What Would Happen if You Said No More Often?

Last year, I said yes to everything. That event? Yes. That meeting? Yes. That class? Yes. That gig? Yes. Guess how I ended up? Burnt out. 

This year, I've been saying no more often. That event? No. That meeting? No. That class? No. That gig? No. Guess how I'm ending up? Energized inside. 

In last week's post on self-love, I briefly mention that saying no can be our form of loving ourselves. It's very true, and I'm proof. Saying no has liberated and rejuvenated my passions, relationships, and ultimately, my lifestyle. 

Why don't we say "no" more often? I believe one of the major reasons is the cycle of "what if." We think of imaginary possibilities and consequences of saying no.  

How about you? Do you get stuck in the "what if" cycle? Let's talk about what would happen if you said no more often. 

 Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

You'd have more time to say yes to your passions. If you had more time in your schedule, you can fit in the things you love. Whether it's painting, swimming, writing, or fencing, you'd be able to put it in your calendar. It's up to you to make the time for your passion. 

Last year, I said yes to many things that weren't my passions. I fit time in for relationships that weren't building me up and activities that weren't adding to me. Thus, I didn't have time to do the things I loved, including blogging (hence, why I took a break). 

In saying no this year, I've found I have more time to blog and dedicate to Self Soul Sport™. I dedicate Thursday evenings to Self Soul Sport™ podcasting and Sunday mornings to Shanna Tyler LLC, blogging. There are no activities that will come my way during these times, and I simply say no. 

When we are firm in our schedules and calendars in what we will make time for, we have more time to say yes to our passions. It is easier to say no once we are steadfast in that decision to say yes to passion. 

You'd set necessary boundaries in personal relationships. If you're not setting boundaries, you're not likely to be satisfied in your relationships. Saying no will eventually need to show up in either personal or professional relationships. It's up to you to say it. 

As a naturally giving person, it's hard for me to say no. I have a hard time saying no at my job, for the blog, and in friendships. I want to give my schedule, knowledge, and expertise to be helpful. But last year, I learned I needed to set boundaries with a packed calendar and exhausted mind. 

This year, the word no has been showing up in staying late or taking on more responsibility with my boss. The word no has been showing up in taking free products/samples from brand reps. The word no has been showing up in going to a workout class or networking event with friends. It has been necessary to set these boundaries. 

In order to protect our energies, we need to set boundaries in relationships. Saying no is the most efficient way to do so. We can follow our scheduled passions and enlightened instinct to do so. 

You'd listen to your inner voice that is guiding you. Ultimately, you know when to say no and when to say yes. There are just emotions and feels that get in the way (like guilt, shame, fear, etc.). Saying no can mean listening to your instinct, gut, center, or whatever word resonates with you. 

I used to say yes all the time when I had a feeling I should say no. Last year was no different. I committed to say many events and activities that I felt my inner voice telling me to say no to. Once I did them, I felt resentful and out of control of time. 

This year, I've chosen to listen to that inner voice that tells me to say no. I've said no to opportunities that many would gasp at. I've said no to many events that many would dream of. I've said no to many products that don't align with me. It's all because I'm now guided by that inner voice. 

Once we decide to listen to our inner voice, we live more balanced and fulfilled lifestyles. We say yes to our passions and set boundaries in relationships. We fill our calendars with what is meant for us, not what we feel pressured to. 

So what would happen if you said no more often? What if? What if you decided to say no to something today? 

For me, saying no has led to a lifestyle that I'm more excited to lead. Saying no has led to me saying yes to my passions. Saying no has led me to being more firm in my instinct. 

I don't have all the answers and I certainly am still saying no to things in my life. But let me tell you, this year has been the year of no. And it's both terrifying and exciting! I wish you the best in saying no!


3 Reasons It's Okay to Be Selfish in Your Self-Love

Selfish is the new selfless. That's my new mantra for this year and one I shared at last night's Self Soul Sport™: "Self Soul Sport Feels the Self-Love" event. 

Today's #sundaysoulday post is going to be real short and to the point. After the event, I'd love to share what we uncovered with each lady's sharing about self-love. 

 Photo taken by Diana  Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana  Davis Creative

  1. Self-love looks different for every single person. Everybody's idea of self-love is different. It can look like staying inside and reading a book or it can look like going outside and sweating it out. No matter what our self-love looks like, it is our own and looks different than any others. 
  2. Self-love means saying no at times. At yesterday's event, saying the word "no" came up many times. In order to love ourselves, sometimes we will need to bow out of our plans and rearrange our calendars. Our self-love can mean that we have to say no to others and it can be labeled "selfish." But it is actually very important we say no. 
  3. Self-love is necessary so we can give back to others. If we don't fill our own cups, we cannot fill up others. We cannot pour from an empty cup, and we cannot give what we don't have. If we want to give to others, we need to be able to engage in our own self-love. Hence, selfish is the new selfless. 

If you're thinking it's wrong to engage in self-love or if you're selfish for doing so, I'd love to encourage you to think of these three reasons why it's okay. 

It's okay to not have the same definition of self-love to others or the same self-care practices. It's okay to say no to others in the interest of loving yourself. Most importantly, we need to give to ourselves in order to give back to others. 

Want more on this? I'm planning a Coffee Chat this Wednesday on Self Soul Sport™ podcast to get really real and touch upon self-love and much more! 

Also, heads up - the website will be under construction this week. There's some exciting changes going down and the Shanna Tyler site is going to reflect them. Stay tuned ya'll! 


Which Person Are You: A Dreamer or A Doer?

Dreaming is not doing. I'm learning this in 2018. It's now February, and I've finally started on a few of my dreams, including hosting a podcast and returning to yoga instruction. 

