Anna Maria Locke

introvert life

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

Using coaching as activism ...and facing my own white privilege

2017Anna Locke

I need to share something with you.

I don’t even know where to start so I’ll start from where I’m at right now.

I pride myself on "keeping it real" and sharing posts straight from the heart, in the messy trenches of life, and I've written lots of vulnerable posts that have stretched my comfort zone but this one makes me feel the most uncomfortable and is probably the hardest post I’ve ever written because in writing it I’m claiming my privilege and the fact that even though I want to change the world, I have an extremely limited, sheltered and narrow personal experience of the world.

At the same time, I can’t not write it, so here we go! Let’s get uncomfy together.

This is not necessarily a response to what happened in Charlottesville this week, although that definitely was a trigger. It’s a response to everything that’s happened not just in the last year, but my life up to this point, and our place in the bigger trajectory of human history.

I'm struggling to figure out what to say. I don't want to be one of those white female coaches who hides inside my privilege spouting platitudes like "choose love over fear!" or “good vibes only!”

I also don’t want to post random guilt-driven responses to the latest tragedy du jour in this carousel of horror and fear we’ve been riding just to make sure everyone on Facebook knows I’m a good person.

I refuse to stay silent BUT I don’t want to simply contribute to the noise.

I want my words and actions to feel aligned, empowered, and from my heart.

So here’s my heart today.

I have to start by releasing the elephant in the room: white privilege.

I'm a straight highly educated middle class white woman. We can't use labels to build walls between each other, but we also can't just ignore them and pretend everything is ok.

To me, white privilege means that I get to choose when and where to engage in the conversation and debate around social justice, race, inequality, etc. And I can’t lie. I LOVE reaping the benefits of my white privilege. I take it for granted. I surround myself with people who look like me, act like me, set goals like me, and were raised like me.


I know that's the question we're all asking ourselves.

When I get stuck in the labels, it’s easy to feel helpless, like my words and actions and story don’t count because compared to most people, I’ve had a sheltered and privileged life.

I’m not into protests or marches or signing petitions or calling my representatives or being on the front lines or being a social worker or volunteering at soup kitchens or the normal forms of activism. It’s not that I WON’T participate in these things, but as a sensitive introvert they just don’t feel like “me.” I feel guilty about this, like I’m a bad person...but honestly if I want to truly make a change I have to be that change on my own terms because I truly believe that the energy we bring to what we do matters just as much as the action itself.

But I’m also a woman living in a world where patriarchy has been the norm for thousands of years, and I feel like I was born at this time for a reason.

I strongly believe that life coaching is my ministry, my personal form of activism.

You can’t spread love until you love yourself, and I'm passionate about empowering other women to heal themselves from the inside out so they can feel whole and complete, because when we heal ourselves, we heal the world.

And as we're healing ourselves we also have to shine our light into the world and recognize we’re all part of a bigger collective movement.

Three and a half years ago, I was called to coaching.

The door randomly happened to open through Beachbody, but underneath the health and fitness I was attracted to something deeper and bigger that I didn't even understand at the time.

My sister, uncle, and mother in law were called into ministry so I've heard a lot of ministers talk about what it was like to hear their "call" and I knew exactly what they were talking about because I felt it too.

It's this deep, spiritual and visceral compulsion that you can't NOT follow because it feels so right, even if you have no idea where it’s leading.

It made everything in my life start to click. It gave me a sense of purpose and validation.

Over the last 3.5 years I've worked with hundreds of women, have deepened my own personal development, became a life coach, and have been exploring my personal faith and spirituality.

I’ve immersed myself in learning about the rising feminine energy that's occurring in our world even as the darkness seems overpowering (because light and dark go together and the more powerful one is, so will the other be), and it's all starting to make more sense.

I’m starting to realize why I’m here, and why I’m doing this work.

And it freaking terrifies me. I'm literally shaking writing this.

I'm also on my period, which means physically my hormones are at their lowest, I have the most connection between my left/right brain (and masculine/feminine energy), and I have a level of detached unemotional clarity as I view my life and purpose in this world.

So these words are not an emotional rant, but are coming from my deepest heart.

I can't tell where my work will lead me, but I know for a fact I'm here .... we are here ... to serve a bigger purpose.

We're part of a collective movement of female empowerment that is rising to dismantle the patriarchy that’s controlled us all for the past thousands of years, to bring more balance and peace to the world.

I see the ideal future as a world where people of all genders, identities, races, cultures, and belief systems are integrated and regarded as equal.

Yeah this is prob unrealistic because our humanity dooms us to war and power struggles, but we can still elevate our collective consciousness.

