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Planning to KICK ASS and crush goals this year?! Then you need these NOW.

"Not preparing is preparing to fail"- Thomas Edison

With the New Year upon us, it's time to equip ourselves with tools that will support and encourage a year filled with composed, goal crushing productivity.

With that said, I'm sharing a few of my *MUST HAVES* that will help to keep you inspired, organized and ZENFULLY effective as you attack your goals.  These can also serve as wonderful gifts to help your loved ones kick ass in their New Year too!

  • Danielle LePorte's Desire Map Planner:  This is the BEST planner I have seen to date. It's not only beautifully designed but it offers the perfect balance between structure and room to wander in your thoughts so creativity can flow. I am a huge fan of the old fashion- pen to paper- method in addition to having a calendar online.  The beauty of this planner is that it becomes a creative book to look back on like a journal, if you choose to fill it with more than your to-do's. It's designed exquisitely for that so it would be really hard to skip over the fun. I can truly feel the love that Danielle created this planner.  There is wonderful energy fueling each page, encouraging yours to enter and to feel GOOD as you structure your thoughts and get shit done like a blissed out, organized badass. 

 

  • Tim Ferris "Tools of Titans" book: This monster book is like the holy grail of inspiring mindsets, effective tools and strategies of world class performers for those who strive to create the absolute best versions of themselves and lives. Yes that's YOU. Tim Ferris is a MVP in my "KICKASS TOOL KIT."  His podcast interviews ALWAYS serve the perfect blend of food for thought, laughs, inspiration and effective ways to support greatness in every and any avenue you seek to achieve it. This book highlights the GEMS of over 200 interviews with some of the worlds most influential, thought leaders in one shot. It's incredible brain food that is sure to UP your A-game immensely. I love to open up to one page every morning and take in some of the brialliance on them to enhance my mindset for the day.... Its literature vitamins.

 

  • BodybyJennLA"12 weeks to the body" program: Jennifer Gleason is one of the most LEGIT trainers I have ever had the pleasure of being trained by. Being a lifelong athlete, I have very high standards in deeming a trainer to be a strategically effective trainer vs someone who just tells you how to exercise.  Jenn herself has been a lifelong athlete, is NASM certified and has the BEST energy to keep you encouraged and pushing your limits as you grind out your training. You can expect the perfect blend of dynamic strength building and fat blasting cardio in her program with her highly creative HIIT circuits, AMRAMPs and cardio burn outs. For anyone who is serious about getting in shape or taking your training and body to the next level, then having a structured and effective digital training program like Jenn's is one of the best investments to reach those goals- ESPECIALLY when getting to the gym or a fitness class is an issue.  Jenn's program will kick your fitness into high gear with minimal effort (no gym required) and maximum input. Check out Jenn's Instagram for instant gratification  that will validate my words above and have you putting her program in the purchase cart NOW.

 

                    HEADSPACE

                    HEADSPACE

  •  Headspace: This meditation app can come in really handy for those who are wanting to start a mindfulness practice and need help training their minds to do so.  It allows you to become acquainted with meditation, easing the pressure of questions that often come with it such as:  "Am I doing it right?" and find a unique style that suits your needs best.  Personally I am an avid fan of having a mindfulness practice and indulge in my own every day as part of my morning "ME FIRST & THEN THE WORLD" ritual. There are numerous methods in which mediation comes but the sole purpose behind all of these methods is essentially the same: we gain clarity, we become more present, we optimize our ability to focus, gain a sense of ease and we create space to allow what will positively serve us to enter within. For those who don't want to subscribe but do want to give meditation a shot, they offer a FREE app with 10 minute guided meditations to make it commitment free and very easy to start creating mindfulness practice.   Science is continuing to prove abundantly all of the legitimate benefits that come with mediation. There is a reason why so many of the worlds best performers in life swear by having a meditation practice- because it WORKS. Hustling in a ZEN state sounds impossible... to those who don't have a mindfulness practice. I cannot imagine tackling the enormity of my days without the centering stillness that I gain through my personal meditation practice. It's not a "get to it when I can" practice. Its a daily MUST. If at the very least, think of it as a wonderful opportunity to be still, relax your mind and slow things down inside of you so that when things get hectic, we can mentally revert to that calm state and be less reactive and more responsive. 
                                                   The Jason Wu  limited edition Beauty Elixir bottle

