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The Power of our Words

Jamieson Van Loan

Last week I discussed the power of thought. The idea that your thoughts are essentially the canvas for your day-to-day life. The other, and easily as critical, factor that is an extension of thought, is the power of our words.

I have touched on this before, but we tend to forget how powerful our words are. Just like the thoughts you put out into the universe help create the world around, words are also generators within our existence.

First of all, think about your words and how they affect others. You can use your language to create love in someone’s life, to make them happy, to make them sad, to help, to hinder, to make them feel secure, to shame, to hurt them, to cause pain, to cause joy, to heal, etc. Your words have a direct impact on the people around you. Essentially your words have the power to uplift the people around you or destroy them.  How insane is that power? You can alter someone’s entire path through your words. 

I once read an article about imagining your words as either bullets or seeds. If your words are hurting someone or dragging them down or condemning them or negatively criticizing them, your words are bullets. They are destructive. If your words are seeds and they are showing support and creating a nurturing world with others, they are constructive. Speak seeds, not bullets.

Our goals as humans should be to raise our language. Not in an ostentatious manner but in a demonstrative way.  We should be constantly promoting the well-being of ourselves and others. Building up, not tearing down.

Imagine the world without language (anyone seen the movie, “A Quiet Place”? Watch it!) and how difficult it would be to make human connection. How are you using language to connect with the world?

But what about language and how it pertains to you? To your mindset?  To your goals?  

There is an energy factor behind your words. Imagine how you feel when you’re around your best friend and you’re chatting and laughing. The energy that exudes from the shared language between you is positive and almost palpable. When you are in a difficult situation and the verbiage becomes negative, your energy level drains.

This energy is what hides behind intention. We must harness the energy that comes from our words, from our connections, to create the intentions that we set forth in our day.

How are you going to approach the world today? With love? With stress? With frustration? With truth? With kindness  & compassion?

The energy we put towards our linguistic construct is quintessentially our character, the basis for our true selves. So the way we language is a critical part of how the world views us. This is why honesty is always the best policy. What you speak, speaks volumes of your character.

Keep this in mind for when you speak to yourself. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Self love is the most important love. 

With our words setting our daily intentions, we can then begin to verbalize our goals, our dreams and set them into motion. It is vital to have full faith in your words. To truly believe that what you say will indeed manifest. Manifestation through language is just as powerful as manifestation through the mind. Believe in your thoughts and words and the rest will follow.
 
My bottom line: 

Always speak the truth. Always speak with consistency. Try to avoid gossiping or wasting time on verbal trivialities. Speak to create positivity around you. Speak with intention. Speak with love and respect. Be effusive with your language. It will create a positive space for you and for those who enter your universe.

Namaste xo
 

~

The Power of Positive Thought

Jamieson Van Loan

Steve Jobs' “think different” campaign was beyond just a marketing strategy. He created a culture where thinking outside of the box was encouraged and fanciful ideas became reality. Besides the innovation side of this, the literal aspect is what made Steve Jobs a great leader. He chose to turn his thoughts into reality.

This idea that our thoughts can hold the immense power to create and to manipulate the universe around us is not novel. But it something that we tend to forget during our daily rituals.

Our thought paths are the derivative of our emotions. Our emotions in turn direct how we move and interact throughout our day. Therefore our thoughts are the basis for our general wholeness and mental well-being. If the thought groundwork we are laying leans towards the negative, our days tend to turn out that way. We are overwhelmed, stressed out, irritable, etc. If you wake up on the “right” side of the bed and your mental state gravitates towards the positive side, your days tend to be lighter and more at ease.

It is human nature to blame exterior influences on our moods and behavior. But how often do you look within to correct your circumstances? The power our thoughts can have over mood and behavior is extraordinary. It does not need to be reiterated how important the power of positive thinking is but I do think it does need be a daily reminder in our lives to ACTUALLY practice this.   
 
There are days (I’ve had about four this week alone) where my positive day hits a negative wall. My younger self would dwell and sink into the negativity. My current self chooses to meditate, to realize that what is currently happening is impermanent and therefore the anxiety that rises up inside of me is not worth the fluctuating situation. I have to constantly be aware of how my thoughts are shaping my reactions and to actively choose to not go down negative rabbit holes. It is not easy, but the more I do it, the more accessible it has become.

Try it. Force yourself to realize that what is happening is both these things 1) literally not the end of the world and 2) not going to exist or matter at some point.

This does not detract from the pain of loss or the realities of a harsh world. There are moments in life that alter us and our mental states forever. I acknowledge that. But during the moments of being broken open is where we find the most growth.

So here is the thing, if Steve Jobs can literally take the thoughts in his brain and turn them into tangible success, why aren’t we all doing that? What is holding us back? Is it the fear of failure? Rejection? Fear, doubt and rejection are the repellents of life’s abundance. You need to squash those nasties in their tracks.   

How can we use the power of our positive thoughts and harness them into reality?

Stripping away the negatives and focusing and keeping the faith in what you truly want and deserve in life is the first step. Being hyper aware of your goals and following through mentally and with action is the next step. It requires vigilance and conviction. Stay positive, even when you find no reason to. Do not quit on yourself.

Remember this: we are the creators of our universe. You have a choice in who you spend your time with, you have a choice in how you interact with the world, you have a choice in your career, where you live, how you self-care, how you self- love, what makes you happy, etc. These choices all begin and end in your mind so be wary of how you wield that power. Use it to create a more beautiful and happy world around you.

Namaste xo

Own your regrets and move on...

Jamieson Van Loan

We all have regrets in life. Even those of us who think they don’t, they do. I used to be that person who always said “I regret nothing- everything in my life has brought me to this exact moment in time, precisely where I should be.” And that is true. To an extent.

