Friday, January 27, 2012


I am writing this blog today from a friend's apartment in rainy New York City. Consistent with my personality at home in the SoCal sunshine, I have been on the go for the last few days! Determined not to let the rain get in my way, I hit the streets to visit the recently opened 9/11 Memorial, then ventured to SoHo for a shopping spree, and also managed to find my way to a famous pizza place located under the Brooklyn Bridge. By the time I arrived to Grimaldi's for a quick bite I was exhausted, damp, and on the verge of grumpy having not eaten all day.

Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a sign on the front door that said "No ordering by the slice!". Ok, fine. Table for one and let's also order the entire pizza. The bald Italian with a thick accent chuckled at my disheveled blonde mane and suggested I grab a seat at the bar. First order placed was for a cold Heineken. Next, I let him order my pizza. He shyly smiled and his demeanor put me at ease. It was if his eyes were saying, "Calm down and just enjoy your beer. We're all family here."

I took a long lunch and enjoyed observed watching everyone around me. The bar tender conversed with the owner in his native Italian, the two heckled the employee who showed up late to his afternoon shift, the old man next to me (who I would imagine also knew a word or two if Italian) took down his whole pizza with a glass of red wine, and the three German teenagers at the end of the bar were pretty proud of taking down their entire large pizza.

Later that night my friend asked me what my favorite part of my day was and the one vivid memory that my mind immediately shot to was the scene at Grimaldi's. So what's today's challenge? "Take the time to live with your eyes wide open."

The Challenge - Day 12 

How often do you exercise outdoors? When you do, do you observe the life and landscape that you are passing by? Or do you just zone out and listen to music? I challenge you to take on some outdoor activity and observe life unfolding all around you. 

Self awareness is key to experiencing a more fulfilling spiritual connection. We can easily say the words of prayer, attend a church service, or even glaze over the words of a self help book. Spend the next couple of spending your time intentionally in your thoughts and actions towards spiritual growth. Calm the to-do list,turn off the noise, and be present in the moment. 

I realize that I have a tendency to repeat the theme of "slow down" and perhaps it is because that is what I can relate to most often...but I would venture to guess that in today's world of hi-tech instantaneous results and communication that we could all use a regular reminder to slow it down. If you can take an hour, or even just five minutes, practice some deep breathing or stretching. Cleanse your mind of the chaos and hit the 'reset' button. Perhaps you will be able to observe the daily happenings with fresh eyes and clarity -- to see things for the first time that have actually been there all along.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I was out to lunch with a male friend of mine the other day and we were talking about what men find attractive in women at this point in life (aka early 30's).  The answer, surprisingly, never drifted towards the expected remarks of tight butt or voluptuous curves or plump lips with perfect teeth...the answer was "confident in her own skin."

The moment was reminiscent of the great Wizard of Oz coming out from behind the curtain to show that the truth was much less exciting and hyped up than what our imagination allows us to think.  Ladies, a quiet confidence is not only the key to sustainable balance of body, mind, and soul but also the most attractive quality you can offer in a relationship.  Understanding the elements that make up our personal foundation and character is key to becoming comfortable in our own skin.

So this leads to my question for today's challenge:  What defines your 'Center of Gravity'?


We have been habitually performing exercises and even taking time to meditate on slowing down to look at life...instead of just running through it.  Can you say with confidence what your favorite physical activity is in life?  Don't be like 'Runaway Bride' that always models her favorite way to eat eggs after her partner's preference at the time. Decide what exercise gives you the most pleasure and satisfaction and stick with it.  You might even find that it feels like a treat instead of a chore.