But I still have some dreams that scare the crap out of me and I know some of you can relate. So what did I do? I talked to amazing women in my life, including Leslie McDonald, a Certified Health Coach and amazing friend. 

Leslie recommended I read the book Get Your Shit Together by Sarah Knight and now I have to recommend all of you to read it. It has changed my life, and I'm certain it will change yours.  

Between tackling my dreams and reading books like Get Your Shit Together, I'm thinking a lot about the differences between a dreamer and a doer. In my reflection, this is what I've found.

 Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

A dreamer has a vision and doesn't make it happen. Either excuses or emotions will get in the way of a dreamer. A dreamer will keep their vision in the mental and not manifest in the physical. 

I remember when I had the idea to start my own podcast. It was around January 2017. I envisioned a platform where women shared their real stories and spoke on topics that we needed to be authentic about. I also dreamed of another medium along with my blog to share my intimate stories. 

This dream lasted for months until I finally created it in December 2017. Before then, I came up with every excuse in the book. I told myself I didn’t have enough Instagram followers, podcast topics, and interview leads. My excuses kept me from creating the podcast.

Excuses paired with emotions are kyroptines for a dreamer, but not for a doer. 

A doer pairs action with vision and makes it happen regardless. Excuses or emotions don’t get in the way of a doer. A doer will manifest their vision into the physical with actions. 

Publishing the podcast took pushing past the excuses. At the end of 2017, I was faced with two choices: bring that dream into 2018 or manifest it at the end of 2017.

I became a doer the moment I published The Self Soul Sport™ Podcast in December 2017. My very first solo episode "Coffee Chat: Who is Shanna?" has now ramped up over 110 listens. I’ve gotten messages from family members, close friends, and Instagram ladies, who all resonated with my intimate story. I’ve also already interviewed three amazing ladies and there’s more to come.

What makes someone a doer is that they continue despite the sneaky emotions and excuses that try to arise. 

A dreamer runs away when the vision gets tough and doesn’t go as expected. A dreamer is not steadfast when the going gets tough. When the road is not exactly as imagined, a dreamer will cower. 

I received my yoga teaching certification on December 2016. I quit yoga teaching in July 2017. Why? Being a yoga teacher wasn’t what I expected.

My attendance in classes fluctuated. I taught in many different studios. I had to be flexible with time slots. My classes ranged from Brooklyn to New York. I usually had to make changes to planned sequences for customization to my student attendance.

Being a yoga teacher wasn’t the cake walk I thought it would be, so I quit. I was a dreamer then, and dreamers run away when the vision doesn’t go as expected. 

A doer embraces when the vision gets tough and makes it work when it doesn’t go as planned. A doer makes it happen despite the challenges that come up. When the road is not easy, a doer will continue forward. 

After quitting yoga instruction in July 2017 and no longer teaching my passion, I became insecure. I developed a serious fear of getting back into teaching because it just didn’t go as expected. I auditioned for gigs and talked myself out of them. 

It’s now February 2018, and I’ve begun actively searching for a space and committing to getting myself back on a weekly teaching schedule. 

I am a doer now, and doers keep going even when it’s not all perfect. The vision I have for my eventual yoga teaching career is worth it. 

Are you a dreamer or a doer? I’ve been asking myself this question, and I’m posing it to you. It’s one thing to have a vision, and a whole other thing to pair it with action. 

A dreamer has a wonderful vision, can talk about it, and can dream about it all day long. They’ll even try it out for a little and when the going gets tough, they’ll quit. 

A doer has a wonderful vision, can talk about, and be about it all day long. They’ll try it, run with it, and stick with it when the going gets tough. 

I’ve shared my stories with yoga instruction and hosting a podcast to share that I am learning how to be a doer. I am learning how to make my dreams happen. I haven’t tackled them all nor am I telling you to. 

What I am encouraging you to do this week is look at the dreams in your life and the person you are. Which person are you?  


P.S. If you need a little extra push. Again, this is an awesome book!! 

Me as a Black Woman in the Yoga and Wellness Industries

What do you think of when it’s February? Some think of Valentine’s Day. Some think of the Super Bowl. Some think of Black History Month. Some think of them all. 

Me? I'm thinking of Black History Month. As a black woman, I’ve felt closer than ever to my ethnicity and identity. I’ve also been more cognizant of them both in spaces where I’m usually the minority. 

 Photo by Diana Davis Creative

Photo by Diana Davis Creative

Lately I find myself very reflective on inclusivity and diversity. As the first Sunday Soulday of February, I’d like to discuss being a black woman in industries I’m closely tied to: yoga and wellness. 

This past week, I posted on Instagram about my experience at SELF's Race and Wellness Panel. Each panel member was a professional and woman of color navigating their own industries, from fitness to medical to nutrition. It made me reflect on my own experiences with yoga and wellness. 

I often feel excluded in representation within the yoga and wellness industries. Overall, yoga as a lifestyle has become synonymous with a white, affluent woman. Wellness as a lifestyle has also become popular for a smoothie, Whole Foods universe. Neither of those I am nor resonate with. 

When I first started my yoga journey around eight years ago, I felt like I wasn’t included. My economic status was not so affluent and my wellness was not so popular. At the time, what I could afford was a yoga app on my cellphone and a bag of premade salad from my local grocery store.

Today, I still find it hard to find inclusion but have recently found other ways around that lack. 

I gravitate toward black-centric tags, black Instagram accounts, and black-owned publications. When I first started yoga eight years ago, I struggled to find women who looked like me. Either in publications, billboards, or commercials, most of the marketing of yoga and wellness was geared toward white women and a specific culture of eating. 

