How to be More Present

I vividly remember being 8 years old, wading in the small pool of our front yard while my mother sat in a chair. While in the water, my mind drifted to the future. I imagined a day when I was a grown up, a mother myself, and it was Christmas morning. Fear and doubt crept in as I contemplated whether Santa was real.

On one hand, what if Santa is not real and I believed he was. I would neglect to buy presents for my children and they would have nothing on Christmas morning.

On the other hand, what if I bought all the presents and then he turned out to be real and he showed up with everything on top of mine.

I could no longer deal with the uncertainty, and I demanded my mom tell me the truth. Her answer had always been, “it’s whatever you believe in your heart to be true.” But this day was different. The stress of what I would do as a grown up was too much, and I needed to know my plan. I remember insisting that she tell me. Engrained in my long term memory is my mother with very sad eyes shaking her head no and saying we would talk about it later because there were too many younger kids around.

Although I could tell she was disappointed a season of my childhood was gone, I felt reassured and confident. Now I would know what to do….a piece of information that would not come in handy for TWENTY MORE YEARS.

I tell you this story because it’s indicative of my entire life. I cannot help that when left to daydream, my mind naturally wonders to hypothetical scenarios of the future. Constantly. I rarely dwell on the past. I learn from it and move on, but my mind struggles greatly with staying focused on the present moment.

What we have learned is that almost everyone struggles with staying present in the moment. Very few people are able to spend the vast majority of their attention on just the current day’s concerns.

Over the years I have worked diligently to form habits and practices that help me stay present. My daydreaming often robs me of my focus. At this point, I have come to accept that this is how I am wired, and I no longer expect it to ever change. However, if I want to fulfill those dreams my mind creates, it’s imperative I develop skills that help me redirect my attention back to the tasks at hand.

Maybe you can empathize with me and you too are often drifting off into the far future with either hopes or fears. Or maybe you are like millions of others who find their mind wandering to the past. Replaying scenarios that have already occurred and filling your mind with regrets or doubts.

Either way, we can all benefit from learning to be more present in the moment at hand.

We cannot change the past, but we can change the stories we attach to the events that happened.

No matter how bad a past experience may have been, can you find gratitude in it? Even if the only gratitude is for the lessons it taught you, how much stronger it made you, or the empathy it gave you for others?

Regarding the future, since we don’t know what will happen anyway, you can CHOOSE to attach different stories. You can attach stories that involve fear, worry, worse-case-scenarios and failure. Or, you can CHOOSE to have power over your mind and choose to assume the best.

The link below will take you to a PDF I developed for our free 5 day mental fitness group that ran last week. It includes an exercise to help you self-reflect on how much time you are spending in the present moment, and it will give you some ideas to help you develop more habits to keep you centered.

Click here to download the exercise and guide

Grace and Peace,
Sophia Hyde

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Is Meditation Hard for You?

Ten years ago I sat on my back porch with a pillow under my tailbone, my legs crossed, my fingers touched together and tried to quiet my mind. Not even two minutes later I realized I had wandered off to random thoughts and was just sitting in a ridiculous position while I thought about my to-do list and replayed conversations.

I drove to Barnes and Noble (when that was a still a thing we did) and bought the book Meditation for Dummies. Yes. That one.

I brought it home, skimmed the pages, and decided it was overwhelming, intimidating and unhelpful.

But if you know me, then you know that once I’ve made up my mind about something, I am relentless.

Fast forward a couple years, I was able to sit in pretty much any position, get into a meditative state quickly, quiet my thoughts and have powerful reflections.

So how did I go from completely clueless and frustrated to teaching meditation classes to others?

The exact same way a couch potato runs a marathon. I practiced regularly, started with small time frames and slowly increased, sought out mentors and classes and had a ton of grace with myself.

When I say the word “meditation” some people love it, and many others are completely intimidated by it.

Let me explain what meditation is NOT:

  • Meditation is NOT a religious experience
  • Meditation is NOT woo woo
  • Meditation does NOT have to be you sitting crisscross apple sauce

Now, allow me to explain what meditation IS:

  • Meditation is a muscle that must be exercised. It is never easy at first
  • Meditation is simple. No need to overcomplicate it
  • Meditation can fit anywhere in your life

I created a simple guide for you to learn about meditation and how to incorporate it into your life.

There is no better way to calm yourself, gain your clarity or learn about your true self than through meditation. It’s pretty much the most powerful drug on the planet. Get yourself some.

