This month’s Conscious Convo features Michelle Evans. Why Michelle? Because I admire her courage to tell the truth and live it. Michelle is a mama of three and traded in a jet setting, 16-year tenure in the corporate world in pursuit of more meaning, fulfillment and freedom.
This month’s Conscious Convo features Suzi Lula. She’s a mentor, colleague, and friend who inspires me to find my edge. And, she’s can sit on the other end of the phone and, by saying absolutely nothing, make me feel 100% supported. She’s that person for me.
I am huge fan of the Olympics (that part doesn’t embarrass me). As I huddle around our iMac monitor (we got rid of our TV — that’s a different a blog post!) with my oldest son, watching the Men’s 4×100 take to pool, I realized (AGAIN) in that moment that anything is possible.
I found myself filled with butterflies and nostalgia for the wholeness I experienced when I was a little girl. I yearned for the no holds barred dedication to the belief that anything was possible. With commitment and self-discipline, the sky was the limit. Above all, there was the attachment to the belief at the end of the day, no matter what happened, I did my best. I knew I was good enough.
As we continued to watch, I saw that self-assured, positive childs’ spirit in my son as he cheered on the Americans. When the Americans didn’t win, he moved on in a split second. He got behind the Brit. Or, maybe it was the French? He didn’t get caught up with why the American lost. He wasn’t blindsided with beliefs that one country was better than the other, or that one athlete was faster, smarter and an all around a better athlete. Instead, without hesitation, he knew the American had given his all — he made it to the Olympics! — and that it was okay he didn’t win. It didn’t make him less than the other athletes. Then, he proceeded to cheer for the other athletes who came in 1st and 2nd. I was amazed at how he didn’t feel such disappointment (he wasn’t attached to the expectation of the American winning like us adults) and moved into acceptance so quickly.
Our children are such beautiful reminders of what it’s like to live in a world before life experiences take over and we form limiting beliefs that can stop us from playing a bigger game. They are constant reminders that anything is possible and by not being attached to an outcome allows for miracles to happen.
What I’m a little embarrassed about is that I got rather emotional witnessing my son’s experience of the Olympics.
It made me realize that even though I’ve committed my life to self-growth, I still operate with several limiting beliefs that have hold me back from experiencing the best version of myself. I decided to enter my own ‘Spiritual Olympics’ and got to work with pen and paper with the intention of healing whatever it was that was causing my emotional reaction.
It’s up to us to change within, so that we can elevate our own mindset and make a meaningful impact in how we engage in the world, with others, and with ourselves.
I am sharing the exact question I asked myself in the hope that it helps you heal, expand, and grow into becoming the woman, Mom, wife, friend you want to be.
“What is the biggest limiting belief you’re buying into today, and how would your life change if you were to let it go?”
You can write it down. You can talk it out with a loved one. Just get it out. I want you to just imagine setting it free. Give yourself permission to believe anything is possible, just as you did before you starting forming beliefs when you were young.
When you’re ready, test yourself. What’s one step you can take that will move yourself forward in the direction you want to go? Make it small. Just create movement. In order to experience our deepest desires, we must compete in our own Spiritual Olympics. Remember that dedication and self-discipline you had as a child? I’m encouraging you to connect with it. Let it be the thread that brings you back to the belief that yes, anything is possible, and you can experience the life you desire. Each day continue to invest in your soul and nurture yourself. Infinite love for you,
How do you prepare for an emotional conversation with your partner?
Do you dive into the deep end, hoping that it will all work out? I hear from so many ambitious women how their to-do lists are never-ending, work is ongoing, and they feel more and more disconnected from their partners.
Guess what? I’ve been there. It isn’t pretty. It isn’t fun.
Years ago, I was introduced to the concept of setting intentions. Note that this is not goal setting. Intention setting allows you to stay connected to your purpose and your intuition. It’s something that I infuse throughout my days because it’s a way for me to get laser-focused on how I want to experience what’s in front of me while remaining in alignment with who I want to be in the world. Sometimes there’s a misunderstanding that by setting intentions, you’re simply adding to your to-do list. Intentions are not to-do items.