All of the beautiful moments, the hardships, the tears, the laughter, the right or wrong decisions have brought you to this specific space. And I’m hoping this email finds you in a gloriously grateful space this morning.

But there are also moments in life we wish we could re-do or articulate in our best manner. You know these moments. When you’re brash and impulsive and say or do things without truly thinking it through. Last week, I was infuriated with my bank because my account information was stolen and abused for the second time in three months. I yelled. I lost my shit. I was a lesser and, quite frankly, embarrassing version of myself.

This is why apologies exist. Saying “I’m sorry” is owning your regret. It is saying, I behaved in a manner beneath me and I wish I hadn’t caused you to feel that way, please accept these words as acknowledgement of my deep regret.

The most important part of an apology is to know it’s true starting point. Are you apologizing for self relief or relieving the pain of the victim? To apologize in order to alleviate your guilt or just throw a band aid on a situation is not a true apology. When you use the powerful words, “I am sorry” your gesture must come from the purest and most vulnerable part of you. True apologies are never easy. They require humility.

And yes, I did apologize to my bank peeps.

Now do we have to constantly live with or analyze our regrets? Heck no! That does nothing for true living and staying present. But it also does not make you less of your amazing self to admit to regrets and wrongdoings. Admitting to and owning them followed by a retraction or apology and then releasing and letting go completely, is the healthiest way forward.

People who say they live without regrets are possibly better equipped to compartmentalize their wrong choices but more accurately, they probably create a dissonance between actual reality and personal reality.

 Actual reality is the current state without outside biases. Perceived or personal reality is the current state through your own projections.

We see the world as we want to see it. So if telling ourselves that we have no regrets is what our defensive mechanism or ego needs for survival or happiness, so be it. 

My point to all this is to take ownership of your poor choices or behaviors in life, apologize for them and move on. Quickly. Do not let issues linger. Do not shove them under your secret regret rug. This life is made all the better by finding the courage to be humble and own your mistakes. This brings you the freedom from the past and the ability to be more present. And being more present should always be your ultimate goal. 

Are you absorbing life’s lessons?

Jamieson Van Loan

There is a quote I posted on social media that said “anything that annoys you is teaching you patience. Anyone who abandons you is teaching you to stand up on your own two feet. Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion. Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back. Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love. Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome your fear. Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go."

The evolved within us knows all this. The question is: are we actually paying attention to it? Are we being cognizant of the signs and lessons around us?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting someone who completely changed my mindset in life. It is strange when you’re actively pursuing a certain mindset and someone can automatically spark that shift within you. It feels like the universe is speaking to you. This person was in my life for a blink of a moment, but they made me realize how much I was truly lacking. I had forgotten about this momentous person inside of me who valued laughter, joy and fun. It was not that my life did not include those imperatives; it was that I was prioritizing my work over everything else. I prioritize work over my sleep, over my friends, over my social life, over my family, over honestly, all the things that matter the most at the end of the day. To look back on my past post about “what would you do if today was your last day on earth”- I was spending mine working. If I was hit by a bus later today, would my last thoughts be about not emailing that person back or regretting that I hadn’t spent more time with the important factors in my life. I am going to assume the latter.

It is not always easy to be hyper aware of the lessons in life. We are in such a tight hamster wheel of precision and routine that when there are moments of fluster or aggravation, we tend to just follow the emotions. But when we step back and realize that those moments that deter our constant are truly there to push us in a forward motion, we actually grow. My most literal and daily attribute to this is how I am constantly getting stuck behind the slowest drivers. Now most humans would be ok with this, but I am not one of those humans. I tend to be in a rush and wondering why the person in front of me is going eight miles slower than the speed limit, which is actually 15 miles slower than the rest of society. Through deep breathes and self-awareness, I realize that this person is really here to teach me to be patient and that life is not a constant state of rushing (albeit I am normally missing a train to nyc at this point). It has made me grow, evolve.

Every single time I am bothered by someone else’s influence in my life, I take deep breaths and ask myself, “what are they here to teach me?”

There has yet to be an answer that has not rung true for all aspects of my life. I am so grateful to the person who reminded me that fun and laughter is crucial to my purest existence. I am so grateful to the slow drivers for reminding me of my need for patience. I am so grateful to all the people who have made me explore my inner self in order to happen upon some beautiful discovery.

Remember this:
Without exploration, there is no discovery.

My takeaway this week is that we need to be grateful for the people who force us outside of our comfort zones. The people who rile us up or upset us or anger us or frustrate us, they are the people who compel us to hone our reactions and delve deeper into our personas. Be grateful for all of it. These encounters, although not always positive, create a crater of experience that can only be filled with wisdom.

To give of yourself...

Jamieson Van Loan

I am a giver. Of all things. I give completely to my friends and family. I share openly and candidly about my life. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I listen wholeheartedly and give good (hopefully!) advice. I would give the shirt off my back to a stranger if it would enhance their day. I find joy in being available to help others and would bend over backwards for the people in my tribe.

Being a giver is a part of my essence. It feeds my soul. Cooking for people is an extension of this. I am at my happiest when I bring joy to other people’s lives. What I did not realize is that being a giver in life is not always positive. It means I’m not great with taking.

It has taken me years to truly accept compliments. I cannot ever put myself before others. I'd sacrifice my own needs to fulfill theirs. I am not good at asking for help. I find it difficult to accept gifts from others. My automatic mental response is what can I do for them in return? Just this past year has been the first time I’ve ever accepted friends buying me lunch or dinner, without my need to plan my immediate reciprocation.

