Perception is a Bitch


The way people perceive you will always be just that…the way that they perceive you. As I get older, I like to think that I’m becoming wiser, that the opinions others have formed about me don’t hold value, and that I am able to do it all. If only that were the case. When someone sees you, they view you from the outside looking in, they have no idea what it takes to be you on a daily basis. They see a glossy picture that they begin to create in their head of who you are, and at times we have a tendency to mirror that image–for various reasons. We want people to see us as having it all together, as being able to pull it off, and as picture perfect. The fact is that in that moment we’re given several options. We can continue to allow others to think that our life is as they see it, or we can begin to allow people to see us for who we really are.

Nowadays people are slowly becoming more authentic. Not that it wasn’t always there, but it’s something I think people struggle with; the truth. For both themselves and others. We all struggle with something, whether or not we choose to admit it. A few years ago people viewed my life as picture perfect, it was far from that, but yet I was trying my hardest to make it feel picture perfect. I had so much pressure coming from (none other than myself) to be in this magical relationship, to live a life others would dream of living, to smile at every possible thing I could, and yet, inside I was dying. My soul was unnourished, my heart was broken, and my story that I was portraying was no longer mine, it no longer belonged to me. It belonged to everyone else because they created it, and I allowed it to be my reality. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I had a voice. That I was just as guilty as everyone else for allowing them to paint a picture of me, that in fact, didn’t resemble me at all. I realized that although my voice may have been muted for awhile, it still existed. It may not have been the loudest in the room, but it was mine. It didn’t always make sense, and it wasn’t always pretty, but it was still mine. Learning I had a voice, was me also learning that at any given moment, I had the ability to rewrite my own story, and thats when I began to be authentic. I didn’t care if people were listening, but it was something I needed to speak into life on my own.

For as long as I can remember I always held my feelings in, I didn’t know how to express them. I always kept quiet about the things that really bothered me, but that changed. It wasn’t until my world got turned upside down that I realized it was OK to discuss my feelings, both positive and negative.

At first it’s scary. You believe that you’re  supposed to be someone that has their shit together. For me, as a fitness professional, I felt I had to always be on, and I thought that allowing people to see that I wasn’t showed vulnerability, and that was something I didn’t like. It was a feeling that I wasn’t fully comfortable with. Hell, I still struggle with it. I thought about how sharing my weaknesses would discredit me, how opening up would leave room for someone, or something else to hurt me. I thought that people wouldn’t take me seriously, and would allow me to be less than. Yet I knew that I couldn’t live a lie forever.

People aren’t dumb. They know (at some point) when you’re faking it. When you’re pretending, when you’re no longer being your true self. I was the one to call myself out on my own bullshit, and I thank God I did. Authenticity is something you can’t fake, and as it turns out- people don’t want to connect to someone that they don’t view as real. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be one way or the other, when in reality we have to learn how to just be – whatever that may mean, and begin to not allow others to define us, because at the end of the day what will really happen if we don’t meet those preset expectations? Nothing.

Disclaimer; This is something that I must work on consistently, and be reminded of on a daily basis. This is not easy.

By being you and being the authentic you, you begin to create a better relationship with others, but more importantly yourself.

Less perfection, more authenticity.

Success is a Mindset

Right around the New Year I debated (with myself) about whether or not I should post a blog about why I don’t believe in New Years resolutions, but for the people that do, I didn’t want to offend anyone. The thing is, I believe in execution. I believe that setting goals is an amazing thing. I like to hand write my goals around years end so I have something tangible to look back on. I also take time to think of how I’m going to execute them properly without getting overwhelmed with all the forgotten steps that come in between.

What I see people failing at most (myself included) is taking time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this past year, and how it all transpired. I’m one for making plans, sticking to them, and getting frustrated when things are seemingly not going according to my plan, when the truth is; we all have a plan. Whether you believe in God, Buddha, or another higher power greater than yourself, you must believe that we all have something we’re meant to be doing to help others and ourselves. The issue that comes into play is that we’re not always capable of seeing where life may unexpectedly take us. We get so caught up in why things aren’t working and take little to no time to question if we may be headed on a more desirable path, one that will suit us better, and one that will ultimately make more sense in the long run.

This past year I had a lot of personal success in my business, but I also made a lot of mistakes. Mistakes that frustrated me, made me question my direction, but mistakes that ultimately led me to where I am, and who I am today. Looking back is something we’re often taught to not do; “look ahead” is what people say. While I’m all for it, I think that occasionally looking back allows us to see how much we’ve grown, what lessons we’ve learned, and that sometimes the most beautiful forms of creativity evolve through suffering.

