SELF-ESTEEM

"What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization...It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." -Maslow

Hi Loverz, 

Since the Dancing With The Stars Live Tour began, I've met you in meet and greets across the country and shared hugs and heard you tell me about the impact my blog "self-worth" had on you and your life. I've been moved beyond words and all I can say is, it is my pleasure, thank you.

I thought about how or what I would write in this post quite a bit. I asked myself why I would be good at helping you with the concept and tools in building your self-esteem. My answer is simple, because I've had to do the work too and continue to, each day. 

I had to dig deep, get raw and real with my own challenges, insecurities and pain to be able to write this the way I wanted to...

The definition of self-esteem is: Confidence in one's own worth or abilities

In sociology and psychology, self-esteem reflects a person's overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Simply put, its what you think of yourself and how you treat yourself based off of what you think others think of you and how they treat you. Our Self-esteem is the foundation on which we build our reality, its how we tell people what we are worth, how to treat us, how to speak to us, and what to think of us. We tell them in a number of subconscious ways, your body language, your voice, your actions and so on. So basically… its a vicious cycle that we all work constantly to change.

Your self-esteem is only determined by you. You may not believe me but it is. The man that broke your heart, the woman that bitched about you behind your back, even the sibling that unintentionally always made fun of you because of their own self worth issues… these things, these people DO NOT define you, YOU define you. Your thoughts and actions can build you up or tear you down. Self-esteem involves a variety of beliefs about you... your appearance, your values, your emotions, your behaviors. Your self-esteem is major part of your development as a person and achieve your own potential. So… its kinda important right? Important to work at it and on it? Yes i think so, but lets be real…. it ain’t easy.

Whatever you can't let go of, is telling you to find something inside of you that doesn't believe you are enough.

I like to think of that voice as the worst best friend in the world, constantly telling me i’m not pretty, not strong, not lovable, telling me why i can’t do something and why i am less than i really am. Think about it, would you stay friends with that person!?!?!  Hell no, you’d tell her to FUCK OFF in a matter of minutes. Yes i said it, I said that bad word for a very good reason (and please only use it internally as a tool). There is power in it, there is power in telling the things you can’t let go of to FUCK OFF, AND to say FUCK OFF to the idea of letting other peoples words and opinions determine your quality of life. Please understand I'm not telling you to say it to a person, that is rude and comes off as immature, but using it internally somehow gave me a sense of finality, of strength and power against my insecurities. Please my loves, with all your might believe you are worthy because you are, and until you unwaveringly do so, others will not know just how worthy you truly are. 

OK… enough with the profanity, moving on ;)

By now, you know I am a big believer in mantras and positive affirmations. And although positive thinking is so beneficial and necessary it can also be a wall you keep hitting because you simply won't believe what you don't think is true. Don’t worry, I’ve been there, we all have, you are on track and it just takes practice. Remember you have to retrain your brain and tell that worst best friend in the world to do what? Thats right, i know you said it so i won’t. Write in your journal and get out what is hurting or what is blocking you, and at the end of it write what you are working on believing about yourself. Write a single mantra, and say it over and over again for 5 minutes, nice and slow, as you breathe in and breathe out.

However, its deeper than just mantras, It's about basic human needs. 

The need to believe in something greater for ourselves

For some, you will find it in religion or spirituality but one common place we can all find it in, is LOVE. 

A creative or physical outlet

I strongly believe we all need one. Self-expression is a necessary part of authenticity, knowing ourselves and a beautiful release. It also gives us pride in ourselves. What we can create out of nothing. Do you like to paint? write? Dance? Cook? Or maybe you enjoy the gym, running or playing a sport. Maybe your like me and you enjoy all the things ;) Do them, whether it is in your work or a hobby in your free time.

The need for meaning, purpose and goals

Having direction is important and if you feel lost right now, that's ok. But be searching for your passions and learn how you can use them to change the world for the better. You won’t find them by doing nothing, get out, try things, try all the things! Find a cause you believe in, find your voice to say what you want and don’t stop till you get it.