Manifestation continues to be one of my favorite things to discuss when addressing our spiritual growth.  However, I realized this weekend that perhaps I jumped the gun in assuming that we were all prepared to start manifesting the things we desire in life.  Step 1:  identify the things that you desire in life and then move on to Step 2:  manifest them with the power of thought.  Read the quotes below and spend a moment applying them to your own life.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.  ~Henry David Thoreau, 1854

It is good to feel lost... because it proves you have a navigational sense of where "Home" is.  You know that a place that feels like being found exists.  And maybe your current location isn't that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.  ~Erika Harris

Understanding the skin that you are most comfortable in is truly a critical part to living life to it's fullest...simply because you will better understand what it is that you desire to live out!  It is my opinion that the next step in personal growth is to live it out loud and to make it known to others.  Do you share your personal preferences and desires with your friends and/or partner in life?  If the answer is no, then look inward at the courage that you know you have and employ it to start utilizing your voice.

Today's Tips and Reminders:  Try drinking a glass of hot water with lemon in the morning to help digestion and kick-start your metabolism.  Also, I read that some body lotions have too many toxins in them and we are better off using baby lotion by Johnson & Johnson.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Let me first start out by apologizing for my inconsistency in the posts.  I realize that I made a commitment to post for 30 days straight and it has not played out that way.  Unfortunately, I have a day job (that I happen to love spending time on) and can't always find the time to get to personal items -- but I will stick with this until we have a complete 30 day challenge!

Now, on to today's theme:  Remembering to Laugh (out loud!) in Life

I was out to dinner last night with an long-time guy friend and we were catching up on all matters in life as we hadn't been in touch in over 6 months.  The first few minutes were spent glazing over work, status updates on mutual friends, and personal state of mind.  Then on to the good stuff - how's your love life?!  He humored me with some good dating anecdotes, I told him that his most recent date at an ice skating rink was utterly lame (we don't walk and talk in circles for fun, why skate and talk in circles?), and he asked me how I'm enjoying my somewhat newly single status.  I confided that, trying to not sound arrogant, I have concerns about being a strong and confident woman in the dating game.  His honest response was that many guys might be turned off by a woman that is very direct and ambitious, but there is a way to have some fun with it and still get the point across...You simply say "Hi, I'm B.Dawn.  I have my MBA and am working to take over my family's real estate company.  Oh, and I'm not wearing any underwear."

I nearly spit my 'Savage Blend' red wine out on his nicely pressed dress shirt and the table next to us paused in conversation concerned with what could have been said that had me nearly falling out of my chair laughing.  It was the funniest thing I had heard all day...all week for that matter!  And he said it with a totally straight face.  The point:  you can be a serious person of ambition, but don't be afraid to add some humor to conversation.  Not to mention, he will be thinking about the last statement a lot more on that date than the first two...and which do you think will lead to the second date?

I'm probably not going to actually use this line on my next date, but the premise really hit home.  I need to not be so concerned about being respected and understood that it removes the element of playfulness from life.


Ok, you've had your break.  You've had your time to 'try something new', but what exercise feels like 'home base' for you?  Whatever is the most consistent activity for you to enjoy in your life (mine is a beach walk around town) get out and do it!  Habits don't form over night, they take time and let's go!  

A lot of spiritual healing and internal processing is accomplished with intentional thought and meditation.  It can all be very serious.  Today, as you continue to ruminate about the goals that you aim to achieve in 2012, don't be afraid to smile and think of the little joys that you can seek out in life as well.  We control the path our thoughts travel and if you choose to be happy then you can choose to make it a great day. 

Cheerfulness keeps up a kindof daylight in the mind and fills it with
        a steady and perpetual serenity.
                                                                               - Joseph Addison

Have you laughed out loud yet today?  It's a great ab workout.  It also carries with it some fantastic endorphins.  If you are unsure as to how to be inspired to laugh out loud then go to You Tube.  I'm not kidding.  There are certain 'cloudy days' that even those closest to me cannot turn around with a thoughtful word or gesture...yet a random video clip can having me bursting out into laughter.  Jimmy Kimmel has hosted two versions of kids videos that never fail to please:  Parents, tell your kids that you ate all their Halloween Candy & Parents, give your kids a bad Christmas present.  ... You can thank me later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I have spent the last couple of weeks going 'non-stop' through life!  It has been all wonderful things -- holiday parties, sporting events, work projects, work field trips, lunches with friends, dinner with family -- but yesterday afternoon I hit a wall.  I was done.  Burnt out.  Spent.  And frankly, grumpy.  I hadn't given myself any ME time in over a week.

