5 Steps to Take Ownership Back Over Your Life

5 Steps to Take Ownership Back Over Your Life

5 Setps to Take Back Ownership Over Your Life

The start of life is out of our control. No one gets to choose who their parents are, what year they are born, or where they grow up. However, those things don’t have to dictate how your story unfolds. YOU determine who you are and what your story is going to be. 


Have you ever blamed the people or things around you when something wasn’t working out the way you wanted it to? Well, I’m 100% certain that we have all been there and done that at some point in our lives. I’m certainly not ashamed to say that I was that person for a long time. Instead of taking responsibility for my actions, I deflected and pushed the blame onto others and what was around me. I didn’t own who I was and what I did. It was easier that way.

Taking ownership is a powerful thing. Owning your actions and choices gives you the freedom to take charge of your own happiness. You are in control. When you blame others, you give away your power.

“Life doesn’t happen TO you. It happens BECAUSE of you.”


As I continue to take ownership of my life and my choices, I want to welcome you to do the same. Stop blaming and start taking action. It doesn’t have to be significant. You don’t need to quit your job or leave your family-unless that is something you feel deep down you need to do. But stop waiting. Stop pointing your finger out at everyone else. Stop believing you have no say in what happens in your life.

Like Colin O’Brady (33), the first man to walk across Antarctica, it begins with a thought. Then a small step in the right direction and then having the mental strength to continue no matter what-step by step as you head towards your destination. Like Colin, we focus on that next step and not be overwhelmed by what lies ahead.

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Here are 5 steps you can immediately put into practice to help take back and keep ownership over your life:

1. Get Quiet Every Single Day

Every day find time to get quite: no phone, no distractions, just you, your feelings, thoughts, and insights. Listen to what your mind and body are saying. Observe yourself. What do you notice? Getting quiet is a powerful practice, and many overlook it merely because it doesn’t feel like action. But this is where action steps evolve. (Check out how Hope gets quiet HERE)

2. Stop Blaming Other People and Things

When you blame others, you give away your power. Blaming is a self-protection mechanism. In my life experiences, we do so as a means not to have to face the truth we know. We may be feeling overwhelmed. We don’t or don’t know who to ask for the help we need. Or, like me, we were never taught how to take responsibility for our actions confidently. Stop blaming and ask yourself how I can take responsibility for this? Now that is an empowering statement. 

3. Get Up and Move

We, humans, are designed to move. We are not a lion building up reserves by sleeping and resting 16-20 hours a day to run 50 mph, then to catch our prey. Research shows that sitting a lot is dangerous to our health. And even short bursts of movement: 1-minute here, 5-minutes there can be a big difference in your well-being here. Exercise can lead to greater self-control, and for me, it leads to me feeling better about myself, making me make better life choices. 

4. Approach the Situation and Decide to Learn Something

When we step into a conversation or experience with ego, we lose the leverage to learn. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room all the time. And as Tony Robbins says, the second you are the most intelligent person in the room, you are in the wrong room. If you approach each opportunity with the mantra: “what can I learn from this”? You will shift from keeping yourself stuck and protected, to openness to grow. 

5. Learn How to Say No

When we say “yes” to everyone else and everything else, we are saying no to ourselves. Now I am not saying if your child needs help with math and you want to Netflix and Chill, you should say no. But there are countless times throughout the day where we are saying “yes” out of habit. We don’t want to do it or shouldn’t do it, but we do. And then we pay the price. To not create overwhelm, start with simple things like I did. Saying no to the couch with my husband and yes to going for a walk-then R&R time with him. Saying no to adding a yoga class to the schedule just because someone is asking when I knew if I said yes, it would be too much. Do a quick daily self-reflection and take inventory to where you are saying “yes” and “no” and ask yourself if the scale is off. 


It is a freeing feeling to be in charge of your life, and in my case, it was because that was not something I had experienced prior. It is vital to my wellness that every single day I like myself; that I love myself every single day. And when I don’t, I know the scales are off. And when I don’t, things need to change.


