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5 Ways to Stay Productive During a Flight

Transitioning from part time entrepreneurship to a full time lifestyle has been a challenging change of pace. It’s especially difficult when you add a hefty travel schedule to the mix. If you’ve ever wondered how traveling consultants always manage to stay “on” even while traveling, this is a great read for you.

Clean up your social media profiles. According to a study conducted by statista.com, as of 2017 every internet user has on average 7.6 social media accounts. With so many profiles to juggle it’s hard to keep consistent information across all platforms at all times. Use this downtime to update vital information such as new jobs, change of location and business emails.

Read that article

When I’m home, I’m often too busy to read a lot of the articles I come across that catch my eye. I always bookmark the sites so that I can catch up during my flights. As a life coach, it is vital that I research in order to give my clients the best results possible. Which means reading articles, books, and blogs about the topics that matters to my student and health coaching clients.

Fill out your agenda. If you for some god awful reason are stuck on a flight with no WiFi; pull out your old school agenda and plan out your month. If you’re like me, your agenda has goal setting and accountability tasks included that you never quite get around to doing. Use your downtime on your flight to finally fill that thing out! Not only will you feel instantly efficient but you’ll actually be able to track your progress to look back on periodically throughout the year.

Take a nap

I know this may not seem like a productive activity to the masses but napping is important and can help you complete tasks thoroughly and efficiently. As a self employed person you’re juggling many hats and most likely barely have enough time to accommodate your current sleep schedule. Take a shot of dream water, put on your eye mask and snooze away sweetheart. You deserve those zzz’s!

Edit photos through the apps on your phone. My favorite photo editing apps are Plann and Unfold. Being that I juggle my Influencer work with my coaching, speaking and writing opportunities; if I’m not careful I can easily fall behind with my posting schedule. I often use my time during flights to edit photos from my camera roll in mass. This cuts down my workload later and allows me to focus on my other endeavors.

What are some ways you stay productive during travel? Comment under the post and give me your best tips.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

A Heavenly Brunch

A blue and red cardinal zip by my bathroom window as I drop my toothbrush in shock. A new sighting after a few weeks of not being visited. I chuckle as I wash my face and think, “For two guys who hated each other in life, they sure do spend a lot of time with each other in death.”

Life comes with unexpected curveballs. Time doesn’t wait until you’re well-adjusted to bring tragedy to your doorstep. And when both of your college sweethearts die in the same year, you develop interesting coping techniques to manage the new normal. Including believing that the souls of said former lovers being reincarnated through two uniquely colored birds.

When Harrison died, my best friend told me I’d see red birds, feathers, and pennies as signs from him on the other side. I never believed in angels, ghosts, or spirits. As a child, I was drawn to talk shows that hosted a weekly psychic or medium. I hung on to every word of the hosted mystic as they relayed the words of the guest’s dead loved one.

“How could someone be so desperate for something that they ignored all logic?”

I thought as I rolled my eyes at the tearful guest. I was sure that all the events were staged. There was no way that anyone would believe that a living person could connect with the dead, grieving or not.

I found myself that desperate after I got the news that Ben died. My quarter life crisis was off to a dashing start. Most girls I know married the guy they spent more than two years with in college. While I was dealing with funerals and wakes; my peers were looking forward to wedding bells and the pitter patter of tiny feet.

Which is cool. I had already decided long ago that I wasn’t going to be anyone’s mama. I also made up my mind that I was going to buy my own damn diamond and keep my damn own name. I was, however, envious of the clear lack of tragedy in the lives of others.

I had wanted all those life events before with both Harrison and Ben. For different reasons and in different spaces of my life of course.

Harrison is my foundation. Our love story was my first and dearest. We shared my first two years of college together.

My relationship with Ben was a lesson. A lesson about the negative consequences of low self-worth and hero complexes. I truly should have stayed friends with Ben. Our worlds collided after a drunken night of divulging our shared ills of being one of the tokens in our predominately white fraternity and sorority.

Each of these men were fundamentally different people. Each of these men taught me integral life lessons.

Each of these men hated one another.

