Who: Keri McGuire (IG: barregirl) (therapysocialfitness.com)

Occupation: owner of several studios

Location: Encinitas, CA

 

I first met Keri about 4 or 5 years ago. She was the owner of Xtend Barre in Encinitas, which I really wanted to try but was intimidated for whatever reason. I will never forget walking in the first time. All the women were perfectly groomed(at 8am!), wearing make-up and hair perfectly done, and…well, to be honest I felt like I stuck out like Judd Nelson in the Breakfast Club. I also felt like I was the only one shaking like a leaf and sweating like a pig. Keri made me feel at home anyway.  The instructors were great and I loved the class so much I have continued to go pretty much every week since then. (And I still shake and sweat during class by the way).

 

Keri’s warmth and encouragement clearly attracts so many people, even leafs and pigs, and she now owns four studios (now evolved into Therapy Social Fitness). She is one of those people that is so magnetic and seemingly perfect that you wonder if she is for real. Well she’s real. She’s not perfect, thank God. Who is?! But I have known her long enough and through many life twists and turns and challenges to see how she responds. She’s genuine; that huge smile comes from a very deep and real place. No matter the challenge, she always ends up on the positive side with some wisdom to spread.

 

She’s a hard worker, a direct talker, multi-talented, absolutely freaking hilarious, and one of the most resilient women that I know. Enjoy her insights…

 

Sat nam,

 

Elise

 

 

 

 

 

Keri and the barre girls(see what I mean?!) #babes

Keri and her two beautiful girls

 

 

1) Who are you?

 

This question made me take a step back for a minute as it probably does to many people I would assume.  Who am I?  I am definitely my mother’s daughter.  I was taught from an early age to be independent, hard working and strong willed.  I try to lead by example in all areas of my life.  I believe in several important things including the power of positivity, the value of a strong work ethic, and of course …the golden rule.  If we would all just remember to treat other as we wish to be treated, what a wonderful world it would be!  I am a single mother to two brilliant daughters who I enjoy to no end and to whom I hope to instill the same values that I was raised with. I am fortunate to own several fitness studios and I have been so extremely blessed with the strong community of intelligent and inspirational women that has been created around these businesses.  I guess I consider myself a business woman, a role model, a sister, a mother, a daughter and a friend until the end.

 

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

 

I went through a divorce about 6 years ago when my daughters were very young. Having been raised by a single mother myself, I was petrified and felt that I was doomed to repeat history.   I had prior to that put my real estate career on hold and stayed home with the babies for a few years.  I had always identified myself as a career woman and it was the first time in my life, that I could not support myself by my own means.  So when I made the decision to get divorced I also had to figure out what my future career path looked like. It was a very scary and painful time in my life and I am so very thankful to have been surrounded by the most amazing family and friends who encouraged me and supported me through the ups and the downs of those times.

So, I dove in and started trying to figure out what I truly wanted to be when I “ grew up”.  I have a degree in Finance and have always considered myself a very left brained person: mathematical and analytical sometimes to a fault. I love golf and I love kids so I flirted around with a business concept that could marry those two passions.   When the opportunity presented itself to open a barre studio, it seemed like a good distraction and sort of a “ pet project” to get me by and maybe have some fun.  I could never have predicted that I would own 4 of them in a few short years time!  I also could have never predicted the pros and the cons that come along with owning your own business!  The up side of the industry that I am in are the flexible hours that allow me family time (and me time), a chance to be creative and explore a side of me that I never really knew existed, and hands down the best perk of my job are the people!  My amazing team of partners and instructors, and my many clients who have changed my life in so many wonderful ways.  The women who I have the privilege of being surrounded with daily inspire me, educate me, support me and allow me to return the favor!   The downside of owning your own business would be that you definitely take your work home with you.  It is NOT a 9-5 job to say the least.  It can also be difficult to manage the various relationships that form in an all female studio environment such as this.  I have about 60 women that work with me…  all ages and walks of life.  It is a constant balancing act between partner, boss and friend.

 

3) What have you learned?

 

Overall I have learned that as strong as I am, it is equally as important to be vulnerable.  I have learned the value of open communication and honesty in all relationships…business and otherwise.  I think that as an independent woman in 2017 sometimes we can feel the need to put up a hard exterior and “ stick to our guns”.   I have learned that it is just as important to listen with an open mind and heart as it is to stand up for what you think is right.  We have so much to learn from each other.  We just need to be still and silent long enough to hear what is truly being spoken.  I have become a much more patient person in the past few years and I love knowing that my children will be the beneficiary of that skill. I have learned that a good work ethic is crucial to survive and succeed in this ever changing world.  I will continue to work towards making sure that my children know that they are not entitled to anything in this life and that hard work and commitment are their tools to success.

Who: Dr. Somer Nicole (IG: @yogadoctors.tv)

Occupation: Founder of YogaDoctors.TV, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Kundalini and Hatha Yoga               Teacher (yogadoctors.tv)

Location: shares time between Kauai and Encinitas

 

 

This entry really excites me to share with you all because a) she’s one of my very best friends and b) this girl seriously has the best advice and is one of the most clear-headed and unaffected people I have ever met.  Somer is highly intelligent and naturally left-brained, yet innocent and pure like almost only a child can be. That might only make sense if you know her. But add in the wisdom of someone who has worked out a lot of trauma and hardship and the peace of someone who has put in the time and energy to get there, and you have a small idea of what this embodied woman is all about.

The first time I met her, about 5 years ago she was walking out of yoga and I was walking in. I thought, “Wow that looks so much like my mom when she was young.” And although she is nothing like my mother, we have gotten so close she might as well be a member of my family.

I do not like talking on the phone, yet Somer and I talk every week, sometimes more than that and sometimes for hours. She has this uncanny ability to cut directly through any fluff or distortion or distraction and get right to the truth of the matter.