Once I became active on Instagram a few years ago, I discovered a few tags like #blackgirlyoga and #colorsofohm. I loved looking at these tags where I could see and engage with my fellow black girls flowing on their mat. I also loved reading the captions to discover their journey in yoga, along with versatile options to wellness.

It was the same for when I became a vegetarian around five years ago. Most of the options that I was sold were smoothies and salads. 

Again Instagram allowed me to scour #wellness and finding the occasional soul food recipe with a healthy twist or a post about balancing wellness in a way that wasn't limiting to my love of Jamaican cuisine and the occasional McDonald's run. 

Eventually, I was also led to black influencers in the yoga and wellness industries from these tags. A few of them being Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Latham ThomasKoya Webb, and Alex Elle. Then I also found peers who were just like me navigating wellness and yoga, who I could directly message (DM) about inclusivity. 

I remember screaming Hallelujah when I stumbled upon Black Girl in Om, founded by Lauren Ash. If you haven't heard of Black Girl in Om, it's a publication, podcast, and community that "promotes holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color." This community made me feel at home and validate my identity. I got to see beautiful brown women living their life well and woke. 

It also led me to realize that I also need to support places that are getting it right too. I got to see Lauren, the founder, be featured in many places and I began to notice that there is further movement. 

I support larger brands and corporations that are not black-owned or black-centric, but that make efforts to being inclusive. As a current Athleta brand ambassador, I must say that I love the brand for its inclusivity. If it wasn't, there was no way I would be affiliated with them. Outdoor Voices is another brand that has been growing on me lately. 

On the publication side, Yoga Journal has featured many black girls on their magazine covers, and it continuously makes me giddy. SELF has also been one of my favorites for months because they just get it! Mindbodygreen is another publication that I'm happy to support as they expand on inclusion and diversity. 

That said, not everyone is in the wave. So what do I do? 

I refuse to spend money or spread support in brands and corporations that are not inclusive. Investing money and spreading word-of-mouth to places that don't include me is not an option for me.

There are many yoga brands that I refuse to buy my yoga wear with, including Alo Yoga and Spiritual Gangster. When browsing their social media and shop websites, one must scour their site for one woman of color. I challenge you to look at both of their marketing materials and report back.

I will keep Alo Yoga and Spiritual Gangster as the examples for now, in efforts to not deter from the main intent of this post. My intent is to highlight my experience as a black woman and my recognition that more work still needs to be done in these spaces. This is not to slam or bring further attention brands that lack inclusivity. 

All of that aside, if I’m not being included, no brand, corporation, or publication will be funded by my wallet or promoted on my feed. But I aspire to do more on a larger scale. 

I aim to start advocating for more inclusion in the yoga and wellness industries by showing up, speaking on it, and doing something about it. Being a yoga teacher, I aspire to teach classes that are financially and physically accessible to black women. Being a community founder, I aspire to hold open and safe spaces for all cultures, including black women. Being a "microinfluencer" I aspire to highlight experiences that are had by black women in the yoga and wellness industries. 

Ultimately, I want you all to see my color. It exists and it is here. I'm a black woman who is a yoga practitioner, yoga teacher, and wellness blogger. I would love you all to recognize that my identity as a black woman is often not included, promoted nor marketed.  

This February, let's think of Black History Month, even if we usually don't. Then brainstorm how we can be an advocate of inclusivity and diversity in our current industries. Trust, I'm still working on it myself. 


Why You and I Need to Stop Striving for the Perfect Body

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” - Amy Bloom

As I write today's blog post, I just finished a vanilla chocolate chip scone at Dean & Deluca. There was a point in time I would've chastised myself for this treat and regretted it. I still am fighting a feeling of guilt after finishing it. 

I'm fighting the thoughts I used to have of the ways a simple treat will turn up in my body. Will it go straight to be lower belly pouch? Will it go straight to my thick thighs? These questions are a direct product of striving for the perfect body. 

Do you ask yourself the same questions? Just like you, I’m victim to these thoughts that my body the way it is isn’t good enough. 

In further reflection on my own experiences and observations, I’d love to share my own story of body positivity and what led to me stop striving for the perfect body. 

 A photo I would've never requested but taken by the fabulous Diana Davis Creative 

A photo I would've never requested but taken by the fabulous Diana Davis Creative 

The journey to a perfect body is harmful. The means to getting to the perfect body in our minds is bound to be harmful. Why? Once we start with the harmful thought that a perfect body is attainable, it manifests itself into the physical. 

I used to suffer with anorexia in high school. In my freshman year of high school, it started with saying thighs were too thick, then my ass was too round, then my stomach was too large, then my arms were too big, and then my entire body was too fat.

Once I let those thoughts go deeper into the crevices of my mind, I began skipping dessert, then skipping breakfast, then skipping lunch, then skipping dinner. Soon enough, I barely ate the recommended calories for a growing young woman and picked at my food only eating two or three bites at most.

And guess what? My body still wasn’t perfect in my standards. It came to the point where I found myself in the school counselor’s couch and needed treatment for this journey toward a perfect body.

There is no such thing as a perfect body. This is a hard truth that must be said. A perfect body just doesn’t exist. Perfection means having absolutely no flaws, and there is no such thing in this world. 

After I received therapy from my school counselor and support from friends/family, I was not exactly “cured.” I still suffered with the belief of needing a perfect body that followed me into college. I didn’t have an eating disorder but I began looking at working out as a way to get a perfect body.

In high school and college, I used yoga/Pilates videos to give me a flat stomach and Cardio/runs to keep me at a desirable lean figure. I used fitness as a way to punish myself after I felt I indulged too much. But something happened. 

