The magic of Bali and the lessons I learned

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The month of April was full of travel for me and while travel alone served me some important lessons and reminders, I felt Bali deserved a post of its own. 

First of all, Bali in itself is beautiful, but the magic it holds is just beyond beauty! It is transformative and captivating and reinvigorating and so many other things I can't even put it all into words. And wow did it change me for the better, but more about that in a bit.

Before I get into the wonderful lessons Bali taught me, I do want to mention that the one thing that tied it all together was letting the Universe handle the sitch! See, the whole reason I went to Bali was as part of the Manifestation Babe retreat that the wonderful Kathrin Zenkina was hosting for the second time.

As part of being one of her 1:1 year long clients, it was included in the price of my coaching program, but the dates (April 7-14) scared me since I was still at a 9-5. But the universe did it's thang and it just happened to be that my bosses were going on vacation around the same time and were giving me the time off. That's right, the Universe had MY back. And just by this, my trust finally went fully into the Universe and it was what I needed to prepare for this retreat. 

Now that we've gotten the big Universal lesson out of the way, let's get down to what Bali truly taught me/the epiphanies that I had whilst there:

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#1 Releasing limiting beliefs is necessary to start writing my new story

Ok so this one may seem pretty obvious and I honestly thought I'd release limiting beliefs, but boy was I WRONG! When I got to Bali, I slowly started realizing I was still holding on not only to so many fears and doubts, but limiting beliefs as well. A lot of these beliefs were *surprise, surprise* related to my childhood.

At first it was a bit of a hard pill to swallow, because here I am, building a business trying to help women heal and rediscover their self-worth, and here I am getting hit HARD with feelings of unworthiness. In a way, I think in the months before going to Bali, I had gone through the motions of releasing limiting beliefs while my ego was the one really manipulating my belief in that I was doing just that when in reality I was very much still grasping to them.

Through lots of meditation and group sessions and most importantly connecting with my higher self (more on that in a bit), I was able to really truly begin releasing my limiting beliefs as well as dig deeper for any other still lingering that I hadn't even realized I had. And now with more awareness and clarity, I am able to start writing my new story. Or rather step into my true story and rewrite the story I use to tell!

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#2 My higher self is chic AF and got me speaking my truth

Maybe you've heard the term higher self or not. When I came back from Bali, I remember trying (and not succeeding much) in explaining the term to my boyfriend (LOL). And it wasn't because I didn't know what it meant, but rather that the magnitude of the term was hard to really put into words.

So if your unfamiliar with this term that's thrown around in the spiritual "woo-woo" world, your higher self is basically the best version of yourself that's deeply tied with your soul and intuition. It's your most enlightened self that knows you better than anyone else (cuz duh, your soul knows you best). You can click here to get a better understanding. 

Anyway, through one very special meditation and exercise that Kathrin led, I finally got to see/meet/know my higher self. Basically she looked just like me (cuz she is me), but elevated to the highest level. She was dressed in this chic AF black jumpsuit, hair back in a classy chignon and oozing with radiance and confidence. She was elegant and fashion forward and such a BOSS!

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#3 High vibe tribes keep your world alive

Now I loved being able to acknowledge and truly release my limiting beliefs and meeting my Highest Self was magical, but my favorite takeaway from this retreat was getting to meet my soul sisters and (2 brothers lol). Now I know surrounding yourself with great people is super important, but as a shy(ish), socially awkward (most of the time) introvert, finding a tribe is easier said than done.

I've been craving some sort of #squad since high school, but had come to accept my lone wolf status. Thankfully at this retreat, I got just the tribe I was searching for. I mean sure, we already had an idea that we were all meditating, crystal-loving, bring on the woo individuals, but we connected much deeper than that. I mean these are women that cried in front of each other from DAY 1 and we supported each other as if we had been friends for years not hours. 