Instead, you’re getting silent for a moment and getting crystal clear on how you want to feel in the upcoming experience. From there, you’re invoking an energy inside of yourself and asking the Universe to support you in receiving whatever it is that you need to receive, so you can be the person you want to be. Think about this as it relates to the three scenarios above and the different personality types you want to be in those various situations.
Another way to look at it is that you’re surrendering to the Universe and asking for help. Now, you may be thinking that sounds too woo woo. Hang in here with me!
What we know to be true is that the Universe meets us at the point of action; it’s there to support what we desire. By asking for what we want, we’re creating space for co-creation to happen. Some people call these experiences coincidences, but these are, in fact, moments when the Universe is working on our behalf.
Here are the steps to setting a powerful intention:
Activate your intuition.
State a clear intention that infuses what you want and how you want to experience it.
Detach from outcome expectations you may trap yourself into predicting once you’ve set your intention. Add the following language after your intention, “‘This something even better for my highest good.” By doing this, you’re trusting that if the experience doesn’t manifest the way in which you asked, it will turn out even better than you had imagined later because the Universe is working in accordance for your highest good.
Just one more tip: Use your words. These aren’t about getting fancy and using as many descriptive words as possible. This is about using words that resonate with you. Generally, short and simple is best!
Here are some examples for intention setting to get your mind going.
Hectic morning hour:
It’s my intention to be present, calm, and loving with myself, my children, and my partner as I begin the day.
Heading into huge presentation at work:
It’s my intention to show up fully and to deliver my message confidently and clearly, in a way that leaves others feeling inspired.
Conversation with your partner:
It’s my intention to be vulnerable and to listen with open mind and heart.
It’s my intention to help ambitious women live consciously with grace and ease. This or something even better for my highest good.
As you can see, you can frame intentions however you like and, most importantly, you want to have them handy, so you can review.
I’m encouraging each of you to try intention setting. Even if it feels a little out there. This has transformed the way in which I experience everything. From high profile work meetings, powerful coaching sessions, meaningful conversations with my husband, to heartfelt conversations with my children and girlfriends.
Here’s to intention setting and experiencing yourself fully,
I’m coming off a spiritual high! Last week, I gifted myself a four day intensive workshop with one of my mentors and a world class coach. Then, I attended Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, featuring Oprah herself and ten of today’s most conscious thought leaders. A dream come true. Seriously.
I witnessed a whole lot of magnificence, a whole lot of inspiration, and whole lot of vulnerability. I realized that I felt most alive when those sharing were completely present, less concerned about nailing every point and more concerned with being real.
What mattered most was their vulnerability and energy vs. perfection of the delivery.
This got me thinking. How I can feel more connected to each one of you? It can be hard to initiate that connection over the Internet! Last week, I played this game with some colleagues and thought it was brilliant, so thought I would play it with you in effort to share more of the real me.
Here are Nine Things I Don’t Want You To Know About Me. My intention is to create connection and stimulate curiosity about who you’re here to become, so you can experience the fullness of who you are.
Without further ado, here are 9 things I don’t want you to know about me:
I get caught up with getting it right. Even though I know that taking action creates movement, I fall prey to stalling in pursuit of perfectionism.
Despite two years of planning, I was terrified to quit my stable, comfortable, corporate job to coach full time. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to ‘make it’ as a coach.
I cry at everything. When I say goodbye to friends, the thought of my seven year old turning eight, being in the presence of Oprah this past weekend. My husband tells me, “my feelers have feelers.” I’m overly emotional.
Until two years ago, I couldn’t tell you any of my dreams because I didn’t have any. I’d lost sight of who I was.
I would have preferred to have a brother or sister. Being an only child is lonely.
I raise my voice at my children more times than I’d care to mention. I’m embarrassed about how impatient I can be.
I have a huge inner critic; actually a committee of critics. It paralyzes me if I’m not careful and leads to major self-doubt.
I get defensive easily, especially with my husband, and it’s the cause of many of arguments. It’s something I have to work on everyday.
I’m afraid of dying, despite my deeply spiritual beliefs. The thought of not being with my family in the physical world scares me. This can make me feel like a fraud given what I practice spiritually.