 A photo of the imperfectly beautiful booty - Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative 

A photo of the imperfectly beautiful booty - Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative 

I’m not sure when, but one day in college, my perspective changed. I didn’t know what perfection was or if it was a real thing. I started viewing many women as beautiful in all shapes and sizes. I then even began looking in the mirror and seeing beauty. 

An imperfect body is what makes us beautiful. Being unique is beautiful and flaws make us unique. Our tiger stripes, our love handles, our face freckles, etc. make us who are we today. 

It’s almost six years after college, and I’m not 100% there with my body, but I do know that I am starting to love it. I’m starting to look at it for the beauty it is. I no longer am anorexic nor do I move my body as a way of punishment. 

I view fitness and yoga as a celebration. I celebrate because I have a body to move. I celebrate because I have air to breathe. I celebrate because I am who I am. I celebrate because I am imperfect. I celebrate because I am beautiful. 

You and I both need to stop striving for perfection with our bodies. Today, let’s make a pledge to ourselves. On this Sunday Soulday, let’s promise ourselves that we will stop striving for perfection, because our bodies are imperfectly beautiful. 

Hell, that’s what beauty is. It’s imperfect, and each one of us imperfectly beautiful. 


Do You Have the Courage to Share Your Story?

How about it? Do you have the courage to share your story? I definitely didn't have the courage for a long time.

This past Friday, I released this intimate episode about my story on the Self Soul Sport™ podcast. For years, I didn't have the courage to share my story about depression, suicide, and hospitalization. As a result, I felt crippled by my past.

My story began to haunt me in every area of my life, including my relationships and jobs. The past followed me because I didn't fully address it in the present. Do you feel the same? Do you feel heavy when thinking about your story? I'll let you in on a secret. 

 Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo Taken by Diana Davis Creative

When I began embracing my truth and sharing my past, I began to be set free. I started with sharing my story with family, friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Then I started sharing my story in interviews, events, workshops, posts, and now on podcasts! 

Most importantly, I realized in sharing my own story that other people were inspired and encouraged to do the same. 

How did I cultivate that courage? I'll share the questions I asked myself in my journey. In turn, it can hopefully hope you cultivate the courage too! 

What is holding you back from sharing your story? Fear, shame, and guilt are a few of the emotions that can hold you back from sharing your story. You can be afraid of what others might think of you. You can be ashamed of the story of your past. You can feel guilty about choices you've made. I know these feelings all too well. 

In 2014, I experienced a major depressive episode that took me to the hospital and seeking inpatient facility care. For a long time afterward, I was haunted with the same feelings of fear, shame, and guilt that kept me from living my life to the fullest.

Holding back my story hindered my relationships, both with romantic partners and best friends. It also hindered my ability to find my true calling in a career. But when I started sharing my story with others, I began to feel lighter. I no longer held a deep dark secret, and at the same time, I noticed I was helping to fight stigma. 

In order to fight the stigma surrounding mental health, I had to open up about about my experience. This blog post from the National Alliance of Mental Illness highlights ways to fight against mental health stigma. The very first way happens to be talking openly about your own journey. In sharing mine, I noticed more and more people opening their eyes about mental health. 

How can your story help fight against a stigma? Maybe your narrative isn't based on mental health, maybe it's on an eating disorder, abusive relationship, or physical disability. Your story is bound to help fight against a stigma. 

When I started sharing my story and fighting the stigma against mental health, people started to thank me. They thanked me for telling the truth about how depression felt. They thanked me for relating to their own personal story. They thanked me for having the courage to speak up about suicidal ideation. 

I didn't realize it at first but my story was helping to fight against a stigma. A stigma that keeps about 80% of people suffering with mental health issues suffer from depression to not speak about or seek treatment (Project Helping). 

With my sharing my story, I'm in the minority of 20% of people who are speaking up about mental health and seeking treatment every day. I see my therapist weekly and my psychiatrist monthly. I tell everyone who wants to talk about mental health that I've been through it. I continue the conversation and encourage the 80% to do the same! 

At the end of the day, who will benefit from hearing your story? Your story can help many people, including yourself.  No matter how small or how big or small, your story matters.

Sharing your story doesn't have to look like how I've shared mine. Maybe sharing your story is enough in a confidential setting like therapy. Maybe sharing your story is enough in a familial setting like home. Maybe sharing your story is enough in a communal setting like work.  

No matter where you share your story or who you share your story with, the benefit is yours too. You'll be able to overcome any feelings and negative self-talk. You'll be able to strengthen relationships and build confidence at work. The benefits it has for you are endless. 

Are you ready to share your story? I'm ready but that doesn't mean you are. It doesn't have to happen today or tomorrow or even at all. The beauty of sharing your story is that it's up to you when you do so. But if you're lacking the courage, I hope this post helps you realize you're not alone. 

I still get goosebumps sharing my story. It took me a year and a half to share mine. It took me longer than usual to write today's blog post. But what keeps me sharing is all of you. I received so much feedback on sharing my own story. 

Below are two Instagram messages that I received from sharing some of my story on the first Coffee Chat of the Self Soul Sport™ podcast. 

"Hi Shanna, I just finished listening to your podcast. Omg, you said some things that I can relate too especially about feeling depressed through the majority of your life. Although I have never been clinically diagnosed. I know it's imperative for me to make positive changes in my life in order to exist in this  world. Can't wait to hear more of your journey. I feel like I know you personally. Keep up the good work. Peace and Blessings." 

