Well, here goes…

Voice-memo’s and verbally expressing myself…. absolutely.

Lists, doodling, and bullet-points… yes, please.

Forming long and vulnerable sentences and posting them publicly as a blog = meh.

So, as a part of the Scare Your Soul Challenge this weekend, I decided put my pride aside and formulate those long and vulnerable sentences and string them together in this lovely little blog post that I am posting publicly, right now.

I cringe thinking that this post has no “perfect flow” or “point”…but that is exactly why I am doing it. To test the fact that:

a) I can CHOOSE to cease the resistance to blog posting and social media sharing, and

b) that I can actually post something without it being “perfect”.

You see… my competitive soul has battled the concept of social media for ohhhhhh, a long time. Sure, I post something on Instagram daily or I share an encouraging article on Facebook, but I have been struggling with it because I feel I am “doing the same thing as everyone else.” The ironic thing is, I actually really thoroughly enjoy a lot of people’s social inspiration and personal journeys.

I AM COMMITTED TO PUTTING MY EGO ASIDE. And no, I will not snap out of it this second and it will not be some magical overnight a-ha moment, just by posting this. It will be a process. But the declaration is all that matters. Okay I am rambling. Onward.

A little snippet about me (that most all of you know) is that I THRIVE off of communication, verbalization, expressiveness, connectivity, relationships, and, of course…voice-memo’s of ALL of my thoughts and outlooks. THAT is the essence of my “extrovertism”. Everything else, contrary to popular belief, lies within my introverted, self-explorative, competitive self.

Two weeks ago, I got frustrated “writing” and tossed this post aside in hopes to find clarity to begin again. So yes, I am currently having a staring contest with my cute lil MacBook Air’s blank page.. I am ready…and willing to explore how my ego is rocking my world.

I just finished listening to an epic podcast by Ryan Hawk, where he personally got psycho-analyzed by Steven Sisler. One of the things Sisler said was the following:

“Some of the most competitive people are not competitors. They are competing against themselves. They are trying to be what they think they can be, because they are not content with what they are.”

So what does this really mean? As humans, we all crave to be significant….to soar beyond our self-induced limits. And if we don’t want that, then usually we are scared to admit that we want that.

I consider this entire self-inflicted pain, that of competing against myself. I am so hard on myself. And not for one second am I scared to admit that. I KNOW deep within my heart that this doesn’t mean I am weak. Nor does it mean that I don’t have a clue who I am. As humans, our identities are absolutely ever-evolving. BUT, at the core…..the CORE… is our soul. That soul is something that shows with our every step, our smiles, laughs, genuine friendships, supportive love and beautiful struggles. It is the essence of who we are. I personally stuff myself with the idea that I must, ought-to and should be perfect. WHATEVER that is…

I preach on how beautiful being vulnerable is, and yet, I struggle to express myself vulnerably. I almost need a bit of inspiration. I get stuck in the “needs” and I “should have’s”. So I ask myself…at what point am I going to take the needs and shoulds out, and start actually practicing what I preach?

I will tell you why. IF I admit to being in a vulnerable spot in my life, in my mind, I have failed everyone around me. All of the glorious people I coach and work with would think that I don’t have my successful world together. Really, truly. Yes, that is what my brain thinks.

So what is it that I am seeking to grasp? What is this perfect illusion that I am creating to be my only “reality”? Is the very thing that made me successful (my ability to never be satisfied) now hindering me from living a life of inner-peace and personal-satisfaction?

 I pride myself on truly knowing my soul, deep down. I value my reflection time, as it is grounding and foundational to my core. I thrive off of pure adventure with a side dish of love and significance.

So what is stopping me from letting go of what I feel I SHOULD do, have, and BE…and living the carefree life I crave? It might be time to reassess… what is MY version of success? It is such a simple question with a loaded answer.

I think the answer is in the DOING.

 

…and on that note I am going to let this blog post be, in part because I want to leave that last question to sit and simmer. Forcing any more of my thoughts to paper is the exact opposite of what I am striving to express, which, in the end, is to just begin.

