The Art Of Complimenting

Have you noticed that people are a little stingy with their compliments? I’m not sure if women hold back their compliment to other women because there is that hidden underlying envy, or it’s part of the mean girl syndrome…I am not certain why it is, but I am certain that it is!

 

Giving and receiving compliments is truly an art. When done with sincerity and honesty, compliments can have a meaningful and lasting impact. Let’s dive into this subtle art form.

 

So—here is my philosophy on giving compliments. If you are thinking something kind in your head, why would you not share it? Let’s say you are out meeting your girl squad. If you see your gal pal and her skin looks radiant—radiant enough for you to notice—then voice that. I make it a point to voice those thoughts. It makes people feel good about themselves, and the fact that you noticed makes you observant, caring, and engaged. The person receiving the compliment definitely benefits from your kind words, and you do as well. Sometimes you will even get a great tip from the person you are complimenting. Like maybe she will let you in on the latest and greatest skin care product she is using.  

 

Here’s what it says about you when you give a genuine compliment:

You are observant and aware, you pay attention and you take notice.

You are not self-focused, you really look and acknowledge others.

You are confident with yourself to not feel envy or jealousy.

You are caring and choose to make others feel good about themselves.

Your character and spirit is kind and giving.

 

The art of complimenting is a very powerful form of communication. If a compliment is genuine and heartfelt, it has the ability to bring positive vibes to both the giver and the receiver. It has the force to make a person feel noticed, appreciated, acknowledged, and truly seen. The best part is when they are given freely, genuinely, and not coerced or somehow obligatory.

 

I can’t stress enough the importance of being genuine when complimenting. Don’t lower yourself by giving out a phony compliment, because it is usually quite obvious or transparent. A false compliment will only seem dubious and will have others questioning your motives.

 

 

Now let’s talk about receiving compliments. It is truly unfortunate that many of us just don’t know how to receive a compliment. When someone tells you that you look fantastic, do you say something like, “thanks, but I feel so ugly and disheveled today.” Or do you say something like, “Oh, this old thing I’m wearing?”

 

The problem with those responses is that not only do you deflate the compliment instantly, but you also invalidate the other person’s observation or feeling. They love how you look, so why would you strip them of that feeling or sentiment? When you negate their compliment, it makes the giver feel that you don’t think highly of their opinion, that you somehow diminish their observation or make it invalid.

 

 The very best way to receive a compliment is to do so with grace and appreciation—and a smile. You should say a genuine “thank you,” and allow yourself to feel the compliment, to bask in the joy it brings and how it makes you feel. Don’t shrug away a compliment given to you. There is tremendous positivity and energy in a compliment, and if you allow yourself to soak it in, you may even feel it affect your mood and outlook in a positive way. It can quite literally be powerful enough to make you feel like a million bucks, am I right?

 

Compliments can motivate, acknowledge, validate, uplift, and inspire others. So don’t let that moment pass when you are thinking wonderful thoughts about someone. They deserve to hear it, and will appreciate your kind candor. And without a doubt, their “feeling good” meter will surge.

 

Way too often our comments are soaked in criticism or complaints.  Instead, be generous with your compliments, and be uplifting with your words.

 

Here are some really great compliments to consider. Think about how these would make you feel:

 

I love doing life with you.

You had such a beautiful and endless capacity for being kind and caring.

I love how you inspire me always.

Your laughter is infectious.

You have the very best smile.

I love your outlook on life.

It’s amazing the impact you have on everyone around you.

Your skin is glowing.

You really light up a room.

I absolutely love your sense of style and grace.

That is a great color on you. It makes your eyes light up.

You are such a good listener. It’s so clear that you are.

You always have such great ideas!

I love your creativity!

You are one smart cookie!

You are more fun than bubble wrap!

You are stunning!

You sizzle in that outfit!

You are truly a breath of fresh air.

Looking good Girlfriend!

And one of my all-time faves, “Damn that confidence looks sexy on you!”

 

 

While doing my research for this blog, I came upon a story that touched me, and I wanted to share it with you all.

 

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.

 

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much" were most of the comments.

 

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.

 

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Viet Nam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

 

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."

 

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.

 

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it."

 

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him.

 

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

 

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home."

 

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album."

 

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary."

 

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."