She is my teacher in self-care, and has absolutely mastered nurturing herself as first priority, no matter what. We often take classes, workshops and travel together and she is a consistent role model for me to take it easy and not do too much. Even when I’m purposely trying to slow down and cut back, she is my mirror…showing me that I still have work in that area.

We have been asked if we are sisters more times than I can add up, mistaken for each other many times, and she actually got called up on stage on my birthday (instead of me!) in India for Kundalini teacher training.   I’m not sure what that’s all about but I know we met to become Soul Sisters and I thank the Universe for her every single day.

 

Sat nam,

 

Elise

 

 

 

 

 

1)  Who are you?

It’s an interesting time in my life to be asked this question, as I have distanced myself internally from my old identities more and more over the last year or two. Somer as the Physical Therapist. Somer as the Yoga Teacher, the CranialSacral Therapist, the SomatoEmotional Release practitioner, the Reiki Teacher, the meditator, etc…. Those are all things that I do.

Who am I? I am the pure consciousness that observes it all. I am a Spirit having a human experience. I am someone who stands in my Light, so others can find their way out of the Dark. I strive to be a blessing to those I meet.

And in this life, I am someone who dives deeply into my body to experience the full spectrum of my emotions. I seek to bring the unconscious into my conscious awareness. I explore belief systems instilled in me by family and society, so that I can unravel what is not True for me. I am a Truth seeker. I am a director of my own energy. I am an explorer of my inner landscape.

And in my experience, the only True constants are Love and change. I am Love. And I embrace change to the best of my ability.

 

 

2)  What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

I am currently recovering from a lower back injury, where my L1 and L5 nerves are involved. It’s been a total change in perspective for me, especially a Physical Therapist because I was treating it wrong for many years. It never felt “nervy” to me, so I was treating it like a muscle strain and didn’t realize the repetitive hip flexor and hamstrings strains I’d had (A LOT of them!) were related to my spine. It wasn’t until I had someone objectively look at me and I got my own biases out of the way that I could see the bigger picture.

It’s been challenging on many levels, one being it’s the most physical pain I’ve ever experienced. I was asked to avoid forward bending of any kind and do only passive extension (backbending) exercises, until I could experience 7-10 days without referred pain into my sacro-iliac (SI) joint. After which, I could them begin forward bending again. This has been more challenging than it sounds.

I am inherently a mover, I get up and practice 1-2 hours of Yoga every morning, I hike, I swim and I am used to feeling strong and flexible in my body. And as my body has been asked to be more still, the louder my mind has gotten. I see now that it has been the perfect storm to allow many unconscious patterns to come to the surface.

And as when I’ve experienced any injury in the past, I go into exploring what energetic imbalance and suppressed emotions may have manifested this physical pain into my reality. I know at the highest level, I’ve created it for a reason. So many emotions have come up with not being able to move my body the way I am used to. Wanting to get pregnant this year, I freaked out thinking I was heading into pregnancy and a natural labor with this injury. To me, that’d be a worst case scenario. I had so much fear come up that I wouldn’t be able to handle both of those things together. In addition, many emotions that are related to the root chakra, which also governs the spine. I’ve felt it all deeply.

Fear that I’m not safe in my body.

Fear that I’m not safe in the world.

Fear of being hurt more.

Fear of not being supported.

Fear of not being nourished the way that I need.

 

 

3)  What have you learned?

I’ve learned if I don’t stand in my own power and speak my own Truth, it physically makes me sick. I’ve learned that my body will feel safe when I always choose to do what is in my Highest and stop responding to what other people want first or what they think is best for me.

I’m learning to listen to the intuitive intelligence of my body 100% of the time. Not just 99% of the time. Even when I get an initial gut instinct, my mind has the tendency to give me all the reasons why it would make sense to do something different. I have learned to stop reacting to the mental pressure. I realized the mental pressure is not ever going to stop, so the only thing to change is my reaction to it.

I have learned I am a highly emotional being. I’ve learned I have emotional intelligence and when I listen deeply and navigate it fully, I make better decisions. I’m learning to be more patient and to WAIT TO RESPOND until I am emotionally clear about any personal or business decision. I’m learning to remain still and practice a calm state of BEing, instead of doing more in reaction to the mental pressure. I’ve learned the feeling of needing to DO more, create more, strive more, contribute more and be useful more comes from a societal conditioning. I’ve learned everyone’s path isn’t to reach millions of people and put themselves out there publicly. For some, it’s simply to be a mother or just being absolutely present and kind with every person who crosses their path.

I’ve learned it’s less about what I DO and more about my state of BEing. I’ve learned that being in a feminine, receptive state attracts my desires to me like a magnet. I used to think I could do it all on my own, I’ve learned to reach out more. And I’ve learned that BEing my own medicine sometimes means listening deeply to my own intuition and other times it means asking for support.

 

 

Who: Tom O’Bryan (thedr.com)

Occupation: Host of the Gluten Summit and expert on Celiac and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Location: Encinitas, CA

 

I heard about Dr. Tom through taking a  The Whole Journey course called Gut Thrive. He not only broke up a lot of misconceptions I had about gluten but shed even more light on just how damaging it is now for pretty much everyone, even if there are no obvious symptoms. I wrote about this topic a while ago on The Inertia: Health and I’m sure that will not be the last article I write about it, especially after learning from Tom. The information he delivers is not fun or what most people want to hear, but it needs to be considered for future health.

Dr. Tom taught me that over 300 auto-immune diseases have been associated with a sensitivity to gluten. His talks lit a fire in me to learn more, as my health has been affected by some auto-immune issues starting later in life… and was elated to find the 7 part series he created called Betrayal: the Auto-Immune Disease Solution They’re Not Telling You.  His passion for health and wellness and reaching out to help people suffering was beaming out of the computer.

