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I’ve been on quite an affirmation kick over the past week or so. I think it’s because I’ve truly had so much going on, and have had to depend on the power of a healthy mind now more than ever to stay focused, optimistic, and filled with energy.

I wanted to share my personal affirmations I use each morning to get up with a sense of gratitude, inner-peace, and serious ambition. I created these myself, and they work. My suggestion is waking up, making a cup of coffee, lighting a candle, and sitting down to spend at least 5-10 minutes with these. Really give yourself a few dedicated minutes to feel these words as you repeat them. You can read them quietly, or say them out loud. There’s no wrong way to do it! Enjoy!

– Today I wake up filled with gratitude and light

– I am so excited about what this day will bring and all the opportunities I am about to create

– I begin my day with clarity, confidence, and faith

– I feel healthy, sexy, strong, and beautiful in my body

– I get to choose the woman I want to be today

– I feel grounded and centered today

– Today I get to give love and spread positivity to those around me. I get to make people’s lives a little better

– I always make the best decisions and I trust my gut because that bitch knows what’s up!

– I am always guided and I know that what is for me will not pass me

– Today is about to be the best day of my life!

That last one came from a woman in her 90’s that I saw in the Advanced Style documentary. I just live for older, wiser women that know how do life!

I hope you ladies have a powerful, magical, kick-ass day. Please feel free to use these affirmations or even better – create your own!

And remember: Your mind is your best asset. Use her wisely! <3

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Whenever someone finds out that I’ve written and self-published six personal development books, I typically hear an “OMG!” Followed by, “How did you do that?” Aside from a heaping plate of divine inspiration, I can tell you that it takes a lot of hustle and even more heart to see a book to completion.

I often get asked questions about my writing process, so I thought I’d highlight some of my biggest tips for getting inspired when it comes to writing. I believe every woman has a book inside of her and a story to tell. It just takes the perfect storm of inspiration, confidence, and magic to bring it out of her.

Now that I have landed a book deal with Portfolio Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House), I feel even more inclined to share my writing process and tips with aspiring authors to show them that writing really can become a full-time career, and you can absolutely be a successful author. Portfolio has re-relased an updated version of my bestselling book Girl Code, and I’m working on a new book called Like She Owns The Place due out next summer. Exciting stuff!

My books are all about living your best life. They’re about things like vulnerability, self-worth, and self-expression. I write to inspire, but most importantly, to empower women to believe that they can live a life beyond their wildest dreams – and that they can do it all while preserving their inner-peace and expanding their happiness.

So, here we go! My writing process, in detail:

THE BIG IDEA. I write non-fiction. My ideas for my writing generally come from my own life experiences. I live my life with a “teaching lens;” a way of viewing every day and every situation as an opportunity to learn, and then tell a story around it. As a certified master life coach, this has become a way of life for me. I love inspiring my readers and clients to live their lives in the same fashion. I don’t believe in successes or failures, or good or bad days. I believe that every single thing we experience during our time here on this planet is meant to shape us into the woman we’re meant to be. And if we pay close attention, and do the work, we can evolve into our best selves, and live out our biggest and boldest fantasies. This is where my content comes from. This is how I get inspired.

THE WRITING PROCESS. Typically when an idea for a book hits me, I immediately begin scanning my mind for recent experiences that feel relevant to the concept. I also open my mind up to be aware of future circumstances that may apply as well. For example, maybe I’m writing about fear. I’ll think about times in my own life where I had to dig deep to battle my own fears or anxieties, or think back to a time where I helped another woman overcome hers. I will also give myself “assignments” to garner experience. Maybe I’ll step outside of my comfort zone and try a dance class or a new workout class, and then carefully observe how I felt during it. Did this challenge my fear of looking silly? Did this stretch me to do something I wouldn’t normally do? I will document how I felt before and after the experience. Again, viewing every situation with a teaching lens. My end goal is to tell a story, and to inspire.

Once I have my content, I begin my outline. Think of an outline as the “bones” of your book. You’re basically choosing a theme for each chapter. If the idea of a chapter sounds incredibly daunting, think of each one as an expanded blog post. A rule of thumb: you’re going to want to get down around 3,000-5,000 words per chapter if you’re planning to write a standard non-fiction 40-60,000 word book. Of course, you can make your chapters shorter, or longer. But that is what I use to break it down for myself and it really helps.

I try to set a writing schedule and block out any other distractions. I usually put my phone in another room, and close out of all internet browsers. It’s so easy to get sidetracked by answering text messages or checking Facebook. Make sure your MS Word doc (that’s what I write in), or whatever writing app you’re using is the only thing open on your computer. Of course, sometimes I’ll keep a tab open if I need to research something or use a thesaurus, but I stay off social media while I’m writing.

MY WRITING DAY ESSENTIALS. I love writing at home in my apartment in New York City. There are a few things that are essential for me when getting set up to write. The first thing I do is queue up some moody music. I love artists like Stan Getz, so I’ll curate a Pandora station that fits that vibe. I have a few playlists like this one on Spotify that always get me in the zone. Incense is always burning and there are a million candles lit. My space needs to be clean, and clutter-free. I fire up my aromatherapy diffuser and diffuse eucalyptus oil, which invigorates and stimulates the brain. I text those closest to me to let them know that I won’t be answering my phone, so if they need me, now is the time before I dive into my words. When you treat your writing like a job, others will follow suit.

