Dealing With Heartbreak While Running A Business.

I thought of the idea for this piece last night while lazying around in the tub. Sometimes it’s easy to find things to write about, sometimes it feels like the ideas are right there at the tip top of my brain but I can’t access them. Isn’t it strange? Now I know why so many writers before me tried vodka or whiskey to loosen up a bit and get over the keyboard jitters.

41558918_677481039302019_1158010529751498752_n
dramatic photo for a dramatic topic?

Don’t worry. I don’t drink, anymore. Enough of my rambling though. Dealing with heartbreak is never fun, ever. It’s always messy and you end up on your bed at 2 am with  melted chocolate smothered on your pajama bottoms; crumpled up tissues littered across the comforter.

“I loved him” … “How did this happen?” … “It wasn’t suppose to turn out this way”.

All things I’ve sobbed into the phone while my best friend says “He was an absolute ass hat.”

 

It’s tough, it’s really tough if you’re heartbroken over a lover. It can happen for any reason, perhaps you simply weren’t meant to be or perhaps something more tragic happened and someone you loved dearly passed away.

It’s even harder when you have a business to run and you’ve got to stay strong. You are the last line of defence, employees come to you, customers come to you, your dog comes to you looking for comfort. It can be even harder when you’re just starting a business and your only employee is yourself.

You have to keep pushing on through the grief. You must keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the black glob of grief that has lodged itself in the centre of your chest.

It can be a great for a few brief moments to distract the mind and it’s even better to dive into something and use all of that emotion to fuel you and fuel the business. Growth can often be seen in times of struggle.

Don’t let anything stop you. Sure, you may have just been dumped by who you thought was the “love of your life” or maybe you did the dumping (you powerful goddess you). Your business, the thing you are passionate about, that thing you’ve been working so hard for… it’s still there and it needs you. Take life’s challenges and be vulnerable, get real, help others through the same damn things.

The things in my life that I thought were terrible misfortunes always have a way of ending up to be huge blessings in disguise. It might take months, it may even take years, but one day you’ll be glad it happened and you’ll be glad you put all that fierce energy into your business.

break-up-quotes-1536055085

This isn’t really a “how-to” blog post because I believe everyone processes grief differently and what might work for one person won’t necessarily work for the other. So do whatever you have to do in order to get back to grinding, to step back into that hustle and focus.

Have a personal talk with yourself in the mirror, you are a badass after all. Listen to music, put your headphones in and drown it out. Go for a long walk and just breath. Do some yoga and read something spiritual. Do what you have to do.

This is more of a reminder blog post… reminding you that you won’t feel bad forever. That the business is there for a reason. That you can and will hustle through it and your competition should be scared. That you are a badass goddess and should treat yourself as such.

Cry, eat the chocolate, feel the grief, inhale deeply – exhale it all out and focus baby, focus.

 

Love to you from the bottom of my heart,

Carlee. xo

Find me on Instagram @theselfcareenthusiast 

Write me an email on anything you’d like me to write about: theselfcareenthusiast@gmail.com

 

 

What Attempted Suicide Taught Me About Living & Thriving In Business

I had been in bed for 3 consecutive days only getting up to relieve myself and grab more alcohol from the fridge. After the third day the liquor was getting scarce and I was left with my own thoughts. I had moved away from my family for a man. Adventure, excitement and  love were all things I thought would be speeding into my life, just as I sped down the highway away from everything I once knew. After only a few short months it was apparent that I had made a gross misjudgment of the situation…it had been a long standing joke that I lived with “rose-colored glasses” and this time was no exception.

 

I had been an alcoholic since the age of fifteen. The moment I had taken my first drink I felt alive, more alive than I had ever felt before and any self-conscious  limiting beliefs seemed to melt away. I felt invincible. Of course, that too only lasted for a brief moment before the drink took over my life and consumed my every thought. Naturally, as any alcoholic would, I found a partner that wouldn’t be turned off by the whiskey glass glued to my right hand.

 

On the morning of my attempt the air felt heavy and I couldn’t stop crying. It felt as if years worth of emotions were coming to the surface and spilling over the top uncontrollably. Trying to explain depression to someone who doesn’t have it is challenging, if you haven’t experienced it there’s no way to truly grasp the feeling. It is like an emptiness,  the most empty feeling you could possibly imagine, there is no happiness or joy or positivity. A void as dark and grim as any monster in any fairy-tale we read as children.