I created a guide that includes 8 different types of meditation including walking meditation, artistic meditation and breath meditation. There is no one right way to meditate. I highly recommend searching for the version that works for you.

Download here

​*Note* A similar version of this content was sent out as the Day Two lesson in my free ‘Mental Fitness 5 Day Challenge Group” going on this week. I repurposed it for the blog this week because many of you asked for it in the poll on Instagram.

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Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post!

If you enjoy this content make sure you’re following me on Facebook and Instagram (@thesophiahyde) for more content and tips on how to create peace in your life.

If you happen to be a working mom, come join us in this free Facebook community.

Free Five Day “Mental Fitness” Challenge Group Starts Monday

In the month of January, a lot of attention is given to goals related to money and health, more than any other area. However, the ability to be successful in any area of our lives, begins with our thoughts.

I know this painfully well from personal experience. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 I set the EXACT SAME GOALS. I couldn’t seem to break through. Every new year I was kicking it off with renewed hope that THIS would be the year. And yet, I would hit roadblocks and disappointments and missed opportunities. I felt stuck and frustrated.

In the fall of 2016 I changed my input. When I set the goals in 2017, many of them were for the last time. I had so many breakthroughs. The beaver dam had finally busted open and things were flowing in the right direction again. I changed what was going into my mind, and I took ownership over my thoughts.

“You are what you are and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are and you change where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”- Zig Ziglar

For this reason, I want to help people kick off their new year right. 2020 was mentally HARD for everyone. There was just SO MUCH to take in. We can make the next 12 months so much more impactful if we decide NOW the stories we will tell ourselves in our minds. We have SO MUCH MORE control over our lives than we often realize.

I am launching a FREE challenge group. It will kick off Monday, January 11 and will only last for 5 days. Here is what you can expect for those 5 days:

–          A morning email with something to learn about your mind and perspective

–          An affirmation to use for the day to reiterate that idea

–          A Facebook group with other participants to share ideas, thoughts and tips (I will go live in the group a couple times to answer questions and share best practices)

–          A Zoom call everyone is invited to join to work through some limiting beliefs

Joining the group is simple, just click here to sign up.

Free Download: Coach Yourself in 10 Minutes

Hi Friends!

I completely revamped my digital download e-book to make it more user friendly and relevant for all of you. It’s available for download starting today!

In this free download you will find:

  • Goal planning template
  • Assessment to determine your best next steps
  • Top habit tips for all 7 spokes on the Wheel of Life

No use making this blog post any longer, to make the most of your 2021 planning, drop your email here to be sent the download:



Why I Said Bye to Hustle Culture


There was a season of my life I participated in hustle culture, mostly from my teen years through early twenties. I believed that burning the candle at both ends and running myself ragged would help me get to the top faster.

I specifically remember one speaker in college who greatly inspired me. He was a highly successful businessman who was the guest speaker at an event my last semester. There were two quotes he shared that day that I wrote down and internalized,

“You can sleep when you’re dead.”

And

“Do not put off for tomorrow what can be done today.”

My type-A personality loved the reinforcement to continue to pursue my workaholic behaviors.

Fast forward two years from that event and my body was crashing, my marriage wasn’t very healthy, I was regularly sick, I lived with constant brain fog and I was exhausted all the time, to the point of falling asleep in my desk at work. This was not working for me.

I later learned that sure, this man had accumulated a lot of wealth and had built one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, but his family suffered. His marriage ended in divorce and come to find out, he didn’t have a strong relationship with his kids until they were adults.

After my body crashed and I took my sabbatical, I started reframing the way I did everything.

The first thing I did was grab a couple mentors. I looked specifically for people who were in their sixties and had created a life that looked like what I wanted mine to resemble at that age: strong family, successful career, financial independence and a peaceful confidence.

It was fascinating to me what these two very different people had in common. Although they had never met, their habits highly resembled one another:

• Strong spiritual life
• Daily meditation practice
• Full night’s rest every night
• Prioritized healthy eating
• Always stayed hydrated
• Had strong boundaries around their time
• Valued philanthropy
• Read books constantly
• Insatiable hunger to learn

I started realizing that I had none of these habits, and I had to release my beliefs around hustle culture. I was “too busy” to slow down and make time for these habits.

Instead of believing I could sleep when I was dead, I spent months getting 9 hours of sleep a night until my body caught up. Now 7.5 is when my body naturally wakes up.

