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Ambition & Inspiration

Erica Napoletano. Branding Badass.  Totally girl crushing on her in every way.

Last night Marianne Williamson (love her btw) posted “When we drop our ambition, we gain our inspiration” to her Facebook feed.  She has a huge following so naturally there were 382 shares and over 70 comments. Usually I gobble up just about everything she says. The woman is mad inspirational.  But this message perplexed me. And then I thought.. no fucking way.  I’m not dropping my ambition, I just found it again after losing it to the fluff of the yoga ghetto.  I am totally over putting my ambition to the side in order to be agreeable. [side note – it’s my own fault for living someone else’s dharma – thank you Bhagavad Gita, sorry I didn’t listen sooner!]  Being inspired, inspiring others is all well and good, but I need a little action!

Inspiration is useless without getting off your ass and doing something.

Ambition is getting off your ass and doing something. You gotta work at it yo! Get off your meditation pillow of abundance and hustle.  The people that are killing it in  business right now are the ones that dug deep and tried something new. They tried and failed at things over and over again. It’s not like they woke up one morning and had 50K Facebook followers and every class was sold out.  They struggled for their success, shedding blood, sweat and tears and that’s ambition.

Equal parts Ambition + Inspiration = Success <~~~~~~~~ Tweet it!

The same ones that are killing it in their biz find inspiration in just about everything they do.  They tap into it through gratitude, masterminds, working with others, surrounding themselves with positive, successful people and wanting to make a difference in the world.  Ambition without inspiration just makes you a sleezy business person.  Ambition without inspiration is useless.  You just can’t have one without the other. They are intimate bedfellows.  It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Where does your ambition come from and what keeps you inspired? 

And with that I leave you with Alicia Bridges (because after writing the first paragraph of this post I was dancing to the music in my head).

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ObamaCare + Yoga – Part II: Corporate Yoga Proposals

Last week I talked about the Affordable Healthcare Act and Yoga. For those of you that missed it and need a quick recap, here’s the Cliffs Notes:

ObamaCare creates new incentives for employers to promote wellness programs and encourage employers to take more opportunities to support healthier workplaces.

The Workplace Wellness Program is literally dropping opportunity (and abundance) into the laps of yoga studios and teachers. As well all know, the laws of abundance and the laws of attraction work best when we get off our ass and actually do something instead of wishing it into being. This means, no sitting on our meditation pillows dreaming up the perfect corporate offering. It means creating a simple business plan for obtaining corporate accounts, developing corporate programming and writing a corporate proposal template that can be submitted to businesses in your area.

Before you do a quick Google search for ‘ObamaCare + Workplace Wellness Programs’ (WWP), and find tons of editorials discussing flaws and the problems of WWP, you need to know one thing – ObamaCare passed in June 2013. That means WWPs are a about to come into being very soon.  You can debate the merits of ObamaCare programming until you’re blue in the face, but as of right now WWP is happening.  Don’t waste your precious time debating, analyzing or worrying over its implementation.  If you work on your mini-business plan, programming and proposal, you will be ready for January 2014, hopefully with a few clients already signed on. In the highly unlikely event something changes with the implementation of Obamacare WWP, you will still have a kick ass plan for obtaining corporate clients!

Here are 5 things you want to include in your corporate proposal:

  •  Introduction & Summary. This first section of the proposal seems obvious, but it is often overlooked.   The introduction and summary needs to include not only information about your studio and your credentialing but an introduction to yoga as well.  It’s a natural reaction for humans to fear or be skeptical of the unknown.  Outside of our little Namaste bubble, not everyone knows wtf yoga is – is it a religion? stretching? What? School them with a little Yoga 101 K.I.S.S. (keep it short & sweet – you don’t have to get into history, philosophy & 8 limbs).
  • Goals and Objectives. The second portion of the the proposal should include the goals and objectives of your offering or program.  This is where you articulate the goal of the yoga program – is it for weight loss, to de-stress, relaxation?  How do you plan on meeting those goals?
  • Research. This is one of the most important sections of your proposal and it is essential. Businesses are all about the numbers and the bottom line. What is the ROI? how will their investment in you help their employees and benefit their bottom line? And most important how will the employer benefit? Research should be evidence based, clearly articulated, substantiated and cited! This means using footnotes and/or a resource page. Make sure you spend a bit of time on this. As stated above, businesses are results oriented. Include information that helps to substantiate the goals and objectives you previously discussed.
  • Coordination, Costs + Conclusion.  How is this corporate yoga stuff going to work? What classes are available? Are there any additional workshops available?  Will you be sending teachers on site, will you provide membership discounts at your studio for corporate employees?  Anticipate all the questions an HR Director will ask and add this to your proposal.
Make sure Corporate Cat thinks your Yoga Proposal ROCKS!

I know yoginis hate the idea of sales, but that’s exactly what your yoga proposal is, a sales pitch. It’s You selling your awesome-sauce yoga services  to a business that will benefit. Keep this in mind when you write your proposal. [Unlike my blog posts]- Grammar and punctuation matter. Professionalism matters.  You’re the yoga expert – show it.