More importantly, it means I am not good when people don’t give back. When I give my all, I expect a version in return.

This is where the lessons begin.

No one ever needs to meet you where you stand. Ever. Remember that next time you’re feeling hurt by someone. They do not need to understand your thought process or reach out to you as much as you do to them. They are following their own heart and mind. You cannot fault someone for not caring in the same capacity that you do. This does not mean the person doesn’t care; it only shows distinctions in our mode of export.

Is it amazing when they do? Yes. Completely. But seeking anger for someone not sharing your views and/or characteristics solely hurts you. 

For those of you like myself, there is a rare moment when the people we care and give to are unsure of where they stand in our lives. For those of you unlike myself, I would vouch that vulnerability is not at your core and you express your love (giving is at its essence an expression of love) for someone in variety of ways but you are not shouting it from the proverbial mountaintop. 

The problems arise when a giver and, for lack of a better term, a taker cannot figure out how to frame their relationship. It is not easy. I’ve had and still have plenty of takers in my life. My job is not to fault them for not aligning with my practices but to show them love without the prerequisite of reciprocation. Being self aware enough to understand that I am choosing to give with zero expectations of mutuality is no easy feat. It requires serious mental work.

My initial (and immature) thought process was “how can people not think exactly how I do?” I spend majority of my life checking in with loved ones and making sure my tribe is happy and if they aren’t, what can I do to improve that? Isn’t this the BEST way to be?!

The answer is: no, nay, nah. 

This is just the best way for me to be. It is my authentic self. I cannot judge others for not being or thinking the way I do.

How often does this question creep into your head: what were they thinking?! Or why didn't they do XYZ? 

Stop yourself right there. There is nothing to be gained by going down this rabbit hole. It is a judgment zone and only creates a negative mental state. 

To stave away from this state you have to constantly remind yourself that your choices are yours and yours alone. If you choose to give your all to another, that is only on you and there is no guarantee for reciprocation. 

If we could all be aware of our differences and respect them, even if we do no agree with them, we would all benefit.

Regardless if you are a giver or taker, life is about acknowledging said differences and accepting them as a part of the whole.

And please, for the sake of all stop saying things like "well I did this, therefore I expected.." Stop expecting. You are only hurting yourself. 

To be open enough to give of yourself is a beautiful thing but to be smart enough to take and really accept what the universe happily hands over is an awakening. 

Be the balance. Be a giver and a taker. 

If this is your last...

Jamieson Van Loan

Last week I went to three Paul Simon concerts in a row! I am such a superfan and I couldn't let him retire without seeing him as much as I could. His music has been such a strong force in all chapters of my life. Needless to say, it was amazing but I could sleep for a week straight right about now. 

During one of the shows, I started thinking about how he must be feeling. To spend your whole life following your passion and one day, even if by choice, it comes to an end. The bittersweetness of this seemed palpable towards the end of the shows. It got me thinking about how this was the last (of 103!) time he will play Madison Square Garden and this is the last time he will sing this song to tens of thousands of screaming fans. I cannot imagine it was easy for him. 

I began to mentally apply this to my life. What if this is my last time attending a concert at MSG? What if this is the last time I get to hang out with my gal pal? What if this is the last time I eat a NYC hot dog with the works (yea that happened)? What if, what if, what if...

Duh. We all know that we should live life to its fullest and be grateful and the whole she-bang but are we really practicing this? 

When your kids aren't listening in the morning and you're running on fumes and the bus is about to arrive and they can't find one shoe and you want to run away to a remote island solo...are you really telling yourself, gosh darn it- this is amazing and I'm so grateful?! Prolly not. And that is ok. You are human. But how can you reinforce the gratitude during moments that are stressing you out? 

The vicissitudes of daily life will always throw a wrench into our gratitude practices. Refocusing our mindset during those moments is how we build our self-awareness and minimize negative reactions. 

So do we actually implement this? 

1) Begin to truly recognize negative reactions and feelings when they arise. Be aware of how your body feels in that moment. Speaking for myself, when I get angry or upset, I feel a tightness in my chest. Now that I am hyper-aware of that physical condition, I can validate the emotion and tell myself, "This is how you feel in this moment but it will pass. It is just an emotion and not reality."

Have you realized this? That emotions, although they feel extremely real, are not reality. They are fluid mental states that can alter at any given moment. Do not let them own you. 

2) If you've been suckered into the negative realm, taking deep breaths is key. Before responding to the situation, begin taking deep and long breaths. I like to count to five on the inhale and eight on the exhale. It naturally calms your body and the counting distracts you from rash choices. 

3) Ask yourself this: will this current situation have any serious bearing in my future life? If your kid misses the bus and you're upset that you now have to drive him or her, what are the chances you'll even remember this moment in a year? The answer should be: zero!

Do not let trivialities affect your mood. 

4) Find compassion for yourself. In those moments where you react in a way you're not proud of, forgive yourself and move on. Do not dwell on situations that cannot be changed. It is so easy to over analyze and beat yourself up, but it literally leads no where! Stop analyzing, own the situation, apologize (sincerely) if you need to and move forward. 

5) Start your day with gratitude. I personally have a gratitude journal. I write at least three things I'm grateful for before I leave my bedroom. This, combined with my morning meditation, prompts me to begin my day on the right path. 

6) I am a firm believer in meditation. I try to be as diligent as I can with my practice but sometimes a week will go by and I have to reset my meditation motivation. It helps create inner peace and raises your frequency. Even if meditation seems too woo-woo for you, there is zero harm in trying it. Give it a whirl. 