It wasn’t even a few weeks later when I was walking up to a yoga class in Encinitas and I saw him sitting outside, probably just trying to get his yoga on in peace.  I had no idea he lived in California, much less my small hometown of Encinitas!  I immediately recognized him and could not help but go up to him…to tell him thank you for the work that he has done. I didn’t pause long enough to think about how many people probably do this to him every single day, but at least it was BEFORE I got all sweaty. He was kind and humble… and I was late to class because he has a lot to say, and I didn’t want to miss any of it.

He is truly tireless to serve the well-being of others. I have heard that he even starts helping people with their health at the grocery store. I hope you enjoy his interview and (even more) hope it inspires you to check out his site and teachings for you or someone you love with celiac disease, auto-immune issues, chronic illness… or really just anyone who wants to secure his or her health now and in the future.

 

Sat nam,

 

Elise

 

 

      Tom with his children

 

 

           Tom dancing with his wife, Marzi

 

 

 

 

 1) Who Are You?

 I’m a perpetual middle-aged guy doing my best to make the world a better place. In a profoundly impactful Men’s Weekend I took part in a number of years ago, the question was asked ‘When you transition off of this world, how do you want to be remembered’? After going through the grief, and the loss of not seeing my kids again, it became clear to me that the bottom line message I’d want inscribed on my tombstone was:

‘Here lies a kind man who was of service to others’.

I personally believe the world can use a great deal more kindness. If there is a conscious theme to my life, the Tibetan word Maitri best summarizes it- ‘loving kindness, and an unconditional friendship with One’s Self’.

 

 

 2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming ?

Being kind with my self and remembering my heart in this crazy world we live in. In 1999, I had the privilege of being part of the Team doing research for the book ‘The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions’.

We interviewed representatives of the top (by number of followers) 20+ religions (all Bishops or higher) and asked them a series of questions. The answers were remarkably similar, and the bottom line message across all religions was

‘Do Onto Others As You Would Wish Done Onto You’.

Living by the Golden Rule is not always easy, but always fulfilling when I can do it. If more of us lived our lives from this premise, I believe we’d see more kindness, more of a ‘Pay It Forward’ mentality just wanting to make the world a better place for all.

 

 

 3) What Have You Learned?

 Two things:

  • That every day is heaven on earth and it’s my choice to see the beauty and Divine Order to it all, or get blocked, stuck and animated by the moment-by-moment challenges and opportunities that come my way. The secret to maintaining my sanity when I feel really pressed is Maitri-Loving Kindness, and an unconditional friendship with my Self, knowing that I am doing my best.
  • I spent 30 years in Chicago raising a family and creating a business. There was an icon in those days who represented the heart of the city. A writer, Studs Terkel was loved by all and empowered hundreds of thousands to be a better fair-minded person. His common-sense approach to life represented in his books and newspaper articles represented the best of the city. In his later years he was known to hang out in a local tavern. When he’d get up to leave, as he was walking out with his stogie in his teeth and his fedora angled on his head, he’d turn around and say “Take It Easy, But Take It”.

And I’d say that’s my message to the world, “Take it easy, with loving kindness, an unconditional friendship with your Self, BUT TAKE IT!”

 

 

Who: Akira Chan (IG: @akirachan)

Occupation: Founder of Rare Media(raremedia.tv)(akirachan.com)

Location: Depends on what day you ask!

 

Akira is a friend, client and basically… a Super-Man. He is such a special soul. He is one of those people that has 1,098 things going on at one time yet somehow makes each person that he comes into contact with feel like he or she is the only thing that matters. I call it extreme presence, and he has it.

Akira owns a company called Rare Media with his partner, Renee, whom I have had the privilege of knowing even before I met Akira. They are a powerhouse couple doing great things for this planet, and I feel honored and grateful to get to see them, even for a quick second around Encinitas when they aren’t traveling around the world.

Akira’s work can represent who and what he is all about more than my words. One of the things they have up their sleeve is a documentary and art platform called “Artists for Addicts”; the trailer can be seen at www.artistsforaddicts.com. It sheds light on the highly avoided topic of addiction by using art as a force for good to not only help people who have developed addiction problems, but also to increase understanding about what addiction actually is, where it comes from and how to truly heal it. Most people have been touched by addiction of some sort- whether themselves, a friend, partner or family member… and I highly recommend checking it out.

Another original video that I consider a must-see is “Where are the Men?”, which is a call and tribute to the Modern Man and provides inspiration and insight into today’s top social issues. Men and women both can get a lot out of the piece, and it can be found directly on his home page: www.akirachan.com

Thank you Akira, just for being you and doing what you do. It affects us all in a big way.

Sat nam,

Elise

 

 

 

 

 

1) Who are you?

I’m a mixed race (Half Japanese, Quarter Chinese, Quarter White) explorer and lover of life, using my capabilities to contribute a little more beauty in the world.
I currently do that through my production company Rare Media, with the help of my wonderful partner Renee Airya, and our amazing team.

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming ?

My greatest challenge is maintaining my center, my essence, through large waves of personal, professional and social growth.
Growing a business can feel like building a little log cabin in some raw and wild land, where you’re constantly dealing with seasonal shifts…feast, famine, glorious sunrises, followed by monsoons.
And with that comes learning many new skills and conquering many fears – like public speaking and having tough conversations. It’s been challenging to not lose myself, or my identity, through all of this.
There are #winning days that feel triumphant – where I’m in awe of the team – satisfied with my leadership – days we’ve pulled off massive feats like delivering a dozen projects on time and within budget. Then there are the #fail days where I feel like I’m lost – fires are starting everywhere – days that I’m longing to return to being a solo freelance artist, running around at festivals and collaborating with friends on simple video projects. But at the end of the day, I know I’ve made a permanent and powerful decision to hop on the path I’m on – and I like who I’m becoming with all of the temperance.

