Today on the EDBS blog we have a very special guest, Annie Fonte, creator of Lines In The Sand. Annie is one of those kick ass individuals who you can’t help but want to get to know better and befriend.
She has had a number of life experiences, hard times, insights, and quite a bit of self-development which lead her to creating Lines In The Sand. I don’t want to give too much away since Annie answered my questions below beautifully about self improvement and Lines In The Sand, so I won’t say too much here.
Make sure to read the entire interview! Annie has some amazing insights that you can start implementing today to help you become a happier, healthier, and more authentic individual. You may even want to bookmark this page….
Lines in the Sand Question & Answer
Q: What is something our readers can do today to increase their sense of self-worth and self-love?
A: First, we have to realize that self-worth comes from within. You won’t find it having a big house, a fancy car, a lot of money or a bunch of friends. These are external people, places, and things that may bring temporary satisfaction, but in the long run it is how you feel and think about yourself that matters most. Today I would like to share six powerful habits that will help you improve your self-worth and self-love.
1. Eliminate negative self-talk. Would you talk to your best friend or someone who you care about deeply the same way that you talk to yourself? Of course not. You must stop having unconstructive conversations with yourself. Instead start to recognize and appreciate all the things about yourself that you like. Write these things down, add to the list often, and revisit it frequently to remind yourself of your positive attributes.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others. This is probably one of the most destructive behaviors you can participate in. Your life is your journey so keep your focus on your journey, not anyone else’s. It doesn’t serve you in any way to think you need to measure up to anyone else. If you want someone to compare yourself to, compare yourself to your BEST self.
3. Surround yourself with masters. There is an old saying that “birds of feather flock together” and it has been proven that you are an average of the top five people you spend time with in your life. Make sure that you encircle yourself with people who honor, support, and respect you. Stick with the people who pull the magic out of you and not the madness.
4. Forgive and move on. Self-forgiveness is a first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself. Everyone messes up at some point in their life and the important thing is to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them and allow yourself to move on to a place joy and contentment.
It is equally important to forgive others. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you are denying another person’s responsibility for treating you badly and it certainly doesn’t mean that you are minimizing inappropriate acts or behaviors of others. Forgiveness helps you to make peace with yourself and others so that you can move on and create a life that you love.
5. Spend your time wisely. Put down your phone and pick up a pen. Instead of spending hours trolling through social media and texting friends, grab your pen and a notebook and start a gratitude journal. Write down all that you are thankful for in your life. Not only does this help you to stop “comparing” your life to the lives of those so called friends on Facebook, but you cannot be grateful and stressed at the same time.
Instead of texting, compose some meaningful handwritten notes to the special people in your life, place them in a hand addressed envelope, put a stamp on them and put them in the mail. Spend time reading inspiring books or articles and listening to podcasts. There are countless resources for motivation and encouragement contained on the pages of books and magazines.
Carve out between five minutes and one hour per day for quiet time and self-reflection. Use this time to set the tone for your day and to think about all the good and positive aspects in your life.
6. Get some exercise. Whether it is walking, lifting weights, Pilates, functional fitness classes or riding your bike, do something physical each day. There are piles of research that show that people who exercise, whether it is a mild, moderate or vigorous workout, have more pleasant feelings than those who don’t. The best path to self-love is self-care!
Q: How do we start our journey towards becoming our authentic self?
A: As simple as it might sound, it really is quite straightforward. Start showing up every single day as your real self. Not someone who you think others want, or need you to be and not someone you think you ought to be. Simply “be” yourself.
Being authentic and living an authentic life is a choice. It means wholeheartedly recognizing and accepting your worthiness. Yes, you matter and you are enough. And, no, you are not perfect. No one is…thank goodness! It is the scars, the cracks, the quirks and the chinks that make you so genuinely unique. And instead of celebrating these attributes as gifts that create your individual authenticity you often attempt to cover the scars, spackle the cracks, and hide the quirks and chinks making you into someone you are not.
The cracks let the light in and allow you to shine in a way that no other human being can. Once you truly embrace these mistakenly identified “imperfections” as the gems that make you a “one and only” part of the universe then you make the choice to “Be”come your authentic self and live your authentic life.
Q: What is the one think you know now that you wish you would have known 10 years ago?
A: That things will always work out for me. It has been my experience that in the past when I have found myself in the midst of heartache, a difficult business situation, or even losing my house to a fire that the emotions of the moment were so overwhelming that it was difficult for me to get to a place of comfort or clarity that everything would work out for me.
But in reality, regardless of the situations that I have found myself in, things did have a way of working out. Now, I am as human as the next gal, so trusting that things will always work out for me is certainly something that I have to remind myself of every now and then.
Q: What would you say to someone who is struggling to find happiness in their current situation?
A: First, it is my belief that happiness is not something to be found, but rather something we choose. A belief comes from thoughts that we keep on thinking. So if our thoughts as it relates to happiness are riddled with struggle and strife then we will experience struggle and discord in our life and happiness will be elusive.
In the Lines In The Sand class I talk about “upstream” and “downstream” thoughts, words and actions. How much sense does it make to walk to a rivers edge, put your boat in the water facing “upstream” and then getting in and ‘struggling’ to paddle against the current? It makes no sense at all, yet metaphorically we practice this behavior daily. I encourage us to all walk to the river’s edge, put our boats in the water facing “downstream”, getting in and using our paddles merely to guide us gently downstream, going with the flow. Choose happiness, not struggle.
