I AM You Studio

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    &ldquoTo live a long life base your diet on bread, wine, vegetables and happiness. Ask for what you want but take only what you need. And always stand your ground and defend who you are and what you believe in.&rdquo #RETOX Lessons from Catalunya for you today from me and my new bestie.
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    #monday #inspiration #yoga #mindfulness #meditation #happy #happiness #laurenimparato #spain #catalunya (at Catalonia, Spain)

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    Confidence.  Have it. Love it.

    Confidence is the purest expression of love, for oneself and others.  It reflects unbridled ambition and limitless potential, potential for who we are and everything we dream to become.  

    We are not necessarily born confident it is a series of life experiences and perceptions that create the nest egg of our self understanding.  Sometimes we feel confident in certain realms and not others for me as a teenager it was always about academics and sports, never as me for me.  Yet as life unfolds, and we becoming willing to go along with it, we unearth new talents, new confidence reserves, a new potential to love ourselves and others.  

    So what’s wrong with being confident?  Nothing in the I.AM.YOU. RETOX book.  In fact, I firmly believe in increasing your confidence, and using yoga, nourishment, mindset and music as tools to help you.  Do not worry about the over analyzed ego the ego is merely a charade to cover up for the confidence we lack.  Instead focus on what makes you feel strong on the inside, so that you can go love yourself and everyone else on the outside.  

    We all go through phases of not being confident enough, thinking we suck and that, as a result, no one loves or respects us.  We also pass through phases of overconfidence, ones that usually end in getting slapped, metaphorically of course.  If you tune in every day in some way, be it a few minutes of yoga sweat, breathing, or just letting your mind wander, you can usually go back to that root of you, as hidden as it may be, and unearth the tenacity that has made you, you for all these years.

    Like you, I am on a journey of confidence and love, love and confidence.  If you get knocked down, just remember that we all do – it is an inherent and essential step to living in all your brilliance and glory.  

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    Do you need some love today? I.AM.YOU. is here for you.  So is Odessa.

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    6 Lessons I Learned From Quitting My Job

    Six years ago I woke up fairly blurry eyed and slightly tired, probably just like you did now, showered, dressed and hopped into a cab to work reading on my blackberry. But I wasn’t reading the daily news or my emails, but rather notes I had written for myself on what I was going to say when I quit.

    Six years ago today I quit my job as VP on the Fixed Income trading floor of Morgan Stanley. It was the scariest day of my life I felt like vomiting throughout the entire morning meeting, I voice was shaking as I asked my bosses for time to speak, and my hands were sweaty waterworks under the table as I explained that after seven years I was parting ways to start my own wellness lifestyle business – I.AM.YOU..

    It took a few hours, as they did not seem to believe that I was actually leaving the firm and kept enticing me to stay, but ultimately I left my badge on my desk with the six computer screens, and walked out of the building, a half a dozen high heals and workout outfits from under my desk in tote, and a massive smile smothering my face.

    In honor of my six year quitting anniversary, I am sharing the six most important lessons I have learned from quitting and venturing on this new path….. a path that has been more rewarding, and challenging, than I ever could have imagined… Hopefully it inspired you to do chase your dreams, too!

    1. It is Not Meant to be Easy.
    Hollywood, and famed bloggers, paint quitting as this unbelievably easy, joyous experience. But that is not always the case. I had a seven year career, a recent promotion, a solid salary, benefits, and years of prior intense education and future career growth on the line. Leaving that behind for the vast unknown was gut wrenching. And it had all the right to be. Do not feel weak or guilty if quitting is daunting – it means you are believing in yourself, everything you have created in the past, and everything you hope to engender in the future.

