Investing in Yourself

I recently finished my taxes (ok so full disclosure, I was late submitting my taxes this year because of the emotional/transformative vortex I found myself in and am only just emerging from).

As I added up my expenses, I was struck yet again by the amount of money that I had invested in coaching, professional development, courses, conferences, and retreats.

Want to take a guess at how much?

I spent 14,510$.

It’s a big number for me (for a lot of people, I’m sure).

However, as I sat contemplating that number - I felt nothing but gratitude.

Gratitude for the work I do.
Gratitude for the fact that personal development makes me a better professional.
Gratitude that my professional development is directly connected to my spiritual and emotional growth.

Gratitude that my work affords me the ability to invest so heavily in myself.
Gratitude for a line of credit with my bank that has helped me basically take out small loans for myself to cover these investments in myself.

Here’s the thing - in the past few years, I’ve invested a significant percentage of my earnings back into my business and MYSELF.

My first year in business, I spent close to 20,000$ on my coaching certification, working 1-1 with my own coach (at 900$/month) and other courses.

My second year in business, I scaled back significantly, but still spent almost 8,000$.

This year, 14,510$.

That’s over 40,000$ in three years!!

Why am I sharing this with you?

I think it’s important to be real about these numbers AND what it’s taken to myself to where I am today, both in life and business.

From the outside, people sometimes wonder how everything came together for me so quickly, or seemingly easily.

How I went from zero to successful online business in under a year.
How I’ve managed significant challenges in my personal life without derailing my emotional, physical and spiritual well-being - in fact, I’ve thrived through these transitions.

Yes, it’s taken a lot of work, grit, tears, grace, and forgiveness.
It’s taking a renewed commitment to myself, over and over again.
It’s taken a lot of SUPPORT, from the incredible community of friends and family that I have, and paid support.

I also want to be clear about something else.

About 5 years ago I took out a line of credit to pay for my life transition and continued education.

I had left my fairly well-paying consulting gig in Cambodia, but burned through my saving pretty quickly, going through a divorce, setting up a life in another country.

During my first year in Mexico I was earning PESOS and my combined earnings working in my dad’s restaurant and bartending were about 500$/USD per month!

I needed extra money to start funding my online education, which start first with an online business program for women entrepreneurs called B-School, and continued with several other biz and branding courses, then my health coaching certification with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

I’ve used this line of credit many times since, to help with these self-development investments or to pay off my credit card during the months I haven’t had as much income.

Yes, I’ve still carrying some “debt” but I see it as an investment in MYSELF - which is the most important thing I could be investing in.

As someone wrote on my recent Facebook post about this - I am my greatest investment.

I also know the ripple effect and believe the ROI (return on investment) is much greater than I can even quantify. I will see the ROI in my relationships, my daughter’s upbringing, my client’s successes, my ability to give back to community and so much more.

EVERY SINGLE PENNY has been worth it.

It’s interesting to me because I posted recently on FB asking people to guess how much $$ I”d spent on self-development this past year and I had a few people message me privately around the shame they’ve felt on the amount of money the spent on “themselves” ie healing and self-development and personal professional growth.

I’ve also had my own introspective process around spending. I realized that some of my original purchases were about worthiness and feeling not quite good enough on my own. I’ve developed a process of really checking in with myself and WHY I feel compelled to purchase a certain program before I had over my credit card.

I’m in no way writing this to suggest that you need to spend the same amount as I have, or even close.

I just think it’s important to be transparent about numbers - and it’s not often we hear the behind the scenes of what successful coaches and leaders invest on themselves.

I know that the investments I’ve made in myself make me a better a coach. If I’m asking my clients to trust in me and take the financial leap of investing in my services, I want them to know that I take investing in myself seriously as well.

In fact, I have what I now consider to be the equivalent of a professional Masters degree AND Ph.D. in exactly the kind of personal and professional education and healing required to effectively and conscientiously do my job well.


The Power of Presence (mindful drinking part 2)


Earlier this week, I was invited to participate in a traditional temazcal, a pre-hispanic sauna ritual. The adobe hut is circular and heated with volcanic rock. The ceremony is usually guided and the guide takes the participants on a journey of release and purification. The combination of the medicinal herbs in the water used to create steam, the visioning, the chanting and drumming, and teas sipped to hydrate create a powerful experience.