The need for status and recognition

Let me startthis one by saying that the only person you need recognition from is yourself, others commenting on your good work is not what should validate you. Be proud of yourself and congratulate yourself when you accomplish a goal and when you try new things. We all want to be great at something ... and truth is we all want to be recognized for it, but i believe you should let go of that. My career only soared when i gave up wanting to compete to look for recognition and accolades, i chose to dance for me, how i wanted and to do it for my love of dance and my love of entertaining people and making their day a little brighter. Only then did life provide me the chance to entertain people on a global scale.

The need to give and receive attention 

No man is an island. Be social and not just online!! Enjoy time with friends, Join a club, go on a hike with someone, and work on appreciating others and taking notice and an interest in them as they will in you. Human interaction is vital, and we lack so much of it today. Put your phone away at dinner, converse with people, ask questions if you think you have nothing to say. Unplug at night, and instead of sitting at home once again maybe say yes to that party, or drink with a friend. Also, talk to at least one family member a day, stay connected with your roots (unless that is not healthy in your situation), remember family is important, tell them you love them, ask how their day was, it's very simple.

The need to look after our body

Please beauties, no matter what you look like if you are not taking care of your body you will never think it is good enough or appreciate how valuable it really is. Would you starve your best friend? Would you tell her, her thighs are too big? NO! So why would you ever treat yourself that way. It is so important to eat a clean diet filled with plant-based food. Exercise will not only make you feel better about your body but free your mind from unnecessary attachments. (See my *stiff body stiff mind* post) 

The need for a sense of safety and security

It is very common for those who have suffered abuse to have low self esteem. You are not alone. You are not broken. Please know you are not what has happened to you, you are how you rise from it, and you absolutely CAN and WILL rise from it. At the same time if you see that someone might be going through abuse, please don’t ignore it, somehow the universe made it so you can see their pain when they can’t. it is not on you to take on their problems, nor do you need to fix them, but you can let them know they are not alone, and that you are there for them if and when they are ready to seek help.

You have “all the things” inside of you! 

 I am not a doctor, I don't have a phd, I am simply sharing the tools that I discovered help me through my experiences. I do urge anyone who feels their issues or view of themselves have become too dark to seek help from a doctor or mental health professional. 

Drug Abuse hotline # (866) 248-0056

Abuse hotline # TEXT “GO” TO 741741 http://www.crisistextline.org

Trevor hotline # 1-866-488-7386 http://www.thetrevorproject.org

Mental health/Suicide hotline # 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255) https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help/

If you just need to talk to someone annonymously or want to help someone else. 7 cups of Tea is an amazing resource. https://www.7cups.com

I want to see your creativity, your art, talents, healthy recipes, exercise routines and all the things self love so please hashtag #allthethings in your posts so I can see and be inspired by you all. As always, I am so proud of you exactly as you are. 

All my love, 

Sharna

NAN

kiss4nan

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my Nan's passing. I can't believe that a year has already gone by without her, although I don't think I am ever really without her. I still miss her tremendously every day. Strong, loyal and kind are three words that describe my grandmother but there are so many more. She was the first Queen I ever knew, Queen of her home and her family, it was the only crown she ever wanted and she wore it with so much pride. She was a woman that valued family above all, and spent her life nurturing those that she loved, from her husband to her babies and her great grand babies. I know she’s looking down with pride as all of us live our lives with the values she passed on to us.

Now, below is a post I wrote just after her passing- 

I was sitting there in the hospital with my Nan, on her bed and just being with her while she came in and out of sleep. Watching her go through all this had been hard obviously, but also enlightening. Truth is, getting old sucks, there is no 2 ways about it. Either Your body shuts down and you lose the ability to be independent, or your brain does which again you lose the ability to be independent. We become child like, right back to wear we started. Thereally shitty part is we are (mostly) aware of it. That our grand children or children have to shower us, take us to the bathroom which you can't do anymore without the assistance of medication, sometimes spoon feed us. And then you reach that point where your family has to decide where to put you for your last days/weeks/months. It's painful. Painful for your family to watch and painful for you to go through. Rarely do you just get old without health complications and pass away in your own bed with a smile on your face. That is almost a fairytale.