3) What have you learned?

I’ve learned to build on my strengths rather than strengthen my weaknesses.
I’ll share a personal story here. One of the reasons I became so enamored with filmmaking in the first place, was a beautiful experience I had at 11 years old. I had a class assignment to interview a grandparent, and I decided to sit down with my strong, proud and stern grandfather – a man I highly respected but knew little about.
Instead of writing down the answers, I set up the family camera for a video interview. My first question to him triggered an emotional response….and he broke down crying. It was an incredible moment of bonding between us, but it also taught me about the power of listening to people, and recording stories.
So these days, I’m focusing on my strength of listening and producing emotional stories.
It’s a place I love to be, and a constant demonstration of the human spirit in action.

 

 

**photo of Akira by Arturo Everitt

**photo of Akira + Renee by Malek Houlihan

 

 

 

 

Some women have naturally thick, strong and shiny hair.  I can’t say that I am one of them.  I have fine hair and I’m in the ocean a lot(which can be challenging for the hair), so I was looking for some quick fixes for healthy hair.

I had noticed over the years that the less I wash my hair, the healthier it becomes.  That might sound weird and even gross to some of you. But it grows faster and is stronger when the natural oils have a chance to penetrate into the hair shaft.

I use a boar bristle brush that a friend (one of the really thick, strong and shiny hair people) told me about. Brushing from root to end every night truly makes a difference. In fact, I believe it is the real reason behind the myth of “brushing your hair 100 times” that we heard as girls growing up. Women have been using these brushes since the 1800’s, including glamorous old movie stars like Rita Hayworth.

The boar bristle takes the sebum, the oil produced by the scalp, and transfers it from the scalp all the way through to the end of the hair shaft. By coating each strand with a very small amount of sebum, a boar bristle brush repairs dry hair and adds lustrous shine. The bristles also stimulate the scalp, improving circulation and encouraging hair growth. You can get away with more days in between washes because the brush prevents build up of oil at the scalp, which weighs it down and makes it look more greasy.

Hair powder or “dry shampoo” helps the longer gaps between washing from being so obvious. This absorbs any excess oil at the scalp that might remain even after the boar brushing. The only problem is that most brands are filled with potentially harmful chemicals: aerosol propellants,  absorbing and conditioning agents and fragrances (which themselves are made up of toxic chemicals that can act as hormone disruptors and cancer causers when absorbed through the scalp).

So I make my own! This is one of the easiest DIY projects ever.  If you have light blonde hair, all you have to do is put about 1/4 cup of organic arrow root(or corn starch) in a jar or plastic squeeze tube.  If you have medium colored hair, use 1/4 cup of the arrow root and about 2 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder. If you have dark hair, use the cocoa powder only. Yes, your hair will smell a little like chocolate.  It’s amazing!

I personally just use a (bpa free) plastic squeeze tube and apply directly onto my scalp and brush it through until it blends in.  But if you would like to be more fancy or you have already-styled hair, you can use an old make-up brush and apply it to the scalp with that.

With these two helpful hints, your hair will be sure to grow and become healthier than ever and you will also avoid any harsh chemicals or toxins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who: Preston Smiles (IG: @prestonsmiles)
Occupation: Personal Freedom Coach (http://www.prestonsmiles.com)
Location: Venice, California

Preston is such a special gem in this world, and his energy is infectious. I first heard about him through a friend that was taking his course. He showed me a video where Preston was talking and I immediately felt comfortable watching and listening to him… because he was REAL. He wasn’t pretending to be perfect, or someone that he wasn’t. He was incredibly animated and positive, but from what I understand that is how he truly is most of the time. He was and is authentically presenting himself to this world. He is one of the new emerging leaders, in my opinion…because in these new times of social media, videos, blogs, etc…if you aren’t genuine, you are going to get called out.

I think the most powerful and clear way that I can demonstrate who he is, is by sharing what he wrote about himself in the “About Me” section of his website: “I could list a bunch of things that would make me look “important” and “successful”, but what I want you to know about me is I truly care about people, our planet, and about maximizing my potential… So whether I’m speaking, leading workshops, writing books, or making conscious content through social media, it’s all in SERVICE of the same thing….LOVE. It’s the answer to everything and it’s so obvious that some of us miss it. So I’m here as a messenger to remind us all that when we AMPLIFY our LOVE we automatically amplify our LIVES.”

I say, “Yes please to more of whatever he is having!” I hope you laugh, smile, and ponder his answers to my questions like I did.

Sat nam,

Elise

15271588_10154517422885709_149443401_o

1) Who are you?

LOVE. A sexy chocolate drop. A personal freedom coach. A messenger of love sent here to remind us all that no matter what the question, that love is the answer. That underneath all of our stories about each other, gay straight, white, black, Christian, Muslim… that love is what remains. We’re all dealing with the same stuff.

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming ?

Remembering my divinity. Remembering and moving from a knowing that EVERYTHING I’ve ever needed is already here….NOW. Sometimes the wounded-self/ego mind pops up and try’s to remind me of the conversation I’ve been having since I was 9 years old when I was ushered out of the “normal” classes and placed in “SPECIAL education” classes with 4 mentally ill children. Since then I’ve been in a process of remembering and tapping into that part of myself that’s still innocent, that part that has never been hurt, harmed, or endangered. Some days it barely comes up, while other days it feels like something is pulling on my shirt saying “You’re an imposter, there going to find out that you’re actually pretty stupid”. I know this is not the “truth” with a capital T. I know logically that, that narrative doesn’t serve me at all, which is why I make it my business to be with and practice habits that remind me of who and what I am…LOVE.

3) What have you learned?