 

And then the teacher cried. She had never known the power of her assignment, and the lifelong impact it had on her class of students.

               

 

 

Now that is powerful stuff. That is the power of compliments.

 

 

You know I always like to leave you with a quote to ponder…

Mark Twain said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

 

 

So—when you are thinking good thoughts about someone, don’t shy away from complimenting them. Don’t miss that opportunity to uplift those around you.  Be genuine and make someone’s day….

So girlbosses, let’s not be stingy. Let’s master the art of complimenting….and start to dish ‘em out Ladies!

xo,

Karen Otis

Why Morning Rituals Are Important

Morning rituals are incredibly important as they can set the tone or foundation for the rest of your day. Waking up fast, tearing through your house, getting dressed and rushing to get to work can leave you feeling flustered, unprepared, and frazzled. And that can easily turn to grumpiness!

On the other hand, by introducing three simple rituals to your morning, you can set yourself up for a day that feels grounded, productive, creative, and genuinely happy. Doesn’t that sound a whole lot better?  Now I am sure that many of you are saying… “I DON’T have the TIME for any rituals in my morning routine. I barely get out the door in time!”  I completely understand the concern. But, I promise these are quickies, and their benefit will ease you through the rest of your day in a more time efficient and productive manner that will more than make up for it.

The first is a simple stretch as you wake up.  Sit on the edge of your bed and take your arms, and starting with them on your lap, circle towards the ceiling, stretching as high as you can, and bring your hands together at your heart center. This will get your circulation going and get your body moving in an easy non-jarring way. Though not necessary, if you want to extend this further, do more stretching…ie. Bend down to the ground while standing, stretch arms, legs, hamstrings, sideways bends to stretch your back, etc.

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The second ritual is to ask yourself “What is one thing that I am excited about doing today?” It doesn’t have to be a biggie in order for it to count. Maybe it is that you get to meet up with someone for lunch. Or maybe you get to give a presentation you are excited about. Or maybe it is that you are going to take a mini-walk at lunch and eat at the park. Whatever it is on that day, visualize it, and build your excitement for it.

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And third, sit quietly and do the 4-7-8 breathing which will fill your lungs with oxygen and give you a calm state of mind. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. Then hold the breath for a count of 7. And finally, exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. Repeat 4 times. This should only take you a couple of minutes. Easy!

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You are now grounded, centered, and in the very best headspace to cope with whatever gets thrown your way. Go get ‘em Girl Boss!

xo,

Karen

What Success Means To You

How Do You Define Success

 

As Girl Bosses, we want to be successful. But with that, you must ask yourself one really important question: How do you define success?

 

In doing some research for this blog, I discovered that there are so many different answers to this question. It varies from one person to the next.

 

Maybe to you, success is having wealth and the freedom to do what you want. Or perhaps, it is having a business that allows you to make an impact, to make a difference and leave a legacy. Or it may be to raise well-rounded and confident children motivated to accomplish great things. So you can see—lots of different answers to this perplexing question.

 

For me, success is having the ability and opportunity to do what I love and make an impact helping others, having the freedom with time and money to explore the world, and having a harmonious balance between both my professional and personal life that gives me purpose, meaning, heartfelt connections, and ultimate joy.

 

Before reading further, take time to answer the question for yourself.

To me, success is________________________________________________________

 

The dictionary states that success is when you achieve wealth respect, or fame.

 

Here are some answers from people that we would most likely consider successful:

 

Sir Richard Branson, who is worth over $5 billion and founded the Virgin Group stated on LinkedIn,

"Too many people measure how successful they are by how much money they make or the people that they associate with. In my opinion, true success should be measured by how happy you are."

 

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."- Winston Churchill

 

"Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.- Deepak Chopra

 

“To me, the definition of success is waking up in the morning with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day. I was happy and felt like I was successful when I was poor, living six guys in a three-bedroom apartment, sleeping on the floor. To me, the thing about it is finding something that you love to do and then trying to be great at it. If you really love what you do, then you’re never working.” – Mark Cuban

 

“Warren Buffet has always said that the measure [of success] is whether the people close to you are happy and love you. It is also nice to feel like you made a difference—inventing something or raising kids or helping people in need.” – Bill Gates

 

 

Did you notice any commonalities while reading those quotes? None of them had to do with monetary success. All of these people are very successful in their own respective industries, and a few of them are even billionaires, but they all attribute success to a feeling of happiness or fulfillment in your career…loving what you do. True success is measured by the feeling of satisfaction you get from building a life that is completely and utterly fulfilling.