And I see all the chaos and horrible stuff happening not as a sign that the world is going to shit, but as a sign that deep shifts are happening. As we refuse to stay silent, as we refuse to accept and perpetuate the status quo of inequality, the power structures that have been holding this inequality in place are naturally going to rise up and stage a final battle.

It might get worse before it gets better, but it’s not going to last.

And in the meantime, we have to be strong and endure and face ourselves where we stand.

And it's so so so so so so freaking important that I don’t let my white privilege keep me silent and small in in warm fuzzy bubble. I hate negativity and politics but I can't keep ignoring the realities that are happening in our world to "protect my energy.”

Yes, I have a sheltered one sided perspective, but don't we all? We ALL need to share our stories.

What I can do

I'm going to continue to explore my own thoughts and feelings on my mission and purpose, and how I can share my truth and use coaching as a platform for activism.

I’m going to keep messing up and falling short and failing over and over, but we have to keep going even when we feel scared and small and guilty.

I’m going to keep sharing my TRUTH on social media, instead of hiding inside my excuses and fears and comfort zone.

I’m going to continue to figure out what I believe, what I stand for, and then share that from a place of alignment and empowerment.

I can keep talking about all of this hard stuff.

I will keep exploring my personal beliefs and opening my eyes to hearing stories and experiences of other people who are different from me.

I will engage with the homeless people on the street instead of avoiding eye contact and feeling ashamed.

I will reach out to say hi to new people at church who are not white 30 somethings.

I'll continue to protect my energy and putting my self care first, but also staying engaged with what’s happening in the world.

I will commit to healing myself so I can be a source of positivity and light in my work and online.

My mom always says "to whom much is given, much is expected" and I have been given so much.

But for the first time I can take advantage of that instead of feeling guilty, powerless, and overwhelmed.

Through coaching I have a platform I can use to create a ripple of positive change while still honoring my own self care first, and I get to teach other women how to do the same.

If all of this triggers you or makes you feel uncomfortable, GOOD.

Let's lean into the discomfort and turn it into something beautiful, even if it's messy and imperfect.

Let’s force ourselves to engage with our privilege, go out of our comfort zone, amd see everyone with an open heart regardless of their race//gender identity//class//economic status//nationality.

Let's spread COMPASSION and love, beginning with the relationship we have with ourselves.

xo Anna

p.s. If you’re also a white woman in the coaching world, here is a great article to read if you've been feeling all the feels and are wondering what to do.

photo by Artistrie Co

September Update

September 2016, 2016Anna Locke

Oh heyyyy bloggyblog friend!

Long time no update, so let me catch you up on what's been going on behind the scenes, because September was a crazy beautiful month over here in my little corner of the world.

I always love the energy of autumn.

At the beginning of the month, I journaled out what success would feel like and look like in my life in September. I believe one hundred percent in the power of intention setting, and loved doing this exercise because almost everything I wrote down came true!

I wrote that SUCCESS this month would feel...

  • calm
  • confident
  • content and fulfilled
  • proud for digging in and doing the work
  • excited about everything I'm manifesting
  • lean and strong in my body

And I'm proud to say that yes, based on my intentions I feel super successful! #winningatseptember 

September was a month of deep inner shifts for me, and integrating all the growth and learning I've done this year through my life coaching course.

It's officially been two years since I quit my job to work for myself, and I can finally say that after two years of breakdowns/breakthroughs/ego trips/epic highs and lows, I'm finding my groove! Hallefreakinluiah.

I think this is the first full month I've ever had with ZERO anxiety, which is probably due to a combination of lots of things, but to me it feels like at 29 years old I'm finally growing into myself. And I like who I'm becoming. And yoga.

I'm finding a sweet spot between working hard and trusting the flow of my intuition.

Obsessed with Jess Lively's podcast episodes lately

I'm taking a TON of pressure off myself and releasing my attachment to goals that stress me out or trigger my perfectionism.

Lots and lots of inner and outer shifts and leaps!

I'm transitioning into this new, bigger, brighter version of myself. I've accomplished so many "bucket list" dreams over the past few years (quit job, become a full time coach/entrepreneur, hit a business milestone, become a life coach) and to be honest it feels like I'm being mentally and emotionally stretched to my limits every single day as I expand into my new reality. Nothing major has changed on the outside, but everything has changed on the inside.

Change maybe isn't the right word, because I'm still the same person I've always been. Maybe evolved is more appropriate.

I'm not the insecure, shy, fear-driven, seeking and striving girl anymore. I spent years of my life wishing I was this confident, self assured, successful, powerful woman, and now I'm actually recognizing those qualities in myself it's kind of scary! In a good way.