That it’s not my job to MAKE it happen, it’s my job to WELCOME it. That what ever I practice more of, I get more of. That I AM WE ARE #LovesVoice

Who: Nathan Hedge “Hog”  (IG@nhedge_hog)

Occupation: Pro athlete, WSL surfer, surf coach and brand ambassador for Salty Crew and Mauli Ola Foundation

Location: Narrabeen, Australia

Nathan, “Hog” or “Hoggy”… is a legend.

I haven’t heard one person being described as the same one word over and over again as I have heard him being called a legend from everyone that knows him. He truly is one in every way.  Not only does he absolutely kill it in the surfing world, was  Top 10 on the WSL World Tour two years in a row, but he also gives back more than most people I know and is an absolute gentleman to every single person he comes into contact with.

Hoggy literally beams with light and brightens up anyone’s day that he comes across.  He is beyond humble and kind. He is always looking for an opportunity to ask you how you are doing or help you in any way. He is a man of service, in the most reverant way. He is someone that has gone through the darkness to get to the light, and now appreciates every single ray.

Boys and grown men alike look up to this guy for all the right reasons, and I personally hope you share this article with his advice in it to as many of them as possible because the more of them that read this the better off we will all be; he has some of the most simple yet complete advice for all of us.

I would also like to give a big shout out to his recent celebration of 5 years of sobriety!!!!  And also the recent marriage to the lady of his dreams, Stacey! Clearly this man is winning at life 🙂

hog-1024x607

1) Who are you?

I’m Australian, 37 yrs young 😉

I’m someone who likes to live life to the fullest & have travelled the world many times over. Surfing has blessed me with countless cultural experiences & allowed me to connect with people all over the globe.

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

Overcoming alcohol & substance abuse.

My life had become a series of train wreck after train wreck, although from the outside things seemed ok. Sure I had my house on the lake, a BMW ( X5 ) in the garage, 6 figure contracts, a girlfriend, I was in the top 10 on the WSL World Tour for the second year in a row. Just came off most improved award for the following year. But, inside I was a mess.

I took 3 separate stints in rehab facilities. The final one being a 6 month live-in with an additional 2 months give back program to the community. I completed that life changing journey in June 2012.

My clean/ sober date is October 17th 2011.

3) What have you learned?

What I learned from that experience is that NOTHING outside of myself can fix me or make me feel good in the long run. No contest win or money or relationship or status or food or drink or gambling, nothing will be great until I get my relationship with ME right first. For me it’s been about allowing a loving God and higher power to work miracles in my life. But it’s no good just praying, you have to put the action in and take each challenge one day at a time and don’t feel weak about asking for help. There is a world of help out there and in my experience people are so willing to assist and elevate you to reach your potential once you show your commitment to yourself. The universe has a unique way of making things happen, doors open up and the path becomes straight… but you’ve got to want it enough, want it so bad that you’ll go to any length. If you’re not there yet, no one can help you and you’ll go through more tough lessons. Everyone has there time and special journey. I’m extremely grateful for each and every lesson

Who: James Sol Radina (IG:@jimmysol)
Occupation: CEO of BioCBD (http://www.biocbdplus.com/)
Location: Kauai, Hawaii

James is one of my dearest friends. Actually, he’s more like a brother. I wouldn’t know him if its wasn’t for Somer, my friend whom he is about to marry. I have lived with them for weeks on end in Kauai, and seen him in all different situations. Here is what I have witnessed: he is the first responder to help, he is kind and patient, he is creative, he does about 100 things in a day and does them all with care, and he always speaks with love and respect.

He is always growing, evolving and refining. He NEVER sees himself as the victim. He is on the very top of my go-to list for advice. He, Somer and I have spent many mornings doing Kundalini Meditations on the deck of their house in Haena that will forever be in my memory.

I love how authentic and vulnerable his share is and I can’t wait for to share it with you. This could absolutely read as an instruction guide to a young man looking how to go from being a boy to a man. Or a man to a better version of himself. I can’t think of anyone I would rather be the husband of one of my best friends in the world; I know he will take such good care of her because I have seen it, day in and day out.

Sat nam,

Elise

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1) Who are you?

I am seeker. A seeker of everything. A seeker of nothing. Mostly a seeker of truths. I am so curious to how life works and why we are here. I crave to know how this world works. I love more than anything, uncovering the inner truths of my own being while also learning everything I can about the outer world in which we all share. I have flipped my reality upside down so many times lately, which at first causes massive confusion, but usually rests in a new found “Aha Moment.”

For example, one day I realized I was constantly judging people. It was not on purpose, it was automatic. After much reflection and bringing awareness to this, I started to imagine what kind of life they might have had in order to be who they are and now I find myself sending compassion to people rather than placing judgements. I try to imagine myself walking in their shoes. The truth is, everyone has felt pain and suffering in their life, everyone has love in their hearts and we all feel the same emotions of anger, frustration, joy, bliss, etc. I have had many dark days and nights, so who am I to judge anyone? So when I seek, I seek to find greater love for myself and all of humanity, even when it is hard. And especially when it is hard.

I practice the Eastern Philosophies of non-attachment. So I don’t hold onto anything too tight. I have found that holding onto things keeps my mind closed to new discoveries. Since this was not taught to me growing up, quite the opposite actually, I stumble with this one. Yet at the same time, I can see the massive progress I have made. So you could say I am attached to being non-attached.

I love to play in the moment as much as possible, which is not always the easiest thing, but I have been on this path for many years now and I love the results that this has created in my life. Living in the moment, to me, means finding gratitude and grace inside of the way things are; exactly as they are. I have not always been this way, as most of my life I spent wishing I was different or the things around me were different. Now I practice active surrender each and every day mixed with lots of gratitude. Surrendering, yet showing up and walking my path.

