She's a Warrior

Posted on November 23, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 1 Comment

This is the Face of a Warrior.

She’s sweet, smart, beautiful and brave, beyond words. She has endured eight surgeries with grace and courage never mind a complaint.  But, a few days ago, she came to me with tears in her eyes. She’s now expressing fear and anxiety for the first time ever. She has always been very go-with-the-flow about it all, but she’s growing up emotionally and I better have my shit together so I can help her navigate through this. This is a battle she has to fight for years to come and she needs to be equipped to deal with it emotionally. I need to let her be sad, scared, mad and frustrated. The goal is not to “make it better” like parents often want to do. The goal is to allow the expression, to validate the emotions, to be compassionate and to simply be present.!!! If I can navigate her through this, I can give her the tools she will need to handle most of the hurdles she will have to face in life!  I believe to live a full life, to be vulnerable, to accomplish great things, to kick ass as a human, you have to stumble, fall, get your heart broken. If you have not experienced these types of things in your life, you’re probably living in protection and trying to avoid pain and suffering which is our natural response.  But to truly live a full and present life we can't avoid pain and suffering, we can only develop the tools to persevere, to rise above and grow stronger!! This quote by Cheryl Strayed hits the nail on the head: "Parents teach their children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse to ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. If you didn’t get that from your parents, you have to teach yourself". I’m going to teach my children - it’s my job. It’s hard, it’s so damn hard. I can’t make this go away for her, I can only give her the tools. The tools she will need.  She is a WARRIOR and so are you.  Now Go... Be Amazing!

The Art of Letting Go

Posted on November 02, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 1 Comment

Moving on!
Walk away with a sexy smile on your face...

Let's talk about letting go and moving forward. Please let's all keep moving forward!

One of my favorite quotes is this...
"You can spend days, months, years analyzing a situation. Or you can leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on!" Tupac

It's true, it's true! I'm living proof. I have seriously spent exorbitant amounts of time analyzing stuff that I never figured out. Obsessing over people who treated me like shit. I'm an obsessive person. I don't like to give up and I really want to figure shit out.

Let's back up! I have major abandonment issues. Beginning from a very early age, I saw loved ones just leave me, ignore me. So I basically did that most of my adult life. If you ignored me, withheld love and affection, blew me off...I was hooked! That's what love felt like to me!!!

Oh gosh, even typing that makes me shudder and honestly makes me ill. Although, it feels really amazing to have that behind me.

So how did I do it? You have to start letting people in. Allow yourself to be truly seen - flaws and all! When you do this something amazing happens. You get vulnerability in return. People open up to you and share themselves. You connect as humans - not just going through the motions.
However, I run into people professionally and socially who simply can't get there. In the past, I would take this personally and consider it my quest for them to SEE me. But, you can only give of yourself so much. You have to realize some people will always be afraid, will always push away love and will continue to disconnect to remain 'safe'.
This is when you just have to walk away. Wish them well and always be kind. Realize there is no room in a healthy life for individuals who refuse to connect. Let them go...

It is very challenging if you're used to attracting those who withhold emotion. Keep saying to yourself, "Does this make me happy?" "Is this what I want?" "Does this feel good?"
Remember, love doesn't hurt, it feels good.

Just like anything new, it must be learned. its a behavioral change that comes natural with practice and time.

Start today with baby steps. Who's loving, supportive and kind to you? Go there...go where the love is!

Now go be amazing!

Let's Talk About Gratitude

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 0 Comments

I want to talk about gratitude.

I had a situation last week that was so stressful.  I was failing several of my retailers.  I didn’t have enough product and they were all sold out.  SOLD OUT!  Holy shit!  I felt like a loser.  OR NOT!  Wait a minute.  THREE of my retailers sold out of FitChick Granola because so many people are buying it.  It’s in DEMAND.  People like it.  People are buying it!!! It's like a Sally Fields moment from the Oscars when she said "Your really like me...YOU REALLY LIKE ME!!!"

Grateful is defined by Merriam-Webster as feeling or showing thanks.  Being grateful is an act and action, a way of being and living. I am beyond grateful... for so many things in my life today.  I’m pretty sure I would never wish for the roadblocks, setbacks, painful and heartbreaking moments I have endured over the course of my life so far.  But, on the other hand, I am grateful for having the strength to overcome them and thrive!   I am absolutely certain they have allowed me the perspective I have today and IN SPITE of the setbacks, I have picked myself up and dusted myself off and have been able to rise to any challenge proving to others, but most importantly proving to myself that I don't just meet a challenge...I can kick it's ass.

I have not always been a grateful person.  I have learned to be grateful from watching very ungrateful people.  You know those people?  They complain about anything, everything.  Snore….
Stop with the whining and complaining.  It makes you feel like shit about yourself and the only people that want to hang out with you are….yes, whiners and complainers.  Like attracts like.