Whew. I feel a bit exposed and lighter. I want to feel more connected to you so what about this idea: Will you share with me one thing that you don’t want me to know about YOU by emailing email@example.com?
I love this exercise because vulnerability assists you in facing your fears. I’m inviting you to try this and see where it takes you.
I use to think it was about having it all figured out. Once I had the road map, then I wouldn’t feel stuck. Then, I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with family obligations. Then, I would feel fulfilled at work. Then, I would feel sexier and more playful. Finally, I would feel happier.
What I found was that I didn’t need a blueprint. While it certainly helped to have a vision, what got me out of feeling stuck and going for my biggest desires was my commitment. I think this quote sums it up so beautifully:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
– William Hutchinson Murray
Here’s my two-step process to help me get crystal clear on my commitments:
1. What are you most committed to in your life and are they in alignment with your values and greatest vision for yourself?
Or, are they serving as distractions, keeping you comfortable and allowing you to coast on cruise control?
Sit with that question for a minute. This is one of those questions I ask myself daily. Because it gives me insight into how to make my next move whether it be building out a new program in CWM, which personal friendships to invest time into or how I choose to spend a Sunday afternoon. Once you get clear on what you’re most committed to, ask yourself the following questions.
2. What part of me is making this decision? Is it my ego or is it from my highest self?
Our egos are quick to respond for us. Generally, this is what keeps us saying YES and wanting to please people before taking care of our own needs first. Consider yourself first when you’re evaluating where your decision is coming from. Slow down, sisters, when you ask yourself this question. There’s no need to rush.
In addition to being part of the CWM community, the common thread in the success stories of these ladiesis that they committed themselves to experiencing the truth of who they are. Just feel that for a minute. That’s huge. These ladies were determined to have the full experience of who they are. This sometimes meant living on their edge and changing things up drastically, so they could experience a different outcome. It also meant taking daily steps. What we know to be true is action creates movement — even the tiniest action.
I can really relate to feeling stuck. I’ve been there. I hate that feeling. Now, you’ve got an easy tool to raise your consciousness and course-correct. With your expanded consciousness, you will experience freedom. It’s time to step up and out of the illusion that something is impossible. It’s all possible.
Do you remember why you wanted to become a Mom? What were your ambitious before you entered that chapter?
For me, it was simple. I wanted to experience something bigger than myself. In this strange way, even though I knew it would radically change my life, I also knew it was a non-negotiable for me. You see, I had this vision of being highly involved with my children and exposing them to as many experiences as possible. At the same time, I envisioned myself continually evolving, leading, making an impact in meaningful work that fulfills me.
Your ‘Why’ may be different than mine, and that’s okay. As we get into the trenches of motherhood and experience its magnificence, it doesn’t always look the way we expected it would. Things we thought we’d never do, we end up doing. So it’s no wonder, that at times we feel disconnected from ourselves, or a particular dream. Can you relate?
Here’s what I know to be true. You can be a Mom and have space for yourself to thrive too. To feel what it looks like, give yourself permission to:
Engage in meaningful work
Spend money on yourself
Intellectually challenge yourself
Have a interest
Take risks in your career
Go on a date night
Finish your cup of tea before it gets cold
Spend a Saturday afternoon alone
Go to an art opening
Take a girls trip
Sit and read a book during the day when you can stay awake
Have a meal cooked for you
Have time to nurture your soul
Engage in purposeful and heartfelt conversations daily
I know it may not be everyday that you create space for yourself, but stretch and remember your WHY and your desires. You get to create the vision of how you want to experience being a Mom and a woman. Isn’t that incredible? Be the author of of your own story.
I’m celebrating you and the vision that you hold for yourselves.
Happy Mother’s Day Mamas. May your light continue to shine brightly,
Are you a planner? It’s Sunday night, and you’re strategizing about what you will get done and by when? What about the weekend? Do find yourself making plans, filling all possible white space with dinner with friends, baseball games, family outings…you name it, you’ve planned it.
I have a confession. I’m a planner. I inherited it from my Mama. I’m quite proud of it, in fact, because it’s served me well in the efficiency department. However, when I had my big wake up call a few years ago, I realized that my scheduling was trumping my ability to be conscious. There were so many times when I missed experiencing something that was truly for my highest good, that fed my soul, that challenged me because I had everything planned out.