 

 

 

Building Routines & Creating Structure

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PodcastBuilding Routines

WebsiteElise Gets Crafty

Topics: VULNERABILITY // POST-ATHLETIC SUCCESS // ROUTINE BUILDING // VISIONS // GOALS // PURSUIT OF SELF-DISCOVERY // TRANSITIONS // SELF-CARE // HARD-ASS REALITY!

I discuss ALL of these topics and more. Scope it, it is now posted on Elise Blaha Cripe’s Elise Gets Crafty podcast above! Enjoy you lovely creatures of habit… 🙂

What’s cookin’ with Breanne Rice?

breanne rice

A few months back, the incredible Hilary Phelps introduced me to a beautiful soul….Breanne Rice. She has moved and grooved her way to the top of the food chain (no pun intended), creating a Holistic Nutrition Consulting business — Breanne’s Holistic Health. At age 19, Breanne was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease of vitiligo, thus forcing her to take her imperfect situation turn it into her passion for natural health. Stationed in Seattle yet traveling nationwide to promote her brand, Breanne is a one-of-a-kind beauty that stands for so much more than a pretty face. This chick LOVES life. She takes it and GOES. Truly inspiring!

Sooooo, I was curious. What is a holistic nutritionist lovin’ at this very moment?!

1) Raw Artisana Coconut Butter

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2) Gimme Organic Roasted Seaweed Snacks (sea salt)

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3) Julian Bakery Paleo BEEF Protein Powder

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4) Natura Culina Regenerating Rosehip Facial Oil

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5) Lean On – Major Lazer & DJ Snake  / Hot Hands – Darius

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Yup, Hilary, you are an absolute rock star for the introduction. Stoked to call you two leading ladies role models and friends!

MIND CHATTER WITH GUY EAST

Guy East

This October, I am embarking on a trip to Rosarito, Mexico with Hope Sports Foundation to build homes with a group of other fellow Olympians! Two of my rad friends (Rebecca Soni & Kim Vandenberg- who are going to build this month) ran it by Guy to contact me, and the rest is history. So pumped. Anyway, his story was so compelling to me, that I wanted to dive into the driven mind of the elite U.S. cyclist and founder of Hope sports — GUY EAST. (see bio at bottom).

1)       Guy, you are a man with a foundation based in your holistic development. Tell me what your PURPOSE in life is now compared to when you were a professional athlete. 

As an athlete my purpose in life was to win races and make money. When I started competing I loved riding my bike but when I became a professional I no longer enjoyed riding my bike. My purpose as an athlete was to cross the line first and my existence was based on winning. Now, my purpose is to see the lives of professional athletes changed so that they reach maximum potential in sport and life. Sport is a wonderful thing and I’m competing professionally again with passion but the difference is that I no longer find my identity in my performance, even though I still love to win. 

2)       Hope Sports Foundation… wow. Props to beginning this incredible movement. What has been the most challenging aspect of creating a business?

The most challenging part of starting Hope Sports was “creating the space” and proving to people that this was a necessary piece to their program and athletes. What we’re doing is counter-cultural in professional sports. Naturally, coaches want athletes to be 100% devoted to achieving peak performance 365 days a year. That means 100% focused on self, diet, recovery, training, etc. But what we’re saying is that that is not necessarily the best way for athletes to have long lasting careers, joyful lives and achieve peak performance. What we’re saying is that once the athletes begins to see outside of the box and begins to live with greater purpose, even while competing, their performance and overall life will improve. That’s not an easy idea to sell to pro teams but it’s true.

3)       You are big on how your mind affects your performance, in both life and sport. If you had to define what “Sport Psychology” is in one sentence, what would that be in your eyes?

Sport performance is holistic, mind, body and soul. Those who do not recognize those 3 elements as vital to sport performance fail to reach maximum potential in sport and life. 

4)       What do you wish you knew as a pro athlete that you know now? Name 3 main things…can be anything personal or professional…

I’m loved regardless of whether I win or loss and regardless of whether I’m skinny or fat. 