Instead of believing nothing could wait until tomorrow, I now believe that almost everything can wait, and I pick the most important priorities each day. I am deliberate at prioritizing each area of my life and giving it space on my calendar. What’s not on the calendar waits until its designated time. I have fully accepted that my to-do list will never, ever, ever get to zero.

I calendar time with my husband to binge-watch television. I set aside time with my kids to sit in the house with no plans and chill on the couch or chase them around in circles (quite literally, one of their favorite games is playing ‘catch me’ while we run around the kitchen island).

Less truly is more.

As we enter into the peak of the holiday season, I hope you are able to detach from any hanging to-do lists. I hope you give yourself permission to rest. I hope you freely allow things to wait until January to be done. I hope you enjoy the present moment, enjoy your families, and create space and time for restoration, whatever activities that word involves for you.

Grace and Peace my friends,

Sophia

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Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you happen to be a working mom, join our community on Facebook

The Two Most Important Concepts to Understand about Goal Setting

Since most of my readers have discovered this blog in the last few months, that means many of you weren’t around last year when I did a 30-day series where I blogged every single day with habit tips for the 7 spokes of the wheel of life. I thought today was appropriate to provide a recap of those posts and give you links to them in case there’s a certain area of your life you are looking to improve this coming year.

First off, let’s chat about what the 7 Spokes are and why they matter. The 7 spokes are personal (self-care), mental, physical, spiritual, family, career, and financial. If any one of these spokes are low, it will hold back all of the other areas. (Side note: If you want a free download of a Wheel of Life and directions on how to analyze for yourself where your strengths and areas of growth are, just download the free e-book Create Peace at the bottom of this page)

For many years I struggled with missing certain goals over and over again, and had this feeling like I was stuck. Finally, I was introduced to the Wheel of Life and realized that I couldn’t make headway because I had a flat tire. My negligence to get certain parts of my life in order was holding back the areas where I wanted to find more success. It’s all intertwined.

As I shared in the “Before you set your 2021 goals” post, a key component in goal setting is habits. True success occurs when we change something we do daily. Habits are the difference maker between creating sustainable life changes or just sprinting and reverting back.

So, what are the two most important concepts to understand about goal setting? Habits and the seven spokes. Creating healthy habits in each of your spokes and continuing to adjust them as your seasons and circumstances change will be some of the most important decisions you make.

In this series, I highlighted habits within each spoke to help inspire others to look at the habits in their own lives and reflect on areas of growth. My hope is that one or more of these posts may be helpful to you as your create your intentions for 2021.

December 2019 Daily Series Posts:

Day 1: Mental Spoke: Gratitude

Day 2: Physical Spoke: Sleep

Day 3: Spiritual Spoke: Meditation

Day 4: Financial Spoke: Using a Budgeting App

Day 5: Personal/Self-Care Spoke: Friendships

Day 6: Career Spoke: Knowing Your Strengths

Day 7: Family Spoke: Respecting Boundaries

Day 8: Mental Spoke: Podcasting

Day 9: Physical Spoke: Drink More Water

Day 10: Spiritual Spoke: Follow the Peace

Day 11: Financial Spoke: Debt is Not an Option

Day 12: Personal/Self-Care Spoke: Understanding Self-Love

Day 13: Career Spoke: Persistent Consistency

Day 14: Family Spoke: Philanthropy

Day 15: Bonus Spoke! (Philanthropy)

Day 16: Mental Spoke: Bathroom Quotes

Day 17: Physical Spoke: Eating Whole Foods

Day 18: Spiritual Spoke: Everything is Spiritual

Day 19: Personal/Self-Care: No News

Day 20: Career Spoke: Daily Big 3

Day 21: Financial Spoke: We’re Debt Free!

Day 22: Family Spoke: Dinner Table

Day 23: Mental Spoke: Mindfulness

Day 24: Physical Spoke: No Food Shaming

Day 25: Spiritual Spoke: Leaping

Day 26: Personal/Self-Care Spoke: Retreating

Day 27: All Spokes: Daily 10 Year Goals

Day 28: All Spokes: Minimalism

Day 29: Mental Spoke: Cell Phone Wall Paper

Day 30: Personal/Self-Care- Book Recommendations

How I Avoid Disappointment

We all know what it feels like to have the wind sucked out of us when disappointment takes over. It’s an awful feeling. I used to experience it much more often, until I learned a valuable lesson:

Setting expectations only leads to unnecessary disappointment.