                                                   The Jason Wu  limited edition Beauty Elixir bottle

 

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir: There's great reason why I mention a product more than one time and that's because it continues to impress me despite all of the other products that compete with it. Pampering your skin + your senses at once may seem like a "simple" beauty pleasure but I believe it's more powerful than that. It's a mood enhancer as well.  Anytime we feel calm and refreshed, we are more composed and have more clarity to handle what needs to get done.  The aromatherapy from the skin loving oils in this elixir feel like you're spraying the blissful essence of a spa on your face. It's perfect to wake you up in the morning before you get into the the action of your day and it's also great to calm you when the day starts takes a toll. It's a beauty weapon that enhances the tone of your mood + your complexion with a few small mists. Fashion designer Jason WU has teamed up with Caudalie to create a limited edition beauty elixir bottle that is so sexy, it makes the product feel sexier too. 

 

  • Four Sigmatic Adaptogen mushroom drink packs: If having a stronger immune system enhanced cognitive function, (think: focus + memory), more energy by way of stamina and lifting your mood naturally sounds enticing to you then I HIGHLY suggest some mushroom drinks from Four Sigmatic.  The brand offers convenient packs with organic, dual extracted mushroom powders like Chaga (the antioxidant king of the world) Reishi (immunity + ease) Lions Mane (nootropic), and  Cordycepts (energy + adrenal support); all packaged in a variety of ways from coffee blends, elixirs to hot cacao drinks.  These packets make it so easy to get the abundance of health benefits from adaptogen mushrooms and taste so good, thanks to the clever blends of pure ingredients to compliment them with like cacao, cardamon, cinnamon + coconut sugar. When our minds are focused, our energy is up and our health is strong- we can accomplish ANYTHING we desire, this brand supports that idea with their amazing products. 

 

  • Essential oil of Lavender: Good sleep is not just a luxury, it's a requirement for a strong immune system, less stress, focus, a healthy metabolism, clear skin and so much more. I am ALL about finding ways to pamper myself (showers at night by candle light only) to keep my inner zen alive. Sleeping well is another major contributor to it. One of my favorite ways to assure good rest in the evening is by using essential oil of lavender in my bed. I add a few drops of the oil onto some tissue paper (mists are great but not as strong) and stick the tissues under my pillow cases so they're easy to smell as I fall asleep. It's so easy and so effective, you'll be wondering how you ever slept without it. Sweet dreams are much easier with the help of sweet sleep, so is going after them and making them come true. 

xRx 

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BlackBeltBeauty Q+A of the week: Countdown to a KICKASS year & a KICKASS YOU- Tips on RIGGING THE GAME TO WIN.

The countdown to the New Year is officially ON.  

This week's BlackBeltBeauty Q+A, I'm sharing some ideas on how to get ahead of the New Year so that come January 1st- you're AHEAD of the game- with positive momentum towards your resolutions and new goals. Winning takes a certain kind of mindset and actions that support it. Im dropping some strategies that support both in the video below. 

If you have a specific question you for me that relates to mindset, beauty, nutrition and/or fitness, let me know in the comments below or on instagram @blackbeltbeauty- I love answering them!

Have an awesome week beauties and keep creating the masterpiece that is YOU.

xRx

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BlackBeltBeauty MUSE Q+A with the dangerous beauty who empowers women around the world: Eve Torres Gracie

Powerhouse. That’s one very fitting word to give you a glimpse of the woman that is, Eve Torres Gracie.  

Just as the beauty of a rose is created through its many layers, Eve continues to unfold remarkable tiers of a diverse and inspiring woman- one who consistently believes and achieves throughout her life.  She is a USC graduate with a degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering (aka smart AF), a life long athlete, an entertainer, an educator, an entrepreneur, a new mother and a loving wife. It's no wonder why this incredible woman is a BlackBeltBeauty Muse. 

Many know Eve from her years entertaining millions of fans worldwide as a WWE Diva, while others around the world know her as their empowered and caring instructor who teaches the skills one needs to defend themselves in a potential life threatening scenario.  Throughout the year Eve travels around the world with her husband and ultimate teammate, Rener Gracie, teaching the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and their Women Empowered self defense program.  Their unprecedented instruction has positively impacted the lives of thousands, if not millions of people to date (myself included).  