I am a meditator and a yogi, yet someone whose path is not to sit silent in a cave, but rather show up and walk the earth supporting in anyway that I can. I am a supporter in my core, sometimes to a fault. Sometimes I find I will over sacrifice my own health and well being to support others. I continue to learn my lessons here.

Also, I am a lifelong learner. I’m a really good friend with a lot of really good friends. I consider my closest friends my family, my chosen family. I am a world citizen and traveler. I wish my passport said Planet Earth as my home instead of the USA. I am a surfer. I love just about every sport, am extremely active and being in nature is my church. I am an entrepreneur with multiple companies focusing on medicinal benefits of cannabis.

I am recently engaged and very much looking forward to a full moon October 2016 wedding and being an amazing husband. And finally, I am really looking forward to being a father!

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

Self Worth. I continue to find areas where I show up playing small. It’s a sneaky little trick that many times I don’t uncover until after the fact. Or I make a decision only for myself to look back and see how it came from a place of lack or scarcity. I have seen this show up in many different environments of my life. It shows up in the dynamics between my father and my brother, the two family members closest to me. It also shows up in my relationship with my fiancé (a whole lot less now as I have done a lot of work here, more on this later).

Mostly I find areas that I am operating from a place of lack in my businesses. To give some context, I find myself in the fastest growing industry in the US, with three companies where I am CEO, in which are all growing yet need an upgrade of teams and additional capital. Asking people to join your team or invest in your company, is an interesting process to say the least…at least for me. Many people I am sure are great at this, but due to my unique upbringing, my life’s history, failures and life lessons of my past, I continue to find my negative mind focusing on all the areas that could be “better” or “done differently”, instead of focusing on all the “wins” and areas of deep “gratitude” I have for where these companies have evolved. Every day I am constantly “checking in” with gratitude, otherwise my mind wants to create a story of lack. For example, on one hand the impact on our customer’s lives we are creating is priceless (over 23 pages of testimonials) and the revenue we are generating is great after just 15 months in business. Yet for some reason, my past conditioning brings in a story that I could doing “better,” we should have “more” market share or we should be growing “faster”. More, better and faster are desires that come from a place of lack, of not seeing the good in exactly the way things are, and I have found that this “tape” or “story” running in my head will never end by getting “somewhere” and there is no destination “out there” that will make me ever feel enough. Feeling worthy, or feeling MORE than enough, is an internal journey. It is the journey I am working on right now and probably the biggest one of my life as it is deep and stemming from some childhood traumas.

It’s an interesting process. I have read that I am not alone, as many people in the Western world are dealing with this sentiment as well. Yet I believe I am alone, as this is mine to do. I believe we are our own best doctor. We are our own best guru. And like so many other blocks in my life, once I am aware of them, I take them head on to uncover the truth behind all the fears.

3) What have you learned?

It feel like I am on two paths. One is to uncover the “inner world” truths about what makes me come alive versus what shuts me down. On this path I have uncovered so many walls & blocks, that have stemmed from my childhood, which were keeping me from truly being open. For example, I found myself in multiple long term relationships in my adult life, yet I always had one foot out the door. I would never truly allow my heart to open fully. I was always thinking the grass was greener “out there”. And I would always blame the woman I was with for why things were not working. This caused a lot of pain and suffering in my life. Well, it turns out, I wasn’t fully allowing love into my heart and I was so scared of losing the relationship that I would protect myself by running away. I would never allow myself to go all in. If it started getting too deep and serious, I would find a way to blow it all up. It took me until I was 34 years old to finally see this. Luckily I had been on a journey seeking the inner path, which led me to working on opening my heart, taking full responsibility for my failed relationships and coming to the realization I wasn’t fully letting myself accept love. This was a pattern I was stuck in that was no longer ok with me. My mother died when I was 4 in a car accident. So for most of my life, I have been unconsciously operating from where a scared little boy was calling the shots. I think that every time things got too close or I had a fear of loss, I would shut down. And it has taken massive amounts of inner work to get to where I am now; engaged and less than 90 days away from marring my dream girl. Whew, this was no small feat! And on the other side, I can say this was my greatest lesson. It’s amazing how our darkest hours are our biggest life lessons. Which sums up this point….when doing my “inner work” I seek to find the parts of me that are uncomfortable with the way life is. I bring awareness to these areas where I close down. Then I find my core root belief systems and unconscious patterns, let them go, no matter how long it takes, and re-write the script finding a new way to be comfortable in what used to make me uncomfortable.

The second path I find myself on, is my personal path to uncover how to best fully show up in the outer world. What is mine to do? I love the path of Paramahansa Yogananda, Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Nahko Bear, Michael A. Singer, Gandhi and so many other saints and sages. These are my mentors, as they are real examples of what success looks like. They all understood the importance of the inner world and how it directly impacted their ability to truly BE in the outer world. They all have found their unique expression in life and how they inspired millions by just showing up as themselves. I have found the same. Over and over I have found, that as I uncover my true nature, I am in turn able to show up more fully for my family, my relationships and for humanity. As a seeker of ancient wisdom, I learn first then immediately apply the lessons to my life. These Great Ones I mentioned above are my favorite examples of people that authentically walked and talked from a place that could only be discovered by going within and realizing their own inner truths.

For most of my life, I was seeking validation from the outside world. I grew up thinking success was based on how much money I made and what other people thought of me. I grew up on a small 40 acre farm in rural Kansas, went to a high school with a graduating class of 31, owned and operated two night clubs through college, then moved to San Diego in hopes to make millions in real estate. I found myself going to clubs 4 nights a week, Vegas once a month, and well, basically numbing myself.

