When you think about the people you admire today, I’m sure you’ve found yourself wondering how they got there. Well, the woman I am interviewing today is one of those people you are gonna wonder about years down the track. So just so you know, you saw her HERE first! 😛
She’s volunteered for Deepak Chopra, created her own spiritual practice AND is about to become a New Yorker! In this weeks Girl Power Series we have the goooooorgeous Rachael Lynn of Living Ambitiously!
1) You are all about living ambitiously, what does that mean for you and how did you come to discover this concept as a way of being?
I asked someone who knew me well to pick a word to describe me back when I started my very first blog. They said “ambitious”. I was very proud of that. Today, my definition of ambition is totally different than what it was then. Let me explain.
A lot of people think being ambitious means working hard, pushing your limits, reaching success. Actually, the dictionary defines ambition as: A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. And that’s exactly what I thought it was too.
I was that person – working two part time jobs, full time student, gave the speech at my University Graduation (it’s floating out on YouTube somewhere), and got a “real” job right out of school.
But, as you can probably guess, none of that stuff made me happy. I mean, it did temporarily, but I had that gut feeling of something missing that we talk about so much on our blogs.
Today, I don’t believe in hard work. I’ve reached that point in my spiritual practice where I know that life and getting what we want is less work and more play. So now, Living Ambitiously means being determined to follow your heart, your dreams, and follow love, wherever that might take you – without all the stress.
2) What made you decide to volunteer at the Chopra Center run by Deepak Chopra?
A desire to finally “get” what I was looking for emotionally. I had a pretty regular meditation practice at the time, but I felt like I needed something to immerse myself in in order to get a jump start on something life-changing.
I scanned the Chopra.com website, sent in a request for volunteering, and forgot about it. Weeks later I was contacted by their volunteer coordinator at the time, Wendi, and I was so excited. The trip itself (from Buffalo, NY to Chicago and a week at a hotel) cost me money I wouldn’t “usually” spend, but that week changed my life.
If you’ve ever meditated, imagine that feeling being amplified by 200 people meditating around you – being open, vulnerable, and smiling the whole time. It’s not something you could ever regret. Plus, I wanted to see if Deepak was for real. All I can say is that he is an enlightened spirit with some very human qualities, which was nice to see.
3) Are you a very spiritual person? What are some of your practices?
We are ALL spiritual people! It took me a while to figure that out. Spirit isn’t just present when we meditate or do yoga. It is always there. I’ve learned to speak to my spirit as if it is a second person, an older, wiser self whose opinion I respect very much. I try to check in with her as many times a day as I can, even if just to acknowledge that she’s there. I notice that I forget to talk to her the most when I am stressed. To bring her back out I write, light candles, go to Bikram Yoga, or meditate with incense.
But I believe that spiritual activities and activities that bring pleasure are the same. Feeling pleasure means we are making our spirit feel good. And by pleasure I mean anything – eating chocolate, getting a pedicure, or lovin’ your partner. Whatever works 😉
4) What are your tips for people wanting to live more ambitiously?
Stop trying to be/have/do it all. Remember that the visible sides you see of people are usually only the good sides (or the sides they want you to see), you never know what’s going on behind the scenes. So chase your own dream.
Love yourself first. Always Always Always. That’s why I love reading what Elise writes so much, because if I’m forgetting to take care of myself that day, I’m reminded to stop and find a way.
Then, spend time with people who are doing what you want to be doing. People who are better, smarter, or stronger than you. There is no reason to be intimidated by these people or ashamed of where you are. Use them as inspiration and motivation to teach you some of the tools you can use to complete your journey.
5) And for the days when we can’t see the light, what would you recommend doing?
Make a conscious decision to choose when to stop feeling miserable. It is important to feel whatever you are feeling and understand that it’s not bad, but if you listen close enough, you will know exactly what your body/spirit is asking for. In my experience, it has always been SELF LOVE.
Recently, I’ve gotten so caught up in this move I’m about to make (I’m moving to New York City!) that I have felt totally drained. My body is so in tune with my emotions that if I stop taking care of myself for even two days, it becomes extremely fatigued, irritable, and I get headaches that make me nauseous.
I went through that for three days this week wondering “WTF is happening?”. Finally, last night, I went to bed at 9pm, and I slept until 8am. I feel so much better! Never underestimate the power of taking care of yourself. Or sleep, I love sleeping.
6) What are you craving more of in life right now?
Sun. Literally, in Buffalo right now it is cold and a combination of rain/snow. I am craving summer so badly. To me summer will always bring ice cream, pretty clothes, flowers and hopscotch. I am craving more of those opportunities to bring pleasure into my day.
7) Who inspires you?
Any woman who does what she wants; who shows me that you can work from the beach and make your own schedule and make money. Also, anyone who allows themselves to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability takes so much courage that I think the definitions of Strength and Vulnerability should be swapped. If you want specifics, I choose Jennifer Pastiloff. I’ve uncovered her recently and her writing is so raw that it will evoke emotion in anyone.
8) If you could manifest anything you wanted, what would it be and why?
Short term: A freaking great apartment in New York. There are really great places there you just have to know where to look. NYC is somewhere that can easily make a person feel lost. I want a place to come home to that I can decorate and have a sanctuary. I’m seeing Buddha’s, Candles, lots of turquoise, and a 5 minute walk to the water.
Long Term: A portable stream of income. By portable, I mean that I can take it with me from NYC to California to Toronto, New Zealand, Thailand, and anywhere else I want to. I have this dream to help people from other countries find their voice. You see, as an American I’m always somewhat ashamed of our ignorance. We have many positives, but being internationally aware is not (in my opinion) one of them.
I guess this only started to develop in me in University when I became friends with all sorts of international students and I was amazed by how much we had in common. But why should we be amazed? We’re all people, after all. So long term I would like to find a way to use my online platform to bring awareness to my beautiful country.
Both of these things are going to happen, this I know – but sometimes a girl is just so impatient!
9) What can we expect from LivingAmbitiously.com?
While I am going through this transition of uprooting my whole life and moving it somewhere very different, I am sure to go through a lot of things. I want to be able to share them with my readers along the way. I may even depend on you guys to be my support for a little while.
I also plan on incorporating a little more “culture” to the site. The life lessons you can learn from people of different backgrounds are invaluable, and I think I’ll be meeting a lot more inspirational people! I can’t wait to share that with everyone.