    2. You Need to Have a Plan.
    That said, you need to have a plan. Nine times out of ten, people come to me for business coaching inspired by my story and wanting to quit their jobs, which is great – but when I ask what there plan is, they do not necessarily have one, which is dangerous. If you quit without a plan life is going to be very, very challenging. I knew exactly what I wanted to create – a 360 degree lifestyle brand and new lens for wellness based on yoga, nourishment, mindset and music. Before I quit I mapped out my business plan, designed my brand, had a logo, flushed out the target market, made a prelim web design, and modeled potential revenues and profits. Things have of course changed along the way, but having a plan has allowed me to achieve my goals much faster, and ensured that I stay the course, which as much fun and integrity as profits.

    3. Every Industry has its own Quirks, and You need to Learn Them.
    Wall Street is its own world, a world in which if you say a trade is ‘done,’ it is done, and there is absolutely no going back on it. Suddenly I entered the wellness world, where everything was and is much more grey, and much more wishy washy, which initially drove me bonkers, until I realized that each industry has its own way of doing business. You need to observe, learn, and adapt to their ways, or else you will go crazy, and quite frankly, not succeed. For me that has meant learning about the yoga world in a whole new way, nutrition, events, digital media, and publishing, to name a few. Figure out the playing field, get your team together, and go play ball.

    4.. Do Not Feel Guilty About Down Time.
    This one has, and still is, so hard for me. When I quit I started to fill my days the same way I filled my Wall Street days. 12-18 hours of work, be they teaching, writing, general business, instant email responses, or other projects. Yet, until recently, I always felt guilty when I had down time, even if it was just an hour. Now I embrace these moments as time to foster my creativity and engender new thoughts and developments for I.AM.YOU., which has helped my career and business grow to whole new levels. Down time is ok!

    5. The Highs are HIGH and the Lows are Garth Brooks Low.
    No matter what you do when you decide to quit, there will be good days and bad days. But the chances are, because you will be outside the structure of where you were before, they will feel extreme. I have cried more in my six years of entrepreneurship than my I did my entire seven years on Wall Street trading floor, and that as almost always the only female. Life outside the box is no joke! Just remember that whatever it is, good or bad, it will pass. Then put it in the context of the big picture, take a deep breathe, and focus on the next thing. That way the lows will not seem as dooming and the highs will not steer you off course, and you may even be smiling all, or most, of the time.

    6. You Control Your Destiny.

    You are the only person who will determine your success or failure you are the only person who can shape your future. It is up to you, and you alone. Which is awesome, and daunting. I take a moment every day to say thank you to life for everything it has given me, and then hit the pavement running. You can, and will, create your ideal self and career in your ideal world, just remember to be patient, think about the big picture, and never stop hustling.

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     “Lauren stop being a Granny!” That’s all I heard last weekend.   There I was atop a mountain of ice, steep cliffs on each side, with my friend, colleague and (unfortunate) ski guide saying nothing more to encourage me than to stop gripping like a pathetic old stiff grandmother.

    As I glared down at him with the precipice aging me ten years every minute, I realized just how much of a control freak I had become since the last time I skied 14 years before.  Suddenly I was micro-analyzing every possible injury that I could incur, scrutinizing every bump of icy snow, evaluating every possible escape…. For which there was not a one.

    I wanted to kill him… until I started laughing.  That laugh softened my fear just enough to unleash my desire for control, and then, very, very slowly, I started to creep down the run.  I started to Retox my way down the mountain, using a little bit of yoga, a little bit of anatomy, and a whole lot of mind muscle work to overcome the mountain of my mind.

     Retoxing is about implementing the tools you have around you to take whatever life throws you on any given day.  I.AM.YOU. creates a base of yoga, nourishment, mindset and music for you to pull from to do so.   My mind was the battle that day, not my physical body.  I simply needed to shift its perception of the run ahead and my ability in order to get down to home base.

    Sometimes what we need is a good ole mental whacking, like my friend provided to me.  Other times we need some acute, deliberate physical movement, or a specific meal.   And yet others we need to rock out and lose ourselves to the sounds of life that surround us. 

    But whatever mountain of your mind you are stuck upon this week, know that you have the route already inside you, and just check in with I.AM.YOU. if you need a little guidance.  I promise I won’t call you a granny J

     xx, Your Granny, Lauren

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