 

Eve’s demand in the entertainment world keeps her busy exercising her “bad-assary” on screen.  With ass-kicking roles like her appearance as "Dasha" in Jackie Chan’s, major motion film “Skiptrace” or her fight scene as "Maxima "in the hit TV show “Supergirl,” it is clear that Hollywood respects and values the talents of this real-life superwoman.  Through all of the above, Eve’s artistic thirst led her to partner with her talented sister-in-law, Sage Gracie Allard and develop InJOYtheparty, a creative business that specializes in curated themed parties amid an experts touch. 

 

The list goes on because this woman does not stop creating… hence a powerhouse.  

Just over a year ago now, Eve and her husband Rener became parents to their first child, Raeven Gracie, giving them both the ULTIMATE “stripe” on their life belts. 

 

Courage is another character trait in Eve that was made visible through multiple media channels recently.  The new mother of Raeven Gracie, shared a powerful message addressing the pressure she’s felt (like thousands of women who’ve given birth) to get back to her pre-baby shape and quickly after pregnancy.  Her renewed perspective on the subject, expressed her pride and appreciation for having a healthy body and a healthy son- priorities in check.

All of this may surface the question of “how is it possible to accomplish and uphold all of these incredible roles and still have the energy to create more?” 

The better question is, “How does Eve do this all day, everyday and still manage to make time for those she cares for with ease in her demeanor and the grace of a composed woman? “

It takes a highly passionate, committed, focused and driven woman to perform on that kind of extraordinary level- all of which make the sum total of Eve equal 360 degrees of the beautiful femme-fatale that she is.   

Have a look inside the incredibly inspiring mindset of Eve in the Q+A below.

 

BlackBeltBeauty Muse Q + A:

BBB: What helps you stay committed to your goals?

ETG: In my opinion, if they are authentic goals, the thought of reaching these goals is all I need to keep myself on course and committed.  Whenever I do feel off track, I ask myself two questions:

1) Why do I want to achieve this goal? Reminding myself of the why is sometimes all I need to refocus and recharge.  2) Is this goal something I truly want?  Sometimes we set goals that are externally driven. “I want to lose 10 lbs” just might be a goal that was influenced by societal pressures, and doesn’t come from internal desires. If it’s not an authentic goal, then it’s likely it will never be accomplished, or if it is reached, the level of sacrifice will overpower the actual outcome.

BBB: What is one thing about yourself that you feel proud of?

ETG: I am proud of my relationships. I am especially proud that I have been able to create and sustain strong female friendships.  My girls are the ones who keep me inspired, sane, and grounded. I’m proud of my friends, and I am also proud that I have been able to contribute to my friends’ lives in ways that I can.

BBB: What do you love most about your career and/or business?

I love witnessing women discover their untapped power. We are all powerful in different ways. Discovering how to manifest that power physically with self-defense techniques has incredible widespread effects. I love watching a woman’s view of herself shift when she discovers that she is actually a badass.

BBB: What has been the greatest challenge you’ve over come so far?

My most recent challenge was restructuring my life and mindset to feel like I can be effective as a new mother, a business owner, and an educator. Your goals may be set high, but when you expect too much of yourself at certain transitional points in your life, you start to feel worthless and unhappy. Finding the true value in time spent with my son and realizing it can be just as valuable as my time teaching or performing was a difficult paradigm shift for me.

BBB: What do you tell your mind when you’re faced with a challenge you need to overcome?

I remind myself that the butterflies I feel, or the anxiety I have towards a challenge is exactly what I need to perform at my best.

BBB: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that inspires you?

ETG: Yes. I recite the poem Invictus, by William Ernest Henley. It ends with “I am the mistress of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”

BBB: With such a full schedule every day; what is your go-to strategy for prioritizing your time management?

ETG: I wish I had some life-changing answer for this, but lists. I HAVE to make a list for the day in my planner or I get completely overwhelmed and sidetracked. There is no better feeling than furiously crossing off an item on my to-do list that day! This is still something I consistently work on. I usually blurt out at least one expletive a day because I forgot to do something or call someone.

BBB: What makes you feel like a badass?