Now even with these suggestions, will you move forward being a gratitude junkie who is cognizant enough to live each moment like it could be your last? Prolly not. Like I said earlier, we are human and we are flawed. But these tools will begin to set you on a better path. Once you become more conscious of your actions and have a heightened awareness of appreciation, your mindset will shift.

Mindfulness always pays off. 

The question now is, are you going to live today like it could be your last?
Or better yet, your first. 

Vulnerability is the conduit for connection..

Jamieson Van Loan

A friend, client and mentor just gave me my first Dr Brené Brown book! Muchas gracias, Christine! I have yet to crack it open (my bedside reading stack is bananas!!) but I have listened and recently re-listened to her TED Talk on vulnerability.

Vulnerability is defined as the state of being exposed to possible harm, whether physical or emotional. 

True, but it is so much more. Being vulnerable is allowing yourself to be broken open without fear of the consequences. It takes great courage. We spend our lives taking our negative experiences and building a barrier around our souls, our hearts and emotions in order to protect us from those failures and that knowing pain. Being open to really moving through those negative moments and the lows of life with a true awareness is what brings evolution. It opens us up to newness and growth. This is why keeping vulnerability by your side is crucial.

We all need to more vulnerable. We need to dive in and swim deep in her waters. We need to appreciate the gifts the universe gives us and realize that opening our hearts up wholly and fully is the only way intense deep connections can be made. We were put on this planet to foster connections. We exist for the bond between two hearts.

Keeping up your barriers causes disconnect and separation. Vulnerability is about lowering those walls we have built around us. Guarding the beautiful (and not so beautiful) parts of yourself keeps connection at bay. Vulnerability is about making human connections regardless of the consequential fear.

And I get it. We have all been through trauma. We all have reasons to put up protective walls. Acceptance of past disappointments is the very first step to becoming vulnerable. Understanding that vulnerability, although soaked in negative connotation, is one of the most necessary emotions and actions in our lives. 

Imagine if someone didn't take the vulnerable risk to hold your hand or cross a room to talk to you or ask for your phone number or offer you a hug or pick up a phone to call you or ask you to coffee or best yet, say "i love you", where would your life be right now? 

Vulnerability is also the courage to be authentically you. You do not need to fear not being accepted. You do not need to fear judgment. Judgment and a lack of acceptance is another soul’s issue, not yours. To own your beautiful self, to truly love yourself and be comfortable enough to share that with the world is pure freedom. We all wear masks at different points of our lives, or even throughout the day. It’s natural. But if you can allow yourself to be a little more accepting of your authentic self and a little less worried about the world accepting you, you will be a great deal more happy.

I promise. Life is too short to not be your authentic self. 

Being vulnerable is accepting your flaws as your uniqueness and not being afraid to show all those shades of color to another human. Being a more accepting human and creating a secure space for your tribe to be vulnerable is also a part of your human occupation.  

Bottom line: your goal this week is to be more vulnerable. To let your guard down and let the love in. Allow these connections to feed your soul. You deserve it. We all do. 

Do you trust yourself?

Jamieson Van Loan

I was always the person who listened to their gut. I can sense people's energies or vibrations, if you will, and I always know right away if we will be true friends or not. I can sense people's real emotions (which isn't always the one they are emoting) and know how to cater to their needs. I always knew in my gut what the best decision was for my work. I made decisions quickly and typically without regret. I knew myself and what was best for me.  I used to trust in my intuition implicitly. 

Keywords: used to

We all have heard the lines "listen to your heart" "follow your inner voice" "trust your gut" but what if that voice inside of you is sending you mixed signals? 

As life is constantly throwing us curve balls, I have had to take a step back from this implicit self-trust. I have been in this strange headspace where I am aware of what (I think) my gut is saying and I have to really evaluate where that conversation is coming from. Am I projecting? Is it based on bias? Is it based on personal history? Is it my ego?

What I have realized is that whenever I am in a grand evolution, my intuition can be faulty. I am in between the past and the future me and my gut sometimes doesn't have time to catch up. It does not help if you have made some gut-based decisions and they have turned out tragically wrong. Boy, does that put you in a headspin?!

Your intuition is constantly self-protecting you. And it damn well should! It keeps your vulnerability at bay and only allows situations to be beneficial to you. It is your fiercest guardian. 

But when you are transitioning or going through difficult situations in life-whether this be with work, relationships, personal growth, etc- how can you refine your intuition to be more accurate? This is what I have been struggling with.

How can I trust myself again?

Personally, it has taken a great deal of self-awareness. I question myself and the basis for my feelings. Are they real and accurate or are they based on my imagination running wild? Typically anytime my gut is wrong, I have been following the latter. And that is ok! We all do it. We all only truly see the world through our own eyes. This means our experiences, our positive and negative pasts, influence how we think and react. It is human nature. But sometimes we have to be bigger than that. We have to sift through our historical biases and realize what our gut is honestly preaching. Realizing that your gut is the teeny tiny voice inside of you rather than the one bombarded by skeptical questions and influenced by experiences and outsiders; that stark voice is the one you listen to.

I am learning to trust myself again. I am realizing that my past mistakes have only carved out a more beautiful soul. I have stopped beating myself up over wrong decisions. I am welcoming a new version of me, one where I can trust myself wholeheartedly again. It is not easy. For anyone who has been in my situation and understands that question of  "why the heck did I do that?", please know that you are in good company. It is healthy to question your intuition. It creates more self-awareness and opens up a honest personal dialogue that urges the growth to your next great evolution.

On the other hand, be grateful for the little voice, that defender of your soul. It is your greatest peronal resource. 

Flatliner vs Rollercoaster

Jamieson Van Loan

Do you ever feel like you're in a constant state of talking about the weather and the more mundane things in life because people are polite and the idea of getting deep and dirty with a stranger is too vulnerable for most? 

