Anna Maria Locke

Let it be easy and fun

2017Anna Locke


Happy freaking December! Winter has officially arrived here in Chiberia, our little Christmas tree is twinkling (even if we haven't put the ornaments up yet), and I'm trying to be present and enjoy every last bit of 2017 and the holiday season.

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post. Where have I been?

Leveling UP.

This is going to be more of a "personal update" post as I catch you up to speed on the top life lessons I learned in November. It was a crazy expansive month, and I've never felt this connected to myself, empowered, and confident.

As soon as November arrived, it's like I saw the end of the year coming and all of a sudden a fire lit and I woke up from my cozy comfy 10 months of 2017 "flow" and realized there were still a lot of projects and things I wanted to accomplish and finish before the calendar flips to a fresh year, and I couldn't keep holding myself back for one more second!

So I burned the boats, joined a group mastermind, invested in a high end business/life coach, raised my rates to be in alignment with the value and transformation I facilitate for my coaching clients, decided to stop playing small and over-thinking my life, created and shared my new powerful vision for my health coaching team, did a mini cleanse to kick my sugar addiction and re-calibrate my energy, started waking up at 5:30 to prioritize my self care, and had about a bajillion breakthroughs and mindset shifts.

Oh, and I chopped my work hours (bye bye "busy work") and still ended up making more money in November than I've ever made in a single month in my entire life.

WAAAA told you it was a big month.

I've been learning that our external "success" is proportional to our level of inner growth and personal development, which is why it’s so important as creative entrepreneurs to prioritize the deeper inner work it takes to get clear on our mission, vision, WHY, and work through all the fears and limiting beliefs that hold us back from taking action and growing into our goals and dreams.

I feel like God/the Universe is always sending us messages and signs through the universe that point us back to where we need to be and what we need to remember.

One of my favorite parts of life coaching is when my clients unconsciously mirror back a message or insight that's deep inside myself too. In the process of holding a safe and sacred space for them to meet themselves where they're at, figure out how they want to feel inside their vision, unravel what's blocking them from moving forward,  sometimes it feels like I'm actually coaching myself too and guiding us both into action.

And pretty much all my coaching calls and conversations this week have been pointing me back towards two main messages:

  1. Let it be easy

  2. Trust yourself

LET IT BE EASY. Because I’m done with making life and business hard and complicated. 

I’m releasing the belief that money and success are a product of sacrifice and hard work.

I’m not afraid of deep, soul work. Easy doesn't mean effortless. But it CAN feel aligned.

Easy doesn't always mean comfortable. But like a hard workout, it's exhilarating.

And TRUST. Ohhhhh trust.

At the beginning of 2017 I chose “open hearted” to be my word of the year and it was a great guide for several months but TRUST is what I keep coming back to again and again in my journal and conversations.

The biggest lesson I’m working on right now is to trust that everything I desire is coming my way. To trust that I’m enough right here, right now. To trust that I’ll grow into my goals and vision as I go...but I’m safe to take action from where I’m at right now.

I can be a control freak and perfectionist, which combined with my background in science and tangible results makes it really hard for me to feel happy and successful if I can't SEE things happening.

That's why trust is so important. Even though I can’t see all the tangible results I desire yet, I can trust the inner change, trust in a higher power, and trust the transformation that’s already happening inside of my mind and heart and energy.

So I'll leave you with a couple questions to reflect on:

Where can you let it be easy?

Where can you release your tight grip on control and surrender to trust?

xo Anna

p.s. I have two spaces open for life coaching in December! If you're a visionary, ambitious, high performing, multi-passionate creative entrepreneur or simply someone who feels called to forge your own path and you'd like some support in taking your happiness and biz to the next level, click here to book a complimentary 30 minute call!

3 ways to manage stress without eating your feelings

2017Anna Locke

Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. This post constitutes my personal experience and opinions and is geared towards women who have an otherwise healthy relationship with food and their bodies. If you experience binging or suspect you have an eating disorder, please reach out for help!

If you’ve ever found yourself elbow deep in a box of cereal, popcorn bag, running through the drive thru for fries, or polishing off a sleeve of Oreo’s before you even notice what you’re doing...

First of all, there's no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. You are hardly alone! Most women deal with stress eating (or emotional eating) from time to time.

Stress eating is a habit if you can’t NOT imagine yourself heading to the drive thru for fries or ice cream if you are feeling down. When you’re triggered, it’s your immediate and first reaction.