FINAL THOUGHTS. The most important tip I’ll leave you with is this: have fun! Writing is my absolute favorite thing to do. Giving yourself the space and time to be creative is a gift, so treat it as such. Take the pressure off, and do your personal best. Your work can only improve and get better as time goes on, but you’ve got to start somewhere. So start now!

For a more in-depth look at my self-publishing journey, that has now led me to a double book deal with Penguin Random House, check out episode 25 of my top-rated podcast, Style Your Mind, on iTunes. Listen here.

Find all my books here.

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I discovered the power of mantras and affirmations when I first read The Secret about eight years ago. As a word lover, I was so excited to learn how to choose words with intention to literally design my life. Ever since, I have created mantras for myself almost daily to remind me that I am in control of how I want to feel, and I am in control the way I want to live my life. It sounds simple, but we really do choose our thoughts, which ultimately shape the direction of our lives.

Although my mantra practice is something I have been doing for years, the truth it, life creeps in and I’m only human. I get stressed out just like everyone else, my feelings get hurt, and I am sometimes overwhelmed with negative thoughts or emotions. However, rather than feeling like I’m failing at living my best life, I view those situations as opportunities to grow and teach. I now ask myself, how quickly can I flip this and turn it into a positive? How can I become self-aware and choose the lens to view this situation in a healthy light? How can I operate as my higher self?

Reminding myself that I am no longer available for people, thoughts, or situations that do not support my best self has been empowering to say the least. For example, if a person is creating a negative impact in my life by making me feel unimportant, overlooked, or unloved, I simply remove the power from their hands. I remind myself that I am choosing to let that person make me feel this way. Don’t get me wrong – this takes practice. And it doesn’t always come naturally. But eventually, if you remain conscious to your thoughts, it becomes much easier, and almost a little fun. Take your power back, baby! It’s addicting. Trust me.

I encourage you to create a mantra for yourself that declares what you are no longer available for. What is draining you? What is depleting your energy? What no longer feels good? Create your own, or use mine. You’ll be surprised at how powerful your words are once you say them out loud or write them down.

And if you want to take this a step further, be sure to grab my workbook, Style Your Mind. It’s packed with exercises and questions that will help you design your thoughts and build a beautiful life. Grab it here.

With love and mantras,

Cara

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Hi guys! I just wanted to quickly pop in here to let you know that the new version of Girl Code will be officially released on Tuesday! AHHH! 🙂 And it’s your last chance to pre-order the book and get your exclusive gift pack. Here’s the deal:

In case you haven’t heard, the new version of Girl Code is being re-released by Portfolio Books (a division of Penguin Random House…the same imprint that published #Girlboss and Seth Godin’s books. HELLO!). It features two brand new never-before-seen interviews from my ultimate girl crush: legendary singer Shirley Manson of the band Garbage, and groundbreaking entrepreneur and PR extraordinaire, Gwen Wunderlich. I also wrote a brand new introduction that chronicles the past two years and how Girl Code has grown into what it is now.

The book will be out this Tuesday July 4, but you can pre-order your copy here through Monday.

I realize you may feel like, Cara! I have this book already, why would I buy it again just for a few new interviews? Here’s why: my amazing team at Portfolio has created a pre-order incentive campaign, where you will get a special gift package including custom Girl Code mantra cards and temporary tattoos (that match my real ones!) when you pre-order the book between now and this coming Monday, July 3. And when you buy yourself the new version, I thought it would be so cool if you gifted your old version to a woman you love. You can even write her a little inspirational note in the front of the book for her! Make sure you go here to enter your information to claim your gifts as soon as you pre-order. Note: if you don’t enter your information through that link, we won’t be able to send you the gifts.

And if your friends have already read Girl Code, why not leave it in a women’s restroom or in a common space at your office and let someone find a copy with a special note inside? Last summer during my book tour, I’d leave extra copies on the airplane and hoped that a woman who needed it would find it. I just love the idea of a #PayItForward initiative so I thought this would be really special.

Check out a sneak peek of what the temporary tattoos look like. They match my real ones! I mean, how cute!?

 

 

That last one says “She is not afraid of anything,” in French, and I got it after I took myself to Paris alone. I have it on my left forearm and it’s my favorite tattoo.

Plus, you’ll get a little collection of these really beautiful pink, gold, and black “mantra cards” that feature my favorite quotes from the book. They’re postcard sized so you can use them as bookmarks, pin them to your happiness board, or keep them near your desk for inspiration!

We really wanted to make these little goodies as a special THANK YOU for all your ongoing support on this journey, and of course for pre-ordering the book. You ladies really do mean so much to me, so I hope you know that.

A few things to note: this is only available to U.S. readers (I’m sorry! I truly wish we could accommodate international orders!) And please be sure to read all the official rules here when entering your information.

If you have already pre-ordered but haven’t signed up for your gifts, click here to do it!

Thank you ladies so much for being such a huge source of love, positivity, and inspiration to me! I can’t wait to hear what you think of the new version!

XOXO

Cara

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