The Problematic "I'll Be Happy When" Mentality

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Why is it that we are always getting ready to really start living, rather than living right now?

It is like we are waiting for certain things to align before we can commit to living big, to living that happy, blissful, exceptional life.

 

Do you catch yourself saying…”Well, when I move to a bigger or better apartment, then I will really be able to enjoy life.”

Or… “When I finally meet the man of my dreams, that’s when I can enjoy my life.”

Or… “When I’m out of debt, then I can be happy.”

Or… “I’ll be happy when I get married….or when I have kids…”

 

When that is the mindset, when you are always putting off happiness until the next step happens, you will find yourself perpetually chasing that bliss, but never really achieving it. That is the age-old struggle—putting off happiness until…..(fill in the blank). We tend to think that happiness will come in a future event, but not at this moment NOW. We think that an event in the future will bring us that happiness. This is the “I’ll be happy when syndrome,” and way too many of us suffer from it.

But here’s the thing, that mindset is sabotaging your happiness, and keeping you in a state of wishing for what you don’t have, rather than appreciating and enjoying what you do have.

 

That negative outlook can insidiously work its way into all parts of your life, leaving you disappointed and frustrated that you haven’t finally gotten there. The reality is that you are the source of your own happiness by the thoughts you tell yourself, by the mindset you adopt, and the outlook you maintain. We need to obliterate the notion that the outside world is responsible for our happiness. That is giving the outside world way too much power. Instead it is YOU that is responsible for being happy.

 

In essence we need to throw out the Idea that if we are successful (at work, or by getting married, or by achieving wealth, etc.) that leads to happiness. Well Girlbosses, it is exactly the opposite! Flip that around! If we are happy, we will achieve more success.  Is it making sense?

 

So here are some questions you should ask yourself:

 

1.       Am I pursuing my passion? Is fear or anxiety keeping me from doing what I really want to be doing?

2.       Does my life feel meaningful and purposeful? Rather than just doing tedious busy work, am I making a difference and working on something significant and important to me?

3.       Am I living with passion, energy, and motivation? Is my life dull and monotonous, or is it exciting and fulfilling?

4.       Am I surrounding myself with people I love and care about? Do I reach out to them to be supportive and  positive?

 

Don’t allow the “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome to sabotage your life. Choose happiness today, and positive results will follow. When you realize that happiness can be yours RIGHT NOW, you will feel liberated and in control of your life. You will no longer be waiting for life to fall into place; instead, you will hold the power and the ultimate control of your own bliss.

 

 

The happiness of your life will come not from the outside world, but rather your inner world—it depends on the quality of your thoughts. It is something we create and maintain. And beyond that, it is most certainly a mindset--it is a choice we make each and every day.

Happiness is not just that elated feeling of bouncing from one joyful moment to the next.  It is more than just a positive feeling.  It is a sense of elation and fulfillment that comes from living a good life that is grounded in meaning and heartfelt satisfaction.

It is not about being happy every moment.  Truly happy people innately understand that oftentimes to sustain their happiness means pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone, to grow and experience. Studies show that happy people are in essence—curious. While this can cause some temporary discomfort or vulnerability, happy people persist because they know this will lead to an even higher level of happiness and meaningfulness.

Studies have shown that the key factors to our happiness come from three things:

  1. The quality of your social and interpersonal relationships such as a romantic relationship, close friendships, family ties, etc. play a huge role. Emotional connections are vital influencers on your level of happiness

  2. Having a job or hobby that you love and that brings you meaning and fulfillment while challenging you is another key factor.  Discovering and living your purpose is a key ingredient to overall life satisfaction.

  3. The ability to help others whether through volunteer efforts or random acts of kindness. Having the ability to give back and help others boosts our happiness level.