A fact that had me constantly exchanging the stroking of one ego for another. I often laugh thinking about the hoops I jumped through to assure each man of their place in my life. Much to Ben’s dismay he often lost battles and ultimately lost the war to Harrison.

Ben had an unfair life. His perspective of women had been marred by abandonment, the cruel words of high school girls and college peers alike. I had taken it upon myself to “fix” him; which turned out about as great as you can guess it could’ve.

Time had moved on.

I lost touch with Ben after an explosive end to our often tumultuous relationship. I had gained the confidence to stop allowing myself to be a verbal punching bag.

Harrison had a new love, a Ben of his own. And this time I found myself losing both the battles and the war. I was devastated, yet I deserved it. Karma had made me eat crow many times in life before. After fighting tirelessly, I choose to bow out gracefully. I prayed and waited for time to be on my side again.

In the interim, I had decided to focus on myself. I had been in relationships for four years. College was over, and it was time to transition to a new beginning. Harrison and I were still best friends despite the ire of his new lady. I had blocked Ben after a failed attempt to get me to “catch up” with him at his hotel room while in Dallas for business and I had restlessly settled into my post-graduate life.

I was working at my dental job for about a year when I’d gotten the text from Harrison stating that Ben had tried to contact him while in DC for business. We laughed on the phone for hours imaging the scenario of the two sitting down for a cordial meeting with each other.

” You guys should totally have brunch and talk about how much you love me!” I stated excitedly as I giggled awaiting his witty response. I was ecstatic to hear from him. Calls and texts came less frequent during those days; so I savored every conversation I had with him.

I craved laughter and no one makes me laugh as much as Harrison does. I can still feel the rush of excitement I’d get when I saw that name flash across my iPhone screen. My cheeks would pang with soreness for hours after our conversations, a never-ending smile would grace my face as I recalled particularly funny bits of dialogue.

I recall that same conversation as I stare at the red and blue bird splashing together in the newly installed fountain of my current boyfriend’s backyard. Time has brought more change. The second anniversary of Harrison’s death has come and gone. The first anniversary of Ben’s is steadily approaching.

“Good morning Harry, Good morning Benny

I greet the cardinals as I load my coffee pod into my Keurig. I smile as I sip on my caffeinated beverage and ponder when I became the illogical person who believed in signs. I shake my head and place a kiss on my boyfriend’s forehead on the way up to the office.

I have a long list of tasks to complete for the businesses.

My new normal makes me lean on my imagination often. When I dreamed up this life for myself, I had no idea that it wouldn’t include either of these men. My identity had been crafted by my relation to both for so long.

I am navigating what life means when you lose two people that mean that much. I am coping in ways that may seem strange to outside perspectives. I am finding confidence in this journey. I am finding hope in this journey.

I am finding logic in the illogical, with two unlikely guides.

That calls for a heavenly brunch indeed.

For Harry

Happy Birthday my beautiful babe.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

3 Ways to Stay Consistent with Health Goals as a Traveling Freelancer

I’m currently enrolled in an accelerated freelance writing course that teaches amateur writers the tools that seasoned authors use to maintain a successful and consistent career as a free lance writer.

Similar to other online courses and seminars, my program began with a pros and cons list of being a freelancer.
Besides the most obvious negative aspect of non consistent pay; the development of unhealthy practices was a prominent concern that I noticed.

With countless hours in front of a computer screen, and no real reason to leave your home, apartment, or pajama bottoms; being a free lancer is the sedentary career your health teacher warned you about.

Growing up in a health conscious family, and having an education in exercise science doesn’t exactly make you a health nut. I have never attempted whole 30 because I’m absolutely positive my sugar withdrawals would be similar to those of a recovering cocaine addict. I live on a steady wardrobe of spandex, cotton and polyester; and my only motivation to workout is so that I can shimmy my ass into the expensive party dresses I wear out on special occasions.

Those aren’t my only motivations. Maintaining the credibility of being a health and fitness coach is also a concern. However the afore mentioned drivers are the most authentic.

Needless to say, I too struggle with making the best choices for my personal wellness. With a heavy travel schedule, completely remote work load and limited availability of nutritiously dense options while traveling; I have to make conscious decisions to make my health and fitness a priority.