Ours lasted almost 2 hours. Divided into 4 parts, we set intentions during the first quarter, then chanted and released during the second, rejuvenated/integrated during the third and called in love and our visions for the 4th.

The second section was the most intense for me. The heat intensified, the steam was thick with the scent of the herbs and our sweat, the drumming and chanting vibrated my cells and the exertion made me light-headed. At one point I wondered if I could make it to the next break and thought about stepping out early.

However, that was the only time I was aware of my mind wandering. Every other moment was fully devoted, commanded even, by the experience.

When the guide finally called for the door to be opened, the light felt momentarily blinding. I felt my cells tingly as the coolish air caressed my skin and my lungs rejoiced as they filled with oxygen.

A cold-brewed herbal tea was passed around. We were instructed to take a sip and swish it around in our mouths before swallowing.

“Now notice the sensation in your mouth,” said the guide. "How does it feel to drink this liquid? What is the significance for you and your body?"

I was struck in that moment with the importance of mindfulness. Of how I was having this exquisite multi-sensory experience - my senses truly heightened. I felt the cells in my mouth receiving the hydration, the medicinal properties, the tastes, the temperature.

I immediate thought about the work we have committed to here - to Drink Less and Be More.

What if we brought this level of awareness to every sip that entered our body - alcohol or not?

It was one of the most powerful reminders that came to me during this Temazcalli experience. I left feeling recommitted to inviting this mindfulness into my daily living.

To sip with intention. To tune into what I am experiencing at any given moment.

Now, obviously we don't all need to jump into a super hot sauna every time we want to experience that heightened presence and awareness ;)

As Jon Kabat-Zin, one of the leaders in mindfulness research and awareness, writes "mindfulness is about living your life as if it really mattered, moment by moment by moment by moment.”

It’s about asking yourself, what do I really want or need in any given situation?

What is in the interest of my best self?

What does my body/mind/soul really crave right now?

What are some ways that you can bring more mindfulness into your daily life?

How can you use mindfulness as a tool for moderation?

I’d love to hear!


A Super Cool Exchange and Some Cinco de Mayo Inspo (this one's a little different)

Hello lovely,

I’m just back from a much needed little mini-vacation to Oaxaca City. I have SO MUCH I can’t wait to share - thoughts on radical honesty, self-love, presence, self-accountability, slowing down, art, a new retreat in the works and so much more. I’m processing a lot and look forward to sharing these thoughts with you soon.

I’ve also had a series of posts brewing inside of me on the difference between moderate and mindful drinking.

I’ve come to realize that so much of what we do here is about WAY MORE than simply learning to moderate.

We go WAY DEEPER than talking about strategies and dive into the mindset, healing, and major lifestyle changes.

To kick off this series on Mindful drinking, I have something really cool and a little different to share.

First, a question that a reader sent me about finding a strategy for mindful drinking - that really works.

“I know people who are looking at me from the outside, aren't thinking I have a drinking problem.... many of my friends I've opened up to say, I had no idea!  And that's the thing... I don't get wasted alone or anything, it's always the occasional blackout WITH my friends which makes me feel so ashamed and regretful. I HATE browning/blacking out. That's NOT the point of drinking... But sometimes, when I'm with friends and they keep going, I want to keep going too... and I just 'forget' to think of the bigger picture and KNOW my limits.

How did you finally find your strategy that WORKS for you.... how did you have the self-control to HOLD yourself to the limits?”

I responded to her and told her I’d be writing a newsletter/blog on the topic and also encouraged her to post her question in the Facebook group (have you joined? If not, info on how to is at the end of this email)

One of the responses from one of our community members just blew me away, and I decided to share her words instead of mine this week.

It’s a powerful testimony to how to make the “Drink Less, Be More” philosophy of mindful drinking work for you.

When I first spoke with Aoife almost 3 years ago, we were both in tears during the initial consultation. She had almost given up hope that change was possible for her. I encouraged her to have faith and trust that a new life was available to her. She later became my most amazing copy editor for the book Drink Less Be More and an active participant in the beta group of the “Drink Less Be More Masterclass” (which will launch again in June - stay tuned!)