The yoga proposals I write usually end up being anywhere between 5 and 10 pages long. The length is dependent upon on the offerings my client is pitching.  It’s not just 2 paragraphs about why “yoga is awesome, dude.”  Content is key!  Some proposals require more explanation (text), and therefore, they’re longer. Other don’t require as much, so they’re short.

Even thought they are content and research heavy, the pages aren’t solid text. If fact, if you get rid of all of the formatting, they’d probably be no more than 4-5 pages.

Read-ability matters!

My client proposals  rock the 3 P’s: Pretty, Profession & Polished. (And yes, I said pretty). A proposal that is branded and formatted throughout will create a positive impression on the person reading it.  More importantly, they wont fall asleep reading page after page of plain text!  I break up, long sections of text into smaller paragraphs using by bold headings, branded colors and graphics.

Now, brush off your writing + pitch skillz, get behind the computer, do a little research and draft those proposals! If you have questions or need help, tweet me @adkjerseygirl, email me or drop a comment below. Chances are, if you’re wondering, other yoginis are too!

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I know. I have been a terrible blogger.  The end of the semester was exceptionally busy; school work for the MCIS program as well as advising for Delta Phi. Not to mention, the RBHS integration is slowly spiraling out of control.    The irony of my blogging silence? Ive been working as a communications consultant for brand consistency and blog development for a non-profit organization for the past 6 months.  I just failed my first rule- consistency!

Working with this organization has been exceptionally rewarding.  It also has my scanner tendencies twitching like crazy.   I think something new is being conceived.  I will keep you posted. – promise.

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More Than Enough

TGIF INspiration Nation!

TGI Friday Yoga Posse!

Man this week has been crazy for me. My precious business partner in life and crime gallivanted off to Jamaica with her hubby leaving me to hold down the LBG fort. Piece of cake. No biggie, right? WRONG. Not when you’re rockin a 103.5 fever! It hit me liks a ton of bricks. Productivity came to a screeching halt. Ok, it really didn’t come to a screeching halt, I got stuff done (always do) but it didn’t feel like enough.

All day on Thursday I was a frenzied mess, frustrated that X, Y and Z never happened. Then I had a little coaching call with my Life Coaching buddy Lori and after 30 minutes, I could literally feel my chest expanding and the tension and anxiety leaving my body.

This morning was a fresh new day. I started my morning by tying up loose ends while watching the sun rise. I was catching up on emails and reading Facebook RHH B-School Group postings. Someone in the B-School Group happened to repost Marie Forleo’s Q& A Tuesday from literally a year ago. May 31, 2011.

A year later. I could say that Marie is some brilliant psychic that knew exactly what I would need a mere 365 days later (February was a leap year, right?). Ok, I wont go over board, she’s not psychic. But she did give me the spoonful of medicine that I so desparately needed. My coaching session the night before alleviated the stress I was feeling and Marie’s little reminder made me feel like I could take it all on again. It probably also helped that I am finally feeling close to 100%!

On my drive to the office, instead of turning on NPR (which has recently become a bad habit), I plugged in my Ipod and hit shuffle. Mother Love Bone>Led Zepplin>Liz Phair>Phish>Biggie Smalls>Phish>Jurrasic 5>Phish.

Yeah, it’s a good Friday.

Moral #1 of the story: YOU are ENOUGH! You’re not lazy. You’re not a slacker. You didn’t procrastinate. At a bare minimum, you are enough. In reality, you’re more than enough. You are fabulous.

Moral #2 of the story. It takes a VILLAGE. You have to surround yourself with an amazing team of cheerleaders. Your own tribe of possibility mavens, bliss purveyors and visionaries. Beings that can remind you not only how amazing you are but how much you are rockin it and making a difference.

Moral # 3 of the story. You might be superwoman. You may rock a cape. But YOU are NOT invincible. It doesn’t matter if your other half is away (no offense Hubs, she IS my non-romantic other half!), you still need to take the time for self care, and if that means serious down time, than do it! Your to-do list will still be there in the morning!

Say it out loud, inbetween songs, while rockin out to the best DJ in the world, your iPod shuffle:

I am more than enough, I am FABULOUS!

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Pinteresting Things….

Is anyone else here Pintrest obsessed?  Pintrest has made me realize how much of a DIY-slacker I have become. I was the vintage-crafty-DIY-queen when I was planning our wedding. Since then, my office/craft room has become a cluttered catch-all for homeless items. From mail to dog food to winter blankets, you name it. I need to hire my friend Tatum, the Organizta to help me figure it all out.

In the meantime, here are some pintresting things I may some day find the time to do!

This is a far in the future DIY thing. I dream of a kitchen with a chalkboard wall for healthy menu planning, to do lists, affirmations and love notes. I would just like it to be a cheery color! Until Pintrest, I thought chalkboard paint only came in black! When the Hubs and I finally buy a house in our not too distant future, one of the kitchen walls WILL be painted with this!!