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Try some hotel yoga. I wrestle with lower back pain from wild sleeping, fully booked flights, and sleeping away from home. My morning yoga sessions help to relieve the pain associated with my aching spine. These sessions also help me to center myself and focus on the beauty and excitement of the day. Being able to travel the world, complete passion filled work and amplify my voice in the world is a privilege I never want to take for granted. Taking time to honor the moment each morning through yoga provides me with mindful space that is so needed in my day.

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Go vegetarian. I practice intuitive eating. Which means that I follow my body’s natural rhythm and listen to my gut (no pun) when it comes to what and how much I can eat. A practice that really helps me to stay on track during the week or while traveling is to stick to a vegetarian or vegan diet during the day. I give myself a break at dinner time however I usually end up sticking with a mostly veggie rich meal and lean protein for dinner. I still indulge, however I find that I do so less often when practicing eating intuitively.

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Select a hotel with a wellness center. Traveling and vacation seem to go hand in hand. While in a new city, we often want to just forget about our regimes, routines, and schedules. By making sure that there is a fitness facility in whatever hotel we select, I eliminate the excuse of not having anywhere to workout. Working out in an on-site gym is also a nice change in routine with my fitness regime. I usually complete my workouts at home with guided training videos. I detest the pomp, frills and showmanship of the gym crowd so being able to get a great workout at home is really important to me. However, it is nice to mix up my body weight training with weights at the gym. Also being able to use the elliptical for cardio days is priceless when I have back to back coaching sessions scheduled but still need to squeeze in a quick workout. But the best part about training in a hotel gym is that it is almost always empty. With most hotel guests in vacation mode, and not concerned with days off from their wellness routines, hotel fitness accommodations are hardly ever utilized.

Dedicating space in your schedule for health and fitness regimes is difficult especially as a traveling freelancer. Although it is not impossible. By implementing small lifestyle changes, you can achieve big results in finding the wellness practices that fit into your life.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

Walking Boldly in your Purpose: I failed so I could win

My first work of art was displayed in my daycare for years. Our class was just introduced to finger paints and while the other toddlers in my class choose more abstract styles of painting; I choose to paint my favorite TV character, Clifford the Big Red Dog. The director hung the painting on display at the front of the preschool with me credited as the artist. I made a ritual of stopping to stare at my picture, and read my name with the word artist preceding it. I knew my passion was art and I was sure that it would be my career of choice. That is until my father told me, “You know baby girl, most artists starve their whole lives. And I know how much you like nice things.” As I admired the diamond necklace I was gifted for my twelfth birthday.

Journalism lit me up in my secondary school years. From being a host on the radio show freshman year to writing for the Allen Eagle newspaper and yearbook; a career in writing I was destined to have. I mean it made so much sense. I had always used my writing for entertainment for myself. In middle school I managed to amass a following of over ten thousand kids who waited on bated breath each week for the Degrassi fan fiction posts on my Nickelodeon forum. And to this very day I still have a closet full of old notebooks filled with short stories, fiction novels and poems. Although I stopped pursuing writing as a career when my journalism teacher kindly pulled me to the side one day after yearbook and told me that I was too smart to waste my life on a career in journalism. Apparently it’s a dying field and again most journalists starve for their craft.

It was time to get practical.

When I started college I was determined to be a doctor. I saw my pediatrician practice thriving, my 2.5 children, and doting husband right in my mind’s eye I just had to get through the mountain of schooling. And things were going well, my adoring boyfriend had plans of being my husband and we agreed on the idea of kids, I had a spot in the school of science with a major in biology, I was going to do it. I was going to make this whole “stable ordinary life” thing work.

Then I took chemistry, and plans changed because I mean have you taken chemistry?! I reevaluated my desire for medical school which involved a lot more chemistry, and decided that dentistry would be a better path for me. I mean sure it’s harder to get into dental school than medical school and of course there was more chemistry but I had a plan to live a rational life and I was going to stick to it but again plans changed. Are you catching the overall theme here?

I had to transfer schools.