I’m not any worse or better of a person whether I win or lose

I can keep dreaming and achieving great things after sport. Life after sport is far better than people make it out to be. 

5)       You traveled the world… where did you go and what place molded you in a way you never thought possible?

I’ve traveled to almost 50 countries, most of that has been for racing and some of that was after I retired when I traveled the world for two years serving the poor with different organizations. I have a heart for the entire Latin region from Mexico to Argentina. I love the Latin cultural and having lived in Mexico for the past 3 years and Argentina before that understanding the Latin way of life has been both challenging and exciting. If I don’t show up on time to a meeting it’s because I’m taking a siesta! 

6)       Who is your role model, and why?

My parents because they love me for who I am, not what I did. They showed their love me by investing time into my life. They traveled the world following me as I competed in various events. They didn’t care whether I won or lost, they wanted to see me do my best. They were one of the few relationships I had that was based on unconditional love. 

7)       What books have been the most influential in your life?

The Bible is the most influential book in my life, more specifically Ecclesiastes and Romans. The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and the Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl have also left significant thumb prints on my life and I would recommend those books to anyone. 

8)       Do one thing a day that scares you. Yes or no?

I take a lot of chances and I’m a bold kid. I do a lot of things out of my comfort zone each almost everyday. It’s hard to do uncomfortable things because I never know the outcome but I rarely regret it, although I always make a lot of mistakes which are great opportunities to learn.

9)       What is one quote or affirmation statement that you live by, and why? 

“A sculptor does not use a ‘manicure set’ to reduce the crude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful. To do His supreme work of grace within you, God will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be!” A.W. Tozer

God takes us, however imperfect we are and shapes us into who he wants us to be as far as we let him work in us. I love this quote and try to constantly remind myself that I am a work in progress and to keep letting God shape and mold me. 

10)   What would you like to tell the athletic youth of our generation about living a life filled not only with success in sport, but with personal intention and purpose? 

If you only pursue success in sport and that is your objective in life you’ll never find contentment. You’ll never fill the void in your life. Winning should stem from your passion for sport. If you think you need to win to feel joy, fulfilled, etc you’ll never get what you’re looking for and suddenly something will happen and one day you’ll lose everything. It’s like a house built of straw, when the storm comes it blows it down but if you build a strong foundation in your life, when the storm comes the house will remain. 

Guy is a professional track cyclist who competed on the US National Team and/or professional cycling teams since 2005. In 2009, at the peak of his career Guy saw extreme poverty while racing in Mexico City. Guy began to question his purpose in life and decided to stop racing. He sold all of his possessions and traveled the world serving the poor. After two years of serving the poor Guy decided to return to professional racing but this time combining his desire to compete and his passion to serve. Since 2012 Guy has been organizing service trips for professional and Olympic athletes to serve the poor together in Mexico. He founded Hope Sports which a nonprofit organization with the purpose of uniting athletes to bring hope to the world. Hope Sports grows out of Guy’s vision to see professional athletes live with greater purpose and a heart of service. 

Hope Sports partners with Homes of Hope in Baja California, Mexico to build homes for the poor over the course of a weekend. Homes of Hope has built 5000 homes in 16 countries over the past 25 years. 

Check out this video so you can get a feel for how incredible this is!

http://www.morethansport.org/partner/181

5 Simple Tips to Start Loving Your Body

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  1. Stop Obsessing. What we focus on… expands. It is the Law of Attraction. Be mindful of your thoughts. If you tell yourself you ARE something…well, then, you ARE. Choose wisely.
  2. Compliment Others. Stop for one second. Don’t you feel good when someone tells you, genuinely, that you look fantastic? Also, don’t you feel good when you tell someone else the same thing? Perfect. Then do it. Win-win.
  3. Stop Comparing. Comparison is the root of all heartache. By comparing yourself to others, you are telling yourself that you are not enough. Repeat after me: YOU ARE ENOUGH.
  4. Body. Language. Carry yourself with poise. Prop your shoulders back, smile, and harness that positive energy when walking and talking. By approaching life this way, you will in turn, feel yourself becoming more confident.
  5. Take a Break from Social Media.  Sure, we are all guilty of stalking the oh-so-perfect-yoga-pose Instagram accounts, or drooling over the “perfect” bodies in every fitness magazine, but do yourself a favor… disconnect from time to time. Take a few hours every Sunday to put your phone down, “forget” about perfection, and start living your life. There will always be another time to snap your own star-studded photo!