ETG: When I question my ability to do something, and then actually do it. I love having my ass kicked in the gym, in sparring, and in life. (That, and ordering Starbucks online. I walk straight up to the counter to get my drink, then past the long line, and I’m out the door like a boss.)

BBB: What makes you feel beautiful?

ETG: Actually doing my hair. I don’t often stray from the mom bun, but I’m definitely flipping it around like I’m Beyonce when it’s down.

BBB: What are your top 3 beauty products at the moment?

ETG: Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencils – because, eyebrows.  bareMinerals bareSkin Foundation - that [you] recommended, of course. TIGI Bed Head Hair Stick – It’s the only thing that keeps my baby hairs down!

BBB: Do you have something you eat or drink regularly that makes you feel nourished and energized? 

ETG: Matcha Lattes. Love.

BBB: What book(s) has positively impacted your life and why? 

ETG: A book I recommend to every woman is the Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker. It’s life-saving and incredibly valuable.

BBB: In 3 words, what do you feel makes a woman beautiful?

ETG: Laughter, confidence, and passion.

Thank you for your endless inspiration encouragement and Eve- we can't get enough of it! Gratefully we know that with you, we will never run out of it.

xRx 

Follow the world of Eve via Instagram & Twitter @evetorressgracie

 

 

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Want to learn how to create the biology of COURAGE? This TED TALK has the answer and it's most likely not what your thinking...

Stress. A common emotional state we all experience at some point in our lives today.  For the most part, what we've learned about stress is that it can wreak havoc on our well being and if we are not mindful to manage it properly, it can impose great harm on our lives as a whole.  

I was instantly intrigued from reading the title to health psychologist Kelly McGonical's Ted Talk, "How to make stress your friend".  It seemed backwards and that's exactly why I was drawn in to hear more; it felt like there was something great hiding behind the obscure title. 

It's easy over look the positive gems behind challenges because they produce a reactive state of discomfort that we do not want to feel.  There are ALWAYS positive aspects woven into challenges for us if we allow them in and not become overtaken by the stress that usually masks them.   

This talk is not about inviting more stress into our lives but instead looking at stress from the perspective of helpful vs a perspective of challenge. I found Kelly's passionate talk to be authentically smart and ultimately connected to the greater idea that: 

Our perspectives in life directly effect our experiences and on a larger scale, shapes our realities. 

If you desire an innovative way to manage stress and use it as a positive tool in your life, invest your next 15 minutes to this brilliant talk.

xRx

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BlackBeltBeauty Muse Q+A with Badass-Boss Lady KELLY TOMLINSON POLLACK

Kelly Tomlinson Pollack is no joke.  In just a few short years since starting her company, Tomlinson Management Group, an agency that represents and manages the careers of creative artists in the beauty and entertainment industries; Kelly has quickly earned the respect as one of the industries best agents and a very smart business woman. 

It was not an easy move to launch an agency in one of the most competitive fields of business and city but having the determination to succeed and the encouraging support of her husband; she was able to move hesitations out the way and went for it.  Kelly has successfully built her business from ground up and fast. Starting with just one artist on her roster, she proved that success is not about how much you have; it's about how to make the best from what you have. 

TMG has grown into one of the leading artist management agencies in Los Angeles, representing some of the most elite artists in the business.  Kelly continues to drive forward every day and reach for more greatness in all aspects of her life. She is a woman who managed to put her fears to the side and invest in her desires to succeed.  She took the chance regardless of the "what if's" and hasn't looked back since... well maybe a bit to smile at her success that continues to grow by the day. Can't blame her. It's impressive and she's only getting warmed up. Here's an inspiring peek inside the mindset of this badass boss lady and BlackBeltBeauty muse:

BBB: What helps you stay committed to your goals?

KT: I have always been very motivated and a self-starter - I’m always interested in what I can do next. I love the life I’ve created with my husband, and our dogs, and our home - everything we have accomplished together makes me want to keep going because things just keep getting better. I always remind myself that I’ve come this far so why would I stop now?

BBB: What is one thing about yourself that you feel proud of?

KT: This is such a hard one! I’m proud that I’ve worked hard enough to get to a place where I get to call the shots - its such a privilege that people trust me to do that.

BBB: What do you love most about your career and/or business?

