1 Mudslides are real.

We had grand intentions for this country. After our journey in Punta Cana with our coaching team, we were to spend only a moment in Santo Domingo before heading to the white sandy beaches of the isolated Samaná Peninsula. We booked an Ecolodge with open air huts and farm-to-table food. Only a couple bus rides before we’d connect with our host there!

A day before our departure to Santo Domingo, though, there were these incredible rains. So much so, that even our 5-Star resort lost power for a moment. The rain showed no signs of stopping. Suddenly our raw, yet stunning ecolodge looked like a rain-drenched, mosquito-infested, damp-heat nightmare. We canceled our reservation. Our disappointment was a blessing in disguise, because as soon as we arrived in Santo Domingo, we heard from a father-daughter duo who had just returned to the South from Samaná. They had witnessed a mudslide, got off their bus, walked across the mudslide, and continued on with a different bus. I have an adventurous spirit, but I refuse to volunteer for something straight-up dangerous.

Bottom line : Mudslides are real. Always choose flexible booking and lenient cancellation policies.

2 There is a dress code.

We were walking down the city streets of Santo Domingo. There is heckling and whistling… siempre. But one day was different… This man repeated this phrase many times as he continued to interrupt my personal space more and more : “Cuando trabajas?” “Where do you work?”

Why? I was wearing shorts.

The heat index was 104 degrees Farenheit. I’d been adhering to the noticeable feminine dress code for a few days : jeans. But I just couldn’t do it any more. I was too fucking hot. Apparently he thought so too. The heckling doesn’t happen as much in the touristy areas. At this moment we were a 7min walk outside the Zona Colonial. I gave him a wave (Think #BoyBye). Kaja gave him a glare (Think #SeverusSnape). We continued on.

Bottom line : OPEN YOUR EYES. Determine what the dress code is and adjust accordingly. Try to stay inside during the heat of the day, so you’re not tempted to stray outside the lines and draw unwanted attention. BUT if it’s noon and you’re hungry and hot AF, do what you have to do, sister.

3 Toilet paper is a luxury.

There were MANY a restroom that did NOT have toilet paper. I know. Ew, right? Gross on so many levels. We ladies prefer a different definition of “Shake it out.” Lord help whoever has to go #2 in that situation. Next level gross? If there is not TP for me, then that means that there isn’t TP for everyone else on this island.

Bottom line : Bring those freaking tissue packs with you everywhere you go.

4 The Sex Trade is here.

It’s here. It’s especially here in the beach towns. You’ll be able to tell who the working girls are, and they’ll be looking for you too. It doesn’t matter if you’re gal or guy; they’ll try to see if you’re interested. We didn’t realize how big it was in Boca Chica until we arrived. I personally don’t think it’s something to be afraid of, but it’s absolutely something to be AWARE of. With prostitutes come pimps. It was very interesting seeing it play out at the disco. That crowd didn’t file in until 2am, and we immediately filed out.

Bottom line : Be aware of what’s going on in the areas around you. If you don’t feel confident passing women with these jobs in the street, then you need to stay at a resort. Usually the locals, at least from what we’ve been told of this area, are more afraid of you than you are of them. Either way, don’t be stupid. Know yourself and your limits.

5 The buses are not on island time.

Everything here really is island time. Two minutes means thirty minutes. It drives me fucking crazy, so it’s been a good test of my patience. The BUSES, however, are NOT on island time. We arrived at the bus station an hour prior to departure, and the bus was full. Something got lost in translation as our friend at the ticket counter told us that we should get on the bus and pay then. We were kicked off the bus. It wasn’t cute being stuck at a bus station in the rain in the middle of a Dominican village with gua guas surrounding us. We quickly hopped on WiFi and grabbed the closest Airbnb possible, asking our host to send us a taxi she trusted.

So how did this happen? The bus systems are REALLY popular, and they don’t take reservations. This isn’t like Europe where you show up to the train station, and you’ll definitely get a spot. Quick tips?

•Pay attention to things like national and religious holidays.

•Ask locals which bus times are the least crowded.

•Arrive at LEAST an hour prior, maybe earlier.