 

But there is also a genetic component that determines our happiness. Have you noticed that there are people who are inherently upbeat and chipper, while others are negative and sourly disappointed most of the time? We each have a happiness setpoint with genetics and personality as direct influencers.  So even when positive events happen and give us that emotional boost of joy, before long, like a pendulum we swing back to our natural setpoint.  As Marci Shimoff notes in her book, Happy for No Reason,

“Studies show that each of us has a "happiness set-point" -- a fixed range of happiness we tend to return to throughout our life -- that's approximately 50 percent genetic and 50 percent learned. In the same way you'd crank up the thermostat to get comfortable on a chilly day, you can actually raise your happiness set-point!”

Even with some of these predetermined factors, and with outside elements influencing our level of happiness, we still hold much of the power to attain happiness. With focused practice, you can create powerful habits for a more satisfying, fulfilling, and meaningful life.

Beyond the fact that happiness feels good, it is also good for you. Science has shown that happiness positively affects our immune system and overall health, heightened creativity, and our level of productivity.  Happiness can lower blood pressure, reduce levels of stress, help individuals maintain healthy body weight and stronger hearts.

So how do we do it? Here are some happiness hacks.

1.       Did you know that smiling actually causes your serotonin levels to go up? That’s your happiness hormone. Try smiling even if you don’t feel it yet….

2.       Stop the complain game. I’m sure you know those folks that always blame everyone else for their problems. Not only does it turn people away, but it makes you feel out of control and places you as the victim. Banish that bad habit of complaining and blaming. You have way moire control than you think.

3.       Keep a gratitude journal, or at the very least at the end of each day recall one great thing that happened that day…it can be big or small, but try to find some silver lining and show your gratitude.

4.       Jealousy is an ugly feeling. Rather than being jealous of others’ success or happiness, see it as an inspiration, and lasso it into your life. Inspiration is a positive vibe rather than the negative sentiments that jealousy conjures  up.

5.       And lastly get your vibration up gals! Try dancing it out, it always works for me!

So Boss gals, kick up your happiness meter! Remember that happiness is not something we are going to wait for ANY longer. Be decisive today….decide that you will no longer be hindered by the “Ill be happy when” syndrome. Create your happiness, own that beautiful mindset, and radiate it wherever you go!

And as Marilyn Monroe said “ a smile is the best makeup a girl could wear!”

XO,

Karen Otis

Are You Fully Supported?

Support.

It is defined as “to keep something or somebody upright or in place…to prevent from falling.”

We as women know that even our physical bodies need solid support. Every woman knows the importance of a good bra! While, yes we look for sexiness, support is essential! Those who struggle to walk know the importance of a solid cane or crutches! And, the arches of our feet are always begging for good support!

In architecture, support is ESSENTIAL! Without it, whatever we design, whatever we attempt to build would just come crashing down.  Foundations support the walls, which support the floors and roof above.  Engineers calculate and diagram all the loads a building will need to withstand in order to be fully supported.

But here is my question to you…Are YOU fully supported?

Fully supported…those words give us a sense of security don’t they? It is reassuring to feel that you won’t fall, that there is a solid safety net underneath you that you can fully trust.  Oftentimes, we feel that we are somewhat invincible…or that we can work best in solitude. I can understand that--others can add their drama, their issues, etc. which inevitably adds conflict or further confusion and delay to our work. All the stuff we would rather do without.  For expediency, we might want to rely solely on ourselves, without the distraction others can generate. But, here’s the thing…we CANNOT always work and be totally alone.  There will be times where that support system is vital, because as human beings we do not thrive in isolation.  We need to give and receive support. It is actually a basic human need.

And with all of the typical ups and downs that come with life, we need our family and our friends to be our “pillars of support.” The benefits of such a network of support are many. Studies have shown that with a support system, we tend to live longer and healthier lives, and we are able to cope with problems or struggles that arise. Research has also shown that a healthy support network helps us to manage anxiety and depression.

It is human nature to want people that we can rely on, that we can depend on. It helps us to not feel alone and isolated. And we count on those people in our support network to give us honest feedback, unconditional love, and a pure sense of concern and care with no strings attached.

It is also important to pick the right type of people as your pillars of support. Steer clear from those that put you down, those that don’t share your ideals or values, and those that aren’t rooting for your success as you go after your goals and life endeavors. You want to have uplifting, positive people, who are not afraid to give you heartfelt and sometimes difficult-to-hear advice. Those are the truest of friends, and the kind we truly need in times of struggle as well as the good, fun, celebratory times.