Feeling overwhelmed. Stuff snacks in face.

It's hard to stop eating your emotions because you can’t just break the habit cold turkey. First of all, it’s a completely automatic behavior ingrained in your subconscious, and if you DIDN’T soothe yourself with food you’d feel like a completely deprived emotional wreck, which would only make your stress worse.

When we emotionally eat or binge, we're actually using this behavior as self care to protect ourselves from negative or uncomfortable emotions we'd rather not face.

YES! Emotional eating is self care! It's just probably not the best way to take care of yourself. 

So how do we start to overcome our emotional or stress eating habits?

First of all, you have to give yourself permission to actually feel your feelings.

You can't eat or drink them away. Just because you're numbing with food doesn't mean the stress is disappearing, but by allowing ourselves space to physically and mentally process our emotions or get to the bottom of where our stress is coming from in the first place, it WILL pass! It's like the opposite of that Gandalf scene.

Once you start to feel your feels, there are so many positive ways to deal with stress or negative feelings in order to flip them into higher vibes.

Another disclaimer: if your feelings are too overwhelming for you to handle alone or stem from a traumatic experience, pleeeeease see a counselor or therapist! You deserve to heal and feel your best, and you deserve the help you need.

When it comes to replacing emotional eating with a more positive behavior, we need to first RECOGNIZE when it happens and then REPLACE the habit with one that's more nurturing so you can keep food in its rightful place in your life.

Food is delicious. Food is fuel. Food is energy. Food is celebration of life!! 

Here are a few non-food ways to manage stress if you want to stop eating your feels!

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3 NON FOOD ways to manage stress

1. Get outside for a walk.

Even if it’s just 5 minutes around your house or office!

This is the best way to chillax because usually when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, it’s because we’re overstimulating ourselves with too many tasks, responsibilities, browser windows, notifications, to-do’s, etc all at once.

Getting out into nature immediately calms your nervous system, removes you from a stressful situation, and helps you gain clarity and perspective on your priorities for the day.

Getting your body into MOVEMENT (a brisk walk) will channel and release any negative energy.

Remember that anxiety = energy. We have to give it a place to go!

If you can get sweaty and workout, even better.

Visualize what that would feel and look like >> Feelings of stress triggered. Instantly lace up shoes and hit the sidewalk.

2. Do a pen to paper braindump.

Again...most overwhelm comes from holding EVERYTHINGGGG we need to do over the next week/month/year plus potential ideas plus conversations plus fears like “am I good enough?” plus re-hashing past events in our brain all at once.

Putting pen to paper and literally dumping everything in your brain is so cathartic.

Don’t censor or judge yourself, don’t try to organize a to-do list, just LET IT OUT. Take as long as you need.

If you start writing tasks, break them down into every step involved in that task.

Once your brain is dumped, you should already feel better, but to take this to the next level of calm, now you can organize your braindump!

1. Categorize things, e.g. To-Do’s, Fears, Random thoughts/ideas, Negative inner critic chatter

2. Look at your lists and ask yourself “Is this something I need to release (e.g. fear) or something I need to take action on? What is a ‘should do’ vs. a ‘must do?’ What can I delegate? What ‘should’s’ can I let go of?”

3. For all the ‘must do’ or ‘want to do’ action items, schedule them on your calendar! Now you don’t just have an overwhelming guilt inducing to-do list. You have a PLAN.

Visualize what that would feel and look like >> Feelings of stress triggered. Instantly grab a pen and paper and let it out!

3. Use music to flip your mood.

It’s so easy to forget how powerful music can be! Make a playlist on iTunes or Spotify of all your favorite happy songs. I have an ongoing playlist and whenever I hear a song that makes me happy, I add it!

Bonus: have a solo dance party to your music. Because stress = energy and we need to give it a place to go to release it! Yes you might look crazy or stupid. Laugh at yourself!

Visualize what that would feel and look like >> Feelings of stress triggered. Instantly press play on your “happy mix” and dance it out.

Empower yourself to process your feelings, then move forward and upward instead of dwelling in a rut.

Remember that making deep changes in our mindset and behaviors can't happen overnight, so practice practice practice and have tons of self compassion and patience with yourself through the process of change. You will have setbacks, that’s not a sign that you failed, it’s a sign that you are leveling up!

xo Anna

Disclaimer: I am not a medical or mental health professional. This post constitutes my personal experience and opinions and is geared towards women who have an otherwise healthy relationship with food and their bodies. If you suspect you have an eating disorder, please reach out for help!

