Have you ever felt like you weren't smart enough?

Today I am celebrating the first day of my final semester of school!

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Three years ago I was inspired to finish a photography degree that I had started when I was 18. When I left my degree unfinished I was just one class shy of graduating. The problem was that it was a math course and well, me and math have never been on good terms so I shrugged it off thinking it wasn't important and instead moved to California to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. And that I did, I have had an amazing career working on many movies, commercials and then The Bachelor for nearly a decade. After completing that pesky math class and receiving my Associates Degree in Photography I found myself feeling confident and more studious than ever so I took the leap and applied for undergraduate school. My intention behind going for my Bachelor's degree after all of these years was simply to prove to myself that I could do it. I chose a school that would take my previous credits and a major based on what I found to be interesting. I figured, if I was going to have to do this I might as well do something I enjoyed learning about. Little did I know that it was my inner compass making the decision for me. Choosing to learn about cognitive and human development was not by random, it is and always has been my passion and core focus in life.  I was just too scared of not being smart enough to pursue it. I often said to others that If I were smart enough I would go to school to become a therapist. I am so glad that I took a leap of faith by believing in myself because these past two years have connected me to my inner wisdom, my inner writer, and my inner core truths. THAT I AM SMART ENOUGH! 

What are you celebrating today?

Day 27: Last night I had fries

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Which is not an ideal choice for food at 11:33 pm the night before a photoshoot but I threw caution to the wind and ate the fries.

Why is this a celebration you might be wondering?

Well, in the past I would have dieted hardcore and agonized over how my body looked leading up to a shoot.

I would have stared in the mirror feeling guilty and judging how the choices affected my body.

today I didn't accept shame or guilt about what i ate, instead I embraced my 34 year old body, loving her for where she is, even the grey starting to poke through my blonde hair.

Because If growing older means falling more in love with yourself and your body then sign me up and order me another basket of fries!

 

Day 25: Healing 101 from a 4th grader

Today I had the honor of visiting a 4th grade classroom to help better educate them on the importance of having a yoga and meditation practice. Before I started I approached a student sitting alone who had a cast on his arm. After discussing the happenings of his broken thumb he told me that he cried when he got hurt. I asked if crying had helped him, in which he said yes. I then asked why he thought it helped him, his answer was that when you get hurt you feel pain and when you cry you allow that pain to release from your body so that it doesn't get stuck inside of you. I smiled in awe at how incredibly intuitive and tapped in children can be without even knowing it. He knew that trapping pain, negativity and/or trauma can worsen the symptoms whereas given the ability to release our pain and trauma can be healing.  

Although it was a challenge getting 30 students to come together to meditate I feel fantastic about my involvement in creating a connection to their mind and body through yoga and breathwork.

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Day 24: Doula miss me?

Because I've missed you!

I've been pretty MIA from my blog posts but with good reason! I've been out experiencing this amazing life of mine! So many wonderful things are coming my way right now but what I am super excited to share today is that over the weekend I got trained to be a Doula! It was the most incredible experience, for three days we explored the miracle of the female body, diving deeper into holding space and supporting women during one of the most magical yet vulnerable time in their lives. On day one I was drawn to tears at how amazing women are, how primal and instinctual we are and how saying the most simplest of phrases "you're doing great" accompanied with a smile can ease the tension, pain and fear from childbirth.  Now, full disclosure.. I've never been in a delivery room nor have I experienced childbirth but what I do have is immeasurable amounts of experience holding loving, compassionate space for people. Bring on the pregnant ladies, I am ready to go on this incredible journey with you!!

Ps. Please forgive me as I want to tell EVERY pregnant woman I meet that "YOU'RE AMAZING!"

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Day 18: Calling you out

Calling me out versus calling me in.

Today I was taught the difference between the two, which released an OMG-MIND-BLOWN reaction as I sat thinking about these words and what they meant.

Calling someone out means to bring attention to an aspect of one's personality in a way that places shame, where calling someone in creates a safe space to start a conversation for building a foundation for transformation.

It dawned on me that this is what being a coach is, we call people in!

Every powerful coaching session I've ever had has been because my coach called me in. I'm very grateful for this lesson and will be applying to all of my relationships moving forward!

