The Story Behind Live Well With Lo: Change the World by Loving Yourself

This is the very short-version of my journey into wellness and self-care. These ideas, stories, experiences, and so much more will be in my upcoming book coming soon…

hawaiibloggertravelpalmtree

Growing up, I was raised with the idea that I must put myself last in everything I do. Whether it was a goal, a dream, or an idea for dinner, I needed to put myself last in order to elevate other people. I grew up to be selfless in every aspect that I oftentimes would do things and not even realize that I was simply doing what I thought others would want me to do, not what I felt in my heart that I needed to do.

Self-Love has been such a foreign concept to me, it’s honestly hard for me to write about. I still believe that being selfless is such an amazing quality and I believe that selflessness is an important character trait to posses. That being said, I have learned that when you love yourself and make your well-being a priority, you can serve other’s in such a better capacity! I’ve learned that in order to serve others in a truly selfless way, you need to love yourself first.

When I lived my life based on other people’s opinions or desires, I never felt truly fulfilled. I felt like I was just going through the motions of life and I never felt inspired or motivated. I felt that having personal dreams and goals was selfish and so I opted to live small. I did what I felt I should do instead of what I felt called to do for the sake of selflessness. When you live your life like that, you aren’t truly benefitting anyone.

I believe that when you live into the calling and passion you feel on your life, you can serve others in a way you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I also believe that this is true when it comes to self-care as well. I spent many years of my life going from obligation to obligation and keeping myself busy for the sake of being busy because I thought that if I spent all of my time serving others, I would be enough. I gave everyone else 100% of me and I gave myself 0%. That led me to a place where I was so run down that my body couldn’t take it anymore. I got really sick. I spent so many years of my life so stressed out and in service to others, my body just turned off. (I talk much more about this in my upcoming book.)

When I got sick, I was forced to take care of myself in a way I never had. There was no other option. I could either live how I was living and continue to get more sick, or I could change my lifestyle. I realized that I needed to put the oxygen mask on myself before I could continue helping others.

I learned a lot of lessons during that time but even though that season was dark and scary and full of bad days, I found myself in a new way. Since I was forced to slow down and say “no” to pretty much everything that was non-essential in my life, I realized past passions that had been tucked away. I dove headfirst into wellness and I haven’t looked back since.

When I started to feel better about a year later, I realized that I needed to shift my mindset and the priorities that I had carried with me for so long. I slowly began to re-shape my thinking until I truly believed that It is NOT selfish to take care of yourself. It is NOT selfish to make your well-being of utmost priority. I learned that nobody else is going to take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself.

As I started on this new journey to wellness and self-care, I began to see a passion stir up inside me. I knew that other people struggled with the same ideas on self-care that I used to have. I knew that other people were struggling and living on empty and I suddenly became extremely passionate about sharing my ideas on self-care and wellness with the world. That is how Live Well With Lo was created.

Since wellness and self-care is such a huge priority to me now, I have re-framed my thinking on the word “selfish”. Because of how I live my life now, I have been able to serve and love others in a way I never thought possible. I truly believe I am a better wife, friend, daughter, and business women because I make myself a priority and treat myself with the same love and respect I would give anyone else.

When you treat yourself like you would treat others, you begin to blossom in a way you never thought possible. When you take care of your mind, body, & soul, you are able to serve and love others in a way that comes from true love and joy. I truly believe that if we want to change the world, it starts with US. It starts with YOU. Put on your oxygen mask, girl, and don’t you ever ever be sorry for it!!!!

xo,

Lo

Intentional Living

hawaiibloggeroahuwellness

Something that I have really tried to focus on recently is living intentionally in all areas of life.  The past six months have been a busy whirlwind of travels, events, business growth, and new projects but lately have been feeling the urge to step back and really think about what my values are, what is most important, and how I can spend my time not just crossing things off my to-do list but actually focusing intentionally on the few things that matter most. 

It's funny that I picked today to write this post because I am actually in the process of preparing for a hurricane to hit the Hawaiian Islands later this week! There's nothing like preparing for a natural disaster to make yourself focus on the things that truly matter the most. 

Intentional living can truly have so many different meanings. For some people it has to do with finances and possessions and for others it relates to goals and ideals. For me, its a little bit of both. 

This month I spent some time going through my closet and getting rid of a ton of clothing items that I wasn't in love with. There have been so many times where I have purchased something just for a specific event or just because it was "trendy" and everyone was wearing it only to realize that I don't actually love it. This month I have really been trying to hone in on what my personal style truly is and so I can avoid those types of purchases and only get things I really love and will wear over and over again. 