Well, I do. And most of the time, I do not mind it. It's the socially acceptable philosophy to small talk, but sometimes you meet someone and they dive right in and you're like woah, me gusta. It is lovely when people have a grasp on ego and vulnerability and take it to the next level from the beginning. Try it sometime, open up deeply to a stranger you vibe with. It may welcome a new friend to your tribe. 

Recently I met someone such as this and besides being extremely interesting and having a wonderful insight on the positive side of life, he taught me about his philosophy on rollercoasters and flatliners.

Que pasa, you ask? Well so did I. 

It is the concept that there are two people in the world, those that rollercoaster through stressful moments and those that flatline. If you are someone who reacts (or overreacts) when life is throwing you curveballs, you're a rollercoaster. The rest of you who stay fairly level-headed and maintain course during trying times, you're a flatliner.
I love this idea and terminology. 

Honestly, as much as I'd like to think of myself as a flatliner, I am most certainly a rollercoaster. With meditation, yoga, therapy and my other self care rituals, I have become much more flatlined in response to drama. And maybe it's the Gemini in me, but the desire to respond to drama and vent feels intrinsic, almost necessary. 

Here is where I am dead wrong. 

It is a choice. 

This past week has certainly been filled with a LOT of ups and downs. Deliveries didn't go as expected, orders got mixed up and I did the best that I could with what the universe was serving me. There were moments where I wanted to export my stress, mostly by venting, ie complaining. But how is that serving me? Does it feel great to get things off your chest? Of course, I get it. And there are certain people who are available to be that sounding board for you. But on the whole, all the complaining or overreacting to stress is doing NOTHING but hurting you. 

Besides the negative health repercussion of elevated levels of cortisol (the hormone released when you're stressed, cure/shameless plug: Maikana's adaptogen superblends), you're also creating a barrier to a more positive life. 

Negativity breeds negativity. 

Here is your goal this weekend: every time your kids or spouse or work or life are driving you crazy and you want to respond by heightening the situation, I want you to pause. Take a deep breathe. Take ten of them. Remind yourself of all the love you're surrounded by. And choose not to be a rollercoaster. Choose to flatline. 

This choice will change you for the better. 

The Power of Words

Jamieson Van Loan

As you all know, my life revolves around podcasts. Recently, I listened to one that discussed a multitude of self awareness and improvement ideals but what I took away from it was his theories on the power of our words.

We are constantly in conversation and it would be unlikely if every single word out of our mouths were the truth. There are the more mendacious types and then there are those like me: someone who lives and breathes honesty, sometimes to my own detriment. There could arguably be a third group of people who believe they are the forthright type but in reality (just not theirs) they are not. But even with the most honest of humans, we are still very loose with our language. 

In the podcast he gives the example of being on time. We tell a friend we will meet them at 2pm or we have a restaurant reservation that we made and agreed upon at 7pm. Now if we do not show up on time, even if we are just five minutes late, it is us going against our own word. If our word is our bond, then it should be with all things, large or small. If you are willing to break something as tiny as a restaurant reservation, then why wouldn't you be just as willing to break the larger vows in life? 

The linguistic construct he defines is that our subconscious is built around our conversations in the world and if we aren't being true to our own language, to the own power of our words, then we most likely aren't being completely honest within our deeper consciousness. This in turn dictates what the universe gives us. 

Bottom line: be accountable for what you say. Be precise with your choice of language. Follow through. Own it if you do not. The tiniest of sentences to the grandest of dreams are all manifested in our language and actions. Honor your words! 

The yin & the yang of it

Jamieson Van Loan

A couple nights ago, I saw a musical called Waitress. When the movie first came out, I remember renting it from the Darien library and the second it ended, I restarted it. I was drawn to it. The story is about a woman, a waitress, whose life has not gone the way she expected and even with all the wrong turns she finds the strength to stand strong and change her path.

Besides the obvious beauty of the story line, I have always felt a connection to this idea that life may not always be cracked up to what it’s supposed to be but we are all a-ok. If we all took stock of our lives, how often are we in awe of how perfect it’s turning out?

I will speak for myself and say, rarely is my life turning out as I thought it would. And the shocking part of this is that I would not change one damn part of it. I’ve had glimpses of the perfection. I’ve lived many chapters of complete happiness and as much as I loved those moments and am grateful for them, there was no room for growth.

Lessons in life are learned or better yet, forced upon us, in the shadows of life. We expand in the darkness. We cannot know the beauty of happy without going through the struggle. 

I was once told that I’m too complicated of a person. Sadly, I believed them. That the chaos of my shadows and light were overwhelming. It took a long time to dig myself out of that gaslit generalization. I had to live through an unexpected dark period of my life to grasp that the depths of my persona are beautiful layers of experience and emotion. The idea of trading that chaotic beauty for a simple shallow existence is now laughable to me.
Now.
But I had to trudge through the raw dark space to truly appreciate the light and goodness inside of me. The dichotomy of those two worlds exist within me. I appreciate the light and layers because the dark lives there also. One cannot exist without the other.

Our lives are transient. Remember that when we are in perfect moments of our lives, there will be an equal moment of sadness and struggle. And that is ok. It is necessary. But we move through both states and come out stronger and more powerful because of it. Your chaos is a beautiful thing.

There is a song in Waitress called "She Used To Be Mine" that I’ve always loved and one line in it is “she is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie”. That is all of us. We are all a jumble of experiences walking around just trying to make real connections. 

Needless to say, if Waitress is on your to-do list, get on it. The premise is moving and real. It is a reminder that the doldrums of life are met, equally, with joy.