And the best part is that it's my job to help guide other women along their own paths now!

The personal development book I read this month was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain, and it was perfect for the season of life I'm in right now.

It's all about how to create a vision for your life, and then how to shift your mindset so you align yourself emotionally and energetically with all the GOOD stuff you say you want.

Some of my takeaways from the book:

Emotional resistance is our natural fear of change and growth.

If something feels like you're forcing, pushing, or straining, DON'T DO IT.
If it feels helpful, releasing, opening, strengthening, or inspiring, DO IT.

Simple, right? But it's so easy to ignore our intuition and the cues our body sends us.

I've been practicing letting go of the stuff that stresses me out, and proactively practicing having a more grateful, abundant mindset.

September was a kaleidoscope of work, play, planning, and travel.

I spent a week in North Carolina visiting my friend and business partner Hannah in Raleigh, then we drove to the coast to meet our fellow teammate Amanda for our first ever leadership retreat.

We spent a long weekend on the beach masterminding, creating visions and plans for our businesses and team, drinking tons of rose, watching sunsets, and laughing. It's crazy to think I met both of these girls on Instagram, and now we're best friends and business partners!

I spend most of my time working behind a computer screen, and creating opportunities to connect with my coaches in person is so important to me.

It was a full circle, dream-come-true trip. I've had this vision in my mind for so long of creating a community and sisterhood of strong, empowered women who want to become leaders and leave an impact in the world, and it's happening! So surreal. Hard work pays off. If you have a dream, keep your nose to the grindstone and don't. give. up. Everything will take 100x longer than you think it "should," but it will all come together eventually!

After a quick one day pitstop back home, I hit the road again to fly to Dallas for the annual business conference hosted by the bigger team we're part, The Platinum Edge, with two of my other coaches, Bri and Katie!

We spent the weekend at the beautiful Gaylord Texan resort (aka the Texas Bubble) learning how to brand and market ourselves, drinking margaritas, eating tons of food, and of course working out!

This was my third time attending this event, and it felt more like a fun and relaxing family reunion than a work trip. It was fun to notice how much I've grown on the inside and out in the last two years since my first time there just two years ago. I still hold the same core values and beliefs, but I feel so much more calm and confident, ha!

Oh yeah, and because September marks the official beginning of SCARF SEASON, I also found time to re-launch the Etsy shop!!!!! I can't wait to get back to my creative outlet, and have mountains of flannel to sew up for the season. Stay tuned...

This faux fur cowl is my new obsession.

Apparently "level up" was officially my theme of the month.

You might have noticed some new pretty pictures around the blog... that's because I stepped way out of my comfort zone and booked the talented Ashley Biess of Artistrie Co. for my first official lifestyle and branding photo shoot!

Having professional photos done has been a huge checkbox for me this year. I want to stop pretending that my businesses are my hobbies and start taking myself more seriously as a coach and entrepreneur.

And nothing says CONFIDENCE BOOST like new pretty photos! Seriously... go have a photoshoot date with your girlfriends this week. Go search out a blank wall or mural in your city, find each other's best angles, laugh, be silly, have fun, and show each other how gorgeous you really are.

And finally, this guy. I'm so grateful to have a Ben in my life to keep me grounded and remind me where home is. We're celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary next weekend!

What's up next?

I AM SO EXCITED FOR OCTOBER! First of all, no more trips, which makes my inner homebody very happy. I'm planning to buckle down and get to work!

Most of what I'm working on right now is branching out and separating my Beachbody (health and fitness) coaching from my new life coaching brand. Yup, it's happening!

I'll be launching a brand new website and blog to share the health, fitness, and business mentoring side of my world, and continue to use this website to share my personal updates, Etsy adventures, and NEW life coaching services! Yes, I'll be taking on a limited number of 1:1 clients and I can't wait.

Time to set October intentions!

This weekend I'll be journaling out my answers to the following, and if it feels good, you can too! 

1. SUCCESS this month would feel like....

2. A SUCCESSFUL LIFE this month would look like...

Time flies and life moves fast, but we're in control and get to choose our path and how we respond to the crazy.

Take off some of the pressure you're putting on yourself. Do more of the things that make you feel happy and most like yourself, and let everything else fall into place.

Get clear on your vision for your life, what you want, and where you want to go, and start making small shifts in that direction every single day.

You deserve to feel unapologetically happy and confident in your own skin, and the gap between where you are and where you want to be is closing a little more each day. Have patience and trust the journey, gorgeous girl!

xo Anna