mental Illness Mental Brilliance by Te-Erika Patterson is a podcast exploring the relationship between mental health and mental success. In this interview, I dive deep into what it's like managing Obsessive Compulsive Disorder on a day to day basis.

In the episode you'll learn:

  1. What my mom said to me the first time I told her I thought I had OCD.
  2. The crazy things I had to hide from friends.
  3. 2 things that making managing OCD easier.

Plus, there's an accompanying blog that details why I used to be afraid of wearing blue panties. Listen in here.


Shutting Up The Bitch Brain

Recently, Alexandra Jamieson aired a podcast on Bitch Brain. It's a concept of hers that I've come to LOVE.

Bitch Brain is the negative self-talk that enters our stream of consciousness all too often.

Like when we try on a swimsuit in the not-so-well-lit Target dressing rooms, and suddenly we see just how much cellulite is hiding on the backs of our legs. Or when we have to buy size 6 shorts when we think we should be in a size 4 just to get them over our not-mannequin-thin hips. Hello, belt life.

It's in these moments we hear Bitch Brain coming out from her corner, chiming in to antagonize us. "Oh my gosh, our ass is WAY too big. You shouldn't have eaten that last peanut butter cup."

Or, "Do you see that girl over there? You should have arms like her."

It makes it virtually impossible to truly love ourselves when Bitch Brain can pipe up with such nasty commentary whenever she damn well pleases.

What's clear if you talk to any woman is that giving Bitch Brain a voice has become a habit for many of us.

In the episode, she suggested that listeners write 10 things they love about their bodies.

Before putting fingers to keyboard, I asked myself if I needed to do this? Couldn't I easily list off 10 things I love about myself? Two things I've loved about myself since I was five came to mind instantly, my hair and eyes. Next, the fact that I have a booty. After that I had to pause and pull up my notes app, realizing this would probably be a good exercise for me.

Out of nowhere, "the birthmark on my hip" popped into my head followed by, "that my body is strong enough to carry me through a workout."

It took me about 10 minutes to come up with 10 things. Bitch Brain showed her spirit a few times telling me, "You can't actually write that, you don't have good feet, and you desperately need a pedicure." To her I said, "Bitch, please" and wrote it down anyway.

There's another voice deep within us that emanates love. She's way more helpful, positive, and loving than Bitch Brain. She's the voice that knows what we need. Until we understand how to harness her though, it can be easy for her to get trampled. She is our biggest cheerleader, she just needs some practice before she's at the top of the pyramid.

When I listened to her, I quite liked what she had to say about me. Here's my list:

10 Things I Love About My Body

  1. My eyes.
  2. My hair.
  3. That I have a booty, even if I wish it had fewer dimples.
  4. The birthmark on my hip.
  5. That it is strong enough to carry me through a workout.
  6. I feel like I have good feet.
  7. My long legs.
  8. My long fingers.
  9. The freckle on my nose.
  10. My breasts (yep, I said that).

Given that fact that I'm in pain frequently I have a tendency to say things like, "My body hates me." Writing this list reframed my thinking on that almost instantly. My body doesn't hate me. It's telling me something is wrong, and I need to pay attention. It's working overtime to figure out what's happening before it's too late or even more serious. So I'll be dropping "my body hates me" from my vocabulary permanently.

What do you find yourself saying all too often? How does your Bitch Brain take over?

We ALL have attributes that make us sexy creatures. Alex said another great line in this podcast, "when you compare there's nothing left but to despair." I know, I know, your mom, boyfriend, sister, BFF, and grandma tell you to stop comparing yourself all the time. I'll be the first to say that's a hard habit to kick, so try forming a new one.

Arm yourself with things you love about yourself, so when Bitch Brain turns on, you can turn around and say, "Bitch, Please".


alyssa arms crossed placeholder image

Sofa Butt's Got Me Feeling Aware

How's your booty feeling on this Tuesday? Sore? Tight and bootyfull? Sofa butt-ish?

I can't remember where I heard or read the term "sofa butt," but I've been using it ad naseam since it entered my vocabulary.

Sofa butt occurs when you sit on your a** for so long that it starts to shift around, conform to the couch, and generally look less like a peach 🍑 and more like a pancake. And, it's scientific. Sitting too much changes the shape of our butts.

According to Dan Giordana of Bespoke Physical Therapy, "An anterior pelvic tilt (tight hip flexors) can make your booty appear flatter." PT speak aside, a flat booty is not something I wantーespecially if work is the culprit.

Enter "15 Minute Prevent SB Breaks." These are now legitimate tasks on my to-done list.

What I realized as I stood up to take a recent SB break, is that I'm only having to take them because I'm letting my work prevent me from being active...which is silly because I can work from anywhere, and yet I still stare at my screen from my couch as if my couch was the only thing providing motivation.

It also occurred to me that I could actively think about working out less and generally feel better about myself if I was consciously more active throughout the day. I admit I let how my 🍑 looks on any given day influence my confidence. So, a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to start being more conscious of my activity throughout the day so that I don't have to feel self-conscious about my body and daily activity level when 6 pm rolls around.

5 Ways I'm Trying to Be More Conscious About The Reality That is Sofa Butt

Daily toning moves

These can be done with or without weights so it can be considered working out or merely moving depending on your mood. I follow the Tone it Up girls because they give me 5 moves and I don't have to make any decisions. This is great because I've been described as indecisive once or twice (read: all my life). Sometimes I do them all at once,; sometimesI do them throughout the day.

Feed and Foam Roll

I started this new thing where if I'm at home and want to look at Instagram, I have to be on my foam roller. It's a wizard for releasing tension and loosening those muscles. Plus, it means I'm not sitting on my kitchen chair staring at all the workout photos on Insta while getting sofa butt.

Walking/Standing meetings

All the Silicon Valley start-ups do it. Group bike meetings, casual meetings while strolling to the cafeteria, etc. They're great in theory. The problem is that I'm a company of one and my cafeteria, aka kitchen, is 10 feet away. So, I'm starting to take calls standing up.

Taking the living creature that stares up at me all day begging to go outside, outside.

This is Jake. He's a master of snuggles, playing catch with himself, and puppy eyes. Especially when he wants some sunshine. In the past, I've always looked at his potty breaks as quick jaunts to the grassy area across from our condo. Lately, I've been using it as an excuse to take a 15-minute walk. If you don't have a dog, email me back, and I'll send you a picture of Jake's puppy eyes to motivate you to get outside for a few minutes. Trust me; they're effective.

Dance Breaks

Hillary Rushford of Dean Street Society is known for taking dance breaks on her live trainings. I thought they were cheesy at first, but hitting play on a song you love and dancing it out for ~3:49 is a great way to get the blood flow moving through your legs and booty again.

Here's the deal, sofa butt is real.

The insecurities that come with how our bootys should look are real, too.

The fact that between work and sleep we're either sitting or prone for 70% of our days, making us inactive to the point that our ancient ancestors would think we're the laziest people ever...is also real.

Fortunately, being conscious of sofa butt is not only make my booty look more like a peach, it's also making me feel better too. Wanna join me? Start adding 15 minute SB breaks to your to-done list.

xx,
Alyssa

P.S. Have more ideas? Send them my way! Peachy bootys are something worth talking about.

P.P.S If you work in an office where you may look weird doing some of these things, encourage your co-workers to do the same, then you won't look weird ;) Good bootys all around.