11/26/2013 02:14 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2014

You Need to Wake Up!

Many of you know my story. Before my current incarnation as a therapist/coach/speaker/author/etc., I was a bicoastal talent agent, running on adrenalin, nicotine and caffeine. Your basic workaholic, zipping back and forth from New York to L.A., chasing something or running from it -- I am still unclear.

What is clear is that I was stuck on autopilot. My days consisted of rushing -- to eat, to get dressed, to get to my next appointment, to squeeze in a spin class, or to catch a flight. All that rushing created constriction that showed up as angry reactivity.

On the surface, I appeared successful. I had the job, the money and the apartment. But I didn't feel successful. I felt stressed and exhausted. I knew there had to be a better, more fulfilling way to live.

And, well, you know the rest. Here I am, doing what I love with people I adore, making a difference.

I had a pivotal aha moment at a Chopra Center event, "Week End Within." During one of the many hours of meditation (which were mostly torturous for me at that point), I "woke up" during the "Becoming the Observer" exercise, and for the first time, I clearly saw how I was living, and it wasn't pretty!

That moment of stepping outside of my ego to witness my life, without judgment, was the beginning of living a mindful life.

The concept of Mindfulness has been popping up a lot lately in empowerment and self-help blogs. Just as manifesting and creating affirmation posts were everywhere in the past few years. The concept can be made difficult, but in actuality, it is quite simple

Being mindful simply means being awake in your life. Not running on autopilot or just going through the motions, day in and day out.

I find the best way for me to maintain my mindfulness is with a dedicated meditation practice.

The ability to be consciously awake, which can be developed through spending time daily in silence and stillness, creates a clearer picture of what is actually happening in your life. I went from truly believing that my life was happening to me to seeing that it was coming from me. (Huge distinction!)

Why do I care if you're mindfully awake in your life?
Because when you are mindful, you are aware that you have choices. You can choose the words you use. You can choose the actions you take. When you are not mindfully awake, you are reacting all the time and trapped in an illusion that it is all happening to you.

I want you to consciously choose your life so you can rock your Dharma and be happy. In order to harness your own power to choose, you must slow down, stop judging, stop blaming, and be willing to take responsibility for how you respond in all of the circumstances of your life.

I challenge you to be mindful this holiday. Can you be awake and allow your presence be the ultimate present? Choose to say no to holiday stress overload and yes to an attitude of gratitude that lasts year round.

I hope you have a bountiful Thanksgiving and as always, take care of you!

Love, love, love,