•NEVER try to get the last bus as your only game plan.

•If you have no other choice but to grab the last bus, have a backup plan at the ready.

Ever been to the islands? Share your story, babe!

Mad love,

J

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first impressions

I sat in a white 7-passenger van with seven giggly, smily souls. We pulled up to the sign in large purple letters : Hard Rock Resort and Casino. They opened the gates and we entered a paradise hidden by massive stucco walls that separate the resort from the world.

My jaw dropped. I did it. I was here.

As I stood in the lobby I was serenaded by Dominican men dressed up as members of the YMCA. I circled and noticed food in every direction. I heard my name as my best friend and business partner collided into me.

Our jaws dropped. We did it. We were here.

I opened the door between the the crowded lobby and the balcony overlook. The only barrier was this floor-to-ceiling glass, and as I stepped to the edge, I felt tingles up and down my body. For as far as I could see there were palm trees and blue water. There was a smell of salt water and adventure. My hands clutched my chest as I ran out of breath. Tears fell as I recognized the magnanimity of this moment.

My jaw dropped. I did it. I was here.

how did i get here

Many people are curious how I earned a free all-expenses paid trip. I’ll tell you. But, do you know that I also earned it last year from my work in 2015? Unfortunately I earned it later in the year, so I was at the bottom of the wait list. Talk about a bummer when all your gal pals went on a cruise, and you didn’t quite make the cut.

So do you see that we qualify the year prior to the trip? Every year that we’ve earned the trip [the Cruise in 2015, Punta Cana in 2016, and Rivera Maya in 2017] is a direct reflection of the number of people we help get started on our health and fitness journey. In 2015 I helped an average of 4 people a month. In 2016 I helped an average of 6. In 2017 I’ve been helping an average of 8.

Let me be clear though. MOST coaches on these trips change the lives of only 3 people each and every month. It’s consistency. It’s leading with heart. It’s caring about people a whole, whole lot. The trip is a nice incentive, but anyone on the trip will tell you… it’s not our driving force. If the company decided to increase the qualifications to earn it, decrease the value (a resort ranked with fewer than 5-Stars) or simply cancel the Success Club trip altogether… we would still do what we do. There is NO doubt in my mind.

how is this different than other recognition

I’m not one to be driven by recognition. I’m more of a team gal. I’m in this for sharing this opportunity of a big, bold life with others. I’m in this for building a tribe of women who are hell bent on crushing it to build the life of their dreams. I have this crazy hunger to pay it forward.

It just so happens, though, that this company is very fond of recognition. We receive gifts every month for helping 3 people get started on their fitness journeys. I’ve received backpacks, bluetooth speakers, t-shirts, etc. My favorite is when they gift us targeted personal growth seminars with the likes of Elizabeth Gilbert, Jen Sincero, and John Maxwell.

But this isn’t that. It’s not about the team. It’s not a one-off gift for one month of hard work.

This is a reward for my individual efforts alone. This is a reward for consistent effort. This is a BIG deal. In the words of the WEEKND, “‘Cause girl, ya earned it.” In fact, you’ve earned it SO much, you get to bring a plus one… for free. Talk about an amazing opportunity to pay it forward to someone who’s just a light in your life. Most coaches bring their spouse, but my girl Kaja lucked out. #thatsinglelife

the highlights

the room

There is NO way that I would have brought myself somewhere like this without it being a little bit forced. When I see a price tag of $300 a night, I think about how that’s actually 15 nights in a hostel in Portugal – the kind with great WiFi. I naturally connect with the raw experience, so being gifted this luxe environment was really freaking good for me. It put me a bit outside my comfort zone. I’m not afraid of the luxe anymore. I see some more luxe in my future along with my smattering of the raw. Especially if the beds are like this. #clouds

the spa

Another luxe experience that opened my eyes… spending $750 in resort credit at the spa. We each chose an aromatherapy massage and oxygen facial. Again, I see $750 and think about how that’s a couple student loan payments, but what else is there to do with credit except spend it? Nada. So, to the spa we went.