My 86yr old nan felt like 60 was yesterday, like giving birth to her first son, my dad, was just a moment ago. She lived an amazing full life where her family was her happiness and her priority. She loved the one man her whole life, of course it got hard at times but they fought for it.. they worked at it. They had 4 great kids that lead to umpteen grand babies AND already multiple great grand babies. Her life went in the blink of an eye and she is now in hospital battling too many things. But... The fact That my nan can lay there and tell me she has had an amazing life, filled with lots of love and she is happy she can say that at the end...Well...THAT hit home.

In the end, and I mean the very end when you feel it's your last moments, the things you will think about with a smile on your face won't be the trip to Hawaii or the Maserati you drove, it will be the memories wrapped in AND filled with unconditional love, and the way it affected you.

The lesson for me is something we get told all the time, everyday even... I think we hear it but don't listen to it. We don't let is resonate as much as it should. Different words meaning much the same thing.

Love is the greatest gift of all. Love of yourself and love of the people around you. Love is truly a gift that knows no boundaries and holds no grudge. It helps us forgive, it gives us strength, confidence, it gives us comfort. It gives us hope.

It was so obvious in my beautiful nan's eyes as she reminisced, Love wins, every time.

nan

Please, hug your mother, your grandmother, daughter, sister and aunt today. Tell the women in your family how much they mean to you and appreciate how lucky you are to have them here.  Remind them they are Queens, and they deserve all the things. 

All my love, Sharna

How to 2017

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Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. -Buddha

Hi Loverz!!

Reflecting over the past year, It's hard to believe how much has happened and how fast it went by. It almost feels like I've lived the past 12 months in fast forward, but when I take a moment to be still in each memory, I'm reminded of how fully I immersed myself into those moments and loved them so deeply.  

I didn't make a New Years resolution for 2016, I didn't vow to eat better or give something up, nor did I commit to anything or anyone but myself. I made a choice to be present in every way I could. Present in all the moments that life has to offer... good AND bad.  To be there for my friends, my family and myself, completely. I opened my eyes and allowed myself to soak in and appreciate everything around me and discover new things. I made major breakthroughs in self-love, respect and forgiveness. 

A few of my favorite things from 2016... 

Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.

So true. Dancing With The Stars was the center of so many amazing moments for me in 2016. From my first DWTS live tour to 3 exciting seasons with 3 incredible partners who each inspired me in their own ways. I created some of my favorite dances and felt more inspired than ever! I think all of you had the most to do with that. Thank you for your love and support, it truly made my year. More personally, I am so grateful for my inner-growth, emotionally and spiritually. It's been the most rewarding thing.

 And 2016 was the best year for music since the 90's... Everything Beyonce, Drake, J.cole and Kanye. 

I broke down my "Last Week of December Feels" into a kind of how-to make 2017 an amazing year based on what I've learned along the way.

Give Thanks:

When I count my blessings it's almost as if they multiply. What we focus on grows!!  It can be easy to take the big things for granted and hard to let the little things go. But it's worth practicing, every morning...every moment. It's as simple as starting the morning or ending the day with a gratitude list. 

Here's a little reality slap for you, let it help you change your perspective if you need to.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

Forgive Yourselves & Forgive Others:

Begin the new year by letting go of the negative thoughts and emotions that often accompany a grudge. Remember this, If you don't forgive, you'll relive. 

Reinvent Yourself: 

You're not stuck in your ways, and if you can't change something you can certainly change how you think and feel about it. Loving yourself as you are can be difficult when you aren't living up to your own potential or being true to who you really are. Getting to know yourself is an ongoing journey that becomes richer and deeper as we grow. We are creating ourselves daily, shaping our lives by who and what we allow to be apart of us and our environment. Take inventory of your things, the good, the bad, the stressful and start clearing out the toxic and the clutter. This includes your house, your diet, it’s all relative and all of it makes us or breaks us if we let it get out of control.  If you feel like flipping the script, do it! Re-write your story. Change the characters who you’re allowing to be apart of your story or at least HOW you let them be apart of it. Whether it's your career, relationships or hair color, change is a beautiful thing! 