"Hey Shanna!! I just listened to your podcast! I've been following you for a few months now and I just want to say that I think you're very inspiring! I love how raw you are in you're podcast, and I think you'll really have an impact on people's lives. I got to your Instagram page when I feel a little lost and need some grounding and a snap back into reality and get out of negative self talk. I believe in you ton!! Keep it up :)" 

If you feel compelled to share your story, you can do so by commenting below under anonymous or you can add your name! Today, I hope you know your story matters. The courage will come someday and at the right time. Talk to you next Sunday!


How I Made Fitness Fit into My Life and You Can Too

It's winter. It's frigid, windy, and straight up disrespectful outside. The most common activities in this season are naps and cuddles. This is also the time being motivated to go the workout classes, hit those dumbbells, or even do an at-home workout can be really tough.  

I know this all too well. I started my fitness journey during a very cold winter. It was January 2015 when I decided that I needed a change. I was at the weakest, unhappiest, and heaviest version of myself. That's when I knew it was time to commit to a fitness routine. 

Today, in 2018, I still stick to staying fit. How did I do it? I made fitness fit into my life, and you can too! 

 Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

I stopped making excuses on why not to start to my fitness journey. Excuses are enemies to any sort of behavior change. They appear right when you are making a decision to join a gym. They surface the moment when you choose to buy that class package. It's up to you to push past the noise. 

In 2015, I resisted the excuses when it came to purchasing a membership to my local CKO kicking gym.. Many thoughts creeped into my mind about how much it cost, how I would fit it into my schedule, the list goes on. But I decided to stop making the excuses and just doing it. 

The first day I walked into that gym, my life changed. I began to fall in love with fitness, not just for the physical but for the emotional and mental benefits. Each burpee was a challenge, and each punch was a relief. That first step of pushing past any excuses began my fitness journey. 

I started planning fitness into my daily routine like an appointment. Once fighting any excuse and making a commitment, you need a plan. A plan means no procrastination, which is definitely one of the hardest parts of sticking to fitness.  There's always tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. 

I've stayed on my fitness journey this long all because I started scheduling fitness into my life. Whether it is squeezing in a morning workout when I had evening plans or waking up early on a Sunday morning for a SoulCycle class, I planned to make it happen. My goal was 5x a week so I wrote it into my planner and added it into my iPhone calendar, just like I would a doctor's appointment.  

Once I planned ahead of time, there was no excuse. Once I paid ahead of time, there was absolutely no excuse. I began scheduling time with family and friends around my fitness routine, which was hard but necessary. 

I reached out to people who were just as committed to fitness than me. Whenever it starts getting difficult to stay on track by yourself, you can remember that you aren't alone. The beautiful part about fitness is the community it brings. There are many other people striving, just like you, and why not reach out to them?

In my fitness journey, I started to feel alone. I started to dread cancelling time with the people I enjoy spending time with. That's when I realized I could actually make time for both! I used to see people going to the gym together and scheduling working out like a date. I decided to do that myself. I messaged fitness accounts on Instagram to see if they wanted to take a class with me and walked up to people who I thought would be great workout partners in the gym. 

Now, to this day, I rely on people I've met at my gym, in SoulCycle, and through Instagram to encourage me, inspire me, and challenge me. I've always preferred someone who was more committed than me because they always can teach me something. 

I committed to an account where I practice what I preach. At the end of the day, it's all up to you and your commitment. Whatever motivates you to stay on track will work. You know yourself best. What will get you there? 

For me, it was creating a fitness Instagram account. I loved seeing what other women were doing with their accounts, whether it is posting how they felt about a class or motivating others to get moving too. That's how @shannatyler_ was born. I literally decided to put all of my journeys out there. 

Almost two years later, I'm a registered 200hr yoga teacher, an endorphin-filled SoulCycle addict, and a self-proclaimed BBG girl. And I truly believe it's because of my dedication to my Instagram account. I noticed what I loved, proclaimed it online, and committed to it in real life. Another big part of it was that I always had and still have a community that keeps me strong. 

I started believing if I can do it, well, you can too. You can do this. You can take the plunge into starting your fitness journey or recommitting to your fitness routine. You can add new workout classes if you feel stagnant, or you can make new workout friends if you feel lonely. 

Despite every single step here, I couldn't have done it without believing I could. I visualized I could get to the level that I wanted to reach. I manifested my relationships I have today in the fitness world. I planned my way into dedicating myself to fitness, and I committed to an account that I love to inspire others on! 

I believe the same for you. Whatever you want to do, you can do it. If you need encouragement, this is for you! Has anything been holding you back? Has anything been resonating with you throughout today's blog? Comment below and let's talk about it. I'm here and we're all here for each other! 


Build a 2018 You Can Be Proud Of

It's Sunday Soulday 

As I write this blog post, I am sipping on my favorite coffee and listening to my favorite song of 2017 (No Complaints - Metro Boomin). I'm also reflecting on 2017 and how quickly this last day of the year came. 

I've been proud of many things and not proud at others. One of my biggest regrets of 2017 is not being consistent on this blog. I couldn't get with a groove and niche and idea and day and time and (insert another excuse). Moving forward, I've learned a lesson just to do it. Today is the first Sunday Soulday of the blog. 

That said, building upon lessons is a goal of mine each year. This year is no different, and I'd love to share the ways that I go about building years that I am proud of. As I prepare for 2018, I do these top three things to ensure that I am going into the year with the right tools and mindsets. 

 Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Photo taken by Diana Davis Creative

Write that ish down where you see it. There's something about writing goals down. There's something about writing lessons down. There's something about writing emotions down. There's just something about writing in general that makes it more concrete for us. 

In 2017, I began writing my goals down on strips of paper where I could see them every day. I dispersed them throughout my room - my desk, my dresser, my mirror, everywhere. 