Oprah's Hell

Jamieson Van Loan

I once heard in an Oprah podcast that her idea of hell is being shown everything that you could have done in your life had you only tried. Think about this for a moment. Every time you were like "eh, maybe this isn't for me" or "nah, I don't want to attempt that" or just said "nope, no chance", you may have added something to your list of Oprah's vision of hell. What paths could have opened or been altered had you tried at something you were unsure about? Something you quit too early? Or felt too scared to pursue? What would be on your list? 

A lot of people tend to be in awe of the fact that I am an entrepreneur. To the more risk averse types, I am an anomaly. To me, it seems completely normal to forge my own path and create a life of passion and joy. I honestly could not imagine a life where I was not doing this. Is it terrifying? Constantly. Do I feel unsure all the time? Duh. Am I questioning what the heck I am doing with my life? Yes, but doesn't everyone? But do I feel alive and happy? YES!!!

I can say that I am now at a point in my life, due to many circumstances outside of my control (yet another life lesson), that I now say YES to most anything. I do not let life pass me by and I do not add things to my "if I had only tried" list. I take risks. I am constantly trying to shed the skin of what I SHOULD be and how I SHOULD act (who dictates these things anyway?!). I am actively working on being my own true self. I am letting my freak flag fly and I am letting go of the notion that I should care what others think about that. It is none of my damn business! I spent years being boxed into what was expected of me and worried about how I appear to the outside world. Now, excuse my French, I give ZERO f*cks. I am enough. As is. 

Life is too short to be controlled by the external world. It is too short to not give everything your all. It is too short to create regrets. That is essentially what Oprah is saying. Are you living a life where you are creating regrets? 

And if you are, how are you going to change that?
Start today. Time is finite. Tackle the life you truly want head on. Take more risks. Do not be swayed by outside influences. Be more purely you. And most importantly, regret nothing. 

~
 

The Universe is listening...

Jamieson Van Loan

I don't care what you want to call it- God, Allah, Jehovah, Jesus Christ but to me they all make up what I call "the universe". I believe in God. I pray. But I believe that my God is a watcher of this beautiful universe we live in. And this universe is listening and creating and manifesting the things we want and desire and is constantly showing us signs towards the path our life is intended to be on. I do not know if I fall under the category of a deist but not everything needs a title.

What I believe in is the power and beauty of this universe. I believe it gives us exactly what we need when we need it and even though we sometimes cannot understand the whats and whys of the universe, it all tends to work itself out. As cliched as that notion is, I firmly believe in this. 

I have been through a lot of difficult moments in my life- trying moments that have tested my faith in God and my faith in everyone and everything around me. I have battled depression. I have had my heart shattered. I have contemplated suicide. I have lost very important people in my life. I have failed a million and one times. But every single time that I thought, how can I go on? How can I pick myself up again? Is this what my life is meant to be like? The universe listens and sends me a sign. A kind gesture from a stranger. A thoughtful note from a client. A random phone call from an old friend. A Facebook message from an old classmate. A compliment in my email. A genuine smile and a hello from a passerby. A deep hug from someone I just met. 

I realize that I am constantly surrounded by love. The universe does not let me down. Even in my darkest moments, the universe has pulled through. I trust it in her implicitly. 

If you are feeling lost or questioning your purpose and service to this life, trust in this beautiful world around you. Life has a way of carrying us through to a better outcome. All the hardships to be endured is truly there to teach us lessons. Realize that and learn from them. You are not failing, you are being taught something that will help serve you in the future. 

Be aware of your power to manifest your future. You have a choice every day to walk towards it or away from it. Look for the signs around you. They are there and mostly subtle, but they are waiting for you. 

And above all always remember to be the positive person in someone else's day. You never know who is questioning their faith in this world. 

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Jamieson Van Loan

Let's define ego for a minute. In a broad sense, it is your self image or the way you view yourself. On a deeper level, your ego is the impetus for all mental pain, fear and resistance. It is the defense mechanism of the persona, the place where we judge, define and analyze the world and others, in order to create a safe haven or a protective barrier inside ourselves. 

To simplify this, imagine that you're walking down the street and someone yells "you're ugly". The very first thing that kicks into gear is your ego. Wait, I am not ugly, who is this jackass, you get upset. This person has challenged your self image. They have unleashed the beast. Except that in reality, your looks haven't changed and you are not ugly. All that has happened is that your ego has been bruised. But it has set the emotional ball rolling.

I often hear from friends or newbies to yoga that they can't keep up with others in class, they can't do handstands or hold downward dog. And so they quit or say yoga isn't for me. And maybe it isn't but not for those reasons. The ego will tell you that you don't need to feel inferior in a class, you don't need some hippy workout, you've got that injury from a decade ago, you're better than this, etc. This resistance to trying or growing or learning is the ego. Your ego will tell you to quit a challenging situation in order to protect your self image. All your excuses in life are ego driven. It would like to keep you in your safe and pretty little (*small*) box for the rest of your life. 

The irony is that the ego really is just trying to keep you safe and secure. The ego wants to protect you from pain, hurt, shame, rejection, criticism, discomfort, risk, fear, sadness, challenges, failure, etc. But where would any of us be in life in life if we did not overcome adversities? If we didn't take risks? The quote that "life happens outside of your comfort zone" really means that growth and living happens outside your ego. 

This is where the need to check yourself comes into play. Is this reality or my ego talking? And if your answer is ego, stop yourself from going down that treacherous and slippery rabbit hole. Constantly checking your world for reality-based assessments versus ego driven fantasies is the key to begin liberating yourself from this beast. 