I also have been keeping track on how I spend my time and I've been trying to be really intentional about what I say yes to and what I say no to. I really been trying to distinguish the difference between my strongest desires with my deepest desires. 

Your strongest desires are the things on your to-do list, the stuff you feel pressure to get done and the responsibilities on your plate. My strongest desires are cleaning, cooking, housework, social media, managing my skincare team, etc.

Your deepest desires are the things that truly light you up inside but oftentimes get put on the back burner. My deepest desires are writing, empowering female entrepreneurs, working one on one to help people find solutions for their skin, reading, etc. 

Most days it is so hard for me to distinguish between my desires. Oftentimes, my to-do list wins over my deepest desires. I'm trying to be really intentional about this, though, and focusing on how I can incorporate my deepest desires In every day life. 

Lastly, I want to live intentionally with how present I am. I am scatter-brained about 99% of the time and there's always a million ideas swirling through my head. I really want to focus on being more in the moment and present with the people I am with. I have been focussing on putting my phone down more and really being present. here. right now. 

I would love to know your thoughts on intentional living and how you try to live intentionally in your daily life! What is an area that you are aiming to be more intentional in? 

xo,

Lo

Summer Wardrobe Essentials: Part 2

Here is part two!!! In this post I will be sharing my favorite for swim, shoes, and accessories!! 

If you missed part one, click here to see my favorite summer pics for tops, bottoms, and dresses! 

summerfashionwardrobe

 

SWIM

A Go-With-Everything & Well-fitting One-piece swimsuit: 

I am SO GLAD one-piece suits are on trend because they are everything classic, elegant, and comfy! I have been loving my Billabong one-piece and that Becca One-piece is EVERYTHING. It's the most comfy and flattering one-piece that I own! I wear these with cut-off shorts and they are perfect for hiking, boating, and basically any other Summer activity!

SHOES

Go-With-Everything Sandals:

These are actually my VERY FAVORITES. The tan Sam Edelman gladiator sandals I have been wearing since highschool! I was so sad that they discontinued that style a few years back and then I was ECSTATIC that they brought them back this season! My old ones from highschool are totally falling apart at this point and so I just bought some new ones! YAY for staple pieces that you never get tired of! I got the white slides too because they are a little bit more fancy but will still go with everything! I also linked a super affordable tan slide version from my favorite online boutique, Red Dress! 

ACCESSORIES

A Pair of hoop earrings & statement earrings: 

Since I don't wear a ton of trendy clothing, I'm all about wearing trendy accessories like fun statement earrings to spice up an outfit! That being said, It's almost embarrassing how many pairs of classic gold hoops I own... don't judge me, they are a STAPLE! I have these beaded statement earrings from Red Dress Boutique in a ton of colors because I LOVE how light-weight they are and the shape is so fun and unique! 

Classic Sunnies: 

Hi, I'm Lauren and I'm addicted to buying sunglasses. Seriously though, I feel like a good pair of sunnies can instantly elevate an outfit. These three are my must-haves for Summer! If you are more of a minimalist type of gal, then get the gold retro aviators... they are SO GOOD. 

 

The Perfect Summer Bags:

I'm the type of gal that pretty much finds a bag I love and then wear it until its completely worn. I don't get new bags very often but I absolutely looooove these! I got the Top Shop bucket bag and I love how much it can hold! All of these options will pretty much go with any option I mentioned above and thats what I love about neutrals! 

I have never done blog posts like this before and I would LOOOVE your thoughts! Do you like fashion posts? hate them? Are they helpful? Would you like to see more? Please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!!! I hope you find some looks you love through these posts and if you do decide to get anything, take a pic and send it to me on Instagram! I'd love to see you in these looks!! <3 

xo,  Lauren

xo,

Lauren

The Summer I Didn't Sleep: My Journey through Anxiety

 

*Disclaimer: This is my unique story with anxiety and how I treated it. I am not writing this to give medical advice or recommend a certain treatment plan. I am simply sharing what I did to help heal my body and overcome anxiety. 

It' been a full year since I experienced one of the hardest seasons of life I have ever been through. A full year since I thought my body was failing me. I know this may sound dramatic but I truly felt like I was dying. It's something I have kept to myself for the most part, no one could understand. I went to multiple doctors, counselors, and good friends and even though I got great wisdom & guidance, no one could truly help me. It's weird to write about because it's still something I have no explanation for. I still don't quite know exactly why I went through it or what lessons have come out of it, but at least I'm starting to process it. 

It started last May. I remember the exact day. Danny was gone for training (he was gone basically that whole Summer) I had friends visiting Oahu and I had spent the day with them at Waimea Bay. It was a normal, Summer day in Hawaii until I got home and it hit me. I started feeling clammy and dizzy. I thought I was dehydrated and so I drank a ton of water and laid down. About an hour later I was feeling even worse. I had this dooming fear that if I stood up, I would pass out. My heart was beating outside of my chest and it felt hard to breathe. I didn't know it then, but now I know, that was the first time I experienced a true panic attack. 