Dream Bigger & Hustle Harder:      

Dream big but also put work into it! Dreams will only stay dreams if you don't put the hustle in them!  What do you envision for your life? Have you taken steps to get there? I love the practice of creating a visual mood board. I am such a visual person and waking up every morning and seeing the things I am trying to accomplish starts my day off right every time. I also like journaling about the accomplishments I made this year, things I've tried, kind things I've done and dreaming up what to look forward to next year. 

AND FINALLY, LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. There is never to much of it. 

My resolution for 2017 is ... to try all the things!!! I want to say yes to life, to health and to love!! Tweet me your resolutions and how you want to begin the New Year! Grateful to end the year with all of you and excited to begin the next with you too! 

I almost forgot the most important thing!! Don't take yourself or life too seriously!! 

Wishing you beauties the best year yet!! Happy 2017!

All my love, 

Sharna

STIFF BODY, STIFF SOUL

Stretching the body to release stuck or trapped emotions

Hi Loverz! 

A question came up during my last post where I shared a little bit about my journey through relationships and finding who I am. 

How did I deal with the pain of toxic relationships and the toll they took on my mind, my heart and my body? 

I danced.  I moved.  I stretched. I had no idea at the time just how much it was helping me. I've always said that dance has been my therapy and my release, but I didn't fully realize the true benefits of moving and stretching until recently. 

You shouldn't just let the pain sit there and harden. You may not know that it can do that, but it does. Our emotions and energy don't just stick to our hearts and minds, they also stick to muscles. The soul, mind and body are all connected and what affects one will more than likely affect the other. 

We can target and treat what hurts if we pay attention. Stretches and breathing are quick and effective ways to move the body and release tension both in the muscles and in the mind. I want to encourage each of you to stretch everyday, just for 5 min. You can do it while you watch TV, listen to music or before you go to bed, or if you're in the habit of using affirmations and mantras stretch as you breathe and practice them. Just try it my loves and see how you feel. Remember, the goal isn't to join cirque du soleil, (or it might be)  ;) the goal is allowing the heart and mind to release and let go by moving your body and reaching for more.  This physical form of release can be an emotional one, If emotions come up, if you cry, that’s good and very normal. As your heart and mind are releasing these emotions the body releases it through tears. Please be kind and gentle with your body and don't push yourself too far! Journal your thoughts and feelings and let go of what no longer serves you. 

Hips in particular are like an emotional junk drawer!!  (Hip Openers) We can target this area with stretches that open the tension that the hips hold.

Here are a few stretches that I love: 

I love you, beauties!!!

SELF-WORTH

WHAT’S A MAN GOT TO DO WITH IT?

To all of my Queens, YOU COME FIRST. 

First, let me answer a question you will no doubt have. Why am I sharing this incredibly personal Story with you? Because maybe you look at me and don't realize I'm just like you, that building my confidence and my career hasn't been easy, not only have i had life obstacles but also personal ones! Now more than ever female empowerment is incredibly important, and I want to be a part of that movement. 

My entire dating life, I had been a serial monogamist, one relationship to the next, until last year, when I vowed to stay single and put myself first. I never had time to grow and get to know myself without another person until, this year. The strong, confident, independent woman I am was lost somewhere behind a mask I'd created to stay in relationships that took more from me than they gave.  Eventually, that unhealthy dynamic effected my whole life and I knew It was time to turn it all around.

We've all been there (right?). The guy that treats you like crap but you stay, the guy that cheats on you but somehow it's your fault... and you stay, the emotionally unavailable guy that strings you along for his own amusement, oh and what about my personal favorite.. the guy that makes you feel smaller so he can feel bigger? Yup, I've met all them, dated them all, and after each one swore I would change my ways... but I didn't. 

