"I hold back, sometimes I won't. I feel good, sometimes I don't." Those words, from the Drake song "God's Plan" have been stuck in my head for weeks, along with the words that close the refrain: "And still."Read More
There really is something to the concept of affirmations, even it seems completely woo-woo. (I happen to love woo-woo stuff, but you don't have to in order to get something out of this.)Read More
The perfect guidance for life is hidden in a children’s song that’s been around forever. “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…” Those are the lyrics to a song you’ve likely known since you were little.Read More
One day last spring, I opened the front door and noticed that the passenger door to my husband’s car was wide open.
He can be a forgetful dude, but usually not that forgetful.
Still, I was two seconds from teasing him when I noticed: his truck was open, too. And his driver’s side door.
We walked outside, and sure enough: someone had broken into our cars while we slept.
If you’ve ever had anything taken from you, you know that odd feeling of violation. But as it sunk in, I realized: our vehicles were still there, and there was no damage to either of them. They had taken maybe five dollars from my change compartment-- beloved coffee money, but not financially significant. The cars were a mess, but heck, they had been in desperate need for post road-trip cleanings, anyway.
This is not a big deal.
But it could have been. Or, rather, I could have made it one. I could have chosen to see this as a sign of bad luck, or I could have let that feeling of violation grow. I could blame the neighborhood, or our town, curse the local officials. I could have beat myself up for not locking my car doors or my husband for not locking his.
But I didn’t. Immediately following the discovery, my response was:
“Oh well. I hope they at least needed that five bucks more than we did. Bless and release.”
I was done; it ended there.
And as the day went on, I actually got a bit thankful for the whole experience. Because I realized: there is nothing that anyone could take from me that would matter much, anyway. Most of the things I value are not things. They’re people. Memories. Dreams.
And the majority of the “things” I do value are things that wouldn’t be of value to other people: the piece of paper that my daughter wrote “Mom” on for the first time. Our wedding album. Baby pictures. That piece of driftwood I found at the beach this summer. Notes from my husband.
It was a beautiful realization.
This isn’t a mindset I’ve always had. I’ve cultivated it, consciously, over time. You can change how your mind works, and therefore, how your life goes.
And you don’t need to have something stolen in order to have your own beautiful realization. Today, stop and think:
What are the “things” you surround yourself with each day-- and would you truly miss them if they were gone? (If not, maybe a little Marie Kondo-ing is in order. It sounds strange, but it's really energizing to ditch the clutter + surround yourself only with things that you love.)
What matters most to you? How can you feel that gratitude now? And tonight? And tomorrow?
How often do you let the actions of others (including little ones) rattle you? And how can you create a little more protection for yourself? You're in control, even if it doesn't seem like it at first.
What does it mean to be brave?
Is it slaying fire-breathing dragons? Being on the front lines? Rushing into a burning building?
I think brave is so much more than that.
Brave is feeling the fear and doing it anyway-- no matter what that fear is.
Brave is going for it.
It’s having an idea and a big dream and no road map to fold up and pack in your bag.
It’s chopping off your hair or wearing bright red lipstick or going to dinner alone or starting a conversation with a stranger or finally saying what you really mean or taking time to get so still + quiet that you finally start to know yourself.
It’s admitting you were wrong or owning your responsibility or no longer carrying what’s not yours.
What feels brave? Do THAT thing. And remember that braver can be quiet and heartfelt and it can taste like freedom, even if you never charge the castle gates or go face-to-face with the villain.
I have spent a huge amount of time and energy over the past few years working on my mindset. Giving myself strategies to not just get through life but thrive.
It’s worked, really really really well.
And still, I have bad days. Off weeks.
They can still feel really difficult to get through. I’m coming out of one of those little slumps now. And I wanted to let you know two really important things that I’ve realized:
Everyone has bad days.
But have you ever really thought about this?