DIY Chalkboard Paint

Two years ago I fell in love with a ruffle shower curtain from Anthropologie. It was white and pink and peach and absolutely dreamy. It was also over $100. Yeah, not going to happen! This week I stumbled upon a DIY Ruffle shower curtain tutorial on Pinterest! As soon as my office/craft room is cleaned up, you better believe I am breaking out the sewing machine for this puppy. If I can sew labels into 300+ shirts for LBG, I can definitely swing this thing of beauty!

Ruffled beauty. Anthropologie knock-off

If any of you are already following my Pintrest boards, you have probably noticed I have a bit of a wreath obsession. Who needs a whole board dedicated to wreaths? Apparently I do. I have no explanation for it, so I’ll blame it on my mother. My current wreath infatuation is with this living succulent wreath from Tipjunkie.com

Living Succulents Wreath

And last on the DIY Pinteresting list is a chair makeover using old men’s ties. I have an amazing dining room table that seats 8 (in storage) that my Great Grandfather made. It was my parents wedding gift in 1967. I love it. When I was a kid I used to lay on the bench and color on the underside of it with pencils and red crayons. Bad little Terra(or). My scribblings are still there. It has 4 tall backed chairs with straw seats in addition to the long bench. The straw has definitely seen better days. All I need to do is hit the Goodwill for men’s ties and I can bring them back to life!

Tie weave seat

These are definitely lofty DIY goals for someone that has 2 small businesses to run in addition to a new 9-5 job! But somewhere I AM going to fit them in!

Are you Pintrest-obsessed? Does Pintrest make you day dream in DIY?
Lets be Follow Me on Pinterest buddies! Follow me!

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It’s the FINAL Countdown

The count down is over, Rebel Race is here. I am totally intimidated and totally under-trained!  For the readers that aren’t sure what I’m talking about, Rebel Race is a mud-endurance-obstacle race. It’s a little like a mini-Tough Mudder.  Tough Mudder is on my 40 before 40 list and I have never officially taken steps to cross it off that list. Registering for Rebel Race was my first official step towards my Tough Mudder goal.

My business partner Nancy and I signed up in January with lofty goals of serious training for the race. Our follow through was not so strong.  I have been trail running and hiking 3 days a week with Stella, but I have not been strength training and this is what makes me nervous! As yogis, we develop upper body strength through chatturanga and arm balances. For me personally,  these postures are neither my strongest nor my favorite.  Not to mention the fact that I am teaching 6 less classes than I usually do and my personal practice has declined since I started “training” for Rebel Race!

Rebel Race consists of 15 obstacles spread out over a 5K (or a 15K depending on which you register for). The obstacles I am most nervous about are the Gamble with Gravity (a 180 degree rope wall climb) and The Great Wall of Rebel Race. Both involve some serious upper body strength. My upper body strength is not what it should be.

Finishing Rebel Race is going to be a rude awakening to all the training that I must do to run the Mudder. And there’s no backing out of the Mudder as my crazy friend Tracy already signed me up for the NJ race in October (to ensure that I wouldn’t back out!). The only viable excuse I could ever come up with is pregnancy. Maybe the Hubs will knock me up between now and October!

Have you ever attempted something you were totally scared of? 

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Some mornings, you just need a do-over

Most people know by now, one important factor to living a healthy life is SLEEP. Good sound, counting your sheep, beautiful dreams, REM filled sleep.  This is something I have not been getting lately. Our beautiful canine baby, Stella who was once 9 pounds snuggling between us has turned into a 67lb toddler, kicking me in the gut, sitting on my head, stretching her enormous paws straight into my cheek and occasionally chewing on my hair between the hours of 2 and 4am. Needless to say, I am not getting sound sleep.

Last night and this morning was no different. I forced myself out of bed at 8:00am (2 hours later than my norm) and I wasn’t very happy about it. It felt like I didn’t sleep a wink. My knee jerk reaction was coffee, so I brewed a cup, took a sip and realized that it was doing me no good. I should be juicing. I opened the door to the fridge to grab some beets and carrots and CRASH.

The nifty little bar that holds all the junk on the door fell off and there I stood in a mess of glass, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, coconut ginger marinade and strawberry jam. I tried to take a picture for your guys, I really did, but I was just too pissed off about having to clean the mess up before my juice, while Stella was curled up sweetly sleeping on my bed!

I propped the door open and started to clean. First I wiped down the bar, reinserted it and gently tried to close the door to continue cleaning. Apparently a head of cabbage thought differently, the bar popped off and yet again another crash of glass, this time Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.  You don’t want to know what came out of my mouth.  “I’m so *()#@#&)(*@ tired I just want a damn juice!!!”

So I learned a few things this morning.

  • Don’t keep glass objects on the refrigerator door.  It cant be trusted.
  • Large, expensive dog kennels in the bedroom are not just for bedroom decor.
  • Juice before coffee. If you still want the coffee after the juice, than treat yourself but don’t make it your go to!

Now that the kitchen is clean I am enjoying a delicious juice of beet, carrot orange and ginger on my sunny balcony pretending the kitchen condiment fiasco never happened.  Morning do-over starts now.

Beet, Carrot, Orange & Ginger