This past weekend, I gifted myself a weekend away with my Mama in the gorgeous city of Nashville. Remember, my Mama is a planner, and there’s still a part of me that loves a good old fashioned itinerary.
However, I sent my Mama our weekend travel plans on a doc that included a big red, “SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME” on the top. Did they ever. While in flight, a friend who lives in Nashville shared that Paul Simon was playing at the Ryman on Saturday night. The Ryman is one of those music venues I have always wanted to see — it’s an old church where the Grand Ole Opry originated (it still has the original pews!). Our issue was that we had tickets to the Opry for that same night and were so excited to see it — I planned it!
This was a dilemma for me. What if I couldn’t get tickets? What if the seats were no good? What it we didn’t end up doing either in the process? We’d talked about going to the Opry for so long! But, there was a feeling of adventure and joy at the thought of going to the Ryman to see the amazing Paul Simon!
What I’ve learned is that the richness of potential outcomes and experiences of following that feeling of joy and adventure, even if not achieved, far outweighs the comfort and stick-to-the-plan routine that we can lock ourselves into.
I’m pointing this out because this experience evoked a feeling inside of me that I think most of us can identify with it, but don’t always capitalize on.
I’ve learned to not spend a lot of time hemming and hawing in situations like this, and, instead, follow the ‘good feeling’ and the experience that I’m after.
To wrap up this example, I made a few calls and was able to move our Opry tickets and get great seats to Paul Simon.
Why am I telling you this? Because had I ignored that feeling because I was so attached to my plan, I would have missed out on an experience that fed my soul. I don’t think it’s any different in motherhood or in the Corporate world. If you’re craving to feel connected and in alignment with who you really are at your core, then you must get comfortable with agility. One must be able to to detach from ‘the plan’ and follow the good feeling, so that you can receive all that is available to you in that very moment. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you don’t stick to a plan, you can’t be efficient and do all that that you want to.
As I was travelling back home, I reviewed our itinerary and was blown away. In fact, we even added a side trip to a little town 20 minutes outside of the city that I was dying to see, but didn’t think we would have time. We probably experienced more than I could have imagined, yet there was a flow to it all. This logic applies in the workspace and in motherhood too.
These are the 3 questions I ask myself when choosing how to spend my time:
What’s my intention?
What’s my Why behind my intention?
How do I want to feel?
These questions have helped me experience what I want to in my personal, professional and home life.
I know that abandoning plans can be scary as all heck, but start with these quick questions to establish some white space in your life. It’s incredible what you can create, experience, overcome, connect, achieve and feel in doing so.
It’s almost impossible to accomplish anything with a mindset that’s full of self-doubt. As you’ve probably already discovered you can’t take risks or steps forward when you’re full of question marks. Self-doubt leads to limiting beliefs, which do not empower you. Limiting Beliefs are a thought that runs through your head, particularly if it’s a repeated thought that arises against your will.
I don’t know about you, but this holiday always seems to creep up on me, and I’ve noticed that it’s the one holiday that I truly have experienced differently throughout the various stages of my life. I have to admit something, and maybe you can relate: I was caught up with this holiday for surface value. Here’s what I mean.
If you’re like me, chances are you have an idea of how you think your life should be, and it might look something like this: Great marriage. Happy, vibrant, brilliant children who love me and each other and life. Gorgeous home. Fulfilling, lucrative career. In other words, a general sense of ‘I got this,’ contentment, fulfillment.
As I was helping my preschooler get ready for his first day of school this past August, he knew right away what he was going to wear on that first day—his shark t-shirt and aloha-patterned shorts. No comparing shirts, no changing outfits a bunch of times. He didn’t call in his brothers to ask them what they thought. He just instinctively knew the right thing to wear.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Gratitude since Thanksgiving is just a few days away. I keep having this thought around it and wonder if you have too. From as young as I can remember, I was taught to be grateful and happy for what I have. As an adult, I’ve noticed gratitude has been productized.