The treatments were unreal, as were the surroundings. There was no less than a hydrotherapy pool, a sauna, a steam room, an ice room, a tropical rain shower, and a mudroom [where we caked our bods in exfoliating mud]. Sipping on chlorophyll water or hot tea, we soaked in the moment as well as our oils and went slow.

One Note : Don’t eat salmon an hour before a massage. Things get gurgley.

the dancing

Our first night was a Welcome Celebration in a square of the resort. There was a dance floor, but it’s not like our team to stick to what’s normal. We could be found in a mass dance party next to the food because, where else? It was a true moment of connecting with these women, these sisters. We may be from all over the US, but we’re bound by the same mission of helping others lead healthy, fulfilling lives. In that moment there were no coaches that had achieved more or less, just women celebrating the collective contribution that we’ve made upon the world.

the lowlights

There were so many other things. I just kind of want to list them, because they’re pretty self-explanatory. Hope that’s ok. 😉

Free 24/7 room service, a tram service to drive you around the resort, bundles of fantastic restaurants that never required a check, pools on pools on pools, cabanas on the ocean, a foam pool party, unlimited (tropical) drinks, the sweetest staff ever, robes on robes on robes, a hot tub inside each room, rainshower showerheads, these really delightful fruit and nut truffles that I may have hoarded, grills on grills on grills of shrimp and salmon and omg, a serious level of sexy ambiance.

next year

I’ve already earned the trip to the Unico Resort in Riviera Maya next year [where the spa credit is unlimited]. Truth is, you can too, darling. Coaching, in a nutshell, is having the system and support to live your healthiest life and grow into the woman you wish to be. Then, we just pay it forward and watch the tribe grow. It’s about leading with heart, failing forward, and getting gritty with your own growth. When we do that, we have pearls in abundance. [Or should I say Diamonds, Team Bold + Brave?]

Be here next year. Can’t wait to dance with you. <3

Mad love,

J

 

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Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning we you give it. – Tony Robbins

mercury in retrograde

My communication always takes a hit with Mercury in Retrograde. When I can manage to find my words, I stumble all over them. When I can manage to comprehend another human, I’m get easily offended. Said another way… I do a shit job sharing my actual thoughts in a clear way, thus making my true meaning hella susceptible to misunderstanding AND I do a shit job assuming the meaning of another’s words in the positive light that they were intended.

#truthbomb We can let any circumstance, situation, or moment empower or disempower our lives, and the same can be said for words. You have the choice to use your language for powerful connection and joy. You have the choice to interpret another’s words in any way you choose.

The Universe has been pummeling me with it for the past week. #relentless And it’s been painful. Every damn time it has been painful. But what’s the reason that we change? Pain. Let me give you a few examples of my stupidity and carelessness. 🙂 Maybe you can find just a glimpse of your own thoughts within mine.

kaja

Yesterday, we’re at Whacamole for dinner. Over munching on, you guessed it, the Whacamole (a cauldron of the Dominican’s best avos, cilantro, and far too much lime), I said something insensitive. Through the smoke from the sausage smoker, Kaj was speaking to the luxe Airbnb she found for us in Punta Cana. When she was asked was about it’s booking I said something to the effect of… “Come on. Of the two of us, we know which one is the planner.”

Boo. Hiss. Bitch Comment.

In my mind I was just thinking about our personalities. Kaja is a free bird. (So much so that her hashtag is #leavetheflock.) She’s a goddess and a wanderess and a total babe. She’s my California vibin’ soulsister with a heart of gold. So, in my mind, it was meant to be more of a self-deprecating comment as the control-freak planner who gets high on spreadsheets and practically snorts the color-coding glory of highlighters. But totally didn’t communicate that at all.

Kaja, being the exemplar that she is, mentioned it on the way home, knowing that I might have meant something different. [Enter immediate apologies and embarrassment.] We worked it out and continued on in our abundance mindsets.

ellen

Text and messages make things especially difficult. I’ll often tell people… Can I have an emoji with that? Even when Mercury is NOT in retrograde I have trouble distinguishing emotion in text communication. (It’s the freaking worst part about online dating btw.) Now remember that my business is an online business : ninety percent of my communication is virtual. I have coping mechanisms now to be sure that MY intention is received appropriately. I use a LOT of exclamation points and emojis and CAPITAL letters. I use voice and video messages when possible. If you’ve ever received a message from me, you may have been overwhelmed by it. 🙂 But you knew my emotion, right?! #missionaccomplished

But other people don’t do that.