I’m going to rewind a few years back to when I was living in Germany with my then husband. Neither one of us were happy in the marriage, he left and ultimately left me to pick up the pieces. I stayed in Germany for quite awhile, trying to make sense of it all, get a grip on where my life was headed (since it was no longer going in the direction I had always planned for it to), and figure out who Jayel was one her own. Not married, but single. Not Michael’s Air Force dependent, but independent. This was all new to me. I remember quite vividly asking for strength, and guidance. Every door pointed towards fitness. When I wanted to drink myself silly and forget that I had emotions I was reminded that I had clients that were depending on me. They were going through their own issues and I was there to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was during that time period that I made a promise; while I do believe in God, I told myself that fitness would become a new part of my belief system. I vowed to give my life to fitness. At the time I wasn’t able to fully understand the capacity of what I was committing to.

I now see it.

For a while I struggled with connecting to others through fitness. I never struggled with weight, I had always been active, and I naturally had an athletic build. In other words, I wasn’t relatable.

As my world felt as though it was falling apart, the truth was, in part, that it was coming together. My divorce was the hardest thing I’ve had to endure to date. It left me breathless, broken, and guarded, but throughout that process I learned who I was, what I’m capable of enduring, and how I can’t look at success through anyone else’s eyes but my own- because success isn’t something you can simply write down on paper- it’s a mindset. It’s how you view your weakness and are able to make them into your strengths. We must remind ourselves that healing and rebuilding is an evolutionary process. It takes time to create a fruitful relationship, not just with others, but with ourselves as well. I can speak from the trenches because I was there, and at times still am. I felt I was in a relationship that wasn’t necessarily conducive to my growing process for seven years…yet it’s the very relationship that made me grow up.

Through that process I was reminded that each beautiful piece of artwork was birthed by failure, heartache, defeat, and loss. Yet by facing my reality I had to deal with my problems that I had been trying to cover up for so long, by pretending they didn’t exist. I now am a testament to how one can view something as a failure, yet it can turn into one of the biggest successes in your life. Sometimes veering of course is something we need. We must understand that our pain has the capability of turning our passion into a purpose.


YOU are Enough



We feel, that in order to gain something we must lose something. It’s a battle that we’re constantly fighting and one we’re trying to win.

It’s almost as if we don’t think we’re deserving enough, that we’re not enough, that no matter what we do, it will never be enough.

Enough; is a funny term. Having, being, and doing, means something completely different to each and every one of us.

We’ve all struggled with these sort of emotions. I blame society and the influence it has on not only our emotional well-being but fallacy created image of self.

Yet it’s up to us to take the lead and not only tell ourselves, but continuously remind ourselves that we are in fact enough, and deserving.

You see, society paints this picture of women who are doing it all- and that’s great, but often times that’s what’s expected and if we are unable to complete one task at any given moment then we may as well give up…right? Wrong.

I was having a conversation with a client the other day. She was voicing to me that she wasn’t comfortable in her own skin, but it’s more than the skin she’s in, it’s her entire being. Our journey throughout life, and of self-acceptance is a never ending one. You can choose to look at it two different ways; either you’re constantly in a state of self-discovery, or you find yourself continuously running into the same wall.

We try new things but they never seem to work out as planned. This is when you must begin to change yourself, and change the thoughts about yourself. Although it may be a difficult task, we have to remember that everything that we were once taught doesn’t necessarily apply to our current life situation. For instance, the way that we were taught to finish our meal before getting up from the table warrants concern for lack of appropriate hunger cues.

Try to forget what you’ve been taught, what others have told you works for them and how you can drop 10 pounds in 10 days. That’s the old way of thinking. The new way, the way where you’ll begin to see change (for good) and internal growth is when YOU decide it’s time to change, that you’re deserving enough, and that you’re in control.

People can most certainly help you, and encourage you along the way, but this is one journey that you must take alone. This is your fight, and no one else’s. You’re the one that’s been struggling with you internal demons–release them. Let them go, once you take the power away you begin to regain it–yes regain it, because FACT; you’ve always had it. But others; people, gimmicks, campaigns, get into your head and that’s when you begin to think that’s the right way…and the only path that will allow you to be successful.

Change must come from you, and it’s not a quick fix, it’s one hell of a long road but implementing something in your life on a regular basis that’s going to only further you to your destination is going to be the habit you need to form, otherwise you’re (once again) allowing others to dictate what works for you.