 

I asked some of our listeners what kind of support they needed most, and who they. Go to for it. Here are some of these girlboss answers.

 

Denise: “I typically need emotional support. I’m a highly anxious person who typically bites off more than I can chew. I need someone to tell me it’s all going to be okay and reassure me that I got this. I usually go to my husband for that support.”

 

Christina: “I typically go to my mother, best friend, or even someone I trust that I work with.  Whether it be financial, mental, emotional, or social support, I usually will go to someone I feel comfortable with going to with the type of issue I have at that time.  My mother is the one I go to the most for almost everything since we have a very close relationship, other than that I will go to my significant other before anything else, typically.”

Cheryl: “I need emotional support.  I wear so many hats right now that from time to time I lose my mind.  My hubby is the one that picks me back up.”

Kelly: “Support comes in all ways for me, being a entrepreneur, mom, & wife I feel like I get it from so many to make it all happen. My family to help with the kids is HUGE, mom, brother sister in law, aunts, YOU name it they are there to help in a moments notice if something needs to be done and my husband and I are needed on our projects. Girl Friends to just be there to listen when I wonder if I’m doing too much, or just doing it all wrong in general. Mommy friends are the nest and needed when you are not sure how to handle whatever it is the kids are throwing at you;) House help. For me someone to help with the house (laundry, cleaning, etc) is Key for me. My husband and I love taking our kids to school and so help with the house is key when it comes to either folding the laundry or working on a deadline. A clean space is key for me to have a clear brain so if you can’t do it all I say get help on the things where you know your valuable time could be used better for YOU!”

Do some of these resonate for you?

It’s pretty clear that we all need and thrive with support. Everyone needs companionship. Living in isolation is not good for us mentally and certainly not good for our souls. And the key to getting the support that you need is that you have to be able to ask for help. Being too proud to ask for help, thinking that you can just do it all alone, is not the healthiest approach to handle the inevitable ups and downs of life. Our support people are there for advice, encouragement, and often to enlighten us with another way to look at our own situation, from a different perspective.

Recently, my lifelong best friend got some disturbing news after a mammogram. And I knew without even asking that she would want and need my support. And, given our close friendship that has literally even for 42 yeas, I jumped right into that familiar role. She has been there for me through all of it, thick and thin. Through our marriages, and later our divorces, through having babies and then seeing them off to college. Through deaths of parents, through our own health struggles. I don’t know a time when she wasn’t there for me, or me for her.  That is the strongest pillar a girl could ask for.

Equally important, is our need and obligation to be that support for others in our lives.  Supporting others in their pursuits and their struggles breeds a feeling of community, companionship, and compassion.  The three C’s… And in this unsettling world of self-entitlement and self-importance, we could all use more of those C’s.

So, even though you may be on the fast-paced treadmill of life, remember that life is not meant to be a solo act. It is a collaboration….so remember to build and put in place your support system. Find or create your own girl squad. Nurture it, be present for it, and cherish it.  You never know when the next life earthquake can hit--and at those moments, support means everything.

 

I like this quote by M. Cabot: “

Sometimes in life, you can fall down holes that you can’t climb out of by yourself. That’s what friends and family are for—to help. They can’t help however if you don’t let them know you are down there.”

 So my strong, savvy, and sensational girl bosses, I will leave you with this anonymous but powerful quote:

Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.

xo,

Karen Otis

Is Luxury Frivolous or Essential?

Is Luxury Frivolous or Essential?

When you think of luxury what comes to mind? Does it seem like a wonderful extravagance that you desire or does it seem indulgent and give you a negative connotation? Luxury is defined as the state of great comfort and extravagant living. It is a condition off abundance.  It adds to pleasure, satisfaction, ease, or comfort, and the fact that it is not wholly necessary makes it a special treat.

Are You Radiant?

Are you Radiant?

Light, brightness, brilliance, and luminosity. That is how we define radiance.

 

Who wouldn’t want to be that? Right?

 

And do you know what one of the most attractive traits is in women? It’s feminine radiance. I like to call it our feminine finesse.  It’s when as a woman, you shine, you radiate the essence of who you are. It is that indescribable glow that comes from within and emanates to the outside. And when you allow your radiance to spill over, it makes you the most exciting, most dynamic, most confident , most beautiful, and passionate woman in the room.