In 2009, tears streamed down my cheeks the whole way home on a flight from Los Angeles to Tampa. While there, I had been offered the ideally perfect job for me, with the minimum salary we needed to survive, and I felt like everything I had worked 5 years toward creating was coming true. We filled out the paperwork for an apartment in Glendale and starting planning our new lives.

Then, I got the strangest phone call the night before I left. It all came crashing down. I would have to leave L.A. with no prospects, my tail between my legs and the reality that we would probably be staying exactly where we were…in the 470 sq ft studio in the same zip code where I grew up.

I was devastated. We both were.

My husband finished his L.A. internship and came back to our tiny studio. We didn’t know what else to do since it was the peak of the recession, so we started our own business. Fresh out of college. That business ended up providing an income that supported both of us and opened up doors to relationships that have changed the course of our lives.

We still ended up making all the things we wanted happen…just here. In my hometown. Not 2500 miles away. Now we both have careers we love, two kids, a home, and my family lives in the same neighborhood as us.

When I think back to how disappointed I was when the opportunity I thought I wanted didn’t work out, I realize that it was a gift.

Plan B became Plan A, and I am better off for it. How can we even see what gifts may be resting in Plan B if we are too busy being overwhelmed in grief from Plan A (that by the way…never happened, was never going to happen, and literally only existed as a figment in our imagination)?

Mindfulness teaches us to keep our thoughts and energy in the current moment. This is particularly challenging for me, but I’ve learned it’s the best path to my inner peace. When I feel the emotion of disappointment coming on, I pause. I ask myself if I am only feeling this because of an expectation I set in my own imagination, and if I am missing a gift that is right in front of me.

As we prepare for 2021, my encouragement for you is to hold the plans loosely. I believe setting goals and intentions are important. They give us something to strive toward. They help us rise into growth and self-improvement. However, we must be prepared for the curveballs that are inevitably coming.

And before I go, I know many of you probably feel disappointment the most from other people. I feel you. But it’s really not much different than what you expect from your future plans. We cannot control either people, nor plans. I try really hard to release people of crazy high expectations, especially the expectations to which I hold myself. I choose to observe people. I let their actions show me their personalities, their priorities, their insecurities, their fears, their past hurt, their strengths, their gifts, etc. When someone disappoints me, I just watch it and observe it. I allow the experience to teach me something I need to learn about myself.

In simple terms…I hold my expectations of people much like I do my plans…loosely and with gratitude.


Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you happen to be a working mom, join our community on Facebook

Before You Set Your 2021 Goals…Read This

Every December do you start thinking about the next year? I do. I am a lover of all things goals, vision boards and planning. This is prime time for me to start thinking about what I want from my life in the coming year.

After a decade of setting goals and making vision boards, I want to share with you what led to results and what kept me spinning in circles.

Here are the top 3 changes I made to my goal setting strategies that delivered great results.

1.     Don’t set goals. Solve problems. 

We have been taught over and over and over again that goals should be measurable, have deadlines and all these systems on how to set them properly. I did it for YEARS. And I missed a ton of the goals I set.

True change happened in my life when I focused less on the “goal” and more on the problem that needed to be solved. 

Most people are more motivated to solve a problem than meet a goal. So if there is something you want to achieve, rather than focusing on the finish line, focus on why the finish line even matters.

Since health goals tend to dominate New Year resolutions, let’s start with that example. Traditionally, the goals you hear about are number of pounds lost or a new pants size. And how many people give up by February? A lot.

Restructuring this goal for me looked like replacing the pound goal with solving the problem of why I was always so tired.

Just tackling the problem of needing more energy led to more sleep, drinking more water and replacing foods that made me tired with foods that fueled my body. By default, I lost weight.

Can you restructure a goal you were planning to set into a problem you need to solve?

2.     Focus on the habits

I highly recommend as you map out the problems you seek to solve, look for a habit that is connected to that area. True life change happens when we change something we do every day.

Instead of focusing on the large goal, focus on the daily habit that will lead to that success.

For example, we “dabbled” in the Dave Ramsey get-out-of-debt philosophy for six years and kept gaining, not losing debt. We simply could not deal with tracking cash. I know the cash envelopes work for other people, but we could never use them successfully. Three months into using the app EveryDollar we were making financial progress. It syncs with your checking account and any other accounts you want to link. Every transaction, you can drag and drop into a budget line item.