To this day, most of us keep in touch on a daily basis. We share our victories and our ego-driven maladies. We make plans with each other, either for those that live in the same city to go out for drinks or through Zoom chats for those who live in different countries. I didn't realize how much I needed a large group of high vibe women until this retreat, cuz while we all have our close friends, what we experienced together is the closest bond to sisterhood I could find!

Seriously this trip was one I will have in my heart for the rest of life. Yes, I could have learned all these lessons at home or anywhere else in the world, but like I said Bali had this super magical pull! I've always said that Barcelona (my favorite city) had my heart, but I believe Bali holds my soul! 

Light + Love,

Astrid

P.S. Here is a video Kathrin's Team created of the retreat. She is hosting one again soon :)

Choosing Intentions vs Resolution

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Hey lovelies, so we are a little over a month into the year and I really wanted to talk about resolutions today. I have a feeling that if you're anything like who I was a few years ago, around the New Year, you wrote out a long list of resolutions to keep for 2018. And I'm also pretty sure that by now,  most of you have probably started to break those resolutions or just plain given up on them. Worst yet, you already feel like you have failed for the year. But I'm about to tell you something a bit controversial.

That list of resolutions you made. THROW IT AWAY!! Yeah that's right, I want you to get rid of it. Rip it up. Light it on fire. Whatever you do, just destroy the list. And it's not because I don't believe in setting goals for the year or think the purpose behind resolutions is dumb, this all has more to do with mindset and using language to put you in the best position to accomplish what you want.

Now that you've gotten rid of your resolutions list, I want you to start an intentions list. But first let me back up to what inspired this post. Since 2017, I have focused on a word for the year rather than a list of resolutions and my word for 2018 is Alignment. So in following with what felt in alignment with me at the beginning of the year, I decide to sign up for a membership at my favorite hot yoga studio, CorePower Yoga. During my first class of the year, my teacher, Emily (hey, girl!), introduced the idea of setting intentions rather than resolutions. And wow did that resonate with me.

See, she explained how the origin of resolution came from the word resolve which makes it seem like we are trying to fix a problem. If you think about most people's resolutions, they are pretty personal so essentially what we are telling ourselves is that we have to fix ourselves or more dramatically that there is something wrong with us. That makes this whole yearly processes kinda depressing and negative no? While here we are thinking oh we are going to set a resolution to improve and be awesome. Now, you might be thinking, but it's just a word, we don't honestly think that we have a problem or need fixing, but the truth is that language can tell a lot of how we feel subconsciously.

Intention on the other hand has more to do with determination and purpose and even relates to healing. Wouldn't you rather heal and grow then fix a problem that's well not really a problem. Intention feels more accepting and tolerable of mistakes and essentially just trying your best while resolution feels more unforgiving and like once you've failed, well that's it, game over. 

So today, I invite you to be kind to yourself, show yourself some love and set intentions. Plus think about it, with intentions, you can set one each day because everyday is a new day, while a resolution is so cemented in the idea of only being  set once a year. 

I'd love to know if this resonates with you so please feel free to share what you think in the comments below, or you can always send me a quick email :)

Love, Astrid

P.S. I'm hosting a webinar this Thursday, February 15th and one on Sunday, February 18th discussing this a bit further! Would be happy to have you join, just click the link of the date that works best for you :)

My 3 Meditation Must-Haves

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If you've read my story, you know that meditation has become quite a big part of my life this past year. While I don't do it daily (though I should, tsk, tsk), I do notice I have a better day when I do.I use to think I'd never be able to meditate because my mind often goes a million miles per minute, plus I always had the misconception that meditation was being completely silent and had to be done for a long time– wrong!

Seeing that I, over thinker numero 1, have learned to meditate and that it's actually easier than I use to think, I wanted to share my top 3 must-haves for my mediation time – AND they are actually quite affordable and simple!

1. The Headspace App -

Let's start with the easiest step to meditation, the Headspace App! Honestly this app for me was life-changing. It does have a premium option, but I just got the FREE version and it works just as great (IMHO). And it also only takes 10 minutes so you can do it in the morning before work, during your lunch hour (what I often did) or just before bed. It's really so fuss-free!