 

The details of the event aren’t at all spectacular, in fact for something as pivotal as suicide they are actually quite boring. I thought taking an entire bottle of acetaminophen would do the trick but I was only able to get a handful of them down before resting for what I thought was only a few moments…  hours later I awoke to myself vomiting all over the bed. I was cold, achy and felt like I couldn’t move. The goodbye letter I had written before lay crumpled into the sheets, dripping of guilt and shame and “I love you’s”.

 

To make what could be an incredibly long and tumultuous story into a nice little article, I’ll move right along in telling you later that evening I checked myself into the Woodstock General Hospital – Psychiatric Ward. I was given an exquisite psychiatrist and stayed there for three weeks in a small room, like the movies go it had four white walls and a window that overlooked the dumpster.

 

So, what did I learn from this experience that can be transferred to business? What did one of the lowest points in my life teach me about living authentically?

 

  1. Knowing what you stand for is easier than knowing “who you are”

 

I fell into the trap of trying to “find” myself instead of just sitting down and figuring out who I wanted to be and what my values were. Not having those things narrowed down made me open to making unwise decisions like moving across the province of Ontario in pursuit of love. The business world is full of strong personalities and unless you know exactly what it is you stand for, unless you have a solid set of values and a strong conviction to those values, you’re going to get pushed around. I had to take the time to ask myself “okay, who do I admire, how did they become so successful, and what values do they have?”. The people I most admire hold values of kindness, consistency, authenticity, compassion and work ethic. It was then a matter of holding myself to a higher standard than before and emulating those values in my own life.

 

  1. Everybody has a story, everybody is trying to make it.

 

Rich Cardona, CEO of Flybys Media, actually said this to me a few months ago and I immediately remembered the moment I too came to this realization. “Everyone’s just trying to make it. I’m trying to make it, you’re trying to make it, Claude is trying to make it” he said.

 

It’s true, it’s so very true. Even Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Office of VaynerMedia posted on his Instagram yesterday: “want your life”, meaning everyone admires all of these amazing people, everyone wishes they could be someone else…but someone out there is wishing for your life. YES, this is another “be grateful for what you have” paragraph, but until you truly grasp what that means you’re going to be so deeply unfulfilled that nothing will ever be good enough. That emptiness I spoke of previously will consume you and you’ll be fighting to hold onto any amount of happiness from any direction (drugs, alcohol, food, porn) until you are simply depleted.

 

Alternatively because everyone is simply trying to make something of themselves in this world, we can be a little kinder, judge less, thank often and help whenever we can. Be kinder to yourself too, someone out there sees you hustling, grinding, putting in the effort and if you just keep going despite any setback things will come together for you.

 

  1. Strength comes from within. You were probably born with it, you just didn’t know it.

 

Can you think of a time when you were strong? Perhaps as a child when you stood up to a bully or found the courage to do something daring. Perhaps it was a few weeks ago when you overcame fear and spoke to someone new for the first time in months. Whatever the case, you probably realize you have had moments of being strong for quite some time. It wasn’t until after I had overcome addiction that I realized no one is weak, no one who is actually trying for something greater is a weak person. We all have strength, true grit, determination. How we put that determination into action is what matters. Many successful individuals have the burning desire to win…they feel it in their bellies, the fire consumes them so greatly that it is all they can think about. Their nature and fierce will makes them strong enough to overcome any obstacle in their path. And so this too brings us to the realization that strength cannot be from any outside source, to truly stay consistent in our strength it must come from that vulnerable and fierce place within.

 

Mark Metry, host of Humans 2.0 Podcast spoke with me yesterday and said “We all have the Humans 2.0 Version inside of us at all times, it’s just a matter of accessing it. I can look back in my own life and see moments where I was that version 2.0 as a young child. At 6 years old I would collect and trade baseball cards and Pokemon cards, and that’s how I got money to buy food because I didn’t want to ask my parents for money, we were very poor.”

 

You can come back from the lowest point in your life and make something out of it. You can inspire other people and create a lasting change in the world around you. And if nothing else, you always have a cool story to tell.

As my friend Wayne Mcleod once said “Don’t forget, everyone likes a comeback story”.

 

Carlee Lloyd.

 

F*ck What You Thought Was A Yoga Body

Shocker, another yoga post. Although, I suppose this piece could also be titled “summer body” or “perfect” body.

The truth is I wasted way too many years not attending a yoga class because of the way I thought I had to look before stepping through the doors. I thought I didnt belong because I had love handles and I had been loved myself with good food, which meant I had gained weight.

It was at the most crucial time in my life, when I really could have used yoga the most, that I felt too self-concious to walk through the door.