Secondly, your happiness is your responsibility, period. It is not the responsibility of someone else to make you happy, just as it is not the responsibility of some material object to make you happy. Your happiness is on you, plain and simple.
Q: Why did you start Lines In The Sand?
A: Lines In The Sand was born out of my own need and desire to re-design my life. My home had burned to the ground, the fifteen year relationship that I was in was also going up in flames, and one of the companies that I was a co-founder of was involved in a very complicated lawsuit. And all of this was going on at the same time.
Building a house from the ground up was never on my list of things I wanted to do, regardless of the circumstances around a relationship coming to an end, there is deeply felt heartbreak, and complex lawsuits are no fun, I don’t care how you slice it. After going through 24 months of construction, decision making, untangling a relationship and settling a lawsuit, I moved into my new home with an arm load of clothes, a few personal items, an air mattress and my dog, Porkchop.
No furniture, no TV, no artwork, nothing. The house had no flooring because of a challenge I had with the vendor so I blew up my air mattress, put the sheets on it, sat on the edge of it which was only 12 inches off the concrete floor and I leaned over and put my elbows on my knees and said right out loud, “Annie, you must get your shit together.”
I lived in my empty house for a year, adding only the bare essentials until I sorted out the flooring situation. I decided to simply be with the loss and heartache. As humanly challenging as it was, I elected to accept all that each moment brought to me as if I had chosen it for myself. I was still; often. I went on walks; many. I lived moment to moment and realized that being happy and healed and safe was all a matter of choice. As the days, weeks, and months passed I learned a lot about myself, about others, and about life and love.
Along the way (thousands of magazine pages, a bunch of books, a seminar here and there, the support of friends and family and absolute determination) I created Lines In The Sand: A 10 Step Invitation to Be Your Authentic Self. I created because I want to help others live an authentic life…a life that is extraordinary…a life worth living…a life that they love.
Q: What is Lines In The Sand?
A: Lines In The Sand is a 10 Step, self-paced program that will lead you through the process that will help you to clarify exactly how you want to live your life. This course is about living, loving, and being with your whole heart. It will teach you how to look for freedom in everything.
Lines In The Sand is about creating and living an authentic life filled with joy. The Lines are designed to take you through a process of soul work which includes reading, reflecting, answering a bunch of great questions, and bringing clarity to your life. Each Line includes a creative project that will awaken the inventive and artistic part of you and throughout the course you will build a Life Book where you can capture things that make you happy like quotes, photos, articles, magazine clippings and anything else that inspires you.
This course shows you how to stop being busy and start being you. It helps you to realize that living a life that you want is a choice and that it isn’t nearly as difficult as we like to make it. This is an adventure of self-discovery that will ultimately lead to wholehearted living. You will be the artist of creating a life that you love.
Q: How does Lines In The Sand help women become who they are truly meant to be?
A: It provides them a safe place to start to take control of their lives and guides them to making choices which will lead to them creating a life that they love. This is a process of self-inquiry and self-reflection that frees them to discover, affirm and prioritize their values and then use these values to guide them in making sound decisions that make living an authentic life possible. These ladies will learn to identify and eliminate their perceived life limitations and uncover their own powerful motivators to active their life’s true purpose.
Q: What self-improvements can we hope to make by the end of the course?
A: You will be witness to your own beautiful transformation. You will become a freer, happier, softer, forgiving, brave person. You will let go of the things in your life that don’t matter and you will enhance all the things that do matter. You will start to choose love over fear, and most importantly you will become gentler with yourself and find your true essence.
We live in a fast paced, chaotic world with information at our finger tips 7/24. I don’t think humans are built to handle the speed, chaos, distraction and noise of the world. We don’t develop the resources and the skills that we need to manage all of this overwhelm. Many of us are so busy building empires that we don’t take the time to build our own self-esteem or have any self-compassion. We are focused on having the next best thing instead of becoming our next best self. We want bigger and better stuff instead of a bigger and better heart. In this course you will learn how to create a life that you love.
Q: Is there an ideal age for Lines In The Sand participants?
A: This course is appropriate for participants who are age 21 and older. Whether you are a guy or a gal you can benefit from this course. It doesn’t matter what stage of your life you are in, this course is designed to assist you in evolving to your best self. One of my goals is to create a course for children. I believe that the sooner that humans are exposed to this type of content and information the better equipped they will be to go through life with more joy and contentment.
Q: Is there a specific start date for Lines In The Sand?
A: The great thing about the course is that you can start anytime. Registration is open year round and you have access to the course 7/24. As a participant in the course, you will be invited to be a member of a private Facebook page where you will have access to additional live Lines In The Sand coaching as well as the opportunity to ask me questions and interact with other members.
Become your authentic self today
Interested in working with Annie to find true happiness within yourself, create the life you’ve been looking for, and to become your true self? Well look no further! Annie is offering 70% off her course to EDBS readers. That’s amazing, right??
To get 70% off your Lines In The Sand course go here and enter code WARRIOR during checkout.
If you’d like to learn more about Annie and Lines In The Sand, you can check out Annie’s website here.
What advice are you going to start using today to becoming your authentic self?
Photo credits: Annie Fonte