Coming to terms with the fact that there is a major gap between reality and ego is a very difficult challenge. The two are often so intertwined that we see them as one in the same. It will not be easy but stick with it. It will only serve you better to become hyper aware of the resistance your ego has to true growth and real, not perceived, happiness. 

Above all try not to not feed the beast. The ego thrives off of judgments of others, comparison to others, fear and expectations. Stop these in their tracks. Move beyond them and I promise you will begin to find a liberating release. 
 

Be ego free my friend, 
Jamieson xo

Do you. Ignore the Rest.

Jamieson Van Loan

Raise your hand if you ever, even just a little, worry about other people's opinions of you? 

Do you ever wonder how you were perceived by a stranger or colleague? Or did my clothes send the wrong signal? Or did my speech come across wrong? Or did my personal opinion clash with those around me? Or is someone badmouthing me to someone else? Is that person judging me or my partner's behavior?  Seriously think about it, do you worry about people’s opinion of you? 

Oh wait, is that all of you? 

Yep. Yeah it is. 

And you know why? Because we have been conditioned from a young age to find part of our self worth in other people’s opinions of us. We look to magazines, social media, our parents, our friends, our partners, our colleagues- everyone filters into who and what we should be. We are never 100% sure of exactly who we are without someone chiming in. 

Now think about that on a deeper level. Did your parents ask you to get good grades to justify your worth? Or did you ever alter things about yourself to be accepted by friends in grade school? There are so many historical reasons that play into why we hold others’ opinions to such high regard. It is ingrained in our brains. 

And when people are saying good things about you- dang it feeds good!! How nice is it to be told that you look good, or your haircut is nice or you did great  in that meeting or you interviewed well or your food tastes amazing? It makes us swell with joy. Gracias people for that encouragement. 

But on the reverse side, when we hear words that speak to the critic inside of us- woah! No thank you. Especially if it comes from people whose opinions we value- it hurts. Like a dagger through the heart, it burns.

And isn’t it always easier to believe the bad before the good? 

But here is the thing. Read these words and believe them: no one determines your worth, except you. No one. 

Sounds super simple, right? It’s not. 

You have the choice of who or what or what opinions you give power to. If you want to give power to other people’s opinions- do you! But it will never serve you. 

Today I urge you to find your worth inside of you. Introspectively evaluate your shared words, how you treat people, how you treat yourself, how you make people feel after you walk away, how you’re serving the world. Let your inner and honest judge be the determination of your worth. 

And if you’re not happy with that self evaluation, find the power to change it. But do not allow others to be the voice inside of you. You cannot control other people's opinions of you (and you will be judged constantly) but you can deny those trivial perspectives access.

It is not easy. But it is doable. It takes practice. To silence the opinions of others and focus purely on what you know to be true requires perseverance and truly honoring the goodness inside of you. But it will pay off in the long run. Start today. Silence the outside world. Find your true self worth. Do you.

Jamieson xo

Love is all we need.

Jamieson Van Loan

As promised, I am going to chat a little bit about my trip to Mexico. There were so many layers of adventure and experience during those eight days that it's difficult to know where to begin. 

But I will say this, my biggest takeaway from this wonderful trip is that the greatest joy we can experience is to be loved and to share love. 

I have been struggling a lot lately with my thoughts surrounding love. How can this magnificent emotion be a constant source of pain in my life as of late? How can I refocus my energy to enjoy love?  

The vulnerability of allowing another person access to the most sensitive part of our being is not easy for some. It can be quite difficult for most. For others, like myself, it is effortless and simple. For those who know me, I love deeply and easily.

When I vibe with a new human and we can understand each other on a deep molecular level, I love him or her. Instantly. I have made so many beautiful friends in my life because of this connection, this ability to share love freely and openly. For some, love has to unearth itself after time and questions and experience. Love is earned.

How ever you choose to give it, love is successful if your vibrations or frequencies align. It is why some people you meet and in an instant you know you're meant to spend time with them and some people you meet and just go, meh. The energy or vibration you are putting out in the universe aligns with others on the same frequency or wavelength. This is how we judge compatibility within all relationships.

The people you sync up with are a part of your tribe. 

On this trip to Mexico, I realized how much my ability to be open attracts people towards me. I made friends from the minute I got off the plane to the minute I left. I will say, traveling solo forces you outside of the societal induced comfort zone. It requires much more vulnerability than traveling as Noah intended. If you get the chance in life to travel solo, do it. It changes you for the better. 

During my stay in Tulum, I met with a shaman who performed an energy cleanse & massage on me. As out there as that may sound, it is the same premise as acupuncture and clearing blockages in order to help blood, or in this case, energy flow more freely. The shaman's cleanse was so powerful that I cried. I laughed. I was in pain. I felt joy. It moved me through highs and lows.

My biggest lesson learned during this cleanse is that we are all born to love. To receive love and to share that beautiful energy. From early on we are conditioned and altered by experiences to shift this sole desire to love. Finding our way back to this simple notion is a constant evolution. The shaman hugged me and said "you are unconditional love and this love is meant to be shared". Those words have played on repeat in my head since then. My goal in this world is to share love, whether through my food, listening, giving, supporting, etc. This applies to all of us. We are meant to spread love and be open to receiving it.

Try it today, welcome any and all circumstances with love. Not stress, not impatience, not anger, not sadness, not judgment- just pure love. It WILL change your life.

I could go on and on but you need to order your Maikana food! Experience my love through my healthy food that fuels your body. 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Jamieson xo

Choose Kindness.

Jamieson Van Loan

A friend of mine just launched a new podcast and her first episode is on kindness. She says we should make kindness our daily intention. As much as I believe in this philosophy, it is not always easy. 