Take a minute and think about 5 things you are grateful for.  Go ahead.  It’s amazingly calming and uplifting.  

Listen to this...I’m grateful I have an extremely stressful work week ahead.  I’m completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of getting it all done.  I want to be there for my clients, fully, engaged and giving them the most insane workouts.  I want them to leave so exhausted and worked that they feel mentally refreshed while physically spent.  I am in an extreme backorder situation with FitChick Granola.  I have to double my production this week which requires, double time, double money, double stress.  But, you know what?  I could not be more grateful. Because these are good problems to have!!! ((((THANK YOU))))  

So, when you think you can’t be grateful, can’t handle whatever stress or obstacle is in your way, change your perspective. Think about why it’s stressful.  Think about where you have come from.  Think about where you are going.  No matter what, you can always, always find something to be grateful for. Even if it is as simple as "I am grateful to be able to walk on my own to legs, to be able to inhale and exhale, the chance to live another day on this planet".

I mentioned earlier in this blog about like attracting like.  Begin to acknowledge the good in your life.  Be grateful for even the little things and watch what happens.  When you are grateful in life, the universe reciprocates by gifting you with more abundance. And who doesn't love that?  But, don't take my word for it.  Try it.

So give thanks, show gratitude, appreciate what you have.  Go be you.  Be amazing.

What Matters Most to You?

Posted on October 12, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 1 Comment

What Matters Most to You?

As I grow older I learn how truly important the daily routine stuff is.  My daily routine might be boring to some, but I am so in love with it.  I am centered and connected because of it.

My daughter wakes me every morning by jumping in my bed, snuggling up next to me and kissing my head.  The feel of her next to me, her smell, her giggle, her words (everyday, I love you Mamma), make me feel alive and so completely loved.  My son comes in about 20 minutes later all warm and snuggly.  He likes to get under the covers and wrap my arm around his neck.  He grabs my hand and says “Mamma, can we have breakfast in bed”?  It’s always yes. YES, I make my kids breakfast in bed everyday!!!!  It’s the best thing ever and it make my kids so happy.  It’s so intimate and just us and starts our day so beautifully.  There is so much love in that bed.  Yes, I have to change my sheets - incessantly!!!

We also have this ritual called “Sweet and Sour”.  At dinner each night, we each take turns chatting about the best thing, (the Sweet) and the worst thing, (The Sour) that happened in our day.  Sometimes my kids chat about accomplishments at school or friends they got to play with.  Sometimes they simply say “Getting to see you Momma.”  

The people you share your life with day to day are what makes your life worthwhile.  There is nothing more important, more gratifying and more necessary to living a full and abundant life than connecting with other human beings.  The people you eat breakfast with, share all your secrets with and hold hands with - these are your people.  This gives purpose and meaning to your life.  You can own property, have millions in the bank, take exotic vacations.  Those things are all good. However, none of it truly matters as much as being able to share you life, heart, space and being with others you love and trust.

I acknowledge I have an extraordinary life.  I'm  established in a career I love which allows me to support myself and my children. My kids get to grow up at the beach and I get to pick them up from school everyday.  This is in sharp contrast to how I grew up.  I grew up in a completely unsafe, hostile environment and  I lived in fear most days.  I was alone most days.  
Now I am thankful... so incredibly thankful.  My children are healthy, safe, happy and loved.  We don’t do a lot of extraordinary things.  I can’t afford to take them on vacation, we live in a very tiny home and my children share a bedroom.  

But, we could not be happier...our home is filled with love and compassion for each other and the world around us and in the end, isn't that what matters most?

Enjoy and create the amazing life you deserve.  Figure out what’s important to you and do it!  

Now, Go.  Be you.

Emotional Intelligence

Posted on October 05, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 0 Comments

Anyone who knows me can tell you...I really am a very happy positive person. 
It would be impossible for me to do my job well, to be the badass mom that I am and cultivate friendships and strong connections without putting forth this energy into the universe.
Yes, the energy you put out into the universe comes back to spades. Need proof?  Sir Isacc Newton had a theory that ultimately became a law of physics surrounding this exact notion! It's called Newton's Third Law of Motion.  The theory in a nutshell is this... "For every action there is a an equal and opposite reaction".  You put positivity out into the universe? It comes back to you!
I have gone through very challenging times in my life when maintaining a positive outlook was nearly impossible. 
Hormones, life situations, illness, heartbreak, financial issues can all make happiness difficult to see on the horizon.
So I have figured out ways to keep going when you think you can't. 