Do you think Oprah is just beaming positivity and deep insight 100% of the time? Nope. If you are in a constant state of happiness, you are the Dalai Lama maybe. You are an enlightened being. I don’t think that us everyday people are actually meant to feel good ALL the time. There’s something about the way that we’re designed that makes us appreciate the joy much more because we’ve experienced sadness, pain or discomfort. I’m not sure why we’re that way, but we are. And if you want to fight that, you’re in for a battle. Or you could embrace it, appreciate the contrast for what it is, and love yourself anyway.
Every struggle gets easier when you face it.
These days, I can step outside of myself and realize what’s happening. I can name it. I can sit in it, embrace it. That doesn't mean I want it, or that I feel glad that it’s there. But I can sit with whatever’s coming up and give myself the kind of compassion I would give one of my kids if they were having a bad day. So my point is, there is a way to have fewer bad days, and to manage the bad days in a much more positive way.
Around our house, we call that feeling of being off, “tough stuff”. When the kids are cranky, out-of-sorts or hyper-emotional, I just say “Are you having tough stuff?” and give them a hug or let them talk about whatever they want to talk about or just let them know I love them.
That’s the kind of compassion I’ve developed for myself. It’s about freakin’ time.
So the next time you’re struggling, if it’s for no reason or for lots of reasons, remember that Oprah might be struggling, too. Maybe Jennifer Aniston is having a bad day. Beyonce might be feeling more crab apple than Lemonade. And maybe I’m over here going “What the eff….”too.
But it can get easier, and that starts with compassion. How would you treat your kids if they were having a bad day? Do that for yourself. Find compassion. Give yourself grace. Relax. Breathe.
And remember that living a lit up life doesn’t mean you’re lit up every single second.
It’s really hard to do things for yourself when you’re a mom. And you have to do them anyway. Carve out little chunks of time for yourself, whether it’s five minutes or a whole hour. Prioritize sanity over dishes, until you reach a place where you can keep both under control.Read More
Like yoga, letting go is a practice. You're never done, never perfect. The art is in learning what's worth hanging on to, and what isn't. When you let go of all the stuff that doesn't matter, you have more room (and patience and strength and passion and energy) for the things that do.Read More
You don’t need to wait for another life to arrive and rearrange your organs, your thought process, your life. You can do it for yourself. What do you want? What do you believe? What do you feel in your gut?Read More
“Are you happy, mama?” My daughter started asking me this a lot, about a year ago. I’m not sure why. She asked it sometimes when she was reading the scowl on my face. I understood why she was asking it. But other times, we would be in the course of a normal moment in a normal day and it would come: “Are you happy?”Read More
Listen. Listen. The world is trying to tell you something.
There are messages in the dragonflies that seem to follow you everywhere, in the way the wind whips up at just the right moment, in the clock showing you the same time when you wake every night, sweaty and confused.Read More
Are you trying to create #allthethings? And is your content a little...all over the place? Hit pause and work on your brand voice and tone before you write another word.Read More
Want to connect with your audience? You need to stay active on all your social networks. Here are my 3 favorite tools for staying social- and staying sane.Read More
The word “grace” catches my attention. It is elegance and beauty, it’s a bestowing of favor, it’s mercy. Yes, I want to give myself grace. And, I think, so should you. Here's why.Read More
Start communicating more efficiently and effectively by ditching bad email habits. It's time to sound like the business-savvy momma you truly are.Read More
Looking for advice and encouragement that will help you juggle days building your biz while also building Legos? You'll love this list of tips from mommas who have been there, done that, and have the happy babies and thriving businesses to prove it's possible.Read More
Solopreneurs: Keep these points in mind as you craft an "About" page that both feels like you AND helps grow your business.Read More
Here are 5 of my favorite tips that work for the often crazy life of a mompreneur. They'll help you free up time to work, write, plan and yes, binge watch a little reality TV every once in a while.Read More
Writing is part of doing business as a modern mompreneur—and you need tools to help battle writer’s block. When you just can't seem to focus, here's what to do:Read More
When you are familiar with a topic it’s easy skip the simplest details. The results for the reader? Not good. Here’s how to avoid making this mistake.Read More