I had to take matters into my own hands so I turned down all plans for the night (not that I am that popular), but sometimes it takes a conscious effort to shift the gears down a notch.  I went to hot yoga, grilled some fish for dinner, and then watched the always entertaining world of Kardashian Khaos.  It was bliss.  I was straightening my room and grabbing a fashion magazine to inspire me with some new Spring Styles by 10 PM.

It is so incredibly easy for us to fill our schedules with the items that make up our to-do list.  As women, we have an ever evolving list that never seems to be completely void of needing attention.  When you buy that new dress and want to put it in your closet but can't quite find the place, you make room.  Well, the time has come for you to make room for ME time in your life.

Today's Challenge -- make room for a break!


Today is the day where I say take a break from squeezing in the exercise.  It is one more item that we have on our 'To Do' list and can consume anywhere from 30-90 minutes of our precious free time.  Maybe use that time to just sit.  Read a book or watch a show.  Physically give your body a break!  

It requires a great deal of patience and commitment to find stillness.  Sometimes, when we let our minds go from the planning, that is when life unfolds in ways that we never imagined possible.  Take some time to do some breathing exercises and in those moments do your best to clear your mind.  Shut off the brain and the to-do list and instead, just breathe.

I am about to make a huge request -- create personal time in your life.  I know, you might be rolling your eyes right now.  I promise, it is possible.  It can be as little as thirty minutes or as much as an entire evening -- but define what that personal time is to feed your soul and then make room for it.  Is it date night with your husband?  Time alone in your room to read a book (or fashion mag!)?  Is it taking the dog for a nice long walk with headphones in to block out the world's noise?  In the words of Nike...just do it.

Today's Tips and Reminders:  A back bend a day keeps the doctor away

Monday, January 9, 2012


I woke up this morning and decided to take a walk down to the beach.  I needed to experience the peace and serenity of sunrise over the ocean and a very busy, and somewhat stressful, weekend.  While en route, a kind man (probably a neighbor, but I am not home enough to know) was walking his dog and looked at me, raised his coffee mug in the air, smiled, and said "Good morning!  Happy Monday!".  He has no idea, but it totally made my day.

I realized that sometimes I get out of bed and let my mind start running through the checklist in my head for work, for errands, for personal correspondence, etc.  That chaotic string of lists that have the ability to define our lives.  I definitely don't always take the time to start the morning off right by saying "Good morning!".

How do you start your day?  Do you start it off on the wrong foot or the right foot?!

Today's Challenge is about manifesting goodness and light into your day...from the moment you get out of bed!


How is your exercise going?  Are you getting into a routine and creating habits?  Did you like the new class or activity?  Whatever it is that gets you excited...keep it up!  You are in the midst of forming a good habit!  

Positivity is a state of mind.  Truly.  Cliche, but I still love it, "10% of life is what happens to you and 90% is how you react to it."  No one's life is perfect.  Trust me, no one's!  But you can choose how to focus your energy...where focus goes, energy flows.  Don't you want to start your day out with bright and positive energy?  Then take a moment in the morning to recognize the dreams and opportunity ahead.  And maybe smile every now and then, I still stand by the idea that "it's worth it".

Manifestation is the materialization of a disembodied spirit.  If you struggle to get past the challenges in life and feel HAPPY on a regular basis then write down everything that you are grateful for in your life.  If you are still struggling to feel joyful then I encourage you to volunteer to help those less fortunate.  Seeing the condition of another's life might put your own in perspective.  