I’ve learned just to ask to clarify what the intent was behind the message if I’m not sure. There are some people, though, like Ellen, with whom I forget to not assume intention. I feel like I’m in her brain all the damn time, which is dope AF. We communicate daily, usually via FaceTime. So, like, I know exactly what she means all the time, right?

Wrong. Totally wrong. So every two weeks or so, I relearn this lesson. Why so often? I think it’s because we’re just SO in each other’s lives from a distance. It’s kind of like a long-distance relationship. I did this for 3 years, so I know a little bit about it… You and your SO start bickering, and you’re not sure why. You get annoyed super easily. You feel like you’re not being heard. You start driving and consider turning the car around cause just ugh. But then… as soon as you see each other… everything seems to ease into magic. It’s like you can breathe again, because you can use all of your senses. You know their intention with their body language, their inflection, their eye contact. Suddenly, things just make sense again.

This is why Ellen and I start to go a little crazy if it’s been three months without a real-life, in-person, breath-extinguishing hug. 🙂 We always get through it, because we’re us. I deffo need to work on that whole assuming best intentions. Especially because, like, she’s my girl.

intimacy

*Sigh* Where do I even start this one? Ok. I’ll keep it short. When you’re getting to know someone, you’re getting to know how they look at the world. Sometimes people are easy to read. Sometimes they’re not. The thing is, they’re getting to know YOU too. They’re getting to know how YOU look at the world. And you’re here, reading MY blog. So, darling, you’re probably not a simple lady. You have stories to tell. You have a passion to pursue. You are lightness with feels. In the end, you’re like me. The girl who just craves being understood and to understand the other.

When you’re getting to know someone (and know know someone), stay light. You’re both new at this. Give yourself grace and stay humble. Give him some grace and keep him humble. If you’re afraid that he’s going to be picking you apart, then be sure that you’re not picking him apart.

progress over perfection

It all comes back to growth — that internal journey. None of these suggestions coming up are FIX it cures. They’re things you have to continue to work on.

  1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Are you projecting your insecurities about yourself or this relationship into the meaning you’re creating for whatever has been said to you? I do it ALL the damn time. So, check yourself. Remain aware.
  2. Create an empowering meaning for yourself. Depending on the situation, sometimes you’ve looked internally, and realized it wasn’t your own limiting belief giving you weird vibes about an interacation, and you don’t need to ask for clarification. Just create an empowering meaning for yourself and move the fuck on.
  3. Don’t make it a thing. Depending on the situation, sometimes you’ve looked internally, and realized it wasn’t your own limiting belief giving you weird vibes about an interacation, and you do need to ask for clarification. Don’t make it a big deal. Just ask. One-on-one. Preferably in person.

Mad love,

J

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souladventure (n.) the bold and brave act of taking to the world with just enough of a plan to create breakthroughs, change your life, and seek your soul.

An idea is like a butterfly. When it’s ready to be known, to be cared for, to be born, it flutters onto the shoulder of the soul it hopes will bring it forth into the world. Souladventure is my butterfly. I didn’t understand it at first. I didn’t know what it would become. I didn’t realize that it would change my world. I never dreamed that it would inspire so many others to simply consider doing the thing (let alone actually DO the thing). I sit in awe as I’m seeing the word used in my circles across social media. The movement is growing. If you’re sitting here reading this right now, then you, my darling, are a founder.

So let me start at the beginning. I’ll tell you a bit of the story. I’ll be looking for you to share yours with me. This really is happening. This really is a thing. Buckle in, hot pants. It’s about to get really real.

how did it start?

I decided to go to an event in San Jose. It’s called Unleash the Power Within. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s led by Tony Robbins. Not to sound cliché, but he’s kind of a big deal. I mean, fuck, you guys, he coaches Oprah and Bill Clinton and Pitbull. But I didn’t know any of this when I made the decision to go. I knew nothing. I mean what the actual fuck is an immersion seminar?