Last week, I wrote a blog post about becoming over-socialized to a particular way of living and how to let go of what we think we SHOULD be doing. If you’ve engaged in that work, then you know the freedom that comes from consciously releasing a social norm or practice that doesn’t fit who you are now, whether they are norms about parenting, how you should look, or who you should be in the boardroom.
Look around your space for an entire minute (set your timer) and, with the full force of your attention, commit to memory every red thing in the space. Don’t read on until you’ve done that. Now close your eyes and bring to your mind everything in your space that’s blue.
I know that when my connection with John is feeling stretched as a result of work, travel, or parenting commitments, it’s a signal that I need to slow way down and get hyper-focused on investing energy into the foundation of our relationship. I recognize this in my clients’ experiences as well.
Do you feel purposeful in your life? Excited by the legacy that you’re going to leave? For me, there was a time, when I use to feel a sense of, “what am I going to be remembered for?” because of my lack of fulfillment. Not anymore.
Do you genuinely feel a sense of joy about who you are, what you stand for, and how you show up for yourself? I know we’re human, but generally speaking, do you feel alive and able to receive pleasure on all levels?
Do you like who you are and give yourself permission to speak up, share and express yourself with others?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then congrats! You are on your way to experiencing life consciously. However, if you experiencing a few NO’s, here are some tools for you:
1.Craving Purpose? It’s time to get clear on how you want to FEEL, before you can decide on what you want!
ACTION STEP: What does purpose feel like to you? Describe all the feelings that come up for you. Don’t limit yourself. Get crystal clear on all the feelings, qualities, and values that you require to experience in order to feel purpose. This will become your template to build upon in designing what it is you want to DO.
2. Ready for more Joy? Begin by opening up all your senses to receive more joy.
ACTION STEP: Listen to music that fires you up, hug your partner or children 5 seconds longer than normal, go for a 5 minute walk everyday and immerse yourself in the outdoors, use spices on your food (cinnamon is a great one), flowers in your house to smell, and I highly suggest taking the time to spread lotion on your body after the shower. This allows you to connect with yourself.
3. Want to deepen your self-love and self-trust? What’s something you desire more of in your life, but are holding back and not speaking up around?
ACTION STEP: Give yourself permission to be honest first with yourself about what it is you desire. Secondly, share it with one person close to you. You will be amazed at the freedom you feel by sharing it with someone close and the increased connection you will feel with yourself.
As women living at the intersection of ambition and authenticity, we have a choice as to whether we want to experience life consciously. These 3 steps help me experience meaning and joy, all while learning to like myself all over again after I took on the role of motherhood.
Boy, oh boy, is it easy to be addicted to our phones, which is why I’m going to share 3 tips with you to help you break away. I find I go through phases where I’m really self aware of when I’m using my phone and other times not so much. This past week I found myself falling prey to checking my phone while standing in line at the grocery store, getting a tea at the coffee shop and even (I’m embarrassed to admit this) checking my phone while waiting at a stoplight. It hit me the other day that I was back to my old antics and struggling to be comfortable doing nothing. If given even 30 seconds, I felt a strong pull to read, text or click something on my phone. I felt less joyful than usual over the past week, and suspect my phone addiction is to blame.
Time for an intervention! Over the weekend I heard Arelene Pellicane of Growing up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, speak, and her words hit me hard. I feel more inspired than ever to lead by example and show my children how to set phone boundaries. I’m saying YES to experiencing my life fully engaged. My children will be the lucky recipients of a Mama who’s present, balanced and full of life.
Here are three tips that I practice to help me part with my beloved phone:
1. Out of sight (out of mind) –If you’re at home, keep your phone in another room. This means charge it in another room! If you’re out with your family, keep it in your purse, or your pocket and disable the wireless. You can still use your camera.
2. Turn it off –(Gasp) I know it sounds so uncomfortable. Just try it for 15 minutes. It’s incredibly liberating. I’m experimenting with not having my phone on at all when I’m with my children.
3. Make an agreement with your significant other and support one another- I find it’s extremely difficult to quit cold turkey by yourself. Discuss guidelines with your spouse, and help each other live by them.