Today's Tips and Reminders:  Go to bed a little bit earlier tonight and think about three things from the day that you can be thankful for...  You might have slightly sweeter dreams.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


So apparently the new hot ticket in town is to an LA Clippers game.  The Clippers?  Do they still exist?  Where do they play?  Who is their owner?  I know the Lakers, not the Clippers.  Lakers = Jerry Bus + Kobe Bryant + Staples Center.  Well, last night I learned that Clippers = Donald Sterling + Chris Paul/Blake Griffin + Staples Center.  It was my very first time rooting for 'The Clipps' and it was a blast.  I was clapping, yelling, and nursing a vodka soda for a full 3 hours.

I was having a fantastic time with a friend of mine from B-School and we decided to join the small After-Game-After-Party at Hyde night club inside Staples Center (didn't know that existed either).  Guess what ladies, I found a treasure trove of attractive men inside this little bar.  They were all looking pretty dapper in their after work suits and casually sipping cocktails.  I was one of only three girls in the entire place -- the odds are clearly in my favor -- I had some liquid courage mixing with an evening full of positive energy to inspire me to hit on a guy.  Yup, you heard me -- I picked up a dude in a bar last night.  I batted my eyes, tried to look demure, and then simply motioned for him to come my way.  The good old hand flick that says "Come hither, new friend."  He immediately gave a signal to his two buddies "be right back" and for the next 45 minutes we were spinning in conversation.  By the end of the night he had my phone number and I had a little skip in my step.  

Will I ever hear from him?  Who knows and not entirely important.  What I loved about the evening was experiencing such a thing for the first time and learning that is isn't so bad.  Will I do it again tonight or tomorrow?  Probably not.  But at least I know I am capable of something that my whole life I had been thinking was the 'unthinkable'.  

So today's challenge:  Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!!


The time has come to try something new.  We've been creating good habits for a week now and you might be on the verge of boredom.  Get out and try something new!  Run the stairs at your local park, go for a hike, try out a yoga class (most are free to try), give spinning a whirl, or maybe even pull up a workout video online and follow your instructor.  

We all have dreams and fears...the common thread is that both lists embody things that we simply don't do in our present lives.  We say either "One Day" or "I'm too afraid".  Take a moment to sit and reflect on your own inner strength.  You are more daring and much more capable then you ever give yourself credit.

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
-- Mark Twain

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."
-- C.S. Lewis

Time to bring back out the pen and paper again.  Write down one new thing that you are going to try in the next 3 weeks.  It doesn't have to be mah-jor (but it can be!).  You have some time to build up the courage through manifesting positive thoughts and outcomes.

Today's Tips and Reminders:  Cold season is here -- take those vitamins!  Drink more water (I'm going to keep saying it because it is the most important of them all).  When you look in the mirror tomorrow morning, smile.  It will make a difference, I promise. :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


A friend and mentor that writes for a living told me that I need to be very bold and honest with my blog -- and not to be afraid to take chances.  Well, this morning I feel that I owe all (5?) of my readers the truth.  My confession:  I spent all day Monday watching football, eating chili, and drinking beer.  My only exercise for the day was walking around the Pasadena Rose Bowl and I think I had one glass of water all day (not including all of the water in my 'light beer').  And to no one's surprise, I felt like hell yesterday.  I felt like I had a stamp on my forehead that said "Human Bowling Ball".  My stomach hurt, my body was sluggish, and my attitude was in line with the rest of it.  

I wish I could profess that I lead by example (I do try!), but some days are just not as successful as the ones before it.  But with each fall there is new insight and inspiration.  I was able to find a positive spin on my day of gluttony as I went to the store last night with a menu and shopping list in hand for a week of healthy and budget friendly eating!  The detox trend is popular after the holidays, but there is a reason for it:  we could all use a little jump start of energy and reinforcement of good habits!

Today we will focus on the physical and mental aspects of detoxing.  I know I could use it and if you are reading this then perhaps you will find some aspect of it beneficial as well.


