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The Dangers of Bypassing Trust

January 12, 2016
 

How Bypassing Trust Affects Our Performance

Before I turned in for the night, after seeing The Big Short with my family, I did what I love to do when I’m home for the holidays: Put on my favorite red flannel pajamas that my husband absolutely abhors and I can’t get enough of and snuggle into my Mom’s cozy bed for some mother daughter time, which is welcomingly never about when I’ll finally get around to having kids. Instead, we talk about work and relationships and my red flannel pajamas. Sometimes we talk about yoga or what she’s learning in Ed. Psych, short for Educational Psychology.

Dorey, my black lab slumped over onto my lap like a puddle of Jello. I always love when she does this; when she rolls onto my lap like a trained dolphin and throws her sinewy legs into the sky. With the comfort of my immodestly slumped over dog on my lap, I confessed to Mom that I felt like I was losing my mind. And not in the way you’re thinking. It wasn’t an I’m too busy and I’m losing my mind. It was more of an I’m losing my mind in a way that I can’t even describe without feeling overwhelmingly embarrassed. Like lazy fog hovering over a river, some things just weren’t there anymore, and yet they were there, just under the fog.

I started to tear up before the words could even escape me, which I hate about myself but I’ve learned to love. “I’ll be speaking and in no particular moment and for no particular reason, my mind goes completely blank, like I’m sitting on a chair in a dark room and I have eight limbs for arms, each limb stretching in an opposite direction, reaching for the words I wanted to say just seconds before; reaching for my train of thought. Where was I going? What was I saying?” After seeing the movie Still Alice, I thought, well, there’s a chance I might actually be losing my mind. Losing my words.

To give you some background, my Mom’s an academic. She’s in a Ph.D. program studying Educational Psychology, researching a theory called Flow, broadly defined as the secret to happiness. If this theory is new to you, I recommend you watch this excellent TED talk on Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Mom also works with Olympic and college athletes, giving them tools to help access their peak performance. So she’s qualified to be my Mom but also to give me great advice as an academic. My prayer was that if anybody in the world had an answer as to why my mind was going blank, it would be her.

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My Belly Moves

December 8, 2015
 

The holidays are fast approaching. This time of the year brings up a plethora of cheery feelings for me, and some not so pleasant. Every fifth email in my inbox is a detox diet subscription for the new year. My Instagram is overrun with flat belly #fitspo (fitness inspiration). Am I doing something wrong? Am I not supposed to be who I am in this very moment?

For 29 years of my life, I did the whole perfect new year, perfect life thing. I set goals to fit into my smaller dresses I kept in my closet. Some years, my goals were to have my hipbones extend further than my belly. What I found was, by conforming to temporary diets and ignoring my intuition, I destroyed my natural confidence, stripped myself from feeling comfortable in my own skin and my health suffered (hormones, digestion, immunity and overall happiness).

This year, I’m sticking with I’m good enough already. I will tiptoe around the trap that is: I should avoid eating that, I can’t eat there, I should have done that earlier.

I plan on complete surrender. This means, indulging in Mom’s home cooking. Keeping up my 15 minute meditation practice before breakfast and dinner. Going for a run in the morning because it makes me feel great, turning any uncomfortably cold run into a refreshing walk with my family; I move to feel good, not to compete. I surrender to knowing that I need my yoga practice, even when I’m home for the holidays. I completely surrender. I give myself permission to enjoy what I eat, to stop when I feel full, and continue on when my belly’s ready for more.

This holiday, I will not fall into any gimmicks or marketing tricks. I’m practicing radical self-acceptance for 15 seconds a day, and you can join me. Here’s what day one looks like…

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South Bound

December 1, 2015
 

Seventeen hours can hold a lot of what the heck am I doing moments. All I know, was I knew I had to do it.

When the journey began, we all walked together through the automatic entrance doors of the Lorton auto train station. Virginia’s February frost kept us bundled in whatever warm layers we had. Inside the station, it was warm enough to make me wonder if the sweat beading up under my turtleneck was from heat or nerves.

I had been working with my family for two and a half years after college. I got my real estate license, was managing net worth portfolios, meeting with Governors, Congressmen/women, Senators, Vice Presidents and Presidents about Green Grid technologies, natural rice hybrids that would increase production for Heartland farmers, selling used cars to foreign nations through a massive US port…to name a few of our projects. We were doing a lot of interesting things. Things that I look back on and forget why I didn’t stay. It all sounds so good to me now.

I can’t tell you why I left home except for I felt a deep guttural desire to be independent. I was curious and pined over seeing the world. And during my time working with my family, I met a modeling agent who said I could do just that, get paid to travel the world.

With a year of hesitation over the financial risk, I finally took the offer. I was young and resilient with an incredible work ethic, which encouraged me to believe the chances were high; if other people were doing it, I could too, make it in a new industry. Later, I learned many of these qualities had nothing to do with the success as a model.

Standing in the train station surrounded by my family, about to head south on my own for modeling season, I dreaded saying said good-bye to my Grandparents. I knew I wasn’t coming back home, though no one in my family knew I had already made up my mind. I said my good-byes to my entire family as we watched my silver station-wagon full of moving boxes drive into the cargo on the back on the train.

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Topless ™ by Emily
 
Reviews and Giveaways

Reviews + Giveaways

Praise For Emily

“Emily is an absolute joy to collaborate with. She brings the real conversation to the forefront about body image in such an authentic way. Our community left her Topless event feeling empowered & full of possibility!”


- Alison Utne, lululemon athletica

“Working with Emily is always so much fun (so much so that we’ve done it twice!). We love how she connects with her audience and exhibits true love for the companies she showcases, offering her own in-depth and authentic thoughts.”


- Madeline Alcott, Petit Vour

“Working with Emily is a no-brainer. Her writing is brave but vulnerable, sassy but self-aware, and kind but tough. It’s a joy to share her pieces with our community because so many readers tell us that they feel inspired and empowered by her choices.”


- Mind Body Green

“Emily provided great insights and tips as she reflected on the value of seizing the moment in a wide variety of her experiences. In short, she “rocked!”


- Stephen C. Harper, Ph.D.

“Emily was a pleasure to work with on our Rescue Chocolate giveaway. She has built up an active community in a short period. I would do a giveaway or any project with her again in a heartbeat.“


- Sarah Gross, rescue chocolate

“Emily is as sweet as she is smart. She is a true beauty with a body that is powerful, loved, and strong. Doing a giveaway on My Kind of Life was so much fun, her community is filled with wonderful women just like her!”


- Leanne Maily Hilgart, Vaute Couture

“Topless provides not only an opportunity but a call to action for each of us in service of radical honesty and acceptance of ourselves exactly as we are, to show up authentically not just for each other but for ourselves and THAT is magic.”


- Claire Santos, E-RYT

“In a way like very few can, Emily teaches us the importance of embracing our vulnerabilities in order to maximize our full potential. Topless Yoga is not your ordinary yoga class, but rather a movement and a state of mind!”


Tina Pate, KIND Snacks

“Each person involved brought their full heart into the event, creating a space of love, compassion, and clarity like I hadn’t experienced before. If you are so blessed to have Emily and her team visit your city, drop everything and go experience the magic for yourself.”  


- Nikki Novo, Author

Emily Nolan, you just stole my heart. Thank you for this.


- Elena Brower, artofattention.com
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this kinda rocks!
oh darling, indulge a little
this kinda rocks!
oh darling, indulge a little