I know it’s incredibly easy to justify why we should be on our phones at times. I’ve been there. (It provides me flexibility. My client needs me. I have a deadline.) However, if your goal is to experience more fun and calmness, you need to take action and make decisions that will help you live that way. My hunch is that there are plenty of times when an email can wait 15 minutes or a phone call can be made an hour later. Instead you can use that time to be totally present and absorb your surroundings, which might be talking to a stranger in the coffee queue, having a conversation with your husband or sitting at a stoplight and watching the person next to you have a dance party in their car. It’s in our DNA to want more laughter and spontaneity in our life, so let’s make some space for it. Will you join me and commit to using your phone less?
Where in your life are you holding on too tightly? Answer this question truthfully. Can you imagine for a minute what would happen if you surrendered and let go? How might you start to experience life differently?
Hold that thought and let the below post by Rev. Saphire inspire you:
She let go.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
What was the first thought that came to mind? Where are you holding on to tightly and where do you require to let go, so that you can experience the true fullness of who you really are? Tell me, I’m eager to hear from you. Either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR if you feel comfortable, you can post it in the notes section for other working Mamas to read and support you.
I’m thinking about each of you from the mountains, where I’m spending spring break with my family. My husband and I decided a while back that we really wanted to take the boys skiing for a week. This was something that I personally felt very strongly about because skiing is a passion of mine, and it’s something that our boys really enjoy learning. I love the idea of us doing a sport together as a family.
As a working Mom, you probably can relate to what a big deal this is since it means taking a week off from work, as well as factoring in all of the expenses. Prior to leaving, I had set a very clear intention for our trip: experiencing every moment, feeling engaged and present and not being attached to an outcome. A big part of my intention was to allow myself to really ‘be’ in the mountains, not be tied to my laptop and holding coaching sessions.
I have to admit something. It hasn’t been easy. The first couple of days, I found myself not working at all. Then, all the sudden, anxiety would sneak in, and I’d start to wonder, “what am I missing? What should I be doing?” These thoughts didn’t feel good and they were an obstacle to fully participating with my family the way I wanted to and had envisioned.
Tell me, do you give yourself permission to truly take time for yourself? How do you turn off your work? I mean really turn it off to the point where you’re not envisioning your inbox filling up.
I found myself answering this question repeatedly the other day:
“What’s the worst thing that will happen if I don’t answer emails, take client calls, or prepare for my upcoming launch?” Once I cut through the sarcasm, I realized absolutely nothing would happen. There was no need for me to dramatize the situation.
Then I answered this question:
“What will I gain from surrendering to exactly where I am and just allow myself to enjoy the down time?”
Wow, did my inner voice have something to say about that! She went on and on and on…. It became very clear that the pros outweighed the cons. Now that our trip is almost over, I’m feeling rested, inspired, and reconnected to my family. I’m so thankful for this week away and most importantly giving myself permission to truly enjoy it.
Tell me about you. Do you gift yourself holidays and, most importantly, how do you experience them?
Speaking of light…I wanna know…Are you letting yours shine as brightly as possible in your career? Or, are you holding back your truth. I talk to incredibly ambitious Moms all day long, and I’ve noticed a theme. Not with everyone, but a good portion of us. I want you to be honest with yourself right now. If you can’t be honest, there’s no point. Right? So, be honest:
Have you ever avoided asking for a promotion because you think it would mean more work, which, in turn, would mean less time with your children?
Have you ever stayed in a steady, solid salary job because you think if you go somewhere else, you’d have to start over, jeopardizing your role as a Mom?
Have you ever put on hold having another baby because you think your boss won’t take you seriously if you add to your brood?
Have you ever been afraid to ask for flexible hours because you might hear the word NO?!
Have you been dreaming about starting your own business, but you can’t possibly figure out how you would get it all done and be a Mom?
If I’m really honest with myself, there was a time I when I answered YES to most of these questions. As a result, I would end up self-sabotaging myself. I would play small. Can you relate? Sigh. From one ambitious working Mother to another, I said goodbye to this way of living quite some time ago and it was one of the best decisions I made. If this resonates with you, I invite you to do the same.
Can you give yourself permission to listen to the quiet voice inside of you (intuition), begging to be liberated and let it speak it’s truth? Start by writing down the first thing you hear. Don’t judge it. Don’t ignore it. Imagine yourself activating whatever it is that came forward.
