Success for a Hot Mess

Ever called yourself a hot mess? Let me guess - you’ve walked into a room and forgotten why you’re there. You’ve locked your keys in your car more times than you can count. You’ve experienced that panicked feeling when you ask yourself, “Did I unplug the iron?!” And whenever you need that one, specific thing, it’s nowhere to be found. You’re sure you saw it somewhere...on the counter...or maybe in the laundry room...or was it in the back of the dresser drawer….?

Total honesty: scenarios like these (and worse) have plagued me for my entire life. I’ve been an hour from home and on my way to the airport and realized I left my wallet on the counter. In high school, I once called my mom, absolutely freaking out that my car wouldn’t start and I was going to be late for dance class. She drove to the school and found me sitting in THE WRONG CAR - yes, someone else’s car that happened to be the same model as mine - trying to start it with my car keys. I’ve gone to the gym before work and forgotten all of my clothes for the day. I’ve prepared a full day’s worth of meals to take with me, then left it all on the kitchen table to go bad. I am not exaggerating when I say the stories are countless, and many of them have had much more dire consequences than the ones I’ve shared.

With all of these screw-ups has come an overwhelming amount of self-loathing and self-deprecation. “Why am I like this?” “How could I let this happen?” “What is wrong with me, that I could forget something like this?” I spent many years in a cycle of negative self-talk, beating myself up over it, and apologizing to my loved ones for “who I am” - forgetful, scatterbrained, a cause of inconvenience. It’s been a confusing and conflicting character flaw to work through, because on the flip side, I am also a high achiever. When I start to get comfortable with someone new, and I open up about the "hot mess" side of myself, they’re usually surprised. “Really?? It just seems like you have it all together!” Fooled ya! I have always worked extremely hard and spread myself thin to achieve what I want in life. I pride myself in settings goals and succeeding in tackling them. I’ve held leadership positions since childhood, and have a passion for guiding others toward their own dreams. So how could I feel this deep, innate desire for success, but still fall short in my day to day life through all of these stupid mistakes?

Some very specific mindset shifts have saved me from spiraling into despair over my shortcomings. In reflecting on the last five years or so, I’ve realized that even though I’ve spent my fair share of time berating myself over my flaws, I’ve also consistently come back to focusing on my strengths. As I made the transition into adulthood, I started to tune into my inner voice - what I now know to be my muse. I found that when I allowed that voice to spew negative, self-deprecating talk, it exacerbated the consequences of my slip-ups and forgetfulness. That negative voice would cause more frantic energy, more anxiety, more anger, and ultimately, it would result in me making another mistake; all of my focus would be on how much I had already messed up, instead of how to move forward in the present moment. So throughout my own journey to know and shape my muse, I found some concrete ways to conquer my biggest flaws. I hope these tools can help you too, hot mess musa.

1. Acknowledge and accept your shortcomings, then stop apologizing for them.

Yes, the power of the mind is immeasurable, and it is possible to train yourself to function on a different frequency than what might be in your makeup or your habits. BUT - many of our seemingly “negative” characteristics also bring color, flair, and spice to our personalities. I might be forgetful and spacey sometimes, but that part of me is also why I am great at letting go, living it up, relaxing, and feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’m not worried about sticking to a rigid plan 100% of the time. This can get me into trouble sometimes, but there is no need to squash this part of my personality. Instead, it’s important that we acknowledge and accept that we are imperfect, that we will make mistakes, and that we shouldn’t constantly be apologizing for who we are. A few years back, I challenged myself to reduce my use of the words “I’m sorry” to only those situations that truly merited an apology. Instead, if I made a mistake, I redirected my energy to providing a solution. For example, if I was running behind on a project, I would say something like, “Thank you for being patient with me on this. Here’s how I’m going to fix it…” Admitting that you’re not perfect, but showing up and rising above those imperfections will train you to see beyond your own flaws. You’ll discover that you have way more power over them than you ever believed before. And you’ll be ready to implement the next two tips!