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Yoga Begins Now: National Yoga Day

Yoga Begins Now: National Yoga Day

Today is Summer Solstice AND National Yoga Day!

To be honest, I think it’s kind of weird that we have a “National Yoga Day”, but then again there is a day for everything now a days. So, why not yoga?

Yoga has done so much for me in the last fifteen plus years. So much that when I look back, a gazillion thoughts go racing through my head, and I find myself a little unsure where to focus and settle in.

But what can yoga truly do for you?
Where do you begin?
Where does yoga begin?
Where did yoga start?
In a gym?
On a yoga mat?

What is yoga?

To answer that I went back to the Yoga Sutras written by Patanjali (third century B.C.E) and the VERY FIRST word in the Yoga Sutra is “atha” which translates to “now”.

Right here, right now, in this moment.
Wherever you are, whomever you are, no judgement.
No yoga mat needed, just the presence of your being.
Yoga begins in the present moment…Yoga IS the present moment.

I’ve been there, on my yoga mat, trying to create something, trying to create a moment that others will say “wow” to, a moment worthy of the status of “yogi”.
But I have discovered, the second we start down that path, we lose yoga’s true essence.

I often discuss with my students, while standing at attention in Warrior II, that the back hand symbolizes keeping the past in the past, and the front hand, the future in the future. All of this while they (we) stand present in this very moment. In this moment, in all their feelings, all their sensations, in all that currently is.

And if you compare these first words in the Yoga Sutras to most practitioners’ definition of yoga (to unite) as Michel Stone puts it, “we turn yoga into something one does, a form of willful activity”.

Stone goes on to passionately point out that we have now confused YOGA with the “doing” of yoga.
Much like one says, “I’m going to yoga”, or “yoga was so hard today”, or “yoga is too easy”.
And is it that we have now confused the techniques of yoga with the “experience” of yoga.

The first time I heard this it rocked my world. I immediately stepped back and dropped my mat and sat to the ground in deep thought. Replaying the words back in my head again and again.

It was a reminder that yoga is not something we seek outside ourselves. And in a culture desperate (yes, I used the world desperate) for true meaningful connections. Sadly, we will not find them outside ourselves, we may not even find them “doing yoga”. Because for many, yoga has become more about mastering the pose, then connecting with their inner master.

Don’t Just “Do” Yoga

I say to my students’ time and time again, that it’s about taking it off the mat into your everyday life.

And my classes may not be led to the tune of modern funky music, and I may not wear the most fashionable clothes or always push in the way of a boot camp style, but the desire for my students to create a meaningful connection within is always the forerunner of my teachings.

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for yoga. Not because it keeps me in shape or flexible, but because yoga, repeatedly, has asked me to step into the present moment. Offering me forgiveness to my own self as I would be guided to step out of the looming darkness of my unforgiving past and away from the anxiety of the unknown future and into the small morsel of the present moment.

And it was in that small moment that I found peace. Not because of the pose I was in, or the music played, or what other poses I had already mastered. But rather I had fully understood for a small moment in time, what it meant to be in the “now”.

It is when we fully commit to such a practice (the now not yoga) that we finally begin to understand what yoga is asking us to do.

Practice the Present Moment

Get quiet.
Be still.
Be silent.
Connect within.

And we cannot do that when everything around us is so loud to hear.
We cannot do that when our focus is on what we did or what is next.
We can only do that when we truly understand that yoga IS the present moment.

It is not a tangible practice or even an object to be seen. But rather one to be experienced only when all else is stripped away.

Today it is National Yoga Day. I want to encourage you to not just step onto your mat to strike a pose, sweat yesterday’s indulgences out, instead, truly bring “Atha yogausasanam” to life (in the present moment is the teachings of yoga).

From my heart to yours,


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Post them in the comments below. 

PS Want to read more amazing teachings from the late Michael Stone. Start with this amazing book!

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