Answer this question.
How would you experience life more truthfully?
I coach working women all day around this very topic, so please know if you feel stuck. I’m here for you and would love to support you in taking the plunge, however that may look for you. We have a responsibility to share our best versions with the world and, most importantly, with ourselves.
I could have gone either way. I was sitting at a client lunch meeting and saw my husband call, but didn’t want to be rude to my clients by picking, so I turned my phone over. Thus, missing his following five more calls, multiple texts, and several calls from my oldest son’s school.
Because my husband and I both work, we weren’t readily available when the school called. In fact, my husband was an hour away at a conference that he was attending for a couple of days. it wasn’t until my lunch finished and I saw a text from my “emergency contact” that read, “call school now” that it all clicked. My son had been injured. While I had been sitting at lunch, my son was sitting in the nurses office with a huge gash to his head that clearly needed stitches.
I’ll be honest. I had a very quick split moment of panic, wondering how long he had been sitting there, wondering if he was scared and, even more so, wondering if he was feeling alone. I was disappointed I wasn’t by his side. I couldn’t be two places at once.
Right then and there, I made a choice to act differently than I had in the past. I didn’t need to go into panic mode and have an emotional reaction. It wasn’t anybody’s fault that this happened. I didn’t need to feel guilty for not being readily available. That’s an old pattern, and I’ve retired it.
What I know to be true, is that there’s always something for me to learn in every experience. As I worked through the logistics of coordinating getting my son to ER, which required my husband to drive back into the city, it became very clear. The lesson was around trust. Life happens, and it happens at many speeds and, particularly as a working mom, it’s not always at the speed we’d like. What I realized is that my son was OK. He had the most amazing experience being taken care of my by the incredible school nurse, my husband arrived within an hour, and he received a huge compliment from ER doctor (that he was the best patient out of all 60 he’d seen that day!).
There was no need for me to rush home to be with him, and I certainly didn’t need to add any drama to a situation that was thankfully drama-free. All I needed to do was trust that I had made smart choices along the way to prepare for any situation like this and, when it came down to it, the preparation I had put in place provided more then enough of a positive, loving experience for my son. He quite liked hanging out in the nurses office. He was proud of his stitches. He learned a lesson that he can survive without me rushing to his side. Likewise, I was reminded to trust in the decisions that I’ve made (in this case the plans I had in play if there were ever to be an emergency). I was also reminded to be compassionate with myself. As a working mom, I can’t be two places at once, and my son was absolutely okay and there was no need for me to dramatize anything or even worse go into self guilt, because I couldn’t get to his side immediately. My consciousness expanded through this experience, embracing a new way of living my life, that included a lot more trust and self compassion.
How are you choosing to live your life? Is there room for more self trust and compassion? I want to hear from you!
I recently sat down for lunch with one of my dear working Mom friends who I very much admire. We were talking about parenting our boys. She said to me, “I haven’t used my screaming mimi voice in 30 days.” I had never heard that phrase, but knew exactly what she was talking about. The moment she said that, I consciously thought, “That’s impressive; I used my mimi voice just 3 hours ago.”
Do you know the voice I’m talking about? It’s the one that comes out when you feel like your kids aren’t listening to you. Or, when you’re in a rush, exhausted, or stressed. As a working Mom, there are a thousand scenarios that can push our buttons to trigger us to become screaming mimi’s. The experience I have after I’m screaming mimi, generally, consists of guilt and shame. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it happens. Can you relate? It takes work to not be a screaming, mimi regardless of how much we love our children.
I’ve been aware of my screaming, mimi voice for a while and have learned what triggers it. It’s not a behavior I want to pass down to my children. I’ve also learned that it has very little to do with my boys. Of course, it would be wonderful if my house of 3 boys would listen more or do what they’re asked, but ultimately the boys behavior is just a symptom of the real issue. The root cause is my lack of self care. As a working Mom, I’ve under-estimated the importance of taking care of my well being – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Not to mention fun. Am I making time for me to experience any ‘fun?’