 

I’m sure you’ve witnessed it. Maybe you’ve seen a woman walk into a restaurant with a sparkle in her eye, and with a confident stride. Or maybe you have seen it in the workplace when a dynamic woman addresses the group in a meeting, and she captures their attention with her hard-to-define spark.

 

We each possess it, we each already have it within us. But, with life’s obligations, worries, stressors, and exhausting to-do lists, we tend to slowly lose our “glow.” We find our radiance diminished along with our vitality. You may not even be aware that it has been slowly slipping away. And, in our “gender-neutral” modern world, you can start to feel like your feminine “finesse” is “finito!”

 

But here is the thing Lady bosses, your feminine finesse can truly be one of your very best assets. It is the beautiful combination of strength, confidence, softness, and compassion. If you could bottle it, you would have the most exquisite elixir. It is what enables us to lead with strength and grace, a powerful duo.

 

So what do we do when we feel that our radiance is falling short? Not to worry…you can replenish it and coax it out of hiding. Here are my best tips to regaining your “glow.”

 

 

1.       Increase your vibrational energy.  We are vibrational beings. Science has shown that we have vibrational energy that emanates from each of us. When you are in a high vibrational frequency with high energy, you are likely to feel increased health, excitement, happiness and overall well being. By increasing your vibration, you can experience higher levels of creativity, intuition, compassion, spiritual awareness, joy, confidence, connection, and love.

 

When you are in a high vibration, you will attract positive people, synchronicity, the ease and graceful flow of your actions, moments of bliss, and true blessings. So try laughing, dancing, hanging out with friends with high vibration that helps bring out yours.

 

2.       Connect with your feminine side. Take time to feel beautiful. Wear something that makes you feel feminine. Dab on some lipstick and some sensual perfume. Tap into your unique beauty. Every woman has her unique beauty, so embrace it and be comfortable with it. Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful, that accentuate your individual femininity. Yes, it can be easy and comfy to throw on some old sweats…but not all the time! ( UH OH… I may have just heard an audible groan!) Tend to your body with care and make the most out of what makes you beautiful.

 

3.       Increase your levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. It's sometimes referred to as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone," because it is released when people are in love, or when your pet snuggles or stares at you with adoring eyes. (Cali is an expert at this!) These are some supplements that increase the oxytocin levels naturally:

 

Vitamin D: research shows that oxytocin is activated by Vitamin D.

 

Vitamin C: research shows that oxytocin is directly dependent on Vitamin C because it can increase the release of oxytocin.

 

Chamomile: Researchers know that chamomile naturally increases oxytocin and at the same time lowers cortisol which is a stress hormone.

 

Jasmine Oil has been used for centures in Asia to improve mood, and reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have found that aromatherapy with Jasmine Oil can increase levels of oxytocin. You can use the essential oil directly on your skin (or in lotion form) or it’s also great in a diffuser.

 

4.       Ignite all of your senses daily. Being sensual comes from bringing your senses to the forefront. The world is a beautiful place with so many wonderful things to see, smell, hear, touch, and taste. When you allow your senses to really take it all in, you raise your awareness, your appreciation, and your engagement with the world. And as women, we are meant to be connected, nurturing, and attentive. So, use a beautifully scented lotion, light an aromatic candle, bring in fresh flowers, enjoy a decadent piece of rich chocolate…

 

5.       Slow it down. When we are so ultra-busy running around with our massive to-do lists, being productive, going from one errand to another, we tend to speed up time and notice less. But life is meant to be lived…and lived well. So smell your toasty cup of coffee, feel the warmth of the sunlight on your face, and breathe in the aroma of your savory meal. Be in the moment, slow it down just a bit, and absorb life in every possible way.

 

So my lovelies, bring out the glow you already have within. Allow your radiance to be the light that illuminates your life, and spills over onto the outer world and everyone you encounter.

 

You know I love quotes, so here it is:

“Beauty is a radiance that originates from within and comes from inner security and strong character.”  -Jane Seymour

xo,

Karen

 

Guest Room Goals

Do you have lots of guests that come to stay with you? Or maybe it’s a close friend who needs somewhere to crash overnight. Either way, it might just be the perfect time to spruce up the guest bedroom. While most of the year, the guest room may be the room you rarely even walk into, all of a sudden when you are having an overnight guest, you are thinking, “uh oh..I wish I had thought of making the guest room cozy and inviting.”