Then meditation found it’s way into my life (which was extremely hard and even painful at first)….and then yoga. Now I find myself with all types of tools, such as Kundalini Yoga for the ultimate hack for quieting the mind, using mantras for manifesting experiences, mudras, breathwork, Hatha Yoga, guided meditations, Earthing and so much more. These tools are critical to my life. They all are needed in quieting my monkey mind, which is constantly trying to get in the way of seeing the inner and outer truths I so much desire to understand. The Bhagavad Gita, like the Bible and Tao Te Ching, is considered one of the greatest sacred texts ever discovered. It is about a war between good and evil, which is really one big allegory revealing the battle we all face each day with our ego, between fear and love. For me, I strive to be awake and stay awake, so that I may see when I get lost in the mind versus operating from my heart. I am in constant observation of when I might be operating from my child self out of fear versus my Higher Self out of love. I am constantly starving the “Bad Wolf” and feeding the ever thriving “Good Wolf”.

This is my path. It is an unknown, unwritten path. I am in constant exploration of new adventures. I surrender to the unknown that lies ahead and choose to embrace whatever life brings me next. I choose to walk heart open, heart forward and love more in all aspects of life. Enemy of none, friend of all. Taking full responsibility for my life and how this world affects me.

If you made it this far, thank you. I would love to hear from you, please share your comments about what you have found to be your greatest lessons in life. Please comment below. Aho!

Worthy Women is taking a hiatus while we honor the masculine for the next 6 months. I have had so much fun featuring women that I admire… but I thought it was time to balance things out. There are so many amazing men in this world, too!

Who: David Wolfe (IG @davidavocadowolfe)
Occupation: Rock Star/Indiana Jones of the Superfoods and Longevity Universe (http://www.davidwolfe.com)
Location: Where’s Waldo

I think I first met David (who introduced himself as “Avocado”, so that is what I have personally always called him)… about 7 years ago. He was speaking about Superfoods at the Worldbeat Cultural Center downtown. At the time, this was a buzz word, not the staple in nutrition vocabulary that it has become today. He was the first person to educate us about these mostly exotic foods and also make them available to us in the United States. Since then, he has expanded to health, beauty, herbalism, and nutrition.

But when I think of him, I immediately think of cacao (chocolate). Yes, it’s a superfood, my favorite one actually. But if you have met him or heard him speak… you know what I am talking about. I thought, “This guy has got to be on a lot of cacao.”

He has A LOT of energy. And it’s contagious.

He might or might not be on cacao all the time, few will ever know. But he is definitely a man on a mission to make this world a better place through the food we eat….what we choose, how it is sourced, planted, grown, and harvested. These are extremely important topics for the future of our health and if you aren’t concerned with these things yet, you should be.

He wants us to live longer, healthier lives and has no problem paving the way for us.

David has a great sense of humor, never takes himself too seriously, is fiercely passionate about his beliefs and loyal to the end. He has integrity when others have none and is not driven by money or greed. I am a fan for life.

Sat nam,

Elise

 

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1) Who are you?

An orator: I’m old school in this category: an original reincarnated classical Greek orator.

An adventurer and explorer: I’ve traveled the world relentlessly for 20 years without being in one place for more than 4 weeks.

A tree planter: I founded a non-profit Fruit Tree Planting Foundation in 2002 (www.ftpf.org) that has officially planted over 500,000 fruit trees worldwide and unofficially over 1,000,000 fruit, nut, and medicinal trees worldwide.

A spring water hunter: I was inspired by the Austrian Water Wizard Viktor Schauberger to hunt down springs at their source sometime around the year 2000. Since then, I have hunted down over 300 springs on 5 continents.

A drummer: I have no natural talent in this department, but somehow I’ve kept at it for 28 years making steady improvements.

A gardener: This is a deep LOVE connected to my soul.

A student of soil: What a subject to study! Dirt.

A student of Nature: Always studying and trying to comprehend Nature and reality.

A doubter of things claimed to be scientific and unquestionable: If it’s unquestionable, it’s questionable.

A medicine maker: Growing, harvesting, finding and/or picking medicine for myself and others is plant spirit medicine.

This is the first thing I thought of when I read this question, so I put it last: I am a spiritually oriented person: I believe and feel my soul is from somewhere else that is in a body here on the Earth plane.

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

My biggest daily challenges include two components:

1. Getting motivated to learn new skills and perform with those new skills in a way that gets the job done professionally and without having to re-do the job later. It seems like I am constantly having to learn new skills and execute those skills at a high level of performance without any previous experience. Whether it’s the computer, plumbing, electrical, house repair, automotive, interpersonal, family-related, this issue consistently comes up.

2. Efficiency and getting enough essential work, play, learning, exercise and relationship time in every day. Its non-stop all day long, every day. I don’t take days off. Its work, play, learning, exercise and personal relationship development non-stop.

By reviewing my life, the greatest challenges have always led to the greatest victories. That’s reassuring, so I focus on that concept when going through difficult times.

Overall, every day my goal is to have The Best Day Ever. That means that each day is: love-filled (people, places, plants) as well as physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially and financially fulfilling.

3) What have you learned?

Doing a thing with excellence is always important — and never trouble.

Karma is real. Help to make the world a better place with all your actions and you will be rewarded in this and future lifetimes.

Reincarnation is real. You take the results of your actions including your victories and skills with you into your next life.

Love holds the multiverse together.

Magic and synchronicity are real and an ever-present reality.

The Earth is a paradise; a heaven. The human dynamic on Earth indicates we are socially and spiritually residing in hell realms — if 0 = hell and 100 = heaven, the human dynamic on Earth is about a 23. However, as of recently, the undercurrent of the human dynamic is turning towards love, spirituality, cooperation, health, awareness, choices, freedom, happiness, open-mindedness, etc. while the momentum of the old ways: suppression, tyranny, destruction, competition, secret societies, materialism, close-mindedness, fundamentalism, faith-based belief in scientism is starting to come apart at the seams. We are headed up on the scale, which has to be a good sign.