We all know self care is important, but be honest, are you making time for it? Are you making it easy for you to incorporate it into your daily routine. Think about it this way: what’s one thing you could do across each of the below categories to support you in taking care of yourself first, so you can feel rested, rejuvenated, inspired, patient, and available to show up as your best self in your career and in motherhood?
Physically – Eg: , is there a class you’re dying to take? Mentally – Eg: Read an inspirational quote each day on Pinterest. Spiritually – Eg: Pay it forward. One random act of kindness will open up your heart. Emotionally – Eg: Write one thing that you’re thankful for each day in journal. For Joy – What’s the one thing you’ve been dying to do that will bring you joy?
I promise you by increasing your self care, you will decrease your screaming, mimi voice and, not only will your children thank you, but you will feel a greater sense of love and appreciation towards yourself.
Do you ever feel you’re doing it all (been there)? Or, maybe you hear yourself saying, “When is it going to be my turn?” (been there too)! Or, maybe you catch yourself in comparison mode to others, and you’re left with a feeling despair (the worst!). This got me thinking last week as I gave a talk to room full of ambition women about reframing self-love.
For me, I use to think of self-love as simple acts of doing things for myself that made me feel good in the moment (insert: shopping, manicure, dinner out). However, the happiness would fade, and I would still felt disconnected. Through my own personal and professional ups and downs, I’ve discovered three tools that, when practiced, provide the confidence to share the real me with the world. I think we all yearn for a sense of freedom and, by practicing self-love from the soul, I experience it daily.
Here are my three “aha moments”:
As women, we require a conscious circle around us. Protect it with strong boundaries.
Think of a conscious circle as your personal space and visualize a velvet, gold cord, protecting the most exquisite art collection at a museum. It’s there to protect the art. Similarly, imagine the circle extending out from our bellies where all of our emotions are stored, particularly our intuition. The more you protect it, the more you’re able to remain connected to who you are and make decisions that honor yourself.
In order to support this conscious circle, we must set clear boundaries. You might be thinking, “Ah, I know how to set boundaries”, but do you? Because if you’re finding yourself in victim mode, fear of losing control or falling into people-pleasing, there is a big opportunity for you to strengthen your boundaries. I’ve noticed with myself and through hundreds of conversations with women, that we struggle to set boundaries. We feel guilty, selfish and, yet when we do set boundaries, it allows us to show up as our best selves. It allows us to nurture our souls, to feel connected to who really are, and to be able to give to others from a much more loving place. I’m inviting you to think of where in your life you could set a healthy boundary to support experiencing what it is you want more of in your life.
Recognizing that we have a choice in how we respond to our emotions!
We always hear how powerful our mind is, but isn’t it amazing how easily we forget? What I’ve discovered is that I always have a choice in how I talk to myself and how I think, feel and respond to others. Maybe you can relate, but when you judge yourself for not being enough, or you get into comparison mode, or judge someone else as wrong, there is not any space in your heart to love. What I’ve discovered is that compassion and judgement cannot coexist; they’re like oil and water. So, if the goal is to increase self-love, the judgments have to go. Yes, easier said than done. I’m inviting you to pick the biggest judgment you might be carrying around and practice letting it go. It’s not serving you, and it’s time to update it with something that does.
Last “aha moment” is honor your voice and speak up!
Speaking up requires vulnerability. However when we do it, it strengthens our connection with ourselves. In my experience, this has allowed me to love more deeply, live more purposefully and intently because of that connection. For quite some time, I ignored the whisper inside and didn’t speak up when it came to my professional purpose in life. Until finally, I listened to the whisper and spoke up. What I’ve discovered is that we women desire connection to ourselves and to others, yet we fear speaking up because we mistakenly think that doing so will push away those who are close to us. Yet, speaking up and being vulnerable are the very things that will bring us closer. It’s a way for us to show up as our true selves and encourage others to do the same with us. I’m inviting you to think about a desire you want and ask for it. Speak up. This will give you a new found courage and freedom that you haven’t felt before.
The benefits of self-love extend beyond the self. When we nurture our own souls, we vibrate at a higher level. We feel better about who we are, and we contribute to the collective conscious in a much more meaningful and positive way. I’m inviting you to get on the self-love train now. It feels uh-mazing.