 

Well not to worry my girl bosses. In know that as the CEO of everything in your life, you don’t want your guest bedroom to fall short. So, I’ve come up with some easy-to-do quick fixes to add life, sparkle, and warmth to your guest room so that your guests feel extra special.

 

Start with some fresh cut flowers. You can never go wrong with putting some fresh flowers on the nightstand. Not only does it add a beautiful splash of color, bring nature into the space, but also the scent is wonderfully inviting. I recommend buying them the day of arrival so that they will be fresh and last for their entire stay.


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Throw in a throw! When guests come overnight, I love to make them feel cozy in their surroundings. I’m all about the cozy, lusciously soft throws. It’s a great way to add color and/or texture to a room. My personal favorites are always the faux fur ones since they seem a bit decadent and luxurious.

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Serve it up! I love to put a pretty serving tray at the end of the bed. Usually I put a few new magazines or books for my guests. It’s also great to use on the nightstand with a glass and pitcher of water. It’s like showing your guests that you have thought of every necessity to make them comfortable.

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Bring the Glow.  Add a beautiful scented candle. Nothing brings the warm welcome to a room better than a candle with a sensuous scent.  So I typically leave a candle and lighter on the nightstand or dresser.

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Wrap your guests in the delicious comfort of a cozy robe. Every guest appreciates feeling like their stay away from home is as luxurious as a 5 star hotel. I mean, who wouldn’t right? And you can add a simple touch to give them that. By hanging a robe either in their closet or in the bathroom, you will be giving them the Ritz! Just make sure that you get a gender-neutral robe, I think white looks best, because it will feel restful and spa-like.

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Elevate their luggage. To really bring in the 5 star hotel vibe, why not add a luggage stand for your guest. You can find them online and they are VERY affordable. Your guests will love that you have thought of it all! It will also keep the room looking organized rather than a big ol’ suitcase on the floor with everything spilling out of it.

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So there you have it Girl Boss. You are ready to put the finishing touches on your guest room, and be the hostess with the mostest. Be sure to tag me in the beautiful posts of your welcoming slice of hotel-like heaven so I can see the results!



xo.

Karen Otis

Goal Setting Like a Boss

It is almost time to wave goodbye to 2018,  and prepare for the adventures of 2019. This is the perfect time to look back and note our accomplishments, our positive outcomes, our disappointments, and our wishes for the New Year. In essence, this is a great time to set new goals for ourselves.

Setting goals is vitally important to our well-being since it brings purpose and direction to our lives.  Without clear and definable goals, we can tend to drift aimlessly and without any focus. Lacking goals would be like wandering the grocery store without a clue as to what you need, what you already have in the refrigerator at home, or what you even want to cook or eat. Aisle after aisle, you would be just moseying along.

But, knowing how to set goals is just as important.  For many, this can be the tricky part. Here is my technique to make sure your goals motivate and encourage you to succeed.  CREATE your goals by using that very  word as your acronym! 

Clear: Clarity is everything when goal setting.  The more concise and precise the goal, the better your focus is to achieve it. Don’t be vague. For example, if your goal is to expand your business—by how much? Will you be adding employees? How many? Will you increase the income? By how much?  You get the idea…

Relevant : Make certain that your goals are relevant to you—that they represent your wishes not those of others in your life. Sometimes we are so eager to please those around us that we take on their wishes as ours.  Do your parents or spouse feel that you should be setting certain goals? Do those goals truly resonate with you? Do they feel right for you?

Excite : It’s a must that your goals excite you! You need to feel passionate about the goals you set.  The goals should be so important to you that they are no longer just a “want”…they become a NECESSITY! Otherwise they will simply not motivate you to accomplish them. Sometimes this means that the goal might feel like a stretch, like it is tough to attain.  This is not a reason to shy away from it.  For me, some of the most challenging goals I have set for myself became my biggest victories! 

Align: Goals need to align with the overall life design you are seeking to build. Goals are the stepping stones to lead you to the life vision you desire. Let’s say that you want to change jobs and even the field that you are currently working in.  The goal might be to research and attain the skill set you will need to make that shift. Once you have a strong understanding of your desires and vision, you can lay out the steps you will actively take to make it all happen.