Who: Heather Lindemenn

Occupation: Spiritual Guide and Bullshit Slayer

Location: Vista, CA

 

The first time I remember meeting Heather, it was about 7 years ago with a good friend in Lotus Cafe and she(pretty randomly) said to me that I had dark circles under my eyes and that I probably had a thyroid issue. If that happened to me now, I think I would be more intrigued than anything and (hopefully) say, ‘Cool, thanks…I will have that tested.”

At the time it really threw me off, (who knows, maybe it was the pendulum on her necklace she seemed to be referring to for answers?!) …and I was so astounded I don’t think I said anything!

I ended up having some things tested about a year later, totally unrelated to her comment, and low and behold…my thyroid was off. My first thought was of her and the courage it must have taken to think that and then say it to someone you barely know.

So…as much as I’m sure she’s not using the pendulum anymore…this is Heather in a nutshell.  She is pretty much always right. Not in the “I told you so” way. Don’t get me wrong, you might not(think you) want to hear it; but she is not so concerned with that.  What she IS concerned with is truth and healing and breaking through the well, err…bull shit(those would be her words, and frankly there is no better way to say it). And it’s normally with ourselves.

What you see is what you get; she’s a straight-shooter, and will tell you every embarrassing story in her life in an effort for us all to laugh and grow from it.  She is what I would say almost every single one of us needs, especially women! I felt close to her since I sat in one of her Women’s Circles long ago. I loved that she cussed and was sometimes loud and not always on time or “perfect,” it made me relax and feel welcome and relax enough to absorb what she had to say.  And you always want to hear what she has to say…TRUST ME.  She has the gems!  And she always shares!!!

I credit Heather for the beginning of me opening up to the Feminine, Women’s Groups and the power of women in general when we bond together. I credit Heather for a lot of things, and you will surely see why in the interview…by the way, you might want to take notes on this one!

 

Sat nam,

 

Elise

 

Heather

 

 

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1) Who are you?

I am bullshit slayer.

I am a beach born baby, raised on VG donuts from Cardiff By The Sea, Ca.

I am a crusader for the voice of the HEART.

I am a wife to the kindest man alive.

I am a daughter of a beautiful mamma who died from cancer when I was 23.

I am a sherpa to women who are being called HOME to themselves.

I am a stepmom to a brave young Goddess.

I am a devoted servant to the FIRE of real deal, life changing, HOLY SHIFTING, Transformation. (Mine and yours)

I am a fiercely loving and protective friend.

I am a Seducer of TRUTH. I use humor, love and maybe a few curse words to call women into a sacred SEEING of themselves that transforms their lives from the inside out.

I am a doggie mamma of two yummy rescued fur babies.

I am available to SEE myself fully. (and that means ALL parts not just the fun beach baby, donut eating, fierce sherpa, seducer of truth, good friend, happy doggie mamma parts.

 

2) What is the greatest challenge you have overcome/are overcoming?

SEEING that “I” burden LIFE with carrying the face of my wounds.

Experiencing the TRUTH of this statement was and IS a total game changer for me.

SEEING that my unresolved stuff is actually playing itself out in my life delivers me back into the driver’s seat, INSTANTLY!

No it’s not easy, and YES it’s worth it…

You see, I’m not much into wasting time and money and I like my “medicine” STRONG. So when my life started to completely crumble (divorce, failed business, total lack of faith in The Divine and myself) I realized that the core of my BIG repeating issues might just be in me…

At that pivotal point in my life I screamed to the universe, “I’m fucked and I need to get un~fucked… NOW”.

That’s when my first teacher arrived in my life and fast, fast, forward I was initiated into this POTENT way of experiencing myself. I was quickly SOLD on this navigation because not only did “LIFE” start showing up differently, my relationship with myself started to heal + my intuition was ignited and MOST important of all, my difficult, exhausting, repeating patterns began to disappear.

Now the challenge of this is that I will always have something inside I can’t see or feel, so when “stuff” arises ultimately I MUST arrive back in ME. (This IS my constant “walk my talk” practice)

And THIS is the foundation of the work I do with other women. No it isn’t a self blame game. This is a return to oneself where we experience a deep intimacy within… Dare I say Oneness within ourselves.

And from this place of oneness those well sought after experiences TRULY arise… You know those ones we affirm ourselves to death with, those experiences we “practice” ourselves into a dither about: like, Forgiveness, acceptance, gratitude, authenticity and the ability to be PRESENT. These experiences begin to “happen” without effort or practice…

 

3) What have you learned?

I have learned that an intimate relationship with “Life” (money, partnership, God etc.) starts with an intimate relationship with myself.

If “He’s not there for me” If “they won’t listen to me”, If They don’t love me” then I go directly to ME..

I am I there for me?

Am I listening to ME?

Do I LOVE ME?

It all starts and ends with me…

I have learned that Forgiveness, Gratitude, Acceptance of self and others and true Compassion, are all Grace filled, hand of The Divine style “happenings”, that start with me SEEING that I DON’T, Forgive, that I lack Gratitude, that I CAN’T  Accept myself or others…

It’s a “start where you are, not where you want to be conversation”.

THEN the fullness of the experience we desire can arise. (key word FULLNESS)

I have learned that RESISTANCE will rear it’s ugly head whenever I set out to do anything that that results in me living my dreams.

The bigger the dream the bigger the resistance! Like writing this Blog for example. I’m living my life with a passion to help women wake up and finally live life instead of merely existing… Elise invited me into the Worthy Women series and it IS A HUGE honor for me and an amazing platform to share my gifts AND I have resisted sitting my ass down to write for WEEKS!!!!

Having you here with me right now IS a huge GIFT! Thank you Elise for this amazing opportunity!

 

Amen, and a fanny spank…