At some point, I couldn't keep blaming men.. at some point I had to realize the truth.. it was me. I was the common denominator and I was the one putting myself in these situations. It isn’t easy to accept the responsibility and admit that our experiences have shaped what we attract. Yes, I attracted this and I think subconsciously ... I wanted it because it's all I thought I was worth. 

A common misconception, we don’t attract what we want, we attract what we think we deserve. Who are you deep inside? What do you think you are really worth? Try answering these questions in a journal or just on a piece of paper. Sometimes our answers surprise us, we don’t realize how much our thoughts mold us until we write them out and see them in front of us. Staring right at us. “I must work hard to be loved” “I must be ________ to be loved” NO, you don’t. Look at those words and know that you feel that way because you don't actually know yourself at all, your going off what someone else has made you feel. You are not lacking anything, YOU are everything you need. Rip up that paper, burn it even (but safely please my Queens) and release all those negative words, make room for beauty and positivity, make room for self love. 

sharnapb

I, to be totally honest knew nothing about myself OR my self worth, never even considered it. I'd spent all these years being what some other guy wanted me to be, and prioritizing THEM and THEIR wants and needs. The food they liked, the home decor they wanted, the movies, the tv shows, their dreams and aspirations...heck even in intimacy I had no idea what I wanted! I began to talk, think and In many ways act like them. Their friends became my friends and my personal friends never heard from me, even my family barely heard from me. Basically I would lose myself more and more with each guy I molded to, I was good at being a chameleon, I was so good at it that I even masked my own unhappiness.  Sad but true.. and more common than you would think. 

My year of learning to love myself before trying to love someone else again has been the most valuable of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It was time to find myself, get to know who I am and what I liked and disliked, what tv shows I wanna watch, what food I love to eat...and the most important part.. what do I want out of my time here on earth and what can I give back to it regardless whether I have a man or not.  

Being alone can be terrifying at any age, I turned 30, got single, got 2 dogs to keep me company and had a hard time adjusting. Love myself? Spend time with myself? What do I want? All things I'd never considered, until now when those things are the first that I consider. So once I adjusted I learned that yes, at times it can feel like every other woman I know is settled and pregnant and why aren't I, but it can also feel like an adventure. I smile and remember my own journey has something amazing to give me and that is what I want to share with you. Don’t compare or judge your journey. I know that’s easier said than done but try it and trust it, instead. Trust that the impact you make today, is who you are and that doesn’t depend on who validates you. You are not what happened to you, you are how you react, respond and RISE. 

What can I say, I do what I want when I want and how I want. I work hard at a job I LOVE and create the love I believe in on the stage. Who I am is LOVE. Love is what I am worth. I’ve learned, I don't really like to watch tv all that much, i love waking up and playing music straight away and sometimes I want to eat breakfast food for every meal of the day! But beyond the silly surface stuff, I realized how much I needed my friends and family in my life, how much I need strong powerful women in my life, how surrounding myself with these incredible, driven and supportive people has only made me more driven focused and confident. I AM strong, I AM independent and I AM capable of more than I know. I AM enough, and that is a beautiful thing to realize. Ive learned to love myself inside out and all my imperfections. I'm a romantic at heart, a child at heart, and a social butterfly at the best of times. I love my career, and will continue to strive for bigger better and badder everyday because I'm a dreamer and hustler!  I won't make myself smaller for anyone and I won't stop chasing my dreams. I am realizing my own self worth more and more everyday and know now that I will not settle for anything less than what I truly deserve, and that my loves.. is to be treated as a Queen. That goes for all of you, and in turn you treat your man like a King, this absolutely goes both ways, and if it doesn't, then you move on. 

So if your single, celebrate! Enjoy every bit of your time, your accomplishments and your own relationships. Know your worth, you are beautiful you are strong and you can do anything you want to do, trust me ;) There is nothing sexier than a woman who doesn’t need a man. And to all the men who took their insecurities out on woman, fix yourselves and stop putting it on a woman who deserves you at your best.