The thing I love most about my business is that I’m surround by all of the best, most talented and genuinely kind people I’ve ever met. I make a huge effort to fill my company with positive and happy people.

BBB: What has been the greatest challenge you’ve over come so far?

KT: Finding the courage to start my own agency. It was so daunting, but I’m so glad I did it. Now I feel like there is nothing I can’t do.

BBB: What do you tell your mind when you’re faced with a challenge you need to overcome?

KT: My favorite thing to remember is that you can never fail, you only produce results. So trying a new challenge can’t result in failing, you may or may not get the result you want, but its always worth a shot. And most of the time it turns out better than you ever thought it would!

BBB: Do you have a favorite quote or mantra that inspires you?

You don’t get what you’re worth, you get what you negotiate. I have no idea who said that, I think I heard it on a podcast, but its genius! It just reminds me to never be afraid to ask for what I want for myself and for my clients.

BBB: What makes you feel like a badass (because you are!)?

KT: I mean, making a great business deal for one of my clients always makes me feel like a badass. But these days the fact that I found the strength to drag my ass out of bed at 6 AM to hike the hills in my neighborhood in Malibu REALLY makes me feel unstoppable. 

BBB: What makes you feel beautiful?

KT: Gorgeous skin and red lipstick!

BBB: What are your top 3 beauty products at the moment?

KT: Right now I’m obsessed with Talika Lipocils Eyelash treatment - its a miracle, my eyelashes have never looked better. The best exfoliator I have ever used is also Talika - their Photo-Pure Scrub. My skin feels brand new whenever I use it. And of course the tinted Klorane Dry Shampoo - couldn’t live without it.

BBB: Do you have something you eat or drink regularly that makes you feel nourished and energized? 

KT: Everyone Monday morning I buy my office a green juice and a ginger wellness shot from Pressed Juicery - we all do it together to start the week and it makes me so happy. It puts us in a good mood and we feel like we’re doing something good for ourselves.

BBB: What book(s) has positively impacted your life and why? 

KT: I LOVE reading anything and everything - this list could be pages long - I always go back to Dr Wayne Dyer Power of Intention, it always reminds me to make sure i’m focused in the right direction. I love The Body Book by Cameron Diaz - taking care of myself is so important and I think the way she relays information is really easy to read and understand and I appreciate that!

BBB: With such a full schedule every day; what is your go-to strategy for prioritizing your time management?

KT: Time management is such a tough one but so important - I’m definitely still learning by trial and error. But I always have do to lists and I religiously set reminders on my phone - I will absolutely forget anything that I don't write down. And I schedule everything I need to do even when its personal so I don’t forget.

BBB: In 3 words, what do you feel makes a woman beautiful?

KT: Confidence, intelligence, kindness

Thank you for the endless inspiration Kelly ❤️

For more inspiration from Kelly and her artists follow @tmgla on Instagram

xRx 

 

 

 

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Don't just make mistakes, make AMAZING mistakes

"Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days too. Just make your art" 

This is one of the most inspiring and creative commencement speeches I've ever heard. Renowned writer and producer Neil Gaiman, so authentically expresses his clever thoughts and insights on living a creatively rich life.  Regardless of what your profession may be; this speech will undoubtedly evoke real inspiration that can be applied to your all of aspirations. Its leaves you with a major boost of "FUCK YEA" in a place where fear or doubt could be taking valuable space in your mind and creative process.  

This is Twenty minutes of #mindcoffee that you won't regret consuming. In fact perhaps like me, you'll find yourself listening to it often as an encouraging reminder in the journey to achieving your creative goals.

xRx

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Fearless beauty is honest beauty

"Image is powerful but also, image is superficial"-  Cameron Russell

(photo credit: Mario Testino)

(photo credit: Mario Testino)

 

More and more in today's society does image play a HUGE factor in how we are perceived by others and how that directly effects how we perceive ourselves.  Being perceived as "beautiful" can be a life changing experience. Super model Cameron Russell, who is unmistakably GORGEOUS, fearlessly discusses the truth about being perceived as such. Her talk is both inspiring and refreshing because she expresses her thoughts from her most authentic self while she gives you a closer look at what being a "beautiful" model feels like.  

Cameron Russell's TEDTALK

xRx

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