2. Crystals-

This past year I've also gotten a lot into crystals and their healing powers. I'm not the biggest expert on them, but I had been curious about them after seeing one of my favorite YouTubers as well as other people I follow on Social Media boast about them. I am lucky to have a few crystal stores near me such as Spellbound Sky (my fave) and House of Intuition but if you don't have a crystal shop in your area, there are so many to choose from online. Just scroll through Instagram under #crystals and you're sure to find a lot. 

Some of my favorite crystals to meditate with are rose quartz, amethyst, red jasper, smoky quartz and bloodstone, to name a few. I usually will just hold them in my hands while I mediate or set them in my lap. You can also place them on your body if you lay down and correspond them to the chakra you're trying to heal. When choosing your crystals however, the most important part is that you're drawn to them. I'm still a crystal newbie, but again there are so many sources out there if you'd like to learn more. A good one is Crystal Vaults.

3. Essential Oils -

Last but not least are essential oils. I truly love them. I will admit that I mostly use Young Living EOs since I signed up as a distributor to get a discount so if you click the link, just be aware that it does link to my YL page. However, I've also used Aura Cacia and NOW oils and have loved them just the same.

More times than not, I will diffuse the oils in my diffusor, which i keep on my bookshelf, since I believe scent is such a powerful tool for mediation. But from time and time I will apply them to my wrists or any other area that oils is meant to help like my temples for when I have migraines and use M-grain.

My all time favorite oil is Lavender! I use that shit on and for EVERYTHING from helping me chill after a long day to helping me sleep to just wanting to smell so good. I seriously will go crazy for anything lavender. 

Like I said, meditation can actually be quite easy peasy. The key is to start small and make it your own. If you only have a minute or can only stand still enough to do a minute, start there and work your way up. Are there any must-haves you have for your meditation practice?

Lavender + Amethyst, Astrid

 

Makeup (or Lack thereof): A Form of Self-Care

 
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I've always seen makeup as a form of self-expression, but lately I've also been thinking of how it can serve as a form of self-care. I know, I know, it may not seem like the most obvious connection, but hear me out.

Often times, as women, we are told that we are putting makeup on for someone else, be it to look good for friends, but usually people tease that it's for a guy ( *huge eye roll* ). But honestly, the truth is we wear makeup for ourselves. We are self-conscious creatures in a society that pays a lot of attention to looks and well we want to feel good in this society. It may not mean we don't feel beautiful already, we just want to feel fabulous or bring attention to our favorite features.

And it really is as simple as that. We want to look good for ourselves and this in itself defines self-care. We take care of ourselves by making ourselves feel good on how we look on that day. Especially on days we are feeling blah, we may whip out and swipe on that red lipstick that makes us feel like a powerhouse or that mascara that helps us look awake so we don't feel people are staring at us like we are zombies. So if we really think about it, makeup is a self-care and self-love boost. But it doesn't mean that we don't feel beautiful without all the priming.

Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful
— Sophia Loren

In fact, lack of makeup is also a form of self-care and self-love. The most obvious reason is that it is a form of accepting ourselves as we are, but I think it can go deeper than that. I myself don't usually wear make up to work (I'm a nanny, so better not to leave makeup on the baby lol). But it's not just because I don't necessarily feel I NEED to wear makeup but honestly it's because I'd rather sleep for a bit longer. 

I mean how is that not self-care, sleeping, I mean. It's probably one of the things we get the least of and leave at the bottom of the self-care list. But yes, plain and simple, not wearing makeup allows us to sleep in and that's just the best! But besides that, you are also acting in the mindset of self-care in the fact that you're letting your skin breath, therefore, you are showing it love. 

In the end, whatever you choose, makeup or sans makeup, you do you, boo! You are beautiful no matter what you choose. But no matter what please remember the SPF, you want to love your skin but also protect it ( I sound like my mother lol). I'm curious, which do you choose and do you agree with makeup (or lack thereof) being a form of self-care?

Love + Beauty, Astrid