I wrote down that I would reach a livable salary and I got a job offer in a few months. I wrote down that I was going to move out of my parent's house before the end of 2017, and I moved out in November. I wrote down that I would follow through with the Self Soul Sport™ community, and I just hosted December's event last night. 

Let's write down what we want to build this year. And if you're still not convinced, Forbes has this amazing article that proves exactly why you should be writing down your goals. Believe me, ya'll! 

Ditch empty thoughts and relationships. Let's be honest, we hold on to things that we don't need. Each year, we can ditch something. Whether it's some negative self-talk or negative influence, we need to leave at least one thing behind. What is yours? 

Mine? Firstly, I'm leaving behind the perfectionist crap. Perfectionism can hold us back from just following through and making a goal happen. So I'm leaving that behind by writing on this blog today and working on the Self Soul Sport™ podcast

Secondly, I'm leaving behind the deadweight "situationship" I've held on to for two years. We all have that person in our life that we always gravitate back to, even though we know they aren't any good. I've had mine and I'm finally leaving that person behind finally. Mic drop. 

So how about you? I know you have something to ditch, just like me. Meditate on it and I dare yah to write down that you're leaving it behind in 2017. It's not allowed in 2018! 

Celebrate all the ups and learn from the downs. Going into a new year can bring so many emotions: regret, excitement, nostalgia, and joy are few. Living a year is a lot like hosting a party! Let's dissect that for a moment. 

Sometimes, the drinks are flowing and the conversations are banging. Sometimes, the mouths are vomiting and the arguments are rising. Sometimes, the jams are dance-worthy and the folks are vibing. Sometimes, the tunes are cringe-worthy and the folks are hating. Parties have their ups and downs, just like life. 

This year, I had my share of ups and downs. I cried and I laughed. I smiled and I frowned. But I choose to celebrate and learn. Celebrating for me means getting really intoxicated tonight. Learning for me means organizing with my new Passion Planner today.

One of my biggest celebrations is being employed at a job that I love and don't see myself leaving any time soon. One of my biggest lessons is extending myself so much that I barely had time to enjoy myself. 

That said, what are you celebrating and learning from? You know the drill, write that ish down! :) 

Get the tools ready and build your new year! These are some useful tools to building a 2018 that you can be proud of. I do them each year with each year getting bigger and better. Let's write down our goals, ditch what's empty, celebrate all the wins, and learn from all the losses. 

Happy New Year and Build it! 


The Best Ways to Live an Awesome Life as a Twenty-Something in a Big City

As a twenty-something based in the New York Metro Area, I am definitely learning a few things about how to make the most of life. It can be both terrifying and exhilarating to lead a life knowing you are a small fish in a big pond. 

There are times I feel confident and insecure. There are times I feel strong and weak. There are times I feel excited and terrified. What's kept me going are these ways to lead an awesome life that I've personally kept in mind. So let's get to what they are! 


Be unapologetic about who you are and what you represent. To me, this is the most important. There are so many opportunities to do the opposite. We can dull down who we are, but at the core, we still are that person. It's up to us to live in our truth. 

This is not easy for me, by any means. Being twenty-six, I can get tempted to not be who I am. Out of fear of judgment, I will either not mention something I love or not fully embody my personality in front of others. But those are just temptations, because then I go through a cycle of "what if" questions. 

What if I was truly myself? What if I had no problem saying all that I do professionally? What if I had no problem mentioning I am a practicing Christian? What if I said I'm still living with my parents? 

We are not in charge of how other people think of us or what opinions they make. So we might as well let others form an opinion when we are being our true selves. We also might as well be proud that we are always 100% honest and true in representing who we are. That's just an awesome feeling in itself! 

Stay in your lane and never compare your journey to anyone else's. In any big city, competition is real. In New York City, competition is the realest. Don't get me wrong, competition can be good, it can be healthy and necessary for us to need that extra push in the right direction. However, let's not confuse competition and comparison. 

Comparison is when we decide that someone else has something better than us. We tend to envy it and want it for ourselves. We will look at that accomplishment like we should have had it, whether it's a win, promotion, collaboration, gig, you name it. 

I used to do this all the time. I used to critique what other people had and say that I was more deserving. In a big city, this is an easy trap to fall into. But I've learned something. I needed to stay in my own damn lane. My journey is different than everyone else's, thus, my wins will look different than everyone else's.

We all have unique talents and abilities that should be celebrated. We can be a little competitive and admire someone else. But the slippery road of comparison will keep us from really moving forward. To lead an awesome life as a twenty-something, we want to move forward instead of trying to move toward what other people have. 

Learn to say no, in a nice way and with a smile; setting boundaries is important. No is an important word to adopt into our vocabulary. I notice as twenty-somethings, we are somehow allergic to it! We want to say yes to everything to make other people happy, when we know in our guts that it is not the right timing or thing for us.

I recently had to say no to an amazing opportunity. If you would have told me months ago that this opportunity would arise, I wouldn't have believed you. This was something that was my dream and would be any New Yorker's dream in my yoga industry. But I said no. Why? Because it wasn't the right time. I had to set boundaries with my own self in what was realistic and not realistic in my schedule. 

At times, we are going to have to say no. It is going to happen one way or the other. What matters is how we say no. We can be fake and use an excuse, or we can let people know the real deal. There's nothing wrong with saying I'm super busy with so many projects or admitting that you have to spend time with your family. 

You know what? People tend to respect when we are honest with saying no. It is so rare to see others setting boundaries with themselves. How awesome is it to be an example of that at the same time as honoring ourselves! 