From that day forward, everyday seemed to get worse. It started with one panic attack a day, then three, then up to five, and then eventually, all day long I would experience panic symptoms and I stopped sleeping at night. I have never had troubles falling asleep in the past and so not being able to fall sleep was a new thing for me. I would get ready for bed, lay down, doze off, and as soon as I would doze off a bit and my body relaxed, I would get an adrenaline rush and the panic symptoms would come back. There was truly no rhyme or reason for it. I did not feel stressed. It would just come up out of nowhere. The entire night would be a constant struggle of trying to relax and then an adrenaline rush would hit me and it turned into a vicious cycle of sleeplessness and crippling anxiety. I was home alone for the most part because Danny was away at training and since I physically felt pain during these attacks, I was even more anxious being by myself.

I would love to tell you that this went on for only a short time and I found my anxiety triggers and overcame them quickly, but this was my life for seven long months. I could not sleep at night for SEVEN MONTHS. it didn't matter if I was at home in Hawaii or back in California I. could. not. Sleep. I felt like a crazy person. I was afraid to leave my house because I never knew when a panic attack would kick in. I got sick all the time because my immune system was so compromised from no sleep. I had to miss the bachelorette party of one of my best friends because of this. The worst part was, my husband Danny had army training pretty much throughout this entire season and so not only could he not be there for me, he didn't even know it was happening. 

During this time, I had a list of people who I would call/text at night at 1, 2, even 3am when I couldn't sleep. On an average night, after going to bed at 10pm, I would be able to finally fall asleep around 2am. Thinking of these sweet friends and mentors who were there for me and constantly checked in on me brings me to tears. Looking back, I don't know how I would have gotten through this without them. I am blessed with the most amazing people in my life and even though no one could understand why this was happening, they sat with me in the trenches.

I am sharing all of this not to bring attention to myself or have a pity party. I am sharing this because sometimes in life, bad things happen and you have no explanation for them. Sometimes horrible things come up, and there is no logical answer as to WHY. During this season in my life, I couldn't figure out why it was happening.. I was eating healthy for the most part, there were no HUGE stressors on my life (except my husband being gone, which actually is a huge life stressor that I didn't realize at the time) and I don’t have a particularly stressful job or life and so I couldn't comprehend how this anxiety could be so bad.

After experiencing what I did, I 100% agree that there are hormone imbalances in the brain and some people need professional guidance and medicine to help them keep balance. I also believe whole-heartedly that God is in control and he could have taken this pain away from me. That being said, there seemed to be no amount of praying that could be done to pray my anxiety away. It wasn't going anywhere. I was offered sleeping pills, anti-depressants, etc. and for me personally, I knew that my anxiety was a deep-rooted issue and I wanted to get to the bottom of it, holistically. 

*Before I share what I did to help balance out my hormones, I want to share a disclaimer that I still to the day don't know WHY I went through this. It's something I struggle with every day. Yes, I changed my eating and supplements and rested and did ALL THE THINGS and eventually the anxiety became less crippling, but I still do not know what initially caused it. THAT is what I want to talk about in this post because I think we all have things that happen in life that we can't explain, comprehend, or reason with. If you are in a season like that, I want you to know, you are not alone.

I'm not sure why God had me go through this season but I have sure learned a lot of healthy coping mechanisms that I can use now to calm myself down when a bout of anxiety hits.  Here's what helped me...

1. Routine:  Sticking to a routine, especially at night, helped me calm down my system. During this season, I was so overstimulated that even watching TV or going to the movies would make my body panic (again, I have no clue why) and so for me I knew that I couldn't go out at night and I needed to spend time every night drinking herbal tea, reading and journaling. I journaled ALOT during this season. 

2. Diet: At the time of all of this, I had added gluten back into my diet, which I knew my body wasn't happy with but I tried to reason my way through still eating it. It was when I fully took gluten out of my diet again that I started to feel back to normal. How crazy Is that! I also took out most sugar and limited grains. I am still eating this way and I feel SO good! 

3. Gut Health: This was HUGE for me. From doing some testing, I realized my gut was not healthy and had candida and bacteria overgrowth. Your gut produces your mood hormones! Did you know that?! So through diet and supplements I worked on cleaning up my gut. 