 

 

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Day 15: Cannabis Feminist

A few months back I receive a text that reads: "Cannabis Women's circle tonight, we have one of our cannabis sisters speaking about sexuality+cannabis+self love" Within seconds I was writing back  "that sounds awesome, I'm in." 

Are you thinking what I was thinking?  "What is a cannabis women's circle?" I wasn't sure either but what I did know is that I was getting a clear 100% YES! to go and find out.  Later that evening around 8:00pm I walk into a beautiful space where 20 women are gathered around in a circle, smoking and sharing. I sneak in, sit down and begin listening to each woman one by one, as she shares her story, her relationship to cannabis and what drew her to this circle. I sat listening becoming more and more in awe with each story as I puff and pass locally grown flowers around the room. When it was my turn I shared my story, my relationship to cannabis and why I was drawn to come.  Which was such a simple answer... because I was invited. 

At 11:00pm I walked out buzzing with a smile on my face and a glow that lit up Venice Blvd. 

Since then, I have attended more circles and events where I've had the pleasure to meet some amazing women, in fact one woman in the last circle saw something in me that I didn't know was there... A writer. I guess she was right, I just needed cannabis to inspire me ;)

Day 14: Coming out of the green closet

I've been sitting in front of my computer for hours trying to figure out how to write this. I've started over fives times already so I decided to take a step back, go on a walk and feel into what i'm sharing rather than get tangled up in what the words should be. I want my words to having feeling behind them so I am felt rather than just read.  I feel very excited and a bit nervous, the perfect ratio for sharing something so deep and intimate.  Over the past few months I have been getting to know and falling deeply in love with my inner green empress. The more I surrender to her the more life is experienced. We all have these pieces of ourselves that become forgotten or hidden. We sometimes hide our original essences, these pieces of us that make us whole and who we really are at the core out of fear of not belonging and being judged. After spending a magical weekend at the Emerald Exchange festival surrounded by others who share in my love for cannabis and it's community I felt inspired to share. 

It all started four months ago today, when an invite arrives on my phone that read:

"Cannabis Women's circle tonight, we have one of our cannabis sisters speaking about sexuality+cannabis+self love"

Within seconds I was writing back, "that sounds awesome, I'm in." 

Until tomorrow...

xo Carli Jo

 


   
        

California, 2017

California, 2017

Day 11: Sometimes I'm Awkward

Do you ever have those days or nights where you feel like every conversation you're involved in is awkward? Like no matter how much you try everything just comes out wrong or your reactions to others are on delay or off centered? That was me last night. I like to consider myself somewhat of a chameleon, able to fit in wherever I go but man, there are times when I just can't pull it off. In the past I would have tried hard, so hard that the more I tried the more awkward I would get. 

What feels true to me today is that I can't always "be" one thing or another. On my path of self discovery, I noticed that I've confused my true identity with my thoughts, emotions or my experiences. But our thoughts, emotions and experiences are ever changing, they are not attached to us. So even though I had an awkward night, I choose to not let that experience define me.   

Today's mantra is: I am whole and complete just as I am

#31daysoforiginalessence

Cuba, 2016

Cuba, 2016

Day 10: Sisterhood

Do you have a group of women in your life that you can say anything to, be anything in front of and in return they just see you and hold space for you?  I have this beautiful group of sisters from all around the world (some i've never even met) where I can show up authentically & raw to vent, celebrate, cry or ask out-of-the-blue questions to.  This amazing group of 164 women show up for one another like no group I've ever been apart of.  In fact my whole life I've had a hard time connecting to women but yesterday when I reached out with my insecurities and resistance to this 31 day challenge they showed up with beautiful words of encouragement and insight.  I felt so loved and empowered that I went and wrote 4 blog posts from the heart!

Generations before us thought it was impolite or un lady like to discuss one's feelings so we learned to bury them deep down under lock and key in order to feel safe and to fit in. Find your tribe and show up authentic and raw, allow yourself to be held and to be seen.

Day 7: Summer Lov’n

Happy Monday!! What an amazing weekend filled with anniversary celebrations, beach volleyball, wine tastings and friends! I am full on taking advantage of fun summer activities since in the past Bachelor casting events fully occupied my summers.

When I woke up this morning (besides being a little foggy in the head from the wine) I felt so filled with love and appreciation for my life.  What are you grateful for today?

Titled: Post Honeymoon, 2017

Titled: Post Honeymoon, 2017