I love each and everyone of you, I hope we can create a community that supports one another. Now go realize your power and build your empire.

All my love, 

Sharna

RAW ENERGY BITES

Breakfast? Dessert? Snack? Healthy? ABSOLUTE PERFECTION?! YES, ALL THE THINGS!!!

Hi Loverz!!!

It’s almost the new year and the perfect time to try new things!

raw bites

 

Yes, I have a sweet tooth and to stay in shape I have to be conscious of what I eat. This recipe satisfies my sweet craving while giving me a good dose of iron, magnesium and omega 3!  I hope this recipe inspires you to make some healthy changes to your diet without sacrificing the fun! They may seem time consuming and too much work but they're simple, fun to make and can be made for the week ahead and stored in the fridge. 

The main thing:  Medjool dates or "natures candy" are all the things that something sweet and satisfying should be. Packed with nutrients and minerals, they make the perfect guilt-free snack. Date Benefits You can use any seeds you like but I love the benefits I get from Flax! Flax Seed Benefits I really could go on and on... ALL of the ingredients in this recipe are super good for you but I'll talk about the rest in future posts. 

Medjool dates are naturally very soft and once you add the coconut oil to them and pulse them in the blender/food processor they will have all the moisture they need for these little balls of yumminess to stay together. Honey acts as a glue but even with out they stick alright and are plenty sweet from the dates. Using latex or food safe gloves to roll them is optional but makes the process even easier. MAKE EXTRA, they're too good not to. 

Ingredients

* 10-12 pitted medjool dates, pits removed

* 1 cup chopped pecans (or nut of your choice) 

* ½ cup whole flax seed (or seed of your choice)

* 2 tablespoon organic coconut oil

* 1 Tablespoon organic honey

* pinch of salt

*optional ingredients* 

*Protein powder (great for breakfast, pre/post-workout) 

Vanilla Extract, cinnamon, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, dried fruit--- The options are really endless and I can't wait to see what you come up with!

 

Instructions

1. Place desired amount of dates in the food processor 

2. Add coconut oil to dates, start with 2 tablespoons per dozen dates but depending on how moist your dates are you may need more or less. Pulse until the pieces of dates are chocolate chip size or smaller if you want. 

3. Combine date and coconut oil puree, flax seeds, pecans and anything else you're craving in a medium sized bowl.

4. After mixture is well combined, give it a taste and adjust ingredients to your taste.

5. Refrigerate mixture for about 10 minutes to stiffen the mixture and make them easier to roll. 

6. Form the mixture into Tablespoon-size balls.

7. Refrigerate balls in an air tight container.

 

Close your eyes, take a bite... HEAVEN!! RIGHT?!

Next, tweet me a photo of your yummy treats, I Can't wait to see them!!! 

All my love, 

Sharna

Rose Quartz "The Love Stone"

So naturally, It's like my favorite stone...

Hi Loverz!!! 

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Healing crystals are semi-precious/precious stones that are said to have individual healing properties depending on the type of stone, it's color and where it comes from. 

I like to keep one in my purse, car and even a small one inside my bra! Seriously, it's a thing and it helps. 

Whether you have anxiety, are healing from a broken heart or stressed at work it helps just having something to take your mind off of it. 

You can get raw rough stones or tumbled, smooth and shiny ones. An easy meditation when you're not feeling your best is to hold the stone in the palm of your hand, close your eyes and breathe deeply in and out a few times. Pay close attention to what the stone feels like in your hand. Is it cold? Smooth or does it have rough edges? This mindful exercise keeps you in the present moment and occupied from negative thoughts in the past or the future. 

Program positive affirmations in your stones to help remind you that you can accomplish anything the mind can imagine. 

"Love washes over me with every deep breath I take" 

"I believe in myself and my abilities" 

" I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents"

"Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good"

Check out more affirmations  & you can learn more about ROSE QUARTZ

Tweet me some of your positive affirmations and your crystals. Let's all encourage one another! 

All my love,

Sharna