Also, I want to just stop here and say that I’m not hating on anyone for having a beautiful fit body, all I’m saying is that having one isn’t a prerequisite to attending yoga or even becoming an experienced yogi.

If you want better health that’s amazing. My favourite way to achieve that is holistically, by eating well, moving, and doing something for the mind. Meditation and yoga both have been scientifically proven to help depression, anxiety and mood stability.

If you do or don’t look like an Instagram model theres nothing wrong with that. Social media and society have both told us if we look different there must be something wrong.

Like Elizabeth says in Eat Pray Love “Let me ask you something, in all the years you’ve undressed in front of a man has he ever asked you to leave? Has he ever gotten up and walked out? No! Because he doesn’t care, he’s with a naked woman. He just won the lottery.”

Again here, not saying your perception of yourself should be based on what anyone else thinks of you whether they are a man or a woman.

181b7a3aa4716ef38e229a355d908ff7

Back to the yoga. The practice of yoga is for you, for how you feel during and after, for the things it allows you to work through. Yoga is a way of life, a way of love – forgiveness – peace – non-judgement.. and acceptance. Mostly acceptance that we are human.

So with of of our human-ness we must just let go of whatever we thought was the yoga body and come to realize every body is a yoga body.

Don’t let anything stop you from trying something, from seeking inner peace, from practicing self-care. It’s not about flexibility…it’s about the experience.

The only way to transcend suffering is together.

Love,

Carlee.

Remember: You are Loved. You are Worthy. You are Blessed.

IMG_20190328_082734_584

Why I Started A Yoga Studio At The Worst Possible Time.

I couldn’t think of a great title for this piece, hopefully you, the reader, isn’t a “judge a blog piece by the title” kind of person. I guess I’m thinning out the herd.

I recently embarked on a grand adventure. I started a yoga/movement studio and I have never been more scared, energized and happier. I had wanted to have a space to offer “self-care” type activities for quite a long time. Looking back in my journal I had written about opening a boutique training studio three years ago.

So, you ask… do I believe in manifesting your own reality? That’s a hard yes. 

It was the absolute wrong time in my life for many reasons. I was really developing a good writing career when all of my electronics either broke or malfunctioned a few months prior which meant I had lost all of the amazing interviews I had just done. The ceiling in my apartment was leaking, and my landlord wasn’t fixing it until it was flooding my bathroom…he then just tore the ceiling down and left a gapping hole. I was looking to move to a better apartment, I had only a part-time job, my mother had just suffered a stroke and my grandmother was needing help after leaving the hospital from open heart surgery.

There was a LOT going on. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was crumbling around me, but I had a strange sense that there would NEVER be a “right” time and that perhaps…surrounded by the chaos it was actually the perfect time. So, like in some kind of freakish twilight zone I searched for an affordable space and opened within 2 months of deciding to go for it.

I used a lot of my savings and created a space that would be inclusive of everyone, this meant having a sliding scale for pricing so that individuals on social assistance, ODSP, or in recovery could afford to take regular classes. It honestly felt good and made me feel alive to be doing something productive. It took 2 weeks to paint the entire studio, get the equipment needed and put some workshops together for the first week.

54410189_402303486996636_4328933632543555584_n

 

We are now going into our third week open, so still very new. We already have a lot of regular people coming in to enjoy the classes and it has been so wonderful to see a tribe forming before my eyes of supportive, enthusiastic people wanting to experience yoga and movement to heal themselves AND live those practices off the mat as well.

We now have Zumba, Kickboxing, Euphoric and Bootcamp.

56419479_412191559341162_4047308993402503168_n

My manifested dream is unfolding before my eyes… and today I really thought about how the timing was COMPLETELY off. How sometimes you just need to take one of the biggest risks of your life amongst the chaos, because if you’re not willing to take a risk then…when will you be?

My mom has made a full recovery, my grandmother is getting stronger and stronger each day, I still don’t own a laptop or voice recorder again yet but eventually I will and I will continue to write, AND I’m moving in June to a better apartment.

The struggle is here still as I juggle running a business with working a job, and running a business means trying to earn an actual income in the first year.

Honestly though, I have never felt more free or more focused…or more living in my “purpose” as I do when I help others feel good… and then of course write about it.

 

I hope you follow along on this journey with me because I will be sharing my take on entrepreneurship, yoga and self-care.

 

Remember: you are loved, you are worthy, you are blessed.