2. Visualize yourself functioning at your peak level of performance, even in the most mundane activities. 

Take a quick scroll through our Instagram page and you’ll see, we believe in the power of visualization. We’ve lived it, we’ve coached it, and we’ve seen the results firsthand. Many people are intimidated by the idea of this practice - they too-often associate it with meditation, making the assumption that in order to visualize, you have to hole up in a quiet, calm room, eliminate all distraction, and achieve a transcendent state of peace and clarity. Sure, that’s part of traditional meditation, but visualization is entirely different. Visualization is using your mind’s eye to see yourself living out a specific scenario, which prepares you to live it in your reality. I use visualization every single day, even in the most mundane scenarios, to help me stay focused and on top of my responsibilities. While I’m getting ready in the morning, I think about what I have going on in the day to come. I walk myself through the hours, seeing myself accomplishing all of the things that go into my day, from important meetings to simple tasks on my to-do list. Once my day is rolling, my mind goes a mile a minute and in a million different directions at once, so it’s way too easy to forget about a little task that can throw off my whole day if it doesn’t get done. Visualizing myself living with positivity and productivity helps me turn that into my reality. Full disclosure? I still forget things from time to time. In those scenarios, I go back to tip #1! And of course, I could go on for hours about using visualization for the bigger “stuff of life”. Right now I’m using it to prepare for delivering my first baby. I have no fear and no delusions about childbirth. I’m ready - I’m ready to feel NOT ready when I arrive at the hospital, I’m ready for my entire vision to change, I’m ready to feel scared at times, but I’m also ready to overcome these situations if they happen. I credit this to my visualization practice. I’ve already seen myself owning childbirth. All I have to do now is bring that vision to life. You can do this with any big event in life.

3. Put systems in place to prop you up in the areas where your flaws threaten to pull you down.

Here’s where I come down off of the “U-RAH-RAH, LOVE WHO YOU ARE!” pedestal and get real with you about those darn "Type B", hot mess flaws. If you want to be a high achiever, you’re going to have to work for it. You can’t forget things, miss deadlines, show up late, procrastinate on the daily, and expect to achieve the success you desire in your soul. Some of these things might be a part of you and bring that color and spice to your life that I mentioned before, but you have goals that are bigger than your comfort zone - so get ready to leave it. You owe it to yourself to be unchained from the restrictions and consequences of that flaw. Tap into your alter-ego and ask yourself, “What would someone completely different than me do?” Then pick a sliver of that, and implement it in your daily life. Pick something that’s attainable and works with the flow of your personality. A great example from my own life is home organization. Back in the day, I was a mess. Queen of Clutter. A “tornado”, as my mother would call me. I’m sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it in adult life. It jams up creative flow, induces stress when you can’t find what you need, causes you to forget or lose more of the things you’ve worked hard to obtain, and pushes you into that place of negative self-talk. So I have implemented systems in my home that I don’t compromise. I know I’m not a Type A, hyper-organized person. Solutions for someone like that would not be sustainable for me, so I didn’t go over the top with color-coded closets or elaborate drawer organizers. I simply defined specific spaces for specific storage and uses, and I stick to it. Certain cabinets are only meant for certain things. I have specific bins for hair, makeup, cleaning supplies, etc. They’re not beautiful, Pinterest-worthy hacks. They’re just simple, functional strategies that get the job done and keep me from throwing my whatever, wherever. 

All in all, there are two beautiful things I want to see all of our musas achieve. One, accept and love who you are and give yourself credit for how far you’ve come. Two, take ownership over your opportunities to grow and never let your flaws hold you back from truly living your muse, your truth, your highest expression of self. You’re flawed, but you’re also colorful and spicy! Don’t compromise who you are to fit into a mold that someone else created, but understand that doing the work to shift your mindset and habits will bring you greater peace, more creative flow, and ultimately, the success of your wildest dreams. See who you’re mean to be and become her!

Shannon Pike
Founder & COO, Moderna Muse

  Checking out, letting go, and embracing my spice in Marfa, Texas!

Checking out, letting go, and embracing my spice in Marfa, Texas!

Namaste, Musas.

Namaste - “the divine in me honors the divine in you.”  In our most peaceful, authentic and conscious state, we can recognize the divine spirit in others. This is only observable when you yourself are in tune with your own divinity. Like recognizes like. In this state you can transcend your thoughts, life pursuits and overall being by observing others within a similar realm. The cohesive spirits, creative thought, inspiration and support can dance together to create new ideas that were not accessible prior to this new exposure.  It’s the same phenomena that creates great companies like Google, Amazon, Lululemon and Nike.  These companies are founded upon a vision and common principles in which like-minded individuals dance in a creative space to create a product that the consumer never could have imagined.  When like-minds mold together, the inspiration creates the unthinkable and propels them forward individually as well.  This is the ultimate expression of “namaste”.