Last but not least, the right people will gravitate toward you with right attitude and at the right time. We are badass, kickass, and a big ass deal. We are dynamite just by being ourselves. It's simply because there is no one else like us. With an attitude of confidence, we gravitate our people. 

When I first came into this blog and Instagram journey, I was intimidated. I had a hard time thinking that anyone would care about what the heck I had to say. But I continued anyway. Today, I have built lasting friendships and amazing opportunities that could have only come from being who I am, Shanna Tyler. 

I stopped worrying about the timing of everything. I stopped worrying about other people and whether they would like me. Because the right people would come at the right time. You are my people, yes you! I'm so happy you are, too! This life is that much more awesome in being surrounded by the right people who are on your team. 

Living life as a twenty-something in a big city is rough, at times. These are the years we are still figuring out what life is all about. We are getting new jobs, quitting old ones, meeting new partners, dumping old ones, embracing our bodies, and hating our lumps. Ah! So much happening. 

But what is real are these best ways to live. Setting boundaries is necessary. Staying in our lane is non-negotiable. Representing who we really are is key. And knowing that the right people will come into our life at the right time is straight truth. Now these ways are still all tested by me and worked on by me as a twenty-something. I'm not the queen of them, but certainly here to share them! 

What are your best ways to live an awesome life as a twenty-something, especially in a big city?  Either as a former twenty-something or a current one, feel free to leave any ways to make this whole life thing even better! 


Why You Need to Take a Damn Break... and Not Say Sorry About It

Ya'll, it's been so long! Intentionally, I took a break from blogging. Yup, yah girl needed a break. Better yet, I am not even going to say sorry for it. 

We have so much to catch up on and so much time to do it! First things first, let's talk all about taking breaks and why they are so important. 

 Photo Taken By  Diana Davis Creative

Photo Taken By Diana Davis Creative

Every one of us needs time for ourselves. Every single one of us can use some time to get ourselves together. We all can use minutes, days, weeks, and months where we can regroup, refresh, and reset. This summer was that for me. 

At the end of June, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I decided to stop it. I stopped going to the gym six times a week. I stopped blogging on the site every Sunday. I stopped dedicating time to jobs and projects that did not serve me.

When I decided to stop these commitments is when I decided to say yes to myself. The time I spent doing those things, I spent rededicating to my yoga practice, recommitting myself to my religion, and reconnecting with my people. 

There is no need to say sorry for needing a break. We are human beings; we are not machines. We need to energize ourselves and we cannot do it by not allowing ourselves to take breaks. Saying sorry about it means that we think there is something wrong about needing a break. 

I was raised by my parents to be a go-getter. I was raised by my parents to not let being a minority, in many ways, keep me from striving for more. I was raised by my parents to keep fighting the good fight, tired or not. 

I am thankful to them for this mentality, but as I get older, I am realizing that this is just unrealistic. The past few months, I started to feel guilty that I couldn't juggle a million things and be on point in every facet of my life. I began saying sorry to people and organizations, until I realized. I don't need to.

We gotta speak more about saying sorry. According to my friend Google, apology is a regretful acknowledgement of an offense or failure. Who the heck are we offending by saying yes to ourselves? How the heck are we failing when we decide to take a break? If anything, we should be grateful that we are allowing ourselves to take a break to be able to give more fully to others. 

I've certainly talked about apologies before in this post from October, but I find it is so relevant in this topic of taking breaks. Feeling any kind of guilt for saying no or pulling back from commitments is so unnecessary. We do not need to. Will we still initially feel it? Yes, but that does not mean we need to accept it. 

I needed a damn break this summer, and I'm not sorry about it. I gained a little weight from not going to the gym and sticking to my BBG program. I neglected updating this website and blogging every Sunday. I quit my old job and started working for an amazing tech startup. 

There is no way I am going to say sorry for any of those things. What do I need to apologize for? My break was not offensive or a failure. It was necessary and a win. I said yes to myself. In doing so, I am back here talking with you guys again. I am rejuvenated and ready to teach yoga again (stay tuned). But most importantly, I feel like myself. 

How about you? What are some things that you need to let go of? What are some commitments that you can take a break from? And remember, no need to say sorry for any of it! 


The Top Five Reasons to Start Your Own Instagram Community if You Have Been Wanting To

Call me bias, but the Instagram experience is amazing! I have reached the year anniversary of my Instagram journey and building of #selfsoulsport, as well as have met amazing people along the way. 

I remember when I first started @shannatyler_. It was a scary choice to integrate all of what I believed to be important keys to a healthier and happier lifestyle in one Instagram account. It meant sharing parts of myself and being my most authentic self. 

 Photo taken by  Diana Davis  

Photo taken by Diana Davis 

On June 12th, I made the decision to create the hashtag above and dedicate each post to this idea of loving ourselves, nurturing our souls, and engaging in sport. 

Today, I hosted a brunch event that allowed that come to life. It was hosted at Athleta Flatiron (126 5th avenue), where I am also a brand ambassador. Each woman shared their self-care practices, how they nurture their souls, and their favorite workouts. 

What astounded so many in the event, including myself, was how strong Instagram is and how it can be used to establish meaningful relationships. Each and every woman I met I have connected with or kept in contact with through Instagram. 

That being said, I would love to tell you the top five reasons you should build your own Instagram (IG) community if you have been thinking about it! 

Your unique voice adds something to the Instagram universe. First and foremost, you have something to add. What message you have to spread is your own. No one else can replicate it and no one else can duplicate it. 

According to Business Insider, Instagram had about 700 million users as of April 2017. With those numbers, imagine how many people we can connect to. When we contribute our voice to such a huge social media outlet, it is bound to resonate with others in the huge Instagram universe. 