So why did I decide to go? Every coach in my network is a raving fan of the event. Usually when there is buzzing like that it’s because of new opportunities in business. But this wasn’t that. Everyone in our network was buzzing from the perspective of “This made me a better human being. I am changed.” If you know me NOW, then you know just ONE testimonial like that would catch me hook-line-sinker. I’m the self-proclaimed girl who loves growth, right? But I actually realized I was that girl and defined myself as her at the event. At the time of deciding to go I was still the “old me”.

My internal dialogue went something like this… This will eat away my savings. I would have to go alone. Can my IBS handle it? This whole idea is kind of terrifying. But, what’s that saying? Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. What kind of woman do I want to craft myself into? Someone who’s scared? I should probably just listen to my intuition on this one. 

In that moment when I decided to listen to my intuition, call the guy, read the credit card number, and commit… That’s the moment when the Universe, the butterfly, knew I was serious. It wasn’t many days later while doing something mundane (I think I was making my bed, actually.) that I had a flash of an idea… if I am to fly across the country for a seminar, then I might as well make it a thing. I called my best friend immediately, and said the words OUT LOUD. Ellen, I think I’m going to travel up the Cali coast. A few days later I booked a one-way flight into San Diego and a one-way flight out of San José.

By September I’ve had this whole trip ruminating in my subconscious for a month or so. In looking to the future and determining how I wanted this travel to change me, my past came into focus. I realized the enormity of all the shit I’d gone through since 2012. I realized all the change that I’d made in the last 6 months including breaking off a 4-year relationship, leaving teaching, moving home, and becoming a full-time wellness entrepreneur. It was an overhaul that led me to the question I needed to answer…

who do i want to be?

What a blessing that we get to ask this question. What a blessing that we can craft ourselves into who we wish to be through decision. What a blessing that we get to be masters of our fate and captains of our soul. What a blessing that we can have experiences that allow us to explore that question.

And, just like always, it came to me in a flash :: souladventure. The word encapsulated everything I was feeling. I was on an adventure to seek my soul. In truth, it was selfish. Selfish, but necessary. Can I make one hot second distinction though… this wasn’t a vacation. This was an intentional way of stepping into the woman I am becoming while realizing who I’d always been. I discovered myself somewhere else.

how did the transformation || breakthroughs || discovery happen?

I don’t have any science to back this up. I just know this is what manifested for me. I declared my intent. I stood on the edge of Sunset Cliffs within a couple hours of touching down in California. I hopped on Facebook LIVE. I said the word : souladventure. I said the intent : seek my soul. From that very moment on, I had breakthrough after breakthrough. The entire trip felt like the most natural, in flow thing in the world. It led me to realize my calling.

But, to take a break from the woo-woo for a moment, I have taken some time to cognitively understand this experience. Quite simply, I was in a new place that was bursting through old, dreary, limiting beliefs and thought patterns. I just couldn’t think the same thoughts because of all the newness. At the same time I was doing the recommended audio program as pre-work for Unleash the Power Within seminar. So every day I was planting those lovely seeds of positivity, creation, and change into my subconscious that were fertilized further by the gorgeous Cali surroundings.

Self-Immersion

It was solo travel. I was literally immersed in self. It’s a completely new, but completely old personal growth experience.

New? It’s a new idea because to intentionally complete a personal growth program // book // THING at the same time as a trip is new. This isn’t a book you pick up at the airport as an afterthought. This isn’t that one growth book you figure you should read while you have time on vacation. This is deciding how you want to change on this trip, committing to it, and seeing all experiences through that lens while traveling. You are not VACATING anything. You are ENTERING into a commitment with yourself for how you will LIVE the rest of your life.

Old? There’s a reason we’re all obsessed with eat pray love and wild and under the tuscan sun. It’s because we’re attracted to women on a journey of growth. It’s magnetic.  In learning about how they’ve changed, we learn about ourselves. I experience a slice of that magnetism every time I souladventure. I have women reach out to me left and right saying, “I could never do what you do. I don’t have the courage. It sounds terrifying.”