Recently, I was in New Mexico on an influencer trip.  Conversation Piece Marketing & PR brought 10 of us together on behalf of New Mexico Tourism to explore Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos.  You never really know what the dynamics of an experience like this will be until you are in the thick of it.  You hope for the best, yet often expect the worse, especially when it comes to traveling.  Travel often brings out the worst in people.  Some people just aren’t that good at dealing with uncertainty, curve balls, or inconveniences that naturally come along with the territory.  On this trip though, I was pleasantly surprised.  Ten women who pretty much did not know each other got along pretty well.  And I must say that there was a good bit of differentiation between the group of women - difference in age, career pursuits, culture, regionalism and stages of life.  Technically, the odds of us all gelling were completely against us.  But the fact that all of these women are living their muse - their truth - created a common thread that overshadowed any potential for riffs among us.  

I personally find this significant and a major lesson in what we preach at Moderna Muse.  Living your muse is the answer in life for so many reasons.  1) By living your muse, you attract other musas who are doing the same, in turn elevating your creativity, inspiration and productivity 2) By living your muse, you enjoy life and connection more, because musas show up as elevated individuals who don’t sweat the small stuff and 3) By living your muse, you become more in tune with the synchronistic energy that is created once you are around other musas.  If you are going to live your muse and remain in a state of living your muse, these factors are essential and worth seeking out.

Attracting other musas to elevate your creativity, inspiration and productivity can really push your business as a musa forward.  A musa stands for something.  She’s a brand in her own right, whether big or small.  When she is around other musas, they can see her vision.  They do not tear her down out of their own insecurities and fear of comparison.  Instead, they listen and find common links.  They share their own experiences and offer up connections and advice as it fits.  They are not focused on their own opinions, but rather on allowing each other the freedom to explore and take their own unique paths.  When you experience this as a musa, it’s like witnessing healthy love.  There is balance between attachment and separation.  Everyone has their moments to shine.  You have full support when you need it and complete freedom when you want it.  Your ideas, purpose and desires are respected as your truth.  There is full faith that your truth will lead you to your purpose and there is no reason to judge what that is, because that other musa knows exactly what it means to be aligned with your truth.  She knows that there is no getting in the way of you and your truth.  Whether it’s a little crazy or not, it only matters that it’s your truth.  This environment allows you freedom and permission to live your muse fully.  It’s like being in a musa village where everyone speaks the same language.  That support, reassurance and exposure opens your own creativity towards the things you need to implement into your life in order to grow.  The simple fact that you are around creativity inspires you to remain in a creative space as well.  And when you combine both creativity and inspiration, your productivity skyrockets as a byproduct of being in flow state.  

Living your muse results in a more enjoyable life in general. You don’t experience the typical pettiness or selfishness that many stereotypes about women will tell you are inevitable in settings like this.  If you are living your muse, you simply do not have time for the BS.  You and your fellow musas have done the work to grow beyond the limits of negativity.  You understand that negativity and fear do not move you forward in life, so, what is the point of engaging in such behaviors?  This allows for a light, positive, motivating environment to flourish.  Even challenges and inconveniences are viewed as a necessary part of each experience.  But reacting dramatically does not solve the problem.  Exposure to these lessons is an invitation to rise above and live more fluidly.

Lastly, living your muse - and doing life with others that live the same way - makes you aware and sensitive to elevated energy. This energy is not seen. It is only experienced.  And once you experience it, it is hard to tolerate low levels of frequency. This elevated energy field is powerful, and undeniable. The energy and creativity you feel within yourself can be powerful alone, but when you combine that energy with others at the same frequency, a spiritual creativity awakens.  If you were to start a business or a movement, this is the energy you want. It is powerful, impactful, life-altering, and bonding in nature. It magnifies your previous abilities and capacity.  So essentially, you rise into a new state of being. You know it when you feel it and its inspiration remains as a continuation of your push forward.

Find your fellow musas who are walking along a similar path. You will be propelled forward on so many levels. Drop the fear, negativity and overall doubt. Your village awaits.

Rashanna Moss
Founder & CEO, Moderna Muse

  Earrings by Deepa Gurnani

Earrings by Deepa Gurnani

Selfishly Single

Let’s admit it.  There’s a lot of selfishness that comes with being single.  Your world is about you.  You aren’t preoccupied with kids and a partner. “Selfish” has a negative connotation, but in the single world, you can turn your selfish time into a very positive thing.  I want to explore your single years and how to take advantage of this selfish time.