We set a daily goal that we would track our transactions in the app. This simple daily habit kept us tied closely to our budget and helped motivate us into wiser decisions. It inspired us to find ways to enhance our income. By a year in, we had eliminated a ton of financial stress. By three years in, we were debt free (minus the house).

The big goal wasn’t what got us the results, it was the daily habit of making tiny steps in the right direction.

3. An abundance of love and grace

I chose to include this one because my journey completely changed when I fully grasped grace. Goals involve growth. Growth is messy. It requires getting out of your comfort zone and being awkward.

I think one of the mistakes we often make is that we expect it to be easy to achieve our goals. The reality is…it’s most likely going to be two steps forward and one step back. A constant volley between encouragement and discouragement. When the discouragement hits, many people label it a failure and give up. Once you realize it’s just part of the process, you can keep going.

To keep going we have to shower ourselves in grace and love. We have to understand when we make mistakes, we are just human. We have to realize that done is better than perfect. We have to remind ourselves we are worthy, capable and strong.

I feel confident in saying you can accomplish anything you set your mind to achieving. My recommendation is to translate it into a problem to solve, focus on the daily habits that will get you there and to be filled with grace and love for yourself along the way.

2021 is coming. You got this.


Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you happen to be a working mom, join our community on Facebook

Some Encouragement for this Week

This is a difficult week for many people, so I want to speak to those challenges. I’ve heard many discuss pains such as:

  • Choosing not to gather in person for Thanksgiving because of the pandemic
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one who will not be present this year
  • Fear of having a political conversation with a loved one who has different views

I am sure there are many other challenges people are facing in addition to these very common situations…so how do we move forward?

The irony is…the answer is in the name. Thanksgiving.

Most of the time, the pains we face cannot be cured. There are no solutions. Gratitude allows us to redirect our attention to what we do have and what we can control.

Gratitude can come in so many forms. Gratitude you are still here. Gratitude for the friends and family you have. Gratitude for the breath in your lungs. Gratitude for the multitude of memories with your lost loved one. Gratitude you have food to serve.

There are books galore written on the power of gratitude. There is no shortage of scientific studies that show all of the benefits….from psychological well-being to emotional health, social health, and even spiritual and physical health.

The scriptures are covered in verses on thanksgiving and gratefulness, from the Old Testament to the New. Gratitude plays a major role in every major religion around the world.

What we focus our attention on grows.

So this week, if your pain begins to grow power over you, shift your attention. Find gratitude.

Since I am a Ziglar-certified coach, it seems appropriate to gather for you a handful of great quotes Ziglar had to say about gratitude. May you find encouragement in these words this week (see images).


Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you happen to be a working mom, join our community on Facebook

Announcing “Me Time.”

Community matters.

I’ve seen the positive impact it can make, and that’s why I am launching one for some of my readers.

Being part of a community provides a sense of connection, belonging, and inclusion. Some people find their communities with co-workers, sports groups, organizations, hobbies, or many other outlets.

In my conversations with my clients and readers, I have found a void that is not being met for many women, and I want to help.

Tonight I am announcing the launch of “Me Time—Working Moms who crave more balance and peace.” It will be a free Facebook group for women who are trying to balance a career and motherhood.  

I have heard over and over again how women who are simultaneously trying to balance the demands of motherhood, while also trying to build and grow a career, feel like they have lost themselves as a priority in their own lives.

I want to acknowledge that I know motherhood is hard. Career or no career, you battle exhaustion and overwhelm. What I have heard from women is that there are many online forums, blogs, IG accounts, etc for stay at home moms, but not enough for the specific challenges of a working mom.

Along those same lines, I know that not all my readers are moms. There are men. There are women who don’t have children and others who won’t resonate with this group. That’s a-okay. This particular group is not everyone’s cup of tea.

This group may be for you, or it may be for someone you know. Please send this link to someone who may benefit from the community we are creating.

If you resonate with ANY of these struggles, please join us:

Regularly feeling exhausted

Guilt of all the things you “should” be doing

Trying to balance “all the things”

Feeling overwhelmed

Living for everyone but yourself

Lack of time

If you wish to create any of this, please join us:

Living guilt-free

Feeling confident in the decisions you’re making

Mastering time-management

Living with intention and purpose

Having a support system

What to expect:

No cost- It’s free.

Encouragement

Community of people in similar season of life

Tips specific to working moms

Resources

No expectations from you-participate as little or as much as you want

If you are a working mom, I hope you choose to join us. If you’re not, please pass this along to someone who could benefit from this community.