Start with one step, one goal. Give yourself something to focus your energy on each week, something that you can sustain. Too much too soon is overwhelming and the odds of it sticking are slim to none. This is when you have to do the digging to begin to lay your foundation to build upon. This is when you break your habits in order to create new ones. This is when you say enough is enough and you are not only worthy, but accepting of change, because in short; you deserve it.

You can hide behind your MAC concealer, perfectly manicured nails, and quaffed hair, but all of these materialistic things are actually concealing your truths. Hair, nails, makeup, clothes; they all give us instant gratification and make us look appealing to others and ourselves. We put in work for these things on a regular basis because it’s easy, and doesn’t take much effort, yet it’s what’s on the inside that needs work, that needs gratification, but it’s the time it requires that is offsetting. Stop putting so much effort into things that hold no true meaning in your life, which will not effect you in the long run. Begin to invest in yourself, understand that the road is a long one, but one that is oh so worth it.

Declare what you are and who you’re going to be. Say it boldly and unapologetically. Allow the transformation from within to begin. 




Over the past few years I’ve learned a lot about myself. One of the most beneficial was getting in touch with my emotions. Good and bad. I was able to see the ones that drove me, and acknowledge the ones that had power over me.

Learning these things about myself was a self-taught practice. I had to spend a lot of time alone, to truly process and differentiate which emotion was in control.

Rejection was at the top of my list. It was something I never really experienced before, well, I’m sure I experienced it but it never impacted me the way it has to date.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. The boy that didn’t ask you to the high school dance, the first rejection letter from your college list, etc…

My overwhelming sense of rejection came from my boyfriend (who eventually became my husband) cheating on me. I felt out of control, in the sense that I didn’t know what was happening to me. I didn’t understand my thoughts; I lacked clarity, and craved direction, that ended up taking a very long time to find.

Investing your heart and soul into someone can be a risky practice. I’ll never forget the day I knew, I always had a feeling but that day I knew. I had proof. I had everything I needed to plead my case, and leave for good, but I didn’t. Despite knowing what the right thing was I couldn’t do it. I wanted to fix things and make them right. I wanted to know that it wasn’t my fault. That I had done everything in my power to save my relationship with a man I had planned my future with. I had such high expectations and I guess that’s where I began to let myself down, having those expectations and feeling defeated when they didn’t pan out as I had hoped for.

I went through feeling like I could fix things to constantly questioning if I made the right decision–I didn’t. I should have said my goodbyes and written him off, but hindsight is 20/20. Would have, could have, should have, but didn’t. And here I sit today still struggling with this emotion of rejection that plays a pivotal role in my life. It’s played a part in every big decision I’ve made in my life since “knowing” it’s dictated my next move, and has crippled me at times, it lingers in relationships, career choices, and the goals I have for my future. But the funny thing is I wasn’t aware of this for quite awhile.

I thought it was a lack of self-esteem, and confidence. Which it is partially true, but it took going through hell to realize that there was a connection, of feeling like something and someone I was in love with was able to make me feel unimportant, and hopeless.

Amongst those feelings I learned that I loved him more than I loved myself. Yes my relationship failed primarily because of him being unfaithful and me never being able to regain trust but it also failed because I never loved myself as much as I loved him. And as I type this I realize how incredibly sad that sounds but it’s the truth. I wasn’t who I was supposed to be quite yet. I didn’t know what I wanted out of life, or even the direction I was headed. So I became a shadow, following in his footsteps making his life my own all while forgetting that I was a person, that I mattered, and that what I wanted out of life was just as important as what he did.

Looking back I ask myself “would I have married myself back then” My response; absolutely not. I still wouldn’t to this day, not because I’m not an amazing person (because I am) but because I have so much more to grow before I can grow with someone else. We often forget about personal growth and immediately go into growing with someone as an attachment and/or in addition to.

Of course my trials and tribulations with my relationship were not my happiest of times but through them I learned about the person I was, want to be, and am becoming. I guess it really does take shit hitting the fans to find out what has the capability of breaking you. Luckily it didn’t break me it schooled me and has taught me that more than anything I have to realize how much control I have. That although rejection is still an emotion I’m trying to figure out and effected by on a regular basis that I have more power than I think I do. Now that I’m more aware, I know when it’s creeping up and I know how to handle it. I’m not who or where I want to be just yet, but I know I’m well on my way.