Hit The Refresh Button

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Lately, I have been feeling FAR too dependent on my phone and laptop (yes, as I am sitting here typing away). When I say dependent, let me specify…SOCIAL MEDIA dependent. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. “Following” every blog or website possible.

In addition, I am far more addicted to texting than to phone calls (with the exception of coaching calls, I almost never talk on the phone).  It is to the point where I almost feel naked without my phone. It actually bothers me to think that I have let it get to this level!

When I seek to “unwind” , it has been to internet-surfing on my laptop nearly every single night. This past week, I decided to make a change. I posted one Instagram post and one Facebook post. This is a decrease of about 6 posts per week. And guess what? I lived. AND… I feel better for it. I didn’t feel the need to sit there and browse someone else’s life, when I was busy creating and sifting through my own!

Yes, social media is a wonderful networking tool, when used correctly. And that being said, I am ALL for that type of social power!  However, when you find yourself comparing aspects of your life to the glamorous Instagram accounts out there, you may recognize that you feel a bit down on yourself. I am by no means blaming social media on anyone feeling this way, but I am sure you can think of a time when you saw something of “perfection” and jumped to a comparison thought right away as to why YOU cannot have that. I know I have to constantly remind myself, as a perfectionist, that there is no such thing as perfect. Only perception. And perception is everything. We can choose to perceive things as intangible or unattainable, or we can decide that anything is possible. We create our own version of success, and that is individual for each and every person.

Make a vow to yourself…take a few hours each week to:

a) Power OFF. Put down your phone / laptop for a few hours on a Sunday or any evening.

b) ENGAGE. Have an actual conversation with loved ones, read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, cook, or play a game.

c) Open yourself up. ACCEPT and love each and every other “account” out there for what it is and for what it offers, instead of constantly comparing yourself.

My personal promise to myself is to be fully present in each and every moment; to actually feel the real, live emotions (not e-motions); and to remember that if I genuinely love life, it will love me back. 

“To lose our connection with the body is to become spiritually homeless. Without an anchor we float aimlessly, battered by the winds and waves of life.” –Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith

Thirty (yes, “30”) Thursday

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Got home, sat down, and timed myself  (competitive….shocking?) in writing down 3o positive words that popped into my mind. No rhyme, no reason. Abstract, artistic, logical, anything. Below is the oh-so-random list….

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passion

Disney

haiku

love

peaceful

serene

confident

youthful

genuine

real

growth

breathe

namaste

laughter

passion

intuition

direction

chakra

heart

balance

adaptability

gratitude

God

nature

please

thank-you

spirit

elevate

transform

 

 

…my time? 2 minutes and 8 seconds. What’s weird? I was born at 2:08 pm, 2 days ago, in 1986 (obviously). Superstitious?! Year 28 of my life is starting out on a #positivenote.

 

 

“Savasana in Chicago”

savasanaThis morning, Linz emailed me about an “aha” moment she experienced in her yoga practice, and I felt inclined to ask her if I could share it on my blog. She gladly said yes, and so the below passage is in the voice of Lindsay and her wonderful yoga teacher.

I wanted to share with you something my yoga instructor said this morning that stuck with me.  First off, she’s rad.  She’s like CRAZY good at yoga (former dancer), AND super smart. She likes to demystify terms mentioned in yoga (her way of being creative in her own mind) – so today she said something like this:

“Leadership is not a rank. Leadership is not a position. Leadership is a decision. Leadership is a choice. It has nothing to do with your position in the organization. If you decide to look after the person to the left of you, and look after the person to the right of you, YOU have become a LEADER.”

-Simon Sinek

– Leadership