 

Carlee. xo 

 

You Gotta Teach Em’ How To Love You

My entire life I have witnessed women not exercising their own self-worth in relationships and being treated poorly. I myself am one of those women, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t become one…but as the saying goes “history always repeats itself” and sometimes you become the thing you’re trying so desperately hard to run away from.

It can happen in any relationship – straight – gay – whatever. This isn’t a cheap shot at men, this is a post about what I’ve learned nearing three decades.

You don’t have to scream your insecurities from your mouth and tell the world with words that you don’t feel worthy of love. The world can see it in the way you look down at your shoes or shy away from any intimate conversation. They way you apologize literally 100 times a day and put everyone first before yourself – risking your own health to do so.

It took me my entire life up until now to even realize that the way you treat yourself is a direct indication to others about how to treat you.

It took me up until now to realize you have to teach people how to love you right.

You can’t teach them to be kind, or thoughtful or funny…that comes from themselves, that comes from God or the universe or whatever higher power you believe in. But you can teach them the way you want to be loved.

You have show them how to communicate by communicating in that exact way to them. You have to tell them…I like flowers and hugs and sunny Sunday’s with fresh coffee and a good book.

How could they possible know otherwise?

On the flip side you have to love them in the way they need to be loved. Listen and truly care. That’s the kicker…in order to love someone right you’ve got to care enough to actually do it.

Life is too magical and whimsical and precious to waste it with someone who doesn’t care enough to listen.

You gotta teach em’ how to love you right. And when your done teaching, if they don’t learn… well you’ve got some decisions to make.

 

Carlee.

 

jesse-bowser-258699.jpg

 

How To Get Sh*t Done With Depression – Procrastination and Waves of Self-Doubt

Honestly, I’ve been sitting at the computer for half an hour wondering what the title for this piece should be. I finally figured I’d just write it out, you could read it, and hopefully the title that I finally chose would be appropriate.

What I REALLY want to talk about is a mixture of things…but mostly how to still get shit done when you’re dealing with depression – procrastination  and self-doubt.

0-10.jpeg

A vortex of compromising traits that make it highly probable that the next 24 hours will be wasted. The past 30 days have been proof, if to no-one else but myself, of the fact that you can still accomplish a hell of a lot and feel good most of the time.

So, let’s say you lay in bed until 11am… most entrepreneur “gurus” online would say that is HORRIBLE  and you’re  never going to accomplish your goals by laying in bed on a Saturday morning. Maybe that’s true, but maybe you also get these strange waves of self-doubt and it takes you a while to kick your own ass into gear. Maybe though, you can make up for it in the remaining hours of the day by connecting with people or working on your projects or simply taking a day to yourself because we all need to recharge.

And maybe your body just honestly needed the rest, and your mind will thank you for it.

How then can you be successful with depression – procrastination – and waves of self-doubt?

Personally, I’m on this journey myself. It takes some trial and error and lots of forgiveness but it is possible to succeed. It takes huge amounts of self-care and self-awareness. You need to be able to recognize when you’re actually tired or if it is your unwelcome friend depression coming to say hello.

Procrastination is the real kicker, especially when you run a business that other people depend on. I used to tell myself and sometimes still find myself saying “I work best under pressure”. This may feel true…but I’m not fully convinced. What truly saved me was Mel Robbins 5 second rule.  You basically trick your brain into action and stop the thinking process. You count down 5-4-3-2-1 and then without thinking immediately just get up and do what you are supposed to be doing. It works, it really does, even if I have to take 15 seconds and count down 3 times before I get up… it works.

dbc1e629548ac5592c9d78453a48ccbe.jpg

Now for self-doubt. This guy likes to come around whenever I don’t get a sale the first time around or share a post on social media that doesn’t get as much feedback as I had hoped for. The trick of the whole thing is not to care about what other people think and to just produce content and move from one sale to the next, but when you are alone your mind can sometimes play tricks on you… and try to tell you that you’re worse at your job than you really are. Self-doubt has never been effectively managed for me by anything else other than three things: yoga – good people – and inspiration.

^^ It can look more like: self -care, relationships – mindfulness.

You will find as you go along your journey, your life will fill up with different – wonderful things and when times like this arise, when things get a little bit hard and these three try to creep back in… you will have created a safety net within yourself. You will have learned that you are better, worthy, beautiful, intelligent and able to conquer the gnawing thought of wasting the day.

It takes practice, as does anything in life.

And my dear, I’m here to tell you, I’ve been practicing for quite some time. You’re not alone.

 

Love always,

Carlee

181b7a3aa4716ef38e229a355d908ff7.jpg