Exercise is what we immediately think of when desiring to improve our physical health -- but the reality is that what we are eating is as important (if not more) than the physical exercise that we exert.  Today I want you to create a list of healthy eating plans or substitutes (feel free to take baby steps here) so that you are putting good and nutritious food into your body.  If you need a visual inspiration about what foods to buy then rent the movie Food, Inc -- or just scroll to the bottom for a list of suggestions.

'Detox' can apply to the mind and body as it is simply an effort to rid ourselves of toxins that bring on only negative effects.  Some identify those toxins in the alcohol they drink or the fast food that they eat -- but don't forget the toxins of negative thinking.  I have yet to hear of anyone having the 'perfect' life, therefore there might be a memory or two from the past year that can hang around like a dark rain cloud.  Use your will power to rid that cloud from the year ahead -- you will be able to enjoy life with so much more clarity!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice."

- T.S. Eliot

"Eliminating negative makes more room for positive.  It's simple math!"

Detoxing is a very personal process and no fad diet or plan is suitable for the masses.  Take a moment to sit down, grab a pen and paper, and write down what physical and spiritual habits will help you feel refreshed.  Mind.  Body.  Soul.  ....your next challenge will be to follow through on those goals!

Tips and Reminders:
Eating and lifestyle habits are easy to talk about, but often challenging to implement.  Too much time.  Too much money.  You can either revamp your eating plan for the week (think salmon, vegetables, kale) or start with substituting little things that can make a big difference!

-- Clean out all processed 'box' food from your cabinets and add trail mix, raw almonds, and fruit     to your snack cupboardinstead
-- Use some will power and order something slightly healthier on that restaurant menu when out to lunch or dinner (vegetarian options and cheeseless options are a good start)
-- Start every morning with a cup of water and some egg whites for protein and digestion
-- Get the corn out of your's what they feed to pigs to fatten them up

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Gone is the day when we call each other on the phone or write a note to say "Happy New Year" to our family and friends.  Instead, we text or tweet or update our Facebook status.  I was joking with my friend at dinner on New Year's Eve about this new obsession with social media and asked her "How do we Check-In to 2012 on Facebook?"  We had a good laugh and said we wouldn't be surprised if such a thing existed.

But then, on my drive home the next day, I moving could it be for us to literally make a statement that we have "Checked In" to the New Year?!  We coast through life, sometimes at a thousand miles an hour, and get through the tasks day by day.  The Challenge is about us being more intentional with our mind and energy, even if just for a few minutes each day.  It is the third day of the new year and I want to ask you... Have you officially checked-in to 2012?!


You probably gave yourself a break over the holiday weekend for a day or two from physical exercise (I know I did) -- but it's time to get back on the horse and keep working on establishing good habits.  Today, continue to run/walk/stretch and push yourself a little bit harder.  I challenge you to look at a local workout studio or gym and select a class to try later this week.  The Challenge is about being realistic and we probably can't drop everything this afternoon to go to Yoga at 4 PM, but try to set aside 1.5-2 hours later this week and be daring...spin/yoga/kickboxing/circuit training...could be calling your name.

The Power of Now is a fantastic book by Eckhart Tolle and has many points about the advantages to living in the present.  Check In to your day with your mind and heart and spend a moment committing to your personal development goals.  The bonus:  you are manifesting these positive activities and outcomes to actually take place!

"You may not yet be able to bring your unconscious mind activity into awareness as thoughts, but it will always be reflected in the body as an emotion, and of this you can become aware." 
-- Eckhart Tolle

Did you make a resolution or two in the last few days?  If so, write it down!  And place that post-it someplace that you will see it on a regular basis.  If you are not a fan of New Year's Resolutions then select a quote that inspires you and write it down for you to frequently read and internalize.  Personally, I have a couple of post-it notes on my computer screen and I enjoy reading them every morning.

Tips and Reminders:
New Year and New Habits.  Pick a day this week to eat Vegetarian.  C'mon, you can do it for just one day!  Your body will thank you. (add extra water and vitamins to make it an all-star day!)