Target: In order to transform a vision into a reality, the goals need to have specific target dates for completion.  This anchors the goal, and sets a realistic timeline for its completion. Otherwise, our goals can simply remain as wishes that we still desire, but never realize.

Evaluate: Goals need to be evaluated for their effectiveness and their level of completion.  When setting goals, be sure that you can measure their success. For example, if you are embarking on that career change I mentioned earlier, perhaps getting a certificate or degree is the measure of completion for this goal.  Others might choose to find a mentor to guide them through their learning process for this new career path.  In that case, researching who might offer you an internship, approaching them, and solidifying a schedule to work with them would be the way to measure the completion of this goal.

 

Easy acronym and it works! With this helpful criteria in mind, you will find that goal setting becomes easier and much more effective.  So, put some deep thought into your 2019 Girl Boss…pick the goals that light you up…and begin your adventure!

Here’s to you killin’ it in 2019!

xo,

Karen Otis

Boosting Your Immunity

December is certainly flu season, and it can seem like everyone around you is coming down with a cold, stuffy nose, fever, or cough. It’s almost impossible to stay away from it completely.

 

So what’s a girl boss to do? Since you cannot put yourself in a sterile bubble to keep all the floating germs away, what you can do is boost your immune system so that your body can fight it easily. So in this blog, I’ve got a list of tips to keeping you healthy even in the germ pool.

 

Your immune system defends you from the microbes that cause diseases. It is the key to your resilience, and your ability to fend off the onslaught of germs you run into every single day. So how can we make that immune system even stronger during the holidays, when we need our health to be in tip top shape?

 

 

So let’s dive in:

1.       The biggest culprit to sabotage your immune system is stress. When you feel stress, your body releases the hormone Cortisol. If that hormone is running rampant in your body at elevated levels and for a long period of time, then your immune system will be compromised. So my first tip is to MANAGE YOUR STRESS! Now I know you are probably rolling your eyes my girl bosses, because that seems sort of impossible right? But at least try adding some healthy habits to drop stress levels. For example, have you tried meditating? Even 5 minutes a day has an astounding effect on your stress level. This is great for the mind and body.

 

2.       Eat healthy. Your body needs the nutrients to supply your immune system. To counteract viruses, your intake of fruits and vegetables should be increased. There is truth to the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Try to eliminate or at least minimize the processed foods that are loaded with preservatives and chemicals. These are like poison to your immune system.

 

Now I’m going to let you in on a little well-kept secret. My ultimate go-to when I need to boost my immune system is homemade bone broth. This is like the elixir for health. Bone broth is made with all the bones from a chicken, cooked in a slow cooker for 24 hours. The bones literally dissolve and what you get is a healthy concoction that tastes delish! I will include the link to the recipe at the end of the blog. I have to give the credit to my man, Jeff, because he has perfected this!

 

3.       Sleep, sleep, and more sleep. We are typically sleep deprived and we run on empty as we try to get everything done. But your body needs sleep to be in optimal immune shape. So don’t burn the candle on both ends, and try to limit all the excessive partying at this time of year.

 

4.       Sunshine! A little bit of sunshine daily (about 15 minutes) does wonders to trigger your body’s production of Vitamin D.

 

5.       I know you probably don’t want to hear this one…but yes, regular exercise aids your immune system in multiple ways. Exercise bumps up your circulation which helps white blood cells to move through your body and are more easily alerted to pathogens.

 

Studies show that people who include regular exercise into their lifestyle take fewer sick days (approximately 50% less) than people who have a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise also helps to flush out bacteria from the lungs. It has also been shown that the temporary boost in body temperature during exercise helps our bodies fight infections in a way similar to how a fever works when we are sick.

 

And lastly, we LOVE the release of endorphins. You know the ones that make us feel better, promote a good mood, and act like super-hero natural painkillers.

 

I will note that if the exercise is too intense, like an athlete’s hard-core training, this can actually weaken the immune system. Over training can have a negative impact on the immune system, so regular exercise in moderation is the ticket!

 

Now you are equipped with the tools to boost immunity. Put them to use, and you will enjoy a healthier holiday season and be in tip-top shape when you leap into the New Year!

XO,

Karen Otis