You will meet incredible people in that universe who get you. Birds of a feather flock together; Instagram is the perfect place to align yourself with people who get your message. 

Whether it's health, wellness, fitness, finance, or photography, your account is bound to attract the same people to you. Then it is in your hands to follow through! You can meet them in-person, and if you guys are too far from one another, you can schedule a Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangout. You never know the amazing relationships that can happen! 

Your Instagram will become a way to tell your life story, and you will bring others with you. Telling a story is a great way to get stuff off of our chests. When we share on Instagram, it instantly becomes an online journal. 

The reason why telling our stories is so wonderful is because people will take that journey with you. There will be people who are going through similar events and circumstances who will be touched by what you are sharing. It also will help you to find those people to meet up with! 

You will be supported and uplifted by your community when you need it. Ya'll, Instagram is a beautiful space. When you build a community on Instagram, those people are connected to you and your shared journey. 

When you share your voice and your journey, people connect with you and you will connect with them. Your Instagram community will start to root for you, cry with you, and laugh with you. You will share your ups and downs, then something amazing will happen.

Soon, you will have comments and DMs from people who care about you. They will check up on you if you haven't posted in a while. They will ask what's wrong when things seem out of whack. They will also laugh at your corny jokes! I personally love Instagram for that, haha! 

You have a chance to give back to others and share what you go through. Last but not least, you never realize how much you can impact others. Your Instagram can be used for such good. 

Each post or story can impact another's life, whether we know it or not. It can be exactly what someone needs to hear at the moment. It can be exactly where someone else is in their life. It can  be exactly the laugh that someone needed from your silly face filter. 

Your Instagram will have a chance to give back to someone exactly what someone else's gives to you. If that isn't a good enough reason to start one, I don't know what else is! 

If you want to create an Instagram account with a community, do it. Start it today. Create that name, invite your friends, make your first post, and go along for the ride. The journey is well worth it! 

If you already have an Instagram community, be encouraged. Keep on going. It will continue to be rewarding. It will continue to be an amazing experience. Your voice is what is needed on this huge Instagram platform. 

I have realized that my own Instagram has built a strong community, without even knowing it. I was able to invite women to this event this morning right from my Instagram app. I was able to connect with each of them through it and stay in touch with them on it. 

What I hoped for came true: to spread love and kindness to others in a social media platform that is so huge and is so saturated. I wanted to create a space where women felt safe to like a picture, read a caption, and allow themselves to integrate their own #selfsoulsport into their lives. 

And wow, it has happened. Thank you to each and every one of you!! 


How to Get Over a Crappy, Funky Attitude

Ever have a crappy, funky attitude and not sure why? Ever want to get over it? 

I had one of those weeks where it felt like a cloud was over me, following me wherever I went. It was so strange because I was riding on such a high from my birthday last week. 

 Photo taken by  Alexis Damen

Photo taken by Alexis Damen

Sometimes our attitudes just shift and it's time for a tuneup. Logically, I was okay last week. I had a wonderful week prior and this week just seemed to turn into a pile of crap. But that's because I  was focusing on all the wrong things. 

My attitude shifted after my birthday. I felt the pressure of turning a new age and looking to new goals. I felt like I needed to get started on all my goals at the same time and put all my plans in action. That certainly made me funky because change takes time! 

This week I had two main choices: either stay in my "woe is me" attitude or do something to to get over it. I chose to get over it with a few of my favorite routines. 

To get over a funky attitude, be grateful for what is going right. An attitude of gratitude helps us come a long way. It allows us to focus on all of the positives instead of the negatives. When we do that, it's hard to keep up negativity. 

I chose to do that in the beginning of this week. I have a journal where I write in, especially in hard times. In the morning, I have gratitude beads with around 10 baubles that I say what I am grateful for. At night, I also have a gratitude journal I write down at night. 

Making ourselves see all the awesome things that are going on can bring sunshine into the cloud that follows our attitude. I highly recommend doing some kind of gratitude activity, at least, once a day. 

Speaking positive statements about ourselves take us a long way. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am worthy of love. I am important. These are examples of affirmations we can say to ourselves throughout the day. 

I began to say good things to myself. This week, I began to say I am so fortunate to have a family who spent time with me for my birthday. I also said I am looking forward to what is in store this year of life. I also began to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. 

How about you? What do you say to yourself? If you were to examine all the things you say, would it be positive or negative? One of the ways to get over a funk is to be positive and to focus on our strengths. So what's yours? 

 Photo taken by  Alexis Damen

Photo taken by Alexis Damen

Begin the day with an intention of what you will accomplish. Mornings are so important in our lives. How we rise is how we fall. When we rise with a funky attitude, believe me, we will end the day with one. 

This week, I turned around my attitude with getting really clear on what I will do for the day. I made concrete plans and decisions to go to the gym, to get on my mat, to speak to a friend, and to budget my finances. Having clearly defined goals for the day allowed me to really get over my crap. 

One of the most important times in our day is the morning. Setting a tone for the day is a strength that we need in order to set the attitude for the day. Getting over a doomsday attitude can be done with setting goals and accomplishing them! 

Download a FREE Daily Morning Worksheet and subscribe to the site for encouragement. A morning activity is a wonderful addition to kickstart the day right. I hand created this worksheet with all the tips above and tailored them just for us to get over the blues. 

All of my current subscribers are getting this worksheet and I want you to, too! You can subscribe and download for the PDF worksheet here along with weekly intentions sent from me on Mondays. 

Together, we can create a more positive attitude in our lives. Happy Sunday and enjoy the rest of the week ahead.