I let myself be sad, scared, angry or frustrated - whatever the emotion - when it arrives. I never try to push my emotions away. I feel them, acknowledge them and marinate in them. That's right, I can be super sad and feel completely demoralized. You have to be able to let yourself feel them, to share them with those you trust, to be completely vulnerable. 
Here is an example...
I told a colleague last week that it was so challenging to continue working on FitChick Granola. I want to propel it to the next level...national. I told him some days I want to give up because it's too damn hard. He said "We are badasses and not everyone has the balls to do what we do - running your own business is not for the weak, the negative or the faint of hard!" 
He's so right and just like that, I felt better. I let myself be vulnerable and say "this is hard and I'm scared"
He reminded me how far I have come.
The next thing I do is stay connected - emotionally connected! This is nearly impossible to do when you feel like a loser. I think we all want to retreat into ourselves when we feel this way. However, you must do the opposite. 
Here's how...
Hug and kiss people you love. Tell them you're feeling like a loser. I guarantee if they love you, they will rise up and kiss you and hug you right back. 

Sometimes we are challenged to understand and recognize our own thoughts, actions and emotions.  To know thyself is called emotional intelligence.  When you truly find you know yourself, you will not project emotions onto others, you will not blame others for your feelings, you will not judge others.

Your actions will reflect love for yourself and others.

And holy crap!  When you get to that place (and TRUST me you will!), it's so liberating.  You realize that your life, your destiny, your happiness is all in your hands.  So good!!!

So go be you, an emotionally intelligent you!  Be amazing.


Posted on September 28, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 0 Comments

Meditation. It’s not exactly what is happening, but I'm making progress.
I really do want to clear my mind and be still. It's so hard!! The struggle is real people!
The closest I get to meditating is sitting and staring at the ocean. It's a very calming, happy, re-centering place for me. I love the sound, the smell, and the very sight of it. I never get sick of that view! But it doesn't clear my head. It does something else. It makes me feel overwhelmingly grateful. It makes me think how insanely lucky I am to have THIS place. Isn’t that at least a derivative of meditation? In addition to feeling grateful, it makes me feel alone and small compared to the gigantic world around us. As I was thinking about that, I was reminded of an article that I once read on the blog called "The Elephant Journal" called “The Truth About ‘True Love’”. It said "The fear of loneliness prevents us from experiencing real intimacy. True love lies beyond that fear”. It then goes on to quote what the comedian Louis CK referred to as having to face the “forever empty . . .” and that "It requires that we lay down the ego’s defenses and be naked and vulnerable . . .”. I just love how purely this is stated. And you know what? Sometimes being naked and vulnerable to ourselves, is the biggest challenge of all. So I knew I needed to be alone and work through some stuff. And I did this today. I gazed out at the beautiful ocean that ebbs and flows, right outside of my front door. I was all alone. And yet, it was exactly where I needed to be. And the next thing I knew I had been unwittingly and silently repeating the mantra: Clarity, Focus, Perspective.

Now go be amazing!

Know When to Rest

Posted on September 21, 2015 by Tamara Donofrio | 0 Comments

Sitting still is not my thing. Anyone who knows me, knows I can’t sit still. Exercise, moving, creating cooking, doing…it’s my thing. I love how energized I feel after a good long run or an insanely grueling workout. So I have a tough time stopping because moving feels so natural to me. But sometimes my body has to remind me that WE ALL NEED TO REST. Rest is how we recover, reflect and recharge.

Last week my back hurt. OK it didn’t just hurt. It felt like it was on fire. I wasn’t sleeping very well. I had anxiety. But I kept going and BAM! I got sick! I woke up Saturday morning with a headache, tummy ache and was almost too weak to get out of bed. I knew better. I kept going because I had to work. I had to be Super Mommy to my sick kid. I had to get EVERYTHING done. Then I fell ill and I absolutely SUCKED at EVERYTHING. EPIC FAIL!!!

Well I tell everyone this and I didn’t take my own advice. Rest and your body will love you for it.
If you take days off to rest, you will often come back feeling stronger and more engaged. You will be healthier and happier and have more energy.

Listen up peeps...I’m not just talking physical rest, but mental rest...

I had anxiety because I had a serious deadline that was stressing me out. I had a big meeting that I wasn’t sure which direction I  wanted it to go in. I had a big decision to make and I was avoiding it. I just kept pushing through my week because I didn’t want to deal with any of it. Well, I had about 24 hours in bed to do nothing but think. It made me feel so much better, more in control. I was forced to deal mentally. Oh and this is where I’m supposed to tell you that meditation has changed my life.
I wish I could meditate and I hope I have an amazing blog later telling you exactly how a busy body does it. However, currently I have absolutely no clue.

Mental rest for me is writing down things that stress me out. Thinking through something that is hurting you and allowing yourself to feel the pain of it. Reaching out to a loved one and allowing yourself to be vulnerable, to be seen. These are things I do to relieve myself mentally, to rest and recharge.

So listen to your body and your mind. They almost tell you where you need to be.

Now go be amazing!