For example, are you kind to yourself? Are you thanking your healthy body for carrying you through the day or are you criticizing those dimples on your thighs? Are you beating yourself up for not finishing your check list? Or replying to those emails? Or are you being grateful for the freedom of choices? For the luxuries we all have? Kindness always seems much easier to spread to others than to dole unto ourselves. 

When is the last time you gave yourself a mental high five? Do it now. Right now. Bring out your inner cheerleader! 

Once you find the space to be kind to yourself, then spread kindness and love like freakin' delicious peanut butter. Smile at strangers. Better yet, say hello to strangers. This is one thing I miss most about Costa Rica- everyone says hello to each other, always. Pay it forward, in any way you can. Be generous with your time. Listen without needing to respond. Call an old friend. Write someone a handwritten note. Hold open doors. Say please & thank you- and mean it! Be the person that you hope your kids will one day be. The very best versions of you. 

Be kind, folks. It's free and makes the world around you better. It will make you feel better. I promise.

Jamieson xo

Love hard today.

Jamieson Van Loan

A reoccurring theme in my life lately is loss. I could give you a laundry list of these impactful losses but that is not my focus today. I discuss loss and grieving a lot with friends and family. I am a person who benefits from open ears and generous minds. Some like to keep personal thoughts close to their heart, but I like to explore and learn from others. 

We all deal with loss constantly. Sometimes it is as trivial as losing an earring and sometimes it's a loss that rips your heart and soul apart. The old adage that what does not kill you, makes you stronger could not ring truer during these tribulations. 

I have learned a great deal of lessons during the past few months but here are some that have stuck out for me.

1) We do not truly own anything in this world. This Buddhist idea of impermanence is something that I grapple with. From our relationships to material items, nothing is permanent. Everything will evolve. If you can wrap your head around how temporary every aspect of your life is, you not only appreciate more, but it can sometimes soften the blow of a loss. 

2) With loss comes growth. If you do not take the time to dive deeply into your self during a major loss, you will lose much more than you started with. Grief is not only a time to reflect on the past, but a period to do a full life scan. And not a surface scan but to get to levels that help you recognize what has REALLY brought you to this very moment and how you can move forward as the best version of yourself.

3) You are not alone. Now we all know this, but sometimes it takes a lot of strength to reach out for help. Someone in your life can empathize and show compassion and light during your difficult periods. Trust me, my friends have forced me through days I wasn't sure I would survive. Find those compassionate people and love them hard. They will keep you going. They are the light at the end of a very dark and lonely tunnel. Return the favor: be the light for others.

4) Feel all the feelings. It is so important to not mask your emotions or run from them. It is ok to cry or yell or break down. Let it happen. Your mind needs the release. Do not avoid these feelings. It will come out in one form or another so let them. Pretending you are A-OK will not solve anything. Feelings fester. Liberate them.

If you know someone dealing with any fashion of a loss, reach out to them. Love them hard. They need it!

~

Our menu for next week is below and don't forget on Fridays you can use our discount code: FRIDAY5 for 5% off your order.

I hope you all have a healthy and beautiful weekend!
Jamieson xo

Birthday Reflections

Jamieson Van Loan

Thank you so much to everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week. I am so grateful. Time is our most valuable asset and using yours to send me well wishes for the year ahead is greatly appreciated. Thank you! 

Birthdays are always a time of reflection and intention. For me, they are a time to reminisce on the past 365 days. To see what I've learned, how I've grown, how I've regressed and to forgive myself for any moments that weren't true to myself.

I have to be honest, I find my birthday to be a tough time of year. I have always been a very goal-oriented person and birthdays were always a reminder of what I hadn't accomplished yet, coupled with this underlying fear that I am running out of time to complete said goals. Every year I try to move away from this rigid structure of thinking but it's difficult for me. Don't get me wrong, I am not unaware of all the things I have accomplished and yes, I am proud of those. But the unfinished list tends to outweigh the accomplishments in my mind. This is part of my evolution. I am a work in progress. 

What are you internally working on? 

Whatever it is, keep at it! 

Our menu for next week is below. If you're ordering on Friday, don't forget your FRIDAY5 promo code. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 
Jamieson xo

Happy Birthday to me!

Jamieson Van Loan

This upcoming week is my birthday. June 5 to be exact. I am definitely not a birthday person AT ALL. I like to let them quietly slip by and pretend they aren't happening. But for your benefit we are doing 10% off all of next week's orders AND a big discount on the 5 day power bowl delivery. $65 vs the typical $80. Wow! 

Use promo code:
BIRTHDAYWISHES to get the 10% off this week. 

I have to be honest, this past year has been beautiful and extremely trying all at the same time. I have learned quite a lot, some positive, some negative but lessons all the same.

For one, I am so lucky that I am person who attracts beautiful humans to connect with. I am surrounded by loving friends and family constantly. I thank you you all for your never-ending support. These wonderful people are constantly feeding me the energy I need to get through the tough days and cheering me on during the days of bliss. I love you all. Do not stop telling those glorious people in your tribe how much they mean to you. They can never hear it enough. 

But my biggest lesson this year is to let go of my (typically high) expectations. It is one thing to have high expectations for your personal goals, it is a complete other to set expectations for what your life or career should be. If you had sat me down on my last birthday and told me where I would be today, I would have never believed it. Life will never stop throwing you curveballs. It is by finding grace, humility and strength that you can keep hitting those curveballs out of the park. Do your best to take what life gives you in stride. Let go of expectations of what life SHOULD be. This is not feeding your soul.

Find the little things each day that makes your soul shine- that is my birthday wish for you! 

Have a wonderful weekend! 
Jamieson xo