Here’s what Aoife had to say about her commitment to mindful drinking:

  1. I made a concrete decision to change - no matter what - and prioritized this.

  2. ​You [the reader] spoke about a feeling of sometimes not caring and just wanting to let loose - I felt that a lot. What I did is I changed "let loose" to "self-soothe". There are more ways to let loose than through alcohol, that's just the most obvious one. Now is the perfect time to find others. Often I noticed that when I thought I "needed a drink" I was really needing soothing or reassuring or something else. Sometimes self-soothing involved listening to loud rock music and watching an action movie and sometimes it involved baking or knitting. I say be willing to broaden your definition of "letting loose" and experiment with things that are healthier for you.

  3. I never drink when I am in an emotional mood (e.g. elated, down or angry). EVER. That was when I was more prone to make poor choices before so I only drink when I am in a grounded place.

  4. Know the times, places and people you need to be careful around in relation to drinking. Prepare in advance for being in those situations or with those people and support yourself. Pub drinking was my danger zone and certain friends would really pressure me to drink. I still go to pubs occasionally but I won't drink in pubs (I prefer to have a drink with food or in homes of friends and family) and I have certain friends I just won't drink with.

  5. I planned when I was going to drink and how much. The "in the moment" drinking so often led me down a dark/dangerous/blackout path. At first, I needed to be really controlled about planning in advance. I'd decide in advance "I'll be out at lunch on Saturday, if I feel like a red wine, I'll have one." When I was going on holiday I planned in advance to have one drink each day. Planning in advance also built my self-belief around having control over drinking. Now I am confident I can make an "in the moment" decision (but I will still only have a drink if I'm in a safe place, with appropriate people, in a calm mood, not in a pub etc.)

  6. When you are having a drink, sip and savor. Really enjoy it. Also, if it helps, make your next drink non-alcoholic and totally different in taste, flavor or temperature. I might enjoy a glass of wine and then have a tea. Don't know why, but that helped me "draw a line" under the drinking part when I was starting to moderate and now I do it from habit.

  7. Lastly when you decide to change that means that things WILL change - and not only habits, but it's likely that you will change as a person - your priorities, your idea of what is fun etc. It can take a while to find your feet with this new way of being, but after a little while momentum builds and it gets easier. Other peoples perceptions and expectations of you change too. For so long I was "party girl", the one who could always be relied on for a night of drinking. It took a while for the people around me to accept that I wasn't going to be drinking to obliteration anymore. Now that they accept this, I can be out with them and not drink and it's not even mentioned anymore!

The last thing is just that for me, these changes have been soooo worth it! I have so much more money, energy, creativity. I feel like I can trust myself. I feel proud of myself instead of ashamed (as I so often was). So much of my time, energy and brainpower was locked up with alcohol. Now it's gorgeous to be able to have a drink if I want one but not to need it anymore, to feel social or relax or feel part of a crowd. Now my self-identity is of someone who has a healthy relationship with alcohol and that "pull" that used to be there to drink before just isn't there anymore. It took a bit of work to get to a place I am happy with, but it's so worth it.

I totally trust that you will find out what is best for you and I'm absolutely cheering you on in your journey. Let me know if I can help in any way.”

I hope that Aoife’s share was helpful for you to read!

If you have a specific question about mindful drinking - let me know!! I’d love to feature your question in an upcoming post on the topic.

If you liked hearing from a community member, also let me know! I can see how we can continue to share more features and success stories.

Make sure to keep reading for a yummy mock margarita recipe and tips for getting through cinco de mayo mindfully.



Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here is the perfect margarita mocktail mix to celebrate with mindfulness. Just mix together, garnish your drink rim (optional) and enjoy! If you have plans to go out tonight, remember to set you intentions BEFORE you head out. Think about how you want to feel during and at the end of the night, and work backwards from there. If possible, share your intentions with a friend, your significant other, or in the Facebook group! Of course, there's nothing wrong with opting out of the festivities and enjoying a mocktail at home - which is what I plan on doing!!


  •  ¼ cup lime juice

  • ¼ cup lemon flavored sparking water

  • ¼ cup lime flavored sparkling water

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • Agave syrup (optional/to taste)

  • ice

  • Optional: salt & lime to garnish