If you are single and over the age of 35, “are you dating anyone?” is a question that tends to penetrate most of your social conversations.  That question is like nails on a chalkboard even though the inquiring party is innocent and likely coming from a caring place.  Sitting there and explaining your dating life gets real old, real quick.  Once you answer the question, it somehow spontaneously develops into you receiving dating advice that you didn’t ask for.  Secondly, the advice you are receiving sometimes does not align with who you are.  You probably don’t see most marriages as the type of relationship you want.  You would rather be single than engage in relationships that are status quo.  On the contrary, it hurts.  It’s not easy to go home alone, night after night and deal with the mind F*** of your own thoughts.  I personally think that this silence and period of time to deal with self is painful, but a blessing.  It is also your gateway to changing the nature of relationships and putting an end to the destructive relationship patterns that we as a society have come to allow.

Last year, I allowed the pain of being single to penetrate my life more than I am proud of.  I listened to other people way too much.  I allowed their opinions and advice to become my internal dialogue.  As a result, I felt less than, as if not being in a relationship made me less valuable of a woman.  I’m shaking my head as I write this, because that is a crazy thought!  It negates everything that I have accomplished and become in life, but that is what the mind F*** of being single can do.  After a while, I got tired of being obsessed by it.  I realized that the advice I was getting was not translating into dating success.  And even more importantly, I realized that I would never want to model myself after the majority of relationships that I was observing.  When I took a true inventory, there were only a few marriages that represented a co-committed relationship that I was looking for.  The rest were filled with deception, volatility, disrespect, addictions, and control.  Yes, all relationships have issues and no relationship is perfect, but how much are we challenging growth and co-commitment, versus settling in order to feel secure and avoid loneliness?  

This was my turning point.  I’ve been married before, and I understand the magnitude of what it means to have that bond.  Everything that your partner is and isn’t affects you.  Good marriages, even the few that I identified as possible models, have ups and downs.  The difference in these marriages versus others, came down to authenticity, truth and doing the work.  The manner in which these couples ended up together wasn’t pretty.  It involved other divorces, kids, career challenges and personal challenges that broke them open to be their true selves.  Not that these specific challenges  are required to become your authentic self, but as humans, we tend to delay this level of growth until life smacks us in the face.  I think we often praise the seemingly perfect relationships where man meets woman, man marries woman, man and woman have kids and post happy pics of life on Facebook.  Meanwhile, behind closed doors…it’s ”big little lies”.  I am not making this next statement to offend anyone who is married and in this situation, but I’m stating it so that other singles can appreciate the now.

Once you get married and especially once you have kids, the life you knew as yours is somewhat out the window.  You now have other people to consider in all of your life decisions.  And with that could come some regrets, unfulfilled dreams and desired alone time.  Marriage and kids also comes with immense joy and happiness.  But your unboundless single life is truly gone.  You only have this selfish alone time temporarily.  It takes just one look, one conversation, or one meeting to change your life forever.  When we are single, we can really take that for granted.  We don’t value our single selfishness as an opportunity to explore, grow, become amazing people and do the work that it takes to attract other co-committed individuals.  We go out, swipe left and right like maniacs, and ghost the most recent dating interest once we figure out that they aren’t the one.  So no offense, but what the heck do you expect once you get married?  If you are acting like that as a single person, what do you think you’re going to get once you get married?  Marriage surely doesn’t make those characteristics go away.  Moreover, marriage is guaranteed to be challenging at some point.  So if you show up as inauthentic, deceptive and unevolved, that will 100% become part of your marriage and what you expose your partner to.

The point is, you have a choice.  While you are single and selfish, I hope that you are encouraged to become the best self that you can possibly become.  I hope that you learn self-love, so that you can in turn love others in the manner that they deserve to be loved.  I hope you learn how to have uncomfortable conversations and how to speak your microscopic truth.  I hope you learn that you are human and imperfect and there is no fault in that.  I hope you learn how to communicate and reveal your imperfections so that you can experience vulnerable moments with your partner.  And more than anything, I hope you learn to love yourself to the point that settling never becomes an option.  Not in the pursuit of perfection, but in the pursuit of a co-committed relationship that is honest and equal to your greatness.  May you live your muse and attract your equal muse.

Rashanna Moss
CEO & Executive Visionary
Moderna Muse

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