Unfortunately I didn’t meet the requirements for the school of science and had to pick a place holder major until I could get my math requirement and apply to be a biology major again. So I picked Kinesiology, it had a medical track and I actually liked the description of the course material. I took my first introduction to human nutrition course and fell in love. Utilizing something as simple as how and what people ate to analyze the psychology behind the person opened up a whole new world to me. And I finished my math requirement but after taking Childhood Obesity, I knew I found the right fit and graduated with a bachelor of science in Kinesiolgy.

It was still a social degree but it was social science. Big difference (trust me.)

After graduating, the disappointment of adulthood set in. I found myself being underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked. I knew that whatever career path I choose throughout adolescence, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. The art gallery, magazine, and pediatrician practice were all goals I saw myself working towards after I established myself as an authority in those fields.

I had to make yet another change.

The only hope I had was to invest in myself, so I took a leap. I took certification courses, brushed up on my nutrition material, applied for business certificates, created a website and opened up business accounts. I utilized little pieces of my old dreams to breathe life into my new one. Entrepreneurship presented the opportunity to become the artist, writer, speaker and life changer I always wanted to be.

Whether it’s creating new graphics for my business marketing, writing for my blog and other publications, or working with my coaching and business clients; I am utilizing all the talents I already possessed to make my dreams come true.

My ambitions have come full circle. For so long I was sold the lie that in order to be successful I had to do work that was “sensible.” Sensible got me a job as a receptionist, making just enough money to pay for my monthly expenses and tuition to get a new “sensible career.”

Bold gave me purpose. Being bold enough to amplify my voice in the world gave me an audience. Being bold enough to build a business, gave me a career in a profession that feels like home. Being bold enough to enough to make peace with failure gave me a fire for success that I never knew.

And a realization that I failed so many times before so that I could win right now. I walk boldly in my purpose now, with my intuition, and life experience as my guide.

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)

 

Damn I’m Depressed

I have always considered myself to be a pretty happy person. As a child, I was always able to find the bright side of any situation that was keeping me down.

As I got older it seemed my mood and emotions were not my own anymore, I couldn’t find it within myself to be happy anymore.

My junior year of undergrad is when my issues came to a head. My parents split, my grandmother died, school was a struggle, and I was socially ousted by a group I thought were friends and sisters

The circumstances were dim but my best friend Harrison who encouraged me to seek help and fight to see the good in life again. I had never been to a therapist before, I was ignorant to why I would need one and how much it could help me. My university offered free sessions to students, so I signed up with a little push from Harry and my world was opened up. I had no idea I could feel a release from the burden of constantly having to appear strong and put together. I had been broke in a lot of ways but I started to piece my life back together and make it my own again.

When Harrison died, my world crumbled again. The first couple of months I cried every hour, I didn’t eat, my body hurt, my heart ached, and I was having severe panic attacks every day. The pain I experienced was like none I’d ever been through before. I couldn’t see the purpose or joy in life anymore.

Depression is weird. That’s an astute observation I know but I’m not speaking to rocket scientists here, (although some of you may be) I’m speaking to regular people who are processing trauma and coping. Depression for me meant losing the colors in my life. I was born an artistic soul with an imaginative mind. When I tasted a sweet for the first time pink stars danced behind my eyes as a savored my treat. Every monumental life juncture had been associated with a color after Harrison died there were none. I had danced with depression before but this felt like something else entirely. I never knew I could experience such despair.

I had wrestled with my mom and primary care doctor about seeing a psychiatrist. Although I had seen a therapist in the past, I saw no point in even trying. I had banished myself to a life of grey.

Moved by the symbolism of Harrison’s Birthday; I had gotten the courage to reactivate my Facebook. I read our old messages that were full of encouragement, wisdom, hope, and adoration for each other. Those messages also mapped out our vision of life together and although I had no power over those dreams diminishing. I could still be successful and live out the dreams I had for myself, and he had for me.

Not long after that when I scheduled my first psychiatry appointment and was formally diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. I am now coming to grips with the fact that I have depression. Every day is a new battle but I have so guardian angels on my side how could I not win.

 

-Shampaigne Graves, CPC Creator of The Healthy Shampy Blog (2)