5. Herbal Supplements: One of the things that gave me immediate support and helped me sleep was a homeopathic remedy that my naturopathic doctor recommended for me. It worked WONDERS in calming down my immune system. I couldn’t sleep without taking this for seven months. Even though I didn’t like the idea of having to take something to calm me down, I knew I needed to sleep and I knew that this would help me heal. It's called Relax Tone and I will link it down below! I also drank LOTS of herbal teal; bedtime tea, chamomile, and rooibos are my favorites. 

6. Adaptogens: Ashwagandha is known to help with regulating hormones and so I put a 1/2 teaspoon in my smoothie every morning and I definitely noticed a huge difference! I still put Ashwagandha in my smoothies a couple times a week and I swear, it helps me feel so much more balanced.

7. Setting boundaries: During this season in my life, I had to say "No" a lot. It took pretty much everything I had inside of me to be a wife and run my business. I wasn't a great friend during that time and I didn't have energy to do much at all. The only way I can describe how I felt was that it I felt like I had a radio on LOUD in my head all the time. My thoughts would race, my thinking would be muddled, and I couldn't focus on anything with all the static going on in my head. I stayed home a lot and journaled, prayed, and read. 

8. A Strong Community: During this season more than ever, I really needed people to encourage me & stay in the trenches with me. A few friends really stepped up the plate and covered me in prayer. Even though they couldn't understand, they were there, and that meant the world to me. 

Slowly, month after month, I begin to heal. Danny came home from his crazy season of work travel and I got really good at self-care. Again, there was no true rhyme or reason of why I got better but slowly it was getting easier to fall asleep at night and the anxiety during the day slowly faded as well. As I made lifestyle changes, I think my hormones began to re-regulate, my gut healed, and I began to feel “normal” again. About five months ago I began to feel like myself again and this season has been so sweet since I’ve been able to reintroduce things back into my life. I also have a renewed sense of peace and joy in my life that I no longer take for granted!

 

I wish I could tell you that I found joy in my dark place, but I didn’t. I wish I could tell you that I learned a ton of lessons during that season, but I don’t think they’ve revealed themselves to me yet. Like I said before, sometimes your world gets turned upside down and you are left with a lot of question marks. I don’t know WHY but I do know that I am stronger because of it. 

 

If you are facing anxiety, I hope my story encourages you to never stop seeking true healing. Everyone has their own unique journey to healing and yours may look very different than mine and that Is OKAY! I hope that my experience encourages you to keep going and take care of yourself. If I learned anything this past year it was that hard times don’t last forever, it’s just a season. Things WILL get better.

 

If you are facing something else that is hard to wrap your mind around, I hope my story encourages you that you are not alone! It’s okay to not know why. It’s okay to be mad about it. It’s okay to hurt. Just remember that this too shall pass and you WILL get through it and come out on top.

 I’m not sure how to end this post because I’m not sure my story has an ending and yours doesn’t either. Keep going, babe. You got this. <3 

xo,

Lauren

alaskaphotography

Products Mentioned:

10 Easy Ways to Practice Self-Care

Hey, friends! Today I want to talk a little bit more about self-care, why it's important, and how to easily implement it into your daily routine! The topic of "self-care" is really popular right now and for good reason, it is so important to take care of yourself! In this age of hustle and bustle and the glorification of "busyness", it's so important to not lose sight on the most important thing, your health. 

From experience, I have learned that I can only love and serve others if I have loved myself first. This is not in a selfish way AT ALL, but it's in a way of treating myself with love and care so that I can love and care for others fully! 

I am naturally a people pleaser and I HATE saying "no" and so that is the hardest part for me in practicing self-care. I also love my people a lot. My family and my friends have my whole heart and when they need me, I will legitimately put my entire life aside to be there for them. I know that this is a good quality, but I have learned that I need to create healthy boundaries around my heart because oftentimes, I will take responsibility for things I shouldn't take responsibility for. I will also take in the emotions of those I love. If a loved one is hurting, I am hurting. It can make for an emotional roller coaster for me and so I have been learning how to love others in a way that is authentic but not debilitating to my emotions. I'm not sure if that makes sense to any of you but this is just something I am currently learning about myself in this season of life and so maybe some of you can relate! 

Anyways, back to self-care... I want make self-care simple. Self-care doesn't have to be an extensive list of to-do's, expensive, or extremely time consuming. Self-care can be 15 minutes of reading your favorite book or a five minute walk around the block. This week I am challenging myself to practice self-care in the form of unplugging. I know how freeing it can be to log-off Instagram or Facebook for a bit and so the week my goal is to "unplug" a couple hours a day. This may not sound like much for many of you, but for someone who works online, this can be life changing! 

I made this list of ways you can practice simple forms of self-care. I hope that it resonates with you and encourages you to spend some moments for yourself each and every day! 

selfcarehabitsinspiration

Xo,

Lo