Does it? Or does it sound exhilarating?

what’s next?

Let’s just hop back to that definition for a moment, so that we keep our outcome in mind.

souladventure (n.) the bold and brave act of taking to the world with just enough of a plan to create breakthroughs, change your life, and seek your soul.

Where do I come in? I inspire you to take the bold, brave act by doing these things myself. Then I give you just enough of a plan, tailored to you, so that you can do the thing too. I guess you could say I’m on the search for the Founding Souladventure Goddesses.

There’s so much more to come. There’s so much more in store. There’s just so much. This is just the tip of the iceberg, darling. There are no words to describe how much your support means to me.

Mad love,

Jasmine, your Chief Adventure Goddess

PS. Use these (big or small), so that I can love on you. #souladventure #adventuregoddess

 

 

 

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I wrote this  a week ago. I wrote it when I was in the suck. I thought it was too much suck to post, but when I came back to it today it just felt like truth. So I’m doing that thing again where I step outside my comfort zone. The root of the root here is that we all have different times in the suck. This was my most recent. Mad love, J.

March. Has. Sucked.

So I’m sitting here telling you how March has sucked. Not my usual go-to, eh? I’m the self-proclaimed gal who loves growth, lives in gratitude, and looks on the other side of the coin. But you know what, sometimes life just knocks you down again and again and again (and again). I’m not immune. Some might call March just a test from the Universe, and sure, it is that. But, you know what else? It also sucks.

Let me say right off the bat, I don’t live here. I don’t let myself sit with the suckage for long. But I do let myself feel the feels, because one way or another I’m going to feel them. So I might as well just be proactive about it rather than have it hit me in the middle of Whole Foods leaving me crying on the floor in the supplemental aisle. (That’s a thing that actually happened. It’s a story I’ll save for another day.)

Sometimes the solution-seeking just has to be put to the side, in order to feel the euphoria of admitting that this fucking blows donkey dick.

Here’s the scoop. After a year long hiatus, I went back on birth control. Within a week, I’d gained 10lbs and hormonal acne worse than that of my teenage years. I’d lost something too : my mind. The hormone-induced mood swings were unreal, and again, worse than that of my teenage years. It took me two weeks to feel human again, just in time to move in with my brother on weekdays (win!). But, meanwhile, business was having a tough month. I pushed and pushed and pushed. In the push, I found that I wasn’t present with my friends and family. I found myself in shaking spells. I found myself nervous, like I was walking around in an earthquake. I found myself with armor on to protect what little confidence was trapped inside. I pushed so hard that every guy and doll in my inner circle was like, “Jasmine. You are going to burnout. STAHHP. Get OUT of town. It’s time for a souladventure.” I listened. I planned a trip to DC for this fucking epic event that I’ve been dying to go to for about a year. It was going to be me and the DSLR  and a personal growth book. No social media. No business. No distractions. I planned my week to a new level of scheduled, so that I could get everything done and feel really good about leaving. I was going to rock the shit out of this new setup.

And the day after I booked the ticket and planned the things, our dogs got into a fight. Juniper and I both ended up in respective ERs, bloody and battered. I made the nurses laugh and charmed my way through it. (Anyone else use humor as a defense mechanism when you’re uncomfortable?) We’re fine. We’re alive. I am currently typing this, however, with 8 fingers; the other two are attached, but out of commission. I also had to drop my workout program for the week because burpees and full planks are not going to happen — the same program that I’ve quit twice and was super close to finishing despite all the setbacks with BC. I took a day to just binge on TV and try to work through trauma. (Any guesses how effective that was?) I can’t work from my brother’s place for the next two weeks because our dogs need to heal, which is a bigger blow than you might realize. Leaving me here : feeling like I haven’t moved forward in four weeks.

Sucks.

But I don’t let myself live there, remember?

Look. After all that bitching, I have one little nugget of positivity that I learned.

You’ll get out of the suck as soon as you can find some slice of gratitude for the suck. If you start slipping in and out of the suck, then simply keep returning to the gratitude. Make it your mantra. Sooner rather than later, you’ll be living there.

Mad love,

J

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