5 ways to protect your energy when you're a sensitive empath

2017Anna Locke

Let’s face it. There is a LOT of really horrible stuff happening in the world and sensationalized in the news these days, and it’s easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed by the constant onslaught.

For those of us who are sensitive or empaths, we FEEL everything that much more intensely and can go into shutdown or paralysis mode, or else be tempted to go stick our head in the sand and pretend everything is ok in our own little bubbles. Neither option is healthy or productive!

It's important to stay aware of what's happening so we can take positive action and do our part to make a difference, but equally important to protect our own energy so we aren't swept away in the current of despair.

Today I’m sharing a few self care techniques that you can practice to protect your energy while still taking action.

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5 ways to protect your energy when you're a sensitive empath (and the world is going to sh*t)

1. Set boundaries

This is so freaking important, especially since we live in a time where we’re bombarded 24/7 with news and social media updates. We’re constantly consuming so much information and have to be very intentional with where we spend our attention and focus!

On social media, set clear boundaries around how you use your apps and what people you follow. Unfollow anyone who does not add value or positivity to your life.

Be very aware of how you feel when you consume news from TV, paper, magazines, radio, etc. I personally don’t watch news on TV because it’s so sensationalized, and I try not to read the paper first thing in the morning when I’m most sensitive.

Where is your energy throughout the day? When do you feel more resilient, and when are you more vulnerable to negativity or anxious thoughts?

I try to start my mornings unplugged with journaling, meditation or affirmations (if I am rocking at life) and personal development reading so I can fill my own positivity and love cup before opening my inbox or facing the world. It gives me so much more resiliency to better respond to the rest of my day instead of going through on autopilot, reacting to whatever happens to me.

If you have people in your life who trigger you, remember that no one can “make” you feel anything so get curious about where your negative feelings are coming from. Work through whatever comes up (get help from a therapist or coach if you need to!) or else remove yourself from situations that don’t allow you to be your best self.

2. Turn guilt into gratitude

It’s easy to feel guilty for everything. Being white, being privileged, being safe and unaffected by the latest tragedy du jour, etc etc etc.

Guilt comes when we feel that there is something wrong with us. And there is nothing wrong with you!! If your heart goes out to someone or something, do what you can to help by sending donations or volunteering your time, but try flipping your guilt into gratitude.

Be grateful or at the very least appreciateive for everything you have, because the world needs more positive energy!

3. Feel your feelings

It’s ok to not know how to feel, or how to react or respond. It’s ok to be an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes we just have to sit and marinate or process our feels. Again, seek help via a therapist, coach, or counselor if your feelings are too intense for you to process on your own!

4. Get support

I’ll say it again because this is so important: get support! Whether that’s your friend, mom, or a professional. It’s easy to feel like we’re all alone in whatever we’re dealing with, especially on social media when it looks like everyone else has their lives together. Instead of falling into an isolation trap, reach out. Spend face-to-face time with your friends, family, and people who love you. Talk stuff out. If your friends or family have different opinions or views than you, please don’t build walls but rather be open minded and curious about their beliefs. If we seek to understand each other instead of building walls, we can realize we all belong to the same common humanity. We’re all in this together and whatever you’re going through, you are NOT alone.

5. Keep your cup full so you can be the light.

What does this mean?

We all have a limited amount of mental and emotional energy in our "cups" to spend each day. It’s so important to keep our cups full so we have extra energy to show up in our lives and pay it forward to others. We can’t contribute positive energy to our jobs and families, much less the world, if we have zero energy to give and that's what leads to burnout and feeling resentful or depleted.

We can replenish our positive energy stores by spending more time doing things that make us happy. It's pretty simple, really! Easy to do, but easy not to do since we tend to put our own needs on the backburner.

So let me officially give you permission to BE SELFISH in a good way! What do you need?

Get out into the woods. Drink too much wine with your besties. Snuggle your baby or peet. Go out for date night and leave your phone at home. Call your grandma and let her talk to you for as long as she wants. Try a new recipe that looks ridiculously complicated and see what happens with a backup plan so you don't have to worry if it is an epic fail. Blow bubbles. Watch the sunset or sunrise.

There's that Mr. Rogers quote about "look for the helpers" but maybe we should ask ourselves how we can BE the helpers -- in our every day lives, not just in an emergency.

Be your own best friend.

xo Anna